A 50 year old British man sent off his passport renewal application ahead a planned trip to Greece. He’d left plenty of time for it to be processed and sent back, and was looking forward to straight forward holiday.
However, when the passport arrived back a few weeks later, the man noticed something quite odd about his passport. Namely that it appeared to have a picture of Adolf Hitler in it. Stuart was furious when he saw the picture, the joking from his friends did nothing to calm him down either.
“I was really angry when I saw it. I was distraught, really. I just thought, ‘Oh, for God’s sake, I have to have this for 10 years and they can’t even get it right. I wasn’t really sure of the process of how to change it so I posted a picture of it on Facebook,” he said.
“That is Heil-arious!,” one of his friends said.
“What’s the problem? It looks al-Reich to me,” another friend commented.
He even called his sister to vent off, and she too laughed at him. The thought of having to show the passport for the next ten years was not what Stuart wanted.
“She just started laughing, she said to me, ‘oh come on, you’ve got to see the funny side,’ then I did see the funny side,” he said.
“My friends and colleagues think it’s hilarious.”
In desperation he called the passport office. After a good chuckle the woman who spoke to him, asked him to send the passport back. They very kindly replaced it with another, better photo of Stuart, which – thank goodness – looks nothing like Hitler!
“To be fair the woman was very pleasant and helpful. She said they obviously didn’t intentionally make me look like Adolf Hitler and told me to send it back so they can issue a new one,” he continued.
A federal judge on Friday ordered that a man convicted in a $10.5 million bank fraud case be taken into custody.
A magistrate judge made the decision, which was later affirmed by a U.S. district court judge after a federal prosecutor said the defendant was a flight risk because he had been in negotiations to buy a multi-million-dollar airplane.
The convicted man sat down in his chair and shook his head after the magistrate announced he was revoking the convict’s bond.
The man pleaded guilty on Dec. 9 to defrauding a bank, causing a $10.5 million loss. He had been released on bond as he awaited sentencing next month in the case, an arrangement that initially raised no objections from federal prosecutors.
But the assistant U.S. attorney urged the magistrate to revoke that bond during Friday’s court hearing. The assistant U.S. attorney laid out a case in court where the now-convicted man tried to purchase the aircraft for no more than $4 million using an airplane broker.
“There are new circumstances that scream out that say he is a risk of flight,” the assistant U.S. attorney said.
An FBI special agent testified that she received an email Feb. 6 from officials at a complaint line that the bureau maintains. That email summarized a complaint from a plane broker who told federal law enforcement officials that he had been in contact with the convict about him buying the plane.
Negotiations over the plane had cooled down for a period of time before the man contacted the broker again on Feb. 2, the FBI special agent said. A federal probation officer testified that she had received a call from the man’s wife saying he was distraught and had suicidal thoughts over the possibility of going to prison and worried about his safety while incarcerated.
The assistant U.S. attorney had argued in court papers that the man’s attempts to buy the plane amounted to an attempt to “obtain property by false pretenses” since he had nowhere near $4 million in assets, is unemployed and is likely going to jail over the bank fraud.
The assistant U.S. attorney told the magistrate that the man’s actions constituted wire fraud and demonstrated he was a danger to the community, but the judge rejected those arguments. The federal magistrate was more swayed by the assistant U.S. attorney’s argument that the man might flee if he wasn’t taken into custody.
The magistrate asked the man’s defense attorney what his client was planning to do with the aircraft.
“Why else buy the airplane if not flight?” the magistrate asked the defense attorney.
The attorney explained during the court hearing that his client has long had an interest in airplanes. The defense attorney dismissed as “pure folly” any notion that securing an aircraft would be the most efficient way to flee authorities.
Under questioning by the defense attorneys, federal witnesses acknowledged they had no evidence that the man is a pilot or that he put down any money for the airplane.
In court documents, the defense attorney wrote that emails the government relied on for its case indicated he met the airplane broker in August, months before he first appeared in court.
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Lucia Khabzi, aged 24, is very well travelled. She has been to some 22 different countries. Mind you, she has not been there visiting the countries, Lucia has been there on dates. During a year long backpacking trip she joined ‘Miss Travel’ which is a dating style app. Lucia says that her dates cost at least $10,000 and she stays in five star hotels, with business class flights and adventurous activities being part of them.
Lucia, a forensics graduate, started her backpacking holiday with just $15,000 in her bank, but she admits that some of the hotels she stays in cost well over $1,000 a night.
“Before I started using Miss Travel, I was backpacking on a budget and was very conscious of money.”
After saving all through university for her first trip, she realised just how expensive travelling was. Being single, there was no reason why she should not join ‘Miss Travel’.
“Mostly I use the site because I enjoy meeting new people. If those people want to pay for me to explore a new place with them, that’s a bonus.”
“Miss Travel has been a great tool for connecting with new people. If they let me chat to girls, I would but the app doesn’t work that way.”
“The first trip I went on, I was flown business class to Dubai and picked up from the airport in a Jaguar.”
“I was then chauffeured to the Rixos hotel at The Palm, and my date didn’t even turn up because of work commitments.”
“Instead, I got to spend a whole week exploring a place I would never have travelled to normally, in complete luxury.”
“From then on, I knew Miss Travel was something I wanted to use more to explore the world and experience new things.”
“‘I’ve always wanted to travel, so I had to save all through university to go on my trip once I graduated.”
“Quite quickly, I realised just how expensive travelling was and was having to do things like hitch-hiking to get by. That’s why I decided to give Miss Travel a go.”
“After all, I was single so why not? Plus, if I found love along the way it would be the perfect scenario.”
It is important to establish a friendship first, says Lucia, and if love blossoms, then she is prepared to take it from there. That has not happened yet, although she says that all the men she has dated have been very kind and treated her really well. She is still friends with most of them, and shares pictures of places she visits with them.
“For me, I was always going travelling, but meeting the guys I’ve met on the app has just meant I’ve been able to travel in a different style.”
“The guys I’ve met have all been well respected business men and I’ve made it clear before we met up, that there was no guarantee anything would blossom between us.”
“I think it’s important to establish a friendship. If anything else develops, it would be a bonus.”
“Unfortunately, love hasn’t developed between any of the men I’ve met. I’ve not even kissed any of my dates. Regardless, they’ve all treated me well and we’ve had a great time.”
At first her family were somewhat concerned with her dating ventures, but given that she has always been outgoing, and enjoyed meeting people, it was not really a surprise that she wanted to do this.
“My parents were a bit concerned initially, but mostly no one was surprised. I’ve always loved meeting new people.”
“This is just a new, fun way of doing it and I’m happy to keep dating strangers and letting them share their lives and travel experiences with me whilst I’m still single.”
Lucia is at pains to say that makes it very clear at the start that something may or may not happen, and she has to date never kissed one of her dates.
WHERE HAS LUCIA BEEN ON DATES?
June 16 – Iran – hitch hiked through country on budget
Aug 16 – Was flown business class to Dubai, stayed in 5* hotel
Sep – Dec- Backpacked through Europe, visiting 23 countries and dating men in local cities who paid for fancy dinners and tours. Countries included Italy, Greece, Spain, Iceland and the UK.
Jan 17 – Morocco, Turkey, Israel, Palestine – Dated Miss Travel users who whisked her away on sunset tours, camel rides and desert adventures
Feb 17 India – Flown business to meet hotel owner. Stayed in 5* accommodation for free for a month
Nepal – Visited with another Miss Travel date met in India
Egypt – Paid for upcoming trip in March 17 by Miss Travel date, includes chauffeur pick up from airport
Dubai – Another planned trip to visit date who has covered all expenses to date, including flights
Every Tory Prime Minister has increased VAT! This dates way back to 1973 when it was first introduced by Ted Heath. It seems that there may be yet another VAT increase on the cards.
The Prime Minister and her ministers seem to have avoided the question on the increase after Chancellor Philip Hammond mentioned it. He is considering a 2.5% flat rate increase, which will cost a two child family £450 a year.
It seems that this tax bombshell will come into effect if the Tories are re-elected in June. On the other hand, it appears that there will be a £70 billion tax cut for corporations and the higher income bracket.
Defence Secretary Sir Michael Fallon backed the plan to forget about the promise made by the party to not increase VAT, National Insurance contributions and Income Tax.
A VAT rise would primarily hit pensioners the worst. These people have worked all their lives and suffered years of real pay cuts. The higher income group will benefit with their tax relief.
“Everyone knows that VAT is the tax Tory Chancellors can’t resist hiking up. It’s the tax bombshell that the Tories are planning for low and middle earners if they are re-elected in June,” Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell said.
“A Tory VAT rise would clobber pensioners, the worst-off and working people who have suffered years of real pay cuts, while the Tories’ super-rich mates and corporations enjoy tax giveaways of £70billion,” assistant general secretary Steve Turner said.
At times it appears that the party does not care if it hurts the poor, as long as the high earners do not suffer. This Prime Minister is no different than the last one, with the same Tory agenda.
“A Tory government will hammer families with a VAT rise like every Tory PM has done since 1973,” Labour MP Wes Streeting, a member of the Commons treasury committee added.
“They don’t care that it clobbers the poorest hardest, that it hits people on middle incomes struggling to make ends meet, so long as they can keep on cutting taxes for the very wealthiest.”
“Theresa May is the same old Tory Prime Minister with the same old Tory agenda.”
VAT was first introduced at a flat rate of 10%, it was then cut to 8% by Labour, but it increased right up to 15% when Margaret Thatcher came into office.
Under John Major it rose again to 17.5%, with yet another increase under David Cameron to 20% in 2011, despite all his promises that it would not be increased.
This increase would cost families at least £2,250 over the next five year Parliament– with inflation meaning the true figure is likely to be even higher, if it comes into force.
It seems that the best thing to do is to wait for the manifesto, which will show what the Tories plan to do next. It looks like it will be the hard working Brits who will ultimately pay for the hard Brexit. It would be good to know exactly what the public can expect before the next election.
“He doesn’t want too many targets inside the manifesto that are too prescriptive, that don’t allow you, as the situation develops over the lifetime of the Parliament, the flexibility,” Defence Secretary Sir Michael Fallon backs Mr Hammond’s plan.
“The Tories are plotting a tax bombshell on hard-working Brits to pay for their hard Brexit,” Lib Dem MP Greg Mulholland said.
“Hammond must come clean on what taxes he plans to raise before the election.”
Remember the days when you picked up the phone to make an appointment, or when you used to go into a travel agent to book a holiday? Seems that those days are long gone, with the advent of the internet. Not only the internet, but the apps which are available to do all those things that previously had you running around doing.
We’ve compiled a list of some gadgets which will change the way you feel about things. These are the coolest apps which you should consider taking with you on your next trip.
1. Hopper tells you when to book your flight to maximise savings
This works with you inputting the days you want to fly, and Hopper sends you a message telling you when the prices change, and recommends the best day to buy your tickets. You can also then buy your tickets directly through the app.
2. PackSimple lets you design a custom TSA-approved travel kit for cheap and ship it straight to your door
You decide which products you need to take in your hand luggage, and order them on the app. PackSimple then makes up a travel bag with all the products in the correct sizes, and ships it to you in time for your flight. They have about 15 products for you to choose from, and the bag in included in the price if you spend more than $26.
3. Overnight helps you find a place to crash – last minute
This app finds places which are short term rentals, so you never need to pay hotel prices again. You can book anything from just a room, to a whole house it is easy to find accommodation within ten minutes so you will never be stranded for a long time without a place to sleep, or stay for a while. You can download it from the App Store.
Imagine if you were able to charge your phone while you are travelling somewhere. You can with this amazing suitcase. Created by a New York based company, they also make carry on bags and full sized cases. The suitcases are modern, and very durable, so withstand the rigours of baggage handlers.
5. Lola is like having a travel agent in your pocket
Lola will connect you to a team of travel experts who will take care of every step of the planning for you. Using both artificial intelligence and experienced staff, Lola is designed to take the headache out of your travel arrangements. Lola is available to download from the App Store.
The Infatuation is a well-travelled foodie, who knows where you can get any type of food you fancy. You will find guides to bars and restaurants in 7 major US cities, as well as many in the rest of the world. Whether you need a place that accepts children, or somewhere that won’t argue if you arrive in shorts, the Infatuation will find it for you.
You’ll find these in three different colours, black, silver and white. They cost around $220. The battery life is fairly short, but if avoiding getting tangled in headphone cables, or having to undo the knots when you stuff them into your bag, then you may consider a pair of these.
9. The popular game “Ballz” will alleviate airport boredom
Incredibly addictive, this game is similar to ‘Breakout’, but you can play it without an internet connection. So providing the battery does not run out, it can keep you occupied for the whole flight. You can download it through the App Store and Google Play Store.
10. VSCO will make your vacation photos look professionally shot and Instagram-ready
You can make small adjustments, and try different filters on your pics. New filters are added frequently. Not all the filters are free, but you will find that VSCO is one of the best editing apps available right now.
This is basically a portable battery which will give your phone that extra few minutes you need. The design is really sleek and comes in two colours. It is a bit pricey at $100 but it does mean that you may get some more time before your phone finally runs of out juice.
12. Google Maps lets you create and share a list of recommendations within the app.
It is a great feature for remembering where you have searched before. You can also follow your friends’ lists and they can follow yours. You can also share things you want to see with friends.
13. Tab makes it easier than ever to split the bill
Never again get a headache from trying to split a bill! Just highlight the dishes that you ordered, and Tab will add up your cost, calculate the tax, and add a tip. It will do this for all the people in your group so you will never have to strain your brain again at dinner.
You can rent a car directly from the owner, drive it for an agreed time, and return it to the owner. There is a selection of cars ranging from super cool to very dependable cars like jeeps. Whatever you choose, you can do it through the app and you will get a better rate than through any rental company.
15. Download from the App Store and Google Play Store.
The Light Phone lets you enjoy experiences without being distracted by your smartphone.
There are only two things that this phone does. It makes calls and receives calls. It does not text, on send and receive emails. It costs about $150 and may be the answer to getting away from those emails that bug you while you are on vacation!
The app will not only send your bag to your destination, it will wash your clothes or dry clean them. Store them till you are ready for your next trip, and then send the bag to your next destination. The storage service is $10, and the sending on, cleaning or dry cleaning is $99.
Mark Zuckerberg’s company has been forced to admit they were fooled by a “malicious advertiser” who paid to post fake news articles falsely claiming Sir Paul McCartney had killed himself.
The disgusting posts were shown to users around the world, and shocked fans who tried to find out more by clicking the story were instead directed to a phishing page which falsely claimed their device was infected with a virus. The scam page gave them a free number to ring ‘microsoft technical support’ which in fact went through to a team of scammers.
The ease at which the Social Media titan was fooled into hosting such a blatant scam will raise fears that the company is not doing enough to monitor the content that appears on its platform.
This is not the first time the company has been criticised for failing to deal with dangerous content, including videos posted by terrorist sympathisers, when users flag them up.
The fake story appeared in the usual advertising slots to the side of the Facebook page, with the title “Sir Paul McCartney Suicides” and the malicious link.
The “check-this-news.com” link takes visitors to a page filled with ominous sounding warnings and an 0800 number that connects them to scammers waiting to steal personal information.
A Microsoft spokesperson advised: “That sounds like a scam to me as we would never contact our customers in that way. They are probably using the Microsoft name to lull people into a false sense of security but it definitely has nothing to do with our company.”
Facebook put out a statement, saying: “We take immediate action when we discover advertisers attempting to serve misleading links to people.
“In this case, the advertiser maliciously circumvented our advertising review process. In subsequent reviews we identified the advertiser and disabled their ads and account.”
Facebook announced last January that they would be policing fake news in order to “better identify and rank authentic content.”
Here we have a man who wants nothing more than to get to a pond and fish, only to be stopped repeatedly by an angry woman who insists he is trespassing. Not only that she threatens to call the police. It seems that this happens all the time, he never fishes at the pond near her as he knows he is not allowed, but merely walk by to the next one.
Here is the video which the man shot after – yet – again she came out hurling abuse at him and threatening to call the police. This time she did call the police. A cop showed up, checked out the guy, to make sure that he was not fishing where he shouldn’t be, and to politely request that he park elsewhere so as not to upset the angry lady any more.
The video shows him walking back past her house to his car, waving at her, while she refused to come out and talk to him. The guy had two thumbs up for the way the cop handled the situation, with politeness and diplomacy, where they could have been nastier.
The bottom line – you get a better response if you ask politely.
When David Brinkley, from Oklahoma, posted a picture on Facebook of his wife, young son and new baby all sleeping together, he got more reactions than he thought he would. David had thought that the picture was just the most beautiful thing and in this spirit, he posted it.
“My wife is a best friend kind of woman. She has hours upon hours of long conversations with her friends ALL the time and occasionally I get to hear little pieces. Recently she was talking to a friend and they were talking about this thing called “co-sleeping” and I heard the other person ask ‘doesn’t your husband hate that? My husband would never let me do that.’ This blew my mind and has bothered me for days. So I just decided to come out as a man and set a few things straight.
I do NOT hate any part of what makes my wife the mother that she is. I would NEVER degrade or disregard anything that she feels like doing for my children. Do I have to squeeze into a small corner of the bed sometimes? Yeah? But my God how beautiful does she look holding my children? Making them feel loved and safe?
The thing is that our wives only experience these little seasons in motherhood for a short time. They carry our babies, they birth them, they nurture them and maybe while they are little they let them crawl into our beds and snuggle. But eventually our babies get bigger they grow up they get “too cool” for snuggles so why would we as men want to steal a single second of this time from them?
Being mothers is part of their identity and what’s a year or 3 out of decades of life spent together? I just want to say that I am proud of the decisions my wife makes as a mom and I support every single one of them. I would never want to rob her of this time she has or these seasons that are in reality too short to not enjoy. Please respect your wives as mothers.”
After being shared by over 500,000 people, the reactions started to appear. There was a definite group of people who were absolutely against co-sleeping. Most of the people who disagreed with co-sleeping brought up very valid points such as the safety of the baby, and the possibility of the infant being suffocated while asleep.
One reply told Davis and his wife that they should remember the ‘A,B,C of safe sleep’. Another mentioned that she felt it was not safe as children got rolled on all the time. Added to that she thought it created behavioural problems with children learning not to sleep on their own.
On the converse, it seemed that there were many more parents who agreed with the co-sleeping issue, even producing their own pictures. Opinions were that before we became a civilised society, the whole family slept together. Many parents had placed the first baby in their own room, but had gone on to let the second and third babies sleep in the same bed as mom and dad, and they thought that the babies bonded better with the parents.
Susan Castellano, health director at Minnesota department of health suggests against sleeping with a baby as you may accidentally suffocate them. It is also possible to increase the risk of Sudden Infant death Syndrome (SIDS). A staggering 3,500 babies die each year from SIDS. Castellano suggests having the baby sleep in the same room, but not in the same bed as the parents. Is it really worth the risk to have a baby sleeping in the same bed, when you may possibly suffocate them? She feels that there are better ways to bond with a newborn, such as breastfeeding, or cuddling when you are awake. This way there are not dangers of injury.
“First of all, you can’t argue with [Brinkley’s] sentiment and his support of his wife. That was so sweet,” Susan said. “But I think the danger is that we do know co-sleeping can end in infant death. It does. It happens all the time.”
Dr James McKenna from the Mother-Baby Behavioural Sleep Laboratory thinks that it is wrong to try and scare new parents with statistics about baby deaths. He thinks that in fact it is very hard to make co-sleeping dangerous. His viewpoint is that babies always have done, and always will go on sleeping next to their mothers.
“It’s biology. When [a baby’s] touching, hearing and smelling the mother that’s making an enormous difference in body temperature, heart rate, hormonal levels… they’re all being regulated by that direct contact,” he explained. “Human infants are contact seekers on which their survival depends being as close to that mother as they possibly can.”
David’s wife posted that in her opinion her children were never in any danger of coming to any harm because they were in bed with her.
“I laid down to nurse my daughter- my 2 year old son came in to snuggle with his baby sister. My husband supervised this entire experience and made it possible for me to comfortably lay with them both like this as he very lovingly and carefully watched over us,” she said.
“We would never put our children in a dangerous situation and our night time sleeping looks completely different than this.”
“It’s impossible not to offend someone with a difference of life or opinion and that’s so sad to me.To say hurtful things just because you don’t like a picture or don’t like a post that you didn’t have to read in the first place is just an unnecessary waste of time. It’s ok to just be ourselves.”
After all the response to a simple picture, which was indeed one of the sweetest momentoes of the young family, David and his wife removed the posts from Facebook.