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    ‘Detectorist’ finds on the rise as treasure hunters are inspired by TV shows



    Metal detector finds are on the rise, new Government figures show, as the popularity of TV programmes such as Time Team and Detectorists tempts more people to take up treasure hunting. 

    Statistics released by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport show that the overall number of treasure discoveries rose to 1,121 in 2016, up from 1,005 in 2015. 

    Experts say programmes such as Detectorists, a BBC sitcom starring Mackenzie Crook and Toby Jones which began airing in 2014, have tempted more amateur searchers to try out the hobby. 

    Julian Evan-Hart, editor of Treasure Hunting magazine, said the publication has seen a rise in subscriptions and has had to add extra pages to cope with the increase in finds.

    He said that actor and director Crook was a keen and successful treasure hunter and that other cast members had also discovered a passion for the hobby through being on the programme. 



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    Zimbabwe crisis: Looking for Grace Mugabe in her heartland



    Meet the Zimbabweans who say that Grace Mugabe seized their land.



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    Zimbabwe president-in-waiting Emmerson Mnangagwa returns from exile



    The African Union said it recognized the “Zimbabwean people have expressed their will,” but praised Mr Mugabe for a “lifetime of service to the Zimbabwean nation” rather than criticize him for misrule.  

    “President Mugabe will be remembered as a fearless pan-Africanist liberation fighter, and the father of the independent Zimbabwean nation. Today’s decision will go down in history as an act of statesmanship that can only bolster President Mugabe’s political legacy,” Moussa Faki Mahamat, the chairman of the Commission of the African Union, said in a statement.

    China, which emerged as a major investor in Zimbabwe during Mr Mugabe’s authoritarian rule, said it respected Mr Mugabe’s decision to step down and would continue “friendly” relations with the country 

    “China respects Mr Mugabe’s decision to resign, and he is still a good friend of the Chinese people,” Lu Kang, a foreign ministry spokesman, said. Beijing avoided taking sides during the past week’s political crisis in Zimbabwe.

    General Constantino Chiwenga, the head of the Zimbabwean armed forces and the architect of the coup that brought down Mr Mugabe, visited China shortly before the coup. 



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    David Cassidy: ‘My one and only true heartthrob’


    Photo of David Cassidy from the 1970s taken by retired photographer Richard SacksImage copyright
    Instagram/richardimageartphotography

    Image caption

    David Cassidy performing at the Empire Pool in Wembley in the 1970s

    There has been an outpouring of emotional tributes to the US singer and actor David Cassidy, the 1970s teen pop idol who died on Wednesday.

    At the height of his fame, he had a huge fan club – bigger than those of The Beatles and Elvis Presley.

    Here, you have been sharing your stories of your encounters with the former teen heartthrob.

    Special memories

    Sandra Burnham from Bristol: “From the moment I caught my first glimpse of David I was in love.

    “One of the best days of my teenage years was going to see him at the Empire Pool – now called Wembley Arena. Travelling from Bristol on the train with a friend, we arrived to a sea of screaming girls. I clearly remember the crush to get inside and being carried along in the crowd, my feet not touching the ground.

    “I needed to get to the front! I left my seat and my friend and made my way down the aisle between the blocks of seats. Others had the same thought and the aisles soon became full.

    “There were barriers and security guards to stop fans from getting through, however, I quietly made my way to each barrier and waited until the guard was sorting out another screaming or fainting fan and slipped through, eventually making my way to the very front. But of course, he didn’t notice me.”

    Image copyright
    Sandra Burnham

    Image caption

    Sandra Burnham still has her David Cassidy scrapbooks: “A record of those wonderful innocent teenage years and my one and only true heartthrob”

    “I am now 60 years old and in the process of moving house. Consequently, I have been clearing the loft but nothing could make me throw out my David Cassidy scrapbooks, a record of those wonderful innocent teenage years and my one and only true heartthrob.

    “To hear today that he has passed away is so sad and I find myself more upset than I would have expected. I will always keep these special memories in a corner of my heart reserved for David.”

    Jan Barber from Bristol: “I was gutted when as a teenager my mum wouldn’t let me go to London to see David Cassidy arrive at the airport. But many years later I saw David Cassidy perform on his 52nd birthday at the Hammersmith in London in 2002 and waited outside afterwards.

    “He came out onto a balcony with his son Beau. Somebody came over who had been to his party after the show and asked who his biggest fan was. I shouted the loudest and she gave me a piece of his birthday cake which I shared with several other fans. I kept that teeny piece of cake for years.”

    A huge star

    Richard Sacks from Hampshire: “I photographed David Cassidy at Wembley in the seventies in front of screaming teens. I was working for a group of magazines which included the official David Cassidy Magazine.

    “I vividly remember seeing him backstage being rushed out into a van after the gig by four security guys with screaming fans banging on the doors as they drove off.”

    Image copyright
    Richard Sacks

    Image caption

    A girl was carried out of a David Cassidy concert in Wembley after a stampede: Photo Richard Sacks

    “I took a photo of a girl being carried out of his concert in Wembley due to people being pushed against the barriers in front of the stage.

    “He was that popular. He was huge.”

    Carol Morton from Reading: “David Cassidy was my idol.

    “He was my first concert experience when I was 15 in 1973 at Wembley. He sat on the edge of the stage to sing Tears of a Clown. When we came out in the masses of girls I lost my David Cassidy “rosette” and my dad had to go back and get me another one as I was in pieces.

    “Many years later, in 1987, I saw him in the musical Time in London. We went to the stage door after the show but for some reason I thought I would walk around the theatre.

    “I saw a Jaguar going very slowly down the side and wondered if it was for him. I grabbed the opportunity and ran towards him. He looked a bit like a startled rabbit but calmed down when he realised it was only me and about half a dozen others who had also caught on.

    “I finally got my idol’s autograph and my photo taken with him.”

    Magical time

    Sian Holland Clarke from Wales: “I attended a David Cassidy concert in Manchester in 1973. It was a magical experience.

    “With two others, we found out which hotel he was staying at and on the way home, stopped there and stood outside in case he came out. A journalist with a photographer turned up. The entrance was a glass foyer and the photographer stepped inside. The journalist asked us all to bunch up and reach out pressed to the glass.

    “The three of us were picked to sit in the car and be interviewed. That night it was announced on Radio Luxembourg that the interviews would be in the Daily Mirror. I was going to school the next day and a little embarrassed that my picture and interview would be seen by my schoolmates.

    “We did get to see David leaving in a car in the end. He waved to us.”

    By BBC UGC and Social News team



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    George North to leave Northampton Saints at the end of the season and return to Wales



    “I know how difficult a decision this has been for George, but in the end the emotional pull of settling back in Wales outweighed his desire to remain in Northampton and we respect that.  

    “I remember him joining the club almost five years ago as someone with an enormous talent and potential to be a really top class international. Since then he has developed into a world-class player and a very popular member of the club. He’ll be greatly missed both on and off the field.

    “I have no doubt that for the rest of the season George will put all his energy into firstly rehabilitating from his current knee injury as quickly as possible and then ensuring Saints have a strong second half of the season.”

    Wales head coach Warren Gatland warmly greeted the news that North will be returning to Wales next season, suggesting the benefits of a National Dual Contract would help him excel in the coming years.

     “At just 25, George is in the prime of his career and signing an NDC, with all the playing and non-playing benefits associated with it, will allow him to flourish,” Gatland said.

    “It is great for the game here in Wales to see a player of George’s stature and reputation return home to play his domestic rugby.



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    Are we ready for driverless cars?


    One thing the government is promising in the budget is a change to the law to allow more driverless cars to be tested on Britain’s roads.

    But how can we ensure they are safe? The BBC’s Richard Westcott investigates how experts are teaching cars to drive.



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    GT Sport | Cars, updates, patches, everything you need to know



    It has been four years since we’ve seen a Gran Turismo game being released. Way back in 2013, Gran Turismo 6 was released for the PS3, with over 1,000 cars available and an absurd amount of driving to do. GT Sport is finally coming after that break, and is a new generation of Gran Turismo. It’s out now, so here’s all we know about the game.

    What is GT Sport’s release date?

    GT Sport came to Europe on 18 October, 2017. In the US, released a day early, on 17 October, 2017.

    What platform is GT Sport on?

    Like all previous Gran Turismo games, this one is locked to a PlayStation console: GT Sport is only coming to PlayStation 4.

    What is GT Sport?

    This release isn’t too recognisable as they’re dropping the Gran Turismo series name, at least partially by shortening it down to GT. In case that doesn’t help either, Gran Turismo is a series that has been running since 1997, all about racing cars. The graphical fidelity of the cars, the large number of accurate and licensed cars, and the ability to drive in a realistic manner with accurate physics and handling have typically been the series’ draws.

    GT Sport isn’t quite like other games in the series though: there’s fewer cars than previous releases, it’s in higher resolution than ever before, and even has VR support. As the first Gran Turismo game for this generation, there looks to be a real leap from the last iteration of the series.



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    President Trump warns NFL boss he must act on take the knee protest


    Washington Redskins players take the knee during the US national anthem

    The NFL must “get tough and smart” over the national anthem protest because it is “killing” the league, says US president Donald Trump.

    Trump has criticised players who kneel for the anthem, a move started by Colin Kaepernick in 2016, to highlight racial injustice and police brutality.

    Some NFL owners reportedly believe players could soon be kept in locker rooms during the anthem as a result.

    “That’s almost as bad as kneeling,” Trump wrote on Twitter.

    “When will the highly paid Commissioner finally get tough and smart? This issue is killing your league!”

    In October, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell wrote to franchises stating the take the knee movement threatened “to erode the game’s unifying power”.

    Kaepernick, 30, has been without a team since he opted out of his contract with the San Francisco 49ers in March and has filed a grievance against team owners.

    He first protested by sitting during the anthem before opting to kneel.

    President Trump was critical when players followed suit, prompting the move to spread further.

    Trump lashes out at LaVar Ball

    In separate tweets, Trump branded the father of US basketball player LiAngelo Ball an “ungrateful fool” after he refused to thank the President for his role in securing his son’s release from prison in China.

    UCLA basketball players Ball, Cody Riley and Jalen Hill were released from detention on shoplifting charges. The three thanked Trump during a news conference after their release but Ball’s father – LaVar – played down the President’s involvement.

    On Wednesday Trump tweeted: “It wasn’t the White House, it wasn’t the State Department, it wasn’t father LaVar’s so-called people on the ground in China that got his son out of a long term prison sentence – IT WAS ME. Too bad! LaVar is just a poor man’s version of Don King, but without the hair.

    “Just think LaVar, you could have spent the next 5 to 10 years during Thanksgiving with your son in China, but no NBA contract to support you. But remember LaVar, shoplifting is NOT a little thing. It’s a really big deal, especially in China. Ungrateful fool!”



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    Berlusconi ‘treated like a gladiator in a Roman amphitheatre’ when banned from public office



    Silvio Berlusconi was the victim of rough justice befitting gladiators and slaves in an ancient Roman amphitheatre when he was banned from holding public office, a British lawyer told a European court on Wednesday.

    The 81-year-old billionaire, the head of a resurgent centre-Right coalition, is desperate to have the ban overturned so that he can put himself forward as a candidate for prime minister at Italy’s general election, due to be held in the Spring.

    As it stands, the ban does not elapse until 2019. His case was put to the European Court of Human Rights by Edward Fitzgerald QC, who in the past has defended the Moors murderer Myra Hindley and Abu Hamza, the radical Muslim cleric, as well as Gurkhas in their fight for UK residency.

    Mr Berlusconi “was deprived of his seat with a vote in a Senate composed in majority by his adversaries: this was not justice but a Roman amphitheatre in which a majority of thumbs down or thumbs up decide whether one sinks or not,” said Mr Fitzgerald, who practices alongside Amal Clooney at Doughty Street Chambers in London.

    The three-times prime minister, who resigned from office in 2011 following a series of lurid “bunga bunga” sex scandals involving striptease-performing starlets and models, was banned from public office after being convicted of tax dodging in 2013.



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