BBC NEWS

  • JOHNNY DEPP
    Johnny Depp's financial troubles are caused by a lavish $2m-a-month lifestyle, say the business managers he is suing for mismanaging his earnings. They claim he spent more than $75m (£59.6m) on 14 homes and $3m (£2.4m) blasting author Hunter S Thompson's ashes out of a cannon. The Management Group are countersuing Depp after the Pirates of the Caribbean actor sued them for $25m (£20m). Depp, they claim, is "fully responsible for any financial turmoil" he faces. "He has refused to live within his means, despite... repeated warnings about his financial condition," their countersuit claims. Their legal action, obtained by the Deadline website, also accuses the actor of spending: $18m (£14.3m) on an 150 foot (45 metre) yacht, $4m (£3.2m) on a failed record label, $3m (£2.4m) to blast Hunter S Thompson's ashes out of a cannon, $300,000 (£238,600) a month to maintain a staff of 40 people, $200,000 (£159,000) a month on private planes, $150,000 (£119,330) a month on round-the-clock security, $30,000 (£23,800) a month on buying and importing wine, He also needed 12 storage facilities to house his collection of Hollywood memorabilia, they allege. Last month, Depp claimed The Management Group owed him more than $25m. His lawsuit also alleges the company failed to file his taxes on time, costing him $5.7m (£4.5m) in penalties. 
  • DRIVER
    A tall man has been convicted of driving while standing up after admitting dangerous driving. Adam Elliott was accused of showing off to other motorists with his head poking out of the roof of a convertible Ford Ka. Speaking after the hearing, he said: "I was not stood up, I am just tall". Mr Elliott, a car dealer, was seen in Gateshead and on the Tyne Bridge driving the car with the top down in January last year. The court heard Elliott had 12 previous convictions for driving while disqualified. 
     
  • THE QUEEN
    Taste in art is a hard one to call, as the well-meaning Germans found out in 2015, when they attempted to combine their penchant for modernist expressionism with Her Majesty's passion for horses and family life. It fell to President Joachim Gauck to present the painting by Nicole Leidenfrost to the Queen during her fifth state visit to Germany. The president stood proudly to the side of the easel on which the painting rested. It depicted the Queen as an eight-year-old girl sitting on a blue horse while her father, George VI, held its reins. Mr Gauck smiled enthusiastically, made a gesture with his left arm in a magician's "ta-da" sort of way, and invited the British monarch to inspect the splendid piece. The Queen's response was, shall we say, muted. She looked over to the Duke of Edinburgh with a bemused smile on her face and a question in her eye that appeared to be asking if this was a practical joke. Her husband leant in to look at the picture, held his position, and said nothing, leaving his wife with the task of filling the awkward silence. "It's a strange colour for a horse," she said. The German president laughed charmingly but unconvincingly, as did others in attendance. "And that's supposed to be my father, is it?" Her Majesty enquired. That hurt. But Mr Gauck remained calm and courteous and duly confirmed the figure on the left was meant to be her father. "Don't you recognise him?" asked Prince Philip encouragingly. "No," replied the Queen.
     
  • MATTRESSES
    A businessman accused of blighting a Kent village with a 5 metre high mountain of discarded mattresses has been found guilty of unlawfully depositing waste. Lewis Bertram, who ran recycling firm Eco-Matters in Smarden, had denied the charge at Canterbury Crown Court. Jurors convicted him of two counts of unlawfully depositing controlled waste and one count of failing to remove waste. Bertram told the court the Environment Agency figure of 2,300 tonnes was "physically impossible" and there was a maximum of 500 to 800 tonnes.
     
  • TOUR GUIDE
    A tour guide at a Tanzanian game park has been arrested after falsely translating a tourist's comments about the country and its people. In a widely circulated video clip, the guide says in Swahili that the tourist wants Tanzanians to stop "complaining” about hunger. The woman, in fact, says Tanzanians are "fabulously wonderful". The guide was arrested on unspecified charges on Thursday on the orders of Tourism Minister Jumanne Mshembe. Tanzania markets itself as The Soul of Africa, and is popular with tourists because of its wildlife and spectacular scenery. The unnamed guide was from the Serengeti National Park in the north-west. Regional police commander Philip Kalangi told the BBC that he was being questioned, but did not give more details. The BBC's Lizzy Masinga in the main city, Dar es Salaam, says it is unclear why he has been arrested or whether he will be charged. The minister may have felt that he was mocking the tourist or mimicking President John Magufuli, as some of his words were similar to those used by the president at a rally last month when he called on people to stop complaining about hunger, our correspondent adds. In excerpts of the video published by a Kenyan newspaper, the tourist says: "Hi. My visit to Tanzania has been beautiful, gorgeous. The people are fabulously wonderful and friendly. Greetings are always jambo [the Swahili equivalent of Hello]. Happy to be here. The land is beautiful, beautiful. The animals are wonderful.” The guide translates this as: "You Tanzanians complain/cry a lot about hunger. Everyday you cry about hunger when you have flowers at home. Why don't you boil the flowers and drink [them]. It is not good to cry/complain about hunger.” Tourist: "The variety of animals and people you see is incredible, unlike anywhere else. It is just fabulous."Guide: "You are asking your president to cook for you. Do you think your president is a cook? Can you get busy, even boil your clothing and eat.” Tourist: "It will be an experience to savour for all of your life. It is fantastic and beautiful and incredible and just unremarkable. Guide: "Get busy in every corner of the country. The president can't leave State House to cook for you. You have to cook for yourselves".
     
  • GOALKEEPER
    Sutton United have accepted the resignation of reserve goalkeeper Wayne Shaw, who is under investigation for potentially breaching betting rules. The Gambling Commission and Football Association are investigating if there was a breach of betting regulations after the 46-year-old ate a pie during Monday's FA Cup loss to Arsenal. A bookmaker had offered odds of 8-1 that Shaw would eat a pie on camera. "What happened didn't make us look very professional," said boss Paul Doswell. "It's something that we've dealt with quickly as a club," he told Sky News on Monday. "Wayne himself offered his resignation to the chairman this afternoon, which has been accepted. "It's a very sad end to what has been a very good story." Shaw, who said he was aware of the betting promotion prior to the match, played the incident - in which he ate the pie while standing by the substitutes' bench - down as "a bit of fun". "We are told we are not allowed to gamble as it is full-time professional football," Shaw told BBC Radio 4's World at One programme. "In no way did I put anyone in jeopardy of that - this is not the case here, this is just a bit of fun and me being hungry." However, the Gambling Commission confirmed it was looking into whether there was any "irregularity in the betting market and establishing whether the operator has met its licence requirement to conduct its business with integrity". "It's clear in FA rules that you're not allowed to bet - and whether it was a fun bet, or whatever it was, it wasn't acceptable," added Doswell. "Obviously we were very concerned with the implication that the club, myself, my assistant Ian Baird or anyone else had been involved in the decision-making. "It's been very disappointing, there's no doubt about that. I woke up this morning to this storm of criticism. "It's with a very heavy heart, because he was a good friend of mine, but I think the board felt they had no other choice."
     
  • LAWYER'S TROUSERS
    A Florida defence lawyer's trousers have reportedly caught fire in court during an arson trial. Stephen Gutierrez was to address jurors on Wednesday when smoke began billowing from his pocket, witnesses said. The attorney fled the court and later returned unharmed with a singed pocket, blaming a faulty battery in his e-cigarette, the Miami Herald reports. Mr Gutierrez, who had been arguing that his client's car spontaneously caught fire, said it was not a stunt. "It was surreal," one witness told the Herald, while another pointed out that "a lot of people could have been hurt". Police and prosecutors are investigating the incident, the newspaper reports, saying that officers "seized several frayed e-cigarette batteries as evidence". Mr Gutierrez, 28, was making his closing argument to jurors when the fire erupted. He returned to the court moments after running out, still wearing the singed pants, to explain the incident. The defence attorney was representing Claudy Charles, who was accused of intentionally setting fire to his car in South Miami-Dade. Jurors later convicted Charles of second-degree arson. E-cigarettes have been known to catch fire spontaneously, with several incidents caught on video.
     
  • CHEESE SANDWICH
    An argument over a grilled cheese sandwich ended with a Baltimore man facing attempted murder charges. Daniel Brian Blackwell, 55, became angry when his wife took a bite of his sandwich, and shot at her through the basement floor, she said. She fled the building with three teenagers, and police began a three-hour armed stand-off. Blackwell is not legally permitted to own guns because of prior convictions for assault, police said. But 15 guns, four of which were loaded, were recovered from the house. He later left the house unarmed and was subdued by non-lethal means. Among the weapons was a "lever-action long gun with a chambered round placed just inside the front door", police said. Blackwell's wife told police that after the argument over the grilled cheese sandwich, she heard a gunshot while she was in the kitchen. Blackwell came upstairs briefly, she said, before returning to the basement. Three more gunshots followed, and the bullets came through the kitchen floor near where she stood, she said. Blackwell has been charged with attempted first- and second-degree murder, first and second-degree assault, reckless endangerment and a number of firearms violations.

  • LEMONADE
    A five-year-old girl was fined £150 by a council for selling 50p cups of lemonade to festival goers. The girl's father Andre Spicer said his daughter had set up the stall in Mile End, east London, while thousands of music fans were on their way to the Lovebox Festival at the weekend. Mr Spicer said his daughter burst into tears and told him "I've done a bad thing". Mr Spicer said his daughter loved the idea of setting up a stall near their home. "She just wanted to put a smile on people's faces. She was really proud of herself," he said. "But after a small time trading, four enforcement officers walked over from the other side of the road. I was quite shocked. I thought that they would just tell us to pack up and go home but they turned on their mobile camera and began reading from a big script explaining that she did not have a trading licence. My daughter clung to me screaming 'Daddy, Daddy, I've done a bad thing.' We were then issued a fine of £150. We packed up and walked home.” A council spokesman said: "We are very sorry that this has happened. We expect our enforcement officers to show common sense and to use their powers sensibly. This clearly did not happen. The fine will be cancelled immediately and we have contacted Mr Spicer and his daughter to apologise."

     


VIDEOS