Archive for the ‘Ostatní’ Category

Pictured, firearms officer who shot himself inside Glasgow police station: Force launch probe into tragic death

A firearms officer died yesterday after shooting  himself in an apparent suicide at a city police station.

Constable Rod Gellatly had ‘turned the gun on himself’ after arriving at work as normal yesterday morning.

Police refused to give any further detail but admitted officers were not looking for anyone else in connection with the 41-year-old’s death.

The incident happened at Baird Street police station in Glasgow – the Strathclyde Police base for firearms specialists, generally of constable or sergeant rank.

There were unconfirmed reports yesterday that PC  Gellatly had shot himself in the station’s toilets. It is understood he came to work, took a weapon and ammunition from the armoury and was later found dead by colleagues.

An ambulance was called around 11am but later left with no casualty on board.

The tragedy is certain to raise  questions over the vetting of firearms officers who have to undergo strict psychological assessment before being allowed to carry a weapon.

The average percentage of officers with firearms training across Scotland is around four per cent – currently around 700 out of 17,436 officers.

Lothian and Borders Police was called in immediately as an independent force to investigate, while a report was sent to the procurator fiscal.

An independent probe by another force is also standard practice in cases where an officer is killed in a firearms incident.

In a statement, Assistant Chief Constable Bernard Higgins of  Strathclyde Police said: ‘It is with great sadness I have to tell you that a serving Strathclyde Police officer died today in an incident where a firearm was discharged at Baird Street Police Office.

‘Our thoughts are with the  officer’s family and friends at this difficult time.’

PC Gellatly is understood to have been married and lived on the south side of Glasgow.

He served previously in the Fleet Air Arm as a Petty Officer based in the South of England between 1989 and 2002.

Cordoned off: Officers stand outside a Strathclyde police station in Baird Street, Glasgow, where an officer died after a gun was fired Cordoned off: Officers stand outside a Strathclyde police station in Baird Street, Glasgow, where an officer died after a gun was fired
Emergency: Officers called for an ambulance at 11am today, which attended the scene at Baird Street Police Station and left shortly before 2pmEmergency: Officers called for an ambulance at 11am today, which attended the scene at Baird Street Police Station and left shortly before 2pm

But in recent years he had been living in the Glasgow area and serving as a policeman in Strathclyde, including spells in Wishaw and Shotts.

Police are issued with a range of firearms which vary between different forces but include Heckler & Koch rifles and semi-automatic carbines and pistols, while some forces use shotguns.

Brian Docherty, chairman of the Scottish Police Federation, said: ‘We can confirm that one of our colleagues has died following a firearms incident in Baird Street police station this morning.

‘It is too early to speculate as to the circumstances surrounding the tragic death and our thoughts turn immediately to his family who have lost their loved one and colleagues who have lost a friend.’

Labour MSP Graeme Pearson, the former head of the Scottish Crime and Drug Enforcement Agency, said: ‘It is a dreadful tragedy for the officer, his family, his friends and a terrible loss to the wider police service.

‘I know Strathclyde Police will support those affected with the level of professionalism one expects in the circumstances.

Fellow officers today paid tribute to the policeman who died
Fellow officers today paid tribute to the policeman who died

‘A lost friend’: Fellow officers today paid tribute to the policeman who hasn’t been named

James McIvor, 37, of nearby Pinkston Road, added: ‘It was a bit of a mystery at the start of the day then we found that a police officer was killed.

‘The fact a gun was involved makes it even more horrifying. It is a big shock for it to happen, especially in the middle of a police station.’

Scaffolder Neil McCuaigs, 38, was working nearby at the time and said police dogs could be heard barking aggressively.

He said: ‘I knew something  terrible had happened straight away.’

Last night Gary Gray, 39, came to lay a poppy cross at the station with his son Bobby, eight, to ‘show respect’.

He said: ‘I heard what had happened on the radio so I came down to show my respect. I think sometimes the police are not given the credit they deserve for the help they give us.

‘They are here to help, they do a difficult job and I think we should show our appreciation – not just for this victim but for them all.’

Patients on mixed-sex wards can sue the NHS: Revamped charter also gives rights over end-of-life care

Patients could sue the NHS if they are forced into mixed sex wards under a revamp of the NHS constitution, it emerged yesterday.

The patients’ charter will also enshrine in law the need for patients and families to be consulted before a patient is put on an ‘end of life’ pathway.

Both moves by Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt herald a major victory for patients and follow separate Daily Mail campaigns over the indignity of mixed sex accommodation and the controversial end-of-life treatment plans.

A ban on mixed wards comes nearly two decades after an initial pledge by then Tory Prime Minister John Major.  Just last year, half of all NHS trusts in England admitted they had placed patients in mixed rooms.

Since then, the Department of Health has introduced fines of £250 per patient, per day for hospitals still doing so.

But the new NHS constitution will leave patients in no doubt about their rights.  It will declare: ‘If you are admitted to  hospital, you will not have to share sleeping accommodation with patients of the opposite sex.’

It will also give reassurances to vulnerable patients, saying: ‘You have the right  to be involved fully in all discussions  and decisions about your health  and care, including in your end of life care, and to be given information to enable you to do this. Where appropriate this right includes your family and carers.’

'The right to be involved':The patient's charter will leave them in no doubt about their rights‘The right to be involved’:The patient’s charter will leave them in no doubt about their rights

Lib Dem Care Services Minister Norman Lamb said the new obligation would make ‘clear and explicit’ to patients and their families that they would be kept informed over end-of-life treatment.

He added that although there had been a ‘very substantial’ reduction in the number of patients on mixed sex wards, all patients had a right to expect single sex rooms.

Mr Lamb made clear that all  providers of NHS care would be legally bound to take account of the NHS constitution. ‘Ultimately, there could be a legal challenge if a provider was systematically failing to take account of the constitution,’ he added.

‘It provides much greater  force and again it restates the principle that you should have single-sex accommodation if you have NHS care.’

THE NEW PROMISES TO PATIENTS

The government is consulting on enshrining the right to single sex wards in the NHS Constitution and forcing hospitals to respond to complaints within three working daysRespect for staff - or no treatment

You should treat NHS staff and other patients with respect and recognise that violence, causing a nuisance or disturbance on NHS premises could result in prosecution and that abusive or violent behaviour could result in you being refused access to the NHS.

Prompt apology if things go wrong

To ensure that if you are harmed while receiving healthcare you receive an appropriate explanation and apology, delivered with sensitivity and recognition of the trauma you have experienced, and know that where mistakes have been made, lessons will be learned to help avoid a similar incident occurring again, and to ensure that the organisation learns lessons from complaints and uses these to improve NHS services.

Decisions on end-of-life care

You have the right, to be involved fully in all discussions and decisions about your healthcare, including in your end of life care, and to be given information to enable you to do this. Where appropriate this right includes your family and carers.

Single sex wards

If you are admitted to hospital, you will not have to share sleeping accommodation with patients of the opposite sex, in line with details set out in the Handbook to the NHS Constitution.

He also explained that care providers would be obliged to consult patients on end-of-life care.

‘[The constitution] will now specifically refer to the importance of involvement, so I think it really does genuinely strengthen the obligation,’ he went on.

But Marie Curie Cancer Care argued that the Government should go further and called for the next independent national audit of the end-of-life Liverpool Care Pathway to be brought forward.

Andy Burnham, Labour’s shadow health secretary, said he was disappointed that patients would still not be given a choice of whether to die at home or in a hospice.

He added: ‘While these changes are good as far as they go, I would like to see much more ambition from the Government on end-of-life care.

‘Far too many families in England find themselves spending their final hours with a loved-one in a hospital.

Many would much rather be together at home or in a hospice. This more personal approach can also cost much less.

The Mail has highlighted concerns about relatives not being consulted when their loved ones are being put on the LCP.

The pathway means patients deemed close to death are sedated and denied nutrition and fluids by tube – but many families have come forward to complain that this happens without discussion with relatives of those involved.

Last month the family of Margaret Kibble, 95, told how hospital staff allegedly removed all her drips and feeding tubes without any consultation after she was admitted to hospital in Lewisham in January 2011.

When family members heard her begging for water they demanded that doctors put the great-grandmother back on food and fluids.

Nearly two years later, she is still alive and back home.

Last night her son Graham Satchell, 57, welcomed the announcement and said: ‘We applaud any changes that mean hospitals talk more with families.

In some cases the Liverpool Care Pathway is the right thing to do, but families need to be told the fors and against.’

How The Mails campaign Led The Way

Former nurse Jane Taylor, 57, claims that she only found out that doctors had sedated her mother and withdrawn food and fluids when she caught a glimpse of her medical notes on a windowsill.

But it was too late to stop the process and 83-year-old Phyllis Nicholls, who was being treated at a hospital in Surrey, died.

Last night Mrs Taylor said: ‘This is a very good idea because older people are scared of going into hospital at the moment.’

But Imelda Redmond, director of policy and public affairs at Marie Curie, said: ‘The Liverpool Care Pathway has enabled thousands to experience dignified care in the last days of life. We have become increasingly concerned about the media coverage which reports negative experiences of people in hospital and the end of life.

‘That is why we are calling for the next independent national audit to be brought forward so that we can identify as soon at possible where these failings are taking place.’

YOU DON’T HAVE TO TREAT PATIENTS WHO ARE ABUSIVE NHS STAFF ARE TOLD

Abusive patients face being thrown out of hospitals and denied treatment under reforms to the NHS ‘bill of rights’.

Repeat offenders will be barred from trusts or doctors’ surgeries in a similar way to unruly pupils who are excluded from school. Some 60,000 NHS workers a year are violently assaulted.

But almost 70 per cent of the attacks involve patients who are not responsible for their actions due to underlying conditions such as mental health problems.

Proposed changes to the NHS constitution will allow staff to refuse to treat violent patients but only ‘if it is safe to do so’.

Care minister Norman Lamb said: ‘It is important to understand we have responsibilities as well as rights and we should be treating professionals with respect. It is a two-way street.’

Fewer than one in 40 attacks on NHS staff end in prosecution. Hospitals and GPs can already ban abusive patients according to their local policy but this is the first time a national guideline has been put in place.

Peter Carter, of the Royal College of Nursing union, said: ‘We agree with the sentiment in principle but it is another thing putting it into practice. We are not going to fling out a person if they have a very major ailment and they are being abusive.’

Me and Oprah just swaggin it out’: Justin Bieber cuddles up to talk show host Winfrey as they wrap Next Chapter interview

Since he was catapulted onto the music scene in 2009, Justin Bieber has gained quite a following from several big names, including President Barack Obama.

And adding another celebrity fan to his list, Bieber posted a picture of himself cuddling up to Oprah Winfrey to his Twitter page on Wednesday.

The 18-year-old singing sensation posted the snap alongside a caption that read: ‘Me and @Oprah just swaggin it out’.

Friends in high places: On Wednesday Justin Bieber posted a picture of himself with Oprah to his Twitter pageFriends in high places: On Wednesday Justin Bieber posted a picture of himself with Oprah to his Twitter page

Following the sentiment, Oprah also posted a picture with Justin to her Twitter account.

The two spent the day taping the Canadian singer’s interview for her show entitled, Oprah’s Next Chapter, which has featured the likes of Rihanna, Fergie and Olympian Gabby Douglas.

And during the candid chat, the Baby hitmaker revealed he won’t go anywhere without girlfriend Selena Gomez.

Bieber and the talk show queen: Justin will be the next star to feature on Oprah's Next Chapter

Bieber and the talk show queen: Justin will be the next star to feature on Oprah’s Next Chapter

The singer admitted to Winfrey that dating in the public eye can be difficult but he can’t understand why some famous men refuse to admit to their relationships and force their girlfriends to travel apart from them.

He said: ‘I never make [Selena] separate from me because I don’t want her to ever feel like I’m ashamed of her. Because I feel like a lot of guys do that, especially in the business.

Giving back: The 18-year-old treated his fans outside the Chicago studio to an impromptu showGiving back: The 18-year-old treated his fans outside the Chicago studio to an impromptu show

‘They don’t want to be seen with the girl, so they’ll make them ride in separate cars. They’ll do that ‘get away’ stuff. [Selena and I] get away together.’

Instead, the couple have accepted they sometimes have to seek alternative routes in and out of the places they visit to avoid fans and paparazzi.

Justin added: ‘We just sometimes … we gotta take back exits.

Clearly having enjoyed the interview, 58-year-old Oprah then tweeted: ‘Me and the Bieber just finished our interview . Good stuff! # NextChapter’.

Causing a frenzy: Justin grabbed a mic a belted out a couple tracksCausing a frenzy: Justin grabbed a mic a belted out a couple tracks

Unlike Bieber’s picture, which shows him raising his eyebrows as he tries to play it cool, Winfrey’s snap captures the Baby performer’s softer side.

Giving a large grin, Justin transforms back into the 15-year-old who first caused girls all over the globe to go wild.

Stood beside him, Oprah holds one hand on her hip as she wears a purple V-neck jumper whilst allowing her dark hair to rest on her shoulders.

Giving it his all: Justin took to his Twitter page to write about how much he enjoyed his outdoor show
Giving it his all: Justin took to his Twitter page to write about how much he enjoyed his outdoor show

Giving it his all: Justin took to his Twitter page to write about how much he enjoyed his outdoor show

Hush now: The Boyfriend star appeared to be telling his Beliebers to keep the noise downHush now: The Boyfriend star appeared to be telling his Beliebers to keep the noise down

After Justin’s interview with the chat show queen, he treated fans outside the building in Chicago to an impromptu performance.

Justin wore a black jacket which had leather sleeves while accessorizing with a long silver chain as he belted out a few songs for his Beliebers.

Having enjoyed the interview and performance, he tweeted: ‘Great interview with @Oprah . Now day 2 here in Chicago. #BELIEVEtour’

And then he wrote: ‘Oh and I loved singing with the fans.’#

On Tuesday, Justin invited Oprah to one of his shows, and it seems as though she had a blast.

Taking to the micro-blogging site, the philanthropist wrote: ‘@justinbieber BELIEVE concert so impressive . Thanks for a SUPER FUN nite’.

Backstage pass: Oprah posted a picture to the micro-blogging site on Tuesday as she enjoyed Bieber's concertBackstage pass: Oprah posted a picture to the micro-blogging site on Tuesday as she enjoyed Bieber’s concert

I’ve never known fear like I’ve felt on Strictly’: Nicky Byrne says singing to millions in Westlife was a cinch compared to dancing on TV

When Nicky Byrne was feeling miserable as sin following a verbal kicking from the BBC1 Strictly Come Dancing judges for an illegal lift during a waltz in his very first dance of the competition, dear old Sir Bruce Forsyth — bless him — went to seek him out backstage.

‘He was so encouraging,’ says Nicky, who’s more used to rapturous applause as one quarter of Westlife, one of the most successful boy bands in pop history. ‘He said: “Don’t let it get you down. It’s a journey. It’ll be fine — just work hard.” ’

Which Nicky did, practising all the hours God sends with Venezuelan partner Karen Hauer to perfect his cha cha cha for the following week’s show. ‘Nobody understands how nervous you are, going into that first night in front of ten or 11 million people,’ he says. ‘You’re being judged and you’re trying to remember steps in your head.

Having a ball: Nicky Byrne, pictured with his Strictly dance partner Karen Hauer, impressed the judges with his quickstep last week Having a ball: Nicky Byrne, pictured with his Strictly dance partner Karen Hauer, impressed the judges with his quickstep last week

‘When we finished the waltz, I thought we did OK. I didn’t fall over or forget the routine. Then we stood there and got absolutely hammered.’

Craig Revel Horwood made such a fuss of the illegal lift you’d have thought they’d vandalised Strictly’s spray-tanning booth. They received a disappointing 17 points.

‘There was a part of me that thought: “This is week one. The judges are going to go hard.” OK, we did put an illegal lift in there and had we known it was as bad as it was going to be we wouldn’t have.

‘Anyway, I was raring to go with the cha cha cha to show what I could do. It’s a bit more me. There’s a lot of hip movement involved and a chance to have fun. The final rehearsal went great. I thought: “If I do that tonight I’m happy.” We were all set to go.’

But his cha cha cha was a disaster. Nicky and Karen hadn’t taken account of the noise of the applause. ‘The song starts with eight beats, during which I was supposed to do three big moves. But the crowd started clapping and I couldn’t hear the beats of the music. Not only that, but I was waiting for the clapping to stop.

'The bloke on the stool': Boy band Westlife from left to right are Kian Egan, Mark Feehily, Nicky Byrne and Shane Filan‘The bloke on the stool’: Boy band Westlife from left to right are Kian Egan, Mark Feehily, Nicky Byrne and Shane Filan

‘I missed six of the eight beats, which is equivalent to missing the opening verse of a song and didn’t get to do the big moves at the start. The judges don’t see the rehearsals so they didn’t know they had been there and the people at home didn’t either.

‘To everyone bar me it looked like I’d fluffed it. I was chasing my tail after that. I managed to get in a few moves but my heart was pounding. When we got to the judges, I didn’t mind being criticised. I couldn’t even say I was saddened. I was really, really p***ed off.

‘I was just thinking, “How could that have happened?” It was nobody’s fault. Inside you feel like you’ve let yourself down. That really stung me.’

Putting the right foot forward: Nicky Byrne and Karen Hauer practice their dance routine for several hours a day between Monday and Thursday Putting the right foot forward: Nicky Byrne and Karen Hauer practice their dance routine for several hours a day between Monday and Thursday

Thankfully, last Saturday’s quickstep went off without a hitch. The theme for the week was Hollywood and Nicky impressed the judges with his fancy footwork dressed as Jim Carrey from Nineties movie The Mask. When they received 27 points, Nicky was cock-a-hoop.

‘I had a good week. I wasn’t so nervous,’ he says. ‘Maybe it’s because I was playing a character and had a mask on. I was somebody else.’

Nicky, you see, is not entirely comfortable in the spotlight. For 14 years, he was ‘the bloke on the stool at the end’ (his words) in Westlife.

Fifteen months ago, he and fellow band members Shane Filan, Mark Feehily and Kian Egan took the decision to call it a day after selling more than 45 million records with 14 No 1 hits and 26 top ten singles. They performed their last concert in Dublin in June.

‘Outside the Westlife family, nobody really knows who you are,’ he says. ‘You’re one of four guys who sing ballads and wear black shirts. I saw Strictly as a chance for people to get to know the real me.’

In turn, he has been enjoying the chance to get to know the other competitors in what’s been called the best Strictly line-up ever. ‘I feel for Jerry,’ he says of model Jerry Hall, who was voted off last week.

‘We saw a side of her lots of people don’t see. She’s so funny. Her one-liners are priceless. The camaraderie backstage is really good. Everybody gets on, everybody buzzes, everybody’s nervous as hell and everybody’s tired.’

He adds: ‘Some people get good marks and some don’t. I’ve been near the bottom of the scoreboard for two weeks, so I know how disheartening it is when everybody else is being clapped and getting high scores.

‘It’s weird because this week Michael Vaughan [the former England cricketer] didn’t have a good week. He was in the dance off and [Olympian] Victoria Pendleton was deeply upset.

‘Richard Arnold [the ITV Breakfast presenter who ended up in the first dance-off of the series] said to me: “When you’re in that dance-off, it’s just horrible.” But we’re all going to have to face it. Thankfully, last week I had a good week. I knew I had more in me, which last Saturday showed. I can build on that. But it was a relief.’ He chuckles. ‘So, I’m still in it, but I’ve got an awful lot of work to do.’

Goodbye Mrs Robinson: Jerry Hall has become the latest celebrity to be voted off Strictly Come DancingGoodbye Mrs Robinson: Jerry Hall is the latest celebrity to be voted off Strictly Come Dancing

He says the biggest thing about leaving Westlife is he feels out there on his own and exposed. ‘That goes for sitting on the couch and being interviewed. In Westlife, there’s four of you. Four different views.

‘Someone may be grumpy that day. Someone may be jokey. You support each other. When you’re on your own, you’ve got to be funny, interesting, intriguing. It’s not easy. It’s certainly taking me time to be the real Nicky Byrne.’

The real Nicky Byrne is actually thoroughly nice. During his ‘bloke on the stool’ days, he was always the warm, funny one with an easy line in banter.

Enjoying an early career as a professional footballer with Leeds United, Nicky was only 19 when The X Factor’s Louis Walsh approached him to join his new boy band, Westlife.

Nobody could have guessed how huge the band would become. Nor that Nicky would be a man with children of his own by the time Westlife decided their boy band days were over.

Today, Nicky is 34 and married to his childhood sweetheart Georgina, the daughter of former Irish Prime Minister Bertie Ahern. They have five-year-old twins, Jay and Rocco. He says of Westlife’s split: ‘There was no major row that forced our hand so we could have done more years, but you have to know when the fire inside the band has burned a little bit.

Foursome: Nicky Byrne with wife Georgina and twin sons Rocco and JayFoursome: Nicky Byrne with wife Georgina and twin sons Rocco and Jay

‘The line you always give is: “We’ll know when the time is right, when the fans don’t want us any more and the market has gone.” Funnily enough, the fans did still want us.’

So why call it a day? ‘The only times I was still really enjoying were the live shows,’ he says.

‘The discussions with the record company, decisions about the videos, the songs, were all becoming fraught. All of us knew the machine was starting to falter.

‘You can only put yourself through that for so long. There’d been plenty of discussions about whether it was time to leave or not. Some people felt yes, some weren’t sure and some felt no.’

What about him? ‘I knew it was time to move on and throw myself into something new. At that time, we were out of contract so everyone was a free agent. The label was banging on the door to offer us a new deal — with good money.

‘We’d been offered these before but we just couldn’t see ourselves signing another three or five-year deal and completing it. It had got to the point where we felt: “Oh, it’s another album, another tour, another X-Factor performance.” It was too easy. We needed to  go away.’

Tough decision, though?

‘Yeah, I can remember the exact moment. My heart was sinking and I was thinking, “This is it.” You’re scared in a way, but we knew it was the right thing to knock it on the head. So we took a deep breath and said: “Let’s do it.”

Group think: Nicky, far right, with, from left, Kian Egan, Shane Filan and Mark Feehily Bandmates: Nicky, far right, with, from left, Kian Egan, Shane Filan and Mark Feehily

‘Louis was crushed. One of his biggest strengths was always keeping us together. There was no big fallout. There were arguments, but that’s life.

‘We felt the quality of our singles was slipping. Our problem was that there was no Gary Barlow figure in the band and, towards the end, we weren’t necessarily the priority for other songwriters any more. That just happens.

‘Louis assured us we’d be fine and were just going through a phase. When he knew how we were feeling wasn’t going away, he said: “Let’s take a break for a year.” But we knew it was time to call it a day.’

The decision was made in summer 2011 when Westlife were part-way through their 11th major tour. Nicky had arranged to fly from Switzerland to meet his family for a holiday in Portugal. ‘I was on my own, and when you’re alone there’s a lot of time to think about it. I knew the timing was right for all of us.’

When they broke the news to Simon Cowell, who had steered them with Louis through their 14 years, he shook their hands.

‘He told us it had been a great time and for us to hold our heads high. He said: “If there’s anything I can do for you, let me know.”

Disappointed: Nicky Byrne and Karen Hauer received a low score after he failed to find the beatDisappointed: Nicky Byrne and Karen Hauer got a low score after he failed to find the beat for the cha cha cha

‘It’s no more than you’d expect from Simon. If I did need guidance or advice, he’s at the end of a phone call.’

Westlife promised fans a farewell album and tour, which ended in an emotional concert in Dublin in June. Nicky says: ‘We all cried — us, our wives, the crew. It was a lifestyle for us all. My fear was waking up the next morning and thinking: “Oh no, it’s over.” But I never got down. It had been a fantastic ride and it was time to get into something else. I’d given everything I had to the band.’

Now he has ambitions to be a TV or radio presenter. ‘I’m the sort of person who has to get up in the morning and work. We all enjoy family time, but you still need to have a function.

‘I look at Dermot O’Leary and think: “That’s where I see myself going.” But, for now I’m knee-deep in Strictly.’

When producers approached Nicky to take part, he says he was encouraged by Georgina. There was, though, one proviso: the twins were starting school in Dublin so Nicky, a devoted father, wanted to share this precious time.

So he rehearses in a studio in Dublin from Monday to Thursday, then travels to London for the show on a Friday, where his wife and sons join him after school. Last week, they watched him on TV sporting Jim Carrey’s Mask make-up. ‘They were very excited my scores were higher,’ he says.

I wonder what they made of his first-week hammering? ‘Jay said: “Why did you lift her when you weren’t allowed to lift her, Daddy?” But hey, what’s gone’s gone.’ Indeed.

  • Strictly is on BBC1 at 6.30pm tomorrow.

Think YOU are being overstretched in the office? Female contortionist brings new meaning to the term flexible working in incredible calendar shoot

Blonde contortionist Julia Gunthel really means business.

The
bendy bombshell has released a calendar for 2013 featuring herself in a
variety of incredible positions around an office set.

Rubbery
Russian Gunthel, who now lives in Germany and goes by the name of Zlata
when performing, is pictured typing, answering the phone and making
coffee all while bending her body in to unbelievable shapes.

Scroll down for video

 
JANUARY: Contortionist Julia Gunthel - also known as Zlata - has released a calendar showing off her flexibility around the office

JANUARY:
Contortionist Julia Gunthel - also known as Zlata - has released a
calendar showing off her flexibility around the office

 


She is snapped operating a computer while performing a hand-stand,
delivering a presentation with her head tucked between her thighs and
even becoming a living table by bending over backwards for her boss.

 

Zlata,
the self-titled ‘Goddess of Flexibility’ produces her head-turning
calendars by contorting her body with a different theme each year (this
year was obviously eighties working girl) and previous themes have
included Marie Antoinette and domestic goddess.

She
has a rare condition which makes all her tendons extremely pliable, and
discovered her talent for contortion at the age of four.

 
FEBRUARY: Look no hands
MARCH: Who needs tables? Zlata bends over backwards for her boss
 

FEBRUARY AND MARCH: Rubbery Russian Gunthel goes by the name of Zlata when performing

 

 
APRIL: All tied up with paperwork
MAY: Glamorous Zlata has a lot of fans
 

APRIL
AND MAY:  The self-titled ‘Goddess of Flexibility’ produces her
head-turning calendars by contorting her body with a different theme
each year

 
JUNE: The blonde has a rare condition which makes all her tendons extremely pliable

JUNE: The blonde has a rare condition which makes all her tendons extremely pliable

The
5ft 9ins blonde weighs eight-and-a-half stone and spends most of her
day working out and training for shows around the world.

One of
her favourite acts is bending herself backwards at a perfect 90 degree
angle, virtually cutting herself in half so the back half of her hands
touch her feet.

Her talents also include squeezing herself into boxes just 50cm squared.

Zlata, who has ambitions to head to Hollywood to turn her hand/head/legs to acting,
has previously said: ‘Doing these poses just feels natural to me.
Sometimes it can get a bit uncomfortable if I have to hold a pose for a
long time in photoshoots.

‘But I think that’s like anyone who sits down for a long time – their muscles get stiff.
 
‘I don’t really diet but I have to train very hard to keep my muscles in shape and to be as flexible as possible.’

 

 
JULY: Zlata takes a break for cake
AUGUST: Chatty Zlata gets her leg over
 

JULY AND AUGUST: The 27-year-old discovered her talent for contortion at the age of four.

 

 
SSEPTEMBER: She spends most of her day working out and training for shows around the world

SEPTEMBER: She spends most of her day working out and training for shows around the world

 

 
OCTOBER: The contortionist gets carried away
NOVEMBER: The pnly way is up (or under)
 

OCTOBER AND NOVEMBER:  Her talents include squeezing herself into boxes just 50cm squared

 

 
DECEMBER: 'I don't really diet but I have to train very hard to keep my muscles in shape and to be as flexible as possible,' she says

DECEMBER:
‘I don’t really diet but I have to train very hard to keep my muscles
in shape and to be as flexible as possible,’ she says

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Family reunited with stolen pet dog after FOUR YEARS as friend spots it for sale on Facebook

A dog has been reunited with its owners four years since he was stolen from their home after a friend spotted it for sale on Facebook.

Cotton, a Staffordshire bull terrier, was taken from Joanna Martin’s previous home in Hartcliffe in Bristol on October 25, 2008, after she had gone out to visit her mother who lives nearby.

But she never gave up hope that one day she would be reunited with her ‘little boy’.

Amazed: Cotton the dog, pictured with one of his owners Katiecorr Martin, six, was discovered for sale on Facebook four years after being stolen Amazed: Cotton the dog, pictured with one of his owners Katiecorr Martin, six, was discovered for sale on Facebook four years after being stolen

And now her daughters Kira, 12, and Katie, six - who is the same age as Cotton - are making up for lost time with their pet.

Joanna, 31, was still checking that shops kept up posters of her missing dog as recently as last year, and continued to check for details of dogs for sale with similar descriptions.

Then a friend who used to occasionally walk Cotton spotted a dog for sale through social networking site Facebook and showed it to Joanna, from Knowle, Bristol.

She arranged to view the dog, and contacted the police to inform them of her intentions.

Officers met her at the property and went in, arresting a woman in her early 20s for handling stolen goods.

Family reunion: Katiecorr, six, and Kiracorr, 12, proudly pose with the Staffordshire bull terrier and Pc John Shaddick after the dog's safe return Family reunion: Katiecorr, six, and Kiracorr, 12, proudly pose with the Staffordshire bull terrier and Pc John Shaddick after the dog’s safe return

Joanna, a full-time mum, said that Cotton had always been a part of the family.

She said: ‘Cotton is just three weeks older than my middle daughter Katie, who took it hardest when he was away - they were always with each other.

‘He was my baby boy - after having girls, he was one of the kids. He used to sulk if Katie had sweets and he didn’t.

‘So when he was taken the whole family felt the loss.

‘I got the impression they were looking to steal the dog because there were lots of items they could have taken and they didn’t.

‘Cotton is a very unusual-looking Staffordshire bull terrier and I had many offers to buy him because of his unusual patterning.

I had just popped to my mum’s house and was out for about an hour. It was not very long at all.

‘He was quite a good guard dog and we used to leave the back door unlocked.

‘My first thought when I got home was that he had escaped as there were no signs of a burglary or anything.’

Despite having been missing for almost four years, Joanna did not stop checking for Cotton, even visiting the dogs’ home regularly searching for him.

She added: ‘I never wanted to give up hope. I would check that shops still had posters up - they wanted to take them down after a year but I would say how dogs are sometimes found after two years.

He even had his own Facebook page.’

When she first saw the picture of her dog on a selling page on the website after almost four years, she knew straight away that it was Cotton.

‘When I saw his picture I burst into tears, I couldn’t believe it after all this time,’ she said.

Home comforts: Police confirmed that a woman in her early 20s has been arrested in connection with the theft of Cotton from the family home Home comforts: Police confirmed that a woman in her early 20s has been arrested in connection with the theft of Cotton from the family home

‘I rang up as a potential customer to buy him and asked all the questions about how old he was and all that.

‘When I found him I said I wasn’t going to go home without him.’

She went straight over to the address and police officers were already there waiting for her.

Joanna added: ‘The police were fantastic.They came out and asked me for any identifiable marks he had and I explained that there was a scar across his left leg from where another dog had attacked him. If it wasn’t for that scar I don’t know if we’d have got him.’

When she returned home with Cotton on Wednesday night friends and family were already there to welcome him home.

Avon and Somerset Police confirmed they arrested a woman in her early 20s on suspicion of handling stolen goods and that investigations are ongoing.

‘When I saw his picture I burst into tears, I couldn’t believe it after all this time’

- Joanna Martin


PC John Shaddick said: ‘I’m delighted to have assisted in Cotton being reunited with his loving owners. There was no doubt that he also shared my delight from his reaction on seeing the family.

‘Upon arrival at the scene PC Andrew George and myself were told that the dog was aggressive towards police officers but this soon proved untrue as Cotton was a very friendly chap.

‘Burglary is an awful crime and we understand, as in this case, that it can mean much more than just the inconvenience of an insurance claim.

To assist in returning a loved pet to its rightful home and go some way to making a bad situation better was a real heart warming experience.

‘I just hope that Cotton can now enjoy being pampered and the family can make up for lost time. They all look very happy together.’

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You’re a Muppet, Cameron! Merkel likens PM to puppet grumblers Statler and Waldorf dithering about Europe

Angela Merkel thinks David Cameron and the British are the Statler and Waldorf of Europe, it was claimed yesterday.

The German chancellor apparently likens the Prime Minister to the grumpy Muppets who constantly grumble from the sidelines.

The unflattering comparison, made in Germany’s respected news magazine Der Spiegel, comes as Mr Cameron faces a growing backlash over his approach to Europe.

Any resemblance? The irascible stars of The Muppet ShowAny resemblance? The irascible stars of The Muppet Show Waldorf, left, and Statler, right

Mrs Merkel plans to further integrate the European Union’s fiscal, defence and foreign policies, despite British resistance.

Boris Johnson yesterday branded plans to allow further political and economic co-operation as ‘nonsensical’, adding that it would be ‘misguided and wrong’ to let other countries form a closer currency bloc.

Mr Cameron has said the UK will use the ‘opportunity’ of further integration in the eurozone to recast Britain’s relationship with Brussels.

Several Cabinet ministers, led by Education Secretary Michael Gove, want to threaten to withdraw from the EU altogether to get a better deal.

Boris Johnson said any closer political or economic cooperation with the EU was 'nonsensical'
Comparisons: German chancellor Angela Merkel compared PM David Cameron and the British to grumpy Muppet Show characters

Clash: Boris Johnson, left, said closer political or economic cooperation with the EU was ‘nonsensical’ as David Cameron, right, and the British were compared to grumpy duo Statler and Waldorf from The Muppet Show

However, senior sources in Berlin say Mrs Merkel – who is due to visit London early next month – is ready to cut the UK adrift.

Der Speigel, which boasts close links to the upper echelons of the German government, described ‘a Europe in which the British are at best spectators in the gallery, like Statler and Waldorf, the two old men on The Muppet Show.’

Growing weary: German chancellor Angela Merkel is said to be tired of British complaints about the EUGrowing weary: German chancellor Angela Merkel is said to be tired of British complaints about the EU

Sources in Berlin said the report reflects the views  of the Merkel government, and is likely to have followed a briefing by aides of  the Chancellor.

The magazine reported that Mrs Merkel was previously keen to reflect British sensibilities, as the UK is a useful counterweight to France in Europe – but she has now tired of complaints about the direction of the EU.

‘She had repeatedly said privately that one should not give the British the feeling that they are no longer part of Europe, and that the door must be kept open for London,’ the magazine said.

‘But the Cameron administration’s unwillingness to compromise leaves the German government with no choice.

‘In reality the Chancellor has long since come to terms with the fact that there will no longer be a path back to the centre of the union for the British.’

Herbert Reul, the chairman of the group representing Mrs Merkel’s centre-right Christian Democratic Union in the European Parliament, said: ‘The British are increasingly perceived as a divisive force. Hardly a day goes by on which they do not raise new demands.

‘The sentiment “they should just leave” has become common among my colleagues.’

Mr Cameron and Mrs Merkel spoke by telephone yesterday ahead of a summit in Brussels this Thursday.

The pair are expected to clash over plans for a European banking union, which Downing Street fears will undermine the City of London.

The shoe with in-built GPS that tracks Alzheimer’s patients - and gives their relatives peace of mind

Shoes with an in-built tracking device to locate Alzheimer’s patients have gone on sale in the UK.

Designed to give worried relatives and friends piece of mind, the shoes enable the person
with Alzheimer’s to be monitored remotely, giving them more freedom.

One
of the most common concerns for families of an Alzheimer’s sufferer is
that the person often becomes lost after getting confused and
disoriented.

The £250 shoes are fitted with a
miniature GPS system - similar to those used in sat-nav systems found in
cars - that allows its wearer’s location to be accurately pinpointed.

 
The £250 shoes are fitted with a miniature GPS system - similar to those used in sat-nav systems found in cars - that allows its wearer's location to be accurately pinpointed

The
£250 shoes are fitted with a miniature GPS system - similar to those
used in sat-nav systems found in cars - that allows its wearer’s
location to be accurately pinpointed

Relatives are
even able to set up a designated ’safe’ area so if the person strays
beyond those boundaries, it would trigger an alert in the form of an
email or text message.

Family members use an app downloaded to a smart phone or computer to find out the location of the missing person.

The
GPS system is implanted in the heel of what appears to be a normal
walking shoe. The device, which cannot be seen or felt, contains a
battery, SIM card (this is what tracks the wearer) and an integrated
chip to help the device function.

The antenna
and a USB connection to charge the shoes runs up the back heel of the
shoe. The shoes need charging roughly every two days, a process that
takes roughly two hours.

 
If the wearer strays beyond set boundaries, close friends or family are alerted by text or email. Their location can be identified using an app downloaded to a smart phone or computer

If
the wearer strays beyond set boundaries, close friends or family are
alerted by text or email. Their location can be identified using an app
downloaded to a smart phone or computer

The American
company marketing the new footwear range, known as Aetrex Navistar GPS
Shoes, says they are the first to go on sale in the UK

The
tracking device is a joint development between Los Angeles-based GTX
Corp, who make miniature tracking devices, and Aetrex shoes.

Patrick
Bertagna, chief executive of GTX Corp, said the mini GPS system was
initially made for training shoes for long distance runners. But he said
production was changed after tests showed the benefit to sufferers of
the disease.

The Alzheimer's Society estimates 800,000 people in the UK and Ireland with Alzheimer's and dementia are prone to wandering

The Alzheimer’s Society estimates 800,000 people in the UK and Ireland with Alzheimer’s and dementia are prone to wandering

The
Alzheimer’s Society estimates 800,000 people in the UK and Ireland with
Alzheimer’s and dementia and are prone to wandering.

Statistics show that if not found within the first 24 hours, over 50 per cent may be found seriously harmed.

While Alzheimer’s sufferers struggle to remember friends and family members, it’s
thought that ‘procedural memory’ remembering to get dressed, for example – is the last type of memory they retain. 

Andrew
Carle, a professor at George Mason University’s College of Health and
Human Services in Washington DC, said the shoes will save lives and
avoid embarrassing and costly incidents with the elderly.

‘It’s
especially important for people in the earliest stages of Alzheimer’s
who are at the highest risk,’ said Professor Carle, who has advised on
the project.

‘They might be living in their home but they’re confused. They go for a walk and they can get lost for days.’

He
said there were similar GPS tracking devices available, but these were
often rejected by dementia sufferers. ‘The primary reason is that
paranoia is a manifestation of the disease.

‘If
you put something on someone with Alzheimer’s that they don’t
recognize, they remove it. If it’s a wristwatch and it’s not their
wristwatch, they will take it off. So you have to hide it.’

The footwear is distributed by Tipp Toes http://www.tipptoes.com/gps-footwear-system/

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