Gangs of London viewers ‘can’t bear to look at screens’ as woman forced to walk over broken glass in gory torture scene – The Sun

GANGS of London has built quite the reputation for its levels of gore – and one particular torture scene has left viewers squirming.

In episode six there was a fierce shoot out in Chinatown as Sean Wallace's enemies tried to kill him.

When that didn't work, Tove – played by Laura Bach – was planted as a waitress at a Wallace family dinner, but before she could take out Sean (Joe Cole), she appeared to be killed herself.

However, it’s subsequently revealed that Tove is still alive, but not out of the woods, as Wallace matriarch Marian (Michelle Fairley) attempts to get the truth out of her via torture.

One grisly moment saw the Marian force Tove to walk barefoot over broken glass bottles, tearing her soles to pieces and resulting in some serious blood loss.

Viewers took to Twitter in horror at the gruesome moment, with many claiming they couldn’t bear to watch.

“I love Gangs of London but I had to skip Marian’s torture scenes, honestly couldn’t cope. The broken bottles – HELL NO!” one user wrote.

A second wrote: “Nah Marian is a monster. Poor Tove!” alongside a string of vomiting emojis.

A third joked: “Never moaning about heels killing my feet again after this episode.”

While a fourth added: “Thank God you can fast-forward, cannot deal with these torture scenes.”

Not content to leave the ordeal there, Marian went on to smash Tove’s teeth and rip out her fingernails with pliers.

The episode’s director Xavier Gens previously spoke out about the motives behind the graphic scenes.

He told Den of Geek: "For me it was most important to drive all the emotions and what happens in the present for the characters.

"For Marian Wallace it’s about her frustration at the betrayal she felt over Finn wanting to live with another woman – her husband cheating on her.

He continued: "She was one of the main pillars of the Wallace family, and so really when she’s torturing Tove, she is torturing Finn Wallace.

"She sees Finn in that woman. I really wanted to figure out how I could express that Lady MacBeth figure into the character of Marian Wallace.”

As the episode goes on, Marian breaks down more and more, with Xavier describing the torture as "more deranged and disgusting."

But despite the nature of the scenes, Xavier was enthralled by Michelle's performance, saying: "She’s probably one of the brightest people I have ever met.

"She arrived and she’s got that scary smile. The first time she arrived in the room I was more like a fan. "But I was like, ‘Okay, fan, shut up. Just do your work.’"

Gangs of London concludes next Thursday at 9pm on Sky Atlantic. 

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What the cast of Mean Girls looked like before all the fame

Of the countless coming-of-age comedies, there is no denying that Mean Girls is one that has stood the test of time. The film came out in 2004, and yet it is still referenced and quoted to this day. The movie followed a group of, well… mean girls in high school, and one outsider who tried her hardest to break into the clique. The film was based on the book, Queen Bees and Wannabees by Rosalind Wiseman, and taught some great lessons about friendship and kindness.

Part of what made the film so iconic, aside from the outfits and many, many great jokes in the movie, were the actors behind the hilarious characters. From Lindsey Lohan to Tina Fey, the cast was splendid, even the lesser known cast members for whom Mean Girls served as a jumpstart for their careers. But what did all those gorgeous actors from Mean Girls look like before the fame? Honestly, looking back at the movie and the actors in it, it’s all totally fetch.

Lindsey Lohan was a child actor

Lindsey Lohan was probably the most well-known actor when Mean Girls premiered, which is probably why Lohan got the lead role of Cady Heron. Sure, Lohan definitely got even more famous after the success of Mean Girls, but with hugely-popular roles in films such as The Parent Trap, and Freaky Friday, Lohan was already well-known. Lohan was the definition of a child actor, and actually appeared in two episodes of Sesame Street in 1995, when she was less than 10 years old.

Of course, it really wasn’t until The Parent Trap that Lohan’s fame took off, on account of what Refinery 29 called her “gleaming, undeniable talent — the kind of talent that indicates, no matter what, a story will follow.” Before then, she was just a young kid, trying to make it in the entertainment industry. And as confused as you probably were as a kid watching The Parent Trap, no, Lohan doesn’t have a twin sister. But back in her child star days, Lohan wasn’t afraid to admit what she wanted out of life. In a 1997 interview with Entertainment Tonight, a young Lohan said she enjoyed acting because “it’s fun and I like the attention.” Hey, she got what she wanted, especially with the success of Mean Girls.

Rachel McAdams was relatively unknown before Mean Girls

These days, just about everyone knows who Rachel McAdams is, and for good reason. The actor has played quite a few iconic roles, and there really isn’t a hair color McAdams can’t rock. But looking back on her career, Mean Girls was a huge jumping-off point. In fact, the movie came out the same year as her other breakout role, The Notebook (McAdams’ audition tape for The Notebook pictured above right). Prior to 2004, McAdams had a few other credits that … let’s just say didn’t involve making out with Ryan Gosling in the rain in one of the most memorable film scenes of all time. But what about before she became the simultaneous envy and enemy of young women everywhere?

According to Hello!, before McAdams was an actor, she actually dabbled in figure skating. But after she went to a theater camp one summer, she realized acting was her passion. “I didn’t deal well with the pressure in skating the way I seem to in acting,” she said, adding, “The nerves got to me, and I’d get paralyzed. Whereas when I’m acting, the nerves propel me into action.” McAdams proved this with her performance as the combative Regina George, as the role definitely pushed her out of her comfort one. “It was hard,” she told Hello! of the breakout gig, adding, “I’m not a big fan of confrontation, and there are a lot of confrontational scenes in Mean Girls.”

Lacey Chabert had a few small roles before the movie

Gretchen Weiners certainly had some of the most iconic lines in Mean Girls, not to mention a totally memorable name. But the actor behind Gretchen Weiners wasn’t all that iconic before Mean Girls came out. Lacey Chabert is now a staple on The Hallmark Channel, but before all the fame, Chabert was just a kid from Purvis, Miss., who happened to have Hollywood dreams.

According to the Clarion Ledger, Chabert’s family apparently supported those dreams from a young age, as the entire clan packed up and moved to New York City when Lacey was 7, so she could pursue Broadway stardom. It all worked out two years later when she landed the role of Cosette in the landmark show Les Misérables, followed by a recurring role on the soap All My Children when she was 10. 

After Mean Girls, Chabert became somewhat of a Christmas-movie queen on Hallmark, which anyone who knew her as a kid probably could have seen coming. In a throwback post on Instagram, Chabert shared a sweet holiday photo of her and her sisters, captioned, “Christmas with my two besties.” In another throwback post, Chabert showed a photo of herself as a baby in front of a Christmas tree (above right). “Obsessed with Christmas since 1983,” she captioned it. Being famous might have changed Chabert’s life, but it clearly hasn’t changed who she is in her heart: a girl who loves family and Christmas.

Mean Girls put Amanda Seyfried 'on the map'

Though some child and teen stars are known throughout the world (think Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen, Miley Cyrus, or Shirley Temple), most child stars aren’t all that famous, and even teenage actors don’t get to be well-known unless they star in something truly iconic. The same can be said for Amanda Seyfried. According to Biography, the beautiful blonde who played Karen Smith in Mean Girls, had actually been acting since she was 15, appearing on popular daytime soap operas like As The World Turns and All My Children

Even Seyfried recognizes that Mean Girls “put [her] on the map” as she described it to Allure (via MTV) in 2009. But that’s not all. The teen comedy also introduced her to the wonderful world of craft services. “Oh my god, I ate everything!” she told Entertainment Tonight of her fondness for the on-set catering, adding, “It was the first movie that I had ever done, so I just ate everything.” Seyfried went on the add that she was so young when she starred in Mean Girls, it was really formative experience for her. “I had the best time,” she explained. “It started [filming] in September, when I had graduated high school, so it was ‘college’ for me.” Clearly, Mean Girls was more than a meal ticket for Seyfried, but from the looks of the adorable throwback photo She posted of herself (above right), food has always been a pretty important part of her life.   

Lizzy Caplan really blossomed after Mean Girls

When you first watched Mean Girls, you might have thought Janis Ian, the alternative artsy girl who befriended Cady Heron, looked familiar. That’s because Lizzy Caplan, the actor who played Janis, had already landed roles on popular shows like Freaks and Geeks and Smallville (shown above right). It’s undeniable, however, that Mean Girls was Caplan’s big break.

But the reason Caplan got started in the entertainment industry is actually pretty bleak. In a 2014 Rolling Stone profile, the mag described her formative years like so: “The childhood of a typical Jewish L.A. kid, a bat mitzvah, a domineering piano teacher, a trip to Israel, and a liberal home.” But Caplan’s “typical” childhood was interrupted when her mom “fell ill and died when Caplan was 13.” Explaining how the tragedy somehow propelled her onto the Hollywood track, Caplan told the outlet, “Strangely, from that age on I thought the only reason why I could even attempt to be an actress was because this horrible thing happened to me.” 

Perhaps even stranger was the fact that Caplan hit it big in comedies after drawing on such a somber motivation for her career. But since Mean Girls, Caplan’s resume expanded into many genres, like horror for HBO’s True Blood and drama for Showtime’s Masters of Sex, the latter of which earned her an Emmy nomination in 2014.  

Jonathan Bennett wasn't really famous before Mean Girls

Just like Cady Heron, fans probably had a tough time taking their eyes off of Aaron Samuels, the certified hunk of Northshore High School and object of desire for both Cady and Regina George. Clearly, he had the looks, but Jonathan Bennett was actually just getting his feet wet as an actor when he landed his Mean Girls role. Before the big break, Bennet only had just 7 smaller credits in movies and shows, including Law and Order and All My Children. And while his film career didn’t exactly blow up after Mean Girls, he’s logged steady work ever since, most notably as the host of Food Network’s Cake Wars

Regardless of his status, the Ohio-born Bennett was always going to end up in front of a camera, at least, that’s what said during an interview with Resident. “There was never a time that I started acting. I knew when I was three or four that I was going to be an actor,” he told the outlet, which noted his first-ever performance “as a munchkin in a production of The Wizard of Oz.” Then it was on to The Big Apple and a brief stint on All My Children, after which Bennett made the big New York-to-LA move that any actor shooting for Hollywood stardom eventually makes. Along the way, he snagged the best actor honors at the 2003 Palm Beach International Film Festival for his role in an independent film, proving that even though he wasn’t well-known yet, he had the goods. 

Tina Fey knew about real-life mean girls firsthand

Part of what makes Mean Girls so iconic and relatable is that it isn’t just the teenagers who get involved in the drama, it’s the adults, too. Tina Fey’s character, Ms. Norbury, has moments when she feels bullied by the mean girls, and shows that teachers have to deal with a lot more than just lesson plans. But even though Fey wrote the screenplay for the movie, and starred in it, Mean Girls was far from her first big role.

Hailing from Pennsylvania, Fey headed to Chicago after graduating with a drama degree from the University of Virginia. The Windy City gave Fey her start in the world of comedy after she earned a spot in Second City’s “Mainstage company as an understudy,” according to her profile with the legendary comedy training organization. By the time Fey penned the screenplay forMean Girls, she was already SNL’s head writer.

Speaking with The New York Times the real-life inspiration behind the film, Fey said, “I revisited high school behaviors of my own — futile, poisonous, bitter behaviors that served no purpose. That thing of someone saying ‘You’re really pretty’ and then, when the other person thanks them, saying, ‘Oh, so you agree? You think you’re pretty?’ That happened in my school. That was a bear trap.” We have to wonder what those real-life mean girls think of Fey now. 

Amy Poehler had been acting long before Mean Girls

Another hilarious character from Mean Girls was Regina George’s mom, played by Amy Poehler. Like her friend and frequent collaborator, Tina Fey, Poehler also honed her comedy chops at Chicago’s Second City before moving on to Saturday Night Live. Prior to all that, according to Biography, Poehler was raised in Burlington, Mass, with two schoolteacher as parents. Shown above right is one of Poehler’s earliest acting gigs from the late 90’s, a recurring role as Stacy, Andy’s little sister on Late Night with Conan O’Brien. But when Poehler was cast in Mean Girls, she somehow still wasn’t well-known enough to garner some basic Hollywood star privilege, despite the fact that she was also already an SNL regular at the time.  

In her book Yes Please (via Boston Magazine), Poehler describes how she and Fey were flying first-class to shoot Mean Girls, and a man was rude to them and told them they didn’t belong in first class. “All of my lower-middle-class Boston issues rose to the surface,” Poehler writes, adding, “I don’t like it when bratty, privileged old white guys speak to me like I am their mouthy niece. I got that amazing feeling you get when you know you are going to lose it in the best, most self-righteous way. I just leaned back and yelled, “F************K YOU.” Then I chased him as he tried to get away from me.” 

Hilarious? Yes. Would her schoolteacher parents approve? Probably also yes. 

Daniel Franzese's Mean Girls character meant a lot to him

One of the most beloved characters from Mean Girls was definitely Damian. Not only was he Janis Ian’s best friend, but he also had some of the best lines (“She asked me how to spell ‘orange'”) in the movie, as well as some of the best facial expressions. While it would seem like the man who made Glen Coco a legend owes his career to Mean Girls, actor Daniel Franzese only partially sees it that way.

In fact, Franzese, who only had only a few years of little-known credits to his name before Mean Girls, told them that he hit “the gay glass ceiling” after his big break. What this mean, essentially, was that Hollywood casting agents were only offering him roles fitting the “gay best friend” trope. Franzese refused those roles to his own detriment. “I turned down a lot of money as my fame was rising,” he told them, adding, “It’s a very weird thing to be famous and not be able to pay your rent.” 

He eventually found roles that better suited his personal values, but the time between that and his breakout was particularly tough for Franzese. Before he started acting, he struggled with his sexuality, and had a hard time coming out. Franzese even wrote a touching letter to his character from Mean Girls for IndieWire, in which he confessed, “I wished I’d had you as a role model when I was younger. I might’ve been easier to be gay growing up.” 

Neil Flynn was 'Joe Dramatic Actor' before Mean Girls

Yes, Cady Heron was the new girl in Mean Girls. And yes, she was film’s the main character. But her father, played by Neil Flynn, was a total scene-stealer. By the time he signed on for the small movie role, the veteran comedic character actor was already a regular on Scrubs, as the iconic and ever-hilarious and sarcastic janitor.

In an interview with AV Club, Flynn explained his accidental start in comedy, as he initially considered himself “Joe Dramatic Actor” when he started out. “Then I came out [to Hollywood] and didn’t find any success for about five or six years, so I moved back to Chicago, more or less starting over,” he explained, adding that he randomly saw “this sign that said ‘ImprovOlympic,'” and signed up. Flynn said, “it was probably the single best professional decision I ever made.”

Over 70 screen credits to his name later, yeah, we tend to agree. 

Ana Gasteyer has always been hilarious

Mrs. Heron, played by Ana Gasteyer, had some great moments in Mean Girls, but looking at her life, that shouldn’t be too surprising. Gasteyer has a lot in common with Tina Fey, as she was also a Saturday Night Live star. Gasteyer even went on to star in other Fey projects, such as Netflix’s Wine Country, another hilarious comedy. 

The gorgeous and funny Gasteyer broke onto the scene in 1996 with her Saturday Night Live debut, but before that, her was still extremely interesting. In fact, she told Us Weekly that she is “legally blind in [her] right eye,” and had to wear “an eye patch for much of [her] early childhood,” which she used to her advantage to land “her first standout role in a play [as] Helen Keller in The Miracle Worker [in middle school].” We swear that’s not an SNL sketch.

While that all sounds kind of rough, Gasteyer also told The Washingtonian how grateful she was for her childhood in Washington, D.C. “It was incredibly diverse and incredibly beautiful in terms of the architecture,” she told the outlet, adding, “My mom was one of the founders of the Eastern Market, and helped renovate that area. She was very active in the community association.” Cleary, before Gasteyer was famous, she was aware of how lucky she is, and that likely remains true today.

Tim Meadows worked hard to make it in comedy

Another Saturday Night Live alumni who graced the screen in Mean Girls was Principal Duvall, played by Tim Meadows. Meadows appeared on Saturday Night Live from 1991 until 2000, so he was already pretty famous before Mean Girls, and in an interview with the Los Angeles Times, Meadows explained that he owed a lot of his success to his upbringing. 

“Probably the work ethic that was instilled in me in Detroit,” Meadows said of his childhood, adding “I like working, I work a lot. I feel guilty when I’m not working. It comes from my parents and the way my family was. We were always taught about education and working and living up to your potential and working harder than other people in order to be successful.” Additionally, according to ABC, the Michigan native “studied television and radio broadcasting at Wayne State University before performing improvisational comedy at the Soup Kitchen Saloon.”

Clearly, Meadows put in the work to achieve his stardom, but is it really any wonder that the Ladies Man himself had any trouble wrangling some catfighting high school girls?  

Mean Girls was Rajiv Surendra's last big role

There are few musical numbers in cinematic history more memorable than the rap Kevin Gnapoor (or Kevin G as he’s better known) performs at the Winter Talent Show in Mean Girls. It’s such an impressive moment as the mathlete turns into a total, certified rapper on stage in front of the entire school. But Mean Girls was definitely the biggest moment in actor Rajiv Surendra’s Hollywood career. In fact, he took just one role after Mean Girls in 2005, before handing in his Hollywood card for his current occupation, which actually goes back to his childhood. In addition to being an author, Surendra is also a calligrapher, something he was passionate about before all the fame. 

But the pursuit of that passion was the result of a pretty massive disappointment for the up-and-coming star. In an interview with HuffPost, Surendra explained how he learned about director Ang Lee’s Oscar-winning adaptation of the book Life of Pi while he was on-set for Mean Girls. Instantly gripped by the role, Surendra made it his singular goal to get cast. He even travelled to India to extensively research for the character, but his “dream was over in an instant” when Lee cast someone else. He ended up walking away from the business right then, or as he explained it in an Instagram post plugging his book about the whole experience, “Fate had a greater journey in store for me.”  

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Ring Of Honor's Dalton Castle Has A New Show, Where He Works Out Using His Cats

Ring of Honor is currently not holding wrestling shows because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Instead, the company is showcasing wrestlers, old matches, and original content. The newest–and most bizarre–original show is called Dalton’s Castle.

Following ROH wrestler Dalton Castle, the opening episode features a lot of cats, as Castle is quite the animal lover, something he told GameSpot on an episode of the Wrestle Buddies podcast. Check out the premiere episode of the show below.

It seems like there is some jealousy brewing between Castle and friend Joe Hendry over Hendry’s viral videos.

Dalton’s Castle is the latest video that lets viewers get an inside look into the lives of ROH wrestlers. So far, we’ve seen videos featuring PJ Black enjoying extreme sports, Joe Hendry having a beer drinking contest, a video featuring wrestlers’ pets, and a video of Danhausen demanding a job at ROH.

If you want to dive deeper into the weird world of wrestling, check out GameSpot’s weekly podcast Wrestle Buddies. Each week, Mat Elfring and Chris E. Hayner talks about the funner things within wrestling, from silly gimmicks to their favorite PPVs. Also, they occasionally interview wrestlers. New episodes arrive every Thursday, and you can check it out on Spotify, Stitcher, and Apple Podcasts.

Disclosure: ViacomCBS is GameSpot’s parent company

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Two teens accused of murdering PC Andrew Harper named for the first time – The Sun

TWO teenagers accused of murdering PC Andrew Harper have today been named for the first time.

The newlywed police officer was allegedly dragged to his death by a burglary getaway van in Sulhamstead, Berkshire, on August 15.

Jessie Cole and Albert Bowers have today been named for the first time ahead of a trial starting on June 15.

The pair legally couldn't be identified before due to their age but have both now turned 18.

Henry Long, 19, is also due to stand trial accused of murder.

Cole and Bower were passengers in a car involved in the death of the Thames Valley Police officer.

Their trial was abandoned in March after some jurors went into self isolation because of coronavirus.

Long, of Mortimer, Reading, has admitted manslaughter and conspiracy to steal a quad bike but denied murder.

Cole, from Aldermaston, and Bowers, from Mortimer, have pleaded guilty to conspiracy to steal, but both deny murder and manslaughter.

PC Harper, 28, died after becoming entangled in a tow rope as he attempted to apprehend quad bike thieves.

He was the first policeman to be killed since PC Keith Palmer was stabbed to death during the Westminster terror attack in 2017.

The officer had married his childhood sweetheart Lissie just four weeks before his death and was days away from going on honeymoon.

She paid tribute to him on what would have been his 29th birthday in April in a heartbreaking Facebook post.

Grieving Lissie said: “Oh my lovely boy, I can’t believe I’m spending this day without you.

“I walked at our favourite spot, I sat in the sun and I remembered all of your special birthdays we did spend together.

“I know you were there with me and will always be in my heart forever more.

“My love is yours always.”

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NYPD: Evidence of organized looting

NYC police chief: Outside groups organizing looting, violence

NYPD Chief of Department Terance Monahan say attacks on stores during protests are coordinated by outsiders being paid to turn the movement into violence. FOX Business’ Jackie DeAngelis with more.

The New York Police Department’s top cop is calling out “organized looters,” who he says are “strategically” leaving piles or buckets of debris on street corners citywide.

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“This is what our cops are up against: Organized looters, strategically placing caches of bricks & rocks at locations throughout NYC,” NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea wrote in a Wednesday morning tweet, along with a video showing four blue boxes filled with gray debris.

An NYPD spokesperson did not immediately respond to FOX Business' request seeking information and comment.


Looters and rioters have reportedly used bricks, rocks and cinderblocks as tools to burglarize stores and small businesses, or even as weapons against law enforcement.

Police said nearly 700 people were arrested and several officers were injured during the chaos Monday night and early Tuesday. The official arrest numbers for Tuesday night into Wednesday have not yet been released.

Damage is seen at an Urban Outfitters store near New York’s Union Square Sunday, May 31, 2020, after it was damaged in the midst of a protest highlighting the death of George Floyd. (AP Photo/Craig Ruttle)

Protests flared in response to the death of George Floyd, a black man who died last Monday after a white Minneapolis police officer pressed his knee on Floyd's neck for at least eight minutes.

Public and elected officials have said the peaceful protests have devolved in some cases into organized riots, including some led by white supremacy and antifa groups.


Floyd, who was in handcuffs at the time, died after the officer ignored bystander shouts to get off him and Floyd's cries that he couldn't breathe. His death, captured on video, sparked days of protests in Minneapolis that have spread to cities around America.

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

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The untold truth of actor and activist Tyler Merritt

Tyler Merritt created a video in 2018 called “Before You Call the Cops” after a series of incidents where people called the police on Black people for no reason, according to HuffPost. While the video was a huge success when it was first released, it has gained even more traction since Jimmy Kimmel shared the clip in full on his late show recently. Kimmel shared Merritt’s video in response to the nation grieving the death of George Floyd.

Merritt’s video is as powerful as it is poignant and he encouraged compassion by sharing simple details about his life. The actor shared funny facts like how he hates spiders and that he’s done goat yoga. But he also goes deep saying, “I hate that anyone at all might possibly be afraid of me. I’d go around the world and back again if I knew that single act might make your day better.”

In light of this remarkable video and so many other things Merritt has done, here’s everything we know about the actor and activist.

Tyler Merritt prays for Donald Trump

Tyler Merritt, actor, musician, and activist, is known for his work on Outer Banks (2020), The Outsider (2020), and Parenthood (2010), according to his IMDb. But we also know a lot about his personal life through the information he gave on the remarkable video, “Before You Call the Cops.”

Merritt’s parents were raised in the south but they raised him in Las Vegas, a city which still has his heart. He’s a vegetarian and a Christian, spending almost every Sunday morning teaching kids in Sunday school. His father is a veteran. Merritt also said, “I don’t hate our president. I pray for him.”

While Merritt is an actor, he’s also a true activist and founded The Tyler Merritt Project, or the TTM Project on Twitter, a place where people can come together to find inspiration.

In May 2020, Merritt joined Joshua Johnson on MSNBC for an interview where he discussed the Tyler Merritt Project as well as his iconic video. However, Merritt was clear in explaining what he didn’t want to do in the video when he said: “I don’t feel the need in this video to have to humanize myself to anybody. But I was hoping I could save lives.”

Merritt also spoke about the significance of walking in his life, a theme which has come up in a new video he made. Keep reading to hear what he has to say.

Tyler Merritt walks for all the Black people who can't

Tyler Merritt currently lives in Nashville, Tennessee, which was the backdrop for a more recent video he made called, “The Playlist.” This newest video was dedicated to “all the Black people ‘who never made it home,'” according to HuffPost.

Merritt shared that walking is a huge part of his everyday life. In the interview with MSNBC, Merritt said, “I walk about 3 miles, 4 miles, everyday in Nashville.” He spoke about acknowledging the risk he takes when he walks outside and puts his headphones and hoodie on. Merritt also said, “I’m aware that Floyd could be me.”

This newest video features Merritt walking while listening to his playlist, including Jay Z, Alanis Morissette, Bon Jovi, Taylor Swift, and Kanye West. He gives commentary in the background and it is charming and funny until it isn’t. Merritt concludes the video with a chilling end and as hard as it is to watch, it is important. Merritt himself acknowledges that the video is difficult to watch and, according to HuffPost, he says it’s “harder to swallow” than his first video.

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From top of the world to end of the world, England’s momentum takes a big hit – The Sun

ONE year ago, it was dawning.

The World Cup had just begun and English cricket’s most glorious summer was upon us.

The Summer of Stokes gave us two of the most gripping climaxes ever experienced in any sport.

Ben Stokes — reformed hellraiser, supreme all-rounder — seized centre stage for both.

There was the World Cup final at Lord’s, where England won a ridiculously dramatic contest against New Zealand on a Super Over.

Then there was the dreamland comeback to win the Ashes Test at Headingley thanks to an impossible final-wicket stand with Jack Leach.

Chuck in the brutal Lord’s duel between England’s new fast- bowling sensation Jofra Archer  and Australian run machine Steve Smith and all around us was  compelling evidence that cricket — at its best — is the most thrilling sport  of all.

The hope was that English cricket could carry the feelgood momentum of 2019 into another packed summer of internationals, which would also bring the launch of The  Hundred — a controversial, but potentially attractive short form of the game designed to capture a new audience.

As in all sports, and so many other areas of life, coronavirus has scuppered those best-laid plans. The Hundred has been scrapped until next year.

While Test series against West Indies and Pakistan have been delayed until July and must be played without the packed-out, beered-up crowds which make English cricket the envy of the world.

As for the county game — the  breeding ground for Stokes, Archer, Joe Root and all — well that season has been decimated, with no plans to start until August.


JULY 8? That’s ages away. Have cricket chiefs been dragging their feet?

The opposite. The ECB have been planning  for more than two months and Steve Elworthy (director of events) and Nick Peirce (chief medical officer) are among the best in their fields.

But a five-day Test is very different from a 90-minute football match.

Players, staff and officials have to stay in a hotel on-site and remain in a “bio secure” bubble potentially for several weeks.

England will assemble at the Ageas Bowl in Southampton on June 23 or 24 for practice and a squad warm-up match. That’s two weeks before the Test.

Only the Ageas Bowl and Old  Trafford have hotels so, currently, the plan is for all 18 of England’s summer matches  to be played on two grounds.

Edgbaston will be used as a training venue. England play West Indies (three Tests), Ireland (three ODIs), Pakistan (three Tests, three T20s) and Australia (three T20s and three ODIs).

The opposition travels from overseas. So the Windies will arrive on a charter flight on June 9 at a cost to the ECB of around £450,000.

The squad will stay in the hotel at Old Trafford and quarantine for two weeks, although they will be permitted to do some training.

Level 4 clearance from the Government is needed to stage international events. That hasn’t been granted yet but should be a  formality, barring a second spike.

How can the players be kept safe?

Everybody will be tested for Covid-19 before entering the bubble and receive temperature tests at least once a day.

Anyone testing positive or suffering symptoms will be isolated.

Covid-19 subs are expected to be allowed.

The venue will split into zones with little interaction between players, officials, broadcasters, media and security.

Test captain Joe Root says: “The work done by the medical team and the ECB to make the environment as safe as possible is incredible.”

Why bother? Sounds a lot of hassle for an event in an empty ground.

Money. The ECB expect to lose £100million anyway  but an international cricket wipe-out would raise that  to £380m — the difference of £280m is the value of the Sky TV deal for one year.

What about county cricket?

Not the priority. Some Championship and T20 Blast games could be played in late summer — possibly even with spectators observing social distancing — but there is a long way for that to become reality.

Sixteen of 18 clubs have furloughed players and, as county cricket does not make money in itself, there is little urgency to get the game back on.

There would be  logistical issues but  these should not be insurmountable — give  cricketers and supporters some cricket and save the Government some cash. Lord knows they need it.

Cricket is a socially-distanced sport, save for two slip fielders going for the same edge, players rarely get within two metres of one another.

And four-day County Championship matches are famously played in front of a few dozen men and a dog, so  spectators could surely attend.

An exhibition match on Guernsey last  weekend was the first game of cricket  to be staged in the British Isles  this summer.

But a match between 22 Channel Islanders you’ve never heard of still attracted 82,000 viewers on YouTube,  an example of the nation’s thirst for its  traditional summer sport.

The ECB are confident they can pack in the entire international season between July and September, behind closed doors, at grounds with hotels  on site, such as Old Trafford and  Hampshire’s Ageas Bowl.

That would mean they recoup, through Sky TV cash, around two-thirds of the £380million which would be lost if the summer was completely wiped out.

Yet while finances have to be a chief motivation for any industry in these unprecedented times, the ECB does not exist primarily to make money but to provide actual cricket.

The recreational game — including all youth cricket — remains on hold, meaning kids captivated by Stokes last summer have precious little chance to hone their skills before April 2021.

It is a huge lost opportunity largely, but not entirely, unavoidable now lockdown is easing and normality gradually returns.

The ECB have done a better job than most sports of publicising their players during lockdown.

Yet they are doing cricket no long-term favours by dragging their heels over a return for anything other than the  international game. Tweet @davekidd_

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Suspect in murder of Tessa Majors expected to plead guilty Wednesday

A teen murder suspect in the slaying of Barnard College student Tessa Majors is expected to plead guilty Wednesday for his involvement in her botched mugging death, according to an official.

Zyairr Davis, 13, has admitted to helping Luchiano Lewis, 15, and Rashaun Weaver, 15, rob the 18-year-old college freshman in Morningside Park in December, but has denied being the one who stabbed her.

Lewis allegedly put Majors in “a bear hug or headlock” during the robbery, while Weaver allegedly stabbed her with such fury that feathers flew from her winter coat, authorities have alleged. The pair were arrested in February some two months after Davis.

The hearing is scheduled to be held before Family Court Judge Carol Goldstein on Wednesday at 2 p.m. in Manhattan court, where Davis plans to make a guilty admission in the case, New York Courts spokesman Lucian Chalfen confirmed. The hearing will be held virtually by video, he said.

It was not immediately clear what charge Davis is expected to plead guilty to.

Davis’ lawyer did not immediately return a request for comment. The city Law Department, which is prosecuting Davis’ case because he’s a minor, did not immediately return a request for comment.

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Endangered species of seahorse returns to former Dorset stronghold

Endangered spiny seahorse returns to its former stronghold in Dorset after the coronavirus lockdown leads to a reduction in people and boat traffic

  • The seahorse was found in Dorset during a regular survey dive at Studland Bay 
  • The researchers found 16 seahorses during the survey including pregnant males
  • This is the largest number found on the site since monitoring started in 2008 
  • Here’s how to help people impacted by Covid-19

The spiny seahorse has returned to its former stronghold in Dorset as a result of a reduction in people and boat traffic due to coronavirus lockdown measures.

Marine conservationists carried out a regular survey dive at Studland Bay, where they found 16 seahorses including pregnant males and a newly born juvenile.

The Seahorse Trust says this is the largest number found on the site since they began monitoring there in 2008 – before this none had been seen in two years.

Both UK seahorse species, the spiny and short snouted have special protection status but normal human activity can drive them away.

During one regular survey dive at Studland Bay, the Seahorse Trust found 16 seahorses including pregnant males and a juvenile that had been born this year.

Neil Garrick-Maidment, Seahorse Trust founder, says the increase in numbers is a direct result of a drop in human activity – including people, boat traffic and associated noise and anchors in the area due to lockdown measures.

‘The ecology of the site has made a remarkable recovery,’ he said.

‘We have seen so many seahorses because the food chain has recovered, giving seahorses plenty of food to eat, and crucially, somewhere to hide.

‘The seagrass has started to repair itself, and the spiny seahorses have taken advantage of this.’

Following years of campaigning, Studland Bay was finally designated as a Marine Conservation Zone last year.

That was in recognition of its seagrass habitat and seahorse population.

Mr Garrick-Maidment said ‘the question is how we go forward’ in protecting the species after we come out of lockdown measures.

‘We do not want boats and divers banned, but the seahorses and seagrass do need their legal protection enforced.’

He said the 16 seahorses found on a single dive were an amazing discovery, but added that some enforcement was needed to ensure they remain safe.

‘We now need the Marine Management Organisation (MMO) and Natural England to enforce the Wildlife and Countryside Act and the Marine Conservation Zone and put in place measures such as environmentally friendly moorings,’ he added.

Garrick-Maidment said the seahorses need protection to stop them being disturbed again as COVID019 restrictions are lifted.

He said it was also to ‘stop them vanishing from this legally protected site’.

‘We have a unique opportunity to help nature and to restore the balance of our planet,’ the founder of the trust said.

‘We must grab this with both hands, for the seagrass, for the sea, for humanity and crucially for these incredible seahorses.’

Following years of campaigning, Studland Bay was finally designated as a Marine Conservation Zone last year in recognition of the importance of its seagrass habitat and seahorse population

Natural England acts as a statutory adviser to the Marine Management Organisation, which is responsible for managing the site at Studland Bay.

The agency said conservation advice for the protected marine habitats and species at the site were constantly being reviewed and would be updated if needed.

Matt Heard, Natural England area manager for Wessex, said they were firmly committed ‘to protecting our precious habitats and wildlife’.

He said they were already consulting on updated conservation advice for the Studland Bay Marine Conservation Zone following the discovery.

‘We continue to work with the MMO and local groups to ensure the Marine Conservation Zone and its special wildlife are well managed, conserved and protected so that they can be enjoyed sustainably for generations to come.’

A spokeswoman for the MMO said both species of UK seahorses were ‘fully protected’ under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981.

‘Any activity that could potentially disturb seahorses requires a wildlife licence,’ she said. Adding that ‘intentionally disturbing seahorses without a licence could lead to enforcement action.’

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Duchess of Cornwall hails public-spirited NHS coronavirus volunteers as ‘the backbone of our country’ – The Sun

THE Duchess of Cornwall has hailed public-spirited helpers as “the backbone of our country”.

Camilla, 72, spoke of the role of NHS Volunteer Responders at the start of Volunteers Week.

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So far, they have performed 250,000 tasks including chats with those self-isolating.

She said: “The first week of June is traditionally Volunteers’ Week, when we celebrate our unsung heroes.

“This year in particular, we owe a great debt of thanks to all our wonderful volunteers, who have stepped forward in astonishing numbers, pulling together to support those affected by COVID-19.

“As the very proud President of the Royal Voluntary Service, I should like to say that you truly are the backbone of our country.

“To each and every volunteer – thank you from the bottom of my heart.”

Royals have also joined their ranks for “check in and chat” calls.

Doris Winfield, 85 of Rickmansworth, who had a call from Camilla, said: “It was wonderful. It really cheered me up.”

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