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News Talk @ 101

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  1. Mark Zaid, the attorney representing the whistleblower who sounded the alarm on President Donald Trump's dealings with Ukraine and triggered an impeachment inquiry, tells ABC News that he is now representing a second whistleblower who has spoken with the inspector general. Zaid tells ABC News' Chief Anchor George Stephanopoulos that the second person -- also described as an intelligence official -- has first-hand knowledge of some of the allegations outlined in the original complaint and has been interviewed by the head of the intelligence community's internal watchdog office, Michael Atkinson. The existence of a second whistleblower -- particularly one who can speak directly about events involving the president related to conversations involving Ukraine -- could undercut Trump's repeated insistence that the original complaint, released on Sept. 26, was "totally inaccurate." That original seven-page complaint alleged that Trump pushed a foreign power to investigate his political rival, Joe Biden, and Biden's son, Hunter, and that unnamed senior White House officials then tried to "lock down" all records of the phone call. "This set of actions underscored to me that White House officials understood the gravity of what had transpired in the call," the first whistleblower stated, in a complaint filed Aug. 12. Zaid says both officials have full protection of the law intended to protect whistleblowers from being fired in retaliation. While this second official has spoken with the IG -- the internal watchdog office created to handle complaints -- this person has not communicated yet with the congressional committees conducting the investigation. The New York Times on Friday cited anonymous sources in reporting that a second intelligence official was weighing whether to file his own former complaint and testify to Congress. Zaid says he does not know if the second whistleblower he represents is the person identified in the Times report. According to the first whistleblower, more than a half a dozen U.S. officials have information relevant to the investigation -- suggesting the probe could widen even further. A transcript released by the White House of Trump's July 25 call with Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskiy showed Trump asking a "favor" of the foreign leader and pushing him to launch an investigation into the Biden family. Hunter Biden was on the board of a Ukraine energy company while his father Vice President Biden led policy on Ukraine during the Obama administration, leading some to question whether there was a conflict of interest or impropriety. "There's a lot of talk about Biden's son," Trump told Zelenskiy at one point, offering the assistance of his attorney general. He later adds "a lot of people want to find out about that so whatever you can do with the attorney general would be great." Text messages later obtained by Congress showed top U.S. diplomats dangling the possibility of a summit of the two leaders in Washington on the condition that Ukraine agrees to announce an investigation. The Ukraine government never did. The text messages were provided in congressional testimony last week by one of the diplomats, Kurt Volker, who has since resigned. It is illegal for anyone to receive something of value from a foreign national in connection with a U.S. election, according to the Federal Election Commission. While it is not immediately clear whether Trump or other U.S. officials broke the law in its handling of Ukraine, that might not matter. The Constitution allows for Congress to decide what constitutes an impeachable offense. Trump has denied any wrongdoing, calling the phone call "perfect." "Like every American, I deserve to meet my accuser, especially when this accuser, the so-called "Whistleblower," represented a perfect conversation with a foreign leader in a totally inaccurate and fraudulent way," Trump tweeted Sept. 29. The White House had no comment.
  2. A man who has been given the cruel nickname 'alien' due to his enlarged head is desperate for surgery so he can meet a woman and get married. Labourer Anshu Kumar, 22, is hoping that doctors can finally diagnose the mystery condition he has, which has left him with narrow, deep-set eyes and a larger than average head, so that he can then go and have surgery. Anshu, from Punjab, India, who is unable to grow more than a narrow strip of hair on his head, explained he has never been given a name for the condition and that it is stopping him from finding a wife. He said: "I wish to get cured as early as possible, so I can marry and have a family. This is my ultimate dream. "Wherever I go, people call me 'alien'. They think I'm out of this world and consider me an extra-terrestrial. "Due to my strange and big head, people gave me this nickname. "When I was born, my parents consulted with a doctor, but he told them the disease is incurable." Anshu currently earns the equivalent of around £50 ($63) a month, so has been unable to pull together the cash to go and see a specialist doctor who can diagnose him and potentially provide a treatment. "I like to hang out with the children in my neighbourhood but often go for long walks alone," he added. He and his family have never been given a formal diagnosis. Credit: Caters "I go to the local factory for work each day, spending nine hours there." He is now hoping that the government will offer to step in and offer some money so he can seek out the treatment. Speaking earlier this year, his father Kamlesh Kumar, said: "Anshu was born with different physical traits and we took him to the local doctor, but the doctor was unable to diagnose the disease properly. "We lost all hopes of recovery." Opening up about his condition in the same interview, Anshu said: "I always face sarcasm from people and after one Bollywood movie based on aliens, people started to call me an alien. "Whenever I travel to my village on the train, people and children are frightened by my looks and keep their distance from me. "I ignore people, but I cannot close my ears every time. "I feel unlucky and hope for a normal physical shape."
  3. Donald Trump's choice of hairdo is, to say the least, unusual. We know this. There are all kinds of haircuts out there, but very few are quite like The Donald's. His trademark barnet has often been used as a focal point for a bit of presidential piss-taking, be that through the use of inflatable babies and chickens with quiffs, or just any time his hair tries to escape as he boards an aircraft. Wolff says the president's hair is the result of dye, spray and scalp reduction surgery. Credit: PA But just how exactly has his hair got to be such a state? Well, apparently it is the product of a unique combination of scalp reduction surgery, strong hairspray and the impatient use of hair dye. Journalist, Michael Wolff, made the revelations in his book, Fire and Fury: Inside The Trump White House. He claims the President's daughter, Ivanka, relished jokingly discussing her dad's odd head of hair with friends. A section of the book reads: "She often described the mechanics behind it to friends: an absolutely clean pate - a contained island after scalp-reduction ­surgery - surrounded by a furry circle of hair around the sides and front, from which all ends are drawn up to meet in the centre and then swept back and secured by a stiffening spray." Scalp reduction surgery aims to reduce the size of a man's bald spot, though Trump himself has admitted he still struggles to obscure what remains of his. During a speech to the Conservative Political Action Conference, he spotted himself on the big screens and - in a moment of self-awareness - said: "I try like hell to hide that bald spot." A lot of time has gone into making Trump's hair as it is. Credit: PA The unusual gingery tone of the President's 'furry' head is also explained in the book. "The colour, she (Ivanka) would point out to comical effect, was from a product called Just for Men - the longer it was left on, the darker it got. Impatience resulted in Trump's orange-blond hair colour," claims Wolff. Well, they say good things come to those who wait, and whether you're a fan of Trump or not, you would have to say he isn't exactly a patient man. Then again, it's hard not to argue that a lot of good things have come to him during his 72 years on this earth. So maybe good things come to those who don't wait. Or maaaybe, we can't draw any broader conclusions from the above because the book is 'fake news' by a 'mentally deranged author'... via GIPHY I don't need to tell you who said that.
  4. Have you ever found yourself lying in bed, unable to sleep and thinking, the problem with this pillow is that it just doesn't give enough support - I wish I was lying on a bum instead...? No? Well, the chances are you're probably in the majority, but if you have, then you're in luck! An inventor in the United States has created exactly that, an arse pillow. 'Amusingly' named the 'Buttress Pillow', the 'ergonomic' designed cushion comes in the shape of the human bum. The result of a kickstarter campaign last year, it is available to order online, should you so wish. Still trying to piece together what in God's name this is all about? Ok, let's hear what the creators have to say about it. The film on their website says: "Since the beginning of time man has desired the butt. So round, so soft, so bootylicious. The ancient human mission has always been to claim that booty. However, this mission takes time, well-tailored texts, and Netflix, and so the eternal struggle goes on... until today. According to its creators the Buttress Pillow is perfect for caressers, slappers, and buriers. Credit: Buttress Pillow "Introducing the Buttress Pillow. Scientists have created a butt without the extra expensive maintenance, the incomprehensible mood changes, or the gas. "Soft, comfortable, all natural, it has surpassed 90 percent of all human butts in both shape and function. On this historical day we mark the dawn of a new age, a time when everyone can feel the peace and happiness of butts - butts for all. Claim your booty." Available in three colours, according to the site it is '100 percent biodegradable, enviro-friendly and ethically made'. But if you needed any more reason to buy one of these things, the creators say it's "great for all types of sleepers as well as butt slappers, squeezers, caressers and face-buriers. Thighs separate, allowing you to dress up your Buttress with undies, PJs and more." The pillow comes in three colours. Credit: The Buttress Pillow The description adds: "The 'sweet spot' between the thighs and cheeks will gently cradle your head and support the neck. Great for side sleepers, back sleepers and stomach sleepers." (Not quite sure what they mean by 'PJs and more'.) The company has also just released its '2nd edition' buttress which features a 'new silky inner cover', as well as an 'easy-wash yoga-short outer cover and a softer feel'. If that's not worth paying $69.00 (£54) then I don't know what is. It's times like this when you can't help but think someone should have asked 'should we' rather than 'could we'.
  5. So you've just become Miss Africa, a major achievement. You've been waiting years, maybe your whole life, for this moment. This is your time, all eyes are on you. This should be the happiest day of your life, right? Nothing can ruin this for you. Nothing. Sadly, that wasn't quite the case for this year's winner, Docras Kasinde, whose head set on fire during the ceremony. Yes. Her head. On fire. Her reign as this year's Miss Africa got off to the worst possible start when her hair caught light just as the trophy was being handed over to her. According to reports, the Congolese champion had just beaten Nigeria's Chiamaka Nnaemeka and Zambia's Gladys Kayumba to take home the coveted tiara. In a clip being shared online, the winner can be seen bursting into tears of joy - but then, just moments later, these turn into tears of sheer horror as she quickly realises her hair has gone up in flames. The 24-year-old's hair somehow becomes engulfed flames after sparks from nearby fireworks seem to land on her at the event in the Cross River State, in Nigeria. At first the young woman doesn't seem to know anything has happened and can be seen embracing those around her, while gasps can be heard from the audience watching on in horror. It is only when a member of the production team spots what is happening and jumps in that they are able to extinguished the fire in her hair and make sure she is ok. According to reports, Ms Kasinde was given a once over by medics who were on standby and she didn't appear to have suffered any injuries.
  6. 18-year-old Rhys Williams thought he was quick enough to escape the reach of the long arm of the law. Spoiler alert, he wasn't. A police officer quickly apprehend the teenage drug dealer, and was directing him to his squad car when Williams began complaining of sore feet. So the officer did what he thought was best, and hurled Williams onto his shoulder and carried him off like a bag of grain. And did we mention that Williams had shred all of his clothes down to his underwear? Even the officer couldn't help but laugh. Williams was just one member of a drug-dealing gang, of which ten members were jailed, this week. They ran a drug ring that attracted 'queues like Tesco' according to court proceedings.
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