Phone data shows romance 'driven by women'

 

A study of mobile phone calls suggests that women call their spouse more than any other person. That changes as their daughters become old enough to have children, after which they become the most important person in their lives. The study has been published in the journal Scientific Reports. It also shows that men call their spouse most often for the first seven years of their relationship. They then shift their focus to other friends. The results come from an analysis of the texts of mobile phone calls of three million people. According to the study's co-author, Professor Robin Dunbar of Oxford University, UK, the investigation shows that pair-bonding is much more important to women than men. "It's the first really strong evidence that romantic relationships are driven by women," he told BBC News. "It's they who make the decision and once they have made their mind up, they just go for the poor bloke until he keels over and gives in!" But the data shows that women start to switch the preference of their best friend from about the mid-30s, and by the age of 45 a woman of a generation younger becomes the "new best friend", according to Professor Dunbar. Continue reading the main story “ Start Quote Human societies are moving back to a matriarchy” Prof Robin Dunbar Oxford University "What seems to happen is that women push the 'old man' out to become their second best friend, and he gets called much less often and all her attention is focussed on her daughters just at the point at which you are likely to see grandchildren arriving," he says. Prof Dunbar also claims that the findings suggest that human societies are moving away from a patriarchy back to a matriarchy. The aim of the project was to find out how close, intimate relationships vary over a lifetime. This kind of anthropological study is normally very difficult to do because it is hard for researchers to get such a big picture of people's lives. But by looking at an at an extremely large mobile phone database, they were able to track these changes extremely accurately. They had access to the age and sex of the callers, who between them made three billion calls and half a billion texts over a period of seven months. Intensely focussed The team wanted to find out how the gender preference of best friends, as defined by the frequency of the calling, changed over the course of a lifetime and differed between men and women. They found that men tend to choose a woman the same age as themselves - which the researchers presumed to be their girlfriend or wife - as a best friend much later in life than women do, and for a much shorter time. This occurs when they are in their early-30s, possibly during courtship, and stops after seven years or so. Women, however, choose a man of a similar age to be their best friend from the age of 20. He remains for about 15 years, after which time he's replaced by a daughter. The pendulum between the two sexes is swinging back towards women, says Prof Dunbar The researchers say that a woman's social world is intensely focussed a on one individual and will shift as a result of reproductive interests from being the mate to children and grandchildren. According to Prof Dunbar, the data suggests that "at root the important relationships are those between women and not those between men". "Men's relationships are too casual. They often function at a high level in a political sense, of course; but at the end of the day, the structure of society is driven by women, which is exactly what we see in primates," he explains. Many anthropologists argue that most human societies are patriarchal on the basis that in most communities men stay where they are born whereas the wives move. But Professor Dunbar and his colleagues are arguing that this only occurs in agriculturally based societies. "If you look at hunter-gatherers and you look at modern humans in modern post-industrial societies, we are much more matriarchal. It's almost as if the pendulum between the two sexes, power-wise, is swinging (back) as we move away from agriculture toward a knowledge-based economy," he says.

Secret Service scandal sheds light on sex tourism in Latin America


Type in "sex tourism" and "Brazil" in Google, and the first site that comes up is not a news report or academic study, but advice on going rates and how to hire prostitutes. But ahead of the 2014 World Cup and 2016 Olympics, officials are starting to clamp down on the country's image as a haven for sex tourism. Brazil's Tourism Ministry recently said it identified more than 2,000 sites advertising the South American giant's sex industry, many of them hosted in the US. To counter the reputation, the tourism ministry has stepped up efforts to advertise Brazil's natural beauties like beaches and the Amazon, instead of bodies for sale. And they have circulated information reminding visitors that sexual exploitation of minors is a crime.  Brazil's preventive efforts seem more crucial than ever after the scandal in Cartagena, Colombia, during the Sixth Summit of the Americas last weekend. Some 11 US Secret Service agents were sent home for allegedly hiring prostitutes in the steamy colonial city, also a major destination for sex tourism.  “Large events create an obvious clientele and traffickers recognize an opportunity to make money,” says Heather Smith-Cannoy, who teaches international relations at Lewis & Clark College in Portland, Oregon. “I think that in many places around the world there is a 'boys will be boys' attitude about the patronizing of prostitutes," Ms. Smith-Cannoy says. But when considering the combination of large profits for traffickers, and pimps or hustlers, and a relaxed cultural attitude about visiting prostitutes "we can begin to understand both the supply and the demand side of this industry,” says Smith-Cannoy. The trafficking–tourism link Sex “tourism" is nothing new. By some accounts it dates back to the 15th century, with Columbus's arrival to the Americas. As the middle class grew in industrialized nations, and the opportunities to travel with it, the formal industry was developed.  Prostitution is tolerated to varying degrees in Latin America, but it is the human trafficking associated with sex tourism, especially that of minors, that alarms officials most. (The case of Cartagena did not involve minors.) According to the Coalition Against Trafficking of Women and Girls in Latin America and the Caribbean (CATW-LAC), 500,000 women and girls from Latin America and the Caribbean are sexually exploited each year. Not all prostitution involves sex trafficking, a multibillion dollar industry, but the nongovernmental organization World Vision estimates that up to a quarter of women in prostitution have been trafficked.  At the same time, the majority of human trafficking victims — 79 percent — are brought into the sex trade, according to the United Nations. Countries in Asia, notably Thailand, have long been at the center of the problem, but Latin America is starting to play a larger role. “While most trafficking victims still appear to originate from South and Southeast Asia or the former Soviet Union, human trafficking is also a growing problem in Latin America,” writes Clare Ribando Seelke in a 2012 Congressional Research Service report. Poverty, displacement from rural areas, and increased demand for prostitution all play a role in the growth of sexual exploitation, says Humberto Rodriguez, the communication officer of Fundacion Renacer, a Colombia-based group that combats the sexual exploitation of youths in the country. Anywhere the tourism industry grows, he says, so does the opportunity for sexual tourism. 'Not enough is being done' Within sex tourism, the exploitation of children is the biggest concern.  According to the US State Department 2011 report on the trafficking of persons, Brazil, Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic, and Nicaragua all have significant child sex tourist industries. Colombia, it says, is also “a destination for foreign child sex tourists from the United States and Europe, particularly to coastal cities such as Cartagena and Barranquilla.” Countries around the globe have addressed the problem of human trafficking in general since the UN Protocol to Prevent, Suppress, and Punish Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children, was adopted in 2000, but many say not enough is being done. The US State Department assesses efforts around the globe to combat human trafficking. In 2010, 80 percent of countries in South America were placed on the Tier 2 list, which means they were not fully complying with the US Trafficking Victims Protection Act, while 60 percent of countries in Central America and the Caribbean were on the Tier 2 Watch List. Cuba fell to the lowest level of cooperation, Tier 3. The State Department says that prostitution of children over 16 is legal in Cuba, leaving those over the legal age vulnerable to commercial sexual exploitation. Venezuela fell to Tier 3 in the 2011 report. Colombia sits on the Tier 1 list, and while the case of the US Secret Service agents does not fall into Fundacion Renacer's work — as it did not involve children — Mr. Rodriguez says the case may not have generated so much attention in the past. “People are paying attention to it now,” says Rodriguez. Through their work and an international certification program called The Code, which brings tourism operators into the fight to prevent the use of children in sex tourism, society in general is more aware of prostitution, he says. Efforts like these are particularly important as countries become hosts to big events like the Summit of the Americas, or as crises occur.  An increased demand for prostitution increases human sex trafficking rings, says Cannoy-Smith. She and a co-author have researched the impact of UN peacekeeping forces in Kosovo, Haiti, and Sierra Leone on trafficking. “When the UN intervenes in civil conflicts, the peacekeepers themselves have often been linked to running and patronizing trafficking rings,” Smith-Cannoy says. “Again, I think that poverty, desperation, the specter of large profits, and relaxed cultural attitudes make these dynamics possible.”

Sex Robots Will Revolutionize Sex Tourism,

 

They don't spread disease and they can't be sold into sex slavery. Those are just two of the advantages of robot prostitutes, which will be edging out their human competition in the sex tourism market by the year 2050, according to an article published in the journal Futures. The Dominion Post, which found the study, writes that sex tourists will shell out about $10,000 Euros for services ranging from massages and lap dances to intercourse, according to the article. The researchers lay out why this scenario will be the future of sex tourism: Human trafficking, sexual transmitted diseases, beauty and physical perfection, pleasure for sex toys, emotional connection to robots and the importance of sex in Amsterdam are all driving forces. But some are not so sure that robots will be replacing female sex workers any time soon. CBS Las Vegas spoke to Dennis Hof, owner of the Moonlite Bunny Ranch in Carson City, Nev. “Those Australian researchers ought to come to the Bunny Ranch to see what real American sex is like – there’s no way to duplicate it,” Hof told CBS Las Vegas. “At the Bunny Ranch, we say ‘it’s not just the sex, it’s an adventure’ – and often times it’s more about the adventure than it is the sex.”

Diddy tops hip-hop rich list

Rap mogul and entrepreneur Sean 'Diddy' Combs has topped Forbes magazine's annual hip-hop rich list. The star is worth $550 million, according to the publication. New dad Jay-Z comes in second with an estimated $460 million fortune. Coachella festival headliner Dr. Dre, Bryan 'Birdman' Williams and 50 Cent round out the top five.

10 things not to say to someone when they're ill

Get well soon card
'People really did feel the need to reassure me that my hideousness was plain to see.' Illustration: David McCoy for the Guardian

What no one ever tells you about serious illness is that it places you at the centre of a maelstrom of concerned attention from family and friends. Of course it does. That's one of the nice things. It's actually the only nice thing. But it's also a rather tricky challenge, at a time when you may feel – just slightly – that you have enough on your plate. Suddenly, on top of everything else, you are required to manage the emotional requirements of all those who are dear to you, and also, weirdly, one or two people who you don't see from one year to the next, but who suddenly decide that they really have to be at your bedside, doling out homilies, 24 hours a day. It's lovely to hear from people when you're ill. But it's also lovely when they add: "No need to reply." The biggest shock, when I was diagnosed with cancer the summer before last, was quickly observing that people can be quite competitive in their determination to "be there for you", and occasionally unable to hide their chagrin when some other chum has been awarded a particularly sensitive role at a particularly sensitive medical consultation. Nobody means to be intrusive or irritating. It's all done with the finest intentions. But, God, it's a pain. Yet by not saying 10 simple things, you too, can be the friend in need that you want to be.

1 "I feel so sorry for you"

It's amazing, the number of people who imagine that it feels just great to be the object of pity. Don't even say "I feel so sorry for you" with your eyes. One of my friends was just brilliant at mimicking the doleful-puppy-poor-you gaze, and when I had been subjected to a sustained bout of it, I used to crawl over to the local pub for lunch with him, just so that he could make me laugh by doing it. Don't say "I feel so sorry for you" with your hand either. When someone patted my thigh, or silently rested their paw on it, often employing the exasperating form of cranial communication known as "sidehead" at the same time, I actually wanted to deck them. Do say: "I so wish you didn't have to go through this ghastly time." That acknowledges that you are still a sentient being, an active participant in your own drama, not just, all of a sudden, A Helpless Victim.

2 "If anyone can beat this, it's you"

Funnily enough, it's not comforting to be told that you have to go into battle with your disease, like some kind of medieval knight on a romantic quest. Submitting to medical science, in the hope of a cure, is just that – a submission. The idea that illness is a character test, with recovery as a reward for the valiant, is glib to the point of insult. Do say: "My mum had this 20 years ago, and she's in Bengal now, travelling with an acrobatic circus." (Though not if that isn't true.)

3 "You're looking well"

One doesn't want to be told that one's privations are invisible to the naked eye. Anyway, one is never too ill to look in a mirror, and see a great big moon-face, bloated with steroids and sporting the bright red panda eyes that are triggered by that most aggressive and efficient of breast-cancer drugs, Docetaxel. I knew I looked like death warmed up, not least because I felt like death warmed up. Nobody wants to be patronised with ridiculous lies. They are embarrassing for both speaker and listener. If your sick pal wants to discuss her appearance, she'll ask you what you reckon. It'll be a leading question, so take your cue from her.

4 "You're looking terrible"

 

I know it sounds improbable. But people really did feel the need to reassure me that my hideousness was plain to see. One person told me that while I'd put on a lot of weight, I'd of course be able to go on a diet as soon as I was better. I wouldn't have minded quite so much, if she hadn't arrived bearing a giant mound of snacks and cakes, a great, indiscriminate pile of stuff that suggested she'd been awarded four minutes in Whole Foods by Dale Winton, in a nightmarish haute-bourgeois version of Supermarket Sweep. And, in fact, I haven't gone on a diet. Somehow, being a size 10 doesn't seem tremendously importantany longer. On the other hand, when I said: "Don't I look monstrous?" I was asking people to help me to laugh at myself – which many did – and to tell me that this too would pass. One of my friends took photographs of me, behind a curtain in the hospital, looking comically interfered with by surgeons, and festooned with tubes and drains full of bloody fluid. We laughed so much that I probably came nearer to death right then than at any other point.

5 "Let me know the results"

 

Oddly, one doesn't particularly want to feel obliged to hit the social networks the moment one returns from long, complicated, stressful and invasive tests, which ultimately delivered news you simply didn't want to hear. Of course, this request is made because people are worried. But, a bit of worry is easier to bear than the process of coming to terms with news that confirms another round of debilitating, soul-crushing treatment. If people do want to talk about such matters, they really need to be allowed some control over when, how and to whom. Contacting their very nearest and dearest instead is fine, as is volunteering to spread the bad tidings to others who are also anxious.

6 "Whatever I can do to help"

Apart from anything else, it's boring. Everybody says it, even though your assumption tends to be that people do want to help, of course. That doesn't mean that help should not be offered. But "Can I pick the children up from school on Tuesdays?" or "Can I come round with a fish pie and a Mad Men box set?" is greatly preferable to: "Can I saddle you with the further responsibility of thinking up a task for me?" If you do happen to be on the receiving end of "whatever I can do to help", be shameless. Delegate with steely and ruthless intent.

7 "Oh, no, your worries are unfounded"

Especially when those worries are extremely founded indeed. Like a lot of women, when I was first diagnosed, I was disproportionately focused on the prospect of losing my hair. One friend, every time I tried to discuss this with her, would assert – baselessly – that this wasn't as likely to happen as it used to be. Actually, it's still very likely, and indeed it came to pass. But the crucial thing was this: I didn't want to talk about how pointless it was to be fearful. I wanted to talk about how sorely I dreaded the day when I was bald. When people want to talk about their fears, they want to talk about their fears, not to be told, quite blatantly, that their fears are imaginary. Even when they are imaginary, there are more subtle ways of offering assurance than blank rebuttal. Usually, an ill person brings something up because they feel a need to discuss it. Denying them that need is a bit brutal.

8 "What does chemotherapy [for example] feel like?"

 

It is staggering, the number of people who find it impossible to restrain their curiosity. Swaths of folk appear to imagine that exactly what you need, in your vulnerability, is a long and technical Q&A during which you furnish them with exhaustive detail pertaining to the most shit thing that's ever happened to your body in your life. If someone wants to talk about their procedures or their symptoms, they will. If you have to ask questions, that's prima facie evidence that this is not what they'd discuss, if only they could be gifted with just a smidgeon of control over the conversational initiative. Again, the golden rule is: take your lead from the person undergoing the experience. I tended to want my mind taken off all that stuff, and have a nice chat about nice things. One of my friends, asked by another what she had been up to lately, found herself saying she'd had a great time visiting Deborah in hospital after her mastectomy. It had indeed been a lively visit. Eight lovely people had turned up all at once, and it had been quite the rambunctious gathering. When she told me that it had been an absurd social highlight for her, I felt fantastically proud.

9 "I really must see you"

Don't say it, particularly, if you are then going to indulge in some long and complicated series of exchanges about your own busy life and the tremendous difficulty you have in finding an actual window, even though this appointment is so awfully important to you. At one point, I was sitting in a chemotherapy suite, large and painful cannula in the back of my hand, pecking out texts to somebody who had to sort something out this week, and wouldn't take "Let's do this later" for an answer. When I reluctantly picked a particular time from the list she had bossily pinged over, she replied that she'd have to bring her toddler son with her if itreally had to be then. I knew I couldn't handle a tiny visitor (and wasn't sure about the ability of the tiny visitor to handle it either), so we then arranged something else. A few days later, at the very time of predicted childcare crisis, I saw a tweet from her, declaring that she was wearing a new cocktail dress and held up in traffic on her way to a long-anticipated and very glamorous do. She had clearly just buggered up her dates and didn't want to say: "Whoops. Actually, I'll be at a PA-A-ARDEEEEE." Fair enough. Sweet, really. Nevertheless, the planning thing is an arse. I liked it when people just said, "Can I come by after work this evening?" or, even better, "I've got tickets to the theatre on the 25th. Tell me on the day if you can face it."

10 "I'm so terribly upset about your condition"

One friend, when I told her the initial news, blurted out: "I can't cope without you!" and unleashed a flood of tears. (I hadn't sobbed myself at that point. I never did.) Ages later, when she emerged from the loo at the pub I had designated as Telling People HQ, she explained that she'd been caterwauling unrestrainedly when a kind lady asked her what was wrong. Having sketched out her troubles, she got this reply, or something like it: "What? You're weeping in the lavatory, while your friend is in the bar having breast cancer? Pull yourself together, and get out there." This had inspired another torrent of waterworks. And that is the most important thing to remember, when your friend is facing a frightening and possibly fatal illness: it's not, not, not about you. If you're too upset to be in a position to comfort your friend, send cards, send flowers, send presents. But don't send your ailing chum a passionate storm of your own wild grief, personally delivered. It's a little too needy, under the circs.

If you recognise things that you have said or done yourself within this list, don't feel bad about it, at all. I most certainly have, and I've said and done much, much worse too; it took being on the receiving end before I realised what it could feel like. The thing is this: giant illness is a time of great intensity, and even the most cack-handed expressions of support or love are better than a smack in the face with a wet tea-towel. People feel helpless when they see that their friend is suffering. Sometimes – often – they say the wrong thing. But they are there, doing the best that they can, at a terrible, abject time. That's the most important thing of all. I look back on those grisly moments of ineptitude and clumsiness with exasperated amusement and tender, despairing, deep, deep fondness. The great lesson I learned from having cancer, was how splendid my friends were, whatever their odd little longueurs. They all, in their different ways, let me know that they loved me, and that is the most helpful thing of all. I'm so lucky to have them.

Salou, the northern Spanish town where thousands of British students flock every spring for four nights of drunken debauchery.

It was a case of deja vu last night for the long-suffering residents of Salou, the northern Spanish town where thousands of British students flock every spring for four nights of drunken debauchery.

For the twelfth time, the Costa Dorada resort has been overrun by Saloufest, the notorious annual sports tour returning for another round of hard drinking, half-naked partying - and the odd day of volleyball or hockey.

The first pictures released from this year's event paint a familiar picture: packs of fresh-faced revellers in proudly ridiculous fancy dress, their flesh largely bare and arms aloft as they stagger and bellow through the streets.

On the march: British students wrapped in flags as they head out for the first night of parties at SalouFest in Salou, Spain

On the march: British students wrapped in flags as they head out for the first night of parties at SalouFest in Salou, Spain

Fireman's lift: A British student makes off with a fellow reveller as the Saloufest parties spill out on to the streets

Fireman's lift: A British student makes off with a fellow reveller as the drunken Saloufest parties spill out on to the streets

Culture clash: Two young women match geisha-style makeup with pink bum bags for a night out in the Costa Dorada resort

Culture clash: Two young women match geisha-style makeup with pink bum bags for a night out in the Costa Dorada resort

The first 5,000 of a total 8,200 people are said to have made the trip from Britain's universities yesterday, marking an increase of 1,000 on last year.

Police say the first night of the tour passed without any arrests being made - but past form suggests they won't be holding out much hope for an easy ride.

 

Last year's event saw officers launch a crackdown on any students caught drinking in public, putting an end to the days when the locals would turn a blind eye to those flouting Salou's alcohol bylaws.

The town also decided to uphold rules preventing the Saloufest partiers from roaming around town half-naked.

The 2011 tour saw two toga-wearing students hauled off to a police station and fined £265 for breaking the alcohol laws.

This year the local authorities have handed out leaflets warning British visitors not to drink on streets and beaches, while those found stumbling around shirtless can expect to face the consequences.

 

Riot of colour: There's no missing these Brits abroad as they pull on garish tones and leggings for a debauched night in the Catalan village

Riot of colour: There's no missing these Brits abroad as they pull on garish tones and leggings for a debauched night in the Catalan village

Rowdy: Four students holler from the terrace of a nightclub during the first night of booze-soaked parties

Rowdy: Four students holler from the terrace of a nightclub during the first night of booze-soaked parties

Sitting comfortably? A show of bravado sees one British student doing a press-up as another sits on his back

Sitting comfortably? A show of bravado sees one British student doing a press-up as another sits on his back

Spanish media reports that ILoveTour, the firm that organises the festival, has some 30 supervisors on hand to babysit the horde of 18-to-23-year-olds.

One account, from Spanish newspaper El Pais, talks of streets streaked with vomit and urine, disoriented youths, deafening noise and riot vans on standby.

Despite local opposition, hoteliers in the area support Saloufest because it extends the holiday season and is timed so as not to interfere with the influx of Easter tourists. 

In an effort to keep the peace, some of the seven hotels set aside for the event have opted to separate their British guests from other holidaymakers.

The basic festival package sees students shell out £189 for coach travel and four nights in two-star accommodation, with optional extras including day trips to nearby Barcelona and Port Aventura.

Shameless: A passerby cheers as two partygoers get up close and personal outside an Irish-themed bar

Shameless: A passerby cheers as two partygoers get up close and personal outside an Irish-themed bar

 

In the gutter: The week-long tour has barely begun, but Saloufest seems to have taken its toll as these two huddle on the pavement outside a nightclub

In the gutter: The week-long tour has barely begun, but Saloufest seems to have taken its toll as these two huddle on the pavement outside a nightclub

Sin city: Dog collars and a novelty cross pass for fancy dress on the streets of Salou

Sin city: Dog collars and a novelty cross pass for fancy dress on the streets of Salou

 

Tribes: Clusters of UK students stagger through the village in fancy dress. A vague cavewoman theme finds this pair draped in animal print

Tribes: Clusters of UK students stagger through the village in fancy dress. A vague cavewoman theme finds this pair draped in animal print

Bookish? A mob of Saloufest drinkers in 'geek' fancy dress, one of the go-to costume themes for student union club nights up and down the UK

Bookish? A mob of Saloufest drinkers in 'geek' fancy dress, one of the go-to costume themes for student union club nights up and down the UK

 



Amy Winehouse 'spent £1 million on drugs in three years`


Amy Winehouse had reportedly squandered £10 million during her lifetime, which included £1 million on drugs in three years, a £500,000-hotel bill and £1,000-a-month on her kittens. The tragic singer who was 27 when she died, left an estate worth £4,257,580, which was reduced to £2,944,554 after debts and taxes were paid. Since the Rehab hitmaker did not leave a will, that money will, by default, be divided between her divorced parents Mitch and Janis. According to the Sunday Times Rich List, she was worth £10 million but a friend of her manager claimed that the singer may have been worth closer to £15 million. A friend connected to her management company said that she spent it all on drugs, on men, and on “friends” who said they needed her. “Before Amy died, money was being leeched off her left, right and centre,” the Daily Mail quoted the friend as saying. “It was like taking money off a baby when it came to Amy — she couldn’t stop giving it away. Mitch knew that most of it had probably been spent already,” the friend added. If Winehouse wanted to give £2,000 to a friend who had a hernia, for example, as she once did, she’d just ask her father to turn up with an envelope of cash. When she wanted to keep kittens, she would simply ask Mitch to take out some money from her trust to pay the enormous bills she ran up: according to him, she managed to spend more than £1,000-a-month on them. She would blow £20,000 in an afternoon at Selfridges on dresses, for instance, but in Winehouse’s world this counted as fairly small change. And her lifestyle, with a permanent retinue of bodyguards, was very expensive. The bodyguards cost £250-a-day each and she had up to half a dozen of them. An extraordinary ‘working’ holiday in St Lucia three years ago — which stretched to about a year and a half — cost her £2,000 a night during the five months of it she stayed in the luxury resort of Le Sport. The bill for spa treatments alone was £6,000. A record company source said he thought that hotel stay cost her at least £500,000, and she didn’t just spend money on herself. Her former husband Blake Fielder-Civil was apparently adept at milking her for money, asking for £150 “for a cab” whenever she called and said she wanted to see him. It is widely assumed she funded both their drug habits for years, too. Within three weeks of their marriage in 2007 she had a near-fatal overdose. Her heroin and cocaine habit in the days when she was using drugs, which she stopped around 2008, was in the nature of £1,000-a-day. It is assumed she might have spent £1 million or more on drugs alone between 2006 and 2008. Fielder-Civil, meanwhile, was given a £250,000 pay-off in their 2009 divorce.

BRIT Government 'planning new Internet snooping laws'

The British government wants to expand its powers to monitor email exchanges and website visits, The Sunday Times reported. Internet companies would be instructed to install hardware to allow the Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) to go through "on demand" every text message and email sent, websites accessed and phone calls made "in real time, the paper said. The plans are expected to be unveiled next month. The Home Office said ministers were preparing to legislate "as soon as parliamentary time allows" but said the data to be monitored would not include content. "It is vital that police and security services are able to obtain communications data in certain circumstances to investigate serious crime and terrorism and to protect the public," a spokesman said. "We need to take action to maintain the continued availability of communications data as technology changes. "Communications data includes time, duration and dialling numbers of a phone call, or an email address. "It does not include the content of any phone call or email and it is not the intention of government to make changes to the existing legal basis for the interception of communications." An attempt to bring in similar measures was abandoned by the Labour government in 2006 amid strong opposition. However, ministers in the Conservative-Liberal Democrat coalition government believe it is essential that the police and security services have access to such communications data in order to tackle terrorism and protect the public. The plans would not allow GCHQ to access the content of communications without a warrant. However, they would enable the agency to trace whom a group or individual had contacted, how often and for how long, the report said.

Eight people from 'Holy Death' cult arrested in Mexico over ritual sacrifices of woman and two 10-year-old boys


Eight people have been arrested in northern Mexico have over the killing of two 10-year-old boys and a woman in what appears to be ritual sacrifices. Prosecutors in Sonora, in the north-west of the country have accused the suspects of belonging to the La Santa Muerte (Holy Death) cult. The victims' blood has been poured round an altar to the idol, which is portrayed as a skeleton holding a scythe and clothed in flowing robes. The cult, which celebrates death, has been growing rapidly in Mexico in the last 20 years, and now has up to two million followers. Jose Larrinaga, spokesman for Sonora state prosecutors, said the most recent killing was earlier this month, while the other two were committed in 2009 and 2010. Their bodies were found at the altar site in the small mining community of Nacozari, 70 miles south of Douglas, Arizona. Investigations were launched after the family of 10-year-old Jesus Octavio Martinez Yanez reported him missing early this month.

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