Michelle Obama is to deliver her husband's weekly presidential address to speak out over last month's abduction of Nigerian girls. She will make the address ahead of Mother’s Day, which is marked in the US on Sunday. The news comes as it is claimed that Nigerian security forces had four hours’ warning about the kidnappings.
PM: IT’S NEW POWERS OR HIGHER TAX
The prime minister claims he will "have to put up taxes" unless tax officials are given the power to raid people's bank accounts. David Cameron spoke after the treasury select committee expressed concern over the proposed draconian power. Cameron said: "If we don't collect taxes properly and make sure people pay their taxes properly we look at the problems of having to raise tax rates.”
RAF PROBES ‘TROPHY PHOTOGRAPHS’
The RAF says it takes “extremely seriously” photographs which appear to show at least one UK serviceman posing with a dead Taliban fighter. Two RAF Regiment members have been withdrawn from front-line duties after the photographs, taken in 2012, surfaced. ‘Trophy photographs’ are strictly forbidden and military police are investigating.
BARLOW MUST REPAY TAX MILLIONS
Gary Barlow and two fellow members of Take That will have to pay tens of millions of pounds to HMRC after a court ruled that they were members of a huge tax avoidance scheme. Along with their manager, Barlow, Mark Owen and Howard Donald paid £66m into two schemes which masqueraded as music-industry investment schemes.
CHARLES STEPS IN FOR QUEEN AT ABBEY
Is the Queen beginning to hand over the reigns to Prince Charles? The monarch was replaced by Prince Charles at a ceremony at Westminster Abbey after concern that climbing the steep stairs in her 70lbs ceremonial outfit might be too difficult for the 88-year-old. However, the Daily Telegraph insists she “shows no obvious sign of slowing down”.
IOC DENIES LONDON 2016 OLYMPICS PLAN
The International Olympic Committee has denied reports that it may switch the 2016 Olympics to London because Rio de Janeiro is so far behind schedule. It has been claimed that an informal approach to London has been made. However, an IOC spokeswoman said: “This is simply a non-starter — totally without foundation and unfeasible. There is not a shred of truth.”
ROLF HARRIS ‘ABUSED SEVEN-YEAR-OLD’
Rolf Harris is a serial molester who abused a girls as young as seven or eight, a court heard yesterday. The veteran entertainer carried out his crimes “with impunity” the court was told. He was known at one Australian television channel as “the octopus” because of his fondness for groping women. Harris denies 12 charges of indecent assault.
MOLLY PREPARES FOR EUROVISION
The Eurovision Song Contest final will be held in Copenhagen, Denmark, this evening. Molly Smitten-Downes will represent the United Kingdom at the 59th installment of the competition. She will perform her self-penned song Children of the Universe. The event is set to be a Twitter extravaganza: as many as 3.7 million tweets were sent during last year's finals.
FEARS OVER SHARD HOTEL PRIVACY
Guests at the Shangri-La Hotel in London’s Shard tower may be able to see into other visitors’ rooms as a result of the building’s reflective quality. Although the hotel’s management insists that “blinds are available for guests’ privacy”, there are fears that the binoculars provided for guests, combined with reflective glass panels, will harm privacy at what the FT is dubbing the ‘eyeful’ tower.
CLAUDIA WINKLEMAN FOR STRICTLY
Claudia Winkleman is to become the permanent host of Strictly Come Dancing, replacing Sir Bruce Forsyth. The BBC announced that she will team up with regular presenter Tess Daly on the entertainment show when it returns in the autumn. Sir Bruce, 86, announced he was leaving the series after admitting he finds live television “very strenuous”.