The boy and girl both runaways live stream shootout and even post photos on Instagram before killing themselvesgirl
Denis Muravyov and Katya live-streamed the shootout on video sharing app Periscope with Katya stating the couple have ‘zero options’ except ‘go out in style’
Denis had earlier shot his girlfriend’s mother in the leg earlier, after she was told off for attending a sleepover without permission Continue reading ‘Disturbed’ Russian teens post photos of their last moments on Instagram before killing themselves, also livestream shootout with police
Gabriel Cardona was 17, when he went from a teenage petty criminal in Laredo, Texas, to becoming Trevino’s most valuable hitman
Childhood buddies: Gabriel Cardona (top) and Rosalio Reta (below) went from poor kids in Laredo to cold blooded killing machines. They spoke to the author, Dan Slater, from jail where both are serving life sentences. Symbol of the professional assassin – Reta has bizarre markings around his eyes;
The chilling tale is told in vivid detail in veteran journalist Dan Slater’s new book, “Wolf Boys: Two American Teenagers and Mexico’s Most Dangerous Drug Cartel.”
When the federal Drug Enforcement Administration, in the mid-’90s, succeded in shutting down the cocaine trafficking route between South Florida and Colombia, about 90% of the cocaine and much of the methamphetamine that reached the U.S. was instead now funneled through Mexico.
Moshi Urbana Briefcase – Fits up to 15″ Laptop – Gray – 99MO078031A new book by veteran journalist Dan Slater details the downside of the DEA success story. “Wolf Boys: Two American Teenagers and Mexico’s Most Dangerous Drug Cartel.” Narrates how the mayhem that was the hallmark of cartels threatened to spilled over the border from Mexico into the US.
Texas native Gabriel Cardona and his crew of teen assassins were busted by the feds just before importing the murderous Mexican drug wars to the streets of Laredo, Texas.
The most lucrative of the drug crossings became Laredo, Texas, one of the nation’s poorest cities, sitting across the Rio Grande from the Mexican city of Nuevo Laredo. The rules of engagement were forever altered when in 2004, The Mexican city of Nuevo Laredo fell under the control of Los Zetas, the vicious enforcement arm of the Gulf Cartel, and its regional commander Miguel (Forty) Trevino.
Trevino freely admitted to more than 800 murders, including one where he killed a man — and then forced the victim’s brother to dine on his slain sibling’s brains.
He and his well-trained, black-clad soldiers were engaged in a corpse-strewn battle with the Sinaloa Cartel for control of Laredo.
Dan Slater tells the story of young hitman, Reta. On a dusty, remote ranch across the Rio Grande from this Texas border town, an intimidating drug lord stood over 13-year-old Rosalio Reta and handed him a gun.
Reta didn’t know who the man was, but it was clear he instilled fear and commanded respect among everyone standing around watching the dramatic scene unfold.
The American teen had never before met anyone who carried a pistol adorned with such an unforgettable decoration: the number “40” encrusted in diamonds on the handle.
The cartel leader looked at Reta and ordered him to shoot and kill a man tied up on the ground. If he refused to murder the stranger, Reta recalls, the drug lord would have killed him.
Rosalio Reta’s career as a teen drug cartel assassin had begun.
“I knew that my life had just changed forever,” Reta told CNN this week, 11 years later. “That’s a day that I’m never going to be able to forget. After that, I didn’t have no life.”
Reta’s boyhood friend Gabriel Cardona says he started his life as a criminal by stealing cars and selling them across the border in Mexico. He graduated to smuggling drugs and weapons across the Rio Grande. Cardona says it wasn’t long before he also became a drug cartel assassin. He was only 16.
Reta and Cardona agreed to give CNN rare interviews from the Texas prisons where both men are serving life sentences for murder. They offered a first-hand glimpse inside the sinister world of drug cartels, a world that plagues innocent people on both sides of the border.
17-year-old Gabriel Cardona , a poor kid from Laredo, was inducted along with 70 other Zetas recruits at a Mexican training camp in 2004. He was particularly valued as an American citizen who could cross the border with impunity.Colombian mercenaries taught the recruits combat skills — but the real test for the newbies was ahead: hands-on murder.
By this point, most recruits opted for non-combat duty. Cardona was one of the fewer than 20 still in training to become a sicario — an assassin.
He was given a choice of weapon, shovel, sledge-hammer or machete, along with a live Sinaloan captive. The weapon was used only to bring down the enemy.
Killing was done with your bare hands. It became addictive to some.
The teen assassins, dubbed the Wolf Boys by the author, earned $500 a week. The money came with commissions that reached as high as $10,000 if the target was high value.Cardona’s future became clear when he and a second American teen were assigned two $5,000 commission jobs in Laredo. The first target was a Mexican cop, Bruno Orozco, who’d defected from the Zetas to join a Sinaloan boss, Chuy Resendez, in Laredo.
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The teens murdered Orozco by the side of a busy road in broad daylight. Most of the hastily assembled crew escaped, but Cardona landed up in the Laredo police station for questioning by Detective Robert Garcia.
Garcia had quit the DEA, thinking homicide in his hometown would free him from chasing narco-villains. But the body count on the streets of Laredo was soon to rise, in part due to the teen sitting across from him.
Cardona, after spinning a tale to explain his presence at the murder scene, was remarkable chatty about being a Zeta soldier. Yet he was soon free on bond.
Back in Nuevo Laredo, Cardona learned he was considered the most trusted sicario for difficult jobs. He was on a path to become commander of his own plaza in a Mexican city, with an annual income of $1 million.
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Cardona was now a comandante de mando in Laredo, free to recruit his own killing crew. He brought in his childhood pal, Rosito (Bart) Reta, who seemed to love the brutal work.
On orders to whack a heavyweight smuggler in Laredo, Reta reached into the car and blew the target’s brains out. The man’s wife caught shrapnel while their 3-year-old sat watching.
Cardona was unaware that Reta had joined the Zetas at 13, and was practically raised by the fearsome Trevino.
Reta earned the highest scores at camp, and Trevino deployed him throughout Mexico — where the boy soldier left no trace but a corpse.
Back in Nuevo Laredo, Cardona became edgy about Reta. His pal would call from the road, happily sharing details from a killing spree. Reta made so much in commissions that after winning a $70,000 Mercedes at one of the cartel’s parties, he tossed the keys to Cardona.In Laredo, panic was growing over the city’s disappearing young men. Since 2004, the FBI recorded 100 cases of American citizens going missing in Nuevo Laredo. And those were only the reported cases.
Cardona could account for at least two of the missing. On orders, he’d kidnapped two Sinaloa-affiliated American teenagers from a night club. He beat them to death.Garcia had meanwhile stepped up his investigation into Cardona. Then Reta started calling him, threatening the detective, his wife and kids. An Arizona cop delivered word that an informant reported there was a $500,000 bounty on the head of the Laredo homicide detective.
In April 2006, Cardona’s moment came when Forty ordered him to assemble the crew, the vehicles and the guns. The teen assassins were to descend on Laredo to “chase and slaughter” Forty’s Top 40 targets.
In Laredo, U.S. Attorney Angel Moreno and Garcia went into overdrive after getting wind of the impending massacre from an informant tasked with arranging a safe house.
The priority was wiretapping the house to learn the names on the list. Before a judge signed the papers, the hit squad found another squat. The panicked informant was suddenly out of touch.
In that time, the killers ticked Sinaloa boss Resendez off the list. Rising from the flatbed of a pickup truck, they splayed 90 rounds into his Dodge Ram on Highway 93.
The informer reconnected with the team, and they moved into the wired safe house. Oddly, no one grew suspicious even after the sudden appearance of cop cars interceded in an assassination as it was happening.
Cardona became aware he was being followed, although he seemed unconcerned. In a chat with a whiny girlfriend, he admitted his part in the Resendez hit — while investigators listened.
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The next day, Cardona told the informer the orders had come down. The target was someone named Checo, a Sinaloan smuggler, with details to come.
And then the stun grenade landed in the safe house, and the bust happened.
Meeing Gabriel Cardona behind bars presents a deceptive facade, it’s hard to imagine he could have been a lethal assassin. But then there are those eyes tattooed on his eyelids.
Cardona a notoriously effective killer for the Zetas, smiled when asked how many people he remembers killing for the Zetas.
“I have no idea,” Cardona said. “It’s a violent world.”
After some prodding, Cardona estimates he probably killed close to 30 people in less than two years.
Cardona and Reta say they were paid thousands of dollars a week just to be available — ready at all times to answer the call to kill.
“You think that it’s not going to end because it just keeps coming.”
He spoke breezily of feeding live humans to white tigers or burning them in oil drums. The hackings, the tortures, the camps, all fond memories to him now.
Reta pleaded guilty to two murders and was handed two prison sentencesfor a total of 70 years.
The judge noted that while Cardona was not in charge of Los Zetas, he was the head of the Laredo operation
Mischief afoot: Jady Duarte, from Rio, took to WhatsApp and proudly shared her new jump off status with Bolt, who has a long-term girlfriend
Brazilian police reveal , Jady Duarte’s ex Douglas Donato Pereira, aka, ‘Dina Terror’ was a blood-thirsty drug lord
Douglas Donato Pereira who had two kids with Jady, was killed by elite police 5 months ago
Intimate whatsapp photos of Bolt with Rio student, Jady Duarte, 20, surfaced causing some to wonder how his girlfriend will react
Bolt turning 30 Sunday, right after Olympics triumph, celebrated in style and Duarte, appears next to Bolt, in intimate snaps
Duarte claims she hadn’t realized she was with a famous athlete, she described their time togather as ‘normal’
Bolt’s sister just revealed Bolt has a girlfriend of two years, Kasi Bennett
He is rumored getting set to wed Kasi, 26, who tweeted on Sunday she wishes there had been ‘no discovery’ in response to a troll describing her as ‘hot’ and a ‘discovery’
In one of the photos Bolt and Duarte, are locked in an intimate embrace while she looks into the camera, could it have been an innocent hug?
A brief bio on Bolt’s love life and hookups
A twenty-year-old student from Rio, Jady Duarte, has shared photos of what appear to be her with Usain Bolt after a wild night of partying on the final weekend of the Olympics.
Jady Duarte shared WhatsApp pictures that show her wearing a white top while embracing a bare-torsoed Bolt – who has a long-term girlfriend.
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In one of the photos – which first appeared on several Brazilian websites including after Duarte shared them with friends – Bolt seems to give Duarte a kiss on the cheek while she looks into the camera.
However, reports from the Brazilian law enforcement authorities has shed more light on her identity. Apparently Usain be a nightstand with Bolt, in her othr life is really the widow of a dangerous drug lord known as ‘Diná Terror’.
According to police, Jady Duarte’s ex Douglas Donato Pereira was responsible for torturing and murdering a teenage girl in September 2014 and played a big part in the narcotics trade at the Faz Quem Quer slum in Rio de Janeiro.
The former gang member, who had two kids with Jady, was shot dead by elite police in March this year.
Douglas Pereira described himself as a “Lord of War” and “terror of policemen” and is said to have been wanted for at least 10 crimes.
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Following his death, Jady wrote on Facebook: “In eternity, I will be with my love the way I always wanted, because in heaven all the time is time to be happy.
“God will take you in, it’s my hope that in eternity I will see you.”
After claiming she spent the night with Bolt, Duarte insisted her time with the Olympian was “just normal” and says she is now “dying of shame.”
Jady Duarte (left) with her late drug-lord lover Dina Terror and their child
In one of the WhatsApp photos, there is the image of of what seems to be Duarte in bed with the Bolt. In one photo, a topless Bolt appears to hug Jady, from behind, while the other looks like he is kissing her on the cheek. But after the pictures went viral, Duarte said: “It’s very negative.
I never wanted to be famous, I’m dying of shame.”She was tight-lipped about what happened, but added: “It was not a big deal. It was normal. I’d rather not talk about it to not complicate it.”
The Jamaican sprinter, who turned 30 on Sunday, was also pictured partying until the early hours of the morning at All In, a club in the Barra de Tijuca suburb of Rio.
It was a wild end to the sprinter’s third and apparently final Olympics where he won another three gold medals, cementing his legacy as one of the greatest sprinters of all time.
In typical fashion, the flamboyant runner took to the stage at the De Bracos Albertas club – delighting revelers and fans in the process.
Jady Duarte online photos
Bolt, who has a girlfriend of two years at home in Jamaica who he calls his ‘First Lady’, also attracted the attention of 20-year-old Duarte who shared photos of herself in bed with the superstar on Whatsapp early Sunday morning.
The intimate photos show the star curled up in bed with the student at 7am local time, Sunday.
Bolt letting it all hang out as he partied with friends and mingled with locals at the De Bracos Albertas club, sunday
Jady Duarte is an avid social media poster
Bolt is seen twerking with another local girl at his birthday bash in Rio on Sunday
Bolt the birthday boy, the soul of the party took to the stage at the De Bracos Albertas club to the delight of other party goers
Duarte (pictured), who claims she didn’t know Bolt is famous seem to be making the most of it though. She appears in two photos next to Bolt, that have been published on several Brazilian websites
However, Duarte wasn’t the only woman to catch Bolt’s eye last night – a video posted to Twitter showed him twerking enthusiastically with another local girl during his evening out.
He sang and danced just hours after earning three Olympic gold medals. The first man to threepeat the triple in the Olympic sprints, Bol has now completed the triple, as he won the 100 meters, the 200 meters and the 4×100-meter relay in 2008 in Beijing and 2012 in London.
Meanwhile his sister had just revealed that Bolt had a long-term girlfriend – 26-year-old Kasi Bennett.
Bolt and Bennett have been dating for more than two years and were likely to get engaged soon, according to Christine Bolt-Hylton.
But Bennett shared a cryptic tweet on Sunday. Someone commented on the world ‘discovering’ Bolt’s girlfriend, saying Bennett was ‘hot’.
Bennett replied: ‘I wish there was no discovery, but thank you so much. That’s really sweet of you.’
Bolt made an early exit from Rio Sunday night – departing a day earlier than planned and missing the Closing Ceremony entirely.
Bolt anchored the Jamaican men’s 4×100-meter relay team to win the gold, Saturday, on his way to achieving the triple triple
Bolt’s sister has just revealed that he has been dating 26-year-old Kasi Bennett for the past couple of years
After someone commented on the world ‘discovering’ Bolt’s girlfriend, Sunday, Bennett tweeted in response. ‘I wish there was no discovery’
Rumour has it Bolt and Kasi Bennett were likely to get engaged soon
The Jamaican sprinter was seen heading for the departure lounge at Rio’s Galeo International Airport an hour before the event got underway at 8pm local time.
His last tweet before departing Rio read in Portuguese: ‘We came, we saw, we conquered. Rio I have endless love for you.’
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Bolt had also been expected to attend a party in his honor at the Jamaica hospitality house but the event was canceled due to bad weather, with an apologetic note left pinned to the railings outside.
The early departure of the 30-year-old means the Games concludes with almost no big name stars in attendance, with Michael Phelps and Sir Bradley Wiggins already back on home soil.
Bolt is flying home to a hero’s welcome in Kingston – and has had a reggae song called ‘Bolt the Champion’ composed in his honor.
The sprinter, who will now retire from Olympic competition following the Games, is expected to take on an ambassadorial role in athletics and has also signed a lifetime contract with Nike thought to be worth an estimated $30m a year.
However, the Jamaican champ has had no special treatment during the Rio Games, sharing a room in an Athlete’s Village with team mate Asafa Powell for most of the event.
Prior to the Opening Ceremony, he and his Jamaica team mates were put up in a low-cost hotel close to Galeo International airport, where rooms go for as little as $136 a night.
The only luxury at the Linx Hotel was the services of a Jamaican chef, flown in especially to provide the Olympic star and his team mates with food fit for champions.
A woman was killed and five people were injured in a knife attack at Russell Square in London, Metropolitan Police say.
A suspect was taken into custody at the scene. Police said in a press release that they were called at 10:33 p.m. local time Wednesday for reports of a “man seen in possession of a knife injuring people at Russell Square,” a popular park in the central part of the city.
Police say it is a possible terror attack.
This story is still breaking and we will update this post as more information is made available. Here’s what we know so far
Police Found 6 Injured Victims at the Scene & a Woman Was Pronounced Dead Shortly After Their Arrival
Police said they responded to the park just after 10:30 p.m. and found six people with injuries. A woman was pronounced dead a short time later. It is not known if the victims knew the attacker.
“We await an update on the condition of the other persons injured and details of any other injuries,” police said.
The Suspect Was Hit With a Taser & Taken Into Custody by Police
According to police, the suspect was arrested at 10:39 p.m., just minutes after the attack was reported.
He was hit with a Taser by one of the arresting officers, police said.
The attacker’s name and other details about him were not released.
‘Terrorism Is One Possibility Being Explored at This Stage,’ Police Say
Police said in a press release that “terrorism is one possibility being explored at this stage.”
No other details about the attacker’s possible motive have been released.
Metropolitan Police said anyone with information should contact police on 101 or call Crimestoppers anonymously at 0800 555 111. Investigators from the Met Police have not released any other details.
There have been no claims of responsibility for the attack by ISIS or other terror groups.
A heavy police presence could be seen in the area of Russell Square park after the attack.
“Additional police units have been deployed to the area to provide reassurance,” police said.
Wednesday night’s stabbings came just hours after the Metropolitan Police announced the number of armed officers on patrol would be increased in a counterterrorism effort following attacks around Europe.
“Hercules is part of the Met’s commitment to delivering extra armed officers to protect London against the threat of terrorism,” police said in a press release. “The Mayor has welcomed the Commissioner’s increase of 600 additional firearms officers to protect London against any attack. The first are now fully trained and operationally ready.”
Police said the public would see armed officers on foot and in vehicles.
Commissioner Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe issued a statement about the armed officers:
Anyone who’s been following events in Europe over the past few weeks will understand why we want to show our determination to protect the public. We are deadly serious about the protection that we are offering the people of London and we will never be complacent.
That’s why I’m increasing the visibility and the number of armed officers on London’s streets, and demonstrating some of the range of tactics we already have to protect the public from all manner of threats.
I want the public to know that we have substantial resources and a range of tactics that we can call on to protect them.
The reality of having to deal with armed and deadly attackers is that you need firearms officers who will use force to stop those attackers in their aim. Our firearms officers are the ones who will run towards the danger. They are our heroes.
Despite the fact they are carrying guns they are still police officers and I want the public to approach and talk to them, they are out on our streets to reassure and help the public.
Equally important in how we protect our capital is the relationship that our mainly unarmed officers have built with communities over many years. Our communities are a vital source of information and if you have fears or concerns then we want to know.
Mayor Sadiq Khan said in a statement prior to the attacks:
The safety and security of all Londoners is my first priority, and our police and security services are working incredibly hard every day on our behalf.
“The threat level here in London has not changed, but it does remain at severe and especially in light of recent deadly attacks in Europe it is important we are prepared should the unthinkable happen.
We will see more armed officers on our streets, but there is no reason to be alarmed. All of our police officers are playing their part and working closely with all of our communities to prevent the possibility of an attack.
That is why we are returning to real neighbourhood policing with a second dedicated PC in every London ward by the end of next year, to be the eyes and ears of our security services and build trust in our communities.
Our armed response teams do a very difficult job. They put their own lives at risk every day and are at the front line of protection for Londoners across our city.
Met police said the increase in the number of armed officers was not “based on any specific intelligence,” but is a “long term response to best use the increasing number of armed officers the Met has to make London as hostile an environment as possible for any would-be attacker.”
Police said the locations, tactics and number of officers will continually change for effectiveness and to avoid predictability.
5. Russell Square Was the Site of One of 2005 London Bombings
Russell Square was the site of one of the July 7, 2005, London bombings.
Four Islamic attackers detonated suicide bombs in central London, including one on a train traveling from King’s Cross St. Pancras to Russell Square.
The coordinated suicide bombings killed 52 people and wounded hundreds more.
Sam Crudgington with new wife
Simon Crudgington, ex-soldier caught out on Facebook when his first wife discovered photos of his secret second wedding.
When she challenged him about the ceremony the “manipulative” man went to spun huge lies to cover his tracks.
The devious love rate sent her a fake e-mail claiming their marriage was null and void.
Now the dad-of-two has been jailed for six months at Stoke-on-Trent Crown Court after admitting lying that he was free to marry.
The newly weds
Prosecutor Joanne Barker told the court the defendant married Elizabeth McLaren in August 2006 after meeting her four years earlier.
They moved to Biddulph, Staffs, in 2009 but he left the marital home in 2012 when their marriage broke down.
Early in 2014 Crudgington contacted his estranged wife and asked for a quickie divorce, but she made it clear she was not prepared to rush the process.
Miss Barker said: “She became aware that the defendant had got engaged to somebody and was planning to marry.
“She discovered photos on Facebook of the defendant’s wedding in Prague on June 27, 2014. She was a little bit surprised given her marriage had never legally ceased.”
When Elizabeth contacted her husband he said it was nothing more than a blessing ceremony and was not a legal marriage.
But her uncle contacted Crudgington’s new wife who was unaware he was still married to Elizabeth
Mayka Kukucova, 26, was convicted of murdering gold dealer Andrew Bush, 48, at his Costa del Sol holiday home, then fled in his car back to Slovania
She staked out his Costa del Sol holiday villa for 2 days then ambushed him on arrival with his new girlfriend
Kukucova who had claimed ‘Self-defense’ broke down in tears as the GUILTY verdict was read out.
Facing jail time of between 15 and 20 years.
Mayka Kukucova was convicted of murdering millionaire ex-boyfriend gold dealer Andrew Bush
Mayka Kukucova being led out after the being convicted for murdering Andrew Bush
Kukucova shot the British millionaire father of one at his rented villa in Estepona, near Marbella in April 2014. She had sneaked her way into Bush’s rented Spanish holiday home on the Costa del Sol. The model hid out there for two days before the millionaire returned. She claimed that she was just picking up some belongings.
New girlfriend, Maria Korotaeva stepping into court
An angry Bush arrived home to find Kukucova waiting for him.
He was accompanied by his new girlfriend, Russain Maria Korotaeva 23,
Bush’s new girlfriend left the old flames to talk and sat in Bush’s hummer when she heard three shots. Kukucova shot Bush with a .38 revolver, left his body was left in a pool of blood in the villa and fled back to Slovakia.
A panicked Kukucova dashed from the scene of the crime forced Korotaeva out of Bush’s Hummer and drove from the Costa del Sol to her home town of Nova Bosaca. She later handed herself into police and was extradited to Spain.
A transfer of affection to the young Russian beauty by Bush may have sent his ex over the edge
During trial proceedings, the court heard how the well to do jeweler had taken up with Mayka Kukucova after she began working for him, leading to the former couple being together for two and a half years. The relationship dissolved six months before Andrew Bush was killed.
Andrew Bush’s sister, Rachel, giving evidence at the trial, told Press Association:
‘Unless someone has had someone close to them be murdered, they cannot understand how it feels.
‘It was very hard to see Kukucova there in court, telling those lies.’
Bush’s only child, daughter Ellie Mason-Bush said: ‘He was my only parent growing up. He was the only person that I had.’
She said that even though he and Kukucova had split up, her father was ‘still supporting her and still wanted to help her’.
Maria Korotaeva, Andrew Bush’s girlfriend at the time, was sitting in the Hummer waiting for her partner as he was being killed. Giving her account of the night, she told the court: ‘I never imagined what was happening.
‘Andy had never said anything bad about her, just that he couldn’t be with her anymore.’
On Monday she she posted a picture of herself with Rachel and Ellie on Instagram with the caption: ‘Me, Ellie and Rachel Bush yesterday night in Malaga. We will do anything in our power to get justice.’
Bush was a man in his prime, but his daughter claimed Kukucova was ‘mean to him’
Although Bush had broken up with Kukucova she still stalked on social media
After the breakup, the entrance of the younger Maria Korotaeva led to stalking and murdur
In an emotional display to the court yesterday, Kukucova said: “I’m very sorry. I didn’t want to hurt Andy. If I could change anything I would never have defended myself.
“I was only defending myself. I was afraid because never in my life has anyone tried to kill me. I didn’t know what to do.
“If I could change anything I would. I would not have defended myself. Maybe it would have been better if I had died instead.”
The model has been held on remand in custody for the past two years. Even though her parents, Lubomir Kukuca and Danka Kukucova visited her in this time, they were not present during the trial or the verdict.
Kukucova alone in court during the trial
Kukucova arrives in court for the verdict
Claire Edun, a former flight attendant from Winchester in Hampshire, has become an unlikely star of the Nigerian film industry after she fell in love with the country and taught herself the Nigerian creole – pidgin – English. Edun, who is known as Oyinbo Princess (‘White Princess’) in Nigeria, was spotted online and cast in a romantic comedy, ATM (Authentic Tentative Marriage)
Claire Edun, AKA ‘Oyinbo Nigerian’
Oyinbo Princess is not Nigerian, though; her alias means White Princess. Her real name is Claire Edun, and in another life she is a young woman from the southern English city of Winchester who used to be a British Airways cabin crew member.
Edun’s fluency in pidgin, learned through years of watching Nigerian films, landed her a role in a major Nollywood film, ATM (Authentic Tentative Marriage), which premieres in Nigerian cinemas on Friday.
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She is a sensation in Nigeria, where she has built up a following on social media. Many of her YouTube videos have been watched more than 30,000 times, even the ones she films herself on a wobbly mobile phone in her living room.
In England, where she lives, Edun performs at Nigerian comedy shows, and the Nigerian diaspora hire her to do skits for their events. It all started, she said, because she wanted to show people another side to Nigeria – one far from the stereotypes of it being a “fantastically corrupt” country, as David Cameron put it, full of criminals and where Boko Haram runs rampage.
“From understanding pidgin, and then visiting the country and getting to know the people and the country itself, I realised that it’s not what we see on the news at home. I thought, let me just share my love for the country and see what happens,” she said.
“That’s where it came from – trying to bridge that gap between different races, cultures and traditions.”
She said that she found pidgin quite easy to pick up. “I knew that there were hundreds of languages in Nigeria – Yoruba, Hausa, Igbo, there are so many – and they sound very different; they’re very thick languages to learn. Pidgin English is like my language, but just a bit street.
“If I want to describe something, or talk to someone, I find that in pidgin English you can get to the point with one or two words. It’s not a long sentence like we might have at home, beating around the bush. You say what you mean and it’s done.
“The mannerisms and the fire that needs to go into the language just comes in time – it’s a natural thing.”
Some Nigerians criticise Edun for cultural appropriation. They also point out that her command of pidgin is no different to that of a Nigerian who can speak French or Italian but she is lauded for it.Edun rejects the suggestion that what she does is cultural appropriation, because she says she is promoting Nigerian culture.
“I’m really well accepted. When I get negativity, it does make me sit there and read through the comments and try to see it from their point of view. Each to their own.”
In her first Nollywood movie, Edun plays a British woman who falls in love with a Nigerian over the internet, travels to Nigeria and finds her beau to be less well-intentioned than he appeared.
In real life, Edun fell in love with her Nigerian husband in England and said that although her fame has been a whirlwind, he has supported her – although he draws the line at helping her practise her pidgin, and they rarely speak it together.
“He likes to speak Queen’s English,” she said. “If some of the boys come around to play Fifa, I might be able to join in on a conversation in pidgin English, but 90% of the time it’s Queen’s English. Also, he’d rather throw a pizza in the oven any day, whereas I’d rather cook a local [Nigerian] dish.”
Edun is aware that she could be on the cusp of making it really big in Nigeria. “Nigeria’s a place where one day you could be hustling and the next everything changes,” she said. “I think you have to be one of those people who can just wing it.
Leicester City have won the Premier League title in one of the greatest sporting stories of all time.
Tottenham’s 2-2 draw at Chelsea on Monday confirmed a stunning achievement for Claudio Ranieri’s side.
Leicester started the campaign as 5,000-1 outsiders for the title after almost being relegated last season.
After Leicester drew 1-1 at Manchester United on Sunday, Tottenham needed to win all three of their remaining league games to catch the Foxes.
But their title hopes were ended when they squandered a 2-0 lead to only draw at London rivals Chelsea.
Photo: Rex Wes evens the score
….picked them out early in the season. Good job guys. Good job.