A gunman set himself up in a Las Vegas hotel room with an arsenal of rifles and killed 59 people, and injured more than 500, who were attending a country music festival below.

In what was America’s worst mass shooting retired accountant Stephen Paddock, 64, with no criminal record, took a room on the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Resort Casino and ended his cowardly and motiveless killing spree by killing himself as SWAT teams cleared the hotel and closed in. It is thought the gun smoke created from the firing of hundreds of rounds of ammunition set off the fire alarm in his room, helping the police to find him. Continue reading


In the wake of the Grenfell tragedy fire experts are warning that too many high-rise buildings, including “city centre hotels with hundreds of beds” are not fitted with life-saving sprinkler systems.

These detect a fire, suppress a fire and raise the alarm and there are calls for all buildings more than 30 metres high to be retrofitted with sprinklers. Costs given for a flat are up to £2,500, so for a hotel room would be considerably cheaper. This is against a cost of refurbishment after a fire of £77,000.

If you use high-rise hotels do they have sprinklers?


A Devon hotelier has been jailed for 22 weeks, for assaulting members of her staff, and a police officer.

Shirley Bothroyd, 59, owner of the seafront Bay Hotel, Teignmouth, Devon since 2013 and formerly a human rights lawyer pleaded guilty to grabbing her chef from behind by her hair, forcing her to the floor and slapping her repeatedly around the face in June this year. Bothroyd also pleaded guilty to using abusive and threatening behaviour towards her receptionist in the same month. She was also charged with offences relating to other staff members, including her hotel manager and assistant manager, and with assaulting a police officer in July. She admitted to being an alcoholic and claimed other serious health problems, including three strokes, skin cancer and fits.

Magistrates at Newton Abbott court described her evidence as “contradictory and implausible” and found her guilty on all charges. As well as the 22 weeks custodial sentence she was also ordered to pay a total of £1235 in compensation to her victims, costs and victim surcharge.

Bothroyd bought the 18 bedroom hotel, originally built for the Earl of Devon in 1859, for £1.75 million in 2013. It was closed by emergency services in July after a fire in the penthouse suite and the collapse of three ceilings.


Following the controversy over the £451,000 package paid to Vice-Chancellor Dame Glynis Bakewell by Bath University Times Higher Education have issued the names of eight other University vice-chancellors who are far better paid than any event organiser giving them event business. They are as below with their 2015-2016 pay:-

  • £423,000 Keith Burnett, Sheffield
  • £365,000 Bob Cryan, Huddersfield
  • £342,000 Paul O’Prey, Roehamptonn
  • £326,000 Dominic Shellard, De Montford
  • £305,000 John Vinney, Bournemouth
  • £298,000 Anne Carlisle, Falmouth
  • £282,000 Joy Carter, Winchester
  • £172,000 Michael Earley, Rose Bruford College

All of the above enjoyed pay increases from 2010 to 2016 of 34-67% at a time when the average pay for all their academic staff dropped in real terms by 2.6% and that for their professors only increased by 3.1%. Meanwhile many students, and their parents, struggle to pay increasing tuition fees as the vice-chancellors enjoy higher salaries than the £150,000 paid to the Prime Minister.

Another university vice-chancellor exposed as overpaid in the national press has been Louise Richardson of Oxford who enjoys a salary of £350,000.


Chinese tourists taking selfies in Kensington, London with the blackened hulk of Grenfell Tower as a backdrop have been condemned as “ghouls”.

The tourists were seeing London from a coach operated by BM Coaches of Hayes when the driver, who has since been suspended, made an unscheduled stop near Grenfell, where 80 people died in June, so that some of his passengers could get out and take their pictures. It is not known whether the sick stop was at the request of the passengers, their Chinese tour guide or whether the driver made it to earn some extra cash in tips.

A disgusted witness who approached the driver to question what he was doing was told by him that the passengers were health and safety experts from China. The Chinese tour guide has since been sent home to China in disgrace and BM Coaches has made a donation to the official Grenfell fund.


Those concerned about the increased cost of staying in Europe while the pound is down might like to know the results of a Daily Telegraph study of 20 popular European cities and the comparative costs of travelling to them and staying a few days. This took into account the costs of two nights in a three-star hotel for two adults, a three course dinner with a bottle of house wine, return bus or train transfer, a 48-hour travel card, a sightseeing bus tour, entry to an art gallery, a museum and a heritage attraction and a glass of wine, a carbonated drink, a bottle of beer and a cup of coffee.

The cheapest was Vilnius in Lithuania at £150.94 and 20th was Vienna, Austria at more than double the price (£317.59) Full results, cheapest first, below.

  • £150.94 Vilnius, Lithuania
  • £167.15 Riga, Latvia
  • £169.95 Warsaw, Poland
  • £178.08 Paphos, Greece
  • £182.96 Krakow, Poland
  • £196.81 Lisbon, Portugal
  • £197.16 Budapest, Hungary
  • £206.12 Athens, Greece
  • £208.96 Moscow, Russia
  • £217.63 Prague, Czech Republic
  • £217.63 Lille, France
  • £219.32 Tallin, Estonia
  • £231.29 Strasbourg, France
  • £231.38 Dubrovnik, Croatia
  • £269.52 Berlin, Germany
  • £275.41 Edinburgh, Scotland
  • £278.95 Nice, France
  • £308.79 Palma, Mallorca
  • £311.90 Madrid, Spain
  • £317.59 Vienna, Austria


Adapted from the Jules Verne novel this science fiction classic was first made in 1959 and then remade in 1999 and 2008, with most critics today agreeing that the first was the best by far.

This starred the late James Mason, who took the lead role of leader of the underground expedition at the last minute when the first choice of director Henri Levin, Clifton Webb, suffered a double hernia requiring urgent surgery. Singer Pat Boone was already on board having been persuaded to participate by the inclusion of some songs for him to croon, and a generous percentage of the profits, and Arlene Dahl had agreed to star as the love interest, eventually, for Mason. Other stars were the fabulously colourful sets, the rockslides, the exploding volcanoes, the lost city of Atlantis, the giant flesh-eating lizards and the musical score, some of which was definitely effectively creepy Hammer Horror.

Journey to the Center of the Earth was released by Eureka Entertainment on Blu-Ray last month as part of its Eureka Classics range. The pack includes an audio commentary, a new video interview and a featurette on the film’s restoration.


Top PR firm Bell Pottinger, founded by Thatcher guru Lord Bell, has apparently been impressing their client, the Gupta billionaire brothers, and South Africa’s president Jacob Zuma with some clever strategies for diverting attention away from the controversially close relationship between Zuma and the Guptas.

Allegedly, for £100,000 a month from the Gupta’s Oakbay Capital firm Bell Pottinger employees cleverly set up a fake blog and false Twitter accounts to stir up anger against wealthy white South Africans. Twitter users were secretly paid to spread propaganda, and to troll journalists who questioned the false claims, sexually smearing some. Continue reading


An estimated 400,000 passengers booked on Ryanair flights have had them cancelled as the company admits that it has mismanaged its pilot and crew rotas And some passengers, when trying to rebook flights have had additional charges heaped on for extras they had already paid for, while others have been charged up to £25 for the premium rate call(s) they had to make to sort out the mess.

Ryanair’s CEO, Michael O’Blarney has admitted that this latest passenger nightmare has cost him “reputational damage”, though there is a view that very little can further damage an airline that has a well-deserved reputation for not giving a toss about its customers.


Unhealthily skinny models will need to start eating properly again if they want to work after Gucci, St Laurent and Vuitton et Dior announced a ban on US size-zero/UK size four models on catwalk shows and photo-shoots. The belated French company’s action follows similar steps taken in Italy and Spain in 2006.

The previous endorsement of ill-health as glamorous by the global fashion industry has been blamed for eating disorders and death in girls and young women trying to emulate.