Former snooker world champion Shaun Murphy turns to golf as he enters Open 2019 qualifying

SHAUN MURPHY has swapped 15 reds for 18 greens as snooker’s ex-world champion launches a «crazy» bid to qualify for golf’s 2019 Open.

The England star, 36, is eligible to compete after battling hard to become an amateur golfer playing off scratch.

 Baize star Shaun Murphy will take time off from snooker in an attempt to qualify for golf's Open

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Baize star Shaun Murphy will take time off from snooker in an attempt to qualify for golf’s OpenCredit: Bradley Ormesher — The Times
 Essex ace Shaun Murphy has won £3.75m in his snooker career - but his bold Open bid is definitely not about money

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Essex ace Shaun Murphy has won £3.75m in his snooker career — but his bold Open bid is definitely not about moneyCredit: Getty Images — Getty

Snooker’s world No 14 will contest at County Louth on June 24 for a place in the final qualifiers, before the main event at Royal Portrush in Northern Ireland, starting on July 18.

Murphy told worldsnooker.com even reaching the last qualifying stage would make him feel like an «imposter».

But the 2005 Crucible king has put in the hours to get his handicap down to scratch — and wants to try his luck at reaching the highest possible stage before it is too late.

He said: «It is very hard to maintain a scratch handicap whilst having a full time snooker career, a young family and all the rest of it.

«I won’t be off scratch for much longer so I thought I should take my opportunity while I am still eligible.”

“It isn’t beyond the realms of possibility that I could go out there and shoot level par and get through to the final stage of qualifying.

«That would be extremely unlikely, but I have done it before. My best round of golf is four under par.

“If I even managed to progress to the next stage it would be crazy really.

«There are some amazing players in those final qualifiers and I would feel like a bit of an imposter, but I’m only 18 holes away.

«It is all a bit tongue in cheek and a bit of a laugh, but this will be a fantastic experience.»

Andy Ruiz Jr given hero’s welcome and red carpet for Mexico interview

Abbey and Peter Crouch have STILL not named newborn son – but admit Divock has ‘stuck a bit’

ABBEY and Peter Crouch have still not named their newborn son but the joke moniker Divock has “stuck a bit”.

The couple welcomed their fourth child on June 3rd with the footballer announcing he was called Divock Samrat Crouch – after the Liverpool player and their favourite curry house.

 Peter Crouch and Abbey Clancy still haven't picked a name for their fourth child

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Peter Crouch and Abbey Clancy still haven’t picked a name for their fourth childCredit: Getty — Contributor

But despite admitting at the time it was joke, Peter has now revealed they have in fact been using the name.

Speaking on That Peter Couch Podcast, the 38-year-old said: “He might get bullied if his name is Divock. I had to actually come out and say his name isn’t actually Divock Samrat — that was a gag.

“To me Divock was a lovely name. Abs said to me: «you’ve got to tweet it, its brilliant.» I cant think of one (celeb who has announced fake name).

“We were looking at him the other day, he’s so beautiful and innocent and Divock seemed like a good name for it. I feel like its sort of stuck a bit. Whatever we go for now is not going to live up to Divock Samrat.”

 Abbey shared a picture of her newborn today with fans

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Abbey shared a picture of her newborn today with fans
 Smitten Peter with Johnny and the newborn

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Smitten Peter with Johnny and the newbornCredit: Instagram

Divock Origi scored the final goal for the Reds in the cup clash in Madrid. Samrat is the name of an Indian restaurant they frequent.

Following the birth the smitten model shared a series of pictures of the yet to be named newborn alongside husband Peter  and her son Johnny, one – declaring she was the “luckiest girl alive”.

She wrote: “My 3 boys feeling like the luckiest girl alive right now.”

Former Strictly winner Abbey — who also has daughters Sophia, eight, and Liberty, four – posted other images of the family getting to know the new arrival.

Peter Crouch reveals wife Abbey Clancy has given birth to a baby boy He joked he’s named after Liverpool’s Divock Origi


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World’s worst selfies prove that timing is everything when posting snaps on social media

THESE selfies are certain to give your face muscles a workout as you cringe your way through.

Take a look at these poor souls who are all showing a complete lack of selfie awareness.

DOGGY STYLE

 Looks like these hound's are feeling the love in the background of this chap's selfie

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Looks like these hound’s are feeling the love in the background of this chap’s selfie

MUM’S THE WORD

 Sigmund Freud would have a field day with everything wrong with this snap

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Sigmund Freud would have a field day with everything wrong with this snapCredit: Splitpics.uk

ABSOLUTE CHEEK

 This chap has hit a bit of bum note with this cheeky selfie

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This chap has hit a bit of bum note with this cheeky selfie

SWEET DREAMS

 Always check behind you before you post

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Always check behind you before you post

HOT TINDER PROFILE

 This chap is bringing a new meaning to the phrase 'hot Tinder profile'

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This chap is bringing a new meaning to the phrase ‘hot Tinder profile’Credit: Splitpics.uk

 UP YOURS

 Epic photobombing from the lads in the next car

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Epic photobombing from the lads in the next car

BABY GOT BACK

 This amateur snapper has hit a bit of a bum note with this self portrait

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This amateur snapper has hit a bit of a bum note with this self portraitCredit: Splitpics.uk

LOOK INTO MY EYES

 Online shopping can be a dangerous habit

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Online shopping can be a dangerous habit

MIRROR MIRROR ON THE WALL

 Two out of three ain't bad, but the third one in this photo is pretty dire

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Two out of three ain’t bad, but the third one in this photo is pretty direCredit: Splitpics.uk

ALL BY MYSELF

 Her boyfriend doesn't seem to be keeping it real from what can be seen here

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Her boyfriend doesn’t seem to be keeping it real from what can be seen here

DEAD SERIOUS

 There's a time and a place for a selfie, and an undertakers is not it

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There’s a time and a place for a selfie, and an undertakers is not itCredit: Splitpics.uk

CURVY CHICK

 This girl really does have a mind bending derriere

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This girl really does have a mind bending derriereCredit: Splitpics.uk

DOWN THE BARREL

 You've got to hope the safety is on this chap's firearm

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You’ve got to hope the safety is on this chap’s firearm

TAKING THE P***

 Most chaps just undo their flies, but each to their own

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Most chaps just undo their flies, but each to their own

LIFE THROUGH A LENS

 Is it worse that there is no traffic, or that she's snapping and driving?

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Is it worse that there is no traffic, or that she’s snapping and driving?

PEACE BE WITH YOU

 This chap doesn't look to thrilled to be taking part in this selfie

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This chap doesn’t look to thrilled to be taking part in this selfie

BIDET BAE

 The lengths some people will go to to get the perfect angle

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The lengths some people will go to to get the perfect angle

CORE BLIMEY

 Is he fitter or is it a filter?

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Is he fitter or is it a filter?Credit: Splitpics.uk


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Arsenal hero Mikel Arteta reveals how 5-1 Liverpool hammering at ‘dreaded’ Anfield broke him and left him pleading for game to stop

FORMER Arsenal captain Mikel Arteta has revealed he feared playing at Anfield during his career as he declared one defeat left him pleading for the game to stop.

The 37-year-old won just twice on the red half of Merseyside during his 12-year spell in the Premier League — both with the Gunners.

 Mikel Arteta has spoken of Anfield and how he feared playing at Liverpool's famous ground

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Mikel Arteta has spoken of Anfield and how he feared playing at Liverpool’s famous groundCredit: AFP — Getty

And the Manchester City assistant manager has never won at Anfield during his time with the Citizens — losing in three out of their four matches.

Speaking to Marca, Arteta has opened up on the 5-1 drubbing the Reds inflicted on the North Londoners in February 2014 — in which the ex-Everton star even scored.

Asked whether he was surprised by Liverpool’s title bid last season, the former Paris Saint-Germain midfielder said: «No, because it is very difficult to beat them.

«Also, in my playing career, Anfield was the only ground where in which I had the feeling of ‘pájara’, of being stuck.

«It happened to me with Arsenal, and we conceded five… You say: ‘I do not know what’s going on, stop the game, please, because I do not know where I am’.

«It’s hard to explain, but it never happened to me anywhere other than Anfield.

«Barca surprise me by the form of some of their goals, but at Anfield you can concede five without knowing.

«Neither in Spain nor in Greece or Germany did I have that feeling. Not even in Old Trafford.»

Arteta also declared he still harbours a dream of managing his own club, but he is happy being Pep Guardiola’s No2 for now.

And he insisted he would love Leroy Sane to stay at the Etihad with the German international linked with a move to Bayern Munich.

Arsenal face transfer battle to keep Lucas Torreira as new AC Milan boss eyes reunion with midfielder

Tesco is selling Nando’s meal kits so you can make your own spicy chicken for less than half the price

CHICKEN chain Nando’s has started selling meal kits in Tesco so you can recreate your own peri peri feasts at home — and they’re less than half the price of eating out.

There are currently four delicious flavours chicken connoisseurs can choose from including, cornflake chicken, zesty chicken, coconut chicken, and saucy chicken.

 Nando's has started selling meal kits in Tesco

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Nando’s has started selling meal kits in TescoCredit: NANDOS

What’s more, is they all include a peri peri cooking sauce, peri peri drizzle, perinaise and as an added bonus, lemon and herb microwave rice.

The kits, which serve one, provide you with absolutely everything you need apart from vegetables and the main ingredient… chicken!

In theory, you’ll be able to create your favourite Nando’s dishes at a moments notice, but how do the kits compare in price to the real deal?

Nando’s currently sells a whole peri peri chicken in its restaurants for £13.50, and if you add regular spicy rice for £2.60 to match the meal kit, that will set you back £16.10.

If that seems a bit steep to you, then it looks like a night in front of the TV and a Nando’s meal kit might save you some cash.

Tesco sells the 350g Nando’s meal kits for £3.50, while a medium-sized chicken at the same supermarket is £3 putting your dine in dinner total at £6.50.

So you’re paying less than half the price and saving £9.60 by making your own at home.

Meanwhile, five wings and a spicy rice side will set you back £8.55 in a Nando’s restaurant whereas the dine-in option costs £5.75 — a saving of just £2.80.

High street food chains are quickly cottoning onto the meal kit trend with Itsu, Wahaca and Yo!, the sushi brand, also taking centre stage on Tesco’s shelves.

Nando’s already sells peri-peri pan sauce kits in Asda as well as bake in bag spice kits.

If you fancy trying your luck and getting a meal for free, check out our cheeky ways to bag a cheaper Nando’s.

Last year, Nando’s launched its very own peri-peri chicken gravy ahead of the Christmas season.

The company also gave away free food to A-Level students on results day.


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Rural Health: Financial Insecurity Plagues Many Who Live With Disability

Many Americans with disabilities who live in rural areas of the U.S. said it would be a challenge for them to cover an unexpected $1,000 expense, according to the results of a new poll.
Kim Ryu for NPR
Many Americans with disabilities who live in rural areas of the U.S. said it would be a challenge for them to cover an unexpected $1,000 expense, according to the results of a new poll.

Kim Ryu for NPR

Carol Burgos is worried her neighbors think she’s bringing the neighborhood down.

She lives in a mobile home park in a woodsy part of Columbia County, N.Y, just off a two-lane highway. The homes have neat yards and American flags. On a spring Saturday, some neighbors are out holding yard sales, with knickknacks spread out on folding tables. Others are out doing yardwork.

Burgos’ lawn is unruly and overgrown.

«How bad do I feel when these little old ladies are mowing their lawn and I can’t because I’m in so much pain?» she says.

Burgos is in her early 50s, with red hair and sparkly black-rimmed glasses. She can’t mow her lawn herself because of pain and physical limits related to her osteoarthritis, degenerative disk disease and other health issues. She was deemed disabled in 1997 and lives off payments from Social Security Disability Insurance. She gets health coverage through Medicare.

She also can’t afford to pay someone to mow the lawn for her. «I don’t want another bill,» she explains. «I don’t want to be in more debt. I’m embarrassed. I don’t know, who do you ask?»

Carol Burgos is deeply frustrated she can’t even physically mow her own lawn because of pain from her osteoarthritis, degenerative disk disease and other health issues. Selena Simmons-Duffin/NPR hide caption

toggle caption

Selena Simmons-Duffin/NPR

Carol Burgos is deeply frustrated she can’t even physically mow her own lawn because of pain from her osteoarthritis, degenerative disk disease and other health issues.

Selena Simmons-Duffin/NPR

Burgos estimates she is $30,000 in debt. That’s a lot, especially with so little coming in. «Less than $1,500 a month,» she says. «And that doesn’t include [costs of] fuel; cooking gas; electric; water usage.»

For food, she gets a bit of money in food stamps every month. Her income works out to about $18,000 a year — not too far off from what most people living on disability benefits make.

There’s no way she could pay a $1,000 expense right away, Burgos says. According to a recent poll NPR conducted with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, 49% of rural Americans couldn’t afford a sudden expense of that size.

The percentage was much higher — 70% — for people who, like Burgos, have disabilities. More than half of those with disabilities said their families have had problems paying for medical or dental bills in the past few years.

Burgos says she doesn’t want to have to rely on disability benefits. She used to work — she’s had lots of jobs, including helping developmentally challenged people with life skills.

She identifies as a «working person with disabilities» even though she hasn’t worked for 10 years. She’s frustrated by the copays she has to pay for doctor visits and at the pharmacy — she ends up only filling her most important prescriptions, she says.

«I want to work,» she says. «Screw the money! Give me medical coverage — full medical — so I can be an able body that is willing to work.»

Burgos feels stuck in poverty and physically stuck, because it’s so hard for her to get around.

Having good access to transportation — or not — has a huge impact on the health of people living in rural parts of the country, says Dr. Kirsten Bibbins-Domingo. She’s a professor of epidemiology and biostatistics at the University of California, San Francisco, and studies the health of vulnerable populations.

«If you go to less populated areas — rural areas — access to a car that functions well [and], the costs for gas, becomes such an essential element,» Bibbins-Domingo says. «Both to drive to seek medical care, as well as to drive to access the other resources that are necessary to pursue good health.»

Without that transportation — or ready access to other basics like healthy food or good housing — people can get into a vicious cycle, she says.

«Poor health contributes to financial instability and to poverty,» Bibbins-Domingo says, «and poverty itself — we know — contributes to poor health.»

That cycle of poor health and poverty hits people with disabilities particularly hard. «Their poverty levels are over two times higher, compared to those without disabilities,» says Bill Erickson of the Yang-Tan Institute on Employment and Disability at Cornell University.

The federal government does provide help to people with disabilities under two different programs. Some people, like Carol Burgos, have a work history that entitles them to payments from Social Security Disability Insurance. Others, who never worked — perhaps because of a developmental disability — are eligible for Supplemental Security Income.

But other hurdles can arise. If you’re disabled, and live in a rural area and want to work, you still have to find a job you can do.

«Since the Great Recession, rural counties really haven’t seen as much employment growth as urban counties,» Erickson says. «Also just the types of jobs that are available to those sorts of communities may be tending toward, you know, requiring people to be able to move things physically or whatever.

«And the limitations that the individual with disabilities may have,» Erickson continues,» may be preventing them from being able to do those particular types of jobs — or employers can’t provide the accommodations that may be necessary.»

Erickson’s colleague at ILR, Thomas Golden, adds that the complexity of disability benefits presents another problem for people who would like to work. It’s not clear to many people how much they are allowed to work without jeopardizing their benefits, he says, or what programs are available to help them in the job search.

For the past six years, Golden and Erickson have worked with young people receiving Supplemental Security Income as part of the New York State PROMISE initiative.

«In a lot of cases, those youth and their families weren’t ready to talk about work because they couldn’t pay their rent,» Golden says. «Or they were getting evicted. Or other basic needs needed to be met first before they could think about their own self-development, when it came to work and economic independence.»

Burgos says she would like to find a job she’s able to do, with enough hours to supplement her income but not trigger a loss of her social security benefits. First though, she says, she must figure out how to deal with the overgrown lawn and a student loan bill that just arrived in the mail. And she’s trying to coordinate nursing care for her elderly mom.

There are good things in her life, too, Burgos says. She has her faith — she’s born-again Christian. Her car is a bit beat up, but it works. And she has a very sweet little dog.

And even though she has to rely on a walker for long distances — and fears she eventually will end up in a wheelchair — for now, she’s still well enough to get up and down the stairs to her front door.

NPR Science Intern Susie Neilson contributed reporting for this story

Love Island spoiler: Danny snubs Molly-Mae as he decides to crack on with Yewande

DANNY Williams will solidify his romance with Yewande Biala in tonight’s episode of Love Island.

The 21-year-old model will snub fellow newcomer Molly-Mae Hague in favour of the scientist in upcoming episodes of the ITV2 dating show, as he insists she is bringing out the «good» in him.

 Danny snubs Molly-Mae to pursue a romance with Yewande

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Danny snubs Molly-Mae to pursue a romance with YewandeCredit: ITV

In a private conversation, Danny gushes: «Settling in to the villa, I feel like you’ve been such as massive part of that for me. The nerves just went because I’m getting to know you. You’re bringing a good side out of me and I just wanted to say thank you for that.”

With the news there will be two new arrivals in the villa, Yewande is fearing the worst.

In a preview clip the 23-year-old said: «Everything is starting to look like its going well and then this. You should be worried for me, I am worried for me.»

But Danny reassures her his head will not be turned. He said: «I cant see my head being turned at all.»

 Yewande has been smitten with Danny ever since their first date

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Yewande has been smitten with Danny ever since their first dateCredit: ITV
 Danny and Molly-Mae both revealed they had a fondness for one another

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Danny and Molly-Mae both revealed they had a fondness for one anotherCredit: ITV

«Trust me, I am interested in you. All I have done is enjoy myself in here and laugh and that is largely because of you», he continued.

Yewande went on to reveal her true feelings for Danny.

She coyly replied: «Since you’ve came in, maybe there has been a spring in my step. Obviously, when I went on a date with you I felt really comfortable and I just felt there was an instant connection. I’m happy that you’re here.

«I want things to happen organically.”

 In tonight's episode Danny insists his head won't be turned for anyone other than Yewande

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In tonight’s episode Danny insists his head won’t be turned for anyone other than YewandeCredit: ITV
 Yewande admits she has had a spring in her step since Danny entered the villa

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Yewande admits she has had a spring in her step since Danny entered the villaCredit: ITV

Danny continued to open up to Yewande — who is coupled up with Michael — about where his head is at, although viewers think he is playing a game by coupling up with her. 

He added: «I like how things are going with us. I’m getting butterflies. How am I feeling like this about someone I met three days ago?»

Yewande and Danny enjoyed their first date as soon as he entered the Spanish abode on Sunday night’s episode, and they immediately hit it off.

Danny Williams says he’s not going to couple up straight away as he tells Yewande Biala he won’t play games in the Love Island villa

Danny then went on a date with Amber, and on returning to the villa showed an interest in Molly-Mae, who instantly hailed the Islander as her type.

Despite having one date in under a week, Yewande has already caught feelings for Danny, and is dreaming of being happily married in the future.

She said: «I had a dream last night that I got married», but when asked who the groom was, she replied: «I couldn’t see.»

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Companies are trying something new with their 401(k) plans. It might get you to save more

DNY59 | iStock | 360 | Getty Images

To save, or not to save? That question might not be yours to answer.

A growing number of companies now direct money from their employees’ paychecks to a retirement account — even after a worker has said «no, thanks.»

Auto-enrollment into retirement plans, of course, is not new. The practice has taken off in the workplace since President George W. Bush signed the Pension Protection Act in 2006, which said employers don’t need their workers’ permission to sign them up for the company retirement plan.

The results have been powerful: More than 90% of employees participate in automatic-enrollment plans, compared with less than 60% in voluntary plans. (The most common default savings rate is 3% of a worker’s salary).

But while many employers auto-enroll their employees one time — typically when they first join the company — some are now doing so again and again, hoping to wear down those prone to ditching.

«If they opt out, why let it be a one-and-done thing?» said Nevin Adams, chief of marketing and communications at the American Retirement Association. «Why not come back and give them another shot at auto-enrollment?»

A second chance is also helpful for employees who began working at a company before auto-enrollment was deployed on newcomers, Adams said. «In many cases, they knew they hadn’t signed up for the 401(k) plan and they were embarrassed to go ask for a form,» he said.

Each year, Plan Sponsor Council of America, a trade group for employers, studies the state of 401(k) plans. In 2018, it found that nearly 8% of the plans automatically re-enrolled employees who were not participating. In 2013, just 4% had done so.

In Pew’s 2017 survey of workers, the most common obstacle to saving for retirement that respondents cited was an unwillingness to sacrifice their current quality of life.

Yet most people don’t find a paycheck reduced by 3% or 5% all that disruptive — especially when they see their nest egg growing, said John Scott, the director of retirement savings at The Pew Charitable Trusts. «They eventually won’t opt out if you keep re-enrolling them,» Scott said.

Currently, 13% of the employers that offer an auto-enrollment retirement plan through Fidelity also include a «re-solicitation» feature, in which non-participating employees are brought back into the plan at some point, according to Katie Taylor, vice president of thought leadership at Fidelity. Seven percent of such employers make that re-enrollment an annual ritual.

«The re-solicitation feature will target those eligible employees who opted out the prior year in the following year,» Taylor said, adding that plans that have adopted this practice have an average participation rate of 95%.

The trend is not taking off everywhere. Less than 2% of the companies that administer a retirement plan through Vanguard re-enroll participants who have opted out, said Alyssa Thornton, a spokeswoman for the investment manager. «We have found more success in driving participation in retirement plans through personalized email outreach,» Thornton said.

Brit couple ‘poisoned by air con’ at resort in Dominican Republic where four tourists mysteriously died

A BRIT mum was hospitalised after breathing in “chemical” fumes at a hotel resort in the Dominican Republic where four tourists have died in recent months.

Sara Taylor, 53, from Poole, Dorset, and her family were forced to move rooms at the Grand Bahia Principe resort on May 29 when they began choking on the toxic air in their suite.

 Sara and Kevin Taylor suffered health problems after breathing in fumes at the Grand Bahia Principe in the Dominican Republic

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Sara and Kevin Taylor suffered health problems after breathing in fumes at the Grand Bahia Principe in the Dominican RepublicCredit: Sara Taylor
 Hotel staff sealed off rooms in the couple's apartment block using sellotape around the door frame

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Hotel staff sealed off rooms in the couple’s apartment block using sellotape around the door frame
 Sara's family said they smelt 'chemical' fumes in their room and demanded to be moved

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Sara’s family said they smelt ‘chemical’ fumes in their room and demanded to be moved

The following morning, American couple Holmes, 63, and Cynthia Day, 49, were found dead in their beds at the hotel.

A total of six tourists have died at resorts on the Caribbean island in recent months – four at the Grand Bahia and its sister hotel Luxury Bahia Príncipe Bouganville which are five minutes walk from each other.

Sara and her husband Kevin, 59, believe the fumes they smelt had come into the room through the air conditioning vent.

The British mum told The Sun Online that her entire family – including her son, his partner and their nine-year-old boy — suffered health problems after spending no more than 30 minutes in the conjoining room.

She says she attended A&E shortly after returning home to the UK after suffering breathing problems.

Sara said: “We all had headaches, a couple of us had diarrhoea, my husband had heart palpatations and I had problems with my breathing.

“But I thought it was the humidity of the holiday and the change in diet.

“We arrived back in the UK on June 6 and I was still getting breathing problems and I was using my inhaler a lot more.

 The British housewife says that 11 of the 16 rooms in her block were sealed off

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The British housewife says that 11 of the 16 rooms in her block were sealed offCredit: Sara Taylor
 The morning after the British family were moved another couple at the resort were found dead

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The morning after the British family were moved another couple at the resort were found deadCredit: Sara Taylor

“When we arrived back in the UK on June 6, I rang 111 to get medical advice and they told me I should go straight to Accident and Emergency.

“When I arrived at the hospital they gave me an ECG, chest x-rays, blood tests and gave me a nebuliser  to help with my breathing.

“The doctors believe the symptoms I was having were the result of me breathing in these chemicals — whatever they were — in our room.»

On the evening her family were moved suite, Sara went back to the apartment block, named Villa 25, and photographed the room doors which were sealed with “thick sellotape.”

She says that 11 of the 16 rooms were sealed and had ‘Do Not Disturb’ signs on them – yet the hotel still allowed her family to live in the building for the first week of their holiday.

Sara fears that if her family had stayed in the room, or had fallen asleep before the fumes had filled the suite, they would have died.

She is relieved her husband, who owns a company which makes air conditioners, recognised the danger and demanded they move building.

The Brit said: “If we had stayed in those rooms that night — we wouldn’t be here now.

“We feel devastated that we didn’t knock on the other doors now to see if they had the same problem as us

“Our thoughts are with all those who lost their lives and their families and friends

“I don’t want anyone to have to go through their family members going on holiday and not coming home like those poor Americans did.”

Sara, who married Kevin in the Dominican Republic in 2006, says hotel staff refused to tell them why the rooms had been sealed off.

She insisted she will demand a refund from her holiday tour operator TUI, formerly Thomsons.

An ex-FBI boss has called for a major investigation into the recent spate of deaths at the resorts in the Dominican Republic.

‘Poisoning’ deaths at resorts in the Dominican Republic

  • Robert Bell Wallace, 67, died on Aprl 13 after he became sick and «urinated blood» after he had one whisky from his room minibar at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Punta Cana.
  • American David Harrison, 45, of Maryland, died in July last year at the same Hard Rock Hotel resort after a sudden heart attack.
  •  His heartbroken widow Dawn McCoy said her husband was mumbling inanely and complained of a «very potent, strange smell».
  • Miranda Schaup-Werner, 41, collapsed died in her room after having a drink from her minibar at the Luxury Bahia Principe Bouganville in La Romana, 70 miles west of Punta Cana
  • Five days later, Edward Holmes, 63, and Cynthia Day, 49, were found dead in their room at the neighbouring Grand Bahia Principe resort.
  • And it has since emerged Yvette Monique Short, 51, passed away she had a drink from the minibar.
  • It wasn’t clear if Mr Holmes and Ms Day drank from the minibar, and their deaths were attributed by officials to respiratory failure.

Former bureau deputy assistant director Danny Coulson told FOX News: «It doesn’t make much sense.

«This thing doesn’t pass the smell test. These people didn’t have simultaneous heart attacks.

«There needs to be a major investigation.»

Authorities from both the US and the Dominican Republic are currently on the ground investigating the deaths amid fears the tourists may have been poisoned.

Coulson offered his opinion on the case, saying he believed «environmental issues» were to blame.

He explained that pesticide restrictions were «pretty liberal» in the region.

«If you’ve been to one of these hotels they spray [pesticides] all the time.»

The former law enforcement chief urged authorities to release toxicology reports of the victims.

A total of 30 million tourists have visited the island in the past five years and 2.7 million US tourists visit the popular holiday destination every year.

179,000 British nationals visited the Dominican Republic in 2017.

FBI probes mystery ‘poison’ deaths at Hard Rock resort in Dominican Republic as 45 tourists ‘fall violently ill at luxury hotel’


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Mum shares video of moment son, five, is ‘asked for sex’ while playing Fortnite

DISTURBING video shows the moment a suspected pervert asked a boy aged five for sex while playing the hit game Fortnite.

Melissa Burns was supervising her son while he played the non-violent «creative» mode of the game.

 A suspected pervert player wrote 'please sex' to Melissa Burns' five-year-old son in the game Fortnite

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A suspected pervert player wrote ‘please sex’ to Melissa Burns’ five-year-old son in the game FortniteCredit: Deadline News
 Shocked Melissa from Birkenhead, Merseyside filmed the incident and shared it online to warn other parents about the dangers of grooming in video games

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Shocked Melissa from Birkenhead, Merseyside filmed the incident and shared it online to warn other parents about the dangers of grooming in video gamesCredit: Deadline News
 Another player in a different game playing with her son also obscenely wrote 'sex' on the board

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Another player in a different game playing with her son also obscenely wrote ‘sex’ on the boardCredit: Deadline News

To her horror, her son’s avatar was approached on screen by another character who asked for sex.

Concern is growing about the potential for children to be targeted while playing the 12 certificate game.

Last year a 12-year-old boy was offered money to perform «sex acts» while playing.

SUPERVISED PLAY

Melissa, from Birkenhead, Merseyside, watches her son while he plays and makes sure he’s in a mode from which all elements of violence have been removed.

After witnessing the «disgusting» approach to her son, she posted a clip of the incident to Facebook.

She wrote: «Everyone please check their child’s games always!

«Playing creative on Fortnite and this person is writing inappropriate things.

«Might be a child messaging round but could be a grown person! Please be aware!»

The video shows the character belonging to Melissa’s son walking around a house in the game.

Another player comes into view and is standing next to chalkboard.

Melissa asks her son to go back to the board to see what the other player has written on the board.

The other player wrote «please sex» and the character nods at her son’s character.

Melissa audibly gasps when she sees the outrageous proposition.

SECOND ‘SEX’ INCIDENT

She recorded another video which also shows another character writing «sex» on the board.

The video has shocked many parents online — with one even experiencing a similar incident with their own child.

Craig Dillon said: «Disgusting isn’t it, we had a fella asking how old was he, where did he live, does he want to meet etc. Little wronguns mate.»

Melissa has been praised by other parents in the comments for highlighting this issue.

Mary Jo Kerrigan-Gee said: «I know this is a serious subject and well done mum for highlighting it.»

Tom Lewis added: «I didn’t know you could write on the board in creative, opens up so many possibilities. Still, shocking.»

Melissa today explained that her son only plays with his cousins on the game.

She said: «I always play with my son when he goes on it never left unattended, he is five and plays with his cousins, my son was playing on creative mode on the game where there is no shooting or anything just running around.

‘EXTREMELY SHOCKED’

«I didn’t know random players who he is not friends with could randomly join on creative mode so I was extremely shocked by this, and especially when I became aware of what was going on.

«It’s a good job I play on it with him, I know there’s some young children out there who are left to their own devices and it’s really not safe on these online games.»

Melissa added: «My reaction was horrifying, innocently playing a game with your son and someone is using it as a way to speak to children saying inappropriate things.

«Of course I recorded it and shared it to spread awareness to other parents.

«I know people say a five-year-old shouldn’t be playing games like this but I don’t see the problem if he’s supervised each time when playing, and if I hadn’t wouldn’t of (sic) never came across this.»

PARENTAL WARNING

Melissa feels that parents need to know these incidents can occur on these games.

She said: «Thankfully my son doesn’t understand it he just has time limits on the game and I watch him on it.

«I have changed the settings within the PlayStation and game itself so no one can join in a game with you, so it shouldn’t happen again, but still other parents need to know because creative mode seems innocent when it’s just not.»

This is not the first time the 12 rated game has come under scrutiny.

In March 2018, a 12-year-old boy was offered £50 on the gaming platform to perform sex acts with a man.

And earlier this year, a grooming probe was launched when five school kids were targeted by a predator through Fortnite.

SAFETY NET: How to keep your child safe online

The Internet can be an amazing tool to help children learn and play.

But with the digital world changing all the time, how can you make sure your child is safe?

Set up parental controls

  • Parental controls can be used to block upsetting or harmful content, control in-app purchases or manage how long your child spends online
  • The filters can help control what time of day your child can go online, and to stop them from downloading apps they are too young for

Talk to your children

  • Have regular conversations about what your child is doing online
  • Explore sites and apps together
  • Talk about what personal information they should share online
  • Create a family agreement about what behaviour is appropriate when they are online

Do your research

  • Check through websites your child will use through the Net Aware
  • Change privacy settings and turning off location sharing

If you need help now, you can phone experts on the free NSPCC & O2 helpline 0808 800 5002

The fiend sent the vulnerable children messages asking them to perform «inappropriate acts».

Just last month, a mum said she was «physically sick» when she found explicit pictures of her pre-teen son had been sent to a paedophile after he’d been groomed on game Roblox.

The mum said that she had turned on all of Roblox’s parental controls which should have stopped her child from talking to anyone else in the game itself.


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