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Hello: A Letter to my visitors

Hi. As you can see I have given News From Reading a bit of a make-over as it appears to be all the rage today. How things have change. When I was a young man we had a saying that was generally followed, it was, “If it ain`t broke then don`t fix it”, meaning that often making changes results in disaster. Well I hope that`s not going to happen here and that you are enjoying the new look site, that you are finding something of interested here (to justify my hard work) and that the site is loading quicker.

You know, time is very precious but can you take just a little time to comment on the site and let me know how I am doing, after all its not too much to ask you, after allowing you free access to my site. As I am sure you are aware there are costs involved in running any site, I am just hoping you are finding it useful, if so please tell your friends, perhaps mention the site in your tweets or on Facebook or any other Social Media sites you use, it`ll not cost you anything but it sure will help me. Thanks so much for taking the time to read this short letter.

How I get ready: Craig Revel Horwood

By Rosanna Greenstreet

‘Give yourself a boost by looking in the mirror and telling yourself you look great’

If it is an opening night red carpet that starts at 7pm, I will be in the shower at 5pm, followed by a shave and my ironing. I never choose what to wear until the last minute. I pick the suit first, then iron the shirt and then I can decide what tie to wear with it. Everyone says it is easy for men to get ready, but there are so many components – cufflinks, buttonholes, making sure your socks and belt and shoes all match. Women can slip on a black dress and pair of heels, and they’re done.

Once I am changed, I re-read the invite, make sure my taxi is going to the right place (I’ve got that wrong before) and pare down my man bag to phone, keys, credit card and cash folded up to fit in my inside jacket pocket. I don’t put on my jacket until the last minute, to avoid sweating.

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Via:: How I get ready: Craig Revel Horwood

      

Beauty: daytime scents

By Sali Hughes

Our beauty editor particularly likes fragrance that comes in ornamental bottles

I feel no shame in admitting that, occasionally, it’s the packaging of a product that sparks my interest, at least initially. This is particularly true when it comes to scent, because one could argue that a perfume is as much an ornamental item as a beauty product – I get almost as much pleasure from seeing a Chanel No5 bottle on my junk-shop dressing table as I do from sniffing it on my wrist.

I would never discount a perfume on the grounds of naff packaging (I revere YSL’s Opium, for example), but a lovely atomiser is a pleasing cherry on top. Almost literally, in the case of Miu Miu’s first signature scent (£48, which became available nationwide earlier this week), which comes in an opaque blue-glass flacon topped with a red disc stopper. It’s the most gorgeous bottle I’ve seen in a long time, and I’m not too proud to say I squealed. While it’s slightly mad-looking, and surely not to everyone’s taste, more importantly, the perfume inside should please everyone. It’s a very wearable white flower blend, but not the sort that’s cloying, like week-old lilies polluting the entire house. It has a fizzy liveliness that feels cheering and a green note for those who demand freshness in their perfumes.

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Via:: Beauty: daytime scents

      

Crush of the week: Nicki Minaj

By Bim Adewunmi

She is more than just a damned fine rapper. She’s an important voice on the treatment of black women in entertainment and beyond

Slow-burn love is a beautiful thing. For me, it happened with sparkling water, green olives and Nicki Minaj. Now set in iron, my Minaj crush is a late-blooming and complex thing.

I first heard her rap during her bright pastel phase, when she wore colourful wigs and outfits. It was too much: I couldn’t get with that cartoon quality and foolishly dismissed her. Then I heard her on Kanye’s Monster, and damn near lost my mind. She raps in two voices, one vicious, the other simpering; the whole thing simmers with self-confidence and elevates the track several notches. Her look might have changed over the years (far less garish now), but her technique and political awareness have matured, too (as have mine).

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Via:: Crush of the week: Nicki Minaj

      

Fukushima: Japan ends evacuation of Naraha as ‘radiation at safe level’

By Associated Press in Naraha

The town’s 7,400 residents are allowed to return to their homes after the four-year-old evacuation order was lifted on Saturday

Related: Japan restarts first nuclear reactor since Fukushima disaster

The Japanese town of Naraha has lifted a 2011 evacuation order that sent all its 7,400 residents away after the nearby Fukushima nuclear plant was crippled by a tsunami that led to a meltdown and contamination.

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Via:: Fukushima: Japan ends evacuation of Naraha as ‘radiation at safe level’

      

China to build monument commemorating deadly Tianjin blasts: Xinhua

BEIJING (Reuters) – Chinese authorities in Tianjin will build a monument to commemorate the 160 people killed in two explosions in the northeastern port city last month, state media said on Saturday, citing local officials.

Via:: China to build monument commemorating deadly Tianjin blasts: Xinhua

      

Alaskan woman steals police car with husband handcuffed in back

By Guardian Staff

Woman drives off while state trooper was engaged with a passing motorist on an unrelated topic

An Alaskan woman accused of stealing a police car with her husband handcuffed in the back seat faces several charges including theft and hindering prosecution, troopers said on Friday.

The woman slipped into the patrol’s car and drove off on Wednesday while a state trooper was engaged with a passing motorist on an unrelated topic, a trooper dispatch report said.

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Via:: Alaskan woman steals police car with husband handcuffed in back

      

US Open 2015: Serena Williams survives scare against Bethanie Mattek-Sands

By Press Association in New York

  • World No1 comes back for 3-6, 7-5, 6-0 victory
  • ‘I’m not trying to live in the edge,’ says relieved champion

Serena Williams staged another dramatic fightback to beat American wild card Bethanie Mattek-Sands at the US Open and keep her calendar grand-slam dream alive.

Williams had come from a set down to win seven times in major tournaments this year and she added another escape to her list as the 21-time major champion battled through 3-6 ,7-5, 6-0.

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Via:: US Open 2015: Serena Williams survives scare against Bethanie Mattek-Sands

      

Lack of funds: World Food Programme drops aid to one-third of Syrian refugees

By Associated Press in Amman

Cutbacks come as growing numbers of Syrians who initially found refuge in neighbouring countries are trying to reach Europe

Related: First refugees arrive from Hungary after Austria and Germany open borders

The cash-strapped World Food Programme has had to drop one-third of Syrian refugees from its food voucher program in Middle Eastern host countries this year, including 229,000 in Jordan who stopped receiving food aid in September, a spokeswoman said.

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Via:: Lack of funds: World Food Programme drops aid to one-third of Syrian refugees

      

Buses take migrants west to Austria; Hungarian crackdown crumbles

BUDAPEST (Reuters) – Long lines of buses packed with migrants left Budapest bound for Austria on Saturday as Hungary gave in to determined crowds, including many Syrian refugees, who had set out on foot for western Europe in defiance of a right-wing government vowing to stem their tide.

Via:: Buses take migrants west to Austria; Hungarian crackdown crumbles

      

Buses take migrants west to Austria; Hungarian crackdown crumbles

BUDAPEST (Reuters) – Long lines of buses packed with migrants left Budapest bound for Austria on Saturday as Hungary gave in to determined crowds, including many Syrian refugees, who had set out on foot for western Europe in defiance of a right-wing government vowing to stem their tide.

Via:: Buses take migrants west to Austria; Hungarian crackdown crumbles

      

Guatemala’s ex-president Pérez Molina denies corruption charges

By Jo Tuckman in Mexico City

The retired general who became a politician listens impassively as prosecution plays hours of taped conversations

Guatemala’s former president Otto Pérez Molina has denied that he led a major customs corruption racket worth millions of dollars.

In a preliminary court hearing on Friday, the day after he resigned from office, he said: “I have the right to the presumption of innocence. I would never exchange my dignity for any quantity of money.”

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Via:: Guatemala’s ex-president Pérez Molina denies corruption charges

      

Global stocks end week lower after U.S. jobs data leaves Fed move unclear

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Stocks on major markets fell on Friday, closing out another tough week for equity markets, after the monthly U.S. employment report failed to provide a clear signal on the likelihood of the first Federal Reserve interest rate rise for nearly a decade later this month.

Via:: Global stocks end week lower after U.S. jobs data leaves Fed move unclear

      

Forget the ‘floating spoon’ on Mars, now there’s a whole cutlery set! Nasa’s Curiosity images reveal more strange shaped rocks on the red planet

Earlier this week, one group claims they have seen a ‘floating spoon’ on Mars. Now, a new wider version of the image reveals more ‘spoons’ and even something resembling a chopstick.

Via:: Forget the ‘floating spoon’ on Mars, now there’s a whole cutlery set! Nasa’s Curiosity images reveal more strange shaped rocks on the red planet

      

John Lewis’s sales echo wider retail woes with more than 3% fall

By Agencies

Department store’s figures down from last August, as high street sales saw biggest fall since height of financial crisis

John Lewis has reported a fourth week of falling sales in the latest sign that retailers endured a grim month in August.

The department store said sales for the week ending 29 August were £81.7m, down 3.4% compared with last year. They fell 5.9% in the previous week and were 3% lower over the four weeks to 29 August.

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Via:: John Lewis’s sales echo wider retail woes with more than 3% fall

      

Austria and Germany open borders to refugees travelling through Hungary

By Kevin Rawlinson and agencies

Austrian chancellor Werner Faymann confirms people placed on buses will be allowed to cross borders

Thousands of refugees making their way towards Germany and Austria from Hungary will be allowed to enter those two countries, the Austrian chancellor has said.

About 1,200 people were walking westwards through Hungary, while many more were still at Budapest’s main railway terminus. But late on Friday, Hungarian authorities announced they would put buses on to take the refugees to the Austrian border.

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Via:: Austria and Germany open borders to refugees travelling through Hungary

      

US Open 2015: Serena Williams v Bethanie Mattek-Sands – live!

By Bryan Armen Graham at Flushing Meadows

12.55am BST

First set: Williams 3-5 Mattek-Sands* (*denotes next server)

Williams with a service winner, then Mattek-Sands dumps a return into the net. Another mishit return by Mattek-Sands to go down 40-love. Serena double-faults – her second of the night – and it’s 40-15, but she closes out the hold with a volley winner. How will Mattek-Sands’s nerve hold up here as she tries to close out the first set on her serve?

12.52am BST

First set: *Williams 2-5 Mattek-Sands (*denotes next server)

Longest rally of the match at 16 strokes ends with a Serena winner, but Mattek-Sands levels it at 15-all with one of her own. Then Bethanie sprays a backhand wide to give Serena a half-chance at 15-30. Another serve and volley and Mattek-Sands puts away a volley winner to make it 30-all – her doubles instincts taking over once again. Williams passes an approaching Mattek-Sands to earn a break-point chance and lets out a scream to charge herself up. 30-40. Another volley winner by Mattek-Sands, who’s mixing her shots and approaches up very effectively, to save it. A Williams winner sails wide and Mattek-Sands will have a game point, then Serena nets a forehand to give Bethanie the hold. After the changeover the world No1 will serve to stay in the first set. One person who’s not concerened is loyal reader John McEnerney, who sends the following via Twitter.

@BryanAGraham in the middle of feeding my 6wk old twins & see SW in trouble, I’m sure she’ll be back in it by the time I get their wind up

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Via:: US Open 2015: Serena Williams v Bethanie Mattek-Sands – live!

      

Brain zaps ‘may ease travel sickness’

Using electricity to stimulate parts of the brain may ease the symptoms of motion sickness, scientists say.

Via:: Brain zaps ‘may ease travel sickness’

      

Seven-day GP opening ‘unachievable’

The goal of seven-day GP opening is unachievable in this Parliament and risks destabilising services, the Royal College of Surgeons says.

Via:: Seven-day GP opening ‘unachievable’