Al Capone’s Revolver Sold For Over £67,000

A handgun only ever used by American gangster Al Capone has been sold for £67,250 at an auction.

Al Capone's gun, a Colt .38, will be put up for auction on 22 June - expected to fetch more than $100,000.

The Colt .38 came with a letter of authentication from Capone's sister-in-law

The Colt .38 revolver was bought by a private collector at Christie's in London.

It came with a letter signed by Capone's sister-in-law confirming its authenticity.

The gun was made in May 1929, just months after the Chicago mobster ordered the murder of seven of his rivals in the infamous St Valentine's Day Massacre.

The victims were killed during clashes in the city between Capone's gang and a rival group.

New York-born Capone ruled the Chicago underworld in the 1920s through racketeering and profiting from a ban on alcohol – known as the prohibition era.

American gangster Al Capone ('Scarface') (1899 - 1947) poses for a portrait, showing off the scar that earned him his nickname, circa 1920s. (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

Capone ruled Chicago in the 1920s during the 'prohibition era'.

At that time, the Colt .38 would have been one of the most reliable and most easily concealed handguns available.

Howard Dixon, from Christies, said they knew the gun was only ever used by Capone.

"We have a letter dated 1976 from his sister-in-law, categorically stating that this gun was owned and used solely by Al Capone while he was alive and on his death passed to his brother Ralph," he said.

Izaguirre: I Am A Target For Manchester United


The Celtic defender Emilio Izaguirre claims he is being targeted by Manchester United. The 25-year-old Honduras international was a revelation last season after moving to Celtic Park from the Honduran side Motagua.

"Regarding possibilities, I prefer to stay silent as I did when Celtic signed me. This is a job of my agent," he said.

"I have to confirm it's 100% true that Manchester United were following me and were interested in me. It was Alex Ferguson directly who made contact with the Celtic directors.

"I am aware also that Manchester United and Celtic agreed for a meeting in July. We have to see what happens if I stay or I go.

"If I have the chance I welcome the move with open arms. If that is the case I will thank God and I will take my opportunity."

The Celtic manager Neil Lennon insists there has been no approach for Izaguirre or the Israel midfielder Beram Kayal.

"You're always going to get speculation about your best players. I understand that," said Lennon.

"But there's been no interest expressed in Beram or Emilio and I've had no one on the telephone enquiring about any other player if it comes to that. Every player has his price but I'm not prepared to sell my better ones and Emilio certainly comes into that category."

Fast Food Blamed For Diabetes Rise


More than 350 million people in the world now have diabetes, an international study has revealed. The analysis, published online by the Lancet on Saturday, adds several tens of millions to the previous estimate of the number of diabetics and indicates that the disease has become a major global health problem.

Diabetics have inadequate blood sugar control, a condition that can lead to heart disease and strokes, as well as damage to kidneys, nerves and the retina. About three million deaths a year are attributed to diabetes and associated conditions in which blood sugar levels are disrupted.

The dramatic and disturbing increase is blamed by scientists on the spread of a western-style diet to developing nations, which is causing rising levels of obesity. Researchers also say that increased life expectancy is playing a major role.

Type 2 is the most common type of diabetes, accounting for about 85-95% of cases, and is often tied to obesity. It develops when the body fails to produce enough insulin to break down glucose, inflating blood sugar levels. Type 1 diabetes is a separate auto-immune disorder.

"Diabetes is one of the biggest causes of mortality worldwide, and our study has shown that it is becoming more common almost everywhere. It is set to become the single largest burden on world health care systems," one of the study's main authors, Professor Majid Ezzati, of Imperial College London, told the Observer. "Many nations are going to find it very difficult to cope with the consequences."

This point was backed by Martin Tobias of the ministry of health in New Zealand in an accompanying editorial for the Lancet. As he states, there is "no worldwide surveillance network for diabetes, as there is for communicable diseases such as influenza". Given the inexorable rise in case numbers that is now occurring, there was now "an urgent need" to establish proper monitoring of the disease, he added.

The study – funded by the World Health Organisation and the Gates Foundation – analysed blood from 2.7 million participants aged 25 and over from across the world over a three-year period. Doctors measured levels of glucose in their blood after they had fasted for 12 to 14 hours – blood sugar rises after a meal.

If their glucose level fell below 5.6 millimoles per litre, they were considered healthy. If their reading topped 7, they were diagnosed as having diabetes, while a result that ranged between 5.6 and 7 indicated that a person was in a pre-diabetic state. Crucially, the study found that the average global level of glucose measured this way had risen for men and women.

The team then used advanced statistical methods to estimate prevalence rates among the participants. It was estimated that the number of adults with diabetes was 347 million, more than double the 153 million estimated in 1980 and considerably higher even than a 2009 study that put the number at 285 million. "We are not saying the previous study was a bad one," said Ezzati. "It is just that we have refined our methods a little more."

In percentage terms, the prevalence of male adult diabetics worldwide rose from 8.3% to 9.8% in that period, with adult females increasing from 7.5% to 9.2%. As to the causes, the team attribute 70% to ageing and 30% to the increased prevalence of other factors, with obesity and body mass the most important.

It was found that in the US glucose levels had risen at more than twice the rate of western Europe over the past three decades. In wealthy nations, diabetes and glucose levels were highest in the US, Malta, New Zealand and Spain, and lowest in the Netherlands, Austria and France. Despite its obesity epidemic, the UK's diabetes prevalence was lower than that of most other high-income countries. In a league of 27 western high-income countries, British men had the fifth lowest diabetes rates, while British women were eighth lowest.

Other badly affected countries included many Pacific island nations. As Ezzati put it: "There has been an explosion of cases there." In the Marshall Islands, for example, one in three women and one in four men has diabetes. Saudi Arabia was also reported to have very high rates. Glucose levels were also particularly high in south Asia, Latin America, the Caribbean, central Asia, north Africa and the Middle East. The region with the lowest glucose levels was sub-Saharan Africa, followed by east and south-east Asia. Eastern Europe's diabetes prevalence, while not low, also changed little over the three-decade period.

"Diabetes is a condition that is linked to long-term disability and we need to monitor how it is spreading very carefully or face the consequences."

The Lancet article comes after scientists said type 2 diabetes could be reversed in as little as seven days if sufferers went on a crash diet. Adherence to a strict 600 calorie-a-day diet causes fat levels in the pancreas to plummet, restoring normal function. Professor Roy Taylor, of Newcastle University, called the discovery a "radical change" in understanding type 2 diabetes.

• This article was amended on Saturday 25 June to make clear the distinction between type 2 diabetes, which accounts for between 85-95% of cases and has been linked to lifestyle, and type 1 diabetes, which is a separate auto-immune disorder.

Qatar Airways Named ‘Word’s Best Airline’

Qatar Airways Airbus A340 600 468x312 Qatar Airways named Worlds Best Airline

Airline review site Skytrax has named the best airlines of the year – based on surveys of passengers – at the Paris Air Show.

Qatar Airways beat Singapore Airlines to first place in the 2011 rankings, rising from third place, while Asiana dropped from the top of the table to take third place.

Cathay Pacific won fourth place in the overall rankings, while Thai Airways took fifth and Etihad took sixth at the awards, which were announced June 22.

The list of the top ten airlines in the world was notable for its lack of names from Europe and the Americas — four winners hailed from Asia, four from the Middle East/Africa and two from Oceania.

AirAsia was voted the world’s best low-cost airline, while China Southern was voted the most-improved airline.

Its competitor, Hainan Airlines, took best Chinese airline only months after joining the exclusive club of the world’s five-star airlines earlier this year.

For comfort at the airport, British Airways and Qatar Airways took prizes for business and first class respectively, although for comfort in the sky flyers may want to stick with Asiana Airlines, the recipient of the best cabin staff award.

Best in-flight entertainment went to Emirates for its ICE inflight entertainment system.

The awards were based on votes from 18.8 million airline customers from 100 different countries.

TOP 10 Airline 2011

1. Qatar Airways
2. Singapore Airlines
3. Asiana Airlines
4. Cathay Pacific
5. Thai Airways
6. Etihad Airways
7. Air New Zealand
8. Qantas Airways
9. Turkish Airlines
10. Emirates

2011 Skytrack Worlds Best Airlines category 468x310 Qatar Airways named Worlds Best Airline

Ramadhan Prayer Timetable 2011


Ramadhan Prayer Timetable for London available at Salama Trust online charity shop (Salama Direct) click here

Also available Alnoor Centre Barking, 11-13 Broadway, Kal’s Shop, Vicarage Shopping Centre Barking, Manor Park Madrasa, Carlyle Road and Duka la Sadi, Station Road. Selling at £1 each. All money goes to charity. Ramadhan Kareem.

Top British Artists To Design 2012 Olympic Posters


Posters for next year's Olympics and Paralympics will be designed by top British artists including Howard Hodgkin, Bridget Riley, Tracey Emin and Chris Ofili, it was announced.

The 12 commissioned artists were named to coincide with the one-year countdown to next year's London 2012 festival – part of the Cultural Olympiad celebrations – which opens on 21 June .

Among those on the panel that whittled more than 100 names from the art world down to 12 was the Tate's director, Sir Nicholas Serota, who predicted "colour, vitality, energy and diversity" in the 2012 posters that will be seen all over the capital next year.

Six male and six female artists have been chosen. The others asked to create a piece were Fiona Banner, Michael Craig-Martin, Martin Creed, Anthea Hamilton, Gary Hume, Sarah Morris, Bob and Roberta Smith and Rachel Whiteread.

The posters are still at the design stage but Emin, who will create one for the Paralympics, said she wanted to do something that celebrated the coolness of London.

She is considering drawing prominent landmarks such as the London Eye and the houses of parliament, adding words that offer encouragement to the participants. She is still working on her final design.

Emin said she was surprised but pleased to be asked.

"The posters are intrinsic to the Olympics, they are the things that are going to stay around," she added.

She had been sent a book of posters from previous games, she said, but was unlikely to take inspiration from the designs.

"A lot of them are about values which aren't so important now," she said. "I'm interested in the party side – the celebration."

The artists have been asked to produce a poster that is identifiable with their own style. "For me, that could be a bit tricky," Emin admitted. "The poster has got to be for everybody and it has got to be a celebration of London. The Olympics is going to show the world that London can really throw a good party. It is going to give everyone a high."

Hodgkin is the only one of the artists of the 12 who has experience in this area, having been commissioned by Andy Warhol to produce a poster for the 1984 Sarajevo Olympics.

Hodgkin said he had a pragmatic reason for agreeing to the Olympic commission.

"I said yes because I thought it would be nice for a lot of people to see my work," he said.

His enthusiasm for the Olympics was also rather more muted than some, as he admitted looking forward to it "only in so far as there'll be something else to see on the telly".

One of the younger artists on the list of 12 is Anthea Hamilton, who was clearly more enthused by the games than Hodgkin: "It's really exciting – you can feel the tension building in the city," she said. She called the commission "a big honour and a nice surprise", adding: "I get a lot of the images which I use to make my work from the city, everyday life and mass media, so the idea that I'll get to make a work that goes back into that is a really nice way for me to develop."

The London 2012 festival, which celebrates the Olympics through the arts, will feature artists such as the late Pina Bausch, Plan B, Mike Leigh, Leona Lewis, Miranda Hart and Damon Albarn.

Tickets for the festival go on sale in October but many events are free, including one of the first and most intriguing, which takes place on Lake Windermere in Cumbria. The spectacular show with music, drumming and pyrotechnics features the French company Les Commandos Percu.

London's mayor, Boris Johnson, said: "A year from today, on midsummer's day, the festivities will begin with the launch of the London 2012 festival.

"The capital will be alive with extraordinary music, film, art, poetry, performance – a festival on a scale never before seen to celebrate the greatest sporting show on Earth."

Roger Federer: Wimbledon Is About Winning Title, Not Beating Rafael Nadal


Returning to the All England Club this week to resume his love affair with a leafy corner of London, Roger Federer has clearly lost none of his passion for the old place.

‘When I see the ivy on the walls, the green and purple colours…it’s what it’s all about and it still gives me such a buzz,’ says the six-time Wimbledon champion, displaying the effortless grace off court he is famed for on it.

‘It’s the place where my heroes won, where I loved watching [Boris] Becker and [Stefan] Edberg when I was growing up.

‘I’ve always loved it and really enjoy the English crowd – I have done since day one – and always feel very natural out there. It’s a very special place to be and I have so many great memories.’

His boyhood heroes have spent most of the past decade watching Federer sweep all before him, overshadowing their achievements and those of everyone else who ever picked up a racket.

With a record 16 grand slam titles and the big three-oh approaching, Federer could be forgiven for letting up a little. But he still has goals, not least winning Wimbledon again to match Pete Sampras’ seven triumphs.

A dream scenario for Federer would surely be to beat Rafael Nadal, his successor as world No.1 and current holder of three slams – including Wimbledon.

‘Not at all,’ he claims. ‘It’s not about who I beat, it’s all about the seventh title. I’ve beaten Rafa twice in Wimbledon finals and I just have to concentrate on my game.

‘But I know I can’t get over-excited or carried away thinking about the seventh title – I nearly lost in the first round last year [coming from two sets down to beat Alejandro Falla] and know it will be tough again this year. I just have to be in top shape.’

Part of his preparation has been some time off in the wake of a French Open final defeat to Nadal, but the need to put his feet up and forego any grass-court match action ahead of Wimbledon should not be seen as a sign of age or weakness.

‘People talk about me as if I’m 35 but I’m still only 29 – all right, nearly 30 – and feel as good as ever,’ Federer added. ‘I feel a lot better now than I did a couple of years ago when I was playing with back pain. At one point I was resigned to having pain for the rest of my career, like plenty of other players have, but I worked extremely hard to overcome it and it’s paid off.

‘It’s so nice playing without that cloud over my head and just to be free of pain. Now I can really enjoy being on Centre Court again.’

Good news for Federer, but probably not so good for his rivals.

‘I hope they enjoy playing me,’ added the Swiss legend. ‘I hope people enjoy writing about me too – and that the crowd still enjoys watching me.’

Well, two out of three ain’t bad. Something tells me most title hopefuls would rather not tackle the tennis titan at his favourite venue, but people love watching and writing about the Artful Roger. I suspect they always will.

Watch Roger Federer in the world’s biggest shave in the video below.

Cyber Hacker Steal Sega User Information


Gaming giant Sega has become the latest hacking victim to have its user data exposed.

An email was sent by Sega to its customers using the Sega Pass system on Friday admitting personal details including email addresses, dates of birth and protected passwords had been taken.

But the company said no financial information was stolen.

The system was taken offline on Thursday as user passwords were reset, but at the time of writing the Sega Pass system was still unavailable online.

Sega users have been alerted that they might receive suspicious emails asking for personal details.

The email from Sega to customers said: "We have launched an investigation into the extent of the breach of our public systems.

"We have identified that a subset of Sega Pass members' emails addresses, dates of birth and encrypted passwords were obtained. To stress, none of the passwords obtained were stored in plain text.

"Please note that no personal payment information was stored by Sega as we use external payment providers, meaning your payment details were not at risk from this intrusion."

The Sega cyber attack follows similar thefts targeting Sony and games company, Codemasters.

In June personal information and passwords were stolen from Codemasters, but again no financial details were taken.

Earlier this year, the Sony PlayStation network suffered two hacker attacks causing one of the worst security lapses ever.

One hundred million games console users may have had their personal data stolen.

The hackers who claimed responsibility for the Sony attacks, LulzSec, have apparently denied the Sega security breach.

A Tweet using the account @LulzSec said: "@Sega – contact us. We want to help you destroy the hackers that attacked you."

1.2m Missed Out On Olympic Tickets


Nearly two-thirds of the 1.9 million people who applied for London 2012 Olympics tickets were left empty-handed in the first round of sales, organisers have said.

London 2012 chief executive Paul Deighton said they were "very sorry" about the disappointment faced by the 1.2 million people who missed out.

There have been 700,000 successful applications and three million tickets sold in the first round. "That is a huge number of tickets by any historical comparison," Mr Deighton said.

A total of 21 events have sold out altogether, with only limited availability for others.

The battle to turn around the clear public disappointment begins on June 24 at 6am when the second round sales window for unsold tickets opens.

Anyone who missed out will be at the front of the queue for the 2.3 million tickets available in this batch of sales.

This will include 1.7 million tickets for Olympics football matches played at large stadiums nationwide and 600,000 for other sports including hockey and volleyball. Sales levels so far have put London 2012 on track to make £400 million, of its £500 million target from ticket revenues, by the end of the second phase.

There were 1.3 million applications for the men's 100m final, five million in total for the athletics and two million for the opening ceremony, including 1.5 million who hoped for a £20.12 seat. There will be 30,000 tickets for the men's 100m final at the 80,000-seater Olympic Stadium that will be sold to the British public.

So far 21,000 – half in the more expensive A, B and C categories and half in the D and E categories -have been sold in the first round. The remaining 9,000 will go on sale next year.

The rest of the stadium will be made up of a further 30,000 tickets given to sponsors, hospitality, international sales and international sporting federations, and the rest to the media and IOC officials.