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Father of American aid worker Kayla Mueller say ‘it’s not easy’ to hear about her torture and death

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father of american aid worker kayla mueller say its not easy to hear about her torture and death

The parents of Kayla Mueller have told DailyMail.com that it’s ‘not easy’ learning that two ISIS ‘Beatles’ held in connection with their daughter’s capture in Syria have finally admitted their involvement in her brutal torture and death.

American aid worker Kayla was captured and held hostage in Syria, where she was sexually abused and tortured before she died aged 26 in 2015.

Speaking to DailyMail.com her father Carl said: ‘It’s not easy to go through this, it’s been five years since Kayla has been gone, a year and a half before that she was captured, it’s hard, very hard.’

Alexanda Kotey and El Shafee Elsheikh, who are both in U.S. military custody in Iraq, had previously denied ever meeting Mueller, but in interview tapes obtained by NBC News they came clean.

Kayla Mueller was held hostage in Syria, where she was sexually abused and tortured before her death in 2015

Kayla Mueller was held hostage in Syria, where she was sexually abused and tortured before her death in 2015

Kayla Mueller was held hostage in Syria, where she was sexually abused and tortured before her death in 2015

Speaking to DailyMail.com her father Carl said: 'It's not easy to go through this, it's been five years since Kayla has been gone, a year and a half before that she was captured, it's hard, very hard.' Carl is pictured with her mother Marsha

Speaking to DailyMail.com her father Carl said: 'It's not easy to go through this, it's been five years since Kayla has been gone, a year and a half before that she was captured, it's hard, very hard.' Carl is pictured with her mother Marsha

Speaking to DailyMail.com her father Carl said: ‘It’s not easy to go through this, it’s been five years since Kayla has been gone, a year and a half before that she was captured, it’s hard, very hard.’ Carl is pictured with her mother Marsha 

Alexanda Kotey

Alexanda Kotey

El Shafee Elsheikh

El Shafee Elsheikh

Alexanda Kotey (left) and El Shafee Elsheikh (right), who are both in U.S. military custody in Iraq, had previously denied ever meeting Mueller, but came clean in new taped interviews

Mueller, an international aid worker, was abducted in Syria in 2013. During her captivity, she was raped by the former ISIS leader, Abu Bakr al Baghdadi, U.S. officials have said.

Baghdadi killed himself with a suicide vest as American commandos closed in on him in a daring raid.

Kotey and Elsheikh are two of the four so-called ISIS ‘Beatles’, a sadistic hostage-taking execution squad responsible for beheading numerous Western captives, including Americans James Foley, Steven Sotloff and Peter Kassig.

The other two ‘Beatles’ are Mohammed Emmwazi, aka ‘Jihadi John’, who was killed by a CIA drone strike in 2015, and Aine Lesley Davis, who was sentenced to seven and a half years in prison in Turkey in 2017.

Though Kotey and Elsheikh are British citizens, the UK has rejected calls to put them on trial there. Former British Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson called them the ‘worst of the worst’ and said they should ‘never set foot in this country again’.

The U.S. is now contemplating how to bring Kotey and Elsheikh to justice in an American court, but the effort has been stymied by UK allies, who refuse to turn over crucial evidence against the duo because they would face the death penalty.

ISIS reportedly demanded 5 million euros from Mueller's family, telling them that that they would send 'a picture of Kayla's dead body' if their demands were not met

ISIS reportedly demanded 5 million euros from Mueller's family, telling them that that they would send 'a picture of Kayla's dead body' if their demands were not met

ISIS reportedly demanded 5 million euros from Mueller’s family, telling them that that they would send ‘a picture of Kayla’s dead body’ if their demands were not met 

Mohammed Emmwazi, aka 'Jihadi John'

Mohammed Emmwazi, aka 'Jihadi John'

Mohammed Emmwazi, aka 'Jihadi John'

Mohammed Emmwazi, aka 'Jihadi John'

Mohammed Emmwazi, aka ‘Jihadi John’, (left and right) was killed by a CIA drone strike in 2015

Mr Mueller said it’s time for the Brits to hand the men over to face justice in America.

‘We’ve been pursuing this for a long long time, the whole thing is stalemated because of the British government, so our intent is to get this information out to the public,’ he said.

‘We hope that the British government will quit procrastinating on this decision so that our government can follow through and prosecute these guys.’

His wife Marsha said the family hopes there can be some ‘comfort’ in the ISIS admission.

‘We hope so, we just want to not let our kids be forgotten. It’s been a busy week or so.’

On Thursday, the family members of Kotey and Elsheikh’s victims, including Mueller’s parents Marsha and Carl, published an op-ed in the Washington Post calling for the duo to be brought to trial in America. 

‘We implore President Trump, Attorney General William P. Barr and the Justice Department to have the detainees brought to the United States to face trial,’ the families wrote.

‘There is no nation on Earth better at bringing terrorists to justice than the United States,’ they added.   

Though Kotey (left) and Elsheikh (right) are British citizens, the UK has rejected calls to put them on trial there, and refused to share crucial evidence with America

Though Kotey (left) and Elsheikh (right) are British citizens, the UK has rejected calls to put them on trial there, and refused to share crucial evidence with America

Though Kotey (left) and Elsheikh (right) are British citizens, the UK has rejected calls to put them on trial there, and refused to share crucial evidence with America

In interview tapes obtained by NBC News, Elsheikh said: ‘She was in a large room, it was dark, and she was alone, and … she was very scared.’

The members of the cruel execution squad were dubbed the ‘Beatles’ because of their British accents.

‘I took an email from her myself,’ Elsheikh admitted, meaning he got an email address ISIS could use to demand ransom from the family. Said Kotey: ‘She was in a room by herself that no one would go in.’ 

ISIS reportedly demanded 5 million euros from Mueller’s family, telling them that they would send ‘a picture of Kayla’s dead body’ if their demands were not met. 

The families say that U.S. federal court is the best venue to expose to the world the vile crimes committed by the duo. 

‘They did so much horror to so many people,’ Marsha Mueller told NBC News. ‘They need to be brought here. They need to be prosecuted.’ 

‘The other thing that’s really important to me about this is I need information about Kayla. We know so little about what happened to her,’ she said.

She added, ‘I believe these two have more information than they’re sharing with us. And I believe that we would find out more if they were brought here.’

ISIS said that Mueller was killed near Raqa in February 2015 during an air raid carried out by the US-led international coalition against the jihadists, although the exact circumstances of her death remain unclear.

Her body was never found, leaving a sliver of hope for her parents that she might still be alive.

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BRIAN VINER reviews A Life On Our Planet

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brian viner reviews a life on our planet

David Attenborough: A Life On Our Planet

Verdict: Powerful and important 

Rating: rating showbiz 5

About 25 years ago, I had the pleasure of interviewing Sir David Attenborough. He was already regarded as a kind of wise, benign uncle to the nation. Now he’s 94, maybe we should think of him as a great-great uncle.

Sitting alone with him for an hour in a room at BBC Television Centre, asking him questions about his remarkable life and career, was, as you can imagine, one of the privileges of my own career.

But I vividly remember being surprised to find that the great man could be fierce, waspish, even a little profane. 

It wasn’t a side to him we had ever seen on our TV screens. Here was a fellow, I sensed, who, even while radiating old-world courtesy and charm, didn’t suffer fools gladly.

In his latest powerful and important film David Attenborough: A Life On Our Planet, which is getting a global cinema premiere on Monday before a Netflix release six days later, we finally see flashes of Attenborough’s anger

In his latest powerful and important film David Attenborough: A Life On Our Planet, which is getting a global cinema premiere on Monday before a Netflix release six days later, we finally see flashes of Attenborough’s anger

In his latest powerful and important film, which is getting a global cinema premiere on Monday before a Netflix release six days later, we finally see flashes of Attenborough’s anger. 

However, his principal emotion is sadness, verging on grief, as with the help of lots of damning statistics he details the many ways in which humankind has, during the span of his own lifetime, wrecked the biodiversity on which all living creatures rely.

The planet has been forced to suffer fools, and not at all gladly.

It is a universal message made all the more potent for being so profoundly personal. Attenborough presents the film as his own ‘witness statement’, which might sound presumptuous, pompous even, coming from anyone else.

But just as the young footballer Marcus Rashford’s campaign to end child hunger takes its moral force from deprivation not so long ago in his own childhood, so Attenborough, at the other end of the age scale, is uniquely weaponised to explain why rampant deforestation, overfishing and reliance on fossil fuels have been so cataclysmic.

Attenborough's principal emotion is sadness, verging on grief, as with the help of lots of damning statistics he details the many ways in which humankind has, during the span of his own lifetime, wrecked the biodiversity on which all living creatures rely

Attenborough’s principal emotion is sadness, verging on grief, as with the help of lots of damning statistics he details the many ways in which humankind has, during the span of his own lifetime, wrecked the biodiversity on which all living creatures rely

He has footage of himself 60 years ago in East Africa, 50 years ago in New Guinea, to submit as evidence of what the planet was, and what it is now. 

Dramatised glimpses of boyhood cycling expeditions into the countryside, which could be twee but aren’t, remind us that the study and appreciation of the natural world has been his life’s passion.

We know he is not tossing us an empty platitude when he says that biodiversity is ‘a finely tuned life-support system’ without which humankind cannot survive. 

‘It’s not about saving the planet, it’s about saving ourselves,’ he says, for once looking his age, but as adept as ever at matching the phrase to the picture.

The ocean’s coral reefs, he observes, over a shot of one of them bleached almost to extinction, have gone from ‘wonderland to wasteland’.

Of course, climate-change sceptics and big-game hunters will look on all this as the sentimental ramblings of an old man, and see the decision to bookend the film with shots of the benighted urban landscape near Chernobyl, abandoned by humanity after the 1986 nuclear calamity, as a gimmick.

   

More from Brian Viner For The Daily Mail…

From where I was sitting, it seemed a masterstroke. A Life On Our Planet starts arrestingly, with Attenborough roaming a derelict Ukrainian building, explaining that Chernobyl is widely regarded as the most costly environmental disaster in human history. Wrong, he says. ‘The true tragedy of our lives is still unfolding.’

If all this sounds oppressively gloomy, even without any reference to the current pandemic, which the making of the film appears to pre-date, don’t be put off. 

There are still plenty of those shots of Attenborough, as familiar to us as our own family photograph albums, cosying up to gorillas and fraternising with penguins.

Indeed, the film ends on an upbeat note, back near Chernobyl with animals roaming those abandoned buildings, greenery erupting everywhere and imagined images of a futuristic world in which biodiversity has been restored.

With or without us, nature will find a way to rebuild, he says. But we can still make sure it’s with us. 

The usual rider — ‘but only if we act decisively now’ — is given welcome added impetus as he considers the example of Costa Rica, where the government has given landowners grants to plant trees, and forests are burgeoning again, as well as the impact everywhere of renewable energy and evidence that population growth may at last be slowing down.

I’m tempted to say we’ll see. But the whole point is that we won’t see; our descendants will. Maybe they will also be able to point to David Attenborough’s long-ago witness statement as an example of a warning that was heeded. We can only hope.

  • In cinemas on Monday, followed by a Netflix release on October 4.

Enola Holmes (Netflix)

Verdict: Solid family fun 

Rating: rating showbiz 3

It would come as news to Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, but Enola Holmes is Sherlock’s younger sister, invented by the American author Nancy Springer and now incarnated on screen by the talented British actress Millie Bobby Brown. 

She is also, at the tender age of 16, one of the producers of a film envisaged as the first of, that dreaded word, a franchise.

Brown is splendid as the spirited Enola, raised by her mother Eudoria (Helena Bonham Carter) to be resourceful and self-sufficient: not for nothing does Enola spell ‘Alone’ backwards.

It would come as news to Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, but Enola Holmes is Sherlock’s younger sister, invented by the American author Nancy Springer and now incarnated on screen by the talented British actress Millie Bobby Brown

It would come as news to Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, but Enola Holmes is Sherlock’s younger sister, invented by the American author Nancy Springer and now incarnated on screen by the talented British actress Millie Bobby Brown

Bonham Carter gives one of those performances as a wild-haired maverick that she could probably knock off before breakfast; while a top-notch supporting cast also includes Henry Cavill as Sherlock, Sam Claflin as the other Holmes brother, Mycroft, and a couple of grand theatrical powerhouses in Fiona Shaw and Frances de la Tour. 

But this is Brown’s show, to the extent that director Harry Bradbeer, whose credits most significantly feature the TV drama Fleabag, gets her ‘doing a Fleabag’ by conspiratorially glancing directly at the camera.

It is becoming an overused device but here it helps the narrative romp along, as Enola runs away to London to escape her cruel governess (Shaw) and, more importantly, to find her mother, who has mysteriously disappeared.

Written by Jack Thorne, whose own most significant credit in the context of this film is probably the stage production Harry Potter And The Cursed Child, it is all highly contrived, anachronistically presenting Enola as a very modern kind of adventurer while cramming in every possible late-Victorian cliché. But it’s also solid family fun.

Blackbird (digital download, 15)

Verdict: Mawkish and unconvincing 

Rating: rating showbiz 2

Blackbird is a remake of a Danish film about a woman, Lily (Susan Sarandon, left) in the grip of a terrible degenerative disease, whose doctor husband (Sam Neill, right) has agreed to carry out a mercy killing

Blackbird is a remake of a Danish film about a woman, Lily (Susan Sarandon, left) in the grip of a terrible degenerative disease, whose doctor husband (Sam Neill, right) has agreed to carry out a mercy killing

Blackbird has a great cast, too, but sadly in the service of a mawkish story, a remake of a Danish film about a woman, Lily (Susan Sarandon) in the grip of a terrible degenerative disease, whose doctor husband (Sam Neill) has agreed to carry out a mercy killing.

Kate Winslet and Mia Wasikowska play her daughters, and Lindsay Duncan her best friend from college days. Just as promisingly, the director is Roger Michell, who made Notting Hill and the excellent forthcoming film The Duke.

But Blackbird, despite heart-tugging moments, is a disappointment: an unconvincing, unevenly scripted family drama.

This post first appeared on dailymail.co.uk

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Mum discovers a magic stone that has banished stains from EVERY corner of her home

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mum discovers a magic stone that has banished stains from every corner of her home

An Australian woman who claimed nothing could lift a yellow stain on her bathroom bench top or banish rust from her taps has found success with a little ‘magic stone’ she purchased on the internet.

The woman, who lives in New South Wales, bought the sell-out Universal Stone for $39.95 off Neat Inspiration and decided to share the unique find in the Mums Who Clean Facebook group.   

‘Hey guys, thought I would post this product I have found in case it helps someone,’ she said.

BEFORE: Her tap had a rusted stain on it

AFTER: A few swipes of the magic stone fixed it in seconds

The woman, who lives in New South Wales, bought the sell-out Universal Stone for $39.95 off Neat Inspiration and decided to share the unique find on the Mums Who Clean Facebook group

‘After trying every product I could find on supermarket shelves to get this stain out of my bathroom bench top and marks off the tap with no success, I decided to try this Universal Stone that I purchased online.

The Universal Stone is $39.95 online

The Universal Stone is $39.95 online

‘I even used it on the mirror which is now completely streak-free and shiny. These results are after minimal scrubbing. The price is a little up there but it cleans pretty much everything and it’s a solid mass so it goes a long way.’

She shared photos of her bathroom cleaning success alongside the review, with all stains and markings completely disappeared in a matter of minutes. 

‘Wow it looks amazing! I have the same issue with my bathroom bench tops,’ one woman commented. 

‘That looks so good. I think I need to invest in one,’ said another.

Owners of the stone only need to rub the surface for it to foam with non-toxic soap, before scrubbing objects and appliances around the house with its non-abrasive outer layer.

BEFORE: A yellow stain the woman couldn't remove from the bench top

AFTER: It was quickly removed with the stone

Owners of the stone need only to rub the surface for it to foam with non-toxic soap, before scrubbing surfaces around the house with its non-abrasive outer layer

It’s made from six simple ingredients: Soapflakes, green soap, vegetable oils, glycerine, polishing clay earth and lemon essential oil. 

Other reviews online have said it ‘works when nothing else does’ on stained microwaves and kitchen stove tops.

‘This is so awesome to have around the house. I used it on my stainless steel fridge because it had fingerprints on it… I tried everything on it to get them off but this was all that worked,’ one person said.

‘This is the only thing I’ve found that works to clean shower doors. Excellent product,’ said another.

While it’s currently sold out on Neat Inspiration it can also be purchased on Amazon

This post first appeared on dailymail.co.uk

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Bradley Walsh ‘boosts his earnings by £2M as he’s lined up to host Blankety Blank revival’

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bradley walsh boosts his earnings by 2m as hes lined up to host blankety blank revival

Bradley Walsh has reportedly seen his earnings boosted by £2 million, making him the UK’s highest-paid presenters behind Ant and Dec.

Accounts filed by his Wingit Productions show The Chase frontman, 60, has funds valued at around £11.5 million, up from £9.5 million the previous year.

It comes following reports that Bradley is being lined up to host a revival of the iconic game show Blankety Blank and has signed a big-money deal to front the series. 

Cashing in: Bradley Walsh, 60, has reportedly seen his earnings boosted by £2 million thanks to his work on various shows including The Chase (pictured)

Cashing in: Bradley Walsh, 60, has reportedly seen his earnings boosted by £2 million thanks to his work on various shows including The Chase (pictured)

Along with hosting daytime staple The Chase, Bradley has also fronted the travel series Breaking Dad alongside his son Barney, and has recently starred in Doctor Who.

A source told The Sun: ‘Bradley regularly polls internally as one of ITV’s most liked stars. Viewers adore him, and he can turn his hand to pretty much any form of broadcasting.

‘When it comes to taking on new work, he can basically name his price.’  

MailOnline has contacted representatives for Bradley Walsh for comment.

Rich: It's been claimed that Bradley's income makes him the UK's highest paid presenter behind Ant McPartlin and Declan Donnelly

Rich: It’s been claimed that Bradley’s income makes him the UK’s highest paid presenter behind Ant McPartlin and Declan Donnelly

This comes just days after it was reported that Bradley has been recruited by the BBC to host a revival of cult TV series Blankety Blank.

According to The Sun, the star is at the helms of a pilot that was commissioned by the national broadcaster to bring back the game show.

Blankety Blank debuted in 1979 and was hosted by Terry Wogan before Les Dawson took over in 1984, followed by Paul O’Grady as Lily Savage from 1996 to 1997 and again from 2001 to 2002 on ITV.  

Comeback: This comes just days after it was reported that Bradley has been recruited by the BBC to host a revival of cult TV series Blankety Blank

Comeback: This comes just days after it was reported that Bradley has been recruited by the BBC to host a revival of cult TV series Blankety Blank

A source told the publication: ‘Blankety Blank was massive for the BBC and revisiting it seemed like a great idea in the current climate.

‘Bradley is the favourite to be the new host but bosses behind the reboot also have discussed Paddy McGuinness and Rylan Clark as potential hosts. 

‘A pilot is being filmed later this year and if it’s a success, it’ll go on to become a new series. Everyone is confident it’ll be a hit and it’s a perfect fit for Saturday night.’

The source added that the show is likely to have a prime time spot if it goes ahead while plenty of cash will be pumped into it.   

Favourite: Blankety Blank aired throughout the 1980s where it was hosted for many years by Les Dawson

Favourite: Blankety Blank aired throughout the 1980s where it was hosted for many years by Les Dawson

MailOnline has contacted representatives for Bradley and the BBC for comment. 

Blankety Blank saw members of the public attempt to fill in the missing word in a sentence, with the objective being to match their answers with the answers of a panel of six celebrities.

The winner often came away with a disappointing prize or the famous Blankety Blank chequebook.

At the height of its popularity, the series would attract 20million viewers a night.

Blankety Blank was brought back in 2004 for a special one-off episode for BBC’s annual Children In Need telethon, with original host Terry Wogan reprising his role.

The series was said to not always be popular with BBC bosses as some considered it too low-brow.

Original: Terry Wogan was the game show's first host, presenting from 1979 to 1983 before he presented a one off special in 2004

Original: Terry Wogan was the game show’s first host, presenting from 1979 to 1983 before he presented a one off special in 2004 

Terry Wogan appeared to agree with this to a certain extent, previously remarking that the show was: ‘a bit noisy, all those bells ringing and lights flashing – the sort of thing ITV usually do’.  

Blankety Blank was last on screen in 2016 when David Walliams hosted a special episode on ITV.

He was joined by a celebrity panel made up of Anne Robinson, Louis Walsh, Brooke Vincent, Joe Lycett, Lesley Joseph and the Chuckle Brothers. 

It comes after Bradley was previously reported by the Daily Star to be one of the top earning stars in the entertainment business.

Bradley has made his cash from serving as host of The Chase for 11 years while he has also hosted the spin-off show Beat The Chasers as well as celebrity and family versions. 

The TV star is also known for his role as Graham O’Brien in Doctor Who opposite Jodie Whittaker.

History: Paul O'Grady was the third host of Blankety Blank under his alter ego of Lily Savage

History: Paul O’Grady was the third host of Blankety Blank under his alter ego of Lily Savage 

Bradley has also had further financial success thanks to his music career, having released two albums so far.

His debut effort, Chasing Dreams, sold 110,000 copies and was reportedly the best-selling debut album by a British artist in 2016, beating out Zayn Malik’s first solo album Mind of Mine. 

According to The Sun, Bradley received an additional £6.5 million from the closure of company Elevenses in 2016 while he is also said to own a five-bedroom mansion with a pool in Essex.

It marks an astonishing level of success for the TV presenter who was living in a £98,000 terraced house in East London as recently as 2000.

Bradley’s TV career began in the 1980s and he is also known for his role as Danny Baldwin on Coronation Street and as DS Ronnie Brooks in Law & Order: UK.

A source said: 'Blankety Blank was massive for the BBC and revisiting it seemed like a great idea in the current climate'

A source said: ‘Blankety Blank was massive for the BBC and revisiting it seemed like a great idea in the current climate’

This post first appeared on dailymail.co.uk

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