TIME Television

Jeremy Clarkson’s Dismissal from BBC Celebrated by Argentinians

Jeremy Clarkson in London in 2012.
Ian Gavan — Getty Images Jeremy Clarkson in London in 2012.

BBC announced Wednesday it would not be renewing Jeremy Clarkson's contract after an 'unprovoked physical attack' on producer Oisin Tymon

Many Argentinians were delighted to hear the news of the BBC refusing to renew Jeremy Clarkson’s contract as host of Top Gear, after a controversy sparked during filming in the South American country last year.

Clarkson drove a vehicle with a license plate apparently referencing the bloody 1982 Falklands War, which left 649 Argentine and 255 British military personnel dead. Clarkson’s ‘H982 FKL’ license plate sparked outrage among locals, who pelted the Top Gear crew’s vehicles with stones.

The BBC said the license plate was a coincidence and not intended to reference the war, while Clarkson wrote on Twitter that they had done “nothing wrong.” The Argentinian ambassador to the U.K., Alicia Castro, demanded an apology from the BBC and accused Clarkson of “fabricating a horror story” and seeking “to portray Argentinians as savages.”

A few months on, Argentinian news articles discussing the end of Clarkson’s career at the BBC have seen a flurry of comments from Argentinians who are overjoyed to see the presenter go. One commented on the Clarin newspaper’s website: “This is what happens when you mock the Malvinas,” using the Spanish name for the Falkland Islands. According to the Daily Express, one person called Clarkson a “disrespectful pig” and another merely said his fate was “Karma.”

Read next: Russian military TV offers Jeremy Clarkson a job

TIME celebrities

Can You Tell The Difference Between Lena Dunham’s Dog And her Jewish Boyfriend?

Lena Dunham and Jack Antonoff
Jamie McCarthy—Getty Images Lena Dunham and Jack Antonoff attend the "Girls" season four series premiere after party at The Museum of Natural History in New York City on Jan. 5, 2015.

Readers are divided over whether Dunham's quiz is funny or just plain offensive

Writing in The New Yorker this week, Lena Dunham asked readers to guess whether a number of statements apply to a) her dog or b) her Jewish boyfriend. While some have criticized Dunham for perpetuating tired stereotypes, others have been tweeting it, praising Dunham’s sense of humor.

Read some of her statements below and decide for yourself:

– We love to spend hours in bed together on Sunday mornings

– He’s crazy for cream cheese

– I feel that he is judgmental about the food I serve him. When I make something from scratch, he doesn’t want to eat it, but he also rejects most store-bought dinners.

Read the rest here.

Read next: What If Michael Bay Directed Girls?

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TIME LGBT

The 10 Cities With the Highest LGBT Percentage in the U.S.

A Gallup survey found that 3.6% of adults across the nation consider themselves gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender

The San Francisco metropolitan area has a higher percentage of adults who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender than any other city in the country, a new survey found.

Gallup’s poll of the 50 largest metropolitan areas in the U.S. found that 6.2% of San Franciscans identify as LGBT, which is 2.6 percentage points higher than the national average. The city, named the “Gay Capital of the U.S.” by LIFE magazine in 1964, has a long history of a politically active LGBT community.

The other high-ranking cities in the Gallup survey included Portland, Ore., Austin, New Orleans, Seattle, Boston, Salt Lake City, Los Angeles, Denver and Hartford, Conn.

Since the Census Bureau has never asked people about sexual orientation, the Gallup analysis is the most detailed portrait of LGBT demography yet. It is based on a survey of 374, 325 adults and was conducted between June 2012 and December 2014.

TIME Books

The Wit and Wisdom of Terry Pratchett

"Death isn't cruel, merely terribly, terribly good at his job"

As the world mourns the loss of fantasy author Terry Pratchett, who died Thursday at the age of 66 after a battle with early onset Alzheimer’s disease, here are some of his witty and memorable quotes.

“The pen is mightier than the sword if the sword is very short, and the pen is very sharp.” – The Light Fantastic (1986)

“The entire universe has been neatly divided into things to (a) mate with, (b) eat, (c) run away from, and (d) rocks.” – Equal Rites (1987)

“Death isn’t cruel, merely terribly, terribly good at his job.” – Sourcery (1988)

“The trouble with having an open mind, of course, is that people will insist on coming along and trying to put things in it.” – Truckers (1990)

“Most of the great triumphs and tragedies of history are caused not by people being fundamentally good or fundamentally evil, but by people being fundamentally people.” – Good Omens (1990)

“No one is actually dead until the ripples they cause in the world die away.” – Reaper Man (1991)

“If cats looked like frogs we’d realize what nasty, cruel little bastards they are. Style. That’s what people remember.” – Lords and Ladies (1992)

“It is said that your life flashes before your eyes just before you die. That is true, it’s called Life.” – The Last Continent (1998)

“Stories of imagination tend to upset those without one.” – foreword to The Ultimate Encyclopedia of Fantasy by David Pringle (1998)

“Imagination, not intelligence, made us human.” – foreword to The Ultimate Encyclopedia of Fantasy by David Pringle (1998)

“So much universe, and so little time.” – The Last Hero (2001)

“Why do you go away? So that you can come back. So that you can see the place you came from with new eyes and extra colors. And the people there see you differently, too. Coming back to where you started is not the same as never leaving.” – A Hat Full of Sky (2004)

“It’s still magic even if you know how it’s done.” – A Hat Full of Sky (2004)

“Life doesn’t happen in chapter – at least, not regular ones.” – explaining in a 2008 interview why Discworld books don’t have chapters

“Evolution was far more thrilling to me than the biblical account. Who would not rather be a rising ape than a falling angel?” – in a 2008 interview

 

Read next: Terry Pratchett’s last tweet was heartbreakingly final

TIME Germany

German Biologist Who Denied Measles Exists Ordered To Pay More Than $100,000

The biologist bet no one could prove that measles was real

Four years ago, German biologist Stefan Lanka announced on his website that he would pay 100,000 euros ($106,000) to anyone who could prove measles is a virus. This week, a German court told Lanka he must now hand over the money as promised.

After Lanka posted the website announcement, fellow German doctor David Barden came forward with evidence from various different studies, proving measles is a virus. Lanka remained skeptical, saying Barden’s information proved nothing.

According to an interview with German paper Suedkurier, Lanka believes measles are “a psychosomatic illness”, causing people to fall ill “after traumatic separations.”

A court in Ravensburg ruled otherwise, saying Barden’s proof was satisfactory and ordering Lanka to pay the reward. Lanka has maintained his stance and said he plans to appeal.

Like the U.S. and many other European countries, Germany has suffered a recent outbreak of measles. The World Health Organization has called for Europe to step up vaccinations following an outbreak of 22,000 cases in the past year. The disease is highly contagious and can be fatal in severe cases, as seen with the death of an infant in Berlin last month.

[BBC]

TIME Economy

U.S. Attacks Britain Over Support For China-Backed Bank

A family photo shoot fir the APEC leaders' meeting at the International Convention Center at Yanqi Lake in Beijing
Kim Kyung Hoon—Reuters U.S. President Barack Obama gestures next to China's President Xi Jinping during the APEC leaders' meeting at the International Convention Center at Yanqi Lake in Beijing on Nov. 11, 2014.

In a rare public spat between the two allies, an Obama aide has criticized the U.K's stance toward Beijing

The U.S. government has expressed its disapproval of the U.K.’s application to become a founding member of the $50 billion Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), the first G7 country to do so since the institution was launched last year to provide funds for infrastructure in the Asia-Pacific region.

“We are wary about a trend toward constant accommodation of China, which is not the best way to engage a rising power,” a senior Obama administration official told the Financial Times on Thursday. The statement marks a rare breach in the “special relationship” that has long defined U.S. – U.K. relations.

Washington officials view the Beijing-led institution with suspicion, fearing it will not meet the standards of governance and safeguards set by the Washington-based World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF), and the Japanese-backed Asia Development Bank.

The White House has been lobbying its allies not to join the AIIB, concerned that China is trying to extend its reach in the region and that the bank could end up being overly influenced by Beijing foreign policy if it has veto power over decisions.

Meanwhile British Chancellor George Osborne, the driving force behind the U.K.’s decision to join the bank, said in a statement that Britain should be involved early on to promote “closer political and economic engagement” with the Asia-Pacific region and encourage the two regions “to invest and grow together.”

[Financial Times]

TIME Bangladesh

North Korean Diplomat Caught Smuggling $1.4 Million in Gold in Bangladesh

Son Young Nam was carrying 60 pounds of gold

Bangladesh seized about $1.4 million worth of gold from a North Korean diplomat at Dhaka airport Friday, according to a senior official.

Customs officers detained Son Young Nam, the First Secretary of the North Korean Embassy in Dhaka, upon his arrival from Singapore with nearly 60 pounds of gold, according to Reuters. The chairman of the National Board of Revenue, Najbur Rahman, said that Nam had told officials there was nothing to scan in his hand luggage.

“Later we informed our foreign ministry and he was released on Friday under the Vienna Convention,” Rahman said.

The Vienna Convention grants diplomatic immunity to envoys like Nam, but Bangladesh said it will file charges in this case.

[Reuters]

TIME North Korea

North Korea Reopens Pyongyang Marathon to Foreign Runners

Runners pass under a pedestrian bridge during the running of the Mangyongdae Prize International Marathon in Pyongyang, North Korea on April 13, 2014.
David Guttenfelder—AP Runners pass under a pedestrian bridge during the running of the Mangyongdae Prize International Marathon in Pyongyang, North Korea on April 13, 2014.

The country had virtually sealed its borders in late October and imposed strict travel bans in response to the Ebola epidemic

Overseas runners will be allowed to participate in North Korea’s 2015 Pyongyang Marathon after the country reversed a ban on most foreigners entering the country.

Koryo Tours, a British tourism company based in Beijing, sent an email on Thursday stating that tourist applications for the April 12 race would be accepted, according to The New York Times. North Korea had imposed extensive restrictions on travel in October amid fears of the Ebola virus arriving in the isolated nation, which nullified the participation of international runners.

The country’s tourist industry is mainly fueled by visitors from China and Russia, but also a growing number of Westerners. Under the ban, only foreign aid workers and diplomats were given entry into the country — and were required to undergo a 21-day quarantine, according to Reuters.

North Korea is eager to boost its tourist industry, recently establishing its first luxury ski resort and opening up the marathon to recreational runners from abroad for the first time last year.

[NYT]

TIME Terrorism

‘Jihadi John’ Was a Cold Loner, Says Fellow ISIS Fighter

The Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria (ISIS) executioner Mohammed Emwazi, nicknamed Jihadi John, was a cold loner who didn’t talk much, according to an ISIS defector who spoke to the BBC.

Abu Ayman first met Emwazi in Syria about two years ago at a hillside refugee camp in Atmeh in northern Syria. British foreign fighters occupied nearby houses, posting photos on social media of their “five-star jihadi.” Ayman says Emwazi seemed strange from the beginning: “The British fighters were always hanging out together, but he wouldn’t join them.”

“He was cold. He didn’t talk much. He wouldn’t join us in prayer,” he said.

Ayman said ISIS has professional psychologists who “know who to choose from the fighters and how to make them famous.” He pointed out that ISIS offered new weapons, luxury guns, cars and promotions in exchange for following orders and said “there was nothing special about Jihadi John … anyone could have become like him.”

He added that some of his former ISIS comrades joined the group because of their admiration for Emwazi. “He’s a celebrity to attract our Muslim brothers in Europe. But some think he is showing off; they think he’s being used by ISIS.”

MORE: Inside ISIS, a TIME Special Report

Ayman’s description of Jihadi John is at odds with depictions of him from earlier stages in his life. His former high school principal, Jo Shuter, told the BBC that Emwazi was never suspected of being radicalized at school. She said that Emwazi had some issues with being bullied, which were dealt with, and that by the end of his time at high school he was “a hardworking, aspirational young man who went on to the university he wanted to go to.”

After university, Emwazi, a Kuwait-born U.K. citizen, worked as a salesman for a Kuwaiti IT company from 2009 to 2010. His former boss told The Guardian that Emwazi, then 21 years old, was “the best employee we ever had,” a calm, decent young man who was “very good with people.”

[BBC]

TIME isis

Everything We Know About ‘Jihadi John’

The ISIS militant, who has been identified as a Briton named Mohammed Emwazi, seen in a propaganda video.
Reuters The ISIS militant, who has been identified as a Briton named Mohammed Emwazi, seen in a propaganda video.

From S Club 7 and Manchester United to Islamic fundamentalism and possibly murder

The identity of the masked fighter from the Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria “Jihadi John” has been revealed as Mohammed Emwazi. He first appeared in a video last August showing the beheading of American journalist James Foley and the world has been wondering about his identity and what led him to such brutality ever since.

Security services were quick to identify him but his name was not publicized until Thursday. All we knew was that ‘Jihadi John’ murdered or appeared to murder Foley, two other Americans, Steven Sotloff, and Abdul-Rahman (Peter) Kassig, Britons David Haines and Alan Henning, and Haruna Yukawa and Kenji Goto Jogo from Japan.

Now we know a lot more about the man behind the mask:

– Born in Kuwait in 1988, Emwazi moved to the U.K. at the age of six and grew up in northwest London, first in a rented flat in Maida Vale and then in a two-storey terraced house in the middle-class area of Queen’s Park.

– Emwazi was educated at St Mary Magdalene Church of England elementary school. According to The Times, he “was a fan of the pop group S Club 7, Manchester United, the computer game Duke Nukem: Time to Kill and the book How to Kill a Monster.”

– One neighbor told The Times that he used to hear loud arguments from their home. Friends and neighbors have said the Emwazi family was not radical, and said that the son was always religious, but not extreme. He has been described as a polite, quiet young man, a hard-working student and fond of stylish clothes.

– Emwazi attended Quintin Kynaston Community Academy in North London, completing his high-school studies in 2006. It’s not yet clear where he was first radicalized, but The Times suggests he was drawn into a group of extremists supporting the Somalia-based group Al-Shabaab. British intelligence agency MI5 believed that the men conducted covert meetings around football matches.

– He graduated in 2009 from the University of Westminster in London with a computer science degree. Fluent in both Arabic and English, he apparently hoped to build a successful career in Arab countries.

– That summer, he travelled to Tanzania with two friends, allegedly for a safari holiday. Emwazi and his friends were detained in the capital Dar es Salaam. He denied attempting to reach Somalia (although a former ISIS hostage told the Post that Jihadi John “was obsessed with Somalia” and forced his prisoners to watch videos about Al-Shabaab). Rights advocacy group CAGE say Emwazi was denied an official reason for his detention and was repeatedly threatened by officers armed with guns and sticks.

MORE Inside ISIS, a TIME Special Report

The trio were deported to Amsterdam, and then back to Britain, and were questioned by counter-terrorism officials in both places. Emwazi claimed an MI5 agent tried to recruit him at this point, and when he refused, threatened: “You’re going to have a lot of trouble…You’re going to be known…you’re going to be followed…life will be harder for you.”

– The following month, Sept. 2009, Emwazi returned to Kuwait, apparently to avoid being further harassed in the U.K. According to emails he sent Asim Qureshi, research director of CAGE, he had a contract with a computer company in Kuwait. He stayed there for eight months.

– In May 2010, he was stopped at London’s Heathrow airport but was allowed to re-enter the U.K. for an eight-day visit, before returning to Kuwait in June.

– In late July 2010, Emwazi returned to Britain with plans to wed a woman in Kuwait. He was questioned at Heathrow for six hours and his visa to return to Kuwait was refused. Emwazi told CAGE he was violently assaulted by a police officer during this interrogation. That year he also filed a complaint to the Independent Police Complaints Commission, claiming he had been harassed and intimidated by the security services for a year. Emwazi also told CAGE that MI5 had approached his fiancée in Kuwait, apparently scaring off her and her family. The marriage was cancelled.

– Emwazi soon learnt that British intelligence had asked the Kuwaiti government to reject his visa application. Stuck in the U.K., Emwazi sought the help of both lawyers and human rights groups to reverse his situation. He was unsuccessful.

– His friends, speaking to the Post, said Emwazi was “desperate to leave the country”. In 2012, he passed an English language teaching course and applied to several language schools in Saudi Arabia to teach the language there. His applications were rejected.

– In early 2013, Emwazi changed his name by deed poll to Mohammed al-Ayan, apparently on the recommendation of his father, who suggested it might allow him to travel without the same problems as before. He attempted to travel to Kuwait once more but was barred and questioned again by intelligence officials.

– One week later, Emwazi left his parents’ London home. Three days after his disappearance, his parents reported him as a missing person. According to CAGE, it was not until four months later that the police visited his family home. His father said they had managed some limited contact with him and believed he was in Turkey helping refugees. The police told Emwazi’s parents they had information Emwazi had entered Syria.

– A former hostage said Jihadi John was part of a team guarding Western hostages at ‘the box’, a nickname given to a prison in Idlib, Syria. According to the Post hostages described him as quiet, intelligent, and “the most deliberate” of the guards. Freed captives said Emwazi and his team have taken on increasingly powerful roles within ISIS.

Read next: Leonard Nimoy, Who Played Spock on Star Trek, Dies at 83

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