eclair and present danger
Prue initially turned down the offer of a close protection officer, but Channel 4 insisted
NEW Great British Bake Off judge Prue Leith has been given full-time protection by coppers to protect her from threats. The 77-year-old and her agent were shocked by the extreme levels of security provide by Channel 4 and show makers Love Productions after she was announced as the official replacement to national treasure Mary Berry.
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Prue was shocked by the extreme levels of security provided by Channel 4
Prue initially turned down the offer of a close protection officer, but the TV companies insisted by sending one to guard her house. In an exclusive interview, the cooking legend revealed: On the day that they announced who the line-up was, they wanted to send a close protection officer.
My husband and a bunch of friends were going out to dinner to a really nice restaurant in London.
Prue revealed they also sent someone to look after her agent
I said, Don t be ridiculous, we absolutely do not need a copper standing there looking.
But they said, No, no, no, we really must just to be on the safe side.
What did they think is going to happen? I m not likely to be trolled. This is a nice family show.
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But when multi-millionaire Prue returned to her home in the Cotswolds, she discovered she had been granted the security protection anyway. She explained: When I got home that night at 11 at night, there s a chap in a van, a security guard.
They sent somebody down to the country to look after me.
News Group Newspapers Ltd
Times Newspapers Ltd
Prue is already known as a cookery queen in culinary circles
I was really amazed that they really look after you.
Prue is being paid 500,000 to replace her close friend Berry, who told her not to worry about any threats.
Prue will return to our screens in Bake Off later this year Paul Hollywood speaks about fellow Bake Off judge Prue Leith
She revealed that Mary told her: Look, if there s a big story there might be somebody at the gate, but most people like the show.
It s quite nice walking into the supermarket and being asked: Are you the lady off the telly? That happens to me now and I always enjoy it. Also joining Prue and the returning Paul Hollywood when the show moves from the BBC to Channel 4 as part of a 75 million deal are new presenters Sandi Toksvig and Noel Fielding.
- ^ Channel 4 (www.thesun.co.uk)
- ^ Mary Berry (www.thesun.co.uk)
- ^ Prue (www.thesun.co.uk)
- ^ Prince Philip (www.thesun.co.uk)
- ^ Prue is being paid 500,000 to replace her close friend Berry (www.thesun.co.uk)
- ^ Paul Hollywood (www.thesun.co.uk)
- ^ Sandi Toksvig (www.thesun.co.uk)
- ^ Noel Fielding (www.thesun.co.uk)
March 25–An apparently “delusional” man indiscriminately opened fire inside a bus on the Strip this morning, killing one person, wounding another, and barricading himself inside the vehicle, prompting authorities to shut down a stretch of the Strip for several hours while officers negotiated his surrender, according to Metro Police.
Police stressed that the shooting, which transpired on the second floor of a Regional Transportation Commission of Southern Nevada bus, was isolated and wasn’t thought to have a nexus to terrorism. Officers, who arrived at the scene near the Cosmopolitan almost immediately after the rounds went off about 10:45 a.m., encountered fleeing passengers and quickly determined the suspect was still on the bus, Metro Assistant Sheriff Tom Roberts said. The two wounded people, who were believed to be unknown to the gunman, were rushed to University Medical Center where one of them died and the other, who was shot once in the stomach, is expected to recover, Roberts said.
What followed–for more than four hours–were attempted negotiations with the suspect, who as of this evening had not been formally identified, police said. At least one loud bang not attributable to gunfire was reported during the standoff. During the standoff, the suspect fired off more rounds as officers sent robots to the bus, Roberts said, but officers did not return fire. Then about 3:15 p.m., negotiators convinced the man to drop his .45-caliber handgun and peacefully surrender, Roberts said. No one else was inside the bus.
Metro’s tactical phase has been completed at that point and the probe was turned over to homicide detectives, police said. Metro spokesman officer Larry Hadfield urged those in or around the bus during the shooting to contact police at 702-828-7777. Further details on the suspect, only described as being a local in his 50s and “delusional,” hadn’t been released as of Saturday evening. Roberts said he “didn’t seem to have a motive” for firing his gun. Photographs captured the man, wearing a gray hooded sweatshirt, jeans, flip flops and a light orange cap, being hauled off by heavily-armed SWAT officers wearing helmets and carrying shields.
Traffic was shut down on Las Vegas Boulevard between Flamingo Road and Harmon Avenue. Northbound traffic reopened soon after the suspect surrendered and the rest of the closures were lifted about 5:20 p.m., RTC said. Sidewalks near the incident also were closed to foot traffic, marking one of the rare occasions when the Strip was empty of pedestrians and cars alike. And during the standoff and sometime after, hotel and casino patrons trapped between the perimeter were not allowed to exit through the front doors, police said. Standing in a denim jacket with her hands folded across her chest, Cosmopolitan guest Remy Camacho, 47, walked across the casino from a slot machine where she was seated at the north end of the venue to step outside just after 5 p.m.
The main entrance at the time remained guarded by a set of chairs and a security guard who said “negative” when asked if he knew when it would reopen. Camacho said she hadn’t been given any news of the barricade outside by the resort, but “could live with” not going out the front door for the afternoon. She expressed concerns for proximity of the shooting to where she was enjoying her Las Vegas vacation.
“That’s kind of scary that it happened right here,” said Camacho, who lives in San Diego. “What’s to stop someone from coming inside and doing that?”
Foot traffic on Las Vegas Boulevard near the site of the barricade had both tourists and locals alike grumbling impatiently as they tried to navigate through heavy crowds. Walking north past the Linq minutes after the suspect was reported captured, Las Vegans Hannah Savage, 24 and Amanda Pearla, 25, compared the jammed pedestrian flow to that of the year’s busiest summer weekends on the Strip and even New Year’s Eve.
“It’s definitely not this hard to get around normally,” said Savage, a 15-year Las Vegas resident.
“At this time, we can confirm Las Vegas Metro Police Department is investigating an ongoing incident on Las Vegas Boulevard near The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas,” the Cosmopolitan said in a statement. “We are cooperating fully with law enforcement officials and have no further details pending investigation.” The Cosmopolitan said the safety of their guests was a top priority.
“Our heartfelt condolences go out to the family of the rider who was fatally shot, and we also extend our sincere sympathies to the injured victim, the bus operator and the other passengers who were aboard during this tragic incident,” Angela Castro, a spokeswoman for the RTC, said in a statement. “The safety and security of our transit riders, contractors and staff is our utmost priority. We are working closely with the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department and remain committed to providing a safe public transportation system.”
Police stressed that the incident wasn’t connected to a Hollywood-film-like heist at a high-end jewelry store at the nearby Bellagio about 10 hours earlier, police said.
Clark County Fire Department command staff responded to the scene with Metro, fire officials said in a statement.
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It shouldn t have needed a massacre in a Quebec Islamic cultural centre in January to rouse Canadians to show that they care for the safety of their Muslim neighbours. Mercifully, the initiative of Yael Splansky, the senior rabbi of Holy Blossom Temple in Toronto, did that by getting people of all faiths to form rings of peace around mosques.
It shouldn t have needed the desecration of gravestones in Jewish cemeteries in American cities last month to move people to show solidarity with their Jewish neighbours. Mercifully, the impressive voluntary efforts by Muslims to restore the broken graves and their offers to guard Jewish burial places did that.
One of the explanations why Jewish-Muslim co-operation and mutual affirmation are so difficult in our time is because the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is in the way, however futile it may be for Jews and Muslims in North America to fight the battles of the Middle East.
Muslims and Jews here would do much better had they been acting according to the yes, but formula suggested by Peter Berger, arguably the most influential sociologist of religion in our time.
In an essay in The American Interest he writes that it s possible to be religiously committed and yet have reservations, e.g., I am Catholic, but In our context it should be possible to say, I m committed to Muslim-Jewish co-operation but I disagree with, or even deplore, the others attitude to and treatment of my co-religionists in the Holy Land.
As much as I d like all Muslims to publicly affirm that Israel is a Jewish state, I don t need such declarations in order to co-operate with Muslim neighbours in Toronto or even in Jerusalem. After all, Christians and Jews have learnt to work purposefully together for the good of the society in which they live despite very different views about, for example, Jesus.
Yet disagreement on this and other issues that adherents consider to be fundamental doesn t prevent them from working together in celebration of what they do agree on, and in the service of the society in which they live. They know that the perfect is the enemy of the good.
That s why Jewish-Muslim dialogue needs Christians to show how, despite countless centuries of prejudice and persecution, it has become possible to co-operate and help protect each other. Christians are needed as catalysts in the Muslim-Jewish dialogue.
The apparent absence of statements on behalf of faith communities in Canada in support of the motion M-103, which calls on the government to fight racism and religious discrimination, may have contributed to the opposition to it.
The sponsor of the motion, Liberal backbencher Iqra Khalid, is said to have received ominous threats from fanatical opponents and apparently now has special security protection. Some politicians also appear to be using Khalid s effort as an excuse to rouse reactionary elements in society in the guise of legitimate opposition.
It s possible the Islamophobia that figures prominently in the motion is too ambiguous and controversial a term. Anti-Muslim bigotry, as suggested by former Attorney General Irwin Cotler, might have been better.
Perhaps other language could have been used to clarify the intention of the motion. However, all parties could nevertheless support it by following Peter Berger s yes, but principle: Yes, I disagree with certain words, but I fully support this effort to curb anti-Muslim bigotry.
More vigorous responsible religious voices might have injected much needed sanity into the debate. Surely, every effort to prevent attacks of the kind we ve seen in Quebec, in American cemeteries and elsewhere is a religious imperative. M-103 can become yet another wholesome tool in the struggle.
Dow Marmur is rabbi emeritus of Toronto s Holy Blossom Temple. His column appears every four weeks.