Tomic ‘traumatised’ by Hewitt as a teenager, claims father

The father of Bernard Tomic says he will begin legal action against Lleyton Hewitt, whom he alleges left his 17-year-old son traumatised in 2010 by trying to pressure him into revealing who at Tennis Australia was “against” him. John Tomic further alleges that Hewitt warned his son he would not play Davis Cup again if he didn’t.

Tomic’s slamming of Hewitt earlier this week – claiming “no one likes him” and that he favoured particular players – has now descended into a full-blown war after the two-time major winner said Tomic had threatened him and his family and tried to blackmail him in the past two years.

Falling out: Lleyton Hewitt and Bernard Tomic.Credit:AAP

There was a further escalation on Friday when Tomic’s father and long-time coach John alleged his son had been traumatised as a teenage Davis Cup debutant when Hewitt came to his hotel room in Melbourne while he was there for an Australian tie against Taiwan in March 2010 and demanded he inform him who from TA was telling him what to say publicly.

Hewitt, who was not playing after hip surgery, had at the time been highly critical of TA during a period of turmoil for the sport’s governing body and, according to Tomic snr, had been angered by comments made by the No.298-ranked teenager at Melbourne Park that “were not suitable” to Hewitt.

“Bernard said something on the television before that Lleyton didn’t like,” Tomic snr told the Herald on Friday.

“[Hewitt] came into Bernard’s room, closed the door and pushed [Davis Cup captain] John Fitzgerald out and he said, 'You have to tell me who from TA is against me’.”

He tried to force him to say something. Bernard was shocked, he couldn’t sleep all night.

Tomic snr said Hewitt was on crutches and told his son he would not play Davis Cup for Australia again unless he spoke up about TA.

“He tried to force him to say something,” Tomic snr said. “Bernard was shocked, he couldn’t sleep all night.

“Bernard had made a comment at Melbourne Park that mentioned Lleyton Hewitt. That comment Lleyton didn’t like and he asked, 'Who told you to say that?’

“He was young … 16 and a half or 17. How can you come in the room and threaten him and say you won’t play Davis Cup and say you won’t be close to me if you don’t tell me who from Tennis Australia is telling you what to say?”

He said they would take legal action against Hewitt next week.

“We will prove that Bernard has trauma from 2010 when Bernard was the youngest player in Davis Cup for Australia,” he said. “They will try to protect him but we will find the truth in the court.”

Contacted by the Herald on Friday, Hewitt’s manager David Drysdale said of the alleged 2010 episode: “I know nothing about it and I’m not going to comment any further.”

Attempts to contact Fitzgerald were unsuccessful.

Tomic on Friday was quoted by News Corp denying Hewitt’s claims of threats against his family. “I got nothing to do with your family and I don't care what's wrong with you, you liar,” Tomic was quoted as saying.

The Tomic camp had been already been at odds with Hewitt by 2010, with the origins of the feud reportedly stretching back to Tomic sledging fellow Australian player Peter Luczak at a Davis Cup tie in Chile in 2008. In 2009, Tomic then turned down an invitation from Hewitt to practise with him at Wimbledon, saying he had swine flu.

Hewitt had also questioned the merits of Tomic’s Davis Cup selection in 2010 when he was ranked so low. But on February 27, 2010, a week before the Taiwan tie, Tomic said he and Hewitt were “cool” and had resolved their issues.

"I called Lleyton in December and it was good to hear back from him about a week (ago)," Tomic said at the time.

"We spoke, we've fixed it all up, it was just a bit of a misunderstanding we had, but we're all cool now which is the main thing."

Tomic snr conceded on Friday that his son, who was ranked No.88 in the world leading into the Australian Open but lost in the first round to sixth seed Marin Cilic, should not be considered for Davis Cup at the moment because he did not work hard enough and he had slipped from a peak of No.17 in 2016.

But he argued Hewitt had no right to rule him out of Davis Cup contention under his watch, as he did on Thursday night.

“Lleyton Hewitt said in the interview also that Bernard will never play Davis Cup,” he said. “This is not fair, not nice. Australia is not his. If Bernard improved his ranking, Bernard can play for his country.

“Bernard at the moment is not [fit] for Davis Cup because his ranking is not good. If Bernard improves his ranking, and physically and mentally as well, it’s not up for Lleyton to decide. Australian tennis not Lleyton Hewitt. He cannot say he cannot play.

“What I can say is Lleyton Hewitt is a real champion and he make history. He is a very hard worker. I know that. But I think that he crossed the line now.”

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90 Day Fiancé's Larissa Dos Santos Lima Charged with Domestic Battery After Fight with Colt Johnson

One week after 90 Day Fiancé couple Larissa Dos Santos Lima and Colt Johnson got into an explosive argument that led to facial injuries for both, Dos Santos Lima has reportedly been indicted.

The 32-year-old reality star was charged with misdemeanor domestic battery on Wednesday, according to a criminal complaint obtained by TMZ.

The document, which was filed in Las Vegas, stated that Dos Santos Lima “did willfully and unlawfully use force or violence against or upon the person of her spouse.”

Representatives at the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department did not immediately respond to PEOPLE’s request for comment.

Last Friday, Dos Santos Lima and Johnson allegedly got into an extremely violent argument. Dos Santos Lima shared several photos and videos on Instagram, revealing a bloodied face and claiming Johnson called the cops on her as the two were arguing.

“I just scratched him because he was hurting me,” she said in one video.

In the frantic videos, Dos Santos Lima said she was afraid of getting deported because Johnson called the police first. She also begged for help finding an attorney.

PEOPLE reached out to TLC and Dos Santos Lima for comment; Johnson was unable to be reached.

RELATED: 90 Day Fiancé Star Larissa Dos Santos Lima Cries as She Begs Fans to Help Foot Her Legal Bills

Shortly after their physical altercation went public, Dos Santos Lima made a tearful video as she claimed that GoFundMe shut down her campaign to raise money for her legal and bail fees.

In the video, recorded on Instagram Live, the reality star said that she needs to hire three attorneys for three different legal cases: a criminal attorney for an ongoing domestic battery case, an attorney for her divorce from Johnson and an immigration lawyer.

“I’m not happy about it, I’m not proud about it, but it’s something that I need your help with now,” Dos Santos Lima told her followers, tearing up.

The TLC star later thanked her followers for their donations and announced she would not be receiving the money. Instead, Dos Santos Lima shared her Venmo and Zelle usernames and explained that the GoFundMe donors would receive a refund.

It is not clear why her fundraiser would have been removed from the crowd-sourcing website. Reps for GoFundMe did not immediately respond to PEOPLE’s request for comment.

RELATED VIDEO: 90 Day Fiance’s Jesse Threatens to Call Police on Darcey After She Allegedly Threw $1,000 Shoes at His Head

Johnson and Dos Santos Lima starred on the most recent season of the 90 Day Fiancé and quietly wed on June 24, 2018.

Dos Santos Lima was previously arrested in connection with domestic battery against Johnson.

On Nov. 10 at about 1:15 p.m., “officers were dispatched to a family disturbance at a residence in Northwest Las Vegas,” a public information officer for the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department confirmed to PEOPLE at the time.

PEOPLE confirmed on Nov. 12 that the reality star had been released from the Clark County Detention Center. She did not face charges because the district attorney rejected the case, according to E! News.

RELATED: 90 Day Fiancé‘s Larissa Dos Santos Lima, Colt Johnson Reveal Facial Injuries After Alleged Fight

In December, Johnson admitted he had “made mistakes” after Dos Santos Lima accused him of cheating.

“Yes, I have received massive amounts of attention from fans, especially women,” he said. “These things mixed with a relationship that has its problems makes for a dangerous scenario. I crossed the line between fan and fandom. The reality sometimes is lost and this is something I have to handle in private.”

“I am taking the responsibility for the things I did and for the people that suffered,” he added.

The next season of 90 Day Fiancé90 Day Fiancé: Happily Ever After? will begin in spring 2019 on TLC.

If you or someone you know has been a victim of domestic violence, call the National Domestic Violence hotline at 1-800-799-7233.

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London Knights defeat Wolves in Sudbury on Friday night

Stompin’ Tom Connors made the “Sudbury Saturday Night” famous when he included the song on his very first album in 1967.

The Ontario Hockey League schedule did not allow the London Knights and the Sudbury Wolves to soak in a Saturday of hockey this season, but the teams came together for a Friday night show that ended in a 5-3 London victory.

Kevin Hancock scored twice and added an assist and Liam Foudy hit the 20-goal mark for the second year in a row.

The Knights stomped back after being edged 3-2 by the Barrie Colts on Thursday to begin their northern road swing.

London scored the first goal of the game and never trailed.

The Knights also rode their No. 1-ranked penalty kill which went 9-for-9 against Wolves shooters.

Joseph Raaymakers was a large part of that as well. He made 33 saves to pick up his 20th win of the season.

The loss by Sudbury ended their four-game winning streak.

London kept pace with the Ottawa 67’s in the race for first place in the OHL standings. The 67’s beat Peterborough 4-0 in Ottawa so the Knights remain one point back with two games in hand.

How the goals were scored

Against the Barrie Colts on Thursday night, the Knights seemed to get pucks to the goal line but they found ways to stay out. On Friday, the opposite was true.

Evan Bouchard took a simple whack at a puck that had dribbled to the side of the Wolves net on a power play and it slipped under a defender and Sudbury goalie Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen just enough to count following a lengthy review and London grabbed a 1-0 lead.

Former Sarnia Sting forward Adam Ruzkicka tied the game for Sudbury on a hard shot from the left side of the London zone at 13:33 of the first period.

Liam Foudy put the Knights back in front 56 seconds later as he was set up by Kevin Hancock for his 20th goal of the season. Hancock used Connor McMichael as a decoy and fed Foudy who turned a 2-on-1 into a 3-on-1 and the Knights took a 2-1 advantage to the dressing room.

Alec Regula made it 3-1 Knights early in the second period as he took a pass from Josh Nelson, deked into the slot and wired a wrist shot past Luukkonen.

Ruzicka’s second of the night cut London’s lead to a goal as a puck bounced to the Flames’ draft pick to the right of Joseph Raaymakers and he snapped it in.

Drake Pilon tied the game 3-3 at 15:42 on a deflection as Cole Candella threaded a puck through to his stick that was set up beside the left post. Less than a minute later Pilon appeared to put the Wolves ahead 4-3, but a review ruled that the play was offside.

Before the buzzer to end the second period, the Knights found a way back in front as the teams played 4-on-4. Adam Boqvist got a puck to the front of the net from a sharp angle and Hancock fund a way to get it in for his 35th goal of the year.

Hancock got his second of the night into an empty net as he and Josh Nelson tried to be the least selfish player in a bit of, “You take it… no, you take it.” Nelson left Hancock with a tap-in and he finished the scoring.

3-D power play goal

Thanks to Will Lochead’s ability to work in front of the net and the offensive minds of Evan Bouchard and Adam Boqvist, the London Knights have been using three defencemen on their top power-play unit. On Thursday in Barrie, they combined to score a goal. A puck was put to the Colts’ net with the Knights on a man advantage in the second period, Lochead jammed at it and was stopped, but the puck came free and was taken by Evan Bouchard in the left corner. He found Adam Boqvist just above the right hash mark and Boqvist scored. A power-play goal by a defenceman — assisted by two other defencemen.

Injury updates

Jordan Kooy is still listed as day-to-day after suffering a minor injury on January 12 prior to warm-up as the Knights were preparing to meet the Ottawa 67’s. He will not appear in any games on London’s northern road trip but could be ready to go in Windsor on January 24. The Knights will make their next home appearance on January 25 as they complete a quick home-and-home with the Spitfires.

Alex Formenton has reportedly been skating recently and may be able to get back into the London lineup next month. The Senators draft pick suffered a leg injury at Team Canada’s final selection camp ahead of the World Junior Hockey Championship. Formenton has 16 points in 13 games so far this season.

What goes through your mind

As Max Jones was getting ready to step onto National Hockey League ice for the first time in the regular season, you would expect him to have all sorts of things running through his mind. A player’s NHL debut is special and made even more so by the tradition of letting that player go out all by himself to start warm-up and do a couple of laps before his team joins him. Here’s what Jones tweeted was running through his head:

My mind- *please don’t fall, please don’t fall, please don’t fall* 😂

Jones played 12:22 and recorded one shot on goal as the Anaheim Ducks ended their 12-game losing streak with a 3-0 shutout in Minnesota. The even better news for Jones is that coaches tend to keep their lineup the same after a victory like that. Anaheim is in New Jersey on Saturday afternoon.

Former Knights scout Bill Needham passes away

Bill Needham, who was part of the London Knights scouting staff from 1994-1997 passed away on Tuesday, Jan. 15 at the age of 70. Needham was a huge part of getting hundreds of players to the Ontario Hockey League, serving as a scout for North Bay and Windsor and doing two stints with OHL Central Scouting, the second as Director from 1998-2004.

Up next

London will complete three games in four days in North Bay against the Battalion on Sunday at 2 p.m. The Battalion had been one of the hottest teams in the league to end 2018 and begin 2019. They went an entire calendar month, from December 13 to January 13 without losing in regulation. Kingston cooled them off last weekend, beating the Battalion 2-1 and since then, they have dropped two more games, losing 5-0 to Sudbury on Wednesday and 5-1 at home to the Soo Greyhounds on Thursday.

Coverage on Sunday will begin at 1:30 on 980 CFPL, at www.980cfpl.ca and on the Radioplayer Canada app.

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Mike Matheson, Vincent Trocheck lead Florida Panthers to 3-1 win over Toronto Maple Leafs

Mike Matheson scored the winning goal to help the Florida Panthers snap a seven-game losing streak by beating the Toronto Maple Leafs 3-1 on Friday night.

Mike Hoffman and Frank Vatrano also scored for Florida. Roberto Luongo made 20 saves and Luongo moved within four wins of tying Ed Belfour (484) for third place on the NHL’s all-time wins list.

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Vincent Trocheck, who returned to the Panthers’ lineup after missing 27 games with a broken ankle, had an assist on Matheson’s goal.

Ron Hainsey scored for the Maple Leafs, who have lost six of their last nine. Garret Sparks stopped 26 shots in his first start since Dec. 29th.

The Panthers took a 2-1 lead when Trocheck passed to Matheson at the point and he one-timed a shot from the point that beat Sparks with 5:01 left in the first.

Vatrano’s empty-net goal with 1:49 left capped the scoring. The Leafs jumped out to a 1-0 lead on Hainsey’s goal 1:49 in. Hainsey took a pass from Morgan Rielly at the blue line and fired the puck through traffic past Luongo.

The Panthers tied it 1-all on Hoffman’s team-leading 23rd goal. Keith Yandle took a shot from the blue line and Hoffman redirected the puck past Sparks at 9:02 of the first.

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How Did We Get Here? A Timeline of the Taylor Swift, Kanye West, and Kim Kardashian Drama

How Did We Get Here? A Timeline of the Taylor Swift, Kanye West, and Kim Kardashian Drama

The power in the nearly 10-year feud between Taylor Swift and Kanye West has constantly shifted over the years (Kanye releases a song, Taylor fights back, Kanye talks about it in an interview, etc.), but now it seems like all that “bad blood” might be behind them, at least according to Kim Kardashian. After Taylor took back the narrative with her Reputation album and record-breaking tour, Kim is now publicly putting their feud to rest. So, how the hell did we get to this point? You’ll likely remember the 2009 MTV VMAs debacle that started it all, but there has been plenty of fuel for the fire in between. Let’s take it back to the very beginning.

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Tori Spelling’s Husband Dean McDermott ‘Disgusted’ by People Body-Shaming His Kids

AceShowbizDean McDermott will not tolerate any kind of shaming directed at his children. After Internet trolls accused him and wife Tori Spelling of letting their kids look shabby at a movie screening, the former “Due South” actor fought back by leaving a vicious retort on the comment section of his wife’s talked-about Instagram post.

The drama began on Thursday, January 17, when Tori shared a photo that captured her, Dean and their children posing alongside Ian Ziering and his family at a screening of “A Dog’s Way Home“. In the caption, the former “Beverly Hills, 90210” star gushed, “I can’t believe @ianziering and I once played BH teens Steve Sanders and Donna Martin and now we are married to the loves of our lives and between us have 7 kiddos who all adore each other!”

https://www.instagram.com/p/BsucfQlBObQ/

Unfortunately, her post caught the attention of uninvited mom-shamers and body-shamers. Among the critics, one wrote, “Way to make your kids look frumpy, you do your hair and make up to the T and let them walk out looking like they don’t own a brush.” Another chimed in, “I’m getting so mad about this. Why do you let your kids get so fat? You advertise slimming products yourself. See how shabby they look. Shy yourself. They look like neglected with clothes that are too small.”

While Tori stayed quiet, Dean seemed to have enough of the haters. In a fiery comeback, he responded, “I am absolutely horrified and disgusted by the comments being left about my children. Body shaming and bullying my children??!! What is wrong with you people??!! For your information, we went from a long day at school to the movie. And I don’t know any child that is NOT disheveled at the end of the day.”

“Not to mention that just before this picture was taken, they were wrestling and running around with all the other kids that were at the movie,” he continued. “So I apologize we didn’t get the iron and steamer out to make them perfect for you. Their kids. They’re messy and dirty. That’s what they do. And what’s wrong with shopping at Target??!! Over half of America shops there. The way they grow out of clothing so quickly is astounding. Are we supposed to shop at Gucci?? These are kids folks. Messy stinky little bundles of fun, laughter and love.”

To the body-shamers who labeled his children fat, the 52-year-old pointed out, “As far as saying my children are over weight, well that’s just mean and Un-called for. They’re going through different growth phases, and even if our children are on the bigger side. Who cares. They’re happy and healthy and I’m sorry they don’t look like skinny supermodels. People come in all shapes and sizes. So who are you to judge.”

The former husband of Mary Jo Eustace then reproached the shamers back by writing, “You should all be ashamed of yourselves for passing such horrible judgement on innocent beautiful children. Shame on you all!!!!” When all is said and done, he concluded, “Thank you to all the people who came to our defense. You’re all kind compassionate souls. Down with the haters!! Up with love!!”

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These U.S. Cities Are the Safest Places to Live, Work, and Play

Life involves hazards. Traffic accidents, natural disasters, and other setbacks occur everywhere, but some regions are much safer than others. If you hope to have a safe, healthy life, you’ll want to pack up and head to one of these U.S. cities, the safest places to live, work, and play.

15. Scottsdale, Arizona

A beautiful desert community east of Phoenix | iStock/Getty Images

As the 15th safest city in the country, Scottsdale is known for its golf courses, resorts, hiking trails, and beautiful Old Town area. The upscale desert town’s strongest category was home and community safety; WalletHub ranked it 26th out of more than 180 cities.

14. Chesapeake, Virginia

A pretty neighborhood in Chesapeake, Virgina | basnightlandandlawn via Instagram

The 14th safest city has many miles of waterfront, as well as protected forests and wetlands like the Great Dismal Swamp National Wildlife Refuge. Chesapeake ranks No. 19 in the home and community safety category of WalletHub’s study. Many know the city as the headquarters of Dollar Tree and for its proximity to Virginia Beach, Virginia.

13. Aurora, Illinois

A small-town feel in Aurora, Illinois | Paul Sableman/Wikimedia Commons

Aurora ranks third in the home and community safety category, which helps the Illinois suburb land within the top 15 safest U.S. cities. As the second largest city in Illinois, the “City of Lights” was one of the first to adopt as all-electric street light system. With a historic downtown and architecture from Frank Lloyd Wright and Bruce Goff, Aurora’s population continues to grow each year.

12. Chandler, Arizona

Christmas decorations in downtown Chandler at night | ubu-ibmee/iStock/Getty Images

The second of three Phoenix-area cities to make this list, Chandler boasts parks and wetlands, as well as kid-friendly activities like vintage train rides at the Desert Breeze Railroad. This bustling town ranks as the eighth safest concerning its natural disaster risk, boosting it to the 12th safest city overall.

11. Brownsville, Texas

Downtown Brownsville, Texas | cnunezimages via Instagram

Wallethub’s data for Brownsville, Texas proves why it’s so safe. It ranks very low on the list of cities with the highest unemployment rates and highest percentages of uninsured population (176th and 182nd, respectively). The second safest U.S. city for natural disaster risks, Brownsville lies directly across the border from Matamoros, Mexico, along the Gulf of Mexico.

10. Boise, Idaho

Hot air balloons float near downtown Boise. | knowlesgallery/Getty Images

Boise, Idaho loves to be first. It’s the No. 1 most financially safe city in the U.S., and it ties for first with a few others for the lowest unemployment rate. Things seem pretty idyllic in Boise; the town has a “greenbelt” of beautiful trails and parks along its river, and residents enjoy vibrant arts and outdoor scenes.

9. Nashua, New Hampshire

A sunset on the river in Nashua | David Peterson Photography via Instagram

With a population of about 90,000, Nashua is known for its home and community safety (ranking 23rd). With companies like Dell and Oracle residing here, the city has strong job security. Movie and TV viewers may recall Nashua being mentioned in the hit comedy series The Office as well as the movie Good Will Hunting.

8. Bismarck, North Dakota

A sunset in Birmarck | Bismarcknd via Instagram

In 24th place for home and community safety, Bismarck serves as the capital of North Dakota. The eighth safest city in the U.S., its residents enjoy the cultural history, large park system, and proximity to hunting and fishing. Forbes ranked Bismarck as the seventh fastest-growing small city in 2017.

7. Yonkers, New York

The city of Yonkers on the water | smelende via Instagram

This inner suburb of New York City is the second most-safe place concerning homes and communities. Ranking seventh most safe overall, the “City of Seven Hills” has the fifth fewest traffic fatalities and serves as a filming location for many movies. (You may have seen Yonkers in Catch Me if You Can, Mona Lisa Smile, Big Daddy, and more.)

6. Gilbert, Arizona

The LDS temple sits majestically above the trees in Gilbert, Arizona. | FastGlassPhotos/iStock/Getty Images

Officially the safest city in Arizona, Gilbert has the second-fewest assaults per capita in the U.S. It’s also the eighth safest city concerning homes and community. Located just southwest of Phoenix, Gilbert is a historic town that’s growing extremely quickly.

5. Warwick, Rhode Island

Rocky Point Beach in Warwick, Rhode Island | Ocean State Drone via Instagram

Just landing in the top five safest U.S. cities, Warwick has the fifth fewest assaults per capita and ranks 11th safest in homes and community safety. The historic town served as the birthplaces of many war heroes and battles. It’s located about 20 minutes from Providence, Rhode Island.

4. Virginia Beach, Virginia

Sun and sand in Virginia Beach | eurobanks/iStock/Getty Images

The Guinness Book of Records lists Virginia Beach as having the longest pleasure beach in the world. This resort city has the third fewest assaults per capita in America and ranks as the ninth best in home and community safety. The city’s Cape Henry was the first landing of the English colonists.

3. Plano, Texas

Plano is home to many corporations, like Hewlett Packard Enterprise and Frito-Lay, but keeps its Texas charm. | Visit Plano via Twitter

Although Plano, Texas ranks highest in the U.S. for home and community safety, this town north of Dallas is the second safest overall. Plano is home to many corporate headquarters, including Toyota North America, Cinemark Theatres, FedEx, Frito-Lay, Keurig Dr. Pepper, and Siemens. Residents love the city’s abundant open spaces.

2. South Burlington, Vermont

A snow day in South Burlington, Vermont | aris_big_adventure via Instagram

The second safest city in the U.S. employs many of its residents through GE Healthcare, Ben & Jerry’s, and Fairpoint Communications. South Burlington is the 10th most financially safe U.S. city. It’s tied for third for the lowest percentage of uninsured residents and tied for first for the lowest unemployment rate.

1. Columbia, Maryland

Columbia hosts live concerts at the lake in the summer. | columbia_md via Instagram

Comprised of 10 self-contained villages, this planned community resides outside of the Baltimore and Washington D.C. areas. As the safest city in the U.S., Columbia can thank its creator, James W. Rouse, who envisioned a city that rejected religious, class, and racial segregation and focused on human value over economics.

WalletHub gave it a fourth-place ranking in terms of home and community safety. Rouse’s vision seems to have worked; Money magazine has consistently rated Columbia as a “Best Place to Live.” Actor Edward Norton, fashion designer Christian Siriano, and astronaut Terry Virts grew up in Columbia.

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Major IT glitch hits bank customers more than once a WEEK

Major IT glitch hits bank customers more than once a WEEK amid fears over our vulnerability to cyberattacks

  • Savers and businesses are reliant on making instant payments via computers
  • Lloyds, Halifax and Bank of Scotland became the latest to suffer major IT crash
  • Many claimed on social media they were unable to pay their staff or their rent 

Leading banks are suffering at least one major security or IT glitch every week which stops customers making payments.

Around half of these meltdowns affect online banking, while a quarter impact on mobile banking.

Savers and businesses are increasingly reliant on making instant payments via computers and mobile phones – a trend fuelled by the closure of thousands of bank branches.

But today’s figures will raise fears that this dependence makes the country vulnerable to technology failures and cyberattacks.

Leading banks such as Lloyds, Halifax and Bank of Scotland became the latest to suffer a major IT crash. (Stock image)

Yesterday Lloyds, Halifax and Bank of Scotland customers became the latest to suffer a major IT crash. 

Lloyds Banking Group customers were unable to send money online after its ‘faster payments’ service went down.

Many claimed on social media they were unable to pay their staff or their rent or fill up with petrol because they could not move money between accounts.

Under new rules, banks must disclose every major operational or security incident which prevents customers using payments services – anything from cyber hacks to IT malfunctions.


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Analysis of 14 British banks reveals the rising number of incidents reported to the Financial Conduct Authority in the six months from April 1 to September 30.

Both Barclays and Lloyds reported more than 30, which equates to more than one ‘major’ incident every week.

While some failures are quickly resolved, others cause chaos and leave millions locked out of their bank accounts or unable to make payments. 

Personal finance expert Andrew Hagger, of MoneyComms, said: ‘More and more of us rely entirely on online and mobile banking which means it’s vital that the IT behind the services is robust and reliable. 

Many claimed on social media they were unable to pay their staff or their rent or fill up with petrol because they could not move money between accounts

The banks have been pushing customers down the online banking route for years. However, investment in IT must be a priority.’

Barclays suffered the highest number of security and operational incidents in six months with 34, nine of which impacted online banking payments. 

Lloyds had 31 – 22 of which prevented customers making payments through online banking.

Bank of Scotland and Halifax each reported 27, including 19 affecting online banking. These figures include some of the same crashes that affected Lloyds’ systems.

Both Lloyds and Barclays said many of the incidents were minor and had minimal impact.

Other rivals fared better: HSBC and First Direct experienced ten incidents between them with only one impacting online banking. Royal Bank of Scotland, which includes NatWest, had 17 incidents, five of which affected online banking.

While some meltdowns stemmed from bank failures, others were caused by payment providers. 

Last June a Visa ‘hardware’ failure left millions of customers unable to pay for goods. In April, 1.9million TSB customers were unable to access their money.

Hannah Maundrell, editor in chief of Money.co.uk, said: ‘I hope all banks invest in updating their old legacy systems. 

This is particularly important for customers in rural parts because branches are closing.’

Almost two-thirds of Britain’s bank branches have closed over the past 30 years.

Lloyds said on Twitter yesterday that customers ‘will not be left out of pocket’ by the latest IT issue.

A spokesman for UK Finance, which represents the banks, said: ‘When incidents occur, firms work around the clock to get services running as quickly as possible.’

 

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Richardson ready as injured Hazlewood out of Test series

Test call-up Jhye Richardson has declared he is ready to don the baggy green cap and would relish the chance to utilise a swinging pink ball should he play against Sri Lanka in the first Test this week.

Richardson, having enjoyed a strong Sheffield Shield campaign and dismissed Virat Kohli three times in as many matches in the one-day series, has replaced Josh Hazlewood, who has an early-stage back stress fracture and will miss the day-night Test in Brisbane and ensuing clash in Canberra.

In: Jhye Richardson.Credit:AAP

Hazlewood's absence means Australia will need to name a new deputy for Tim Paine, for fellow joint vice-captain Mitch Marsh has been overlooked for the series.

West Australian Richardson has the third most wickets in the Sheffield Shield this season with 27 at an average of 19 in five matches, behind Victorian pair Scott Boland (36) and Chris Tremain (28), the latter overlooked despite being in an extended squad for the first Test against India.

Richardson has joined fellow quicks Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc and Peter Siddle in the squad, which gathers in Brisbane this weekend ahead of the clash featuring Kookaburra's lacquered pink ball which some players still have misgivings about.

Richardson, a strike weapon with seven one-day internationals to his credit, said on Saturday he was ready to leave his imprint should the opportunity come.

"I have loved the pink ball. Obviously, as a group I don't think Australia has lost a pink-ball Test, and luckily enough for myself, I probably had one of my better games when I played at the WACA under lights," he said.

"I am really looking forward to it. It's going to be fantastic. The prospect of a pink ball in a Test again is great. We have seen in that twilight period the ball moves around a little bit more which is really exciting. I definitely like to swing the ball early which will be the plan if I do get to play."

In his second first-class match for WA, under lights, he claimed four wickets.

Richardson, 22, has been on the selectors' radar for some time, for he was part of last year's Test squad which toured South Africa, and enhanced his prospects with six wickets at 18.7 with an economy rate of 3.7 runs per over in the one-day series against India. That he troubled Kohli added to his claims.

"It is good to be able to get him three times in a row but my focus wasn't just on getting Kohli out, obviously. It was trying to do my job for the team and bowl well to all of their batsmen and try and get the wickets to be able to put a result on the board," Richardson said.

He has played only 11 first-class matches, claiming 49 wickets at 23.24 at a strike rate of 47.7, but took career-best figures of 8-47 against NSW in November at Optus Stadium.

Hazlewood's absence also means Australia will have to decide whether to give Cummins the new ball alongside Starc or keep him at first change and allow either Richardson or Siddle to open.

“It’s about being adaptable. Whatever that role may be, then I’m happy to accommodate that. I like to run in and bowl fast but sometimes that’s not what’s needed," he said.

“I might need to come in and stem the flow of runs or build some pressure. I think I’m learning how to do that better, especially over the past year in Shield cricket.”

Selection chairman Trevor Hohns said Richardson was an "ideal replacement" for Hazlewood.

"Jhye has had an impressive first half in his Sheffield Shield season and no one could deny he has now continued that form in ODI matches for Australia," Hohns said.

Cricket Australia physiotherapist David Beakley said he was confident Hazlewood would be fit for the mid-year World Cup and Ashes tour.

"Josh has reported some back soreness over the last few days and scans have revealed a very early stage stress fracture in the same lower back area as his previous injury from last summer," Beakley said.

"He will now begin a rehabilitation program and we are confident he will be available for selection ahead of the ICC cricket World Cup in the UK later this year."

Josh Hazlewood.Credit:AAP

Back problems had forced Hazlewood out of the Test series against Pakistan in the United Arab Emirates in October.

Richardson's elevation could mean Australia fields two debutants, for uncapped Victorian batsman Will Pucovski is also in the squad. Australia have won all four of their day-night Tests.

Squads: Australia: Tim Paine (c/wk), Joe Burns, Pat Cummins, Marcus Harris, Travis Head, Usman Khawaja, Marnus Labuschagne, Nathan Lyon, Will Pucovski, Matt Renshaw, Jhye Richardson, Mitchell Starc, Peter Siddle.

Sri Lanka: Dinesh Chandimal (c), Dimuth Karunaratne, Lahiru Thirimanne, Kusal Mendis, Sadeera Samarawickrama, Dhananjaya de Silva, Roshen Silva, Niroshan Dickwella (wk), Kusal Perera, Dilruwan Perera, Lakshan Sandakan, Suranga Lakmal, Nuwan Pradeep, Lahiru Kumara, Dushmantha Chameera, Kasun Rajitha.

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Mexican Senate elects ally of president as new top prosecutor

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) – Mexico’s Senate on Friday voted an ally of President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador to serve for nine years as the powerful new independent top prosecutor of the country, sparking immediate criticism that the role would remain politicized.

By an overwhelming majority, the Senate controlled by Lopez Obrador’s National Regeneration Movement (MORENA) and its allies chose Alejandro Gertz to take the post known as fiscal general that replaces the former position of attorney general.

Gertz, who was a security adviser to Lopez Obrador during the 2018 election campaign, had been serving as the acting attorney general since the president took office on Dec. 1.

The new role was created under the previous administration in a bid to strengthen Mexico’s patchy justice system.

However, disputes about the rules needed to flesh out the new system prevented the job from being filled until Lopez Obrador won a landslide victory in July, giving his party a platform in Congress to approve the necessary legislation.

Critics said that new framework did not guarantee the autonomy of the new prosecutor, and civil society groups spoke out against the role again on Friday.

“The name of the institution has changed, but it remains an arm of the executive,” Gustavo de Hoyos, head of Mexican employers confederation COPARMEX, told a news conference.

Gertz, 79, a onetime head of public security under former president Vicente Fox, pledged to be transparent and accountable in the job during a hearing with senators this week.

Mexican attorney generals were political appointees routinely swapped out at the accession of a new president. Under the law, Mexico’s presidents can serve only one six-year term.

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