Inside Diddy and Jay-Z's 'special pact' as rapper stays silent on his pal's allegations

Diddy and Jay-Z share a very special friendship that spans decades but when it comes to recent s*x trafficking allegations the rapper is nowhere to be seen or heard.

I'll Be Missing You could be running through Sean 'Diddy' Combs' head right now as his best pal Jay-Z remains silent on the star's recent bombshell allegations.

It has been a stressful few days for the 54-year-old record producers as a string of abuse and rape trials have been followed by a very public and well-reported Homeland Security raid at his homes in Los Angeles and Miami on Monday (March 25) evening.

The dramatic raids were part of an ongoing s*x trafficking investigation allegedly linked to Diddy, and many celebrities' names have been brought up in the leaked docs.

While Jay-Z's name hasn't been directly linked to any of the damming allegations his notable friendship with Diddy has.

The Empire State of Mind singer has remained totally silent on the matter,which has left fans scratching their heads due to the pair's close-knit friendship.


Palestinians mark last days of Ramadan on the eve of six months of war

As the Muslim fasting month draws to a close next week, many Palestinians spend their days in prayer amid Israel’s war.

Palestinian Muslims are marking a tense and sombre last weekend in Ramadan, as Israel’s war on Gaza approaches the six-month mark.

Some 120,000 people descended on the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound, which dominates the Old City in Jerusalem, officials said on Friday.

There were minor scuffles between worshippers and Israeli police controlling the entrance to the mosque, which is the third holiest site in Islam.

Adli al-Agha, 53, from Jerusalem, told the AFP news agency that many people “had to flee dawn prayers” after Israeli police deployed a mini-drone spraying tear gas to disperse worshippers.

Friday marked Laylat al-Qadr (“The Night of Power”), considered the holiest night of Ramadan, which commemorates the moment the Quran was first revealed to the Prophet Muhammad.

It is the night when Muslims believe their prayers are most likely to be granted, a festive moment while children stay up late and shops stay open till the small hours.

But many Palestinians are not in the mood to celebrate and are praying for an end to the war in Gaza after almost six months of bloodshed.

Sameeha al-Qadi, 55, who had come from near Bethlehem, said Jerusalem “is sad and has lost its light – we all feel what is going on in Gaza. We can’t escape it for a minute”.

This year there are few Ramadan decorations or lights in the Holy City, with Palestinians instead having a bitter coffee and a date – traditionally to mark mourning – on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, when feasts are usually held.

“There is sweet nothing about the feast this year. People are not celebrating,” said Sabah, 54, some of whose relatives have been killed in Gaza. “Everything is bitter in my mouth. It is so painful at this time which is all about family.”


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Israel’s war on Gaza live: Intense fighting in Khan Younis ahead of talks

A woman sits holding empty water bottles outside a tent pitched by a destroyed building in Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip on Friday 

  • Six months into Israel’s war on Gaza, there is no end in sight to hostilities with Israeli forces and Palestinian fighters engaged in intense combat around the city of Khan Younis. Hamas claimed it killed 14 Israeli soldiers during ambushes there.
  • Mediators are meanwhile expected to resume ceasefire talks in Egypt’s capital, Cairo, on Sunday. Hamas is sending a delegation and the Israeli war cabinet is expected to meet to decide if it will also participate in the talks.
  • Tens of thousands of Israeli protesters rallied in Tel Aviv calling for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s resignation and a deal to secure the release of Israeli captives held by Hamas in Gaza.
  • At least 33,137 Palestinians have been killed and 75,815 wounded in Israeli attacks on Gaza since October 7. The death toll in Israel from Hamas’s October 7 attack stands at 1,139, with dozens still held captive.

JK Rowling will not be arrested under new Scottish hate law, say police

‘No further action’ over posts by author and gender-critical activist despite complaints

Comments by JK Rowling challenging police to arrest her for online misgendering do not amount to a crime, Police Scotland said.

As the Scottish government’s contentious hate crime law came into force on Monday, the author and gender-critical activist posted a thread on X saying the legislation was “wide open to abuse” after listing sex offenders who had described themselves as transgender alongside well-known trans women activists, describing them as “men, every last one of them”.

 

She stated that “freedom of speech and belief are at an end in Scotland if the accurate description of biological sex is deemed criminal”.

On Tuesday afternoon, Police Scotland confirmed they had received complaints about the social media post but added: “The comments are not assessed to be criminal and no further action will be taken.”

The act brings together existing laws. Under the Hate Crime and Public Order (Scotland) Act 2021, it is a crime to make derogatory comments based on age, disability, religion, sexual orientation, transgender identity or being intersex.


What is World Central Kitchen, whose team was attacked by Israel in Gaza?

The NGO has provided food aid in some of the world’s biggest disasters and conflicts, from Haiti to Ukraine.

Seven people working with the United States-based NGO World Central Kitchen(WCK) have been killed in the Gaza Strip in what the group’s founder chef said was an Israeli air attack.

The NGO, which provides fresh meals in response to conflict and natural disasters, was set up by Michelin-starred chef Jose Andres and his wife Patricia in 2010, and has been supplying food assistance in Gaza, which the United Nations has warned is on the brink of famine.


Israel condemns Brazil's Lula likening Gaza war to Holocaust

Israel has condemned Brazil's president after he accused Israel of committing genocide in Gaza, comparing its actions to the Holocaust.

Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva said Israel's military campaign was between a "highly prepared army and women and children".

Israel's foreign minister described Lula's comments as antisemitic and said he was "persona non grata" in the country until he retracted them.

The main Jewish organisation in Brazil has also criticised Lula's comments.

Speaking from an African Union summit in Ethiopia, Lula said: "What is happening in the Gaza Strip with the Palestinian people has no parallel in other historical moments. In fact, it did exist when Hitler decided to kill the Jews.

"It's not a war of soldiers against soldiers. It's a war between a highly prepared army and women and children."


Biden is declined

Washington, DC – The White House has cancelled a Ramadan iftar meal after several Muslim Americans declined the invitation in protest of President Joe Biden’s support for Israel’s war on Gaza, according to two people familiar with the matter.

The sources, who spoke to Al Jazeera on condition of anonymity, said the cancellation on Tuesday came after Muslim community members warned leaders against attending the White House meal.

Edward Ahmed Mitchell, the deputy director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), also said the event was nixed because so many people chose not to attend, including invitees who had initially agreed to go.

“The American Muslim community said very early on that it would be completely unacceptable for us to break bread with the very same White House that is enabling the Israeli government to starve and slaughter the Palestinian people in Gaza,” Mitchell told Al Jazeera.

Both CNN and NPR had reported on Monday that the White House was preparing a small community iftar.

But hours later, on Tuesday, the White House announced instead that it would be hosting a meal for Muslim government staffers only and holding a separate meeting with a few Muslim American community figures.

The cancelled iftar underscores Biden’s struggle to stem growing anger in US Arab and Muslim communities over his unconditional support for Israel.

Critics warn the outrage could translate into peril for Biden at the ballot box during November’s presidential election.


Luton’s popular Eid celebrations make history with funfair, circus workshops and petting zoo​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​

History will be in the making when Luton hosts a joint Eid festival with 1Eid and Colours Of Eid uniting for a week of celebrations.

The event will mark a significant milestone in the town's annual celebrations with a collaboration which promises to bring together a colourful week of activities for all the family. 

Luton's first-ever Eid festival back in 2011, is set to host celebrations on April 9 and April 10, pending the’ traditional sighting of the moon’ with morning prayers scheduled at Stockwood Park at 10 am on the day of Eid. The main Eid festival will commence at St George's Square from 1pm until 9.30pm on both Eid day and the following day.

 

Colours of Eid, hosted by Alif New Beginnings, will continue celebrations on Saturday, April 13, with its annual event in the town centre. The event promises to build on its legacy of innovation following the establishment of Luton's first Eid parade in 2022.

 

Both events are free and open to the public with a range of attractions, including a funfair, international cuisines and desserts, children's activities, and storytelling sessions in store. Highlights for all ages will include circus workshops, roaming dinosaurs, puppet shows, fire juggling, donkey rides, science workshops with Mad Marc from Dragon’s Den, live music, calligraphy, arts workshops, Eid lights and spectacular firework displays.

 

Tahareem Farquhar, 1Eid team member and one of the main event organisers, said: "Having served the Luton community for 13 consecutive years with our bi-annual Eid festivals in the park is an amazing achievement and this year we are excited to join Colours Of Eid to create an unprecedented celebration that reflects the rich tapestry of Luton's cultural diversity. This collaboration embodies the spirit of unity and inclusivity, inviting everyone to join in the joyous festivities."

 

Sarah Salim, director of Alif New Beginnings and Colours Of Eid, added: "Luton has always been a melting pot of cultures, and our joint effort with 1Eid aims to celebrate this diversity while fostering a sense of community and togetherness. We invite everyone to come and be a part of history in the making."

Further details ae available on the 1Eid and Colours Of Eid websites.


Press release 20,000 more young people to access new and renovated youth clubs

Young people set to benefit from 140 new or refurbished youth centres thanks to latest funding round from the Government's Youth Investment Fund of £90 million.

  • Nearly 20,000 more young people will have access to dance, drama and sport as part of the Government’s latest investment in youth services
  • 140 more youth centres to be built or refurbished backed by over £90 million from the Youth Investment Fund 
  • Culture Secretary Lucy Frazer officially opens The Chichester Shed - the first new build youth centre funded by the Youth Investment Fund 

Young people in villages, towns and cities across England are set to benefit from 140 new or refurbished youth centres thanks to the largest funding round to date from the Government’s Youth Investment Fund. 

Totalling more than £90 million, funding announced today (3 February) will support nearly 20,000 more young people per year to access new state of the art facilities such as workshop spaces, sports halls, art rooms, recording studios and skateparks. 

Activities ranging from dance, drama and music to sport, horticulture and employment skills development will be on offer, giving young people access to opportunities that broaden their horizons. 

Today also marks a major milestone with the very first new build youth centre funded by the Youth Investment Fund opening its doors.

Located in a deprived area with high levels of antisocial behaviour, The Chichester Shed has used a grant of over £420,000 to build a brand new space to support more than 120 young people. The open access service will provide a space to relax and learn new skills, with activities including woodworking, yoga and skateboarding available.

Culture Secretary Lucy Frazer said:

I want to see every young person have someone to talk to, something to do, and somewhere to go outside of the classroom, no matter where they are from, to help maximise their potential in life. 

This next round of funding from the Youth Investment Fund will help nearly 20,000 more young people achieve this goal. 

We have now committed to building or refurbishing over 220 projects in some of the country’s most underserved areas, creating more opportunities for young people to gain the skills needed to succeed in life and stopping them from falling through the cracks.” 

The Youth Investment Fund has now allocated £250 million of its more than £300 million budget to services in areas of the country where need is high and provision is low. 

It will engage young people most in need, including those that might have otherwise been at risk of becoming involved in anti-social behaviour or falling out of education, training or employment.  

This is the latest announcement that forms part of the Government’s ambition to make sure young people are supported with positive and engaging opportunities both in and outside of school hours.

Clare de Bathe, CEO of Chichester Community Development Trust said: 

The Chichester Shed will provide an informal, dynamic and versatile space where young people can connect, learn and experience new activities. The space will be a haven for all ages and backgrounds to use throughout the school day and holidays, including intergenerational activities where boundaries can be broken down as well as adult education sessions and group workshops delivered. 

The funding has enabled the project ideas to be brought to a reality and we cannot wait to open the doors.

Examples of other youth centres receiving grants in this funding round include:

  • Bodies in Motion, Pendle - a combined grant of over £1.4 million will pay for the refurbishment of Orchid House Gym with new changing facilities and equipment, supporting 290 additional young people a week. The Garden Project will create a community-focused garden and greenhouse facility, engaging an additional 400 young people through therapeutic horticultural activities to promote a sense of wellbeing.
  • Youth Options, Southampton - a new community café and training centre, backed by £1.2 million investment, will provide a safe haven for nearly 100 additional young people a week in a disadvantaged part of the city.The café will offer training in catering and hospitality, and will be targeted at those not in education, employment, and training, while the indoor space will be transformed to create new activity space and a counselling room.
  • Positive Futures, Liverpool - The Positive Futures hub will be expanded to provide a sensory room, music rooms, art space, large sports hall and virtual reality spaces to support 250 additional young people a week. 
  • Tinside Cove and Lido, Plymouth - two listed buildings at the Tinside Lido will be renovated to  provide space for nearly 300 more young people a week to benefit from new training and educational programmes, while the lido will be used for swimming, snorkelling, diving and life-saving classes. 
  • Weymouth West Air Scouts, Weymouth - The Scouts building will be refurbished with a new shower room, extended kitchen and three breakout rooms, doubling the building’s size and enabling them to run multiple activities at the same time. The project will support nearly 80 more young people a week. 

Nick Temple, CEO of Social Investment Business said:

The Youth Investment Fund is transforming the youth service landscape right across the country, enabling youth centres of all shapes and sizes to enhance their services and reach more young people. 

It’s very exciting to see the first Youth Investment Fund newbuild open its doors to Chichester’s young people today. Before securing the funding, these young people had nowhere safe to go, and nothing to do after school.  

Young people now have a brand-new youth centre, inspired by their ideas and needs, giving them every opportunity to thrive and discover their passions. The Youth Investment Fund is truly unlocking potential and creating a legacy for future generations of young people in communities like this across the country.

Denise Hatton, Chair of Back Youth Alliance said: 

We are delighted that nearly 20,000 young people will be able to access new and refurbished youth clubs through the latest instalment of the National Youth Guarantee. With mental health, loneliness and anti-social behaviour all on the rise, now more than ever young people need a safe space to go, a trusted adult to speak to and access to positive activities in their communities all year round. 

Ruth Marvel, CEO of The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award (DofE), said:

This multi million-pound investment is so much more than skateparks, sports halls and art rooms. It’s an investment in the resilience, confidence and independence of young people, which thanks to the on-going impact of a pandemic and cost of living crisis, has never been more needed.

We at the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award know first-hand that when you invest in young people, there is no limit to what they can achieve. The government’s National Youth Guarantee has brought the DofE to thousands of young people in England for the first time, breaking down barriers and providing life-shaping activities and volunteering opportunities.

Today’s announcement forms the latest part of the Government’s ‘National Youth Guarantee’, that will ensure every young person aged 11-18 in England has access to regular clubs and activities, adventures away from home, and volunteering opportunities by 2025, backed by an investment of over £500 million. 

The National Youth Guarantee will provide greater access to activities such as The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Scheme and the National Citizen Service, and uniformed youth groups such as Scouts, Girlguiding, and Cadets.

To further support giving young people the best start in life, in September 2023 the Government announced the opening of the second phase of the £19 million Million Hours Fund, designed to create more than one million additional hours of youth centre provision in areas with high numbers of antisocial behaviour incidents.

Notes to editors:

Youth Investment Fund beneficiaries February 2024

Youth Investment Fund beneficiaries February 2024 


DIDDY DO IT??

Diddy’s record label fires back at lawsuits as 1999 shooting victim speaks out: Updates

*WARNING* GRAPHIC LEAKED AUDIO ALLEGEDLY OF MEEK MILLS & P.DIDDY!

The record label named in Rodney “Lil Rod” Jones’ lawsuit accusing Sean “Diddy” Combs of sexually abuse has fired back at the allegations against the label and its executives.

Attorneys for UMG Recordings and its Motown Records division sent a letter to a federal judge seeking their dismissal from the lawsuit.

 

This comes as a victim of the infamous 1999 Club New York shooting spoke out to reveal the extreme lengths she will go to prove that Diddy was her attacker.

Natania Reuben was shot in the face that night. She told NewsNation that she’d allow doctors to remove the pieces of a bullet still embedded in her head to get to the bottom of the truth. Diddy was acquitted of all charges after a 2001 trial.

Diddy’s past is back in the spotlight after his homes in Miami and Los Angeles were raided by federal agents on 25 March, in connection to a federal sex trafficking investigation. Diddy has described the actions of agents as a “gross overuse of military-level force” and insisted he is innocent of any wrongdoing.

The scandal involving Meek Mill and Diddy centers around a leaked audio clip that has sparked intense speculation and controversy. Allegations of harassment, substance use, and SA have been made against Diddy by a former team member, Lil Rod, who filed a lawsuit seeking financial gain. Both Meek Mill and Diddy have vehemently denied their involvement in the scandal, with Meek Mill taking to social media to address the rumors head-on. Despite their denials, the scandal has had a significant impact on their reputations and careers, with memes and jokes circulating on social media adding to the chaos. The public remains captivated by the scandal, eagerly awaiting further developments and the truth behind the leaked audio clip.


LIZZO EXPLAINS HER ‘I QUIT’ MESSAGE: ‘WHAT I’M NOT GOING TO QUIT IS MAKING MUSIC’

Lizzo has added some clarity around her recent declaration that she had “quit,” and made it quite clear that she did not mean was she was leaving music.

Taking to Instagram on Tuesday (April 2), the superstar singer explained that despite many misconstruing her message to be about leaving the business, she meant only that she’s going to quit responding and giving energy to the many detractors she’s encountered throughout her career.

“I wanna make this video because I just need to clarify,” she began. “When I say I quit, I mean I quit giving any negative energy attention. What I’m not going to quit is the joy of my life, which is making music, which is connecting the people – because I know I’m not alone. In no way shape or form am I the only person who is experiencing that negative voice that seems to be louder than the positive.

“If I can just give one person the inspiration or motivation to stand up for themselves and say they quit letting negative people win, negative comments win, then I’ve done even more than I could have hoped for. With that being said, I’m going to keep moving forward. I’m going to keep being me. Once again I just wanna say thank you. The love that I’ve received means more than you know.”


Israel’s destruction of Gaza’s al-Shifa Hospital

The Israeli military has withdrawn from Gaza’s main hospital, leaving behind scenes of devastation.

The Israeli military has withdrawn from the Gaza Strip’s largest hospital after a two-week raid, leaving behind scenes of devastation.

Hundreds of people returned to al-Shifa Hospital and the surrounding area after the withdrawal early on Monday. They reported finding bodies strewn inside and outside the facility.

Mohammed Mahdi, who was among those who returned, described a scene of “total destruction”. He said several buildings had been burned down and that he had counted six bodies in the area, including two in the hospital courtyard.

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