Oscar Wilde love letters discovered

Remarkable love letters written by Oscar Wilde to a young magazine editor are to be auctioned off later on this month at Bamfords of Derby auction house.

The letters addressed to Alsager Vian have been revealed for the first time. They were written at the height of Wilde’s fame and show the author’s struggles with homosexuality at time when it was punishable by prison.

The intriguing collection of five letters, which were kept under lock and key until Vian’s death in 1924, is expected to sell for £10,000 on the 24th of September.

The content of those intimate letters reveals Wilde’s sexuality. They show his deep affection to fellow editor of Society Magazine who is being continually invited to dine with the author.

“Come and dine at Pagani’s in Portland Street on Friday 7.30pm. No dress, just ourselves and a flask of Italian wine.

“Afterwards we will smoke cigarettes and Talk over the Journalistic article, could we go to your rooms, I am so far off, and clubs are difficult to Talk in.”

The letter revealed Wilde’s sexuality much earlier than the well-known case from 1887. Wide was arrested under gross indecency under Section 11 of the Criminal Law Amendment Act 1885, which covered homosexual acts, and spent two years in jail.

The discovery has been made just in time of the upcoming exhibition, Britain’s 19th Century Aesthetic Movement, at the Victoria And Albert Museum in London, which is going to feature Wilde’s lifestyle and legacy.

Gas blast woman in court

Theresa Riggi and children

 A woman who has been charged with murdering her three children is set to appear in Edinburgh Sheriff Court today for the first time. Theresa Riggi is suspected of killing her two twins Austin and Luke, eight as well as her daughter Cecilia, five.

 The three children were found in a flat on Stateford Road, after police were alerted to a small gas explosion. The following post-mortem examination revvealed the children did not die as a result of the gas leak or small fire.  

 Mrs Riggi was admitted into hospital after she fell off the balcony of the home where the children were found.

 Because of her medical condition she was unable to attend court for her original hearing. She was charged with murder at a private hearing, which was held at Edinburgh Royal Infirmary on the August 24.

The children’s father, Pasquale Riggi, 46 spoke of his loss in a statement to the BBC. He said : “It’s been shocking. You are paralysed with grief. The hardest moment was when I first found out. Your life is all about your children. In one instant that’s gone.”

During this statement he did not mention his wife.

He added that the support he had received from around the world had been important in getting him through this traumatic time. He said: “I am doing pretty well, because I have had my closest friends and family around me”.

Second Teenager Assaulted In Glenrothes

Two teenagers have been assaulted in Fife town Glenrothes over the space of two days.

An 18 year old woman was approached by a man in the Stenton area around 2030 on Wednesday night. She was grabbed but managed to run away.

The suspect has been described as being in his late 30s, 6ft tall, well built and has short brown hair. He was wearing a white polo shirt which had writing on the front and dark jeans.

A 15 year old was also assaulted in Glenrothes on Monday night when she was making her way home from Anima night club area to Pitteuchar around 2200.

The suspect has been described as being in his late 20s and of slim build. He has been reported have been wearing a dark coloured waterproof jacket and jeans. He also smelled strongly of alcohol.

The girl became aware of a man following her after she passed the night club in Church Street. She then made her way along Seaton Path, across Warout Road, then through Warout Woods towards Pitteuchar. She was then grabbed from behind when she approached Craigievar Drive and sexually assaulted.

Police are not linking the two incidents but are keeping an open mind. They want to speak to anyone who has any further information.

The victim of Monday’s incident has been described to have been wearing light coloured clothing and had been carrying a carrier bag.

Officers particularly want to talk to a man seen walking in Craigievar Drive on Monday night who may have seen the victim. He has been described as being in his early 20s.

They also are appealing to speak to a group of people who were seen standing near the entrance of Anima. It is thought that they may have seen the victim when she walked past at around 2140 on Monday.

Who Ate all the Pies?

Scots are set to boost Britain’s deflated economy in an appetizing way over the next two years.Scotland’s love of pies is set to help the market reach a value of more than one billion by the year 2012.Sales of the pastry-based savouries are increasing by 5% a year in Scotland says market research firm Mintel. The company states the most popular item in what it calls the “pies and pasties” category is now the beef-filled pie, which has ousted the sausage roll was the number one choice.

Vivianne Ihekweazu, senior food and drink analyst at Mintel, said they had also become fashionable.”While pies were often previously seen as being old fashioned, they have benefited from being repositioned as a popular gastro pub meal staple – moving them a step beyond the sausage roll in the eyes of the consumer as a versatile snack or viable main meal.”

The pork pie market on its own is worth £145m a year, according to the Melton Mowbray Pork Pie Association.

Judith Constable, from pork pie makers Dickinson & Morris, said their popularity was part of the trend towards locally sourced foods.”We are seeing consumers returning to traditional British foods such as pork pies and looking for authentic regional products with a long heritage,” she added.But Mintel warns tradition alone will not be enough to keep people buying pies.”For future growth to stay strong, manufacturers will also need to reformulate their pie and pasty ranges, making them healthier, with the use of natural ingredients,” Ms Ihekweazu advised.

From Easter road to Africa.

By CHRISTOPHER HARRESS

An ex-Hibs football player has established a footballing charity that combines the incentive  of football with education.

Jimmy Adjovi-Boco, who was born in Benin and now lives in the French town of Arras, says: “I created this charity 10 years ago, but the idea goes back a little further. At the end of my career at Hibs, I decided to go back to university and I graduated from a prestigious business school in Lille.

The charity combines hard work in the classroom with teamwork on the pitch to allow children to become professional footballers or go on to further education. It is through this combination that Jimmy believes Africa could find the answer to long-term prosperity.

“I wanted to do something for the African continent. I consider education to be one of the priorities if we want this continent to develop.”

Twelve years after his last season in professional football, the 46-year-old is able to look back on a notable career in French and Scottish football, where he is still idolised.
Although his only season in Edinburgh proved to be an unsuccessful one, it hasn’t dampened any of Jimmy’s memories of his time in “one of the most beautiful” cities, even eulogising about Hibs fans singing Sunshine on Leith.

Jimmy adds: “The players who made the biggest impression on me are big Yogi (John Hughes) and, above all, Chic Charnley, who is one of the most talented players I have played with.”

It was during Jimmy’s time at Easter Road that the concept of Diambars was born. He was one of a few African players playing outside France at the time, and the only professional football player from Benin.

Jimmy says: “Now we have been able to see – through the World Cup – that there is still a long way to go to reach the highest international level. Even for a competition played on our continent, we did not manage to go further than the quarter-finals. We still have a lot to do regarding the training of our young players, but also of our coaches.”

Along with Patrick Vieira and close friend Bernard Lama, who was having an equally disastrous season at Paris St Germain and also facing the end of his career, Jimmy decided in 1998 that it was time to give something back to Africa.


Jimmy lays the first stone of the Diambars charity complex in Senegal.

He explains: “When you have the chance to earn good money as footballers, it is important to know when to give back, especially for the African continent that suffers from many problems. It is our duty and it is what we try to teach to our young players.”

Diambars, which means “champions” in Wolof – the language of Senegal – initially operated with a presence in France and a camp in Senegal, but recent success has enabled a centre in South Africa. Jimmy even hopes to expand to Scotland.

The charity recruits around fifty 13-year-old boys each season and, while no guarantees can be made about a successful football career, many of the graduates have the opportunity to go on to university or employment afterwards.

However, with between 4000 and 5000 applications received every year, only the very best players can be recruited.

This year’s crop of players at the Senegal centre look to have a promising future, with over 75 per cent pass marks in their final year exams, compared to the national average of 45 per cent in the country.

By educating the players, the charity aims to avoid the situation from the past where young promising African footballers were taken to Europe and often abandoned when they failed to make the grade, leaving them with nothing to fall back on.

Jean-Claude Mbouvin, of the charity Culture Foot Solidaire, knows of 800 African boys who have been effectively ‘lost’ in Europe, while others put the figure as high as 5000 children.

Students live an almost military regime of football training and education at Jimmy’s academy, where they enjoy free food and accommodation for the duration of their five-year stay – a luxury which millions of African boys their age can only dream of.

Given that 50 per cent of men in Senegal cannot read or write, Diambars is succeeding where governments and billions of dollars of investment have failed – a true testament to the work of Boco, who believes that football and education is the way forward.

While only 20 per cent of Diambars boys will go on to play some kind of professional football – often at low-paying African teams – a few will make it through to the elite European leagues each year.

In terms of success, the charity is doing very well with graduates being sold to clubs around Europe, or going on to study at university.

The message of “giving back” is one that the graduates take on their travels, knowing that their success is a matter of life and death for the charity.

Lennon’s Killer Denied Bail for Sixth Time…

Mark David Chapman

Mark David Chapman, killer of John Lennon, has told the parole board in New York that by killing the Beatle he would become a ‘somebody’.

Now, coming up to the 30th anniversary of the legend’s death, his murderer is once again appealing for freedom. He claims to have found Jesus during his incarceration and told the parole board, “I know him, he is with me, he is with me now, he is helping me speak to you now.”

Chapman, now 55, murdered Lennon outside of his New York apartment in December of 1980 and in June 1981 was sentenced for life with parole eligibility after 20 years. Being denied parole for the sixth time – the board commenting that they were still concerned about his disregard for the norms of society – Chapman also told the committee that: “I felt that by killing John Lennon I would become somebody and instead of that I became a murderer and murderers are not somebodies.”

A former security guard, Chapman also told of a list of people he wanted to kill. John Lennon topped the list, including talk show host Johnny Carson and actress Elizabeth Taylor.

Chapman is currently being held at the Attica Correctional Facility in New York State.

Prince William starts RAF rescue training

By Grace Boyle

Royal rescue – Prince William will start as a co-pilot for RAF missions from the Valley airbase on Anglesey

Prince William admits his training to qualify as an RAF search and rescue pilot has been “challenging”.
The prince, known as Flt Lt William Wales, graduates after a 19-month programme at RAF Valley on Anglesey.

“The course has been challenging, but I have enjoyed it immensely,” The Prince said.

He will spend the next three years at the base flying rescue missions, potentially all over the UK.

At Friday’s ceremony Prince William and fellow trainees will receive certificates and squadron badges.

During his training the prince has taken part in a number of simulated rescue missions over the Irish Sea, the Atlantic and in the mountains of Snowdonia.

The RAF has insisted that no concessions have been made to him because of his royal status and that he has passed the training course on merit.

The prince said ahead of the informal ceremony with six fellow trainees at the base: “I am really delighted to have completed the training course with my fellow students.

I absolutely love flying, so it will be an honour to serve operationally with the search and rescue force, helping to provide such a vital emergency service.”

Prince William has completed 70 hours of live flying plus 50 hours of simulator training to learn how to manoeuvre the Seaking helicopter to the exacting standards demanded by his role – and the RAF.

He will now take up his place as a member of a four-man rescue crew, initially as a co-pilot.

While on duty he will live on the base, in preparation to deal with emergency calls.

“You are exposed to your weaknesses and therefore have to adapt.

The crews have to work with you as a team – there is nowhere to hide in the crew of a helicopter.”

The 1000 BST graduation is not classed as a passing out parade and so will be more informal than previous ‘wings ceremonies.’

It will be a number of weeks before he starts his first 24-hour shift as he will have to undergo “acceptance” – learning the terrain and landing sites.

But the RAF has also warned that any time-wasters making bogus calls in the hope of catching a glimpse of the pilot prince could find themselves landed with a hefty bill to cover the enormous cost of every single search and rescue operation.