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Granny DJ plays first US gig

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Grandmother Ruth Flowers played her set at Anaheim’s Electro Festival and praised her youthful followers, she said, “They want to touch me and kiss me and they throw me gifts, bracelets off their arm.

“I’ve had two red roses thrown at me by young men and I think that’s rather lovely for an old biddy like me.”

Flowers only became interested in becoming a disc jockey in 2005 when she attended a London nightclub for her grandson’s birthday.

In a previous interview with The Telegraph, Flowers described her first reaction to the nightclub, “It was frightfully noisy of course, and there were all these lights flashing.

“But what I realised was that these young people were just having so much fun.

“So I said to my grandson, ‘You know what darling, I could arrange things like this, for the local kids.’ And he said he thought that would be very cool.”

Five years on and Mamy Rock is quickly establishing herself as a top DJ, with a stream of bookings in both Europe and now the US. While in Los Angeles Flowers worked in the recording studio on her next single “69″, a nod to her age.

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First Starbucks at sea steams into Florida port (Reuters)

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FORT LAUDERDALE, Florida (Reuters) – Coffee lovers looking for a bit of sea air flavor in their espresso or Frappuccino might want to sample the first Starbucks at sea, which steamed into a Florida port on Thursday on board the world’s largest cruise liner.

Seattle-based Starbucks Corp, the world famous coffee chain, already has a nautical link — its founders took the name from Starbuck, the first mate on the Pequod whaler from Nantucket that hunted the white whale, Moby Dick, in Herman Melville’s famous novel.

The floating Starbucks Cafe is among a panoply of dining and entertainment options offered aboard Royal Caribbean’s Allure of the Seas, sister of the Oasis of the Seas, hitherto the world’s biggest cruise ship which the company brought into operation last year.

Royal Caribbean executives say the Allure is almost 2 inches (50 millimeters) longer than the Oasis.

The Starbucks at sea is being operated under a license between the world’s largest coffee maker and Royal Caribbean, which will run the Allure and the Oasis from its Port Everglades base on Florida’s southeast coast.

“Starbucks is an example of something that people, when they move from their daily world to the world of vacation, they don’t necessarily want to leave that behind,” Royal Caribbean International President and CEO Adam Goldstein told CNN this week.

Like its sister ship Oasis, the 225,285-gross ton Allure has 16 decks. It carries 5,400 guests at double occupancy, and features 2,700 staterooms.

The ship offers seven distinct themed “neighborhoods”, which include a tree-lined Central Park, Boardwalk, the Royal Promenade, the Pool and Sports Zone, Vitality at Sea Spa and Fitness Center, Entertainment Place and Youth Zone.

Allure will operate in the Caribbean and a special four-night sailing of the luxury liner on December 1 will call at the cruise line’s private beach destination of Labadee, on the north coast of Haiti, the Western Hemisphere’s poorest country.

(Reporting by Joe Skipper, Pascal Fletcher and Tom Brown; Editing by Anthony Boadle)

First World War officially ends

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The final payment of £59.5 million, writes off the crippling debt that was the price for one world war and laid the foundations for another.

Germany was forced to pay the reparations at the Treaty of Versailles in 1919 as compensation to the war-ravaged nations of Belgium and France and to pay the Allies some of the costs of waging what was then the bloodiest conflict in history, leaving nearly ten million soldiers dead.

The initial sum agreed upon for war damages in 1919 was 226 billion Reichsmarks, a sum later reduced to 132 billion, £22 billion at the time.

The bill would have been settled much earlier had Adolf Hitler not reneged on reparations during his reign.

Hatred of the settlement agreed at Versailles, which crippled Germany as it tried to shape itself into a democracy following armistice, was of significant importance in propelling the Nazis to power.

“On Sunday the last bill is due and the First World War finally, financially at least, terminates for Germany,” said Bild, the country’s biggest selling newspaper.

Most of the money goes to private individuals, pension funds and corporations holding debenture bonds as agreed under the Treaty of Versailles, where Germany was made to sign the ‘war guilt’ clause, accepting blame for the war.

France, which had been ravaged by the war, pushed hardest for the steepest possible fiscal punishment for Germany.

The principal representative of the British Treasury at the Paris Peace Conference, John Maynard Keynes, resigned in June 1919 in protest at the scale of the demands.

“Germany will not be able to formulate correct policy if it cannot finance itself,’ he warned.

When the Wall Street Crash came in 1929, the Weimar Republic spiralled into debt. Four years later, Hitler was elected Chancellor of Germany.

Pensioner welcomes first neighbours after three years in luxury ghost town

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Photo: Peter Lawson/Eastnews

When Les Harrington, and his late wife, Doris, moved into Homebridge Village, a converted 18th Century workhouse and hospital in Witham, Essex, in 2007 they had every reason to look forward to a busy social life, surrounded by neighbours.

With its own private gym, restaurant, laundry and carefully manicured gardens, the village was unsurprisingly heavily subscribed.

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Most of the 58 listed cottages and apartments on the 2.4 acre site, were already reserved before work had been completed.

But as the housing market began to feel the financial chill and a series of deals collapsed, the owners of the site went into administration, turning the £6 million development into a virtual ghost town.

Following the death of his wife shortly after moving in, Mr Harrington, an 87-year-old RAF veteran, found himself as the sole occupant.

The site’s two-strong staff, a cleaner and maintenance man, were kept on while the administrators attempted to find a buyer – attentive to his every need.

Mr Harrington occupied his time with his regular trips to the on-site gym and work on a novel he hopes to see published.

His unusual situation made Mr Harrington an unlikely symbol of the global financial downturn, featured in newspaper articles around the world.

But now, after a change in planning rules which barred anyone under 55 from moving in, he is finally welcoming his first neighbours.

The change enabled Fairview New Homes, a property developer, to take over the site and sell the homes to the wider market, with two-bedroiom cottages on sale from £190,000.

Mr Harrington’s first neighbours finally began moving in earlier this month, with more expected in the next few weeks.

After three years of an enforced quiet life he jokes that the prospect of loud music or late night television programmes blaring out of surrounding homes could not be more welcome.

“I suppose the worst time was the evenings,” he said.

“I like to go outside and have a pipe of an evening and especially in the winter, it was quiet.

“It will be nice now to see a light and hear people.

“I expect soon we will probably hear music and television coming out of people’s houses.”

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