What is antifa and who funds it?

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Antifa is an umbrella term to describe radical left-leaning militant groups that typically confront neo-Nazism and white supremacists at demonstrations.

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Public and elected officials, including President Trump, have blamed antifa activists for violence at protests sparked by the death of George Floyd last week. Floyd, a 46-year-old black man, died last Monday after a white Minneapolis police officer pressed his knee on Floyd's neck for several minutes.

HOW SHOULD AMERICA HANDLE ANTIFA?

But officials have said that in parts of the country, what started as peaceful protests have devolved into organized riots.

Short for “anti-fascists,” antifa has no hierarchical structure or universal set of tactics that makes its presence immediately recognizable, though members tend to espouse revolutionary and anti-authoritarian views, said Mark Bray, a historian at Rutgers University and author of “Antifa: The Anti-Fascist Handbook.”

Literature from the antifa movement encourages followers to pursue lawful protest activity as well as more confrontational acts, according to a 2018 Congressional Research Service report.

ANTIFA PROTESTS NEW YORK CITY POLICE, TRANSPORTATION

The literature suggests that followers monitor the activities of white supremacist groups, publicize online the personal information of perceived enemies, develop self-defense training regimens and compel outside organizations to cancel any speakers or events with “a fascist bent,” the report said.

People associated with Antifa have been present for significant demonstrations and counter-demonstrations over the last three years, sometimes involving brawls and property damage.

Trump and members of his administration have singled out antifa as being responsible for the violence at protests triggered by the killing of Floyd.

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On Tuesday, Trump’s personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani, told FOX Business’ Maria Bartiromo the FBI has evidence that shows antifa's involvement.

“This is an organized effort. I don’t say it’s a strictly organized effort, but it’s organized,” Giuliani said. “They’re communicating with each other, you know the FBI has a lot of the texts that show antifa's involvement. They’re anarchists, they’re people who want to drive this government down.”

In a pair of statements over the weekend, Attorney General William Barr described “antifa-like tactics" by out-of-state agitators and said antifa was instigating violence and engaging in “domestic terrorism" and would be dealt with accordingly.

At a White House appearance Monday, Trump blamed antifa by name for the violence, along with violent mobs, arsonists and looters.

White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany told reporters earlier in the day that antifa is a “big element of this protest," though she deferred to the Justice Department on the question of how one could be identified as a member.

But it's unclear how big its involvement is.

Police stand near an overturned vehicle and a fire as demonstrators protest the death of George Floyd, Sunday, May 31, 2020, near the White House in Washington.(AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

Bray said that although he believes people associated with antifa are participating in the demonstrations, it is difficult to establish how big of a role they're playing since there is no official roster of members and since the movement lacks the numbers to mobilize nationwide in such a dramatic, forceful way.

“The radical left is much bigger than antifa— much, much bigger — and the number of people who are participating in the property destruction are much, much bigger than the radical left,” Bray said.

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Little is known about who funds antifa activists, or how the groups get their resources. Antifa is not a single organization, and therefore, financial details, if any exist, are murky.

Earlier this week, Trump tweeted: “The United States of America will be designating ANTIFA as a Terrorist Organization."

Asked Monday what legal authority the president would have for labeling antifa a terror organization, McEnany pointed to the existing statute under the U.S. criminal code that defines acts of domestic and international terrorism.

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Even if antifa is not a designated terror organization, FBI Director Chris Wray has made clear that it's on the radar of federal law enforcement.

He has said that while the FBI does not investigate on the basis of ideology, agents have pursued investigations across the country against people motivated to commit crimes and acts of violence "on kind of an antifa ideology."

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

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Anthony Joshua says ‘I do date but I can’t find someone to call my girlfriend and grow old with’ – The Sun

HE’S one of the globe’s biggest sporting stars, with a raft of titles and a legion of adoring fans – but true love is proving tougher to conquer for Anthony Joshua.

The world heavyweight boxing champion today opens up to The Sun about life in lockdown with his family — including becoming “super dad” to his four-year-old son, JJ.

In a world exclusive interview, the 30-year-old fighter also discusses his determination to knock out boxing rival Tyson Fury, his flirtatious quip to The Queen and how sport can help reunite Britain after the Covid-19 crisis.

However, despite all of his accolades, Anthony admits there is one prize which remains as elusive as ever – finding love.

AJ says: “I think you can date and still be a successful sportsman but it’s hard to find a balance and I would have to compromise — which I’ve not felt able to do.

“My dad never gave me advice about much. But in terms of relationships what I have learnt and what I tell my son is, it would be nice to find a high school sweetheart and to grow together because as you get older you get set in your ways.

“For me to have a relationship now means I would have to compromise and change my ways and I don’t know how easy that would be for me to do.

“So I do date but I don’t get to the stage where I actually put anyone into that position.

“I don’t have a girlfriend and I haven’t had one for a while. But as I get older I do think it would be nice to have someone, someone to grow with as well — but I honestly haven’t found anyone.”

Any future girlfriend would have to understand what it’s like to be famous, he believes.

‘I NEED TO GO TO CELEBRITY PARTIES’

He explains: “Maybe I need to get off the estate and start going to celebrity parties — maybe do something different.

“I hope I will — and probably meeting someone else who understands fame would make sense. I would hope so. But it needs to be someone down to earth, family-orientated – someone who can call my mum their second mum.

“It takes time to grow that and, as I said, now I am older I am stuck in my ways. As I get older it would be nice to bring someone into my world but it’s dependent on who and I just haven’t found someone yet.

“Maybe we can go on a hunt. We have all the time now.”

With boxing currently on hold, Anthony has spent months at home enjoying time with his family at their Watford home.

But after initially embracing home-schooling his son, he admits he has struggled to keep up his efforts as the lockdown continues.

He told how the youngster's attention has gradually drifted away from his dad’s tuition and towards his favourite cartoons instead.

AJ says: “I started off as super-dad and then that slowly went out the window and to be honest he’s watching way too much TV now.

“The only thing he wants to do is watch Paw Patrol and Ryan’s World – there’s no way you’d get him watching Joe Wicks.”

AJ’s success in the ring means little to JJ and his modest dad is perfectly happy with that.

He says: “At home he doesn’t really think of me as a famous boxer or anything like that. I’m not a superstar and he doesn’t think so either. He knows I fight but that’s all.

“I always keep that stuff away from home. I’m not like that at home – and I’m not even like that when I go out, really.”

Soon AJ’s home-schooling will come to an end, although he does not know when yet. The heavyweight says: “The next conversation is about him going back to school — although I’m not too sure if we’ll send my boy back to school just yet.”

Sport is gradually preparing to return, with top-flight football resuming next month — and AJ believes it can help Britain get back on its feet.

He says: “Things are heading in the right direction and as long as it’s safe I think sport could play a big part in helping Britain come out of this — it’s 100 per cent going to help lift people.

“It’s great news about the Premier League and boxing will hopefully follow at some point.

“Sports in Britain, especially football, is part of our culture. It has to come back you know. It is part of our nation’s heritage.

“Once it comes back there will be an uplift of energy in households. It is passed down through families. It is good for communities.”

The whole of Britain wants to see him fight British rival Tyson Fury. AJ wants it, too, saying: “In my own mind I had mentally written off most of this year but, if I was to fight this year, it would probably be November or December.

“It’s difficult at the moment knowing how you cover the costs, and whether you could charge people in the circumstances for pay per view.”

'YOU NEED DISCIPLINE'

AJ has been determined to stay in shape despite being forced to train alone without his team around him.

He has his own key to his local gym and he says the unusual silence there has actually helped him.

AJ explains: “It’s my lifestyle. That’s what I’ve done all my life – instead of going to college, I went to the school of boxing. I learnt how to fight.

“So I’m still doing my studying, I’m still doing my education but I’ve got a key to my local gym which I’m allowed to go in. You need discipline and that’s one thing I’ve got personally, I don’t need to be told or pushed – it’s in my character.

“I just hit the bags, skip and it’s the first time in my whole boxing career where I’ve been left alone.

"Normally I’ve got someone in my ear, telling me what to do, how to do it and I’ve actually really enjoyed being on my own. It’s been a blessing.

“And there’s nobody to spar with so you don’t get hit — that’s not always a bad thing!”

He went on: “My workout regime is always boxing and it’s one of the things I love most about boxing. Out of all sports, you really don’t need much to get started.

"It’s just a pair of shorts, some trainers, and you can just start shadow boxing straight away.

“Watch some Mike Tyson and you can just pick up some things — that’s what I used to do. I’d watch Mike Tyson a lot and try his moves in the garden.

“Go to the park, shadow box, go running, listen to a bit of Rocky music, get into your mind that you’re a boxer and then you’re good to go.”

He also told how changes in his domestic routine have proved to be highly beneficial.

AJ says: “I never sit in the living room — and for the first time ever I have done. I was sitting outside earlier and I would never normally do that either. I would usually be at the gym, sauna, swimming.

“Of course, Covid has been a global pandemic and awful but for a lot of people, it has helped people find out about themselves and what they want to do.

“They have worked on themselves and spent time with their family. And that has been very positive for me.”

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Lele Pons: I Walked in on My Dad Sleeping With Another Man When I Was Young

YouTuber Lele Pons opened up about learning that her father, Luis, is gay after discovering him in bed with another man when she was younger.

“I came to his room and I saw him actually, like, sleeping with a man,” the Venezuela native, 23, revealed during the Tuesday, May 26, episode of her YouTube documentary series, The Secret Life of Lele Pons. “I was like 10 years old, and that for me was like, ‘Oh, my God, I can’t believe it. Like, I saw … my dad.’”

Pons described the incident as “very traumatizing” because she did not need to find out about her father’s sexuality “so vividly.” However, she noted that they are now “even” since he has walked in on her in a similar situation.

The actress acknowledged that the realization eventually made her and Luis “so close,” but it was not without its challenges. “It was hard for me at first,” she said, pointing out that her OCD affected how she dealt with the information. “It was hard because I was repeating him saying he was gay until it sounded right in my head.”

Pons recalled how she ultimately shared the news with her classmates without meaning to do so. “So what happened was that I openly said he was gay … in my Catholic school,” she explained. “Impulsivity is a huge part of OCD. And when I found that my dad was gay, I said it during a presentation in my class. And everybody was like, ‘This has nothing to do with what’s going on.’” Her “very Catholic” teacher then pulled her aside.

Elsewhere in the episode, Luis raved about his daughter. “I think we have the best relationship anybody can possibly have,” he said. “We’re very close. We’re really, really close. We love each other.”

The singer returned the favor by gushing about her father via Instagram. “My dad is my best friend! The person I love most in the world and I will always forever support him!” she wrote on Tuesday. “He’s the best father I could have ever asked for and I thank God everyday [sic] for him! BTW: We were born the same day.”

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Do I pay congestion charge in London on bank holidays?

THE London congestion charge is going to be increased by 30% by Sadiq Khan, from June 22 due to government struggles funding new transport systems.

But do you have to pay the London congestion charge today, on a bank holiday? Here's everything we know.

Do I pay a congestion charge in London on bank holidays?

At the current congestion charge rate, on bank holidays the charge is free all day long.

The current charge is applied between 7am and 6pm Monday to Friday but not on weekday evenings, weekends, Bank Holidays and any days between Christmas and New Year.

What is the congestion charge zone?

The congestion charge zone covers zones 1 on the Transport for London tube map. Which can be seen on the map below.

London's congestion charge zone currently covers the following areas:

  • St. James's
  • Waterloo
  • Borough
  • City of London
  • Clerkenwell
  • Covent Garden
  • Fitzrovia
  • Charing Cross
  • London Bridge
  • Holborn
  • Finsbury
  • Bloomsbury
  • Soho
  • Mayfair
  • Westminster
  • parts of Marylebone, Lambeth and Southwark.

The congestion charge was introduced in 2003 in a bid to reduce the high levels of traffic in the capital and encourage people to use London's public transport services.

The charge was temporarily waived during lockdown, however, the £11.50 charge has been reintroduced as of Monday 18 May, along with the ultra low emission zone which costs £12.50 for most vehicles and £100 for heavy lorries or coaches.

From June 22, the Congestion Zone charge in London will be increased by 30%. This means the charge will sit at £15, instead of £11.50.

The hours of the congestion charge will also be extended, covering seven days a week from 7am to 10pm.

Can I get a discount on the congestion charge?

Motorists can apply for a discount on the congestion charge. These motorists include:

  • Residents within the charge zone
  • Any blue badge holders
  • Breakdown or roadside recovery vehicles
  • Ultra-low emission vehicles under 3.5 tonnes that produce under 75g/km of CO2
  • Motor tricycles that are one metre or less wide

 

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Why the coronavirus pandemic is leading so many couples to divorce

She called me from a one-bedroom apartment two weeks ago, her voice quiet and shaky.

“I just cannot take one more minute with him,” she said. “I have to get divorced. Why did I wait? Now I will never be able to get out!”

As a clinical psychologist specializing in divorce, I typically get three to five calls a week from people thinking about ending their marriage. But since the coronavirus pandemic first erupted in China and spread all over the world, including New York City where I live and work, I’m now getting these calls three to five times a day.

As The Post reported, divorce inquiries among top New York City matrimonial lawyers rose 50 percent during the first week of the “pause” order in New York — double the calls they typically receive. Even “Full House” star Mary-Kate Olsen filed for an emergency divorce from her husband Olivier Sarkozy on May 18, claiming she was afraid she’d lose all access to her belongings and her apartment during the pandemic.

This coronavirus divorce surge was first seen in China. Steve Li, a divorce lawyer in Shanghai, which went into lockdown on Jan. 23 after the virus emerged in Wuhan 430 miles away, told Bloomberg News that his caseload has increased 25 percent since his city eased restrictions in mid-March. Meanwhile, the central Chinese city of Xian, and Dazhou, in the Sichuan province, both reported a record number of divorce filings in early March, creating major backlogs at government offices.

Evidence from past pandemics shows that divorces increase even after a virus subsides. A study in Hong Kong found that a year after the 2002-03 SARS epidemic, 2004 divorces in that city were 21 percent higher than 2002 levels, Bloomberg News reported.

Why do pandemics lead to divorce? Because a lockdown means spending 24/7 together. On weekdays, the typical dual-income couple sees each other for 30 minutes in the morning and two to three hours in the evenings. Time spent together on weekends is greater, but usually diluted by errands, activities and visits from friends. Now many of these couples are at home all day long, watching each other all the time!

While the usual issues, including a lack of intimacy, affairs and disputes over parenting styles, are still leading to divorce during the pandemic, I’m getting lots of complaints about how differently people’s partners are responding to the COVID-19 crisis. One woman told me she is exasperated by how controlling her husband is about the cleanliness of their apartment. “He literally wipes up my sweat when I am working out!” she sighed. Another regular complaint I’m getting: “I cannot believe how irresponsible he is being about social distancing and not taking this seriously.”

Once people see they have fundamentally disjointed ways of handling this crisis, it underscores other differences in the marriage. “Joe” called me the other day and said he was furious at his wife when she came home with their two kids and his daughter told him, “Daddy, we had such a great time with Oliver and Jane at the park.” He could not believe his wife had allowed their kids to have physical contact with other children. “How can I trust her judgment?” he asked me.

Another client, who called 311 on the bar next door for not following social-distancing rules, told me she felt unsupported when her husband shrugged his shoulders over the event and said, “Everyone needs to let off some steam.” Another woman said her “paranoid” partner won’t allow her to go shopping without him and they have to be rigidly careful, including wiping down every box of food before placing it in their recyclable bags. She told me she feels trapped.

Divorce rates increase during other times of stress, of course. A chronic illness, the death of a child and deployment in a war are all factors. But lockdown puts what’s missing in a marriage on full display. Patience is short. In the past when you might have excused your partner’s behavior and said, “They did not mean it. They meant well,” it’s now harder to feel compassion for their mistakes.

Research shows that how partners communicate, work through arguments and problem-solve will allow a stressor to either wreck a marriage or sustain it.

For the most part, the pandemic is dragging all our issues out of our dusty closets and requiring couples to talk about their frustrations, desires and needs. The good news is: If you face this challenge and are willing to work through it with your partner, you will likely come out of this pandemic stronger than ever before. And the couples who break up during lockdown were likely headed that way anyway.

Dr. Elizabeth Cohen is a contributor to Psychology Today and the CEO and founder of “Afterglow: The Light at the Other Side of Divorce,” an online divorce course offering a free 14-day guide for couples who are facing tough decisions.

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I Got A Front-Row Seat To The New Season Of “Selling Sunset”

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Last June, I toured a house so big, one lap around it made me tired. The 12-car garage had a waterfall inside, the closets were the size of three average New York City apartments, there was a spa, a wine cellar, and a rooftop terrace. The house had an unobstructed view of Los Angeles, and was so high atop the Hollywood Hills that it made the other mansions nearby look laughably miniscule in comparison. It wasn’t my house and never would be, but I started to dream about what owning it would be like. Oh, your home doesn’t have a wraparound infinity pool or an elevator? How grotesssssque.

The person giving me this tour of one of the most expensive homes in the history of the Hollywood Hills was Adam DiVello, the executive producer of the iconic 2000s shows Laguna Beach and The Hills. I followed his crew as they scouted locations for the second and third seasons of Netflix’s Selling Sunset last June, and then again again in November for a couple of days of filming. Selling Sunset is DiVello’s newest reality offering, a sleeper hit that focuses on a group of seven women who work at the Oppenheim Group in West Hollywood, a realty agency that specializes in selling very, very expensive homes.

During our walkthrough, we wandered into the master bedroom, where we tried to figure out if the bed was a queen or a California king. “It looks small, doesn’t it?” DiVello said. But the room was so enormous that a bed that could fit four people still looked doll-sized in comparison.

The house, with its five bedrooms, nine (nine!) bathrooms, and home theatre, was listed at the time for around $43 million, and potentially came with a million-plus commission for whoever was able to sell it. (It sold for less than the asking price, which means that maybe it could’ve been mine, give or take a few million.) For most of the show’s first season, the 20,000 square foot behemoth was still being built, and it was, at the time, the most expensive listing for the Oppenheim Group. It was also the perfect setting for an Adam DiVello production.

The view from the house from Netflix’s “Selling Sunset.”

The DiVello brand is built on nearly impossible aspirations, often with a cast of beautiful (but often quite bland) white women fighting over (usually) very low-stakes issues. Like most reality TV, the arguments are frequently petty, often rooted in little miscommunications, the conflict largely passive-aggressive, but DiVello knows to add just enough high-end appeal to make his shows feel elevated and compelling. (His shows aren’t even called reality TV — instead they’re seen as docusoaps.) His brand of television is a lot like the house he was showing me: visually stunning, unaffordable, not really my style — and yet, I would happily be buried in the kitchen.

With 2004’s Laguna Beach, DiVello brought us into a wealthy Orange County enclave full of beautiful teenagers living largely unattainable lives. On The Hills, which premiered two years later, DiVello plucked the most relatable young woman from Laguna Beach and followed her — and some choice Laguna castmates — as they embarked on a new phase of their lives in Los Angeles. With Selling Sunset, he’s once again letting us commoners into a glamorous setting, but this time it’s the rarified world of high-end real estate that somehow feels wholly different from all the other real estate shows crowding cable TV.

It’s a show built for binging, even if it’s hard to encapsulate why. Selling Sunset is muted in contrast to other reality programming: The cast is hardly as bombastic as any of the women on a Real Housewives franchise, there’s none of that can-do attitude from other home makeover shows, no inspirational music that swells over a bathroom renovated on the cheap. There’s no homebuyer fretting over their budget or dozens of people trying to outbid them on a fixer-upper, because the competition over a $43 million home is, ultimately, slim. There are plenty of other reality shows focused on trying to eke out home improvements on a tight budget, or well-heeled women behaving badly, or even other shows about expensive homes for sale, but rarely do you actually want to live in those houses or be around those people. (Sorry, Kyle and Dorit, but I would rather eat a pile of nails than be either of your friends.) But when Adam DiVello is producing a reality TV world, it’s hard not to wish you could spend a week or lifetime in it.

That’s the beauty of his shows: You feel, on some level, that if you tried hard enough and had the right stylists and doctors, maybe there could be a possibility that you too could live in his world. These are not the girls next door — unless you live in the Hollywood Hills. But despite the fact that all the women who inhabit the DiVello universe are in a different stratosphere of wealth, beauty, and access, there’s still something relatable about them. Unlike other shows about the rich, they’re not produced to be caricatures that veer into absurdity; rather, they’re just normal people who wear feathered cocktail dresses to their boss’s casual dinner.

But if you can’t be them — which, to be clear, you absolutely can’t — the next best thing is to watch them in action.

DiVello, second from left, with the cast of “Selling Sunset” at The Oppenheim Group Real Estate office: Chrishell Hartley, far left, Mary Fitzgerald, Davina Potratz and Heather Young.

It’s clear that Adam DiVello’s personal aesthetic matches up perfectly with what he produces on TV. Tall and broad, he’s got the whitest, straightest set of teeth I’ve ever seen and the cleanest sneakers, and his clothes are always without a single wrinkle. When he peels out of his pristine, black Range Rover, he looks like money, effortlessly. He’s hardly aged from when he did red carpets with the cast of The Hills more than 10 years ago. He’s put together, but understated about it. While Andy Cohen — who helms the fun if sometimes trashy Housewives franchise — is a big personality with grandiose style and an outsize social media presence, DiVello is as subtle as his shows. He has a sparse Instagram, a dormant Twitter account, and he never discusses his personal life.

And though he won’t say it, he’s already had more success in reality television programming than most people have across the entire span of their careers. He was a largely unknown MTV development executive when he helped develop Laguna Beach in 2004. “Liz Gateley had come with the idea to do a reality 90210,” DiVello told me over burgers and salmon grain bowls last June in Hollywood. “So I flew out to meet with high schools out here.”

The Hills was a natural sequel, following perennial nice girl Lauren Conrad as she moved to Hollywood to try to make it in the fashion industry. 2008’s The City followed Lauren’s friend, Whitney Port — the walking Ralph Lauren ad from The Hills cast — when she briefly moved to New York. Apart from these three shows, all organically connected, DiVello also executive produced 2018’s Music City, which ran on CMT for two seasons. Most of his shows have been bona fide hits, namely Laguna Beach and The Hills, which created not just its own kind of reality show subindustry, but also helped form the it girl paparazzi scene of the early aughts. If you’re a reality television fan, Lauren screaming “You know what you did!” to her former best friend Heidi Montag at the dimly lit Les Deux in Hollywood has to be ingrained in your memory for life. At the time, there was nothing like it.

While there might not ever be anything like the generation-defining success of those two franchises again, DiVello is still aiming to duplicate it. Instead of returning to the same well that brought him victory before, he’s aging and evolving with his audience. “With Laguna Beach, I was still in my twenties, so that felt right to me,” said DiVello. But now he’s interested in thirtysomethings as they build their careers and relationships. “Certainly the real estate world to me is a really exciting world. I’m a homeowner and I go to open houses constantly. That probably wasn’t what I was thinking about in my twenties.”

Jason Oppenheim, president of The Oppenheim Group and DiVello, left, look down from the rooftop of the $43 million house from Netflix’s “Selling Sunset.”

DiVello’s thesis on how to make a good reality show is deceptively simple: just tell a really good story. “In a traditional scripted world, the same thing applies. It always comes down to the story.” But, of course, you have to set up a few “bumpers” as DiVello calls them, so that story plays out in a way you can somewhat predict, and so your characters react in a way that viewers will care about. “[There’s] the whole pinball analogy and how you design the shows, which is like creating the perfect pinball machine,” Skyler Wakil, a supervising producer of Selling Sunset, told me. “And then, throwing the players in there and see how they bounce around.”

In addition to a good story, there are, of course, other requirements. First, above all, the show has to be pretty. “You want it to look as beautiful as possible,” he said. “There’s always budget constraints and I think that’s why a lot of shows look the way they do, because it just costs a lot more money to make the show look the way we make them look. We put all the money on the camera.” Indeed, there isn’t a whiff of low-budget reality TV in any of DiVello’s shows. No shaky camera, no ugly-crying, no wine or fist throwing.

And then, of course, you need to cast just right. “Casting is an art,” DiVello said. “The women are all likable. I think that you can find a little bit of yourself in every one of them, which I like.”

Is the main cast of Selling Sunset likable? Sure. It just depends on what you like. There’s Chrishell Stause, the protagonist of the show and the “Lauren” of the group, who radiates a saccharine level of sweetness in every episode. As the close-knit group sized up their new colleague, the rudest thing they could say about her was that she lives in the Valley. There’s Christine Quinn, the immediate antagonist, whose skin and hair are both the color of ice. There’s also Mary Fitzgerald, one of the more senior agents at Oppenheim, who is engaged to a guy named Romain (pronounced like, yes, the lettuce) who claims to be a pastry chef even though it looks like he’s never ingested a carbohydrate in his life. Maya Vander lives in Miami part time and functions mostly as just a way to air some expository dialogue about one of the other women’s fights. Heather Young has dimples. And there’s Davina Potratz, who wears reasonable wrap dresses to the office and doesn’t seem to relish fights the way Christine does, despite always being in conflict with someone. Jason and Brett Oppenheim, a set of well-dressed twins, run the agency, and both have a kind of exhaustingly confident sexual energy that only men under 5’7” possess. The new seasons also include newcomer Amanza Smith, a former model and now realtor and interior designer. (Amanza is biracial, regrettably making her the only woman of color in the main cast of Selling Sunset, The Hills, Laguna Beach, or The City. Spray tans don’t count.)

Half of the show’s plot revolves around the women looking at homes and trying to sell them. They throw tasteful parties for their listings, show them off to prospective buyers, and drive around in their fancy cars looking for more homes to list. The other half of the show is dedicated to fighting with each other, sometimes about work, but more often about their personal relationships — whether to have children, whether to get married, or how to juggle a personal life and a career. They’re all appropriate problems for a thirtysomething woman to have.

A highlight of Season 1 was when the cartoonishly handsome Romain gave Mary an engagement ring made of synthetic moissanite instead of a real diamond, adding grist to the rumor mill that he’s broke and only dating Mary for her money. Additional season-long tension came from Christine who absolutely hated Chrishell the minute she entered the office for reasons that are both nonspecific and hysterically petty. And then there was Heather, who ruined a home-staging opportunity because she had to take a phone call from her then–long-distance boyfriend who played professional hockey in Europe and who generally sucked.

In Season 2, those tensions are heightened. Heather is upset when the other women suggest she’s moving too fast with her new boyfriend who has children. Mary and Romain get married but he’s still bitter with Davina over comments she made about the engagement ring he bought. And Christine still really hates Chrishell. (If you think that last part is just for the cameras, I can guarantee it absolutely is not; when I brought Chrishell’s name up to Christine, you could almost see her jaw clench so hard her teeth cracked. I still have no idea why.)

If you read my description of Selling Sunset and find it mundane, you’re right. That’s actually pretty typical of a DiVello project: boring on paper, riveting onscreen. It’s easy to take someone like Real Housewives of New Jersey’s Teresa Giudice, give her a glass of wine, and let her loose on a bunch of her “friends.” But making a show about real estate and minor tiffs between a small group of colleagues actually interesting reality show fodder requires a very different skillset. And DiVello clearly has it.

“Selling Sunset” crew prepares a home on Mt. Olympus Drive before filming a broker’s open house in Los Angeles.

After that initial scouting trip in June, I joined DiVello again in November to witness a few days of shooting, including at a charity event in a Laurel Canyon mansion, and Christine’s wedding dress fitting set at the very expensive Galia Lahav bridal salon for her then-upcoming wedding to businessperson Christian Richard. (Unlike his bride, who is out here liking and commenting on all her Instagram fan accounts, Richard has virtually no online presence.)

In Laurel Canyon, DiVello and the crew didn’t have a clear storyline to follow, but they did have some ideas. “The main priority tonight is Mary and Romain,” DiVello told his crew. “If Mary and Romain go anywhere, we follow them.”

DiVello and the crew had set up a video village in a back room, with a rig of four screens corresponding to all their cameras. Everybody had an earpiece so they could hear what was going on. There was some plotting about how to get certain people to talk to each other and hopefully fight, but the way they went about producing the action was much more subtle than I expected. “We should motivate Mary to talk to Jason,” DiVello mumbled to the crew. It was always “motivate,” never “tell” or “force.”

There was some gentle encouragement from producers for Amanza to talk to Christine, or for Chrishell to explain a fight from earlier in the season to someone else for the sake of getting it on tape. The cameras were actually quite far away from the action, which made it easier for me to understand why the cast might have said things on film that they might later regret.

The source of tension between Mary and Romain wasn’t exactly clear — it sounded like he did something untoward while on a bachelor party trip before they got married — and everyone was waiting for Romain to explain himself, or at least apologize.

“She’s cold, Romain,” DiVello mumbled, watching Mary rub her arms while standing outside near her husband. “Put your arm around her.” Instead, Romain walked past her, icing her out. The crew groaned in knowing pleasure because it was clear how that moment would translate on the show — this hulking man refusing to comfort his wife, a moment so small that anyone else would’ve missed it.

They waited for Mary to tilt her head just slightly so they could catch her face on camera. When she did, DiVello high-fived his crew. “People think we plan this,” he said. “But we don’t.” You just can’t script a woman looking that heartbroken.

Selling Sunset executive producer Kimberly Goodman, Adam DiVello, and producer Skyler Wakil sit in “video village,” the control room set up in a bedroom during an open house.

Typically, at this point in a profile, you’d learn something about the subject’s personal life, where they came from and who they really are. You won’t here, though, because I couldn’t get it. Profiling someone like DiVello is torture not because he’s unpleasant or difficult (he was delightful — he texted me “Enjoyed the time we spent together this year!!” on New Year’s Day, for Christ’s sake), but rather because he’s just a really good producer. And he knows exactly what to give and exactly what to withhold.

Sometimes this was helpful — he picked empty restaurants for our interviews so my recorder wouldn’t pick up background chatter, he gathered the show’s cast in one room for photography, he perpetually hovered around me to make sure someone brought me a snack or a drink from Starbucks. He bought me my first Popeye’s spicy chicken sandwich! He offered details that he thought might be useful to my story — like pointing out what little micro-fights were happening between the cast that I would’ve missed while focusing on the A-plot on camera — since he knows how to craft one himself.

But his desire for control was agony when he didn’t want to talk about something, which happened often. He dodged questions by immediately asking for us to go off the record; or he would say something and then ask that it be off the record even though the quotes were often utterly mundane. At one point, when I turned my recorder on, he called me “sneaky” — he required notice and clearance for recording to begin, even though I was clearly there to profile him. He didn’t want me to speak to the cast without him being present. He hid from our cameras when we wanted to take photos of him. He was anxious about how he would come off, as if I was there to trick him into something that he hadn’t agreed to. I couldn’t even get him to tell me how old he is and he didn’t want to tell me where he grew up because his family still lives there.

But his caginess makes sense. His job is to coax out the ugly and unmentionables in other people’s lives, so he’s hyperaware of the risk of getting a bad edit. “Because I make reality, I’m aware of what can be done with what I say,” he told me.

DiVello was tight-lipped in the best of circumstances, but especially so during my final day on set with him last November when events outside of his control seemed to catch him completely off guard.

Christine, in a teal pantsuit with long silver chains braided into her hair, was hosting a “Botox & Burgers” brokers open house at one of her listings, a 4,000-square-foot home sparsely decorated with modern and uncomfortable furniture and Oppenheim-branded wine on the coffee table. She had ordered sliders, but in a nod to her last name, had relabeled them Quinn & Out. A clinician was there to offer free Botox shots for anyone in attendance. DiVello was already stiffly running back and forth between the cast and the video village by the time I arrived. When I asked him if he was okay, he sighed. “Well, you’ve heard.”

Mary Fitzgerald prepares for a Botox injection during a broker’s open house.

I hadn’t, because I didn’t have a Google alert set for “Selling Sunset + cast + divorce.” I quickly learned that Chrishell’s then-husband, Justin Hartley, of This Is Us fame, had very suddenly filed for divorce, which was throwing everything in disarray. We had seen Chrishell the evening before at a charity event, where she appeared sprightly and light, seemingly not expecting this news herself. She was slated to attend Christine’s Botox & Burgers party but there was no chance she was coming now.

DiVello wouldn’t say much about the divorce and he also wouldn’t let the cast discuss it yet either. He promised Chrishell as much. “I’ve been doing this for a long time. I’ve been dealing with kids in high school, then proms, sex tape allegations,” he told me while his crew was setting up to film the party. “Whenever you assemble a cast like this, you’re asking them to put their trust in you.” I told him this wasn’t typical behavior for a reality show producer; wouldn’t this be a perfect time to capitalize on the drama of your main character? “This isn’t a typical show,” he responded.

A reality TV producer’s role is usually inherently adversarial to the cast — they want to persuade you to share your worst moments and worst tendencies on camera to display to a national audience, or in Netflix’s case, a global audience. But DiVello’s relationship with his cast seems surprisingly warm. There appears to be an affection that goes beyond the fact that he’s signing their checks. They actually seem to trust him with their reputations, and how their most brutally humiliating moments are revealed to the entire world.

“I really appreciated him collaborating with me and finding out what my comfort level was,” Chrishell told me during a follow-up call this May, long after her divorce had already been announced. “This was such a sensitive topic that if left to anyone else’s hands, I don’t know, but I can imagine I wouldn’t have fared as well or I would’ve tried to see if I could’ve legally quit or something. But he really went out of his way.”

Initially, when I first met Christine last November during her dress fitting, with castmate Heather and DiVello nearby, she appeared to agree. “He’s a fucking icon in everything he does,” she said then. “I watched The Hills and Laguna Beach. I thought it was the most gorgeous work, the way everything was shot, and the music. It’s like you’re watching a movie.”

She said something very different, months later, when I called her for our follow-up interview in May.

Heather Young and Christine Quinn enter Gaila Lahav to shop for Quinn’s wedding dress.

Inevitably, there are people whom DiVello has worked with who do feel somewhat slighted. Heidi Montag and Spencer Pratt of The Hills fame are the most famous examples. They blew up, got megarich, and then became absurdist laughingstocks, getting too much plastic surgery, going on other reality shows to keep their 15 minutes going, and investing in crystals. In 2016, Heidi gave BuzzFeed a laundry list of things from the show that were actually faked, from promotions at work to fights that they were told to drum up, to their own wealth that they were told to downplay. “I think the whole show is unfairly edited!” she told BuzzFeed about The Hills. Worse, Heidi also threatened to sue DiVello for sexual harassment in 2010, claiming he groped her at a group photo shoot. MTV along with the rest of the cast claimed this never happened. The lawsuit was eventually dropped.

DiVello was open with me about the fact that producers on The Hills did inevitably have to set up some plot arcs. Lauren’s Teen Vogue internship, for example, was arranged by DiVello through a meeting with Anna Wintour. “People don’t realize this, it’s all real but you can’t come into this restaurant with cameras,” he told me. “You have to clear it in advance. You don’t get into Teen Vogue without meeting with Anna Wintour and getting her blessing. Lauren could’ve gotten an internship at like Elle or anywhere, but if Elle didn’t let us shoot there, I was kind of screwed. There’s no television show.”

There are also examples of this on Selling Sunset. Some clients don’t want to be on television, so the crew have to work around unwilling participants. Around Halloween, the producers wouldn’t show Christine driving up to set in her yellow Lamborghini because she had decorated it somewhat ghoulishly. “I wrapped it all in blood like a zombie hit it, and Adam didn’t want to show it — speaking of PC,” Christine said.

“What she’s not telling you is that it looks like they hit a human being,” Divello said. “There’s a sliding handprint on the hood of the car.”

Regardless, DiVello very clearly resents the allegations that The Hills was overwhelmingly faked. How could something so perfect not be real? “She was a find,” he said about Lauren Conrad. “I get so pissed when people said that show was faked. Many, many crew members will attest to how many times I was yelled at by Lauren in the back room at Les Deux because Heidi showed up and we didn’t plan it. And then people were like, ‘Oh, the show’s so fake.’ It’s like, fuck you! I could have been out with my own friends but I was making that show, you know?”

MTV has since rebooted The Hills, and while DiVello says he was offered an opportunity to be a part of the reboot, he declined. And as for Heidi and Spencer, who are perennially talking about how a reality show that ended 10 years ago was faked, DiVello is rather zen about their claims. “You’re always going to have a disgruntled employee at some point in time,” DiVello said. “But then you have somebody like Lauren. Someone like that doesn’t usually complain about being manipulated.” He paused briefly. “I can’t speak for everybody. I have never been on a reality show myself, but I think that we’ll see how I feel after this interview, if I felt manipulated.”

Christine Quinn leaves Chrishell Hartley’s open house.

If you want a current DiVello employee who might be “disgruntled,” then you don’t have to look much further than Christine. During our follow-up interview, I asked her how she liked the new season. “There were a few things cut out of order and out of context, but it is what it is,” she said. “I feel a lot better than [in] the first season. I think in the first season I was Frankensteined and heavily edited and manipulated, but this season, I feel good.”

Chief among her issues with the second season, though, was how she says she was produced at the Botox & Burgers party when news about Chrishell’s divorce broke. Christine claimed that the crew told her to check her phone. “They were like, ‘Laugh, laugh.’ I was like, ‘What’s going on? What is this?’ They were making gestures trying to get me to laugh.” Christine said the crew tried to get her to read news of Chrishell’s divorce on camera, which she did, but then says she called Chrishell to give her a heads-up afterward. “I called her and said, ‘I have to tell you what happened on set today. They forced me to do it.’ She was really upset,” Christine added. “Chrishell told Adam and they made us redo the scene. We were all in the office and we’re all looking at our phones and being like, ‘Hey guys, did you see this?’”

I was at the Botox & Burgers party and witnessed nearly all the footage being filmed, but I didn’t see the scene Christine claims producers shot. Scenes about Chrishell’s divorce don’t appear in any of Season 2 and are being saved for Season 3, which will premiere later this year, so there’s no way to fact-check Christine’s claims without seeing what actually makes it in the show. Both DiVello and Chrishell also claim Christine’s version of events didn’t happen. “I mean,” DiVello said, somewhat stunned, when I asked him about Christine’s claims, “that didn’t happen. You were there with us. We wouldn’t do that to anybody on our cast. I can’t speak to why she said that.”

Chrishell, too, doesn’t believe Christine’s claims. “I’ve dealt with Christine for a long time and you have to take everything she says with a grain of salt,” she told me on the phone last week. “I’ve spoken to production about this and at first it was upsetting but their side of the story is obviously very different, and I have to go with this. Her track record is not great.”

Despite being the villain — or, according to her, getting the villain edit — for all of Season 1 and…all of Season 2, Christine still doesn’t want to take full responsibility for how she might be coming across. “I think [DiVello] is immensely talented and I think he’s very creative. Does he have a way of getting information out of people and getting people to do what they don’t want to do?” she said. “Absolutely. That’s why he’s so successful.”

During my conversation with Christine, I pointed out that she was being much more candid than she had been during her November wedding dress fitting in LA, a conversation DiVello witnessed. “I’m interesting when I’m not sitting 6 inches next to Adam DiVello, who’s not getting me to shut up,” she said. “I am the only girl that’s not a robot who’s on that show, I’m the only girl who cannot be contained and told what to do, and he knows that. He hates me and he loves me at the same time.”

But just because she’s beautiful, and rich, and generally unguarded, doesn’t mean she’s beyond reproach or immune from regret about saying too much. Three hours after our call, wanting to do some backpedalling, Christine texted me: “Hey Adam just called me. Can you call me when you get a chance?”

DiVello at The Oppenheim Group Real Estate office.

A lot has changed for DiVello’s productions since I talked to him in person last year. The coronavirus has obviously made it hard to figure out how to film, but he’s still out pitching new projects, including a scripted project and a cooking show. Season 3 was filmed together with Season 2 months before the pandemic started and is currently being edited. A fourth season has yet to be approved, but regardless, the pandemic will force DiVello to change how he approaches another season. “If we were to come back, you know, with a lot of unscripted series, the crews are much smaller. We don’t have a large footprint,” he said last week.

The bigger issue, frankly, might be the effects of the inevitable recession; the last recession undoubtedly created a reality television boom in the late 2000s. Back then, we were all looking for something aspirational to watch; the same is true now, but Selling Sunset and arguably all of DiVello’s shows are dependent on rich people staying rich and buying wildly expensive things on television. Recessions don’t necessarily destroy the housing market — especially for the über-rich — but they can affect it. Regardless of how the economy is doing, however, there will always be people looking for distraction and an escape from their everyday lives.

“People are always looking for reality television for that escapism,” DiVello said. “If the Oppenheim Group suffers from this, then that’s a story we’ll tell. It’s an unfortunate situation that we’re in, but it’s one we will follow if given the chance and we’ll show the real outcome.” He’s starting to think about working with influencers for future projects, but has a few reservations. “A lot of those people that are influencers, they want to be famous,” he said. “For what we want to do, it’s not as organic. Nowadays, they’ll do those shows just to get the followers.”

The brilliance of DiVello’s shows is that he casts people normal enough to be considered regular, but not so normal that they don’t belong on television. In a reality programming landscape where Tana Mongeau gets an MTV series on YouTube, DiVello is still banking on unknown, offline, “average” girl talent.

Whatever his post-pandemic productions will look like, his formula remains steadfast and effective. Netflix is typically evasive about the show’s success and ratings, as they are with most of their programming, but it does seem like a real vote of confidence that Selling Sunset is already on its way to its third season. Meanwhile, in the tangible world, DiVello can’t stop producing the moment, whatever that moment may be. The smaller it is, the better he can see it, tease it out, and make it mean something much bigger.

At one of our lunches together, DiVello referenced a moment earlier in the day when I refused a snack to avoid making a mess of my lipstick. He pointed out how perfect that scene could be. “You’re like, ‘I don’t want it all over my face.’ And then it airs on television and people are like, ‘Aww, I love her!’” he said. “And all of a sudden, you’re really likable. And nobody wrote that.”●

More on this

  • 22 Shocking Secrets Heidi Montag Told Us About “The Hills”Lindsay Farber · March 8, 2016
  • Courtney Stodden Knows Exactly What HappenedScaachi Koul · April 2, 2019

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  • Scaachi Koul is a senior culture writer for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York.

    Contact Scaachi Koul at [email protected]

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Horace Grant: Michael Jordan is a ‘snitch’ who lied in ‘Last Dance’

The Michael Jordan 10-part documentary, “The Last Dance” about his final season with the Bulls drew almost widespread acclaim. One of his former teammates, however, thinks it was 20 hours of propaganda, calling out Jordan for alleged lies, throwing others under the bus and labeled it a “so-called documentary.”

In a radio interview with ESPN 1000 in Chicago, Horace Grant said the idea, coming from Jordan that he was the source in author Sam Smith’s infamous book, “The Jordan Rules,” is false.

[He] puts this lie out that I was the source behind [the book],” Grant said in the interview. “Sam and I have always been great friends. We’re still great friends. But the sanctity of that locker room, I would never put anything personal out there. The mere fact that Sam Smith was an investigative reporter. That he had to have two sources, two, to write a book, I guess. Why would MJ just point me out?

“It’s only a grudge, man. I’m telling you, it was only a grudge. And I think he proved that during this so-called documentary. When if you say something about him, he’s going to cut you off, he’s going to try to destroy your character.”

Grant won three NBA titles with the Bulls from 1991-93, before leaving for the Magic in 1994. To support his claims, he pointed to relationships Jordan has had with other players that fell apart. For instance, Charles Barkley and Jordan no longer talk after being close for decades.

“And my point is, he said that I was the snitch, but yet and still after 35 years he brings up his rookie year going into one of his teammates’ rooms and seeing coke, and weed and women,” Grant said, referring to one of the earlier episodes of the show. “My point is: Why the hell did he want to bring that up? What’s that got to do with anything? I mean, if you want to call somebody a snitch, that’s a damn snitch right there.”

Grant admitted the show was “entertaining,” but there were several inaccuracies. He didn’t like how many of his former teammates were portrayed and felt the documentary played loose with the truth, claiming 90 percent of it was “B.S. in terms of the realness of it.”

“It wasn’t real — because a lot of things [Jordan] said to some of his teammates, that his teammates went back at him,” Grant said. “But all of that was kind of edited out of the documentary, if you want to call it a documentary.”

Grant also said he felt Scottie Pippen got a raw deal. The Hall of Famer hasn’t spoken publicly since the documentary aired. Grant’s biggest issue was why the time Pippen sat out the final play against the Knicks in Game 3 of the 1993 Eastern Conference playoffs was included, since Jordan was out playing baseball.

“I have never seen a quote unquote number two guy, as decorated as Scottie Pippen, portrayed so badly,” Grant said. “In terms of the migraine, in terms of the 1.[8] seconds, [Jordan calling him] selfish. I have never seen this in all of my life. And the respect of, Pip was out there in Game 6 [of the ‘98 Finals], could barely walk, getting knocked down on his back. Tried to do whatever he could to help that team. My point is, why was that 1.[8] seconds in the documentary, so-called documentary, about Pip?

“MJ wasn’t even on the team. Why was that in there? We handled that that year really well as a team.”

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I long for sex with my online flirt but it takes me ages to finish with her pics – The Sun

DEAR DEIDRE SINCE I met a woman online, I’ve been messaging her every day.

She has sent me sexy pictures and I have really enjoyed getting off on those pics.

What’s worrying me is that I’m on medication for depression and anxiety and it’s affecting my sexual performance.

It takes me ages to finish.

Get in touch with Deidre today

Got a problem?

My team and I are working safely from home but we are here to help you as always.

Send an email to [email protected]

Every problem gets a personal reply, usually within 24 hours weekdays.

You can also send a private message on the DearDeidreOfficial Facebook page.

Follow me on Twitter @deardeidre.

Perhaps that will change when I’m with her for real but is it a problem or a good thing as far as a woman is concerned?

I can’t wait to meet her for sex as soon as the lockdown is over.

Should I be worried?

I’m 37 and she’s 28.

DEIDRE SAYS: Tell your GP about your sexual performance and ask if you can change medication.

It’s a normal request.

In any case, don’t rush into having sex.

You may feel you know her well but swapping messages and getting off on photos online isn’t the same as a real relationship.

Enjoy talking and taking it slowly – it’s all part of the fun.

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Queen pays tribute to guests invited to the garden party 2020

Queen pays tribute to guests invited to Buckingham Palace’s garden party which should have taken place today – including a doctor and an elderly volunteer – as it’s postponed to 2021

  • Buckingham Palace has celebrated some of the guests who should have been attending its summer garden parties, and pledged to see them next year instead.
  • The Queen’s gatherings were postponed because of the coronavirus pandemic
  • Tuesday would have been season’s second garden party at Buckingham Palace.
  • More than 8,000 guests mingle at each of the afternoon events, and people are invited to attend as a way of recognising and rewarding public service
  • The royal family’s social media accounts paid tribute to some who were due to attend
  • Here’s how to help people impacted by Covid-19

Buckingham Palace has celebrated some of the guests who should have been attending its summer garden parties, and pledged to see them next year instead.

The Queen’s gatherings on the neatly-manicured lawns of her London home, and at the Palace of Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh, were postponed because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Tuesday would have been the season’s second garden party at Buckingham Palace.

More than 8,000 guests mingle at each of the afternoon events, and people are invited to attend as a way of recognising and rewarding public service.

The royal family’s social media accounts paid tribute to some who were due to attend, including Consultant Paediatrician and charity founder Dr Sanjiv Nichani, and elderly volunteer Evelyn Karstadt. 

Buckingham Palace has celebrated some of the guests who should have been attending its summer garden parties, and pledged to see them next year instead. Pictured: Queen Elizabeth II and the Duke of Sussex meet guests during a Royal Garden Party at Buckingham Palace in London in 2019

More than 8,000 guests mingle at each of the afternoon events, and people are invited to attend as a way of recognising and rewarding public service. The Palace tweeted: ‘To all of this year’s guests – thank you for your service, and we look forward to seeing you at Garden Parties next year’

The Palace tweeted: ‘To all of this year’s guests – thank you for your service, and we look forward to seeing you at Garden Parties next year.’

‘Garden Parties have been held since the 1860s, during the reign of Queen Victoria, and are a way of recognising and rewarding public service.  

‘Every year, The Queen welcomes over 30,000 guests to Garden Parties at Buckingham Place and the Palace of Holyroodhouse.

‘The Garden Parties are an important part of HM’s diary, when she can meet people who have made a positive impact in their community.

‘Today would have been the season’s second Garden Party at Buckingham Palace, and so we are hearing from some of the guests invited this year, who will be will be welcomed in 2021 instead.’ 

Among those highlighted was Dr Sanjiv Nichani, who has worked as a consultant paediatrician at the Leicester Children’s Hospital for over 20 years, and is the founder of the Healing Little Hearts charity

Evelyn Karstadt will also be a guest in 2021. She received a British Empire Medal for her volunteer work in Barking and Dagenham

Among those highlighted was Dr Sanjiv Nichani, who has worked as a consultant paediatrician at the Leicester Children’s Hospital for over 20 years, and is the founder of the Healing Little Hearts charity.

The organisation sends volunteer teams of doctors and nurses around the world to perform free heart surgeries on babies, children and teenagers.

Around 50 people also received invitations in recognition of their work helping their communities during the floods.

Among them was Matt Coley, from Lincolnshire, who tirelessly helped fill and distribute sandbags in his local area.

Evelyn Karstadt will also be a guest in 2021. She received a British Empire Medal for her volunteer work in Barking and Dagenham.

She encouraged other elderly people to learn new IT skills to prevent isolation through the Silver Surfers computer course, after taking the course herself at the age of 85.

‘Garden Parties have been held since the 1860s, during the reign of Queen Victoria, and are a way of recognising and rewarding public service’, the Palace tweeted along with a picture

Around 50 people also received invitations in recognition of their work helping their communities during the floods. Among them was Matt Coley, from Lincolnshire, who tirelessly helped fill and distribute sandbags in his local area

‘Today would have been the season’s second Garden Party at Buckingham Palace, and so we are hearing from some of the guests invited this year, who will be will be welcomed in 2021 instead’, the palace tweeted

The postponement of the garden parties affected five due to be held in London and one in Edinburgh.

Although the event is outdoors, guests – many of them elderly – gather to watch the Queen and senior royals circulate down lanes of people.

Attendees also queue in tea tents and take their seats on nearby chairs, with around 27,000 cups of tea, 20,000 sandwiches and 20,000 slices of cake consumed at each party.

The royals enter to the National Anthem, and then tea and cakes are served.

Yeomen of the Guard, dressed in their red and gold ceremonial costumes, form part of the proceedings, and guests are free to stroll around the vast expanse of the gardens while a military band plays background music.

All those invited to this year’s events will be invited to the 2021 garden parties instead.

Garden parties have been held at Buckingham Palace since the 1860s when Queen Victoria began what were known as ‘breakfasts’, although they took place in the afternoon.

Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex (C) talks to guests during the Queen’s Garden Party at Buckingham Palace on May 29, 2019

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Sawed-up torso found stuffed in suitcase ‘was woman in her 20s who vanished from women’s refuge’ – The Sun

A BUTCHERED body discovered in a suitcase in the Forest of Dean was reportedly a woman who vanished from a refuge last month.

Gareeca Conita Gordon, 27, who has been charged with murder, was said to be living at the same women's refuge in Birmingham where the victim is feared to have been killed and sawed in half.

Police are now waiting on DNA results to formally identify the victim but neighbours say she also lived at the seven-bed property.

It is understood the woman was last seen in April with her phone disconnected on Tuesday.

Forensic officers were seen at the council-licensed refuge at the weekend combing for clues.

A neighbour said: “A lot of women who come and go from that house. It’s a women’s refuge- so they are all running from something.
“There are no men allowed. You hardly ever see men going in there.

“I’ve been told that the victim lived in the house – I thought it was the girl who lived on the ground floor because I hadn’t seen her for a while.

“Thankfully, I saw her the other day.

“There are seven bedrooms but only four were occupied. The remaining women have been moved out.”

GRISLY DISCOVERY

Another neighbour added: "There was a white British woman living in the front bedroom on the first floor but I haven't seen her in weeks.

"Definitely not in the last month.

"I saw Gareeca – she would keep her bike locked up outside the house. She was a mixed race Caribbean woman. She wasn't fat, she wore glasses – just normal sized. She lived on the first floor as well."

Cops swooped on a man and woman who were said to be driving suspiciously near Coleford, Gloucestershire.

They discovered the body parts stuffed in two suitcases. It is understood there had been attempts to burn the remains.

Officers later raided a property in Birmingham, West Midlands, and discovered the grisly murder scene which is said to have resembled an abattoir, The Sun understands.

Gordon appeared before Cheltenham Magistrates' Court via video link on Saturday and was remanded in custody to appear at Gloucester Crown Court tomorrow.

Married father-of-two Mahesh Sorathiya, 38, from Wolverhampton, was also held by police after the remains were discovered.
He was charged with assisting an offender and was also remanded in custody to appear alongside Gordon tomorrow.

The tradesman moved to Wolverhampton three years ago from Slough, Berkshire, with his wife. The Indian couple are said to have two teenage children.



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