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Mrs Sri Lanka: Mrs World ‘arrested’ over bust-up at beauty pageant which saw winner’s crown taken off her head | World News



Reigning Mrs World Caroline Jurie has been released on bail after she was arrested in Sri Lanka for allegedly injuring a pageant contestant in an on-stage row.

The winner of the Mrs Sri Lanka pageant, Pushpika De Silva, filed a complaint against Mrs Jurie, according to local media reports.

Just moments after being revealed as the 2021 winner of Mrs Sri Lanka, a pageant for married women, Mrs De Silva faced humiliation as last year’s winner, Mrs Jurie, took the mic and announced that the runner-up should take the title instead.

Original Mrs. Sri Lanka 2020 winner Pushpika de Silva (C) is disqualified over an accusation of being divorced, at a beauty pageant for married women in Colombo. Pic: Colombo Gazette/YouTube
Mrs World was not happy with the result

Mrs Jurie claimed that Mrs De Silva was a divorcee and forcibly took the crown from her head and placed it on the head of the first runner up, and named her as the winner.

In a Facebook post after the event Mrs De Silva said she is separated from her husband but not divorced.

She also said that she had received head injuries in the bust-up in the capital Colombo and reportedly needed hospital treatment.

Video showed celebratory music playing in the background throughout the incident.

The prize was returned to her on Tuesday at a news conference, after pageant organisers confirmed she was not a
divorcee. They have also apologised to her.

But Mrs De Silva lodged a police complaint and Mrs Jurie and former model Chula Padmendra were arrested, according to the Press Trust of India (PTI).

The pair have been accused of causing damage to property at the pageant venue, Nelum Pokuna Theatre, and wounding Mrs de Silva.

They were bailed to appear in Colombo Magistrates Court on 19 April.

Ms De Silva responded on Facebook with this post which has been translated from Sinhalese.
Ms De Silva responded on Facebook with this post which has been translated from Sinhalese

The winner of the Mrs Sri Lanka contest goes on to compete in the Mrs World contest. Mrs Jurie won that competition in
2020 in Las Vegas.

Original Mrs Sri Lanka 2021 winner Pushpika de Silva (second left) walks off stage after being disqualified over an accusation of being divorced at a beauty pageant for married women in Colombo. Pic: Colombo Gazette/YouTube
The crown and sash were given to the first runner-up

The official Mrs World Instagram account acknowledged Mrs De Silva’s victory in a brief post with her photo on Tuesday.

“A true queen is not a woman who snatches another woman’s crown, but a woman who secretly sets another woman’s crown!!”

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Off-duty Italian police officers find stolen Roman statue in Belgium – a decade after it vanished | World News



A first-century Roman statue has been recovered by two off-duty Italian police officers almost a decade after it was stolen.

The statue was stolen from the Villa Marini Dettina, an archaeological site on the outskirts of Rome, in November 2011 and has now been found in an antique shop in Belgium.

It was discovered by the off-duty officers from the Italian police’s archaeological unit.

The Togatus statue, featuring a headless Roman wearing a draped toga, is valued at €100,000 (£86,000).

The statue is believed to be worth 100,000 (£860,000) and was stolen from an archaeological site near Rome. Pic: AP
The statue is believed to be worth 100,000 (£860,000) and was stolen from an archaeological site near Rome. Pic: AP

The two officers were on assignment in Brussels when they took a walk after work in the Sablon neighbourhood, known for its antique shops.

They spotted a statue that they suspected was from Italy and confirmed their suspicions when they cross-referenced it with their stolen antique database.

An Italian businessman, who used a Spanish alias, has been referred to prosecutors for further investigation. He is alleged to have received and exported the statue abroad, police said.

Italian authorities have been attempting to recover stolen antiques for years.

In 2019, a dozen pieces of artwork were returned to Italy by private auction house Christie’s. The items featured a marble fragment from the sarcophagus in Rome’s catacombs of St Callixtus, a piece worth £50,000.

In June 2020, officials found a stolen Banksy mural in Italy that was taken from the Bataclan concert hall in Paris.

The image was created in memory of the victims of the 2015 terrorist attack in the French capital. It was cut out and removed from the concert hall in 2019.

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Alexei Navalny: Prison staff ‘threaten to force-feed’ Putin critic after hunger strike weight loss | World News



Jail staff are threatening to force-feed Putin critic Alexei Navalny, who has lost 15kg (33lbs) in weight since he was taken to the prison last month, according to his allies.

The Russian opposition leader, 44, began a hunger strike at penal colony number 2 in Pokrov at the end of March to highlight what he said was the authorities’ refusal to give him proper treatment for his back and leg pain.

He wants to be helped by a doctor of his choice to check his condition, but staff at IK-2 have declined his request.

Authorities claim they have offered him the correct treatment but say he has refused it.

IK-2 penal colony where Alexei Navalny is being held
IK-2 penal colony where Navalny is being held

Navalny, whose weight has reportedly fallen to 77kg (170lbs), was moved to a prison clinic earlier this month after complaining of a high temperature and a bad cough.

But he has now been discharged from the medical facility, according to his Twitter account, which is updated by his allies.

It said: “Given the severity of the hunger strike, the (prison) administration is threatening on a daily basis to start force-feeding.”

Navalny had already lost 8kg in the jail, 60 miles from Moscow, before starting his hunger strike, his allies said on 1 April, blaming the weight drop on guards deliberately depriving him of sleep.

Prison authorities deny depriving him of sleep and previously said his condition was satisfactory.

Jail officials have not yet commented on the latest claims.

Navalny, one of the most outspoken critics of President Vladimir Putin, was detained in January as he returned to Russia from Germany, where he spent five months recovering from a nerve agent poisoning.

He has blamed the Kremlin for targeting him with novichok – an allegation that Russian authorities reject.

Navalny was jailed in February for two years and eight months for parole violations he says were trumped up.

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Yuri Gagarin: Russia celebrates 60th anniversary of historic first human space flight | World News



Russia is celebrating the 60th anniversary of Yuri Gagarin, the cosmonaut who was the first person in space.

Gagarin’s 108-minute mission on 12 April 1961 took the Space Age to a new level and marked a historic achievement for the then Soviet Union.

His history-making Vostok 1 space flight and single orbit of the Earth made him a national hero – and an international celebrity – with the United States beaten in the tight race to launch a man beyond the planet’s atmosphere.

Sixty years on, he remains a symbol of bravery, success and pride in Russia.

Russian commemorate the 60th anniversary of Yuri Gagarin
Russians gather to mark the anniversary. Pic AP

The anniversary of his voyage is marked every year by Cosmonautics Day and sees Russians lay flowers at monuments dedicated to Gagarin’s achievement.

Over the years, he has been immortalised in murals across Russia, with a 138ft (42m) statue on Moscow’s Leninsky Avenue.

This Friday, Oct. 19, 2018 photo shows the 42-meter (138-feet) high and 12 ton (26,455 pounds) monument built in 1980 of Yuri Gagarin, the first person who flew to space, became a Moscow landmark. Gagarin's statue standing on a pedestal made to resemble a rocket exhaust is made of titanium. The successful one-orbit flight on April 12, 1961 made the 27-year-old Gagarin a national hero and cemented Soviet supremacy in space until the United States put a man on the moon more than eight years later.
There are several statues of Gagarin across Russia, but this one in Moscow is the most striking. Pic: AP

Born on 9 March 1934 in the village of Klushino, more than 100 miles west of Moscow, Gagarin had a humble upbringing.

His parents were farmers and his village was the centre of many wars and conquests, including a German invasion during World War Two.

In 1946, his family moved to nearby Gzhatsk, later renamed Gagarin.

Russian's lay flowers at his grave
Russians lay flowers at the site of Gagarin’s burial. Pic: AP

Having originally trained as a steelworker, he enrolled in the Saratov Technical College, where he learned how to pilot a light aircraft.

In 1955, he enrolled in pilot school and joined the Soviet air force as a lieutenant, where he was chosen to board Vostok 1.

Gagarin was just 27 years old when he blasted off on the first manned spaceflight.

After landing back on his feet, Gagarin continued to train as a pilot.

FILE - In this Thursday, July 13, 1961 file photo, Yuri Gagarin, the Soviet cosmonaut, sips a cool drink at a reception in his honor at Hyde Park Hotel, London. The successful one-orbit flight on April 12, 1961 made the 27-year-old Gagarin a national hero and cemented Soviet supremacy in space until the United States put a man on the moon more than eight years later. (AP Photo/Bob Dear, File)
Gagarin at a reception in his honour at Hyde Park Hotel, London, in July 1961. Pic: AP

He died at the age of 34 during a training jet crash in March 1968, and was buried near the Kremlin Wall alongside former Soviet leaders.

There are statues of the cosmonaut across Russia, including in a field near the Volga River where Gagarin landed after his historic flight, and the site also bears a commemorative obelisk.

A theme park was set up there to mark the 60th anniversary of his flight.

Marianna Poberzhskaya, associate professor at Nottingham Trent University, said: “There is still a lasting memory of Gagarin in Russia, his legacy is very much still alive. It is one of the few positives from the Soviet era and it has many benefits to the nationalist identity. Over the years his memory has been commercialised in Russia, through souvenirs, TV shows and statues.”

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