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Star Trek actor Shatner flies to space, makes history

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Actor William Shatner – who embodied the promise of space travel on the “Star Trek” TV series and films blasted off to space on Wednesday, after several delays.

He was among the four-person all-civilian crew in Jeff Bezos’s Blue Origin space craft for the company’s second suborbital tourism flight.

Shatner, at age 90, has become the oldest person ever in space.

He and his crewmates took off just before 10. 00 a.m at the Blue Origin’s launch site about 20 miles (32 km) outside the rural west Texas town of Van Horn.

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They were back by parachute 11 minutes after. The flight was beamed live by CNN and PBS and streamed on Facebook and Twitter.

The four astronauts, all wearing blue flight suits with the company’s name in white letters on one sleeve, climbed into the crew capsule atop the spacecraft and strapped in after ascending a set of stairs accompanied by Bezos.

Each rang a bell before entering the capsule. Before that, they rode a vehicle with Bezos at the wheel to the launch pad after about a half hour delay.

Winds were light and skies were clear ahead of launch time.

Joining Shatner were former NASA engineer Chris Boshuizen, clinical research entrepreneur Glen de Vries and Blue Origin vice president and engineer Audrey Powers.

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Blue Origin said the astronauts will experience about three to four minutes of weightlessness and travel above the internationally recognized boundary of space known as the Karman Line, about 62 miles (100 km) above Earth.

The crew capsule returned return to the Texas desert under parachutes.

The flight, previously scheduled for Tuesday, was pushed back a day for wind-related reasons.

Blue Origin had a successful debut space tourism flight on July 20, with Bezos and three others aboard, flying to the edge of space and back on a trip lasting 10 minutes and 10 seconds.

On that flight, pioneering female aviator Wally Funk at age 82 became the oldest person to reach space.

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Bezos, the Amazon.com Inc (AMZN.O) founder and current executive chairman, formed Blue Origin two decades ago.

Shatner, who turned 90 in March, has been acting since the 1950s and remains busy with entertainment projects and fan conventions. He is best known for starring as Captain James T. Kirk of the starship Enterprise on the classic 1960s TV series “Star Trek” and seven subsequent films about fictional adventures in outer space.

As an actor, Shatner was synonymous with space voyages. During the opening credits of each episode of the series, he called space “the final frontier” and promised “to explore strange new worlds, to seek out new life and new civilizations, to boldly go where no man has gone before.”

Shatner said there is both irony and symmetry to his space trip, having played a space explorer for decades and now actually becoming one.

“Having played the role of Captain Kirk … assigns me the knowledge that a futuristic astronaut would have, but I’ve always been consumed with curiosity,” Shatner said in a Blue Origin video.

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Shatner’s participation in the flight has helped generate publicity for Blue Origin as it competes against two billionaire-backed rivals – Elon Musk’s SpaceX and Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic Holdings Inc (SPCE.N) – to attract customers willing to pay large sums to experience spaceflight.

Branson inaugurated his space tourism service on July 11, riding along on a suborbital flight with six others aboard his company’s VSS Unity rocket plane. SpaceX, which has launched numerous astronauts and cargo payloads to the International Space Station for NASA, debuted its space tourism business by flying the first all-civilian crew to reach Earth’s orbit in a three-day mission ending Sept. 18.

The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration two weeks ago said it will review safety concerns raised by former and current Blue Origin employees who have accused the company of prioritizing speed and cost savings over quality control and adequate staffing.

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CELEBRITY GIST

Stop misleading younger generation – Deji Adeyanju slams Tiwa Savage

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Popular Nigerian activist, Deji Adeyanju, has slammed Tiwa Savage over her alleged sex tape, which leaked online and has since gone viral.

Recall that Tiwa Savage had earlier mentioned that someone was blackmailing her with a sex tape with her current boyfriend.

The short video, however, leaked online on Monday night and has since generated reactions from fans who encouraged her to stay strong to those who blasted her.

Adeyanju on his Twitter page said there is nothing to stand by Tiwa Savage, adding that she should face the consequences of her actions.

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According to him, Tiwa Savage is misleading the younger generation.

His tweets read: “There is nothing to stand by Tiwa Savage for. Let people face the consequences of their actions. Stop misleading the younger generation.

“Next time if you want to record a sex tape, make sure your partner’s face also shows. Stop acting the fool always.

“Why even make sex video in the first place? As per fantastic porn actor abi?”

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We arrested actress Tonto’s ex to help him regain his sanity

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Men of the Nigerian Police authorities at the Force headquarters in Abuja have disclosed the reason they arrested actress Tonto Dikeh’s ex-boyfriend, Prince Kpokpogiri.

He was arrested on Tuesday morning, October 19, after he reportedly bypassed Police authorities, took two police officers to an hotel where Tonto lodged and thr*atened to open fire at her if she did not hand over the keys of an SUV.

According to Vanguard, Kpokpogiri who is currently facing a pending investigation at Force CID, at a point became vilent and was allegedly raining inslts and c*rses on the Police officers while all entreaties for him to calm down failed.

Consequently, when the DIG in charge of Force Criminal Intelligence and Investigation Bureau, DIG Joseph Egbunike, was briefed about the conduct of Kpokpogiri, he ordered his arrest and the policemen that he came with.

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The Police told newsmen that his arrest is to enable him to regain his sanity after which he would be questioned on the issue about ownership or otherwise on the vehicle in question.

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Tiwa Savage’s alleged sex tape: Stop dating street boys

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Nollywood actress, Georgina Onuoha, has waded into the controversy surrounding the alleged leaked sex tape of Tiwa Savage with her boyfriend.

The short video, which appeared online on Monday night, has since gone viral and generated reactions and backlash.

Onuoha, via her Instagram page, advised black women to be careful and avoid dating street boys or thugs who have nothing to lose.

According to her, “A man who loves and respects you will never pick up the phone to record intimate moments.”

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She also advised women not to engage in acts that will embarrass their children or grandchildren, adding that the Internet never forgets.

Her post read: “Sex is a beautiful experience shared by two consenting adults. Dearest black beautiful women be careful.

“Don’t trade bedroom intimacy for online gratification. Remember someday we will all grow old and grey and our children and grandchildren will love to take pride in us.

“Live well, love accordingly the Internet never forgets. Let’s live a legacy that our will mii oh t embarrass our children and grandchildren.

“Stop dating touts, thugs and hanging around people who have nothing to lose.

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“Be wary of people around you who you call friends. The world and its people are wicked and becoming vile.

“Exercise caution in your escapades.”

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