Arsenal into Europa League last 32 as group winners




Lacazette’s goal was his sixth of the seasonArsenal came back from two-goals down to draw 2-2 at Standard Liege and progress to the last 32 of the Europa League as group winners.The Gunners were all but through before kick-off, with the hosts needing to win 5-0 to prevent the visitors from going through to the knockout rounds – a result that looked even more unlikely after a first half Arsenal edged.However, Samuel Bastien put the hosts ahead just after the restart when his shot deflected off Sokratis and beyond the wrong-footed Emiliano Martinez.The goal boosted the hosts but visibly knocked the fragile confidence of the Arsenal players, who became even more nervy when Standard Liege got a second as Selim Amallah’s strike from inside the area flew into the far corner via a slight deflection off Konstantinos Mavropanos.It set things up for a tense final 20 minutes as the hosts pursued an unlikely result but Alexandre Lacazette settled the Gunners’ nerves when he converted a bullet of a header.Bukayo Saka then equalised with 10 minutes to go, curling a neat finish into the corner to secure the draw Arsenal needed to top Group F.More to follow.



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MLB: Marijuana removed from banned list after policy revision




Los Angeles Angels pitcher Tyler Skaggs was found dead on 1 July at a hotel in TexasMarijuana is to be taken off Major League Baseball’s banned substances list, the governing body has announced.The policy, which comes into effect in 2020, suggests players found to have taken cannabinoids have treatment procedures for alcohol-related issues.It added players who test positive for opioids, fentanyl, cocaine and synthetic THC will be referred for treatment before possible discipline.”The USA opioid epidemic is a concern,” MLB deputy chief Dan Halem said.”It is our hope that this agreement – which is based on principles of prevention, treatment, awareness and education – will help protect the health and safety of our players.”It is our collective hope that this agreement will help raise public awareness on the risks and dangers of opioid medications and contribute positively to a national conversation about this important topic.”The revised policy comes months after the death of Los Angeles Angels pitcher Tyler Skaggs, 27, whose autopsy showed oxycodone, fentanyl and alcohol in his system.



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White Island volcano: How will bodies be recovered?


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Reuters

Specialist members of New Zealand’s military are preparing to retrieve the bodies of eight victims caught in the eruption of the White Island volcano.At least eight people have died and many more injured after the volcano exploded, sending scalding steam, ash and rock into the air on Monday.The authorities said the operation to recover the remaining victims – all presumed dead – would involve getting on and off the island as quickly as possible, with further eruptions remaining a possibility.What does the mission involve?Eight specialists from the New Zealand Defence Force will go to the island – also known as Whakaari – at first light on Friday morning local time and “make every effort to recover all bodies”, deputy police commissioner Mike Clement said.This is despite GeoNet, New Zealand’s geological hazard information site, giving a 50-60% chance of another eruption within the next 24 hours.Poisonous gases are still billowing from the volcano and the island is blanketed in acidic ash.

The recovery team, who will be flown from a naval frigate to the island, will be kitted out with protective clothing and breathing apparatus.They face the danger of magma, superheated steam, ash and cannonball-like rocks thrown at supersonic speed should the volcano erupt, GeoNet vulcanologist Nico Fournier said.During the operation, a geologist will be analysing real-time data to assess whether another eruption is imminent and whether the mission needs to be aborted.

“The risk is not gone,” Mr Clement said. “People are putting themselves on the front line to do the right thing… our thoughts and our prayers and our love will be with them.”So far, surveillance flights have allowed the authorities to locate six bodies. Recovering these six would be the priority, Mr Clement said, while there would be limited opportunities to look for the two others.Any recovered bodies will be taken to frigate HMNZS Wellington, which will be anchored off the coast.

What happened?On Monday 9 December at about 14:11 local time (01:11 GMT), the volcano on White Island erupted with two explosions in quick succession, flinging ash 12,000ft (3,658m) into the air.Some 47 people, mostly tourists, were on or near the island when the volcano blew. They came from New Zealand, Australia, China, Germany, Malaysia, the UK and the US.Moments before it erupted, people – circled below – were seen walking close to its active vent.

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XX

Some survivors were rescued by boat in the immediate aftermath of the explosion, but police said it was too dangerous to mount a rescue operation at the time.Later, helicopter missions launched by local commercial pilots picked up 12 more people – many with severe injuries and burns. They were flown back to the nearby town of Whakatane for medical treatment.

How dangerous is White Island?Whakaari, located 30 miles (48km) off New Zealand’s North Island, is home to New Zealand’s most active cone volcano.The uninhabited island is a popular destination for day tours and scenic flights, despite having regular eruptions. New Zealand sits on the Pacific “ring of fire” – the most seismically and volcanically active zone in the world.

Most of the White Island volcano is below water, with only a 2km-wide portion of the top visible above sea level.It has seen several eruptions over the years, most recently in 2016, but no-one was hurt.

Although it can be notoriously difficult to know when an explosion might happen, there were warning signs in the weeks prior to the eruption. Last month, the alert level was raised to two, indicating moderate to heightened volcanic unrest.However, the sudden and dramatic nature of the eruption took people by surprise.New Zealand police have launched an investigation into the circumstances of the deaths.



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Woman, 89, granted 'big biceps' stripper care home wish


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Care UK/PA

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Joan, 89, got hands-on with the stripping “fireman” at her care home

An 89-year-old woman’s Christmas wish came true when she received a visit from a stripper with “a large chest and big biceps” at her care home.Joan was given the almost “full Monty” after she placed her request on a “wishing tree” at the Suffolk home.Managers said most residents ask for a beach trip or a nice afternoon tea but Joan got what she wanted when the “fireman” arrived and stripped off.The Ho-ho-hose rang out and Joan said it made her feel “young again”.Joan, who did not want to give her last name, had requested an attractive man with “a large chest and big biceps”.Her somewhat unorthodox wish was granted when the stripper, dressed as a fireman, turned up at the Glastonbury Court care home in Bury St Edmunds two weeks ago and began swinging his belt around wildly before stripping down to his underpants.

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Care UK

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Things are hotting up at the care home

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Care UK/PA

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Some people wish for a nice day at the beach, but Joan wanted a man in the buff

“I thought that he was amazing – I wish he could visit us every day,” Joan said.”He made me feel like I was young again, I loved every second.”Home manager Sharlene Van Tonder said care home life was not all about knitting or watching television, and said they were “keen to ensure that there are no limitations so that every day can be different and fun”.However, she admitted that a well-oiled man-in-the-buff was not the “typical kind of visitor” the elderly residents usually entertained.



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Greta Thunberg changes Twitter bio after Trump dig


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Climate activist Greta Thunberg has changed her Twitter bio to mock US President Donald Trump’s outrage at her winning Time Person of the Year 2019. He said she had an “anger management problem” and should go to “a good old fashioned movie with a friend”. “Chill Greta, Chill!” he added. She then adapted her Twitter bio to say she was “a teenager working on her anger management problem. Currently chilling and watching a good old fashioned movie with a friend”.The Swedish 16-year-old was named as Time magazine’s Person of the Year on Wednesday after leading a global movement against climate change.

This is not the first time she has changed her Twitter bio to reflect Mr Trump and other leaders’ criticism of her. On Tuesday Ms Thunberg changed her bio to “pirralha” – the Portuguese word for brat – after Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro criticised her highlighting the plight of Brazil’s indigenous people. “Greta’s been saying Indians have died because they were defending the Amazon,” Mr Bolsonaro told reporters. “It’s amazing how much space the press gives this kind of pirralha.” In October she changed the bio to “a kind but poorly informed teenager”. This was exactly how Russian President Vladimir Putin had described her at a conference in Moscow. In September President Trump posted a video of her speaking emotionally at the UN conference and sarcastically commented: “She seems like a very happy young girl looking forward to a bright and wonderful future.”She changed her bio accordingly: “A very happy young girl looking forward to a bright and wonderful future”.

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Media captionThe moment Greta Thunberg saw President Donald Trump



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Masters named permanent Premier League boss


‘We’re determined to tackle discrimination’ – Richard Masters on fighting racism

Premier League interim chief executive Richard Masters has been given the job on a permanent basis.It comes two weeks after media executive David Pemsel resigned before starting the role following newspaper allegations about his private life.Masters, formerly the organisation’s managing director, was the fourth person to be offered the job. He has been in temporary charge since the departure of Richard Scudamore in November 2018.Masters’ appointment will bring to an end a protracted 18-month search for a new boss of the organisation.Susanna Dinnage was originally named as Scudamore’s successor but later declined the role to remain at media organisation Discovery.Senior BBC executive Tim Davie also turned down the chance to take up the post.Masters has impressed club bosses, who voted through his appointment during a conference call on Thursday.Chelsea chairman Bruce Buck said Masters had “risen to the occasion” since being appointed interim chief.”The clubs believe that this is the right appointment now in the long-term interests of the Premier League,” added Buck.Masters said: “This is one of the most incredible jobs in the world of sport and I now look forward to leading the league in the many opportunities and challenges that lie ahead.’AnalysisMasters will initially have to overcome being viewed as the Premier League’s fourth choice after an embarrassing and shambolic recruitment saga that has lasted 18 months. But alongside acting chair Claudia Arney, the Aston Villa fan has impressed the clubs while holding the fort over the past year, and has now been rewarded with one of the most powerful and lucrative administrative roles in world sport. He takes up the reins at a fascinating and challenging time for the league, from controversy over VAR, racism and illegal streaming, to the future of European club competitions and the negotiation of the next all-important domestic live TV rights deal after a dip in value last year.



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Jimi Hendrix cleared of blame for UK parakeet release


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Goldsmith’s University

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Non-native parakeets have thrived across the country since first being “officially” seen in the 1860s, the researchers note

The rumour parakeets arrived in the UK when rock star Jimi Hendrix released a pair in London’s Carnaby Street in the swinging 60s has finally been scotched.They also didn’t escape across the country during the wrap party for the movie The African Queen, in 1951. In fact, reported sightings from the 1860s have been uncovered, Goldsmiths and Queen Mary universities say. Intentional releases may have also been encouraged in 1929-1931 and 1952 when fatal “parrot fever” hit the headlines.

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Getty Images

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Jimi Hendrix was wrongly blamed for the parakeet explosion after releasing two birds in Carnaby Street, London

The bright green non-native ring-necked parakeets now thrive across the UK. Originally from Africa, it has become a successful invasive species in 34 countries on five continents, the study’s lead author, the late Steven Le Comber, says.

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Goldsmth’s University

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In 2016 there were more than 8,500 breeding pairs on parakeets, mostly in south-east England

As well as the rumour from the Bogart and Hepburn classic, in 1951, another suggests that a flock kept at Syon Park escaped when a plane crashed through the aviary roof, in the 1970s.However, the researchers found their spread across the UK is more mundanely down to repeated intentional releases and not to do with publicity stunts.Numerous sensational accounts of human deaths due to psittacosis infections from birds were published in 1929.

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Daily Herald

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A Daily Herald report in 1952 warns of infections from parakeets

And in 1932, the Middlesex County Times reported parakeets had been spotted in Epping Forest, with the paper blaming the “parrot disease scare” of 1931 for the observations in the wild.”Scary” health stories often prompt a strong public reaction, said Sarah Elizabeth Cox, postgraduate history student at Goldsmiths.”If you were told you were at risk being near one, it would be much easier to let it out the window than to destroy it,” she said.This latest study used geographic profiling, a statistical technique originally developed in criminology to prioritise large lists of suspects in cases of serial crime, to analyse spatial patterns of parakeet sightings.When applied to biological data, the model can identify the origin sites of diseases or introduction sites of invasive, non-native species.

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Universal History Archive/Getty

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Rumours said after the movie starring Humphrey Bogart and Katharine Hepburn was shot, parakeets used were released from the UK studios

None of the “suspect sites” connected to origin myths showed up prominently in the geoprofile of more than 5,000 unique records dating from 1968 – 2018.By 1961, birds were a more popular pets than cats and dogs in the UK, with 11 million birds in captivity, of various species, and it seems obvious there would be an increase in escapes, researchers said.

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Goldsmiths University, London

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The bird is considered non-native as it was introduced by human activity



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Double-decker bus crashes into Swansea railway bridge


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Twitter / @Sekwah

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The bus was taking university students to one of the campuses when the crash happened

Several people have been injured after a double-decker university bus crashed into a railway bridge.Emergency services are at the scene following the crash on Neath Road, Swansea, just before 09:40 GMT on Thursday.Swansea council said the “ongoing incident” in Hafod had resulted to disruption to train services, which is expected to continue until 15:00.The bus company, First Cymru, said a full investigation had been launched.

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Dimitris Legakis

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Motorists are asked to avoid the area

Managing director Andrew Sherrington said: “We can confirm one of our vehicles operating Service 10 between Swansea University Singleton Campus and Swansea Bay University Campus has been involved in a collision with a bridge, which has resulted in a number of passengers sustaining injuries.”We’ve immediately dispatched a support team and launched a full investigation to establish the circumstances that has led to this collision, and are assisting South Wales Police with their enquiries.”Everyone at First Cymru is shocked by this incident and our heartfelt sympathies go out to those injured.”Tom Evans, who works near to the scene of the crash, said it looked like “a tin opener had taken the top of the bus off”.

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Dimitris Legakis

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Motorists are asked to avoid the area

He arrived on the scene shortly after the crash and said he believed the bus driver had misjudged the height of a railway bridge and tried to drive under it. He added: “I heard it and went out soon after. Police were there quickly, cordoning it off. It’s now a no-go area.”Transport for Wales (TfW) said replacement buses were in operation and motorists have been asked to avoid the Neath Road and Hafod area.Secretary Terry Edkins opened up the nearby Landore Social Club at the request of police to offer tea and coffee to passengers. He said he thought a woman had been airlifted to hospital, adding: “There are about 20 people at the social club having teas and coffees. The ones at the club are a bit shaken but OK .”

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A man who works nearby says it did not appear anyone was on board the bus

Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service said crews were in attendance and the Welsh Ambulance Service also said it was at the scene with “multiple crews and vehicles”.TfW wrote on Twitter: “Due to a road vehicle colliding with a bridge at #Swansea fewer trains are able to run on some lines. Services are running but will not call at Swansea Station.”South Wales Police said: “We and our fellow emergency services are currently in attendance at a road traffic collision involving a bus and a bridge in Neath Road, Swansea.”We are asking motorists to avoid the area while this incident is ongoing.”

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Tom Evans

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Disruption is expected to continue until 15:00 GMT



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Chile missing plane: Human remains found, governor says


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EPA

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Debris was found floating in the area where the plane went missing on Monday

Rescue workers in Chile have found human remains after an air force plane with 38 people on board went missing on Monday, a regional governor said.Magallanes Governor José Fernández said relatives of those missing had been informed of the find.Earlier, Chile’s air force said that wreckage had been found floating in the area where the C-130 Hercules cargo plane had last made contact.It was en route to a military base in the Antarctic.What has been found?Governor Fernández did not give many details. He said that “we received information today from the air force, telling us that they’d found some wreckage from the plane as well as remains of people who were on board”. “It is a very sad moment,” he added. Chile’s air force has not yet confirmed the information. The governor said a wheel from the plane, part of the landing gear and the fuselage had been recovered, and that more pieces were floating in the sea.How likely are you to survive a plane crash?Earlier, Air Force Commander Eduardo Mosqueira told reporters that search teams had located debris that “could be part of the remains of the sponges of the internal fuel tanks”. The wreckage was located 30km from the plane’s last-known position.Cmdr Mosqueira said the air force would carry out “corresponding checks” to determine whether it was from the missing plane. He also said that personal items suspected to come from the plane had been found. A Brazilian navy ship sent to aid with the search efforts also located some debris. Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro tweeted that “polar ship Almirante Maximiano of the Brazilian navy, collected at around 15:45, personal items and wreckage matching that of the Hercules C-130 of the Chilean air force”.What is known about its route?The plane was en route from Chile’s southern city of Punta Arenas to the country’s Presidente Eduardo Frei Montalva base in the Antarctic. Contact with the plane was lost at 18:13 local time (21:13 GMT) on Monday, shortly after the C-130 took off from Punta Arenas.The Chilean air force released a map of the plane’s flight path and a timeline showing it had been due to land at 19:17 on Monday at Presidente Eduardo Frei Montalva.

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EPA

A massive air and sea search was launched soon after the plane went missing. Argentina, Brazil, the UK and Uruguay have sent planes to help with the search in the icy waters, while the US and Israel have been providing satellite images. Who was on board?Three of the passengers were Chilean soldiers, two were civilians employed by engineering and construction firm Inproser going to carry out work on the military base, one was a student and the remaining 15 passengers were members of the air force, an official said.

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AFP

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The C-130 is used to transport people and goods to the base in Antarctica

Ignacio Parada had been studying civil chemical engineering at Magallanes University and was headed to the Antarctic base for an internship. His professors described the 24-year-old as “an excellent student”. He was particularly interested in renewable energy, he said in an interview he gave to the university recently. Inproser employees Leonel Cabrera and Jacob Pizarro were going to carry out work on the military base.

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AFP

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Relatives of those on board have been awaiting news at Cerrillos air force base

The three soldiers who boarded the Hercules plane on Monday were Col Christian Astorquiza, Lt Col Oscar Saavedra and Maj Gen Daniel Ortiz.There was only one woman on board: 37-year-old geographer Claudia Manzo joined the air force in 2008 and was passionate about remote sensing – obtaining information about areas from a distance by aircraft or satellites. Also among those travelling to the base were two brothers, Luis and Jeremías Mancilla. Jeremías, 27, had been hired by the air force to carry out work on the electrical circuits on the base. His older brother Luis is sergeant in the air force.



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Ed Sheeran, Drake and Justin Bieber: What were they doing 10 years ago?


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After spending 79 weeks at number 1, it’s no wonder Ed Sheeran’s been named the UK’s artist of the decade.He’s spent more time at the top of the album and singles charts than anyone else in the last 10 years, according to The Official Charts Company.But it’s fair to say life’s changed – just a little bit – for him and some of the others named as the biggest acts of the 2010s.

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Back at the start of the decade, One Direction had only just formed, Harry and Meghan hadn’t even met, and an 18-year-old Ed Sheeran was still in music college.He’d started doing smaller gigs, was getting a following on YouTube and had self-released his own EPs.Long before headlining Glastonbury, he played the much smaller BBC Introducing stage at the festival… and even performed at London’s St Pancras train station.Soon he was asked to support Example on his UK tour and started doing gigs at people’s houses to try to build his following. And let’s just call the rest history.He’s now sold more than 150 million records worldwide and according to Heat Magazine, he’s the UK’s richest celebrity under 30… said to be worth £160m.Then there are the eight number one singles, four chart-topping albums and 42 tracks in the Top 40… not to mention the time he broke the chart with 16 songs in the Top 20.Not bad for a teenager from Suffolk who just loved folk music, rap and playing guitar.Justin Bieber

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Getty Images

If you remember Twitter in 2010, you’ll remember how Justin Bieber was trending almost every single day. No real reason, just because… well, who wouldn’t want to tweet about those cheeks? At the time, it was reported the singer accounted for 3% of all traffic on the site.It was the year the singer broke through with his first big single after being spotted by a music manager on YouTube. Baby got to number three in the UK and its video became the most viewed and most disliked ever on YouTube.It was also the year the 15-year-old started dating Selena Gomez.But it was also the year his voice started breaking. He admitted at the time that he was struggling to hit some of the notes on Baby.

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Media captionThe singer was interviewed by the BBC in 2012
The next few years saw the singer get in a lot of trouble… reckless driving, vandalism, driving under the influence.But he also became one of the world’s best-selling artists. He’s now sold an estimated 150 million records and in 2017 became only the second person to reach 100 million followers on Twitter, after Katy Perry. He’s been listed three times by Forbes magazine as one of the world’s top ten most powerful celebrities and in 2016 became the first artist to reach 10 billion total video views on Vevo.It was also the decade the singer settled down, marrying Hailey Baldwin.Earlier this year, he wrote on Instagram about how he became “the most hated person in the world” thanks to a string of “bad decisions” in his 20s, including heavy drug use and abusing his relationships.Drake

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At the start of the decade – it was a pretty big deal when Drake had his face plastered on the side of a plane as part of an airline publicity campaign.By the end of 2019 though, the rapper’s got his very own £140m Boeing 767.Around 10 years ago, Drake was busy promoting club nights. But safe to say he hasn’t had to hand out many fliers lately.By 2010, he was already known for his part in Canadian teen drama Degrassi: The Next Generation. He’d also started releasing his own mixtapes.But this was the year of his debut studio album which went to number one in the US album chart – with nearly half a million sales in the first week alone.To mark the album launch, 25,000 fans gathered at New York City’s South Street Seaport for a free concert, which was later called off by police because of overcrowding.Fast forward to 2016, and the release of One Dance. It spent a whopping 15 weeks in a row at number one in the UK – the joint longest for any track at the top of the chart,Around the world he’s now sold 170 million records, won 4 Grammy’s, founded his own OVO Sound record label and become Top Boy’s executive producer.It’s also the decade Drake made YOLO a thing, became a dad… and cursed just a few sporting events. Jess Glynne

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At the start of the decade, a 20-year-old Jess Glynne was finishing music college in East London.It’s where she met her future collaborators, songwriter Jin Jin and producer Bless Beats.In the early days of Twitter, she could be found fan-girling Alicia Keys and shouting out for spare Bestival tickets – years before performing there herself.2010 was the year she had what she called her “first ever sing song gig” in central London.Soon, she was signed by Black Butter Records. By day, she was working in brand management for a drinks company but she quit in 2013 when her big break came – signing with Atlantic Records.Fast forward to the end of 2019 and the singer’s now got 400,000 Twitter followers.Not to mention the seven UK number one singles, two chart-topping albums and the 79 weeks her tracks have spent in the Top 10.She’s also got the record for most the most number one singles by a British female solo artist.

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