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‘What a fool’: fellow actors criticise William Shatner’s space flight

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‘What a fool’: fellow actors criticise William Shatner’s space flight

The Star Trek actor William Shatner’s recent historic space flight saw him boldly go where some fellow actors refuse to follow, as the nonagenarian was labelled a “fool” for taking part in his record-breaking jaunt.

Dame Joan Collins, who once appeared in an episode of the science fiction series, and the Succession star Brian Cox, are both unimpressed by Shatner, at 90, becoming the oldest person to travel into space when earlier this month he flew in a rocket built by the Amazon founder Jeff Bezos.

It follows comments from the Duke of Cambridge criticising space tourism, and which forced Shatner to justify the trip, saying it was a “baby step” to getting “polluting industries … off of Earth”.

Appearing on The Jonathan Ross Show on ITV, Collins said: “It’s amazing isn’t it? What a fool. Who wants to do that? No, absolutely not. Did you see Bill Shatner?

“He was in the air and they were turning him upside down. Let’s take care of this planet first before we start going off.”

Collins appeared in an episode of the original series of Star Trek, playing a character called Edith Keeler who Captain Kirk, played by Shantner, falls in love with but then allows to die.

Asked if he would visit space, fellow show guest Cox replied: “No, absolutely not. I think it’s ridiculous. I remember watching [Sir Richard] Branson and Bezos going up for their 11 minutes or whatever …

“No, we do not need more spaceships. We’ve got enough crap flying around up there. We do not need any more.”

Shatner took off from the west Texas desert onboard the Blue Origin suborbital capsule, with his flight lasting 10 minutes. The crew got to experience a short period of weightlessness as they climbed to a maximum altitude just above 60 miles (100km). From there they were able to see the curvature of the Earth through the capsule’s windows.

In tears, he added: “What you have just given me is the most profound experience. I’m so filled with emotion about what just happened. I hope I never recover from this. I hope I can retain what I feel now. I don’t want to lose it.”

After the flight, Prince William criticised the space race and burgeoning space tourism industry ahead of his inaugural Earthshot prize awards.

He said: “We need some of the world’s greatest brains and minds fixed on trying to repair this planet, not trying to find the next place to go and live.”

Shatner, in an interview with the US TV show Entertainment Tonight, responded: “He’s a lovely Englishman. He’s going to be king of England one day. He’s a lovely, gentle, educated man, but he’s got the wrong idea.

“The idea here is not to go, ‘Yeah, look at me. I’m in space’. No, I would tell the prince, and I hope the prince gets this message, this is a baby step of getting industry, all those polluting industries … off of Earth.”

Shatner was joined on the flight by Audrey Powers, a Blue Origin vice-president, Chris Boshuizen, who co founded the Earth imaging satellite company Planet, and Glen de Vries, an executive with the French healthcare software corporation Dassault Systèmes.

They were given a couple of days training, though the rocket and capsule system, known as New Shepard, is fully automatic.

Shatner was previously criticised by his Star Trek co-star George Takei, a longtime foe, who told the Page Six website: “He’s boldly going where other people have gone before.”

Bezos, who has sold $100m (£72m) of tickets for future rides and aims to dominate the fledgling space tourism industry, was onboard the maiden crewed flight of his own spaceship in July.

Shatner took the title of oldest space traveller from Wally Funk, an 82-year-old former test pilot who flew with Bezos.

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Ondo Govt reacts to court judgement declaring new LCDAs ‘illegal’

The Ondo State Government says necessary legal action will be taken on the judgement nullifying the creation of the 33 Local Council Development Areas (LCDAs) in the state.

The government’s reaction is contained in a statement by the Attorney General of Ondo State, Mr Kayode Ajulo SAN, made available to  newsmen on Friday in Akure.

Justice A.O Adebusuoye of the state High Court had in a judgement on Thursday described the creation of the LCDAs as unlawful.

The court said it was illegal for a governor to sign a law outside the State.

The court said that the Local Government Creation Law 2023 signed by the late Governor Rotimi Akeredolu in Ibadan was unconstitutional, illegal, null and void.

The statement said the government has taken cognizance of Ondo State High Court’s judgement and had requested for a Certified True Copy of it.

Ajulo said after it was studied and analysed, a legal opinion would be presented to the state government.

“Subsequently, all necessary measures, in accordance with our laws, will be taken to safeguard the interests of our citizens, foster peaceful coexistence, and uphold the rule of law.

“The Attorney General remains steadfast in his commitment to prioritizing the well-being and welfare of our citizens, working tirelessly to ensure that justice and the law are served,” the statement said.

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LASTMA impounds 40 vehicles in Oyingbo, ijora, idumota axis

The  Lagos State Traffic Management Authority (LASTMA) has impounded another 25 commercial and 15 private vehicles operating illegal garages and causing serious road obstructions around Oyingbo, Ijora, and Idumota areas of  Lagos.

Mr Taofiq Adebayo, Director, Public Affairs and Enlightenment Department of LASTMA, said this in a statement on Friday in Lagos.

Adebayo said impounding the vehicles at these areas was a decisive move by LASTMA to restore order and ensure the free flow of traffic.

He said the operation was led by LASTMA Head of Enforcement, Mr Kayode Odunuga, under the directives of the Special Adviser to the Governor on Transportation, Mr Sola Giwa.

Adebayo that they were specifically directed to target illegal garages that had been a persistent source of congestion and inconvenience for residents and commuters.

He said the impoundment, which began in recent weeks, was part of a broader initiative by the  Lagos State Government to enhance the efficiency of the city’s transportation network.

He quoted Giwa as emphasising that government is committed to maintaining law and order on the roads, ensuring that all traffic regulations are strictly enforced.

“illegal garages have been a significant challenge in our quest to maintain a seamless traffic flow in Lagos.

“These impoundments send a strong message to all offenders that the state will not tolerate activities that disrupt public order and endanger the lives of our citizens.

“Our goal is to create a safe and orderly environment for all road users and this action is a crucial step in that direction,” Giwa said.

He noted that the targeted areas, Oyingbo, Ijora, and Idumota, are known hotspots for traffic congestion due to unauthorised parking and the establishment of makeshift garages.

He said that these activities not only obstruct the free movement of vehicles but also pose safety risks to pedestrians.

“LASTMA’s intervention aims to clear these bottlenecks and enhance the overall traffic situation in these critical areas.

“Residents and business owners have expressed their support for the government’s action, noting the positive impact it will have on their daily activities.

“LASTMA has also assured the public that the operation will be sustained and extended to other parts of the city where illegal garages and related activities are prevalent,” he quoted Giwa as saying.

He urged all vehicle owners and operators to adhere to the state’s traffic regulations and cooperate with authorities to avoid sanctions.

He reiterated that the government’s primary objective was to create a better and more livable Lagos for everyone.

He also urged motorists to take ownership of the roads and to promptly inform LASTMA of any broken down or abandoned trailers or trucks via the Agency’s hotlines: 0810056586008129928503.

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Emir of Ilorin commiserates with Saraki over mother’s death

Nigeria in very bad shape, only PDP can rebuild it —Saraki

Emir of Ilorin, Alhaji Ibrahim Sulu-Gambari, has commiserated with a former Senate President,  Dr Bukola Saraki, over the death of his mother, Mrs Florence Saraki.

This is contained in a condolence message issued by the emir’s Spokesman, Mallam Abdulazeez Arowona, on Wednesday in Ilorin.

Mrs Saraki died on Tuesday at the age of 89.

Sulu-Gambari described the deceased as a wonderful mother, great philanthropist and virtuous wife to  Dr Olusola Saraki, the late Waziri of Ilorin, whose contributions to humanity would forever be remembered.

According to him, the deceased lived a fulfilled life, with numerous accomplishments.

The royal father urged Saraki, a two-term governor of Kwara, and his siblings to be strong in heart over the demise of their beloved mother.

Sulu-Gambari, who is also the Chairman of Kwara Traditional Rulers’ Council, extended his condolences to both the immediate and extended family members of the Saraki dynasty.

“I pray that Almighty Allah grants the family and friends the fortitude to bear the great loss,” he said.

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