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Chili star feels the heat as bum joke backfires

Brazil: Chad Smith, the drummer for US rock band Red Hot Chili Peppers, has apologised to Flamengo fans after he caused outrage in Brazil by wiping his backside with the club’s shirt.

Smith made the gesture — which was filmed and went viral on the internet — at a drum clinic in Belo Horizonte last week.

The band played there as part of a South American tour, before moving on to Rio, home to Flamengo, where they played on Saturday.

Fans of Flamengo, who claim to be the best-supported club in Brazil with more than 30m supporters, were outraged by the incident and forced Smith to quickly backtrack.

“I want to apologise for my inappropriate antics at the drum clinic, my joke about team rivalries went too far,” Smith said on Twitter. “Flamenco [sic] fans...I’m sorry.”

Smith then donned a Flamengo shirt and posted a picture of himself signing autographs for Flamengo fans.

England: Concerned tree-owners have inundated officials with false reports of ash dieback disease as many have confused the start of winter frost with the fatal infection.

The UK forestry commission said it has received hundreds of calls from concerned members of the public who have mistaken the withering of seed pods for symptoms of chalara ash dieback.

The disease, which has ravaged ash populations across Europe, is believed to pose a major risk to Britain’s estimated 80m susceptible trees.

But outbreaks have so far been concentrated around recently planted sites in the south-east, and just 607 cases have been reported since the infection was first spotted in February last year.

As ash trees start to fall foul of plummeting temperatures, the commission has reminded horticultural enthusiasts that falling leaves do not necessarily indicate dieback.

A spokesman said unnecessary calls started in the south, where ash pods ripen and wither first, and have spread north in line with regional changes in the seasons.

ENGLAND: A pair of detention sheets which reveal the school day misdemeanours of a 15-year-old John Lennon are to go on sale.

The documents uncover his antics at Quarry Bank High School for Boys in Liverpool where he was renowned as a “class clown”.

Reasons for punishment given by his teachers include “sabotage”, “fighting in class”, “nuisance”, “shoving”, and “just no interest whatsoever”.

On two occasions the Beatle even managed to receive three detentions in one day.

The sheets cover the periods between May 19 and June 23 1955, and from Nov 25 1955 to Feb 13, 1956.

The detention sheets are estimated to fetch between £2,000 (€2,400) and £3,000.

Online bidding at TracksAuction.com starts on Nov 22 and the auction concludes with a live online sale beginning at 5pm on Dec 1.

Other items in the Beatles memorabilia sale are a signed White Album, expected to fetch between £60,000 and £80,000, handwritten lyrics to an unpublished 60s song by Paul McCartney and an unpublished Lennon sketch.

USA: The family of a Silicon Valley engineer who amassed one of the nation’s most extensive historic military vehicle collections is giving the tanks, missile launchers and armoured vehicles to a Massachusetts-based museum that will preserve and display some of them.

Until now the $30m (€22.5m) fleet of tanks housed in seven storage sheds on a family estate above Silicon Valley. They are visited only under privately arranged tours.

But the 240 pieces have been signed over to The Collings Foundation, which preserves historic military aircraft.


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