‘Tinder Swindler’ victim continues to look for love on dating show

Fjellhoy was one of the women whom Hayut duped out of thousands of pounds by posing as a wealthy heir. (Photo: Netflix)
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Updated 28 November 2022

‘Tinder Swindler’ victim continues to look for love on dating show

  • Hayut told Newsbeat that he denies the accusations shown in the Netflix documentary

LONDON: If you watched “The Tindler Swindler,” Netflix’s hit documentary about fraudster Simon Leviev, whose real name is Shimon Hayut, then you will definitely recognize Cecilie Fjellhoy.  

Fjellhoy was one of the women whom Hayut duped out of thousands of pounds by posing as a wealthy heir.  

Five years on, Fjellhoy, 33, is ready to find love again and is appearing on “Celebs Go Dating,” a show where a cast of stars — often from reality shows like “Love Island” and “The Only Way is Essex” — go on dates with non-celebrities. 

Speaking at the series launch, Fjellhoy said to BBC’S Newsbeat: “I don’t feel like a celeb. I don’t want people to think that I look at myself like a celeb, but I really appreciate that my face is actually known around the world. I am blessed that I’m able to do ‘Celebs Go Dating’ and show a different side to me.”

Fjellhoy seems optimistic about dating after her debacle. She explains she finds dating “fun” and will “continue to have with it.”  

She is even back on Tinder. “I never looked at Tinder as the one to be blamed for what happened to me because I met him in real life,” she said, “but I think I went a bit too quick back on the apps.” 

Following the release of “The Tinder Swindler,” Fjellhoy received an outpouring of sympathetic reactions from viewers. However, she was also at the receiving hand of misogynistic comments from people who labeled her as a “gold digger” and deserving of the unfortunate events that befell her.  

Fjellhoy said she is expecting a backlash to her dating show appearance, saying, “Trolling always happens. I’ve learnt not to read (the comments).”

She believes, however, that is important to shine a light on such comments, explaining that they can be “dangerous.”

“It’s fun to laugh about it, but it can be dangerous in the long run,” she said.  

Fjellhoy has been campaigning for more awareness on romance fraud and is calling for training for police and healthcare professionals so that victims can feel better supported. She also wants to help remove some of the stigma surrounding scams so people can feel less ashamed about seeking help if they do fall prey to fraudsters.  

Speaking on Hayut’s release, Fjellhoy said it is “disheartening” and that her goal was to “keep people protected from people like him.” 

In 2019, Hayut was convicted of four charges of fraud, not relating to Fjellhoy’s allegations, and was sentenced to a total of 15 months in prison. He was released after serving only five. Previously in Denmark, in 2015, he was sentenced for defrauding three women. 

Hayut told Newsbeat that he denies the accusations shown in the Netflix documentary. 

Fjellhoy said she unexpectedly ran into Hayut at a beach club in Tel Aviv, Israel, where he currently resides.   

She said she waved at him and continued on. “I am not scared of him. He cannot hurt me anymore,” she said. 

Hayut claims he reported her Tel Aviv visit to the Israeli police and accused her of harassment.  

Fjellhoy says she still receives messages from people, young and old, sharing their own stories of romance fraud. Her advice to them is to speak out if they believe they are being scammed, to reach out to family and friends and to recount their experiences. She also advises them to contact the banks as “they’re not your enemy.” 

She said: “The thing with fraud (is that) you don’t realize red flags when they’re happening. That’s why it’s dangerous. When you realize you’ve been defrauded, go to the police, go to the bank.”


Actor Jonathan Majors arrested on assault charge in New York

Updated 26 March 2023

Actor Jonathan Majors arrested on assault charge in New York

  • The star of the recently released “Creed III” and “Ant-Man and The Wasp: Quantumania,” was involved in a domestic dispute with a 30-year-old woman: NYPD

NEW YORK: The actor Jonathan Majors was arrested Saturday in New York on charges of strangulation, assault and harassment, authorities said.
New York City police said that Majors, star of the recently released “Creed III” and “Ant-Man and The Wasp: Quantumania,” was involved in a domestic dispute with a 30-year-old woman. Police responded around 11 a.m. to a 911 call inside an apartment in the Manhattan neighborhood of Chelsea.
“The victim informed police she was assaulted,” a spokesperson for the NYPD said in a statement. “Officers placed the 33-year-old male into custody without incident. The victim sustained minor injuries to her head and neck and was removed to an area hospital in stable condition.”
He was no longer in police custody as of Saturday night, the NYPD spokesperson confirmed to The Associated Press.
A representative for Major denied any wrongdoing by the actor.
“He has done nothing wrong,” said the representative in an email to the AP Saturday. “We look forward to clearing his name and clearing this up.”
Majors is one of the fastest rising stars in Hollywood. After breaking through in 2019’s “The Last Black Man in San Francisco,” Majors has starred in “Da 5 Bloods,” “The Harder They Fall” and last year’s “Devotion.” He also stars in the recent Sundance Film Festival entry “Magazine Dreams,” which Searchlight Pictures is to release in December.




Large asteroid to zoom between Earth and Moon

Updated 25 March 2023

Large asteroid to zoom between Earth and Moon

  • An observatory in La Palma, one of Spain’s Canary Islands, first spotted the asteroid on February 27
  • The asteroid will again swing past Earth in 2026

PARIS: A large asteroid will safely zoom between Earth and the Moon on Saturday, a once-in-a-decade event that will be used as a training exercise for planetary defense efforts, according to the European Space Agency.
The asteroid, named 2023 DZ2, is estimated to be 40 to 70 meters wide, roughly the size of the Parthenon, and big enough to wipe out a large city if it hit our planet.
At 19:49 GMT on Saturday it will come within a third of the distance from the Earth to the Moon, said Richard Moissl, the head of the ESA’s planetary defense office.
Though that is “very close,” there is nothing to worry about, he told AFP.
Small asteroids fly past every day, but one of this size coming so close to Earth only happens around once every 10 years, he added.
The asteroid will pass 175,000 kilometers from Earth at a speed of 28,000 kilometers per hour. The moon is roughly 385,000 kilometers away.
An observatory in La Palma, one of Spain’s Canary Islands, first spotted the asteroid on February 27.
Last week, the UN-endorsed International Asteroid Warning Network decided it would take advantage of the close look, carrying out a “rapid characterization” of 2023 DZ2, Moissl said.
That means astronomers around the world will analyze the asteroid with a range of instruments such as spectrometers and radars.
The goal is to find out just how much we can learn about such an asteroid in only a week, Moissl said.
It will also serve as training for how the network “would react to a threat” possibly heading our way in the future, he added.
Moissl said preliminary data suggests 2023 DZ2 is “a scientifically interesting object,” indicating it could be a somewhat unusual type of asteroid. But he added that more data was needed to determine the asteroid’s composition.
The asteroid will again swing past Earth in 2026, but poses no threat of impact for at least the next 100 years — which is how far out its trajectory has been calculated.
Earlier this month a similarly sized asteroid, 2023 DW, was briefly given a one-in-432 chance of hitting Earth on Valentine’s Day 2046.
But further calculations ruled out any chance of an impact, which is what normally happens with newly discovered asteroids. Moissl said 2023 DW was now expected to miss Earth by some 4.3 million kilometers.
Even if such an asteroid was determined to be heading our way, Earth is no longer defenseless.
Last year, NASA’s DART spacecraft deliberately slammed into the pyramid-sized asteroid Dimorphos, significantly knocking it off course in the first such test of our planetary defenses.

Firefighters rescue 5 mischievous boys lost in New York City sewer

Updated 24 March 2023

Firefighters rescue 5 mischievous boys lost in New York City sewer

  • Scream as loud as you can for rescuers to hear you, 911 dispatcher the panicked lads

NEW YORK: Five mischievous boys had to be rescued after they crawled through a storm drain tunnel in New York City and got lost, authorities said.
In audio released by the fire department, 911 dispatchers work to pinpoint the boys’ exact location and then tell them to scream once rescuers are close enough to hear.
“Now you can scream as loud as you can,” a dispatcher says. “They want you to scream and yell.”
The five boys, aged 11 and 12, crawled into a storm drain on Staten Island at about 6 p.m. Tuesday, fire department officials said at a news conference Wednesday.
The boys walked about a quarter mile and then called 911 when they couldn’t find their way back, officials said.
“We’re stuck in the sewer,” one of the boys says on the recording. “You’re stuck where?” a dispatcher responds.
A second dispatcher says he is familiar with the area and tries to determine exactly where the boys are. “Once you went down, was the sewer left, right, straight — where was it?” the dispatcher asks. “I need you to guide me.”
When sirens can be heard, the dispatcher tells the boys to scream. At first the boys fear that the rescuers aren’t stopping.
“It sounded like they went past us,” one boy says.
The dispatcher assures the boys, “They’re not going anywhere, we’re going to get you out of there.”
Soon an emergency responder can be heard saying “We might have hands on the kids right now,” and then, “We have all five children removed from the sewer.”
Firefighters said the boys were in the tunnel for about an hour. The boys and one firefighter were taken to a hospital for evaluation, but none had significant injuries, officials said.
“Amazing that the cellphone worked in the tunnel,” FDNY Chief of Department John Hodgens told reporters. “That was a key component of us finding them.”

Their world was the oyster: Oldest pearl town found in UAE

Updated 20 March 2023

Their world was the oyster: Oldest pearl town found in UAE

  • The town was likely once home to thousands of people and hundreds of homes

SINIYAH ISLAND, United Arab Emirates: Archaeologists said Monday they have found the oldest pearling town in the Arabian Gulf on an island off one of the northern sheikhdoms of the United Arab Emirates.
Artifacts found in this town on Siniyah Island in Umm Al-Quwain, likely once home to thousands of people and hundreds of homes, date as far back as the region’s pre-Islamic history in the late 6th century. While older pearling towns have been mentioned in historical texts, this represents the first time archaeologists say they have physically found one from this ancient era across the nations of the Arabian Gulf.
“This is the oldest example of that kind of very specifically Khaleeji pearling town,” said Timothy Power, an associate professor of archaeology at the UAE University, using a word that means “Gulf” in Arabic. “It’s the spiritual ancestor of towns like Dubai.”
The pearling town sits on Siniyah Island, which shields the Khor Al-Beida marshlands in Umm Al-Quwain, an emirate some 50 kilometers (30 miles) northeast of Dubai along the coast of the Arabian Gulf. The island, whose name means “flashing lights” likely due to the effect of the white-hot sun overhead, already has seen archaeologists discover an ancient Christian monastery dating back as many as 1,400 years.
The town sits directly south of that monastery on one of the curling fingers of the island and stretches across some 12 hectares (143,500 square yards). There, archaeologists found a variety of homes made of beach rock and lime mortar, ranging from cramped quarters to more sprawling homes with courtyards, suggesting a social stratification, Power said. The site also bears signs of year-round habitation, unlike other pearling operations run in seasonal spots in the region.
“The houses are crammed in there, cheek by jowl,” he added. “The key thing there is permanence. People are living there all year around.”
In the homes, archaeologists have discovered loose pearls and diving weights, which the free divers used to quickly drop down to the seabed while relying only on their held breath.
The town predates the rise of Islam across the Arabian Peninsula, making its residents likely Christians.
Umm Al-Quwain’s Department of Tourism and Archaeology, UAE University, the Italian Archaeological Mission in the emirate and the Institute for the Study of the Ancient World at New York University all took part in the excavation. Umm Al-Quwain, the least-populated emirate in the UAE, plans to build a visitor’s center at the site.
Today, the area near the marshland is more known for the low-cost liquor store at the emirate’s Barracuda Beach Resort. In recent months, authorities have demolished a hulking, Soviet-era cargo plane linked to a Russian gunrunner known as the “Merchant of Death” as it builds a bridge to Siniyah Island for a $675 million real estate development. Authorities hope that development, as well as other building, will grow the emirate’s economy.
However, even this ancient site bears lessons for the Emirates.
The story of pearling, which rapidly collapsed after World War I with the introduction of artificial pearls and the Great Depression, holds particular importance in the history of the UAE — particularly as it faces a looming reckoning with another extractive industry. While crude oil sales built the country after its formation in 1971, the Emirates will have to confront its fossil fuel legacy and potentially plan for a carbon-neutral future as it hosts the United Nations COP28 climate talks later this year.
Those searching the site found a dumpsite nearby filled with the detritus of discarded oyster shells. People walking across the island can feel those remains crunching under their feet in areas as well.
“You only find one pearl in every 10,000 oyster shells. You have to find and discard thousands and thousands of oyster shells to find one,” Power said. ”The waste, the industrial waste of the pearling industry, was colossal. You’re dealing with millions, millions of oyster shells discarded.”

Australian surfs for 40 hours to smash world record

Updated 17 March 2023

Australian surfs for 40 hours to smash world record

  • Johnston raised more than $133,000 for mental health, taking on the record to mark 10 years since losing his father to suicide

Sydney: Australian Blake Johnston on Friday shredded the world record for the longest surfing session, dodging swarms of jellyfish to ride hundreds of waves across 40 punishing hours.
The 40-year-old former surfing pro broke down in tears after smashing South African Josh Enslin’s previous record of 30 hours and 11 minutes.
Johnston surfed back to shore in the evening to rapturous applause from the hundreds of supporters who had gathered at Sydney’s Cronulla Beach to watch.
Wearing a black cowboy hat and draped in a thermal blanket, he was carried off the beach on his friends’ shoulders after finally hanging up his surfboard.
Johnston raised more than $133,000 for mental health, taking on the record to mark 10 years since losing his father to suicide.
He rode more than 700 waves in setting the record, braving pitch-black seas that are home to many species of shark.
“I’ve still got a job to do. I said 40 (hours) so I’ll go and give it a crack,” he told reporters earlier in the day, after passing the previous 30-hour record.
“I’m pretty cooked, yeah, but we’ll push through.”
Johnston eventually surfed for more than 40 hours — he started at 1:00am on Thursday, using large spotlights to illuminate the water — but his official record time was not immediately known.

Under the rules of the attempt, he was allowed to sporadically leave the ocean so he could soothe his eyes with eyedrops, refuel with snacks and lather himself up in sunscreen.
Medics would check his heart rate and blood pressure before he dashed back into the swell.
With Sydney in the grip of a minor heatwave, the water temperature has been hovering around a balmy 24 degrees Celsius, lessening the risk of hypothermia.
Johnston had originally planned to raise money by tackling a 1,000-kilometer run, but settled on surfing when he saw the previous record was “only” 30 hours.
“I thought I could just do it,” he said before the attempt.
“I push myself to the limits with my adventures and to prove to myself that I’m worthy and can get through hard times, and that’s when my lessons are learnt.”
He anticipated infected ears, dehydration and sleep deprivation would push his body to its limits.

Johnston’s brother Ben said they had also prepared for the possibility of a shark attack, but it wasn’t something that had worried them.
“I surfed at two in the morning with him and the lights actually went out so it was pitch black,” he told national broadcaster ABC.
“There were a whole bunch of jellyfish out there, so it was interesting to say the least.”
It is not Johnston’s first time taking part in a marathon test of human endurance.
In 2020, he ran 100 kilometers along the rugged coastline south of Sydney — covering the vast majority of the trek in bare feet.