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How to setup your Paxex masternode for free!

Get a free $100 VPS credit

In light of the scandal regarding Cambridge Analytica and Facebook, more and more people are realizing that the content they put on the internet has value. A LOT of value. Online advertising is going to be a 200 BILLION dollar industry by the year 2019 in the United States alone. 

Shouldn't Facebook be paying us for our content since it makes Mr. Marky Boi Zuckerberg so much money?

Platforms like Paxexlive.com are the future of the internet because more and more people will eventually realize that they do deserve to get something in return for the content they create on the internet.

Paxexlive.com lets the users determine the value of the content posted, not advertisers, or big corperations. On the Paxex platform, users reward each other with upvotes worth 1 Paxex coin each to the content creators.

If we want Paxex to suceed in the world of Facebook and Google then it is up to us to insure that the Paxex blockchain is successful by setting up what is known as a masternode.

Masternodes help keep the blockchain running smoothly and securely. One of the drawbacks to masternodes is that they cost money to run because you either need a computer with a 24/7 high speed internet connection, unlimited bandwidth, and a VPN (Virtual Private Network) connection to keep your IP address and crypto wallet secure. Or you need to pay cash out of pocket for a VPS (Virtual Private Server).

Fortunately, there is a solution for those of us who want to contribute towards the decentralization of the internet by helping to bring back the power to the people.

Digital Ocean is a hosting platform that provides Virtual Private Servers from multiple data centers across the world. Normally the cheapest option runs at $10 a month for a light VPS "droplet" but by taking advantage of the affiliate program you can use my personal link to get a free $100 credit that is good for 2 months. There is also an affiliate program that allows you to the chance to add an extra $25 credit for each person that you get to sign up.

Each VPS can have up to 3 static IP addresses, meaning, you could run 3 different masternodes from 3 different cryptocurrencies on each "Droplet" that you rent. Each droplet can run from $10 to $960 per month depending on your computing needs (lets just say they have something for everyone).

Click here to take advantage of the offer and help Paxex fullfill it's potential:

(https://m.do.co/c/67b15b93ecf0)

Keep reading to learn how to set up your Paxex masternode.

1.) Create your droplet. The $10 option is fine. Don't worry, you will not be billed until your $100 credit is up or your 2 months is up, which ever comes first. Select Unbuntu 16.04 and select what data center location you want to host from.

2.) Once your droplet is created then you can simply head on over to here to finish setting it up!

Thank you for reading!

If you like are interested in things like cryptocurrency, privacy, cybersecurity and hacking then please consider throwing me an upvote and then comment with a link to your cryptastic content so that I may to the same!

Donate to my research and journalism content by donating privately and anonymously using bitcoin, Paxex or zcash, no donation is too small and anything is greatly appreciated!

BTC: 1FQ6rJZHToV5ZUPJCxtBHLBjdoTwkXk78g

PAXEX: PW9B1GnjR1y5kdKj6Xm3KqqqPvfvrADa8z

ZEC: t1bpF18s3q7hMM9fjWwXbbGKpUj55ocb48Z(Get more cryptocurrency related news at dailycryptonews.org)

 

Decryp70 Posted on November 02, 2018 07:59

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The Paris park where Nigerian women are forced into prostitution

By Frank Andrews, for CNN

Updated 0911 GMT (1711 HKT) October 5, 2018

 
 
 

Paris (CNN)A row of dirty vans is parked on a broad, tree-lined avenue in the outskirts of Paris. In the dark of night, fluttering candles light up the faces of the women in the front seats. None of them wear more than their underwear.

Others, wearing miniskirts, stand outside underneath street lamps, facing out onto the empty road.

Nadège was one of these women before she managed to escape.

She is softly spoken. "Even now I don't have hope for myself," she says. "My past already destroyed my future."

Related: Raped, beaten and forced into prostitution in Italy

The Bois de Vincennes, a sprawling park on the outskirts of eastern Paris, is home to horse riding schools and a zoo. It has also been part-commandeered by human traffickers.

The park's central road is yet another point on the map of a massive cross-continental trafficking network that has channeled tens of thousands of Nigerian women and children throughout Europe and as far as Malaysia.

Like them, Nadège says she was trafficked from Nigeria to France and forced into sexual slavery, at €20 ($23) per client, to pay off a colossal debt to a female Nigerian pimp known as a "madam."

'I was told it was like a paradise'

Nadège, who could not give her real name for safety reasons, grew up in southern Nigeria. She says that when she was just six, she was raped by a group of neighbors. Her parents sent her to live with an aunt.

The sex trafficking trail from Nigeria to Europe

But Nadège says her aunt was murdered after refusing a local gangster's marriage proposal for her niece. Nadège discovered her aunt's dead body.

At 15, Nadège says, she was raped once again and had her first abortion.

Alone, she was easy prey for traffickers. A madam she met in Lagos promised her a better life in Europe, working as a waitress.

"I was told it was like a paradise," Nadège tells CNN. "But getting here, it was like from frying pan to fire."

Related: Human trafficking survivor: I was raped 43,200 times

The European Asylum Support Office (EASO) says that recruitment for trafficking to Europe is strongly concentrated in Edo State, in southern Nigeria, the region where Nadège was born.

A terrifying oath

Before leaving, the madam made Nadège swear an oath at a "juju" temple with a native doctor of Ayelala -- a traditional belief system from southern Nigeria.

Nadège swore to repay her madam for sending her to Europe, and to never speak of her oath, or her debt, to anyone. It's the same for so many Nigerian women trafficked for sex.

Read: Tafficking survivor wants to end 'The Game'

Yehudi Pelosi, a lawyer who specializes in asylum law and human trafficking, said that as part of the ceremony the women are often forced to eat a kola nut and a chicken heart, and drink a concoction of gin and blood. Some of their pubic hair is taken, and their head, breasts and shoulders are often ritually scarred.

 

 

 

Related video: Traffickers use 'Juju' to lure Nigerian women 04:50

Charities working closely with the women say they are petrified of the oath's power. Nadège was convinced that breaking it meant going mad or dying.

Families suffer, too. Charities say madams pay "cultists" -- military-style gangs -- to threaten and sometimes kill girls' relatives back home.

"Your parents are not safe... I love my mum, I don't want anything to happen to her," said Nadège.

No passport, no money

Nadège described her journey to France. She flew on a commercial flight, with a fake passport her madam gave her. She was sent to work in the Bois a week after she arrived. She was 20 years old.

Her debt, she was told, was €50,000 ($57,690). Others pay €60,000 ($69,226).

Her madam gave her a €100 daily target and took away her passport and all her earnings, except money for food and rent.

"Sometimes you work from 6 p.m. to 6 a.m. in the morning, maybe get home by 8 a.m.," she says.

By day, the Bois de Vincennes is popular with joggers and boules players.

She would start work again, elsewhere, from 3 p.m., she says. "Until 6 p.m., then you have to go to your normal place of work."

Most of the Nigerian women working in the park are "slaves," she says. "Some are free, but the prostitution has eaten deep into them."

Nadège once asked a man why he came to the street, she says, wiping away a tear. "He said, 'I'm a divorced man, so I have to make myself happy.'"

She says she is sure that he and the rest of the clients understood the Nigerian women's situation.

By night, prostitutes work from vans parked at the roadside in the park.

Victims become 'madams'

According to a lawyer who represents a charity that works with sex trafficking victims, senior prostitutes are often entrusted with new arrivals and may be given a cut of their earnings.

A migrant's journey: raped, beaten and forced into prostitution in Italy

Some of these women may in time buy trafficked girls of their own to pimp out. They become madams to free themselves from prostitution and earn the European riches they were initially promised.

The madams form clubs -- sometimes with Facebook pages -- and throw big parties where they charge for entry, using the profits to buy more girls. Nadège says her madam had young women throughout Europe -- from Spain to Russia.

Les Amis du Bus des Femmes (LABF), a charity that works with prostitutes in Paris, says the sex trafficking route from Nigeria to Paris has existed for 20 years. But since 2015 the charity has noticed increasing numbers of under-age Nigerians. It recently found girls as young as 12 working as prostitutes on the streets of Paris.

Not all the park's prostitutes have been trafficked, but police believe most of them have.

"There are brains and talent wasting in Vincennes," Nadège says. "So many can sing, so many can dance... But the prostitution, the oath, the fear, just overshadowed everything."

When she was younger, Nadège wanted to act in Nollywood, the Nigerian film industry.

"Sometimes when you get home," she says, "you have to sit in hot water for hours before you can get yourself back."

'Waiting for death or madness'

After nearly a year of relentless work, the turning point came when Nadège became pregnant. She and her boyfriend decided to keep the baby, which meant escaping the vise-like grip of the network.

Pelosi says women often try to flee when they are pregnant, desperate to find a better life for their baby elsewhere. They have to choose: keep the child or cling to the hope of one day returning home to their family. Most choose the baby.

Old mark of slavery is being used on sex trafficking victims

Nadège continued working as a prostitute briefly while she was pregnant, but stopped making payments to her madam.

"I was waiting patiently for the death or the madness," she says. "I was like... 'Should I go over to the street and start working? Should I abort my baby?'"

She has escaped harm, for now; the networks have less of a physical presence in France. And with the help of a lawyer, she has been able to gain asylum there.

I'm no longer beautiful. My glory's been taken.

Nadège, sex trafficking survivor

Women like her are eligible for asylum on grounds of persecution if they can prove they have been trafficked and have distanced themselves from the network. Pelosi says that judges and lawyers are "often overwhelmed" with asylum requests.

But Nadège's family members in Nigeria are threatened every day, she says, and she can never return home: "This is the only place that is safe for me."

Read: Migrants targeted by human traffickers

Breaking away from the network, she says, was "the best decision of my life." But Nadège is profoundly traumatized.

"I'm no longer beautiful," she says, "my glory's been taken."

"I complained I was raped when I was 15. Imagine me coming to Europe to sleep with 10 men per night."

A history of suffering

The trafficking of Nigerian women for prostitution began in the late 1980s, according to the UN, when women were sent to Italy and forced into sex work. Returning home, they became the first generation of madams. They, in turn, made other young women suffer as they did.

Aurélie Jeannerod, who works with NGO Aux Captifs, la Liberation, which visits and supports prostitutes in the Bois de Vincennes and other parts of Paris, says there are also men involved with the networks.

See more from the CNN Freedom Project

Happy Iyenoma, aka "Mama Alicia," the head of a Paris-based network called the Authentic Sisters, was jailed along with her husband Hilary in May.

They were both sentenced to 10 years in prison for charges including human trafficking. In total, 15 members of the network were found guilty of trafficking roughly 50 women.

Young Indian girls sold to sex tourists for sham marriages

A charity that was a civil party in the case said one of the victims claimed the network assaulted her parents in Nigeria in 2015. She claimed her father died of his injuries.

In France, the maximum sentence for human trafficking is life imprisonment. But their juju oath forbids the women from speaking to authorities, making it more difficult for police to take down the networks.

And some of the women on the streets have asylum documents, says Jeannerod. Being a prostitute isn't illegal in France, only paying for sex is. "What do you want [the police] to do with the girls?" she says.

'They use black men as slaves': Migrants tell of brutality in Libya

Besides, says Nadège, "the people who are doing the real business, the real human traffickers, they are in Africa."

The head of the Paris police department in charge of prostitution and trafficking described the difficulties in fighting the crime. "As soon as you dismantle a network, you see the effect in the street," he told CNN, "but that only lasts, at most, 24 hours, because we create a vacuum for another network to set up."

A curse on traffickers

A 2015 EASO report says it is often family members that recruit the victims: "Sending daughters abroad has become a sort of status symbol for families."

People for sale: Where lives are auctioned for $400

"Sometimes poverty pushes them into it," says Nadège. "Most times, parents push them... Their parents in Nigeria want to be the mum of a super-rich girl."

Jeannerod says, "it is known in Nigeria that the girls... in Europe are prostitutes," but the oath and their shame prevent them from telling their families about their day-to-day reality.

While Nadège flew to Paris from Lagos, traffickers increasingly send the women overland through largely ungoverned Libya to cross the Mediterranean into Europe.

Read: 'Tortured and held for ransom,' a child migrant's story

The International Organization for Migration says the number of potential victims of sex trafficking arriving by boat in Italy has increased by almost 600% in the past three years, and 80% of them are Nigerian.

Main migration routes from Nigeria to Europe

In March, Oba Ewuare II, the traditional leader of the Edo people, declared a curse on human traffickers and removed the curses on those that had been trafficked under a juju oath.

Vanessa Simoni, of LABF, says the women now "feel less guilty to break the oath" as "they have the approval of their community."

But Nadège says "it doesn't make any difference." She says immediately after Ewuare's declaration, men linked to her madam went to "bother" her family once again.

'Sometimes, I forget my past'

Nadège says she is speaking out to warn other girls against falling into the hands of the traffickers.

"It's not easy to be transported to Europe just like a bag of fruit and sold for men to eat," she says, her voice trembling with emotion. "Don't even think of it."

Nigeria launches app to fight human trafficking

Though she has refugee status and a full-time job and has begun learning French, Nadège still feels her life is ruined. The birth of her son, however, has given her a new purpose.

"No matter what I am tomorrow, I'm still going to be useless. Because I can't proudly say my story. I can't proudly tell the world who I am." Her voice falters. "Whatever I'm doing right now, I'm doing it for my son."

"When I had my documents the first thing that came to my mind was: 'Thank God I can now give my son a good life,'" she says.

"He's already teaching me... he speaks French now. And he's so super smart. When I see him sometimes, I forget my past -- I forget myself."

Melissa Bell and Saskya Vandoorne contributed to this report.

Luke Posted on November 02, 2018 07:20

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The Outpost': The horror of Afghanistan brought to Hollywood

Near Sofia, Bulgaria (CNN)"Why are you here?" That was the question that echoed when I visited COP Keating in 2009.

Back then, it was just another American outpost stuck between two Taliban-infested hills in the middle of nowhere strategically important.

Now, it's the subject of Hollywood movies, books, two Medals of Honor (the highest award the US military can give) and a history lesson the United States is teaching itself about a war that it's still fighting.

At the time, the war in Afghanistan was reaching a climax as the Obama administration's surge began to get underway. During the few days I was on the base, it was repeatedly attacked by the Taliban, who would crawl down the hills in the shrubbery to fire through the fence.

The set for the movie is located close to the Bulgarian capital of Sofia.

On one patrol, only meters outside the base's gates, I remember seeing Taliban bullets literally landing as puffs of dust, slowly moving toward me. Fifty-two days after I filmed a report, back then for the UK's Channel Four News, the base experienced a 13-hour long, almost overwhelming attack. Seven Americans died defending the the base, and another succumbed to his injuries later.

A massive internal military review was launched. Why put a base there, in the Pakistani border regions, in the first place? Who overlooked the burned-out shells of Soviet-era tanks that lined the base -- a dark message from the valley's previous occupants that things did not end well?

Why did the US seem to value a display of its reach over what its fist could actually punch that far away?

It turned out all these questions, as COP Keating (Combat Outpost Keating -- named after a soldier, Ben Keating, who died when his vehicle overturned nearby) had already been addressed. Keating was scheduled to close six days after it was attacked.

CNN was on set during filming for the movie.

Exactly nine years later, I find myself standing in COP Keating again. Yet this time it's in Bulgaria. A short drive from Sofia, Millennium Films has painstakingly recreated the base. It is larger in scale, which at first bewilders me, and without the deadly hills -- they would have to be added later by CGI.

The tiny place that had seemed so forlorn in person now comes across as the stuff of painful legend. Orlando Bloom, Scott Eastwood and Caleb Landry Jones lead a cast that contains actual survivors from the battle: some playing themselves, others their platoon colleagues. A West Point graduate, Rod Lurie, is even directing the film.

It is more than a little jarring to see it all again. At one point, fake Taliban pop up from behind rocks and pretend to opened fire on us. It's difficult to resist the instinct to duck down.

In truth, I had put the entire COP Keating episode in a box and dropped it deep in my subconscious. You can't linger over every story you cover or you will lose yourself. And after Keating was hit, I had been told the unit we had spent time with had left before the attack.

That was wrong. Our Channel Four News report, I discovered only recently, contained some of the last pictures of some of the eight who died.

The set of the COP Keating base has been constructed in Bulgaria.

There is a scene where I ask 1st Lt. Andrew Bundermann, who led the unit in the base's defense and survived, why they are there. He says: "We don't ask questions." He turns to Staff Sgt. Joshua Hardt: "Right, Hardt? You don't ask the question why are we here?"

Hardt replies: "F**k no. We don't ask any questions, we get in trouble for asking questions."

Hardt was found dead on the base after the battle, with three bullet wounds in his skull.

The battle -- its aftermath and the errors that preceded it -- were the topic of a book by CNN's Jake Tapper, who accompanies us on the visit to the set. "This battle happened in October 2009," he says, "and here we are at the end of 2018 and I am sure the average American still has no idea how many troops we have in Afghanistan, why they are there, what they are accomplishing, what they are doing."

He describes writing "The Outpost" as the most intense work he has ever done, stemming from the obligation to get the facts right for the families of those killed.

That same sense of duty hangs over the set. In the words of producer Jonathan Yunger: "The weight of telling this story is insane. I feel it every day".

Ty Carter (left) and Caleb Landry Jones (smoking) on set in Bulgaria.

Scott Eastwood, who plays Clint Romesha, one of the two recipients of the Medal of Honor for his valiant acts during the fight for Keating, says: "It's a lot of responsibility to try and make sure everything's right ... Definitely more pressure. We're still in Afghanistan."

The other Medal of Honor recipient, Ty Carter, who made five selflessly brave runs across the base during the battle to help others, is played by Caleb Landry Jones.

The night before, we trawled Sofia's bars with Jones and Carter, who make an odd couple, one trying still to absorb the battle he survived, and the other trying to absorb that Keating survivor.

The set of "The Outpost" near the Bulgarian capital.

But during the long night in Sofia, Jones doesn't mention one fact: that his brother, Staff Sgt. John Jones, lost both legs in Iraq as a Marine. The role seems intensely personal to him, further burdened by the need to get Carter right on screen. It is likely to be a startling performance.

"When I received the script," says Jones, "my older brother was visiting for Thanksgiving and I asked him to read it. He read it and said 'you are doing this.' I got to meet Ty..." he sighs. "And now we are here. But..." Much of what Jones says is punctuated by him rubbing his palm over his shaven head, and exhaling hard.

I ask what the movie means to him. "I don't want to talk about that ... We are halfway done, there's a lot more to do. It feels like we have shot a week even though it's really been four. It's hard to talk about it in that kind of way. I don't know if I'll understand how to answer that question [of whether their role has been hard work] maybe two years from now."

For Carter, who plays another soldier, but also technically advises on set to bolster authenticity, being here may be part of the recovery process. "I got so uncomfortable when I first came on the COP or set," he says, "and I think that's a good feeling. It's going to make me stronger."

 

 

 

 

 

'The Outpost' book becoming a movie, starring Eastwood 00:31

The set is a bewildering mix of Hollywood's ridiculous priorities -- the fake smoke, special chairs, walkie-talkies and trailers -- and fragments of the tiny part of an American generation that has been at war for about 17 years, and is still recovering. Two Hollywood movies will address the battle next year -- the other with Casey Affleck -- as America teaches itself a history lesson, about valor and love, from a war that's still raging, arguably at its most violent peak.

"You think, in a battle like COP Keating," says Tapper, "that they'd be motivated by their hatred of the enemy, their anger. And the truth of the matter is they are motivated by the love they have for their brothers in arms. The desire to save each other. There's such a chasm between the 1% of the country who serve and the 99% who don't -- of which I am in the latter group -- there's such an inability to understand why they do what they do. But every one of the eight guys who was killed was killed in a mission of trying to help somebody else."

The film crew attend to an army tank on set.

The war in Afghanistan is the only part of President Trump's foreign policy he has devoted a singular and lengthy speech to -- pledging victory.

Yet it remains far from most America TV screens. And so, when the movie is released -- likely on the 10th anniversary of the Keating assault, October 3, 2019 -- it's likely the war will still be going on then, and that the movie becomes how many Americans learn that's the case.

The last word goes to Daniel Rodriguez, who is a Keating survivor and plays himself in the movie. "If you think of the Vietnam-era films and the WWII films, you do them after the war has already been done. But we live in a here-and-now generation. Let's show the world how horrific it is, yet still leave our people over there at the same time."

CNN's Salma Abdelaziz contributed to this report.

Luke Posted on November 02, 2018 07:08

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Hilton to open world's first underwater villa in the Maldives

Wanderlusters, your #travelgoals are sure to hit new (sea)levels, once you catch a glimpse of Hilton’s new, otherworldly underwater villa in the Maldives.

Hilton's Conrad Hotels & Resorts group have announced that The Muraka at Conrad Maldives Rangali Island is ready to open to the public this month.

Heralded as “the first of its kind” by Architectural Digest, the suite features a two-part structure — half of it above the Indian Ocean, half of it below.

Hilton's Conrad Hotels & Resorts group have announced that The Muraka at Conrad Maldives Rangali Island is ready to open to the public this month. (Conrad Hotels & Resorts)

SWISS TOURIST SUING GRACELAND HOTEL FOR $75,000, CLAIMS FIRE ALARM CAUSED MARRIAGE ISSUES

Lucky guests can enter the main attraction – an all-glass hotel room, 16.5 feet below sea level – via an elevator or spiral staircase that the outlet likens to “Alice’s rabbit hole” into a “watery wonderland.” (Conrad Hotels & Resorts)

According to the Digest, the ritzy upper level features “glass walls that offer views of the waves, a private jetty, infinity pool and secluded decks.” Lucky guests can enter the main attraction – an all-glass hotel room, 16.5 feet below sea level – via an elevator or spiral staircase that the outlet likens to “Alice’s rabbit hole” into a “watery wonderland.”

Below the waves, a “curved ceiling, wide windows and fish peep show bathroom” will surely make for an once-in-a-lifetime experience — thought it may be a bit difficult to fall asleep, as fish, turtles, stingrays and sharks swim by your beside. (Conrad Hotels & Resorts)

Below the waves, a “curved ceiling, wide windows and fish peep show bathroom” will surely make for an once-in-a-lifetime experience — thought it may be a bit difficult to fall asleep, as fish, turtles, stingrays and sharks swim by your beside.

Unsurprisingly, a stay at the dreamy destination will cost you a pretty penny. (Conrad Hotels & Resorts)

“With dynamic accommodations both above and below the surface of the water, The Muraka is an extraordinary vehicle for a truly immersive journey into nature which cannot be found anywhere else in the world,” Stefano Ruzza, the destination’s general manager, said in a press release. “Through a variety of curated and captivating offerings, we will maximize the potential of this incredible residence to bring unique travel experiences to our valued guests.”

Though a few swanky undersea restaurants can be found around the globe from Dubai to Norway, The Muraka is believed to be the first hotel suite of such design. (Conrad Hotels & Resorts)

Though a few swanky undersea restaurants can be found around the globe from Dubai to Norway, The Muraka is believed to be the first hotel suite of such design.

Unsurprisingly, a stay at the dreamy destination will cost you a pretty penny, with a four-night vacation package costing a cool $200,000, Architectural Digest reports. A “dedicated staff,” including a butler and chef, are on-site for 24-hour service, and specialists from massage therapists to personal trainers can be brought in by appointment.

Guests can opt to jet to the The Muraka on a private seaplane, or be picked up from the main Conrad resort in a speedboat that’s theirs for the keeping during their undersea stay. (Conrad Hotels & Resorts)

Nevertheless, a stay at the luxe, ultra-private spot will have you feeling like royalty – or James Bond – from your arrival to departure. Guests can opt to jet to the The Muraka on a private seaplane, or be picked up from the main Conrad resort in a speedboat that’s theirs for the keeping during their undersea stay.

Luke Posted on November 01, 2018 20:53

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Children will be brought to Australia from Nauru, but they won't be allowed to stay

(CNN)Dozens of refugee children and their families set to be transferred from the tiny island of Nauru won't be allowed to permanently settle in Australia, the country's Home Minister Peter Dutton said Thursday.

Dutton's comments came after Prime Minister Scott Morrison confirmed that his government is working "quietly" to remove the remaining children on Nauru, where they were sent as part of Australia's strict immigration policies.

Australia reintroduced offshore detention centers in 2012 after a surge in the number of asylum seekers trying to reach the country by boat.

"Our policy hasn't changed, we have said very clearly that we don't want boats to restart. People are not going to settle here permanently," Dutton said during an interview with Sky News Australia's David Speers.

Children on Nauru in desperate need of help, activists tell Australia

While the government has declared its policy a success after a sharp drop in boat arrivals, human rights activists say hundreds of refugees -- including children -- have been traumatized by the ordeal.

In recent months, pressure has been building on the government to allow the refugees to move to Australia or New Zealand, but Dutton said Thursday repeated the country had no desire to offer the refugees a permanent home.

"Our desire is to remove people from Manus and Nauru, return them back to their countries of origin," he said referring to Australia's two offshore migrant processing centers. "We have been very clear that people won't settle permanently in Australia and we want the people smugglers to hear that loud and clear."

In Australia by Christmas?

Australia's top diplomat in the United Kingdom, High Commissioner George Brandis, said earlier in a radio interview that the government expects the remaining children to be transferred by Christmas.

Refugee advocate groups said they welcome moves by the government to transfer the children, but stressed that they need to be removed immediately.

"On the one had we are ecstatic that publicly the government has committed to getting children off Nauru, but on other hand, we still have concerns about whether or not that will happen, and how quickly that will happen," said Jana Favero, Director of Advocacy & Campaigns for the Asylum Seeker Resource Center.

Thirty-eight children remain in offshore detention on Nauru, including six toddlers, according to group.

Favero said that 15 children are in critical need of medical attention, five of whom have either attempted suicide or have suicidal thoughts. There are also young teenagers who are attempting to self harm.

Photos: Growing up in detention: The children of Nauru

The Australian government says the number of children in immigration detention centers dropped steadily between 2013 and 2015. However, numbers have leveled off since February 2015.

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Photos: Growing up in detention: The children of Nauru

On average, detainees spend 445 days in detention facilities while their claims are processed, according to government figures.

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Photos: Growing up in detention: The children of Nauru

The conditions endured by children at the Nauru detention facility have been the subject of a government inquiry, which investigated claims of sexual and physical abuse.

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Photos: Growing up in detention: The children of Nauru

The Moss Review found that many asylum seekers in the detention center were apprehensive about their personal safety. It found that some instances of sexual and physical assault were not being reported.

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Photos: Growing up in detention: The children of Nauru

The Australian government accepted all 19 recommendations made in the report. Immigration Minister Peter Dutton vowed to tighten security at the center, saying "I find the thought of anybody, in particular children, being sexually assaulted
completely abhorrent."

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Photos: Growing up in detention: The children of Nauru

An image on the Facebook site "Free the Children NAURU," uploaded in November, 2015, shows a small child with a tally of how long they have been on the island.

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Photos: Growing up in detention: The children of Nauru

At the end of 2015, 537 people were being held in the Nauru detention center. Of those, 68 were children.

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Photos: Growing up in detention: The children of Nauru

At the end of 2015, of the 1,792 people being held in Australian immigration facilities, 23.2% had been held for more than 730 days, or more than two years.

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Photos: Growing up in detention: The children of Nauru

The children are being held on Nauru while their families' claims for asylum are processed. Many fled war-torn countries and entered Australian waters by boat. The Australian government says they'll never be resettled in the country.

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Photos: Growing up in detention: The children of Nauru

Australia reopened its controversial offshore processing centers in 2012, after a surge in arrivals of unseaworthy boats. In 2013, families with children were transferred to Nauru until their claims could be processed.

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Photos: Growing up in detention: The children of Nauru

The Australian government says the number of children in immigration detention centers dropped steadily between 2013 and 2015. However, numbers have leveled off since February 2015.

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Photos: Growing up in detention: The children of Nauru

On average, detainees spend 445 days in detention facilities while their claims are processed, according to government figures.

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Photos: Growing up in detention: The children of Nauru

The conditions endured by children at the Nauru detention facility have been the subject of a government inquiry, which investigated claims of sexual and physical abuse.

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Photos: Growing up in detention: The children of Nauru

The Moss Review found that many asylum seekers in the detention center were apprehensive about their personal safety. It found that some instances of sexual and physical assault were not being reported.

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Photos: Growing up in detention: The children of Nauru

The Australian government accepted all 19 recommendations made in the report. Immigration Minister Peter Dutton vowed to tighten security at the center, saying "I find the thought of anybody, in particular children, being sexually assaulted
completely abhorrent."

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Photos: Growing up in detention: The children of Nauru

An image on the Facebook site "Free the Children NAURU," uploaded in November, 2015, shows a small child with a tally of how long they have been on the island.

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Photos: Growing up in detention: The children of Nauru

At the end of 2015, 537 people were being held in the Nauru detention center. Of those, 68 were children.

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Photos: Growing up in detention: The children of Nauru

At the end of 2015, of the 1,792 people being held in Australian immigration facilities, 23.2% had been held for more than 730 days, or more than two years.

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Photos: Growing up in detention: The children of Nauru

The children are being held on Nauru while their families' claims for asylum are processed. Many fled war-torn countries and entered Australian waters by boat. The Australian government says they'll never be resettled in the country.

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Photos: Growing up in detention: The children of Nauru

Australia reopened its controversial offshore processing centers in 2012, after a surge in arrivals of unseaworthy boats. In 2013, families with children were transferred to Nauru until their claims could be processed.

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"It's absolutely not what you would think is normal behavior in children," she said. "We absolutely cannot wait until Christmas to get them off."

The move comes after months of pressure by refugee advocate groups, medical professionals and lawmakers on the government to transfer the remaining children from Nauru.

On Saturday, more than 1,000 people marched through the streets of Sydney and 500 in Melbourne protesting the Australian government's offshore detention centers on Nauru and Manus Island and its treatment of asylum seekers living there, according to CNN affiliate 9 News.

Calls for release

In August, more than 30 non-government organizations launched a campaign using the hashtag #KidsOffNauru, calling on the government to transfer the remaining children off Nauru by November 20, Universal Children's Day.

"These children are innocent victims and should not, under any circumstances, be held for one day longer. This sinister chapter of indefinite offshore refugee detention is a black mark on Australia's record as a civil society and should never be repeated," World Vision Australia's Head of Policy and Advocacy, Susan Anderson, said in a statement.

Since the Kids Off Nauru campaign started, children on Nauru have been transferred to Australia in stages.

Refugees held by Australia languish in a world beyond suffering and suicide

Over the past week 41 families have been transferred off the island. Since October 15, 135 people have transferred from Nauru, according to the Asylum Seeker Resource Center.

Favero said the majority of those cases have been successful because of a court order or legal intervention, "not because [the government] has had a change in heart." She said that right now, going through the courts is the only pathway to bring children who need medical attention off Nauru.

'Beyond desperate'

Pressure has been growing on the Australian government to help the increasingly distressed children held on the island, after a 12-year-old boy was evacuated to hospital in Australia after refusing to eat for weeks.

At the time, Doctors for Refugees President Barri Phatarfod told CNN that the boy was one of several young children on Nauru whose health was progressively deteriorating.

Earlier this month, Doctors without Borders (MSF) said the situation on Nauru was "beyond desperate."

In a video posted to the group's website, MSF psychologist Natalia Hverta Perez said, "Now the children, some of them, they are not eating, they are not drinking, anything, they are just lying on the bed, doing nothing... sometimes their parents have to take them to the hospital to feed them, by needle."

The medical aid agency was ordered to cease operations on the island in early October.

Shortly after, a senior doctor who was caring for asylum seekers on Nauru was removed from the island, amid reports she was deported by the local government.

Dr Nicole Montana, Australia's senior medical officer on Nauru, tasked with overseeing the detainee's health, left the island in mid-October. Her employer, International Health and Medical Services, said she had been removed from her duties "for a breach of Regional Processing Center rules."

According to Australian government statistics from July, almost 200 men and women, as well as a dozen children, are being detained on the tiny island nation.

However in early October MSF said there could be as many as 900 refugees and asylum seekers still left on the Pacific island, which is almost 2,800 miles from the Australian mainland.

A 2016 UN report found many cases of "attempted suicide, self-immolation, acts of self-harm and depression" among children detained on Nauru.

Luke Posted on November 01, 2018 20:13

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We are at the mercy of men': Reports of rape and sexual abuse in North Korea

Seoul, South Korea (CNN)Harrowing accounts of widespread sexual abuse allegedly carried out by North Korean officials against ordinary women have been laid out in a new report, that details evidence of a culture where officials commit acts with near total impunity.

The extensive 98-page report by Human Rights Watch (HRW), which was released Thursday and took more than two years to compile, is based on dozens of interviews with sexual abuse victims who have fled from North Korea. It reveals an oppressive world where officials -- from police officers and prison guards to market supervisors -- faced virtually no consequences for their routine abuse of women.

"Unwanted sexual contact and violence that is so common in North Korea it has come to be accepted as part of ordinary life," the report alleges.

Sexual violence in the country is "an open, unaddressed, and widely tolerated secret," said Kenneth Roth, Human Rights Watch's executive director. "North Korean woman would probably say 'Me Too' if they thought there was any way to obtain justice, but their voices are silenced in Kim Jong Un's dictatorship."

Women in the sitting position in a pre-trial detention facility run by the police. The report alleges that detainees are commonly forced to assume this position in pre-trial detention and temporary holding facilities.

Harrowing accounts

Of all the sexual assault survivors interviewed for the report, only one said she had tried to report it. None of the others report the assault they suffered because "they did not trust the police and did not believe police would be willing to take action," the report says.

"On the days they felt like it, market guards or police officials could ask me to follow them to an empty room outside the market, or some other place they'd pick," the report quoted a former trader in her 40s who fled North Korea in 2014 (HRW uses an alias). She says she had been sexually assaulted many times.

"They consider us (sex) toys. We are at the mercy of men." She said that the climate of sexual abuse was so pervasive that it had been normalized -- both by the perpetrators and their victims, but nonetheless, "sometimes, out of nowhere, you cry at night and don't know why."

Medical professionals who fled the repressive country said that "there are no protocols for medical treatment and examination of victims of sexual violence to provide therapeutic care or secure medical evidence," the report adds.

The rights organization interviewed a total of 106 North Koreans, comprised of 72 women, four girls, and 30 men. All were interviewed outside the country.

Male government officials and female traders sit in a railway carriage, while a railroad officer checks a female trader's ticket. The report alleges that in railway carriages, women often face harassment by male government officials and railroad officers.

Former police officer: Nine out of ten women assaulted

A former police officer from North Korea, herself a victim of sexual abuse, Heo Jong-hae told CNN that 90% of the women she knew had been sexually assaulted.

She said that one of her friends contemplated suicide after being attacked at age 17.

"She said she cried and wanted to die. Her parents told her to come home before dark to avoid rape but things like this happens in broad daylight. She tried to kill herself. It was worse in Pyongyang where everyone was forced to go to work every day."

Heo said that in order to advance, many women join the military, but "the officials in charge will demand sexual favors. To join the (worker's) party, one must comply."

She added that, in her experience, in the rare event of a case being reported to the police, there is pressure to drop the investigation. "When the perpetrator is an official, even if the case comes to the police, it will be ignored," she said.

"Even if I or others in the station try to investigate, someone higher up like the chief will tell us to drop it. They are untouchable."

Heo said that her personal experience of assault largely informed her decision to defect.

"I couldn't live in that environment with stress. When I share my story, (I hope) other women share theirs too."

A female trader gives a bribe to a market supervisor in an alley near the market. The report describes how female traders offer bribes in order to avoid potential harassment.

'No sense of right and wrong'

Even when men who sexually abuse women are held to account, their victims also suffer.

Director of New Korea Women's Union Lee So-yeon, a North Korean living in Seoul, told CNN that while she was serving in the North Korean military, a commander of her company sexually assaulted female soldiers. He faced a forced discharge, while his vice commander was assigned to a different unit. The commander's female victims were dishonorably discharged.

"The perpetrators are usually not punished if the victims number one or two. There is also less chance of being punished the higher the ranking of the perpetrator. In this case, he assaulted about 30 women.

"The victims were dishonorably discharged because it was considered that they simply had sexual relations with the commander while on duty. That they had actively taken part."

Even after the incident is over, the women continue to suffer its consequences.

"Once the word gets out that a woman had been victimized, the society doesn't look kindly at her. Instead, she is blamed for her reckless and seductive behavior," Lee said.

"There is no sense of right and wrong. The party officials must see these as a problem in order for the situation to change but they do not. They are the perpetrators themselves."

A police officer checks to see if a trader has hidden "anti-socialist" material in her belongings. The report alleges that police officers use searches of female traders' belongings, to justify full body searches.

Nonexistent conviction rates

While Pyongyang has laws criminalizing rape, trafficking and having sexual relations with subordinates, the report notes that the North Korean government barely acknowledges the existence of rape in the country.

Last July, the North Korean government told the UN's Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) that only nine people in all of North Korea were convicted of rape in 2008, seven in 2011, and five in 2015.

A 2014 UN report on human rights found that human rights violations -- including murder, enslavement and torture -- were prevalent in the country.

It added that sexual and gender-based violence was common throughout North Korean society, including in dealing with officials. Some of the incidences of sexual violence, including forced abortions, and rape committed against detained and imprisoned women, qualified as crimes against humanity.

Luke Posted on November 01, 2018 20:03

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Google employees stage walkout over handling of sexual misconduct by executives

Photos of walkouts at a variety of Google offices were posted to social media, including London and Dublin.

Google employees participate in a walkout at the company's U.K. headquarters in London on Nov. 1, 2018 during a global campaign over the tech giant's handling of sexual harassment.Tolga Akmen / AFP - Getty Images

Nov. 1, 2018 / 12:20 PM GMT / Updated 2:04 PM GMT

By Jason Abbruzzese, Alex Holmes and Didi Martinez

Employees in Google offices around the world began staging a walkout on Thursday to protest the company's handling of senior executives accused of sexual misconduct.

The demonstration was scheduled by organizers to begin at 11:10 a.m. local time for each office, with a Twitter account set up by protest organizers featuring walkout photos from Singapore, Tokyo, London, Dublin and other locations.

 

The walkout was organized in response to a report by The New York Times last week that found two senior Google executives had been paid tens of millions of dollars in exit packages despite being accused of sexual misconduct.

A third senior executive named in the Times article had been allowed to stay at the company but resigned on Tuesday.

In New York, Google employees streamed out of the company's office in the Chelsea neighborhood of Manhattan and walked to Hudson River Park, many carrying signs pointing to the company's payouts and still wearing their Google employee badges and company gear.

Most employees declined to talk to journalists, saying that they appreciate the coverage but did not want to comment about their involvement. Instead, they wanted their physical presence at the day's protest to speak for itself.

Elissa Brown, a Google employee in New York, said she was surprised by how many staffers participated in the walkout and believed the company was listening.

"I think they’re taking it very seriously and recognizing that this is a problem to be addressed," Brown said. "I don’t think it’s being taken lightly by anybody.”

Brown said she did not believe issues with how companies handle sexual misconduct were particular to Google.

"I don’t think it’s unique to Google at all, unfortunately," Brown said. "In fact, in general I’ve found Google to be very respectful place to work, and I think that situations like this, you can see looking around you the amount of people that feel empowered."

 

The Times report drew a swift response from Sundar Pichai, Google's chief executive. That same day, Pichai and Eileen Naughton, the company's vice president of people operations, sent an email to employees saying that the company was "dead serious" about making sure the company provides "a safe and inclusive workplace." Pichai and Naughton said that the company had fired 48 people without pay for sexual misconduct over the past two years.

 

Pichai also supported the employees' protest.

"Earlier this week, we let Googlers know that we are aware of the activities planned for today and that employees will have the support they need if they wish to participate," Pichai said in an email. "Employees have raised constructive ideas for how we can improve our policies and our processes going forward. We are taking in all their feedback so we can turn these ideas into action."

Pichai's support did little to quell growing employee resentment.

"Hundreds of people are demanding structural change, not just inclusive sounding PR," tweeted Meredith Whittaker on Tuesday, confirming that employees were planning a walkout.

The Times reported on Wednesday that protest organizers expected more than 1,500 employees to participate in the walkout.

Google employees, who walked off the job to protest the internet company's lenient treatment of executives accused of sexual misconduct, listen to speakers during a protest rally on Nov. 1, 2018, in New York.Bebeto Matthews / AP

A Twitter account, @GoogleWalkout, said that employees were demanding five changes: an end to forced arbitration on cases of harassment and discrimination; a commitment to end pay and opportunity inequity; a publicly disclosed sexual harassment transparency report; a new process for reporting sexual misconduct; and elevating the company's chief diversity officer to report to the company's CEO and have that officer make recommendations to the company's board of directors.

The group that organized the protest also called for an employee representative to be added to the company's board.

In London, Google employees said on Twitter that weather forced employees to remain inside, but that people filled the biggest room in the office with more in overflow areas.

Marc Cohen, an employee in Google's London office, said he was participating to send a message to the company's leadership.

 

"I'm disappointed by some of the things I’ve been reading about and hearing about how complaints have been handled by Google, and I wanted to share my support for people who have to deal with those kind of situations and also as a sign for my own personal dissatisfaction for how Google has handled some of these situations in the past," Cohen said.

Sam Dutton, who also works in Google's London office, said he hoped the walkout would inspire change within Google as well as other companies.

"I think there is a change in mood across the world in many different companies, and I hope this will have a positive effect," Dutton said.

This is a developing story, check back for updates.

Luke Posted on November 01, 2018 19:49

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Bitcoin Price May Break Three-Month Losing Streak in November

Bitcoin ended October on a weak note, confirming its first three-month losing streak since 2015, but things may be looking up for November.

The leading cryptocurrency closed yesterday at $6,320 – down 4.32 percent from the Oct. 1 opening price of $6,606, according to CoinDesk's Bitcoin Price Index (BPI). Over August and September, prices had dropped 9.22 percent and 5.8 percent, respectively.

The last time BTC suffered losses for three consecutive months was in the first half of 2015. Back then, BTC was averaging $250 and prices dropped 4 percent, 2.8 percent and 2.7 percent in March, April and May, respectively.

 

 

As seen in the chart above, however, October's 4 percent drop is the lowest in three months. Furthermore, BTC rallied 14 percent in June 2015 after posting losses in the previous three months.

So, it's possible bitcoin will repeat that pattern and snap its three-month losing streak in November, according to seasonality analysis and technical studies.

The historical data shows that BTC has always reported gains in November, except in 2011, when it dropped 8.6 percent.

It's also worth noting that BTC's best-ever monthly performance was a 467 percent price rise seen in November 2013.

Sellers may have run dry

BTC has defended the 21-month exponential moving average (EMA) for the fifth month running, signaling that a bottom could be in place close to $6,000.

That argument is bolstered if we take into account the fact that the cryptocurrency avoided a bearish monthly close yesterday, despite a negative crossover between the 5- and 10-month EMAs.

The outlook as per the monthly chart remains neutral as long as prices are trapped between the September high of $7,402 and the 21-day EMA of $6,130.

It is worth noting that the longer the narrow trading range persists, the lower price volatility will go. A number of volatility measures have already hit yearly lows in the last two months. Notably, daily price volatility remained below $100 for seven consecutive days last month – the longest at such levels since April 2017.

View

  • Bitcoin may see a rise in November if seasonal patterns repeat.
  • The long-term technical charts indicate bearish exhaustion and a bottom was likely reached around $6,000.
  • A bullish reversal would be confirmed only if BTC invalidates the series of lower highs with a move above the September high of $7,400.https://blog.cofredcoin.com/2018/11/01/bitcoin-price-ma…reak-in-november/

Dominic Solomon Posted on November 01, 2018 16:26

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Little Mix and Cardi B beef as they leak WhatsApps over Nicki Minaj

LITTLE Mix have hit back at Cardi B after Nicki Minaj slam video. In a war on Nicki Minaj, Cardi B posted a series of videos slamming the infamous rapper. Out of the multiple videos, the one that shocked floods of fans was Cardi's claims that Little Mixwanted Cardi before Nicki on their latest track, Woman Like Me. As she presented her followers with a lengthy rant following her ongoing feud with Nicki Minaj, she said: "That Woman Like Me record? "Yeah I had to decline it because I'm doing a lot of pop records and I can't over exaggerate myself.

"But yeah, that came to me first, and then they gave it to you."Cardi showed the demo track on her phone without Nicki's verse, proving that it was brought to her. Meanwhile, Little Mix were quick to address the claims, slamming it immediately.Taking to Instagram, they wrote: "We just want to clarify… Nick was approached first."

They added: "Sorry Cardi hun but this is the tea, we've always wanted the Queen."Posting a group chat dating back to July 24, the girls discussed their plans for the track. They wrote: "Work on lyrics, change drop, confirm Nick, and then we're good to go. "If none of those things happen, then it's not going to be released."

PROOF: Little Mix proved that it was Nicki or nothing (Pic: INSTAGRAM)

In their third response, they'd put together a compilation video of them repeating multiple times who they would like to collaborate with. Each video saw the girls admitting that Nicki was the one person that they wanted to work with. Their support of Nicki dates back to one of their earlier performances on The X Factor, with the girls singing Super Bass at the live shows.

jmparker Posted on November 01, 2018 15:17

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5 of TV and film's most iconic double acts

Thelma and Louise’s recent arrival on Netflix has got us thinking about TV and film’s greatest double acts. From comic duos with impeccable on-screen chemistry to charismatic anti-heroines taking on the world, the power of the twosome on the big and small screen alike is undeniable. Here, we revisit some of the very best…

Despite first airing in 1992, Absolutely Fabulous’ knack for ridiculing the upper-class self-absorption of the fashion industry with disarming hilarity remains quotable today. And that’s thanks to Eddy (Jennifer Saunders) and Patsy (Joanna Lumley), the co-dependent and dysfunctional friends whose debauched antics  take them from a rubbish barge on the Thames to a Marilyn Manson concert in full goth regalia. That’s fashion, darling!

Despite first airing in 1992, Absolutely Fabulous’ knack for ridiculing the upper-class self-absorption of the fashion industry with disarming hilarity remains quotable today. And that’s thanks to Eddy (Jennifer Saunders) and Patsy (Joanna Lumley), the co-dependent and dysfunctional friends whose debauched antics  take them from a rubbish barge on the Thames to a Marilyn Manson concert in full goth regalia. That’s fashion, darling!

At the heart of the Bafta-nominated horror-comedy Shaun Of The Dead is the titular character’s relationship with his best friend, Ed – played by longtime collaborators Simon Pegg and Nick Frost. Most of the brilliant one-liners come from their friendship: the private jokes, shared dislikes and childishness in the face of actual apocalypse has everybody rooting for the pair, despite their incompetence.

It’s not just Ilana Glazer and Abbi Jacobson’s ability to find absurd humour in the more mundane aspects of navigating life in your twenties that makes Broad City so addictive. The show, which first gained cult acclaim as a web series, captures female friendship in a way that television so rarely does. Refreshingly honest and unconcerned with romantic interest, the hilarious pair are a pleasure to watch.

Clarence and Alabama, True Romance

In Tarantino’s world of highly-stylised violent crime, the love story that stands out is the ride-or-die romance of Clarence (Christian Slater) and Alabama Worley (Patricia Arquette). Thrown into a high stakes cat-and-mouse chase by accident (bedecked in a wardrobe of kitschy Americana, of course), the duo’s frenetic tale of star-crossed love is one of cinema’s most iconic.

Thelma and Louise, Thelma and Louise

And finally, the ultimate twosome. No list of double acts can be complete without a mention of Thelma (Geena Davis) and Louise (Susan Sarandon). Not only has the iconic Ridley Scott road movie left behind a feminist legacy thanks to its empowering tale of female friendship, but two female leads and a female screenwriter brought a fresh perspective to the silver screen that still feels relevant today. Double trouble.

https://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/tv/proper-tv-guide/5-of-tv-and-films-most-iconic-double-acts-a8573991.html?mvt=i&mvn=dcdab

ruby Posted on November 01, 2018 13:23

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1969 FORD MUSTANG MACH 1 OVERVIEW

The 1969 model year was the first that saw drastic changes to the Mustang’s design enter production.

Although the original wheelbase was the same, the car grew wider with longer overhangs while lowering the roofline in a bid to make the car that much more aggressive. The nose became sharper and quad headlights were the norm, with the ones on the outside of the grille sitting deep within rectangular cavities for a meaner look.

The Mach 1 also gave its prospective owners a wide variety of choices in terms of not only engines, but also axles, transmissions, exterior trims and add-ons, interior and exterior colors. It was heaven for those who like to fiddle with forms in the dealership stuffing their cars with extras.

The car was only offered in Fastback form, now known as SportsRoof, so any hardtop or convertible 1969 Mustang you see with Mach 1 visual cues was not purchased that way from the factory.

The offering was the same for 1970 with the Mach 1 only available as a SportsRoof although, by then, the car had gone through yet another visual refreshment procedure. This means that the 72,458 units built of the 1969 model year are the only ones with the quad headlight, low-slung allure.

The Mach 1 was popular enough to stay in production until the dawn of the Foxbody which is when Ford returned to the GT moniker. The company then revived the Mach 1 during the lifespan of the SN-95 as a mid-range model that sat above the GT but below the SVT Cobra. Since then, many rumors emerged hinting towards the return of the Mach 1 as a trim level for the sixth-gen Mustang. As we’ve reported back in May, it’s far more likely that the Mach 1 will be resurrected as a model of its own right and an electric one no less. Until then, let’s take a closer look at the original.

1969 FORD MUSTANG MACH 1 EXTERIOR

The 1969 evolution of the Mustang shows the emerging trend at the time of increasing the size of what were once rather compact coupes.

The Mustang did not escape this dreaded fate but, before it became an unrecognizable land yacht of sorts, they hit the sweet spot with the 1969 styling upgrades. Even without the let’s-hit-the-track upgrades of the Mach 1, the Mustang looked meaner than ever and for good reason: its core rivals were growing and looking like they meant business so Ford Motor Company couldn’t let their golden child fall behind.

Ford extended the front and rear overhangs to make the Mustang bigger by 3.8 inches. Thus the wheelbase staying put at 108 inches. The roofline was also lowered by almost 1 inch. The lines of the car are punctuated by reflective stripes on the sides and across the upper edge of the rear end, just above the Mustang lettering where you’ll find “Mach 1” written on the stripe itself.

The nose is dominated by the massive grille, big enough to house two extra headlight units on either side with the logo moved from its former center position to the right-hand side with the red-white-and-blue stripes serving as a backdrop.

 

The car was available with an aggressive-looking lower lip that drastically minimized ground clearance, but it worked alongside other racing-inspired elements on the car such as the scoop on the matte-black hood or the pins that held the hood in place. There was also an optional “Shaker” air scoop which was slightly bigger and attached directly to the air filter for obvious shaking effect.

The swage line on the side extends from the upper edge of the headlight crease all the way back to the edge of the rear quarter panel where it met a C-shaped air intake. That intake, positioned just aft of the door in line with the door handle, is the only one on the car’s profile replacing the double side scoops that used to sit under the swage line on the earlier models. Gone are also the louvers behind the side windows, but Ford thought its customers might still want a dose of louvers, so they offered optional louvers – dubbed “Sport Splats” – to be placed over the back window. Again, it is a feature that hampered usability all the while improving the sporty look the car was going for. The rear spoiler, another optional extra, was the final piece of the puzzle, but it’s not really known if it actually aided the handling.

The back of the car features three individual vertically-mounted taillights at the extremities, with the rear bumper acting as the lower edge with the reflective stripe marking the upper one. The car came with dual exhausts regardless of the engine choice and a fancy, chromed pop-open gas cap with all the necessary branding on it. All the inches added to the body plus all of the bits and pieces meant to show the Mach 1 could reach Mach 1 speeds took their toll on what was once the most compact of the pony cars. Thus, the 1969 Mach 1 weighs in at a respectable 3,254 pounds.

1969 Ford Mustang Mach 1 Exterior Dimensions

Wheelbase 108 in
Length 187.5 in
Width 71.7 in
Height 50.5 in

1969 FORD MUSTANG MACH 1 INTERIOR

The interior of the Mach 1 is packed with amenities as if to congratulate you on your choice of a higher-trim model.

You have two-tone vinyl upholstery, high-back seats and teakwood-grained trim on the interior door panels and the dash.

The three-spoke rim-blow steering wheel is as large as you’d imagine it to be with three circular holes drilled in each spoke. You’ve got four gauges looking at you with the tachometer and speedometer in the middle and the fuel and temperature gauges on the sides. The passenger also has something to look at as he can examine the passing of time on the analog clock.

If, somehow, the sound of the array of V-8s available for the Mach 1 wasn’t pleasing to you, you could roll the windows up and enjoy some level of tranquility due to the improved sound deadening. All this meant that you could actually hear the music being played on the radio located towards the bottom of the center console – also covered in wood trim.

With all the sportiness, the Mach 1 kept the rear seats intact and, although the wheelbase is the same, they aren’t particularly cramped.

There was also a version available where the rear seats would fold for extra storage space.

1969 FORD MUSTANG MACH 1 DRIVETRAIN

This is the fun part with cars from the ‘60s. You could choose between four engine options and three transmission options. Depending on your choice of powertrain, you also got stiffer springs and shocks to cope with the added power.

The entry-level option was the Windsor 5.8-liter V-8 which produced 250 horsepower at 4,600 rpm and 355 pound-feet of torque at 2,600 rpm.

With the same bore and stroke came the Cleveland V-8 which was a bit less elastic (max torque at 3,400 rpm and max power at 5,400 rpm), had less bulkhead strength, a lower deck, and a different crankshaft. The Cleveland V8, which debuted in 1969, had the timing chain chamber integrated into the block as well as very different cylinder heads when compared to the old Windsor.

The standard Windsor came with a 3-speed manual transmission although the car in the pictures has its Windsor mated to a 4-speed Toploader gearbox. There was also a 3-speed automatic for those who loved cruising around. Besides the two-barrel standard Windsor, there was also a four-barrel that put out 290 ponies. The 6.4-liter FE V8 was beefier still producing 320 horsepower and 427 pound-feet of torque.

The top of the line engine was the Cobra Jet 7.0-liter V8 which you could option with a Ramair intake. That four-barrel mammoth produced 335 horsepower and 440 pound-feet of torque. The “drag pack” was offered with the Super Cobra Jet engine which came with cast iron tail shaft in place of the usual aluminum one. It also came with a “traction lok” rear axle with a 3.91 or 4.30 ratio.

In its most brutal setup, with a Cobra Jet V8 under the hood, the Mach 1 reached 62 mph in under 6 seconds and did the standing quarter-mile in just 14 seconds with a gate speed of 103 mph.

All that power did not mean that the Mach 1 was only good in straight line – although it excelled in drag racing – for the tweaked out suspension and rear shock absorbers made oversteering out of a bend something less scary to do, actually enjoyable for the trained driver. The original Goodyear rubber helped the matter too, but the Mustang wasn’t yet as supple as the Camaro Z-28.

1969 Ford Mustang Mach 1 Specifications For 5.8-Liter Windsor V8

Power 250 horsepower at 4,600 rpm
Torque 355 pound-feet at 2,600 rpm
Top Speed 128 mph
0-62 mph 8 seconds
Weight 3,254 pounds

PRICES

With so many options in terms of both styling and running gear, the prices vary a lot in the Mach 1 market.

You can find a neat ’69 example with a smaller engine for as little as $40,000, but prices tend to go up, and you need to look out for Mustangs with added Mach 1 parts that aren’t real Mach 1s.

If your pockets allow you, there are Mach 1s out there with a $75,000 price tag with some breaking the psychological barrier of $100,000, but those have all the goodies and are in excellent condition – almost too good to drive them.

1969 FORD MUSTANG MACH 1 COMPETITION

Similarly to the Mustang, the 1969 model year Camaro is substantially different from the ’68 iteration with a redesigned front grille, new quarter panels and door profiles that gave the car a more chiseled appearance. This belies the fact that the Camaro was heavier than the Ford rival with a weight of 3,385 pounds.

The Z-28 version could be purchased with disk brakes all around and came with the 4.9-liter small block V8 that was enough for 290 horsepower at 5,800 rpm and 290 pounds-feet of torque at 4,200 rpm. The engine was mated to a 4-speed gearbox with a 3.73 rear axle. This package could compete with a Mach 1 with the smaller engine, while GM had the bigger 6.5-liter Vs producing anywhere between 325 horsepower and 375 horsepower to tackle the Super Cobra Jet and even the Boss V8.

At the end of 1969, the Ford Mustang still outsold the Camaro with 300,000 Fords against almost 250,000 Chevrolets shipped. 1970 would be, however, a not-so-memorable year for Ford with sales dropping below 200,000 models.

Read our full review on the 1969 Chevrolet Camaro Z-28

The 1969 Charger features probably the most recognizable design element on all of the Chargers, namely the divider in the front grille, which also encapsulated the headlights hidden behind. The basic two-barrel 6.3-liter V8 produced 290 horsepower while the four-barrel one had 40 more horsepower and was only sold in ’69. You could also have this engine with a deliciously-loud air filter. The 6.3-liter came with AVS carburetion and larger exhaust manifolds shared with the heavy-duty 7.2-liter Magnum engine.

The Charger was a bit of a different animal to the Mustang, looking already like a land-barge rather than a muscle car, but it built its reputation on the track a bit later on with the aerodynamic Charger Daytona race car. Also, as anyone knows, a 1969 model was used in the original Dukes Of Hazard series and many reboots and movies since.

Read our full review on the 1969 Dodge Charger.

CONCLUSION

The 1969 Mustang Mach 1 has lived long enough to become a classic and for good reasons too. Its body is maybe the nicest of the first generation, and it also has the performance to match. Details such as the louvers, hood scoop, and a multitude of stripes make it synonymous with the era, and that’s not said in a bad way.

Obviously, there are cheaper ’69 Mustangs out there that share some of the show but not much of the go. I mean, after all, the 70,000 people who bought it nearly 50 years ago had a point, that this is the next best thing to a Boss.

  • Love it

    •  
    • Large variety of engine transmission options, as well as exterior styling elements and colors
    • Benefits from probably the best redesign that befell the first generation Mustang
    • Better handling than most muscle cars of its day and manageable with the lower-tier engines that can even get you to 16 mpg on the highway
  • Leave it

    •  
    • The Boss Mustang is the most famous Mustang of the late ‘60s and early ‘70s and this isn’t one
    • The chrome 12-spoke rims on this particular Mach 1 aren’t as appealing as the Magnum 500 variety

FURTHER READING

1969 Ford Mustang Boss 429.

2003 - 2004 Ford SVT Mustang Cobra.

1964 - 2006 Ford Mustang History.

2007 Shelby Cobra GT500.

 

majsdesaint Posted on November 01, 2018 13:02

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Man Utd star Marcus Rashford hailed for 'legendary' gesture to trick-or-treaters

MANCHESTER United star Marcus Rashford has been hailed "legendary" for a gesture he made to trick-or-treaters on Halloween.he star was pictured today celebrating his 21st birthday. But according to sports journalist Simon Austin, the forward also took the time to make the night of youngsters out on Halloween. He and a woman he was with in his car stopped to hand out £20 notes after they sang him happy birthday, Austin said. Austin tweeted: "My eight-year-old has just been trick-or-treating with four other friends in Sale. "Nice man pulled up in his car. Lady in passenger seat said 'sing happy birthday, he's 21 today', so they did."And he gave each of them a £20 note. Thank you Marcus Rashford." Austin's story sparked a heart-warming reaction among some on Twitter who praised the England international. One wrote: "That's brilliant, nice gesture from Marcus, bet your kid is very happy."Another said: "Nice to hear, thanks for sharing."And one wished Rashford a happy birthday, saying: "Top man Marcus Rashford, happy 21st."

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GIFT: Marcus Rashford was sent a new pair of shoes by Nike on his birthday (Pic: INSTAGRAM/@MARCUSRASHFORD)

BIRTHDAY: Nike's gift to Marcus Rashford (Pic: INSTAGRAM/MARCUSRASHFORD)

Meanwhile another described him as a "legendary human being".

Earlier today, Rashford took to Instagram to show off a present sent to him by sportswear giant Nike.

The company sent him a pair of white trainers with 'Mr 21' written on them.

Close pal Jesse Lingard also took to his Instagram account, posting various snaps of the duo over the years.

jmparker Posted on November 01, 2018 12:14

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Steven Seagal walks out of BBC Newsnight interview when Me Too allegations are raised

Actor Steven Seagal gave a short-lived video interview to Newsnight presenter Kirsty Wark on Thursday night.

Wark asked the Under Siege star: “You’ve been very much caught up in all the allegations of sexual harassment, you had a rape allegation against you and I wonder how you deal with all that?” 

Without saying a word, Seagal promptly removed his earpiece and walked off the set.

Wrapping up the interview, Wark told viewers: “Steven Seagal, there, and of course, though he didn’t respond there, he has said previously he denies any allegations that have been made against him.”

The actor was on the show to discuss his relationship with Russian President Vladimir Putin, and was given the title “Special Representative for Russia-US Cultural Links”.

The activist was accused in January 2018 by actor Rachel Grant of sexual assault. Grant alleges that during a rehearsal in a hotel suite for 2003 film Out for a Kill, Seagal forcibly exposed her breasts before pushing her onto a bed.

Amid a wave of #MeToo allegations against Hollywood actors this year, another was made against Seagal in March. Regina Simons claimed that in 1993, when she was 18, Seagal raped her at his home after inviting her over for what she believed to be a wrap party.

Seagal denies all allegations made against him.

https://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/films/news/steven-seagal-me-too-rape-allegation-sexual-assault-bbc-newsnight-interview-a8569

ruby Posted on November 01, 2018 11:39

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Medicinal cannabis is LEGAL in UK on NHS prescription from TODAY

BRIT doctors can now prescribe medicinal cannabis to patients for the first time ever in the UK. The drug is available to patients across England, Wales and Scotland after a major law change. Products that can now be prescribed contain cannabis, cannabis resin or cannabinol. But patients will only be prescribed it if their doctors feel they could benefit from it. The government made the major change to the law after facing pressure from campaigners.

High-profile cases included Charlotte Caldwell, whose son Billy suffers from severe epilepsy. Politicians heard how she went to Canada to purchase the cannabis oil which she says controls Billy’s seizures. But after landing back at Heathrow Airport, her supply was confiscated, sparking fury. Her son then fell ill before the government was forced to step in after doctors made clear it was a “medical emergency”.

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CONDITION: Doctors have to prescribe the medicinal cannabis if it benefits their patients (Pic: GETTY)

LANDMARK: A string of high profile cases and campaigns have forced the law change (Pic: GETTY)

After the supply was returned, home secretary Sajid Javid launched a policy review into the benefits of legalising medicinal cannabis. The initial review by chief medical officer Dame Sally Davis confirmed that there was enough evidence to suggest it can be of therapeutic use. The Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs (ACMD), which carried out the second part of the review, also confirmed that doctors should be able to prescribe infused products so long as safety standards are met.

PRESCRIPTION: Doctors can only prescribe the medicinal cannabis to patients it will benefit (Pic: GETTY)

DECISION MAKER: Only doctors can prescribe the drug, it cannot be bought from shops (Pic: GETTY)

The discoveries resulted in a landmark law change that now sees medicinal cannabis become legal in Britain. "For me what started off as a journey which was about the needs of my little boy actually turned into something, proved to be something, a lot bigger. It proved to be the needs of a nation," Charlotte told Sky News."Medicinal cannabis gave me back my right as a mummy to hope, but the most important thing medicinal cannabis has done is given Billy back his right to life."

jmparker Posted on November 01, 2018 11:25

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Emery happy with Ramsey performance

Arsenal's Welsh midfielder Aaron Ramsey reacts after failing to score during the English League Cup football match between West Ham United and Tottenham Hotspur at The London Stadium, in east London on October 31, 2018. (Photo by Ben STANSALL / AFP) / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or 'live' services. Online in-match use limited to 120 images. An additional 40 images may be used in extra time. No video emulation. Social media in-match use limited to 120 images. An additional 40 images may be used in extra time. No use in betting publications, games or single club/league/player publications. / (Photo credit should read BEN STANSALL/AFP/Getty Images)

 

Unai Emery says he was happy with midfielder Aaron Ramsey's performance as Arsenal reached the quarter-finals of the Carabao Cup with a 2-1 victory over Blackpool at the Emirates Stadium. 

Sky Sports News understands that the Wales international, who played the full 90 minutes at the Emirates Stadium on Wednesday evening, will leave the Gunners for free at the end of the season after being told why he will not be offered a new contract following a breakdown in negotiations.

When quizzed on Ramsey's future, Emery remained coy, saying he was pleased with his performance and his focus against Blackpool.

"For me, he worked very well," Emery told Sky Sports. "I spoke with him last week and I want his focus with us.

Related Slideshow: Arsenal player ratings against Blackpool in League Cup (provided by ReadSport)

"I am very happy with his performance, with his work and on the whole he helped us."

When asked about Ramsey's contract situation again, he added: "For me it's on the pitch. Each training, each match like today."

 

Meanwhile, Emery thought his side deserved to reach the Carabao Cup quarter-finals following their win against Blackpool.

The Gunners had appeared to be coasting into the last eight as Stephan Lichtsteiner's first goal for the club and a second-half strike for Emile Smith Rowe put them in charge.

Blackpool rallied after Matteo Guendouzi was dismissed for a second yellow card and O'Connor headed the visitors back into the contest.

But the Gunners, who picked up a 12th win from the previous 13 games in all competitions, held on to book a quarter-final showdown with north London rivals Tottenham.

"A lot of things happened in the game in the 90 minutes but I think we controlled a lot of moments in the match," Emery said of his side's display.

"This red card to Matteo affected the balance more for them and their goal also, we can and we need to continue our work to the last minute with our performance and our players to win today. But I think that doing our work, we deserved this victory also."https://www.msn.com/en-xl/europe/life-arts/emery-happy-with-ramsey-performance/ar-BBPc3h3?li=BBJGC65&ocid=SK216DHP

khojho Posted on November 01, 2018 10:38

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World's tallest statue opens amid surge in Indian mega-monuments

The idea that large statues might act as political tools is hardly a novel one. Immortalized figures from the past often serve the interests and ideologies of the present, whether it's Lord Nelson riding proudly above Trafalgar Square or North Korea's former leaders looming over Kim Il Sung Square.

Compared to such blatant projections of power, the new 597-foot-tall sculpture of Sardar Patel in Gujarat cuts an altogether gentler figure.

The record-breaking monument, which opens today, depicts the Indian politician wearing humble clothing and a placid expression. His arms hang calmly beside an unmistakable paunch; his bare toes protrude from oversized bronze sandals.

Construction workers at the Statue Of Unity's plinth. Credit: SAM PANTHAKY/AFP/AFP/Getty Images

It's a far cry from the sort of overbearing figure one might expect of a monument being derided as government propaganda. But the world's new tallest statue is nonetheless being painted as a political endeavor.

The structure is widely seen as the personal project of India's prime minister, Narendra Modi, who first announced it (as Gujarat's chief minister) in 2010 and who will formally unveil the statue. Although the project is largely funded by Gujarat, Modi's government offered financial support, with the leader personally calling on farmers across the country to donate iron for its construction.

The Statue of Unity pictured during the final stages of consturction. Credit: SAM PANTHAKY/AFP/AFP/Getty Images

Modi's motivation, critics say, is to attach himself to Patel's legacy. A key figure in the freedom movement, Patel became India's first deputy prime minister upon the country's independence in 1947. Detractors see the statue as an act of appropriation, an attempt by Modi's ruling Bharatiya Janata Party to associate itself with a popular figure from the opposite flank of the political spectrum.

'Gods in Color' returns antiquities to their original, colorful grandeur

"Sadar Patel was very much the strongman of the Indian National Congress (popularly known as the Congress Party)," said Delhi-based art critic and curator, Gayatri Sinha, in a phone interview. "This statue is a post-colonial assertion of pride and power that India seeks to identify with." 

Conveying national values

Beyond the specifics of party politics, Gujarat's new statue, like New York's Lady Liberty, can be viewed as an expression of collective values. Having helped negotiate the incorporation of more than 560 of colonial India's princely states into a single union, Patel arguably represents a national political ideal (hence the monument's full name, The Statue of Unity).

The Statue of Unity would tower over famous monuments and buildings, including the Statue of Liberty and Rio de Janeiro's Christ the Redeemer.

"Sardar Patel was a principal negotiator in a (time) of distress and division and he brought different communities, states and linguistic groups together," said Sinha. "He was very well known for leading the farmer movement in 1928, when he mobilized the farming community into active resistance ... And to bring attention to his role is not a bad thing at all."

'Dancing Shiva' statue in South Australia art gallery stolen from India

A wave of statue-building has swept India in recent years. With a few notable exceptions, most of the country's tallest examples have been built within the last 15 years. The structures are often dedicated to deities or other religious figures from Hinduism, Buddhism and Jainism. Buddha is a popular choice, as is Shiva, the monkey god Hanuman and the 12th-century philosopher Basava.

More recent historical figures also regularly feature. Chief among them is the 17th-century warrior king, Shivaji, the subject of 696-foot statue of being built off the coast of Mumbai. Upon its completion, which is tentatively set for 2021, the monument will surpass the Statue of Unity as the world's tallest.

A metro train passes by a 108-foot statue of Hindu god Hanuman in New Delhi.. Credit: Money Sharma/AFP/Getty Images

The choice of Shivaji, like Patel, can be seen as inherently political. The period of his reign, during the Maratha Empire, is often portrayed as a golden era by a resurgent Hindu nationalist movement spearheaded by the BJP. Modi made a photo opportunity of laying the mega-project's first stone in December 2016.

But there are, at least, examples of statues from elsewhere on the political spectrum. The Buddhist activist B. R. Ambedkar, who championed rights for India's lower castes, is the subject of a number of proposed statues around the country, in what Sinha described as a "pan-national exercise." Monuments honoring Ambedkar include the upcoming 125-foot bronze in Hyderabad and a planned 350-foot memorial (known as the "Statue of Equality") in Mumbai.

Statue wars

If enormous statues are expressions of self-assurance, then Asia appears to have confidence in abundance. In recent years, the Philippines, Indonesia and Myanmar have all announced -- or begun construction of -- statues over 100 feet tall.

What quirky post-colonial churches tell us about modern Indian architecture

According to Dhruva Jaishankar, a fellow in foreign policy studies at the Washington DC-based Brookings Institution's India outpost, statue-building can be viewed as a projection of a country's technical abilities.

"Part of this just has to do with capabilities -- the fact that Indian engineering companies are able to do this, they have some money and resources, state-supported or privately financed," he said in a phone interview.

But Jaishankar points to the symbolic status of large structures. "Statuary, like skyscrapers and other mega-monuments, is seen as having prestige value," he said. "There was this surge, in the 1970s and '80s, of large-statue building in Japan, and in the '90s and 2000s in China. And it does seem in the last 10 years or so there's been this spate of mega-projects in India."

 

 

More than 500 sculptures to honor Thai King

With Japan no longer undertaking monuments of this scale, China and India are now responsible for the vast majority of upcoming mega-statues. There is a palpable sense of competition between the two countries -- particularly when it comes to record-breakers.

Devendra Fadnavis, chief minister of Maharashtra state and a Modi ally, was open about plans to increase the height of Mumbai's aforementioned Shivaji monument in order to ward off competition from China. Speaking about the Spring Temple Buddha statue in China's Henan province (that has allegedly been made taller than Mumbai's proposal, thanks to the surrounding hill being fashioned into an additional pedestal in an apparent attempt to make it the world's tallest at 689 feet), he reportedly admitted to Indian media: "It prompted us to revise our design and increase the height to 212 meters (696 feet)."

Local values

Can India's Amaravati become the next sustainable city?

But Jaishankar warns against viewing statue-building as only serving the aims of the national government. The furor around Modi, a national-level politician championing a state-level monument, is perhaps evidence of a localism at the heart of statue-building -- Modi's involvement was the exception rather than the rule.

"If you look at the choice of figures, they do have a local political resonance in most cases," Jaishankar said, citing large-scale statues of the Vaishnavaite saint Ramanuja in Hyderabad and of the poet and philosopher Thiruvalluvar in Tamil Nadu.

"A lot of it has to do with local politics, so I wouldn't just look at this as an 'arms race' between India and China."

Sardar Patel was a key figure in the freedom movement, and India's first deputy prime minister. Credit: SAM PANTHAKY/AFP/AFP/Getty Images

Rather than international competition, the future pace of statue-building in India may come down to domestic factors, such as state resources and public support for large-scale art projects, said Sinha, who is also founder of the Indian art initiative Critical Collective. She predicts that questions will inevitably arise about whether mega-monuments are even suitable as national symbols.

10 objects that define Indian design

"We don't have an Indian tradition of such statues -- it's very much a colonial residue," she said. "But are we then going to take it and expand upon it?

"Then there's this notion of, 'what about modernity or contemporaneity in art?'" she added. "There are great sculptors in the world, of Indian origin, who can memorialize through more abstract, more indigenous kinds of structure. There are questions that are bound to follow in the weeks and months to come."

 

Luke Posted on October 31, 2018 20:15

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Retired LAPD detective claims unearthed letter links his father to Black Dahlia slaying

Stephanie Nolasco | Fox New

 

Potential break in the 'Black Dahlia' case

Retired LAPD detective Steve Hodel believes a new clue appears to identify his late father as the prime suspect behind one of the most infamous murders in America.

The South Pasadenan recently reported Hodel, who has written several books linking his father, Dr. George Hodel, to the heinous Black Dahlia murder in 1947, has received access to a handwritten letter by W. Glenn Martin, a late undercover informant for the LAPD during the late 1940s.

Martin reportedly penned the detailed missive 69 years ago to protect his then-teenage daughters, whom he feared could be harmed over him knowing too much about the case.

The three-page letter, dated Oct. 25, 1949, reportedly identified “G.H.” as the Black Dahlia’s killer, as well as the likely suspect in the murder of Louise Springer, a 28-year-old who was abducted and strangled in 1949.

Dr. George Hill Hodel

The letter was discovered in July by Martin’s granddaughter, Sandi Nichols, tucked away in her late mother’s belongings. The 62-year-old, who was unfamiliar with the murder cases described in the letter, searched the Internet for answers and found Hodel, according to the South Pasadenan.

Hodel had reportedly submitted the final draft of his upcoming book to his publisher when he received an email and then a phone call from a concerned Nichols. After speaking in depth about the discovery, Nichols sent Hodel the letter for further studying.

“I have lost lots of sleep over this letter,” Nichols told the South Pasadenan from her Indianapolis home. “The letter created some serious questions for me. I suddenly had my hand on something very important. Who was this man ‘G.H.’ and who were those women he killed?”

The letter is included as an afterword in Hodel’s new book, “Black Dahlia Avenger III,” due out this week.

Steve Hodel (Facebook)

Nichols told the publication she was haunted by the details concerning Elizabeth Short, who would be dubbed the Black Dahlia by the press after her gruesome death.

Short’s naked corpse was found in a vacant lot on Jan. 15, 1947. She was scrubbed, cut in half and drained of blood. She was viciously mutilated and a joker’s smile was carved on her face.

“Elizabeth was 22 when she was killed,” said Nichols. “She had four siblings, a mother who loved her dearly. To think that ‘good’ people knew who killed her and covered it up and went on to live their own lives is unconscionable to me. Elizabeth matters. Her family matters.”

Hodel has no doubt his father is the mastermind behind Short’s demise.

The Guardian previously reported that shortly after Dr. Hodel’s death in 1999 at age 91, Hodel went through his belongings and discovered photographs he believed were of Short. This compelled him to spend decades looking for evidence that proves his father killed the Massachusetts native.

Portrait of aspiring American actress and murder victim Elizabeth Short (1924 - 1947), 1940s. Short became known as the Black Dahlia after her body was discovered in a vacant lot, her corpse naked and severed in two. The murder remains unsolved. (Getty)

Hodel believed crime scene photos showed that Short was given a hemicorporectomy, a procedure that “slices the body beneath the lumbar spine, the only spot where the body can be severed in half without breaking bone.” He argued the procedure was taught in the 1930s, the same time period when his father would have been in medical school.

According to The Guardian, Hodel combed through witness interviews and newspaper archives, filed a Freedom of Information Act to retrieve FBI files on the case and other information the bureau had collected on his father. He also tracked down those who were associated with the case.

While a handwriting expert determined there was “a strong likelihood” his father’s handwriting matched the script on some of the notes the killer sent to the LAPD, the results were inconclusive.

The publication added Steve Lopez, a columnist for the Los Angeles Times, asked the Los Angeles County district attorney’s office for more information on the case to fact-check his column, which focused on Hodel’s 2003 book at the time about his findings. According to the documents, Dr. Hodel was indeed one of the main suspects in the Black Dahlia investigation. Lopez also read through seemingly forgotten police transcripts, which revealed Hodel’s home had been reportedly bugged by the district attorney’s office.

Dr. George Hodel. Courtesy of Steve Hodel.

The Smithsonian Magazine reported the recordings allegedly revealed Hodel bragging, “Supposin’ I did kill the Black Dahlia. They couldn’t prove it now. They can’t talk to my secretary anymore because she’s dead.” It’s unknown whether Hodel knew he was being heard and decided to taunt police or if he was confessing to his potential involvement.

The magazine also revealed one of the photographs Hodel initially believed was of Short was later identified as a family friend. The publication also pointed out the media’s attention on Hodel’s findings also dwindled with time after he argued that Dr. Hodel could have also been responsible for the Zodiac murders, which occurred in California in the late 1960s and early 1970s.

People magazine also reported police didn’t build their case and arrest Dr. Hodel at the time because he skipped town without his family in 1950 and ended up in the Philippines, where he lived for the next 40 years.

In 2013, Hodel claimed a search of his family’s Hollywood home by a cadaver dog and a retired police sergeant turned up the scent of human decomposition. He believed it was the same place where Dr. Hodel allegedly killed Short.

Photograph probably taken in a photo booth of American aspiring actress and murder victim Elizabeth Short (1924 - 1947), known as the 'Black Dahlia,' and an unidentified man, mid-1940s. Some experts believe this man to be a suspect in the still unsolved murder. Getty.

Vanity Fair recently reported actor Chris Pine and “Woman Woman” director Patty Jenkins will be releasing a TNT miniseries titled “I Am the Night” in January 2019, which is inspired by the Black Dahlia case. The story will also feature a “sinister” Dr. Hodel, played by Jefferson Mays.

When Short showed up in Los Angeles during the 1940s, the small-town girl had big dreams of becoming a movie star. However, she would only receive fame in death.

Short’s death became the subject of a 2006 film directed by Brian De Palma, starring Scarlett Johansson and Hilary Swank. It also inspired FX series “American Horror Story” in 2011, with Mena Suvari playing Short.

 

In late 2017, British lawyer Piu Eatwell told Fox News she may have solved the mystery of the infamous murder. In her book, “Black Dahlia, Red Rose,” Eatwell attempted to shed light on Short’s killing based on legal documents from the case, letters and grand jury testimony. Eatwell even tracked down some of the last living people with direct knowledge of the events at the time.

Based on her findings, Eatwell claimed it was an ex-boyfriend, who was a former mortician’s assistant, who did it.

Eatwell went on to insist that Leslie Dillon, an aspiring writer, allegedly preserved newspaper clippings about violence against women. Short’s friend Ann Toth and model Ardis Green reportedly identified Dillon as one of her boyfriends.

The Los Angeles Times reported in 1949 that Dillon was released by police due to lack of evidence. He would go on to live a relatively quiet life until his death in 1988 at age 67.

https://www.foxnews.com/entertainment/retired-lapd-detective-claims-unearthed-letter-links-his-father-to-black-dahlia-slaying

Luke Posted on October 31, 2018 19:38

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Photos released of Saudi Arabian sisters found dead, duct-taped together near NYC river as mystery deepens

Tala Farea and Rotana Farea were found dead on Oct. 24 near New York City's Hudson River. They were reported missing in August. (NYPD)

The first photos of two Saudi Arabian sisters whose bodies were found duct-taped together near a New York City river were released Wednesday as authorities continue to investigate their mysterious deaths.

New York City police released images of Tala Farea, 16, and Rotana Farea, 22, who were found dead on Oct. 24 near 68th Street and Riverside Park in Manhattan’s Upper West Side neighborhood. Their bodies, bound by tape and facing each other, were on rocks near the Hudson River, leading authorities to believe they may have washed ashore.

“While we continue the expansive investigation into the deaths of sisters Tala & Rotana Farea…Did you know them? Meet them? See them?” Dermot Shea, NYPD Chief of Detectives, tweeted on Wednesday.

 

Police also urged anyone who saw the sisters between Aug. 24 and Oct. 24 — the timeframe of when they were reported missing to when their bodies were discovered — to come forward with information.

"We are looking at all clues in their past life," Shea said on Tuesday.

SKETCHES RELEASED OF 2 WOMEN FOUND BOUND BY DUCT TAPE NEAR NEW YORK CITY RIVER

The Farea sisters’ deaths have been shrouded in mystery since last week. Their bodies, which had no obvious signs of trauma, were discovered about 225 miles away from Fairfax, Virginia, where they lived and vanished in August.

The sisters came to the U.S. from Saudi Arabia with their mother in 2015. Rotana Farea had been enrolled at George Mason University until the spring. Prior to their recent disappearance, Tala and Rotana Farea were reported missing in December 2017 when they left their family home and were placed in a shelter.

But there's still few public details about either sister's past.

Sketches were initially released of the Saudi Arabian sisters who were found bound by duct tape in the Hudson River near New York City's Upper West Side.  (New York Police Department)

Their mother told detectives the day before the bodies were discovered, she received a call from an official at the Saudi Arabian Embassy, ordering the family to leave the U.S. because her daughters had applied for political asylum, New York police said Tuesday.

Saudi Arabia's Consulate General in New York said in a statement that it had "appointed an attorney to follow the case closely."

The cause of death has not been released. The lack of obvious trauma appeared to rule out a theory they may have jumped into the river from the George Washington Bridge.

The bodies were discovered on rocks near the Hudson River. (FOX5NY)

In a follow-up statement, the Saudi Arabian consulate described the pair as "students accompanying their brother in Washington."

Anyone with information is urged to call the NYPD's Crime Stoppers Hotline at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477) or for Spanish, 1-888-57-PISTA (74782).

https://www.foxnews.com/us/photos-released-of-saudi-arabian-sisters-found-duct-taped-together-near-nyc-river-as-mystery-surrounding-death-deepens

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Luke Posted on October 31, 2018 19:32

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Trump turns on Ryan, says he ‘knows nothing about’ birthright citizenship

 

 

Is birthright citizenship in the Constitution?

President Trump slammed House Speaker Paul Ryan on Wednesday for opposing his call for an executive order to curb birthright citizenship -- saying it’s something Ryan “knows nothing about.”

“Paul Ryan should be focusing on holding the Majority rather than giving his opinions on Birthright Citizenship, something he knows nothing about!” he tweeted. “Our new Republican Majority will work on this, Closing the Immigration Loopholes and Securing our Border!”

 

Trump used an interview with “Axios on HBO,” a clip of which was released Tuesday, to announce his intention to use an executive order to end the policy granting automatic citizenship to children born in the U.S. to non-citizen or illegal immigrant parents. On Wednesday, he doubled down on that claim, tweeting that it would be ended “one way or the other.”

 

Ryan had dismissed the idea outright, saying in an interview Tuesday with WVLK that the 14th Amendment is “pretty clear” and an executive order wouldn't work.

“Well you obviously cannot do that,” he said. “You cannot end birthright citizenship with an executive order. We didn’t like it when [former President Barack Obama] tried changing immigration laws via executive action and obviously as conservatives we believe in the Constitution.”

Video

Those remarks sparked Trump’s fiery response, as the president pressured the outgoing speaker to ramp up efforts to hold the House for Republicans. While the GOP remains well-positioned to hold the Senate in next week's midterms, Democrats are favored to reclaim the majority in the House. Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi predicted this week that Democrats "will win" the House.

TRUMP VOWS BIRTHRIGHT CITIZENSHIP 'WILL BE ENDED ONE WAY OR THE OTHER' AS HILL DEBATE RAGES

The latest remarks highlight the often-troubled relationship between Trump and Ryan -- who have formed an uneasy alliance since the 2016 election. Ryan is stepping down as speaker and retiring from Congress in January.

Video

Ryan’s dismissal of Trump’s use of an executive order appeared to be somewhat backed by Senate Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, who said that he will "closely review" the proposed executive order but "as a general matter, this is an issue that Congress should take the lead to carefully consider and debate."

However, Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., announced that he will be introducing legislation “to deal with the issue of birthright citizenship for children of illegal immigrants” and said it was a “magnet for illegal immigration in modern times.”

 

On Wednesday, Trump appeared to shift stance somewhat on how it would be achieved by avoiding saying it would be ended by executive order, while acknowledging the matter “will be settled by the United States Supreme Court.”

Adam Shaw is a reporter covering U.S. and European politics for Fox News.. He can be reached here.

Luke Posted on October 31, 2018 19:28

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FINANCIAL HANDICAP IS OVER ON COFREDCAPITAL.

The largest leading Investment Platform in the residence of Ghana, Nigeria and Africa as a whole (CofredCapital), has upgraded its investment plans into two faces (Fiat and Paxex Investment).

The Cofred Investment has been astutely designed to offer means of raising funds and profit-sharing schemes among our users across all our platforms. It's totally a risk-free offer, and the funds raised are used to subsidize and expand our Cryptocurrency trading and mining business.

Fiat currency is legal tender whose value is backed by the government that issued it. The U.S. dollar is fiat money, as are the euro and many other major world currencieshttps://blog.cofredcoin.com/2018/10/31/financial-handic…on-cofredcapital/

Paxexcoin is a cryptographic currency built for forums, blogs and internet users as a means of payment. Its combines concept from social interactions, crypto currency, marketing and the power to create apps within its ecosystem.

The Paxexcoin and Fiat currency Investments are now on Cofredcapital Platform. The Paxexcoin and Fiat Investments are in now to boost the Economy status for people in Ghana, Nigeria and Africa as a whole. For now many Countries like; Russia, China and other European Countries are patronizing the new services (Paxexcoin and Fiat Investments) by Cofred on CofredCapital. The platform has allowed its users to link their various banking account such as master card, visa card and even their various mobile money accounts to their cofredcapital investment platform.

Financial Statistics on Cofred Investment.

  1. In the year 2013, Over +200 users were on cofred investment, and they became financially independent through cofred investment.
  2. In 2016, cofred investment was able to change over +1000 users from financial hardships.   
  3. Early 2018 till now, +2000 users across the world are patronizing cofred investment platform with their various banking accounts and mobile money accounts.

Adding:

On Crypto investment (Paxex), the rewards of the investment rolls in daily, this investment serves as an alternative means of making other incomes. Moreover, you are most likely to make 10% of the amount invested at the end of every month.

Cofred fiat currency investment is giving its customers unprecedented investment packages for them to invest for secured returns. Visit www.cofredcapital.com for more details.  

 

Dominic Solomon Posted on October 31, 2018 16:01

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October Close May Prove Decisive for Bitcoin Price

Bitcoin's (BTC) monthly close today may reveal the cryptocurrency's directional bias after a long period of low volatility.

If prices fail to defend long-term support at the 21-month exponential moving average (EMA), currently at $6,108, things may get tougher for BTC's bulls.

This is evident from the fact that price pullbacks witnessed in June, July, and September had ended near the EMA. Further, brief dips below that level quickly bounced back.

The price action suggests that the bears have likely run out of steam and BTC may have carved out a bottom close to $6,000.

 

However, that argument would lose credence if prices close today below $6,108, signaling a resumption of the sell-off from the record highs reached in December last year.

At press time, BTC is trading at $6,265 on Coinbase, having hit a two-week low of $6,211 on Monday.

Monthly chart

As can be seen above, the 5- and 10-month EMAs produced a bearish cross last month for the first time since 2014, meaning the bears are already in control here.

Hence, a close below the 21-month EMA will likely prove costly.

The prospects of a bullish reversal above $7,400 (September high) would improve if BTC defends the EMA support for the fifth month straight.

View

Dominic Solomon Posted on October 31, 2018 15:48

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As Shares Struggle, Aston Martin Pins Hopes on 2019 Vantage

The fighting spirit of James Bond is still alive at Aston Martin, even if the company’s freshly minted public shares are doing horribly.

Earlier this month, the 105-year-old British automaker made its stock market debut at the bottom of its initial public offering range with a £4.2 billion ($5.5 billion) opening valuation. That value assumes a 30 percent discount compared to Ferrari’s, which Aston had recently aimed to surpass with a requested valuation of £5.07 billion

The $172,841 Aston Martin Vantage that I drove last week includes options including Aston Martin Premium Audio ($2,270), 20-inch forged alloy wheels with textured black finish ($5,380), and a 2x2 twill carbon-fiber interior trim inlay ($2,270). 

Photographer: Max Earey

To reach a valuation as high as Ferrari’s, experts say, Aston will have to flawlessly execute the DBX SUV, which is slated for 2020. In the meantime, there’s the 2019 Vantage. In this car, at least, if not in the company’s market performance, the rougish personality and devastating charm of Mr. Bond remain. This is the $150,000 coupe that sold out within days last year after going on sale, the one with a predatory stance inspired by the brand’s Vulcan race car. I love its mean, gaping front grille, its angular sides, and its hood shaped like Venus’s shell. It’s arguably the best-looking sportscar on the market.   

More importantly, along with that Vulcan and the upcoming SUV line, Vantage completes the three pillars that Aston Chief Executive Officer Andy Palmer says will bring the company back into glory.

If the $172,841 China gray Vantage that I drove is any indication, Palmer will be right.

The Vantage is smaller than the DB11, weighing just 3,373 pounds. 

Photographer: Max Earey

Leader of the Pack

Here’s one thing to know: At a special Bloomberg driving event in New York City last weekend, among 15 luxury sportscars—including the usual suspects from Lamborghini, Porsche, Bentley, BMW, and Maserati—the Vantage was the No. 2 most popular car for the 60 men and women who drove the models. (We had a whole voting system set up for fun; the Lamborghini Huracan Performante won the driver’s choice vote, which I don’t want to say I told you so, but ahem.)

The Lamborghini costs gobs more than the Vantage (an additional $150,000 or so), and it isn’t a direct competitor, but this was as unscientific a poll as you can get. My point is that Aston Martin’s darling punches way above its weight.

If you order one now you’ll have to be patient: You’re looking at a “late summer delivery, most likely,” a spokesman from Aston Martin told me. Meanwhile, know that the Vantage is a few inches longer and wider than its predecessor, with smaller headlights and a more curvaceous hood. A few other updates—new dials, touch-screen internal controls sourced by Mercedes (thank god), and the new Mercedes AMG-sourced engine chief among them—offer significant advantages over previous Aston Martins.

The rear diffuser and blades and the signature umbrellas and holder are optional on the 2019 Vantage. 

Photographer: Max Earey

That engine—a twin-turbocharged midmounted V-8 with 503-horsepower and 505 pound-feet of torque—complements the attributes that made the Vantage so desirable in the first place. It goes zero to 60 mph in 3.5 seconds. Top speed is 195 mph.

The eight-speed automatic transmission is augmented by a hyper-tightly tuned rear-wheel drive and long paddle shifters on the wheels that push the car to high speeds in what amounts to a simultaneously smooth but raw visceral experience. The paddle shifters remain stationary as you turn the wheel, which I prefer to the others that move with the wheel as you turn it. As one Ferrari instructor told me, if you’re shifting so deep into a turn that you can’t reach the paddle shifter, you’re probably doing it wrong. In the rain, in unexperienced hands, or at the mercy of someone who is impatient and rough, the car can go sideways very, very quickly.

Driving the Vantage feels like dancing on a razors’ edge. The steering responds like a hair-trigger. The brakes bite like a viper. Getting inside and closing the door requires a statement of intent: Remember, you own this car. Don’t let it own you.

Interior Charms

 

The driving experience in the Vantage is made all the more intense because the car has an exceptionally low seating position. At 5-foot-11 (taller when I’m in my driving shoes), I typically position sportscar seats as low as they can go; with the firm, speed-racer seats of the Vantage, I raised myself higher with the touch of a button. This is great news if you’re long-legged or like to wear hats while behind the wheel. Otherwise, you may think you need a booster. The sensation is not exactly like how a child might feel sitting behind the wheel of a race car, but it’s close.

An 8-inch LED screen sits as the focal point in the center of the dashboard. Creature comforts include heated seats and an auto-heated rear screen to help avoid foggy windows.

Photographer: Max Earey

In keeping with the spaciousness of the seats (there only two of them), the rest of the cabin is roomy, with ample head- and legroom if you don’t need to carry any bags or luggage there. An 8-inch LED screen sits as the focal point in the center of the dashboard. Creature comforts include heated seats and an auto-heated rear screen to help avoid foggy windows.

A carbon-fiber sport steering wheel, full leather interior, chrome or carbon tread plates, embroidery and leather perforation, and interior “jewelry” in lime, red, or white are all optional. I wouldn’t get any of them—Aston Martin has been producing some extremely questionable interior combinationslately, and I can’t figure out why, other than the old adage “There’s no accounting for taste.” The cars are born strikingly handsome; additional efforts to doll them up only obscure their beautiful bones, and they make me question the general self-confidence of the owner.

On the outside, maybe alternative brake caliper colors would be nice on those 20-inch Y-spoke wheels. They come in black, red, gray, yellow, satin silver, orange, vivid red, blue, and Madagascar orange. Carbon-fiber roof and mirror cases, among other things swathed in that weave, are optional though unnecessary to achieve visual distinction among your peers.

If you like tactile feedback rather than touch-screen everything, you’ll love the interior of the Vantage. 

Photographer: Max Earey

Focus on the Product

All this you already know if you’re at all interested in the status and life cycles of Bond’s car of choice. The real question is whether the dismal state of the shares will affect your purchase. My colleague Kevin Tynan, senior automotive analyst at Bloomberg, says the stock’s performance probably won't harm what you buy in the showroom.

“It’s not that the product is bad,” he says. “The problem with Aston Martin Lagonda is that they don’t produce enough and they are not Ferrari, although there are similarities. I would still put this in ‘great car, bad stock’ position.”

And will it affect how exceptional—I mean truly exceptional—you’ll feel driving this car? I can answer this one: not a wit.

Aston Martin says 70 percent of the structure of the 2019 Vantage is unique to the model. 

Photographer: Max Earey

The 2019 Aston Martin Vantage is on sale now. 

Photographer: Max Earey

majsdesaint Posted on October 31, 2018 15:14

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BMW’s New i8 Roadster Is Getting Overlooked. But It Shouldn’t Be

BMW has made plenty of futuristic electric cars lately.

There’s the Vision iNext SUV, with autonomous driving and interior like a nightclub lounge. The company has also distributed a series of conceptsthroughout the rest of the group with electric drivetrains, silk couches, and wacky, Tron-like exterior designs.

The 2019 i8 roadster is the first open-top version of BMW’s excellent i8 hybrid coupe. It's a well-built, thoughtfully designed, fairly priced, and even practical high-end hybrid sports car.

Source: BMW

Ironically, the one that’s been overlooked in the press is the 2019 BMW i8 roadster. The $163,300 drop-top still looks as gorgeous as ever. Its arched sides are sculpted to reveal air vents swooped across the body of the car like it’s perpetually in motion, while its low stance, squished-to-distinction kidney grille, robot-worthy interior, and propensity for two-tone paint jobs made it an immediate Instagram darling.

This version is even more striking than the i8 coupe, which premiered as a concept in 2009 and is, if you ask me, the best-looking production hybrid car ever made.

What’s more, the roadster launched only a few months ago, the first-ever open-air version of the hybrid coupe that BMW put on sale as a 2014-model-year vehicle. On a conference call for last year’s second-quarter earnings report, Chairman Harald Krüger called it “an ace up our sleeve.” We’ve been waiting for this ace since 2015, when BMW announced its impending arrival.

The i8 is a key part of BMW’s electric plans: By August 2018 electrified vehicles accounted for almost 7 percent of global BMW and Mini sales, compared with a little more than 4 percent in the same month last year.

Photographer: Hannah Elliott/Bloomberg

So What Gives?

There are significant reasons why the i8 roadster has been overlooked. For one thing, it’s not offering much new to the existing coupe model, except for a soft-top that drops in less than 20 seconds and improves the overall look of the car. The most prominent reason it remains relatively unheralded is that its performance isn’t as progressive these days as its spaceship body suggests.

That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t buy it. The BMW i8 roadster is a well-built, thoughtfully designed, fairly priced (among its competition), and even practical high-end hybrid sports car. But this does merit some inspection.

With a total of nine electrified automobiles, BMW offers the widest range of electric models in Germany. By 2025, BMW Group plans to offer 25 electrified models, 12 of them pure electric.

Photographer: Hannah Elliott/Bloomberg

I drove a dark gray 2019 i8 roadster for a week in New York City. Even with its admittedly few direct competitors, it’s not as fast as other electric and hybrid options. For instance, its zero to 60 mph sprint time of 4.4 seconds and top speed of 155 mph fall far behind the much sharper-handling $160,000 Acura NSX hybrid, which records a sprint time of 3.1 seconds and a top speed of 191 mph.

The latest electric vehicles do even better. The Audi e-tron, although still in conceptual stage, is a working car that goes zero to 60 in less than two seconds and has a fully electric range of 310 miles. The forthcoming plug-in electric Porsche Taycan, which, even though it’s a larger, heavier sedan, lists a zero to 60 time in 3.5 seconds. In pure-electric mode, the i8 musters a max speed of only 75 mph. Tesla’s Model S has an electric-only top speed of 155 mph.

The brakes on the roadster also left something to be desired in my testing. Rather than having the aggressive bite of carbon and ceramic analog-style brakes, they feel computerized, like stopping in virtual reality instead of the real thing. It’s an abrupt transition between regenerative and friction modes, which helps charge the batteries but does nothing to ensure the smooth stop you’d want from a car that looks so smooth to begin with.

The i8 comes with eDrive, Eco Pro, Comfort, and Sport modes. The hybrid all-wheel-drive system has a total power output of 369 horsepower and 420 pound-feet of torque.

Photographer: Hannah Elliott/Bloomberg

The Bright Spots

That said, the 2019 i8 roadster does offer some improvement from previous generations of the model line. Its updated lithium-ion battery includes more-efficient cells than in the coupe, packing 11.6 kilowatt-hours of energy into the same space that originally stored only 7.1kWh.

In practical terms, that meant I could drive roughly 18 miles under electric-only power, which I loved because it was super-stealthily silent navigating Manhattan streets and because it was super-responsive every time I pressed the gas pedal. (Once I switched over to using the conventional engine, there was a slight lag between the time I pushed the accelerator and when the car would lunge forward.)

Better yet, if you drive the i8 roadster in the six-gear “manual” mode, you automatically recharge the battery faster and for longer as you go. A small gauge on the dashboard shows how much energy you gain as you drive; it proved to be a fun game as I drove 90 minutes out on an airport run one evening. I gained back 12 miles of electric-only driving on the 13-mile drive there.

The three-cylinder combustion engine in the BMW i8 drives the rear wheels. The electric motor sources its energy from a lithium-ion battery (which can be charged from a conventional domestic power socket) and channels the power it generates to the front axle.

Photographer: Hannah Elliott/Bloomberg

Elsewhere, the lightly weighted, electrically assisted power steering remained as direct and precise as you’d expect from a company that claims the title of “Ultimate Driving Machine,” even in convertible form. (Physics mean convertibles, with their lopped-off tops, are often stiffer and slower to drive aggressively than their coupe counterparts.)

And let’s not forget that the award-winning engine and hybrid system set the standard for what a hybrid sports car should be when they made their debut. The roadster comes with an updated 141-horsepower electric motor that sources energy from the lithium-ion battery to power the front axle; it switches seamlessly back and forth from the 228-horsepower, three-cylinder combustion engine that drives the rear wheels. 

There’s seating for two.

Photographer: Uwe Fischer

Redeeming Values

Other positive notes: The vertically opening doors look cool and are light and easy to lift, though their novel angle and the low ride height of the car mean it takes some expert duck-and-rolling for anyone over 5-foot-10 to get inside. If you have a beer belly, forget about it—I watched helplessly as valets struggled awkwardly to wedge themselves behind the steering wheel at angles usually reserved for backyard barbecue limbo tournaments.

 

The interior dash is as clean and crisp as BMW is often wont; the heated, leather-wrapped seats, cloth and carbon-fiber trimming, and driver-focused steering wheel and controls combine comfort and sport as well as anything else today. While interior noise with the top up is not as low as you might hope, the soft-top roof unfolds quickly and silently at the touch of a button. The trunk is even large enough to fit two small duffels, or one medium-size hard travel case, and the rear cubby behind the two seats is surprisingly useful in the absence of even a small back seat or rear ledge.

The improved technology for this year means the i8 roadster can cover up to 18 miles on electric-only power, depending on the driving style. That’s up from roughly 14 miles before. The range for the Roadster increased by almost 30 percent from previous versions, while the battery Ah(Amps per hour) rating goes from 20 to 33.

Photographer: Hannah Elliott/Bloomberg

In the Meantime

I’m deliberately not calling the i8 roadster a hybrid supercar here, because it’s not. That would be something closer to the Porsche 918 or McLaren P1, both plug-in hybrids.

In fact, the i8 roadster is not as progressive an apparatus as what you might find in the Jaguar I-Pace SUV or the Audi e-tron quattro, or even in the latest Tesla models. But it is fun to drive and shows off well—it’ll get plenty of positive attention in your neighborhood, especially in the handsome dark slate colorway offered with the roadster version.

It’s also extremely drivable on a daily basis, with an AWD and forgiving suspension system that easily handle the potholes, steep inclines, and abrupt curbs that are sure to cause an ulcer, or at least a few gray hairs, for those who own truly low cars like the McLaren 720S or Lamborghini Aventador.

In August of this year, global BMW i sales were up 30 percent from a year earlier, and BMW iPerformance vehicles including the i8 and i3 had increased deliveries by 77.2 percent over the same time period.

Source: BMW

It’s no accident the i8 is still the best-selling plug-in hybrid sports car on the market today; it premiered in near-perfect form and since then has withstood the test of time. It looks as cool as any supercar but is a whole lot easier to own and more fun to drive. I expect the roadster version to carry on that tradition well.

BMW’s Krüger has said that by 2025 he plans to sell 25 electrified models, 12 of them pure electric. Until we see any other exciting options from BMW hitting the road, the 2019 i8 roadster is more than enough.

The BMW i8 roadster is on sale now. 

Photographer: Hannah Elliott/Bloomberg

majsdesaint Posted on October 31, 2018 15:07

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Rolls-Royce Draws a Line: No Hybrids Ever

This week, Rolls-Royce unleashed its $325,000 Cullinan on the back roads and double-diamond ski runs of Wyoming’s Grand Teton mountain range.

The press launch was the first time the 6,000-pound SUV had been driven publicly in North America, timed to get out word of the vehicle’s off-road skills right before November’s chill—and January’s first deliveries.

 

Torsten Müller-Otvös was there, too. Rolls-Royce’s longtime chief executive officer has shepherded the brand to a 13.5 percent sales increase this year to date, and this month the company announced it added 200 jobs in an effort to meet Cullinan demand. (That gain means Rolls-Royce will expand its workforce to more than 2,000 people for the first time, a sixfold increase since the British automaker’s headquarters and manufacturing facility in Goodwood, West Sussex, opened in 2003.)

Müller-Otvös, an accomplished fly fisherman who prefers the Cullinan in magma red, sat down with Bloomberg to discuss why it’s so important for it to go off-road, its prospects for getting an electric drivetrain, and what he says to the Cullinan’s critics.

Here’s our conversation.

The Rolls-Royce Cullinan in Jackson, Wyo.

Photographer: James Lipman

Hannah Elliott: The emphasis for this launch has seemed to emphasize the off-road capability of Cullinan above all else. Is that true? Did you feel the need to make a statement in this way with this launch?

Torsten Müller-Otvös: It is. First of all, you don’t need to be convinced that our cars drive perfect on roads, flat on land. That’s given. That’s the Rolls-Royce brand promise. And Cullinan delivers that in perfection. But of course we wanted to showcase to you what the car is capable of. We sent all the test cars all over the world, into the desert, into the mountains, just to showcase what the car is capable of and what it can deliver, so that customers also understand the car is a true SUV.

But it’s also a Rolls-Royce SUV: You can drive up in style in front of the opera building, you can go out for dinner with all your friends. This car brings you up to your chalet. It can carry lots of loads, it can carry the whole family, load your dogs into the car, go down to the harbor. So it is for all purposes in life.

After Bentley’s Bentayga and Lamborghini’s Urus, this is just about the last of the large and very expensive luxury SUVs to hit the market.

We took our time. After we announced that we would bring such a type of car into the market, we took our time to make it—we know that. But we wanted to engineer it in a way that it would deliver practicality and functionality. When people are asking for that type of car, of course it still needs to have that type of serenity when you go up into the mountains. That’s the importance of the 4x4.

The V-12 SUV comes with six off-road drive modes and, for the first time from Rolls-Royce, all-wheel drive.

Photographer: James Lipman

Rolls-Royce is so closely associated with cosmopolitan refinement. What percentage of your buyers do you believe will actually use it off-road on any regular basis?

It’s early days now, and for that reason I would not be able to tell you the truth [about the specific percentage]. So far, I think that’s the whole psychological expectation embedded in the SUV proposition—that you can go wherever you want to go, even if you don’t do it very often in life.

But almost all of our clients, be it in the Middle East or Asia or North America, want to use the cars off-road going to certain remote parts in the road. Going to their chalet in the Swiss Alps, to their weekend retreat in the desert in the Middle East. And so for that reason, the car needs to deliver the capability to do so.

Our clients enjoy these kind of freedoms to use their cars in these situations, particularly on weekends.

The Cullinan comes with an extensive theater environment in the rear of the car, complete with 12.5-inch touchscreens, picnic-style wooden foldout tables, and a wood-covered command center that can control climate, audio, and other functions from the back seat.

Photographer: James Lipman

That has certainly been what I’ve seen in my reporting—that modern luxury is heavily related to the idea of freedom. To the wealthiest people in the world, freedom is very important.

Very much.

This car weighs more than 6,000 pounds and gets less than 20 miles per gallon. It looks like an elegant tank, if I can put it like that. Call it unapologetic. Polarizing, even. In an era of hybrids and electric cars, and as environmental concerns continue to rise, will you have trouble selling it?

No. Rolls-Royce needs presence. Our customers love that. It’s the same when very impressive people enter a room. Suddenly, silence. That’s exactly what happens when a Rolls-Royce turns up.

Yes, you might see people who are saying, “The car is too big, I don’t like it, it carries too much presence.” But I think if you want to please everybody, you don’t please anybody.

What percentage of Cullinan buyers will be new to the Rolls-Royce brand?

[There will be] quite some conquest [buyers crossing over from other brands]. We see that already today in our order books. And I’m also positively surprised by our loyal clients who are adding Cullinan into their existing garage today just for the pure sake that this car is convincing, size-wise.

Dealerships will start taking deliveries of the Cullinan before the 2018 holiday season.

Photographer: James Lipman

We’ve talked about the surprisingly young average age of Rolls-Royce owners. Where will Cullinan buyers fit into the mix, age-wise?  

Cullinan [buyers] will be younger customers, that’s for sure. Our youngest car in the portfolio is Wraith, particularly in the Black Badge edition, followed by Dawn. I think Cullinan will sit in that league of average age, around 40.

We also foresee still the ongoing trend that ultrahigh net worth individuals are getting younger. That will stay on for a number of years.

Where are most of the preorders for Cullinan coming from?

North America is the No. 1 market by far. It’s really quite impressive to see that. Followed by Asia. Quite strong is also Europe. And then the Middle East, of course, following behind.

Talk to me about electric. Is there an electric future for Cullinan?

There is an electric future for Rolls-Royce. We have not made our plan about what comes first, and what comes when, but we know that we will go full electric. We will not do hybrids or whatever. Our proposition is full electric. It will come in the next decade, step by step by step.

But I can also tell you we will stick with our beloved 12-cylinder as long as we can.

The rear of the Cullinan comes with optional tailgate-style seats and a beverage platform. 

Photographer: James Lipman

How closely do you watch what [parent company] BMW as a group does and announces? For instance, the news surrounding the BMW Vision iNext SUV that just debuted.

It’s a great advantage to be part of the BMW Group. We are a small manufacturer—we are selling 4,000 cars and some more with Cullinan—so for that reason I am superglad we are part of the BMW Group.

BMW Group is educated and well-understanding enough to say Rolls-Royce needs to sit on a different architecture. They understand we are super-exclusive and able to give our customers true luxury, which is not an X7 camouflaged as a Rolls-Royce. We wouldn’t do that.

No. 2, it’s great that BMW Group is so forward-looking and -thinking on iNext and so on. I’m glad that I’m part of the bigger group, because we profit from that. Our engineers are embedded enough in the overall organization to grab into the shelf and say, “That’s great, we’ll use that for Rolls-Royce.”

And the BMW Group is more than happy to help. Otherwise we would not be capable to get our brand electrified. If we would need to do that on our own, completely alone, that’s quite a task.

The Cullinan has a V-12 563-horsepower engine and can wade in water up to 21 inches high.

Photographer: James Lipman

Will we ever see a V-8 engine in a Cullinan?

No.

That is for the pure sake of volume, Hannah, and that is what we are not doing. We are not launching lower engines with lower price points. This is volume-chasing. That’s not the game of Rolls-Royce. We stay highly exclusive.

It must be so refreshing to be able to be so clear-minded and focused in that way.

I think you need to be clear-minded. When you do real luxury, you need to be clear-minded. If you mess this around, you can be dead in the water within moments. And for that reason, Hannah, I think you need to have a really sharp mind on that.

Customers will tell you the same thing that I am telling you, that they expect from us limitation. Limitation in volume. They don’t want to see their own cars all over the place. And they are more than happy to pay our prices, make no error. They are clear: “Don’t go volume, please.”

And I tell them, “We aren’t going to, ever.”

majsdesaint Posted on October 31, 2018 15:02

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McLaren’s $2.3 Million Attempt to Compete With Lamborghini, Ferrari

Speedtail, the F1 successor, has three seats and gold badging to nudge into ultra-luxury supercar territory.

On Friday, McLaren debuted the £1.75 million ($2.3 million) Speedtail, previously known by its BP23 codename.

The all-new, three-seat “hyper-GT” is the next model in McLaren’s Ultimate Series, the most expensive and exclusive line the automaker sells. The P1 and Senna also belong to the Ultimate Series, while others you actually have a chance of seeing on the road, such as the 720S and the 570S, belong to the Super Series and Sport Series, respectively.

??The Speedtail is an homage to the iconic McLaren F1, which held the production car speed record of 240mph from 1998 to 2004.

Source: McLaren

In addition to its major price tag and odd seating arrangement (more on that later), the Speedtail is an homage to the iconic McLaren F1, which held the production car speed record of 240mph from 1998 to 2004. McLaren will make only 106 of them—a number that matches the F1’s production run—and they’re already sold out, according to a McLaren spokeswoman. 

That response is similar to when McLaren debuted the $1 million Senna, which sold out before it was formally announced, according to McLaren. For a company that sells fewer than 3,500 cars annually, the margins for such extreme cars remain considerable. (So does the wait-time: Speedtail owners won’t see delivery until 2020.)

McLaren will make only 106 of them—a number that matches the F1’s production run—and they’re already sold out.

Source: McLaren

Which is to say the strategy is working: The Speedtail is the first of 18 new cars or derivatives to be announced under McLaren’s “Track25” business plan—the company’s grab at an additional £200 million per year, financed from deposits taken from customers willing to buy such expensive, extreme cars.

It’s also the latest move by the Woking, England-based company to enhance its stature in the luxury and lifestyle market. Although McLaren first gained prominence for its Formula 1 racing success—famed Brazilian driver Ayrton Senna competed under its marque—and then earned respect for the laboratory-precise driving characteristics and video-game styling of its production cars, McLaren has yet to achieve the level of interior comfort and entertainment and exterior fit and finish of the higher-end cars from Ferrari, Lamborghini, Mercedes-AMG, Bentley, and Aston Martin.

The Speedtail hybrid-electric powertrain can reach 1,035bhp and a top speed of 250mph. It can get from zero-186mph in 12.8 seconds.

Source: McLaren

Hypercar Performance

Buyers are in for a treat. The Speedtail is ultra-light (3,153 pounds) for its size, with an active suspension and lightweight carbon ceramic brakes that enhance its nimbleness and handling. It’s more powerful than the Senna and its F1 forebear, with a hybrid-electric powertrain that can reach 1,035bhp and a top speed of 250mph. It can get from zero-186mph in 12.8 seconds—four seconds faster than the P1.

That’s enough to indicate that McLaren might possibly break the current production car land-speed record of 277.87mph, which Koenigsegg set last year—though McLaren boss Mike Flewitt has said jumping into the fastest-car fray with Koenigsegg, Bugatti, and Hennessey isn’t an explicit goal. “These days, we prefer to let our customers set the records,” affirms the company.

The Speedtail is faster than McLaren’s F1 and P1 supercars. 

Source: McLaren

Officially, at least, McLaren says the Speedtail is all about the joy of the open road. Its exterior style looks softer than those of previous McLarens, with a teardrop-shaped cockpit and an aerodynamic, all-carbon-fiber body. It’s both longer and narrower than the P1, with easy-to-open dihedral doors and retractable digital rear-view cameras in lieu of mirrors. The front splitter, diffuser, and side skirts are all finished in a special “titanium deposition” carbon fiber that is lighter and stronger than that of previous cars. The “Velocity Active Chassis Control” can lower the Speedtail by 1.4 inches, leaving its highest point just 3.7 feet from the road. Raising the car high enough to navigate steep driveways and speed bumps will be rather more difficult.

Hypercar Comfort Is Now a Thing

The interior has seats for three adults. 

Source: McLaren

Inside, the Speedtail is clearly the most luxury-oriented model McLaren has made.

It features such creature comforts as electrochromic glass that darkens the top of the windshield at the touch of a button—removing the need for sun visors—and there’s actual luggage space in both nose and tail. Engine controls shine in polished aluminum and are set in panels above the driver’s head. That overhead control panel, as well as the gearshift paddles and steering wheel clasp, also uses a separate kind of highly refined carbon fiber made in partnership with watchmaker Richard Mille

The optional white-gold detailing and other accoutrements make this the most luxury-oriented McLaren ever. 

Source: McLaren

For further luxury, the McLaren Special Operations team can oblige with optional platinum or 18-carat white gold-and-carbon fiber badging and inlays, instead of the standard gloss-black on aluminum. (MSO exists to make special customized McLarens for the company’s most valued, wealthiest clients, such as the hunter-green Senna for mattress tycoon Michael Fuchs.) The badges, which come in a set of three, are cut in the U.K. by Vaughtons—the same 100-year-old company that makes the U.K.’s Olympic medals—and dramatically increase the cost of the car by at least £50,000. For those worried about the additional weight of a golden or platinum badge, a special, lacquered-on golden badge is available, too.

Production on the McLaren Speedtail begins by the end of next year. 

Source: McLaren

The three-seat layout is meant to enhance the overall driving enjoyment and feeling of splendor: The driver sits in the center of the cabin, achieving the most commanding view of the road possible, while a passenger sits on either side. The unconventional design emulates the seating position of a Formula 1 race car, seen previously in such sports cars as Ferrari’s ultra-rare 365P and items from more obscure automakers Aeon and Matra-Simca.

While extravagant, this isn’t the first time McLaren has put three-seats—or gold—into its cars: The F1 had three seats as well, and it famously used gold foil as a heat shield in the engine compartment. Production will begin by the end of next year. 

majsdesaint Posted on October 31, 2018 14:52

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How America Became a Nation of Yoga Pants

It took a few decades, but a shift toward casual wear and fitness, as well as a company called Lululemon, is changing what everyone wears.

The first pairs of yoga pants Lululemon sold in 1998 were a simple item for women to wear at the studio. They were a mix of nylon and Lycra—synthetic elastic fibers that provided the stretch and softness needed to manage all those sweat-inducing contortions during a lengthy session on the mat.

Yoga, first as an exercise and later as a cultural phenomenon (or cliché, depending on your cynicism), had yet to take hold. At the turn of the century, the pants filled a niche for yogis who were simply looking for a higher-end alternative to plain cotton leggings.

Two decades later, they’ve conquered the closet, even for people who never see the inside of a yoga studio. In 2014, teenagers began to prefer leggings over jeans. Then people started wearing athletic clothing (or athleisure, but it’s mostly just yoga pants) to run errands. Now they’re wearing yoga pants to the office. U.S. imports of women’s elastic knit pants last year surpassed those of jeans for the first time ever, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

Fashion trends seesaw constantly, but rarely does an entire category shift. Over four decades, rubber-soled sneakers gave way to basketball shoes, which in turn fell to trainers. Boxer briefs didn’t exist 25 years ago—drawers were still filled with plain old briefs. But now the hybrid is America’s most popular men’s underwear. Yoga pants have similarly managed to plunge denim into an existential crisis, threatening Levi Strauss & Co. so deeply that it had to scramble to adapt. The company added stretch and contouring to its jeans while hoping to retain some of their rugged essence.

The popularity of yoga pants has, predictably, led to a flood of competitors as brands fill every market segment, from Old Navy’s $20 pants to Lucas Hugh’s $230 versions. Lululemon Athletica Inc., largely credited with bringing stretchy pants to the masses, has poured money into developing new fabrics to fend off rivals—a pack that now includes the world’s biggest athletics companies.

“Consumers expect a lot more,” said Sun Choe, chief product officer at Lululemon. “They’re washing their garments more and more, and from a quality standpoint, it needs to stand up. They’re expecting some versatility in their product. They expect to be able to wear that pant or tight to Whole Foods or brunch.”

Speed Tight, ABC Pant, and Groove Pant by Lululemon.

Source: Lululemon

Lululemon’s original fabric, Luon, with a high proportion of nylon microfiber as opposed to a more typical polyester blend, was trademarked in the U.S. in 2005. Many of its newer fabrics are branded and geared toward specific uses. Luxtreme is a moisture-wicking, four-way stretch fabric that’s meant to fit like a second skin. Nulux is a compression fabric meant for sweatier workouts. Silverescent is sold as Lululemon’s “stink-conquering technology,” using silver bonded to the surface of fibers to stop bacteria from reproducing. A T-shirt made from the material costs $68.

Leggings from market competitors use a similar strategy, promoting the versatile pants through branded fabric combinations. For Adidas, pants boast fabrics like its sweat-wicking Climalite material or the thermal-regulating Climacool and Climawarm to accommodate training conditions. Likewise, Nike’s Dri-Fit material keeps sweat at bay and trainers dry. Even Target’s C9-branded fitness collection flexes high-functioning fabrics: Freedom Fabric is a soft blend of polyester and spandex for lifestyle or fitness, while its Embrace Fabric hugs tight to the body for a cozy feel.

What was once a simple stretchy legging, it seems, has become an engineering marvel. Not too surprising, though, when you realize that about $48 billion is being spent on activewear in the U.S. every year.

Lululemon yoga pants.

Source: Lululemon

The story of a breakthrough product made by an upstart company that gets swallowed or crushed by America’s corporate behemoths is an old one. Lululemon is dead set on not letting that happen this time.

Tucked away in the basement of its Vancouver headquarters is a lab called Whitespace, the retailer’s research and development skunkworks. Here a team of about 50 employees works to come up with the brand’s next big idea. It’s developed lightweight seamless bras and made yoga pants with repurposed yarn combinations normally used in lingerie. The staff isn’t made up of just textile workers tasked with making new fabrics. It includes scientists as well as physiologists, mechanical engineers, neuroscientists and biomechanists.

Dr. Tom Waller, a sports technology Ph.D. whose work has been tested in everything from Olympic swimming to soccer’s World Cup, runs Whitespace. When it first opened six years ago, the R&D center was intended to explore what the company calls the “science of feel” and to better understand sensory experiences. “The mission at the time was to take some of our talent a little further into the future to explore human behavior and the macro trends shifting around us,” he said.

Yoga pants are tangible, but Waller aspires to the ethereal. He speaks of sweat as currency and using technology to unlock human potential. He talks about the “spectrum of sensory experience and desires” when describing the different kinds of fabrics Lululemon sells. “We unpack the physical, emotional and mental components of what it is to be human,” said Waller, “and then we drive the difference experiences of the sensory.”

“You have to be doing something pretty wrong to not have success in this type of product.”

Alexandra Plante, director of innovation management at Whitespace, is responsible for taking what she calls “duct tape prototypes” and turning them into actual products. With a background in materials engineering, she delves into fabrics, yarns and polymers. Years ago, research was limited to focus groups and feedback from store associates who would query their shoppers. Now there are fabric labs, especially in the athletic-wear space. Lululemon’s research arm does motion-capture testing and uses pressure sensors that allow researchers to test how garments work as they move. The team can even test “hand feel” to help it figure out how to “engineer sensations” for that critical commercial moment when you feel the fabric for the first time, said Plante.

Back when Lululemon sold nothing but Luon, the company saw customers using the pants for all sorts of workouts, including high-intensity training the fabric was never meant for. So after R&D identified how consumers wore them, and for what, Lululemon developed material specific to each activity—hence the creation of pants for runners or dancers. Even Luon itself, the company’s original fabric, is different from what it was 20 years ago after years of tweaks and integration of new tech.

This watch-and-learn strategy became a virtuous circle, one that helped the craze turn into a full-on commercial earthquake.

Mistakes have been made, including one that was inherently—and spectacularly—calamitous. In 2013, Lululemon recalled pants for being too sheer, attributing the see-through problem to a manufacturing error. The subsequent destruction of the pants resulted in a loss of $67 million in sales. Choe said that problem has since been solved.

Now that it has a spectrum of products suited for most every movement, Lululemon has opened a pair of stores for those customers interested in still-experimental items. One of them, located in downtown Manhattan (the other is in Vancouver), looks more like a fashion boutique than a place to buy gear for the gym or yoga studio.

A Lululemon store.

Source: Lululemon

Yoga, as you might know, had been doing just fine for thousands of years without a stretchy uniform. The rise of yoga pants owes a lot to simple timing. Lululemon appeared on the scene at the tail end of the (perhaps unfortunate) leggings revolution, right about the time longer-term trends were leaning toward more casual dress.

The practice of yoga, a trifecta of physical, mental and spiritual disciplines involving specific postures and movements with origins in ancient India, was first popularized as an exercise system in the West in the 1980s. It dropped off for a while, only to return more commercialized than ever in the early 2000s. A 2016 study from Yoga Journal found that more than 36 million people in the U.S. practice yoga, up from about 16 million eight years ago. Boutique fitness followed, as women (and more than a few men) flocked to sparkling new studios to work out in groups for SoulCycle spin classes, sweat at Barry’s Bootcamp or sculpt their cores at Pure Barre. None of these expensive fads has anything to do with yoga in practice, but yoga clearly blazed a trail for them—and the clothing their adherents wear.

The biggest businesses now in the athletic wear space have invested heavily in growing their womenswear lines—especially in developing new fabrics and features for the once-simple yoga pant. In 2014, Nike Inc. began working toward a $7 billion sales target for its women’s business, reporting almost $5 billion in revenue. Executives realized women were “driving a larger global movement of health and fitness.” A year later, the company reported that the global growth for women’s business was outpacing that of men. That same year, Adidas AG began directing its youth brand, Neo, toward younger women. The German sports giant even brought on former Lululemon Chief Executive Officer Christine Day as a strategic adviser.

 

Adidas quickly became a formidable threat to Lululemon’s dominance. Early steps turned into exclusive designs for women through the PureBoost X line, leading to an even larger emphasis on active tops and bottoms, using technology called Climachill and Techfit, both focused on women’s training. Last year, women’s sales for Adidas grew by 28 percent, making it one of the company’s strongest segments.

Active bottoms and leggings are now a $1 billion industry, according to NPD Group analyst Marshal Cohen. Their appeal to consumers has yielded rapid sales growth that shows no sign of going away, he said. Where Lululemon found success with female consumers by providing a niche product that could satisfy casual and active uses, major brands such as Adidas and Nike completed the picture, confirming just how strong the athleisure trend could be.

These days, there are more than 11,000 kinds of yoga-specific pants available at retailers worldwide, according to data from retail research firm Edited, across both men’s and women’s apparel.

“Now that this easy-to-fit, easy-to-find, easy-to-wear, easy-to-care-for product has emerged as a fashionable product at the same time, you’ve got the perfect storm,” Cohen said. “You have to be doing something pretty wrong to not have success in this type of product.”

majsdesaint Posted on October 31, 2018 14:46

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Africa

A selection of the best photos from across Africa and of Africans elsewhere in the world this week.

Image copyrightEPA

Image captionRich diamond fields in northern Angola, on the border with the Democratic Republic of Congo, are pictured from a helicopter on Saturday….

Image copyrightEPA

Image captionOver the last month, the authorities have forced more than 300,000 Congolese, including this woman on Saturday, to return home saying they have been digging for diamonds illegally.

Image copyrightREUTERS

Image captionOn Wednesday, a vendor in Senegal's capital, Dakar, takes a break by perching on a fisherman's pirogue.

Image copyrightREUTERS

Image captionOn the same day, Senegal's President Macky Sall chats with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman at a conference in Riyadh that went ahead despite the allegations that the country was behind Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi's killing.

Image copyrightEPA

Image captionBedouin men play music during a wedding in Egypt's Sinai region on Friday…

Image copyrightEPA

Image captionThree days later, tourists take photos as sunlight illuminates the face of a statue of Ramses II at a temple south of Aswan. It is a phenomenon that only happens twice a year.

Image copyrightREUTERS

Image captionNice Nailantei Leng'ete, a Kenyan activist who fights against female genital mutilation, stands on Friday to receive a top Spanish award - the Princess of Asturias 2018 for International Cooperation.

Image copyrightAFP

Image captionThe next day, a Rwandan model is pictured during an "Afro-futuristic" fashion show at the US University of New Hampshire…

Image copyrightAFP

Image captionIt was an opportunity for designers to showcase African outfits and styles that may be worn 1,000 years from now...

Image copyrightEPA

Image captionA show at South African Fashion Week in Johannesburg on Wednesday also has a futurist look…

Image copyrightAFP

Image captionBut in Mali's capital, Bamako, it was a throwback to flares at the We Wax the World fashion show on Saturday...

Image copyrightREUTERS

Image captionAnd not to be outdone on the fashion front, Ethiopia's Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed turns up in parliament looking dapper on Thursday.

Image copyrightEPA

Image captionCameroonians in material showing the face of President Paul Biya celebrate his election victory in the capital, Yaounde, on Monday.

Image copyrightREUTERS

Image captionSouth Sudanese prisoners of war walk out of jail in the capital, Juba, on Thursday - as part of a peace deal signed last month.

Image copyrightAFP

Image captionOn Tuesday, men in Tunisia's capital, Tunis, look at a film poster for Papa Hedi, dedicated to the famous singer Hedi Jouini and directed by his granddaughter Claire.

Image copyrightEPA

Image captionA young surfer rides a wave at sunrise near Cape Town in South Africa on Thursday.

Image captionAnd fans of the winner of Sierra Leone's Big Sister reality TV show cheer her on as she takes part in a victory parade in the capital, Freetown, on Thursday.

majsdesaint Posted on October 31, 2018 14:29

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Three-time Olympic gold medalist forced to apologise for 'insensitive' Halloween costume

Olympic gold medal-winning snowboarder Shaun White has offered an apology after he was criticised for dressing up as the maligned character 'Simple Jack' for Halloween. 

The 32-year-old, who has won three gold medals at the Winter Olympics, posted a picture of himself on Instagram as the intellectually disabled character, who was originally portrayed by Ben Stiller in the 2008 movie Tropic Thunder.

Although the character was supposed to mock attempts by actors and filmmakers who win awards with so-called Oscar-bait, many at the time felt that it missed the mark and was nothing more than insensitive. 

White, who has since deleted the image, was condemned by his followers on Instagram for the outfit. Furthermore, he faced criticism from the representatives from the Special Olympics.

Speaking to HuffPost, Soeren Palumbo, the senior director of global youth engagement at Special Olympics, said that they were "disappointed" with White.

We are truly disappointed that Shaun White, an acclaimed Olympian, would choose this costume which is so offensive and causes so much pain.

Disability is not a joke nor should it be a punchline. We hope that Shaun White and others learn that this just continues stigma, stereotypes and discrimination.

In response to the story, Stiller, who also directed the movie, also apologised, which is something he did when Tropic Thunder was first released, but clarified he stood by White and the Special Olympics.

https://www.indy100.com/article/halloween-2018-costume-shaun-white-special-olympic-simple-jack-outfit-8610011

ruby Posted on October 31, 2018 13:28

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Eddie Hall weight loss: This is how the World’s Strongest Man champion shed 5st

EDDIE HALL weighed 30.9st before vowing to live a healthier life. Here is how the former World’s Strongest Man lost 5st. Eddie Hall, 30, walked away with the World’s Strongest Man title in 2017. However, after becoming a champion he vowed to go on a strict weight loss diet because he “wanted to live a healthier life” for his family. At his heaviest he tipped the scales at 30.9st, but described it as “torture”. To maintain his beefy physique Eddie had to eat 12,500 calories a day, which included two full English breakfasts with five sausages in the morning. But he recently revealed his dramatic weight loss on Instagram, comparing his 30.9st body to his 25.8st body.

So how did The Beast manage to trim down?

The strongman kept up with his traditional weight-lifting sessions.

However, he managed to shed 5st by following a strict weight-loss plan coupled with lots of cardio.

In September Eddie said: “Been training really hard recently and I’m mega fired and hungry for success.”

Eddie Hall shares incredible workout routine after weight loss

Eddie Hall weight loss: He has lost 5st in total (Pic: INSTAGRAM / Eddie Hall)

He is doing five cardio sessions a week including “boxing, cycling, swimming and HIIT training”. This is in addition to his four weight-training sessions. Speaking about his weight loss, he said: “I’m sitting around 26 stone and think this is my stable weight now, il carry on loosing fat and keep gaining muscle at this weight all being well. “ Eddie also credits his weight loss to a product called Oblivion, which he dubs “the best product I’ve ever come across in the industry thus far”. Oblivion is a protein product with zero carbs, sugar and fat.

In May, Eddie revealed he wouldn’t be competing in anymore World’s Strongest Man competitions, as he felt the “sun was setting” on his life.

He wrote on Instagram: “For the people that keep asking why I don’t compete at the World’s Strongest Man anymore… Simple: I choose to live a healthier life now and enjoy the fruits of my labour.

“I felt as though the sun was beginning to set on my life and I needed to start swimming back from dark waters to start to see sunlight again.”

Eddie Hall weight loss: At his heaviest he weighed 30.9st (Pic: INSTAGRAM / Eddie Hall)

Appearing on This Morning in 2017, he revealed the key to his weight loss. Eddie said: “Cardio training for big guys is unique, you have to adapt it so that you don’t lose muscle and you don’t tire out. “Using methods to not only improve your cardiovascular system but also help your body to recover after weight sessions by shifting lactic acid, helping the tendons, ligaments and muscles to repair.”

jmparker Posted on October 31, 2018 13:12

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Gordon Ramsay's father-in-law jailed for six months for hacking chef's computer

Gordon Ramsay's father-in-law has started a six-month prison sentence for computer hacking as part of a bitter feud with the firebrand celebrity chef which has lasted the best part of a decade.

The spat between the outspoken and profane restaurateur and former business partner Chris Hutcheson has been played out in very public settings, including courtrooms and the news pages.

In the latest twist Hutcheson, 69, was jailed on Wednesday for conspiring with sons Adam Hutcheson, 47, and Chris Hutcheson Junior, 37, to access the F-Word star and other Gordon Ramsay Holdings Limited staff emails hundreds of times over the space of five months in 2010 and 2011.

As well as his prison term, the almost decade-long legal fall-out from the men's feud has cost Hutcheson Senior, the father of Ramsay's wife Tana, more than £2 million in damages and legal costs, the Old Bailey heard.

The hack included accessing information regarding Ramsay's intellectual property rights and other material which might give them the upper hand in their legal spat and embarrass the star.

Stories about a "hair transplant" and a "fishing trip" later appeared in the newspapers, the court heard - something Hutcheson Senior denied responsibility for, via his lawyer.

Jailing him on Wednesday, Judge John Bevan QC said: "The whole episode of five months amounts to an unattractive and unedifying example of dirty linen being washed in public."

On one day alone in February 2011, the court heard, Hutcheson Senior accessed the system 600 times and Adam Hutcheson 282 times, the court heard.

After their actions were discovered, Hutcheson Senior told his son Chris in an email: "Guess we have been rumbled. Bit late though."

Both Ramsay and his father-in-law dipped into their own pockets in a bid to keep it afloat, with accounts at the time showing the celebrity chef put £3.5 million into the business, while Hutcheson gave £1.5 million.

Hutcheson was sacked in October 2010 after 12 years at Ramsay's side, with the Scot telling Daily Mail weeks later his mother-in-law had told Tana to "get rid of Gordon", something that "tipped me over the edge".

In an open letter to the Standard he accused Hutcheson Senior of running the business as "a dictator", with the older man's friends counter-claiming the rift had been caused by the fiery Scot choosing "to lock him out of the office without notice".

In 2011, Ramsay's lawyers won a High Court ruling allowing Hutcheson Senior's computer to be searched over the hack.

Later that year, details of Hutcheson Senior's private life emerged in a separate hearing at the High Court, which rejected his bid for privacy over allegations published in tabloid newspapers that he had fathered two children by a mistress.

Prosecutor Julian Christopher QC told the Old Bailey on Wednesday that after the civil case ended in 2012 there had been something of a reconciliation and as a result Mr and Mrs Ramsay had withdrawn their support for the the criminal prosecution earlier this year.

Hutcheson Senior, of Earlsfield, Hutcheson Junior, from Welwyn Garden City, Hertfordshire, and Adam Hutcheson, from Sevenoaks, in Kent, admitted conspiring to cause a computer to access programmes and data without authority at a hearing in April.

Mr Christopher told the court what had been taken was items including photos "provided to the press which led to considerable intrusion into the privacy of the family".

The hack also saw Hutcheson Junior use Mr Ramsay's own email account to send out a photograph which he had earlier given a legal undertaking not to disseminate on privacy grounds, an illegal move Judge Bevan said was "close to an attempt to pervert the course of justice".

Hutcheson Senior's lawyer Michael Borrelli said the older man had already paid Mr Ramsay more than £1 million in damages and legal costs relating to the civil case, plus his own legal fees of around £1 million and other costs of more than £100,000.

He claimed his client had carried out the hack partly to obtain information about his financial interest in the company.

Mr Borrelli said Mr Ramsay had made a police statement against his client as recently as February 2016 and described the chef's contact with the Crown Prosecution Service shortly before the trio's guilty plea in April as a "publicity stunt to appear to be wanting to disengage".

https://www.independent.co.uk/News/uk/home-news/gordon-ramsay-father-in-law-chris-hutcheson-jailed-computer-hacking-family-feud-a7778311.ht

 

ruby Posted on October 31, 2018 13:04

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Hillary Clinton mocks host for confusing two black people: 'I know, they all look alike'

In a new interview, Hillary Clinton ribbed a moderator for confusing two black politicians by deadpanning: “I know, they all look alike.” 

Kara Swisher, host of the show Recode Decode, had asked Hillary Clinton how she had felt about the comment “when [Republicans] go low, we kick them,” which Swisher accidentally attributed to Senator Cory Booker. 

Mrs Clinton corrected Swisher, pointing out that it was actually Eric Holder, a former Obama administration official, who had said that. Both Mr Booker and Mr Holder are African American men, and Mrs Clinton quipped, “Yeah, I know they all look alike.” The audience responded with laughter and applause. 

Swisher responded quickly, saying: "No, they don't." Hillary then said: "I was paid by Mark Zuckerberg to do that," an apparent reference to a recent awkward interview between the Facebook founder and Swisher.

Holder is an active member of the youth mentoring organisation Concerned Black Men and was the first African American to hold the position of Deputy Attorney General of the United States. This year, Cory Booker and Kamala Harris became the first black members of the Senate Judiciary Committee since the 1990’s. 

The comment about “kicking” republicans that caused the confusion was in reference to the common phrase “when they go low, we go high.” Holder had explained that he meant that the democratic party had to start being more tough on republicans, instead of always taking the high road. He also clarified that he didn’t mean that democrats should do anything illegal or illicit. 

Similarly, Mrs Clinton had said in an interview earlier this month that “you cannot be civil with a political party that wants to destroy what you stand for.” 

During the Recode interview, Mrs Clinton also discussed the pipe bombs found in the mail recently, China’s artificial intelligence technology, and the fact that Mrs Clinton does not plan to run for president in the 2020 election, but she does want to be president.

Neither Mr Booker, Mr Holder, or Mrs Clinton have tweeted a statement about the mix-up. Mrs Swisher retweeted a clip of the incident. 

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/us-politics/hillary-clinton-black-people-look-alike-interview-comment-cory-booker-eric-holder-a

ruby Posted on October 31, 2018 12:59

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Rita Ora turns Marilyn Monroe for risqué lingerie snap

RITA Ora has channeled her inner Marilyn Monroe. One woman who never fails to turn heads is Rita Ora, particularly with the contents of her latest selfie. As the Lonely Together singer celebrated winning a VMA, she shared one of her raunchier selfies. Posing in silk lingerie, Rita channeled her inner Marilyn Monroe as she posed in a similar fashion to the '50s icon. While the silk bodice hugged at her curves and allowed her assets to fill out the chest, the blonde beauty flashed a hint of her thighs.

Taking it back to the '50s, Rita debuted a side curl style as she looked like the ultimate pin-up doll. Opting for a brown hue on her eyes filled out with a speck of glitter and cat-eye flick, the babe looked fifty shades of sexy. Finishing the glam look with a subtle gloss, Rita's fans flooded in over the sexy snap. In a celebratory post, Rita wrote: "Look what arrived today… My VMA for Best Dance Video for Lonely Together!

UNDERWEAR: Rita's lingerie snap was before she put on her jaw-dropping outfit (Pic: WENN)

"Thank you to everyone at MTV and all involved on the making of the video and the song and of course our incredibly talented friend Avicii. This is for you."

Fans flooded in to gush over the snap, with the award-winning singer hitting 286k likes at the time of publication.

As thousands of commenters filled up her snap, one user wrote: "This is seriously the sexiest picture ever."

While another added: "Perfect in every way."

DUET: Rita and Liam performed For You together (Pic: WENN)

A third fan chirped: "Beautiful woman. You deserve this and so many more, congratulations." The snap came just before Rita did a show in Westfield, London, for its 10th birthday celebration. Rocking a white two-piece, the lingerie was part of the under garments for the glittered outfit. The babe owned the stage before rushing off to her second show, ready to wow the crowd for the second time that evening.

jmparker Posted on October 31, 2018 12:44

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Home Office blocks US resident from entering UK to see daughter suffering from advanced ovarian cancer

A mother has been blocked from seeing her seriously ill daughter after immigration officials refused to grant her a visa to enter the UK because they were “not satisfied” her intentions are genuine.

Fateha Begum, a 61-year-old Bangladeshi national who has residency in the US, was told she could not come to Britain to see Tunazzina Nizu, who has recurrent ovarian cancer, on the grounds that she may not leave the UK at the end of her visit.

Lawyers branded the case an illustration of “the unlawful refusal culture” within the Home Office and accused officials of “systematically undermining” immigration rules as part of an extension of the hostile environment.

In her visa application, Ms Begum, who spends half her time living in the US and the other living in Bangladesh, included financial evidence that she would be accommodated during her six-week visit and that her flight costs would be covered.

She also included a letter from her daughter’s NHS oncologist who confirmed the cancer diagnosis, describing Ms Nizu’s condition as “very serious”.

But the decision letter from the Home Office, which provided no right to appeal, cast doubt over her reason for wanting to enter the UK, and said it was not satisfied that she was a “genuine visitor”.

Ms Nizu, who lives in Dagenham with her husband and two young children and is currently in Queen’s hospital, has undergone two unsuccessful rounds of chemotherapy. She is due to begin radiotherapy, but because of a failed kidney this has been delayed.

She said: “I just want to see my mum. I speak to her on the phone every day and she’s just crying. It’s not the same on the phone. My mum won’t stay in the UK, she has a house in Bangladesh. She’s settled there. She only wants to come for a few weeks. I just want to see her.”

Support free-thinking journalism and subscribe to Independent Minds

Ms Begum’s lawyer Jan Doerfel, who is threatening judicial review over the refusal, said the case illustrated how the Home Office “systematically fails” to apply immigration rules as part of a “quest to keep numbers low at all costs including human tragedy and sacrificing the rule of law.”

He added: “The refusal of the visa to my client is not only unlawful and inhumane, but it once again illustrates the unlawful refusal culture within the Home Office which systematically undermine and fail to apply the immigration rules as part of an extension of the hostile environment.”

The Home Office said Ms Begum’s application was refused because it did not meet requirements, but that the decision was being reviewed on compassionate grounds.

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/mother-daughter-home-office-rejects-visa-cancer-hospital-bangladesh-a8608931.html

ruby Posted on October 31, 2018 12:40

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Demi Lovato to stay in rehab for rest of 2018 with ‘long road ahead of her’

DEMI Lovato is taking sobriety extremely seriously and will remain in rehab for the rest of 2018, according to US reports. It is no secret that Demi Lovato has struggled with addiction since she was a teenager, entering a treatment facility in 2010 for ‘physical and emotional issues’. Pulling out of the Jonas Brothers' live tour at the time, it was reported that she sort treatment after allegedly punching female dancer Alex Welch – a claim Demi later confirmed. Since then,  the 26-year-old has been on a rollercoaster, fighting to keep her addictions and eating disorder at bay, recording her battles in a book Staying Strong: 365 Days a Year and in a YouTube documentary Demi Lovato: Simply Complicated. Sadly things took a turn for the worse earlier this year when she suffered an overdose and was rushed to Cedars-Sinai hospital in LA.

At the time, it was widely reported that Demi had taken heroin. However, it was later revealed her overdose was triggered by oxycodone laced with fentanyl. Fentanyl – an opioid used as pain medication – is currently under the media spotlight for its use as a recreational drug and the rise in deaths across the globe, including Prince, Lil Peep and Tom Petty. Earlier this month, the Sorry Not Sorry singer’s mother Dianna De La Garza revealed on the Sirius XM show that Demi has celebrated 90 days sober. Opening up she said: “Yes, she has 90 days and I couldn’t be more thankful or more proud of her because addiction, being a disease, is work. It’s very hard, it’s not easy and there are no short cuts.”

DOING WELL: Demi Lovato is reportedly to be dong well and will stay in rehab until 2019 (Pic: DEMI LOVATO/INSTAGRAM)

HEARTFELT: Demi Lovato left a intimate statement shortly after her overdose (Pic: DEMI LOVATO/INSTAGRAM)

Taking her recovery very seriously, the brunette is standing strong and has decided to stay in rehab at least until the end of 2018, according to an Entertainment Tonight source. The insider said: “Demi is taking her sobriety extremely serious and knows she has a long road ahead of her.“Demi is thankful she’s still alive and is doing whatever she can to never get to that point again.”Her fans couldn’t be more proud, pouring their hearts out once more on Twitter.

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OPEN: Demi Lovato has always been very open about her struggles. sharing all in her book (Pic: DEMI LOVATO/INSTAGRAM)

One sent their heartfelt wishes: “I want to say I’m proud of Demi for fighting and taking her sobriety seriously. I’m glad she’s focusing on her health. She should take all the time she needs. She is going to come back stronger.”Another gushed: “I miss Demi Lovato so much. I hope she is doing good and feeling stronger than ever. Can’t wait for you to come back to use.”A third simply said: “Demi Lovato is a goddess, that is all.”

jmparker Posted on October 31, 2018 12:39

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Jeremy Corbyn sets out plans to 'end government control' of BBC

Jeremy Corbyn will set out proposals to “end government control” over the BBCand allow the public to elect the corporation’s board members.

His plans would also see tech giants taxed to supplement the current income the BBC gets from TV licences and to pay for local “public interest journalism”.

The Labour leader will outline the plans in a speech looking at how he could reshape the country’s media, which he will claim is dominated by a “few tech giants and unaccountable billionaires”.

Other measures will include funding local public interest journalism and even giving charitable status to some groups undertaking it.

It comes after Mr Corbyn’s latest spat with the British media over stories about him attending a wreath laying ceremony in Tunisia where controversial Palestinian militants are buried.

The Labour leader will pledge to put the BBC on a permanent footing, meaning ministers in the government of the day would no longer be able to use charter renewal negotiations as leverage over the BBC’s actions.

Mr Corbyn said: “If we want an independent BBC, we should consider setting it free by placing it on a permanent statutory footing, with a new independent body setting the licence fee.

“The licence fee itself is another potential area for modernisation. In the digital age, we should consider whether a digital licence fee could be a fairer and more effective way to fund the BBC.”

He explained that the digital fee would be collected from “tech giants and internet service providers, who extract huge wealth” from the internet.

Another proposal would see some places on the national BBC board directly elected by licence fee payers.

Mr Corbyn will add: “To help decentralise the BBC, national and regional boards could be expanded, with election by BBC staff and local licence fee payers.

He is to say: “We should look at granting charitable status for some local, investigative and public interest journalism.

“That status would greatly help pioneering not-for-profit organisations, like the Bureau of Investigative Journalism, to fund their vital work through tax exemptions, grants and donations.”

Mr Corbyn also said he is ready to look at “a windfall tax on the digital monopolies” to give money to groups undertaking local journalism.

These groups – be they local co-ops, regional press or some not-for-profit organisations – could also apply for charitable status in order to save money on tax and attract grants.

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/jeremy-corbyn-bbc-tv-bias-government-control-journalism-labour-party-a8503166.html

ruby Posted on October 31, 2018 12:24

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Lionel Messi vs Cristiano Ronaldo: Neymar says one is his IDOL but the other is a MONSTER

LIONEL MESSI is Neymar’s idol, the Paris St-Germain star has revealed. The duo formed part of the infamous ‘MSN’ strike force at Barcelona alongside Luis Suarez. Neymar departed the Nou Camp for Lique 1 in the summer of 2017 but his admiration for Messi remains enormous. The Argentine star has been involved in a running battle for supremacy with Cristiano Ronaldo for years. Ronaldo also left La Liga behind when he quit Real Madrid for Juventus in a shock transfer last summer.

Neymar says he relates to both stars and he believes the Portuguese legend’s hunger drives him to be one of the best.“I played with Messi, who is, for me, one of the greatest footballers of all time, and he is my idol in football,” he said.“With Messi, I learned every day, whether during our practice, or playing with him, or just watching him play.“That made me stronger and it increased my capacity on the field because I kept learning a lot from him.

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Lionel Messi and Neymar in their Nou Camp spell together (Pic: GETTY)

”As for Cristiano, he is a monster. Facing him is a pleasure and an honour, but we have to be more prepared.

“He is one of the greatest in football, so you get smarter, you get alert, but at the same time you learn a lot, too.

”So, they are two of the big guys that I can relate to, because I want to learn,

“I want more, I want to win, I want more trophies, score more goals. So, I keep learning from them every day.”

Messi missed Sunday’s El Clasico 5-1 demolition of Real Madrid with a fractured arm.

Suarez scored a hat-trick as Barca ran riot at the Nou Camp, with the game proving to be Julen Lopetegui’s last game in charge. Santiago Solari has been named caretaker Real Madrid boss while the hunt for a permanent replacement continues. Man Utd manager Jose Mourinho and former Chelsea head coach Antonio Conte are reportedly in the frame for the role.

jmparker Posted on October 31, 2018 11:48

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WWE star shares brave photo of ‘head-to-toe skin disease’

A STUNNING former WWE star has bravely shared a photo of her “head-to-toe” skin condition.Tenille Dashwood competed on NXT and the main roster as Emma for five years. In NXT, she became massively popular for her bubbly character and solid wrestling skills. However, the blonde Australian struggled after being called up to the main roster, and was eventually released last year. Since leaving WWE, she has flourished on the independent circuit, wrestling under her own name. But the beauty recently revealed she was scaling back on her bookings due to a number of serious health issues. One of these was psoriasis, an autoimmune disease covering her skin a nasty rash. As she awaits her return to the ring, she bravely shared a picture of her condition on Instagram. She wrote: “I’ve contemplated whether I should share these pictures.

BRAVE: Tenille Dashwood shared pictures of her skin condition (Pic: INSTAGRAM/TENILLE-DASHWOOD)

“Vulnerability is terrifying. Growing up, I never pictured myself suffering from an auto immune disease and being covered from head to toe with a skin condition.”She added: “My entire body was covered, in these photo the red spots had started to calm.“The white spots were the result of red marks resolving and causing loss of pigmentation.“The even more extreme photos I have are reminders of how far I’ve come and that things could be worse.”

IMPROVING: Tenille Dashwood said she was on the mend from the condition (Pic: INSTAGTAM/TENILLE-DASHWOOD)

WORST: Tenille shared photos of the disease at its worst (Pic: INSTAGRAM/TENILLE-DASHWOOD)

COMEBACK: Tenille Dashwood vowed to return to the ring (Pic: INSTAGRAM/TENILLE-DASHWOOD)

Tenille’s fans were quick to praise her bravery and wished her a speedy recovery. Big Chris LFC wrote: “You showed bravery and strength in sharing this.“I have nothing but love and respect for you.”Thomas Macarthur added: “Wish you the best, you’re still beautiful to me.”Martin FNS also wrote: “So brave of you to share and these photos are amazing.”

jmparker Posted on October 31, 2018 10:40

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You found a 100L Bag and found a genie and he tells you he'll fill the bag with whatever item you wish and you can keep it, so long as you can carry it for one mile. What would you fill the bag with?

You found a 100L Bag and found a genie that lives in it and he tells you he'll fill the bag with whatever item you wish and you can keep it, so long as you can carry it for two kilometres. What would you fill the bag with and have $100,000 at the end of the day?

Best answers wins PAXEXcode.

paxex Posted on October 31, 2018 10:31

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Manchester City edges out Tottenham Hotspur on awful Wembley pitch

CNN)Manchester City moved back to the top of the Premier League on goal difference after edging out Tottenham Hotspur in a match played on an awful Wembley pitch.

Riyad Mahrez scored the only goal of the game but Monday's match will be remembered as much for the almost comical playing surface.

 

Tottenham was supposed to be in their new stadium for this fixture but delays in the building process meant the club was forced to use a tired-looking Wembley pitch instead.

England's national stadium had hosted an NFL match between the Jacksonville Jaguars and Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday and ground staff had a little over 30 hours between the two kick-offs.

Despite their efforts, both flanks were visibly cut up and the large NFL logo in the center circle served as a constant reminder as to why the pitch made life harder than usual for the 22 players on Monday.

Wembley hosted an NFL match on Sunday.

Read: Julen Lopetegui sacked by Real Madrid

Read: Leicester City Football Club confirms owner's death in helicopter crash

Mahrez in Leicester tribute

Mauricio Pochettino had joked that the pitch might help his side against their in-form opponents but Spurs' luck was out as the visitors made a blistering start.

Mahrez's goal arrived after some uncharacteristic direct build-up play from Pep Guardiola's side -- perhaps due to the pitch.

Goalkeeper Ederson, usually happy to pass the ball out from the back, pumped the ball long down the field. Kieran Trippier misread his header, allowing Raheem Sterling to dart through on goal. The winger had time and space to square the ball to the Algerian for a simple tap-in.

Mahrez pointed to the sky during the celebrations, a tribute to his former club Leicester City who are mourning the death of owner Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha following a tragic helicopter accident on Saturday.

"It's been very difficult for me," Mahrez told Sky Sports after the game. "The boss was very special to me," he added, referring to Srivaddhanaprabha.

"I have many memories of him. He was such a good person, such a good human and that's why I put my hands up in the air. He did a lot for me and for Leicester. He was like a Dad to me. He was very, very special."

Had it been a better pitch, Erik Lamela might have found a late equalizer. Dele Alli sprung free from the midfield and seemingly set up the winger perfectly but the Argentine saw his effort clear the crossbar.

On a closer look, the ball did appear to take a bobble before Lamela made contact.

Manchester City celebrate after Mahrez's goal.

An awful pitch

The court of social media ridiculed the playing conditions for one of the biggest Premier League games of the season.

 

On many occasions the ball bounced awkwardly and conditions were clearly far from the standard expected in the English Premier League.

Despite this, some failed to see what all the fuss was about.

 

Visit cnn.com/football for more news and videos

Both teams decided to rest star players from their starting line-ups. Tottenham began without Christian Eriksen and Manchester City without Kevin de Bruyne -- although both were second-half substitutes.

Both have struggled with injuries this season and their managers may have erred on the side of caution with such an uneven playing surface.

Luke Posted on October 30, 2018 17:04

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Floyd Mayweather Jr. should face Khabib Nurmagomedov in 'real' UFC fight, says Dana White

CNN)UFC president Dana White has fueled speculation of fight between Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Khabib Nurmagomedov, but wants it to happen in the octagon.

The Russian, who recently beat Conor McGregor on his long-awaited return to mixed martial arts, triggered rumors of a mega-fight with Mayweather after calling out the former boxer.

 

The 41-year-old Mayweather, who came out of retirement for in 2017 to beat UFC's McGregor in a money-spinning bout, has also teased the possibility of fighting for Nurmagomedov.

The boxing great has fought 50 professional fights without defeat; the younger Russian has a 27-0 record.

But White is not keen for another of his star fighters to make the switch to boxing again.

"If Mayweather wants to fight, come fight in the UFC," White said to TMZ.

"We're not boxing again. We did that once, it's over. You wanna fight? You come fight, a real fight."

UFC president Dana White is not keen for another of his fighters to make the switch to boxing.

Photos: Mayweather finishes McGregor in 10th round

McGregor started running out of steam later in the fight, and Mayweather capitalized in the 10th round.

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Photos: Mayweather finishes McGregor in 10th round

Referee Robert Byrd stopped the fight in the 10th after a wobbly McGregor took several hard shots and wasn't throwing punches.

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Mayweather and his father celebrate the victory.

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The two combatants embrace after the fight.

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Photos: Mayweather finishes McGregor in 10th round

Demi Lovato sang the national anthem before the fight.

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Photos: Mayweather finishes McGregor in 10th round

McGregor entered the arena first, draped in the Irish flag.

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Photos: Mayweather finishes McGregor in 10th round

Mayweather came out in all black and wore a mask.

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Photos: Mayweather finishes McGregor in 10th round

There were many celebrities on hand to watch the fight, including basketball star LeBron James. Behind James is boxing legend Mike Tyson.

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Actress Jennifer Lopez and her boyfriend, former baseball star Alex Rodriguez, take in the fight.

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Photos: Mayweather finishes McGregor in 10th round

Actress Charlize Theron sits close to ringside.

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Photos: Mayweather finishes McGregor in 10th round

A fan waves an Irish flag before the start of the fight.

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Photos: Mayweather finishes McGregor in 10th round

Floyd Mayweather Jr. lands a right hand against Conor McGregor during their boxing match in Las Vegas on Saturday, August 26. Mayweather stopped McGregor in the 10th round, collecting his 50th victory in what he said will be the last fight of his undefeated pro career. It was the first pro boxing match for McGregor, a mixed martial artist who is the UFC's lightweight champion.

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Photos: Mayweather finishes McGregor in 10th round

McGregor lands an uppercut early in the bout. He came out aggressive and took the fight to Mayweather in the first few rounds.

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Photos: Mayweather finishes McGregor in 10th round

McGregor sticks his tongue out at Mayweather during an early exchange.

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Photos: Mayweather finishes McGregor in 10th round

McGregor swarms Mayweather at the start of the fight.

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Photos: Mayweather finishes McGregor in 10th round

The much-anticipated fight was held at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.

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Photos: Mayweather finishes McGregor in 10th round

After a typically slow start, Mayweather started to force the action more in the middle rounds.

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Photos: Mayweather finishes McGregor in 10th round

McGregor might have lacked in experience, but he had a clear size advantage.

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Photos: Mayweather finishes McGregor in 10th round

There were several awkward exchanges when McGregor would end up behind Mayweather.

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Photos: Mayweather finishes McGregor in 10th round

The two fighters trade punches in the middle of the fight.

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Photos: Mayweather finishes McGregor in 10th round

Mayweather landed more punches than McGregor -- 130-60 -- in rounds six through 10. McGregor had a 51-40 edge in the first five rounds.

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Photos: Mayweather finishes McGregor in 10th round

McGregor started running out of steam later in the fight, and Mayweather capitalized in the 10th round.

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Photos: Mayweather finishes McGregor in 10th round

Referee Robert Byrd stopped the fight in the 10th after a wobbly McGregor took several hard shots and wasn't throwing punches.

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Photos: Mayweather finishes McGregor in 10th round

Mayweather and his father celebrate the victory.

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Photos: Mayweather finishes McGregor in 10th round

The two combatants embrace after the fight.

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Photos: Mayweather finishes McGregor in 10th round

Demi Lovato sang the national anthem before the fight.

Hide Caption

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Photos: Mayweather finishes McGregor in 10th round

McGregor entered the arena first, draped in the Irish flag.

Hide Caption

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Photos: Mayweather finishes McGregor in 10th round

Mayweather came out in all black and wore a mask.

Hide Caption

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Photos: Mayweather finishes McGregor in 10th round

There were many celebrities on hand to watch the fight, including basketball star LeBron James. Behind James is boxing legend Mike Tyson.

Hide Caption

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Photos: Mayweather finishes McGregor in 10th round

Actress Jennifer Lopez and her boyfriend, former baseball star Alex Rodriguez, take in the fight.

Hide Caption

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Photos: Mayweather finishes McGregor in 10th round

Actress Charlize Theron sits close to ringside.

Hide Caption

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Photos: Mayweather finishes McGregor in 10th round

A fan waves an Irish flag before the start of the fight.

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Photos: Mayweather finishes McGregor in 10th round

Floyd Mayweather Jr. lands a right hand against Conor McGregor during their boxing match in Las Vegas on Saturday, August 26. Mayweather stopped McGregor in the 10th round, collecting his 50th victory in what he said will be the last fight of his undefeated pro career. It was the first pro boxing match for McGregor, a mixed martial artist who is the UFC's lightweight champion.

Hide Caption

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Photos: Mayweather finishes McGregor in 10th round

McGregor lands an uppercut early in the bout. He came out aggressive and took the fight to Mayweather in the first few rounds.

Hide Caption

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Photos: Mayweather finishes McGregor in 10th round

McGregor sticks his tongue out at Mayweather during an early exchange.

Hide Caption

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Photos: Mayweather finishes McGregor in 10th round

McGregor swarms Mayweather at the start of the fight.

Hide Caption

4 of 21

Photos: Mayweather finishes McGregor in 10th round

The much-anticipated fight was held at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.

Hide Caption

5 of 21

Photos: Mayweather finishes McGregor in 10th round

After a typically slow start, Mayweather started to force the action more in the middle rounds.

Hide Caption

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Photos: Mayweather finishes McGregor in 10th round

McGregor might have lacked in experience, but he had a clear size advantage.

Hide Caption

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Photos: Mayweather finishes McGregor in 10th round

There were several awkward exchanges when McGregor would end up behind Mayweather.

Hide Caption

8 of 21

Photos: Mayweather finishes McGregor in 10th round

The two fighters trade punches in the middle of the fight.

Hide Caption

9 of 21

Photos: Mayweather finishes McGregor in 10th round

Mayweather landed more punches than McGregor -- 130-60 -- in rounds six through 10. McGregor had a 51-40 edge in the first five rounds.

Hide Caption

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Photos: Mayweather finishes McGregor in 10th round

McGregor started running out of steam later in the fight, and Mayweather capitalized in the 10th round.

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READ: UFC's Khabib Nurmagomedov targets Mayweather bout

READ: Dana White suggests UFC 'never going to change' after trash talk fuels ugly brawl

Lingering suspension

Nurmagomedov is currently suspended from fighting in the UFC after the ugly scenes that followed his fight with "Notorious" last month.

After forcing the Irishman to tap out, Nurmagomedov and his team launched an assault on McGregor and his team.

The Nevada State Athletic Commission, which governs the sport, unanimously ruled to uphold the fighters' suspensions last week until the end of its investigation.

Khabib Nurmagomedov is suspended from the UFC after the ugly scenes that followed last fight.

Visit cnn.com/sport for more news and videos

Despite the suspension, White has already suggested the Russian should face American lightweight Tony Ferguson before thinking of a fight with Mayweather.

"Tony Ferguson is the right fight," he said. "It's the fight to make. It obviously depends on the suspension and what happens, we'll see."

Luke Posted on October 30, 2018 17:01

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Leicester City: Healing a broken city after 'horrific time for everybody'

By Aimee Lewis, CNN

 

Updated 1128 GMT (1928 HKT) October 30, 2018

 
 
 

Leicester, England (CNN)No words can soothe heartbreak, which is why Leicester has fallen silent. It is a city stunned, a city grieving.

On an October day cold enough to freeze breath, little was said as players and staff of Leicester City gathered, heads bowed, outside the King Power Stadium to observe the ever-increasing field of flowers, shirts and scarves now serving as a memorial to the club's owner Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha.

 

Amid the hushed tones and the rustling of cellophane wrappers containing countless flowers, the former England international Jamie Vardy placed a consoling arm around Srivaddhanaprabha's son, Aiyawatt, as the pair gazed at the messages written in tribute to the beloved billionaire killed in a helicopter crash on Saturday.

With emotions still raw, it was a warm, instinctive gesture from the club's leading striker, comforting a young man who, in tragic circumstances, is expected to continue his father's legacy.

READ: Fans mourn a 'great human being'

Aiyawatt Srivaddhanaprabha, son of the late Leicester City owner Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha, stands with Jamie Vardy

"I hope Aiyawatt takes encouragement from the fact that we're broken as a club, broken as a city, but we've come together before," journalist and Leicester city fan Geoff Peters told CNN Sport. "We came together when we won the Premier League and we'll come together again."

Kasper Schmeichel, one of the English Premier League club's longest-serving players, a goalkeeper signed under Srivaddhanaprabha's ownership, had led the players as they lined up around the periphery of the tributes. The Dane had apparently seen the fallen helicopter in flames on the perimeter of the stadium in the hours after the league match with West Ham.

First, he sunk his face into his coat and, as the 31-year-old allowed himself to read some of the messages of condolences which had spread around a large picture of the man Schmeichel himself has said "gave hope to everyone that the impossible was possible," he covered his mouth with his hand, overwhelmed with grief. It will take time for these wounds to heal.

A portrait of Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha surrounded by a sea of tributes

There was none of the boisterousness associated with a crowd of this size which usually ambles outside this East Midlands ground. Those who spoke did so at a whisper. Though hundreds encircled the players, there were no barriers separating dazed fans from the soccer stars who were given space to silently pay their respects before applause briefly rippled around the congregation.

The sense of loss palpable, this is a family tragedy which has affected a city, affected sport.

Before morning had turned into the bitterest of afternoons, the 12 boys trapped for 18 days in a flooded cave in Thailand had come to pay their respects, laying a wreath on the concourse and bowing their heads in unison. Their gesture generating tears on a day when it was difficult not to weep.

 

Srivaddhanaprabha death has touched many. Among the impromptu shrine of flowers and candles were not only garments in the Leicester blue, but Liverpool and Juventus shirts, a Celtic flag placed on the railings, a message from the city's rugby team. Nottingham Forest and Aston Villa fans, regional rivals united in grief, had left messages too, while a Wolverhampton Wanderers fan had taken the day off to travel an hour and to pay his respects to a billionaire who had transformed not only a football club but a city.

Scribbled on hundreds of scarves and shirts were the words "thank you," simple yet emotive, evoking memories of Leicester's against-all-odds Premier League triumph in 2016, made possible by the largesse of the now much missed 60-year-old who bought the club in 2010 for $49 million when Leicester was in English football's second tier.

READ: Mahrez's tribute to Leicester owner after scoring

Leicester's League Cup match has been cancelled

Srivaddhanaprabha, who made his fortune in duty-free shops, oversaw the most glorious period of Leicester's history -- a Premier League title, a Champions League quarterfinal, success few fans would have dared imagined when he took over and cleared the club's debts. "You brought happiness to the club," wrote one fan on a shirt. "You made us fearless."

A private man who stayed out of the limelight, Srivaddhanaprabha will be remembered for more than football. He donated millions to the city's hospital and university and was generous to the fans, giving 60 free season tickets to fans to mark his 60th birthday. Foxes supporters have plenty of acts of benevolence to look back on.

"No match at Leicester City will ever be the same again," said local Member of Parliament Keith Vaz on hearing that his friend was one of five killed as the Thai's helicopter bearing the team's colors spiraled to earth and burst into flames outside the stadium.

Leicester's cup match against Southampton on Tuesday has been canceled and question marks remain over whether Saturday's league tie against Cardiff will go ahead. But expect Leicester City to pull through. As Schmeichel posted on Twitter: "We now have a responsibility as a club, as players and fans to honor you."

The son and wife ofVichai Srivaddhanaprabha pray after laying wreathes outside the stadium

Should the pain not engulf him, the heir to the King Power empire is Srivaddhanaprabha's son, affectionately known as "Top." Father and son would normally attend home matches together and had he not been in Thailand on business, Aiyawatt would likely have been in the helicopter that fateful Saturday evening.

With tears filling his eyes, lifelong Foxes fan Nigel Manning scrambled to find solace. "I know it's a sad thing to say but at least his son wasn't on the plane," he said. "He's not the sort of person who will walk away and that's the only thing we can be thankful for today."

Visit cnn.com/sport for more news and videos

As Vardy's supportive gesture showed, Aiyawatt and his family are much loved in these parts.

"Aiyawatt is massively involved in the club," added Peters.

"Some people said there was a good cop, bad cop routine between them and Vichai was the bad cop. Nigel Pearson had been sacked by Vichai but we're led to believe that the son asked whether that was the right decision and he listened to his son and kept him on as manager.

"With nine games to go they were seven points from safety, won seven of the last nine games and it was the great escape. From being nailed on relegation to being 5000-1 outsiders to win the Premier League. Would that have happened if the vice chairman had not talked his dad around?

"He knows the club, he knows the inner workings of it, he's deeply embedded in it. He's very much an integral part of the family working at this football club. It's a grim, horrific time for everybody. It will never get back to normal, but it will get back to some normality."

https://edition.cnn.com/2018/10/29/football/leicester-city-vichai-srivaddhanaprabha-helicopter-crash-epl-spt-intl/index.html

Luke Posted on October 30, 2018 16:54

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Yemen crisis: Three stats that reveal the scale of world's worst humanitarian crisis

Children are "so malnourished they don’t even have the energy to cry."

A child suffering from malnutrition is weighed at a hospital in Yemen's Hajjah province on Sept. 28.Essa Ahmed / AFP - Getty Images

Oct. 28, 2018 / 8:38 AM GMT

By Yuliya Talmazan

The U.N.'s humanitarian chief warned last week that 14 million people in Yemen — or half of the country's population — need aid to survive amid fears of an "imminent and great big famine."

Mark Lowcock told the Security Council that this potential famine would be "much bigger than anything any professional in this field has seen during their working lives."

Only two famines have been declared in the past two decades — the one that took the lives of a quarter of a million Somalis in 2011 and another one last year in South Sudan.

Here are three statistics that shed light on the situation on the ground in one of the Arab world's poorest countries.

130: The number of children under 5 who die each day from hunger and disease

A total of almost 50,000 kids are believed to have perished from such causes during 2017, with a similar number expected this year, according to Save the Children and the U.N.

Save the Children spokesman Bhanu Bhatnagar called the situation in Yemen "a stain on the world’s conscience."

UNICEF's operation in Yemen estimates there are 1.8 million children currently facing malnutrition, including 400,000 who are severely malnourished and at risk of death if not urgently treated. More than 8 million children are cut off from regular access to basic water, sanitation and hygiene services.

A woman holds a malnourished boy at a hospital in Sanaa, Yemen, on Oct. 6.Khaled Abdullah / Reuters

Bhatnagar says the fighting that is raging in Yemen is killing an "entire generation of children," who are bearing the brunt of the violence.

"Thousands are so malnourished they don’t even have the energy to cry," he said.

U.N. is assessing whether the crisis in Yemen can officially be declared a famine, with initial results expected next month.

"An official famine declaration would only confirm what we already know: Children are already dying from starvation," said Frank McManus, the International Rescue Committee's country director in Yemen. "Famine, by definition, means it’s too late.”

Mother reveals anguish after disease kills two of her kids

Oct. 25, 201801:10

The conflict in Yemen began with the 2014 takeover of the capital, Sanaa, by Iran-backed Houthi rebels, who toppled the internationally recognized government. A Saudi-led coalition allied with the government has been fighting the Houthis since 2015.

The fighting has left 6,800 civilians dead and more than 10,000 injured, sparking the world's worst humanitarian crisis. Yemen's gross domestic product has been cut in half since 2015, with more than 600,000 jobs lost and a least 80 percent of the population living below the poverty line, according to U.N. numbers.

"It’s astounding that today, the international community can sit on its hands and, in fact, allow and facilitate this famine," said Oxfam's Richard Stanforth.

1 million: The number of cholera cases

Against the backdrop of the conflict, Yemen has suffered from the largest cholera outbreaks in recent history.

The World Health Organization says there have been 1.2 million cases of suspected or confirmed cholera in Yemen since April 2017, including over 154,000 cases this year.

A father gives water to his malnourished daughter at a feeding center in a hospital in Hodeida, Yemen on Sept. 27, 2018.Hani Mohammed / AP

More than 2,500 people are reported to have died from the preventable disease.

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An entire country and its health infrastructure has been brought to its knees, according to Dr. Ahmed Al Mandhari, WHO's regional director for the Eastern Mediterranean.

While medical care is free in public health facilities, many Yemenis can barely afford the cost of public transport to get to these facilities, Al Mandhari said, and families are forced to sell all their belongings to buy medicines.

"People in Yemen are dying today not just because of the bullets and bombs, but because they are unable to receive the medical care they need to stay alive," he added.

18,000: The number of air raids a 3-year-old child in Yemen has lived through

The independent Yemen Data Project has tracked the number of air raids since the start of the war — more than 18,000 since spring of 2015.

Save the Children says that means a child in Yemen who was born as the conflict broke out has lived through an average of about 14 air raids per day.

“Yemen is one of the most dangerous places in the world to be a child today,” said Bhatnagar. “The ongoing brutality means children are being consistently exposed to extreme violence, further heightening the risk of psychological damage.”

In August, dozens of Yemeni children were killed in a Saudi-led coalition airstrike on a bus in northern Yemen, one of the deadliest attacks on civilians in the three-year-old war.

An airstrike in Yemen struck a school bus, killing children

Aug. 10, 201801:14

The U.N. has said that all parties in the conflict have been responsible for attacks on civilians, underscoring how targets have included homes, medical facilities, schools, farms and weddings.

The people of Yemen "live under fear of continuous bombardment," said McManus, of the International Rescue Committee. "Despite almost four years of airstrikes and use of heavy weapons, neither side is any closer to achieving their strategic objectives."

Associated Press contributed.

https://www.nbcnews.com/news/world/yemen-crisis-three-stats-reveal-scale-world-s-worst-humanitarian-n923741

Luke Posted on October 30, 2018 16:36

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Lion Air passengers recall 'roller coaster' ride on doomed jet

"I felt like the plane was losing power and unable to rise," one person aboard the aircraft's penultimate flight said.

Distraught relatives hold out hope as divers search for crashed Lion Air jet

Oct. 30, 201801:06

Oct. 30, 2018 / 9:34 AM GMT / Updated 1:12 PM GMT

By Alastair Jamieson

Passengers on what became the penultimate flight of the Lion Air Boeing 737 MAX 8 that crashed off Indonesia have described technical problems and a “roller coaster” ride that caused some to panic and vomit.

The three-month old jet plunged into the Java Sea early Monday just 13 minutes after taking off from Jakarta on a short internal flight. All 189 on board are presumed dead.

The pilot of Flight JT610 had requested clearance to return to the airport moments after takeoff, although it is unclear why.

It emerged that the doomed aircraft encountered problems on its previous flight — a Sunday evening trip from Denpasar, Bali, to Jakarta, as Flight JT43 — when pilots struggled with unreliable airspeed indications.

Debris from the crashed Lion Air plane off the coast of Indonesia.EPA

Alon Soetanto told TVOne that the plane dropped suddenly several times in the first few minutes.

"About three to eight minutes after it took off, I felt like the plane was losing power and unable to rise. That happened several times," he said. "We felt like in a roller coaster. Some passengers began to panic and vomit."

His account is consistent with data from flight-tracking sites that show erratic speed, altitude and direction in the minutes after the Boeing 737 MAX 8 jet took off. A similar pattern is also seen in data pinged from Monday's fatal flight.

Indonesia National Transport Safety Committee (NTSC) deputy chief Haryo Satmiko confirmed to reporters on Tuesday that unreliable airspeed readings were reported during Sunday's flight.

Relatives wait for news at a crisis center in Jakarta.Ulet Ifansasti / Getty Images

In 2009, Air France flight 447 crashed into the Atlantic Ocean after icing that blocked the pitot tubes caused unreliable airspeed data and the confused pilots entered a high-altitude stall and ignored cockpit alarms. All 228 people on board died.

However, Lion Air president Edward Sirait said Sunday's technical problems were resolved in accordance with Boeing procedures and the plane was cleared to fly again on Monday.

The NTSB said it will send five investigators to Indonesia.

Another passenger on Sunday evening’s flight, Indonesian TV anchor and sportscaster Conchita Caroline, said the plane returned to the gate at Denpasar with a technical problem before takeoff.

She said passengers sat in the cabin without air conditioning for at least 30 minutes listening to an "unusual" engine roar, while some children vomited from the heat, until staff faced with rising anger let them disembark. After a further 30 minutes of waiting, they were told to board again while an engine was checked.

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Caroline said she questioned a staff member but was met with a defensive response. "He just showed me the flight permit that he had signed and he said the problem had been settled," she said. "He treated me like a passenger full of disturbing dramas even though what I was asking represented friends and confused tourists who didn't understand Indonesian."

Divers on Tuesday continued their search for victims while the airline flew dozens of grieving relatives to Jakarta.

"This is a very difficult time for our family," said Leo Sihombing, outside a crisis center at Jakarta's Soekarno-Hatta airport.

Authorities are confident they will locate the wreckage.Edgar Su / Reuters

"We know that it is very unlikely that my cousin is still alive, but no one can provide any certainty or explanation," he said as other family members wept and hugged each other.

"What we hope now is rescuers can find his body, so we can bury him properly, and authorities can reveal what caused the plane crash," Sihombing said.

Indonesia's National Search and Rescue Agency said that 10 intact bodies as well as body parts have been recovered. Aircraft debris and personal belongings from ID cards to clothing and bags found scattered in seas northeast of Jakarta are being spread out on tarps onshore.

The agency's chief, Muhammad Syaugi, expressed confidence in locating the hull of the aircraft and its flight recorders due to the relatively shallow 115 foot depth of the waters where it crashed. In total, 812 personnel are involved in the recovery effort.

The disaster is the first crash of a Boeing 737 MAX 8 — an updated version of the twin-engined workhorse — and has reignited concerns about safety in Indonesia's fast-growing aviation industry, which was recently removed from European Union and U.S. blacklists.

Indonesia plane crash search finds victims' remains

Oct. 30, 201802:26

Lion Air, a budget carrier, is one Indonesia's youngest and biggest airlines, flying to dozens of domestic and international destinations. Earlier this year it confirmed a deal to buy 50 new Boeing narrow-body aircraft worth an estimated $6.2 billion. It has been expanding aggressively in Southeast Asia, a fast-growing region of more than 600 million people.

The 737 MAX 8 is flown widely in the U.S. by carriers including Southwest Airlines, which has at least 23 of the aircraft in its fleet.

"We are in touch with Boeing and will closely monitor the situation and any findings from this tragic event," a spokesman for Southwest Airlines. "Currently, our MAX fleet remains fully operational with no adjustments to our schedule."

Alastair Jamieson

Alastair Jamieson is a London-based reporter, editor and homepage producer for NBC News.

Luke Posted on October 30, 2018 16:29

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Missing teen Jayme Closs' home burglarized the same day as funeral for parents

Kyle Jaenke-Annis, 32, told deputies that he took items of her clothing because he was "curious about what size Jayme was," according to a criminal complaint.

Parents of missing Wisconsin teen laid to rest

Oct. 29, 201801:34

Oct. 30, 2018 / 1:39 PM GMT

By Minyvonne Burke

A Wisconsin man was arrested for allegedly burglarizing the home of missing teenager Jayme Closs the same day a funeral service was held for her parents, police said.

Kyle Jaenke-Annis, 32, was charged Monday with burglary and bail jumping after Barron County Sheriff deputies caught him inside the Closs' home with several items of clothing belonging to Jayme, the 13-year-old girl who vanished from her home on Oct. 15 after her parents were found dead.

Jaenke-Annis was spotted Saturday just before 2:30 a.m. CT (3:30 a.m. ET) on motion-activated surveillance cameras set up around the property entering the home through a patio door, according to a criminal complaint.

Kylie Jaenke-Annis.Barron County Jail

The Department of Criminal Investigation alerted deputies, who immediately responded to the home and ordered Jaenke-Annis to come out of the house.

Deputies said Jaenke-Annis allegedly admitted to taking items from the home, and a search found he had stuffed two tank tops, a girl's dress and two pairs of girl's underwear in his coat pocket.

Jaenke-Annis told deputies that he took the items because he was "curious about what size Jayme was" and they were items no one would miss, the criminal complaint states.

Jaenke-Annis also said he does not know the Closs family, although he works at the same Jennie-O Turkey Store the teen's parents were employed at.

Barron County Sheriff Chris Fitzgerald said in a statement on Monday that Jaenke-Annis has been cleared of any involvement in the disappearance of Jayme, but was charged in Barron County Court for the burglary.

Jayme Closs, 13, in an undated photo.Wisconsin attorney general's office / Reuters

Hours after Jaenke-Annis' arrest, a funeral service was held for Denise and James Closs at St. Peter's Catholic Church in Cameron. Denise and James were found shot to death at their home after deputies received a mysterious 911 call from someone crying and asking for help.

The couple's daughter was not at the home when deputies arrived and has been missing for nearly two weeks. Deputies are still investigating the deaths, as well as searching for Jayme.

Over the weekend, Fitzgerald raised the reward to $50,000 for information on the case. In a Facebook post on Monday, he said more than 2,000 tips have poured in.

"There is a tip out there that will break this case, keep them coming in. Thank you again for the community support behind the law enforcement effort on this case," Fitzgerald said.

Minyvonne Burke

Minyvonne Burke is a breaking news reporter for NBC News.

https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/missing-teen-jayme-closs-home-burglarized-same-day-funeral-parents-n926121

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Luke Posted on October 30, 2018 16:20

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Holocaust survivors shaken by Pittsburgh synagogue attack “These people were murdered, they were killed, because they were Jews,” one survivor said. “This happened because one man had so much hate in him, but also because anti-Semitism is rising in A

Oct. 30, 2018 / 4:00 PM GMT

By Phil McCausland

PITTSBURGH — For the survivors of the Holocaust, the massacre at a synagogue here reminded them of some of the darkest memories a person could ever recall.

Shulamit Bastacky is one of the hidden Jewish children who escaped the terrors of the Holocaust, and her neighbor, Melvin Wax, 86, is among the 11 people who were shot and killed at the Tree of Life Synagogue by a man with anti-Semitic views.

Bastacky will celebrate her 55th anniversary in the United States next week, more than seven decades after she spent three years living in a Catholic nuns basement in Lithuania, in an attempt to hide from the Nazis. That violence and anti-Semitism like this could occur in this country is unthinkable to Bastacky.

“I never ever expected this in America: the country of liberty, of freedom of speech, of freedom of religion,” Bastacky said. “When we came to this moment, it was absolutely horrific — beyond description. It almost made me sick. When a person goes to a place of worship, whether it’s a synagogue or a church or a mosque, you come in peace and leave respectfully.”

Pittsburgh synagogue massacre the latest in rise of anti-semitic incidents across the U.S.

Oct. 29, 201801:30

There are many Holocaust survivors who chose to settle here in Pittsburgh. The neighborhood Squirrel Hill, where Tree of Life Synagogue is located, is considered the backbone of the Jewish community in the city.

Survivors here speak regularly to the community about hate speech and their experiences during the Holocaust.

“These people were murdered, they were killed, because they were Jews,” Bastacky said. “This happened because one man had so much hate in him, but also because anti-Semitism is rising in America.”

Judah Samet, 80, another Holocaust survivor who is a member of Tree of Life Synagogue, told the Washington Post that he showed up to Saturday's ceremony late, missing the tragic shooting by four minutes. He connected that man's anti-Semitism to his experience during the Holocaust.

“I survived the second time yesterday,” he told the newspaper on Sunday, saying that it had renewed his commitment to telling his story.

After Saturday’s attack, Bastacky said she is also committed to educating as many young people as she can about the Holocaust and its causes. Forgetting the past is not an option, she said.

Holocaust survivor Shulamit Bastacky in the lobby of her apartment building in Pittsburgh on Oct. 29, 2018.Allen G. Breed / AP

That’s why she and many other survivors work with the Holocaust Center of Pittsburgh to speak to schools and civic groups throughout western Pennsylvania about the horrors of the Holocaust. People need to learn to not be a victim, victimizer or just a bystander, she Bastacky said.

“There’s an incredible value of having a survivor here who could tell us about how he or she felt knowing what happened on Saturday, to encourage us to stay positive and fight against hate,” said Dr. Lauren Bairnsfather, the director of the Holocaust Center of Pittsburgh.

On Saturday, the center brought a guest speaker and Holocaust survivor to speak across the street from the Tree of Life Synagogue.

https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/holocaust-survivors-shaken-pittsburgh-synagogue-attack-n926131

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The center had made plans in January with Magda Brown, 91, a survivor, to speak at Chatham University. Brown found out when she boarded the plane from her home in Chicago that 11 Jews were killed while practicing their religion.

It’s an anti-Semitism that is all too familiar to Brown. That is why she refused to cancel the event, she said, quoting the founding principle of the Illinois Holocaust Museum and Education Center: “Remember the past, transform the future.

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Brown and her family were removed from their home in Hungary and pushed into crowded train cars headed for Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp in 1944. When they arrived, Brown’s parents, aunts, uncles and cousins were immediately taken to the gas chambers.

The Nazis who ran the camp shaved her head, took her belongings and tortured her for months at Auschwitz before sending her to a work camp where she handled dangerous chemicals to build German munitions.

“It is all coming back — coming back like a flood,” Brown said. “I’ve been living in this country since 1946. I’ve been so appreciative of considering myself a proud, conscientious, voting American. I raised my children the proper American way, and I lead that kind of life. Unfortunately this kind of situation shakes you up because of my experiences. If I were to say I’m not worried, I would by lying.”

Hungarian Jews arrive by train at the Auschwitz death camp, circa 1942.UniversalImagesGroup / Getty Images

Brown escaped a death march to Buchenwald, another concentration camp, in March 1945. Two American soldiers later found her and several other prisoners hiding in a barn.

This history, she said, is more important than ever.

“Genocide does not happen from one minute to the next,” Brown said. “It builds gradually.”

Brown said that this attack is not random and anti-Semitism has not disappeared. That is why Holocaust survivors, like her, emphasize their mantra of “never again.”

“I experienced discrimination, I experienced Nazi terror in concentration camps, so needless to say I am talking to the reality,” Brown added. “It is very, very painful. I just kept hoping that something like this would never happen again.”

Phil McCausland

Phil McCausland is an NBC News reporter focused on the rural-urban divide.

Luke Posted on October 30, 2018 16:14

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Garvagh shooting: Girl offers gunmen piggy bank to save dad

A gang of masked men shot a man and also threatened to shoot his teenage daughter who had offered them her piggy bank money to leave her family alone.

The man, who is in a stable condition in hospital, has "potentially life-changing injuries" after the attack in Garvagh, County Londonderry.

He was shot in the arms and legs and beaten with a bat in what the police said was a paramilitary-style attack.

The gang also chased the girl and tried to set fire to items in the house.

'Petrified'

Police said the man is being treated for gunshot wounds and head injuries and his daughter has been left "severely traumatised".

The teenager's phone was stolen to prevent her calling for help.

She was upstairs when the gang broke into the property on Kurin Lane shortly before 22:30 BST on Saturday.

The intruders chased the girl in the house and threatened her when she hid from them, according to the PSNI Limavady Facebook page.

"She came out petrified with her Piggy Bank, HER PIGGY BANK! hoping that the men would take it and leave her dad alone," one outraged officer wrote.

"Instead they stole her phone and shot her dad. My heart is broken for this girl.

"It makes me feel physically sick and enraged to my core," the PSNI post added.

'Brutality'

In a statement, Det Ch Insp White said: "This a sickeningly vicious shooting and beating which has left this man with serious and potentially life-changing injuries, and a young girl severely traumatised,

"What sort of men would think it is acceptable to subject a young girl to this level of brutality and violence?

"Every child has the right to feel safe and protected in their own home - how is this poor child going to sleep tonight or in coming nights? What are the long term effects on her going to be?"

"It's quite obvious the hypocrites who carried out this dreadful attack don't care at all about the children in their community. I wonder how they would feel if their own child witnessed such a level of violence?

"There is absolutely no justification for an attack like this in our communities and we must all work together to bring those responsible to justice and to stop this from happening to another child."

DUP councillor Sam Cole said the girl was awoken by the "commotion" downstairs.

Mr Cole told BBC News NI: "She came down and saw the masked men. She pleaded with them and offered them her piggy bank with money in it to just leave her daddy alone.

"But it wasn't enough and they went ahead and shot the middle-aged man in the knees and arms and bludgeoned him as well.

"It's left the young girl traumatised.

"They took her phone because they thought she might alert the police so she ran to a neighbour in a really distressed, traumatic state."

Earlier this month, the Department of Justice launched a hard-hitting advertisement campaign aimed at changing public attitudes to paramilitary attacks.

At that point they said there had been 87 such attacks over the past year.

majsdesaint Posted on October 30, 2018 14:40

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Stacey Abrams: The Deep South woman vying to make history

A battle for the governor's mansion in the US state of Georgia features a woman vying to become the first black American female to run a state.

Knots of people clustered outside Hendershots coffeehouse wait for a black SUV to arrive from Atlanta 70 miles away.

The crowd untangles into a line of supporters wrapped around the exposed brick building, as evening sets upon the college town of Athens, Georgia, on an October autumn day.

A blend of parents, professors and older residents, adorned in campaign buttons and clutching signs, interrupt groups of eager students standing outside the trendy live music venue.

"Remember to vote!" they say.

It's a scene reserved for national politicians or pop stars breezing through town, but the whirring sounds of chatter and intermittent chants are for Stacey Abrams, a 44-year-old lawyer and former state legislator, who is deadlocked in a contentious race with Georgia's secretary of state, Republican Brian Kemp.

The race is emblematic of two narratives reverberating throughout the US in the wake of the election of President Donald Trump.

Mr Kemp, a self-described "politically incorrect conservative", echoes the brand of Trump Republicanism that focuses on tax cuts, protecting gun rights and "rounding up criminal illegals" in his truck - as noted in one of his early political ads.

The competing narrative is that of Ms Abrams, a progressive female candidate of colour who has appealed to minority voters, a group on which she has focused much of her campaign.

In fact, of the nearly 945,000 Georgia residents who have already cast an early vote, about 30% are black, a markedly higher rate than the 2014 mid-term figures.

Experts point out that North Carolina and South Carolina have not yet seen a similar increase among black voters, which could underscore just how energised Ms Abrams' base may be.

And more Georgians are registered to vote than ever before - 6.9 million out of the state's 10.4 million residents.

Jaylen Black, a 21-year-old senior at University of Georgia, has been volunteering for the Abrams campaign for a year and three months.

"Her campaign means everything to me," she says, donning a navy blue Abrams T-shirt as she walks to the candidate's next appearance at a bar down the street.

"I care about policies but truly I always felt like there was no one of either party that represented issues that were pertinent to my community, as an African American," Ms Black continues.

"And when Stacey was running, it wasn't just that she was a black woman but she just felt so real as a candidate. For the first time I felt like I was talking to somebody who was on my level like we were just people."

That authenticity appears to have resonated with Ms Abrams' most ardent supporters, many of whom affectionately refer to her as Stacey.

"I think this also starts a legacy for black women. I'm not necessarily voting for her because she's a black woman but because she's a black woman she understands in a different perspective," says 25-year-old Yanill Sanchez, an African-American graduate student at University of Georgia.

She says relieving college debt and expanding access to financial aid has struck a chord with young voters.

"She's trailblazing a movement for us", adds Andrea Glaze, a 25-year-old black graduate student standing outside Hendershots after Ms Abrams' first appearance.

A short walk from the cafe, the woman they've all come to see again see takes to the stage.

"Are you guys lost?" she asks.

"No! We're found!" a student supporter shouts as the crowd erupts into cheers beneath the festoon lights.

Born into poverty in rural Mississippi, Ms Abrams arrived in Georgia during high school with her parents, who moved to attend Emory University's theology school to become ministers.

She graduated magna cum laude from Spelman, a historically black women's college in Atlanta, before earning a law degree from Yale and a degree in public policy from the University of Texas in Austin.

Kenja McCray, a history professor based in Atlanta who also went to Spelman, recalls Ms Abrams at university.

"She was very motivated, very serious, very focused and always running for something in SGA [Student Government Association]," she recalls.

Ms McCray began volunteering at a phone bank for Ms Abrams to show support as a fellow Spelman alumna, and to demonstrate to her two daughters, ages 18 and 20, how important it is to vote.

But the difficulty her daughters endured in trying to register shed light on how high the stakes were in this year's mid-term, Ms McCray says.

"I thought, 'how many other kids - other people - out there are going through that?' And I realised we have a lot of work to do," she says.

Ms Abrams' critics point out that she has attracted funding from outside donors while she's regularly featured in national headlines, appearing on the cover of Time magazine.

But her rise from poverty to power is a more familiar theme than some of her opponents may think, says LaDawn "LBJ" Jones, a solicitor in South Fulton.

"What her candidacy says to me is she can speak to the common man," she says. "It follows a narrative that Kemp supporters would like to put out, which is 'pull yourself up by your own bootstraps.'"

"Because of that background, because of that history and what she had to do to get there - I hope that is encouraging to other African Americans and people in general - that there are no limits and nothing to stop you from at least reaching your goals."


A flashpoint in voter rights

The race for the governor's mansion culminates a longstanding saga between Ms Abrams and Mr Kemp over a systemic issue at the heart of US elections - voting rights.

As secretary of state, Mr Kemp's office oversaw the cancellation of 1.5m voter registration applications between 2012-16 - 750,000 more than it did in the previous period, according to a report by New York University's Brennan Center, a public-policy think tank.

A recent report by American Public Media found that more than half a million voters were purged last year, and of those 107,000 were removed because of the so-called "use it or lose it policy", which cuts people from polls if they chose not to vote in previous elections.

Earlier this month, the Associated Press found that Mr Kemp's office had held up more than 53,000 voter registration applications, of which nearly 70% were filed by African Americans, over the state's so-called exact match law. African Americans make up just 32% of the state's population.

That policy, which requires applications to exactly match information on file with the Georgia Department of Driver Services or the Social Security Administrations, has delayed applications for infractions as minor as a missing hyphen in a name.

Mr Kemp has denied any wrongdoing, arguing that he has made it easier to vote and that it was the failure to properly register residents by the New Georgia Project, a voter-registration initiative he investigated in 2014 that was founded by Ms Abrams.

His campaign spokesman has said Mr Kemp is "fighting to protect the integrity of our elections and ensure that only legal citizens cast a ballot", but critics argue that it undermines eligible voters.


Tensions are high with just a week left before election night.

Mr Kemp has attacked Ms Abrams for being "too extreme" for Georgia, pointing to her plan to expand the Medicaid health programme for the poor to stem a rural hospital shortage.

She wants "higher taxes, bigger government and a single-payer radical government takeover of healthcare", he said during a recent debate.

Ms Abrams was also forced to address an uncomfortable episode in which a New York Times report revealed she burned the Georgia state flag on the steps of the State Capitol in 1992 as a college freshman.

The design included the Confederate battle-flag symbol, a defiant nod to desegregation when it was adopted in 1956. She apologised for the "peaceful protest", pointing out that the flag has since changed and Mr Kemp voted to remove the symbol 10 years later.


Power of the (black female) vote

The Peach State has not seen a Democratic governor since 2003, when Sonny Perdue became the first Republican elected since Reconstruction in the late 19th Century.

But the state has seen an influx of Latinos and African Americans, who tend to lean Democratic, in recent years.

Some attribute this change to a "great reverse migration" of African Americans from northern to southern states, a reference to the six million black Americans who left the rural south during the early to mid-20th century.

Ms Abrams has focused on these voters - she has visited every one of Georgia's 159 counties, including some previously ignored by Democratic candidates.

Mrs Jones, the solicitor, admits she supported Ms Abrams' opponent in the Democratic primary, Stacy Evans, a white woman.

"What we found out in the end is Stacey Abrams worked her tail off," Mrs Jones says. "She touched on the doors of people who had not had their doors knocked on by a candidate in years."

While turning out the vote has been a major component of the Abrams campaign, black women in Georgia have been a consistent voting bloc in recent years.

Mrs McCray feels like black female voters sometimes "fall through the cracks" when it comes to political representation.

"One of the pitfalls of being a faithful voter is that you can be taken for granted and that is a narrative that is a concern about the Democratic Party," she says.

"We face a lot more obstacles in terms of getting those leadership positions so it's important to see somebody win who represents us."

hanging of the guard

Women of colour, who currently hold just eight (2.6%) statewide elected executive offices, represent 10% of all nominees and 30% of female nominees for statewide elected executive office this year, according to Kelly Dittmar of the Center for American Women in Politics.

Female state legislative candidates have won nominations in record numbers this year, she adds. It's a trend analysts are seeing on a national stage, too.

Michigan's Rashida Tlaib and Minnesota's Ilhan Omar, both Democrats, are poised to become the first Muslim-American women in Congress. Two more Democratic black women, Jahana Hayes and Ayanna Pressley, are also set to be the first women of colour in their states' congressional delegations.

That enthusiasm for change is felt in a corner of Georgia considered to be the most diverse county in the state, if not the entire US southeast.

And this year the interest has increased. Turnout among black female voters in this year's Democratic state primary jumped 32% on 2014, according to data from the secretary of state's office.

Marlene Taylor-Crawford moved to Georgia nearly 20 years ago, trading in the dense, pockmarked streets of New York City for the sweeping highways that loop the outskirts of Atlanta, leading to Gwinnett County.

"It was like stepping into a time warp," the single mother of three, who is African American, recalls of the mostly white community after arriving in 1999. "I had to find my way to be around people who shared my interests."

The former farming community, home to about 920,000 residents and 16 municipalities, has transformed into a majority-non-white county.

That new makeup - about 28% African American, 21% Latinos and 12% Asians - has not always been reflected in government, says Ms Taylor-Crawford, president of the community's United Ebony Society.

"If you went to a Gwinnett County commission meeting and knew nothing about Gwinnett County you would think this community is 99% white," she says.

But change is afoot both in Gwinnett County and elsewhere in Georgia.

In fact, the county elected its first African-American judge - a woman - in September and two cities recently voted for Gwinnett's first-ever black mayors.

Ms Taylor-Crawford is confident that voters are more engaged because of candidates like Ms Abrams. She's seeing new faces at local government meetings, she says, and receiving more calls about United Ebony Society events.

"We are a strong voting bloc, we vote consistently and we encourage others to vote so our voices are very strong," she contends of black female voters in Gwinnett.

Much like Gwinnett, the US is expected to become majority-non-white by 2044, according to the US Census Bureau.

And what happens in Gwinnett County could be a harbinger for whether Georgia will see the country's first black governor.

"She represents strength, perseverance and faith. She is showing Georgia that we are still rising, we can still accomplish and we will accomplish," she says of Ms Abrams.


Will Georgia make history?

Will the enthusiasm for Ms Abrams change Georgia from red (Republican) to blue (Democratic)?

President Trump, who has endorsed Mr Kemp for governor, won Georgia easily against Hillary Clinton.

But Ms Jones thinks that Mr Trump hasn't "moved the needle" with the African-American community, despite the president's penchant for touting a record-low black unemployment rate.

She says Mr Trump may have "lowered the bar" on civility, but that the black community is more energised to turn out because of the names on the ballot.

"People are excited because they're mad at Trump, but they're excited because for the first time a candidate has put in the energy to come and ask them to vote and explain why their vote matters."

Ms Abrams has been a tax attorney, a romance novelist and Atlanta's deputy city attorney before she became the first woman to lead a caucus in Georgia's state legislature as House minority leader.

Whether she again will etch her name in Georgia's history books is up to the voters, but her candidacy marks a change in political winds for African-American women.

"I work with people running for elected office and prior to Stacey Abrams I had a whole session on how to dress, what to wear and what you should and shouldn't do," Mrs Jones recalls.

"I have changed that. It no longer means straightening your hair to please the people whose door you're knocking on, or wearing a face full of makeup because you're a woman.

"Stacey being authentically herself has opened the door to many people, but particularly African-American women who identify with her who can say, 'I can run for office and I'm not prohibited because I have dreadlocks.'"

 

majsdesaint Posted on October 30, 2018 14:32

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Halloween WARNING: Cops order punters ‘LEAVE plastic meat cleavers at home’

HALLOWEEN revellers have been warned by police: "Leave your meat cleavers at home."It was issued after a partygoer in fancy dress with a plastic cleaver sparked a swoop by armed officers. A man was seen brandishing what appeared to be a large blade. It turned out to be a fake and the man was just celebrating Halloween early with his mates. But police said he caused distress among the local community during the incident in Ellesmere Port on the Wirral. Cheshire and North Wales Police Armed Policing Alliance tweeted a picture of the offending item and gave some stern advice to anyone heading out trick or treating. They posted: "Armed Officers where deployed to Ellesmere Port following reports of a male swinging this around!!"Public clearly concerned and frightened. Turns out to be a plastic prop, please use common sense and think about your actions!"

Forces across the UK have also urged revellers to avoid terrorising children with killer clown outfits.

The craze - often linked to the child-killing alien clown Pennywise from Stephen King's horror IT - has swept the UK since 2016. Some clowns were spotted wielding knives, chainsaws and other weapons in an attempt to scare the public. Sunday's meat cleaver incident comes after Essex armed police swooped on a coffee shop in Chelmsford after reports a man dressed in SAS clothing was carrying a rifle and a sword. But when cops detained the suspect they realised his weapons were toys and he was in fancy dress for a Comic Con event. Doctors have been warned not to sell real skeletons as Halloween props online as it goes against strict rules on disposing human remains.

Meanwhile, engineer Ashley Field transformed a pumpkin into a vomiting Guy Fawkes to warn youths about binge-drinking. He believes people drink too much around Halloween and Bonfire Night and decided to create his own twist on the "penny for the Guy" tradition. The dad of one's Guy Fawkes sits alongside two cans of budget cider and Ashley used his carving skills to give the appearance that the pumpkin is being sick on itself. Ashley, 23, from Wisbech, Cambs, claims it has made a few dog walkers giggle and admits his family have CCTV around the house to check if any sneaky teens try to steal the cider.

jmparker Posted on October 30, 2018 13:10

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Holly Willoughby faces backlash over Pride of Britain dress display

HOLLY Willoughby sparked debate with her style siren update.This Morning's Holly Willoughby, who is gearing up to make her debut as co-host of I'm A Celebrity... Get Me Out of Here!, attended the Pride of Britain Awards last night. As fans of the annual event will know, the ceremony honours British people who have showed exceptional bravery and determination while faced with challenging situations. Much like every awards show, the televised spectacular kicks off with a red carpet, where celebs are dressed to impress. Holly, 37, showed off her fashionista status in an off-white, plunging Jenny Packham gown, which featured a bejewelled bodice and a sheer tulle skirt. As well as posing up a storm in front of the photographers, the mum-of-three also shared another look at her ensemble on Instagram.

The starlet posted a short but captivating video of herself twirling in her dress amid a dull white backdrop. Captioning the moment for her 4.2 million followers, she wrote: "One of my favourite nights of the year. Pride of Britain."Never one to miss out on an opportunity to thank her glam team, Holly made sure to tag the profiles of all those who had helped create her look. Needless to say, it wasn't long before fans reacted to the video update. Praising the starlet's appearance, one admirer wrote: "You shall go to the ball, stunning."

Taking a similar approach, a viewer marvelled: "This reminds me of Cinderella."

However, others did not take too kindly to Holly's dress display. One disapproving follower commented: "Pride of Britain not Celeb of Britain. Humility. The nominees are the stars tonight."Leaping to the presenter's defence, a supporter argued: "Wearing a beautiful dress doesn't detract from that."Pride of Britain is one of the most powerful, inspiring nights there is. The real pride all of us humans have in these wonderful people.

STRIKE A POSE: Holly was snapped alongside her This Morning co-presenter Phillip Schofield, 56 (Pic: Getty)

"I am sure Holly and all the celebs in attendance feel exactly the same as we do in the non-celebrity life."However, the backlash didn't stop there, as another fan told Holly: "Isn't it about those amazing people, not your frock and slap?"Sharing their own story, a female follower revealed: "My niece is there tonight, so proud of her for all the fundraising she as done to bring awareness to sudden cardiac deaths in teenager..."And of all the defibrillators she as placed in the community."Once again making reference to Holly's glamorous appearance, a fan responded to the woman: "She [your niece] should be wearing the dress tonight and not Holly, in my opinion."

jmparker Posted on October 30, 2018 12:56

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Mahrez Carries City to the top

Manchester City returned to the top of the Premier League as Riyad Mahrez's early goal gave them victory over Tottenham in a scrappy encounter on a Wembley surface scarred by Sunday's NFL game.

Former Leicester City forward Mahrez, who swept home Raheem Sterling's sixth-minute cross, dedicated his goal to Foxes owner Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha, who was killed in a helicopter crash at the King Power Stadium after Saturday's game with West Ham.

It settled a match made more difficult by a pitch still bearing the markings and after-effects of the NFL encounter between the Philadelphia Eagles and the Jacksonville Jaguars.

City deserved the win and could have avoided an anxious finale had David Silva and Sterling taken second-half opportunities, while Spurs keeper Hugo Lloris saved twice from Sergio Aguero.

Tottenham were restricted to limited opportunities but could have rescued a point late on, only for Erik Lamela to waste a golden opportunity in front of an open goal from substitute Dele Alli's pass.

City go ahead of Liverpool on goal difference with both teams on 26 points from 10 games.

 

'A win on which title campaigns are built'

City sent out another message to those wishing to take their Premier League crown with a win of real significance.

Manager Pep Guardiola prides himself and his team on their purist approach but this was a night for doing some of the dirty work on a poor playing surface against opponents wishing to make a statement of their own after the latest disappointment in their Champions League campaign.

City came out of the blocks fast to score the early goal through Mahrez and set the platform for a deserved win.

If there was a flaw in City's performance it was a lack of ruthlessness that should have seen the three points secured before an anxious finale, especially in a second-half spell when they over-elaborated.

They showed they have steel in among the artistry as defenders John Stones and Aymeric Laporte, both more than happy to be uncompromising, complemented the silkier approach of David Silva and Bernardo Silva.

City's win was the sort on which title-winning campaigns are built and they are on top of the Premier League after an opening 10 games that have included visits to Arsenal, Liverpool and Spurs.

Spurs struggle for inspiration

Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino said in the build-up to this game: "My feeling is the worst feeling I have had in my five years I have been here."

His dark mood may be the result of delays in the move to Spurs' new stadium, no summer signings and a Champions League campaign that has started with two defeats and a draw.

And he will hardly be in better humour after this.

This was a night of frustration for Spurs as they struggled to make any serious inroads into City's defence until that late spell and the miss from Lamela.

Wembley was nowhere near full, with thousands of empty seats, especially around the top tier, while Spurs fans are still coming to terms with the news that one of their icons, Glenn Hoddle, is recovering from a heart attack.

The players came out to an almost eerie silence after a difficult few days for the football community and the atmosphere was subdued throughout.

Spurs missed the invention of Christian Eriksen and Alli, only fit enough to be on the bench, although there was a lively contribution from the other substitute Harry Winks.

They could have snatched a point in the closing phases as they were left to rue Lamela's wayward finish - but the brutal truth is Spurs have now lost to both Liverpool and Manchester City at home and look nowhere near title challengers.

Wembley surface spoils the spectacle

The sight of the battle-scarred Wembley surface - complete with NFL pitch markings - did not bode well for an eagerly awaited spectacle.

It had an ugly appearance, with both flanks looking bare and the pitch an open invitation for a series of wisecracks about NFL, but there was nothing funny about the impact on this game.

Players from both sides occasionally looked like they did not trust the surface and there was no question there was an understandable element of safety first about some of the defending.

NFL may help pay the bills and draw the crowds but it did nothing to assist two teams renowned for their fluent, passing football.

Man of the match - David Silva (Manchester City)

'It was not conditions to play football' - what they said

Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino on Erik Lamela's missed chance:"When the ball was going to Erik I said 'goal' but no, watching the replay, the ball just bounced before his boot and that is why he missed.

"I think it was a great game in difficult circumstances. I feel very proud. The effort was fantastic and we competed really, really well. It is a shame we conceded after five minutes but the team was good. I am happy with the performance."

On the goal: "Very poor. It is clear it is our mistake. We conceded a very cheap goal. In the big games, this type of action, you can not concede a goal like we conceded today. We lost the game but I think playing Man City, they suffered the most (they have this season)."

Man City manager Pep Guardiola, speaking to BBC Sport: "It was a great victory in special conditions, against one of the most physical teams in Europe. We had many chances. We have to score and we didn't. That is why hopefully we will improve in the future.

"It was not football conditions to play. We reacted well. For our players and the players of Tottenham, hopefully they will sort the problem for the future."

City's hot streak in the capital - the stats

  • Manchester City became the first non-London side to win five consecutive Premier League games in the capital, with all wins coming in 2018 (against Arsenal twice, Spurs twice and West Ham).
  • Two of Tottenham Hotspur's four Premier League defeats at Wembley have been at the hands of Manchester City.
  • Manchester City have conceded just three goals in their first 10 Premier League games this season - in top-flight history, only one team has conceded fewer in their first 10 games of a season (Chelsea in 2004-05, two conceded).
  • Spurs have lost two home Premier League matches in a calendar year against a single opponent for the first time since 2005, when they lost twice against Chelsea at White Hart Lane.
  • Man City winger Riyad Mahrez has been involved in five goals in his past three Premier League appearances against Tottenham Hotspur (three goals, two assists).
  • Raheem Sterling made his 200th Premier League appearance, aged 23 years and 325 days - only four players have reached the figure at a younger age (Wayne Rooney, James Milner, Cesc Fabregas and Gareth Barry).
  • Since the start of last season, only Liverpool's Mohamed Salah (50) and Spurs striker Harry Kane (38) have been involved in more Premier League goals than Sterling (36 - 22 goals, 14 assists).
  • Manchester City remain unbeaten in the Premier League when Aymeric Laporte has featured (P19 W17 D2 L0) - the Spaniard has played more Premier League games without losing than any other player in the history of the competition.

What's next?

Tottenham travel to West Ham on Wednesday (19:45 GMT) in their Carabao Cup fourth-round tie before heading to Molineux to face Wolves in the Premier League on Saturday (19:45).

Manchester City host Fulham in the Carabao Cup fourth round on Thursday (19:45 GMT) and return to Premier League action on Sunday when they welcome Southampton to the Etihad (15:00)

 

majsdesaint Posted on October 30, 2018 12:54

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