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Why are people still not wearing seat belts?

Figures showing that more than one in four car occupants who were killed in crashes in Britain last year were not wearing a seat belt have been described as "shocking" by both road safety campaigners and the government.

The Department for Transport data shows the proportion of deaths has reached its highest level since records first started being kept in 2013.

But what could lie behind the rise - and can attitudes be changed?

Britain remains one of the safest places to drive in Europe. And following steep falls between the late 1970s and 2000s, the number of road deaths has remained fairly constant.

The latest figures show that of the 787 drivers or passengers who died in 2017, 27% were not wearing seat belts, a rise from 20% in 2016.

A 2014 survey found 91% of rear seat passengers in England and Scotland wore seat belts - compared with 98% of drivers and 97% of front-seat passengers.

But the government's road safety campaign Think! cites research which shows younger drivers and passengers are less cautious - with those aged 17-34 having the lowest seat belt-wearing habits combined with the highest accident rate.

Yet despite warnings that people are twice as likely to die in a car accident if they do not buckle up, some are still willing to take the risk.

According to the Department for Transport, adults who do not wear a seat belt include those who occasionally forget as well as others who actively choose not to wear one.

Some people told researchers they found seat belts uncomfortable or inconvenient to wear. Others said it depended on the type of journey. For example, they would wear one on a long or unfamiliar route or if they were on a motorway.

Image copyrightGETTY IMAGES

According to the road safety charity Brake, government "inaction" on road safety is breeding "an environment of complacency" among drivers and passengers.

Pete Williams, the RAC's road safety spokesman, says the rise in crash victims who were not wearing seat belts warrants further investigation.

He said a decline in roads policing over the last 10 years may have encouraged people to feel they can get away with illegal driving behaviour.

"It is surprising that anyone these days would get into a car without belting up," he said.

"Drivers generally may also feel more cocooned and less at risk because of the level of safety features in their cars such as air bags, automatic braking and side-impact protection."

Mr Williams added: "We have generations of drivers who have grown up without seeing the 'clunk-click' messages that many of us frequently saw on our screens and made putting on a seat belt second nature."

The DfT maintains it is always looking at ways of making roads safer and said this year's Think! campaign is aiming to teach young people the "importance of wearing a seat belt".

Its data shows the proportion of fatalities not wearing a seat belt varied between 19% and 22% in the years 2013 and 2016, although not all police forces reported figures.


Can audible seat belt reminders help?

Brake cites examples of research papers which argue that audible seat belt reminders have the "proven potential" to increase the seat belt wearing rate.

2006 European Transport Safety Council report found front seat reminders can be provided at minimal cost because the same sensors are used in airbag systems - but rear-seat systems are more costly.

However, regulations requiring car manufacturers to put seatbelt reminder systems in all front and rear seats on new vehicles are set to come in force from September 2019.


Seat belts and the law

  • Use of a seat belt by drivers and front seat passengers in cars was made compulsory in the UK in January 1983
  • Rear seat belt use was made compulsory for children in 1989 and adults in 1991
  • Drivers and passengers caught without wearing a seat belt could be hit with an on-the-spot Fixed Penalty Notice of £100, rising to a fine of £500 if the case goes to court
  • The driver is responsible for ensuring each child passenger aged up to age 14 wears a seat belt and could be fined for each child without a seat belt

Source: Department for Transport

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seth Posted on September 28, 2018 16:02

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Bear Market? CoinMarketCap Hits Milestone with 2,000 Active Cryptocurrencies Listed

The great cryptocurrency bear market of 2018 may have put a damper on speculative investor interest in this nascent asset class, but it does not seem to have led to much of a slowdown in the number of new altcoins being released on the market.

CMC Reaches 2,000 Listed Cryptocurrencies

To wit, cryptocurrency resource site CoinMarketCap hit a new milestone on Friday, as its market cap rankings now include data on more than 2,000 active coins and tokens, an increase of more than 600 since the beginning of 2018.

A significant percentage of this increase stems from the increasing popularity of tokens, cryptocurrencies which run on another coin’s blockchain and are secured by its network. Even projects which eventually launch their own blockchains now often start as initial coin offering (ICO) tokens on Ethereum, Stellar, or another network.

At the time this article was written, CoinMarketCap had 2,008 cryptocurrencies listed on its market cap index. The site does not provide data on how many cryptocurrencies it delists, but, according to its website, indexed projects must be listed on a public cryptocurrency exchange with a functional API and have non-zero trading volume.

Cryptocurrency market cap charts on May 9, 2013 | Source: CoinMarketCap/Internet Archive

That’s not a high bar. PayCoin, an outright scamcoin whose founder was recently sentenced to 21 months in prison, has managed to cling to a $157,000 market cap on the back of $7 in daily trading volume.

Even so, the attrition rate is not insignificant. For instance, three of the 10 largest cryptocurrencies on May 9, 2013 — the earliest date that the Internet Archive’s Wayback Machine crawled the site — are no longer listed on the site. Inexplicably, a cryptocurrency called “BBQCoin,” which was ranked 11th on that date, didn’t manage to achieve mainstream adoption.

Bitcoin: Still the King after All These Years

With so many cryptocurrency projects actively throwing their hats into the ring on a daily basis, it’s even more remarkable that bitcoin — the project that started it all — still accounts for such a large share of the overall market.

As of Friday morning, bitcoin controls a 52.1 percent share of the cryptocurrency market cap. In other words, BTC is not only the most valuable cryptocurrency but is also worth more than the other 2,007 combined.

Source: CoinMarketCap

This hasn’t always been the case. After holding a 97 percent market share in late 2013, bitcoin dominance experienced a moderate decline over the next several years but consistently held above 80 percen. That changed in 2017 when — bolstered by the emergence of ICOs — ethereum briefly challenged bitcoin for its crown. At one point, altcoins controlled two-thirds of the market cap, but this year’s bear market has cemented bitcoin’s dominant position in the crypto ecosystem.

Featured Image from Shutterstock

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https://www.ccn.com/bear-market-coinmarketcap-hits-milestone-with-2000-active-cryptocurrencies-listed/

seth Posted on September 28, 2018 16:00

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Tsunami hits Indonesia's Palu after strong earthquake

A strong tsunami triggered by a magnitude 7.5 earthquake has hit a coastal Indonesian city, officials say.

Waves of up to 2m (6.6ft) high swept through Palu on Sulawesi island, not long after authorities had lifted a tsunami warning.

Video on social media shows people screaming and fleeing in panic and a mosque amongst the buildings damaged.

Officials have reported five deaths - but it is not clear if those were as a result of the tsunami.

Last month, a series of earthquakes struck the Indonesian island of Lombok, killing hundreds of people - the biggest on 5 August killed more than 460.

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David Lipson?@davidlipson

Indonesia geophysics agency says Sulawesi quake caused a tsunami. This video is doing the rounds. We believe it is real.

6:16 AM - Sep 28, 2018

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End of Twitter post by @davidlipson

The 2004 tsunami triggered by an earthquake off the Indonesian island of Sumatra killed 226,000 across the Indian Ocean, including more than 120,000 in Indonesia.

Indonesia is prone to earthquakes because it lies on the Ring of Fire - the line of frequent quakes and volcanic eruptions that circles virtually the entire Pacific rim.

More than half of the world's active volcanoes above sea level are part of the ring.

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  • https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-45683630

seth Posted on September 28, 2018 14:15

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The woman who accidentally ticked: 'I am a terrorist'

Cancer patient Mandie Stevenson had to postpone a bucket list trip to New York after she accidentally labelled herself a terrorist on her visa waiver form.

The online application asked if she was seeking to or had ever engaged in terrorist activities or genocide.

Mandie, from Falkirk, mistakenly answered "yes".

The 29-year-old, who was diagnosed with terminal breast cancer in 2015, only realised her error when her application was rejected.

It meant she had to postpone a dream break to New York and make an emergency trip to the US embassy in London to persuade officials she was not a security threat.

After a couple of intense interviews, a full visa was granted - but the US authorities could not guarantee it would arrive in time for her flight.

Image copyrightLUDOVIC MARIN

Image captionMandie will be making her dream to New York in a couple of weeks

Mandie was advised to rebook her trip, which she was taking with her boyfriend Ross, for a later date.

It cost her more than £800 to rearrange the trip for next month.

Mandie told Mornings with Stephen Jardine she was amazed when her application was rejected.

"At first I thought it was a bad dream and then I realised what I had done," she said.

Image copyrightRICHARD BAKER

Image captionMandie had to go to the US embassy in London to explain her error

The Esta (Electronic System for Travel Authorization) is an online form, which UK citizens can use to waive their need for a full US visa.

One of the questions reads: "Do you seek to engage in or have you ever engaged in terrorist activities, espionage, sabotage, or genocide?"

Mandie said she first attempted to fill in the form on her tablet, but it had crashed - so she tried again at work the next day.

She said: "I believe I ticked 'no' and then when I have scrolled down to click confirm, I think it has nudged and moved. That's the story I'm sticking to.

"A lot of people have said 'how on earth could you do that?' but to me I've done it really easily."

Image copyrightGARY HERSHORN

Image captionThe trip to New York included a visit to the Empire State Building

Mandie said the mistake was "embarrassing" but she thought it would be easy to correct.

However, the American embassy in London told her it was "the worst box you could have ticked".

Mandie had to go to London and pay £320 for an appointment to get a full visa.

After a couple of interviews her application was accepted, but she was told it would take three to five days to be granted.

Mandie said she told them she would miss her flight but the officials advised her to change her plans.

"I pleaded but they just said 'change your holiday'."

Mandie said she had hoped the embassy or the holiday firm would be sympathetic because she has cancer.

"I live in 12-weekly cycles because I get scanned every 12 weeks," she said.

"I book my holidays in very specific times and this New York trip was going to be before I get another set of scan results, so I was really looking forward to it.

"It was stress that I didn't need.

"I thought because it was a genuine error it would be quite an easy fix but I was quite wrong."

'Completely unforgiving'

Simon Calder, travel editor of the Independent, said the question on the Esta visa waiver form was "completely pointless".

"Nobody who was engaged in terrorism, espionage or genocide would ever tick 'yes'," he said.

"I don't imagine that anybody has ever deliberately ticked this box.

"But once you are on that list you are never going to get off it."

He said: "America is completely unforgiving. If that box gets ticked for whatever reason, immediately it's as though the alarms go off, the shutters go down and you are into a spiral of despair."

He said the consequence was a stressful interview and the extra cost of applying for a visa rather than a much cheaper Esta.

He said the best advice was not to book a trip until you have all the paperwork in order.

Mandie told BBC Scotland her bucket list also includes a trip to Canada, meeting football star Steven Gerrard and a visit to Thailand.

But first she will get her trip to New York.

"I'm happy again and I'm keen to get going," she said.

Related Topics

  • Falkirk
  • https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-scotland-45678517

seth Posted on September 28, 2018 14:13

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Phone-use driver jailed over Dumfries death crash

A recovery driver caught on camera checking his phone prior to a fatal crash has been jailed for five years.

David Shields, 34, crashed into Yvonne Blackman's car in a line of traffic on the A75 in Dumfries last February.

He had previously admitted a charge of causing the mother-of-four's death by dangerous driving.

Footage captured Shields, of Drongan, East Ayrshire, focusing on his phone for a full 18 seconds in the lead-up to the fatal crash.

Mrs Blackman, 66, of Lockerbie, never recovered and died weeks later in hospital.

She was on her way to meet friends when the accident occurred.

Her husband said he hoped the sentence given to Shields would deter other drivers from similar behaviour.

Image copyrightCROWN OFFICE

Image captionThe crash happened on the A75 in Dumfries in February last year

She ended up getting caught in heavy traffic on the A75 Gretna to Stranraer road at about 08:30 on 8 February 2017.

The court previously heard Shields was driving in the area while working for 911 Rescue Recovery.

He met the same line of traffic before ploughing into the back of Ms Blackman's Toyota Yaris.

His defence counsel John Scullion QC said: "He has asked me to apologised to Mrs Blackman's family and is ashamed of his actions that day."

Image copyrightPOLICE SCOTLAND

Image captionYvonne Blackman died weeks after the accident

In addition to his jail term, Shields was banned from driving for seven years and six months.

On sentencing, Lady Stacey said that as a professional driver he should have seen the queue of traffic and stopped but had not because he had focused his attention on his phone.

"I have seen a video of the crash and know you were paying heed to your mobile phone for 18 seconds," she said.

"It was a very dangerous thing to do.

"I know you did not intend the catastrophic result, but you should have known the terrible risk you were taking."

Image captionMrs Blackman's husband spoke outside court following the sentencing

Ralph Blackman said he hoped the five-year jail term in relation to his wife's case would send out a message.

"I hope this sentence deters any drivers from doing the same," he said.

"They should realise the suffering and hurt it causes to the victim's family.

"I've was a professional driver for 40 years and I've never used my mobile phone. If I'm driving I just let it ring."

He said he understood the dangers and other drivers needed to do so too.

"Only a second's inattention can be dangerous and he had 18 seconds with his eyes off the road," he said.

'Avoidable crash'

Ms Blackman, a mother-of-four, had 18 grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.

Her husband said: "She was very bubbly and fun-loving. She had a long life to live."

Commenting on the sentence, Sgt Paul Dodds from Police Scotland said: "This tragic and entirely avoidable crash clearly demonstrates the fatal consequences which can occur when a driver allows themselves to be distracted by another device whether handheld or otherwise.

"Sadly, Yvonne Blackman, being a wife, mother and friend lost her life owing to the inattention of Mr Shields who needlessly allowed himself to be distracted from the road ahead and instead chose to focus his attention on a cradle mounted mobile phone."

Related Topics

  • Lockerbie
  • https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-scotland-south-scotland-45665100

seth Posted on September 28, 2018 14:12

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THE FUTURE OF SMS IS HERE!

Welcome to the future of texting, TELBOT. 

TELBOT stands for text messaging on any device combined with great SMS features that you can’t find in your default SMS app.

TELBOT gives you the chance to send messages to more than a million recipients all over the world with just a click.

All you need to do is to input their contacts in the recipient box and type your message.

It also provides a section that makes you the sender anonymous if you wish to.

A text to anyone under normal circumstances costs ghc0.14 to the same network but with TELBOT, you can send messages to anyone anywhere for just 0.5Paxex per the current rate, which is ghc0.7

You can enjoy this new service by visitingwww.telbot.me. Welcome to the future of texting, TELBOT. 

TELBOT stands for text messaging on any device combined with great SMS features that you can’t find in your default SMS app.

TELBOT gives you the chance to send messages to more than a million recipients all over the world with just a click.

All you need to do is to input their contacts in the recipient box and type your message.

It also provides a section that makes you the sender anonymous if you wish to.

A text to anyone under normal circumstances costs ghc0.14 to the same network but with TELBOT, you can send messages to anyone anywhere for just 0.5Paxex per the current rate, which is ghc0.7

You can enjoy this new service by visitingwww.telbot.me.

Dominic Solomon Posted on September 28, 2018 13:54

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Scientists Want to Send Holographic Messages to Nearby Stars on Light Sails The unique properties of holograms could be used to stabilize spacecraft and carry huge amounts of data to the universe.

Image: Breakthrough Starshot

Imagine a fleet of light sails, imprinted with holographic messages, embarking from Earth to the stars beyond. This tantalizing vision is now actively being developed for potential use in projects like Breakthrough Starshot, an interstellar mission concept that aims to send 1,000 tiny spacecraft across four light years to Alpha Centauri, our nearest stellar neighbor.

Unveiled in 2016 by Yuri Milner and Stephen Hawking, Breakthrough Starshot envisions deploying a fleet of stamp-sized “StarChips” attached to light sails in orbit, and accelerating them to about 20 percent the speed of light using massive laser arrays on Earth.

As if that isn’t mind-bending enough, scientists and artists have recently started exploring the futuristic idea of embossing holograms on the light sails. This is not just to make the sails look trippy; it’s also a potential solution to the technical challenge of stabilizing and steering the sails.

To reach their target speeds, Starshot’s sails are supposed to be blasted for several minutes by 50 to 100 gigawatts of energy provided by a laser beam on the Earth’s surface (for comparison, the average nuclear power plant produces one gigawatt, according to the US Department of Energy). But because the laser would be moving due to the rotation of the Earth, some mechanism is needed to keep the sails within the beam as it drifts; otherwise they will float out of the light, failing to accelerate.

“The sail is so lightweight that you can’t really put a control system on there to fire little jets and otherwise correct for the relative position of the sail and the light,” Mason Peck, a professor of aerospace engineering at Cornell University, told me over the phone. “So rather than making the sail follow the light beam with some sort of robotic approach or thrusters, you might make it do so with optical or photon pressure.”

One approach to channel that photon pressure is to create sails with spherical or conical shapes—theoretical studies show that those shapes provide a self-correcting force that could nudge sails back into the beam if they begin to drift off. But spherical sails would more easily collapse under the intense pressures of heat and acceleration, compared to flat square sails.

That’s where the holograms come in. By embossing a hologram shaped like a cone or a sphere onto a flat sail, it might be possible to essentially trick photons into reacting as if the structure were really curved. Meanwhile, the flat design would be better equipped to withstand the enormous forces exerted by the beam.

“If [the hologram] is conical or spherical, that photonic force will push it back in the center [of the beam], but from the point of view of the inertial forces, it’s a flat shape, so it won’t collapse,” physicist Greg Matloff, a light sail expert who serves on the advisory board of Breakthrough Starshot, told me in a phone call.

In other words, a holographic image on a sail may prove to be the best of both worlds, though it will take many years of experimentation to find out for sure. But beyond the potential stabilization and propulsion applications, holograms are also a promising vector for sending messages from Earth into the wider universe.

Matloff and his partner, artist C Bangs, have been ruminating on holographic message plaques for nearly two decades. In 2002, at the suggestion of physicist Robert Forward, the pair co-authored a NASA proposal that detailed how images and information could be encoded into a hologram on a sail. It’s a similar concept to the Voyager Golden Records, the phonographs onboard the Voyager probes launched in 1977, except that a holographic message could contain far more information and would also serve as propulsion for the spacecraft.

Image: C Bangs

Breakthrough Starshot has given Matloff and Bangs the opportunity to resurrect this concept in earnest. In 2017, they consulted with hologram expert Martina Mrongovius, the creative director of the NYC HoloCenter, about the potential to emboss holographic data and artwork onto light sails and other spacecraft platforms.

“It is a space probe tradition to include a message plaque,” Mrongovius told me in an email. “Holograms have a massive information capacity to open up the types of imagery we could send into space. With holographic imaging, you can multiplex hundreds images together and create animations as well as record depth and dynamics.”

Such a platform could contain mountains of data about humans, Earth, and any other subjects we’d want to send out into the cosmos on light sails. Whether or not these messages would ever be intercepted by an alien species that could interpret them is an open question, and also somewhat beside the point.

“Considering how other beings could sense is an aspect of designing deep space messages, as well as longevity,” Mrongovius said. “The more immediately addressable question is how we represent ourselves as inhabitants of Earth. Sending a message is an opportunity to collaborate and build our identity as a species. Sending these messages is humanity’s way of reaching out into space, of saying we understand propulsion, are creative creatures, and that we come in peace.”

Bangs shares this view. “Basically when we do message plaques, we’re doing them for ourselves—we’re not doing them for aliens,” she told me over the phone. “We’re talking about really representing who we collectively feel that we are, and sending it out there.”

Read More: NASA's Newest Interstellar Concepts Rely on Huge Laser Arrays and Gravity Surfing

This tantalizing idea is about to start earning real-world experimental stripes. Earlier this year, NASA greenlit the launch of the Alpha 1U CubeSat, a small satellite developed by Peck and his team at Cornell’s Space Systems Design Studio. On track for launch within the next year or two, the spacecraft will deploy four “ChipSats” attached to a light sail. Six holograms created by Bangs and Mrongovius will also be attached to the side panels of the square satellite, and perhaps even imprinted on the sail.

Fish hologram for Alpha. Image: C Bangs

The iridescent images will be based on sculptures made by Bangs that depict DNA, a fish, a moth, and other life-centric themes. Mrongovius will create holograms based on photographs of these art-pieces. (Bangs and Matloff will be presenting a lecture on the project over the weekend in London, at a meeting for the Initiative for Interstellar Studies.)

“The holograms we are creating look very different to the robotic aesthetic of most satellites,” Mrongovius said. “The CubeSat rotates as it orbits so we are recording multiple images into each face that replay when illuminated by the sun at different angles.”

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The team hopes that the project will inspire interdisciplinary ideas about holographic applications in space, beyond Breakthrough Starshot. “For the humans who inhabit the ISS and future space bases, interiors with holographic art can expand visual space, enable dynamic light, and bring the aesthetics of nature into small artificial environments,” Mrongovius said, noting the work of artists Setsuko Ishii and Betsy Connors.

“Holographic art is a confluence of physics and imagination—so is space exploration,” she added. “While enabled by technology, both endeavors are driven by curiosity and vision.”

https://motherboard.vice.com/en_us/article/a387kp/scientists-want-to-send-holographic-messages-to-nearby-stars-on-light-sails

AlbertaU Posted on September 28, 2018 12:56

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A National Park Is Airlifting Hundreds of Mountain Goats That Have Gone Crazy for Human Pee.

Mountain goats in Olympic National Park are obsessed with human urine and are now a public nuisance.

Image: National Park Service

Outdoor enthusiasts have a storied history of wrecking nature with their excrement and now, hikers are apparently driving mountain goats crazy with pee.

At Olympic National Park in the state of Washington, hundreds of mountain goats are being airlifted by helicopter and moved to forests in the North Cascades. The reason? They’re too thirsty for human piss.

According to the national park, the fluffy ungulate has begun harassing visitors at campsites “where they persistently seek salt and minerals from human urine.” Goats are known to “paw and dig” where people have relieved themselves, causing the animals to become a nuisance.

The park estimates that 375 goats will be relocated this way, according to its final management plan. It’s possible that between 275 and 325 goats will be “lethally removed” by shooting them with rifles over three to five years, though the park says capture and release is its top priority. (“There is no intention to leave rotting carcasses within sight or smell of visitors,” the park clarified.)

Read more: Bad Goats Removed by Helicopter

Successfully captured goats are blindfolded, tagged, and fitted with GPS collars. Once loaded into crates, they’re transported in pairs to nine release sites throughout Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest, Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest, and on land owned by Seattle Public Utilities.

“The plan is to reach a zero population level of mountain goats in the park and adjacent Olympic National Forest lands…[removing] approximately 90 percent of the projected 2018 mountain goat population, or approximately 625 to 675 mountain goats,” the plan states.

Mountain goat removal project area. Image: Olympic National Park

Mountain goats are attracted to sources of salt and minerals to supplement their diet. And in Olympic National Park, where the goats are not a native species, these nutrients are harder to come by.

Yet, while normally shy, mountain goats have become habituated to humans. Many hikers are tempted to feed the animals from their salty palms. Urinating on trailsides is also discouraged, since it causes goats to associate people with their sodium-rich pee. (“Never urinate within 50 yards of a hiking trail,” the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife warns.)

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In 2010, a 63-year-old man was gored by an aggressive ram and died in the park.

Authorities have tried to control mountain goat numbers before, removing more than 500 during the 1980s, and even using a border collie to herd them away from visitors. The animals are unable to be sterilized, since no approved chemical contraception exists. The park is unable to introduce predators, such as gray wolves, to eat them, as they are “not effective predators on mountain goats” and would negatively impact other prey animals, such as elk and deer. Hunting within the park is also illegal.

Several alternatives were considered by Olympic National Park. Doing nothing, for instance, focusing instead “on preventing unacceptable mountain goat behavior,” the plan states. But this scenario would have ultimately caused goat numbers to increase.

The relocation project is being led by the National Park Service and the USDA Forest Service. It was developed by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife with assistance from the National Park Service Environmental Quality Division, and input from local tribes and residents.

Similar, pee-related problems have also been reported in Montana’s Glacier National park.

Mountain goats were introduced to the area during the 1920s and have colonized the entire region. Here, they pose a threat to vegetation, cause soil erosion, and compete with native wildlife.

The goats will be relocated to the North Cascades where they are a native species.

https://motherboard.vice.com/en_us/article/zm5zz8/a-national-park-is-airlifting-hundreds-of-mountain-goats-crazy-for-human-pee

AlbertaU Posted on September 28, 2018 09:24

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NASA solves mystery of cigar-shaped UFO, believed to carry alien life

Scientists have uncovered the truth about a mysterious space rock called Oumuamua which has been hurtling through Earth’s solar system and was spotted last year.

A group of acclaimed astronomers, including members from NASA, the European Space Agency and the German Max Planck Institute for Astronomy, released a report this week on the origins of the cigar-shaped asteroid which was first observed in October 2017.

The name Oumuamua is Hawaiian for “messenger from afar arriving first” and was named by the site who first spotted it.

According to the report, “a fast moving object on an unbound orbit was discovered close to the Earth” by a high-powered telescope, located in Hawaii.

The report claims Oumuamua is a metallic or rocky object, approximately 400 metres in length and about 40 metres wide.

It has a “comet-like density” and a dark red surface.

“(The red surface suggests) either an organic-rich surface like that of comets and outer solar system asteroids, or a surface containing minerals with nanoscale iron, such as the dark side of Saturn’s moon Iapetus,” the report said.

The report suggested Oumuamua left its home millions of years ago and was likely sent on its lonely journey when it was “ejected during planet formation and migration” and has been linked to four possible star systems.

It was also calculated that Oumuamua moved faster than the existing laws of celestial mechanics.

The report has been accepted into The Astrophysical Journal.

The discovery of Oumuamua sparked international debate when it was first discovered, as scientists struggled to explain what exactly the long, thin asteroid was and why it was flying so close to Earth.

The discovery even prompted suggestions that the rock was actually an alien spaceship or probe, used to explore our solar system.

But one fact has remained uncontended: Oumuamua is the first object ever observed travelling into our solar system from deep space.

The report found that Oumuamua is likely “one of many” interstellar objects that pass through Earth’s solar system on a regular basis.

http://www.foxnews.com/science/2018/09/27/nasa-solves-mystery-cigar-shaped-ufo-believed-to-carry-alien-life.html

khojho Posted on September 28, 2018 08:54

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Rattlesnake emerged from water in Florida, beachgoers say.

 

Snakes swimming in North Carolina flood waters

Griff Jenkins spots a snake in the flood waters while reporting on Florence.

Florida beachgoers spotted a rather unusual creature Tuesday emerging from the ocean: a possible diamondback rattlesnake.

Photos captured by local resident Rhonda Saunders show the serpent emerging from the water onto the Pensacola Beach.

The snake appeared to be “exhausted” and “trying to keep its head above the water,” Saunders told the Pensacola News Journal, adding a shocked crowd began to surround the creature. It's unclear where the snake came from.

'TIME CAPSULE' WARSHIP WRECK DISCOVERED

Local animal control officials were called and the snake was eventually removed.

"[An animal control officer] scooped him up with a long-handled net, and dropped him into a carrier," Saunders told the Pensacola News Journal.

“Not much fight left in him,” she said of the snake.

While many beachgoers said the serpent was likely a diamondback rattlesnake, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission was unable to formally identify the snake based off photos alone, biologists with the organization told the newspaper.

3,500-YEAR-OLD BRONZE HAND UNEARTHED, MAY HAVE BEEN 'BRONZE AGE CYBORG'

Diamondback rattlers are capable of swimming, according to Reptiles magazine. These serpents are the largest venomous snakes in North America, National Geographic reported, noting they “generally live in dry, pine flatwoods, sandy woodlands, and coastal scrub habitats from southern North Carolina to Florida and west to Louisiana.”

 

Rhonda Saunders was not immediately available for comment when contacted by Fox News on Thursday.

http://www.foxnews.com/science/2018/09/27/rattlesnake-emerged-from-water-in-florida-beachgoers-say.html

khojho Posted on September 28, 2018 08:34

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12 Fascinating Facts About Your Favorite Foods.

You are what you eat, is the weird half-truth that is spat out again and again. Luckily, it’s not entirely accurate, because otherwise we’d all be mint fudge chocolate chip ice cream, smokehouse BBQ, and meat lovers pizza. What is true is that what we put into our bodies dramatically effects the way it operates. From our thought processes to our fitness level; even our sex drive is influenced heavily by all we consume. Yet, most of us don’t have the first idea what we’re putting into our bodies. And the truth is, what we don’t know might be hurting us.

Processed foods are known to generally be bad for people, since the further one moves away from nature, the fewer nutrients we receive with every swallow. Then again, even in the natural world there are some strange additives that we might not be too keen on filling our gullets with. Sometimes interesting, sometimes revolting, sometimes enticing, here’s 12 fascinating facts about foods we eat every day.

 

Oreo Filling

via sassyradish.com

The second best creamy goo in the world – behind Nutella of course – is Oreo’s cream. Smooth and sweet, it makes the otherwise ordinary cookies with the cult symbols imprinted on them a special kind of delicious. That signature milkiness could be attributed to actual milk, and sometimes it has a cream cheese base, but most often, Oreo’s cookie filling is made mostly of Crisco. The popular pan greaser has such a delightful consistency that Nabisco decided to add a load of sugar to the fat and dunk it in milk.

Gummy Candies

via stuffpoint.com

Vegetarians and vegans are already hip to this lovely fact: Most anything made with standard gelatin is constructed out of the skin and bones shaved off of slaughtered animals, then rendered into the chewy goodness we all enjoy. Loads of sugar is naturally part of the recipe as well, but what’s really important are the colorful dyes. They make the tub of boiling skin and bone look cheery and edible, to say nothing of utterly hilarious when made into an erotic shape.

Check some of our videos

Twinkies Taste

via spoonuniversity.com

The little, yellow, indestructible, undigestable snack cakes are certainly loaded with fat of questionable origins, but that’s not strange. Every fatty sack of deliciousness has a shady backstory. What is interesting is that Twinkies didn’t always taste like Twinkies. Prior to the second world war – WWII: Nazi Boogaloo – they were banana flavored. During the fighting, banana trade was brought almost wholly to a halt, which forced Hostess to change the taste, since it needed to keep making money off heart disease and diabetes. Ultimately, the vague yellow cream cake is what was settled on, based largely around what supplies were available at the time.

Bananas

via quirkyscience.com

Speaking of the yellow fruit, it’s good to note that a bushel of bananas is called a “hand.” A single banana is also known as a “finger.”

Olive Oil

via healthfacts.ng

It’s easy to believe that olive oil shouldn’t have too many problems behind the scenes. After all, you get some olives, you milk the oil out, bottle, sell, and repeat. But why do that when you can use any kind of oil, so long as you can pass it off as Olive? The entire olive oil industry is only slightly more corrupt than Big Tobacco, and has been described as “comparable to cocaine trafficking, with none of the risks,” by a European Union official. Only about 30% of the “olive oil” on the shelves is actually what it says.

Orange Juice

via reddit.com

As the world moves toward a more organic future, people are taking stock of what they eat and drink. This has led many to seek out more “honest” 100% juices. Among the most popular is orange juice, the beloved drink of Piko Taro. Names like Tropicana and Simply Orange have been touting their “not from concentrate” juices as superior. While they do actually come from oranges, the flavor doesn’t. All that citrus goodness is completely manufactured and comes from sugars mixed in.

Bread

via cooking.nytimes.com

Anyone who’s ever whipped up a loaf of home-baked bread is likely aware that it tends to turn to mold many times faster than stuff that’s store bought. The reason is preservatives, as anyone could have guessed. But the particular preservative in bread is what’s interesting. It’s an amino acid called “L-cysteine” that is found in hog and human hair, cow horns, and duck feathers. It’s an oily liquid similar to the grease on your scalp, though you can’t taste that when eating a ball of Wonder Bread.

Vanilla

via topfoodfacts.com

As with olive oil, vanilla should be an easy ride. Get the vanilla beans, crush them up, milk them out, grind them up, or ferment them until you get what you need. In some cases, that’s exactly how it works. In cases of synthetic vanilla, the truth is a little more ick-inspiring. The taste and smell of many vanilla-flavored items comes from the anal glands of beavers. It’s a thick, brown substance called castoreum which melds together urine and secretions from their anal and castor glands. If you doubt, one sniff under a beaver’s tail will reveal the baked-in truth.

Shredded Cheese

via southernfoodways.org

Pre-shredded cheese operates differently than cheese you shred at home. A clump of freshly grated Colby is a sticky mass, but when it comes out of a store-bought bag, it pours easily and moves without clotting. That bit of marketable magic is cellulose, known to most of us as wood pulp. That mildly gritty consistency of pre-shredded cheese it flecks of timber mixed in for a more pulpy nacho.

Milt

via tomokoimadedyen.com

This is an FYI for travelers who’ve never heard of the delicacy milt. It’s fish sperm, so eat at your own risk.

Ranch Dressing

via foodnetwork.com

Titanium is a marvelous metal. It can stand up to abuse, patinas beautifully over time, and is light enough for any EDC item in your repertoire. But, titanium dioxide, a molecule with both Ti and O atoms is a white powder that is mixed into ranch dressing – among other white foods – to make it look cleaner and more appetizing. There’s no cause for it other than pure manipulation of human buying practices.

Jelly Beans

via wallpaperup.com

While any Jelly Beans made with gelatin suffer from the same issue as gummy candies, they also have another dire ingredient: insect secretions. That shiny shellac on the outside, that makes the beans glimmer enticingly, is pulled from the stuff that oozes out of the Kerria lacca insect.

https://www.thecoolist.com/weird-food-facts/

AlbertaU Posted on September 28, 2018 08:11

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Man With Bionic Penis Went Into 5-Day Coma Week After Having Sex For First Time

 

 

ITV

A man who was born without a penis fell into a coma for five days after having sex for first time.

Andrew Wardle, 45, was fitted with a £50,000 bionic penis after an intensive, 10-hour surgery. He has described the appendage as ‘ridiculously big’, and has said he and his girlfriend, Fedra Fabian, are delighted with the results.

However, just a few days after having sex for the first time, Fedra found Andrew collapsed on the floor. She rushed him to hospital where he remained in a coma for five days.

Andrew’s publicist, Barry Tomes, told MailOnline:

He had a fever for days and was vomiting. They thought he had a neurovirus.

He was supposed to be catching a train down to London to do an interview with This Morning. But Fedra rang to say she had found him unconscious. She was terrified. She has no family here to rely on.

They spent the next five days in limbo. He was so ill they couldn’t do any scans. They even tested for pancreatic cancer but thankfully it wasn’t.

It’s been quite terrifying. Their biggest worry was that the damage had been caused by having sex.

Fortunately, the issue was not caused because of the couple having sex, but was caused by ‘a gall bladder issue’, for which Andrew is now receiving treatment.

It’s been three months since Andrew underwent the surgery to be fitted with a penile implant. He had to live with an erection for ten days before the implant could be deflated, and had to wait a further six weeks before having sex.

Andrew was born a rare condition called bladder exstrophy, which can affect one in every 40,000 people.

Three months after a number of operations, including one to construct Andrew a new bladder, Andrew was able to use his ‘bionic penis’ for the first time.

Speaking to The Sun, Andrew said:

Fedra had booked a romantic trip to Am­s­t­erdam for my birthday, but I felt that would have been too much pressure.

I had to test out the function every morning and night and leave it erect for 20 minutes.

So, one morning, two days before we went away, it just happened. It was nice and natural — and that’s how I wanted it to be.

After what Fedra and I have been through, it’s the cherry on the cake.

Surgeons used skin, muscles and nerves from Andrew’s left arm to construct the penis, as well as veins from his right leg.

Andrew also thanked surgeon David Ralph and his team for the hard work.

He said:

I’m just looking forward to having a fresh start. It’s like I’ve been through a war and I’m just healing and getting my head straight. I owe it to my amazing surgeons to go out and enjoy my life.

I want to thank everyone past and present in the NHS who has got me to this point in my life – I would not be here without you today.

Andrew is receiving treatment for the gall bladder complications, and will soon be on the road to recovery.

https://www.unilad.co.uk/health/man-with-bionic-penis-went-into-5-day-coma-week-after-having-sex-for-first-time/

kabby Posted on September 28, 2018 08:09

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Lil Wayne Finally Releases Tha Carter V

Getty

Three years since his last album, and seven years since the last Carter album, Lil Wayne has finally released his much anticipated Tha Carter V.

The new album features guest appearances from Kendrick Lamar, Travis Scott, Snoop Dogg, Nicki Minaj and XXXTentacion, as well as others. The last track, Let It All Work Out, also features a sample from the Mercury Prize-winning Sampha.

Tha Carter V has been highly anticipated since Wayne announced it in 2012, following the release and success of 2011’s Tha Carter IV. The record began in 2004, when Wayne was just 22, but it’s release was delayed for over five years due to issues with his label.

Universal Music

The fifth instalment was then supposed to be out in 2014, but days before its release the rapper announced his label boss had ‘refused to release’ the record. Taking to Twitter at the time, Wayne said he was ‘a prisoner and so is my creativity’.

Then, in January 2015, Lil Wayne sued the label, Cash Money, demanding $51 million and the right to cut his ties with the record label, as Rolling Stone reports.

In response, Lil Wayne released his Free Weezy Album through Tidal in an attempted dig at his label Cash Money. The label hit back, however, allegedly trying to sue Tidal for $50 million over the project, though the lawsuit was later dropped.

Earlier this year, the rapper revealed to Billboard that the legal disputes between himself and the label had been settled for an undisclosed sum, meaning the path was finally clear to release Tha Carter V.

As part of the new deal, Wayne is now the sole owner of Young Money Records, his own imprint, as well as maintaining a relationship with Universal Music Group.

The Carter series of albums have been Lil Wayne’s defining records. In 2008, Tha Carter III became the last rap album to sell 1 million copies in the US in a single week. Tha Carter IV missed that mark by less than 40,000 copies in 2011.

In 2012, when he announced the fifth instalment, Lil Wayne suggested it would be his last, and that he’d probably retire after its release. However, he has now said: ‘I do think about retirement. I think about how I don’t think I ever will.’

Getty

Within the new album, the 36-year-old rapper also addresses the time he sustained a self-inflicted gunshot wound when has was just 12. In the past he has called this an accident, but now suggests it was a suicide attempt.

On new track Let It All Work Out he says:

I shot it, and I woke up with blood all around me
It’s mine, I didn’t die but as I was dying
God came to my side and we talked about it
He sold me another life and he made a prophet

Wayne had previously alluded to this in his verses on the Free Weezy Album track London Roads, and in his feature on Solange’s track Mad.

Now, however, he is focussed on new music and, of course, his role as a father of four.

He said:

My four jewels – when I FaceTime one of them, man, everything goes away.

Welcome back, Lil Wayne.

https://www.unilad.co.uk/sound/lil-wayne-finally-releases-tha-carter-v/

kabby Posted on September 28, 2018 08:04

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Placenta complications: 'Women must know the risks'

Expectant mothers should be told that the risk of placenta complications rises after a caesarean or fertility treatment, according to top doctors.

Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG) guidelines said early diagnosis of conditions placenta praevia and placenta accreta was vital.

They added doctors should discuss with women the safest way to give birth.

The conditions can lead to heavy bleeding and sometimes put mother and baby's lives at risk.

TV personality Kim Kardashian developed placenta accreta when pregnant with her daughter North West.

TV presenter Amanda Holden suffered from the rare placenta praevia-accreta when expecting her youngest daughter Hollie.

Placenta praevia happens when the placenta attaches in the lower part of the uterus (womb), sometimes completely covering the cervix (neck of the womb).

Placenta accreta is a rare but serious condition when the placenta is stuck to the muscle of the womb and/or to nearby structures such as the bladder.

Both conditions can cause heavy bleeding, particularly towards the end of the pregnancy, because the placenta is low down in the uterus.

This can sometimes require blood transfusions and lead to the loss of the uterus.

The RCOG has produced an online leaflet with information for women who may develop or have these conditions.

It says the rates of placenta praevia and placenta accreta have increased and are likely to continue to increase as a result of rising rates of caesarean births and the use of assisted reproductive technology, such as IVF.

This is because potential scars in the uterus created by caesareans and fertility treatment mean any subsequent pregnancies are more likely to implant in the scar, causing problems with the placenta.

The highest rates of complication for both mother and baby occur when these placenta complications are only diagnosed at delivery, the RCOG said.

And it encouraged more scans and specialised care to help reduce any risks.

Image copyrightGETTY IMAGES

'Discuss risk factors'

Prof Eric Jauniaux, lead author of the guidelines, said: "We hope this updated guidance will support healthcare professionals during discussions with women and their partners who may be considering assisted reproduction, particularly IVF, or an elective caesarean birth.

"These are both risk factors that can increase risk of developing these serious complications of the placenta."

Prof Jauniaux, professor of obstetric and foetal medicine at University College London, said the guidelines should also help doctors to diagnose the complications early and discuss the safest way for women to give birth.

Dr Geeta Kumar, chair of the RCOG patient information committee, said: "It is important for women to be aware of these complications of the placenta, but they should be reassured that these are very rare and specialist care is available.

"Early diagnosis is key to reduce harms associated with placenta praevia and accreta to ensure the safest possible outcome for mother and baby."

What does the placenta do?

The placenta develops together with the baby in the uterus during pregnancy.

It attaches to the wall of the uterus and provides a connection between mother and baby.

Oxygen and nutrients pass from the woman's blood through the placenta and into the baby's blood.

The placenta is delivered shortly after a baby is born, and is sometimes called the afterbirth.

How common is placenta praevia?

It is more common if a woman has had previous caesareans, fertility treatment or if they smoke.

If you have placenta praevia, your baby will probably need to be born by caesarean.

One in 200 women have the condition at the end of their pregnancy.

How common is placenta accreta?

It is a complication which affects between one in 300 and one in 2,000 pregnancies.

This is more common if a woman has previously had a caesarean.

It may cause heavy bleeding at the time of birth.

What is vasa praevia?

Vasa praevia is a very rare condition affecting between one in 1,200 and one in 5,000 pregnancies.

It is where blood vessels travelling from your baby to your placenta, unprotected by placental tissue or the umbilical cord, pass near to the cervix.

If these blood vessels tear, this can be very dangerous for your baby.

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seth Posted on September 28, 2018 05:33

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Africa's week in pictures: 21-27 September 2018

Actress Passant Shawky strikes a pose for a photo shoot by the Red Sea during the Egypt's El Gouna film festival on Tuesday.

Image copyrightAFP

Image captionOn the same day, Namibian boxer Paulus Ambunda faces off with Singapore's Muhamad Ridhwan ahead of their upcoming IBO Super Bantamweight title fight in Singapore.

Image copyrightAFP

Image captionOn Saturday, Sudanese judo fighters compete at a women-only event in the capital, Khartoum.

Image copyrightAFP

Image captionA life-size statue of former South African President Nelson Mandela is unveiled at the UN's headquarters in New York City on Monday....

Image copyrightAFP

Image caption..South Africa's President Cyril Ramaphosa (L) said the statue would serve as a reminder of Nelson Mandela's and South Africa's determination to help create a better world for all.

Image copyrightAFP

Image captionThe next day, a snake keeper shows off a python at an agricultural fair in the Democratic Republic of the Congo's capital, Kinshasa.

Image copyrightANADOLU AGENCY/GETTY IMAGES

Image captionOn Wednesday, believers gather in Addis Ababa to celebrate the first festival of the Ethiopian Orthodox Christian calendar year...

Image copyrightANADOLU AGENCY/GETTY IMAGES

Image caption..Meskel Festival marks the moment when St Helena is said to have discovered the cross that Jesus was crucified on.

Image copyrightNURPHOTO/GETTY IMAGES

Image captionOn Monday, schoolboys play football in the street of Egypt's capital, Cairo.

Image copyrightAFP

Image captionOn the same day, Ugandan pop star and opposition MP Bobi Wine hosts a media conference at his Kampala home days after returning from the US where he had medical treatment.

Image copyrightAFP

Image captionAlso on Monday, Afrikaner communities gather and perform a folk dance called the Volkspele to mark South Africa's annual Heritage Day.

Image copyrightAFP

Image captionA capella singers compete at the National Isicathamiya Competition in Durban the day before...

Image copyrightAFP

Image caption..the event is rooted in migrant Zulu culture from the 1950s and features a style category - these men waiting backstage are taking part in the category called oswenka ("swank").

Image copyrightCORBIS NEWS/GETTY IMAGES

Image captionA mosaic from the House of Amphitrite at Bulla Regia, a Roman archeaologial site in Tunisia, is pictured on Friday.

Image copyrightGETTY IMAGES

Image captionA couple stand on the dance floor ahead of a performance by Nigerian Afrobeat drummer Tony Allen on Saturday in Italy.

Image copyrightCORBIS NEWS/GETTY IMAGES

Image captionThe same day, a passerby by is pictured on the street of Ain Draham in Tunisia.

Pictures from AFP and Getty Images

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  • Photography
  • https://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-45668401

seth Posted on September 28, 2018 05:27

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Air travel 'without your passport leaving your pocket'

New technologies are helping to tackle one of the great scourges of air travel - airport queues. But at what cost to our privacy?

Queues to check-in and drop your bags, at security, at passport control and finally queues at your boarding gate.

Air travel can be a frustrating business, even if these queues are largely a result of airports trying to ensure our safety.

And as more of us fly - 4.4 billion passengers are forecast to take to the skies in 2018 - airports are being pushed to their limits.

So the industry is hoping technology can streamline the process, with increasing use of biometrics such as facial recognition - and not just at passport control.

Image copyrightELIZABETH NEEDHAM-BENNETT/BBC

Image captionPassport control queues are an all-too-common experience for air passengers

For example, British Airways uses facial recognition when boarding passengers on domestic UK flights, as well as for some international flights out of the US.

Travellers flying from Heathrow are photographed when going through security. A second photo is taken at the boarding gate - and if the image matches the original one and the data confirms they are at the right gate, it automatically opens.

The US system combines check-in information with biometrics - images and fingerprints - and biographical data from passports and visas. When a passenger arrives at a boarding gate, a new photo is taken and compared to the data on record.

Raoul Cooper, digital airport design manager at British Airways, says this approach can halve the time it takes to board 240 people onto an international flight, with a consequent 10% improvement in flight punctuality.

Image copyrightBA

Image captionYou can now board some domestic flights without showing your passport at the gate

Image copyrightBA

Image captionBritish Airways operates biometric self-boarding gates at Heathrow Terminal 5

"We believe that this starts to prove how we can use identity services more widely and is an important part of our ambition to create a seamless journey," says Mr Cooper.

"One day, a traditional passport scan or swipe may no longer be needed."

Similar face-scanning technology is being trialled at Singapore's Changi airport, where one potential application could be spotting lost passengers who've missing the final boarding call for their flight, the airport operator says.

Changi's Terminal 4 is already using the tech for self-service check-in, bag drop, immigration and boarding.

In the US, Delta Airlines is planning to use facial recognition at check-in, security, boarding and customs at the Maynard H. Jackson International Terminal at Jackson Atlanta airport, doing away with passport checks altogether for some international travellers.

Research consultancy Frost & Sullivan reckons airport spending towards improving the passenger experience will reach $4.2bn (£3.2bn) by 2020.

"Technology integration into airport functions is driven by a growth demand in air travel and shrinking terminal capacity," says Renjit Benjamin, the firm's industry analyst for aerospace, defence and security.

"The tendency to employ technology is not regionally limited - cities around the globe have ongoing projects that effectively deploy digital technology for seamless passenger management and process efficiency."

 

Media captionFrom hi-tech airport sensors to the solar palm tree that charges your phone

Dubai airport in the United Arab Emirates also has big - and quirky - plans for biometric technology.

The airport intends to replace traditional security desks with aquarium-like tunnels featuring up to 80 face-scanning cameras disguised as fish. As passengers walk through they are scanned from every angle while they look at the images, and the captured data is compared with existing ID photos.

The first tunnels are due to be installed by the end of 2018, with all terminals to be equipped with the tech-aquariums by 2020.

Tech start-up VChain believes blockchain, the technology underpinning cryptocurrencies, will help provide us with secure, verifiable digital identities that could make airport queues a thing of the past.

Its software generates a signal - a mathematical version of the red, orange, green of a traffic light - about a passenger's passport, helping authorities verify the passenger's identity and build a "reputation" and trust score around that travel document.

These mathematical signals are stored on the blockchain, preventing tampering and achieving verifiable consensus.

The more times the passport and passenger data is verified, the better its reputation becomes, such that inaccurate data entered on a booking website - a common occurrence that contributes to delays - could be corrected automatically, the company hopes.

"[Blockchain is] the best approach we have developed to date as a civilisation for record keeping," claims VChain's chief executive Irra Ariella Khi.

"And good records are good for security, because your risk assessment is always only as good as the records it's based on."

More Technology of Business

The VChain platform is being tested by IAG - the global airline group that owns BA, Iberia, Aer Lingus and Vueling.

"The airport of the future will see passengers breezing through without annoying queues or document checks, with their passport never leaving their pocket," she says.

But wherever biometrics is deployed, concerns about privacy and data protection are sure to follow. Image recognition is getting better, but it is far from infallible, with human rights campaigners such as Privacy International and Human Rights Watch warning about misidentifications and the potential for abuse by authorities.

For its part, BA says it does not hold any passenger ID data, but transfers it to the US Customs and Border Protection identity system, which then sends back anonymised "match" or "no match" signals.

And as long as air passengers benefit from the increased convenience of queue-less air travel, privacy concerns may remain muted.

  • Follow Technology of Business editor Matthew Wall on Twitter and Facebook

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seth Posted on September 28, 2018 05:18

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Air Niugini plane comes down in Micronesia lagoon

A passenger aircraft has come down in a lagoon off Chuuk International Airport in Micronesia after it overshot the runway, say airport officials.

Images circulating online showed the Air Niugini plane, from Papua New Guinea, sitting in shallow water just off the coast.

None of the 35 passengers and 12 crew onboard flight ANG73 suffered serious injuries.

The cause of the crash is unclear, but investigations are due to begin soon.

Image copyrightDR JAMES YAINGELUO

"The plane crashed in the lagoon, about 160 yards away from the runway," Chuuk airport manager Jimmy Emilio told the BBC.

"Right now we don't really know what happened. Investigations will start earliest tomorrow, but [for now], operations are starting again as usual in the airport."

Mr Emilio said all those onboard the Boeing 737-800 aircraft were taken to hospital for checks, saying he believed some suffered from "minor injuries".

Image copyrightREUTERS

The aircraft was flying from the island of Pohnpei in Micronesia to Port Moresby, the capital of Papua New Guinea, stopping at Micronesia's Weno island on the way.

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seth Posted on September 28, 2018 05:11

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One of the First Bitcoin Miners is Quietly Cashing Out: Blockchain Researcher

As of Thursday, Sept. 25, the bitcoin price has climbed about 3 percent, briefly crossing the $6,700 level and extending toward $6,750 at one point in the early evening.

While this movement has made plenty of cryptocurrency  traders and investors happy in the short-term, a recent analysis of spending patterns relating to some of the earliest blocks of bitcoin has revealed that a very early miner has been taking advantage of the last several years’ long-term upward trajectory to slowly cash out tens of thousands of coins since Dec. 2016.

A recent tweet from a cryptocurrency expert, Blockchain data analyst Antoine Le Calvez, has revealed that a mysterious bitcoin miner has managed to send approximately 30,000 BTC cryptocurrency exchanges between Dec. 2016, and Jan. 2018, potentially cashing them out for a mammoth payday.

Mystery Miner Cashes In

According to Le Calvez, the mysterious bitcoin miner has been smart enough to cash in on their youngest blocks of bitcoin to not reveal the full extent of their mining period.

View image on Twitter

Antoine Le Calvez@khannib

An analysis of the spending patterns of the earliest blocks of Bitcoin seem to indicate that a very early miner sent around 30k BTC to exchanges from Dec 2016 to early Jan 2018.

12:00 PM - Sep 26, 2018

Twitter Ads info and privacy

 

It would seem that, at the latest, the mining started somewhere around Dec. 2009, back when the value of BTC wasn’t much above $0, still wasn’t anywhere near reaching dollar parity, and the flagship cryptocurrency could be profitably mined with a standard-issue CPU. The first Bitcoin Pizza Day, you will remember, did not occur until 2010.

Furthermore, the researcher believes that the mystery miner had mined for at least seven months. Through this time, he managed to acquire more than 30,000 BTC since block rewards were high and miners were few.

Antoine Le Calvez@khannib

Sep 26, 2018

Replying to @khannib

For those confused by the chart:
X-axis is block height, time flows to the left.

Y-axis is when that block was spent, if it was, also expressed in height, the higher the dot, the most recent the spending.

X-axis runs from 2009-01-03 to 2010-04-10

Antoine Le Calvez@khannib

Before people ask, I don't think it's Satoshi.

12:09 PM - Sep 26, 2018

Twitter Ads info and privacy

 

He speculates that the miner could have even commenced mining operations earlier than Dec. 2009 since, recognizing that spending older coins is more likely to attract attention, he desires to conceal his sell-off. For some, this may raise questions, such as whether the mystery wallet owner is not Satoshi Nakamoto himself, although the researcher seems to think otherwise.

Featured Image from Shutterstock

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https://www.ccn.com/one-of-the-first-bitcoin-miners-is-quietly-cashing-out-blockchain-researcher/

seth Posted on September 28, 2018 04:51

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David Beckham avoids speeding prosecution after lawyer 'Mr Loophole' finds technicality

David Beckham will not be prosecuted over a speeding charge after his lawyer, known as "Mr Loophole", successfully fought the allegation on a technicality.

 

Former England captain Beckham was accused of driving his Bentley at 59mph in a 40mph zone on the A40 in Paddington, London, shortly after 5.30pm on 23 January.

 

Celebrity lawyer Nick Freeman initially had a setback when a judge dismissed his submission seeking to dismiss the charge.

 

Mr Freeman, who entered a not-guilty plea, said a lack of admissible evidence meant Beckham had no case to answer.

 

District Judge Barbara Barnes told him a tribunal could reasonably convict the former England footballer on the evidence and ruled there was a case to answer.

 

However, Mr Freeman also stated that the notice of intended prosecution arrived one day outside the 14-day limit and was therefore "defective".

 

 

Image:

Beckham hired Mr Freeman to represent him over a speeding charge - and it turned out to be a good move

 

Image:

Beckham complained about traffic on the same day as the court session. Pic: David Beckham/Instagram

In his submission he told the court: "If the Crown can't prove that the letter was sent by first-class post then the concept that it arrives in two working days goes out of the window.

 

"It would be unsafe to allow these proceedings to go any further."

 

The judge told the court that the notice of intended prosecution (NIP) was sent on 2 February and should have arrived at Bentley Motors Ltd, the registered keepers of the vehicle, by 6 February.

 

But she said she was satisfied on the evidence heard that it did not in fact arrive until the day after the statutory 14-day window.

 

She said: "What I find is the fact it did not arrive in the post room of Bentley Motors Ltd until 7 February and therefore was one day outside the legal limit.

 

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"The defendant in this case cannot be convicted."

 

:: Who is the lawyer who is often the "go-to" man for celebrities accused of driving offences?

 

 

Image:

Mr Freeman often picks up on technical errors such as spelling mistakes

Mr Freeman, who has trademarked the name "Mr Loophole", has worked with many other footballers, including Joe Cole, Frank Lampard and John Terry.

 

He revealed his methods in his book The Art Of The Loophole, where he said he never meets a client before a case because he does not want to be compromised by any detail they might reveal.

 

His first big name client was then-Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson in 1999. He also represented Beckham over another charge the same year.

 

Mr Freeman argued that Sir Alex had to use the hard shoulder to get to the training ground to allow for his upset stomach and need for a toilet.

 

 

Image:

Mr Freeman argued that Sir Alex Ferguson really needed to use the hard shoulder

Other reasons the lawyer has given include stars being forced to break the speed limits to escape chasing paparazzi and needing to keep their licences because of family commitments.

 

He is also known for his in-depth knowledge of motoring law and has helped clients avoid prosecution or charges based on technical errors such as spelling mistakes.

 

Explorer Sir Ranulph Fiennes escaped a prosecution for an offence due to Mr Freeman pointing out there were spelling errors on the letter summoning him to court and letters were sent out to a "Mr Ran Flenns".

 

More from David Beckham

 

David Beckham to go on trial after being charged with speeding in Bentley

Beckham stands in box with mosquitoes in call for action

Beckham's new Miami MLS team a 'dream come true'

Backlash over Beckham's Buckingham Palace tea party

Guy Ritchie defends 'fabulous actor' David Beckham amid King Arthur criticism

Former cricketer Andrew Flintoff was caught on camera in 2008 doing 87mph in a temporary 50mph zone but Mr Freeman pointed out that the prosecution notice was sent two days later than the law allows.

 

Flintoff only had to turn up at court to confirm his name, age and address and was then let off.

https://news.sky.com/story/who-is-mr-loophole-lawyer-to-the-stars-to-represent-beckham-over-speeding-charge-11510038

Albert Ulebe Posted on September 27, 2018 22:35

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Newsflash: Bitcoin Price Pops to $6,745 ahead of Quarterly Futures Expiration.

The bitcoin price broke out of its early-week slump on Thursday, scrambling back above $6,700 to return to its weekend levels.

 

Bitcoin had entered the week near $6,700  after briefly extending as high as $6,815 last Friday. However, the flagship cryptocurrency took a moderate dip on Monday, a correction that ultimately forced BTC below $6,400 on Tuesday ahead of a recovery back to $6,500 on Wednesday.

 

 

BTC/USD | Bitfinex

That’s where BTC/USD continued to trade for most of Thursday morning and afternoon, at least until 19:48 UTC when a surge in volume carried the bitcoin price from $6,549 to $6,690 in less than four minutes. At 20:02 UTC, bitcoin broke past $6,700 for the first time since Sunday and popped as high as $6,745 one minute later. As of the time of writing at 21:09 UTC, BTC/USD was trading just above the $6,700 level at $6,702 on Bitfinex.

 

Several traders have noted on social media that tomorrow, Sept. 28, is the date that quarterly futures expire on OKEx, BitMEX, and CME, events that tend to be accompanied by increased price volatility in the spot markets.

 

 

 

Click here for a real-time bitcoin price chart or here to read CCN’s latest intraday BTC/USD technical analysis.

https://www.ccn.com/newsflash-bitcoin-price-pops-to-6745-ahead-of-quarterly-futures-expiration/

Albert Ulebe Posted on September 27, 2018 22:09

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Ultimate 'FIFA 19' preview: Best players, fastest and slowest, strongest and more

It's the end of September and that means only one thing in video games: It's time for the latest version of the FIFA franchise to hit our consoles and keep us occupied through the grim, snowy misery of winter.

FIFA 19 hits the stores/internet/whatever this Friday, a run that began with the first pixels hitting our Segas in 16-bit glory back in 1993.

Like those versions that came before, FIFA 19 is great fun. It's enhanced in subtle ways that move the game ever closer to realism but with enough familiarity that you can pick up a controller and dive right in without feeling bewildered. The inclusion of the Chinese Super League means you're now able to control the litany of stars who went there for astronomical sums over the past season or two. (Here's lookin' at you, Ezequiel Lavezzi.) Yet the Russian Premier League has vanished, leaving behind just CSKA Moscow, Lokomotiv Moscow and Spartak Moscow. You can't have it all.

Popular story mode The Journey has been enhanced and expanded to give you more opportunities to impact the future of not just Alex Hunter, as he moves to Real Madrid, but his younger sister (a budding U.S. national team striker) and his best friend from the academy days as he tries to establish himself in the Premier League. The pathways are more complicated for all three interconnected leads, making it a more immersive way to play the game than just league or tournament modes.

Another big add was a reinvention of the passing, ball control and shooting mechanics to leave more room for mastery and improvement that might set a seasoned player apart from a novice.

Finally, the officially licensed presence of UEFA's flagship competitions, the Champions League and the Europa League, is a delight. Each tournament mode carries the branded style right down to the typeface, score chyrons, the match ball and, yes, the official chaaaaaampioooooooons pre-game theme song is in here too. (The first time you play a CL fixture, you can't seem to skip ahead beyond the song so I hope you like it as much as I do.)

Consider this your official guide to all the nuances, changes, highs and lows. Oh, and it's great fun: If you're a super-fan of the FIFA franchise, it will tick all the boxes in your heart and keep the controller in your hands until the FIFA 20 demo drops next September. There's just enough enhancement and refinement to give life to a very familiar and comforting series.

Cristiano Ronaldo again graces the cover as FIFA 19 pushes the game even further than past editions. EA Sports

The Top 10 in the game

10. Toni Kroos, CM, Real Madrid (last year: 9)
9. David De Gea, GK, Man United (11)
8. Luis Suarez, ST, Barcelona (4)
7. Sergio Ramos, CB, Real Madrid (7)
6. Eden Hazard, LW, Chelsea (8)
5. Kevin De Bruyne, CAM, Manchester City (15)
4. Luka Modric, CM, Real Madrid (12)
3. Neymar, LW, Paris Saint-Germain (3)
2. Lionel Messi, CF, Barcelona (2)
1. Cristiano Ronaldo, ST, Juventus (1)

Whether playing a franchise mode or starting a FIFA Ultimate Teams (FUT) dynasty worthy of winning real-life tournaments, you'll want to make sure you've got at least one or two of the above. The ranking has changed a lot in the past year, with two players in particular soaring up the charts: Luka Modric, who's currently winning all the individual awards following a spectacular 12 months for club and country, and Kevin De Bruyne, who grew into his fullest potential as the fulcrum for Pep Guardiola's all-conquering and record-smashing City side in the Premier League.

The top three remain the same, though one has to wonder: Didn't Kylian Mbappe or Mo Salah do enough to crack the top 10? (They're ranked 42nd and 27th, respectively.)

The pass masters

Best passers: Kevin De Bruyne, CAM, Manchester City (92). Luka Modric, CM, Real Madrid (90). Toni Kroos, CM, Real Madrid; Christian Eriksen, CAM, Tottenham (89). Six players, including Lionel Messi, on 88.

Worst passers: Wang Yaopeng, CB, Dalian Yifang; George Ray, CB, Crewe Alexandra; Yoshiaki Fujita, CB, Jubilo Iwata (24). Chen Weiming, CB, Guangzhou R&F (25). Four players tied on 26.

The biggest improvements to FIFA 19 come in the passing and ball movement department, making accuracy a must when kickstarting attacks. It's not like FIFA games of old where you can turn any team into a dangerous bunch of one-touch passers: 19 is the most realistic yet when it comes to how players perform on the ball.

If you're facing one direction but want to lay it off to someone behind your player, it's fair to assume the ball will no longer ping to them perfectly, in stride, as if controlled by magnets. The players at the top end of the passing scale will be able to play a full gamut of long- and short-range passes via air or ground with more confidence, but it still requires forethought as to how you manage possession against the CPU or a friend. Moving the ball within your player's field of vision is the best bet if you want to ensure the killer through-ball finds a winger tearing into space.

Despite being a veteran of the franchise all the way back to 1993 (Della Savia, anyone?), it took me a few games to get a handle on where I wanted the ball to go vs. where it actually ended up.

Changes to the touch and control mechanics means that your player is no longer assured of keeping possession. Unless it's Kevin De Bruyne, of course. EA Sports

Running at light speed vs. stuck in the mud

The fastest: Adama Traore, RW, Wolves; Kylian Mbappe, RW, Paris Saint-Germain (96). Gareth Bale, RW, Real Madrid; Douglas Costa, LM, Juventus; Leroy Sane, LW, Manchester City; Jurgen Damm, RM, Tigres UANL (95). 13 players tied on 94.

The slowest: Aaron Hughes, CB, Heart of Midlothian (24). Frode Kippe, CB, Lillestrom SK; Jamie McCombe, CB, Lincoln City (25). Damien Delaney, CB, Cork City; Matt Rhead, ST, Lincoln City (27). Five players tied on 29.

Speed is still killer in FIFA 19 if you're a fan of the sprint button, but thanks to some tweaks and refinements to game play, it's no longer enough to just mash the controller and watch your player zoom off toward goal. However, the initial burst can be enough to make a difference and you'll note that the wing is where such gifts of acceleration can be found.

Defenders are smarter in how they track your runs and pursue you around the field when trying to kickstart upfield moves. It's no longer enough to simply punt it into space and out-run your markers, though raw pace can help you gain separation. Tweaks to the crossing mechanism become most obvious when you're at full speed: If you're off balance, the variation in cross pace and accuracy is much sharper compared with previous FIFA iterations. A good run is for nothing if you belt the square pass into the stands.

The converse of relentless pace down the flanks is a gaggle of leaden-footed central defenders. Don't attempt to play a high line and offside trap if you have any of the above in your starting XI.

The Journey mode is back with Alex Hunter grappling with life at Real Madrid, though his sister and his best friend also have significant storylines to pursue as well. EA Sports

Separating the strong from the weak

The strongest: Adebayo Akinfenwa, ST, Wycombe Wanderers (97). Tomas Chory, ST, Sigma Olomouc; Kendall Waston, CB, Vancouver Whitecaps (95); Romelu Lukaku, ST, Manchester United; Felipe Carvalho, CB, Valerrenga; Anderson Esiti, CDM, KAA Gent; Kalidou Koulibaly, CB, Napoli; Niklas Sule, CB, Bayern Munich; Kara Mbodji, CB, FC Nantes; Sebastian Coates, CB, Sporting CP (94).

The weakest: Ryo Miyaichi, RM, FC St. Pauli (30). Cesar Valenzuela, CAM, Huachipato; Patrik Karlsson Lagemyr, RW, IFK Goteborg; Bryan Mbuemo, LW, ESTAC Troyes; Jordan Young, ST, Swindon Town (32). Four players tied on 33.

Power can often be important in soccer. Do you win every aerial challenge? Are you a menace in possession and impossible to tackle? Can you bully just about anyone off the ball?

It's no surprise that Akinfenwa, the man they call "The Beast," tops the strength charts again given his remarkable physique and downright intimidating style of play. Unsurprisingly, there's a mixture of players at both ends of the pitch who have the tools to dominate: Depending on how the Champions League group stage goes, we could even see a Sule vs. Lukaku match-up in the knockouts, the ultimate test of immovable object vs. unstoppable force.

Luckily, there's a new range of quick tactical options added to FIFA 19 in case you find yourself out-matched. Building off the "quick sub" menu added to FIFA 18, whereby you could pre-arrange set substitutions or have the option to make a spur-of-the-moment change without pulling out of the game, there's a new range of quick shifts in formation and lineup that you can access mid-game. If something's not working, you can pull up your pre-set tactics and adjust to what your opponent is doing.

Outmatched in midfield? Adjust to add an extra body as the game's happening. Need more support at the back? Tweak the number of players in your defense or push a striker into a more withdrawn centre-forward role to help with retaining possession. It's yet another enhancement adding a layer of realism to proceedings so you can indulge your inner Pep Guardiola when it comes to shuffling the pieces on the pitch.

FIFA 19 brings even more realism and polish to the visuals, which is remarkable given how last year's edition saw a significant increase in quality. EA Sports

The five-star skill club

There's a select list of players in the game who boast the full five-star rating when it comes to skill on the ball. Capable of pulling off just about every trick, flick and bicycle kick imaginable, you want to look to these guys if you're trying to improve your team's showmanship. It's especially useful when receiving the ball in crowded areas: Poor control is more pronounced in FIFA 19 and will be punished accordingly.

Of course, the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo, Paul Pogba and Philippe Coutinho are present, as well as Neymar, Kylian Mbappe and the inimitable Zlatan Ibrahimovic. It's not just attack where the flair can be found: Real Madrid's Marcelo also has the full complement of magic when in possession and is the only defender with five-star powers.

There's a glut of up-and-coming talent to aim for when building a team: Federico Bernardeschi of Juventus is worth grabbing but Omar Abdulrahman (Al-Hilal), Quincy Promes of Sevilla and Martin Odegaard (remember him, Madridistas?) are more realistic still if you're in a franchise mode but lacking the funds of an oligarch to take your team forward. And for anyone saying you can't find wizardry in the English lower leagues, League One Sunderland are repped on the skill front via elder statesman Aiden McGeady.

play

2:52

Red Bulls' Robles & Davis showcase FIFA 19 skills

New York Red Bulls' Luis Robles and Sean Davis stopped by ESPN to square off in FIFA 19 and see how accurate their player ratings are in the game.

The best of MLS

Zlatan Ibrahimovic, ST, LA Galaxy (85). David Villa, ST, New York City FC; Sebastian Giovinco, CF, Toronto FC (82). Carlos Vela, RW, Los Angeles FC; Josef Martinez, ST, Atlanta United FC (81). Bastian Schweinsteiger, CM, Chicago Fire; Ignacio Piatti, LW, Montreal Impact; Wayne Rooney, ST, DC United; Miguel Almiron, CAM, Atlanta United FC; Diego Valeri, CAM, Portland Timbers (80).

Major League Soccer has a handful of players above the 80 rating threshold, though all of them are imported from other leagues. Still, it's nice to see emerging talent like the record-breaking Josef Martinez make the grade as he looks to finish what he started in the goal-scoring stakes. He famously smashed the longstanding record for goals in a single season back in late-August and currently sits on 30 with four regular-season games remaining.

Relax, you're in safe hands

Best hands: Jan Oblak, GK, Atletico Madrid (92). Thibaut Courtois, GK, Real Madrid (91). Manuel Neuer, GK, Bayern Munich (88). Gianluigi Buffon, GK, Paris Saint-Germain (87). Samir Handanovic, GK, Inter Milan (86).

Worst hands: Tim Schneider, GK, KFC Uerdingen 05; Keegan Smith, GK, Wellington Phoenix (44). Eight players tied on 45.

The ratings differentiating goalkeepers arguably have the widest spread when it comes to players sharing a particular number, and nowhere is this more clear than in the Handling stat. Mighty Jan Oblak leads his peers when it comes to catching and holding the ball, whether from set pieces, shots on goal or defending crosses. In short, does he catch or parry balls into the box?

The 47 Club

 

David Norman Jr., CM, Vancouver Whitecaps; Alec Byrne, CM, Cork City; Lee Watkins, CM, Cambridge United; Kieron Olsen, RB, Carlisle United; Noah Christoffersson, ST, Trelleborgs FF; Ma Junliang, CM, Guangzhou R&F; Zhang Yufeng, CM, Beijing Renhe; Alexander Kaltner, ST, SpVgg Unterhaching; Christoph Ehlich, RB, SpVgg Unterhaching; Josh Lundstram, CM, Crewe Alexandra; Kotaro Fujikawa, CM, Jubilo Iwata; Shandon Baptiste, CM, Oxford United; Jordan Young, ST, Swindon Town; Pierce Phillips, CM, Cork City

Of course, there is fresh life beneath the rarified air of the top players. There are 14 players who qualify for the hallowed "47 Club," those unlucky enough to be bestowed with the lowest OVR rating in the game. Cork City, of the Rep. Ireland Airtricity League, and third-tier German side SpVgg Unterhaching have the dubious honor of having two players each in this hallowed club.

And finally, the Golden Hoof Award

Lincoln City center-back Jamie McCombe wins this prize for having the lowest dribble ability in the entire game. With a 24 rating, it's best just to ask him to punt it immediately upon receiving possession.http://kwese.espn.com/football/blog/espn-fc-united/68/post/3645558/ultimate-fifa-19-preview-best-playersfastest-and-sloweststrongest-and-more

khojho Posted on September 27, 2018 17:49

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Euro 2024: Germany beats Turkey to host tournament

Germany has beaten Turkey to host Euro 2024 after a vote by Uefa's executive committee on Thursday.

The two countries made final bid presentations before voting took place in Nyon, Switzerland.

The decision means Germany will stage the European Championship for the first time as a unified country, with West Germany having hosted the 1988 tournament.

Turkey is yet to host a major international football tournament.

It has seen previous attempts to host the Euros in 2008, 2012 and 2016 fail, as well as the 2020 Summer Olympics. Germany staged the 2006 World Cup.

'The procedure was transparent'

Euro 2024 will return to a single-host format after Euro 2020 is held across Europe, including Germany.

Before announcing the winner, Uefa president Aleksander Ceferin said Germany and Turkey had made "very strong bids".

After announcing the winner, he added: "The procedure was transparent. The voting was democratic. Every democratic decision is the right decision so I can only say I am looking forward to seeing a fantastic Euro in 2024."

Euro 2024 will feature 24 teams, taking place in June and July, with 51 games scheduled for up to 32 days.

Berlin will stage the final, while matches will also take place in Cologne, Dortmund, Dusseldorf, Frankfurt, Gelsenkirchen, Hamburg, Leipzig, Munich and Stuttgart.

Former Germany captain Philipp Lahm, an ambassador for his country's bid, said: "We have amazing stadiums, fans who love football, first and foremost we have people who love celebrating with other Europeans.

"We will organise a huge football party in Germany."

Germany and Turkey were the only countries in the running for Euro 2024 and, in the build up, an evaluation report by Uefa stated Turkey's bid had risks.

The report added that Turkey's lack of an action plan in the area of human rights and limited hotel capacity in many cities were matters "of concern". It also labelled the scale of transport infrastructure work required "a risk".

However, it did say the Turkish bid was "in line with the long-term objectives of Uefa."

https://www.bbc.com/sport/football/45666950

seth Posted on September 27, 2018 14:02

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X-Men: Dark Phoenix - what the trailer tells us

In the two-minute trailer of X-Men: Dark Phoenix we see Jean Grey as a child, the X-Men attend a funeral and they make a trip into space.

This film focuses on the story of Jean Grey - now played by Sophie Turner - and her relationship to Phoenix and how it affects her mind and body.

The storyline is a crucial part of the comics and we've seen a version of it before in X Men: The Last Stand.

The trailer is a nice taster of what we can expect from the film but it also leaves a few questions unanswered.

Image Copyright 20th Century Fox20TH CENTURY FOX

Report

1. Who is Smith?

Image copyright20TH CENTURY FOX

Image captionJessica Chastain plays Smith

Near the start of the trailer we see the actress Jessica Chastain, with blonde hair and dressed all in black.

She goes into a church and is seen talking to Jean.

She tells her: "You feel like you don't belong. You don't."

It's not clear who Smith is but from the trailer, we're guessing she's a villain.

There is a character called Tabitha Smith in the Marvel Comics, but we will need to wait for more trailers to know exactly who she is.

Fans are also confused about this one.

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Who said, "You don't belong here"? All the other voices I recognized. #DarkPhoenix #Xmen #X-Men

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2. Unsurprisingly, they're embracing the dark theme

Image copyright20TH CENTURY FOX

Image captionYou see a dark side to Jean Grey

When the film's called Dark Phoenix, it's not a massive shock that the tone is a lot darker.

Jean Grey is heard in the trailer saying: "They're right to fear me."

In the comics and other films, Jean has always struggled with her powers and in the trailer you see her flipping over police cars and bringing down a helicopter.

We also get a glimpse into her childhood.

Image copyright20TH CENTURY FOX

Image captionJean as a young girl

A very young Jean is seen in the back of a car with her parents and they're involved in a car crash.

There is the suggestion that she may have had a hand in her parent's death.

The music in the trailer is a version of a 1967 song called This is the End by The Doors.

The lyrics include the line: "This is the end, beautiful friend, this is the end, my only friend, the end."

3. Professor X isn't perfect

Image copyright20TH CENTURY FOX

Professor X is always trying to help people and fix everything, but it seems like he can't always do that.

Beast and Mystique both question some of his actions.

Mystique, played by Jennifer Lawrence, says: "Charles, what did you do?"

Has Professor X been messing with Jean's mind in an attempt to try to help her?

He replies: "I had to keep her stable, I protected her."

Beast also loses his temper with Charles, telling him: "This is your fault."

The Professor is then seen sitting by Jean's bedside and says to her: "I'm sorry I didn't stop it sooner."

4. People swap sides

Image copyright20TH CENTURY FOX

Magneto or Professor X - whose side to choose? This has always been a bit of a struggle for some of the X-Men.

In this film it seems to be Jean's turn.

She finds Magneto who's camping out somewhere with his group. Military helicopters swoop in and Jean uses her mind to control them.

The falling out between Beast and Charles must be serious, because he is also seen on team Magneto.

It looks like there maybe a stand-off between Beast, Magneto and two others versus Prof X, Nightcrawler, Storm and Luna.

We also the see the X-Men in uniforms square up to Jean in a street.

5. The X-Men go into space

In the Marvel comics the phoenix force comes from space and that might be why the X-Men make a trip to space in this film.

They're seen in a spaceship wearing their blue jumpsuits with a yellow X on the front.

We don't know much about their trip to space or what happens there, but Charles looks like he is sucked into a ball of fire. Could this be the Phoenix?

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6. Someone dies

Beast and Professor X are at a funeral, Storm and Nightcrawler are also there.

They're at the grave site, but we have no idea about who has died.

It may be one of the X-Men, we will have to wait until February when the film comes out to find out.

Follow Newsbeat on InstagramFacebook and Twitter.

Listen to Newsbeat live at 12:45 and 17:45 every weekday on BBC Radio 1 and 1Xtra - if you miss us you can listen back here.

Related Topics

https://www.bbc.com/news/newsbeat-45662866

seth Posted on September 27, 2018 13:57

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Chinese Man Who Murdered Schoolchildren Executed By Firing Squad

 

 

A Chinese man who killed nine schoolchildren and injured many more has been executed by firing squad, according to a court.

Twenty-eight-year-old Zhao Zewei went on a stabbing spree at Number Three Middle School in Mizhi County in China's Shaanxi Province back on 27 April. The attack is thought to have been motivated by revenge.

He was convicted of intentional homicide at the Yulin Intermediate Court and sentenced to death by shooting in July. That sentence has now been carried out.

Zewei is thought to have been bullied during his time as a pupil at Number Three Middle School and harboured a deep resentment that eventually led to him committing the brutal assault on the current crop of students at the school.


Credit: Yulin Court

He is thought to have bought several knives online before bringing three of them to the school and running at students as they left, according to a statement from the court.

That statement also said that the nature of his crimes warranted the use of the death penalty. They said: "The goal of the crime was clear, the murderer's methods were despicable, and the consequences were extremely grave."

Chinese news agency Xinhua reported that Zewei's sentence was carried out at an execution ground in Mizhi County.

The court said that Zewei had not appealed against his sentence, and that the application of a death sentence had been approved after review by the Shaanxi High People's Court and the Supreme Court of China.


Credit: Yulin Court

This latest report follows several instances of the death penalty being used on high profile criminals.

Just under a week ago a nanny who deliberately burned out the house of the family that employed her, killing the whole family of four, was executed in Hangzhou.

Thirty-five-year-old Mo Huanjing was found guilty and sentenced to death for theft and arson by the Hangzhou Intermediate People's Court in Zhejiang Province, Eastern China.

Back in June, two well-known drug dealers also suffered the same fate after being found guilty. In this case the sentence was given on a sports ground in front of hundreds of people, including many young students.

In this case the sentence was carried out immediately after the sentence. The young students who were present are thought to have been brought by their school to show them justice in action, as well as to act against a deterrent against them becoming involved in drug-related crime.

http://www.ladbible.com/news/news-chinese-man-who-murdered-schoolchildren-executed-by-firing-squad-20180927

kabby Posted on September 27, 2018 13:24

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Massive iPhone Gravestone Spotted in Russian Cemetery Complete With Screensaver of Deceased

A 25-year-old woman has had a massive iPhone headstone placed over her grave - leading one mourner to think he was hallucinating.

The 5ft gravestone was placed in a Russian cemetery in memory of Rita Shameeva, who died in January 2016.

It is believed to have been erected by her father Rais Shameev long after she died, but he has not commented on the grave.

The authentic tombstone includes all features you'd expect from an iPhone; home and volume buttons, a camera, and even an Apple logo on the back.

 


Ufa1/east2west news

But the most eye-catching part of the memorial, without question, is the full length photograph of Rita emblazoned across the front of the stone.

Is it what she would have wanted? Hard to say.

 

Needless to say, mourners at the cemetery in Ufa were stunned when they spotted the huge iPhone while they were paying their respects to loved ones.

It certainly stands out.

Nikolay Yevdokimov told newspaper ProUral: "I thought I was having hallucinations.

"How could an American smartphone suddenly appear at our cemetery? And such a huge one. I came closer and was surprised.

"I've seen many gravestones, but to make one in the form of iPhone - this is the first time, to be honest.

"It was made for a young woman from black basalt most likely. Very unusual."

Rita's father has not commented on the headstone and local maker Ilgam Galliulin denied he was responsible for its design.


Ufa1/east2west news

He said: "My father and I make monuments to order," he said. "But I saw this unusual one for the first time last week."

According to reports, the grave is believed to have been commissioned from a Siberian company which offers "death accessories".

Designer Pavel Kalyuk built a similar headstone as an advertising gimmick.

He said: "We began to make monuments just to attract attention."

However, after he showed his designs at a funeral exhibition in Novosibirsk, he began to receive some bizarre orders.

Whatever next..?

http://www.ladbible.com/news/news-huge-iphone-headstone-leaves-mourners-stunned-20180926

kabby Posted on September 27, 2018 13:07

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Mum ‘Faints’ As Daughter Spends Her Own Money On Shopping

UNILAD

Having kids has got to be one of the most expensive things you can do in your life. Rewarding? Absolutely. Expensive? Definitely. So I can’t imagine the relief when they start spending their own money.

Nicole Brown, from Scotland, was shopping with her friend and decided to buy some cosmetics with her own money, and when she told her mum, she was not expecting the response she got.

Her mum sent her a hilarious photo and the 16-year-old couldn’t stop laughing when she saw it, and neither could Twitter after she shared it.

UNILAD

Speaking to UNILAD about when she got the text, Nicole said:

I was in town getting food with one of my friends and then I went into Superdrug and saw fake tan and teeth whitening on sale which I planned to order that night online but it was on a discount so I just bought it in the store.

So I text my mum to tell her I’d bought it and she got my dad to take the picture of her on the floor fainting because I’d spent my own money.

The farcical photo shows her mum splayed on a marble floor as if she had just fainted followed by texts saying ‘sorry fainted, can’t believe you bought something with your own money’.

UNILAD

After seeing the photo, I can’t stop imagining the moment before the photo was taken. The excitement when her mum had the idea to send the photo, the planning behind the shoot, and the moment Nicole’s dad took the photo.

I wonder how much planning was put into the pose, and how many takes she had to do. I reckon she’s a seasoned meme machine and only needed one take.

Without knowing it, she became a meme, with commenters on Twitter tagging their mates saying ‘me when you spend your own money’, giving mums out there a picture worth a thousand words.

UNILAD

Nicole posted the image to Twitter captioned ‘when you buy something with your own money’, and it received over 3k retweets and 21k likes.

There were many cry-laughing emojis, and most people were tagging their daughter, mums, or partners. She really brought everyone together beautifully through passive aggression.

Talking about the reaction the photo got, Nicole said:

When I told her she loved it and kept making jokes like ‘has anyone asked for my autograph yet’ and just finds it so funny and I wasn’t expecting it to get that many likes or retweets.

UNILAD

One commenter explained the difference between parent’s money and your own:

When you have £5 you really want to keep it but if it’s your parents £5 it’s nothing and it’s gone in minutes.

Another tagged their friend saying ‘Me the day I found out you actually owned a bank card/purse’.

UNILAD

Nicole’s mum has given me inspiration for how I want to be as a parent.

If you can’t find joy in making small and hilarious digs at your kids, why even have them?

 

https://www.unilad.co.uk/featured/mum-faints-as-daughter-spends-her-own-money-on-shopping/

kabby Posted on September 27, 2018 12:50

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PM Pat and Rosie and Jim creator John Cunliffe dies.

"Even the skies wept": Tributes are being paid to John Cunliffe, creator of Postman Pat and Rosie and Jim, following his death.

John Cunliffe, the creator of beloved children's characters Postman Pat and Rosie and Jim, has died.

The author's agents David Higham confirmed the news following a death notice and poignant obituary in his local paper, the Ilkley Gazette.

"Left his Ilkley home in a deluge of rain on Thursday, September 20, never to return," the obituary reads. "Even the skies wept for John the gifted creator of 'Postman Pat', 'Rosie and Jim' and author of many earlier published collections of poetry and picture story books for children.

"John's last poetry collection, significantly entitled 'Dare You Go', has now come to fruition for John has dared to go and he has gone."

Image: As well as creating the show, Mr Cunliffe also appeared in Rosie and Jim

Best known for Postman Pat and Rosie and Jim, Mr Cunliffe was the author of about 190 books for young children, including five volumes of poetry, as well as picture books and collections of stories.

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His famous creations were loved by generations of children, who grew up on the tales of Pat and his black and white cat, Jess.

He also appeared in Rosie and Jim as the pair's boat driver, who they referred to as "Fizzgog".

More from Ents & Arts

Before becoming a full-time writer, Mr Cunliffe worked as a librarian and a teacher. His first book, Farmer Barnes Buys A Pig, was published in 1964.

More follows...

https://news.sky.com/story/postman-pat-and-rosie-and-jim-creator-john-cunliffe-dies-11510232

AlbertaU Posted on September 27, 2018 12:15

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Obinim Convicted.

Bishop Daniel Obinim

An Accra Circuit Court (Domestic Violence and Gender-Based Division) has convicted Bishop Daniel Obinim, Founder of International God’s Way Church, for lashing two minors in his church on live television.

Bishop Obinim, who initially pleaded not guilty to the charge of assault when he first appeared before the court, changed his plea to guilty yesterday when the case was called.

His conviction brings an end to the over two years’ trial, which made the prosecution handicapped, as the whereabouts of the victims was unknown.

Eyebrows were raised when Daniel Obinim decided to change his plea as he consistently denied the offence, and at a point in the trial denied stating that in his caution statement.

Appearing before the court, presided over by Abena Oppong Adjin-Doku yesterday, Bishop Obinim and his associate pastors pleaded guilty with explanation.

He was subsequently sentenced to a fine of GH¢4,800.00 or in default spend six months in prison.

The other accused persons who are all his associate pastors are Kingsley Baah and Solomon Abraham.

They were also sentenced to a fine of GH¢3,600.00 or in default spend four months in prison.

In addition, Bishop Obinim and his other two pastors are to sign a bond to be of good behaviour and a breach of that bond would land them in jail for three months.

Explaining Bishop Obinim’s action, his lawyer, Ralph Poku Edusei, stated that it is a well-known fact in Ghana that when a child goes off track, he or she ought to be scolded.

He said Bishop Obinim, however, chose the wrong means and venue to do so.

He added that the accused persons had promised not to repeat the act and therefore pleaded with the court to tamper justice with mercy.

Bishop Obinim, together with two of his pastors, was facing trial for assaulting his adopted children – a 14-year-old girl and 16-year-old boy in the presence of his congregants.

Prior to their conviction, Bishop Obinim on many occasions failed to appear before the court which was often told that he had been admitted at the hospital.

The second accused person, Kingsley Baah, also stopped appearing before the court which informed that he was no longer with the International God’s Way Church and that nobody knew of his whereabouts.

The case then took a different twist when the two victims could not be located.

This forced the prosecution, led by DSP George Amega to bring its case to a premature close, paving way for Bishop Obinim to open his defense.

There was some disagreement between Bishop Obinim and the police over the authenticity of investigative caution statement he gave to the police.

Although the prosecution, led by DSP George Amega, maintained that the pastor signed the statement, Obinim denied the allegation.

Obinim said that he gave a caution statement to the Tema Police, but the one presented to court by the prosecution did not bear his signature.

Subsequently, the court gave an order for the signatures of Bishop Obinim to be taken to the forensic lab for examination.

The results of a forensic test on the signatures were not ready at the time he changed his plea and was convicted.

http://dailyguideafrica.com/obinim-convicted/

AlbertaU Posted on September 27, 2018 11:26

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Selfie Quadcopter Conquers Ghana. The Idea Is Genius...

This Ghana Selfie trend is going viral worldwide...

Phone selfies are boring. People aren't doing them anymore and they've become unpopular...

First, there was the standard selfie, then the selfie stick, and now the next evolution of the selfie has arrived!

Nobody knows who did it first, but soon thousands of people in Ghana started uploading incredible selfies from insane angles. They uploaded them to social media and soon EVERYONE wanted to do the same! 

Now, this new type of selfie has taken off - Literally - across the world! 

What are we talking about?

It’s the new Drone X Pro, a brand new type of drone made so that anyone can fly it. It's perfect for making the ultimate selfies! 

 



The Drone X Pro was designed by two German engineers who love drones. They found that the drones they had were very bulky, heavy and difficult to travel with. 

So, they designed this ultra-compact, light drone, and all without sacrificing any of the main benefits of a top HD model. 

It’s firm, it’s easy to control and it can live-stream and record to your phone!

People are using them to take 'the ultimate selfies' - the results are incredible...


 

How does it work?

We were surprised by how easy it is to set up! First, you have to install an app (just scan the QR code in the manual). It’s all very easy.

Once you have done that, just plug in the battery, connect to your drone and start up the app. In less than 10 seconds you’re ready to fly your drone!

And then the best part comes: flying is so incredibly easy. The controls are just superb, really intuitive. Flying the drone feels natural. A colleague’s kids happened to be at the office, and they figured it all out in seconds—on their first drone flight ever. It’s Just amazing how easy and smooth the controls are!

Once you’re in the air, it’s time to use the built-in camera. You can take the most stunning pictures and videos. Take videos from otherwise impossible angles and impress your friends with the coolest selfies!

See Drone X Pro in action:

 

How Much Is It?

That’s what we all want to know, right? I guessed it would be like $300 to $400, but I was wrong. They sell it for only $99, (deal only available online, $150 in shops) which is tremendously cheap for a drone of this quality!

How to buy a Drone X Pro

That’s super easy. You can buy it from the official website.

This drone is perfect because...


 

What makes this drone so special?

The main benefits of the Drone X Pro are its portability, price, camera and its ease of use.

The drone is the same size as a large smartphone. Combine that with its foldable rotors and you probably have the world’s most portable drone. It will comfortably fit in any pocket or bag!

Absolutely, anyone can easily fly this drone! Its controls were designed to perfection. The Drone X Pro also has an incredible hovering capability. No need to focus on the height; just steer and enjoy the flight!

A drone with this name needs a quality camera of course. This drone is just perfect to take awesome pictures and videos.

When flying is so easy, you can fully concentrate on taking stunning shots. Film nature, friends and even yourself in amazing quality!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   

And so far, we have not even mentioned that the drone is made of ABS plastic. This makes the drone much lighter and stronger.

Last but not least, the price is just amazing. It’s less than $100 for a drone of this quality. This must be the single best price-quality drone there is!

Conclusion: Is it worth it?

Such a quality drone for this price makes us definitely say yes! Just think of the amazing pictures and videos you can take with the Drone X Pro. Even just the fun of flying a drone already makes this worth it. If you’ve never flown a drone, this is the moment you should start!

How To Get A Drone X Pro?

Now that you are aware of this amazing new drone, and if it’s still in stock, here is how to get one:

1) Order the Drone X Pro from the official website.

2) Download the Drone app and connect to your smartphone (Android and iOS)

3) Start making amazing footage of you and your friends or family!       

https://breakthroughtrend.com/lp/quadcopter/drone.php?cep=3DKRrymb7s0Kb5XHk532GYxnwpcx7PnDaZkiD5u-lpt2rQpvCfNu8HGFEYC9IHSo2ws1TE

ruby Posted on September 27, 2018 11:18

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New asteroid rover images released

Japan's space agency (Jaxa) has released new images from the robot rovers it has deployed to the surface of an asteroid.

The photos reveal new details of the surface of the space rock, which is known as Ryugu.

On 21 September, the rovers were released on to the surface by the "mothership", Hayabusa 2.

Hayabusa 2 reached Ryugu in June after a three-and-a-half-year journey.

The pictures show in clear relief the rough, boulder-strewn landscape of this unusual Solar System body.

Image copyrightJAXA

Image copyrightJAXA

Follow Paul on Twitter.

https://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-45667350

seth Posted on September 27, 2018 10:54

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Mirrorless cameras: Photography's new decisive moment

Nearly 200 years after the birth of photography, the art form is experiencing a technological revolution.

Smartphones are using multiple cameras and software-based smarts to deliver images that seemingly transcend the limits of their small lenses and sensors.

And while handsets have devastated sales of point-and-shoot cameras, the prospects for more advanced models are seemingly bright thanks to an innovation of their own.

In recent weeks, the industry's biggest two manufacturers - Canon and Nikon - have both unveiled their first full-frame mirrorless cameras, having already seen Sony have great success with the format.

Getting rid of the mirrors traditionally placed inside high-end cameras gets the lens closer to the sensor and paves the way to several innovations.

Image copyrightSONY

Image captionSony announced its first full-frame mirrorless cameras in 2013, and has dominated the format until now

And on the eve of Photokina - the industry's giant trade fair in Cologne - Panasonic has just unveiled a body that could prove the most disruptive of all.

Dedicated digital camera sales grew by 5% in 2017 to $9.9bn (£7.5bn), according to market research firm Futuresource, the industry's first gain since 2010.

It was driven in large part by demand from enthusiasts and professionals for existing mirrorless models costing upwards of £1,000.

With a rush of new models - and their accompanying native lenses - manufacturers have an opportunity to prosper if they can convince consumers that the technology is worth the investment.

What does mirrorless and full-frame mean?

Mirrorless refers to the fact that the device does not include the flippable mirror found in digital single-lens reflex cameras (DSLRs) to show what the lens sees through the viewfinder.

Instead, a small digital display is used to preview the image.

In the past, using such a display involved lag - meaning the image was slightly delayed - and appreciably lower resolution than an optical viewfinder.

But modern viewfinder displays have mostly addressed these issues, while also offering the benefits of being able to preview the effects that changes to camera settings make, as well as showing 100% coverage of the scene rather than the partial view shown by many DSLRs.

The downside is that using an electronic display eats into battery life - reducing the number of shots possible on a charge.

There are other benefits to mirrorless.

  • Camera bodies are typically smaller and lighter than DSLRs
  • There is scope for manufacturers to offer higher-speed burst modes, in which images are quickly taken one after another
  • DSLR lenses can be adapted for use on mirrorless bodies - but the reverse is impractical
  • Cameras can be operated more quietly than most DLSRs, which can be useful at weddings
  • The viewfinder can be used in video mode

Full-frame refers to the fact that the imaging sensor is about the same size as a frame of 35mm format film.

For comparison's sake, the full-frame Sony A7 III's sensor is more than 18 times the size of that of the rear camera on the Galaxy S9 handset.

The principal benefit of making a sensor larger is that it captures more light.

This can be used to

  • produce higher-resolution images
  • offer better low-light capabilities
  • deliver shallower depth-of-field pictures - where the background has a pleasing-looking blur - without having to simulate the effect via software

The downsides include cost and the fact a larger sensor means a bulkier camera.

Image copyrightREUTERS

Image captionFuji has a new medium-format 100-megapixel camera for those looking beyond full-frame capabilities

So, what's the appeal of dropping thousands of pounds on a mirrorless camera and associated gear when a smartphone can capture perfectly decent snaps and auto-enhance them?

There are clear advantages for professionals - sports photographers need high-quality zoom lenses, for example.

Commercial photographers depend on the extra resolution required for large ad printouts.

Fashion specialists rely on the cameras' superior colour science.

And architectural specialists appreciate the extra dynamic range - which helps avoid details being lost in the shadows and brightest parts.

Image copyrightKAIMAN WONG

Image captionYouTuber Kaiman Wong was one of the first to test Canon's forthcoming EOS R camera

"Pros will use whatever is the best tool," said Kaiman Wong, a self-declared photography nerd and YouTube reviewer.

"They don't seem to care about brands, so long as it gets them the shot, and some I know have already gone mirrorless."

No-compromise Instagram

But for manufacturers to justify the R&D costs required to drive mirrorless cameras forward, they also need to attract a lots of hobbyists.

Kim Stone is one early adopter.

Two years ago, the North Devon-based resident bought a Canon EOS M3 - a mirrorless camera but one with a smaller sensor than the forthcoming EOS R.

She uses it to take landscape photographs for her Instagram account despite the extra steps involved in getting them online.

Image copyright@KISTOGRAPHY

Image captionThese are among the images Ms Stone has taken with her mirrorless camera

"It's the ability to be able to adjust the precise settings in the picture set-up," she explained.

"Phones on the market don't offer you as much ease of control over the ISO [light sensitivity], white balance, shutter speed, and aperture. Smartphone lenses are also more restricted.

"Ultimately, you can still only get such good results from a dedicated camera."

Competing cameras

Photokina offers the chance to compare the latest full-frame mirrorless models, several of which have yet to go on sale.

Nikon's Z7 offers a class-leading 45.7 megapixels - useful for delivering huge prints or to tightly crop into an image after it is taken.

When it comes to autofocus, Canon's EOS R may have the upper hand, thanks to its 5,655 manually selectable focus points.

Both firms, however, have been criticised for providing only a single card storage slot. That prevents owners being able to create back-up copies of their photos and videos on the fly, which could be a problem if the data gets corrupted or lost.

Panasonic, however, is teasing a model that promises to combine several cutting-edge features.

Image copyrightPANASONIC

Image captionPanasonic S1R includes several features not found on other cameras of its class

The S1R's specs include

  • 47MP resolution
  • two storage slots - one for SD cards, the other XQD
  • in-body image stabilisation that works in combination with lens stabilisation
  • 4K video at 60 frames per second
  • an LCD screen that can be tilted across three axes, helping owners compose portraits as well as landscapes

"Panasonic's move into the full-frame mirrorless segment is particularly interesting because of its collaboration with Leica and Sigma - both companies with a strong photographic heritage," Futursource analyst Arun Gill told the BBC.

"By adopting Leica's L-Mount, Panasonic's cameras will have an immediate advantage of being compatible with several existing high-quality lenses."

However, the firm has yet to say how much it will cost and the product will not go on sale until "early 2019".

That leaves Sony.

Its A7 III has been a runaway success, managing to hit a feature-price sweet spot. Indeed, the biggest complaint has been a lack of stock.

Many thought the Japanese firm might unveil a video-centric A7S III at Photokina, but the highlight of its press conference was instead the promise of automatically focusing on animals' eyes in the future,

Rumour sites, however, suggest Sony is biding its time ahead of an October event.

Video and stills

But while there's much to be excited about with mirrorless now, the format may take some time to deliver on its true potential.

Image copyrightSONY

Image captionSony's eye autofocus mode is currently limited to humans, but it plans to change that

One tantalising possibility is that it will eventually become possible to take photos in much quicker succession for longer periods of time, without having to sacrifice autofocus or picture quality.

"If you can get 25 to 30 frames per second in full resolution, that's basically video," Mr Wong explained.

"There will probably come a point when we are just taking video.

"You'll take a frame out of that, and that will be the photo."

https://www.bbc.com/news/technology-45627055

seth Posted on September 27, 2018 08:14

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China coal power building boom sparks climate warning

Building work has restarted at hundreds of Chinese coal-fired power stations, according to an analysis of satellite imagery.

The research, carried out by green campaigners CoalSwarm, suggests that 259 gigawatts of new capacity are under development in China.

The authors say this is the same capacity to produce electricity as the entire US coal fleet.

The study says government attempts to cancel many plants have failed.

According to this study, there was a surge in new coal projects approved at provincial level in China between 2014 and 2016. This happened because of a decentralisation programme that shifted authority over coal plant construction approvals to local authorities.

The report says that at present China has 993 gigawatts of coal power capacity, but the approved new plants would increase this by 25%.

Image copyrightPLANET LABS INC

Image captionHuadian Nanxiong power station seen in January 2017

China's central government has tried to rein in this boom by issuing suspension orders for more than 100 power plants but this analysis suggests that these efforts have been significantly less effective than previous news reports had indicated.

Image copyrightPLANET LABS INC

Image captionThe same coal plant at Huadian Nanxiong showing new buildings seen in February 2018

In this study, the researchers used satellite photos to examine every power plant that was subject to a suspension order. They found construction ongoing at many locations.

For instance, in September last year, China's National Energy Administration ordered a group of plants - that together could produce 57 gigwatts of electricity - to slow down construction. The organisation also prohibited them from connecting to the grid in 2017.

However the satellite data suggests that half of this capacity appears not to have slowed down at all.

"This new evidence that China's central government hasn't been able to stop the runaway coal-fired power plant building is alarming - the planet can't tolerate another US-sized block of plants to be built," said Ted Nace, from CoalSwarm.

Image copyrightPLANET LABS INC

Image captionA coal plant at Huaneng Daba-4 seen in June last year

Image copyrightPLANET LABS INC

Image captionCoal plant at Huaneng Daba-4 in February 2018

"It's not too late for the central government to fix the problem, but they have to start cancelling projects, not just rescheduling them."

If this extra capacity was operational, it would make it much more difficult for the world to limit CO2.

According to the International Energy Agency (IEA), for the world to limit warming to below 1.75C above pre-industrial conditions, China would have to close all its power plants that don't have carbon capture and storage facilities within 30 years.

"Avoiding dangerous climate change requires essentially phasing out coal plants globally by 2045," said Christine Shearer, lead author of the report. "China needs to begin planning for the aggressive retirement of its existing coal fleet, not building hundreds of new coal plants."

However, some researchers believe that the building of these plants has more to do with boosting the local economy in China than with boosting emissions.

"Coal power plants run only about half the time in China, and one could argue the new capacity is not needed," said Glen Peters, from the Centre for International Climate Research in Oslo, who was not involved with the report.

"The new coal power plant builds are most probably about keeping the economy ticking along, particularly from a provincial government perspective, rather than being needed for future electricity generation."

https://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-45640706

seth Posted on September 27, 2018 07:33

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Facebook denies claim that Instagram is 'open market' for drug dealers

By Alexander J Martin, technology reporter

Facebook has hit out at claims that its platforms and algorithms support drug dealing, with the problem alleged to be rife on Instagram.

The post was made in response to a report by the Washington Post which claimed Facebook-owned Instagram was functioning as an "open market" for drug dealers.

According to reports, searches on Instagram for terms such as #oxy and #percocet often reveal accounts belonging to drug dealers offering illegal substances.

While those hashtags have now been removed, Sky News found dozens more search terms for drugs with slightly misspelled names or common nicknames which continue to return results.

Based on research by a company called GIPEC, following or liking these posts on Instagram causes users' timelines to be filled with further advertisements by drug dealers.

Facebook said the findings were misleading, stating: "GIPEC created an artificial Instagram feed by following only objectionable content and some brand accounts."

It added that "this kind of manufactured feed is not a real representation of what most people see on Instagram".

Image:Facebook said there is no room for drug dealing on its services

Monika Bickert, Facebook's vice president of global policy management, said in her previous career as a prosecutor she saw "first hand the damage these drugs can inflict on communities and families".

Ms Bikert said there was "no place for this on our services. It's bad for society, bad for people, and against our values".

She stressed that Facebook blocks and filters "hundreds of terms associated with drug sales" and investigates material which is reported to them.

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"This kind of content is also not in our commercial interests. Our business is advertising, and no advertiser wants their ads shown alongside these types of posts," Ms Bickert added.

The report follows an investigation by Sky News in July 2017 which revealed powerful prescription drugs being illegally offered for sale on Facebook.

Sky News found drugs including Valium, Xanax and Pregabalin, an increasingly popular sedative linked to several deaths in the UK, were on offer.

At the time, Sky News flagged up the accounts using Facebook's own reporting tools - just as Ms Bickert says is possible on Instagram - but they stayed up.

3:00

 

 

Video:Facebook relies on users to flag inappropriate content but it has been criticised for failing to remove offending accounts.

Messages from Facebook Support said: "We've looked over the profile you reported, and although it doesn't go against any of our specific Community Standards, we understand that the profile or something the person shared may still be offensive to you."

Sky News then contacted Facebook's press office to ask why the accounts did not apparently breach their community standards, even though they broke British law.

After we contacted Facebook for comment, all the drug dealing profiles were removed. The company refused an interview but gave a statement:

More from Facebook

"Buying, selling, or trading prescription drugs isn't allowed on Facebook and we urge people to use our reporting tools if they come across this kind of activity, so we can investigate and take swift action.

"We're grateful to Sky News for flagging this content to us and have removed the pages for breaking our standards."

Posted in:

 

https://news.sky.com/story/facebook-denies-claim-that-instagram-is-open-market-for-drug-dealers-11509229

seth Posted on September 27, 2018 07:18

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Alan Hogg: Three men charged with murder of British man and wife in Thailand

By Siobhan Robbins, southeast Asia correspondent

Three men have been charged over the murder of a British businessman and his wife in a suspected contract killing in Thailand.

Alan Hogg, 64, originally from Edinburgh, and his Thai wife Nott, 61, were reported missing by friends last week after failing to arrive at an appointment.

Two bodies were later discovered buried near a stream in the garden of their property in Phrae province, northern Thailand.

Initial examinations found that Mr Hogg had been shot, his wife had been bludgeoned, police said.

Image:Alan Hogg, 64, and wife Nott, 61, with their brand new pick-up truck, which was stolen when they disappeared. Pic: Viral Press

Three men, including Mr Hogg's brother-in-law, Warut Rattanasajakit, 63, have been charged with premeditated murder, detectives told Sky News.

Officers are investigating whether the couple were victims of a contract killing.

Police say two of the suspects allegedly confessed to the killings, claiming Rattanasajakit paid them about 50,000 baht (£1,172) to do it because of a family feud.

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Rattanasajakit was initially arrested and charged with burglary after the Hoggs' pick-up truck was found hundreds of miles south in Ayutthaya.

Image:The home of Alan Hogg and his wife Nott

CCTV images show Rattanasajakit entering and leaving the property, where he also worked, after the couple went missing.

When first questioned he denied any involvement in their disappearance.

Major General Praputsra, commander-in-chief of Phrae police, said officers were continuing to look into reports that Mr Hogg and his brother-in-law did not get along following the former's arrival in Thailand several years ago.

He explained friends raised the alarm after the couple failed to meet them on 19 September in Chiang Mai, adding it was therefore possible that they may have been harmed the previous day.

More from World

Image:The pick up belonging to Alan Hogg

Investigators found traces of blood in the garage of Mr Hogg's home.

Police are still awaiting for the results of a full post-mortem but say next of kin in Scotland have been informed.

https://news.sky.com/story/alan-hogg-three-men-charged-with-murder-of-british-man-and-wife-in-thailand-11508953

seth Posted on September 27, 2018 07:12

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Richard Glossip: Death row inmate who survived botched execution getting married

By Ian Woods, senior news correspondent

A prisoner who survived an execution attempt because of a mistake with a lethal injection drug is getting married today - almost three years on from his brush with death.

Richard Glossip's bride-to-be is 33 years younger than him, and admits that her family initially opposed the wedding.

Glossip was due to die on 30 September 2015 - his third execution date that year.

But after all legal appeals were exhausted, and an hour after he was scheduled to be put to death, the execution was called off because a pharmacist had supplied the wrong drug.

Image:Leigha Jurasik is to marry a man on death row

It was the latest in a series of botched executions in Oklahoma, and the state has now abandoned lethal injections as its preferred method of execution.

Work is now under way to start using nitrogen gas to kill death row prisoners. If it succeeds in perfecting the process, Glossip would become the first prisoner in the US to die using this method.

Glossip was convicted of arranging for an employee to murder their boss, motel owner Barry Van Treese. He has always maintained his innocence, and there was no forensic evidence to prove his guilt.

Several appeal court judges agreed with his lawyers' submissions, but a majority of judges voted to uphold the sentence and rejected clemency.

 

Oklahoma to use nitrogen gas to execute death row inmates

 

Today, his 21-year-old fiancee Leigha Jurasik will be escorted into the death row section of Oklahoma State Penitentiary in McAlester.

The prison staff will supervise a brief ceremony in which they will be allowed to touch for the first time. Previously they've been separated by bars and thick glass.

After the wedding they will have 30 minutes together, overseen by guards.

Miss Jurasik, a student from New Jersey who is training to work as an undertaker in a funeral home, began writing to Glossip having read about his case.

She says neither the age difference nor his pending execution were obstacles.

She said: "When you love someone, you love someone, trivial stuff like that doesn't bother you. He's innocent he should not be there, but it's never been a deterrence in our relationship."

Image:The 21-year-old started writing to Richard Glossip after reading about his case

Of her family's reaction, she said: "They were shocked about it at first especially given his notoriety and all the publicity that's followed his case. The age difference was a thing, but over time they've come to accept it.

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"My mom has probably been the most accepting and she wrote to him herself and wanted to get to know him better and ask him questions.

"They've come to accept it but of course there are family members who don't agree with it but that's pretty much in any relationship."

Speaking from his prison cell, Glossip called his future wife "an incredible person".

 

Reattempting failed executions is cruel

 

He added: "She's been there through all the tough times. I'm in one of the worst places a human being could ever be put, and yet she somehow gave me one of the best years I've ever had in my life."

When asked why anyone would want to marry someone on death row, he replied: "I don't know how to explain it because I've asked her a million times, why would she be interested in somebody like in me when she could have anyone out there?

"But to her it's not about the freedom, it's the connection that she and I have."

In his first public comments since Oklahoma decided to pursue nitrogen gas as a way of resuming executions, Glossip told Sky News: "A lot of people say it's going to be more humane, but not everybody is going to lay down and let it happen to them, especially people who are innocent.

"No innocent man is going to lay on a table and say 'go ahead and kill me, I'm cool with it'. If you do, you were never innocent in the first place."

Image:Glossip was due to be killed by lethal injection in September 2015 but it did not go ahead due to an execution blunder

Oklahoma's attorney general Mike Hunter says it's a well-known method of assisted suicide, but Glossip says that is very different to an execution.

"Using gas is no different than suffocating somebody, or drowning somebody. It's the same thing.

"When they use the example of assisted suicide, that's somebody who wants to die because they're very sick and they're tired of being in pain.

"There's a difference between somebody who wants to die, and somebody who doesn't want to die," he said.

More from Oklahoma

Here is a series of podcasts on the Richard Glossip story:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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  • https://news.sky.com/story/richard-glossip-death-row-inmate-who-survived-botched-execution-getting-married-11509907

seth Posted on September 27, 2018 07:11

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Adultery no longer a criminal offence in India

Under the law the woman could not be punished as an abettor - the man was considered to be a seducer

India's top court has ruled adultery is no longer a criminal offence.

The 158-year-old colonial-era law said any man who had sex with a married woman, without the permission of her husband, was guilty of the criminal act of adultery.

It is not clear how many men have been prosecuted under the law since its inception - there is no data available.

A petitioner had challenged the law saying it was arbitrary and discriminated against men and women.

This is the second colonial-era law struck down by the Supreme Court this month -it also overturned a 157-year-old law which effectively criminalised gay sex in India.

While reading out the judgement on adultery, Chief Justice Dipak Misra said that while it could be grounds for civil issues like divorce, "it cannot be a criminal offence".

Who challenged the law?

Last August, Joseph Shine, a 41-year-old Indian businessman living in Italy, petitioned the Supreme Court to strike down the law.

"Married women are not a special case for the purpose of prosecution for adultery. They are not in any way situated differently than men," his petition said.

The law, Mr Shine said, also "indirectly discriminates against women by holding an erroneous presumption that women are the property of men".

Image copyrightEPA

Image captionPrevious pleas were dismissed by the court in the interests of 'stability of marriages'

However, India's ruling BJP government had opposed the petition, insisting that adultery should remain a criminal offence.

"Diluting adultery laws will impact the sanctity of marriages. Making adultery legal will hurt marriage bonds," a government counsel told the court, adding that "Indian ethos gives paramount importance to the institution and sanctity of marriage".

What did the adultery law say?

The law dictated that the woman could not be punished as an abettor. Instead, the man was considered to be a seducer.

It also did not allow women to file a complaint against an adulterous husband.

A man accused of adultery could be sent to a prison for a maximum of five years, made to pay a fine, or both.

And although there is no information on actual convictions under the law, Kaleeswaram Raj, a lawyer for the petitioner, said the adultery law was "often misused" by husbands during matrimonial disputes such as divorce, or civil cases relating to wives receiving maintenance.

"Men would often file criminal complaints against suspected or imagined men who they would allege were having affairs with their wives. These charges could never be proved, but ended up smearing the reputations of their estranged or divorced partners," he told the BBC.

Interestingly, Indian folklore and epics are full of stories about extra-marital love. Most love poems in Sanskrit, according to scholar J Moussaief Masson, are "about illicit love".

But Manusmriti, widely regarded to be the most important and authoritative book on Hindu law and dating back to at least 1,000 years before Christ was born, says: "If men persist in seeking intimate contact with other men's wives, the king should brand them with punishments that inspire terror and banish them".

Where else is adultery a criminal offence?

Image copyrightMANSI THAPLIYAL

Image captionThe latest challenge was made in view of the 'changed social conditions'

Adultery is considered illegal in 21 American states, including New York, although surveys show that while most Americans disapprove of adultery, they don't think of it as a crime.

"The criminal statutes remain in force for largely symbolic reasons, and there isn't enough enforcement risk for anyone to incur the political costs of repealing them," Deborah Rhode, a a professor of law at Stanford University and the author of Adultery: Infidelity and the Law told the BBC.

Adultery is prohibited in Sharia or Islamic Law, so it is a criminal offence in Islamic countries such as Iran, Saudi Arabia, Afghanistan Pakistan, Bangladesh and Somalia.

Taiwan punishes adultery by up to a year in prison and it is also deemed a crime in Indonesia. In fact, Indonesia is drafting laws that prohibit all consensual sex outside the institution of marriage.

In 2015, South Korea's Supreme Court struck down a similar law where a man could be sent to prison for two years or less for adultery. The court said the law violated self-determination and privacy.

More than 60 countries around the world had done away with laws that made adultery a crime, according to Indian lawyer Kaleeswaram Raj.

In UK, adultery is not a criminal offence and like many other countries, one of the main reasons given for divorce.

Couples cannot use adultery as a ground for divorce if they lived together as a couple for six months after the infidelity was known about.

Related Topics

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-india-45404927

seth Posted on September 27, 2018 06:50

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The Apprentice: 'Not one candidate is actually stupid'

L-R: Candidates Jasmine Kundra, Daniel Elahi, Sarah Byrne, Kurran Pooni and Sabrina Stocker

The Apprentice is back for another series. And, fortunately, so are the ridiculous introductory statements from the candidates.

"I'm the Beyoncé of business," claims one in the opening episode.

"Money doesn't buy happiness," says another, "but I'd rather cry in a sports car than an old banger".

Such claims are likely to go down in the show's history along with the likes of "everything I touch turns to sold", and "I'm not a one trick pony - I've got a whole field of ponies."

Now in its 14th year, the BBC One show never fails to deliver several contestants who are bigger on arrogance than they are on ability.

But, Lord Sugar says, he "takes exception" to the suggestion that candidates on the show are "stupid".

"The programme itself is an entertainment programme as well as a business programme," he tells journalists at the launch of this year's series.

"Those stupid people you're talking about run six very successful businesses, one of which has made a million pounds this year, and the others are close behind them."

It's true that six former winners of the show have gone on to successful business ventures since the 2010 rule change, which saw Lord Sugar invest in a business idea rather than hiring an apprentice for his own company.

Despite their somewhat over-confident claims, Lord Sugar says: "The whole point of the process is that you do find a winner in the end.

"The people try to fight for their position in the early stages, they say some things which sound a bit silly, but they're not that daft really."

"Can I also interject here," picks up Claude Littner, "and just say, not one of them is actually stupid."

It's perhaps a surprising defence of the candidates from Lord Sugar's sidekick, who doesn't exactly go easy on candidates on the show.

"They're all working very, very hard, and the tasks - you may be watching the TV thinking 'I can do that', I assure you, you can't," he says.

"It's a lot more complex than you think. And they're really trying hard, and it's very, very difficult.

"You get a group, they don't know each other, they're fighting for a position - it's much, much harder than it looks, believe me."

The behaviour and claims of the candidates often bring them notoriety and a brief spell of social media fame.

But that is arguably a drawback - as it could mean the show is more likely to attract people who are fame-hungry rather than those who possess genuine business skill.

"That's a very good point," says Lord Sugar. "I do worry a lot. In the selection process, sometimes I worry that people are there for the wrong reasons.

"And if I do come across them, they don't tend to last too long, let's put it that way.

"Having said that, a lot of the contestants come with the intention of winning the prize and getting the job.

"And what happens is they get fired, and there's that kind of withdrawal symptom after the show ends, where they're not spotted in Tesco anymore.

"They then want to do something else, because they got a flavour of being on TV.

Image captionCan you spot the Photoshop fail in this image? Scroll down to find out what it is

But Steve Tappin, head of Xinfu - a CEO coaching and leadership consultancy - told BBC News that he "would challenge the idea that the show is a credible route into business".

"The Apprentice often features inexperienced people who are very focused around building their own brand and reputation as opposed to having genuine commercial entrepreneurial skills to scale-up a major business," he said.

"Many of them lack the leadership abilities to connect, unite and grow a business."

Tappin was personally mentored by Sir John Harvey-Jones, who presented Troubleshooter, another BBC business series, broadcast in the 1990s.

"Historically, Troubleshooter did have credible leaders involved, and I believe it's less so now," Tappin says.

"My challenge to Lord Sugar is how many of his alumni are on track to run a FTSE 100 company, or comparable-sized exciting private company?"

'Photoshop fail'

Image Copyright @Ciara_Knight@CIARA_KNIGHT

Report

Eagle-eyed Apprentice fans spotted a little error in the press shots which went out to journalists on Tuesday.

One of the new candidates, 26-year-old Kayode Damali, appeared to have sprouted an extra hand as he folded his arms.

It's the latest in a delightful string of image editing mishaps in the last year - such as Vanity Fair giving celebrities extra body parts on its cover and Alicia Vikander's extra-long neck on the Tomb Raider poster.

Lord Sugar defended the show on Tuesday, commenting: "I have to say, with the exception of only one that I can recall, that [the fame-hungry contestants] don't get very far.

"They get used as dummies in quiz shows in things like that and get made fools of, and then fall away."

The exception he's referring to is probably Katie Hopkins - whose controversial opinions helped her maintain a high public profile after leaving the show via newspaper columns and radio shows.

Hopkins recently had to apply for an insolvency agreement to avoid bankruptcy, after the food writer Jack Monroe won her libel action against her.

Asked what advice he would give Hopkins now, Lord Sugar says: "She's made her bed, she's going to have to lay in it.

"It's one of life's lessons that she's learnt. Maybe it might be a wake-up call for her. She's got to solve this thing and move on. There's no advice really that I can give her because she made her own problems. So I hope she's learnt from it."

Image captionLord Sugar chose two winners last year instead of one - Sarah Lynn and James White

This is the first series of The Apprentice to air since Lord Sugar apologised for tweeting a photograph which compared the Senegal football team to beach sellers in Marbella.

He doesn't address this directly at the launch, but acknowledges when asked by BBC News that the advice he gives apprentices about their online behaviour has changed.

"The thing is that when we started 14 years ago, there was no such thing as social media, so things change as we go through," he says.

"The candidates of the programme are briefed at a very early stage that they have to be very careful what they do as far as social media is concerned.

"And social media can be their enemy really, because before we select some of the candidates, we use it ourselves to find out what they've been up to. So it's an era we're running through at the moment."

Pressed on the backlash he experienced on social media in the last year, he says: "You just have to take the rough with the smooth really, it's as simple as that."

The new series of The Apprentice begins at 21:00 BST on Wednesday 3 October on BBC One.

Related Topics

https://www.bbc.com/news/entertainment-arts-45641519

seth Posted on September 27, 2018 06:43

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Bill Cosby’s first prison meal revealed

Disgraced comedian Bill Cosby had meatballs and rice, along with mashed potatoes and green beans as part of his first meal in a state prison after being sentenced three to 10 years on Tuesday, Fox News has learned. 

Video

Bill Cosby taken from courthouse in handcuffs

Cosby, 81, now known as Inmate No. NN7687, will serve his sentence at SCI Phoenix, a new state prison in Schwenksville, Pa.

BILL COSBY FOUND GUILTY OF SEXUAL ASSAULT: A LOOK AT THE CASE

 

It was previously reported Cosby's first meal included vanilla pudding for dessert. However, a spokeswoman for the corrections department said there was no dessert on the menu.

BILL COSBY SENTENCED 3 TO 10 YEARS FOR DRUGGING, SEXUALLY ASSAULTING ANDREA CONSTAND

The former television superstar, who traded on a squeaky clean, fatherly image, was sentenced after being found guilty of three counts of felony aggravated indecent assault in April in one of the most widely publicized trials in modern history.

The once revered comedian was found guilty of sexual assault in April for drugging Andrea Constand, a former Temple University employee, in his Philadelphia home in 2004.

Bill Cosby was sentenced to 3 to 10 years in prison for sexual assault.  (Pennsylvania Department of Corrections via AP)

Fox News’ Kaitlyn Schallhorn and the Associated Press contributed to this report.

http://www.foxnews.com/entertainment/2018/09/26/bill-cosby-s-first-prison-meal-revealed.html

seth Posted on September 27, 2018 06:19

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Police seek more cash in Madeleine McCann search.

The Home Office says it has received a request for more money, following reports the investigation was due to run out.

Police have applied for more funding to continue the search for Madeleine McCann.

The Home Office has confirmed it is considering the application, which follows speculation over the future of the investigation after it emerged that funding would run out at the end of September.

In a blog on Wednesday, the Home Office said: "We have received and are considering a request from the Metropolitan Police Service to extend funding for Operation Grange until the end of March 2019.

"The Home Office maintains an ongoing dialogue with the MPS regarding funding for Operation Grange."

Madeleine McCann's disappearance

A timeline

Madeleine was three when she disappeared during a holiday with her family in Praia da Luz in Portugal in May 2007.

In 2013, with the Portuguese police appearing to have made little progress, the Met began its own investigation - Operation Grange.

Image: Madeleine was three when she disappeared

In March this year, police were given a further £150,000 to continue the investigation and this money was due to run out at the end of September.

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In May Madeleine's parents marked the 11th anniversary of her disappearance and thanked the public for their continued support.

Kate and Gerry McCann said they would persevere in their mission to find their missing daughter.

Image: Kate and Gerry McCann say they still have hope

A Facebook post written on behalf of Mr and Mrs McCann, said: "It gets harder to know what to say or write as each anniversary of Madeleine's abduction approaches then passes.

"Life is full and busy which helps but Madeleine is still missing and she is still dearly missed.

More from Madeleine McCann

"Information continues to come in (incredible as it may seem after so long, although we are grateful for that) and work goes on. Perseverance and hope remain."

Operation Grange has cost £11.6m so far

https://news.sky.com/story/police-seek-more-cash-in-madeleine-mccann-search-11509274

AlbertaU Posted on September 26, 2018 16:55

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Babies Born With Big Heads Are More Likely To Be Successful, Study Finds

Growing up, you may have been teased by your siblings for your large head; suffering cruel nicknames such as ‘Melon head’ and ‘Lollipop’.

However, now you can hold your head up high (if your neck can take the weight) with the knowledge your big head holds the secret to your inevitable dizzying success.

Researchers have suggested babies born with large noggins are more intelligent, with a greater chance of becoming educated and living a successful life.

Your mum was right all along (as per usual). Those pea heads are all just jealous of you and your fabulous coconut, which is literally brimming with brains.

Mind Blowing Facts About The Internet

 

 

 

Research conducted by UK Biobank – a biobank study which investigates the relation of genetic predisposition and environmental exposure to developing diseases – has suggested higher intelligence is connected to a large head circumference and brain volume.

UK Biobank monitors half a million UK residents to determine the link between their genes, their physical and mental health, and the direction their life will take.

For this study, researchers from the UK, Germany and the US, led by the University of Edinburgh, analysed UK Biobank data from 100,000 Brits between the ages of 37 and 73. Over half a million samples were used from previous studies.

Participants had been examined in various ways, with researchers testing factors including their verbal and numerical reasoning skills, reaction time (RT), memory and educational attainment.

Fascinating Studies About Human Beings

 

 

 

The resulting paper, which was published in the Nature journal, Molecular Psychiatry, concluded:

Highly significant associations were observed between the cognitive test scores in the UK Biobank sample and many polygenic profile scores, including […]intracranial volume, infant head circumference and childhood cognitive ability.

As reported by the Independent, the average head size for a newborn baby is 36 cm for boys, and 35 cm for girls.  Babies with bigger than average heads are more likely to become boffins.

What You Never Knew About The Brain

 

 

 

The findings of this study are said to be so accurate, the size of a child’s head can even predict the likelihood of him or her entering higher education. Crikey.

UK Biobank has claimed:

Over many years this will build into a powerful resource to help scientists discover why some people develop particular diseases and others do not.

Director of the Centre for Cognitive Ageing and Cognitive Epidemiology (CCACE) at Edinburgh University, Professor Ian Deary, told Neuroscience News:

In addition to there being shared genetic influences between cognitive skills and some physical and mental health states, the study also found that cognitive skills share genetic influences with brain size, body shape and educational attainments.

Researcher Dr Sarah Harris added:

The research highlights the importance of investigating biological pathways that influence both cognitive function and health related traits.

Deposit Photos

So go forth and be proud of your gigantic head, and wear all the eye-catching, bonce-enhancing hats you can.

But don’t get too proud, otherwise, you might not be able to fit your already humungous head through the front door…

https://www.unilad.co.uk/news/babies-born-with-big-heads-are-more-likely-to-be-successful-study-finds/

khojho Posted on September 26, 2018 16:27

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Man With Rare Condition Explains How He Died For Six Minutes

23-year-old Tyler has the energy, humour, and dreams of any able-bodied twenty-something, but he has the rare condition of spinal muscular atrophy (SPA).

Despite meaning that he can’t move around on his own or lift anything that weighs more than three ounces, the resilient guy from Omaha, Nebraska, is eager to not let the degenerative motor neuron disorder get in the way of his aspirations.

Tyler’s SPA means that his armpit touches his hip, and he describes his body as a ‘boomerang’ due to how his spine and ribs are bent.

Here is a video of our interview with Tyler:

Man With Rare Condition Reveals How He Died For Six Minutes

 

 

 

SPA is a genetic rare neuromuscular disorder characterised by loss of motor neurons and progressive muscle wasting.

As well as suffering with this disease, Tyler had an incident where he died for six minutes.

Explaining the situation, Tyler said to UNILAD:

It was a very odd situation, we went to hospital and they said ‘you’re very nauseous, there is a black liquid in your stomach, we’re going to have to pump that out’, and I said okay.

As they were doing that, I blacked out, and I woke up 40 minutes later and the room was full of people.

I was like ‘well, this isn’t good’, and yeah so the next day my aunt asked me if my chest hurt, and I said ‘yeah, how do you know?’ and she said ‘well, you had CPR’.

I was like ‘what now?’ I said for ‘how long?’ and when she told me six minutes I was like ‘HUH?’.

I wasn’t aware of it, but I was having some very odd visualisations and they made a little bit more sense as I was told that.

UNILAD

Tyler has turned this traumatic situation into a really strong example of his resilience.

He said:

The fact that a 65 pound 20-year-old endured CPR for six minutes and is still living.

I think that is a testament to how stubborn people with disabilities can be. How resilient they are.

As well as being physically resilient, Tyler’s mindset is inspiringly positive.

He explained that he feels he was blessed with a “‘If I can’t fix it, why be upset about it?’ kind of attitude” which has served him well.

After losing a bet with a friend, he actually ended up doing a stand-up comedy show and enjoyed every second.

Stand-up comedy is a terrifying thing, but Tyler explained:

It was a dare at first, my friend said ‘you’ve got social anxiety haven’t you?’ and I said ‘yeah’, and they said ‘Why don’t you do comedy?’.

So I did it and honestly loved it. The fact that I can take something so negative and make people laugh about it.

I think it’s a classic cry or laugh situation.

UNILAD

He explained how comedy is his way of fight public misconceptions about disability:

The public mostly has misconceptions about disability in general. They just kind of look at you and dismiss your cognitive abilities because of your physical ones.

Now that I’m in comedy, it’s fantastic because I get to be all creative with them and point it out in various ways and make people embarrassed.

In terms of a reaction to my comedy, I get everything from ‘Oh my god why did you say that?’, to people laughing.

People don’t know if they can laugh at my comedy show. It’s like ‘no why are you guys saw aw, I’m on a stage’.

The main concern about Tyler’s health is that his lungs are okay, but his diaphragm is affected so what the doctors worry about is the muscle responsible for controlling his breathing will get worse.

Though the condition is degenerative, Tyler’s type two has the largest age range. He recalled knowing someone who passed away younger than him, but also someone who was 20 years his senior.

UNILAD

Looking to the future, he dreams of continuing comedy, but also starting a non-profit organisation to create a transportation device for disabled people that goes the extra mile.

He explained his idea:

There’s a dream non-profit that I’m going to start, I just need to have the right ears and eyes on it, because once I start it, I want to make sure it’s effective.

What I want to do is create a transportation for the disabled that doesn’t just restrict them to going to a doctor appointment or the grocery store, but independence beyond that.

24/7 operation, because as is now in the States, you’re subjected to public transit times.

It’s like being told ‘hey at 9pm you can no longer use your legs’. When you get to a certain age, your life becomes more than just school and doctor’s appointments.

UNILAD

The heart-breaking fact about Tyler’s degenerative condition is that there is a cure, but it costs well over a million pounds.

Tyler explained that for the first year of seven shots of Spinraza, a treatment that addresses the underlying cause of motor neuron loss, costs an outrageous $750,00.

Once again the unjust pharmaceutical companies are allowed to charge extortionate prices that most people simply can’t afford.

That is only for the first year, you then need three shots in the spine per year, costing a whopping $125,00 per shot.

Hopefully they make treatment more affordable for inspiring people like Tyler.

The aspiring NPO-owner also said he’d be looking for any business advice and guidance to help him.

If you have a story you want to tell send it to UNILAD via stories@unilad.co.uk. To license this article contact licensing@unilad.co.uk

https://www.unilad.co.uk/featured/man-with-rare-condition-explains-how-he-died-for-six-minutes/

khojho Posted on September 26, 2018 16:19

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Newly crowned Miss Ukraine yanked of title after pageant officials discover she is a divorced mom

Veronika Didusenko, who was named Miss Ukraine, was recently stripped of her title after officials discovered she lied about being a divorced mother.  (Instagram)

Veronika Didusenko, who was recently named Miss Ukraine at the country's national beauty pageant, was stripped of her title after pageant officials learned that she lied about being a divorced mother in her application.

Didusenko was crowned the winner of the Miss Ukraine pageant in the country's capital of Kiev on September 20. But her reign as queen didn't last long after the pageant committee decided that she was to be disqualified on Monday.

 

The Miss Ukraine organization released a statement regarding the 23-year-old's disqualification which said, "In accordance with the Rules for conducting the National Beauty Contest Miss Ukraine, a person who wishes to take part in the National Beauty Contest 'Miss Ukraine' must comply, among other things, with the following requirements (valid for the period of the Contest): – not / was not married; – has no children."

 

The pageant statement continued,  “The same requirements are indicated in the official form, which is contained in the unified rules and conditions of participation in Miss World contest 2018.”

–– ADVERTISEMENT ––

 

According to the statement, Didusenko, who works with children in Ukraine's Young Einsteins program, failed to mention that she had a 4-year-old son and has previously been married -- both are against the pageant organization rules for contestants. 

The young pageant contestant recently took to Instagram to thank fans for their support "at such a difficult time." 

Many Instagram users reacted to the model's post. One user sided with the former queen and wrote, “I do not think that the child and the family should be an obstacle to their dream."

 

While another disagreed and stated that the rules were rules for a reason. 

“The rules are the same for all, and Ukraine did not come up with them, but the founders of this world competition," another user said. 

As of now, a new Miss Ukraine to take Didusenko's place has not been announced, but a new queen will reportedly be chosen on September 30 in a special television broadcast, according to a press statement released on the pageant's organization website

http://www.foxnews.com/entertainment/2018/09/26/newly-crowned-miss-ukraine-yanked-title-after-pageant-officials-discover-is-divorced-mom.html

khojho Posted on September 26, 2018 15:36

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Spurs' new stadium 'will be greatest ever built' says chief engineer.

Tottenham's new stadium will be "the greatest that's ever been built", says one of the chief engineers working on the delayed project.

The new 62,000-seat arena was due to open on 15 September.

It means Spurs play Watford in Milton Keynes on Wednesday because their usual temporary home - Wembley Stadium - is not ready after last weekend's Anthony Joshua fight.

"We've tried to do something in double time," engineer Nick Cooper said.

"If you look at any other project of this nature you wouldn't have achieved as much as we've achieved with the stadium.

"Be patient with us, we understand the frustrations."

Contractor Mace has claimed faulty wiring is behind the delay, while Spurs have not given a new completion date. Manager Mauricio Pochettino said he is "confident" it will be ready this year.

"It's been radio silence from the club," says Pete Haine, secretary of the Tottenham Hotspur Supporters' Trust in reference to the lack of an official date for the first game.

"I can understand their point of view. I can understand the fact they don't want to commit to another date and then fail to meet it.

"As fans we'd like to know, we'd like some certainty. If it's going to be next year then fine. Tell us. We can plan for that."

The situation has been compounded for season ticket holders due to incompatible ticketing systems between the new stadium and Wembley - requiring fans to claim a refund from the club for games that have moved and then having to buy a new ticket for the game at Wembley.

Last month the Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy said that he hoped to announce an opening date as soon as possible.

"We are all focused on ensuring contractors deliver our new stadium in the shortest possible period of time and opening our stadium at the earliest opportunity," Levy said.

"We are now being regularly updated on progress and as soon as we have confidence in our project managers' and contractors' ability to deliver against the revised schedule of works, we shall be able to issue dates for test events and the official opening game."

Cooper said the pitch will be laid next week, indicating that the stadium could be nearly ready.

Built in virtually every corner of the UK - how Tottenham's ground is coming together

  • The stadium will feature the world's first dividing, retractable grass pitch built by a Leicester-based firm. Underneath will be an artificial NFL surface - all part of Spurs' grand plan to provide a world-class venue for both sports.
  • The Sky Walk, a unique visitor attraction which will allow people to climb the exterior of the stadium up to 40 metres high, has been manufactured by a Midlands-based construction company.
  • Six 70-metre trusses capable of extending across the pitch will suspend 950 powerful lights to help grow the grass. The trusses then all fold away, collapsing under the subterranean NFL pitch.
  • The three pitch trays which form the retractable grass pitch were manufactured across Yorkshire by a Sheffield engineering specialist firm.
  • The stadium steel works were made by a Lancashire-based company who also worked on the Olympic Stadium.
  • The concrete panels featuring the club crest, positioned at the north entrance of the stadium, were cast in Scunthorpe.
  • Spurs claim the local economy will be boosted by £293m each year and 3,500 jobs created across the entire stadium scheme to handle an expected two million visitors per year.
  • 258 affordable homes have been built nearby and money has been ploughed into a partnership with nine independent schools to create the London Academy of Excellence, which is connected to the building that houses the club's new offices.

https://www.bbc.com/sport/football/45586929

AlbertaU Posted on September 26, 2018 14:33

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Delta flight blows tires during emergency landing at JFK airport

The plane blew two tires during landing.  (Port Authority PBA‏ @PAPD911)

A Delta flight from New Jersey’s Newark Liberty International Airport to Paris, France, on Monday evening deflated multiple tires during an emergency landing at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York, after the plane experienced hydraulic failure, according to officials.

The plane “landed heavy,” Port Authority Police said on Twitter, causing the brakes to smoke and a mechanism on the aircraft to deflate two tires.

View image on Twitter

Port Authority PBA@PAPD911

Mon., 9/24, JFK Airport; #PAPD ARFF with Delta Flt 20 that departed NWK & had hydraulic failure. Diverted to JFK, landed heavy on R/W 4L resulting in smoking, hot brakes causing two tires on each main gear to rupture. #PAPDPROTECTSNYNJ #jfkairport

3:36 AM - Sep 25, 2018

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Delta confirmed the incident to Fox News in a statement.

"Delta flight 20 from Newark to Paris, France diverted to JFK due to a maintenance issue. The flight was subsequently towed to the gate and Delta dispatched an alternate aircraft to continue the flight to Paris-Charles de Gaulle. The safety of Delta’s customers and crew is always our top priority.”

The plane departed from Newark just before 6:30 p.m. with 205 passengers onboard. The flight was forced to make an emergency landing into JFK airport around 8 p.m.

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The flight was delayed nearly eight hours from the 6:28 schedule takeoff time. The new plane departed for France from JFK at 3:13 a.m. Tuesday.http://www.foxnews.com/travel/2018/09/25/delta-flight-blows-tires-during-emergency-landing-at-jfk-airport.html

Dominic Solomon Posted on September 26, 2018 12:31

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Man kicked off Indian plane after trying to charge his phone in the cockpit It comes a few days after a passenger on another Indian flight tried to open the plane's doors thinking it was the toilet.

A passenger was removed from an Indian aircraft after trying to enter the cockpit to charge his phone.

The man, who was drunk according to some reports, attempted to enter the cockpit on 24 September as it prepared to leave Mumbai for Kolkata.

He was thrown off the flight "on the grounds of a security violation" and handed over to police.

"While an IndiGo aircraft was on the ground, an unruly passenger tried to enter the cockpit stating that his mobile needs to be charged", an airline spokesperson said.

Image: A passenger tried to open the exit of a GoAir plane, thinking it was the toilet

"Following standard operating procedures the captain operating 6E-395 flight from Mumbai to Kolkata initiated the offloading of the passenger on grounds of security violation", they added.

Local media reports say the man, believed to be about 35, was questioned at a police station and later released without charge.

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In another incident this week, an Indian passenger tried to open a plane door in mid-air, apparently mistaking it for the toilet.

The man, believed to be a first-time flyer, was on a GoAir flight from New Delhi to Patna on 22 September when he tried to open the plane's rear door, the airline said.

Another passenger noticed what the man was doing and alerted the plane's crew, according to a GoAir spokesperson.

0:41

Video: Cabin crew aboard the Jaipur bound flight forgot to pressurise the cabin

The man was handed over to police after the plane landed safely in Patna.

More from India

It is believed he would not have been able to open the door due to air pressure in the cabin.

In another incident last week, more than 30 passengers were hospitalised with nose bleeds, headaches and ear pain after crew on a Jaipur-bound flight forgot to pressurise the cabin.

https://news.sky.com/story/man-kicked-off-indian-plane-after-trying-to-charge-his-phone-in-the-cockpit-11509160

AlbertaU Posted on September 26, 2018 12:26

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Father of missing boy Maddox Ritch 'started panicking' after he got out of sight.

Ian Ritch says he and his son often go for walks in North Carolina's Rankin Lake Park like they did Saturday. Maddox, 6, will regularly run ahead of his father, then slow down and wait for him to catch up.

But on Saturday, the boy, who has autism and is nonverbal, got too far ahead of Ian and hasn't been seen since. Ian says he "started panicking" when his 6-year-old son did not slow down and disappeared from view.

"We were walking on a track around the lake and he decided to take off from me. ... I didn’t think nothing of it and he got a little too far away from me," Ian Ritch told "Good Morning America" in an exclusive interview Wednesday. "As soon as I got to the point where I couldn’t see him anymore, I started panicking. I couldn’t see him anywhere."

 

WSOC

Carrie Ritch, the mother of missing 6-year-old boy Maddox, speaks at a press conference in Gastonia, N.C., on Tuesday, Sept. 25, 2018.

 

Hundreds of officials from the FBI, Gastonia Police Department, Gastonia Fire Department and other agencies have scoured the park around the clock since he was reported missing Saturday. Tips have flooded the tip line set up to assist in finding the young boy, and authorities continue to interview the hundreds of people who were in the park on a beautiful early fall day.

"After the first day I thought they would have found him," Ian told "GMA."

 

Gastonia Police Department

The Gastonia Police Department spent another day searching for missing 6-year-old Maddox Ritch in Rankin Lake Park in Gastonia, N.C., on Tuesday, Sept. 25, 2018.more +

 

 

(MORE: 'I just want my baby home': Mom pleads for help in desperate search for missing 6-year-old Maddox Ritch)

 

"I feel like I should’ve caught him, not let him get too far," Ian said. "That’s what upsets me."

Ian said he continues to be eaten by guilt over letting his son get out of his sight.

 

Gastonia Police Department

The Gastonia Police Department continued its search for missing 6-year-old Maddox Ritch on Tuesday, Sept. 25, 2018. The boy went missing in Rankin Lake Park in Gastonia, N.C., on Saturday.more +

 

"It's hard to sleep. I feel guilty because I can go to a house and lay down on the bed," Ian said, "and he's out there in the woods sleeping on the ground and that’s very upsetting."

Maddox's mother, Carrie, spoke during an emotional news conference Tuesday afternoon, begging for any tips that might help bring her son home.

"Maddox is my whole world and my reason for living," Carrie Ritch said during the press conference.

 

Gastonia Police Department

Maddox, who is described as nonverbal, was walking near a North Carolina lake when he disappeared on Saturday.

 

The FBI is offering a $10,000 reward for information that leads to the discovery of Maddox. Thousands of acres have been searched by foot, ATVs and boat.

Maddox has blond hair and blue eyes, weighs 45 pounds and is 4 feet tall, police said. He was wearing black shorts, closed-toe sandals and an orange T-shirt that reads "I am the Man" at the time he went missing, according to police.

 

Gastonia Police Dept.

Drone photos from Gaston County Emergency Management Services in the search for Maddox Ritch, 6, at Rankin Lake Park in Gastonia, N.C.more +

 

 

(MORE: Divers, drones and parents' voices used in search for missing 6-year-old)

 

"It's been nearly 75 agonizing hours since 6-year-old Maddox Ritch disappeared," Gastonia Police Chief Robert Helton said Tuesday. "We do not want another hour to pass without finding this child and bringing him home. All the help has been humbling."

Ian did not attend the press conference Tuesday with officials saying he was taking part in the search effort.

"I'm going to do all I can do to make sure he gets back home," Ian said. "I'll be out there searching, waiting, hoping, praying, everything I can do to get him home."

https://abcnews.go.com/US/father-missing-year-boy-started-panicking-sight/story?id=58088620

AlbertaU Posted on September 26, 2018 11:54

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Wildfires cause evacuations in Croatia and Italy Huge fires take hold in southern Europe forcing more than 700 people from their homes.

A wildfire whipped by strong winds has forced dozens of people to evacuate part of a peninsula in southern Croatia as the army joined local efforts to fight the flames.

Authorities said the wind prevented firefighting planes from helping ground teams and pushed the fire toward the village of Mokalo on the Peljesac peninsula.

Croatian TV said about 40 residents and tourists staying in two camping areas had to evacuate.

Strong winds also disrupted ferry traffic between the Croatian islands, and on bridges and highways along the coastline.

Authorities say they are searching for a Mexican woman who went missing while surfing in rough seas near the island of Brac.

Tinder dry conditions on the other side of the Adriatic Sea have caused similar problems in Italy. A huge forest fire which broke out in northern Tuscany on Monday night forced the evacuation of around 700 residents from their homes.

The blaze started around 2100 GMT on Monday, and by Tuesday had already consumed 250 hectares of forest.

The fire, which broke out near Pisa was thought to be most critical near the towns of Calci, Montemagno, San Lorenzo, Zambra, Caprona and Noce.

By Tuesday daytime, it was said to be under control as firefighters and volunteers, assisted by two water-dropping planes, tackled the blaze.

Firefighting helicopters were unable to take off in the area due to strong winds.

While rain is not expected over the next few days, the winds are forecast to ease down so which should allow further progress to be made.

SOURCE: AP news agency

https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2018/09/wildfires-evacuations-croatia-italy-180926082648688.html

AlbertaU Posted on September 26, 2018 11:03

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Cosby camp: Once-beloved actor a victim of racism, sexism.

A publicist for once-beloved actor Bill Cosby complained that his conviction and three- to 10-year prison term for sexual assault Tuesday stem from a racist and sexist justice system, as the defense vowed to appeal the first celebrity trial of the #MeToo era.

Cosby, 81, was spending his first night alone in a Pennsylvania prison after being accustomed to a life filled with handlers and household help.

Cosby spokesman Andrew Wyatt said that Cosby was "one of the greatest civil rights leaders in the United States for over the past 50 years," while decrying the trial as the "most sexist and racist" in the country's history.

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Bill Cosby goes to jail

The judge, prosecutor and jury saw it differently.

"No one is above the law. And no one should be treated disproportionately because of who they are, where they live, or even their wealth, celebrity or philanthropy," Montgomery County Judge Steven O'Neill said in sentencing Cosby to an above-average sentence for a 2004 sex assault.

Cosby's defense team has raised the racial issue before, in 2016, before quickly scrapping it.

"We prosecute where the evidence takes us and that was done in this (Cosby) case. When (U.S.) Judge (Eduardo) Robreno released the deposition and said that this is perhaps criminal, we're obligated to look at that and we did and we worked through the case and we got to where we are today."

Cosby broke racial barriers in the entertainment world in the 1960s but later became the first celebrity of the #MeToo era to be convicted. He was found guilty in April of drugging and sexually assaulting a woman at his gated estate in 2004 after being barraged with similar accusations from more than 60 women over the past five decades.

"It is time for justice. Mr. Cosby, this has all circled back to you. The time has come," O'Neill said. He quoted from victim Andrea Constand's statement to the court, in which she said Cosby took her "beautiful, young spirit and crushed it."

Cosby declined the opportunity to speak before the sentence came down, and afterward sat laughing and chatting with his defense team. His wife of 54 years, Camille, was not in court. Constand smiled broadly on hearing the punishment and was hugged by others in the courtroom.

In a blistering statement, Cosby spokesman Andrew Wyatt said the comedian was subjected to the "most racist and sexist trial in the history of the United States." Wyatt said all three of the psychologists who testified against Cosby were "white women who make money off of accusing black men of being sexual predators."

Cosby's lawyers asked that he be allowed to remain free on bail while he appeals his conviction, but the judge appeared incredulous over the request and ordered him locked up immediately, saying that "he could quite possibly be a danger to the community."

Cosby — who is legally blind and uses a cane — removed his watch, tie and jacket and walked out in a white dress shirt and red suspenders, his hands cuffed in front of him. He appeared downcast, his eyes failing to meet the camera, in a mug shot released by authorities.

Cosby must serve the minimum of three years before becoming eligible for parole.

"For decades, the defendant has been able to hide his true self and hide his crimes using his fame and fortune. He's hidden behind a character he created, Dr. Cliff Huxtable," Montgomery County District Attorney Kevin Steele said at a news conference, referring to Cosby's best-known role. But "now, finally, Bill Cosby has been unmasked, and we have seen the real man as he is headed off to prison."

Constand stood at Steele's side but shook her head to say she had no comment.

Former model Janice Dickinson, who accused Cosby of violating her, looked at him in the courtroom and said: "Who gets the last laugh, pal?"

Another accuser in the courtroom, Lili Bernard, said: "There is solace, absolutely. It is his fame and his fortune and his phony philanthropy that has allowed him to get away with impunity. Maybe this will send a message to other powerful perpetrators that they will be caught and punished."

Cosby's punishment, which also included a $25,000 fine, came at the end of a two-day hearing at which the judge declared him a "sexually violent predator" — a modern-day scarlet letter that subjects him to monthly counseling for the rest of his life and requires that neighbors and schools be notified of his whereabouts. A psychologist for the state testified that Cosby appears to have a mental disorder characterized by an uncontrollable urge to have sex with women without their consent.

Once known as America's Dad for his role on the top-rated "Cosby Show" in the 1980s, the actor was convicted of violating Constand, Temple University women's basketball administrator, at his suburban Philadelphia mansion in 2004.

Constand testified that Cosby gave her what she thought were herbal pills to ease stress, then penetrated her with his fingers as she lay immobilized on a couch. Cosby claimed the encounter was consensual, and his lawyers branded her a "con artist" who framed the comedian to get a big payday — a $3.4 million settlement she received over a decade ago.

Five other accusers took the stand at the trial as part of an effort by prosecutors to portray him as a predator.

Cosby faced anywhere from probation to 10 years in prison. His lawyers asked for house arrest, saying he is too old and vulnerable to go to prison. Prosecutors asked for five to 10 years behind bars, warning that he could still pose a threat to women.

The sentencing came as another extraordinary #MeToo drama unfolded on Capitol Hill, where Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh stands accused of sexual misconduct more than three decades ago.

Women's advocates hailed Cosby's sentence as a landmark #MeToo moment.

Sonia Ossorio, president of the National Organization for Women of New York, credited Cosby's accusers with helping pave the way for the movement.

"Bill Cosby seeing the inside of a prison cell sends a strong message that predators — no matter who they are, from Hollywood to Wall Street to the Supreme Court — can no longer be protected at the expense of victims," she said.

Steele said Cosby could be sent to Laurel Highlands , a state prison for lower-risk inmates on the other side of the state, about 70 miles southeast of Pittsburgh. It serves inmates with special needs and has separate housing units for geriatric prisoners and programs for sex offenders.

In a statement submitted to the court and released Tuesday, Constand, 45, said that she has had to cope with years of anxiety and self-doubt. She said she now lives alone with her two dogs and has trouble trusting people.

"When the sexual assault happened, I was a young woman brimming with confidence and looking forward to a future bright with possibilities," she wrote in her five-page statement. "Now, almost 15 years later, I'm a middle-aged woman who's been stuck in a holding pattern for most of her adult life, unable to heal fully or to move forward."

She also wrote of Cosby: "We may never know the full extent of his double life as a sexual predator, but his decades-long reign of terror as a serial rapist is over."

The AP does not typically identify people who say they are victims of sexual assault unless they come forward publicly, which Constand and other accusers have done.

Constand went to police a year after waking up in a fog at Cosby's estate, her clothes askew, only to have the district attorney pass on the case. Another DA reopened the file a decade later and charged the TV star after stand-up comic Hannibal Buress' riff about Cosby being a rapist prompted other women to come forward and after a federal judge, acting on a request from The Associated Press, unsealed some of Cosby's startling, decade-old testimony in Constand's related civil suit.

In his testimony, Cosby described sexual encounters with a string of actresses, models and other young women and talked about obtaining quaaludes to give to those he wanted to sleep with.

Cosby's first trial in 2017 ended with a hung jury. He was convicted at a retrial that opened months after the #MeToo movement had taken down such figures as Hollywood studio boss Harvey Weinstein, NBC's Matt Lauer, actor Kevin Spacey and Sen. Al Franken.

"We are the floodgates," said Victoria Valentino, who has accused Cosby of drugging and raping her. "We gave the women who opened their mouths about Harvey Weinstein courage."

Cosby, whose estimated fortune once topped $400 million, broke barriers in the 1960s as the first black actor to star in a network show, "I Spy." He went on to superstardom as wise and understanding Dr. Cliff Huxtable on "The Cosby Show," a sitcom that showed America a new kind of black TV family: a warm and loving household led by two professionals, one a lawyer, the other a doctor.

He also found success with his Saturday morning cartoon "Fat Albert," appeared in commercials for Jello-O pudding and became a public moralist, lecturing the black community about young people stealing things and wearing baggy pants. He won a Presidential Medal of Freedom and countless Emmys, Golden Globes and Grammy awards.

As the allegations mounted, his career all but collapsed, "Cosby Show" reruns were taken off the air, and one college after another stripped him of his honorary degrees.

———

Associated Press reporter Claudia Lauer contributed to this story.

———

For more coverage, visit: https://apnews.com/tag/BillCosby

https://abcnews.go.com/Entertainment/wireStory/cosby-camp-beloved-actor-victim-racism-sexism-58087565

AlbertaU Posted on September 26, 2018 09:49

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Ghana-U.S. reach diplomatic agreement to deport 7000 persons

Ghana’s Ambassador to the United States has reached a diplomatic understanding with authorities to deport 7000 Ghanaians from the country.

Dr. Baffour Adjei-Bawuah said there is no longer any dispute with the nationality of the affected persons which had been a bone of contention earlier.

He said American immigration office has every documentation and information that allows the person to be brought into the country so they do not need confirmation from the Ghanaian Embassy.

“All that we were talking about was for a certain fairness to be applied and the Embassy not necessarily pressured to agree to see some people deported. This is where we had a difference of opinion with the US authorities,” he said.

Speaking to journalists on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly in New York, he added that “it’s not a matter of agreeing to deport people without their endorsement but we have had enough discussion for a certain sanity to prevail.”

Related: I can’t sanction deportation of Ghanaians from US – GhanaAmbassador

Dr. Baffour Adjei-Bawuah who had refused to endorse the deportation forms despite the insistence of US authorities disclosed that the US threatened Ghana with visa restrictions.

Dr Adjei-Bawuah and the U.S. President Donald Trump

           In May this year, the Ambassador who was caught in a cat and mouse game with the American authorities told Joy News “it leaves me with difficulty to sanction the deportation of my citizen and I have been trying hard to explain this to the authorities.” Appalled by the Ambassador’s latest stance, the minority in parliament slammed the government for not telling the House about the development especially the Foreign Affairs Committee.

       A member of the Committee, Dr Clement Apaak said they were disappointed to have heard about the issue in the media. The Builsa MP said although he was disappointed with Dr Adjei-Baffour’s stance, he understands the difficult place he finds himself and the decision he has to take.

“I can sympathize with him because it has not been the most pleasant experience as far as he is concerned,” he said.

       He added that “in terms of the Americans now taking full responsibility of the 7000 persons and having the documentation to show those involved are Ghanaians who have violated their immigration laws there is no way to fight it.”  Mr Apaak said it is still an issue of concern, however, to find out the kind of violation those affected are said to have committed against their host country. He is interested in knowing what will happen to the families and properties the 7000 persons may have acquired while in the United States.

          “Every human being regardless of whatever infraction committed must be treated with dignity and their rights must be respected. Whatever they did does not give the US authorities the right to simply just deport them without taking due cognisance of all other factors,” he argued.

According to him, the other relevant issue government must address is to put in place a contingency plan for those affected when they arrive in Ghana so they do not become a burden on the society. 

“If for nothing at all the government led by Nana Akufo-Addo who used to be a Foreign Affairs Minister should have conveyed to parliament and the Foreign Affairs committee about this new arrangement,” he said. 

 

https://www.myjoyonline.com/news/2018/september-25th/ghana-us-reach-diplomatic-agreement-to-deport-7000-persons.php

 

sarah Posted on September 26, 2018 09:36

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'A Million Little Things' premiere: 5 things to know about the new ABC series.

There are a lot of new TV series premiering over the next few weeks, but few have gotten as much buzz as ABC's "A Million Little Things."

For some time, the network kept details of the series under wraps, but it was recently revealed that the plot centers around a group of friends trying to reconcile the shocking suicide of their friend, played by Ron Livingston. If it sounds similar to "The Big Chill" -- it kind of is.

“I watched ‘The Big Chill’ before I should have been allowed to,” creator D.J. Nash said, according to the Los Angeles Times. “It really influenced my life.”

 

Jack Rowand/ABC

Scene from "A Million Little Things."

 

However, he added, unlike in the film, which focused on a group of friends who reunite for a friend's funeral, "we’re going to stay and watch the transformation take place.”

 

(MORE: Taraji P. Henson wants to break the stigma of mental health: 'I'm here to tell you, I have a therapist')

 

Of course, there's plenty more to know about the series before the premiere tonight at 10 p.m. ET/9 p.m. CT. Among them:

1. The show will not glamorize suicide: After the suicides of Anthony Bourdain and Kate Spade this past June, Nash called ABC Entertainment President Channing Dungey to ask that the network include a public service announcement at the end of the pilot, the L.A. Times reported. In addition to three cast members, the PSA will include Linkin Park's Mike Shinoda and the band's late frontman Chester Bennington's widow, Talinda Ann Bentley. Bennington died by suicide last year. “I think there’s absolutely nothing romantic about suicide -- it’s a real conscious thing in our [writers’] room,” Nash said, according to the newspaper. “We’re not romanticizing the story; we’re telling it in an authentic way...If you watch the show, you’ll see that these people’s lives are changed because of this. I don’t think [people] will watch the show and say, ‘Oh, I should do that too.’ If anything, it’s a cautionary tale of what can happen. It is something we take unbelievably seriously.”

2. It's based on a real-life experience: According to Variety, Nash lost a friend to suicide, and that experience inspired him to write "A Million Little Things." However, he added, "people grieve in different ways," which is why he wanted it to be an ensemble drama. “The friends move on different levels with regards to losing their friend,” he said. “That’s what’s interesting, I think, about death: every time you lose someone, it goes back to the other losses you’ve had.”

 

(MORE: 21 new shows to watch this fall)

 

3. It's going to take a hard look at male friendships: "The show is very life-affirming in that we all experience a tragedy that's completely unexpected and it forces us to take stock of our lives," David Giuntoli, who stars as Eddie Saville in the series, told "Good Morning America." "We're four dudes who hung out all the time and we know nothing about what's going on internally in each other's lives." Romany Malco, who plays a character named Rome Howard, added that it's important to discuss loneliness and depression. "The show is helping us look at -- and helping the characters understand -- that strength comes in vulnerability," he said.

4. The main cast is not all male, of course: Though Giuntoli, Malco, Livingston and James Roday star as the show's big foursome, each has his own personal life as well. Giuntoli's character is in a complicated marriage with Katherine Kim, played by Grace Park; Malco's character, who was also suicidal, is married to a chef named Regina Howard, played by Christina Moses; Livingston's character's devastated widow and the mother of his children is played by Stéphanie Szostak; and James Roday's character, who battled cancer, is in a relationship with a therapist, played by Allison Miller.

5. Life on set can get pretty silly: Malco and Giuntoli told "Good Morning America" that while the subject matter on the show can be heavy, behind-the-scenes, there are plenty of light moments. For example, Giuntoli said, during one recent shoot, Malco, who'd had an especially busy day, fell asleep in the middle of shooting a scene. "It was really funny: his eyes [snapped open] and he was downloading his entire life. 'Where am I?' he said," Giuntoli said. "I'm like, 'Stop, grandpa! Don't talk at least!’" Malco was tickled. "Dave might be funnier than a lot of the comedians we spend an hour, hour and a half watching," he responded.

https://abcnews.go.com/GMA/Culture/million-things-premiere-things-abc-series/story?id=58049259

AlbertaU Posted on September 26, 2018 09:33

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