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Passengers hurt after Jet Airways flight loses cabin pressure

Flight 9W 697 carrying 166 passengers landed back in Mumbai after passengers complained of ear pain and nose bleeding.

A Jet Airways flight returned to Mumbai after dozens of passengers complained of ear pain and nose bleeding [FILE:Nicolas Economou/ Getty Images]

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A Jet Airways flight returned to Mumbai, India, when 30 passengers complained of ear pain and nose-bleeding after the plane lost cabin pressure.

Shortly after takeoff, the flight crew forgot to switch on the cabin pressure system and oxygen masks were deployed, according to India's civil aviation regulator.

Flight 9W 697, a Boeing 737 aircraft, was carrying 166 passengers when the incident took place.

Those affected were given medical attention while alternative flights were arranged, Jet Airways said.

The flight crew "has been taken off scheduled duties pending investigation", the company said in a statement.

"The airline is making alternative flight arrangements for guests on its flight," the statement added. 

People on board posted photos and videos of the calamity online, with one purported passenger, Darshak Hathi, uploading footage on Twitter showing travellers using oxygen masks.

Panic situation due to technical fault in @jetairways 9W 0697 going from Mumbai to Jaipur. Flt return back to Mumbai after 45 mts. All passengers are safe including me.

— Darshak Hathi (@DarshakHathi) September 20, 2018

Satish Nair also posted a picture and complained that passengers were not kept informed during the ordeal.

@jetairways Flight 9W 697 made an emergency landing back in Mumbai. Airplane lost pressure immediately after taking off...scores of passengers including me bleeding from staff to announcement on board to wear the oxygen mask.passengersafety completelyignored

— Satish Nair (@satishnairk) September 20, 2018 

India's Ministry of Civil Aviation said in a tweet it had sought an "immediate report" from official agencies.

MoCA has taken cognizance of the incident in flight 9W 697 earlier today and has requested DGCA to file its report immediately on the issue. The crew is being derostered. Of the 166 people on board, 30 were affected and have been given treatment.

— Ministry of Civil Aviation (@MoCA_GoI) September 20, 2018

It is the latest in a string of embarrassing incidents for the airline.

In January, two Jet Airways pilots were grounded for getting into a brawl and storming out of the cockpit briefly during a New Year's Day flight from London to Mumbai.

kabby Posted on September 20, 2018 10:32

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Rights group accuses South Sudan of 'war crimes'

Witnesses say soldiers and militiamen targeted civilians by raping them, burning them alive, and killing male infants.

About two million South Sudanese have fled the country over the past five years of war [Mohamed Nureldin Abdallah/Reuters]

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South Sudan's government and its allied militias have been accused of carrying out war crimes of "staggering brutality" during an offensive earlier this year.

Witnesses described how soldiers and fighters targeted civilians by raping them, burning them alive, running them over with armoured vehicles, and hanging them from trees, Amnesty International said in a report on Wednesday.

"One interviewee said a girl as young as eight was gang-raped and another woman witnessed the rape of a 15-year-old boy," it said.

The report was based on interviews with 100 displaced people from Leer and Mayendit counties in Unity State, which have been among the hardest hit regions during South Sudan's five-year civil war.

Amnesty also documented the abduction of women and girls, and the deliberate killing of young boys and male infants. The attacks continued for a week after a ceasefire was announced.

"The government attacked dozens of civilians in these areas, burning houses systematically, killing people - including women, children, and elderly people," Amnesty's Joanne Mariner told Al Jazeera.

"We documented horrific cases in which elderly people - 70, 80, even 90 years old - were burned alive inside houses because the government was torching villages in a really systematic way."

The killings echo the type of brutality meted out to civilians that have characterised South Sudan's war since its start.


WATCH:South Sudan war crimes: UN calling for forming hybrid court (1:58)


South Sudan's government often dismisses such reports as "rubbish".

Africa's refugee crisis 

President Salva Kiir and rebel leader Riek Machar signed a new peace deal in Ethiopia last week after lengthy negotiations.

It allows the creation of a transitional government, with Machar to be reinstated as vice president.

Despite the breakthrough, many international observers remain sceptical as previous agreements have collapsed after warring parties failed to respect them.

Years of conflict in South Sudan has left more than half of its 12 million population in need of food aid for survival.

The world's newest country descended into civil war in 2013 after Kiir accused Machar, then his deputy, of plotting a coup.

The conflict has killed tens of thousands of people with more than two million fleeing the country, creating Africa's largest refugee crisis since the 1994 Rwandan genocide.


In the Field

Women of South Sudan: Broken bodies, shattered dreams

kabby Posted on September 20, 2018 09:58

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Man City given Champions League wake-up call by Lyon

Manchester City assistant manager Mikel Arteta admitted the English champions were handed a wake-up call in a shock 2-1 home defeat by Lyon to start their Champions League campaign on Wednesday.

  • Published: 19.09.2018
  • Pulse News Agency International by AFP





Maxwel Cornet scored the opening goal for Lyon against Manchester City


Manchester City assistant manager Mikel Arteta admitted the English champions were handed a wake-up call in a shock 2-1 home defeat by Lyon to start their Champions League campaign on Wednesday.

Arteta took charge for the evening with Pep Guardiola serving a touchline ban for being sent-off in last season's quarter-final exit to Liverpool.



And Guardiola could only watch on in horror as Lyon punished a sloppy first 45 minutes from the pre-tournament favourites through Maxwel Cornet and Nabil Fekir.

Bernardo Silva pulled a goal back in an improved second-half performance, but couldn't prevent City slumping to their first defeat of the season.

"When you are not at the races at the start of a game in the Champions League after, it doesn't matter how good you are, it is too late," said Arteta.

In contrast to their stunning domestic form, City have now lost their last four Champions League games.


Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola was forced to watch his side's defeat from the stands



A decade into their stewardship, winning the competition for the first time may remain the holy grail for City's Abu Dhabi owners.

But it seems City's fans still need to be convinced with plenty of empty seats dotted around the Etihad and the Champions League anthem again booed before kick-off.

That flat atmosphere transferred into a City first-half display riddled with uncharacteristic errors.

"Obviously, the ideal scenario is to have a full stadium every time and to have people supporting and getting behind the team like crazy," added Arteta.

"I wouldn't like to use that as an excuse because we had this type of crowd in Champions League before and we were able to win the game."

Lyon pounce


Lyon captain Nabil Fekir fired the French side into a 2-0 lead



Lyon have won just two of their opening five Ligue 1 matches of the season, but pounced on City's sloppiness.

"We need to be capable of repeating this performance in order to fulfil the objectives we have," said Lyon coach Bruno Genesio.

"The end of the game was tougher as they brought it back to 2-1 and brought on talented players. I suffered as I was scared they'd score a second goal.

"We would have taken 2-2 before the match but given the way the game went we'd have been disappointed not to leave with the three points."

Some calamitous City defending gifted Lyon the perfect start as Fekir's low cross should have been easily cut out by Fabian Delph at the back post. However, the England international swiped at fresh air and Cornet gratefully slotted into the far corner.

Guardiola's ban meant he wasn't even allowed into the dressing room at half-time, and Arteta's team talk got an awfully lot tougher two minutes before the break when long-time Liverpool target Fekir drilled a shot from 25 yards into the bottom corner.

Arteta surprisingly resisted the temptation to make changes at the break despite having a cavalry of Leroy Sane, Sergio Aguero and Riyad Mahrez on the bench.

And it wasn't until Sane and Aguero were summoned before the hour mark that City started to threaten.

By that point, it should have been too late as former Manchester United winger Memphis Depay hit the post with just Ederson to beat on another threatening Lyon counter-attack.

Sane's introduction moved Bernardo Silva into the central role where he has shone in recent weeks in the absence of Kevin De Bruyne and the two combined to get the hosts back into the game 23 minutes from time.

The German got to the by-line and his cut-back was swept into the far corner by the Portuguese international.

Anthony Lopes twice denied Aguero and Sane fired off target when well-placed in stoppage time, but Lyon held out to leave City with plenty of work to do in Group F to progress.

khojho Posted on September 20, 2018 08:57

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Someone’s putting electric cars on the blockchain to mine crypto while driving.

Has science gone too far? Or has economics not gone far enough?

CoinTelegraph reports CyClean is putting electric cars on the blockchain so they can mine cryptocurrency while driving – as you do.

Electric vehicles and other more eco-friendly products are supplied to CyClean with a chip that connects to the CyClean server. It then tracks how far a vehicle travels or how many watts are used and rewards the driver or user accordingly.

CyClean currently only covers electric bicycles and motorcycles, hence the name presumably, but the expansion to electric cars is said to be coming in the near future. The chip can also be incorporated into solar panels and other clean energy systems to deliver additional rewards for the amount of power produced as well as into wrist bands to reward people for running a certain distance. The vision is to create a healthy, green, environmentally conscious and almost painfully wholesome green fitness community.

The money

The system involves a fixed amount of daily rewards, which is then divided among all the users who have travelled more than a kilometre in that day or produced more than one watt. The amount of CyClean coins will be proportionate to the distance travelled or the watts produced. The total daily amount distributed is subject to change as the system evolves, its white paper says.

It's a fascinating idea that will no doubt be subject to a lot of "oh so now we have crypto mining cars on the blockchain" type criticism, even as the economic criticisms are potentially much more valid.

The token itself is intended to be useable for renting a range of CyClean products as well as other partner products over time and will be connected to carbon credit schemes. Naturally, it's also intended to be redeemable for cold hard cash at constantly varying prices, also known as sellable.

Where's the value?

The nugget of value in the entire system is intended to be CyClean's brand name and the sense of endorsement that CyClean products are expected to carry. This is what CyClean offers partners who agree to let their products be rentable in exchange for CyClean credits rather than real money. The idea is that this, in conjunction with the CyClean rewards, make CyClean products a much more tempting option for consumers.

Seems like it could work, although the anticipated volatility of CyClean coins might make it tough for CyClean to convince partners to accept it over money.

Living long enough to become the villain

There are also some seemingly self-defeating peculiarities with the system and the intended self-driving car.

"When CyClean car is complete and launched to the market, it will be one of the strongest mining capabilities thus will be like ASIC metaphorically when mining CyClean coins," the white paper explains.

In other words, it's incentivising people to drive wherever possible rather than bike, walk or take public transport. Not only that, but it's also encouraging people to drive as far as possible in any given day. If CyClean rewards ever become valuable enough for people to drive when they don't need to, the system might be undermining its own ethos. And with more people suddenly CyCleaning around the place, the rewards for those who use it as intended start dropping.

This puts a fairly stark cap on the potential value of CyClean rewards. By necessity, they can never get high enough to actually be "worth it" and will only ever be a small side benefit to help sell a specific brand of product.

There are also some lingering questions around obvious gaming of the system and how fair it will be for everyday users. It won't be long before people find the most effective way of mimicking travel times, such as throwing their CyClean electric bike and scooter into their car before driving around wearing an armband or finding a way of hacking their device's GPS tracker.

But even assuming everyone does use it as intended, the system is naturally geared towards those who will be covering a lot of ground every day. These are your full-time Uber drivers, taxi companies, delivery drivers and similar. Later on, it will be your autonomous vehicle owners; the CyClean car roadmap is intended to eventually lead to driverless cars.

The vast majority of the rewards will be going to these heavy users who cover a lot of ground in their cars. And not only is distance a strong factor, but CyClean rewards are also weighted by device type, so cars are worth disproportionately more than wrist bands, for example.

Without actually doing any calculations, it intuitively seems like the actual value of the system for an everyday CyClean user, someone who just rides an electric bike to or from work or goes jogging with the wrist band, would end up close to zero.

Remember, if the actual token value gets too high, it starts destroying the system by incentivising needless energy consumption and dropping rewards for everyone who can't be bothered gaming the system in this way. By necessity, the total value of the daily reward pool can never get too high.

These limited rewards are then distributed mainly to the most dedicated "miners," who drive full time in their own vehicle or are otherwise in a position to earn the highest rewards. The rewards for those everyday users, who make up the bulk of the market and help shore up the value of the CyClean tokens through their purchasing power, seem like they'll be too low for anyone to bother with.

In the end, CyClean products will still need to compete on quality and price to get anywhere, and without enough rewards to sway consumer purchasing decisions, these tracking systems and blockchain chips will just be extra overhead.

Slightly ironically, CyClean's green energy economy might not be sustainable.

AlbertaU Posted on September 20, 2018 08:21

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Marco Minniti: The man who cut the migrant flow to Italy

In his small office off a courtyard lined with citrus trees, 62-year-old Marco Minniti scrolls through the pictures on his phone, showing endless meetings with Libyan tribal leaders.

His office walls are lined with photos of Italian air force planes. A small pen holder, a gift from Tunisian officials, sits on his desk.

In power, Mr Minniti spoke rarely.

Now, out of office, he's keen to explain how he orchestrated a deal to reduce migration from Libya to Italy.

When he took over as interior minister in December 2016, migration was a continuing crisis. In just three years, more than half a million migrants had reached Italy after setting off from Libya by boat.

Italians angrily demanded action from the centre-left government. The new minister decided to make use of his long background in intelligence and security work.

His plan was simple: co-opt Libyan tribal chiefs into stopping migrant smugglers and traffickers.

Image copyrightGETTY IMAGES

Image captionLibyan prime minister Fayez al-Sarraj met Mr Minniti at a conference in Rome in March 2017

His first official visit to the Libyan capital, Tripoli, was in January 2017 to meet President Serraj - and the other authorities.

"The desert tribes are fundamental," he says. "There's only so much technology and military resources you can deploy, but if you don't have the tribes, the Sahara is difficult to control."

By the summer of 2017, Marco Minniti had a deal in place with Libyan chiefs.

"We signed a small pact," he says.

"I asked them to break any links with the traffickers - and I said that Italy, Europe, and the international community were ready to help their communities financially."

Inhuman treatment?

The deal had instant results.

The Libyan coast guard began to intercept migrant boats, and numbers on this route fell by around 80%. But the Libya-Italy route remains incredibly dangerous.

Image copyrightGETTY IMAGES

Image captionMr Minniti in Tripoli harbour, Libya, in May 2017

The UN refugee agency says that the rate of deaths along the Mediterranean route has risen sharply, and there are questions about the dangers intercepted migrants face back in Libya.

The UN has said any deal that sends migrants back to detention and mistreatment in Libya is inhuman. I ask Mr Minniti how he responds.

"Of course - if you ask me, have we sorted the issue of detention centres in Libya? Obviously not. We still have a lot to do," he says.

"But the fact that the UN are in Libya and can visit the centres is a step ahead. We need to strengthen these steps."

The dramatic fall in numbers was too late to save the centre-left government. Voters saw no need to reward an administration which, they believed, had taken far too long to act over migration.

At the general election in March, populists came out ahead.

'There is no migrant emergency'

"We lost the election for two reasons," Mr Minniti reflects. "We did not respond to two feelings that were very strong: anger and fear. We lost contact with a big part of public opinion."

The new populist administration is dominated by Marco Minniti's successor as interior minister - the far-right leader Matteo Salvini.

Mr Salvini has won headlines by turning away foreign-flagged rescue boats - and by asserting that he's the politician who's finally got a grip on migration. But in terms of reducing migrant numbers, it's Marco Minniti who's had by far the most impact - not Matteo Salvini.

I ask if he ever shouts at the TV when Mr Salvini claims he's the one who stopped migration.

He laughs.


Media captionWATCH: 'Italy only has room for migrants fleeing war,' says Matteo Salvini

"The point is this. Italy managed to show Europe and the world that you can manage migration, keeping two principles in mind: humanity and security. Now we're in another phase. There is no migrant emergency in Italy," he replies.

"But the new government can't say this - because if they did they would start liberating Italians from their fears. They need to stoke the issue, always finding an enemy."

But the populist strategy appears to work.

Matteo Salvini is Italy's most popular politician. By contrast, Marco Minniti sits in a small office in opposition.

seth Posted on September 20, 2018 06:11

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Good sex cures severe headache faster than painkillers – Doctor advises

A Ghanaian medical doctor has reaffirmed earlier research positions that sexual activities can lead to “partial or complete relief” from head pain in some migraines. This is nothing new as research conducted by various institutions across the globe have proven that sex cures headaches faster than some painkillers.

According to Dr Dennis Bortey, a Public Health professional, instead of using a sore head as an excuse to refuse sex, making love can be more effective than taking painkillers. He stressed that there is no medicine that works as fast and cures headache than sex.

He said, sex is medicinal and encourage that couples have it as often as possible to prevent ill health. Dr Bortey who said this while contributing to discussions on GhOne’s television show? ‘Duvet’, narrated how upon medical examination, directed a patient to go home and have sex. “If you have a bad headache, have sex, it is very medicinal. I asked one patient, have you had sex, you know what, go home have rough sex, go hit it. I bet anybody to try it if you have a bad headache”, he said.

The medical practitioner bemoaned the Ghanaian attitude of seeing sex as offensive thus, the subject is hardly discussed or talked about. “We need to demystify that,” he said. For couples who shunned sex or failed to engage in the activity regularly, Dr. Bortey said they may look older than their age. Using himself as an example, Dr Bortey said, people always doubt he age since he looked younger than 44.

His secret, he said, was good sex that makes him glow almost always. “Sex is a good thing, it makes you younger all the time…the more you have it, the more glowing you look be it a man or a woman,” he said. Some men have complained that their wives usually developed headaches around bedtime, leaving them with no choice than to allow the woman to have her deserved rest.

But Dr Bortey says the best cure for a headache is that three-letter word, Sex and it is as natural as it comes. Researchers have suggested that sex triggers the release of endorphins, the body’s natural painkillers, through the central nervous system, which can, in turn, reduce, or even eliminate, a headache.

Nii Sackey Posted on September 20, 2018 06:10

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From murder capital of Europe to role model for London

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan announces plans for a unit aiming to divert young people away from knife crime. The idea is based on a successful approach used in Scotland. So, what can the English capital learn?

Scotland's Violence Reduction Unit (VRU) was set up to stem the tide of knife crime which saw Glasgow become Europe's murder capital.

From its formation in 2005 the VRU proposed a fresh approach to tackling the issue.

Its key message was that gang-related stabbings and slashings were not just a policing problem but a public health problem. The unit's motto was a simple one: "Violence is preventable, not inevitable."

In 2004/05 there were 137 murders in Scotland. But by 2016/17 the total had more than halved to 61.

Over the years the VRU has worked closely with partners in the NHS, education and social work.

It has stressed the importance of positive role models and its projects have been shaped by statistics.

Former director John Carnochan once showed me a jagged graph of violent crime in Glasgow. It included many spikes but at one point it plummeted dramatically.

Mr Carnochan explained: "That was Valentine's Day."

Love may virtually halt violence once a year but other factors have helped Glasgow shed its unwanted reputation as No Mean City.

BBC Scotland looks at five key aspects of the VRU's work.

Image captionSinger Frankie Vaughan addresses gang members in Easterhouse


Glasgow's gang culture was highlighted in the 1960s when singer Frankie Vaughan visited Easterhouse to speak to young people.

He famously convinced rival leaders to shake hands and give up their weapons.

Fast forward four decades and the then Strathclyde Police Chief Constable Sir Stephen House invited teenagers from some of the most deprived areas of the city to Glasgow Sheriff Court.

The symbolism was powerful as Sir Stephen urged them to renounce violence or risk returning to the court for real.

The VRU made bold statements to young people in simple, no nonsense terms. For example, chalk outlines of a body and a knife once appeared in 15 areas identified as gang trouble spots.

Officers also proactively visited suspected gang members, targeted their meeting places and monitored their activity on early social networking sites, such as Bebo.

Image copyrightGETTY IMAGES

Image captionThe notorious MS-13 street gang was formed in LA by immigrants from El Salvador

US influence

The VRU sought inspiration from across the Atlantic in its bid to make Glasgow's streets safer.

Within two years of implementing Operation Ceasefire in 1995, Boston had reduced violent crime by about 50%.

In 2009 the VRU launched the Community Initiative to Reduce Violence (CIRV). It was designed to offer young people an alterative to gang membership such as youth clubs but, crucially, also the prospect of training and work.

Former offenders were drafted in to share their experiences with the next generation.

In 2011 police said the CIRV had resulted in a 50% reduction in violent offendingby those taking part.

Even among gang members who refused to participate, data indicated a 25% fall in the number of offences committed.

Image copyrightSEBASTIEN RABAS

Image captionCallum, from the east end of Glasgow, has been stabbed multiple times


In 2008 six surgeons who had witnessed first-hand the devastating impact of knife crime formed Medics Against Violence (MAV).

One of its early projects involved sending senior doctors into schools to share their harrowing experiences. MAV also produced a 15-minute film, called Your Choice, and devised lesson plans to help stimulate a debate.

The organisation encouraged knife crime victims to cooperate with the police as research showed many attacks went unreported.

It has also informed national debates, such as the case for minimum alcohol pricing. Earlier this year Dr Christine Goodall, of MAV, said more than 80% of assault victims in hospital emergency departments had been drinking, as had the people who had assaulted them.

The VRU's holistic approach was illustrated at an anti-violence conference at the Scottish Police College.

It included a session by Canadian parenting expert Cathy Gordon which highlighted the importance of empathy.

Image captionSexting has become a major problem among young people


The VRU launched a mentoring project in schools which is designed to combat the emerging threat of cyberbullying and encourage children to stay safe online.

The Mentors in Violence Prevention (MVP) initiative is teaching young people leadership skills to help them support those falling prey to different kinds of abuse.

Former Chief Insp Graham Goulden, said the the scale of the problem should not be underestimated in light of the "sexually toxic environment" children are growing up in.

The MVP scheme, which was devised by US academic Jackson Katz, also coaches young people to challenge offensive behaviour.

During workshops, pupils are asked questions such as: "Is it sometimes OK to send a sexually explicit photo to another person?"

Under the programme school staff and partners recruit fifth and sixth year students as mentors and they then provide advice for younger pupils.

Meanwhile, VRU deputy director Will Linden has credited a dramatic reduction in school exclusions in Scotland over the last decade as a key factor in keeping children out of trouble.

Image captionOffenders must be free from drugs and alcohol to get onto the 12-month training programme aimed at turning their lives around


One of the VRU's key objectives is to offer young people an alternative path.

In 2010, Brigadier David Allfrey, a former commander of 51 Scottish Brigade in Stirling, ran an adventure and leadership training scheme with former gang members.

And two years later he handed five men, aged 18 to 25, a role in the world-renowned Edinburgh Military Tattoo.

The ex-offenders, from the east end of Glasgow and Kilmarnock's Onthank estate were stationed at Redford Barracks in Edinburgh for the duration of the event. During each performance they moved props around and performed.

Brigadier Allfrey, the Tattoo's chief executive and producer, said: "There is enormous human potential wrapped up in these young men."

The VRU was also influenced by LA-based Homeboy Industries, which offers gang members employment in its cafes.

One such example is Street & Arrow in Glasgow's West End, which launched in 2016. It offers modern street food served from an airstream truck and hires former offenders for 12-month blocks.

Workers are paired with a mentor who can help them master everything from basic employment skills, like turning up on time, through to debt management and relationship issues.

seth Posted on September 20, 2018 06:00

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Top 10 tips for starting at university

The new duvet cover has been bought, posters are packed, a favourite teddy has been sneaked in and the car boot is crammed full.

It's that time of year when young people are heading off to university for the first time.

We asked graduates and older students for their top tips for starting at university.

1. Manage your workload

Kaylie Knowles, 24, studied at Nottingham Trent University, then did her PGCE at Derby University. She says staying on top of the workload is crucial.

"I got on just fine doing my undergrad at Trent, but my final year at Derby was a very stressful year leading me to four or five meltdowns across the year.

"All I'd say is prioritise your workload and make sure you take a break when you feel the workload is getting too much. "

2. Plan out a weekly budget

Mary O'Connell, 23, who did English literature at York University and an MA in Film Studies at King's College London, recommends setting yourself a weekly budget.

"Don't spend all your money on Freshers Week. If you haven't really worked before uni then you may not have seen that much money in your account before. But remember that it's still a loan that you need to be sensible with.

Image copyrightMARY O'CONNELL

Image captionMary: Learning to manage your loan is crucial

"Plan out a weekly budget. You can use an app to track your spending if you want to get an idea of how much you're spending, because it's something we usually underestimate."

Sian Reed, 25, who studied marketing at Hull University, followed by an MA in sports journalism at Sheffield Hallam, agrees.

"My first top tip would be learn to budget. I know it sounds all serious but just because your student loan has come in, doesn't mean you should spend it all at once.

"Just take half an hour or so to sit down and look at what money you have coming in and what you're spending.

"It might mean making some adjustments like boosting your income or reducing your spending (ask for a student discount everywhere, you'll be surprised at the sort of places that offer it as they don't always advertise) but it means you can live comfortably."

3. Back up your work

Peter Rogers, 22, who graduated from York University last year, says it's a good idea to back up your work in more than one place.

"We all had gmail accounts through our university, so I used Google Drive to save everything which meant it was stored in the cloud.

"One piece of advice would be to make sure you save different versions of a piece of work as you go along.

Image copyrightPETER ROGERS

Image captionPeter recommends backing up your work in more than one place

"For example, if you are writing an essay on the French Revolution, save it as 'French Revolution half' at the halfway stage, and then again as a separate version three-quarters of the way through, etc.

"That way if you do manage to delete a copy you will not have to rewrite from the beginning."

4. Make the most of the first year

Peter also says that the first year can often be a little lighter academically than subsequent years, so it's worth enjoying it.

"If your first year doesn't count towards your overall grade, make the most of the freedom that offers you," he suggests.

"I still look back and wish I had done a little less work (nobody asks me what grade I got in first year) and spent more time trying out activities, sports or just hanging out with friends.

"Obviously the academic side is important but that really amps up in second and third year anyway."

5. Don't be afraid to be choosy about friends

Emmeke Megannety 21, a second-year journalism student at Nottingham Trent University, says it's worth taking your time to find good friends.

"People starting uni need to remember that the people you meet in your first week will not necessarily be your friends for life.


Image captionEmmeke, 21, says friendships take time to evolve

"Don't think that you have to stick to people like glue just because you haven't met anyone else yet.

"Throw yourself into activities and societies, get a job, strike up a conversation with someone at the gym - you'll make so many friends throughout the year in the oddest of places."

Mary recommends joining all the societies that interest you.

"You don't just want your uni friends to be the people on your course and who you live with, so join a society to make friends there," she says.

"It's a good way to socialise cheaply, especially if you're not a big drinker. It also just makes the uni experience more fulfilling."

6. Look out for people

Sadly many students suffer with mental health issues, such as depression and anxiety. Recent statistics show 146 students took their own lives in 2016.

Peter says it's important to keep an eye on your peers and ask searching questions.

"I was, and continue to be, regularly surprised at the number of people who would look and act fine outwardly but were actually really struggling.

"I think the key here is talking directly, especially with men. I know if I were just asked 'How are you feeling?' I'd probably just skirt around the question with a generic answer.

"But if a friend asked 'Do you think your mental health has been affected by….?' we might be tempted to answer more honestly."

7. Eat a balanced diet

Matt Broderick, 29, a graduate from Queens University Belfast, says a poor diet can affect your mood.

"Learn to cook and go to class. I did neither of these things, or very, very little.

"I spent all of my money on really unhealthy oven food or nasty takeaways and barely went to lectures.

"I didn't realise at the time but I was probably depressed because I was living in an awfully cold and dark house, eating dreadful food and only really leaving the house to go drinking with the odd class or lecture thrown in.

"I wish I could hit the reset button and go to every single lecture, do all of my readings, eat better and spend my time more wisely rather than drinking away my student loan."

8. Learn to cook on a budget

Picking up on the issue of food, Mary recommends learning how to cook on a budget.

"Stop caring about brands just because you have them at home," she advises.

"For example, if you're making something like a bolognese then buy the 'basics' version of the chopped tomatoes. It's not an ingredient you need to have a special brand for - chopped tomatoes is chopped tomatoes.

Image copyrightSIAN REED

Image captionSian says it's important to "stay true to yourself"

"Tupperware is your friend: Cook food in bulk then freeze it in meal-sized portions."

Peter adds: "Like many students I didn't really have anything other than rudimentary cookery skills before I went, and found learning to cook was reasonably enjoyable."

9. Stay in touch with friends from home

Mary says keeping in touch with family and friends from back home is a good way of keeping loneliness at bay, and a good chance to speak openly about any problems.

"Uni can be very lonely. Make sure you check in with your home friends who are also at uni and keep track of who might be having a hard time, and make sure you tell your friends if you find yourself struggling."

10. Stay true to yourself

Sian's other top tip for university is to "stay true to yourself".

"At university, students are usually living away from home for the first time which means no parents.

"You don't have to be an extrovert to enjoy the experience - don't feel obliged to go on nights out because you feel forced to (you will regret it in the morning).

"University seems to create a drinking culture so it's okay if you're not into it. Trust me, you will not be the only non-drinker on campus.

"Alternatively, if you do have a big personality, make the most of your student life, as life after uni is nowhere near as cheap."

Produced by Katherine Sellgren and Shamaan Freeman-Powell

seth Posted on September 20, 2018 05:58

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Hologram phone calls - sci-fi or serious possibility?

High-speed 5G networks could lead to big changes in how we use our mobile phones, allowing us to enjoy virtual reality on-the-go, interactive live broadcasts, and even project holograms from our handsets. But will connection "not-spots" and high costs stop many of us reaping the benefits?

Holograms have always felt like science fiction - think of the scene in Star Wars when robot R2-D2 beams a 3D hologram message from Princess Leia into thin air.

But imagine if you could project Leia from your mobile phone or tablet, anytime, anywhere.

Richard Foggie, an expert at the Knowledge Transfer Network, says this could well be possible within the next five years thanks to the arrival of 5G mobile broadband networks. These will allow devices to handle much greater amounts of data at far higher speeds.

Image copyrightYOUTUBE

Image captionProf Rahim Tafazolli conducts a phone call with a hologram of a fellow academic

"Right now, some sort of headgear or enclosed 'cave' is required to view holographics, but within five years I think we'll see AR/VR [augmented reality/virtual reality] just sprout out of the phone," Mr Foggie says.

"You could use it for video, playing games or industrial applications - even hologram phone calls."

Experiments are under way. Last year, US telecoms giant Verizon and Korean Telecom (KT) held what they said was the world's first live hologram international call over the two companies' trial 5G networks.

The demonstration saw a KT employee in Seoul converse with a live hologram of a Verizon employee in New Jersey that appeared on a monitor at KT's headquarters.

And in the UK this week, Vodafone is planning a live demonstration of a hologram phone call made over its trial 5G network to demonstrate the technology's potential.

Image copyrightYOUTUBE

Image captionProf Mischa Dohler performed a live concert with his daughter over a 5G video link

While both firms described the test as "early stage", KT has said it is working on commercialising hologram video calls that would let users "meet a person in a remote area in a real size in real time".

Another change - in theory at least - will be 5G's lower latency - the delay between issuing a command and the network responding. It could let people interact in near real-time over the web, removing the lag you get with communication tools such as Skype over lower-speed 4G.

Last year Mischa Dohler, a professor in wireless communications at King's College, London, showed what this would look like when he performed a live concert with his daughter over a 5G video link.

She sang from London's Guildhall while he accompanied her at Berlin's Brandenburger Tor, 1,000km away, with an end-to-end delay of just 20ms [milliseconds].

Image copyrightGETTY IMAGES

Image captionWill more of us be wearing VR headsets in the streets?

"You could have a virtual audience watching a play or a live event," says Jon Kingsbury of Immerse UK, an organisation doing research into VR and AR.

"People could also collaborate and work together in an immersive environment or have virtual conferences."

He also thinks 5G will enhance mobile video, enabling much sharper images on the go. Its superior bandwidth will mean we can enjoy data-heavy VR and AR in high definition on our phones and tablets - something not possible with 4G.

"If you use virtual reality now you are rooted in the house with your headset and your PlayStation, but 5G will let you use it when out and about," Mr Kingsbury says.

He is sceptical that everyone will start wearing VR headsets in the street, but does think it will be used for training and simulations in sectors like engineering and healthcare.

Consumers are also likely to see a lot more "immersive" content - video you can move around in or interact with. Possible examples could included more sophisticated AR games (in the vein of Pokemon Go) 360 degree films, and "smart tourism", whereby useful information is superimposed on a user's view of the real world by way of their smartphones.

Image copyrightGETTY IMAGES

Image captionExperts say 5G could lead to more "smart tourism"

Not only will 5G be much faster than 4G, says Howard Jones, head of network communications at EE, a mobile operator owned by BT, but many more people will also be able to use it simultaneously without slowing the network down.

"It'll be like when we went from 3G to 4G and the service became much more reliable. And when you have a network with good capacity and speeds, app developers also start building for that capability."

This could particularly benefit live events and broadcasts, he says. He points to a BT Sport trial in 2015 where selected fans attending the FA Cup Final at Wembley were able to see real-time footage of the action on their tablets using advanced 4G technology.

The spectators could switch between camera angles as well as watch replays whenever they liked, enhancing their experience of the live game. They could also view updated football statistics and ask questions, such as "which player has made the most passes in the game so far?"

Image copyrightEE

Image captionCould interactive live broadcasts become the norm?

"With 5G everyone at a stadium could use this sort of app, not just a few, because it wouldn't put a strain on the network [as it would with 4G]," says Mr Jones.

"It could go further too, in effect making you your own producer. You could have access to everything we have in production, including bird's eye views of the pitch, or footage from behind the goal or the subs bench."

He says people could use it anywhere they had a 5G connection - at the stadium, at home or on the bus.

More 5G stories

5G will also make it cheaper and easier to broadcast live TV, believes Claire Harvey of Red Bee Media, which is owned by Swedish telecoms giant Ericsson. It manages video streaming services for broadcasters such as the BBC and ITV.

"5G-enabled cameras will be able to transmit raw footage straight to the internet," she says, removing the need for broadcast trucks and satellite link-ups positioned at the scene.

That will cut the costs of broadcasting big events like the Royal Wedding between Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, but also allow channels to screen much smaller events such as fringe music festivals or regional sporting fixtures.

"Our TV channels will become much more live," she says, "and that will help traditional broadcasters fight back against subscription video streaming services such as Netflix that are challenging their dominance."

Image copyrightJASON INGRAM

Image captionProf Dimitra Simeonidou believes many 5G services for mobiles won't arrive until 2021

Experts do see barriers to the rise of 5G apps for consumers, though. According to Dimitra Simeonidou, a professor in high performance networks at Bristol University, many people may not be able to afford the first 5G-ready handsets or accompanying equipment like VR glasses.

And that could mean media companies delay investing in new applications or simply charge us extra to access the latest 5G content.

"Even though networks will be rolled out in 2019 I think we won't see real 5G services reaching us on our mobile phones until 2021," she says.

The other issue is technical; some experts say much more investment will be needed in mobile phone towers and antennae if everyone wants to see a real difference in performance.

Also, 5G networks in the UK at least will initially be rolled out in urban areas, not the countryside. The government says this divide could be bridged over time, but will people be prepared to wait?

"There is a risk it could widen the digital divide in the short term," says Mr Kingsbury.

"You're likely to have these rich 5G experiences in cities, but it might become easier to collaborate between London and Berlin than London and rural Wales."

seth Posted on September 20, 2018 05:31

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New York inmate's golf drawings lead to exoneration in murder

A US convict whose talent for art caught the eye of a prison warden, ultimately leading to a review of his case, has been exonerated of murder.

Valentino Dixon's vivid pencil drawings of golf courses came to be featured in Golf Digest, whose reporters noticed evidence in his case seemed flawed.

Mr Dixon, 48, had maintained his innocence during 27 years behind bars for a shooting in Buffalo, New York.

He walked free after another man formally confessed to the murder.

The golf drawings

Mr Dixon had served nearly two decades at a notorious prison in upstate New York when his artistic flair attracted the notice of correctional authorities.

The warden gave him a photograph of the famed Augusta National's 12th hole in the US state of Georgia, and asked if he would draw it for him.

Image copyrightGOLF DIGEST

"After 19 years in Attica Correctional Facility, the look of a golf hole spoke to me," said Mr Dixon.

"It seemed peaceful. I imagine playing it would be a lot like fishing."

Using colouring pencils, he began to create meticulous, lush drawings of various links and fairways.

"I didn't know anything about golf. I'm from the 'hood," he told local media.

Image copyrightGOLF DIGEST

His sketches impressed the editors at Golf Digest, which featured his artwork and a profile of the prisoner in 2012.

"Maybe one day I'll get to play the game I've only imagined," Mr Dixon said in the article, describing how he drew landscapes he has never seen.

The magazine's coverage spurred wrongful-conviction advocates to look into the matter. Georgetown University law students championed his case.

The conviction

Mr Dixon was handed a minimum 38-year-to-life sentence for killing 17-year-old Torriano Jackson one night in August 1991, after an argument over a girl.

He acknowledged being at the crime scene, but said he was at a nearby shop buying beer when the gunshots rang out.

Mr Dixon said multiple witnesses could have testified he did not fire the gun.

But his trial lawyer did not call any of them as several had been accused of perjury.

Unusually, the investigating homicide detective did not testify during the trial either.

But a more serious flaw in the case was uncovered by Georgetown University's Prisons and Justice Initiative.

Prosecutors had omitted to reveal to Mr Dixon's defence attorney that a gunpowder test on his client's clothes had come back negative.

The real killer

Perhaps even more egregiously, another man, Lamarr Scott, admitted to local media only days after the murder that he shot Torriano Jackson.

Scott told a WGRZ-TV reporter: "I don't want my friend [Mr Dixon] to take the rap for something that I did."


Image captionGeorgetown University students who worked on the case greeted Mr Dixon upon his release

But he was never arrested. The victim's brother said he saw Mr Dixon open fire.

According to the Buffalo News, prosecutors conceded that Scott had been admitting his guilt in the case for a long time.

"Mr Scott has been confessing to this crime since 12 August 1991," Assistant District Attorney Sara Dee told the court.

"He has confessed to this crime in excess of 10 times."


Lamarr Scott - who is currently in jail for a separate attack - finally had the chance to formally confess to the crime on Wednesday.

Hours later, Mr Dixon was released.

"I grabbed the gun," Scott, now 46, told the courtroom in Erie, New York.

"I pulled the trigger and all the bullets came out. Unfortunately, Torriano ended up dying."

It was Erie County District Attorney John Flynn - in the job less than a year - who ordered a review of the case.

But despite Mr Dixon's exoneration, prosecutors say he did provide the murder weapon, which they described as a machine gun.

They also said he was an "up-and-coming drug dealer" in Buffalo at the time of his arrest.

"Mr Dixon is innocent of the shooting and of the murder for what he was found guilty of, but Mr Dixon brought the gun to the fight," said the district attorney.

What next for Valentino Dixon?

"It's the greatest feeling in the world," he said as he walked a free man from court in Buffalo, New York, on Wednesday.

He was greeted outside by his daughter, who was a baby when he was jailed.

The 27-year-old brought along her own 14-month-old twins.

Mr Dixon says he hopes to keep up his illustrations, and even visit a golf course in real life someday.

"With his mind and body intact, Dixon hopefully has some good years ahead," Golf Digest wrote on Wednesday.

"Maybe he'll even take up golf."

seth Posted on September 20, 2018 05:20

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A DMT trip 'feels like dying' - and scientists now agree

A new scientific study suggests strong similarities between near death experiences and the psychedelic drug

Ben Bryant14 September 2018

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The chill of the fluid flows through Iona's arm as the DMT - N,N-Dimethyltryptamine- is pumped into her bloodstream.

She is in a treatment room at the Imperial College Clinical Research Facility in London, taking part in a scientific study into the effects of illegal hallucinogen DMT. She's in a chair, eye mask on, cannula poking out of her forearm. The lights are dimmed and a specially commissioned ambient soundtrack plays in the background. Chris Timmermann, a psychologist and neuroscientist who researches psychedelic drugs, stands nearby.

Inside Iona’s brain, enzymes work like cleaners mopping up a monsoon to break down the drug flooding her system. The hallucinations hit her like a hurricane. A sense of dread envelops her.

“My eyes were closed but there was so much going on that it was really hard to focus," Iona says afterwards. "The one image I remember was lots of books opening and rainbows shooting out of them."

“I felt this quiver. The only other time I’ve had it is when I was giving birth. [A feeling that] I’m not sure I want to do this – but a sense of no turning back, you’re here and you’ve got to go through this.

“I don’t remember my body being around after that.”


As expected, Iona didn't suddenly dematerialise into a swirling space-time void. This intense journey took place entirely within her own mind – induced by an illegal drug that sits on the periphery of recreational psychedelics.

DMT is perhaps best known as the hallucinogenic compound in ayahuasca. This bitter, brown liquid is created by combining two plants – the ayahuasca vine and a shrub called chacruna – and has been used ritually and medicinally by Amazonian tribes for centuries.

The mysterious allure of the ayahuasca ritual seems to hold a particular appeal for young Westerners, who have helped spawn a cottage industry of ayahuasca tourism in South America. Those who seek it out may believe it can heal, provide a glimpse of death, or perhaps even the afterlife. But it is not a drug without risks. Ayahuasca could trigger issues in those who are predisposed to mental health problems and four years ago, a 19-year-old British backpacker died following an ayahuasca ceremony.

My body just didn't seem relevant any more

Like many illegal drugs, DMT’s effects on the brain have not been researched much at all. Human trials involving illegal drugs demand a strict ethical and regulatory framework and the express permission of the Home Office. Imperial College's Psychedelic Research Group has consistently met the requirements for such trials. They are recording the effects of the drug in new ways, thanks to advancements in brain mapping technologies such as functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). 

“It has been speculated in the past that a lot of [psychedelic] experiences – not only DMT but also LSD and so on – contain themes of death,” says Chris, who led the study.

“If I were to speculate, one possibility may be that the system is reaching such a high level of disorder that the psychological reaction might be, ‘Oh my God, I'm dying',” Chris explains.

Iona describes some of this "disorder" as feeling detached from her body and says she quickly found she was experiencing a strange, unfamiliar detachment from her sense of self too. 

“My body just didn’t seem relevant anymore," says Iona. "And I felt like I arrived in some consciousness soup which seemed like a different realm to the one I ordinarily inhabit – even in dreams. It just seemed like everything was rotating and swirling and spiralling. It didn’t seem like there were normal space-time proportions going on.”

Iona struggles to put into words exactly what she experienced. But towards the end of the test, she remembers an overwhelming feeling of gratitude that she had survived and a strange sense of reassurance.

“I felt a sense that perhaps death isn’t the end – not that I’m religious,” she says.

Ego death is like being awake and having no sense of personal identity

The dose of DMT used in the study is a tiny fraction of the toxic dose – so participants were not on the verge of death, even when they felt they were. This feeling, known as "ego death", has been reported by many people experiencing intense psychedelic experiences.

It can be described as a total loss of a sense of self which happens to the subject while they're still conscious, according to Chris's fellow researcher Robin Carhart-Harris. He says it's like being awake and having no sense of personal identity.

The researchers can't say exactly why ego death prompts those going through it to feel as if they’re dying. It may not be like dying at all. Clearly, nobody who's actually died can ever come back to tell the tale.

But we do know about a phenomenon called a Near Death Experience (NDE). Philosopher and psychologist Raymond Moody coined the phrase in his 1975 book, Life After Life. Moody studied 50 people who experienced 'clinical death' but were subsequently revived, identifying common elements: a bright light, a sense of detachment from the body, feelings of security and warmth and encounters with spiritual beings such as angels.

“What has amazed me since the beginning of my interest are the great similarities in the reports,” he wrote. “Despite the fact they come from people of highly varied religious, social, and educational backgrounds.”

Moody became so taken with his findings, he said they gave him “great confidence” in an afterlife. In the years since, the study of brain activity at the point of death has been an area of scientific interest, with findings suggesting unusual biological processes seem to take place – although none of these studies has provided any evidence of an afterlife.


Interest in NDEs peaked in 2012, when neurosurgeon Eben Alexander appeared on Oprah. Eben wrote a book called Proof of Heaven, which described a quasi-celestial encounter with millions of butterflies and a vision of his late sister – arising from a bout of bacterial meningitis. The book went on to sell millions of copies off the back of Eben’s claim that his experience proved the existence of an afterlife.

“But it’s bullshit. It’s classic pseudoscience,” says Robin Carhart-Harris, who designed the Psychedelic Research Group study with Chris.

To this day, Eben defends his NDE claim, saying there is no scientific explanation for his experiences, which he says should not have been possible due to the level of impairment of his brain function. 

But for the researchers at Imperial, it is far more likely NDEs are nothing more than poorly understood biological processes.

And DMT might just be “a drug model for the limbo state [between life and death]", explains Robin. What it emphatically is not, he adds, is a portal to the afterlife.

“There is nothing here to begin to enable us to propose that on DMT, you literally transcend the laws of this universe and do actually go to another world,” he says. 

I sort of feel a little bit more confident about what it is like to die

Comparing NDEs with DMT experiences has one obvious practical use - it could provide scientists with a way of studying the near-death state without nearly killing any human subjects.

So the Psychedelic Research Group collaborated with scientists in Belgium and France to record the experiences of 30 DMT participants and compare these with documented NDEs. The results were better than they had hoped.

“We found that it was such a strong fit on most of the elements,” says Chris. "I was quite surprised.”

The implications are “quite profound", says Robin. “I sort of feel a little bit more confident about what it is like to die because I can fill it in by saying, well, it is at least a bit like what it is like to be on DMT.

“Does that provide some kind of reassurance? It does in a weird way.”

According to Chris, many participants reported a sense of elevated mood after the study. There is a limited body of scientific evidence of the drug's therapeutic benefits, and experts strongly discourage taking DMT in an uncontrolled setting because of documented cases of psychosis and even death. One of the stated reasons people continue to go on ayahuasca retreats, however, is the purported transformative potential of the drug. 


"It’s probably the most intense experience I’ve had,” says Iona. “[The sense that] birth and death were just a transformation rather than an end was something that felt true.” 

Whether snapping selfies or scrolling through Instagram, we are encouraged to see our selves reflected in everything we do. 

“We cling to this idea that something of ego consciousness survives after death – and the idea that it doesn’t is frightening, because we’re so attached to our egos,” says Robin.

“But the other probability is that when you die the world doesn’t end, because it goes on for everyone else. And if that doesn’t console people, then there’s something narcissistic there, isn’t there?” he says. “Because the universe goes on.”

If you, or anyone you know, needs support for drug-related issues – help and advice can be found here


We look at psychedelics – from discovery to potential treatment to help with depression.

seth Posted on September 19, 2018 20:17

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Handbag found in Denbigh garage valued at £3,800

A handbag found during a garage tidy-up which was thought to be "junk" is set to be sold for thousands of pounds.

When sisters Linda and Margaret Pritchard, of Denbigh, Clwyd, found the damp bag during a clear-out they earmarked it for the tip.

However, it turned out to be a 105-year-old Art Deco gem made entirely from gold.

It is now set to go under the hammer at an auction next month and fetch up to £3,800.

However, Linda, 61, admitted: "It almost ended up in the tip."

Margaret, a former carer, inherited the bag eight years ago from Gwyn Jones, who she had looked after.

The bag was forgotten and buried in Linda's garage, until she decided it was time for a clear-out.

Margaret, 59, said: "We came across the bag and I just thought we would never use this, so I said to Linda, 'get rid'.

"I didn't give it a second thought until later that night when I wondered, 'Why would Mr Jones keep this, the only thing left from his wife?'"

Image copyrightHANSONS

Image captionThe bag was found amid a host of old photos

Her sister took the bag to an optician for a closer look.

"I thought [the optician] could look at it with his magnifying equipment for a hallmark," said Linda.

"He told me it was 15-carat American gold. I was flabbergasted. It could have gone to the tip."

The chainmail evening bag, complete with leather lining, was designed by Emanuel Joseph and dates back to 1913.

It belonged to Mr Jones's wife Dora Jones, a wealthy socialite, and even boasts connections to two royal cruise ships.

Mrs Jones's first husband David Archibald was general secretary of the North Atlantic British Liner Committee but died in a car crash in 1963.

The bag was found amid photos of life aboard RMS Elizabeth and RMS Queen Mary in the 1940s and 50s.

Image copyrightHANSONS

Image captionDora Jones and her first husband David Archibald OBE aboard the Queen Mary

Image copyrightHANSONS

Image captionAuctioneers said the bag was "a wonderful find and a wonderful story"

Jane Williams, valuer for Hansons Auctioneers in Wales, said: "The bag comes with amazing provenance including numerous photos of the couple aboard [the cruise ships].

"We believe it may have been used on glamorous journeys between Southampton and New York where the cruise ships operated."

Life on a luxury cruise liner is a far cry from the world in which sisters Linda and Margaret grew up.

"We grew up in a council house where money was very, very tight," said Linda, now a dinner-lady.

"Our father was crippled by arthritis. We were very poor and never had anything.

"When you look through the photos you see how the other half lived, the rich and famous."

The bag is now expected to sell for between £3,500 and £3,800 in Hansons' Fine Art Jewellery Auction on 10 October at Bishton Hall, Staffordshire.

Charles Hanson, owner of Hansons Auctioneers, said: "It's a wonderful find and a wonderful story.

"Collectors around the world would love to own this bag and, who knows, it may even end up back on a luxury cruise ship, gracing the arm of a society lady."

Image copyrightHANSONS

Image captionHansons valuer Jane Williams with the gold evening bag

seth Posted on September 19, 2018 20:08

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Shropshire hospitals baby deaths review cases rise to over 100

A review into mother and baby deaths and injuries at hospitals in Shropshire is examining more than 100 cases, it is understood.

In 2017, Jeremy Hunt ordered an investigation into maternity care relating to 23 cases at the Shrewsbury and Telford NHS Trust (SaTH).

That figure expanded to 40 but is now thought to include 104 families.

Meanwhile, the Care Quality Commission (CQC) has taken urgent action against the maternity department.

One mother whose daughter died at the trust said "it is time to get justice".

The trust said it "continues to engage fully" with health watchdog the CQC "during our current, ongoing inspection".

Image copyrightTASHA TURNER

Image captionTasha Turner and partner Jacob's baby Esmai died in 2013 at Royal Shrewsbury Hospital

A specialist team led by Donna Ockenden is looking into the allegations that some babies born at the trust between 2000 and 2017 suffered avoidable harm due to errors by maternity staff.

In August a spokesperson for NHS Improvement said it had agreed "to consider additional historical investigations where women, infants and new-born babies had died or suffered harm".

At the time the trust said these were cases which were already in the public domain, but the BBC understands at least 104 families have now come forward wanting their cases to be considered.

Dr Kathy McLean, Executive Medical Director and Chief Operating Officer of NHS Improvement, said: "At this stage, we are unable to confirm how many historical cases will be considered under our independent review.

"We are examining in detail anything that may be relevant, ensuring that possible duplication is taken into account.

"Also, it is important that in any historical investigations that we consider, appropriate consent from the family members is obtained in advance."

Professor Ted Baker, CQC's Chief Inspector of Hospitals, confirmed it is taking further enforcement action against SaTH.

It follows an inspection last month, which highlighted safety fears "within the trust's maternity services", Prof Baker said.

"This action is subject to a period of appeal and we will provide further information when the legal process allows."

A spokesman for SaTH said: "In line with normal CQC processes, we will be making representations to them in respect of this matter within the permitted 28 day timeframe."

'So many questions'

In 2013 Tasha Turner's first child Esmai was born by Caesarean section at 36 weeks at Royal Shrewsbury Hospital.

Ms Turner, 25, said she was assured there was no cause for concern and her daughter was soon drinking her breast milk with the aid of a tube. But when she went to check on Esmai the following morning, she was on life support.

Ms Turner said she was told Esmai had lactic acidosis, a build up of lactic acid in her body, and after four days Ms Turner and partner Jacob were advised to remove life support.

The couple said when they asked what led to their daughter's death they were told by the hospital "it happens".

Image copyrightTASHA TURNER

Image captionBaby Esmai spent four days on life support

The couple have since had two more children but said they are determined to know what happened to Esmai.

"I have so many questions," said Tasha.

"How was I told when she was born that she was fine, and then she dies four days later? I've looked up the condition she had - no way should it kill someone."

Deirdre Fowler, Director of Nursing, Midwifery and Quality at SaTH said: "We recognise that, taken in isolation, the number of cases which are being considered may cause concern or anxiety for families currently using our services.

"It is important that any families who have any questions or concerns over their care are given the chance to have them explored."

seth Posted on September 19, 2018 20:01

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Westminster Inquest: Attacker 'told his children he was going to die'

The inquest was shown CCTV footage of Westminster attacker Khalid Masood's final preparations

Westminster Bridge attacker Khalid Masood told his children he was "going to die fighting for God", an inquest into his victims' deaths has heard.

But while visiting his mother days before the attack, he told her: "They will say I'm a terrorist. I'm not."

CCTV footage of his final movements before the attack were also shown.

Masood, 52, was shot dead after driving into pedestrians on the bridge and fatally stabbing a police officer. Five people died in the March 2017 attack.

The inquest into the deaths of PC Keith Palmer, 48, Kurt Cochran, 54, Leslie Rhodes, 75, Aysha Frade, 44, and Andreea Cristea, 31, is taking place at the Old Bailey in central London.

During video calls to his younger children, who were living in east London while he stayed in Birmingham, Masood spoke about dreams he had had and told them he was "going to die fighting for God", Det Ch Insp Dan Brown told the inquest.

Masood drove from Birmingham to Wales to visit his mother, Janet Ajao, and stepfather on 16 March, after picking up the vehicle he would use to carry out the attack.

As he was leaving the house the following day, Mr Brown said he "turned over his shoulder" and insisted he was not a terrorist.

Investigators now believe this was "a goodbye visit".

Final movements

The inquest was shown CCTV footage of Masood's final preparations ahead of the attack on 22 March.

On 9 March he bought two knives, which he would use to stab PC Palmer, at a Tesco store in Birmingham.

A week later he rented a car in Birmingham, before driving to Wales to visit his mother and stepfather.

On 18 March he drove to central London, crossing Westminster Bridge, in what investigators believe was a reconnaissance trip

The night before the attack he visited a fish and chip shop in Brighton and stayed the night in the city.

On the morning of the attack he carried out internet searches for Prime Minister's Questions, which was taking place later that day, and car bombs.

Masood's final movements before the attack were also shown:

  • At 10:30 he drove across Westminster Bridge, in a second recce
  • At 13:59 Masood parked at St Thomas' hospital and remained there until 14.31
  • At 14:26 and 14.29 he sent a "jihad document" to several people in his phone contacts, some of whom he did not know very well. It featured quotes apparently trying to justify the attack and a picture of him while on pilgrimage in Mecca
  • At 14:38 the vehicle is seen parked in a bus lane before the attack

'Violent and disruptive'

Earlier the inquest heard how Masood had a history of violent crime and converted to Islam while in prison.

Masood's mother had described him as "an angry person" and was "worried he would kill someone through fighting", Mr Brown said.

She told police that as an older teenager he would go out to pubs and clubs looking for a fight.

Mr Brown said: "His mother suggested he exhibited normal boisterous behaviour, but his two brothers suggested he was a violent, disruptive person, who would not back down from a disagreement."


Media captionKhalid Masood, from school boy to killer

Masood first got into trouble with the police after shoplifting at the age of 14 in Tunbridge Wells, Kent, where he lived with his mother, stepfather and two stepbrothers.

He was involved in a number of violent incidents which became more serious as he got older.

In May 2003, he stabbed a man through the nose with a carving knife after accusing him of being an undercover police officer.

Masood claimed self defence and was acquitted of attempted murder, wounding with intent, and having a bladed weapon.

In December 2003, he was released from Lewes prison in East Sussex, where he had been held on remand, based on time served from a previous weapons offence.

The inquest heard how Masood considered his acquittal, as well as the survival of his eldest daughter - who was later involved in a serious car accident - as the "miracles" which cemented his Muslim faith.


Image captionClockwise from top left - PC Keith Palmer, Aysha Frade, Leslie Rhodes, Andreea Cristea and Kurt Cochran all lost their lives in the attack

Kurt Cochran, Leslie Rhodes, Aysha Frade, and Andreea Cristea were all hit by Masood's car during the attack on Westminster Bridge on 22 March last year.

Moments later, PC Palmer was stabbed to death by Masood outside the Houses of Parliament.

The inquest is set to last about five weeks. A separate inquest into the death of Masood will be held after the hearing into his victims' deaths has concluded.

The coroner is expected to examine Masood's background, police records, and look into the fact that he briefly featured in MI5 investigations in 2009 and 2010. The absence of armed officers at the scene will also be examined.

seth Posted on September 19, 2018 20:00

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French police seize 20 tonnes of Eiffel Tower souvenirs

The Eiffel Tower, one of Paris' most iconic landmarks, has six million tourists a year

French police have seized 20 tonnes of miniature Eiffel Towers in an operation to dismantle an extensive network selling souvenirs in the capital Paris.

A joint probe with French immigration officials resulted in raids on Chinese wholesalers suspected of importing and supplying the goods to illegal vendors.

Nine people were arrested, media said.

The small metal replicas are sold for as little as five for one euro at tourist hotspots like the Louvre museum and outside the real Eiffel Tower.

More than 1,000 boxes containing the pointy keepsakes were found at two depots and three shops in the Paris region on Monday evening and Tuesday morning, local reports said.

In the past, authorities have struggled to crack down on the counterfeit souvenirs, often illegally sold to tourists by undocumented migrants who run at the sight of police.

Image copyrightAFP/GETTY

Image captionStreet vendors are often seen playing a cat and mouse game with the authorities

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seth Posted on September 19, 2018 19:54

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California couple deny mass drug rape allegations

A California couple accused of preying on two women, drugging and sexually assaulting them have denied the allegations, their lawyers say.

Grant William Robicheaux, 38, and Cerissa Laura Riley, 31, have been charged with attacking two women they met at a bar and a restaurant in 2016.

But prosecutors say several thousand images on their phones suggest there could be "hundreds" of more victims.

Mr Robicheaux and Ms Riley's lawyers say they plan to fight the charges.

"They have been aware of these accusations for a number of months and each of them will formally deny the truth of these allegations at their first opportunity in court," lawyers Philip Cohen and Scott Borthwick said in a joint statement.

"Dr Robicheaux and Ms Riley believe that such allegations do a disservice to, and dangerously undermine, the true victims of sexual assault, and they are eager to have the proper spotlight shed on this case in a public trial."

On Tuesday, a district attorney in Orange County said the couple worked in tandem to identify victims.

"We believe the defendants used their good looks and charm to lower the inhibitions of their potential prey," said District Attorney Tony Rackauckas said.

Image copyrightYOUTUBE

Image captionGrant Robicheaux once appeared on reality TV show Online Dating Rituals of the American Male

He added that prosecutors are now reviewing "thousands and thousands" of videos and images on their mobile phones.

The clips, the officials said, show women who "appear to be highly intoxicated beyond the ability to consent or resist, and they're barely responsive to the defendant's sexual advances".

Dr Robicheaux is a well-known orthopaedic surgeon and once appeared on the cable reality TV show Online Dating Rituals of the American Male.

Portions of the programme - in which he was described as the "total package"- were shown by prosecutors during their press conference on Tuesday.

Image copyrightCBS

"I want to know what's wrong with you," Dr Robicheaux's first date told him over dinner in one episode, "because you seem, like, too perfect".

She told viewers something seemed strange about him and that "there might be some dark skeletons in that closet".

He was also named "Bachelor of the Year" by Orange Coast magazine in 2013.

Image copyrightCBS

Image captionThe couple are also accused of drug and weapons offences

Two women have accused the couple of rape and sexual assault after meeting them at a bar and a restaurant in Newport Beach, 45 miles (72km) south of Los Angeles, prosecutors say.

The pair were arrested earlier this month, and have since been released on bail.

Mr Robicheaux and Ms Riley are also accused of possessing a large quantity of drugs, including GHB (considered a date-rape drug), psychedelic mushrooms, ecstasy and cocaine.

Police said the illegal substances were found during a search of the surgeon's home in January 2018.

Mr Robicheaux is further accused of possessing two unregistered semi-automatic rifles, four other firearms and magazines capable of carrying large amounts of ammunition, according to a press release.

Police say the couple may have met victims at music festivals, and are appealing for anyone to come forward if they suspect they may have been attacked by Mr Robicheaux and Ms Riley.

The pair are due to be formally charged in court on 24 October.

If convicted, Mr Robicheaux and Ms Riley could spend 40 years and 30 years in prison respectively, according to the prosecutor.

seth Posted on September 19, 2018 19:53

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YouTube is overhauling its gaming section — and now it looks more like Twitch.

YouTube Gaming will become a part of the main YouTube site as the streaming service struggles to build engagement for fans of video games.

  • YouTube has announced it will discontinue support for its YouTube Gaming app in March 2019 after less than four years.
  • A new web portal,, will replace the service and allow users to search through video game specific content.
  • More than 200 million users watch gaming content on YouTube everyday, but the company has struggled to endear the sense of community seen on Twitch, a competing streaming service.

The YouTube Gaming app will cease to be in March 2019, as the streaming service reassesses how to better serve one of its largest audiences.



YouTube users looking exclusively for video game content can now visit a revamped web portal for YouTube Gaming that separates videos by game, and promotes live streamers at

YouTube Gaming launched in 2015 as a competitor to Twitch, a gaming focused streaming platform that has become wildly popular for gamers looking to build a following and monetize their playtime. YouTube boasts more than 200 million viewers for video game content every day and 50 billion hours of gaming videos watched in the last year, but struggles to build the sort of of dedicated gaming communities seen on Twitch.


The debut look of YouTube Gaming in 2015.



Major gaming events and individual content creators alike have chosen to partner with Twitch due to its monetization options and a larger focus on community interaction. While YouTube and Twitch both offer a chat service for viewers, Twitch has built a culture across the site with the use of emotes and moderators who voluntarily watch the live chat for bad behavior. Viewers can also subscribe to specific channels for exclusive emotes, and they can purchase a sitewide currency to tip streamers they enjoy.

The ability to earn money while creating content without relying on viewer counts or ad revenue brought a number of popular non-gaming content creators to Twitch, prompting the company to launch Twitch Creative in 2015, the same year YouTube Gaming rolled out. With the line between gaming specific and creative content blurring, YouTube found itself in competition with Twitch for popular content creators. YouTube began offering its own channel subscriptions in June 2018; viewers receive a special badge next to their name and access to subscriber only chats.


A view of YouTube's new gaming portal



The new YouTube Gaming portal feels familiar to Twitch's layout as well, with a handful of featured videos or streams being promoted at the top of the page, and the rest of the content sorted by game or viewer engagement.

For gamers who are looking to avoid the rest of YouTube, the portal is straightforward and organized, but it remains to be seen if the site can spark a greater level of engagement between YouTube gaming channels and the millions of viewers using the side for on-demand video. YouTube has committed to highlighting a "Gaming Creator on the Rise" each week to help promote less popular channels.

Video game content remains a major portion of the greater YouTube audience: Swedish gamer Felix "PewDiePie" Kjellberg has owned the most followed YouTube channel since 2013 and now boasts more than 66 million followers. However, the failure of the YouTube Gaming app shows that the streaming service is still struggling to retain viewer interest and guide them to new content.

Albert Ulebe Posted on September 19, 2018 17:52

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Elba returns to host The Best

  • Actor Idris Elba to host The Best FIFA Football Awards™ 2018
  • Event will be co-hosted by Anne-Laure Bonnet
  • The Best ceremony to take place on 24 September in London

Less than a year on from successfully hosting The Best FIFA Football Awards™ in London, Idris Elba is returning as MC for the 2018 ceremony.

The Golden Globe and SAG-winning actor is to be assisted by co-host Anne-Laure Bonnet at the star-studded event, which will again be staged in the United Kingdom's capital on Monday 24 September.

Renowned for his roles in high-profile films such as The Mountain Between Us, Beasts of No Nation, Thor and Avengers: Infinity War, and the critically acclaimed television series Luther, Elba is also a lifelong devotee of the beautiful game – and passionate supporter of London giants Arsenal.

“I’m a massive football fan, so I am delighted to return again this year to present The Best FIFA Football Awards 2018,” he said. “It’s not just an honour but a huge thrill and a pleasure to be sharing a stage with the greatest footballers in the world.”

Bonnet, meanwhile, is an experienced and multilingual broadcast journalist, who currently works for beINSPORTS in her native France. One of her country’s leading sports presenters, she also speaks fluent English, Italian, Portuguese and Spanish, along with some German and Russian.

The Best finalists were announced on Monday 3 September and you can keep up with the latest news about The Best FIFA Football Awards by visiting our dedicated section on, as well as our Facebook page. You can also join the discussion about who should win this year’s accolades by using the hashtag #TheBest

kabby Posted on September 19, 2018 17:42

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The 20 richest billionaires who own sports teams.

CEOWORLD magazine recently ranked the 20 wealthiest owners of major league sports teams around the world — and some own more than one team. From Steve Ballmer to Robert Kraft, see which billionaires made the list.


  • Billionaires often make extravagant purchases — like buying their own sports team.
  • CEOWORLD magazine recently ranked the 20 wealthiest owners of major league sports teams around the world.
  • Some billionaire owners own more than one team — like Paul Allen, who owns the Portland Trail Blazers and the Seattle Seahawks.

Billionaires have a lot of cash to drop. Some are known to spend it on mansions. Others, private planes and luxury cars. And others still? They just buy their own sports team.

CEOWORLD magazine recently ranked the 20 wealthiest owners of major league sports teams using Forbes' World's Billionaires ranking. They found that of the 62 billionaire team owners around the world, their collected net worth is $375 billion. And for some, one team isn't enough — together, they own 78 teams.

In fact, three among the top five richest billionaire sports team owners own multiple teams, Microsoft cofounder Paul Allen among them. Dietrich Mateschitz and Stanley Kroenke own the most teams on the list, with three and four each, respectively. Only one woman makes the list: Marian Ilitch, the cofounder of Little Caesars Pizza.

From football to basketball, here's a look at the 20 richest owners of major sports league teams.

20. Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha, Thailand


20. Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha, Thailand

(Paul Gilham/Getty Images)


Net worth: $5 billion

Team: Leicester City

Source of wealth: Duty-free, self-made



19. Joe Lewis, United Kingdom


19. Joe Lewis, United Kingdom

(Dan Istitene/Getty Images)


Net worth: $5.1 billion

Team: Tottenham Hotspur

Source of wealth: Investments, self-made



18. Marian Ilitch, United States


18. Marian Ilitch, United States

(Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)


Net worth: $5.2 billion

Teams: Detroit Red Wings, Detroit Tigers

Source of wealth: Little Caesars Pizza, self-made



17. Richard DeVos & family, United States


17. Richard DeVos & family, United States

(Reinhold Matay/AP Images)


Net worth: $5.4 billion

Team: Orlando Magic

Source of wealth: Amway, self-made



16. Jerry Jones, United States


16. Jerry Jones, United States

(Tom Pennington/Getty Images)


Net worth: $5.6 billion

Team: Dallas Cowboys

Source of wealth: Dallas Cowboys, self-made



15. Charles Johnson, United States


15. Charles Johnson, United States

(Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)


Net worth: $5.6 billion

Team: San Francisco Giants

Source of wealth: Money management



14. Robert Kraft, United States


14. Robert Kraft, United States

(Jim Rogash/Getty Images)


Net worth: $6.2 billion

Teams: New England Patriots, New England Revolution

Source of wealth: The Kraft Group, self-made



13. Daniel Gilbert, United States


13. Daniel Gilbert, United States

(Jason Miller/Getty Images)


Net worth: $6.3 billion

Team: Cleveland Cavaliers

Source of wealth: Quicken Loans, self-made



12. Shahid Khan, United States


12. Shahid Khan, United States

(Phelan M. Ebenhack/AP Photos)


Net worth: $7.2 billion

Team: Jacksonville Jaguars

Source of wealth: Auto parts, self-made



11. Stephen Ross, United States


11. Stephen Ross, United States

(Marc Serota/Getty Images)


Net worth: $7.6 billion

Team: Miami Dolphins

Source of wealth: Real estate, self-made



10. Stanley Kroenke, United States


10. Stanley Kroenke, United States

(Steven Senne/AP Images)


Net worth: $8.3 billion

Teams: Los Angeles Rams, Arsenal, Denver Nuggets, Colorado Avalanche

Source of wealth: Sports and real estate, self-made



9. Mikhail Prokhorov, Russia


9. Mikhail Prokhorov, Russia

(Mike Stobe/Getty Images)


Net worth: $9.6 billion

Team: Brooklyn Nets

Source of wealth: Investments, self-made



8. Micky Arison, United States


8. Micky Arison, United States

(Marc Serota/Getty Images)


Net worth: $9.7 billion

Team: Miami Heat

Source of wealth: Carnival Cruises



7. Roman Abramovich, Russia


7. Roman Abramovich, Russia

(Richard Heathcote/Getty Images)


Net worth: $10.8 billion

Team: Chelsea FC

Source of wealth: Steel and investments, self-made



6. Hasso Plattner & family, Germany


6. Hasso Plattner & family, Germany

(Ralph Orlowski/Reuters)


Net worth: $12.7 billion

Team: San Jose Sharks

Source of wealth: Software, self-made



5. Philip Anschutz, United States


5. Philip Anschutz, United States

(Christian Petersen/Getty Images)


Net worth: $13 billion

Teams: Los Angeles Kings, LA Galaxy

Source of wealth: Investments



4. Paul Allen, United States


4. Paul Allen, United States

(Stephen Brashear/Getty Images)


Net worth: $21.7 billion

Teams: Portland Trail Blazers, Seattle Seahawks

Source of wealth: Microsoft and investments, self-made



3. Dietrich Mateschitz, Austria


3. Dietrich Mateschitz, Austria

(Mark Thompson/Getty Images)


Net worth: $23 billion

Teams: New York Red Bulls, Red Bull Racing, Red Bull Toro Rosso Honda

Source of wealth: Red Bull, self-made



2. Steve Ballmer, United States


2. Steve Ballmer, United States

(Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)


Net worth: $38.4 billion

Team: Los Angeles Clippers

Source of wealth: Microsoft, self-made



1. Mukesh Ambani, India


1. Mukesh Ambani, India

(Denis Balibouse/Reuters)


Net worth: $40.1 billion

Team: Mumbai Indians

Source of wealth: Petrochemicals and oil/gas

Albert Ulebe Posted on September 19, 2018 17:01

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Hong Kong yoga ball: Man found guilty of killing wife and daughter

As the verdict was read out, Mr Khaw (centre) shook his head and one of his children burst into tears

An anaesthetist has been jailed for life for killing his wife and 16-year-old daughter using a yoga ball filled with carbon monoxide in Hong Kong.

Prosecutors said Khaw Kim-sun, a Malaysian national, left the inflatable ball in the boot of a car where the gas leaked out and killed them in 2015.

Police were initially baffled when they found the pair dead inside the vehicle.

Mr Khaw denied the murders, and told police he had been planning to use the ball at home to get rid of rats.

After almost seven hours of deliberation, the jury of five men and four women reached a guilty verdict.

A post-mortem examination showed his wife and eldest daughter had died from carbon monoxide poisoning. Police found a deflated yoga ball in the back of the yellow Mini Cooper in which their bodies were discovered.

Image copyrightGETTY IMAGES

Image captionThere was a yoga ball in the boot of a locked car where Mr Khaw's wife and daughter were found dead

Prosecutors told Hong Kong's High Court that Mr Khaw had deliberately plotted to kill his wife because he was having an affair and she would not grant him a divorce, the South China Morning Post reported.

But they said it was unlikely he wanted to kill his daughter. He allegedly told his younger daughter to stay at home to complete her homework.

Eyewitnesses said they saw Mr Khaw, who is also an associate professor at Hong Kong's Chinese University, filling two balls with carbon monoxide, according to reports.

He told colleagues he was going to kill rabbits with the gas, but he contradicted himself by telling police he wanted to use it to get rid of rats at his home.

As the verdict was being read out, Mr Khaw shook his head and one of his three other children burst into tears.

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seth Posted on September 19, 2018 16:35

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The 100 best crime movies of all time, according to critics.

The Metacritic data we compiled here to track the most critically acclaimed crime movies in history traces a lineage of great films from contemporary thrillers like "No Country for Old Men" and "Hell or High Water," to classics like "The Godfather" (Parts I and II) and "On the Waterfront."

The old media adage, "If it bleeds, it leads," also describes a common narrative approach in cinema.

Because criminality and violence make for inherently compelling cinematic material, both are featured prominently in many of the greatest films of all time.

The Metacritic data we compiled here to track the most critically acclaimed crime movies in history traces a lineage of great films from contemporary thrillers like "No Country for Old Men" and "Hell or High Water," to classics like "The Godfather" (Parts I and II) and "On the Waterfront."

The list includes all of the highest-rated movies that feature a "crime" tag on the site, which turned out to be a wide-ranging categorization, encompassing feature films and documentaries. That said, we did exclude several movies from Metacritic's list that had no clear relation to crime.

Here are the 100 best crime movies of all time, according to critics:

100. "Animal Kingdom" (2010)


100. "Animal Kingdom" (2010)

(Sony Pictures Classic)


Critic score: 83/100

User score: 7.8/10

What critics said: "Don't be fooled: In this unpeaceable kingdom, the den mama is also ready to eat her young." — Entertainment Weekly



99. "Paranoid Park" (2007)


99. "Paranoid Park" (2007)



Critic score: 83/100

User score: 6.6/10

What critics said: "Youth and death meet again in Gus Van Sant’s 'Paranoid Park,' a gorgeously stark, mesmerizingly elliptical story told in the same lyrical-prosaic style that has characterized his latest films." — Los Angeles Times



98. "Bus 174" (2002)


98. "Bus 174" (2002)

(ThinkFilm Inc)


Critic score: 83/100

User score: 7.5/10

What critics said: "Tense, engrossing, and superbly structured, 'Bus 174' is not just unforgettable drama but a skillfully developed argument." — Village Voice



97. "Trainspotting" (1996)


97. "Trainspotting" (1996)



Critic score: 83/100

User score: 8.9/10

What critics said: "It would be hard to imagine a movie about drugs, depravity, and all-around bad behavior more electrifying than 'Trainspotting.'" — Entertainment Weekly



96. "Adaptation." (2002)


96. "Adaptation." (2002)

(Columbia Pictures)


Critic score: 83/100

User score: 8.1/10

What critics said: "'Adaptation,' like 'Being John Malkovich' before it, is far from a well-made film, even on its own flaky terms. But it's a brave, sometimes brilliant one, with a phantasmagoric ending, full of love and hope, that defeats prose description. Never was an adaptation more original." — The Wall Street Journal



95. "Rocco and His Brothers" (1960)


95. "Rocco and His Brothers" (1960)

(Titanus Produzione)


Critic score: 83/100

User score: 8.1/10

What critics said: "Neither the neighborhood intimacy of 'Mean Streets' nor the grandeur of the 'Godfather' movies is imaginable without Visconti's example. Its richness, though, is inexhaustible." — The New York Times



94. "Homicide" (1991)


94. "Homicide" (1991)

(Triumph Films)


Critic score: 84/100

User score: N/A

What critics said: "David Mamet's 'Homicide' is a brilliant muddle: compelling, exhilarating and, at the same time, profoundly dubious. Certainly there is greatness in it." — The Washington Post



93. "The Dark Knight" (2008)


93. "The Dark Knight" (2008)

(Warner Bros)


Critic score: 84/100

User score: 8.9/10

What critics said: "Pitched at the divide between art and industry, poetry and entertainment, it goes darker and deeper than any Hollywood movie of its comic-book kind." — The New York Times



92. "Volver" (2006)


92. "Volver" (2006)

(Sony Pictures Classic)


Critic score: 84/100

User score: 8.5/10

What critics said: "Part noir-comedy, part ghost story, but it's mostly a potent reflection on how where we come from shapes us, in ways we can't understand until we've been away for a long, long while." — Salon



91. "Graduation" (2017)


91. "Graduation" (2017)

(Sundance Selects)


Critic score: 84/100

User score: 8.5/10

What critics said: "An intricate, deeply intelligent film, and a bleak picture of a state of national depression in Romania, where the 90s generation hoped they would have a chance to start again." — The Guardian



90. "Looper" (2012)


90. "Looper" (2012)

(Sony Pictures)


Critic score: 84/100

User score: 8.2/10

What critics said: "A remarkable feat of imagination and execution, entertaining from start to finish, even as it asks the audience to contemplate how and why humanity keeps making the same rotten mistakes." — The AV Club



89. "Mystic River" (2003)


89. "Mystic River" (2003)

(Warner Bros.)


Critic score: 84/100

User score: 7.0/10

What critics said: "So incrementally does Eastwood's film build toward what seems like an inevitable resolution that when it concludes, you're sucker-punched. You haven't been watching a police procedural, but a Greek tragedy. You haven't been watching a drama about the catharsis of vigilantism, but sitting vigil for a community diminished, and permanently damaged, by violence." — Philadelphia Inquirer



88. "Lantana" (2001)


88. "Lantana" (2001)



Critic score: 84/100

User score: 8.3/10

What critics said: "Elegant but never overstated, sinister but never coldhearted, this is a note-perfect masterwork on a modest, human scale." — Salon



87. "The Man Without a Past" (2003)


87. "The Man Without a Past" (2003)

(Sony Pictures Classic)


Critic score: 84/100

User score: 8.3/10

What critics said: "The revered Finnish director Aki Kaurismäki has hit on a way to give you grim social realism and movie-ish sentimentality in one fell swoop." — Slate



86. "Revanche" (2009)


86. "Revanche" (2009)

(Janus Films)


Critic score: 84/100

User score: 8.1/10

What critics said: "Mr. Spielmann's film is full of surprises and, in its distinctive way, full of life." — The Wall Street Journal



85. "The Big Risk" (1960)


85. "The Big Risk" (1960)

(Rialto Pictures)


Critic score: 84/100

User score: 7.3/10

What critics said: "A tough and touching exploration of honor and friendship among thieves." — The New York Times



84. "Out of Sight" (1998)


84. "Out of Sight" (1998)



Critic score: 85/100

User score: 8.6/10

What critics said: "Reveals Soderbergh in peak form, as he endows Leonard’s postmodern yarn with a meticulously detailed mise en scene that helps each member of his terrific ensemble soar." — Variety



83. "Grisibi" (1954)


83. "Grisibi" (1954)



Critic score: 85/100

User score: N/A

What critics said: "A wonderful treasure from the seemingly inexhaustible cornucopia of crackling French crime dramas." — Los Angeles Times



82. "The Old Man and the Gun" (2018)


82. "The Old Man and the Gun" (2018)

(Fox Searchlight)


Critic score: 85/100

User score: N/A

What critics said: "Eschews pastiche for a sweet, affable character study that resurrects Redford’s original star power with a wet kiss. The entire picture amounts to a low-key cinematic resurrection." — IndieWire



81. "The Last Seduction" (1994)


81. "The Last Seduction" (1994)

(October Films)


Critic score: 85/100

User score: 8.5/10

What critics said: "A devilishly entertaining crime story with a heroine who must be seen to be believed, is as satisfying an ensemble piece as 'Red Rock West.'" — The New York Times



80. "The Silence of the Lambs" (1991)


80. "The Silence of the Lambs" (1991)

(Orion Pictures/"Silence of the Lambs")


Critic score: 85/100

User score: 8.8/10

What critics said: "Under Jonathan Demme's masterful cinematic surgery, we get into Lecter's twisted skull and, through this outrageous descent, we come to see this sinister in the everyday." — The Hollywood Reporter



79. "Unforgiven" (1992)


79. "Unforgiven" (1992)

(Warner Bros.)


Critic score: 85/100

User score: 8.4/10

What critics said: "A sombre, insightful, genre-reinventing western, directed by a filmmaker acutely aware of the western’s history, its limitations and the dubious truths of its legends." — The Telegraph



78. "Fargo" (1996)


78. "Fargo" (1996)

(Working Title)


Critic score: 85/100

User score: 8.8/10

What critics said: "Rotates its story through satire, comedy, suspense and violence, until it emerges as one of the best films I've ever seen." — Chicago Sun-Times



77. "The Departed" (2006)


77. "The Departed" (2006)

(Warner Bros. Pictures/Netflix)


Critic score: 85/100

User score: N/A

What critics said: "A triumphant revisiting of territory in which Scorsese is an unchallenged master -- the crime drama." — Premiere



76. "Tales of the Grim Sleeper" (2014)


76. "Tales of the Grim Sleeper" (2014)



Critic score: 85/100

User score: N/A

What critics said: "The film is an appropriately dour and intense indictment of a law-enforcement community that did not value the lives of some victims enough to devote anything but the slimmest of resources to tracking their killer down." — The Dissolve



75. "Widows" (2018)


75. "Widows" (2018)



Critic score: 86/100

User score: N/A

What critics said: "Led by a magnificent Viola Davis, the cast is ridiculously stacked. The action is tremendous. And the ultimate message – that nothing comes for free in America – is devastating in its swift brutality." — The Globe and Mail



74. "Baby Driver" (2017)


74. "Baby Driver" (2017)



Critic score: 86/100

User score: 7.7/10

What critics said: "An awe-inspiring piece of filmmaking from Edgar Wright that plays out as a musical through the lens of an action thriller. Sweet, funny and utterly original — you won’t see a film like it this year." — Empire



73. "Sweet Sixteen" (2003)


73. "Sweet Sixteen" (2003)



Critic score: 86/100

User score: 8.4/10

What critics said: "It's one of the most emotional and compelling the filmmaker has ever made. Confident, uncompromising and blisteringly realistic, 'Sweet Sixteen' is a gritty and immediate film yet it goes right to the emotions." — Los Angeles Times



72. "The Player" (1992)


72. "The Player" (1992)

(Fine Line Features)


Critic score: 86/100

User score: 8.0/10

What critics said: "Michael Tolkin's script abounds in such cynical wisdom, but it never loses an appreciation for the grace with which these snakes consume their victims." — Time



71. "This Is England" (2007)


71. "This Is England" (2007)



Critic score: 86/100

User score: 7.7/10

What critics said: "The movie is taut, tense, relentless. It shows why Shaun feels he needs to belong to a gang, what he gets out of it and how it goes wrong." — Chicago Sun-Times



70. "The Grifters" (1990)


70. "The Grifters" (1990)



Critic score: 86/100

User score: 8.9/10

What critics said: "Not only captured the bleak qualities of the old film noir melodramas but supplied an undercurrent that is as sly as it is unsettling." — San Francisco Chronicle



69. "Traffic" (2000)


69. "Traffic" (2000)

(USA Films)


Critic score: 86/100

User score: 8.9/10

What critics said: "A flat-out electrifying experience." — Philadelphia Inquirer



68. "Drug War" (2013)


68. "Drug War" (2013)

(Variance Films)


Critic score: 86/100

User score: 7.1/10

What critics said: "The film is a singularly huge, relentless, all-encompassing set piece that mutates and spasms with terrifying lack of foresight. It's all business, business, business." — Slant Magazine



67. "Deliver Us from Evil" (2006)


67. "Deliver Us from Evil" (2006)

(Lions Gate)


Critic score: 86/100

User score: 8.1/10

What critics said: "Amy Berg's riveting documentary, tracks O'Grady's predatory trail from San Andreas, Calif., to Ireland, where he is now living on a church pension that was apparently meant to buy his silence." — New York Daily News



66. "In the Bedroom" (2001)


66. "In the Bedroom" (2001)



Critic score: 86/100

User score: 7.2/10

What critics said: "The surehandedly wrought, beautifully acted, almost unbearably tense 'In the Bedroom' is a rare film, not to be missed." — Time Out London



65. "Easy Rider" (1969)


65. "Easy Rider" (1969)



Critic score: 86/100

User score: 7.5/10

What critics said: "Fonda and Hopper’s now-classic film hit the old guard with the force of a rifle shot to the head." — Austin Chronicle



64. "Boys Don't Cry" (1999)


64. "Boys Don't Cry" (1999)

(Fox Searchlight)


Critic score: 86/100

User score: 7.6/10

What critics said: "A haunting, superbly made film. But it's also an unrelentingly sad and depressing experience." — New York Post



63. "To Die For" (1995)


63. "To Die For" (1995)



Critic score: 86/100

User score: 8.8/10

What critics said: "Kidman grabs center stage and never relinquishes the position. Playing mercilessly against her pinup girl image, she's an unforgettable, comic archetype—a more slapsticky corollary to William Hurt's bumbling, handsome newscaster in 'Broadcast News.'" — The Washington Post



62. "Dreamcatcher" (2015)


62. "Dreamcatcher" (2015)

(Rise Films)


Critic score: 86/100

User score: 6.1/10

What critics said: "Just as Brenda lives by a credo never to judge another woman, so too does the film, which creates an uplifting portrait of redemption and acceptance." — The Hollywood Reporter



61. "Dog Day Afternoon" (1975)


61. "Dog Day Afternoon" (1975)

(Warner Bros.)


Critic score: 86/100

User score: 8.6/10

What critics said: "A masterly reconstruction of a Brooklyn bank siege on August 22, 1972, built around arguably Al Pacino's finest screen performance." — The Telegraph



60. "The Murder of Fred Hampton" (1971)


60. "The Murder of Fred Hampton" (1971)

(Facets Multimedia)


Critic score: 86/100

User score: N/A

What critics said: "It’s the rare film that decades later can seem as timely as it was the day it came out. The searing documentary 'The Murder of Fred Hampton' is such a film." — Los Angeles Times



59. "Maria Full of Grace" (2004)


59. "Maria Full of Grace" (2004)

(New Line Cinema)


Critic score: 87/100

User score: 2.6/10

What critics said: "Disturbing. It is impossible to sit through Maria Full of Grace and not be affected by the circumstances of the characters. For that, the credit must go to Marston and his actors." — ReelViews



58. "Serpico" (1973)


58. "Serpico" (1973)



Critic score: 87/100

User score: 8.7/10

What critics said: "It is galvanizing because of Al Pacino's splendid performance in the title role and because of the tremendous intensity that Mr. Lumet brings to this sort of subject." — The New York Times



57. "One False Move" (1992)


57. "One False Move" (1992)

(Sony Pictures)


Critic score: 87/100

User score: 7.4/10

What critics said: "Mixing moments of genuine terror with offbeat comedy, writers Tom Epperson and Thornton have created a script that jumps along wih the energy of 'In Cold Blood.'" — Chicago Tribune



56. "The Fugitive" (1993)


56. "The Fugitive" (1993)

(Warner Bros.)


Critic score: 87/100

User score: 8.8/10

What critics said: "For dynamite suspense loaded with thrills and wicked fun, you can’t beat 'The Fugitive' — the summer’s best action blaster." — Rolling Stone



55. "To Kill a Mockingbird" (1962)


55. "To Kill a Mockingbird" (1962)

(Universal Pictures)


Critic score: 87/100

User score: 8.6/10

What critics said: "'To Kill A Mockingbird' is a product of American realism, and it is a rare and worthy treasure." — The Hollywood Reporter



54. "Gomorrah" (2009)


54. "Gomorrah" (2009)



Critic score: 87/100

User score: 7.1/10

What critics said: "Probably the bleakest, least sentimental study of the Mafia in Italian or American film history." — Time



53. "Museo" (2018)


53. "Museo" (2018)

(Vitagraph Films)


Critic score: 87/100

User score: N/A

What critics said: "It’s an endlessly entertaining, challenging investigation of history that confirms Ruizpalacios’ status as the next big thing in Mexican cinema." — The Playlist



52. "Sweet Country" (2018)


52. "Sweet Country" (2018)

(Samuel Goldwyn Films)


Critic score: 87/100

User score: 7.8/10

What critics said: "This shrewdly observed story asks another question: Is civilization possible in a nation where discrimination has such deep roots? In 'Sweet Country,' the answer arrives with a tough fatalism." — The Washington Post



51. "Hell or High Water" (2016)


51. "Hell or High Water" (2016)

(Hell or High Water)


Critic score: 88/100

User score: 8.2/10

What critics said: "A thrillingly good movie — a crackerjack drama of crime, fear, and brotherly love set in a sun-roasted, deceptively sleepy West Texas that feels completely exotic for being so authentic." — Variety



50. "Mafioso" (1962)


50. "Mafioso" (1962)

(Rialto Pictures)


Critic score: 88/100

User score: 7.1/10

What critics said: "A small comic masterpiece that dares to deal with that of which many Sicilians dare not speak: the Mafia." — TV Guide



49. "Band of Outsiders" (1964)


49. "Band of Outsiders" (1964)

(Columbia Pictures)


Critic score: 88/100

User score: 7.2/10

What critics said: "Easily the most brilliant of the genuflections bestowed on the American gangster movie by the French New Wave." — LA Weekly



48. "Thelma & Louise" (1991)


48. "Thelma & Louise" (1991)



Critic score: 88/100

User score: 8.3/10

What critics said: "Sarandon and Davis give superb, wonderfully interactive performances: funky, fierce, funny and poignant." — Newsweek



47. "Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri" (2017)


47. "Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri" (2017)

(Fox Searchlight)


Critic score: 88/100

User score: 7.7/10

What critics said: "While the film continues almost throughout to generate great whoops of shocking laughter, it's the notes of genuine sorrow, compassion and contrition that resonate." — The Hollywood Reporter



46. "Strangers on a Train" (1951)


46. "Strangers on a Train" (1951)

(Warner Bros.)


Critic score: 88/100

User score: N/A

What critics said: "Intensely enjoyable--in some ways the best of Hitchcock's American films." — The New Yorker



45. "Capote" (2005)


45. "Capote" (2005)

(Sony Pictures Classic)


Critic score: 88/100

User score: 7.8/10

What critics said: "A fascinating and fine-grained reconstruction of that period in its subject's life, a time when he (Capote) pursued literary glory and flirted with moral ruin." — The New York Times



44. "On the Waterfront" (1954)


44. "On the Waterfront" (1954)

(Columbia Pictures via YouTube)


Critic score: 88/100

User score: 8.8/10

What critics said: "It's hard to deny that Marlon Brando's performance as a dock worker and ex-fighter who finally decides to rat on his gangster brother (Rod Steiger) is pretty terrific." — Chicago Reader



43. "Piccadilly" (1929)


43. "Piccadilly" (1929)

(British International)


Critic score: 89/100

User score: N/A

What critics said: "As casually insensitive and careless as you might expect from a film of this era, but it's also surprisingly crafty about finding ways to incite discussion." — Boston Globe



42. "Quai des Orfèvres" (1947)


42. "Quai des Orf&egr

Albert Ulebe Posted on September 19, 2018 16:09

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This $5 million dome-shaped home, known among locals as 'The Star Wars Home,' is hurricane-resistant and available to buy for the first time — take a look inside.

South Carolina's "Eye of the Storm" dome home was constructed in 1991, but on the market for the first time. It was built by inflating a giant balloon before spraying it with concrete and lining it with steel. As a result, the "Star Wars Home" is not only beautiful, but durable.

South Carolina's infamous dome-shaped home, dubbed " target="_blank"The Eye of the Storm," has been listed for sale for the first time ever with a $5 million price tag.

The four-level, 4,047-square-foot home at 2851 Marshall Boulevard in Sullivan's Island was built in 1991 and was designed with the proximity of Mother Nature in mind. Its features render the abode heavily resistant to hurricanes, hence the house's name.

Pareto Group realtor Michael Royal, who is also the nephew of the home's designer, told Business Insider that the home's otherworldly shape has given it another nickname among locals: "The Star Wars Home."

Take a look inside:

The home sits on the northeastern part of Sullivan's Island, a town and island about 20 minutes away from Charleston.


The home sits on the northeastern part of Sullivan's Island, a town and island about 20 minutes away from Charleston.

(Google Maps/Business Insider)


A maritime forest spans out from it before eventually breaking into the sandy South Carolina sea shore.


A maritime forest spans out from it before eventually breaking into the sandy South Carolina sea shore.

(Michael Royal/Pareto Real Estate)


The story behind the dome-shaped "Eye of the Storm" home started with Hurricane Hugo in 1989.


The story behind the dome-shaped "Eye of the Storm" home started with Hurricane Hugo in 1989.

(Michael Royal/Pareto Real Estate)


Dome-home aficionado and designer George Paul built the abode in 1991 after Hurricane Hugo took out his parents' house. They wanted a home that would be invincible to the elements so that they "would have peace of mind for the rest of their lives," according to the listing.

What resulted was the white concrete and steel shell of a home that can withstand deadly hurricanes coming in from the Atlantic.



The secret sauce to the home's durability was in the construction. Royal told Business Insider the process consisted of blowing up a gigantic balloon in the shape of the house before spraying the inside of it with concrete and lining it with steel.


The secret sauce to the home's durability was in the construction. Royal told Business Insider the process consisted of blowing up a gigantic balloon in the shape of the house before spraying the inside of it with concrete and lining it with steel.

(Good Morning America Courtesy of Pareto Real Estate)


The material and the aerodynamic nature of the home is what makes it resistant to strong winds and storms.


The material and the aerodynamic nature of the home is what makes it resistant to strong winds and storms.

(Michael Royal/Pareto Real Estate)


The home's elliptical shell is also monolithic, meaning it doesn't have a separate roof like conventionally constructed homes. It's energy efficient as well. Both features give the bungalow an edge in the case of a natural disaster.


The home's elliptical shell is also monolithic, meaning it doesn't have a separate roof like conventionally constructed homes. It's energy efficient as well. Both features give the bungalow an edge in the case of a natural disaster.

(Michael Royal/Pareto Real Estate)


A skylight at the top of the dome lets in natural light.



The dwelling's dome shape also gets rid of corners. The 3,571 square feet of space on the main floors includes three bedrooms and four full bathrooms.


The dwelling's dome shape also gets rid of corners. The 3,571 square feet of space on the main floors includes three bedrooms and four full bathrooms.

(Michael Royal/Pareto Real Estate)


The home also doesn't require structural support beams — the upper floors are instead hung from the concrete roof. Talk about an open-floor concept plan.


The home also doesn't require structural support beams — the upper floors are instead hung from the concrete roof. Talk about an open-floor concept plan.

(Michael Royal/Pareto Real Estate)


This space is dubbed the "Great Room" on the listing's website. The kitchen, dining room and living room all merge together here.


This space is dubbed the "Great Room" on the listing's website. The kitchen, dining room and living room all merge together here.

(Michael Royal/Pareto Real Estate)


A contemporary angular fireplace graces the main level's living room.


A contemporary angular fireplace graces the main level's living room.

(Michael Royal/Pareto Real Estate)


And the kitchen is brand-new and custom-designed.


And the kitchen is brand-new and custom-designed.

(Michael Royal/Pareto Real Estate)


The home also includes a bank vault room behind the kitchen pantry and a laundry room that could be used as a wine cellar.


The home also includes a bank vault room behind the kitchen pantry and a laundry room that could be used as a wine cellar.

(Michael Royal/Pareto Real Estate)


An elevator can take owners to the master bedroom ...


An elevator can take owners to the master bedroom ...

(Michael Royal/Pareto Real Estate)


... which has a 159-square-foot private deck ....


... which has a 159-square-foot private deck ....

(Michael Royal/Pareto Real Estate)


... and a Japanese soaking tub. The tub is surrounded by Ipe, a Brazilian-sourced hardwood usually used for outdoor furniture. It's known for its ability to withstand the elements.


... and a Japanese soaking tub. The tub is surrounded by Ipe, a Brazilian-sourced hardwood usually used for outdoor furniture. It's known for its ability to withstand the elements.

(Michael Royal/Pareto Real Estate)


Views of the seaside can be seen from the bedroom and tub.


Views of the seaside can be seen from the bedroom and tub.

(Michael Royal/Pareto Real Estate)


Included in the upper floors is an area for a wet bar and office nook.


Included in the upper floors is an area for a wet bar and office nook.

(Michael Royal/Pareto Real Estate)


Views of the beach can also be seen from one of the guest bedrooms, which is connected to the main deck.


Views of the beach can also be seen from one of the guest bedrooms, which is connected to the main deck.

(Michael Royal/Pareto Real Estate)


Aptly called "The Great Deck," the main deck spans the length of the back side of the house.


Aptly called "The Great Deck," the main deck spans the length of the back side of the house.

(Michael Royal/Pareto Real Estate)


The views from which are stunning, with the beach a mere 230 feet away from the back door. There's a shallow ocean gully closest to the home with the ocean sitting right past it beyond a sandbar. It's a good thing the home is designed to handle whatever the sea throws at it.


The views from which are stunning, with the beach a mere 230 feet away from the back door. There's a shallow ocean gully closest to the home with the ocean sitting right past it beyond a sandbar. It's a good thing the home is designed to handle whatever the sea throws at it.

(Michael Royal/Pareto Real Estate)

Albert Ulebe Posted on September 19, 2018 14:59

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Proper Regulations Will Boost Confidence in Cryptocurrency Sector: Abu Dhabi Regulator.

The regulatory chief of Abu Dhabi’s international financial center and free zone has called for tighter regulations for cryptocurrency trading and ICOs while recognizing the growing global industry.

Nearly a year after issuing its guidelines for cryptocurrencies and initial coin offerings (ICOs), effectively regulating the industry, the Financial Services Regulatory Authority (FSRA) is sharing its framework with its regulatory counterparts around the world.

“This space needs to be properly regulated, otherwise there is the risk of financial crime,” FSRA chief executive Richard Teng was quoted as saying by The National. “Every time a coin gets stolen or lost, it affects the confidence in this asset class.”

Notably, FSRA chief executive Richard Teng insists that “a lot has changed” over the past few months in a changing landscape that forgoes fears associated to cryptocurrencies to the recognition of a growing industry that requires guidelines to responsibly develop and encourage the sector.

He added:

“We are confident that our comprehensive regime – which we have shared with global regulators like the [U.S.] SEC, the UK Treasury, Financial Conduct Authority and Bank of England, and regulators in Singapore, Hong Kong and Japan – can address these risks and bring greater confidence into this asset class.”

The Abu Dhabi regulator’s comments come at a time when lawmakers in the U.K. urged the government to prioritize regulation of the cryptocurrency and ICO space in a Treasury Committee report published today.

One of the first financial centers and trade zones to outline guidance for cryptocurrency firms in October 2017, the Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM) enforced the regulatory framework by the FSRA for cryptocurrency firms operating in the zone in June. The regulations, which includes stipulations for exchange operators and crypto custody firms (wallet providers) alike, deems cryptocurrencies as commodities akin to precious metals.

“[W]e do a lot of challenges in regulating something which was designed not to be regulated,” FSRA capital markets director Wai Lum Qwok said of regulating cryptocurrencies like bitcoin last year, whilst insisting the authority is open to the idea in the future.

A member of the R3-led banking-centric blockchain consortium, the ADGM acknowledged the advent of cryptocurrencies as a method of payment earlier this year, despite the likes of Saudi Arabia’s central bank outlawing bitcoin trading in the neighboring country.

The Abu Dhabi regulator said earlier this year:

“The FSRA notes that virtual currencies, although not legal tender, are gaining interest globally as a medium of exchange for goods and services.”

Albert Ulebe Posted on September 19, 2018 14:00

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Liberia investigating disappearance of $100m in bank notes Newly printed money vanished as it was been transported to the central bank, according to officials.

Liberia says it is investigating the disappearance of newly printed bills worth nearly $100m destined for the country's central bank.

"This government will leave no stone unturned to find those responsible for the act," Information Minister Lenn Eugene Nagbe told AFP news agency on Tuesday.

"It is confirmed by the investigation that the amount of the total money is 15 billion," Liberian dollars ($97m, he said.

The investigation was launched on August 8, the justice ministry said, following "information surrounding the arrival of containers and bags of moneys" at the port and the international airport in the capital Monrovia.

This government will leave no stone unturned to find those responsible for the act

Lenn Eugene Nagbe, the information minister

The government said initial findings indicate the cash arrived between November 2017, when Ellen Johnson Sirleaf was still president, and August this year.

The current government led by President George Weah took over in January.

Tracing the money

"The current administration was not informed about the arrival of the containers and bags of moneys into the country," the ministry statement said.

The containers were taken from the port around the end of March by central bank staff but never arrived at their destination, the country's Frontpage daily reported.

The ministry said that apart from tracing the money, investigators are also trying to work out how many Liberian dollars the previous administration had printed overseas and how much was injected into the economy where both US and Liberian dollars are in circulation.

Former football star Weah has vowed to crack down on corruption and unveiled in July a series of monetary and fiscal measures to prop up the local currency and tackle inflation.

He announced the central bank was injecting $25m into the economy to mop excessive liquidity of Liberian dollars.

In March, Weah said he had "inherited a country that is very broke, depleted by political malfeasance".

Albert Ulebe Posted on September 19, 2018 13:26

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All 5 ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’ Movies Ranked, Worst to Best (Photos) AddThis Sharing Buttons Share to Facebook Share to Twitter Share to LinkedIn Share to Reddit Share to Tumblr Share to Email Is “Dead Men Tell No Tales” one of the good ones or on

The "Pirates of the Caribbean" movies may be coming at a slow pace these days, but they are  still coming. How does the Javier Bardem-starring fifth flick stack up among the other entries in the mixed-bag franchise?


5. "Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides" At some point, "from the Academy Award-winning director of 'Chicago'" meant something. But Rob Marshall was woefully ill-suited to make a "Pirates of the Caribbean" movie and that, combined with whoever's terrible idea it was to have Jack Sparrow (Johnny Depp) as the main lead, spelled doom for this horrifically awful experience.


4. "Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales" Pretty much just an attempt to rehash the original movie, though it's less satisfying in every way. It's not horrible, and it does have the decency to be the shortest of the five movies. But its incoherence undoes most of the goodwill granted by the occasional clever dialogue.


3. "Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest" Lots of folks may have been mad about the cliffhanger at the time, but the second "Pirates" movie was still a delight. Even though it wasn't quite as good as the first, the incredible Kraken didn't quite make up for the absence of Geoffrey Rush's Captain Barbossa. "Dead Man's Chest" remains a great example of a sequel that recaptures the magic of the original.


2. "Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End" Get's the edge over "Dead Man's Chest" entirely by virtue of being so weird. This is a movie where our heroes sail their pirate ship through space to the afterlife to rescue Jack, for one thing. And the final battle takes place in a giant whirlpool in the middle of the ocean. Good times. 


1. "Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl" The movie that started it all may seem (relatively) mundane by the standards of this weird franchise, but it's also the funniest, most coherent and complete picture of them all by a long shot. It's no contest, really.

Albert Ulebe Posted on September 19, 2018 12:38

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Kim Jong Un agrees to close missile test site after South Korea talks.

North Korea dictator Kim Jong Un has vowed to permanently dismantle a missile test site and a launch pad after talks with South Korea.

The leaders of both countries signed a declaration after agreeing the Korean peninsula should turn into a "land of peace without nuclear weapons and nuclear threats".

After the summit in Pyongyang, South Korea President Moon Jae-in told reporters: "The North agreed to permanently close the Tongchang-ri missile engine test site and missile launch facility in the presence of experts from relevant nations."

North Korea says it will also permanently dismantle its main Nyongbyon nuclear complex but only if the United States takes reciprocal measures, Mr Moon added.

Image:Kim Jong Un has been hosting South Korea's president in Pyongyang

In a joint news conference after the talks, Mr Kim said he had promised to visit Seoul "in the near future".

He would be the first North Korean leader to visit the South's capital since the peninsula was divided at the end of the Second World War.

It was also announced that North and South Korea will seek to co-host the 2032 Summer Olympics.

The two countries will establish a joint military committee to evaluate how to reduce tensions and maintain communication, Mr Moon said.




Video:Adoration for S Korean leader in Pyongyang

It is part of a commitment to remove "any threat that could cause war" on the Korean peninsula, he added.

Other agreed measures included setting up the first-ever joint search effort at the border for bodies of soldiers killed in the Korean War.

Both countries also vowed to disarm a jointly-controlled border village, starting with the removal of land mines, and to withdraw 11 guard posts from the demilitarised zone by December.

US President Donald Trump said the measures agreed by North and South Korea, including the joint Olympic bid, were "very exciting".

South Korea's president is on a three-day visit to Pyongyang following two previous meetings with Mr Kim this year.

Image:It is the third meeting between the two leaders this year

Both North and South Korean leaders want the US to sign off on formally ending the Korean War, which still technically continues because no peace treaty has ever been signed.

More from Kim Jong Un

Officials in South Korea say Mr Kim has pledged to denuclearise North Korea by the end of MrTrump's first term as US president in 2021.

Mr Kim has requested a second summit with the US president after their first face-to-face meeting in Singapore earlier this year.

Dominic Solomon Posted on September 19, 2018 12:24

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Kenyan workers to have their salaries chopped by up to $50 after President Uhuru reinstates low-cost housing fund.

This is according to President Uhuru Kenyatta’s proposal which will see employees’ salaries be deducted by 1.5 per cent.

  • This is according to President Uhuru Kenyatta’s proposal to reinstate a new low-cost housing fund which will see employees’ salaries deducted by 1.5 per cent.
  • What is noticeable is that Mr Kenyatta’s proposal is higher than the Treasury’s earlier proposal by three times.
  • The contribution will be capped at Sh5,000 with employers set to match the contribution.

Kenyan workers will soon have their salaries chopped by up to Sh5000 ($50) with the money going towards financing a new low-cost housing fund.

This is according to President Uhuru Kenyatta’s proposal that among other things has reinstated the levy which was rejected by parliament last month and should it be passed will see employees’ salaries be deducted by 1.5 per cent.

The contribution will be capped at Sh5,000 with employers set to match the contribution.

An employer shall pay to the National Housing Development Fund… 1.5 per cent of the monthly basic salary,” said Mr Kenyatta in a memo to MPs.

play Housing is one of the four pillars of Mr Kenyatta’s agenda for the next four years and the creation of the fund is meant to help the government realise its goal of delivering half a million affordable housing units in five years. (the star)


What is noticeable is that Mr Kenyatta’s proposal is higher than the Treasury’s earlier proposal by three times.

Member of Parliament rejected the Treasury’s proposal which was capped at 0.5 per cent of the gross pay per month ,arguing that the move would cause a significant cost burden to companies while hurting workers.

The President’s proposal means an employee earning Sh100,000 will be forced to contribute Sh1,500 every month to the fund – up to a maximum Sh5,000 for those earning Sh330,000 and above.

play Treasury headquarters, Nairobi. (the star)


On the other hand, had the Treasury’s proposal seen the light of the day, workers on a basic pay of Sh100,000 would have only part with Sh500 and a maximum Sh5,000 for those earning Sh1 million and above.

It remains to be seen how parliament will react to Mr Kenyatta’s higher proposal given that the MPs must first debate before adopting the proposal.

President Kenyatta and former Prime minister Raila Odinga spent the better part of yesterday whipping MPs from their camps to pass the tax  proposals when parliament will be debating the matter on Thursday.

play President Kenyatta and former Prime minister Raila Odinga. (Eastern Post)


Housing is one of the four pillars of Mr Kenyatta’s agenda for the next four years and the creation of the fund is meant to help the government realise its goal of delivering half a million affordable housing units in five years.

Kenya needs to build 244,000 homes every year in order to meet the ever growing demand, however less than a quarter of these numbers are ever built, according to report by the World Bank dubbed the Kenya Economic Update: Housing—Unavailable and Unaffordable report.

play Kibera Slum (pickyourday.)


Already 6 out of 10 urban residents stay in slums and while the situation is not unique to Kenya alone, Nairobi hosts the largest slum in East and Central Africa, the infamous Kibera slum.

Uhuru’s Finance Bill has also introduced amendments to the Central Bank of Kenya Act to include regulation of mortgage refinance companies.

The move paves the way for the establishment of a State-backed Kenya Mortgage Refinancing Company meant to address the demand side of the housing market by offering funds to the mortgage industry.

Albert Ulebe Posted on September 19, 2018 12:21

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Trump inflames war on Justice Dept. by declassifying Russia docs.

Washington (CNN)President Donald Trump showed no signs of backing off his highly unprecedented order to declassify various documents and text messages related to the Russia investigation Tuesday, saying he wants it done for "transparency."

The move, which has prompted renewed unease about the increasing politicization of intelligence materials, is likely to further inflame tensions between the President and intelligence and law enforcement officials, who have been the target of presidential Twitter tirades and who have voiced concerns in the past about potentially jeopardizing sources and methods.

"We want transparency and what I want is I want total transparency," Trump said in the Oval Office Tuesday.

"This is a witch hunt," he added, using his derisive reference to the Russia investigation. "It's a terrible witch hunt and it's hurt our country and the things that have been found over the last couple of weeks about text messages back and forth are a disgrace to our nation. And I want transparency and so does everybody else."

The President directed the Justice Department and Office of the Director of National Intelligence to initiate the "immediate declassification" of selective portions of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act application on former Trump foreign policy aide Carter Page, according to a statement Monday from White House press secretary Sarah Sanders. Most significantly, his request also broadly included "all FBI reports of interviews" prepared in connection with the FISA applications, which are normally closely guarded by the FBI.

When asked Tuesday whether he would declassify other documents relating to the Russia investigation Trump only responded: "We're gonna see."

The President had floated the idea of declassification for several weeks, but Monday's statement from the White House was the first time the full breadth of his intentions was articulated, making clear that he expects materials to be released despite the fact that there's an active investigation by special counsel Robert Mueller into any links between his campaign associates and the Russian government.

Earlier Tuesday, Trump quoted Rep. Peter King, R-New York, on Twitter, saying: "What will be disclosed is that there was no basis for these FISA Warrants, that the important information was kept from the court, there's going to be a disproportionate influence of the (Fake) Dossier. Basically you have a counter terrorism tool used to spy on a presidential ... campaign, which is unprecedented in our history."

"Really bad things were happening, but they are now being exposed. Big stuff!," Trump added in his own voice.

Trump on Monday also ordered the Justice Department to release fully unredacted text messages "related to the Russia investigation" from former officials he's continually lambasted given their connections to the investigation, including FBI Director James Comey, former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, former FBI agent Peter Strzok, former FBI lawyer Lisa Page and Bruce Ohr, a current Justice Department official.

A Justice Department spokesperson said the agency was already working with the ODNI to comply with the President's order.

"When the President issues such an order, it triggers a declassification review process that is conducted by various agencies within the intelligence community, in conjunction with the White House Counsel, to seek to ensure the safety of America's national security interests," the spokesperson said in a statement.

Polarizing decision




Strzok: Russian interference source was credible 00:53

Trump's directive drew fierce criticism from Democrats and praise from a group of conservative Republicans, many who are members of the Freedom Caucus, who have urged Trump to take this declassification step.

"The President shouldn't be declassifying documents in order to undermine an investigation into his campaign or pursue vendettas against political enemies," said Mark Warner of Virginia, the top Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee. "He especially shouldn't be releasing documents with the potential to reveal intelligence sources."

Top Democrats sent a letter Tuesday to Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and FBI Director Christopher Wray expressing "profound alarm" at Trump's decision.

They also requested an immediate briefing for the "Gang of Eight" -- the Republican and Democratic leaders of the House and Senate and their intelligence committees -- from the agency heads prior to any disclosure. House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi of California, Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer of New York, House Intelligence Committee ranking member Adam Schiff of California and Warner all signed the letter.

"The action (President Trump) has taken, to direct your agencies to selectively disclose classified information that he believes he can manipulate publicly to undermine the legitimacy and credibility of the Special Counsel's investigation, is a brazen abuse of power," the letter reads. "Any decision by your offices to share this material with the President or his lawyers will violate longstanding Department of Justice policies."

Senate Intelligence Chairman Richard Burr said Tuesday that he would prefer to keep the FISA documents on Page classified. But the North Carolina Republican nevertheless defended Trump's prerogative to declassify the materials.

"I've said before that I prefer not to see things released publicly and it holds true for this as well," Burr told reporters Tuesday. "Anything that's directly involved in an investigation like we're in I'd prefer that those stay confidential or classified."

Burr previously broke with his House Intelligence Committee counterparts after they released a memo with details on the Page FISA. But in this case, he said the President has the unilateral authority to declassify.

"The President has the full authority to declassify anything," Burr said. "Declassification is the executive branch. It doesn't have anything to do with us."

North Carolina Republican Rep. Mark Meadows, the chairman of the conservative House Freedom Caucus and a close ally of the President, praised the move.

"It's time to get the full truth on the table so the American people can decide for themselves on what happened at the highest levels of their FBI and Justice Department," he tweeted.

Thousands of text messages between Page and Strzok have already been released with redactions for personal information and to protect parts of the ongoing investigation, but publicly releasing them in fully unredacted form could run afoul of the federal privacy law guarding against the disclosure of personal information.

Yet the declassification effort represents only the latest front in the larger partisan struggle over the Russia investigation.

Earlier this year, the FBI clashed with the President over a controversial Republican intelligence memo from House Intelligence Chairman Devin Nunes, which argued that ex-British intelligence agent Christopher Steele, the author of a controversial dossier on Trump and Russia, harbored anti-Trump motivations that were not disclosed in the FISA application and that the FISA court was not told that Steele's dossier was funded through a law firm by the Democratic National Committee and the Hillary Clinton campaign.

Democrats responded with their own memo, which argued that the FBI's interest in Page predated the FBI's knowledge of the Steele dossier. It also argued that it was not the dossier and the Page FISA warrant that prompted the FBI's counterintelligence investigation into Russia, but rather an earlier conversation that former Trump campaign adviser George Papadopoulos had with an Australian diplomat about alleged Russian dirt on Clinton.

Eventually, in a highly unusual move, the FBI released highly redacted versions of the FISA applications in July after news organizations and advocacy groups sued for their disclosure.

Potential for backfire?




FBI agent testifies on controversial Trump texts 02:27

But since that time, certain House Republicans have called for the public release of specific pages, even though they have acknowledged they are not sure whether the documents will help or hurt their arguments about alleged improper conduct in the probe.

Their latest effort could backfire and upend the narrative House Republicans have spent months crafting, should the declassified documents confirm the FBI had more than the dossier to justify the surveillance of Page.

The redacted versions of the FISA warrant applications showed that the agency did raise concerns that Page was a target of Russian recruitment and might have been working with the Kremlin. Page has denied the allegations. A footnote also disclosed a political motivation behind the Steele dossier and said the person behind it was likely looking for information to discredit Trump's campaign, but Trump did not order the vast majority of that portion of the October 2016 FISA declassified Monday.

Some 30 members of Congress have reviewed largely unredacted versions of the highly sensitive FISA applications, but several of the most vocal members of the current declassification campaign have not.

Albert Ulebe Posted on September 19, 2018 12:11

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Cathay Pacific spells own name wrong on new plane

The Hong Kong-based airline joked "Oops this special livery won't last long" after the error was pointed out

An airline has had to send a new plane back to the paint shop after the company's name was spelled incorrectly on it.

Hong Kong-based Cathay Pacific painted its name as "Cathay Paciic" on the side of the jet.

Eagle-eyed travellers spotted the mistake at Hong Kong International Airport and contacted the airline.

"Oops this special livery won't last long! She's going back to the shop!" the company joked on Twitter.

Image Copyright @cathaypacific@CATHAYPACIFIC


The airline said it was a genuine mistake, although some in the industry said it was inexplicable.

"The spacing is too on-point for a mishap," an engineer for Haeco, a sister company of the airline, told the South China Morning Post.

"There should be a blank gap in between letters if it was a real mistake I think."

Social media users saw the funny side, however.

Image Copyright @thesmartpirate@THESMARTPIRATE


Image Copyright @AghiadHaloul@AGHIADHALOUL


Image Copyright @darrenpauli@DARRENPAULI


seth Posted on September 19, 2018 12:05

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Mysterious $720 Million Bitcoin Wallet Wakes Up And Starts Dumping Coins

Some have argued, as first reported by CryptoCoinsNews (CCN), a crypto wallet containing $720 million worth of Bitcoin and an unknown owner have woken up after four years of hibernation, with more than $100 million moved to Bitfinex and Binance over the last several weeks, could have spooked investors.

The mysterious wallet contains a mindboggling 11,114 BTC, equivalent to around 0.52 percent of the total supply.

Redditor u/sick_silk noticed the sudden movement of these dormant coins in late August, through tracking each transaction in detail on the blockchain, accompanied with graphs representing the activity.

According to the Redditor, one of two sources could be the owner of this mysterious Bitcoin whale.

The first post was published on August 31 suggests that the funds may be linked to the now-defunct dark web market Silk Road, which was an online black market, best known as a platform for selling drugs, illegal weapons and pornography, malware, hacking services, and other black market goods.

u/Sick_Silk points out:

“It seems that the owner of a huge SilkRoad related wallet is moving funds actively since 3 days, dividing it in chunks of 100 coins by subwallets. The original wallet owned 111,114.62 BTC / BCH , which is currently valuated ~ $844M (without taking in account other Bitcoin forks). Last movements on these subwallets are 4 years and 5 months old (March 9th, 2014). The chunks have been divided over time to 60,000 coins then to 30,000 / 20,000 / 10,000 / 5,000 / 500 and now 100 coins.”

CCN said u/sick_silk connected the original crypto address to the Silk Road via the following bitcointalk thread in which user assortmentofsorts connects the dots to from an address operated by DPR (Dread Pirate Roberts AKA Ross Ulbricht, creator of the Silk Road) to the one in the Reddit post over the course of six traced transactions.

After more digging, u/sick_silk is more confident that the funds could belong to an old Mt Gox wallet. This theory is backed up by Bitcoin Security specialist WizSec, who tweeted:

They guessed right later in the post; it's an old MtGox whale, unrelated to Silk Road.

— WizSec (@wizsecurity) September 4, 2018

u/Sick_Silk generated custom graphs to represent the movement of the funds. The charts below represent a $100 million being moved to Binance and Bitfinex:

"Below you will find a graph representation of the transactions sent over time from the original 111,114-BTC wallet to the most recent wallets which have received some of the coins. Each branch represents a sequence of transactions sent through several wallets. Red nodes indicate the most recent transactions (< 1 month), blue nodes indicate quite recent ones (<1 year), and green nodes are the older ones ( > 1 year)," said u/Sick_Silk.

Figure 1: Here is the location of the original wallet within the graph (15ihHoGs3onQBNnEH8afDFGvou9nD62Hm7).

Figure 2: Original coins are currently transferred on Binance wallet, in fact, it is a major end-point/aggregate of transactions originated from the 111,114-BTC wallet (1NDyJtNTjmwk5xPNhjgAMu4HDHigtobu1s).

Figure 3: Coins are being sold on Binance, here 100 BTC transferred to Binance wallet on August 29th (174EZQcfnJS5ChVsTbZaJMmjFCYykMLu9t).

Figure 4: Funds are currently actively mixed, you can see a chain of red nodes with no other purpose than transferring n time the coins and splitting/mixing it a bit (3Ah15skNb8R1teRWs6h2Q2vRywkLJWUhhb).

u/Sick_Silk said the wallet's owner had been actively splitting the original 111,114 BTC/USD this past month; some of the coins are currently being dumped on Binance (Figure 2 and 3).

The mysterious Bitcoin whale is actively breaking up the order to conceal the transfers (Figure 4), as it seems the real-world ramifications is that someone is about to dump a whole lot of supply.

u/Sick_Silk firmly believes that the movement of coins could be due to Bitcoin's volatility that was seen in August, and whether that is true or not, CNBC continues to pump Bitcoin telling their audience members that now is the perfect time to buy.

paxex Posted on September 19, 2018 11:27

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Feature: Mikey Garcia, a stumbling block to Commey's world title hopes?

Having vowed to become a world champion before quitting boxing during a private conversation with me at the Bukom Boxing Arena in 2017, the time could be now for Ghana's Richard Commey to achieve that feat after champion, Mikey Garcia, announced his decision to vacate the title and move up in weight. 


Commey, despite losing a controversial split decision to Robert Easter Jr in an International Boxing Federation (IBF) lightweight title championship in 2016, worked his way back to the top when he stopped Alejandro Luna in six rounds in an eliminator to set up a rematch with the American but was forced to wait after the latter opted to unify against four-division champion, Mikey Garcia. 


Easter Jr went on to lose unanimously to Garcia on Saturday, July 28, in their unification bout at the Staples Center, Los Angeles, paving way for a possible Garcia-Commey slugfest by the end of the year. However, the undefeated champion revealed his decision to move up two weight classes to challenge Errol Spence Jr at welterweight instead. 


In what could be a blessing in disguise for the Ghanaian, Commey (26-2, 23 KOs) could fight a different opponent should Garcia (39-0, 30 KOs) vacate the IBF belt in order to fight Spence Jr at 147 pounds. 


The Garcia threat 


The current turn of events, if it happens, could be to Commey's advantage as Garcia could be a stumbling block to the Ghanaian's quest to add his name to the nation's list of world champions by the end of the year, considering his pedigree and record in the sport. 


Garcia has won world titles at four divisions - featherweight, junior lightweight, lightweight, and light welterweight - and could be a hard nut to crack for Commey, especially with his vast experience which has seen him go 39 fights without a loss or a draw.


He deserves commendation for his achievement in the sport and I believe it will be in the interest of Ghana boxing should he opt to go after Spence Jr to allow Commey to fight a different opponent for a vacant title and possibly win the nation's second world title this year after Isaac Dogboe snatched the WBO super bantamweight crown earlier in the year. 


The uncertainty surrounding Commey's next world title glory ended on Saturday, July 28, after Garcia dominated Easter Jr to win the IBF lightweight belt, putting a world title fight for the Ghanaian on the cards by December. 


But before his second shot at the world title, Commey announced his credentials when he destroyed Mexico's Yardley Armenta Cruz in two rounds during a lightweight contest on August 4 at the Nassau Coliseum, Uniondale, in New York on the Andre Berto-Devon Alexander bill. 


Garcia opts to fight Errol Spence Jr 


Per the rules, Garcia is mandated to defend his IBF strap against Commey, with the Ghanaian being the mandatory challenger, but the undefeated American revealed after his win over Easter Jr that he would prefer to move up in weight to challenge Spence Jr in the welterweight division, a move the IBF has kicked against and ordered negotiations between both boxers immediately. 


In an interview with the Graphic Sports Online, the Chief Executive Officer of Streetwise Management, managers of Commey, Michael Amoo-Bediako, confirmed that negotiations began between both camps on August 13 and are expected to last for 30 days upon which the IBF would call for a purse bid. 


"I can confirm to you that negotiations between both camps started on August 13 and it's expected of us to reach an agreement within 30 days or the IBF would call for a purse bid," he said.

The IBF, through a representative, ordered Garcia to defend his title against Commey since the Garcia-Easter Jr unification was granted on the condition that the winner must fight the available leading contender in a mandatory bout for its lightweight title. 


“Robert Easter’s mandatory defence was due on or before March 30, 2018. The unification was granted with the condition that the winner must fight the 

Negotiations should commence immediately and be concluded by August 30, 2018. In the event that you are unable to come to an amicable agreement with Commey, the IBF will call for a purse bid," he added. 


However, the coming month could prove crucial in Commey's career as he awaits Garcia's decision on whether to fight him or follow his heart to challenge Spence Jr, another undefeated fighter in 24 fights with an impressive knockout record of 21. He was at ringside to watch Garcia outpoint Easter Jr and welcomed the challenge from his fellow countryman for a possible November-December slugfest. 


Should the fight occur, it means Garcia (39-0, 30 KOs) would take the toughest decision yet in his career by moving two weights up to chellenge a knockout expert, a decision many boxing enthusiasts have described as dangerous. But a win will cement a befitting status of a five-division world champion. 


"There's only a select few who have accomplished that feat," Garcia said at his post-fight news conference. "I'm here in search of that. I'm not just trying to pick up a belt against a nobody. I'm going after the best fighter, the most dangerous man at welterweight. I'm trying to get that because that's what will cement my name. No one else is doing that right now. There's no other fighter on the planet that's doing what I'm doing. 


"I can try to use speed, angles, footwork," he said. "There's a lot of things I can use to overcome that height, that reach, the southpaw [stance], the strength, all that. I'm prepared to do what it takes to win that fight. He's a terrific fighter.

He's an experienced fighter. He's very strong. He's a dangerous man. I don't know if I can surprise him. He knows the kind of fighter I am. I think what will surprise him is how well I can do other things. I ain't asking for no catch weight either," he said. 


In his response, Spence Jr said a possible Garcia fight interests him and he is hoping to lock horns with his opponent before the close of the year. 


"Definitely I want that fight. I feel like that's the best fight available for me right now with Shawn and Danny fighting in September," Spence said. 


"Keith Thurman is still recovering and needs a tuneup. Garcia is daring to be great. He wants to be great. He wants to move up and dethrone me, and it's not going to happen". 


"He will be pound-for-pound No. 1 if he beats me, but it's not going to happen. He has great skills, but I see myself winning. I don't really see anything that concerns me. He is technically good, but I don't see him hurting me at 147 pounds," he added. 


Commey's chances at a vacant title 


Having been at this point in his career before, Commey will be inspired to achieve his ambition of becoming a world champion should he fight for a possible vacant title against a different opponent, with the likes of Russia's Isa Chaniev, Edis Tatli of Finland or Japan's Masayoshi Nakatani on the cards.


Commey's chances of winning the championship will be brighter against any of the top-rated in the division than fighting a much experienced Garcia, who will have the odds behind him. 


As the saying goes "To be the best, you need to beat the best". Commey must try harder to defy all odds and end Garcia's invincibility in the ring should their fight go on as planned just as the legendary Azumah Nelson did against Wilfredo Gomez in 1984 and Ike Quartey, when he beat Crisanto España in 1994. 


But, in my opinion, fighting a different opponent than Garcia provides the Ghanaian pugilist a more realistic opportunity of realising his dreams in the sport.



Veronica Ehwia Posted on September 19, 2018 10:17

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1 in 3 bitcoin millionaires have either strong hands or forgotten passwords.

Hodling is closer to the rule than the exception, even among the richer bitcoin wallets.

A new study by Diar has crunched some numbers in a new way, as studies are wont to do, and discovered a few things about bitcoin holders.

The less surprising part might be that over 55% of bitcoin currently sit in millionaire wallets, defined in this case as wallets holding 200 or more bitcoin, currently worth about US$1.27 million.

Bitcoin's wealth distribution is widely known to be enormously skewed to the rich, with just 1% of wallets holding about half of all bitcoin. That's almost exactly the same as the world as a whole, with the top 1% holding about 50% of global wealth. The trickle-up effect is strong.

Much more surprising might be Diar's findings that over a third of the bitcoin collectively sitting in those millionaire wallets have never made an outgoing transaction. These rich collectors either have some very strong hands, in crypto parlance, or they've forgotten their passwords.

Strong hands

Strong hands refers to having the strength to keep holding "bags" of cryptocurrency regardless of price changes. In bitcoin land it means resisting the urge to sell through faith that it will keep going up forever as its non-traditional economic model attempts to dictate.

According to Google trends, interest in "strong hands" as a search term peaked in December-January right as cryptocurrency prices did, so it might mostly be used in the context of resisting the urge to sell at high prices, or strong hand-havers being rewarded for holding their bitcoin bags over the price slumps of the preceding years.

That time of year also coincided with a new influx of strong hand-havers. If you bought bitcoin at its all time high, there might be some consolation in knowing that many rich people did too.

While a third of millionaire (200+BTC) wallets have never made any outgoing transactions, that number goes up to 42% when you look at the period of December 2017 to September 17. Of that 42%, more than a quarter (27%) have even continued to add to their stashes throughout the year.

These findings are a broad mirror of previous analyses, such as Unchained Capitals' "hodl waves" study which points at a much stronger inclination towards hodling and strong hand-having among most bitcoin holders than one might generally expect.

"Impressively, 1/3 of the Bitcoins that are sitting in these [millionaire] wallets, have never made an outgoing transaction, which, outside of exchange wallets could indicate either lost private keys, lowering real supply, or a very strong resolve by cryptocurrency believers."

"Long-term investors are keeping the faith in the king of cryptocurrencies despite the bears market in 2018," Diar says. "The top-heavy ownership of Bitcoins of course does not indicate a select number of wealthy individuals solely however, as the largest wallets are owned by cryptocurrency exchanges that are holding the coins on behalf of clients. In fact, 3.8% of the total bitcoin supply are currently sitting in the top 5 wallets that are known to be managed by major exchanges – approx. $4.2Bn in value."

Albert Ulebe Posted on September 19, 2018 09:47

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North and South Korea plan to bid for 2032 Summer Olympics.

The Olympic rings are reflected in a glass as a spectator watches the mixed doubles semi-final curling match between Canada and Norway at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Gangneung, South Korea, Feb. 12, 2018.  (Associated Press)

PYONGYANG, North Korea –  North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and South Korean President Moon Jae-in said in a statement Wednesday that the countries planned to jointly bid for the 2032 Summer Olympics.

At a major summit, the two leaders gave no details of which cities might host certain events at the games, or how advanced the plans were.

The International Olympic Committee traditionally does not announce host cities until seven years ahead of the games. That would give the Koreas until 2025 to put together a joint bid.


Germany has already announced plans for a multi-city bid for 2032, as has Brisbane, Australia. The India Olympic Committee has also indicated its interest in hosting the 2032 Games.

A successful bid by the Koreas would mark the second time South Korea hosted or co-hosted the Summer Games, the first being 1988 in Seoul. South Korea also hosted the Pyeongchang Winter Games in February.

Asia also features in the next two Olympics — the 2020 Summer Games in Tokyo and the 2022 Winter Games in Beijing, which also hosted the summer version in 2008.

khojho Posted on September 19, 2018 09:17

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Revealed: Guardiola working on fresh approach to bring Champions League success to Man City

The Catalan's tactical framework is top secret but it has emerged that he is working on specific improvements to help deliver European success

Manchester City fans worried about it, journalists enquired about it.

Would Amazon’s ‘All or Nothing’ documentary leak Pep Guardiola’s closely guarded tactical secrets to the world?

Of course not. For one thing, the Barcelona-based MediaPro are co-producers and their links to City’s Catalans are so established that they would not want to reveal any sensitive information any more than City themselves would.

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And when it comes to the day-to-day life at Manchester City, there is little more sensitive than Guardiola’s tactical secrets.

The Catalan’s methodology is top secret. Only his trusted lieutenants and the club’s head analysts - a group of less than 10 people - have access to the password-protected files containing the Premier League champions’ most detailed plans.

Everybody else, including many City coaches and visitors from governing bodies, is kept well away from rooms where these plans are written down in notepads, or displayed on tactical boards.

One of those boards features heavily in ‘All or Nothing’, but it is one thing to highlight Guardiola’s desire to get his team in behind Liverpool’s high defence. The real information, the advice to players, the triggers, the passing patterns, are quite another.

And with no sign of a third Marti Perarnau tactical opus in the works, the majority of City's plans for domestic and European domination will remain under lock and encryption key.

But sources close to the City boss have told Goal that he has come up with brand new ideas ahead of a fresh assault on the Champions League.

The Catalan is not only working on general improvements, but specific new passing combinations and subtle tweaks specifically designed to be useful in European competition.

There is no coach more scrutinised than Guardiola when it comes to success in the Champions League and in the coming months he will be asked time and again about his record in the competition and whether he can finally win the trophy for a third time - something only two men have achieved in history.

But with a squad as talented, versatile and intelligent as the one he has assembled, it is right that expectations are high of City this season.

And Guardiola is targeting at least a semi-final appearance.

As far back as April, when City were knocked out by Liverpool, he had established three key areas in need of particular improvement.

He believes City can improve individually, collectively and emotionally.

Any player should be capable of individual improvement but Guardiola wants to see more from specific members of his squad. For example, for Raheem Sterling to improve his finishing, for John Stones and Gabriel Jesus to maintain their confidence, and for Kyle Walker and Nicolas Otamendi, among others, to eradicate mistakes in big games.

Guardiola also wants his team to evolve tactically, something that has become evident in the early weeks of the new season. City have used different shapes in each of their five games so far and their two first home matches highlighted Guardiola’s desire to mix things up; in the first he kept his pacey players on the bench and filled the team with central playmakers; in the second he emptied the middle of the pitch and played Sterling and Riyad Mahrez in something resembling a front four.

The City boss accepted long before last season ended that his side would most likely not break all records once again this time around, so he focused instead on making them even more solid - particularly in the biggest games - and, above all, eradicating any complacency. In recent weeks he has repeatedly challenged his charges to avoid some of the early-season problems he endured at Barcelona and Bayern Munich, where his defending champions suffered shock results, and has introduced a raft of training ground fines in a bid to keep players on their toes.

And when it comes to the Champions League he will go even further. As well as the general improvements he is working hard to implement, he has developed new in-game passing patterns.

As one example, which would work on either flank, City have been practising a method of getting in behind a defence by playing the ball out from the goalkeeper to a centre-back, on to a full-back, directly into a forward, back to a midfielder and then out to a winger.

Article continues below

City are keeping their opponents guessing by switching the positions of two players, for example a full-back and an attacking midfielder. Key to that particular ploy will be Benjamin Mendy, whose increased tactical understanding has already proven important for the Blues this season.

He has been deadly either out wide or through the middle, and his specific instructions are to attack the space if it opens up for him, or to play it to the winger, who would therefore be free, if the space closes. Simple, but it has proven effective so far, and City are hoping his current injury worries are nothing serious.

City’s line-ups, tactics and performances in these opening weeks are proof that Guardiola is searching for new ways to take his side forward. We’ll soon find out if he can find the answers in Europe.


kabby Posted on September 19, 2018 08:52

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The $100,000 stocks that Kanye West bought Kim Kardashian for Christmas are up by 40% (DE000A1EWW, US02313510).

Kanye West's investments have turned out to be very sound indeed. The rapper gave his wife Kim Kardashian West shares in Netflix, Disney, Adidas, Apple, and Amazon for Christmas last year — and they've certainly paid off.

  • Kim Kardashian West might have a future on Wall Street.
  • The reality TV star was gifted shares in five major companies for Christmas last year by her husband Kanye West.
  • The stocks have since soared 40% on average, according to data from Markets Insider.
  • The companies include Netflix, Adidas, Disney, Apple and Amazon.
  • Top performers were Netflix and Amazon, who rocketed 61% and 74% respectively since Kim was given shares.
  • It is understood that Kanye bought his wife around $100,000 worth of stock in both Adidas and Disney.

You may remember that Kim Kardashian West received some slightly odd Christmas presents from her husband Kanye West last year.

Kanye surprised his wife with hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of stock in major companies, including Netflix, Disney, Adidas, Apple, and Amazon.

It turns out the rapper's investments on Kardashian's behalf were sound ones — at the time of writing, Kim's stocks are up an average of 40%, according to the most recent figures from Markets Insider.

It's not clear how much stock Kanye invested in all the companies. However, we do know from Kardashian's Instagram stories at the time that she was given 995 Adidas shares and 920 Disney shares, which would both have been valued at around $100,000 at the time.


Kim and Kanye.

(Getty/Larry Busacca)


If Kanye bought the equivalent value in shares for the other companies as he did for Adidas and Disney, then Kim's overall profits would be $185,000 — not bad for less than a year.

Kanye's investments extoll the virtues of a diversified portfolio — even though Kim's Disney shares are down 2% since she was given them, they've been more than offset by her other stocks.

Amazon and Netflix were the standout investments. Both companies saw their share prices soar 64% and 84% respectively since Kim got a slice of the action.

Mark Ackred, CEO and Founder of app-only stockbroker dabbl, told Business Insider: "What this shows us is the importance of buying shares in the brands you know, love, and trust rather than trying to pick the next high performing stock, as the former has more longevity."

Albert Ulebe Posted on September 19, 2018 08:44

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How music saved a failing school

A primary school in a deprived part of Bradford has gone from failing school to success story. The transformation, it says, is down to a decision to rebuild its curriculum around music.

Adyan, who is nearly five, can barely stand still in the school's music room. His mother, Rabia, is growing impatient.

"Come on: one, two, three, start," she says. "Please, sing."

But Adyan doesn't. He's scampered off to another part of the room, shouting.

He's meant to be showing me that he can recite the alphabet while playing a simple tune on the piano - a big achievement for a child who could barely speak English when he first arrived at school.

"Adyan is a hyperactive child and he has traces of autism," explains Rabia. "Sometimes it can be really hard to understand him. Being a mummy I always said, 'Yes, I can do it'. But I don't understand it. The music is unlocking some of that communication."

At last, with no warning, Adyan rushes to the piano and launches into his alphabetical journey. Each cautious press of the piano key seems to give him the confidence to sing the next letter.

There's a wobble around "m, n, o, p…", when he begins to shout the letters in a distracted way. But then the soft piano sounds seem to lull him back into a state of concentration.

At "z" a beaming Rabia bursts into applause, with Jimmy Rotheram, the school's music coordinator, joining in.

"He gave him courage," says Rabia, pointing at Rotheram, who is standing by her side. "He didn't let him go.

"Give Mr. Rotheram a high-five, Adyan."

Image captionJimmy Rotheram is Feversham Primary's first music coordinator

Jimmy Rotheram is a man full of nervous energy, who exudes a passion for music.

When not teaching, he plays funk and soul on Yorkshire's live music scene.

In his late 20s and 30s he taught music in secondary schools and colleges. But he left the profession feeling overworked and underpaid, hoping instead to be a full-time musician.

When he couldn't make ends meet, he began supply teaching again, but this time at primary schools, including this one, Feversham Primary Academy. He found the younger children's natural enthusiasm fully ignited his passion for teaching music.

"I always use the analogy of swimming," he says. "If you drop a young baby into the water they will just swim naturally. If you leave it too long they forget how to swim."

He arrived at Feversham Primary at just the right time. In 2013 a new headmaster was looking to make radical changes.

Government inspectors had put Feversham Primary in special measures. This means they thought the school was offering an unacceptable standard of education and needed new leadership. In November 2012 it had become an Academy, run by a trust.

Image captionHeadmaster Naveed Idrees was keen to bring a new ethos to the failing school

"The children were disengaged," explains current headmaster Naveed Idrees. "The curriculum was unstimulating, behaviour was a massive issue, parents were completely switched off. We deserved to be where we were."

Meeting government examination targets would be a challenge for any school in Feversham Primary's position. More than 98% of its pupils, including Adyan, speak English as an additional language, the vast majority being from a Pakistani background.

It's also in a catchment area that, despite a nice suburban veneer, is dealing with high levels of poverty and crime.

But six years on, the school inspectors rate the school very differently. According to performance tables, it is in the top 10% of schools in England when it comes to progressing children's learning in core subjects like maths and English. For the eldest pupils at the school who have come through the system, their progress in reading and maths places them in the top 2% and 1% respectively in England.

So how did it achieve this remarkable turnaround?

Image captionThe vast majority of pupils at Feversham Primary Academy speak English as an "additional language"

It is a myth that English, maths and science are the most important subjects, according to Idrees.

"What we discovered is that children need to be engaged not just at the level of the mind and body, but also the level of the soul."

The school took a gamble by focusing its resources on music, creating a full-time job for Rotheram in a brand new role, that of music coordinator. It was partly able to fund this through pupil premium funding, the extra money schools are given to support their children from the poorest backgrounds.

It also appointed new specialists in drama, science and design technology, but government inspectors and the school's own headmaster highlight music as the catalyst that changed the school.

"When I first started supply teaching, music would often not be taught here at all," recalls Rotheram.

"I don't blame teachers for this, because it's very hard if you've not been trained to do something."

In his experience, music often falls to the bottom of the pile in schools. It is not a core subject in England's education system, unlike maths, English or science. There's no minimum amount of time that schools are obliged to devote to it - there are just a few general targets for musical competence.

"It's just a tick-box exercise. It might be just putting a CD on and writing about Beethoven's trip to the countryside," says Rotheram.


Media captionWATCH: The lessons are designed so children actively engage with music

Pupils at Feversham now have three hours of music timetabled into their school week. In fact many pupils are doing up to eight hours a week, explains Rotheram, by choosing to do things like choirs and clubs. This is a much bigger commitment to music than you would get in most state schools.

The music classes built into the school timetable are all highly practical and active - a far cry from children passively listening to a CD.

"My number one rule is that it should always be a joy, never a torture," says Rotheram.

Find out more

Listen to World Hacks: The schools changing lives through running and musicon the BBC World Service

For the younger pupils, his classes take on a party atmosphere. Children charge around the room, with Rotheram directing the action from behind the piano.

"I like it because it is very energetic and entertaining," volunteers an exhausted year one student.

Other exercises like "Jack in the Box" are like memory games, with children taking it in turn to sing back short musical phrases.

Older children play more complex musical games, as well as sight-reading songs.

Image captionPupils are encouraged to perform at a weekly assembly

Though Rotheram's lessons seem exuberant and party-like, they are actually underpinned by a carefully thought-out musical method that is specially designed for children.

It is known as the "Kodaly method", after the man who invented it, Hungarian musician Zoltan Kodaly (1882-1967).

A celebrated classical composer, he also had a keen interest in folk music and a passion for unlocking children's musical potential.

After much research, he devised a programme for teaching children music that used popular Hungarian folk songs. It was based primarily around singing, so no expensive musical instruments were required.

Image copyrightDEA / A. DAGLI ORTI

Image captionZoltan Kodaly worked with the government in the 1950s to spread his musical method in Hungary

The accessibility of the method appealed to the Communist Party and from the 1950s it was the standard way to teach music in Hungarian schools. It remained so until the fall of Communism in the late 1980s.

Rotheram has been training himself up in the Kodaly method since joining Feversham, taking extra classes during weekends and holidays, to refine what he teaches at the school. He's attracted to the idea that every child has musical potential, whatever their social background.

"It's brilliant here because I've got the chance to nurture children from the parents and babies' group all the way up to age 11. That's phenomenal, you can really develop every step of the way," he says.

Image captionThe school has taken measures to ensure musical exercises even become part of playtime

A conscious decision was made to let music permeate throughout the school. At playtime you can hear the echoes of Rotheram's lessons as older children, appointed as playground leaders, get younger pupils to repeat the musical exercises they learned in class.

There is also a musical assembly every week where pupils perform, and guest musicians too.

These events have been vital in getting parents on board, many of whom were sceptical of the musical revolution. Some parents resisted on religious grounds, complaining to the headmaster.

"When we first started out we'd do concerts and we'd get one or two parents turning up. And they'd be on their phones the whole time, not clapping when the children finished singing," recalls Rotheram.

"So we started getting Muslim musicians to come in to the school, to show children you can be a Muslim and be a good musician. I managed to get Ahmad Hussain, one of the best Nasheed singers in the world.

Image copyrightIQRA

Image captionPopular Nasheed singer Ahmad Hussain, a star on YouTube, visits the school

Nasheeds are Islamic songs and Jimmy has incorporated some of these into his lessons, as well as African and East European folk songs, to appeal to his pupils - and their parents.

But can this musical revolution explain the school's improved academic results, which have seen it shoot up the performance tables?

Someone with a keen interest in this is Dr Katie Overy, an academic at the University of Edinburgh.

She has been studying the impact of music on areas like education and therapy for 25 years and has been in contact with Rotheram.

"There are an increasing number of studies that have shown that music can benefit language development, perceptual and social skills," she says.

Music can develop precise timing skills and this might benefit learning in other subjects, says Overy.

Rotheram says that his pupils have enhanced concentration and memory skills.

However, there is no scientifically proven connection between music and improved academic performance. And of course, the changing fortunes of a school can be down to complex reasons.

Image captionSome pupils will do up to eight hours of music each week

Though he acknowledges this, headmaster Idrees still believes music is the key to his school's success and wants others to take notice.

There is pressure on schools to avoid putting resources into music and arts, he explains, in case it negatively affects exam results in core subjects.

"What I can say to headteachers is that music and arts are the bedrock of educational success. Your results will go up, not down."

For Rotheram, it doesn't seem to be school test scores that motivate him. It's the smaller, more personal victories that take place in his music room. Like when a struggling child, such as Adyan, finds the strength through music to complete the alphabet, bringing tears of joy to his mother.

Dougal Shaw is on Twitter: @dougalshawBBC

Join the conversation - find us on FacebookInstagramYouTube and Twitter.

seth Posted on September 19, 2018 08:15

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EU migration: How has it changed the UK?

When almost 17.5 million people voted for Brexit, concerns about immigration were at the forefront of many of their minds. As the referendum campaign kicked off, official statistics revealed near-record levels of net migration, undermining David Cameron's attempts to show that his policies to control it were working.

But despite almost everyone having a view about EU migration, the evidence for how it really affects the UK was thin on the ground.

A chunky report by the Migration Advisory Committee, an independent public body that advises the government, is a serious attempt to try to explain all the effects of European Economic Area (EEA) immigration.

So let's go through the key facts.

1. The UK has undeniably become more European

There's no disputing this one.

The UK has seen more people arriving to live here than leave for other shores and the population has been rising for two decades.

Going back to the late 1990s, although freedom of movement was already in place, there wasn't substantial concern about EU migration.

Things changed when eastern and central European nations joined in 2004 and the UK (unlike Germany and others) chose not to exercise a seven-year block on workers from these poorer countries accessing the UK's labour market.

And the rest is history. Between 2004 and 2017, the share of the population who were from an EEA country rose from 1.5% to just over 5%.

But things are changing again.

The number of EU citizens moving to the UK has decreased since the Brexit vote.

Workers from the east now earn more at home than before. In 2004, the British pound bought more than seven Polish Zlotys, while now it is less than five.

So for potential eastern European migrants, moving to Britain looks less and less attractive.

2. EEA migrants tend to have more skills than British workers

This stands to reason - the most skilled are the most likely to have the get-up-and-go to move countries - and that's been seen in economic migration the world over.

But that average figure masks a more complex picture.

The most highly skilled EEA migrants to the UK are likely to be from the "old member states" - including the original founding nations such as France, Germany and Italy.

The figures also show that workers from the "new member states" are better qualified than their British peers. But they're not always using those skills to maximise how much they can earn in the UK.

3. There's a big difference in how much European workers earn (*national average)

If you look at the range of hourly rates paid to European workers, those from the east are likely to earn less than those from the old member states.

They also tend to be in jobs earning less than British workers.

In the early days of eastern European migration, there were no end of anecdotal stories of highly qualified people coming to the UK to do very basic jobs because they could earn so much more than at home.

But the all-important question is what effect does this have on the national coffers?

4. EEA workers are paying more in tax than they are taking out in benefits

Figures calculated for the Migration Advisory Committee show that the average adult migrant from the EEA contributes £2,300 more to the UK public purse than the average UK resident.

Old member state citizens contribute the most - but even the lower-paid eastern European workers are making a net public contribution. In all, say the MAC, EEA migrants paid £4.7bn more in taxes than they took out in benefits and public services.

It's a big number - but the MAC says it's small beer. Averaged out over the whole of the UK-born population, it amounts to an extra £1.70 a week, per person.

5. Migration can lead to new jobs - rather than competition for existing ones

Take one example, in the agriculture sector: the graph clearly shows that there had been a long-term decline in British production of asparagus, cherries, raspberries and strawberries. But all four crops have grown or stabilised since 2004 when new workers from the east became available.

Farmers, quite simply, saw an opportunity to expand thanks to a massive supply of cheap labour they didn't have before. They say that British workers, by and large, don't want the jobs, with long hours and not-so-fantastic pay.

What's not remotely clear is how employers would respond if the ready supply of EEA labour dried up, should free movement end.

Critics of the current system say they would inevitably have to offer better terms and conditions to existing workers in the UK and invest more in productivity and technology - think strawberry-picking machine, rather than strawberry picker. That, say critics of free movement, would be a good thing for the UK.

And that brings us to the other big topic - is the disruption caused by mass migration affecting the UK in other ways?

6. There's no evidence that EEA migrants are draining public services.

The MAC report looked at a number of key public services - starting with health - and found EEA migrants contribute more to the NHS and social care than they use.

EEA workers make up an increasing share of the workforce in this sector, although historically the UK has relied more on nurses and doctors born in Commonwealth countries.

The NHS doesn't record the country of birth of patients. So the report used the fact that EEA migrants to the UK tend to be younger - and we know that more is spent on caring for elderly than young people - to conclude that they're contributing more through their taxes than they are taking out.

The MAC did find an effect in both private and social housing, though.

Its analysis suggests that migration has increased house prices and added to the demand for social housing, "inevitably at the expense" of others.

Although migrants are a small fraction of people in social housing, they are a rising number.

However, the report concludes that the reduction in stock - because too few homes for social rent are being built - has a part to play too.

And it adds that the impact of migration on house prices cannot be seen "in isolation from other government policies".

All of which leaves one final question: what has been the effect on communities?

7. It's hard to measure the impact of migration on communities

The MAC says this is the hardest question to answer. Anecdotally, people are concerned about change - and the committee says ministers need to do more to monitor and manage how migration affects local communities.

But it also said it found no evidence that migration had damaged communities through crime.

Citizens of new member states were more likely to receive a caution or conviction, than UK-born people, but there are also disproportionately more younger men among migrant workers - and young men of any background are the most likely to break the law.

The MAC found no evidence that migration, despite all the apparent concern, had damaged people's sense of belonging.

Two academic studies, the British Household Panel Survey and the UK Household Longitudinal study found that people like their neighbourhoods more now than ever.

The government's own annual study of how involved people are in their community has found no alarm bells ringing because of increased migration. However, some critics say the pace of change to the character of some communities, brought on by migration, can't be fully measured by these nationwide studies.

seth Posted on September 19, 2018 08:14

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Shapeshift CEO: Bitcoin Drop Beneficial in Building Market Foundation.

According to Erik Voorhees, the CEO of popular cryptocurrency trading platform ShapeShift, the bear market of Bitcoin is crucial for building market foundation and infrastructure.

He explained:

“Bear markets are for builders. The calm, the quiet, the disillusionment. While the fickle and fair-weather peer around with nervous insecurity, the builders become the market’s foundation, preparing the mortar and stone of tomorrow’s towers.”

Why Corrections Were Historically Important For Crypto

Over the past eight years, in 2010, 2012, 2014, 2016, and 2018, Bitcoin recorded five major corrections, with the latest 67 percent drop this year being the smallest correction in terms of percentage loss since 2010.

Last year, throughout November and December, the cryptocurrency market saw unprecedented levels of speculation and interest, as national television networks and mainstream media outlets continued to fuel hype around the emerging asset class.

In some regions like South Korea, the price of Bitcoin surpassed the $20,000 mark, even reaching $24,000 at one point as a result of the so-called “Kimchi Premium.”


Investors that have been involved in the market since the early days of Bitcoin were understandably unfazed by the correction, given the four previous 80 percent corrections the dominant cryptocurrency experienced.

But, new investors including many in South Korea that invested large sums of capital into the cryptocurrency market with their savings and loans experienced substantial losses.

While the bear market of cryptocurrencies in 2018 was devastating for every investor in the market, Voorhees and other experts like Coinbase chief technical officer (CTO) Balaji Srinivasan emphasized that the correction was needed to ensure that developers and companies within the sector can build proper infrastructure to handle the next wave of interest and demand.

In late 2017, blockchain networks like Bitcoin and Ethereum struggled to handle increasing demand which pushed transaction fees to the $5 to $30 range. The market experienced wild volatility as it saw an influx of new capital at a rate that was previously unseen.

If the market had continued to see similar demand and momentum throughout 2018, blockchain networks would have had failed to support rising user activity and demand.

As Srinivasan said:

“The reason this thing [cryptocurrencies] really had legs was after 2011 when there was a bubble and it went up, and it came down, and it didn’t go to zero. It kind of stabilized and kept coming back up. Around that time was basically when I said ‘okay, this is going to stick around, it’s got legs, it’s not going to zero.’ That was kind of a buidl year. We have this kind of bubble-crash-build phases in crypto.”

Progress in 2018

The bull market of cryptocurrencies in late 2017 was primarily initiated by individual investors and retail traders, as institutions were not involved in the market.

This year, with the efforts, of Bakkt, Coinbase, BitGo, Starbucks, Microsoft, Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, and Citigroup, institutions are expected to enter the cryptocurrency market.

Public blockchain networks including major cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum have demonstrated rapid progress in scaling, which will allow the market to support the next wave of hype, demand, and interest towards the cryptocurrency sector.

Albert Ulebe Posted on September 19, 2018 08:00

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Aboriginal man fights possible deportation from Australia

An Aboriginal man has launched legal action against Australia over what he argues is an attempt to deport him to Papua New Guinea (PNG).

Daniel Love, 39, was born in PNG but has lived in Australia since he was five. He has a PNG mother and Aboriginal Australian father.

He does not have Australian citizenship and had his visa cancelled last month after serving a jail term.

Immigration officials say they cannot comment publicly on the case.

Lawyers for Love argue that he cannot be expelled from Australia because he is an indigenous man whose father is an Australian citizen.

"Because Daniel is a member of the Aboriginal race and he is a member of the Australian community, he should not be penalised by laws regarding naturalisation and aliens," law firm Maurice Blackburn said in a statement to the BBC.

Love, the father of five Australian children, has been in an immigration detention facility since his permanent residency visa was cancelled.

According his legal team, Australian authorities cancelled Love's visa due to his recent 12-month jail sentence and "substantial criminal record".

'Lineage here for generations'

Love has launched a case in the High Court of Australia, pointing out that he is also recognised as indigenous by his community, the Murri people.

Image copyrightLOVE FAMILY

Image captionDaniel Love moved to Australia from PNG when he was a boy

His sister, Violet Love, an Australian citizen, acknowledged her brother's criminal history but said he deserved the same rights as Australian nationals.

"[He] probably has more of a sense of his identity being indigenous, being a Murri man, than he has of his PNG heritage," she told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.

"Do you need a piece of paper to have the right to remain here after your lineage has been here for generations?"

She added that her brother did not have any connections in PNG, and did not speak the local language.

Love's family has lobbied Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton to use his ministerial discretion to reinstate his visa.

A spokesman for the Department of Home Affairs told the BBC. "As this matter is before the courts it would be inappropriate to comment."

Visa cancellations on rise

The number of visa cancellations in Australia has increased significantly in recent years, according to government statistics.

Since 2014, laws have allowed visas to be revoked if a person has been convicted of a crime carrying a jail sentence of a year or longer.

In recent weeks, Mr Dutton has faced controversy over his intervention in visa cases involving European au pairs.

seth Posted on September 19, 2018 07:59

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Mexico corpse trailer: Jalisco forensic chief Luis Octavio Cotero fired

The top forensic official in Mexico's Jalisco state has been fired after it emerged some 150 corpses were being stored in a refrigerated trailer because local mortuaries were full.

But Luis Octavio Cotero denied he was responsible for the storage of the unclaimed bodies, and accused the state government of making him a scapegoat.

The trailer was spotted in at least two areas of Guadalajara city.

Its contents became known when nearby residents complained of the smell.

'It could make us all sick'

"We have a lot of children in this neighbourhood... it could make us all sick," resident José Luis Tovar said.

Laws in Mexico prevent the cremation of bodies linked to violent crime until investigations have concluded and the case is closed.

Local authorities said they were looking for a longer-term solution to store the bodies following a recent wave of violence.

Jalisco state spokesman Gonzalez Sánchez told local radio that Mr Cotero was dismissed because he failed to take responsibility for storing the bodies, Reuters news agency reports.

But Mr Cotero was quoted by the Excelsior newspaper as saying the decision to rent the trailer had been made by the office of the state attorney general two years ago, as a temporary solution to handle the growing number of bodies. He also said there was a second trailer that contained a further 150 bodies.

He told Reuters he believed he was being made a scapegoat because he had questioned the investigation into the disappearance of three film students earlier this year.

"Only now are they looking around ... It's inefficacy that has put our state in such a sorry position," he said.

Foul stench

The refrigerated trailer had previously been parked at a warehouse in the neighbourhood of Duraznera, on the outskirts of Guadalajara, but after two weeks the residents began to complain of a foul stench and said the container was attracting flies.

It was then moved to an empty lot in the suburb of Tlajomulco de Zúñiga, but residents there began to protest at the weekend.

"We don't want it here. They need to put it somewhere else, it stinks," Mr Tovar said.

Mexico has suffered a wave of violent killings in recent years.

More than 200,000 people have been killed or have disappeared since December 2006, when Mexico's government declared war on organised crime.

Mexico experienced its most violent year in 2017 with more than 25,000 murders, official figures suggest. It is the highest annual tally since modern records began. Organised crime accounted for nearly three-quarters of those murders.

seth Posted on September 19, 2018 07:57

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Remembering a global luminary: Kwame Nkrumah revisited

Ghana's first President, Dr Kwame Nkrumah

Action without thought is empty. Thought without action is blind. Revolutions are brought about by men, by men who think as men of action and act as men of thought. It is clear that we find an African Solution to our problems and that this can only be found in African unity. Divided we are weak; United, Africa could become one of the greatest forces for good in the world.

– Kwame Nkrumah Francis Nwiaa Kofi Nkrumah [popularly known as Kwame Nkrumah] was born to Kofi Ngonloma and Elizabeth Nyaniba on Saturday, September 21, 1909, in Nkroful, the current administrative capital of Ellembelle District in the Western Region. Kwame Nkrumah commenced his early education at the Roman Catholic Elementary School in Awiane [Half-Assini], now the administrative capital of Jomoro Municipality in the Western Region, where his father, Kofi Ngonloma, operated as a goldsmith. He proved to be an adept student. At the age of sixteen years, Kwame Nkrumah became a student –teacher at the same institution he started his academic life.

In 1927, whilst on an educational tour, Kwame Nkrumah was identified by the Rev. Alec Garden Fraser, Principal of the Government Training College in Accra for advanced studies. Later the Government Training College amalgamated with the Prince of Wales College at Achimota in Accra which meant Kwame Nkrumah had to pursue and complete his studies at the Achimota College. At Achimota College, Dr. Kwegyir Aggrey introduced Kwame Nkrumah to the ideas of Marcus Garvey and Dr. W. E. B. Du Bois.

Kwame Nkrumah later admitted that of all the literature he studied, the book that did more than any other to fire his enthusiasm was Philosophy And Opinions of Marcus Garvey, an influence which gave him a great exposure to his political career, a career which would place him among a pantheon of global iconic figures such as Alexander the Great of Greece, Peter the Great of Russia, George Washington of the USA, Otto von Bismarck of Germany, Lee Kuan Yuan of Singapore, Napoléon Bonaparte of France, etc.


1930: He was awarded a Teacher’s Certificate from the Prince of Wales College, Achimota 1931: He became a tutor at the Roman Catholic school in Edina [Elmina] and later became a Tutor at another Catholic Educational Institution in Axim.

1932: He took up a teaching appoint at the Roman Catholic Seminary at Amissano in Elmina.

1935: He gained admission to Lincoln University, Pennsylvania, USA. 1939: He was awarded with a Bachelor of Arts in Economics and Sociology.

1942: He was once more awarded with a Bachelor of Arts in Theology at Lincoln University

1943: He further pursued a Master of Science in Education and a Master of Art programme in Philosophy and completed these programmes in 1945.

1945: He was adjudged the Most Outstanding Professor of the Year by the Lincolnian.

1945: He left the USA for the UK with the sole aim of reading Law and to complete his thesis for a Doctoral Degree. In the UK [London] Kwame Nkrumah came into contact with George Padmore. Nkrumah and Padmore were subsequently appointed as joint Political Secretaries to aid in the promotion and organization of the Sixth Pan African Congress in Manchester,

UK 1947: On the counsel of Dr. Ebenezer Ako Adjei, George Alfred Kaku Nwonda Ekyi Grant provided passage money of one hundred pound sterling to Kwame Nkrumah to return to the Gold Coast to take up an appointment as the General Secretary of the United Gold Coast Convention [UGCC]. 1948: Kwame Nkrumah together with five other Central Committee Members of the United Gold Coast Convention [UGCC] was arrested and detained following the Riots and Disturbances of February 28. They later came to known and referred to as the BIG SIX.

1949: Kwame Nkrumah broke away from the UGCC and formed the Convention People’s Party [CPP] on June 12.

1950: On January 8, Kwame Nkrumah declared Positive Action, the corollary was that he was arrested and detained by the British administrators in the Gold Coast.

1951: Kwame Nkrumah contested and won an Election whilst in prison with a vote of 22,780 from a total ballot cast of 23,122 to win the Accra Central Seat, now known as the Odododiodioo Constituency in the Greater Accra Region. He was subsequently released from prison to become the Leader of Government Business.

1956: Kwame Nkrumah contested and won an Election on the ticket of the Convention People’s Party [CPP] that led to the Gold Coast’s political liberation.

1957: On March 6, Kwame Nkrumah declared the then Gold Coast as an independent state with the new nomenclature Ghana. Kwame Nkrumah was hailed as Osagyefo which literally means the REDEEMER.

1958: Kwame Nkrumah got married to Helena Ritz Fathia, a relative of President Gamal Abdel Nasser of Egypt. The union was blessed with three children namely Gorke, Samia Yaaba [2016 CPP Parliamentary Candidate of Jomoro Constituency] and Sekou.

1959: In November, the All-African Trade Union Federation met to co-ordinate the African Labour Movement

1960: On July 1, Kwame Nkrumah declared Ghana as a Republic.

1961: Kwame Nkrumah extended the Ghana-Guinea Union of 1958 to include Mali under the Presidency of Modibo Keita to become Ghana-Guinea-Mali Union.

1962: There was an assassination attempt on the life of Kwame Nkrumah at Kulungugu in the Northern Region of Ghana.

1963: Kwame Nkrumah’s Organization of African Unity [OAU] now African Union [AU] was inaugurated with a conference attended by thirty-two [32] independent African countries in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia’s National capital city.

1964: With the other political parties disbanded by Parliament except the CPP, Dr. Kwame Nkrumah became the Life President and the CPP was to be the only political force in Ghana.

1966: On February 24, Kwame Nkrumah was ousted in a joint military and police coup d’état whilst on a trip to Hanoi in North Vietnam. He stayed in Conakry, the Guinean National Capital city as Co-President with President Sekou Toure.

1972: On April 27, Kwame Nkrumah passed away in Bucharest the Romanian National Capital at the age of Sixty-two [62].

1972: On May 13 and 14, Sekou Toure and Guinea organized an elaborate Final Funeral Rites in Conakry for a comrade, an educationist, a liberator, a writer, a philosopher, a socialist, a motivational speaker, the visionary, a true Pan Africanist, an astute politician and a legendary statesman, the late Kwame Nkrumah.

1972: On July 7, upon an appeal from General Ignatius kutu Acheampong, Kwame Nkrumah’s mortal remains was flown to Ghana and re-interred in Nkroful, the Original birthplace of Osagyefo Kwame Nkrumah at the very spot he was born.

1992: On July 1, under the leadership of Flt. Lt. John Jeremiah Rawlings, Kwame Nkrumah’s body was re-interred at the very scene where he declared Ghana as an emancipated country at the current Kwame Nkrumah Memorial Park in the National Capital of Ghana, Accra. In his lifetime, Dr. Kwame Nkrumah authored so many literature and the collections include the following; 1947: Towards Colonial Freedom 1957:

Ghana: The Autobiography of Kwame Nkrumah 1963: Africa Must Unite 1963: African Personality 1965: Neo-Colonialism: The Last Stage of Imperialism 1967: Axioms of Kwame Nkrumah 1967: Challenge of the Congo 1967: African Socialism Revisited 1968: Dark Days in Ghana 1968: Handbook of Revolutionary Warfare 1970: Consciencism: Philosophy and ideology for De-Colonization 1970: Rhodesia File 1970: Class Struggle in Africa 1973: The Struggle Continues 1973: I speak of Freedom 1973: Revolutionary Path As the First Ghanaian President, Kwame Nkrumah chalked extraordinary successes in infrastructural projects and his accomplishments are monumental and most of these projects include: Tema Township/Metropolis Tema Motorway Tema Harbour Akosombo Dam Peduase Lodge (Presidential Retreat) Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital (KATH) Adomi Bridge University of Cape Coast Asuatuare Sugar Factory Kumasi Shoe Factory, etc.

A number of Universities around the World decorated Kwame Nkrumah with honorary doctorate degrees and some of them include Lincoln University [USA], Moscow State University [Russia], Cairo University [Egypt], Jagellonian University in Krakow [Poland] and Humboldt University, in Berlin, [Germany]. In 2009, His Excellency Professor John Evans Fiifi Atta Mills of blessed memory declared September 21, the 100th anniversary of Kwame Nkrumah’s birth to be the Founder’s Day, and was to be observed as a statutory holiday to commemorate the life, works and legacy Kwame Nkrumah.

Kwame Nkrumah has perfectly immortalized his name in gold in the political compendium of the World. Kwame Nkrumah is undoubtedly, a reputable institution; the present and future leaders must always strive to learn from and aspire to be. Indeed the World must eternally be grateful to the words, works and worth of Kwame Nkrumah.

Happy Birthday to you, Osagyefo Dr. Francis Nwia Kwame Nkrumah!!!!

Nii Sackey Posted on September 19, 2018 04:57

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'I lost my entire family to a cult': How one woman escaped Grace Road

A South Korean church which believes global famine is imminent has set up base in Fiji, where it's gained considerable influence but faced growing allegations of abuse. One woman who fled what she believes is a cult told the BBC's Yvette Tan she lost her family in the process - but has no regrets.

Seoyeon Lee had one chance to escape and she took it, running down the road in Fiji in her pyjamas and flip-flops.

"I was crying and I looked hysterical," she told the BBC.

The then 21-year-old was being pursued by members of Grace Road - including her own mother - who she says had tricked her into going to the Pacific island nation.

"I would have killed myself if they'd made me stay," she says.

'I think it's a cult'

A year earlier, in 2013, Seoyeon had come home to South Korea from the US, where she was studying, for the summer. Her mum was suffering from uterine cancer but had refused treatment.

She told Seoyeon she would only seek treatment if she went with her to Grace Road Church.

"It was very bizarre," said Seoyeon. "There were people screaming, crying, speaking in tongues and the sermon was about how the end times were coming.

"I told my mum, I think it's a cult but she didn't believe me."

Image copyrightGETTY IMAGES

Image captionFiji looks like paradise on earth to many, but not for Seoyeon

Once back at university, she found her mother had still not sought treatment and would only do so on one condition - that Seoyeon quit school and went back to South Korea.

Seoyeon, whose father had died of cancer, took leave and went home.

After her mother went through surgery, she told Seoyeon that she wanted to move to Fiji to recover - and insisted that she go along with her. Eventually, Seoyeon agreed to go for two weeks to help her adjust.

"At that point, I didn't know it was an elaborate ruse," she said.

"But when I got to Fiji and saw we were driving to a commune... I was like, how could I have been so stupid?"

The 'great famine'

South Korea has a significant Christian population, and in recent decades many small, fringe churches have sprung up, some of them developing cult-like characteristics.

Grace Road, which insists it is not a cult, started out small in 2002, but now numbers about 1,000 followers, according to Prof Tark Ji-il of Busan Presbyterian University, who has closely studied Korean cults.

Image copyrightSUPPLIED

Image captionOne of Grace Road's communes in Fiji

The church's founder and head pastor, Shin Ok-ju, believes that a great famine is imminent, and that her followers "needed to find a new home to prepare for the second coming of Jesus", says Prof Tark.

In 2014 - the same year it was classified as heretical by mainstream churches - the church uprooted to Fiji, declaring that it would be one of the few places saved by God from famine.

Image copyrightGR GROUP

Image captionGR Group claims that Fiji is "the centre of the world"

About 400 of its followers now live in Fiji, mostly working for the company it has set up to manage its operations, GR Group.

Seoyeon says those there have been "handpicked" by the leadership "maybe depending on how much you've donated".

"When my dad died, we were left a certain sum of money. I'm pretty sure my mum took all that and gave it to the church," she said. "They make you sell your property, quit your job, cut off your friends."

The group has built up a sizeable business empire, from construction to restaurants to agriculture.

"Farming is our original mission because we need to prepare for the famine, we need to be self-sufficient," Daniel Kim, president of GR Group and Ms Shin's son told the BBC.

Image copyrightGR GROUP

Image captionDaniel Kim (second from left) is pictured here next to Fijian PM Frank Bainimarama (third from left)

The group's construction business has also won lucrative contracts, including a tender to renovate the Fijian president's residence and its State House, which Mr Kim insists was won through a legal tender process.

In an indication of his good connections, Mr Kim was pictured with Fijian Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama, after the group won the Prime Minister's International Business Award.

'No choice but to stay'

But over the past year, a bleak picture has emerged of life inside Grace Road.

Five church members who had returned to South Korea accused Ms Shin of confiscating their passports and holding them against their will. They alleged the church used forced labour and issued ritual beatings so harsh that they led to the death of one follower.

Image copyrightSBS

Image captionA screenshot taken from an SBS documentary shows Ms Shin slapping one of her congregants

In July, Ms Shin was arrested while back in South Korea on charges of assault and confinement. She was alleged to have abandoned the church members, confiscated their passports, and overseen a brutal regime.

Then in August, Fijian and South Korean authorities conducted a joint raid on the church in Fiji, arresting Mr Kim and several other senior members as part of a slavery investigation.

They were released without charge, but according to Fiji's police commissioner, investigations are "ongoing".

A documentary by South Korean broadcaster SBS last month included footage of Ms Shin beating her followers.

Chief Chun Jae-hong of the Korean National Police Agency told SBS that many had "donated their entire fortune to the church, so even if they go back they are penniless... so they have no choice [but to stay]".

Wilfred Regunamada, a spokesman for the Fiji Methodist Church, recently told New Zealand media that Grace Road members were living in fear, and called on the Fijian government to do more to explain its links with the church.

The government did not respond to requests for interviews with the BBC.

Mr Kim firmly denies wrongdoing and said of his mother: "I don't understand why they are treating her like a criminal.

"It's a very malicious attack [by those] who have run away. They say that me and other senior members are like a ruling cult. It's insane."

He insisted "no ritual beatings" had taken place. "If someone did something very wrong, they might get slapped by our pastor... [but] in a way that a mother would rebuke her child," he said. The cause of the follower's death was cancer and "there's no evidence to connect it to beatings", he said.

Mr Kim says all those in Fiji had volunteered to go, and "it doesn't matter if they bring money or not".

He evaded a question as to whether church members were paid for their work, saying they "have accommodation, food and travel all covered by the company", adding that he himself does "not receive a fixed salary every month".

And what of the allegations that the 400 church members are essentially being held against their will?

"Impossible," he said. "If we really captured their passports it's very simple, they can just go to the embassy and get an emergency passport."

That's exactly what Seoyeon had to do.

'I would have killed myself'

The day before she was due to leave, she realised that her laptop and passport were missing. Her mother admitted she had taken them to stop her leaving.

"I wanted to go back to college, I wanted to meet my friends," she said.

She tried ringing the police, but alleges that the other followers "rang them back, saying it was a joke".

"They tried to block me but I ran out to the road. I was going insane."

She found a police car which took her to the station, and eventually managed to get an emergency passport.

Image copyrightSEOYEON LEE

Image captionA copy of Seoyeon's emergency passport

"They followed me all the way from the station to the embassy in a car. That was when my mum tried to break me. She told me I was adopted - that was how I found out.

"She said my entire family - my aunts, uncles, grandmother and cousins - were all moving here and our apartment had been sold. She was trying to convince me that I had nobody," said Seoyeon.

"But I would never have gotten brainwashed and joined the church. I would have killed myself if they had made me stay."

Now back in South Korea, she says she can't afford to return to studying, but has moved on and has a steady job.

"I am very happy with where I am in life now. I still love my family but as cold as this might sound, I can't really forgive them for what they've done... and after everything that's happened I can never invite them back into my life," she said.

"They are so deep in the cult that there's no way I could change their minds... if they're already in Fiji, they're a lost cause."

seth Posted on September 19, 2018 03:35

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RemoveDebris: UK satellite nets 'space junk'

he short sequence shows a small, shoebox-sized object tumbling end over end about 6-8m in front of the University of Surrey spacecraft.

Suddenly, a bright web, fired from the satellite, comes into view. It extends outwards and smothers the box.

"It worked just as we hoped it would," said Prof Guglielmo Aglietti, director of the Surrey Space Centre.

"The target was spinning like you would expect an uncooperative piece of junk to behave, but you can see clearly that the net captures it, and we're very happy with the way the experiment went."

Image copyrightAIRBUS

Image captionThe net as it was stowed in its firing mechanism

If this were a real capture, the net would be tethered to the deploying satellite, which would then tug the junk out of the sky.

As this was just a demonstration, the net and the box (which was actually pushed out from RemoveDebris to act as a target) will be allowed to fall to Earth on their own. Their low altitude means it should take only a couple of months before they burn up in the atmosphere.

There has been much talk about the need to clean up space, but the Surrey satellite is the first to try out practical solutions.

Shortly, RemoveDebris will test a new camera system to track space junk - again, on a target it has brought along for the experiment.

Later, perhaps early in the New Year, there will be a demonstration of a harpoon that can snare junk. And finally, RemoveDebris will deploy a large membrane - what is termed a "drag sail", which will brush against the high atmosphere and pull the whole mission into a destructive dive towards the planet.

Image copyrightSSC

Image captionArtwork: How the net experiment was envisioned before its deployment

There are now millions of discarded pieces of metal and other materials in orbit - everything from old rocket segments to accidentally dropped astronaut tools, even flecks of paint.

The fear is that if we do not soon start taking this litter out of the sky, it will become a significant threat to active satellites.

Alastair Wayman is an engineer with the aerospace giant Airbus, which is also involved in the RemoveDebris project.

"If there are collisions, as there have been previously, then they will create lots of space debris. That debris then collides with more spacecraft, and you get even more space debris. It's a kind of snowball effect," he told BBC News.

The issue of space junk is particularly pressing because a number of companies are in the planning stages of launching thousands of new satellites.

Already there are calls for a tough new approach to licensing these spacecraft that would demand operators be able to bring down rapidly any of their hardware that fails in orbit.

Image captionThe miniature harpoon to be tested on the mission

seth Posted on September 19, 2018 03:33

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Are wasps the bees knees? Scientists think they should be

A new study reveals that wasps are largely disliked by the public, whereas bees are highly appreciated.

The researchers involved say that this view is unfair because wasps are just as ecologically useful as bees.

The scientists suggest a public relations campaign to restore the wasps' battered image.

They'd like to see the same efforts made to conserve them as there currently are with bees.

The survey of 750 people from 46 countries has been published in Ecological Entomology.

Despised by picnickers, feared for their painful stings - wasps are among the least loved of insects according to the new study.

Image copyrightGETTY IMAGES

Image captionResearchers say that wasps carry out as many valuable ecological services as bees

In the survey, participants were asked to rate the insects on a scale which ran from minus five, representing a strongly negative emotion to plus five, representing a strongly positive one.

The vast majority of responses for bees were plus 3 or above, whereas it was the complete reverse for wasps, with the vast majority rating their feelings minus three or below.

When asked to think of words associated with bees, the most popular for bees were "honey", "flowers" and "pollination".

For wasps the most common words that came to mind were "sting", "annoying" and "dangerous".

However wasps also pollinate flowers as well as killing pests and are just as important to the environment as bees.

The problem, according to Dr Seirian Sumner, of University College London, who led the research, is that wasps have had a bad press.

The public are unaware of all the good things they do so they are regarded as nuisances rather than an important ecological asset.

Image copyrightSCHNUDDEL

Image captionBees have enjoyed far more attention from research scientists

"People don't realise how incredibly valuable they are," she told BBC News.

"Although you might think they are after your beer or jam sandwich - they are, in fact, much more interested in finding insect prey to take back to their nest to feed their lavae."

Dr Sumner also discovered that there is a lack of research into the mostly positive impact wasps have on the environment.

She analysed scientific research papers and conference presentations for bees and wasps over the last 37 years and 16 years respectively.

Of 908 papers sampled, only 2.4% wasp publications were found since 1980, compared to 97.6% (886 papers) bee publications. Of the 2,543 conference abstracts on bees or wasps from the last twenty years, 81.3% were on bees.

Image copyrightGETTY IMAGES

Image captionThe sting of a wasp is feared but only one percent of the creatures sting

This lack of research is stalling efforts to develop conservation strategies for wasps, whose numbers are declining because of loss of habitat and climate change according to Dr Alessandro Cini of the University of Florence, who collaborated on the study.

seth Posted on September 19, 2018 03:31

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London Fashion Week: Representation is 'still a problem'

Was this the most diverse London Fashion Week to date?

Victoria Beckham chose 47-year-old Stella Tennant to open her debut show in London, model Winnie Harlow, who has vitiligo, opened for House of Holland and wheelchair user and former Paralympian Samanta Bullock closed at the Fashion's Finest show.

Last week, Kate Moss welcomed the increase in diversity in the fashion industry, saying it had changed for the better.

"There's so much more diversity now, I think it's right. There's so many different sizes and colours and heights. Why would you just be a one-size model and represent all of these people?"

Image copyrightGETTY IMAGES

Image captionWinnie Harlow modelling for House of Holland at London Fashion Week

Designer Steven Tai, who has worked at design houses including Viktor + Rolf, teamed up with photographer Rankin and charity Changing Faces to challenge the fashion industry's perception of beauty. At his show he had models with visible scars or disfigurements alongside conventional models.

Speaking after his show on Sunday, he said: "It enriches the setting and enriches the clothes as well. It gives the context of the collection a lot more depth.

"I just want an accurate reflection of the world that we live in. I think as much as fashion is about telling a story, it needs to be conscious of the social responsibilities as well and the effects that it could have on younger girls growing up.

"Familiarity breeds acceptance."

'Treated like a leper'

Brenda Finn was one of the models in the show and told the BBC the feedback after coming off stage was "amazing".

"They loved that the show looked so much more real. People are interested in how the clothes fit on a different body, and on women who look like me."

Finn, who has had alopecia since she was 14, said she was "treated like a leper" when she was younger, and had to be taken out of school because the bullying became so severe.

"To be seen as different was seen as negative," she says. "Ten years ago I never even thought we'd see someone like Winnie Harlow in a magazine, so we've made great strides.

Image copyrightGETTY IMAGES

Image captionBrenda and Chloe model for designer Steven Tai at London Fashion Week

"I hope that someone seeing this show thinks they are normal and can do what they want to do. It took me a long time - I wasted six years of my life before I got to where I wanted to be - so I hope it can help others."

Chloe Root, who was born with a port wine stain birthmark, which covers about half of her body and two thirds of her face, also modelled in Sunday's show. "I've never seen women who look like me in the mainstream media - it's disheartening to feel like I'd never look like that and never fit in.

"It's frustrating that it's such a mono-culture - not just for someone with an obvious difference, but also for someone who's walking down the street that isn't a size six.

"It creates a unity, that goes beyond fashion."

'No regulation'

Image copyrightTONY WELLINGTON

Image captionEunice (centre) closed the show for charity FAD, which offers disadvantaged young people opportunities in fashion

Supermodel Eunice Olumide has added her voice to the discussion: "The fact that we're not able to represent reality in the industry is a problem," she says. "We're looking at life through a very parochial lens. When I started out, people in China and other markets wouldn't even look at you if you're dark-skinned.

"There are no requirements for diversity in the industry," continues the Scottish model. "How can you have an industry that's worth trillions that has no regulation? There's no minimum wage for models, no requirement to make clothes in different sizes. It's common to have hairdressers who have never worked with afro hair before.

"That reflects badly on you as the model because you don't look good, and won't get re-booked."

Fashion commentator and campaigner Caryn Franklin says she's "thrilled" more and more younger designers are taking the issue of representation seriously.

"Teatum Jones have led the way by using models like Kelly Knox and I know they have been hugely influential. This conversation gets louder every season," says the fashion expert.

"Repetition is key - when we see something over and over again we normalise it. That's why it's important to see a range of body shapes.

Image copyrightGETTY IMAGES

Image captionKelly Knox walking at London Fashion Week last year

"Fashion has to wake up to the needs of the end user and show a broader range of people. We all want that. In fact, studies show when the audience can make a connection to the model wearing the clothes, the desire to actually want to make a purchase is increased by 300% - so it's a business no-brainer," she says.

But the obstacles to presenting a show at fashion week with various size models are not only due to "fear of putting their head above the parapet" on the part of the fashion houses, as Franklin puts it, but also one of logistics.

Designers make clothes in sample sizes - meaning that it's, literally, a straight-forward one-size fits all approach to dressing models. For plus-size or "curve" models, there is more work involved planning the show and getting the model in for repeat fittings to make sure the clothes look good on them.

'New York is killing it'

But some don't see that as an excuse.

"The UK is still really far behind," says Beth Willis, co-director at model agency Bridges.

"New York had their best year yet in terms of the number of bigger models and those of colour who were walking in campaigns. London is still using a token plus-sized model here and there."

Willis, who runs an agency for curve models, says none of her models were booked for London Fashion Week - which she says was "not a massive surprise". The plus-size fashion week in May, on the other hand, saw her models booked out: "That's great, but we shouldn't need a plus-size fashion week at all," she says.

She says she's "frustrated" by what she sees as PR stunts on the part of brands.

"Generally a lot of these clients will use a token model and get some good press, but that's it. The repeat bookings are what we need. Designers can't just do one-offs - we need to be changing the face of things regularly."

Brands like River Island, Asos and Figleaf have been lauded for their inclusive advertising campaigns and clothing lines directed at different sections of the population - including plus-size and maternity.

"Fashion week hasn't really been the place where strides are made on diversity," says Willis. "Some people within the industry think it cheapens the brand - and it's not seen as cool.

"Where it needs to come from is the students - so when they're learning pattern-cutting and doing their first shows they need to be thinking about clothes which suit different body shapes. Scaling up a design for a size six doesn't really work.

"It's got better over the past 30 years," Willis says, "but more needs to be done. In terms of the number of brands we work with, that's increased massively - but if you look at New York they are just killing it. You look at the likes of big name models like Ashley Graham, and that doesn't exist here yet. There's a massive difference in what they're doing compared to us."

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End of Instagram post by ashleygraham

Olumide says she's seen fellow models heading to New York agencies because they think they may be more likely to get work there: "In the UK we are much too safe, fashion houses will use people who they know and who they've used before.

"In the US they're interested in who'll sell. There's a migration of models to New York because there they are more likely to take a risk."

In February's fashion week, it was calculated 34.6% of shows represented models of colour in London - compared to New York's 37.3%. The British Fashion Council said in a statement: "Our numbers are above the national UK average representation of 15% but we'd like it to be closer to London's population average of 40%.

"The BFC's objective is for London to become the most diverse Fashion Week."

'LFW diversity has been terrible'

Tamara Cincik, who runs Fashion Roundtable, an organisation which promotes representation in the fashion industry, agrees with Willis and Olumide: "It's always New York that is leading the way. To be world-leading you have to make changes. And make changes within the organisation. It goes deeper than what's on the catwalk.

"Just because Edward Enninful's at Vogue they think that's it," she adds.

"But we're still at the point where you have PRs this London Fashion Week going up to women of colour and asking them why they're sat on the front row at a show.

"One editor of an Italian fashion magazine was sat on the second row while the rest of her team were sat on the front row - because she is of a different ethnicity. It's disgusting.

"Two other editors I know, who are women of colour, were asked whether they were seated in the right seats at two different shows. Both had front row tickets. It plays into a trope of the norm not being women of colour in positions of power and agency - which is what the front row signifies: think front bench in Westminster."

Image copyrightGETTY IMAGES

Image captionAnna Wintour is among those on the front row at Christopher Kane

The former stylist says the fashion industry runs the risk of alienating many would-be customers by its lack of representation.

"I was discussing it with another fashion industry insider and she said she thought the diversity on the catwalk this week has been terrible. Burberry had some inclusion but other big brands had nothing.

"There is a changing demographic. You cannot just have white privilege on the front row, within the organisation and then in the casting, and expect that to resonate with consumers. I think it's got a long way to go."

And that doesn't even take into account the number of shows where disability is not considered - either on stage or off: "At plenty of shows you can't get a wheelchair in them," says Cincik.

"Organisations need to start thinking we can't show here if there is no disability access, however cool it is."

Fashion's Finest was, however, one of the LFW shows which represented disabled people by the inclusion of model Samanta Bullock - a wheelchair user.

Skip Instagram post by samabullock


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The Brazilian model, a Paralympian and former wheelchair tennis champion, has been working on and off as a model for the past 30 years, and says it feels like "change is coming".

Previously, her work was mainly for fashion aimed at wheelchair users. Now she has done a number of high-end shows and campaigns aimed at the mainstream market and is optimistic about the future.

"If you don't show people in a wheelchair or disabled people in magazines, it's like we don't exist," she says. "A few years ago it was the same for black people, or gay people. It's the right thing to do to show all different types of people.

"It's like opening Pandora's box - people aren't going to go back to how it was before. Once you know what is right, you don't go back."

Follow us on Facebook, on Twitter @BBCNewsEnts, or on Instagram at bbcnewsents. If you have a story suggestion email

seth Posted on September 19, 2018 03:29

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Yoghurts (even organic ones) 'full of sugar'

Many yoghurts are full of sugar and the public should not be lulled into thinking they are eating healthy products, researchers say.

The conclusion comes after a study of almost 900 yoghurts on sale in UK supermarkets.

The research found that organic yoghurts were among the most sugary types.

Only natural and Greek-style yoghurts could be classed as low in sugar.

The study comes as government health officials are encouraging manufacturers to reduce the amount of sugar consumed by the public.

Yoghurts have been identified as one of the food types on which Public Health England wants to see progress.

This research was undertaken shortly after the launch of the sugar-reduction programme.

Image copyrightGETTY IMAGES

Unsurprisingly, yoghurt desserts contained the most sugar - an average of 16.4g per 100g.

This category also included some products that did not contain yoghurt, such as chocolate mousse and creme caramel.

The second most sugary product was organic yoghurts with a typical 13.1g per 100g.

Children's yoghurts typically contained 10.8g per 100g, the equivalent of more than two sugar cubes, the study found.

The NHS recommends that children aged four to six have no more than 19g of sugar, or five sugar cubes a day, and it is advised that those aged seven to 10 consume less than 24g daily.

To be classed as low sugar there needs to be no more than 5g per 100g.

Only 9% of products surveyed were below this threshold.

How much sugar was in the yoghurt?

Desserts - 16.4g per 100g

Organic - 13.1g per 100g

Flavoured - 12g per 100g

Fruit - 11.9g per 100g

Children's - 10.8g per 100g

Dairy alternatives - 9.2g per 100g

Drinks - 9.1g per 100g

Natural and Greek - 5g per 100g

Since the fieldwork for the study was carried out - at the end of 2016 - progress has been made on reducing sugar consumption from yoghurts.

A report published in May showed sugar content in yoghurts had been reduced by 6% in the first year, making it the only food category to exceed the 5% target. By 2020, it is expected sugar will be reduced by 20%.

PHE chief nutritionist Dr Alison Tedstone said this showed "positive steps" were being made.

But Dr Bernadette Moore, lead researcher of this study, said: "Even if we take the reduction into account, most of these yoghurts will still not be low in sugar.

"I think people, including parents, will be surprised to know just how much sugar there is in yoghurt.

"My advice would be to buy natural yoghurt and mix in your own fruit."

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seth Posted on September 19, 2018 03:15

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'Sexist, unsafe' world experienced by young girls

An "alarmingly high" number of girls and young women feel unsafe outside their home, according to annual research for Girlguiding UK.

The survey of 1,903 13 to 21-year-olds in the UK found nearly two-thirds either felt unsafe, or knew someone who was fearful walking home alone.

More than half had suffered harassment, or knew someone who had, it said.

But girls are responding more robustly than before and were also more likely to call themselves feminists, it said.

The research, the tenth over as many years, found more girls claim to understand what feminism means, with almost half saying they are feminists - up from a third in 2013.

One young woman, from the 11 to 16-year-old age group, told researchers a feminist was "a person who strongly believes in gender equality and that everyone no matter their background should be treated equally."

'More sexism?'

Another, aged between 17 and 21, described feminism as "equal rights and opportunities between men and women in the workplace, education and society".

The researchers said they felt the increased understanding of gender equality and equal rights was down to recent intense media coverage of these areas.

Perhaps linked to this greater awareness was the suggestion that fewer girls expected to encounter equality in all areas of life this year than in 2009.

And more girls and young women say they are seeing or experiencing sexism across all areas of their lives.

The researchers said: "It might mean they are more aware of it in the media, online and in public - the result of campaigns like #MeToo and #TimesUp.

"However, it is also possible it may reflect an increase in the scale of sexism for girls."

Compared to three years ago, more girls aged seven to 10 think the way people treat girls and women is affected by "naked pictures of women in the media, jokes about girls and more attention given to women's clothes than actions".

But there were also very real concerns about girls' safety.

Safety fears

One young woman aged between 11 and 16, said: "One thing that would improve girls' lives would be to make it safe for girls to walk down the street alone."

Another, aged 17 to 21, said: "Girls' lives would be better if things like harassment and stalking were taken seriously and punished properly."

The survey also found that an increasing number of girls have experienced unkind, threatening and negative behaviour online compared to five years ago.

But, it added: "Girls are more likely to ignore abuse and report it more, as well as delete posts."

seth Posted on September 19, 2018 03:10

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Millions overcharged for mobile contracts

About four million people have been charged for mobile phones they already own, spending £500m extra on contracts, according to Citizens Advice.

Three of Britain's biggest mobile networks, EE, Three and Vodafone, continue to charge for handsets even after the cost has been paid off.

Many customers have no idea they are being charged for phones after their contracts have ended.

The practice is "unacceptable", said Citizens Advice boss Gillian Guy.

"We need action," she said. "Other companies have already stopped doing this so we're looking for these three major providers to follow suit."

Mobile users only need to continue paying for calls, texts and data, or "airtime", when contracts end - but millions get stung with unnecessary extra charges.

Citizens Advice's research found that on average customers are overcharged £22 a month. The figure could be as high as £38 for high-end devices such as an iPhone or Samsung Galaxy.

Vulnerable people are most at risk of being overcharged. Older people are twice as likely to be charged for a phone they already own longer than 12 months, which could cost them an average of £264.

"Consumers should check their phone bills to see if they can save money with a SIM-only contract or upgrade to a new phone," advised Ms Guy.

Are you paying extra?

Vodafone, EE and Three customers after end of handset-inclusive two-year fixed term deal


average monthly cost if customers do not buy a new contract



  • 36% of customers failed to change after their deal

  • 23% of over-65s stayed on after their deal

  • £38 average extra monthly cost of contracts with handsets like the Galaxy S8 or the iPhone 8

  • £46 potential monthly over-charge for customers with a 256GB iPhone 8

Source: Citizens Advice

Getty Images

Who's affected and what can you do?

  • Anyone who bought a contract from Three, Vodafone or EE that included a handset is being overcharged when their contract ends
  • Users can ask their network to switch them to a cheaper SIM-only deal, or end the contract and move to another provider
  • No-one is automatically entitled to compensation - consumers can only make a claim if it was not made clear in their contract that the deal would continue at the same price

Source: Citizens Advice

Image copyrightGETTY IMAGES

What do the phone companies say?

Regulator Ofcom is consulting on how to address the problem and has proposed sending a single notification to customers before their contract ends.

Citizens Advice said that does not go far enough and that phone companies should separate the cost of mobile service and the phone. O2 has split the cost of its airtime and handset since 2013.

Nina Bibby, chief marketing officer for O2, said: "Charging for phones that have already been paid off does nothing but damage customer trust and the reputation of the industry."

EE said the splitting idea is "overly simplistic and doesn't give the customers either the transparency or best deal that they deserve".

"We agree that customers shouldn't overpay, but we believe that this is best achieved through clear communications with consumers about their options," it said.

Three said: "We make the length of any contract very clear to new customers and make this information available through our customer service channels at all times."

It said it was working closely on the issue of handset financing with the government and regulators.

Vodafone said: "We already contact all of our customers when they are approaching the end of their minimum term to let them know their options. These include upgrading their handset or moving to a SIM-only contract so they are not paying anything for a handset."

It added that from next month, it will give extra data to people who do not opt for either option but stay on their contract after the end of their minimum term.

seth Posted on September 19, 2018 03:08

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PM to announce £2bn for social housing

Two billion pounds of new funding to build affordable and social housing in England will be announced by the prime minister later.

Housing associations, local authorities and other organisations will be able to bid for the money to spend on projects beginning after 2021.

The PM plans to focus on the "stigma" attached to social housing and will say tenants are "not second-rate citizens".

But Labour said the announcement fell "far short" of what was needed.

BBC home editor Mark Easton said the government hopes the money will unlock investment into housing schemes that would otherwise appear too risky.

He said the sector's calls to provide more confidence about future funding - so the 300,000 extra homes required in England each year can be built - had appeared to have been listened to.

Downing Street said the funding was separate to the £9bn of public funding put toward the existing affordable homes programme until 2022.

Mrs May will tell a National Housing Federation summit in London: "Some residents feel marginalised and overlooked, and are ashamed to share the fact that their home belongs to a housing association or local authority.

"On the outside, many people in society - including too many politicians - continue to look down on social housing and, by extension, the people who call it their home."

She will encourage housing associations to change how tenants and society view social housing.

"We should never see social housing as something that need simply be 'good enough', nor think that the people who live in it should be grateful for their safety net and expect no better," she will say.

"Whether it is owned and managed by local authorities, TMOs (tenant management organisations) or housing associations, I want to see social housing that is so good people are proud to call it their home... our friends and neighbours who live in social housing are not second-rate citizens."

Image copyrightREUTERS

David Orr, chief executive of the National Housing Federation, said the prime minister's announcement was "extremely welcome".

"But the really big news here is the prime minister's long-term commitment to funding new affordable homes," he said.

"This represents a total step change. For years, the way that money was allocated meant housing associations couldn't be sure of long-term funding to build much-needed affordable housing."

He said that by changing the way the funding was allocated, ministers had given "long-term confidence and confirmed that we are trusted partners in solving the housing crisis, building new homes and communities".

But shadow housing secretary John Healey said the reality was spending on new affordable homes had been "slashed" and the number of new social rented homes built last year "fell to the lowest level since records began".

"If Conservative ministers are serious about fixing the housing crisis they should back Labour's plans to build a million genuinely affordable homes, including the biggest council house-building programme for more than 30 years," he said.

The English housing survey for 2016/17 reported that 3.9 million households - about nine million people - lived in the social rented sector, which was 17% of households in the country.

The funding covers the next spending review period, from 2021 through to 2028.

seth Posted on September 19, 2018 03:07

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Almost half of UK internet users 'harmed' online

Almost half of internet users in the UK have suffered "harm" online, suggests research.

The harms include bullying and harassment as well as attacks by malware or cyber-thieves.

The study by regulator Ofcom sought to quantify the type and severity of harm that going online could do to people.

Interactions via social networks and email were deemed to be the most likely to cause harm.

Closer look

The study questioned almost 2,000 Britons and found that 45% reported they had suffered some form of harm online.

Ofcom looked at harm in four areas:

  • online content that people see, hear or watch
  • interactions with other users
  • data and privacy
  • cyber-security and hacking

Bad experiences included unwelcome attention via social media, trolling and bullying as well as theft of data or personal information.

Across all these categories, roughly 20% of people reported that their experience had been "very harmful".

About 20% of those questioned said they reported offensive or harmful content when they encountered it. Hate speech, harassment and illegal sexual content were most likely to be reported.

In addition, many of those questioned were concerned about the effect on children of easy access to the net and potentially harmful content or interaction.

The research has been released shortly before Ofcom boss Sharon White gives a speech at the Royal Television Society conference in which she is expected to say the harms have arisen because of a lack of regulation.

"While the regulation of online content has evolved in recent years, there are significant disparities in whether and how it is regulated," she said in a statement released alongside the research.

Ms White suggested that some of the principles underlying what the UK's broadcasters can show could help shape regulation for social media and other online platforms.

Image copyrightEPA

Image captionSocial networks should remove hateful content within an hour, said Mr Juncker

The final form of regulation should be up to government and Parliament, said Ms White in the Ofcom statement. But she said looking at the way broadcasters handle freedom of expression, transparency and how the enforcement of regulations is handled could guide debate.

If fines are chosen as a punishment, online firms should also be subject to "meaningful financial penalties" if they flout rules or fail to protect users, said Ms White.

The call was echoed by Liam Byrne, Labour's shadow digital minister, who said net firms should "step up to their responsibilities".

The study comes as social media firms face increasing scrutiny over how they handle potentially harmful or inappropriate content.

Earlier this month, Jean-Claude Juncker, president of the European Commission, said Google, Facebook and Twitter must remove extremist content within an hour or face hefty fines.

In his annual State of the Union address to the European Parliament, he said an hour was a "decisive time window".

seth Posted on September 19, 2018 03:00

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