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'Vampire child' discovered buried in Italy with stone in mouth

The discovery of a 10-year-old's body at a Roman site in Italy provides "eerie and weird" evidence of ancient "vampire burials".

Archaeologists have discovered the body of a 10-year-old child at an ancient Roman site in Italy which they believe was ritually buried to prevent it rising again from the dead.

The skeletal remains were found by archaeologists from the University of Arizona (UA) and Stanford University, alongside Italians, with a stone placed purposefully in the child's mouth.

According to researchers, the stone was intentionally inserted as part of a funeral ritual designed to stopper disease and the body from rising after being buried.

The unusual so-called "vampire burial" was described as "extremely eerie and weird" by archaeologist and professor David Soren, who has been excavating the site in Teverina since 1987.

"I've never seen anything like it," said Professor Soren, a Regents' Professor in the UA school of anthropology and department of religious studies and classics.

"Locally, they're calling it the 'Vampire of Lugnano'."

The find was unearthed at La Necropoli dei Bambini, or the Cemetery of Children, a burial site which dates back to a malaria outbreak in 400 AD which killed many vulnerable babies and small children in the area.

Image: The 'vampire burial' was of a child from 400AD in Italy. Pic: David Pickel/Stanford

Archaeologists had previously believed the cemetery was exclusively for infants, toddlers and unborn fetuses - with the eldest body found of more than 50 burials being a three-year-old girl.

However the discovery of the 10-year-old, whose age could be measured from dental development but whose sex is unknown, suggests that it may have been a burial location for older children as well, according to bioarchaeologist Jordan Wilson.

"There are still sections of the cemetery that we haven't excavated yet, so we don't know if we'll find other older kids," said Mr Wilson, a doctoral student in anthropology at UA.

Excavation director David Pickel said: "Given the age of this child and its unique deposition, with the stone placed within his or her mouth, it represents, at the moment, an anomaly within an already abnormal cemetery,"

The UA and Stanford academic added: "This just further highlights how unique the infant - or now, rather, child - cemetery at Lugnano is."

Image: The rock that was inserted into the child's mouth. Pic: David Pickel/Stanford

Previous excavations at La Necropoli dei Bambini have revealed the bones of infants and toddlers alongside objects associated with witchcraft and magic, including raven talons, toad bones, bronze cauldrons filled with ash and the remains of puppies that appear to have been sacrificed.

The body of the three-year-old girl discovered at the site had stones weighing down her hands and feet, a ritual practice used by many different cultures throughout history to prevent the dead from rising from their graves.

"We know that the Romans were very much concerned with this and would even go to the extent of employing witchcraft to keep the evil - whatever is contaminating the body - from coming out," said Professor Soren.

"It's a very human thing to have complicated feelings about the dead and wonder if that's really the end," Mr Wilson said.

AlbertaU Posted on October 12, 2018 16:39

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A grocery store pledges to stop selling NFL-branded Pepsi sodas 'as long as the athletes are allowed to bow down and disrespect the flag' (PEP)

An Alabama grocery store owner is refusing to sell Pepsi products that feature the NFL logo. "I will not bow down in order to the make a dollar as long as the athletes are allowed to bow down and disrespect the flag and country that I love," S&Z Grocery posted on Facebook.


Pepsi and the NFL have a long history.

(AP Photo/Paul Sancya)


  • An Alabama grocery store owner is refusing to sell Pepsi products that feature the NFL logo.
  • "I will not bow down in order to the make a dollar as long as the athletes are allowed to bow down and disrespect the flag and country that I love," S&Z Grocery posted on Facebook.
  • Pepsi hasn't faced much public backlash for its $90 million NFL sponsorship, as other brands have grappled with how to respond to players' national anthem protests against police brutality.

An Alabama grocery store owner is refusing to sell Pepsi products with the NFL logo.

On Wednesday, S&Z Grocery in Athens, Alabama posted on Facebook that it would no longer sell 20-ounce bottles of Pepsi or Diet Pepsi produced with the NFL logo, even if it means losing business.

"I refuse to sell the product until the logo is removed," the post reads. "I will not bow down in order to the make a dollar as long as the athletes are allowed to bow down and disrespect the flag and country that I love."

Local news outlet WAFF 48 reports that the owner, Phillip Stewart, has also stopped selling some bottles of Gatorade that feature the NFL logo. He will, however, sell PepsiCo products without the logo.

"I pulled them myself, the customers didn’t know I was doing this," Stewart told WAFF 48. "I sold the product that I had that did not have the logo on it. And I told my rep as well as the delivery guy that I did not want those brought into the store, because I would not sell them."

Companies have been divided in their approach to NFL players' protests against police brutality. Critics saw the protest — during which many players kneel during the national anthem — as disrespectful to the military, and Trump called for players who protested during the anthem to be fired.

Papa John's sparked backlash when John Schnatter, its founder and CEO at the time, criticized the league's handling of protesting players, and the company later ended its longtime sponsorship of the NFL. (Schnatter was ousted from Papa John's earlier this year after using the N-word in a company conference call.)

Pizza Hut is now the official pizza sponsor of the NFL. Marianne Radley, Pizza Hut's chief brand officer, told Business Insider the company plans to avoid engaging in such controversy by focusing on the fans.

In September, Nike debuted its ad campaign starring Colin Kaepernick, the first NFL player to kneel during the national anthem before games in 2016 to protest racial inequality and police brutality. While some observers praised Nike for the new Kaepernick ad campaign, others threatened the boycott the brand.

Pepsi hasn't faced much public backlash for its NFL sponsorship. In 2011, PepsiCo and the NFL renewed the sponsorship deal with a 10-year contract, with Pepsi paying a reported $90 million for the right to be the league's sponsor.

AlbertaU Posted on October 12, 2018 15:12

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Expansion of Berbera Port begins in ernest after Somaliland and Dubai Port (DP) World signs $442 million deal

The first phase of the $101 million investment will see the port yard expanded by 250,000 square metres and modernise its facilities.

play Fishing boats at Berbera Port. (Norway.)


  • On Thursday, Somaliland president Musa Behi Abdi and DP World chairman and Chief Executive Officer Sultan bin Sulayem signed the multi-million dollar partnership at the Somaliland Presidential State House.
  • DP World holds a 51 per cent stake in the Berbera port, while Ethiopia holds 19 per cent and Somaliland the rest.

Somaliland and Dubai Port (DP) World company have officially commenced the modernization and expansion of the Berbera Port at an estimated cost of $442 million.

On Thursday, Somaliland president Musa Behi Abdi and DP World chairman and Chief Executive Officer Sultan bin Sulayem signed the multi-million dollar partnership at the Somaliland Presidential State House kick starting the first phase of the expansion project.

play Sultan bin Sulayem (right) shakes hands with Abdu Shamakh Al Shebani, the CEO of Shafa Al Wahda Contracting Company as Saad Ali Shire, Foreign Minister of Somaliland looks on at Berbera Port Expansion contract award ceremony inat the presidential state house in Hargeisa. (courtesy)


Speaking during the signing, Somaliland president Bihi Abdi said the expansion of Berbera Port is one of the long term goals the government has set out to improve the infrastructure of the country which has for year’s waged war for recognition by the international recognition since parting ways with Somalia after the break of the civil war in 1991.

This is just the beginning of a long term goal to turn around this country. We are happy to sign this deal and we welcome DP world to Somaliland,” said the president amid cheers from local leaders, businessmen and invited foreign guests who attended the function.

play The President of the Republic of Somaliland H.E. Muse Biihi Abdi. (Horn Diplomat)


The president added that thousands of jobs will be created as a result of the port expansion and that DP World will rely on the domestic security apparatus of Somaliland, which includes the police, military and coast guard, to protect the port.

“Connecting to landlocked countries such as Ethiopia and the rest of the region will reinforce the firm relationships that now exist and make Somaliland an important player in regional economic integration and growth. The importance of the Port of Berbera as a Red Sea gateway for the Middle East and Africa can now be realised, unlocking our potential as a trade hub and creating jobs across the country,” He said.

Also read: Why Somali parents must bribe their sons with Cars

play DP World Chief Executive Officer, Sultan Ahmed bin Sulayem speaking at a past event. (Twitter)


DP World Chief Executive Officer, Sultan Ahmed bin Sulayem said the modernisation of the port will see Berbera regain its right as an important port and a critical maritime transportation route.

Our aim is to make this an important regional hub for the maritime industry in the Horn of Africa,” he said.

The Berbera port expansion is designed to equip the Somaliland port with ability to receive major vessels and transform it into one of Africa’s pre-eminent facilities.

Also read: Happy day for Somaliland women after country passes historic anti-rape law

play The Berbera port (Middle East Monitor)


The port’s current capacity is around 150,000 twenty-foot equivalent units [a measure of ships container carrying capacity and is set to expand to 450,000 TEUs once development is complete.

The first phase of the $101 million investment will see the port yard expanded by 250,000 square metres and modernise its facilities. Total investment of the two phases will reach $442m.

DP World holds a 51 per cent stake in the Berbera port, while Ethiopia holds 19 per cent and Somaliland the rest. In recent years, DP world has stepped up its investments in Africa in order to capture the continent’s growth potential.

AlbertaU Posted on October 12, 2018 15:09

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Usain Bolt scores twice on first start for Australia's Central Coast Mariners

Usain Bolt has scored his first goals for a professional football team, getting two on his maiden start for Central Coast Mariners in a friendly.

The Jamaican eight-time Olympic sprint champion scored the Mariners' third and fourth goals in a 4-0 win over Macarthur South West and celebrated with his trademark lightning bolt pose.

Bolt joined the A-League club in August for an "indefinite training period".

Afterwards Bolt, 32, said "dreams become reality through hard work".

"My first start and scoring two goals, it's a good feeling," he added.

"I'm happy I could come here and show the world I'm improving. I'm keen to be a Mariner, to play my best and get into the team."

For his opening goal Bolt ran on to a chipped ball played by Scotland striker Ross McCormack, held off the defender and finished powerfully low past the goalkeeper.

He capitalised on a defensive mix-up for his second, with a Macarthur defender and goalkeeper colliding to leave Bolt able to tap in from close range.

McCormack, on loan from Aston Villa, headed in the Mariners' first goal in the eighth minute.

"The best thing about Usain Bolt is he's so humble," McCormack said.

"He's fitted in well with the lads. From my first day even to where he is now, the transformation is huge."

The 100m and 200m world record holder has previously trained with Borussia Dortmund, South African club Sundowns and Norway's Stromsgodset.

He retired from athletics in 2017 and has since said it would be a "dream" to play professional football.

The Australian A-League season begins on 19 October and the Mariners are yet to confirm whether Bolt will be offered a contract.

majsdesaint Posted on October 12, 2018 14:27

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These Celebrity Couples Have Big Age Differences Between Them

George met Amal at a charity function. They instantly fell for each other regardless of the fact that George is 17 years older. In 2014 the couple got married in Venice when George was 53 and Amal was 36 years old. A few months into the marriage, the couple chose England as their home and purchased a $13,500,000 million house.

Megan Fox and Brian Austin Green

Image by S bukley / Depositphotos

When Megan Fox was just 18, she met Brian Austin Green whom the world knew from his role in Beverly Hills 90210 in the 1990s. Brian is 13 years older, but that didn't stop the couple from dating and eventually getting married in 2010 in a beautiful and luxurious Hawaii wedding. The couple has three children together.

Johnny Depp and Amber Heard

Photo by Matt Baron/REX/Shutterstock (5528221am)

Johnny and Amber met in 2011 and shortly after that, they started dating. They didn't mind that he was 23 years older than her. The couple tied the knot in 2015 when Johnny was 51 and Amber only 28 years old. The couple ended their relationship after 2 years of marriage.

Beyoncé Knowles and Jay-Z

Image by @beyonce / Instagram

One of the most powerful couples in the music industry, Beyoncé Knowles and Jay-Z have a 12 years age gap between them. Shawn Carter, aka Jay-Z, was accused over the years of multiple affairs, but the couple stayed together nonetheless. They have a daughter Blue Ivy who is 5, and in 2017 the couple welcomed twins Rumi and Sir Carter.

Adam Levine and Behati Prinsloo

Image by Jean Nelson / Depositphotos

Adam Levine, frontman of Maroon 5, married model Behati Prinsloo in 2014. Adam is ten years older than Behati so at the time of the wedding he was 35, and she was 25 years old. The couple has a daughter together.

Matthew McConaughey and Camila Alves

Image by David Fisher/REX/Shutterstock (9446173jk)

McConaughey is 14 years older than Victoria Secret's model Camila Alves. The couple met in 2006 and have been together ever since. They got married on Christmas Day in 2011. Today they live in Austin, Texas with their three children.

Kate Beckinsale and Matt Rife

Image by Imgur

Kate Beckinsale divorced her husband Len Wiseman after 12 years of marriage and found herself with a younger man -- 23 years younger. The couple started dating when she was 44 and he, Matt Rife, was only 21. In fact, he was only 3 years older than Kate's daughter. The couple split in 2017.

Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie

Image by DenisMakarenko / Depositphotos

The age difference was not the cause for divorce of the Hollywood "it" couple. In 2007 Brad and Angelina started dating and after 7 years of relationship, they got married at 2014. Brad is 53-years-old and Angelina is 42-years-old. The couple separated in 2016. They have 6 children together.

Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes

Image by PopularImages / Depositphotos

Tom Cruise and Kate Holmes were a powerful couple in Hollywood. The 16 years age difference didn't bother Tom and Kate to fall in love and spend 7 years in a relationship before tiding the knot in 2006. The couple divorced after 6 years of marriage. The couple is parents to a girl named Suri.

Nicolas Cage and Alice Kim

Image by arp / Depositphotos

After being married twice, Cage met waitress Alice Kim and decided to try again. The couple got married in 2004 on a ranch in California. At the time of the wedding, Nicolas was twice her age: he was 40 and Alice was 20 when they got married. The couple has a son Kal-El but eventually split in 2016.

Michael Douglas and Catherine Zeta-Jones

Image by Bossmoss / Depositphotos

Another powerful Hollywood couple, Michael and Catherine managed to stay together since 2000 when they got married. It seems this couple is pretty much in love as they were on the first day. Michael is 25 years older than Catherine, and an interesting fact is that they share the same birthday.

Mary-Kate Olsen and Olivier Sarkozy

Image by Andrew H. Walker/WWD/REX/Shutterstock (9133183a)

Mary-Kate Olsen surprised everyone when she went public with her relationship with 17 years older Olivier Sarkozy, half-brother of former French president Nicolas Sarkozy. The couple got married in 2015 when Mary-Kate was 29, and Olivier was 46 years old.

Ashley Olsen and Richard Sachs

Image by Imgur

The twin sister, Ashley Olsen was in a relationship with Richard Sachs who is 28 years older than her. The couple kept their relationship low profile for most of the time, but eventually split up in 2017.

Olivia Wilde and Jason Sudeikis

Image by Jean Nelson / Depositphotos

Olivia Wilde is 33 years old and she is engaged to 42 years old Jason Sudeikis. The couple has been together since 2011. In 2013 they got engaged. The couple has two children together, Alexander and Daisy.

Katy Perry and Russell Brand

Image by PopularImages / Depositphotos

In 2010 Katy Perry married Russell Brand, who is 9 years older than her. Unfortunately, the love didn't last and Katy and Russell divorced two years after they got married.

ruby Posted on October 12, 2018 13:43

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Jodie Whittaker brings ‘Doctor Who’ its biggest change in 55 years

When Jodie Whittaker got the news some months ago that she had been cast as the protagonist of Doctor Who, she went through a range of overwhelmed reactions. She cried; she caught her breath; she excitedly squeezed the knee of a colleague sitting next to her.

To be told that she would inherit the role of the Doctor, a time-travelling, space-faring adventurer who is perhaps one of the most recognisable heroes in science fiction, Whittaker says: “It wasn’t part of my mindset, as an actor, that it was possible.”

For Whittaker, 36, who until now was best known for her work on the crime drama Broadchurch, the casting decision was life-altering, as it would be for any performer – a guarantee that, when it was announced to the public, she would become instantly familiar to a global audience of millions.

In her case, however, there is an added, inescapable distinction: In the 55-year history of Doctor Who, during which 12 other actors have officially portrayed the Doctor, Whittaker is the first woman.

Doctor Who series 11- trailer


It's clear that Whittaker and her colleagues want to celebrate the show’s inclusivity without chiding the wider genre for a historical lack of representation, and also highlight how they have made the series more contemporary and more diverse – behind the camera as well as in front of it – while emphasising that its fundamental principles haven’t changed.

This is no easy feat for the series, which is accustomed to a certain scrutiny when it replaces its lead actor every few years. The series is also a prominent entertainment property in a field where efforts to diversify are often attacked by a vocal subset of fans.

Despite these challenges, Whittaker says it was a role she could hardly resist. “There’s no other job like it”, she says. “And I certainly can’t be typecast as it.”

A London-based actor who was raised in West Yorkshire, Whittaker gained early attention for her roles in films like Venus (2006), opposite Peter O’Toole, and Attack the Block (2011), with John Boyega, before her breakthrough playing the mourning mother of a murder victim in three seasons of Broadchurch.

Jodie Whittaker and her companions in 'Doctor Who' (BBC)


That proved crucial when Steven Moffat, who had been the show runner of Doctor Who since 2009, decided to leave the series, and the BBC turned to Chris Chibnall, the creator of Broadchurch, as his possible successor.

As he considered the opportunity, Chibnall recalls: “I made a list of pros and cons, and there were 10 cons and one pro – it’s Doctor Who. And the moment I start thinking, oh, we could do that story and have those characters, the show started talking to me.”

Watch more

Chibnall, who had previously written several Doctor Who episodes, says he wanted his incarnation of the series to be “incredibly emotional,” with “stories that resonate with the world we’re living in now, and I wanted it to be the most accessible, inclusive, diverse season of Doctor Who that the show has ever done.”

When it became clear that Peter Capaldi, who became the Doctor in 2013, was also leaving the show, Chibnall says he had one further stipulation: “I was seeking a female Doctor. I was really clear.”

Although actors like Helen Mirren, Judi Dench and Tilda Swinton had been mentioned as candidates for the role in the past, these rumours never yielded substantive results. A change was long overdue, Chibnall says, for a character with the ability to shape-shift and regenerate in new forms.

Whittaker, who he believed could handle the character’s emotional complexity and antic humour, was among his top choices. “The precision of what she does is extraordinary, and her instincts are just so right,” Chibnall says of Whittaker, adding that she is “incredibly funny.”

Jodie Whittaker as Doctor Who (BBC)


Whittaker grew up on beloved 1980s genre films like Back to the Future, The Goonies  and E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial, never discouraged that there were so few female protagonists to identify with.

But when it came to Doctor Who, she says, “The thought that you – that I – could be in it never crossed my mind”. When Chibnall asked her to consider auditioning for him, Whittaker says: “I was like: ‘Can I play a monster with loads of prosthetics?’” After Chibnall explained that he wanted her to try out for the starring role, Whittaker says, she answered, “If I don’t get it, can I still play a monster?”

Following an audition process in which other women were also considered – Chibnall has not says who they were – the BBC revealed the selection of Whittaker in a commercial shown after the Wimbledon men’s final in July 2017.

Chibnall says he expected that it would take some time for the Doctor Who fan base to embrace this choice. “I thought it would take people a year,” he says. “We were like: ‘OK, helmets on. Hunker down.’”

In fact, the announcement of Whittaker was hailed quickly and widely but not universally. A disparaging hashtag, #NotMyDoctor, circulated on Twitter and Instagram, and the BBC received complaints from viewers, prompting the broadcaster to issue a statement that affirmed that: “The Doctor is an alien from the planet Gallifrey, and it has been established in the show that time lords can switch gender,” adding that Whittaker “is destined to be an utterly iconic Doctor.”

Peter Davison, who played the Doctor in the early 1980s, said at a 2017 Comic-Con appearance that he felt “a bit sad” at “the loss of a role model for boys,” while Colin Baker, his heir to the role, said those remarks were “absolute rubbish”, adding: “You don’t have to be of a gender for someone to be a role model.”

Whittaker says she had largely been spared the brunt of this debate because she is not on social media. If an online critic has a premature assessment of her, she says: “It’s not a fact — it’s an opinion. I have no issue with someone having a different opinion from me. I don’t necessarily want to have my last meal with them.”

A shot from the new series of Doctor Who (BBC)


But what if people are claiming that she doesn’t deserve the role or was given it only because she is a woman? “I know I got the role on the merits,” Whittaker says more sternly. “I didn’t get handed it. I don’t play a gender.”

David Tennant, who was one of Whittaker’s co-stars on Broadchurch  and who played the Doctor from 2005 to 2010, says that a certain amount of backlash was to be expected from Doctor Who fans.

Viewers form attachments to “their version” of the Doctor, Tennant says: “the one that they first knew, and there’s always a resistance when their lead actor changes.”

Watch more

But sure enough, they come to embrace other actors, too: “People who have loved a Doctor before and feel like they can never fall in love again, do so with alarming promiscuity,” he says. “It’s unfortunate if that gets made into a gender issue. That’s people just not seeing the woods for the trees.”

Whittaker says that if some portion of the Doctor Who audience was disappointed by the departure of Capaldi, her predecessor, that reflected well on the series.

Recalling her experience filming the scene in which Capaldi transforms into her, she says: “I’m in Peter’s costume. I’m literally in his shoes. If someone is devastated at the loss of him, that’s brilliant, because it just means the show is loved. If the fact that I’m a woman is an issue, that’s their issue. I can’t even begin to debate that.”

Throughout Doctor Who, its newest recruits say they feel invigorated by the changes taking place there and are ready to carry the show into its next era.

When the BBC announced the series’s creative staff in August, two of its five new writers were women, and two were people of colour; two of its four directors were women, and one was a person of colour.

Read more

Mandip Gill, who joins the show this season as Yasmin Khan, a young companion to the Doctor, says she also assumed that a role on Doctor Who was an unattainable goal. Being a woman of South Asian ancestry, she says: “I never really thought it was open to me.”

Even when she was told that producers specifically wanted a South Asian actor who spoke with a Northern British accent, Gill says she was skeptical: “Have they heard me?” she says, playing up her Leeds dialect. “They don’t want me in a Marvel film with my accent, let’s be honest.”

Several months ago, Gill was in Wales, shooting an episode of the medical drama Casualty in the same studios where Doctor Who is produced. When she went to get something to eat, she says, she was given a specific prohibition by a production assistant.

“We walked down the corridor,” she recalls, “and the runner said to me: ‘That’s Doctor Who. You can’t go in there.’ I just wanted the canteen!”

Now that she has spent almost a year making Doctor Who, Gill says she looks back on this incident with different eyes. “Cut to nine months later – I’m walking down the same corridor,” she says proudly. “And I’m walking through the door.”

Series 11 of Doctor Who is on Sundays on BBC1

ruby Posted on October 12, 2018 13:04

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Turkey claims to have audio and video footage of a Washington Post columnist being brutally killed by Saudi assassins

US officials reportedly say the Turkish government claimed it has audio and video recordings that suggest Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi was killed during his visit to the Saudi Consulate in Turkey.

  • US officials say the Turkish government claimed to possess audio and video recordings that indicate Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi was killed during his visit to the Saudi Consulate in Turkey.
  • Evidence also suggests that Khashoggi, a Saudi national who went into the consulate for official paperwork related to his upcoming wedding, was dismembered after his death, the officials reportedly said.
  • It was unclear if US officials had seen or heard the alleged recordings, but Turkish officials reportedly described its contents to them.
  • Khashoggi, who lived in Virginia under self-imposed exile, was an outspoken critic of Saudi Arabia and its leader, the crown prince Mohammed bin Salman.
  • The purported recordings may put the US in a precarious position by straining its ties to a country that spends billions in arms sales.

US officials say the Turkish government claimed to possess audio and video recordings that suggest Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi was killed during his visit to the Saudi consulate in Turkey on October 2, according to a Washington Post report published Thursday.

Officials said the recordings show that a team of Saudis "interrogated, tortured and then murdered" Khashoggi, according to an anonymous source. Evidence also suggests that Khashoggi, a Saudi national who went into the Consulate for official paperwork related to his upcoming wedding, was dismembered after his death, the officials reportedly said.

The recordings "from inside the embassy lays out what happened to Jamal after he entered" the consulate, a source said, adding that "you can hear his voice and the voices of men speaking Arabic."

Men beating Khashoggi could also be heard from the recording, a source familiar with the intelligence told The Post.

It was unclear if US officials were privy to the potential recordings, but Turkish officials reportedly described its contents to them, The Post reported. Turkish officials, who immediately suggested Khashoggi's disappearance was orchestrated by the Saudis, were hesitant to release the recordings, citing security concerns.

The existence of such evidence may be the clearest indication yet of foul play. From the onset of his disappearance, Turkish officials claimed Khashoggi entered, but never left the consulate. A team of 15 Saudis that reportedly flew in from Riyadh, the capital of Saudi Arabia, to visit and leave the consulate on the same day of his disappearance are suspected of playing a role, people familiar with the investigation said in a previous report from The Post.


Surveillance footage published by Turkish newspaper Hurriyet purports to show Jamal Khashoggi entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on October 2.

(CCTV/Hurriyet via AP)


US intelligence officials reportedly intercepted communications that the Saudis discussed a plan to lure and capture Khashoggi before his disappearance, a person familiar with the situation said in the report. It was unclear whether the US warned him that he was being targeted, according to the source.

But one US official cited in The Post's recent report disputed the claim and said there was no evidence that the Saudis intended to lure Khashoggi to the consulate.

Khashoggi, who lived in Virginia under self-imposed exile, was an outspoken critic of Saudi Arabia and its leader, the crown prince Mohammed bin Salman. Khashoggi frequently wrote scathing columns about the leader that contradicted his image as a moderate reformer.

The purported recordings may put the US in a precarious position, likely straining its ties to a country that spends billions on arms equipment. On Wednesday, a bipartisan group of senators on the Foreign Relations Committee urged Trump to determine and hold responsible those who were responsible for Khashoggi's disappearance.

"We request that you make a determination on the imposition of sanctions pursuant to the Global Magnitsky Human Rights Accountability Act with respect to any foreign person responsible for such a violation related to Mr. Khashoggi," Sens. Bob Corker of Tennessee and Robert Menendez of New Jersey said in a statement.

On Thursday, Trump said the US was looking at the situation "very strongly."

"We'll be having a report out soon," Trump said. "We're working with Turkey, we're working with Saudi Arabia. What happened is a terrible thing, assuming that happened. I mean, maybe we'll be pleasantly surprised, but somehow I tend to doubt it."

AlbertaU Posted on October 12, 2018 13:00

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Eden Hazard: Chelsea star predicts Ballon d’Or winner - Messi and Ronaldo not considered

The Chelsea star is himself on the shortlist for the award, along with five time winners Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi.

Hazard has hit the ground running this season after starring in the World Cup this summer, helping Belgium to a third-place finish.

But after a disappointing season with the Blues last year, Hazard has not been installed as one of the favourites to win.

The accolade of bookies favourite goes to Real Madrid and Croatia midfielder Luka Modric.


Eden Hazard has revealed who he thinks deserves to win the Ballon d'Or

“I don't think I'm going to win it, in my opinion, Modric deserves it”

Eden Hazard

The 33-year-old has had a wonderful year, winning a third successive Champions League crown with Real and helping his country reach a first World Cup final.

And Hazard says Modric, named FIFA's Best Men's Player last month, would deservedly win the award.

“I don't think I'm going to win it,” Hazard said. “In my opinion, Modric deserves it.

“There are three to four players. I could say [Madrid and France defender Raphael] Varane because he won a lot too.


Eden Hazard believes Luka Modric deserves to win theBallon d'Or

Eden Hazard: Modric won a third successive Champions League crown with Real Madrid last season

“I could deserve it too, let's not lie.

“But seriously, I think that Modric will win it.

“It is going to be a reward for his wonderful season in the Champions League and the final of the World Cup.”

Hazard has been linked with a move to Modric’s team, Real, in recent months and has made no secret of his desire to play at the Bernebeu someday.


Eden Hazard: Modric has already won the FIFA's Best Men's Player award

The last ten winners of the Ballon d'Or have been based in Spain, and when asked whether he needed to move there to be considered the best in the world, he said: “That's why I want to go - maybe.”

Hazard has enjoyed a prolific start to the season, scoring eight goals in 10 matches for Chelsea, and responded ‘yes’ when questioned on whether he thought he was the best player in the world.

But he admits he can still improve, saying: “You can always improve in football. More goals, more assists.

“The team is helping me a lot, but I can improve, for sure.”

jmparker Posted on October 12, 2018 12:43

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What are the Leading Causes of Diastema? Here we go!!

         Wondering why you have teeth gap or a friend of yours? and what are the causes of diastema? Well mostly it causes by an oversized labial frenum. The labial frenum is the piece of tissue that normally extends from the inside of your upper lip to the gum just above your two upper front teeth. In some situations, the labial frenum continues to grow and passes between the two front teeth.

       Diastema is defined as the spacing between a person’s teeth. This is often noticed between the two front teeth or more. This condition often affects children and should be given immediate and appropriate treatment. It occurs when there is an inordinate relationship between the size of the teeth and the jaw. Unfortunately for adults, this condition can become permanent and will already require an orthodontic correction.

        In this article, we will break down all the leading causes of diastema and the possible treatment a person with the condition can take. You will also wade through a handful of preventive actions in order to avoid this dental flaw.

Causes of Diastema

1. Teeth and Jaw Discrepancies

The size discrepancy between the teeth and the jaw is one of the most common causes of having a teeth gap. This occurs when the jaw is too big while the teeth’s size is normal or if the jaw is in normal size, but the teeth are too small.

2.Teeth and Arch Discrepancies (Dentoalveolar Discrepancies)

Another thing that causes this condition is the disproportion between the arch length and teeth size. This is basically due to the increase in arch dimensions that leads to the spacing between some teeth. The dentoalveolar discrepancy occurs when the anterior teeth are in normal size, but the bridgework arch is larger or when the anterior teeth are smaller, and the arch is in normal size.

3. Expanded Labial Frenum and Impaired Intermaxillary Structure

Expanded maxillary labial frenum is one of the reported leading causes of maxillary diastema. The eruption of a swollen maxillary incisors and canine, teeth spacing and offhand closure of atrophy, and space in the labial frenum may occur. However, this phenomenon can also not occur if the maxillary central incisors erupt wide apart from each other.

4.Physiological Dentition Development

Average teeth spacing is normally only 3mm in the lower jaw bone (mandible) and 4mm in the upper jaw bone (maxilla). Physiological teeth gap happens when the eruption of the canines closes the space between teeth.

5. Missing Teeth

Another major factor to this dental condition has a missing tooth. Having a missing tooth can lead to the spacing between each tooth to worsen as other teeth are likely to move into the space.

6. Periodontitis

This refers to the progressive form of gum disease, which is caused by bone loss that leads to the inflammation of gums. It can also result in the disruption of the supporting bone which may lead affected teeth to become mobile. Teeth mobility greatly results to teeth gap formation which will likely worsen over time if not given appropriate treatment ahead of time.

7. Heredity or Ethnicity

One of the inevitable causes of diastema is heredity. This is because the controls of teeth size are genetically driven. This theory was supported by studies showing the genetic basis of microdontia and hypodontia.

Diastema Treatments

Many patients choose to correct diastema not because it does have bad effects on the health but because of aesthetic reasons. There are a handful of treatment procedures in order to close the gaping of the teeth.

1. Invisalign – This dental treatment involves the use of clear braces. More and more people nowadays are acquiring this treatment from their local dentist just because it is invisible, and they don’t have to deal with wearing horrendous metal braces. This clear brace is removable, making it easy for you to eat, brush, and floss your teeth.

2. Porcelain Veneers Application – The treatment basically involves the application of veneer, a thin of material which is specially made to fill in the gaps between teeth. This treatment is great for a teeth gap in a smaller width.

3. Dental Bonding – This treatment is considered as the most appealing one. The procedure involves bonding materials that are made to match the teeth color. The material is sculpted around the teeth in order to close the gap.

Prevention Measures for Diastema

If the cause of the diastema is caused by physiological dentition development, then there is, unfortunately, no way you can avoid this condition. However, spontaneous teeth gap widening can be prevented by using a brace to stop the teeth from being mobile.

On the other hand, mundane dental chores such as regular flossing and tooth brushing are the best ways to prevent this condition. The practice of proper oral hygiene is the fundamental prevention measures to avoid diastema. Tooth decay and gum diseases are major factors that lead to dentition gaps spacing, which can actually be evaded if the patient observes proper dental care.

In Conclusion
There you have it – these are the important things you need to know about diastema. Getting to know the leading causes is indispensable in order to come up with the appropriate treatment or preventive measures. Having great teeth is one of the major attributes that boost our self-confidence. Hence, everyone should never neglect appropriate dental care before it’s too late.

sarah Posted on October 12, 2018 12:41

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Egypt court sentences 17 to death for attacking Christians

CAIRO — An Egyptian military court on Thursday sentenced 17 Islamic militants to death for involvement in deadly attacks on Christians, a rights lawyer said.

The court in the Mediterranean city of Alexandria also issued life sentences to 19 defendants and sentenced another nine to 15 years in prison on terror-related charges, lawyer Khaled el-Masry said. Another defendant got a 10-year term, he said.

Military prosecutors had accused the defendants of belonging to the Islamic State group and plotting attacks against Christian churches and security forces, el-Masry said. The verdict, which came after an approval from Egypt's top religious authority, the Grand Mufi, can be appealed.

El-Masry said the defendants were tried for their involvement in a suicide bombing inside a Cairo chapel adjacent to St. Mark's Cathedral, the seat of Egypt's ancient Coptic Orthodox Church, in December 2016. The attack killed at least 25 people.

Some were convicted of plotting twin suicide bombings in churches in Alexandria and Tanta, on Palm Sunday in April 2017, killing at least 45 people, el-Masry said. Both attacks were claimed by the Islamic State group. Some were also convicted of killing eight police in a militant attack on a checkpoint in the Western Desert in January 2017.

The Palm Sunday bombings prompted President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi to declare a state of emergency that is still in place.

Christians make up about 10 percent of Egypt's population. They have long complained of discrimination in the Muslim-majority nation and claim that authorities have often failed to protect them from sectarian attacks.

Rights group Amnesty International condemned the verdict, describing it as a "grossly unfair military trial" and demanding that the defendants receive a fair hearing before a civilian court.

"There is no doubt that the perpetrators of these horrific attacks should be held accountable for their crimes," said Najia Bounaim of Amnesty. "But handing out a mass death sentence after an unfair military trial is not justice and will not deter further sectarian attacks."

In Egypt, civilians accused of attacking members of the armed forces are tried before military courts, but civilians involved in militant attacks against civilians also face trials in military courts. Human rights groups criticize these trials for their hasty procedures, harsh sentences and limited transparency. The verdicts can be appealed, but any appeal would return to another military court.

Egypt has faced an Islamist insurgency since the 2013 removal of Muslim Brotherhood-affiliated President Mohammed Morsi. Retaliatory attacks have damaged or destroyed dozens of churches throughout the country. Security forces have struggled to contain militants led by an affiliate of the Islamic State group in the northern region of the Sinai Peninsula, but attacks on the mainland have also occurred.

khojho Posted on October 12, 2018 09:02

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Mum reveals bruised and battered body after shielding her baby from huge hailstones

Fiona Simpson from Queensland posted photos of her injuries on Facebook and described her ordeal.

A young mum has posted photos of the injuries she received as she tried to protect her infant daughter from tennis ball-sized hailstones.

Fiona Simpson from Kingaroy, Queensland was in her car with her baby and grandmother, about 130 miles north-west of Brisbane when she drove into a storm.

The massive hailstones smashed through the car's windows. Fearing for her child's safety Ms Simpson put her body on the line.

Image: Fiona Simpson was left covered in bruises. Pic: Facebook

Recovering in hospital later she posted photos on Facebook of her battered and bruised back and shoulders and described what happened.

"I've learnt my lesson today, never drive in a hail storm!" she wrote. "I covered my infant with my body to stop her from getting badly injured.

"My entire back, arms and head are badly bruised. "I'm just so relieved that my daughter and grandmother are alright.

"Please, please be careful in this storm season. I know I'll be sore tomorrow, does anyone know of a cream or ointment that will help with the bruising?"

AlbertaU Posted on October 12, 2018 08:47

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Ryan Coogler Reportedly Agrees To Write And Direct 'Black Panther' Sequel

After the runaway success of the first film, it looks as if the band might be getting back together for Black Panther 2.

Ryan Coogler has signed on to write and direct a sequel to the Marvel superhero flick, according to reports.

Coogler co-wrote the first Black Panther film alongside Joe Robert Cole. It is not yet clear whether Cole will return for the second instalment.

The Hollywood Reporter said that Coogler had agreed to spend 2019 writing the follow-up movie before filming starts either in late 2019 or early 2020. Despite these rumours, the film has yet to be officially announced or given even a vague release date.

You'd be surprised if there wasn't a second film, however, given the box-office performance of the previous one.

Earlier this year, Marvel's mastermind Kevin Feige said that they were going to do a sequel, just that they've got no details to announce as of yet. He said: "Nothing specific to reveal, other than to say we absolutely will do that.

"One of the favourite pastimes at Marvel Studios is sitting around on a Part One and talking and dreaming about what we would do in a Part Two."

In an earlier interview, Feige also said: "We always say we work on one movie at a time.

"If you have any good ideas, put it in the movie you're making.

"If you don't, you might not be able to make another one. That said, Panther has been around for more than half a century in the comic books and there are many, many stories to tell."

That's encouraging. After making such a good go of the first BP film, it would be a crying shame if they ruined it by not putting enough care and attention into the second.

Meanwhile, Coogler will have his hands full with the new live action/cartoon crossover Space Jam reboot.

Any film that brings LeBron James and Bugs Bunny to the same basketball court has got to be a success, right?

That project is to begin in 2019 and Coogler has signed on to produce.

LeBron actually spoke very fondly of Coogler and said that Black Panther brought black superheroes to the table in a way that they weren't when he was a kid.

He said: "It's so much bigger. I'd just love for kids to understand how empowered they can feel and how empowered they can be if they don't just give up on their dreams. And I think Ryan did that for a lot of people,"

Let's hope he can do it all again for the sequel.

kabby Posted on October 12, 2018 08:47

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Dr. Nouriel Roubini vs. Bitcoin: Senate Hearing Breaks Down His Arguments

The United States Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs held an informational hearing today titled “Exploring the Cryptocurrency and Blockchain Ecosystem.”

The speakers included Dr. Nouriel Roubini, Professor of Economics and International Business, New York University Stern School of Business; and Mr. Peter Van Valkenburgh, Director of Research, Coin Center. Both gave testimonies on their stances on cryptocurrencies, followed by a Q&A session with Senators.

Dr. Nouriel Roubini: Nothing Good to Say About Cryptocurrencies

In no uncertain terms, Dr. Nouriel Roubini’s testimony, who predicted the 2008 financial crash, the cryptocurrency ecosystem as “full of scams, insecure, and useless technology.” As CCN reported, Dr. Roubini has been extremely negative towards cryptocurrencies and the blockchain technology that underlies them.

He held strong to that sentiment during this hearing, though his comments did reveal a broad lack of understanding in blockchain technology. A common thread running through his responses was that the current banking and fintech systems already solved all of the problems that blockchain tries to solve, with even better outcomes.

His criticisms include:

“Only criminals and terrorists use crypto.”

“Mining is a huge harm to the environment.”

“Cryptocurrency users want a utopia where payments are decentralized without government or authorities, which is utterly ridiculous.”

“There is widespread corruption – pump and dump schemes, wash sales, etc.”

“Most tokens are non-compliant securities.”

“Utility tokens take us back to the stone age with bartering. Even the Flinstones knew better than cryptocurrencies: They used clams for barter.”

“Most corporations have found that blockchain technology is no better than a database.”

“No corporation or government would want to be on a public ledger.”

Question and Answer Session

When asked if the world has benefited over the last 10 years since bitcoin’s launch, Dr. Roubini said the world has not benefited at all.  Peter Van Valkenburgh, however, provided an example where a woman entrepreneur in Afganistan was able to start and maintain her business because of bitcoin. Since banks in Afganistan only allow men to open accounts, women are at a disadvantage and this woman could not pay her employees because her husband stole the company’s funds. Bitcoin allowed her to pay employees and keep her business running.

Dr. Roubini said that cryptocurrencies are a huge loophole for criminals transfer money anonymously. However, Peter Van Valkenburgh said that investigators told him that they are “delighted” to track crimes on the blockchain because of its “perfect fidelity of transactions”. This is easier than the shell accounts and international banking systems to find money laundering activies. He also mentions BTC-E as an example for how authorities were able to track criminals more easily.

Overall, Valkenburgh provided valuable education to senators about blockchain, a skill that he has made him popular.” His accommodative answers stood in contrast to the attacks from “Dr. Doom”,  Dr. Roubini’s nickname in the cryptocurrency community.

AlbertaU Posted on October 12, 2018 08:20

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Star Trek actress Celeste Yarnall dead at 74 following cancer battle

Star Trek actress Celeste Yarnall has died aged 74.

Celeste, who was known for playing Yeoman Martha Landon on the October 1967 episode of the sci-fi show opposite Chekov, died on Sunday.

© Credits: CBS via Getty Images

Her husband said she passed away at her home in California following a "long struggle" with ovarian cancer.

“She was pure love and pure light,” he said. “This was her essence. She was a source of good. She was always for the betterment of humanity, especially women.

"She was very much a trailblazer in women’s empowerment. She was a spectrum of things.”

He added to Fox News: “I’m just so inconsolable. She was my everything.”

© Credits: Getty Images    Celeste also appeared opposite Elvis Presley in Live A Little, Love A Little, and last year revealed the music icon was a big fan of Star Trek.

She told the Sky Arts film: “Elvis was a Star Trek fan. He even had a horse named Star Trek.”

© Credits: Getty Images

The actress had appeared on Presley’s favourite TV show just a year before they worked together.

She said: “First day on set, Elvis gave me the biggest hug, and he said, ‘I just couldn’t wait to meet you. I knew you were coming. And I know you from Star Trek.’

“We became very, very dear friends and very close very quickly.”

Related Slideshow: ‘Star Trek’ Actress Celeste Yarnall Passes Away At 74 From Ovarian Cancer (Provided by OK Magazine)

Dominic Solomon Posted on October 11, 2018 16:01

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The Top leading Africa multi-payment Platform (Cofred) is apologising to its cherished customers for the inconveniences caused for using the CofredPay mobile application. 

The mobile application for CofredPay is currently under development and will be completed very soon.

In this regards, we appreciate you to continue to use our web applications for the time being.

We appreciate your continuous patronage and we promise to continue to improve the CofredPay platform to meet your needs and much more.

We will release a new post as soon as the mobile application is ready for use.

The new mobile application platform is expected to significantly change the mobile payments landscape by uniting traditional banking with mobile finance to the benefit of customers.

CofredPay is a secure online payment solution system that allows its users to send and receive payments! CofredPay also features easy bills payments, money transfer, merchant and person to person payments by allowing its users to link their Visa or MasterCard or mobile money wallet to make payments.

CofredPay is a service of Cofred which has been a secure and quick payment service provider since 2013. Cofred is truly a global company with its headquarters based at Kasoa, Ghana and its other office at Lagos, Nigeria with a staff straight of over 100 representing Ghana and Nigeria.

Dominic Solomon Posted on October 11, 2018 15:31

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US weapons systems can be 'easily hacked'

Some of the most cutting-edge weapons in the US's military arsenal can be "easily hacked" using "basic tools", a government report has concluded.

The Government Accountability Office (GAO) found "mission-critical" cyber-vulnerabilities in nearly all weapons systems tested between 2012 and 2017.

That includes the newest F-35 jet as well as missile systems.

Pentagon officials had no immediate response to the 50-page report from the Senate Armed Services Committee.

The committee's members expressed concerns about how protected weapon systems were against cyber-attacks.

The report's main findings were:

  • the Pentagon did not change the default passwords on multiple weapons systems - and one changed password was guessed in nine seconds
  • a team appointed by the GAO was able to easily gain control of one weapons system and watch in real time as the operators responded to the hackers
  • it took another two-person team only one hour to gain initial access to a weapons system and one day to gain full control
  • many of the test teams were able to copy, change or delete system data with one team downloading 100 gigabytes of information

The GAO added that the Pentagon "does not know the full scale of its weapons system vulnerabilities".

Ken Munro, an expert at security firm Pen Test Partners, said he was "not at all surprised" by the findings.

"It takes a long time to develop a weapons system, often based on iterations of much older systems. As a result, the components and software can be based on very old, vulnerable code.

"Developers often overlook 'hardening' the security of systems after they've got them operating, with the philosophy, 'it's working, so don't mess with it'.

"However, that's no excuse. This report shows some very basic security flaws that could easily have been addressed by changing passwords and keeping software up-to-date."

AlbertaU Posted on October 11, 2018 13:59

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Terrifying Moment Plane Flies Towards Buildings In 'Dangerous' Stunt


Sat in a high-rise office building, you definitely wouldn't expect to see a giant Boeing C-17 plane just metres away from the window.

Credit: 4esworld/Instagram

However, that's exactly what happened to one terrified bunch of office workers in Australia.

The stunt was caught on video, with the plane terrifying onlookers as it got too close for comfort as it flew narrowly in between buildings, and one observer compared the terror to '9/11 stuff'.

I mean, you'd probably rather not encounter that sight during a peek out of the windows, right? 'Come work in our office,' they said. 'Admire the views from the 30th floor,' they said. AND LOOK WHAT HAPPENS.

The footage shows the plane - a Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) C-17, which was in rehearsal for Brisbane's Riverfire airshow at the South Bank parklands - flying scarily close to the buildings. Luckily, it adjusts its trajectory at the very last minute to avoid a collision. So that's... ok, I guess?


Credit: 4esworld/Instagram

Oh wait, no it isn't, according to the public. Though the incident was only a stunt, it has left a lot of people on social media very unhappy, with one person slamming the incident as 'unnecessarily stupid and dangerous'.

One person commented: "All it would take is a small mistake and those buildings and people would be toast."

Another said: "I mean it's cool and stuff, but that could've gone very, very, VERY wrong."

Following this controversy, you'd imagine the RAAF might be a bit worried - but luckily some people have jumped to its defence and pointing out that this sort of thing tends to be meticulously planned.

"Unless both pilots had a synchronised heart attack or catastrophic plane failure, nobody was in any danger," one person wrote. Glad neither of those things happened, then.

"I am not saying this is not well thought out," another responded, although to be fair that sounds like exactly the sort of caveat you'd open with before suggesting the exact opposite.

Riverfire is a festival held annually in Brisbane, with a finale based aroundthousands of fireworks and some dramatic flybys - for which the C-17 was rehearsing when this whole incident occured.

Storms did roll out across the southeast of Australia during parts of the flyovers but that didn't faze the spectators, who enjoyed the spectacular views - clearly after the initial shock of the close-flying C-17 calmed down.

Credit: Instagram

Despite storms and the C-17 shock the event drew an estimated 500,000 people to the river's edge and was reported to be one of 'the best firework displays of all time'. Hyperbolic or not, sounds like a great time was had by all.

Unless you worked in those offices.

kabby Posted on October 11, 2018 13:45

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Nurmagomedov v McGregor: How does UFC move on from ugly scenes in Las Vegas?

It should have been a showcase of mixed martial arts excellence, but UFC 229 in Las Vegas transformed from being a spectacular night of MMA to one of the most controversial events in UFC history, after violent skirmishes broke out following Khabib Nurmagomedov's victory over Conor McGregor.

The ugly scenes have drawn global headlines and shone a spotlight on the sport of MMA for all the wrong reasons.

It begs the question: what happens next?

Is any publicity good publicity for the UFC?

From failed drug tests to weigh-in mishaps and untimely injuries, the UFC has demonstrated a remarkable ability to bounce back from setbacks and keep moving forward. But this one, coming so soon after McGregor's attack on a UFC minibus in Brooklyn, is a much trickier problem to navigate.

Once McGregor's legal issues from that incident had been dealt with, the bout with Nurmagomedov was booked almost immediately, and footage of the bus attack featured prominently as part of the promotion leading up to the event. In doing so, the UFC effectively invested in the incident the organisation's president Dana White had previously slammed as "disgusting".

To continue that narrative by booking an immediate rematch may generate the greatest financial return in the short term, but it may also serve to indirectly legitimise the antics of both McGregor and Nurmagomedov, who between them have been responsible for two of the most unsavoury incidents in UFC history within the space of just a few months.

If there is a silver lining it's the fact that, after a modest start to the year, the explosion in notoriety from the event could also lead to more people tuning in when the likes of Jon Jones, Brock Lesnar, Anderson Silva, and possibly Georges St-Pierre return to action in the New Year. Following the scenes of Saturday night in Vegas, the UFC needs its other stars to step up more than ever.

And, of course, there's McGregor's next bout. But we'll talk more about that a little later…

Is MMA's reputation across the world damaged as a result?

Mixed martial arts and its fans have fought a long, drawn-out battle for legitimacy in different parts of the world. The sport remains banned in France, and in other countries it still faces a fight for mainstream acceptance and legitimacy, including here in the UK, where it still hasn't been fully embraced by the mainstream media.

Scenes like the ones we saw at UFC 229 don't belong in any sport, even one as gritty and physical as mixed martial arts, and only serve to fuel the fire of those who question the sport's legitimacy.

But, prior to Nurmagomedov's moment of madness, UFC 229 delivered a thrilling night of fights that showcased the very best in MMA.

An entertaining women's bout featuring a victory for one of the best role models in the sport, Michelle Waterson, kicked off the pay-per-view broadcast, while fan favourite Derrick Lewis scored a dramatic last-gasp, come-from-behind knockout to push his claims for a shot at the heavyweight title.

We saw a new light-heavyweight contender emerge as former NFL hopeful Dominick Reyes defeated seasoned veteran Ovince St-Preux, and former interim lightweight champion Tony Ferguson completed a remarkable comeback from knee surgery to defeat former world champion Anthony Pettis after a blistering battle in the co-main event.

And Nurmagomedov himself produced a brilliant performance to submit McGregor and cement his position as the world's premier lightweight fighter. His dominant display over the Irishman should have been the talking point of the night.

Instead, it took the Russian just a matter of seconds to turn his victory - and those of his fellow fighters on the card - from a headline to an afterthought.

Is trash talking going too far in the UFC?

MMA and boxing have had a long history of their competitors engaging in mind games, showmanship and trash talk. Muhammad Ali was the master at it, Chris Eubank Sr excelled at it and Floyd Mayweather has become a multi-millionaire several times over because of it. Conor McGregor is no different.

When McGregor launches into pre-fight trash-talk mode, he's trying to pick holes in his opponent's armour. And with Nurmagomedov being a stoic character, the Dubliner knew he had to get personal to get inside the Russian's head. It worked, but rather than knock him off his game, it simply lit a fire inside "The Eagle", whose pent-up anger finally came out at the conclusion of Saturday's bout.

Nurmagomedov's post-fight argument that trash talk should steer clear of nationality and religion is certainly valid, and the UFC may benefit from publishing a public code of conduct that clearly sets out the boundaries of what's acceptable and what isn't when promoting a fight.

It wasn't Conor's trash talk that sent Khabib over the cage and into McGregor's corner, but it was certainly a contributing factor behind the bad blood.

And what now for McGregor?

Despite his defeat, McGregor's immense star power means he has options.

Some have suggested an immediate rematch with Nurmagomedov. But given the dominant, decisive nature of the Russian's win - and considering the ugly scenes that followed - the UFC may be better served taking a different, less inflammatory, route.

A trilogy bout with old rival Nate Diaz would generate similar excitement and anticipation among the fans. And with the pair holding one win each after their first two bouts, a decider might just be the best option for McGregor and the UFC.

Other alternatives include Canadian superstar and former two-division world champion Georges St-Pierre, who has hinted at a possible return as a lightweight.

And if Nurmagomedov ends up being suspended and stripped of his title, it's not out of the question that we could see McGregor's next bout being contested for the lightweight title once again.

His most likely opponent in that scenario would be former interim champion Tony Ferguson, whose six-year, 11-bout win streak demands the next shot at the gold.

And (whisper it quietly) there is always the option of a return to boxing ring…

Whoever McGregor fights next one thing is certain. The eyes of the sporting world will be watching.

majsdesaint Posted on October 11, 2018 13:13

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Mohammed Dewji, Africa’s youngest billionaire and Tanzania's only billionaire kidnapped at gunpoint

According to a taxi driver nearby, the unknown men arrived in two vehicles and parked at the hotel before Mr Dewji got there. Once Mr Dewji arrieved, the cars then flashed lights before the two white men alighted and seized him.

play Mohammed Dewji (ippmedia.)


  • The 43year old who is a fitness enthusiast, was abducted by masked gunmen while he was going for his routine morning workout.
  • He is reportedly worth $1.5bn (£980m) according to Forbes who described him as Tanzania’s only billionaire.
  • Dar es Salaam regional commissioner Paul Makonda confirmed the reports but cautioned the public against speculation.

Africa’s youngest billionaire, Mohammed Dewji has been kidnapped and police are currently on a manhunt looking for him.

According to eye witnesses, the Tanzania’s only billionaire was kidnapped in Tanzania’s capital outside the exclusive Colosseum Hotel and Fitness Club, in Oyster Bay, a swanky hotel gym located an affluent neighbourhood in northwest Dar es Salaam.

The 43year old who is a fitness enthusiast, was abducted by masked gunmen while he was going for his routine morning workout.



He had no security guards with him and had driven to the gym in an affluent suburb on his own.

According to a taxi driver nearby, the unknown men arrived in two vehicles and parked at the hotel before Mr Dewji got there. Once Mr Dewji arrieved, the cars then flashed lights before the two white men alighted and seized him.

They then sped off while shooting in the air.

Dar es Salaam regional commissioner Paul Makonda confirmed the reports but cautioned the public against speculation.

There were two white people involved, we are yet to establish the motives behind abduction," Mr Mambosasa said, adding that investigations are underway.

play Dar es Salaam regional commissioner Paul Makonda (The Citizen)


Environment Minister January Makamba, a friend of Mr Dewji, also tweeted that he had spoken to Mr Dewji’s father and the family confirmed that he had been kidnapped.

Mr Dewji, locally known as Mo, is credited with turning his family business from a wholesale and retail enterprise into a pan-African conglomerate.

He is reportedly worth $1.5bn (£980m) according to Forbes who described him as Tanzania’s only billionaire.

play Colosseum Hotel and Fitness Club. (Agoda)


In a 2017 report, it said Mr Dewji was Africa’s youngest billionaire. In 2016, Mr Dewji promised to donate at least half his fortune to philanthropic causes, Forbes said.

Mr Dewji is the owner and chief executive of the multibillion-dollar Mohammed Enterprises Tanzania Ltd (METL Group).

His company, METL, has interests in textile manufacturing, flour milling, beverages and edible oils in at least six African states.

play Mohammed Dewji, CEO of MeTL Group (MarcoPolis)


He is also the main sponsor of the Tanzanian premier league club champions, Simba.

Mr Dewji also once tried his hands in politics and he is a former member of parliament for Singida Urban for the ruling CCM party.

Three people have so far been arrested in connection with the incident according to the police.

AlbertaU Posted on October 11, 2018 12:46

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Pastor Chris' ex-wife absent at daughter's glamorous wedding

The wedding of Miss Sharon Oyakhilome, the first daughter of the senior pastor, Christ Embassy, Pastor Chris Oyakhilome, to her Ghanaian beau, Phillip Frimpong which held last Saturday, October 6, 2018, in Lagos, had all the trappings of royalty.

For the man of God, Pastor Chris, it was indeed a glorious day as he walked his daughter down the aisle into the hands of her beau.

What more? His friend and gospel minister, Pastor Benny Hinn, officiated at the wedding.

Ministering at the elaborate and classy wedding between Sharon Oyakhilome and Phillip Frimpong, Hinn said it was more than tying the knot.

He said, “This is not just a wedding ceremony, is it a divine moment in the Kingdom of God!”’

“God is bringing you together for ministry. Ministering to the Lord is what releases His power. When you begin ministering to the Lord together, miracles will begin to happen for you.”

But not many guests wondered why the mother of the bride, now What more? His friend and gospel minister, Pastor Benny Hinn, officiated at the wedding.

Bride and her grandmother

The two, Chris and Anita are divorced.

Ironically, Anita was the first to announce the engagement of their daughter on her Facebook page in November of 2017.

Pastor Chris' daughter ties the knot




Sharing a photo of Sharon and her then fiancé, Phillip, Anita announced the good news.

Sharon, a gospel singer, didn’t live with her mum.

After the divorce between Pastor Chris and his former wife, Anita, the court asked them to take one of their daughters each. Pastor Chris was left with his eldest daughter Sharon while his embattled wife went with Charlene, who was the Chief Bridesmaid.

Sharon marries a Ghanaian business man




But then why did Anitah shun such a glorious day of her daughter’s life?
“She must have felt left out of everything since Sharon lived with her dad,” a source at the Christ Embassy told Kemiashefonlovehaven.

Sharon, a gospel singer, didn’t live with her mum.

On a second thought, what if Pastor Chris had barred her from attending?
The source revealed to KALH: “Its not possible for the man of God to have done that. 

He is a peace-loving person and even if such happened, Anita, who is known to have been vocal since the divorce took place, must have taken to social media to express herself. I think she just didn’t feel up to handling what would have happened at the event.

The wedding which witnessed Pastor Chris’ mother taking the role of Sharon’s mum, was attended by the crème of society including former president Olusegun Obasanjo


jmparker Posted on October 11, 2018 10:10

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US plans to make it harder for some people to get a green card

Rights groups say proposed public-charge rule change will adversely affect low-income families, people with disabilities

Tucson, Arizona - The first thing Alfredo* bought for his parents when he started working was a refrigerator. He was still in Mexico, in the city of Mazatlan in Sinaloa, where he worked in a little store.

But he wanted a better life, so he moved on with his wife and child. First to the state of Sonora, later crossing the border to Arizona in 1993 on a US visitor's visa.

In Arizona, Alfredo washed dishes in a restaurant for a year, a job he got through another migrant he had met.

Eventually, he found himself working as a handyman, plumber and landscaper throughout Tucson. 

From the moment he started working, Alfredo sent money back to his parents. The money was for improvements to the house he grew up in, which had no plumbing nor electricity.

All those years in Tucson, Alfredo paid taxes using an International Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN). He wanted to follow the rules of the new country he was living in, which he also believed would eventually help him become a US citizen.

Now, 26 years later, Alfredo finally received his green card, giving him the opportunity to travel back to his home country and his family for the first time since he left.

In five years, as the rules now dictate, he will also be able to become a US citizen.

But Alfredo considers himself lucky. He received his green card as the Trump administration announced a proposal that, if implemented, would have possibly blocked him from obtaining it, according to his immigration lawyer, Rachel Wilson. 

'Only money matters'

Under the proposed rule change, announced in September and officially published on Wednesday, immigration authorities could deny green cards, visas or even admission to immigrants who use or may use public assistance programmes, including food stamps, non-emergency Medicaid, housing vouchers and other types of federal assistance. 

Although immigrants must already prove they won't be a "public charge", the proposal details that the use or potential use of public assistance programmes may now work against their applications.

Alfredo and his wife did accept food stamps for their baby daughter 20 years ago.

"We got food stamps for her in the first years after she was born," Alfredo told Al Jazeera, sitting in the office of his immigration lawyer. "Because we were just starting, this gave us that little extra to make ends meet."

Because their daughter was a US citizen, they were eligible for food stamps as a household. The stamps were to buy eggs, milk and tortillas. As soon as Alfredo made enough money, she no longer went to collect the stamps.

Alfredo and his wife consider themselves lucky to have obtained their green cards before the proposal was announced [Eline van Nes/Al Jazeera] 

Additionally, an individual's English proficiency level may factor into the decision on his or her application.  For Alfredo, this may have proved difficult as his English is limited to his work as a handyman.

It remains unclear if past use of food stamps or limited English proficiency would be deemed a "public charge" under the proposal, which lawyers said is part of the problem.

"The difficulty with this new rule is that it's all very vague," Wilson told Al Jazeera.

"We don't know for sure if those food stamps would be a problem because the parents were only the ones picking them up. They were officially for the daughter. But their daughter was just born, so she couldn't do that by herself," Wilson said. 

"What they clearly don't take into account in the new rule is the 26 years of paying taxes. Under the new rule, these don't count against the possibility that the applicant might have to make use of public assistance in the future."

Advocates also fear the new proposal will adversely affect low-income individuals, as well as those with disabilities.

"This proposal says work and family don't matter - only money matters," the National Immigration Law Center said in a statement last month when the rule was first announced. 

Children may lose access to benefits that, in their later years, could mean better health, higher educational achievement, more work, and greater earnings.

Center on Budget and Policy Priorities

Rights groups warn that immigrants may forgo desperately needed public assistance out of fear of losing their eligibility for legal resident status.

The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, a research institute promoting accessibility of the food-stamp programme, worries specifically for pregnant women and young children.

It said in a September statement: "Children may lose access to benefits that, in their later years, could mean better health, higher educational achievement, more work, and greater earnings."


The public-charge rule dates back the Immigration Act of 1882, which included a clause that allowed for denial of entry to "any convict, lunatic, idiot or any person unable to take care of himself without becoming a public charge".

Immigrants had to prove they had at least $25 to be able to provide for themselves until they found a job.

Since then, its implementation has varied depending on the administration.

For example, the public-charge rule was enforced more strongly during the 1930s by President Herbert Hoover.

The current proposed rule would narrow the definition of public charge.

"This proposed rule will implement a law passed by Congress intended to promote immigrant self-sufficiency and protect finite resources by ensuring that they are not likely to become burdens on American taxpayers," Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen said in a statement last month.

The people who clean your room in a fancy hotel are immigrants; they are part of the fabric of our society. We need that labour here. When we start saying, 'we want people from this country and not from that country' ... well, you will start to find a lot of ugliness underneath that.

Rachel Wilson, lawyer

In the new rules, it's also possible for immigration services to demand a public-charge bond of $10,000 or more if they decide a migrant might become a public charge.

"That bond is another problem," Wilson told Al Jazeera. "There is only a minimum amount given, no maximum. So the official might as well ask for an amount no one is able to pay unless they are very rich."

Wilson said she doesn't understand why the government tries to exclude a certain part of the migrant population.

"The people who clean your room in a fancy hotel are immigrants; they are part of the fabric of our society. We need that labour here. When we start saying, 'we want people from this country and not from that country' ... well, you will start to find a lot of ugliness underneath that."

DHS stated that it receives seven million applications for permanent residency, immigration status and temporary work visa every year. 

Since 2001, roughly one million people obtain green cards yearly. According to Pew Research Institute, the majority already live in the US. 

USA Today reported that the proposed rule could affect more than 380,000 applicants each year. 

Wilson believes that more than 50 percent of her clients could be affected by the new rules and as a result, won't be able to apply for a green card any more.

"I think this is an incredibly unfair policy. To use this public-charge rule to exclude people as if they are not part of this society is abhorrent," Wilson said.

The official version of the proposed rule was published on the Federal Register on Wednesday. The public has until December 10 to make comments and suggestions on the rule. Changes may be made before the rule is implemented. The rule changes are expected to go into effect at the beginning of next year. 

So close to the November midterm elections, many say the proposal seems to be a way for the Trump administration to show how serious they are about closing the borders.

'We're not criminals'

Although Alfredo and his wife received their green cards, the couple still isn't completely confident about their situation as of yet. They are now in their five-year probation period before they can become US citizens. 

Due to the ever-uncertain changing immigration laws and regulations, Alfredo and his wife were advised by their lawyer not to use their real names when speaking to the media.

"That feels like something strange to do," Alfredo said. "We are not criminals. We have nothing to hide; we just have no idea what will happen with this administration and to us if we come forward with our names."

Wilson nodded and said: "Them having to talk about this anonymously just goes to show what we have become in the United States. Immigration has always existed on earth. We go where there is work; we go where there is safety."

*Name has been changed to protect the individual's identity.

AlbertaU Posted on October 11, 2018 10:05

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Cambodia calls EU trade threat 'extreme injustice'

The EU announced Cambodia could lose its special access to European markets over undemocratic practices.

Cambodia's foreign ministry on Thursday said a decision by the European Union to ramp up trade pressure on the country over human rights concerns was an "extreme injustice", adding it risked destroying decades of development in the country.

The EU last week said Cambodia would lose its special access to the world's largest trading bloc as a response to human rights concerns surrounding a July election that extended Prime Minister Hun Sen's three-decade rule.

"The Cambodian government can only take this decision as an extreme injustice when the EU blatantly disregards the considerable progress made by the country, despite its recent tragic past," Cambodia's Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement.

"By implementing these withdrawal measures, the European Commission risks negating 20 year's worth of development efforts."

The EU announced that Cambodia would lose its special access to European markets under the so-called Everything But Arms (EBA) preferential trade scheme after it conducts a six-month review of Cambodia's duty-free status.

EU Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmstrom said unless there were improvements, the trade preferences would be suspended, though the bloc's delegation in the country clarified the process still involved further decisions that could take a year.

Khmer Rouge

Cambodia emerged from decades of war and the genocidal Khmer Rouge years in the early 1990s.

Over the past two decades, it has been the world's sixth-fastest growing economy, with average GDP growth rate of 7.6 percent, according to the World Bank, largely because of its garment exports bound mostly for the EU and the United States.

Cambodia's exports to the EU were worth 5bn euros ($5.8bn) last year, according to EU data, up from negligible levels less than a decade ago, with the EU using its trade policy to help develop Cambodia's economy.

The $7bn apparel industry is the kingdom's largest formal employer, providing jobs to some 740,000 people in a country with a population of 15 million.

Analysts say losing the trade scheme would be a major blow to the ruling party, which has hitched its star to economic progress and stability and faces questions of legitimacy after the vote.

Sit down and talk

Labour advocates have also cautioned against the move, citing its potential impact on employees.

Ath Thorn from the Coalition of Cambodia Apparel Workers Democratic Union said the government and the EU should "sit down for a talk" and find ways to avert the loss of the trade deal.

Rights groups said the July general election was not fair because of the lack of a credible opposition.

The main opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) was dissolved by the country's Supreme Court at the government's request last year and did not take part in the election.

Following the CNRP dissolution, Hun Sen's allies ramped up a crackdown against critics, including opposition politicians and independent media.


Inside Story

Cambodia at a crossroads

AlbertaU Posted on October 11, 2018 09:55

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At Rs 17 Cr, Virat Kohli Becomes The Highest-Paid Player In IPL History

Ever since its advent in 2008, the Indian Premier League (IPL) has arguably become one of the most popular and exciting Twenty20 (T20) tournaments in the world. Now, after ten seasons, India's cash-rich league is set to roll out its eleventh edition, slated to begin from the 4th of April.

While there is still some time for the IPL 2018 to begin, this year's edition has already garnered a lot of attention. The return of popular franchises Chennai Super Kings (CSK) and Rajasthan Royals (RR) has surely got the fans excited. But, that's just not it.

The IPL 2018 retentions, where the eight franchises are subjected to retain players of their choice, has also set the ball rolling with some of the biggest names in international cricket bagging big bucks. But, none of the players (retained) even came close to the price tag of Team India's batting sensation, Virat Kohli.

Ever since its advent in 2008, the Indian Premier League (IPL) has arguably become one of the most popular and exciting Twenty20 (T20) tournaments in the world. Now, after ten seasons, India's cash-rich league is set to roll out its eleventh edition, slated to begin from the 4th of April.

While there is still some time for the IPL 2018 to begin, this year's edition has already garnered a lot of attention. The return of popular franchises Chennai Super Kings (CSK) and Rajasthan Royals (RR) has surely got the fans excited. But, that's just not it.

The IPL 2018 retentions, where the eight franchises are subjected to retain players of their choice, has also set the ball rolling with some of the biggest names in international cricket bagging big bucks. But, none of the players (retained) even came close to the price tag of Team India's batting sensation, Virat Kohli.

© Reuters

The Indian captain, whose base price was originally Rs 15 crore, was retained by his franchise i.e. Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) for a staggering Rs 17 crore - making him the highest-paid player in the 11 year history of the IPL.

View image on Twitter

Ever since its advent in 2008, the Indian Premier League (IPL) has arguably become one of the most popular and exciting Twenty20 (T20) tournaments in the world. Now, after ten seasons, India's cash-rich league is set to roll out its eleventh edition, slated to begin from the 4th of April.

While there is still some time for the IPL 2018 to begin, this year's edition has already garnered a lot of attention. The return of popular franchises Chennai Super Kings (CSK) and Rajasthan Royals (RR) has surely got the fans excited. But, that's just not it.

The IPL 2018 retentions, where the eight franchises are subjected to retain players of their choice, has also set the ball rolling with some of the biggest names in international cricket bagging big bucks. But, none of the players (retained) even came close to the price tag of Team India's batting sensation, Virat Kohli.

© Reuters

The Indian captain, whose base price was originally Rs 15 crore, was retained by his franchise i.e. Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) for a staggering Rs 17 crore - making him the highest-paid player in the 11 year history of the IPL.

In the process, Kohli also pipped Yuvraj Singh, who held that record after the Delhi Daredevils (DD) paid Rs 16 crore to secure his services in 2015. England all-rounder Ben Stokes who was bagged by the now-defunct Rising Pune Supergiant (RPS) for Rs 14.50 crore last season, is now third in the list of highest-paid cricketers in the IPL.

Retaining the in-form Kohli was a no-brainer for RCB and even if it meant they had to break the bank for him, the dashing batsman is truly worth it. Hitting 2,818 runs across all formats, it's needless to say that the Indian skipper was in tremendous form last year.

ruby Posted on October 10, 2018 16:32

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5 huge moves that could take place in the January transfer window

The winter transfer window might still be 3 months away, but the rumour mills never stop churning.

January doesn't generally see a lot of traffic on the transfer market. But with the general inflation of player valuations in the post-Neymar-to-PSG era, we've seen that trend changing.



Last winter saw some eye-watering transfers go through. Philippe Coutinho joined Barcelona for a club record fee, and Virgil van Dijk became the most expensive defender of all time when he joined Liverpool.

With all the domestic leagues well and truly underway for the 2018/19 season, clubs have had a chance to assess their squads and shortlist players to target in the next window.

There have already been some huge rumours making the rounds, and we take a look at 5 of the biggest moves that could take place in January:

#5 Skriniar/Romagnoli to Manchester United

It's no secret that Jose Mourinho wanted to sign a centre-back for Manchester United in the summer. Harry Maguire, Toby Alderweireld, Jerome Boateng and Diego Godin were some of the names mentioned, but United failed to land any of their targets.

The erratic form of Bailly, Smalling and Lindelof this season means that the Red Devils will definitely try to sign someone in the winter, and Mourinho reportedly wants to raid his former club Inter Milan.

Milan Skriniar only joined Inter from Sampdoria last summer but has become a mainstay in their defence. The 23-year-old is widely considered as one of the best young defenders in Europe.

AC Milan centre-back Alessio Romagnoli is also a target. The Roma youth product is a left-footed ball-playing defender who has been compared with Alessandro Nesta.

Both of them are valued at around £40 million, but United and Mourinho will have to shell out at least double that amount to try and lure them away from Italy.

#4 Jadon Sancho to the Premier League

Let's admit it, we didn't really see this coming at the start of the season.

The Manchester City youngster was snapped up by Borussia Dortmund last summer for £8 million before he even made a first-team appearance. The Germans have a knack of signing promising starlets and selling them for the big bucks, and it looks like Sancho is one of their biggest coups in recent history.

The 18-year-old leads the assists charts in Europe's top 5 leagues with 6 in 7 matches. Known for his pace and dribbling, his excellent decision making has been highlighted in his stats for Dortmund so far this season.

The inevitable transfer rumours have linked him with a move to Chelsea, although Manchester United, Arsenal, Liverpool and Tottenham are also interested.

Dortmund are reluctant to let him go and have slapped a humongous £100 million price tag on him. If Sancho can keep up his current form until January, we might actually see this move go through.

#3 Paul Pogba to Barcelona

Pogba's deteriorating relations with Mourinho are no secret, and the 25-year-old midfielder has been linked with a move away from Old Trafford since the summer.

The World Cup winner was stripped of his captaincy by Mourinho after the 0-0 draw with Wolves. A run of poor results for United has brought the Portuguese manager under severe pressure, and several players are reportedly threatening to quit the club unless he is sacked.

Barcelona wanted to sign Pogba as a replacement for Andres Iniesta in the summer, having already signed Arthur and Arturo Vidal.

Juventus were also linked with him recently, but their sporting director Fabio Paratici ruled out the move.

In spite of the impressive comeback against Newcastle, Pogba could leave the club in January if Barcelona try to sign him again.

The Catalans still want to sign a midfielder, but Pogba will certainly not come cheap and could cost up to £150 million

#2 Lorenzo Insigne to Chelsea/Liverpool

Transfer mogul Mino Raiola is the agent of Lorenzo Insigne, and he's now trying to seal a Premier League move for his client.

Insigne is arguably the most talented Italian forward right now, and he's already scored 6 goals for Napoli in the Serie A this season.




Capable of playing anywhere in a midfield attacking trio, the 27-year-old is a quick and skilful player known for his dribbling, link-up play, creativity and work rate.

He'd be a perfect fit for Klopp's system at Liverpool, although it remains to be seen if the Reds would want to sign him given that they signed Shaqiri in the summer.

Chelsea could be tempted though if they lose Eden Hazard (we'll come to that soon). But Raiola's tinkering has led Napoli to reach a verbal agreement to insert a £178 million release clause in Insigne's contract, and that could throw a spanner in the works.

#1 Eden Hazard to Real Madrid

This one has gone on forever.

Real Madrid haven't really signed a lot of Galacticos recently, but that hasn't stopped them from being linked with the likes of Hazard, Kane, Lewandowski and even Salah.

After Cristiano Ronaldo's departure to Juventus, many fans expected them to finally make an approach for Hazard, but the Los Blancos chose not to.

But Real have now failed to score in 4 consecutive matches, and they might be regretting not bringing in a replacement for Ronaldo.

Hazard himself also recently spoke out about his desire to join Madrid after starring yet again in Chelsea's visit to Southampton.

Chelsea are trying to tie down their superstar with a new contract, but if the Belgian wants to leave in January, they can't really stop him. The question of a transfer fee still remains, but it's safe to assume that it would break Neymar's transfer record.

majsdesaint Posted on October 10, 2018 16:29

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Gay And Transgender Students And Teachers Could Be ‘Turned Away’ From Australian Schools


Recommendations from a review into religious freedom in Australia could lead to gay and transgender students and teachers being rejected from Australian schools. 

Following the legalisation of same-sex marriage in December 2017 in the country, the Australian government ordered a review into religious freedom.

The review hoped to to address concerns of religious communities and conservative MPs who feared the change would restrict people’s ability to practise their religion freely.

It was carried about by a panel chaired by former attorney-general Philip Ruddock, and received more than 15,000 submissions.


A report from the review was given to Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s cabinet four months ago, and recommended the federal Sex Discrimination Act to be amended in order to allow religious schools to discriminate against students on the basis of religious belief, sexual orientation, gender identity or relationship status, the Sunday Morning Herald reports.

The panel agreed that faith-based schools should have some discretion to discriminate in the hiring of teachers on the same grounds.

The report reads:

There is a wide variety of religious schools in Australia and … to some school communities, cultivating an environment and ethos which conforms to their religious beliefs is of paramount importance.

To the extent that this can be done in the context of appropriate safeguards for the rights and mental health of the child, the panel accepts their right to select, or preference, students who uphold the religious convictions of that school community.


The report is still being reviewed by the cabinet, but Prime Minister Scott Morrison made a statement about the recommendations today (October 10), saying:

Our government will consider the details and release our response after it has gone through a proper cabinet process.

We will protect religious freedom, and get the balance right. Each proposal will be considered carefully and respectfully before any final decisions are taken.

The report added that if the recommended laws were to be enforced, amendments to the Sex Discrimination Act should only apply to new enrolments in schools.


The schools in question would also have to have a publicly available policy outlining its position on discrimination and should regard the best interests of the child as the “primary consideration of its conduct”.

The review does not recommend any changes to the Marriage Act or suggest a dedicated Religious Freedom Act, and the panel did not accept that businesses should be allowed to refuse services on religious grounds.

The panel said that refusing services would ‘unnecessarily encroach on other human rights’ and ‘may cause significant harm to vulnerable groups’.

Morrison said religious freedom laws are needed to safeguard the ability to express faith

kabby Posted on October 10, 2018 16:05

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British Couple Who Were Members Of Neo-Nazi Group Name Son After Hitler

Deciding what to name a baby is a decision many couples agonise over, yet, you can't help but feel this couple should have agonised a little more.

The couple in question were alleged members of banned British neo-Nazi terror group, National Action, and gave their son the middle name Adolf after he was born last year, a court heard.

Jurors were also shown pictures of the baby alongside a 'vehement nazi' posing with a swastika flag and doing a Nazi salute.

Claudia Patatas, 38, and Adam Thomas, 22, of Banbury, Oxfordshire, are charged with membership of National Action, which formed in 2013 but was banned following the murder of Labour MP Jo Cox in June 2016.

Credit: SWNS

Despite being outlawed, the group continued to proliferate white supremacist values across the UK, Birmingham Crown Court heard.

Prosecutor Barnaby Jameson said the groups actions could be described as 'white jihad'.

He said: "This case is about a specific type of terror. It is a terror fuelled by hatred and division. It is a terror born out of fanatical and tribal belief in white supremacy. It is a terror that regards anyone who falls outside a cult of violent white racial supremacy as 'sub-human.'

"Those that fall into the 'sub-human' category are primarily blacks, Jews and Asians. Others include gays, communists and feminists.

"It is a terror that can be summarised in two words: 'White Jihad' - a white holy war.

"The world into which this case will take you is a world in which any right-thinking person would wish did not exist. It is a world beyond casual racist abuse. It is a world of banner-carrying para-militaries aping Hitler's SS. It is a world of Swastikas and the burning crosses of the Ku Klux Klan aka the KKK. It is the world of a group called 'National Action'.

"National Action saw their ban, say the Crown, as an invitation to re-configure, re-brand and resume the fight of violent Aryan supremacy from underground."

Credit: SWNS

Mr Jameson added that Thomas and Patatas' choice of name for their baby was 'of significance', given their alleged involvement in National Action and the picture of 'vehement nazi' Darren Fletcher posing with their baby.

He said: "The couple have a small male child. The child's full name cannot be given for legal reasons.

"However, the Crown can tell you that one of his middle names was 'Adolf.'

"Given that the child was born almost a year after National Action was banned, you may
think the use of the name 'Adolf' - even as a middle name - was of significance.

"Fletcher was a vehement Nazi. In 2014 he went on stage at an extreme right event dressed in KKK robes hanging a golliwog from a noose."

Patatas is on bail and arrived at Birmingham Crown Court wearing an electronic tag on her ankle.

Patatas and Thomas were arrested at their home under terrorism legislation in January and deny being member of a banned organisation.

Thomas also faces a charge relating to possessing items which could be used to commit a terrorist act.

The trial continues.

kabby Posted on October 10, 2018 15:16

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Oxford University Student Marries Herself

Love 'em, hate 'em, whatever - you can always rely on your family for one thing or another. For many of us, they can be supportive, loving and always good for a chat.

Still, even the best of our families can also prove themselves to be a massive pain in the arse - and once you reach a certain age, at least one member is always guaranteed to ask you when you're getting married.

This may not be a priority for most people - it certainly wasn't for Lulu Jemimah, who's been busy studying hard for her master's degree at Oxford University. The 32-year-old student got so sick of this ever-recurring question that she came up with a perfectly sensible answer - she would get married to herself.

Credit: SWNS

Yes, you read correctly, she married herself. Well I suppose they do say 'there's someone for everyone', and Lulu knew exactly where to find her perfect match.

She organised the whole mock wedding, sending out invites, hiring a dress, walking down the aisle and even giving a speech - albeit this was to explain the absence of a groom.

Going to such lengths may seem excessive - and I know what you're thinking: 'But weddings cost thousand. All that money to marry herself?!?' Well, guess what? She says the whole day only cost £2.

Thanks to help from her friends, she managed to get everything for her big day for free or as gifts. In the end her £2 expenses were only required for a taxi to the venue - which was a pub. Cheap fare, that, innit?

It seems absolutely baffling - especially to Lulu's parents back home in Uganda - but she explained that the wedding was about her making a commitment to herself and her studies.

She said: "I have a strong passion in life and I am committed to achieving my goals at becoming an academic.

"But all my family wanted to ask me was when I planned to get married - which is very important back in Uganda - followed by when I would be having children and starting a family.

Credit: SWNS

"My father wrote my wedding speech when I turned 16.

"Every birthday my mother prayed for me and in recent years this has included a plea for a good husband.

"But I just didn't want to think about walking up the aisle. It's not the thing which keeps me up at night."

Lulu previously worked as a freelance journalist and a communication consultant for the International Organisation for Migration.

But in 2013 she received a BA Media (film) scholarship from Macquarie University in Australia.


After completing her studies in Australia, she started a masters degree at Oxford University, but despite her academic success, she said all her parents could think about was when she'd tie the knot.

Earlier this year she came back home to Uganda with plans for little more than a 'low key' celebration for her birthday - until friends convinced her otherwise.

She said it all stemmed from a joke - she'd laughingly claimed she would 'show up in a wedding dress' - but the idea stuck.

"One of my closest friends Karin reminded me that I had a lot to celebrate this year like getting into Oxford and I joked that I would show up in a wedding dress," she said.

"We had been talking about this marriage pressure and she loved the idea so much that she offered to get me the wedding gown.

"Then I decided, you know what weddings seem so important here - I will marry myself."

The ceremony itself was organised very last minute and was held in the Quepasa Bar in the Ugandan capital Kampala, in August.

Obviously she received many questions who the groom was once all the invites were sent, but Lulu kept this a surprise for the day.

The actual ceremony was officiated, with one of her friends playing the vicar, and unfortunately her parents didn't attend. But she did explain her choice to them.

"When we talked the next day she [her mum] was a bit confused and slightly hurt, but I explained that by even wearing a wedding dress it proved I was ready for marriage," Lulu said.

"My father still maintains that he doesn't know what to say."

Well, bang goes that speech then.

Congratulations, Lulu!

kabby Posted on October 10, 2018 14:59

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Mark Ruffalo Has Been 'Fired' For Giving Out 'Avengers 4' Spoilers & No One Is Surprised

Oh, Mark, you never learn, do you?


You know what's worse than heartbreak? Getting spoilers about a movie that you were so eagerly looking forward to. That shit hurts, and if it's a movie like 'Avengers', then that's the worst thing in the world, don't even fight me on that. 

But, looks like Mark Ruffalo is a sadist who likes to watch people suffer, or maybe he's just a little confused and doesn't know when to shut up.

We all know Mark and Tom Holland's long history of accidentally spoiling so many Marvel movies, but Mark one-upped Tom by literally spoiling 'Thor: Ragnarok' by being on Instagram Live during its premiere. Oh, Mark. (yes, this will be a phrase that's repeated throughout)

And how can we forget the time, when during an interview, Mark said this about 'Avengers: Infinity War' - “Wait till you see the next one, everybody dies.” Oh, Mark.


Don Cheadle's face says it all.



The best thing about Mark, though, is that he at least he tries to cover up his mistakes and that's what he tried to this time as well.

But, since he doesn't think before speaking about multimillion-dollar movies, he obviously doesn't think before tweeting about it as well.

Oh, Mark, you never learn, do you?

You know what's worse than heartbreak? Getting spoilers about a movie that you were so eagerly looking forward to. That shit hurts, and if it's a movie like 'Avengers', then that's the worst thing in the world, don't even fight me on that. 

But, looks like Mark Ruffalo is a sadist who likes to watch people suffer, or maybe he's just a little confused and doesn't know when to shut up.

We all know Mark and Tom Holland's long history of accidentally spoiling so many Marvel movies, but Mark one-upped Tom by literally spoiling 'Thor: Ragnarok' by being on Instagram Live during its premiere. Oh, Mark. (yes, this will be a phrase that's repeated throughout)

And how can we forget the time, when during an interview, Mark said this about 'Avengers: Infinity War' - “Wait till you see the next one, everybody dies.” Oh, Mark.

Don Cheadle's face says it all.

The best thing about Mark, though, is that he at least he tries to cover up his mistakes and that's what he tried to this time as well. 

But, since he doesn't think before speaking about multimillion-dollar movies, he obviously doesn't think before tweeting about it as well.

Live: People Reading Now

Yes, tweeting about your goof-up for the world to see, especially the people who can fire you. Oh, Mark.

Apparently, this is the clip in question.

Jimmy Fallon also decided to keep the joke going and replied with this.

But, it was too late. The Russo brothers got to know about it before Mark could fix it, and well, now you know the reason if The Hulk does not show up in the next Avengers movie.

I have one question –


(Don't come at me with 'it's a joke', I know that already, thank you)


Oh, Mark.

Now, I just can't wait for Mark Ruffalo to accidentally reveal the title of the movie. Do it already, man, we're all waiting, we know you want to!

ruby Posted on October 10, 2018 13:50

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'I'm so excited to be going to Eugenie and Jack Brooksbank's royal wedding'

Princess Eugenie and Jack Brooksbank have invited people from all over the UK to share their special day on Friday.

Emma Wilson, from Spalding in Lincolnshire, is one of 1,200 members of the public who will be attending Princess Eugenie and Jack Brooksbank's wedding on Friday.

The 29-year-old chartered accountant won a ticket after more than 100,000 people applied earlier this year to watch from the grounds of Windsor Castle.

The mother-of-two is travelling to Windsor with her husband, Adam Wilson, on Thursday to stay the night before the big day at a hotel which overlooks the castle.

She writes about the once-in-a-lifetime experience and her love of the Royal Family:

I would have loved to have been at Harry and Meghan's wedding. Some people from charities they work closely with were invited. I do a lot of charity fundraising but unfortunately not for the charities they are associated with.

When I read that Princess Eugenie wanted to invite members of the public I entered the ballot immediately but never for one second did I think I'd be one of the lucky ones!

:: Sky News will have live coverage of the day on TV and online.

Image: Mrs Wilson received this letter from the superintendent of Windsor Castle with her tickets

I applied for a group ticket which included my husband Adam, and son Oliver, five, but unfortunately Bethan, who is four, was too young to enter. Applicants had to be over five-years-old, but I didn't expect to actually be given a ticket.

I was at work when I received the email saying I'd got a ticket - I couldn't believe it!

I remember saying 'oh my goodness' at the top of my voice and desperately wanting to squeal like a kid!

Image: Mrs and Mrs Wilson will watch the couple enter and exit the chapel, just as people did for Meghan and Harry

I kept reading the email over and over again, I couldn't believe I'd been chosen! Even though I applied to take Oliver, I can't possibly take one child without the other.

We'll have to make a special trip to Sandringham one Christmas so they can both hopefully get a glimpse of the Queen.

I have my Nan to thank for being a royalist. She loves the Royal Family and I've always had a massive interest in them. We're so lucky to have a royal family!

Princess Eugenie's wedding: Ultimate guide


I've always had an interest in the royal's throughout history, especially the Tudors and Queen Victoria.

Adam and I travelled down to London for the Queen's Diamond Jubilee River Pageant. It was an incredible atmosphere and waiting the six hours like we did on London's Embankment was so worth it to see the Queen and other senior royals go by.


Video: Princess Eugenie described the moment Mr Brooksbank proposed as 'perfect'

Eugenie's mum, Sarah Ferguson the Duchess of York, is a long-standing supporter of the Teenage Cancer Trust, and Princess Eugenie and Princess Beatrice were made honorary patrons a couple of years ago.

The charity is very close to my family's heart because they provided specialist support and care for my sister Louise until she passed away in April 2017.

I ran the London Marathon this year and raised over £8,000 for the charity so it's wonderful to see the young princesses supporting the charity and helping to increase its profile. Until you need them, you don't necessarily know they are there.

I love the Queen and would absolutely love to meet her one day. I'm a massive fan of the younger senior royals - Prince William, Catherine, Harry and Meghan.

Image: Princess Eugenie and Jack Brooksbank have been dating for about seven years

Of course we all love Prince George, Princess Charlotte and baby Prince Louis.

My children follow in my footsteps as they'd love to meet the Queen, and Bethan is desperate for a play date with Princess Charlotte. It's spooky really because Charlotte and Bethan look very alike and Charlotte has a mischievous look in her eyes just like my Bethan!

When we're at the wedding any souvenirs would be lovely but I'm just going for the experience really. I might not ever get the chance again to attend a royal wedding so I just want to make the most of it and take it all in.

I imagine everyone will be very welcoming and as excited as each other. Everyone who entered must be big fans of the Royal Family but I'm sure many people are excited about what celebrities will be there on the day too.

I hope Ed Sheeran is there, I'd love to see him walk past, but as long as I get a glimpse of the Royal Family, I'll be over the moon.


Video: Prince Harry and Meghan Markle wave to crowds in Windsor after their wedding ceremony.

I'm obviously very excited to see Princess Eugenie's dress! I think it'll be the bookies favourite Erdem. I'm sure whoever designs it, the same design will be worn by many other brides over the next few months.

When the wedding has finished on Friday we are allowed to spend an hour looking around the chapel. So I'm really looking forward to that - seeing all the wonderful flowers and decorations from such a special occasion.

I hope it doesn't rain because I've bought a new Ted Baker dress for the occasion, plus it'll spoil my hair and makeup! But to be honest, I really won't mind once I'm there. It's a once in a lifetime experience so I'll enjoy it whatever the weather.

I'm just so excited and cannot believe Adam and I are two of the 1,200 who have been given this opportunity. Seeing the Royal Family will be very surreal but I can't wait. I'm like a kid at Christmas!


AlbertaU Posted on October 10, 2018 13:32

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World Mental Health Day: Nine celebrities raising awareness

On World Mental Health Day Sky News looks at nine celebrities with various conditions who have raised awareness.


Zayn Malik


Former One Direction star Zayn Malik has been open about his anxiety since he talked about panic attacks which caused him to cancel performances in his 2016 autobiography.

He said "anxiety is nothing to be ashamed of" and admitted to being uncomfortable with "big groups of people".

The singer has encouraged others to speak out, saying he feels when he finally did it had "a positive impact on everything that happened after it".




British YouTube star Zoella, real name Zoe Suggs, has been very open about suffering from anxiety, which she was diagnosed with at 14-years-old.

The 28-year-old, who has 12 million followers, filmed herself mid-panic attack to raise awareness and to help sufferers feel they are less alone.

She has campaigned for the charity MIND and has spoken about the "endless places" she has suffered a panic attack, including a friend's house or a supermarket.


Prince Harry

Getty Images


Prince Harry revealed last year that he has been "very close to total breakdown on numerous occasions".

He said he blocked out his emotions for 20 years after the death of his mother, Princess Diana, in 1997, when he was just 12-years-old.

The prince said he was "on the verge of punching someone" when he started speaking to a counsellor and took up boxing, which he says really helped him.

Along with the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, he set up the mental health charity Heads Together.


Gisele Bundchen

Getty Images


Supermodel Gisele Bundchen revealed earlier this month she had suicidal thoughts at the height of her career in the late 1990s, aged 23.

In her autobiography the 38-year-old Brazillian told of her panic attacks which then turned to thoughts of "maybe it will be easier if I just jump".

She said that her life can look "perfect on the outside" and that it was "time to share my vulnerabilities", revealing she was prescribed Xanax but did not want to rely on the pills so overhauled her lifestyle.


Glenn Close

Getty Images


Award-winning actress Glenn Close had dedicated her life to fighting the stigma surrounding mental illnesses after she was diagnosed with depression for the first time at the age of 61, in 2008.

The 71-year-old said she always thought she probably had ADHD, but "never realised that maybe I could get a little help".

In 2010 she founded Bring Change 2 Mind with her sister, Jessie Close, who has bipolar disorder.

"The worst thing that a human can endure is to be so marginalised, to be left out, to not have connection, and those with mental illness are the people that fall through the cracks," she told Moneyish. 

"And stigma is the reason. It's OK to talk about mental illness, and I like to."


Stephen Fry

Getty Images


Actor Stephen Fry was diagnosed with bipolar disorder aged 37, which he said was the first time he had an explanation for "the massive highs and miserable lows I've lived with all my life".

He was suicidal at 17 and spent years drinking vodka and taking cocaine to try to stop voices in his head.

Since his 2006 documentary, The Secret Life of the Manic Depressive, he has been a strong advocate for removing the stigma surrounding mental health.

He has been the president of MIND since 2011 and regularly speaks about mental health.


Lady Gaga

Getty Images


Singer and actress Lady Gaga has been very open about suffering from depression after she was raped when she was 19-years-old.

She revealed she had PTSD in 2016, and said she struggles "with that mental illness every day".

The multiple-Grammy award-winning singer has supported many mental health campaigns and said it is important to remind those with traumatic experiences they are loved and not alone.


Hayden Panettiere

Getty Images


Actress Hayden Panettiere developed postnatal depression after the birth of her daughter in 2015 and has sought treatment twice.

The star of TV series Nashville, whose character also suffered the condition, said it "impacted every aspect of my life".

She told People Magazine: "Why should I be ashamed or hide when it costs so much?

"It costs me so much to hide. It costs you so much to lie.

"I'm 26. I'm a mom. I don't need to be afraid of what people are going to think."


Nicole Scherzinger

Getty Images


Singer Nicole Scherzinger revealed last year that she had an eating disorder when she was a teenager and during her time with The Pussycat Dolls.

She said her bulimia was "very imprisoning" and "stole all of my happiness, confidence and memories".

The X Factor judge said: "Once I finally did come out about it, I realised how many people it had helped.

"You should embrace and accept yourself more. Don't be so hard on yourself, and love your curves."

jmparker Posted on October 10, 2018 12:57

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Maribe ordered to undergo mental test - VIDEO

The High Court has ordered suspects Jacque Maribe and her fiancé Joseph Irungu detained until Monday after a mental assessment was ordered for the television journalist.

Ms Maribe will undergo the test at Mathari Hospital in Nairobi. Justice Jessi Lessit said the suspect cannot be called upon take plea without a mental examination.

The two suspects were presented in court on Tuesday morning and were seen furtively communicating in the dock.

Mr Irungu, whose hand was in a sling and was chewing gum while on the dock, will also get treatment for his gunshot wound.

© YASUYOSHI CHIBA/AFP/Getty Images TV journalist and anchor Jacque Maribe sits in the dock next to her fiance Joseph Irungu (unseen) during their trial for allegedly killing Monica Kimani, a South Sudan based Kenyan businesswoman, on October 9, 2018, at the Milimani Law Court in Nairobi, Kenya. His lawyer told the court that the arm is paralysed and swollen as he produced a referral note from Nairobi Hospital to Kenyatta National Hospital.

During an interview with NTV, Mr Irungu's parents said police officers have denied him access to medical treatment since his arrest.

The Director of Public Prosecutions Noordin Haji ordered their trial over murder of Monica Kimani, who was killed in her house in Kilimani, Nairobi on September 19.

In the court, Ms Maribe was seen speaking with her mother as she and Mr Irungu waited for the court proceedings to start.

Related slideshow: News in pictures (provided by photo services)

khojho Posted on October 10, 2018 12:39

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The rise of Luka Modric: From Croatian refugee to FIFA's Best Player

Ahead of England's UEFA Nations League clash with Croatia on Friday, we take a look at Luka Modric's journey from humble beginnings to becoming FIFA's Best Player...

Humble beginnings and early success

Forced to flee his home in Yugoslavia with his family aged just six due to the horrors of the Croatian War of Independence, Modric grew up as a refugee in his own land within the walls of the large, dilapidated Hotel Iz in Zadar. But despite this turmoil, he was given the platform to showcase his football talent at NK Zadar - then a top-tier Croatian club.

Modric's height and slight frame counted against him, though, and he was thus turned down by Hadjuk Spilt, despite Zadar chairman, Josip Bajlo's observation that although "he was skinny and really small for his age, you could see right away that he had that something special in him."

Modric in action for Dinamo Zagreb

Tomislav Basic, one of Modric's early coaches at NK Zadar - considered his 'sporting father' by the player himself - facilitated a move to Dinamo Zagreb in late 2001 and after a year playing within the club's youth setup, the 18-year-old midfielder won Player of the Year in 2003/04 during a loan move to Zrinjski Mostar of the Premier League of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

A further temporary spell the following season - this time with Inter Zapresic - saw Modric help the club to finish as runners-up in the Croatian First Football League and before long he was rewarded with a 10-year contract by Zagreb. Almost immediately, he spent a portion of his newfound riches by purchasing a flat for his family in the city of Zadar; rewarding them for the sacrifices they made in order to further his development in such difficult circumstances.

Part of a Zagreb team that triumphed in successive top-flight campaigns from 2005 to 2007, Modric was a vital component in the midfield and his play-making ability was a significant factor in the development of Brazilian born Croat, Eduardo da Silva, who netted a remarkable 54 league goals across the two title-winning seasons.

But it was all-change at Stadion Maksimir at the conclusion of the 2006/07 season. Eduardo completed a £7.5m move to Arsenal, while defender Vedran Corluka joined the impending revolution at Manchester City. Despite reported interest from Arsenal and Barcelona, though, Modric opted to remain and was rewarded for doing so; Dinamo completed a league and cup double, winning the former by an astonishing 28-point margin.

Continued progress rewarded

Following his reluctance to previously depart his homeland, Modric agreed a six-year deal to join Tottenham in April 2008 and moved to White Hart Lane for £16.5m in the summer.

The 'lightweight' tag followed him in the early stages of his time in north London as Spurs started September rooted to the bottom of the Premier League, but when Harry Redknapp - who had taken the reigns from Juande Ramos - spotted the burgeoning talent of the Croatian he hauled him in from the left wing and planned to build a team around Modric in order to make him the club's star man.

Modric was a star player for Spurs

His stock began to rise from there. Modric starred during Spurs' first taste of the Champions League in the 2010/11 season and, in a season in which they finished fifth in the league, he made the highest average number of passes per match for Spurs (62.5) with an accuracy rate of 87.4 per cent.

His sheer skill at dictating the tempo of a game drew suitors from far and wide and in the summer of 2011, Chelsea firmed up their interest in the midfielder with failed bids of £22m and later £27m.

With Chelsea's interest looming, Modric did not feature on the opening day of the next season against Manchester United as rumours of a final bid remained in the headlines. The rumours came true on Deadline Day as the Blues offered £40m for his services - but again Spurs rejected the offer.

Though his significance to Redknapp's side remained intact, Modric forged a gentleman's agreement with Spurs chairman Daniel Levy that would see the club entertain offers from 'big clubs' should they be tabled in future.



Modric over Ronaldo, say Supplement panel

Luka Modric deserves to win the Best FIFA Men's Player over Cristiano Ronaldo and Mohamed Salah, argue the Sunday Supplement panel.

Modric deserves to win the Best FIFA Men's Player over Cristiano Ronaldo and Mohamed Salah, argue the Sunday Supplement panel

Becoming a Galactico

"Magnificent. He's an amazing footballer, the little man takes the ball in the tightest areas with people around him, wriggling out of situations. He could play in any team in the world," former Spurs boss Redknapp once said of Modric. In the summer of 2012, he joined one of the best.

As the 2011/12 Premier League season drew to a close, so did Modric's involvement in the competition. He signed off with a sublime volley in Spurs' 4-1 thumping of Bolton and on August 27, joined Jose Mourinho's Real Madrid for a reported £30m fee, becoming part of what has become known in some circles as the 'second era of Galacticos'.

As had been the case with his start at White Hart Lane, Modric initially found the transition challenging, with a lack of pre-season training and a fierce competition for places affecting his start at the Bernabeu. From the summer of 2013, however, the appointment of Carlo Ancelotti proved to be the catalyst for an upturn in Modric's performances in the Spanish capital.

Modric has won four Champions Leagues with Real Madrid

A formidable balance was struck with a central midfield pairing of Xabi Alonso and Modric and it was this partnership that became the fulcrum of a side that lifted the Champions League and the Copa Del Rey in 2013/14. Though joined by Toni Kroos following Alonso's departure, Modric spent a large chunk of the next campaign on the sidelines due to injury and Ancelotti made it clear his absence 'hurt' Real, and was a contributing factor in their failure to win a second successive Champions League title and a first La Liga title since 2011/12.

A key member of the squad ever since, Modric has appeared 268 times for Real, scoring 13 goals and contributing 41 assists. They are stats which only tell part of the story of his contribution to a trophy haul that features five Champions League wins, two Spanish Super Cups and a solitary La Liga medal.

The best player in the world

As captain of Zlatko Dalic's Croatia side, at this summer's World Cup, Modric led by example - as usual. Named by numerous outlets as the best player of the group stages after scoring two goals, he successfully converted two penalties as the nation became just the first team since Argentina in 1990 to win two shootouts in a single tournament and pulled the strings in their semi-final extra-time victory over England.



Modric: This is my most special award

Real Madrid and Croatia midfielder Luka Modric says he can't believe he has won the FIFA award for best men's player.

Real Madrid and Croatia midfielder Modric says he cannot believe he has won the FIFA award for best men's player

The 33-year-old completed 87 per cent of his passes in Russia, ran 72.3km across seven matches and, ahead of the final, had completed the most passes in an opponent's half and was ranked top in terms of amount of dribbles per match.

Cruelly, the fairytale came to an end in the final, when pre-tournament outsiders Croatia lost 4-2 to France in Moscow, but Modric's contributions were recognised by him winning the Golden Ball for Best Player of World Cup 2018.

The plaudits continued from August into September and October. He was named Best FIFA Men's Player of the Year, UEFA Men's Player of the Year and, on Monday, was announced as one of 30 players nominated for the Ballon d'Or.

Modric was Croatia's key man at the World Cup

In the aftermath of his loan spell with Zrinjski Mostar all the way back in 2003/04, Modric said, "Someone who can play in the Bosnian league can play anywhere." After the glittering year he has enjoyed, it seems his early predictions were correct - and England will have another close look at his talents when they meet him again in the Nations League, live on Sky Sportson Friday night.


jmparker Posted on October 10, 2018 12:25

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Hashtag United's Ryan Pessoa's top 10 tips and tricks to mastering FIFA 19

Following the release of EA Sports' latest offering, FIFA 19, we caught up with professional FIFA player Ryan Pessoa of Hashtag United at the Red Bull Gaming Sphere in London to find out his top 10 tips and tricks to mastering the title.

Learn to control the goalkeeper

This year you can actually take control of the goalkeeper by clicking in the right analog stick. With this, you can move left and right depending on where you think your opponent is going to shoot, and I think this is a major ability you can add to your game to stop conceding finesse or low-driven shots.

Jockey with your defence

If you hold L2 on PS4 or LT on Xbox, you can jockey with your defenders. With this you do not really need to control your centre-backs, and I would prefer to control my defensive midfielder, someone like Kante, who I can use to drift from left to right manually. I think the AI is generally smarter than the average player, so I don't like to control my defence too much.

You do not have to pass forward

When you have possession in midfield, you do not always have to pass forward. A problem in my game has always been that I think I have to attack, attack, attack, but sometimes if you pass it back to your full-backs and switch play, start attacking down the other side, you can find more gaps in their play.

Use triggered runs when passing

You can use LB/L1 to create a triggered run and RB/R1 to pull your player back. What I do is have two strikers, and I use LB to create an overlap between my attacking midfielder and one of my strikers.

Then, I can hit RB to pull one back and allow for a through ball in on goal. Doing this makes the defenders step forward and create space behind them. It is a bit complicated, but with some practice you do get used to it.

Take advantage of timed finishing

This is another aspect new to FIFA 19. Pretty much, if you time the shot perfectly, powering it up and then pressing the shoot button again when you are about to hit the ball, you get an increased chance of the ball going in. You get more accuracy and more power, so once you master that, most of your shots will go in, unless your opponent knows how to control his goalkeeper.

Ryan Pessoa, professional FIFA player and Hashtag United favourite

Find formations that work for attacking and defending

This year they added Dynamic Tactics, so before the match you can set up different tactics for different formations. You can assign these to different directions on the D-Pad ready to use as quick as possible in-game.

So when I am playing defensive, I will use a 4-2-3-1 Wide so it is more compact and I can get a lot of people behind the ball. But if I go attacking I will maybe have a 3-5-2. So you can change based on the current score and how your opponent is playing.

Find the near post from corners

As soon as the replay animation is done after the ball goes out of play, quickly cross it in at the near post. Your opponent will drift away from the player at the post and your attacker will usually win the header or bicycle kick it into the back of the net.

Alternatively, call a player short

Usually with two or three men free on the edge of the box, you can have your tactics set to about three bars on corners and just pass it to the free men on the edge of the box. From there, you can either cross it in from that angle, dribble it in and take a shot or pass it back to the corner taker to try and dribble it down the line and get a better angle in on goal.

Put more into your free-kicks

I have Lionel Messi on my team. What I can do is press LT and RB to make Rakitic and Suarez come up and pretend to take the free-kick. From here I can fake shot or pass it behind. Doing this usually frees up a player from the wall, too, which makes it easier to get your shot in.

Pick the essential players

In FIFA 19, it is best to have a team that is pretty physical. You want tall centre-backs such as Virgil van Dijk or Davinson Sanchez, who are 6'2" and above and can win the ball in the air. The same with full-backs, you want someone similar, like Kyle Walker or Alex Sandro.

For attackers you are looking at the same thing, tall players who are good jumpers, like Roberto Firmino. Those players are more beneficial than someone like Raheem Sterling who is quite small. Although he is nimble, he is not physically strong enough to get the advantage of centre-backs like Van Dijk.

jmparker Posted on October 10, 2018 11:46

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Two Britons killed in taxi during Majorca flooding

The Foreign Office is "urgently seeking updates" after the pair were killed in Sant Llorenc, the town where Love Island is filmed.

Two Britons are among at least five people to have been killed during flooding on the Spanish island of Majorca.

The pair died in a taxi in the town of Sant Llorenc after torrents formed following downpours on the popular holiday island.

Another 12 people have been reported missing.

Local officials have held an emergency meeting to coordinate their response, with 100 rescue workers and 80 soldiers sent to the area.

Image: Police and emergency services are responding to flooding in Majorca Pic: Twitter/@guardiacivil

According to the Majorca Daily Bulletin, people were rescued from roofs and trees after the flooding began on Tuesday evening.

Spanish weather forecasters said 20cm (8in) of rain fell in four hours.

Cars were washed away and homes inundated with more than a metre of water.

Electricity outages hampered rescue efforts owing to a lack of lighting, while phone connections were also cut.


Video: Heavy rain sparks floods in Barcelona

The Foreign Office said in a statement: "We are in contact with the Spanish authorities responding to flooding in Majorca, and urgently seeking updates from them."

Sant Llorenc, on the east coast of Majorca, has become known as the location for reality TV show Love Island.

Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez posted on Twitter on Wednesday: "My solidarity and support goes out to the families and friends of victims and all those affected by these tragic floods."

Image: At least five people have died, and 12 are reported missing

The Spanish police force also tweeted a message of condolence for those who died, as well as encouragement to those responding to the disaster.

Heavy rain has also brought flooding to other parts of Spain, including Barcelona and the Costa del Sol.

AlbertaU Posted on October 10, 2018 09:56

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Christian bakers win 'gay cake' Supreme Court fight

Daniel and Amy McArthur from Ashers Baking Company told activist Gareth Lee they would not make the cake supporting gay marriage.

The owners of a bakery did not discriminate against a customer by refusing to make a cake supporting gay marriage, the Supreme Court has ruled.

Christian couple Daniel and Amy McArthur, who run Belfast-based Ashers Baking Company, told activist Gareth Lee they would not make the cake featuring Sesame Street puppets and the logo of campaign group Queerspace.

After a long-running legal battle over whether the McArthurs broke discrimination laws, five Supreme Court justices announced their decision in London on Wednesday.

Image: Daniel and Amy McArthur have won their case in the Supreme Court

Delivering the ruling, Supreme Court president Lady Hale said the couple did not refuse to make the cake because of Mr Lee's sexual orientation.

She said: "Their objection was to the message on the cake, not to the personal characteristics of Mr Lee or anyone else with whom he was associated.

"The bakers could not refuse to supply their goods to Mr Lee because he was a gay man or supported gay marriage, but that is quite different from obliging them to supply a cake iced with a message with which they profoundly disagreed."

Lady Hale said the ruling was not in any way to diminish the need to protect gay people and people who support gay marriage from discrimination.

"It is deeply humiliating, and an affront to human dignity, to deny someone a service because of that person's race, gender, disability, sexual orientation, religion or belief. But that is not what happened in this case," she ruled.

Following the judgment, Mr Lee said he was made to feel "like a second class citizen" by Ashers' refusal to make the cake supporting gay marriage.

"The judgment today tells me that's okay," he said.

"I'm concerned, not just for the implications for myself or other gay people, but for everyone single one of us. Do we have to guess when we go into a shop whether we're going to be served or not?"

Speaking outside court, Mr Arthur said the ruling "protects freedom of speech and freedom of conscience for everyone"..

"We're particularly pleased the Supreme Court emphatically accepted what we've said all along - we did not turn down this order because of the person who made it, but because of the message itself," he said.

Image: Daniel McArthur spoke after the Supreme Court ruled in his favour

"The judges have given a clear signal today. In fact it couldn't be any clearer. Family businesses like ours are free to focus on giving all their customers the best service they can - without being forced to promote other people's campaigns.

"We want to move on from this now, and I'm sure Mr Lee does as well. And let me finish by saying that he will always be welcome at any of our shops."

The McArthurs told Sky News they felt "victimised" after Mr Lee previously won his case initially in the county court and then at the Northern Ireland Court of Appeal.

The activist had ordered the cake containing the words 'support gay marriage' in 2014 for a private function marking International Day Against Homophobia.

The order was accepted and he paid in full but, two days later, Ashers called to say it could not proceed due to the message requested.

In the original court case, District Judge Isobel Brownlie ruled that religious beliefs could not dictate the law and ordered the firm to pay damages of £500.

Image: The bakery refused to ice a cake with the words 'support gay marriage'

Mounting an unsuccessful challenge at the Court of Appeal in Belfast in 2016, Ashers contended that it never had an issue with Mr Lee's sexuality, rather the message he was seeking to put on the cake.

David Scoffield QC, representing Ashers, argued that the state was penalising the baking firm, with the courts effectively compelling them to make a cake bearing a message with which they disagree as a matter of religious conscience.

Northern Ireland's Equality Commission, which supported the legal action taken by Mr Lee, said it was "disappointed in the judgment".

Its chief commissioner Michael Wardlow said: "There is a concern that this judgment may raise uncertainty about the application of equality law in the commercial sphere, both about what businesses can do and what customers may expect; and that the beliefs of business owners may take precedence over a customer's equality rights, which in our view is contrary to what the legislature intended."

AlbertaU Posted on October 10, 2018 09:53

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Alakhpura, the Indian village that raised a girls' football team

Alakhpura FC is funded by villagers who over time have come to support the players now achieving national success.

Alakhpura, India - It's 2:30pm and a road in Alakhpura, a village in Haryana state nestled between cotton and wheat fields, is abuzz with dozens of girls, some on bicycles, on their way to a football field next to the only school.

The all-girl Alakhpura FC team, funded by contributions from villagers, practise playing football twice a day - at 5:30am before school starts and after classes end.

"There is no let off here," says the team's coach, 37-year-old Sonika Bijaria. "We practise twice every day, even on Sundays. And every member of the village makes sure we have things we need in place."

Bijaria puts the players through their paces and picks her best 11 for the game.

The opponents are expected to arrive at any moment. Just as everything is set, the away team's bus breaks down. They won't be able to make it.

Instead of giving her players the day off, Bijaria gets the boys' football team from the school to give the girls the game they had prepared for.

Alakhpura, a village of about 2,000 people, has become a hub of young and promising female footballers, many of whom have represented the state and the country.

The footballing revolution has helped Alakhpura form its own identity, different from the rest of the state. Haryana has the worst gender ratio in India and crimes against women are rising.

Girls and boys train together in Alakhpura [Adnan Bhat/Al Jazeera]

Last year, the Alakhpura villagers officially registered the team with the All India Football Federation. They also crowdsourced funds among themselves to cover the team's expenses.

Sanjay Singh, Alakhpura FC's secretary, says whenever the team needs financial support, the entire village comes forward. 

"Some will give 100 rupees ($1.35), others may give 5,000 rupees ($68) depending on what they have. We want our girls to play. After all, they have made us all proud.

"We have divided the responsibilities of the club among some of the villagers, but every single person comes forward we need them."

The teammates first caught attention when they won the national inter-school competition Subroto Cup in 2014. In 2016, they won the trophy again and in 2017, reached the semi-final of the Indian Women's League.

Sonika Bijaria, 37 is one of two female coaches in Haryana state. She has been with the Alakhpura FC since 2014 [Adnan Bhat/Al Jazeera]

Currently, nine Alakhpura FC players are also on the Haryana state women's team. A dozen others have represented India at international tournaments.

"When the state team selection take place most of the players are from Alakhpura. This makes others jealous," says Tamana, who plays in the state's under-19 team.

Satbeer Singh is a wheat farmer and the proud father of 17-year-old Ritu and Nishu, 19, who are in the Haryana squad.

But before the Alkapura team's success, Singh says, parents would hesitate to let their daughters out of the house alone. 

"It was seen as a bad thing if your daughters were seen loitering around in the streets," he said.

The beginnings of Alakhpura FC

Goverdan Das, a former sports teacher at the village school, laid the foundations for Alakhpura FC in 2008. 

"When we started, I couldn't have imagined our players would achieve this level of success without proper infrastructure or training," he said.

Das used to train male pupils. But one day, a few girls approached him and asked for something to do. He turned them away.

"Girls playing was seen as a negative thing. So, I just wanted to stay away from it," he said.

But the girls were persistent. Every day for two weeks, they approached him with the same request.

Das finally caved in and handed them an old football. However, he still didn't want to coach them.

"For the next 18 months, I stayed away from them. But the girls would come on their own every day and start playing. I noticed there were improving much faster than the boys' Kabaddi team, and I thought to myself, 'Why am I not giving them the same education as the boys?' This is my job after all," he recalls.

After a change of heart, Das took the girls to an inter-district schools' competition in 2008, where they were knocked out in the first round. 

After a year of training under Das, the team won the competition. 

"I have never played professional football, so I wasn't good at the technical part, but I taught them the importance of hard work and discipline," says Das.

"If some parents said 'no', I would take my daughter there and explain to them that there is no shame attached to women playing. And in fact, they should take pride in what their daughter could achieve."

If you go to any house in the village right now, you won't find a single girl at home. Their parents now push them to play.

Sonika Bijaria, Alakhpura FC coach

When the team had to travel outside the state, Das would take the village chief to assure parents. Later on, his wife would also accompany him.

Das says it was important to make parents feel comfortable and bring more girls to the playground.

Today, coach Bijaria says, every parent wants their daughter to be selected for the Indian team. 

"If you go to any house in the village right now, you won't find a single girl at home. Their parents now push them to play."

Midfielder Poonam, 16, and her sister Priyanka, 14, are one of three pairs of siblings recently awarded with a monthly scholarship of 2,000 rupees ($26.96) by the government for achievements in inter-school competitions. 

The occasionally watch international teams like Juventus FC on the TV. But their footballing idol is much closer to home - Alakhpura FC's 20-year-old Sanju Yadav.

Yadav who started playing football in 2010, has played for the national team eight times and scored three goals in those games. "Sanju didi got a job. She also travels around the world with the team. I also want to be like that," says Poonam, "So, we practise every day to get better."

Coach Sonika Bijaria picks the girls' team who will face the local boys' team [Adnan Bhat/Al Jazeera]

AlbertaU Posted on October 10, 2018 09:46

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Pakistan navy quits anti-piracy task force amid worsening US ties

Decision to leave the task force taken after US-led coalition limits fuel supplies, military sources tell Al Jazeera.

Karachi, Pakistan - Pakistan's navy is no longer part of the counterpiracy Combined Task Force (CTF) that operates in the western Indian Ocean, officials told Al Jazeera.

The decision to leave the task force was taken after the US-led operation refused to pay for fuel for the patrolling warships as part of a previous agreement, two highly-placed military officials told Al Jazeera on the condition of anonymity. 

Military officials believe that CTF nations will feel Pakistan's absence because of its counter-piracy expertise and the Pakistani vessels' access to waters that are not friendly to Western flag-bearing ships.

Pakistan has taken command of the task force several times since 2013 and participated in operations with two warships that patrolled the Arabian Gulf, Indian Ocean, Gulf of Aden, Red Sea and the Suez Canal.

In a statement to Al Jazeera, the Bahrain-based Combined Maritime Forces (CMF) - the over-arching organisation of which the CTF is a part - confirmed that Pakistan is no longer participating with ships in the task force.


Pakistan: US aid cut was money owed, not assistance

"Currently, Pakistan provides experienced naval personnel, very knowledgeable in areas such as operating in the Indian Ocean," CMF spokesperson Wendy Wheatley said.

"The current constituents of CTF 151 does not include Pakistan, however, a new team of nations take over every 4-6 months," she added.

"Participation remains purely voluntary and no nation is asked to carry out any duty that it is unwilling to conduct."

Rocky relations

Distancing itself from CTF gives Pakistan a chance to carry out an independent Regional Maritime Security Patrol (RMSP) from the Gulf of Aden to the Gulf of Oman, and from the Strait of Hormuz to the Maldivian waters, a Pakistani military official said.

Pakistan, which shares a border with Iran and also has a major trade relationship with China, has had a rocky relationship with the administration of US President Donald Trump.

Pakistan participated with two warships in the anti-piracy coalition [Osama Bin Javaid/Al Jazeera]

Responding to the end of Pakistani participation in the anti-piracy task force, Pakistani military officials said the country has to guard its own interests in the western India Ocean.

"The objective of the RMSP initiative by Pakistan Navy is to maintain presence along critical areas to fulfil international obligations for maritime security and safeguard national shipping while observing freedom of navigation across high seas," the official said.

Pakistani security analysts believe Islamabad's warming relations with Iran's military, as well as security agreements with China could be cause for concern in Washington and Riyadh.

Navy ships Tariq and Zulfiqar were part of the CTF 151 [Osama Bin Javaid/Al Jazeera]

Sources told Al Jazeera that the decision not to send warships to the task force does not mean that ties were severed, saying Pakistan could still resume the partnership with the anti-piracy coalition.

Pakistan remains a member of the Combined Maritime Forces (CMF), the coalition confirmed in a statement.

"It's a team of nations who work together to enhance maritime security across the Gulf, Indian Ocean, Gulf of Aden, Red Sea to the Suez Canal," CMF added.

"CTF 151 is currently under Singapore's command, with staff from New Zealand, Bahrain, Brazil, Brunei, Indonesia, Japan, KSA, Australia, South Korea and the UK.

"CTFs' constituents change with every change of command. Routinely CTF 151 will have around six to 10 countries participating," the statement added.

Restricted military ties

The maritime coalition has not commented on why Pakistan left and whether the decision to limit fuel supplies was linked to recent military cuts initiated by Washington.

In August, the Trump administration stopped funding training for Pakistani military officers.

For more than a decade, Pakistani officers' training has been funded by the US government's International Military Education and Training Program, which provides money for placements of international military officers at the US National Defense University.


Pakistan-US war of words over Donald Trump's tweet

But the relationship between the two allies in the so-called "war on terror" has been strained.

In September, the US military cut $300m in aid to Pakistan, citing its perceived failure to tackle "terrorist groups and militants".

"Due to a lack of decisive actions in support of the South Asia strategy, the remaining $300m was reprogrammed," the Pentagon said.

This was not the first time Washington has restricted military ties with Pakistan.

In the 1990s, an amendment by US Senator Larry Pressler severed security links with Pakistan because of its nuclear programme.

US officials later admitted that the breakdown in ties was a mistake and helped groups such as the Taliban, al-Qaeda and others to find havens in Pakistan, which was not able to counter evolving armed groups on its own.


Inside Story

What does the US want from Pakistan?

AlbertaU Posted on October 10, 2018 09:41

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Missing Saudi writer Khashoggi's fiancee asks for Trump's help

Hatice Cengiz implores US President Donald Trump 'to help shed light' on her fiancee's disappearance in an OpEd.

The fiancee of missing Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi has implored US President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump to "help shed light" on his disappearance.

Hatice Cengiz made the appeal in an essay for The Washington Post newspaper on Tuesday.

A prominent critic of Riyadh, Khashoggi was last seen a week ago entering Saudi Arabia's consulate in Istanbul to get documents for his forthcoming marriage.

Turkish sources said they believed Khashoggi was killed inside the diplomatic post, a claim Saudi Arabia has dismissed as "baseless".

In her essay, Cengiz said Khashoggi first visited the consulate on September 28 "despite being somewhat concerned that he could be in danger". 



But he walked in "because he did not believe that something bad could happen on Turkish soil".

"It would be a violation of international law to harm, arrest or detain people at a diplomatic mission, he said, and noted that no such thing had ever happened in Turkey's history," Cengiz wrote.

After a positive meeting with consular staff who "welcomed him warmly", Khashoggi "was relaxed" before his second visit on October 2, she said.

Cengiz, who waited for him outside, said he never emerged. 

"At this time, I implore President Trump and first lady Melania Trump to help shed light on Jamal's disappearance," Cengiz wrote.

"I also urge Saudi Arabia, especially King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, to show the same level of sensitivity and release CCTV footage from the consulate."

She added: "Although this incident could potentially fuel a political crisis between the two nations, let us not lose sight of the human aspect of what happened."

Consulate search

Cengiz's request came as Turkey said it was preparing to search the consulate as part of an investigation to Khashoggi's disappearance.

A surveillance video image obtained by Turkish newspaper Hurriyet also surfaced on Tuesday showing Khashoggi walking into the consulate in Istanbul's upscale 4th Levent neighbourhood.

Turkish sources believe Jamal Khashoggi was killed inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul [CCTV/Hurriyet via AP]


Meanwhile, The New York Times reported top Saudi leaders deployed a 15-man hit squad to lay in wait for the dissident writer. Citing anonymous Turkish officials, the newspaper said the assassination team included a forensic expert who brought a bone saw to dismember Khashoggi's body.

Turkish police have previously said a team of 15 Saudis were sent to Istanbul and were in the building at the same time as Khashoggi.

Turkish security officials were working to identify the 15 individuals, English-language state broadcaster TRT World reported, adding that Turkish officials believe the Saudis may have taken the consulate's CCTV footage with them when they returned to Riyadh.

According to pro-government daily Sabah, the team arrived in Istanbul on two private planes, one which landed after 03:00 am (00:00 GMT) on Tuesday while the second plane landed around 05:00 pm (14:00 GMT) after Khashoggi entered the consulate.

The individuals checked into two hotels close to the consulate, the daily said.

Both planes later returned to Riyadh with one stopping in Dubai and the other in Egypt, Sabah reported, adding the police were looking into the possibility that Khashoggi was kidnapped.

Separately, The Washington Post - for whom Khashoggi wrote columns - reported US intelligence intercepted communications of Saudi officials planning to abduct the writer. 

"Saudis wanted to lure Khashoggi back to Saudi Arabia and lay hands on him there," the Post quoted a person familiar with the information as saying.

It was not clear whether the Saudis intended to arrest and interrogate Khashoggi or to kill him - or if the US warned Khashoggi he was a target, the source told the newspaper.

Khashoggi, who wrote critically for the Post about Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman's rise to power, had been in a self-imposed exile in the US since last year, fearful of the prince's low tolerance for criticism.

Cengiz wrote that he also sought to become a US citizen. 

"Although my hope slowly fades away each passing day, I remain confident that Jamal is still alive," she wrote.

"Perhaps I'm simply trying to hide from the thought that I have lost a great man whose love I had earned."

AlbertaU Posted on October 10, 2018 09:35

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Bangladesh court sentences 19 to death over 2004 attack

A Dhaka court also sentences top opposition leader Tarique Rahman to life imprisonment over 2004 attack on a rally.

Dhaka, Bangladesh - A Dhaka court has handed down death penalty to 19 people, including two former ministers, and sentenced a top opposition leader to life imprisonment over a 2004 attack on the current Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.

"They shall be hanged by their neck," said Justice Shahed Nuruddin of the special tribunal, who also awarded life imprisonment to Tarique Rahman, exiled son of former Prime Minister Khaleda Zia.

Zia is already languishing inside a Dhaka jail following her conviction in a corruption case, which came in advance of the country's general election scheduled to be held by the end of the year.

Rahman, who is the acting chairman of the opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP), was jailed for 10 years in absentia in the same corruption case as her mother. He has been living in exile in London since 2008.

Bangladesh's Law Minister Anisul Haque said the government will move a higher court to seek death penalty for Rahman too. 

"We will also take diplomatic steps to bring Tarique back from London," he said.

The security in and around the special tribunal in the capital, Dhaka, was beefed up anticipating protests from BNP leaders and activists.

Senior BNP leaders, including former State Minister of Home Affairs Lutfuzzaman Babar and former Deputy Minister of Education Abdus Salam Pintu, were given capital punishment for hatching the plot to assassinate Hasina.

The BNP said the conviction was "politically motivated" and the party does not "accept it".

Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir, the party's secretary general, said the verdict against its leaders is "just another example of using judiciary for political revenge".

2004 attack

The "August 21 grenade attack case", as it is known in Bangladesh, relates to the deadly attack on a rally organised by Hasina's Awami League (AL) in Dhaka in 2004 when she was the opposition leader.

Hasina narrowly survived the attack after some of her party leaders formed a human shield around her, but up to 20 people were killed, including top AL leader Ivy Rahman.

The case documents said the attack was a "meticulously designed plot" to assassinate Hasina hatched by the BNP.

The BNP and Jamaat-e-Islami coalition government, which was in power at the time of the attack, was accused of scuttling the investigation to protect the masterminds.

After the verdict on Wednesday, Sayed Rezaur Rahman, one of the main prosecutors, said, "The grenade attack is considered one of the most heinous crimes in the country’s history. This is not a politically motivated case, rather a criminal one."

According to the documents submitted by the prosecution, the attack was carried out by the armed group, Harkat-ul-Jihad (HuJI).

Citing the alleged involvement of Mufti Abdul Hannan, the prosecution also alleged the purpose of the attack was to establish "fanatic Islam" in the south Asian country.

Hannan, a senior HuJI leader accused of multiple attacks in Bangladesh, was executed last year.

The BNP alleges that Hasina is crushing dissent and putting rivals behind bars to strengthen her re-election bid.

AlbertaU Posted on October 10, 2018 09:30

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‘We Got Spanked’: Adult Entertainment ICO Suffers $38,000 Hack

“We got spanked.”

That’s the message that SpankChain, the initial coin offering (ICO) funded adult entertainment website, used to inform its users that a hacker had exploited a bug in one of its smart contracts to abscond with 165.38 ETH, worth about $38,000 at the time of the theft. Another $4,000 worth of the platform’s ICO token, BOOTY, was immobilized as a result of the breach, bringing the total economic impact of the hack to about $42,000.

The hack occurred at roughly 6 pm PST on Saturday, though the company did not discover the theft until the following evening, at which point it took the website offline to prevent further breaches.

“Unfortunately, as we were in the middle of investigating other smart contract bugs, we didn’t realize the hack had taken place until 7:00pm PST Sunday, at which point we took Spank.Live offline to prevent any additional funds from being deposited into the payment channels smart contract,” the announcement read.

According to SpankChain, the hacker exploited a “reentrancy” bug, similar to the one used in the infamous DAO hack.

“In short, the attack capitalized on a ‘reentrancy’ bug, much like the one exploited in The DAO. The attacker created a malicious contract masquerading as an ERC20 token, where the ‘transfer’ function called back into the payment channel contract multiple times, draining some ETH each time.”

The company admitted that it had failed to pay for a security audit of its payment channel smart contract, which could have cost as much as $50,000 — well above the amount of funds affected by the hack. Nevertheless, SpankChain said that it realizes now that it should have paid for the audit, expensive though it may have been.

“As we move forward and grow, we will be stepping up our security practices, and making sure to get multiple internal audits for any smart contract code we publish, as well as at least one professional external audit,” the company said.

Most of the affected funds belonged to SpankChain. However, about $9,300 worth of the stolen and immobilized funds belonged to users. Consequently, the company, which raised $7.2 million through its ICO in late 2017, said that it would airdrop $9,300 in ETH to affected users’ SpankPay accounts following the website’s reboot within the next several days.

As CCN reported, SpankChain is just the latest in a long line of Ethereum projects that have lost money when hackers exploited bugs in their smart contracts.

In July, decentralized exchange (DEX) Bancor lost $23 million in ETH and other ethereum tokens when a hacker compromised a wallet used to upgrade some of the platform’s smart contracts. That same month, KICKICO lost 70 million KICK worth $7.7 million when a hacker managed to gain control of the project’s smart contract.

Previously, a smart contract governing multi-signature ethereum wallets suffered multiple security breaches, resulting in a $32 million theft and $150 million in permanently-frozen funds. Such hacks have led Litecoin creator Charlie Lee to suggest that Solidity, the native programming language of Ethereum smart contracts, is a “hacker paradise.”

However, the problem is not isolated to Ethereum. In September, several decentralized applications (dApps) running on the EOS network were exploited as the result of smart contract bugs as well. At least two gambling dApps were affected, losing a collective $260,000 when hackers discovered a way to place bets without having to stake any real tokens, allowing them to gamble consequence-free.

AlbertaU Posted on October 10, 2018 09:09

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James Gunn 'In Talks' To Write And Direct 'Suicide Squad 2'

Director James Gunn is reported to be in talks with DC to write and direct the next Suicide Squad film.

TheWrap reported 'three insiders' have said Gunn will introduce a whole new take to the superhero film franchise, which features some of DC's most famous villains, including Harley Quinn, The Joker, Deadshot, Enchantress and Killer Croc, among others.

Additionally, Gizmodo reported it had confirmed with Warner Bros. that Gunn is in talks to write, with 'an eye to direct' the yet-to-be-named Suicide Squad 2.

Credit: PA

In July, Gunn was sacking from Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy franchise, after offensive tweets from a decade earlier were unearthed, following his criticism of US President Donald Trump.

A move to Marvel's comic book rivals of old, DC, only adds intrigue to the ongoing saga, which has seen the likes of GOTG star Dave Bautista blast the Disney corporation, which now owns Marvel.

The first Suicide Squad film, which was released in 2016 and directed by David Ayer, received mixed reviews, but did earn nearly $750 million worldwide - massive in comparison to its $175 million budget, before promotion and advertising.

Credit: DC/Warner Bros

As Gunn wrote the screenplays for both the first and second installment of the Guardians of the Galaxy films it'll be interesting to see what he brings to Marvel's rivals as he is considered to be a major steal from the company.

The director was fired from the Disney franchise of films after tweets from years ago saw revealed jokes in poor taste, concerning rape and pedophilia - since then, Gunn has apologised and said he had grown as a person in the years since the jokes.

Gunn has since deleted his Twitter account, but before he did, he wrote the following statement via the social media platform: "Many people who have followed my career know when I started, I viewed myself as a provocateur, making movies and telling jokes that were outrageous and taboo.

"As I have discussed publicly many times, as I've developed as a person, so has my work and my humour."

The new Suicide Squad movie is going to be produced by Peter Safran who is famously known for producing films from the highly-successful Conjuring film franchise, including the 2018 film The Nun.

Though it doesn't yet have a release date, fans will be intrigued to see where Gunn can take the franchise following a mixed critical reception for the first installment.

kabby Posted on October 10, 2018 07:50

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The crime thrillers to watch now Bodyguard has finished

If, like the rest of the country, you’ve been glued to Jed Mercurio’s smash BBC show Bodyguard, then it’s likely that the recent finale will have left behind a thriller-shaped void yearning to be filled. Whether you're a fan of dark murder investigations or it's exhilarating political conspiracies that have you wanting more, these brilliant shows are the perfect antidote to the show's departure. Let's just hope it keeps you occupied until the (as yet unconfirmed) second season comes out.


Jon Hall


The inimitable Sarah Lancashire plays Miriam, a well-meaning social worker who gets caught up in the mysterious disappearance of Kiri, a young girl about to be adopted.

Season 1, All4

How To Get Away With Murder

Mitch Haaseth


Shonda Rimes’ Emmy-winning series features an acclaimed performance from Viola Davis as Annalise, a criminal attorney who gets embroiled in a murder case.

Seasons 1-3, Netflix

The Sinner

USA Network


Instead of the classic ‘whodunnit?’, The Sinner is a creepy and puzzling story uncovering what led Cora Tannetti (Jessica Biel) to commit murder in broad daylight.

Season 1, Netflix 


Anthony Platt


Follow Carrie Mathison (Claire Danes) over the course of seven seasons as she navigates and foils global terror plots, corruption and international politics.

Seasons 1-6, Netflix; Season 7, Amazon Instant Video

Line of Duty

Des Willie


Get your teeth stuck into four series of another Jed Mercurio hit — an exhilarating drama based around an anti-corruption police unit where no one can be trusted.

Seasons 1-3, Netflix; Season 4, Amazon Instant Video 5

imeTo see more Proper TV, click here


ruby Posted on October 09, 2018 17:31

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Best Tracks of the Week: Janelle Monáe, Post Malone & More

The last full week of February 2018 is a good week to be a hip-hop fan; the week’s best new songs were punctuated by some choice raps from some even more choice MCs. On deck we have Logic dropping his first new song since owning the Grammys, a jazz-inflected jam from Bishop Nehru and a posse cut from A$AP Rocky, Gucci Mane and 21 Savage that will have you rethinking the posse cut itself.

And that doesn’t even touch on some of the week’s other great offerings. First and foremost we have the return of Janelle Monáe, who after a few years in Hollywood beefing up her acting resume has roared back into musical life with a funkadelic outing. And speaking of funkadelic – Canada’s most funky (Kaytranada, his brother Lou Phelps, and Jazz Cartier) all teamed up for a groovy number all but guaranteed to make you feel like you just hit a bong.

All of those and more can be found below in this edition of Best Tracks of the Week.

Arriving early Friday evening just in time for a weekend banger, “Cocky” has managed to worm its way into our headphones well into the week, proving this heavy-duty posse cut has the bite to match the bark of the A-listers steering the production. If A$AP Rocky, Gucci Mane and 21 Savage (not to mention London on da Track) are all appearing together, is there any doubt that the result would be anything less than stellar?

Bishop Nehru – “Rooftops”

Kaytranada and MF DOOM are a production match made in heaven, and the proof lies in this electrifying new track from Bishop Nehru. The wunderkind with an elastic flow doesn’t disappoint over his jazz-inflected latest, promising great things from his upcoming project ELEVATORS: ACT I & II.

GASHI is set to have a huge 2018; at least if his being signed to Roc Nation is anything to go by. Management aside, his anguished Autotune warbles on new track “1134” make enough of a case that he’s an artist to keep your eye on this year.

Janelle Monáe – “Make Me Feel”

Comparisons to her idol (and later, mentor) Prince have been following Janelle Monáe since she first arrived on the scene in 2010. Now, with a single spin of her new track “Make Me Feel,” it is clear that the Purple One will live on forever as long as Miss Monáe is alive and making music. She channels his ferocious sex appeal, electric funk and effortless cool in a way that remains slyly her own.


After decisively staking his claim in hip-hop history with his Grammy-nominated 2017 album Everybody, Logic has little left to prove. Even so, his first release of the new year – the blistering “44 More” – is a track with such a deft display of rhymes that careless listeners may find themselves with whiplash upon first listen.

The lo-fi, fuzzy synths of Kaytranada herald this warm bath of a track from Lou Phelps (Kaytranada’s literal brother). An expertly-laden verse from Jazz Cartier is yet another reason to love this track – a true triumvirate of Canadian talent.

Post Malone – “Psycho” ft. Ty Dolla $ign

As another taste of his long-overdue Beerbongs & Bentleys, “Psycho” offers a very different sonic palette than the one found on lead single “Rockstar.” This Ty Dolla $ign-collab displays a significantly-pared down Post, one who ruminates over being friend-zoned with anguished ennui.

SOB X RBE – “Anti Social”

Fresh from a standout appearance on the epic Black Panther soundtrack, SOB X RBE have swiftly delivered on the buzzy hype with a full-length project, GANGIN. The whole record is worth a listen, but “Anti Social” in particular is worth praise on its own. Clocking in at less than three minutes, it manages to glide between trunk-rattling bombast and breezy pop-leanings with eas

It’s been a minute since we’ve heard from Twin Shadow, but it seems that his absence has done nothing to dull his uncanny ability to make ’80s power-pop anthems that transcend the decade to sound more ’80s than the ’80s. The first taste of his upcoming album Caer ropes in another act who shares this ability – the one and only HAIM. Suffice to say, they’re a good fit for each other.

YG – “Suu Whoop”

Ladies and gentlemen, YG – proving that you did not know all the ways to pronounce the word ‘swoop’ and that, aside from Kendrick, he is the dominant voice in the revitalization of West Coast hip-hop.

ruby Posted on October 09, 2018 17:11

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JAY-Z & Diddy Top ‘Forbes’ List of Highest-Paid Hip-Hop Acts 2018

Forbes has shared its annual list for The World’s Highest-Paid Hip-Hop Acts 2018 and rapper JAY-Z has clinched the top spot. The New York native brought in an impressive $76.5 million pretax, due in part to his comeback album 4:44, subsequent tour, the release of Everything is Love with wife Beyoncé and their stadium tour ‘On The Run II.’

His impressive sum knocked fellow mogul Diddy from his three-year reign at number one. The Bad Boy Entertainment CEO, despite slipping one place, still earned an impressive sum — $64 million to be exact — on account of his expanding beverage line which includes Ciroc Vodka, DeLeon Tequila, and Aquahydrate alkaline water.

After signing off exclusive endorsements with Nike and American Express for his ‘DAMN’ tour, Kendrick Lamar nabbed third place with $58 million. Elsewhere, Drake trailed behind with $47 million and Nas ($35 million) makes his first entry into the Highest-Paid Hip-Hop Acts list since the release of 1994’s Illmatic, tying with Dr. Dre.

Dj Khaled ($27 million), Travis Scott ($21 million) and Lil Uzi Vert ($19.5 million) also appear in the top 20.

The top 10 artists are as follows:

1. JAY-Z — $76.5 million
2. Diddy — $64 million
3. Kendrick Lamar — $58 million
4. Drake — $47 million
5. J. Cole — $35.5 million
6. Dr. Dre — $35 million
7. Nas — $35 million
8. Pitbull — $32 million
9. Future — $30 million
10. Kanye West — $27.5 million

Head to Forbes for the full list.

Elsewhere, Pharell Williams says he originally front “Frontin'” for Prince.


ruby Posted on October 09, 2018 16:10

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Liberia’s president George Manneh Weah with French president Emmanuel Macron in Paris

        GLOBE AFRIQUE’S RESEARCH AND ANALYSIS–Liberia’s new president His Excellency George Manneh Weah, in crying out for European assistance, has said he inherited “a country that is very broke, and depleted as a political malfeasance”, reports AFP news agency. If this assertion is true, it means President Weah has also inherited a nation that has been poorly governed, managed and wrecked by the past Liberian administration and his immediate predecessor, Madam Ellen Johnson Sirleaf.  It also means, that contrary to international perceptions, his predecessor did not do a good job.

            The former international soccer star, who is currently visiting in Europe, made these touching and politically salient remarks in France.  He also said he has ordered a complete audit of government agencies “to make sure that what belongs to the government goes to the government.”   Speaking on his first official foreign trip out of Africa, as president, he said health care and education are lacking in Liberia––a direct contrast to the standards established and used by the Mo Ibrahim Foundation in awarding retired Liberian president Madam Ellen Johnson Sirleaf with the 2017 Ibrahim Prize for good governance and leadership.

President George Manneh Weah and First Lady Clar Weah with French president Macron in Paris

Prior to President Weah’s remarks and subsequent thereof, Globe Afrique research and analysis team has reviewed the various levels of corruption that occurred during the past 12 years in Liberia under the most recent Liberian government. These reviews which are still ongoing detailed several actual and perceived acts of corruption that took place in the country from January 2006 to January 2018 when President Sirleaf’s Unity Party-led government ran the country.

           When Madam Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Liberia’s and Africa’s first democratically elected woman president assumed office as head of state of Liberia, she inherited a monumental problem––a war-torn nation and looted country that was on the path to recovering. The decade-long Liberian conflict led to a breakdown in social services, the cessation of agricultural food production, and a dilapidated infrastructure.  There was also some degree of corruption in the country as officials of successive Liberian administrations, especially during factional periods, unsuitably amassed wealth at the expense of the Liberian people. However, one thing certain, and that had been far more observable under previous administrations prior to 2006, was that corruption in Liberia was not widespread, organized and endemic. True, it existed, it was not systemic, naked and heartless.

When Madam Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Liberia’s and Africa’s first democratically elected woman president assumed office as head of state of Liberia, she inherited a monumental problem––a war-torn nation and looted country that was on the path to recovering. The decade-long Liberian conflict led to a breakdown in social services, the cessation of agricultural food production, and a dilapidated infrastructure.  There was also some degree of corruption in the country as officials of successive Liberian administrations, especially during factional periods, unsuitably amassed wealth at the expense of the Liberian people. However, one thing certain, and that had been far more observable under previous administrations prior to 2006, was that corruption in Liberia was not widespread, organized and endemic. True, it existed, it was not systemic, naked and heartless.

Under the Sirleaf’s Unity Party-led government, Liberia experienced widespread, organized, structured and inhumane acts of corruption in almost all sectors and at every level.  These acts of corruption included petty corruption, grand corruption, systemic corruption, government/public sector corruption, political corruption, and judicial corruption.  Hence, Liberians experienced naked and heartless greed.

           Petty corruption in Liberia occurred on a smaller scale and at the implementation end of public services when officials meet the public. For example, in many small places and activities in Liberia such as business transaction and in registration offices, at clearinghouses, police stations, state licensing entities, and in many other government sectors.  From 2007 to 2018, no basic government services were rendered without some form of bribe and other forms of corruption. In obtaining passports, national ID card, driver’s license; in shipping or clearing goods at the airport and seaports; in seeking employment, and in obtaining contracts, there has been some form of what is known in Liberia as the provision of “cold water.”

Former Liberian president Ellen Johnson Sirleaf

          Grand corruption in Liberia and around the world is defined as corruption that occurs at the highest levels of government in a way that requires the weighty subversion of the political, legal and economic systems. Such corruption is generally found in countries with authoritarian or dictatorial governments but also in those without adequate policing of corruption.  Globe Afrique found that while the Sirleaf’s Unity Party-led administration would not be considered as authoritarian or dictatorial from a superficial perspective, and on the surface; in substance and practice, it was economically, and to a subtle extent, politically authoritarian and dictatorial. It was a government and a presidency that was bent on, and entrenched in, the logic of “My Way or No Way.”

Globe Afrique’s research noted that grand corruption in Liberia from 2006 to 2018 was excessive because the then Liberian government did not regard and value the separation of power and the formalities that attend to them.

The Liberian government system, as in many countries, is divided into the legislative, executive and judiciary branches. This system, modeled after that of the United States, is good because it facilitates oversight in an attempt to provide independent services that are less subject to grand corruption due to the independence of one branch from other.  

          Contrary to this co-equal political philosophy, the executive branch of government in Liberia, from 2006 to 2018, corrupted, interfered and rubber–stamped the other two branches of the Liberian government, using bribe and other incentives.

                 Consequently, an estimated 99 percent of legislative bills that went to the Liberian legislature, passed and implemented, including concession agreements, budgetary appropriations and allocations, government contracts and tax give-aways etc., came from the executive branch, and in most instances, financial inducements were used to coerce lawmakers into signing and passing the bills.  

          At one point, a former Liberian Senator Clarice Jah produced video and audio recordings that signified how the executive branch and the former Liberian leader, Madam Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, used public funds to entice and lure lawmakers into making wrong public policies and passing bad bills, especially in approval and passage of bills pertaining to major and insignificant concession agreements.

Tony Praise Lawal receives an honor of recognition from former Liberian president Ellen Johnson Sirleaf. Lawal got away with more than $18 millions of dollars in Liberian taxpayers money and no investigation has been initiated because he is connected to powerful Liberians.

                 Systemic corruption (or endemic corruption) is a corruption which is primarily due to weaknesses in and of an organization or process. In Liberia, especially from January 2006 to January 2018, corruption was so widespread and conducted by both government’s officials and their outside associates, including foreign nationals. Most elected and appointed officials in the previous Liberian administration as well as family members of those in power engaged foreign nationals in looting the country.

         In some instances, those officials co-opted certain government agencies in granting Liberian nationality and other identifications such as passports, national ID card and more to these foreign nationals with whom they exploited the country’s treasury to launder funds abroad into personal accounts, or to purchase properties.  A classic case is that of a Nigerian con-man, Praise Tony Lawal, a retired soldier who served in the West African Peace Monitoring Force (ECOMOG) in Liberia.

With no background in engineering or construction, Lawal was aided by top-level Liberian officials and others with close ties to the presidency in setting up bogus construction companies and financial entities. Through these bogus entities, Lawal secured more than $18 million United States dollars in contract funds from the Liberian treasury.  That amount was  siphoned out on behalf of those Liberian individuals without attending to the main reasons why the funds were disbursed from the treasury.  Besides, Lawal was illegally granted a Liberian passport, national ID card, and even a voter identification while simultaneously remaining a Nigerian citizen.

Several Ghanaians have also secured or bought Liberian passports to come to the United States and seek political asylum as Liberians. Currently, the New York’s office of the USCIS has a case of a Ghanaian claiming to be a Liberian because he entered the US on a Liberian passport. When asked how and why he uses a Liberian passport and identity, he claims because he has lived in Liberia prior to obtaining a visa to come to the United States.

There are many other nationals that have bought Liberian passports and other identities. While naturalization is a good thing, granting nationals of other countries a Liberian passport and related identities has an adverse impact, especially when those people have not truly naturalized, or when they have hidden and dubious intent for wanting a Liberian document. For example, a good number of individuals arrested in violent acts across the world and with drugs abroad who are recognized as Liberians are not actually real Liberian citizens, but the arresting authorities in the countries such where such acts occurred regard them as Liberians because they have Liberian identification documents. This is among some of the reasons why we hear about Liberians being accused of drug trafficking and so on.

The negative impact these things have are severe.  For instances, carriers of Liberian passports and identifies were not scrutinized in past as it is today.  When other people who are engaged in dubious acts carry your nation’s passport, the consequences of their actions affects everyone.  In Spain, few individuals were arrested taking drugs to Liberia.  While they are not Liberians, they had Liberian passports.  The danger this poses is even unacceptable today, especially so in the days and time of regional and international terrorism.

These things happened due to systemic corruption. With systemic corruption, the citizens tend to disrespect government officials and institutions.  From 2010 to 2018, this lack of respect translated into widespread public distrust and the lack of confidence in the Sirleaf’s Unity Party–led government such that officials of government, including the Liberian presidency, were frequently condemned by the citizenry on national radio and in various social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

There are several factors that encourage systemic corruption and these include conflicting incentivesdiscretionary powersmonopolistic powers; lack of transparency; low pay; and a culture of impunity. Globe Afrique’s ongoing research has noted that former president Madam Ellen Johnson Sirleaf facilitated all of these factors in Liberia, mainly from 2008–2018. While specialists including doctors, nurses, engineers, teachers, police officers and civil servants received low pay, cronies and select elected and appointed government’s officials received unwarranted and dubious salaries as well as other incentives in addition to carrying out specific acts of corruption.

Some of the specific acts of corruption during the Sirleaf’s Unity Party–led government rule included “bribery, extortion, and embezzlement.” Globe Afrique’s research notes that in a system like Liberia where “corruption becomes the rule rather than the exception,” development becomes dormant and innovation is impaired. Globe Afrique’s ongoing research also suggests that Liberia, from January 2006 to January 2018, witnessed a centralized and decentralized systemic corruption. In such cases, it becomes very difficult for a leader to control, manage or defeat it.  And to her credit, former President Sirleaf admitted in her farewell speech that not dealing with corruption is her major regret in her 12 years rule.

Scholars have distinguished between centralized and decentralized systemic corruption. In the case of Liberia, centralized corruption was found in budgetary allotments to certain government offices and officials as well as projects. For example, travel expenses and per diem for officials to travel abroad and locally in Liberia; vehicles and gasoline allotment for officials; payment of rent for government officials to live in their homes; and salaries for the maids and other attendants who worked in the private homes of some officials.  These unwarranted and wasted cost to the Liberian taxpayers were in addition to pet projects that looted millions out of the national treasury.  Apart from the Office of the President having a “Special Project” funds, millions of dollars were appropriated annually to other “priorities” such as the renovation of the Executive Mansion––the official office and residence of Liberian presidents.  To date, the Executive Mansion remains inhabitable, unfinished and not renovated.

Government/public sector

From 2008 to January 2018, Liberia also became ingrained in Public sector corruption at a large scale and the former president gutted all major audits reports that would have mandated transparency and accountability. In some instances, she provided cover for certain officers who were accused of corruption or mismanagement by personally taking the blame.  She did it when millions of dollars were unaccounted for at the ministry of finance and she also did so when the lucrative National Oil Company of Liberia (NOCAL) was ruined by greed and widespread public theft.

Public sector corruption also includes corruption of political processes and of government agencies as well as corruption in the process of allocating public funds for contracts, grants, and hiring. From 2007 to December 2017, government contracts, grants, and hiring were all corrupt. One clear example is the numerous road construction contracts given to Praise Tony Lawal, a non-engineer and non-Liberian citizen. While several known and well-respected Liberian engineers and construction firms were seeking such contracts, the Liberian government thru the Ministry of Public Works unilaterally and frequently awarded Lawal multiple lucrative government’s contracts without considering national security implications, because there are just certain contracts that a government should not grant to foreign nationals without supervision, especially when such government has its own citizens that can fulfill such functions more satisfactorily.

Political corruption

Globe Afrique’s ongoing research has also observed that from 2006 to January 2018, Liberia saw an unprecedented political corruption. Political corruption is the abuse of public power, office, or resources by elected government officials for personal gain, by extortion, soliciting or offering bribes. Scholars have noted that political corruption can also take the form of office holders maintaining themselves in office by purchasing votes, and by enacting laws which use taxpayers’ money.

While it is true that former president Sirleaf adhered to the two-term rule in Liberia by leaving office after her second term, her administration used and abused public funds in her second term run and also used public funds in supporting certain candidates at legislative levels. Certain laws and actions were taken by the previous administration to the benefit of certain officials, their cronies, and the Liberian presidency.  For example, the tax incentive for the Farmington Hotel, granting that business a 30-year tax break is one of such concerns.  Many Liberian businesses have no such tax breaks.

Judicial corruption

Generally, the Supreme Court of Liberia has exhibited some degree of credibility in Liberia. It is constituted by individuals with an appreciable amount of dignity and honor.  However, the judiciary as a whole cannot be exempt.  From 2007 to January 2018, there were instances of judicial corruption, especially at the lower levels of the judiciary.  Globe Afrique’s ongoing research notes that certain lower courts’ judges were vulnerable to endemic corruption.  Notable instances include the rulings of these judges.  In fact, judicial corruption became so excessive at the magisterial and justice of peace courts’ levels.  Dozens of Liberians were thrown in jail by some magistrates and justices of the peace based on bribery.  The prisons became overcrowded such that it drawn the immediate attention of the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Liberia, His Honor Francis Korpkor.   The chief justice took decisive action as well as admonished lower courts’ judges to refrain from such acts.

Tony Praise Lawal.  he even shot at Liberians and was let go free by powerful Liberians on whose behalf he laundered money from Liberian taxpayers.  Now, with $18 million dollars gone, Liberia is “broke.”

Another classic example is the application of the so-called libel lawsuits filed by powerful and corrupt individuals against members of the media and advocates for social justice and accountability. Respected Liberian journalist Rodney Sieh was locked up for weeks for simply reporting embezzlement and corruption allegations at a cabinet level.  Praise Tony Lawal, a known Nigerian hustler who colluded with some Liberian officials and others to dupe the country out of millions was said to have had a special judge in whose court he suds Liberians that tried to expose his bad deeds in the country.  That judge was said to have allegedly been on the payroll of Lawal and his powerful Liberian affiliates.  These and many other corrupt acts including the former president’s constant meddling in judicial affairs attempted to dim the good works that the Supreme Court of Liberia has and continues to do.

In Liberia and around the world, judicial corruption refers to corruption-related the misconduct of judges, through receiving or giving bribes, improper sentencing of convicted criminals and others, bias in the hearing and judgment of arguments and other such misconduct. While it is true that governmental corruption of any judiciary is mostly known in most developing and transitional countries like Liberia because the budget for the judiciary is almost completely controlled by the executive.

This process undermines the separation of powers, as it creates a critical financial dependence of the judiciary on the executive branch. This is why Globe Afrique notes that the proper way for national wealth distribution in Liberia including government spending on the judiciary should be in line with and subject to constitutional economics. That way, the citizens can expect absolute independence from the Liberian judiciary.

It is essential to distinguish between the two methods of corruption of the judiciary. In most developing and transitional countries like Liberia, the government (through budget planning and various privileges) can make the judiciary less independent.  While judicial corruption can be very difficult to completely eradicate or reduce, even in developed countries, there must be instruments to contain it practically and perceptually. Corruption in the judiciary also involves the government in power intentionally and willfully using the judicial arm of government to oppress civil society groups, advocates for human rights, the rule of law, accountability and transparency, and opposition parties to the detriments of the state.

Overwhelming evidence suggests that apart from the economic, social and development drawbacks that corruption has on any nation, it can have serious political consequences––when citizens are being asked for bribes they become less likely to identify with their country or region.

Globe Afrique’s ongoing research notes that while many of these things were not visible and rampant, semblance of them did take place at various levels in Liberia under the previous government.  Known political commentator and one of Liberia’s most accomplished talk show hosts, Henry Costa, was harassed and intimidated on numerous occasions for speaking out on prevailing political, social and economic conditions in Liberia. His radio frequency and broadcasting license were repeatedly censored.  These and many more left Liberia downgraded as a nation that should have excelled in its post-conflict recovery process.  It is hope that the new government will review lessons learned and do things differently.  Finally, President Sirleaf did some good but she tolerated so many bad things as well.




sarah Posted on October 09, 2018 15:58

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Diddy Takes Back His Name Change: “I Was Only Joking”

Sean Combs, the man with many names, disclosed over the weekend that he would no longer be going by any of his old monikers, instead, he prefers to be called Love, aka Brother Love. Now, however, the music mogul appears to have changed his mind.

Diddy ? @Diddy

I decided to change my name again!

My new name is LOVE aka Brother Love. #TakeDat

4:53 PM - Nov 4, 2017

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  • “I was only joking,” Diddy says in a new Instagram video. “It was just part of one of my alter egos. One of my alter egos is Love.”

    He went on to add: “You can address me by any of my older names. But if you still wanna call me Love, you can call me Love, baby. But I was only playin’.”

  • Click video for sound


  • Sean Combs, the man with many names, disclosed over the weekend that he would no longer be going by any of his old monikers, instead, he prefers to be called Love, aka Brother Love. Now, however, the music mogul appears to have changed his mind.


    “I was only joking,” Diddy says in a new Instagram video. “It was just part of one of my alter egos. One of my alter egos is Love.”

    He went on to add: “You can address me by any of my older names. But if you still wanna call me Love, you can call me Love, baby. But I was only playin’.”


    So, feel free to use Puff Daddy, Puffy, P. Diddy, Diddy, Love, Cassie’s man — the options are endless.

    In related news, Diddy recently expressed interest in buying the NFL.


ruby Posted on October 09, 2018 15:56

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Diddy Changed His Name Again

Diddy, real name Sean John Combs, has changed his stage name yet again. Formerly known as Puff Daddy, Puffy, P. Diddy, and most recently Diddy, Combs made an announcement via social media this weekend that he would now like to be called Brother Love, or just Love.

Click video for sound


“I will not be answering to Puffy, Diddy, Puff Daddy, or any of my other monikers,” he explains in the above clip, taken during his birthday celebrations on November 4.

“I know it’s risky because it could come off as corny to some people,” he said. “So my new name is Love, aka Brother Love.” He explained that he’s going by Love now because “I’m just not who I am before. I’m something different.”

Aside from changing his name for the fifth time, Combs announced last month that he wants to buy the NFL.

Revisit Diddy’s short film Black Excellence featuring JAY-Z below.

In other music news, N.E.R.D. debuted their new album ‘No_One Ever Really Dies’ featuring Kendrick Lamar, Rihanna, and many more, at ComplexCon this weekend. Get the full scoop right here.

ruby Posted on October 09, 2018 15:40

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Does Smoking Weed And Gymming Go Hand In Hand?



: With this article, I as a writer, do not promote or endorse the usage of Marijuana for muscle building or any specific goal or purpose. If you wish to use it, it is as per your

discretion. This piece is purely for information.

Smoking weed or marijuana consumption has been legalized in many parts of the world lately. A lot of people smoke marijuana on a regular basis and there is a good chance that you would have 'researched' what would happen if you ever worked out high? How would it affect your gains?

© YouTube

If you have been thinking about this question, you have come to the right place. Before discussing what happens when you work out after smoking up, let's discuss marijuana. The most common compound in marijuana is tetrahydrocannabinol, also known as THC. THC affects a system of your body known as Endocannabinoid System. Your body in itself produces THC-like substances known as endocannabinoid and when these bind to the cannabinoid receptors in the brain, it leads to changes and experiences that regular marijuana smokers are familiar with.

How Does Marijuana Affect Your Exercise? Does It Aid Or Does It Hurt Your Gains?

There have been many anecdotes given by professional athletes where they have mentioned that smoking up or consuming THC containing edibles helped them exercise longer, push harder, or took away performance anxiety while exercising. Though the anecdotal evidence has been very much in favor of this holy herb, let's look at some of the scientific data before concluding.

The data on marijuana and its effect on exercise is limited as it is still classified as a schedule 1 drug and deemed illegal in many parts of the country but still, there is some interesting data out there. One study has shown that the feeling of a runner's high which was believed to be caused by endorphins is not the case. This is because endorphins cannot reach your brain. On the other hand, it is endocannabinoids that reaches your brain and gives the feeling of euphoria after exercise. Smoking up before exercise means more endocannabinoids and thus significantly better runners high. But this does translate to actual exercise performance.

© YouTube

The data, when it comes to exercise performance post marijuana consumption is not favorable. A study looking at power output comparing cycling performance to maximal effort normally vs. marijuana consumption show that marijuana consumption can lead to exhaustion faster

Another study showed that a placebo performed better than marijuana in an endurance test. Smokers also had an elevated heart rate and blood pressure, increasing the risk of coronary heart disease. Though marijuana can reduce stress and pain sensation, which when you look at it, can help you push a few more reps but is this going to do you any good? Not really as discomfort and joint pains are triggers/signals against a possible injury, being high might mean not being able to identify these pain signals and thus increasing the risk of exercise-induced injury.


THC is also a psychoactive drug which can lead to a dip in coordination and reaction time (the reason a lava lamp may be interesting after smoking up), increasing the chances of injuries and deteriorating performance. Working out after smoking up marijuana may not be a good idea after all and may have gains-damaging downsides.

jmparker Posted on October 09, 2018 15:20

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7 Really Important Style Tips For Men With Dark Skin

Contrary to popular belief, your Indian skin tone isn't restricted to hues. In scientific terms, dark skin tones are actually a boon. You can always wear brights, can dress the usual and look your best all day long. But the way it is with every worldly process, certain ethics and mannerisms will bring you to the top. To celebrate your indisputable colour and show the world you're worth it, here's what to ensure while playing dress-up today.


1. Sorbet colours are your best colours.

If you're dark skin-lucky and investing in colours like lemon yellow, powder blue, peach—you, my man, are doing it right. Your everyday palette should be a blend of pastels and sorbet colours. They'll make your skin shine and exude a natural glow.

© Pinterest

2. Stay away from stark colours!

As a thumb rule, never invest in pure-white separates or bright-hued clothing. On your brown skin tone, they'd contrast in abundance and look quite awkward. Though exciting, new hues are being placed on the racks daily, they're meant for the fairer, so stay away.

3. Befriend faded prints. 

While your choice in prints isn't a big worry here, they need to look washed-out and appear faded. Plus, never go overboard with the number of colours in it! Stay tone-on-tone or stick to a hint of a chalky colour. And to pair them perfectly, utilize a few dark, cool shades!

© Facebook

4. Switch to summer layering.

Most of us turn to layering in summer.However, don't get too bright, nor too subtle—choose a fresh, sorbet hue and get going! If you plan to layer with more than a piece, the secondary layering piece should belong to the same colour family. 

5. Quirky socks are made for you!

The trend of eccentric socks is a hard one to master. But guys with dark skin tones were born to embrace it! While you need be careful with your choices in apparel, feel free to embellish your feet however you want. With quirky socks, endless hues and with your favorite footwear bringing them to notice.

© Pinterest


6. Certain colour combos will always work for you.

Warm colours with cool colours, earthy tones with white, classic black and white are great combinations to have in hand. When putting together, they'll do your skin justice and never make you think twice.

© Facebook

7. Classic sunnies are your best bets!

Classic styles are classic for a reason. So wear them! Plus, ensure that your outfit is your single-most focal point! Classic sunnies go well with almost all colour families and help you keep the sun at bay. But in case you want to head the other route, turn to styles such as the reflectors.

jmparker Posted on October 09, 2018 15:14

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Grieving Bride Visits Late Partner's Grave On Day They Were Set To Marry

A grieving bride whose husband-to-be died before their wedding has been photographed in a poignant shoot, which has now gone viral for its heartbreaking message.

Kendall James Murphy was a firefighter from Montgomery, Indiana, who was tragically killed in a car accident in November 2017, aged 27.

His fiance, Jessica Padgett, bravely decided to mark the day that they were due to get married by wearing her wedding dress and visiting his grave, enlisting Loving Life Photography to document the bittersweet occasion.

Credit: Loving Life Photography

The photos were posted to the Loving Life Photography Facebook page, with the photographer captioning them: "She made broken look beautiful and strong look invincible. She walked with the Universe on her shoulders and made it look like a pair of wings."

Padgett posed for several photos alongside Murphy's grave and firefighting gear, in one photo holding up Murphy's old boots next to his image, Photoshopped in and smiling down at her.

Credit: Loving Life Photography

Padgett's maid of honour and Murphy's best man also both gave speeches, before guests lit paper sky lanterns.

Murphy died after he was struck by his colleague Colby Blake - who allegedly had a blood alcohol level over double the legal limit.

They had been responding to a call about a driver stuck inside his vehicle, but Murphy had already arrived on the scene in his own car. He had stepped out of the vehicle to retrieve his protective clothing, which was when Blake rear-ended another truck with his own, which eventually kept moving forward and hit Murphy.

Credit: Daviess County Sheriff Dept.

Blake was arrested and charged with causing death while operating a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol content of .15 or more, but the case is still not set for trial.

According to the National Fallen Firefighters Association, Murphy was a 'selfless man of God who loved spending time with family and friends'.

The association also said: "He had a true servant's heart and captivating personality that would light up any room. His wittiness would make anyone laugh and have him making friends in no time. He didn't know a stranger."

Credit: Loving Life Photography

Credit: Loving Life Photography

Padgett and her family - along with Murphy's - attended the National Firefighters Memorial in Emmitsburg, Maryland, on 7 October to honour her late partner.

"What a emotional, amazing weekend this was! This foundation not only honored my Kendall, but also took us in as family," she wrote on Facebook afterwards.

"This wasn't what we wanted in the end, but at least we know we will never be alone, we have all become one big supporting family [sic]. You will forever be in our hearts #616."

kabby Posted on October 09, 2018 13:44

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