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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

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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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Cherophobia is the fear of being happy — here are the signs you might have it

Cherophobia comes from the Greek word 'chairo,' which means 'to rejoice,' and it essentially means you are afraid of what might happen if you enjoy life too much. It's usually a defence mechanism that stems from trauma or conflict.


unhappy man outside

(Alex Holyoake / Unsplash)


  • Some people are scared of happiness and joy.
  • This doesn't mean they are sad all the time, but they avoid activities and social events they think will be fun.
  • It's usually a defence mechanism that stems from trauma or conflict.
  • Therapy can help people work through their past and look to the future without fear.

You know that feeling when something seems too good to be true — when it looks like a lot has happened in your favour recently, so it's suspicious?

Some people can't get over this feeling, and their good fortune takes a sinister turn in their mind.

People who have an irrational aversion to being happy suffer from something called "cherophobia." It comes from the Greek word "chairo," which means "I rejoice." It basically means that they are afraid to participate in anything fun.

It's not the activities that are scary, it's the fear that if you let go, and are happy and carefree, then something terrible will happen.

Cherophobia isn't widely-used or well-defined, and isn't in the latest edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5), which is the main resource for diagnosing mental health conditions. But according to Healthline, some medical experts classify cherophobia as a form of anxiety.

Someone who has cherophobia probably isn't sad all the time, they simply avoid events and activities that could bring them happiness. Some symptoms of the disorder, according to Healthline, are:

  • Anxiety when you're invited to a social gathering.
  • Passing on opportunities that could lead to positive life changes due to the fear something bad will happen.
  • Refusing to participate in "fun" activities.
  • Thinking being happy will mean something bad will happen.
  • Thinking happiness makes you a bad or worse person.
  • Believing that showing happiness is bad for you or your friends or family.
  • Thinking that trying to be happy is a waste of time and effort.

In a blog post on Psychology Today, psychiatrist Carrie Barron discusses some possible reasons for people developing cherophobia, or "hedonophobia," which is defined as the fear of pleasure.

"There is so much talk about the pursuit of happiness these days," she wrote. "It might seem unusual for someone to fear this positive emotion. If it is due to a happiness/punishment link in childhood, it could be more common than we think."

For example, it could stem from the fear of conflict with a loved one, or a bad experience you associate with a certain event. If you're used to something bad happening straight after a happy event, you might resist going again.

"If you are pleasure averse, it may be because somewhere along the way, wrath, punishment, humiliation or theft – you earned it and they had to have it — killed your joy," Barron added. "Now you are afraid to feel it because the bubble burst/brutality is coming."

In an interview with The Metro news site, blogger Stephanie Yeboah described what it's like to live with cherophobia.

"Ultimately, it's a feeling of complete hopelessness, which leads to feeling anxious or wary of taking part in, or actively doing things, that promote happiness as you feel that it will not last," she said.

"A fear of happiness doesn't necessarily mean that one is constantly living in sadness. In my case, my cherophobia was exacerbated/triggered by traumatic events. Even things such as celebrating a campaign win, completing a difficult task or winning a client make me feel uneasy."

Treating cherophobia can sometimes be mistaken for treating feelings of depression, which Yeboah said isn't particularly helpful.

"There's not really much I can do as there aren't many resources that are specific for cherophobia, so I just kind of get on with it and try not to think about it where possible."

Barron said a good place to start is digging into your past, so you can try and learn to have tolerance for wasting time, having fun, and happiness without fearing negative consequences.

In particular, she said treatments like insight-oriented psychotherapy and cognitive behavioral therapy are useful for understanding the causes and undoing the negative associations people have between pleasure and pain.

Ultimately, tackling cherophobia is changing the way you think. If you think you may have it, it's likely a defence mechanism that you've put up, that was built because of a past conflict or trauma.

It will take time to work through your problems, but with treatment, you may be able to get past it, enjoy happiness, and start living in the moment.

AlbertaU Posted on October 09, 2018 11:48

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Confronting human rights violations in Africa one hashtag at a time

Across the continent, many of Africa's long-serving presidents have met their match in the form of online protests which test the strength of their ability to retain power.

While countries like Uganda, Nigeria, and Rwanda have constitutions that technically guarantee rights such as freedom of association, speech, and assembly, these rights are often violated. Today, galvanised by increased connectivity, youthful pan-African online communities are using social media to speak out against this repression and support younger candidates vying for office in countries where leaders have clung to power for decades.

The last few months have seen unprecedented online activism, with trending hashtags such as #FreeBobiWine (Uganda); #FreeJonesAbiri and #FreeSamuelOgundipe (Nigeria) and #FreeDianeRwigara (Rwanda) created by African netizens to create awareness, solidarity and put international pressure on their governments.



In December 2017, 74-year-old Yoweri Museveni, Uganda’s president for the past 32 years, saw the constitutional amendment for which he’d campaigned strenuously signed into law. The amendment removed the age limit of 75 years for presidential candidates, paving the way for Museveni to extend his rule when his term expires in 2021. Most citizens favoured retention of the clause, and the Democratic Party ran a campaign called ‘Togikwatako’ (‘Hands Off’ in Luganda) to protect it.

During the age-limit debates, the young musician-turned-politician Robert Kyagulanyi Sentamu—widely known as ‘Bobi Wine'—caught Museveni's attention with his growing following, both online and in rallies. Perhaps fearing Bobi Wine's influence, Museveni wrote a public letter on a wide range of governance issues and pushed even harder to remove the age-limit clause. In the aftermath of Togikwatako, the government imposed a social media tax to “stem gossip,” which led to major social protests with Bobi Wine at the forefront.

Bobi Wine has spurred political participation among young Ugandans who connect with his personal story and humble beginnings in the poor suburb of Kamwokya, where he built a music studio and launched a powerful career in the Uganda music scene. He went on to wage a successful parliamentary campaign that beat challengers from both the ruling National Resistance Movement and the opposition in the June 2017 by-election.

On August 13, 2018, Bobi Wine joined independent candidate Kassiano Wadri during a by-election in Arua to support Wadri’s campaign. Violence ensued after a presidential convoy was stoned and the state pointed a finger at Wadri's camp. Several parliamentarians and other people—including some who were nowhere near the scene—were arrested and brutally beaten.

View image on Twitter

Rogers Atukunda@rarrigz

Stella Nyanzi and her team of fourteen peaceful protesters camp at Gulu to stand in solidarity with the Arua-34 detainees charged with treason, including Members of Parliament. #BobiWine #FreeBobiWine #freeArua33

3:36 AM - Aug 27, 2018

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During the fracas, Bobi Wine's driver was shot dead while sitting in a parked car. It was later revealed that Bobi Wine had been the intended target. According to his lawyers, Bobi Wine was tortured and held in a military detention centre. The trumped-up charges were dropped after ten days but Bobi Wine was then immediately charged with treason. The remaining detainees were released on bail on August 27.

Scheaffer Okore@scheafferoo

Museveni has been calling for a REVOLUTION it's time Ugandan youth ANSWERED.
There's nothing to lose but the future.
Rise good people. Rise in the Spirit of Lumumba, Biko, Sankara and now BOBI plus the Arua 33.

Dictators must fall.

Rise Uganda RISE #FreeBobiWine

12:28 AM - Aug 31, 2018

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Bobi Wine's brutal arrest and detention were met with international condemnation, igniting the trending hashtags #FreeBobiWine, #FreeArua33 in addition to street protests throughout the world, with the largest one held in Nairobi.



Nigerian president Muhammadu Buhari's government has significantly repressed press freedoms in recent years. Between August 2015 and March 2018, about 17Nigerian journalists and bloggers have been unlawfully arrested or detained by security forces. Buhari has openly expressed his aversion to a free press and freedom of speech. In a recent address to lawyers, he stated that “the Rule of Law must be subject to the supremacy of the nation’s security and national interest.”

A number of hashtags have trended this year in response to the Buhari administration's intimidation journalists and citizens. One of them concerns Jones Abiri, publisher of Weekly Source, who was arrested on July 21, 2016, by state security (DSS) agents at his office in Yenagoa (Bayelsa State).

Uzochukwu Nw'Amaobi@Steavihn

 · Aug 24, 2018

Replying to @Steavihn

Remember that this government condemns past governments for her failures.

Uzochukwu Nw'Amaobi@Steavihn

Remember the journalists who spent years in prison #FreeJonesAbiri #FreeSamuelOgundipe remember the women who were unlawfully imprisoned #FreeOwerri112

5:22 PM - Aug 24, 2018

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The DSS accused Abiri of being a militant responsible for the “bombing of oil pipelines” in oil-rich Niger Delta region. The government sustained this narrative and further accused Abiri of lacking official journalism credentials.

Human rights advocates countered that Abiri was arrested for publishing ‘unpleasant’ information. The hashtag #FreeJonesAbiri trended for several days on Twitter, and it worked: Abiri was released on August 15, 2018, after a two-year detention. He has sued the government, demanding compensation in the amount of 200 million Naira (about $556,000 United States Dollars) for detention without a trial.


Samuel Ogundipe was arrested by Nigerian police on August 14, 2018, for refusing to disclose the source for a news story.  According to police, Ogundipe leaked a letter from Inspector General of Police to the Acting President, Professor Osinbajo, regarding the DSS's parliament siege. The police accused Ogundipe of publicizing a classified document, causing “a breach of national security and a breakdown of law and order”.

Netizens, civil rights advocates, and journalists around the world condemned Ogundipe's arrest and called on the government for his release. For days, #FreeSamuelOgundipe trended on Twitter. Ogundipe was released on August 17, 2018.

Samuel Ogundipe@SamuelOgundipe

During my detention, I had no idea of the magnitude of support that came in for me from the public. Upon my release earlier today, @PremiumTimesng management explained that my freedom came because of the pressure you all mounted.

I am very grateful. Thank you!

3:18 PM - Aug 17, 2018

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Samuel Ogundipe was released on August 17, 2018.


On August 17, 112 women were arrested in Owerri in southeastern Nigeria for staging a peaceful protest demanding the release of Nnamdi Kanu, a separationist leader from the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB).  Kanu’s whereabouts remain unknownsince last year after the Nigerian Army raided his father's house and the government declared IPOB a terrorist organization. The women's arrests ignited a social media storm leading to the trending hashtag #FreeOwerri112.

The women were released on August 24.



Under President Paul Kagame's leadership, Rwanda boasts the highest proportion of women in government in the world.  But in reality, women leaders acting outside the confines of the governing political party face the full wrath of the regime. First, it was 49-year-old lawyer and leader of the opposition FDU-Inkingi party Victoire Ingabire, who returned from in exile in the Netherlands to contest the 2010 election. Ingabire was arrested and charged with collaborating with a terrorist organization and “genocide ideology.” She is currently serving a 15-year jail sentence.

More recently, Diane Shima Rwigara, a Rwandan businesswoman who ran as an independent candidate in the 2017 Rwandan presidential elections, had her presidential ambitions cut short when she was disqualified by the Rwandan Electoral Commission. Rwigara was arrested last year on charges of “incitement and fraud,” and been in jail for the past year. She faces a 20-year prison term.

Hotep Ras(cal)@MarigaThoithi

People talk about Kagame's progressive parliament because of the record number of women but forget that he has tortured and indefinitely detained Diane Shima Rwigara (and her mother), who ran against him in 2017 and also auctioned their family assets.

But yes, development.

4:34 AM - Aug 25, 2018

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View image on Twitter


It's overdue! We need to speak for her, she faces 20yrs in jail for daring to run for presidency in Rwanda! #FreeDianaRwigara

6:40 AM - Aug 29, 2018

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While Kagame serves as chair of the African Union in 2018, many African netizens are calling for the release of his political opponents.

jmparker Posted on October 09, 2018 11:01

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17 Cancer Causing Foods You Have to Stop Eating

You are likely aware that eating junk food is a major risk factor for cancer. But did you know that some so-called health foods are actually carcinogens in disguise?

Or that certain ingredients found in virtually all packaged foods present a serious health risk?

By being an informed consumer, we can help influence for good the types of products that end up on our grocery shelves, and enjoy better health to boot.





Not only is soda jampacked with sugar – cancer’s fuel of choice – but it often also contains caramel color. This artificial coloring has the carcinogenic chemical 4-MEI as a byproduct. Laboratory tests show that 4-MEI shows up in sodas with caramel color.

Alternatives – Water is always best, but if you really crave the sweet, bubbly hit of soda, choose a natural brand without caramel color.

2. Grilled red meat


While a nice char on that steak may taste good, the high temperatures used for its cooking produce cancer-causing hydrocarbons. And excessive consumption of red meat in general is thought to up your cancer risk.

Alternatives – Eat red meat sparingly, cook it carefully, and choose organic, grass fed beef if possible.

3. Microwave popcorn

There’s a triple whammy here – the butter flavoring used in many microwave popcorn brands releases diacetyl, a known toxin, when cooked. Next, the perfluorooctanoic acid that lines the bags themselves is carcinogenic. And finally, popcorn producers are not required to report whether or not their kernels are GMO.

Alternatives – Buy organic kernels and pop them in an air popper or on your stove

4. Canned food, especially tomatoes

Canned foods are dangerous because the cans are lined with the chemical BPA, a known hormone disrupter. Canned tomatoes are especially problematic because their acidity causes the BPA to leach into the food. Tomatoes in general are very healthy; it’s the packaging that’s the problem here.

Alternatives – Eat fresh or frozen produce

5. Hydrogenated oils

Vegetable oils are not extracted from their source naturally, but instead must undergo a chemical process. Later, even more chemicals are added to achieve the desired look and consistency of the product, resulting in an extremely high level of unhealthy omega-6 fats.

Alternatives – Choose olive, soy, or canola oil instead; these oils are naturally extracted.

6. Farmed salmon

Though wild-caught salmon is one of the healthiest proteins you can eat, the farmed version is fed an unnatural diet full of chemicals, pesticides, and antibiotics. They are also fattier than wild-caught, and therefore store more of the bad stuff in their bodies.

Alternatives – Eat wild-caught salmon or augment your diet with a purified fish oil supplement.

7. Artificial sweeteners

Most artificial sweeteners are produced by a chemical process, and there isn’t enough data to really deem them safe. Some studies suggest that artificial sweeteners cause the toxin DKP to build up in the body and potentially cause brain tumors.

Alternatives – If you must use sweetener, choose plant-based Stevia. Certain recipes can also substitute applesauce for sweetener.

8. Refined white flour


The refining process strips away all nutritional value from the original wheat. Even worse, the flour is then bleached with chlorine gas to achieve that appealing white color. White flour is a carbohydrate that breaks down into simple sugar, cancer’s preferred fuel.

Alternatives – Choose unbleached, whole wheat flour for your cooking, and read labels carefully to determine how much of the white stuff is in packaged products.

9. Non-organic fruits & vegetables

The fruits and veggies themselves are extremely healthy, but the pesticides sprayed on them are anything but. Altrazine, for example, is a weed-killer that has been banned in Europe for causing severe problems in humans, but is still commonly used in the U.S.

Alternatives – Buy organic as much as you can, and carefully wash all produce before eating.

10. Processed meat

This includes things like bacon, hot dogs, sausage, and deli meats. The processing often adds huge amounts of salt as well as dangerous chemicals, especially nitrate and nitrite. The additives are intended to make the food look nicer and last longer, but carry a steep risk to your health.

Alternatives – Eat mostly fresh, organic meats and look for other products with minimal processing and no preservatives.

11. Potato chips

Potato chips are offenders for several reasons. One, they are fried in trans fats, and two, they are loaded with salt. Many varieties also have preservatives and artificial coloring.

Alternatives – Pretzels, air popped popcorn, dried apple or banana chips.

12. GMO foods

There is fierce debate about the safety of GMO foods. Huge food producers like GMO products because they have been modified to better resist pests, be easier to transport, and last longer. However, very little safety testing was done before the foods hit shelves, and we have no idea of their long-term health effects.

Alternatives – Organic produce and meats; packaged foods with a Non-GMO label.

13. Alcohol

Studies by the National Cancer Institute have shown a link between alcohol consumption and cancers of the head and neck, esophagus, liver, breast, and colon.

Alternatives – If you are not ready to quit entirely, keep your alcohol consumption in the low risk category – no more than 3 drinks in a sitting for women and 4 drinks in a sitting for men, with no more than 7 drinks total per week for women and 14 total per week for men.

14. Refined sugars

The worst offender in this category is high fructose corn syrup, and it’s in a ton of processed foods and drinks. For example, you’ll find 15 teaspoons of the stuff in one 20 oz soda! As we know, cancer loves to feed on sugar.

Alternatives – Always scan the ingredients list when buying packaged food; the sugar content will surprise you. Satisfy your sweet tooth with whole fruit rather than candy.

15. Margarine

Margarine was supposed to be a healthier alternative to butter, but as it turns out, margarine is made from hydrogenated vegetable oils and is full of trans fats. Recent studies have suggested that trans fats are way more dangerous than the saturated fats found in butter.

Alternatives – Still go easy on the butter, but choose it over margarine. Olive oil flavored with herbs is also a nice topping for bread or veggies.

16. Diet foods

This one’s a real kick in the teeth – you think you’re making a smart choice by purchasing “diet” foods, but in reality these products are often jammed with extra sugar or artificial sweeteners to replace any fat that’s removed. They may also contain various chemicals designed to get you hooked and coming back for more.

Alternatives – Eat fresh, whole foods rather than packaged diet meals.

ruby Posted on October 09, 2018 10:56

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Antibiotic may prevent breast cancer recurrence

     One of cancer researchers' top priorities is discovering ways to reduce the risk that cancer will recur or metastasize. A recent, small-scale study may have found a common, cost-effective drug that does just that.

An antibiotic might help prevent breast cancer from coming back.

Cancer stem cells (CSCs), also known as tumor-initiating cells, are a hot topic among researchers.

These cells are resistant to current treatments and play a significant role in both metastasis and recurrence, which are two of the biggest challenges in cancer treatment.

Because of this, finding successful ways of clearing up CSCs is of great interest.

Researchers from the University of Salford in the United Kingdom may have uncovered a treatment that could play an important role.

These scientists spend their time testing drugs that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have already approved. They investigate whether any existing medicines might also be able to help in the fight against cancer.

Concentrating on drugs in this way means that if they do find an existing drug that works against cancer, it could potentially reach the clinic faster.

In a recent paper now published in the journal Frontiers in Oncology, the scientists outline the potential use of an antibiotic called doxycycline to clear up CSCs.

An antibiotic repurposed

Usually, specialists prescribe doxycycline — which is one of the most common antibiotics globally — to treat conditions such as pneumoniachlamydiasinusitissyphilischolera, and Lyme disease.

Doxycycline works by preventing cells from creating new mitochondria, which are the cells' powerhouses. Importantly, the drug has minimal side effects.

  For the current study, the researchers recruited just 15 participants based at the University Hospital in Pisa, Italy. They gave nine participants doxycycline each day for 14 days leading up to surgery to remove a tumor. The remaining six participants acted as a control and took no drugs.

To assess whether the antibiotic had an impact on CSCs and the chance a tumor would recur, the scientists tested a number of biomarkers. They assessed these so-called measures of stemness in tumor tissue removed before the operation (core biopsies) and on tumor tissue excised during the procedure.

The scientists measured a significant drop in CSCs in nearly all participants who took doxycycline. Although participant numbers were very low, the results were highly significant, meaning that a clinical trial would be worth running.


Why do antibiotics work against CSCs?

Mitochondria evolved from bacteria, and antibiotics attack bacteria; this means that often, antibiotics will also target mitochondria, which prevents stem cells from reproducing.

These findings could have significant ramifications, as co-lead researcher Prof. Michael Lisanti explains.

"We have very few FDA-approved drugs to target and reduce cancer stem cells," he says, "so to find that a drug that is effective, readily available, and costs just 10p per patient per day [...] is highly significant, particularly as around two-thirds of cancer deaths occur due to recurrence after initial treatment."

Over recent years, more and more researchers have become focused on mitochondria as a potential route to treating disease. These findings are likely to fan those flames.

This study also highlights the value of screening existing drugs for their usefulness against other conditions.

As Prof. Lisanti says, "Our ability to treat cancer can only be enhanced by utilizing drugs that are not only cheap but also widely available. Since doxycycline first became clinically available in 1967, its anticancer activity has been right under our nose, for more than 50 years."

sarah Posted on October 09, 2018 10:38

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15 Deadliest Foods You Eat Everyday

There’s an old saying, we are what we eat. And it couldn’t be more true. Every single day we consume a huge variety of foods, many of which contains dangerous toxic additives.The effect may not be noticeable immediately, but over time, these ingredients pile up in our body and may lead to a heart attack or a cancer diagnosis.

Here are some of the potentially deadliest foods you may be eating every day. Pay special attention to food number 11, since this one is something pretty much everyone of us consumes every day.

1. Soda and energy drinks

Soda is known to cause weight gain, especially if it contains lots of sugar (which most sodas do!). Extra weight may, in turn increase your risks of cancer, heart attack, diabetes, etc.
Yet millions consume soda every day without even thinking of possible consequences.



2. Margarine




margarine is often used as a butter replacement, yet, seems like it can be far more dangerous for your well-being.

Studies link this kind of food to an increased rate of heart diseases and cancer. Beware!.

3. Processed meat


Eating processed meat, from salami to hot dogs, can increase your risk of cancer, studies say.

Especially since a lot of these products are packed with unnatural ingredients – synthetic chemicals and even known carcinogens

4. Breakfast cereals



Although such breakfast cereals look natural and healthy and everyone loves them, they can also be extremely unhealthy.

Pay extra attention to all the ingredients, since along with excessive sugar, many of these are packed with various unnatural flavor enhancements.




5. Chips

One of the most commonly consumed snacks, these chips are extremely unhealthy. Lots of salt, fat, calories can lead to weight gain and various diseases.

One of the main concerns though is cholesterol because of the way these chips are fried.

6. Some baked goods


Main area for concern here is pre-packaged baked goods. These are often packed with hydrogenated oils, like palm and kernel, which increases your consumption of trans fat.

There are also other unnatural ingredients inside worth paying attention to.

7. Fat-free foods

marketed as healthy alternatives, not all fat-free products are in fact healthy.

Fat is often replaced with sugar and artificial components. Consider the risks

8. French fries

Similar to chips, this food often becomes unhealthy in the process of cooking.

Unhealthy oils can cause clogging of arteries and lead to a variety of diseases.

9. Red meat

As a whole, people often just eat too much meat nowadays, which increases the risk of cancer.

These foods are hard on your digestive system. An additional risk factor is all the unknown chemicals which could be used during farming period.

10. Cheese


Lots of people can’t even imagine ditching this from their diet. Cheese is extremely high in fat though and when paired with other calorie-dense foods, it can encourage weight gain.

An additional factor is that the varieties we find in supermarket often contain a number of potentially cancer-causing additives.

11. Ice cream

Right, what a bummer! Everyone loves Ice cream, yet consuming lots of it can lead to a risk of high cholesterol and an increased risk of diabetes.

Perhaps, look into more healthy alternatives like high quality frozen yogurt.

12. Fast and fried foods

A rule of thumb is that anything that has been cooked in unhealthy oil could certainly cause health issues.

An additional factor is that such food is highly addictive and can often be consumed in unhealthy amounts.

13. White bread

Studies show that during the making of white bread, most of the nutritional value simply goes away.

What’s left is known to spike blood sugar levels, increasing the risk of diabetes.

14. Microwave popcorn


Danger here lies within all those chemicals and toxins that can be contained in popcorn bags.

If possible, use more healthier alternatives.

15. Fruit juice



yes, based on high fructose content fruit juice can actually be dangerous for your health. Also, lots of juices are packed with sugar, which can lead to a vast variety of issues.

Try to replace these 15 deadly foods with healthier alternatives or cut away from your diet altogether and you will be miles ahead in terms of your health. Hope this helped!

ruby Posted on October 09, 2018 10:34

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Couple arrested for 'raping, killing 20 women' in Mexico

The sensational case came to light after the couple was caught carrying human body parts in a baby carriage.

A couple, detained in Mexico while transporting human body parts in a baby carriage, has admitted to killing 20 people, twice the number originally suspected.

Under interrogation, the man, identified as Juan Carlos "N", confessed on Monday to raping and murdering 20 women, and selling their body parts and belongings, Alejandro Gomez, the chief investigator on the case, said. 

Carlos and his wife, Patricia "N" - their last names withheld in accordance with Mexican laws - were arrested on Thursday in Ecatepec, a violence-hit suburb northeast of Mexico City, on suspicion of killing 10 women.

In custody, the man gave detailed accounts of those murders, and then revealed to investigators that he and his wife had killed 10 other people as well, according to Gomez.

Prosecutors are now trying to establish whether their claim is true, or the boast of a "psychopath" and "serial killer", he said.

"He described it in a completely natural way ... I would say he actually seemed happy to have done this," Gomez said in an interview with Mexican radio network, Formula.

"He wants people to see his picture, to know his name ... I would obviously classify this person as a murderer, a serial killer," he said.

The man also claimed he was forced to dress as a woman by his mother, which he said sparked off his hatred against women. 

Single mothers

A psychiatric examination was conducted on the couple before they were presented before a local court on Sunday.

The test said Carlos has "a mental disturbance consistent with psychosis and a personality disorder" while his wife has been "mentally disabled since birth, and also has acquired induced delirium".

"But both can distinguish between right and wrong," Gomez said, adding that the couple was living with their three children, including a baby.

When authorities searched the two houses belonging to the couple, they found human remains in cement-filled buckets and wrapped in plastic bags inside a refrigerator, as well as clothes apparently belonging to some of their victims.

The man told investigators that he and his wife lured their victims, many of whom were young mothers, with offers of discount on dresses for their babies.

"They were single mothers ... and they needed someone who could help them find inexpensive baby clothes," said Gomez.

Investigators tracked down the couple by tracing the calls the missing women had made to them, he said.

Outrage in Ecatepec 

The case has triggered shock in Mexico, even by the standards of a country plagued by violent crimes.

Hundreds of people protested in Ecatepec, carrying candles and white flowers, to demand action by the authorities to deal with an explosion of violence against women and girls.

Translation: "Not one more, not one more ... not one more murdered!" These are the cries of the families of victims of femicides and disappeared women in #Ecatepec, who march through the streets of Jardines de Morelos

Seven women and girls are killed in Mexico every day, according to UN Women.

The state of Mexico around Mexico City, where Ecatepec is located, led the country in femicides last year, with 301 women and girls murdered, according to official figures.

The protesters said the gender violence alert, issued in 2015 in Ecatepec, has been useless to stop femicides.

Across Mexico, there were a record 28,702 murders last year. The number has surged since 2006, when the government deployed the army to wage war on the country's violent and powerful drug cartels.


Latin America Investigates

Mexico: Land of Impunity

AlbertaU Posted on October 09, 2018 09:16

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#MeToo firestorm consumes Bollywood and Indian media

India's #MeToo movement arrived in a cascade of allegations as women took to Twitter to call out comedians, journalists, authors, actors and filmmakers - in the process, they have sparked a debate about consent and complicity.

Unlike its American counterpart, it has not been spurred by investigative journalism. Rather, it has been a spontaneous outpouring in the last few days, amplified by journalists themselves. And it has hit Indian media the hardest.

It's difficult to say what sparked the torrent of allegations. But it seems to have started on 4 October when a young female comedian accused Utsav Chakraborty, a 33-year-old comedian, of sending her an unsolicited photo of his penis. More allegations followed as other women replied to her tweet or she shared private messages they sent her (with their names blurred) - they said he had either sent them photos of his penis or asked them for naked photos of themselves.

Mr Chakraborty, who admitted to the accusation in a series of tweets, apologised the next day. By then, more women, many of them journalists, had begun to share stories of sexual harassment and even assault.

In the next three days, as more comedians, senior reporters, editors, popular authors, actors and filmmakers were "outed", the hashtag #MeToo was trending in India. The scores of tweets - in the form of long "threads" and screenshots of incriminating conversations - have set off a debate about what constitutes harassment, complicity and consent.

This is not the first time alleged harassers have been publicly named and shamed in India - in 2017, a law student published a controversial crowdsourced list on Facebook accusing more than 50 professors. But this time, most of the accusers are not anonymous. And those that have chosen to remain anonymous are not alone in their accusations.

The media industry

Women journalists have perhaps played the biggest role so far, "outing" reporters, senior editors, authors and even a high court judge. And it's likely the coming week will bring fresh accusations.

Image Copyright @MasalaBai@MASALABAI


"So many allegations have come out and organisations are slowly realising that this is wrong and something has to be done," Dhanya Rajendran, editor of The News Minute, told BBC 's Divya Arya.

"But this is just a start. This is the first step to give women a safe working environment," she added.

The allegations have made it to the front page of national dailies, forcing newsrooms to not just take notice but also respond. At least one major newspaper has promised an investigation after seven women accused one of its senior editors of sexually harassing them and of sabotaging their careers if they did not comply; another newspaper announced that a senior editor who had been named was stepping down from his role.

"There were whispers all along in the newsrooms of misconduct by senior editorial colleagues who used their positions of power and influence to proposition and harass young women, but now some of it's being articulated in the open," says the BBC's Geeta Pandey.

Journalist Sandhya Menon, who has called out two senior editors for allegedly sexually harassing her, has shared numerous stories of harassment and assault from other women - many of whom messaged her privately.

Image Copyright @TheRestlessQuil@THERESTLESSQUIL


Since then, many more women have come forward with their stories, some of them from years ago. This is perhaps a sign of how, for the first time, they believe people are listening.

Image copyrightGETTY IMAGES

Image captionA 10-year-old allegation against actor Nana Patekar is back in the headlines because of #MeToo

"They are using their words, smartphones and laptops to speak their truth and be heard," says Supreme Court lawyer Karuna Nundy.

She said it was a form of "civil disobedience" because, having lost faith in the justice of public institutions, they were making use of the tools available to them.

Bollywood's #MeToo

India's film industry has hovered on the edges of #MeToo for some time. In September, a 10-year-old allegation by actress Tanushree Dutta against veteran actor Nana Patekar once again made headlines but, for the first time, it attracted the attention of several people in the film industry. Patekar repeated his denial of the allegations over the weekend, calling them "a lie".

Image Copyright @sonamakapoor@SONAMAKAPOOR


Then on 6 October HuffPost India published a months-long investigation alleging that director Vikas Bahl had sexually assaulted a female crew member in 2015. It also alleged that his business partners, including acclaimed director, Anurag Kashyap, knew about the allegation but took no action against Mr Bahl.

Image copyrightGETTY IMAGES

Image captionDirector Vikas Bahl (L) - seen here with actors Kangana Ranaut and Rajkummar Rao - has been accused by an unnamed crew member

Mr Bahl, who denied the allegation after it first surfaced, has not commented publicly since the HuffPost story on Saturday.

While actresses have spoken out before they often did not name their harasser or their allegations did not become part of a larger movement. Although the accuser remains anonymous, this is the first time such an allegation has been made public in Bollywood.


Media captionBollywood actresses Radhika Apte and Usha Jadhav are speaking out about sexual harassment

It has also been corroborated by Mr Kashyap, who has issued an apology, vowing that something like this will "never happen again" on his "work premises". This is no minor development in an industry which has long been criticised for exploiting women both on the screen and off it.

Phantom, the production house set up by Mr Kashyap, Mr Bahl and two others, was dissolved on 6 October. It produced the Netflix show Sacred Games along with several Bollywood films.

Image Copyright @anuragkashyap72@ANURAGKASHYAP72


The alleged victim had not wanted to speak out until now, Mr Kashyap said, so the company had not acted sooner. "Now in hindsight and after taking stock of things myself, I can quite see how I was ill-advised."

Complicity and consent

The allegations have ranged from awkward or creepy encounters, lewd behaviour and suggestive text messages to aggressive sexual advances and outright assault. This has prompted some women to ask others to use caution before calling someone out on Twitter for something "trivial".

But this has also invited criticism from other women who have argued in favour of a stricter definition of consent. Some have said this is a moment to listen, sift through stories and introspect rather than tell women how they should process what happened to them.

Image copyrightGETTY IMAGES

Image captionComedy group AIB has come under fire for its association with Utsav Chakraborty

Those who were allegedly complicit have also not been spared the naming and shaming. Mr Chakraborty, for instance, had appeared in videos by India's most popular comedy group, All India Bakchod (AIB). Co-founder Tanmay Bhat, who admitted to the charge that he knew about the alleged incident, has stepped down from his role as CEO.

Image Copyright @thetanmay@THETANMAY


Since then, a film produced by AIB has been dropped from the prestigious Mumbai film festival while a third season of a television show featuring the group was cancelled by popular Indian streaming website Hotstar.

And the allegations of complicity have also unleashed a public reckoning.

Image Copyright @varungrover@VARUNGROVER


Image Copyright @RegaJha@REGAJHA


So, what now?

Geeta Pandey, BBC News, Delhi

The floodgates have opened and what's coming out is predictably murky.

Many are describing it as Indian journalism's #MeToo moment, but could it really be as potent as the movement that brought down some of the most powerful men of Hollywood? The names that have been outed, barring one or two, are of relatively small fry - the "Harvey Weinsteins" remain unnamed as yet.

The strength of the latest #MeToo movement will ultimately be tested by where it travels from here - and if the past is any indication, there's not much to be optimistic about, for earlier attempts at an Indian #MeToo did not have any lasting impact.

A list of alleged predators in academia died a quick death in the Twitter bubble; and calls to name and shame the sleazy in Bollywood did not find many takers. Also, it's not going to be easy for those who choose to speak out, especially for those who have no evidence to back up their allegations.

Some of the women have provided screen shots of private text messages they were sent by their alleged harassers, making the allegations hard to deny.

But in cases where it boils down to "your word against mine", many of the women who spoke out are already being threatened with legal action for defamation and some of the tweets, naming names, have already been taken down.

Related Topics

seth Posted on October 09, 2018 07:18

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Girl Attempts To Swindle Pocket Money From Dad With Forged Speeding Fines

The price of sweets is going up. Long gone are the days when you could pick up a Freddo for 10p.

But one schoolgirl has set her sights on way more than an extra lollipop with an extremely precocious scam.

Elizabeth Kay-Devine, from Lancashire, UK, was only six when she first attempted the money-making scheme, sending her dad a phoney speeding fine complete with the location of the incident, the car's registration number and even the council logo...

And you thought you were pretty clever when you pioneered the old 'kick him in the nuts and look in his pocket' technique.

Elizabeth was apparently inspired after seeing a similar fine for one of the drivers at her dad's company. Step-mum Helen Boardman, 43, said she and Elizabeth's dad, Paul Kay, 46, were almost deceived by the original letter, which was addressed from Rossendale Borough Council.

She said: "It nearly worked. If she had put the bank details on, then we may well have paid it.

"But thankfully she didn't put anywhere to put your bank details in or any phone number or anything, so that gave it away."

To be fair, if Elizabeth had managed to set up her own fraudulent council bank account to complete the ruse then she would deserve more than £100.

Yet, unperturbed by being rumbled as a six-year-old, Elizabeth has persisted with the scam for the past five years, sending numerous supposed fines from various councils. Now 11-years-old, her most recent letter was addressed from Blackburn and Darwen Borough Council and was complete with a letterhead, demanding that £100 be paid within 10 days, otherwise the fee would rise to £150.

Helen said: "She keeps doing it, she must have done it about five times.

"She does it from different councils each time. They have got better as the years have gone on.

"It all depends on which council logo she gets and how good it looks.

"It is quite shocking that someone so young knows to get the right council logo and so on. There is a good level of detail.

"She's very computer-savvy. She good at doing stuff like that. She is very clever."

Paul and Helen run an office photocopier sales company and it is while she's there that Elizabeth creates the forgeries, before posting them in the company's letter box.

Luckily, they are now wise to the scam, but surely it is only a matter of time before they ignore a legitimate speeding ticket... or Elizabeth starts embezzling company funds

kabby Posted on October 08, 2018 16:31

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Eduardo Vela: 'Stolen babies' doctor escapes punishment in Spain

A Madrid court has let off a former doctor over stealing newborn babies from their mothers and supplying them to infertile couples.

The court found gynaecologist Eduardo Vela, 85, had committed the crimes but could not legally be convicted because too much time had elapsed.

He was the first person to go on trial for illegal adoptions that took place during and after the fascist dictatorship of General Franco.

Thousands more cases are suspected.

The Vela case focused on Inés Madrigal, abducted and illegally adopted in 1969.

After Franco's triumph in Spain's 1936-1939 civil war, many children were removed from families identified by the fascist regime as Republicans and given to families considered more deserving.

The most serious abduction charge was brought against Vela by Ms Madrigal in April 2012.

However, because she failed to bring the case for 25 years after she first became an adult - in 1987 - the case fell foul of the statute of limitations, which is 10 years.

She was in court for the verdict but Vela was absent.

Ms Madrigal and her lawyer say she will appeal to the Supreme Court so the doctor's crimes do not remain unpunished.

Image copyrightREUTERS

Image captionInés Madrigal (centre) met other aggrieved mothers at the trial

Prosecutors had sought an 11-year jail term for Vela.

The Madrid provincial court found he had committed three crimes - abduction, fraud over pregnancy and forgery of documents.

'Like being slapped in the face'

By Bruno Boelpaep, BBC News, outside the court

Ms Madrigal entered the court with her lawyer and came out an hour later with mixed feelings.

"I'm happy because it's been proven that I was stolen, Dr Vela stole me," she said. But she was also disappointed that the doctor was now free: "It's a little hard to take that there would be a limitation on this crime."

She thanked and hugged her supporters, a handful of women also looking for missing children. One was Cristina, who gave birth in Madrid 1984: "We are really disappointed - it's like being slapped in the face. We need to change the laws so there would be no statute of limitations for these crimes."

Spain's stolen babies scandal went on for decades, from Franco's early years in power to the 1990s.

It took a long time to surface because the Roman Catholic Church and medical profession are highly respected, and Spanish law did not require the biological mother's name on the birth certificate.

Image copyrightAFP

Image captionVela - in wheelchair - was not in court for the verdict

The scandal is closely linked to the Church, which under Franco assumed a prominent role in Spain's social services including hospitals, schools and children's homes.

Nuns and priests compiled waiting lists of would-be adoptive parents, while doctors were said to have lied to mothers about the fate of their children.

An amnesty law, aimed at smoothing the transition to democracy, contributed to the cover-up, as courts and politicians refused to investigate baby-trafficking.

A slowly unfolding Spanish scandal

  • In 2008 investigating judge Baltasar Garzón estimated that 30,000 children had been stolen from families considered politically suspect by the Franco regime
  • Some 3,000 reported cases of alleged stolen children have been reported, but prosecutors have closed all but a handful of investigations
  • In 2013 María Gómez Valbuena, an 87-year-old nun facing two charges of kidnapping and falsifying documents, died before going on trial
  • In 2017 the European Parliament's Committee on Petitions called on Spain to be more proactive in attending to victims by creating a special prosecutor and a public DNA bank, and urged the Catholic Church to open its archives to shed light on Franco-era adoptions.

Related Topics

seth Posted on October 08, 2018 14:02

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Cameroon vote count begins, President Paul Biya likely to return

Results of the presidential election, marked by violence in Anglophone areas, expected within two weeks.

Polls closed in Cameroon on Sunday evening and the counting of votes has begun in an election that will likely see the return of President Paul Biya for a seventh term.

Voting ended at 17:00GMT amid fighting and threats from separatists that prevented residents in English-speaking regions from casting their ballots. Results are expected in two weeks.

Biya, Africa's oldest leader who has been in office since 1982, claimed the voting was "peaceful" across the country with more than 20 million people.

"I am satisfied after performing my civic duty and particularly satisfied that the election is taking place in calm and serenity and without fighting," Biya said after voting.


Cameroon election: Polls closes, vote counting under way

"I hope that the calm will continue after results are proclaimed," he said.

Cameroon's fractured opposition was unable to rally behind a strong challenger to the 85-year-old leader.

Main opposition Social Democratic Front party candidate Joshua Osih voted in the country's economic capital, Douala, and called for transparency in the vote count.

"My wish is that the results of the ballot should not be tampered with. That transparency should be the watchword and that the choice made by the Cameroonian people be respected," he said.

Violent election

Even as the candidates spoke, violence had already marked the voting.

The military killed two armed men in the English-speaking northwest town of Bamenda, according to Governor Deben Tchoffo of the Northwest region.

"We shall not allow terrorists to disrupt the election," he said. "I salute the maturity of people who are braving the threats and carrying out their civic duties. We are informed that armed men are shooting indiscriminately to frighten voters, we shall not allow such a thing to happen."

Gunfighting between the military and separatists began on Saturday in at least six towns and villages including Nkambe, Mamfe and Kumbo.

Several buildings were burned, including residences where voting material was thought to have been stored.


The crisis in Cameroon can still be resolved peacefully

by Maximilienne Ngo Mbe,Nkongho Felix Agbor Balla

Several armed men were also killed by the military in the southwest region, Governor Bernard Okalia Bilai confirmed.

"The wave of attacks will not deter us from doing our job," said Enow Abrams Egbe, chairman of the election commission.

The Election Commission and government said they made provisions for displaced voters, but it was not clear if people came out amid threats by separatists.

Cameroon is also battling Boko Haram fighters in its far north, where more than more than 230,000 people have been displaced.

AlbertaU Posted on October 08, 2018 13:18

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Haiti earthquake: Hospital struggles to cope with patients

Lack of supplies and damage to hospital building, power outage and strong aftershocks in Port-de-Paix after quake.

Hospitals in Haiti's northwestern city of Port-de-Paix are labouring to cope with the fallout from an earthquake and strong aftershocks which killed at least 12 people.

The city, which is about 219km from the capital, Port-au-Prince, was hardest hit by Saturday's quake, which authorities say injured 188 people.

At the Immaculate Conception Hospital, doctors and nurses lack the supplies they need to treat those wounded by the magnitude 5.9 quake and efforts are further frustrated by electricity outages and damage to the hospital building.

"There was no electricity here, so we couldn't receive the huge numbers that came last night," Paul Miclaude, a doctor working in the emergency room, told the AFP news agency.

"It was really difficult for us to send them to another hospital. With time running out, some died here."


Magnitude-5.9 earthquake hits Haiti, at least 11 dead

According to Haitian officials, eight of the 12 victims died in Port-de-Paix.

"Clearly, we aren't ready for such a catastrophe," said Miclaude.

By Monday, patients were receiving drips on mattresses lined up on the ground outside the hospital.

"With all the aftershocks, we can't really stay inside. We're putting up tents to receive the patients," said Polycarpe Saeely, the hospital's medical chief. 

Patients and residents are sleeping in the open, fearful of fresh aftershocks [Ricardo Rojas/Reuters]

A strong magnitude-5.2 aftershock on Sunday followed the earthquake as several crates of medicine arrived from the health ministry, sending doctors and patients running from the hospital, fearful that part of the building would collapse. 

"Everyone can see that we don't have a real hospital," said Francois Lubernsron, a 28-year-old Port-de-Praix resident. He is one of many in Haiti whose fear is turning into anger at the government, which has failed to make major improvements to the extreme poverty suffered by many Haitians. 

"This shows we have no government," said Lubensron. "We've had enough of a small group privatising the country while we die. We are human beings. We have the right to live like those in all nations."

'I don't feel safe'

The earthquake struck on Saturday at 08:10pm local time (00:10 GMT Sunday) at a depth of 11.7km.

It was felt lightly in Port-au-Prince, as well as the neighbouring Dominican Republic and nearby Cuba, where no damage was reported.

Sunday's aftershock caused panic on the streets where emergency teams had begun providing relief and toppled buildings in several cities.


Haiti earthquake: A new start in Canaan for survivors

Some in Port-de-Paix chose to sleep in the open on Sunday, wary of returning to their damaged homes and fearing more aftershocks.

"I don't feel safe even inside my house," Gary Joseph told the Associated Press as he laid mattresses for himself and his sons under a tree. "I have to protect myself and my sons."

President Jovenel Moise, who recently faced calls to resign over controversial fuel price increases, visited Port-de-Paix on Sunday. He urged people to donate blood and asked international aid agencies to coordinate with local groups to avoid duplicated efforts. 

Impoverished Haiti is vulnerable to earthquakes and hurricanes. Hispaniola, the island shared with the Dominican Republic, sits atop two major fault lines. 

The weekend tremors were among the strongest to hit Haiti since a massive magnitude-7.0 quake struck near Port-au-Prince in 2010, killing tens of thousands of people. 


Al Jazeera Correspondent

Haiti: After the Quake

AlbertaU Posted on October 08, 2018 13:17

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Alan Shearer speaks the truth about Jose Mourinho after Man Utd 3-2 Newcastle

If Manchester United had lost to Newcastle on Saturday evening, Jose Mourinho would probably be unemployed right now.

The Portuguese coach was expected to be sacked regardless of the result against Rafael Benitez’s side, but the team’s dramatic 3-2 victory has changed things for the time being.

United produced one of the worst 45-minute spells of the post-Sir Alex Ferguson era during the first half and deservedly went into the break 2-0 down. However, goals from Juan Mata, Anthony Martial and Alexis Sanchez completed a stunning turnaround and earned the Red Devils all three points.


Mourinho is subsequently expected to be in charge of United’s visit to Chelsea after the international break.

United’s board reportedly hope that he can last until the end of the season, with few realistic alternatives available at this moment in time.


Some people believe it’s a turning point in United’s season and Mourinho’s tenure at Old Trafford.

However, former Newcastle striker Alan Shearer doesn’t believe that’s true. On the evidence of United’s performance at the weekend, the Match of the Day pundit reckons Mourinho will still fail to turn the situation around.

“Manchester United should not get carried away,” he wrote in his latest column for The Sun. “I don’t see how one good 45 minutes can get rid of all the huge issues that are quite clearly there.

“Their problems are too deep-rooted for one half to have sorted them out.

“Yes, the way they came back to beat Newcastle from 2-0 down will give them confidence.

“And, yes, it is brilliant for them to go into an international break sitting on that result for the next two weeks.

“But really, all they have done is beat a team which has not won all season and is in the bottom three.

“So I still don’t see Jose Mourinho being able to just turn it around.”

Shearer believes United will still lose games over the coming weeks due to Mourinho chopping, changing and criticising his defenders.

“Not while he still has the same defenders to choose from — the defenders he keeps criticising and chopping and changing,” the ex-England international continued.

“We should not forget these are the same defenders who had the second best defensive record in the Premier League last season, conceding just one more goal than Manchester City.

“Yet they are completely different players this season because they are constantly hearing their manager telling them they are not good enough.

“He has killed their confidence — and Saturday was just another example of that.

“Mourinho took Eric Bailly off after just 19 minutes and moved a midfielder, Scott McTominay, back to centre-half.

“At the same time, he left another centre-half Victor Lindelof, who he bought for £31million, on the bench.

“Then at half-time, he takes off McTominay, who I felt sorry for, to bring on another midfielder.

"And he moves two more midfielders, Paul Pogba and Nemanja Matic, into deeper positions. What sort of message is that sending to Bailly and Lindelof?”

It’s certainly a fair point. If United conceded twice at home to Newcastle, imagine what will happen when they take on Maurizio Sarri’s Chelsea and Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City over the coming weeks.

Oh, and there’s also the small matter of facing Cristiano Ronaldo’s Juventus - twice - in the Champions League within the next month.

Shearer is simply telling it how it is: a 3-2 win over Newcastle has merely papered over the cracks.

“To their credit, United rallied to come back and win. But the fact they were 2-0 down in the first place says it all,” he added.

“Just because they had a good second half does not mean their problems are solved.”

sarah Posted on October 08, 2018 13:09

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2 Americans win economics Nobel for work on climate, tech

STOCKHOLM (AP) — Two Americans won the Nobel Prize in economics on Monday for studying a pressing issue facing the global economy: how to deal with pollution and climate change and how to foster the innovation needed to tackle such problems.

William Nordhaus of Yale University and Paul Romer of New York University were announced winners of the 9-million-kronor ($1.01 million) prize by the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences.

Romer’s work “explains how ideas are different to other goods and require specific conditions to thrive in a market,” the academy said. Romer’s work found that unregulated economies will produce technological change, but insufficiently provide research and development; this can be addressed by government interventions such and R&D subsidies.

Nordhaus in the 1990s became the first person to create a model that “describes the global interplay between the economy and the climate,” the academy said. Working separately from Romer, he showed that “the most efficient remedy for problems caused by greenhouse gases is a global scheme of universally imposed carbon taxes.”

Carbon taxes are fees imposed on companies that burn carbon-based fuels such as coal and oil. Advocates see the taxes as encouraging companies to use less-polluting fuels.

“This is, for sure, a Nobel Prize about the big questions,” University of Michigan economist Justin Wolfers said on Twitter.

Per Stromberg, head of the Nobel economics prize committee, said “it’s about the long-run future of the world economy.”

“The first one is how do we keep on generating the new ideas, the new innovations, the new research that’s so important to solve the problems we’re facing in the future,” he said.

“The second is how do we deal with the negative effects of economic growth, which have to do with the emission of greenhouse gases leading to a warmer climate - which not just hurts the economy, but risks the life of everyone on earth,” Stromberg said.

The prize comes just a day after an international panel of scientists issued a report detailing how Earth’s weather, health and ecosystems would be in better shape if the world’s leaders could somehow limit future human-caused warming to just 0.9 degrees Fahrenheit (a half degree Celsius) from now, instead of the globally agreed-upon goal of 1.8 degrees F (1 degree C).

Nordhaus has argued that climate change should be considered a “global public good,” like public health and international trade, and regulated accordingly, but not through a command-and-control approach. Instead, by agreeing on a global price for burning carbon that reflects its whole cost, this primary cause of rising temperatures could be traded and taxed, putting market forces to work on the problem.

Many economists have since endorsed the concept of taxing carbon and using this financial lever to influence societal behavior. But adopting the regulatory frameworks on a global scale has been a complex challenge, and the world’s political leaders are failing to meet it, the head of the United Nations said last month.

U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres bluntly told leaders in New York that unless current emission trends for greenhouse gases are reversed by 2020, it will be impossible to keep global warming below 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 degrees Fahrenheit), which was a key goal of the 2015 Paris climate accords. The U.N. chief challenged governments to end fossil fuel subsidies, help shift toward renewable energy and back a price for carbon emissions that reflects their actual cost. He cited, for example, that climate-related disasters already cost the world $320 billion last year, a figure likely to grow with increased warming.

“Many people think that dealing with protecting the environment will be so costly and so hard that they just want to ignore the problem,” Romer said by telephone to the Swedish academy. “I hope the prize today could help everyone see that humans are capable of amazing accomplishments when we set about trying to do something.”

The economics prize is the last of the Nobels to be announced this year. Last year’s prize went to American Richard Thaler for studying how human irrationality affects economic theory.

The peace prize was awarded Friday to Denis Mukwege of Congo and Iraqi Nadia Murad for their work to draw attention to how sexual violence is used as a weapon of war.


Heintz reported from Moscow.

AlbertaU Posted on October 08, 2018 12:40

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Historic British royal portraits go on display in US for first time

A collection of British royal portraits, some of which have never been shown outside the UK, has gone on display at a US museum.

The exhibition, which opened Sunday at Houston's Museum of Fine Arts, charts how the royal family has been depicted over the last five centuries -- from Tudor portraits to recent photographs of Prince William and Prince Harry.

The survey of 150 images and objects was created in partnership with the National Portrait Gallery in London, which lent a large number of the works on display, according to the exhibition's co-curator David Bomford.

Portrait of Henry VIII (1540) by Hans Holbein the Younger. Credit: The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston

"The monarchs are the history of the country, and what they achieved -- or what they failed to achieve -- is the story of the nation," said in a phone interview Bomford, who also serves as chair of the Department of Conservation at the UK's National Gallery.

"(The exhibition is) about character and personality, and what these monarchs were like as human beings. We're trying to cover the personal, the political and the historical."

From Tudors to Windsors

The exhibition begins with the House of Tudor in the late 15th century, a period in which the monarchy's modern portrait tradition was born.

"Before that, royal portraits were not realistic, they were just generic depictions of majesty," Bomford said. "But with the Tudors we begin to get accurate portraits -- actual likenesses of real people."

Accurate perhaps, but still subject to exaggeration. Among the exhibition's early images is an iconic painting of Henry VIII, by the renowned German artist Hans Holbein the Younger, in which the king's physical presence and intimidating expression are deliberate projections of power. Such images were created in the knowledge that they would be be copied and distributed around the land.

A 1592 portrait of Queen Elizabeth I by Marcus Gheeraerts the Younger. Credit: © National Portrait Gallery, London

Portrayals of Henry's daughter, Elizabeth I, present a comparable, though altogether different form of propaganda: one that reinforced the idea of her as a "Virgin Queen."

"She never married a person -- she married the country," Bomford said. "And so she's depicted in white clothing because she's the bride of her nation. There's a huge amount of propaganda going on."

Changing depictions

Although many of the pictures on display were commissioned and released by the royal houses of their day, the Houston exhibition also includes independent artworks, like Andy Warhol's pop-art depiction of Queen Elizabeth II.

Their inclusion is a reminder that monarchs, princes and princesses no longer enjoy a monopoly over how they are portrayed.

"Reigning Queens: Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom" (1985) by Andy Warhol. Credit: © 2018 The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc. / Artists Rights Society (ARS), NY

"Before that, royal portraits were not realistic, they were just generic depictions of majesty," Bomford said. "But with the Tudors we begin to get accurate portraits -- actual likenesses of real people."

Accurate perhaps, but still subject to exaggeration. Among the exhibition's early images is an iconic painting of Henry VIII, by the renowned German artist Hans Holbein the Younger, in which the king's physical presence and intimidating expression are deliberate projections of power. Such images were created in the knowledge that they would be be copied and distributed around the land.

A 1592 portrait of Queen Elizabeth I by Marcus Gheeraerts the Younger. Credit: © National Portrait Gallery, London

Portrayals of Henry's daughter, Elizabeth I, present a comparable, though altogether different form of propaganda: one that reinforced the idea of her as a "Virgin Queen."

"She never married a person -- she married the country," Bomford said. "And so she's depicted in white clothing because she's the bride of her nation. There's a huge amount of propaganda going on."

Changing depictions

Although many of the pictures on display were commissioned and released by the royal houses of their day, the Houston exhibition also includes independent artworks, like Andy Warhol's pop-art depiction of Queen Elizabeth II.

Their inclusion is a reminder that monarchs, princes and princesses no longer enjoy a monopoly over how they are portrayed.

"Reigning Queens: Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom" (1985) by Andy Warhol. Credit: © 2018 The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc. / Artists Rights Society (ARS), NY

"Before that, royal portraits were not realistic, they were just generic depictions of majesty," Bomford said. "But with the Tudors we begin to get accurate portraits -- actual likenesses of real people."

Accurate perhaps, but still subject to exaggeration. Among the exhibition's early images is an iconic painting of Henry VIII, by the renowned German artist Hans Holbein the Younger, in which the king's physical presence and intimidating expression are deliberate projections of power. Such images were created in the knowledge that they would be be copied and distributed around the land.

A 1592 portrait of Queen Elizabeth I by Marcus Gheeraerts the Younger. Credit: © National Portrait Gallery, London

Portrayals of Henry's daughter, Elizabeth I, present a comparable, though altogether different form of propaganda: one that reinforced the idea of her as a "Virgin Queen."

"She never married a person -- she married the country," Bomford said. "And so she's depicted in white clothing because she's the bride of her nation. There's a huge amount of propaganda going on."

Changing depictions

Although many of the pictures on display were commissioned and released by the royal houses of their day, the Houston exhibition also includes independent artworks, like Andy Warhol's pop-art depiction of Queen Elizabeth II.

Their inclusion is a reminder that monarchs, princes and princesses no longer enjoy a monopoly over how they are portrayed.

"Reigning Queens: Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom" (1985) by Andy Warhol. Credit: © 2018 The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc. / Artists Rights Society (ARS), NY

"Before that, royal portraits were not realistic, they were just generic depictions of majesty," Bomford said. "But with the Tudors we begin to get accurate portraits -- actual likenesses of real people."

Accurate perhaps, but still subject to exaggeration. Among the exhibition's early images is an iconic painting of Henry VIII, by the renowned German artist Hans Holbein the Younger, in which the king's physical presence and intimidating expression are deliberate projections of power. Such images were created in the knowledge that they would be be copied and distributed around the land.

A 1592 portrait of Queen Elizabeth I by Marcus Gheeraerts the Younger. Credit: © National Portrait Gallery, London

Portrayals of Henry's daughter, Elizabeth I, present a comparable, though altogether different form of propaganda: one that reinforced the idea of her as a "Virgin Queen."

"She never married a person -- she married the country," Bomford said. "And so she's depicted in white clothing because she's the bride of her nation. There's a huge amount of propaganda going on."

Changing depictions

Although many of the pictures on display were commissioned and released by the royal houses of their day, the Houston exhibition also includes independent artworks, like Andy Warhol's pop-art depiction of Queen Elizabeth II.

Their inclusion is a reminder that monarchs, princes and princesses no longer enjoy a monopoly over how they are portrayed.

"Reigning Queens: Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom" (1985) by Andy Warhol. Credit: © 2018 The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc. / Artists Rights Society (ARS), NY

"Before that, royal portraits were not realistic, they were just generic depictions of majesty," Bomford said. "But with the Tudors we begin to get accurate portraits -- actual likenesses of real people."

Accurate perhaps, but still subject to exaggeration. Among the exhibition's early images is an iconic painting of Henry VIII, by the renowned German artist Hans Holbein the Younger, in which the king's physical presence and intimidating expression are deliberate projections of power. Such images were created in the knowledge that they would be be copied and distributed around the land.

A 1592 portrait of Queen Elizabeth I by Marcus Gheeraerts the Younger. Credit: © National Portrait Gallery, London

Portrayals of Henry's daughter, Elizabeth I, present a comparable, though altogether different form of propaganda: one that reinforced the idea of her as a "Virgin Queen."

"She never married a person -- she married the country," Bomford said. "And so she's depicted in white clothing because she's the bride of her nation. There's a huge amount of propaganda going on."

Changing depictions

Although many of the pictures on display were commissioned and released by the royal houses of their day, the Houston exhibition also includes independent artworks, like Andy Warhol's pop-art depiction of Queen Elizabeth II.

Their inclusion is a reminder that monarchs, princes and princesses no longer enjoy a monopoly over how they are portrayed.

"Reigning Queens: Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom" (1985) by Andy Warhol. Credit: © 2018 The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc. / Artists Rights Society (ARS), NY

This process began, according to Bomford, with the invention of photography, which left less room for artists' imaginations. But these photo portraits nonetheless offer insight into the times and are illustrative of how royalty wanted to be publicly received.

"The family of Queen Victoria and (her husband) Prince Albert was the first royal family that was recorded in photographs, and Albert encouraged the taking of informal photographs," he said.

"But he wanted to show that they were just like any other family in the country, a sort of middle class concept of a family, and he deliberately manipulated the photographs -- or what they recorded -- to give this impression."

Photography dominates the modern portion of the exhibition, which includes images of Edward VII, George V and Edward VIII, who abdicated in 1936. A recent photo of Queen Elizabeth II by Annie Leibovitz, and an iconic image of Princess Diana by British photographer Terence Donovan, also feature in the show.

Terence Donovan, Diana, Princess of Wales, 1990, bromide print, the National Portrait Gallery, London, given by the photographer's widow, Diana Donovan, 1998, NPG P716 (11). Photograph Terence Donovan Credit: © Terence Donovan Archive

Yet, these too should be considered in the context of how and why they were created.

"All royal portraits (are propaganda) to some extent," Bomford added.

"Tudors to Windsors: British Royal Portraits from Holbein to Warhol" is at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, until Jan. 27, 2019.


jmparker Posted on October 08, 2018 12:38

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17 signs someone might be about to quit their job.

Experts say a variety of signs could indicate that an employee may be about to quit their job, including a change in how they dress, how they interact with coworkers, and their behavior in meetings. Keep reading for a full list of indicators that an employee may be about to quit.


So long, friend.

(Gleb Leonov/Strelka Institute/Flickr)


  • Your coworker has started taking extra-long lunches, seems to be coming to work every day in a suit, and stopped joking around so much.
  • Those are all common signs that they might be about to quit their job.
  • As career experts explained to Business Insider, one or several employees leaving the workplace can destabilize how your team functions.


Most bosses are caught off guard when facing a mass employee exodus, and the same can happen when just one valued employee resigns.

"As the boss, it's important to watch for the symptoms of an impending departure so you can address the issues before it's too late," said Lynn Taylor, a national workplace expert and the author of "Tame Your Terrible Office Tyrant: How to Manage Childish Boss Behavior and Thrive in Your Job."

And a co-worker's departure — or several co-workers' departures — can quickly destabilize operations.

"Losing employees can create a substantial impact on everything from service delivery to scheduling," Michael Kerr, an international business speaker and author of "The Humor Advantage," said. "It can impact the culture in a team in a negative way. And there's a substantial cost and time commitment involved in replacing and training new employees, so the more time a manager has to prepare for the changes, the better."

Taylor and Kerr shared 17 signs that your coworkers might be about to quit. Remember, however, that these are possible signs and indicators, not concrete proof that an employee is about to leave the company.

These are the signs you should watch out for so you can act before it's too late:

There's a change in their appearance


There's a change in their appearance

(Alton Lane)


If they start dressing unusually sharply, it may be because they are slipping out to job interviews during or after work, Kerr said.

The opposite might also happen.

"If someone is unhappy in their job, they may begin to dress down because they feel that no one is really paying attention anyway — or because they just don't really care anymore," Taylor said.



They start taking more time off


They start taking more time off



Folks who are liable to quit soon may begin calling in sick more often. They might use up their vacation days in bits and pieces, which could suggest that they are using the time off to search for other employment, Kerr said.

"And using up their sick days and vacation time (and even getting a lot of dental work done suddenly) might be a red flag that they are getting ready to jump ship and want to make sure they max out any benefits they feel owed to them," he added.



They show a drop off in any interest in work


They show a drop off in any interest in work

(Mikhail Goldenkov/Strelka Institute/Flickr)


Have you noticed that some of your coworkers have stopped offering suggestions or ideas at meetings, they offer little input into new projects, or seem suddenly disinterested in any of the broader details related to work?

"This can be a sign they've lost their mojo and no longer really care what happens down the road because they know they won't be there in the future," Kerr said.



They lack a sense of humor


They lack a sense of humor

(Strelka Institute for Media, Architecture and Design/Flickr)


Employees who are about to bail may no longer joke around.

"Their demeanor is more straightforward and factual versus friendly and lighthearted," Taylor said. "Perhaps this is because they're less worried about appearing supportive or trying to impress anyone."



They seem guilty


They seem guilty



Body language or facial expressions might give hints that your coworker is feeling guilty, because they've been job hunting and they know that they are not sticking around for the long run, Kerr said.



They always seem like they're having a bad day


They always seem like they're having a bad day

(Gleb Leonov/Strelka Institute/Flickr)


Do you feel a sudden chill when you talk to a certain coworker?

"The first few times, you chalk it up to their having a bad day. Then you notice it ... more frequently," Taylor said.



They're just unpleasant to be around


They're just unpleasant to be around

(Gleb Leonov/Strelka Institute/Flickr)


They may become more irritable, or they may make more sarcastic comments than normal about work-related issues, revealing a lack of fundamental belief in the direction the company is headed, Kerr said.



There are changes in their behavior


There are changes in their behavior

(Strelka Institute for Media, Architecture and Design/Flickr)


If they are acting differently — maybe they're suddenly keeping to themselves more and more, or they begin going out to lunch with coworkers every day — the employee may be pulling away from work or commiserating with colleagues.

"If a group of team members who rarely went to lunch together before are now doing so, they may be discussing their plans to move on," Taylor said. "Seeing new behavior in who goes to lunch and how often, however, is certainly no cause for concern if other signs are not evident."



Something major is changing in their daily life


Something major is changing in their daily life

(Cliff Owen/AP Images)


If there's a major disruption in their family life, this may lead to them looking for new opportunities for a host of reasons (to be closer to home, for example, or to work in a less stressful environment), Kerr said.



Their productivity drops


Their productivity drops

(Matt Cardy/Getty Images)


If your coworker is suddenly late getting reports in, or their sales have fallen enough that it seems unusual, something might be going on.

"Any behavioral changes that point to 'presenteeism' — the phenomenon of employees showing up at work without being fully present — are huge red flags," Kerr said.



They approach conflict differently


They approach conflict differently

(Nenad Aksic / Shutterstock)


When people are ready to bolt, they may change how they handle disagreements.

"If they tended to push back before, they may no longer do so because they don't feel it's worth the bother," Taylor said. "They have emotionally checked out."

However, someone who was generally agreeable before may become more argumentative out of frustration or resentment, she said.



They're uncomfortable discussing long-term projects and deadlines


They're uncomfortable discussing long-term projects and deadlines

(Gleb Leonov/Strelka Institute/Flickr)


If your employees are seeking greener pastures, they will become visibly uncomfortable discussing projects that are several months out, says Taylor. "When longer-term deadlines involve them directly, they'll attempt to be noncommittal or vague."



Rumors are flying


Rumors are flying



If your coworkers approach you with concerns that something's changed or "something's going on" with a specific employee or group of people, they may be on to something.

"Other colleagues closer to the action may read the signs well before you do, so if they bring concerns forward, pay attention," Kerr said.



They stay under the communications radar


They stay under the communications radar

(Mark Lennihan/AP)


"If your team members are contemplating resignation, they're less likely to communicate often — by email, in person, or in general," Taylor said.



Their schedule suddenly changes


Their schedule suddenly changes



When they start keeping unusual hours — working later, arriving late, shifting their hours in any noticeable way — it could be because they are searching for work or interviewing with other employers while still trying to balance their current workload, Kerr said.



You inquire about possible issues, but get little feedback


You inquire about possible issues, but get little feedback



Do they seem closed off? Are they not willing to work through issues with you?

"If one of your team members or several of them already have one foot out the door, they'll act as if nothing is wrong when you address any issues," Taylor said. This may be because they have already shut down and mentally moved on.



You have a bad gut feeling


You have a bad gut feeling



If you feel awkward moments in your office more often or a discomfort around one or several coworkers you can't explain, this may be a sign they're about to quit.

"Your instincts count for a lot and most people don't put enough stock in them," Taylor said. "Instead, they second-guess themselves."

Trust your gut. There's a good chance it's right.

AlbertaU Posted on October 08, 2018 09:33

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Rwandan coffee gets global honours

Andrea Illy, Chairman of illycaffè, presents the 2018 Ernesto Illy International Coffee Award to Rwanda's Ngororero Coffee Washing Station, represented by Philotée Muzika, designating their coffee beans as Best of the Best. Sam Ngendahimana.

Coffeeproduced by Ngororero Coffee Washing Station in Western Province has scooped both the “Best of the Best” and “Coffee Lover’s Choice” awards in a competition that attracted brands from nine countries.

The awards were announced last week in New York, during third annual Ernesto Illy International Coffee Award (EIICA).

The awards are organised by Illycaffè – a global company specialised in high quality coffee trade—which operates in 140 countries worldwide.

It is the first time both honours were bestowed on one coffee lot in the history of EICCA, after rounds of blind tastings by an international independent jury of top culinary and coffee experts, as well as consumers across the globe.

Philotée Mukiza, the production manager at Rwacof Exports Limited – a Rwanda based coffee processor and exporter – received the awards on behalf of the company which owns the Ngororero-based washing station among other stations in the country.

Related slideshow: 17 types of coffee from around the world (Provided by photo services)

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The award winner was chosen from among the world’s top coffee lots which were harvested in 2017-18 in nine countries, whose producers attended a gala at the Rainbow Room in New York.

Alongside Rwanda, coffee beans from Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Ethiopia, Guatemala, India and Nicaragua were chosen to compete as finalists, following analysis at Illy’s Quality Lab at its Trieste, Italy headquarters.

"Quality starts in the mind of the farmer, but working with the Rwacof team and Illy has reinforced my view that everyone in the supply chain plays a role in safeguarding and improving the quality of coffee," Mukiza said.

"Today, half of my time at Rwacof is spent ensuring that coffee is processed at the right time in the right way to meet clients’ needs. The other half is spent on managing our traceability, an area of increasing important,” she added.

Rwacof exports about 30 percent of Rwanda's total coffee export volumes, according to information from its management.

“Events like this one and the Cup of Excellence will hopefully generate more demand, more sales and ultimately better prices and margins for everyone along Rwanda’s coffee chain,” Max Veglio, the Managing Director of Rwacof Exports Limited told The New Times.

Speaking during the award ceremony, Andrea Illy, chairman of Illycaffè said “it is an honour and a pleasure to recognise Ngororero Coffee Washing Station and Ms. Mukiza for their achievement, and that of all of our finalists, who are focused on producing the highest-quality coffee through sustainable methods."

A separate “Coffee Lover’s Choice” award, presented by United Airlines, was also conferred to Muzika on behalf of Ngororero Coffee Washing Station, marking the first time both honours have been bestowed upon one coffee lot in the history of the EICCA.

The “Coffee Lover’s Choice” award, presented by Massimiliano Pogliani, CEO of Illycaffè, was determined by a “jury” of over 1,500 discerning consumers who visited flagship Illy café locations in Kuala Lumpur, London, Milan, Paris and San Francisco, and at special events in Athens and New York City, all of whom tasted coffee prepared from the same beans as for the expert jury.

Between July 2017 to June 2018, coffee exports earned Rwanda about $66 million against $58 million in the previous year.

By the end of the current financial year (2018/2019), Rwanda targets to export 24,500 tonnes of coffee, up from 23,000 tonnes last year, according to statistics from National Agriculture Exports Development Board (NAEB).

khojho Posted on October 08, 2018 09:28

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Ronaldo scores for Juventus in first game since rape denial

Cristiano Ronaldo has scored for Juventus during his first game since denying a rape allegation.


The Portuguese player, 33, scored his side's second goal in a 2-0 win over Udinese at the Stadio Friuli in Udine on Saturday afternoon.


It comes after the former Real Madrid star appeared in a full-page advert in the Italian media for his underwear line.


The advert was carried by Italy's largest sports daily, Gazzetta dello Sport, and promoted Ronaldo's CR7 brand (seven is his shirt number) which is stocked by Yamamay.


The photo of him modelling the underwear was published after some of his sponsors, including Nike, expressed concern about the rape claim.




Cristiano Ronaldo modelled a line of underwear for Yamamay. Pic:

Gianluigi Cimmino, chief executive of INTICOM (Yamamay), told Sky News: "We respect the presumption of innocence and the history of a champion who has always proved to be such [a champion] on and off the football pitch.


"I don't want to add anything else and I wouldn't want to take advantage of this moment.


"Too much hypocrisy around."


Sky News correspondent Enda Brady reported that hundreds of fans waited in the pouring rain outside Stadio Friuli in Udine to catch a glimpse of the world famous footballer before the match.


He said: "The team bus whisked into the stadium ahead of the Serie A clash against Udinese with many young fans wearing replica Ronaldo jerseys and cheering.


"'It's all about the money," one teenage Juve fan said. "Certainly that's what we all think. I mean, why wait this long to accuse him?"



CR7: Cristiano Ronaldo in numbers

A look at the goals, wages and sponsorship deals behind the star's career

Juventus boss Massimiliano Allegri said Ronaldo was "doing well" despite the allegation against him.


"I've known him for three months, but I can say that in his 15 years of his career he has shown great professionalism and seriousness both on and off the field," Allegri said.


On Friday Juventus's share price fell 10% the day after the team management tweeted its support for their star player.


Sponsored link


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Ronaldo is accused of raping American teacher Kathryn Mayorga, in a Las Vegas hotel room in 2009.


Ms Mayorga, 34, has filed a lawsuit against the player, and police in Las Vegas have reopened their investigation.


The lawsuit claims she was coerced into signing a $375,000 (£332,000) out-of-court settlement with Ronaldo in 2010.






Footage filmed in 2009 shows Cristiano Ronaldo dancing with Kathryn Mayorga

She wants the agreement to be declared void.


Ronaldo, 33, tweeted on Wednesday that he "firmly" denies the accusation - his first direct denial of the allegation.


"Rape is an abominable crime that goes against everything that I am and believe in," the former Real Madrid and Manchester United player said.


"Keen as I may be to clear my name, I refuse to feed the media spectacle created by people seeking to promote themselves at my expense.


"My clear conscious (sic) will thereby allow me to await with tranquillity the results of any and all investigations."




Kathryn Mayorga accuses Ronaldo of raping her in 2009

Nike, which has had a contract with Ronaldo since 2003, has said it is "deeply concerned by the disturbing allegations" facing the footballer.


In a statement, the company said it would "continue to closely monitor the situation".




Cristiano Ronaldo plays for Italian team Juventus

Another of Ronaldo's sponsors, EA Sports, said: "We are closely monitoring the situation, as we expect cover athletes and ambassadors to conduct themselves in a manner that is consistent with EA's values."


Electronic Arts has featured Ronaldo on the cover of its EA Sports' FIFA series for two years.


According to ESPN, the top of the FIFA 19 section of the EA website prominently showcased Ronaldo wearing the Juventus jersey until at least Sunday.


Now he is only on the cover of the game box with another player.

Albert Ulebe Posted on October 06, 2018 20:17

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8 Signs A Marriage Won't Last, According To Wedding Photographers

Wedding photographers spend a lot of time with their clients, from the initial meeting and engagement photo session to the actual wedding. Given all the time they’ve put in with the couples, they usually have a pretty keen eye for signs a new marriage isn’t going to last.

Below, professional wedding photographers share eight red flags a couple may be headed for a divorce.

1. One of the partners is completely uninterested in photographs.

“Not everyone is interested in photography. In fact, I sometimes meet clients whose fiancés are interested in everything except being photographed on their wedding day. Luckily, most reluctant subjects know that photography is important to their partner and so they participate willingly. But that’s not always the case. Early in my career, a groom hired me by phone. When I arrived at the wedding and introduced myself to the bride, she gestured toward my camera and said, ‘Don’t point that f**king thing at me today!’ That made it a pretty rough day. They divorced three months later. I think that a willingness to happily consider the needs of your partner is key to a fulfilling, long-term relationship. And that includes embracing photography even if being photographed isn’t your favorite thing.” ? Rob Greer, a wedding photographer in Los Angeles, California

2. The couple has more than a 20 percent rejection rate on their RSVPs.

“It is very common to have about 10-15 percent of your guests unable to attend a wedding, but when you get above 20-25 percent, you should start looking deeper. It’s a telltale sign that your friends and family know that the couple is never going to work out! It’s sad, but so unbelievably true. The outside perspective is the tell-all about your relationship. I was photographing a wedding where the couple invited 250 guests, paid the venue minimum of 200 plates and only 60 people showed up! That same couple came up to me and asked me if I wanted to invite my wife and kids to the reception because they paid for all these dinners and no one came! I just recently found out that the couple has since been separated.” ? Brian Delia, owner of Brian Delia Photography in Clifton, New Jersey

3. The chemistry feels forced.

“It’s a bad sign when I’m photographing the couple and one of them overcompensates for the lack of interest from the other person. Maybe they have looked through hundreds of online photos and want their wedding images to look exactly like their Pinterest boards. Unfortunately, they didn’t consider their relationship dynamics in their ‘vision.’ Sometimes, they just lack the natural chemistry and emotional connection. Too often, the focus is on having a great image to share on social media. The couples are less concerned with letting the photographer capture the love that’s naturally there. It’s tough to see a couple so obviously disconnected.” ? Gretchen Wakeman, a wedding photographer in Scottsdale, Arizona

4. There’s infighting among the bridal party.

“It’s a very bad sign when there’s relentless fighting and drama between the bridal party. Here’s an example: On the way to one wedding, less than 10 minutes from arrival, my team received a phone call. It was the bride telling us that the wedding was canceled. She was bitter and telling us that they were just not getting along and there was fighting among the bridal parties and between longtime friends. She mentioned that the best man had sex with a maid of honor who was really a matron of honor, since she was married. There was a brawl between the guys and it was a total chaos situation. We don’t know if they are still together, but I imagine not.” ? Matt Adcock, co-founder of Del Sol Photography based in Playa del Carmen, Mexico

5. The couple isn’t on the same page about finances.

“I’ll call this couple T & M, so we don’t mention their names. As they walked into my studio for me to present my pitch for why they should choose me as their photographer, T asks for a bathroom break. As she walks away, M says to me, ‘This wedding is taking me to the cleaners. Our budget is double what it was at the beginning.’ Money is an important factor in all marriages and often plays a part in why they fail. It was definitely true for this couple. Six months after their fabulous wedding with over 150 guests, they separated.” ? Carlos G. Osorio, owner of Miami Photo in Miami, Florida

6. The couple makes sarcastic digs at each other while taking photos.

“I have captured well over 1000 weddings in my career and I know when I see a couple fighting or bickering throughout the day, it will only get worse and most likely lead to a split. Some couples say they’re just joking with each other but there’s usually some truth behind each dig or joking statement. The worst I have seen was a bride telling my staff, ‘I’m done kissing him.’ So subtle, but very deep and meditated. The groom didn’t say a word and I thought, ‘Wow, it’s already the beginning of the end.’” ? Rob Greer

7. The relationship seems built on physical attraction alone.

“We have seen couples who are really affectionate and really on each other all night ? and now they’re divorced. I remember a specific wedding where I was with this super young, super fit couple. They had a very physical relationship and it was interesting to watch their body language and how they communicated with each other. At the end of the wedding, they invited me to photograph them in a private room for intimate and sexy photos. By the way they asked me, I wasn’t sure if they wanted me to photograph them or join them. It was an odd feeling and I politely declined, finished my evening and went home. One year after the wedding, they were separated.” ? Sol Tamargo, co-founder of Del Sol Photography based in Playa del Carmen, Mexico

8. The couple hardly spends any time together at the reception.

“After the wedding ceremony, most couples are excited about the reception. The stress of the wedding day is behind them and it’s time to have fun and relax. Couples normally spend the evening greeting guests, dancing the night away, and celebrating their new marital status. When a couple separates to talk to guests or leaves the other alone on the dance floor for hours at a time, it always raises concerns. I have photographed an entire reception and only captured a handful of images of the the couple together ? that’s a very bad sign.” ? Gretchen Wakeman.

ruby Posted on October 06, 2018 16:27

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Latest: Computer Owners Swarm To Do This Today…

Thousands of PC users across Ghana are swarming to claim a software that has gone viral this year. This new software is protecting people’s computers from hackers, unwanted software and helping speed up performance.

By Web Life Advice – Tech enthusiast investigate a free scan that has just gone viral in Ghana.

If you live in Ghana and have a Windows computer that needs protecting, not running how you would like it or want to increase your security then this may be the most important article you ever read.

Thousands of people across Ghana are rushing to get their hands on the latest software that is instantly protecting PC users after recent press that malware is on the rise.

They are calling it; “A Game Changer for internet users.”

An elite team of renowned developers have built a security tool that they believe will be the last piece of software consumers will ever need.

The software uses an advanced algorithm to instantly increase the security whilst helping speed up your system. First, it identifies any hidden threats or online tracking cookies. Then it locates redundant files and cached memory, the files that can make your PC run slow.

The software can be used as an alternative for your Antivirus, or an additional layer of security that they believe is more advanced than any Antivirus product out there. Anyone can use it, and it only takes a few minutes to set up.

Product Manager, David, from ScanGuard, explains; “Our main objective for creating the application was simple. Over the past few months malware has been on the rise, and other Antivirus may be struggling to keep up. We wanted to build a software that gave consumers an additional layer of protection, at the same time help speed up their devices. We believe with the right care Windows computers can last much longer.”

He continues, “People already love the system. Our plan is to give as many free scan licenses away so that it goes viral. We feel good knowing that we're helping make things faster and more secure for our customers.”

How Do I Claim This Free Scan?

If you own a Windows Computer then you are eligible for a free security scan. Scanguard™ are still currently offering the free scan, we advise users to claim it whilst it is still available.

Download Your Free Scanguard™ Scan Here

The Scanguard™ free plan will offer you a version of the software which will monitor your PC in full for harmful threats, unwanted software or potentially dangerous tracking cookies. If the software locates threats you can manually remove them from your system or upgrade to Scanguard's premium plan to have the software remove them automatically.

To maintain peak performance and keep your computer secure, schedule the scan to run every 7 days. It roughly takes 10 minutes to fully analyze your system.

Once you have downloaded the software you can also claim free licenses for all of your devices, including your Office & Home PC, Smartphone & even Tablet. It's no surprise that thousands of computer owners are taking advantage of this approved security system to keep themselves and their devices safe.


ruby Posted on October 06, 2018 16:04

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Video shows monkey 'driving' bus in Karnataka, India

An Indian bus driver has been suspended - for letting a monkey "drive" his bus.

This is despite not one of the 30-or-so passengers on board the vehicle in southern Karnataka state complaining about their furry chauffeur.

However, when a video of the relaxed - and apparently competent - langur monkey taking the wheel went viral, the human driver's employers took action.

The safety of passengers cannot be put at risk by "allowing a monkey on the steering" wheel, a spokesman said.

Somewhat unsurprisingly, this has not been an entirely popular decision with internet users delighted by the short clip.


"So sweet. Why suspend. He should have been warned not to repeat this," Parag Heda tweeted.

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Elephant rudely interrupts BBC reporter mid-flow

The incident took place on Monday, according to the government's road transport corporation - which only learned of the unusual driver's actions after the video went viral.

According to witnesses, the monkey boarded the vehicle with another passenger but refused to sit anywhere but up front as the bus travelled around Davanagere.

The driver, named as M Prakash, seemed to be unconcerned by this turn of events, allowing his new friend to sit on the steering wheel as they continued their journey.

In fairness to Mr Prakash, he does appear to have one hand on the wheel at all times. And in fairness to the monkey, he does seem to be paying attention to the road ahead - although whether he had mastered the mirrors is unclear.

According to reports, the monkey eventually reached his destination and left the driver to carry on with his day.

Albert Ulebe Posted on October 06, 2018 15:54

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Brazil's unpredictable presidential election is 'on a knife edge' — here's what it could mean for markets

In one of its most unpredictable and divisive elections since reclaiming democracy three decades ago, Brazil will vote Sunday for its next president and hundreds of lawmakers. Here's what that could mean for Latin America's largest economy.


» more Debate mediator Ricardo Boechat, center, stands with Brazil's presidential candidates before the start of a debate in Sao Paulo, Brazil, Thursday, Aug. 9, 2018, ahead of October elections. From left are Alvaro Dias of Podemos Party, Cabo Daciolo of Patriota Party, Geraldo Alckmin of the Social Democratic Party, Marina Silva of the Sustainability Network Party, Jair Bolsonaro of the National Social Liberal Party, Guilherme Boulos of the Socialism and Liberty Party, Henrique Meirelles of the Democratic Movement Party, and Ciro Gomes of the Democratic Labor Party.  (AP Photo/Andre Penner)

Brazil will hold its first round of elections this weekend.

Analysts say neither of the presidential frontrunners would be good news for markets.

Watch the Brazilian real trade in real time here.

In one of its most unpredictable and divisive elections since reclaiming democracy three decades ago, Brazil will vote Sunday for its next president and hundreds of lawmakers. Here's what that could mean for Latin America's largest economy.


Who's running?

Far-right candidate Jair Bolsonaro of the Social Liberty Party and leftist Workers Party rival  Fernando Haddad, who is running in place of the imprisoned former president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, are presidential frontrunners.


Bolsonaro has maintained a lead for months, but it's far from certain how he will fare with a large pool of undecided voters or in a runoff. Having even been called Brazil's Donald Trump,  the outsider has a history of expressing autocratic, racist, and sexist views. He's currently recovering after being stabbed at a rally in September.


Less competitive contenders include left-leaning Marina Silva and Ciro Gomes, as well as centrist Geraldo Alckmin. With rejection rates for both Bolsonaro and Haddad on the rise, lagging candidates could unexpectedly advance.


No candidate is expected to win a majority on Sunday, which means a second round of elections would be scheduled for October 28. Voting in Brazil is compulsory for citizens between 18 and 70 years old.



null  (Exotix)


What are analysts saying?

A firebrand who's capitalized on public anger about the still-ailing economy, Bolsonaro has said he would consider privatizing all firms in the country. Analysts predict a Bolsonaro win might initially lead to a stronger Brazilian real, a rally in longterm domestic bonds, and wider external debt spreads.


Meanwhile, Haddad supports scrapping a government spending cap and strengthening public banks and companies. Analysts forecast a Haddad presidency might be followed by a weaker Brazilian real, a sell-off in longterm domestic bonds, and wider government debt spreads.

One thing the two have in common: they're running against the backdrop of a highly divisive political scene. Rafael Elias, an analyst at Exotix Capital, said he doubts either will be good news for markets in the long-run.


"Governability will be a challenge for both potential presidents, and gaining broad support in Congress for any of their policies will be extremely difficult," Elias said. "The upcoming elections do not seem to suggest a scenario under which this situation could change."


What about lawmakers?

The incoming administration will likely face an uphill battle working with the country's two legislative bodies, which are split among dozens of political groups. No party currently has more than 12% of control in the lower house of Congress, which has all 513 seats on the ballot. And in the Senate, where about two-thirds of seats are up for grabs, just 19 of 81 members are part of the ruling Brazilian Democratic Movement.



null  (HSBC)

Related content


With a lack of a strong support for any candidate or party, it is likely the legislatures will remain fragmented. That has the potential to stall any reform efforts.


Bolsonaro, a fringe figure who has praised Brazil's military dictatorship, may have an especially difficult time working with lawmakers in an effective way. Analysts say Haddad appears more equipped to forge alliances and get things done — although this isn't exactly comforting for investors.


What does that mean for the economy?

With a broken balance sheet and a double-digit unemployment rate, Brazil is struggling to recover from one of the worst recessions on record. Soaring crime rates and a high-profile government corruption scandal have damaged confidence in institutions.


And analysts say a truckers strike that paralyzed the country earlier this year added to fiscal concerns. Sending stock markets to yearly lows, the 10 days of turmoil led the government to declare a state of emergency and to force out the chief executive of its oil company.


But assets have rallied in the week ahead of the election, with the real rising more than 4% and the Bovespa stock index notching its biggest daily gain since 2016. Meanwhile, other Latin American indexes have been relatively flat, suggesting the movements are related to politics.


But William Jackson, chief emerging markets economist at Capital Economics, questions whether the optimism is warranted.


"It looks to us like investors may be too sanguine about political risk," Jackson said. "The presidential race is on a knife edge."

Albert Ulebe Posted on October 06, 2018 15:21

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Senators' backing puts Brett Kavanaugh on course for US Supreme Court

President Donald Trump's Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh is all but certain to be appointed later, after two key senators said sexual misconduct claims against the judge would not prevent them from backing him.


If Mr Kavanaugh is approved in a final Senate vote - likely to happen from 8.30pm (UK time) on Saturday - Mr Trump will have achieved a victory in his drive to consolidate conservative dominance of the nation's highest court.






Kavanaugh squeezes past first US Senate vote

Republican senator Susan Collins, regarded as a swing voter, said she will support Mr Kavanaugh - a statement that has boosted the judge's chances of being confirmed.


The sole Democrat to vote yes in the earlier ballot, Joe Manchin, also vowed to back the judge in the next vote.


Mr Manchin, who was also seen as a swing voter, called Mr Kavanaugh a "qualified jurist".




The moment the vote was tallied in the Senate



Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell was targeted by protesters

Republican Jeff Flake, another senator who had not previously indicated how he would vote, has now said he will vote to confirm Mr Kavanaugh "unless something big changes".


Hours earlier, Mr Kavanaugh's nomination cleared an important hurdle - but only by a hair's breadth.


The Senate voted 51-49 to limit debate and to move on to the final vote.


If the vote had been defeated, his nomination process would have hit another delay in what has been a slowed down process after allegations of sexual assault were heard against the judge.





Lisa Murkowksi was the sole Republican who voted against moving the process along

Mr Trump wants Mr Kavanaugh to help tip the court to the right.


After the vote, he tweeted: "Very proud of the U.S. Senate for voting "YES" to advance the nomination of Judge Brett Kavanaugh!"


The Republicans control the chamber 51-49.


To win, they needed every Republican to vote yes if all Democrats voted no.


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In the end, one Republican - Lisa Murkowski - voted to stop the nomination, while one Democrat - Mr Manchin - voted to send it further.




Protesters against the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh block the office of US Senator Jeff Flakes



Some demonstrators were arrested

The progress of nominee Mr Kavanaugh, 53, has been slowed down after he was accused of sexual assault by professor Christine Blasey Ford.


Dr Ford gave evidence in front of a Senate judiciary committee that Mr Kavanaugh, then aged 17, sexually assaulted her when she was aged 15 in Maryland in 1982.



Why the Brett Kavanaugh case matters

Here is what you need to know about a story that has transfixed the US and could have wide-reaching implications for the country for years to come

Two other women have accused Mr Kavanaugh - who denies any wrongdoing - of sexual misconduct in separate incidents in the 1980s.


As the president sent out his tweet, protesters stormed the corridors of the Senate building to demonstrate outside the offices of senators, including Republicans Mr Flake and Mitch McConnell.



Sit-ins were held by protesters who believe the women's accounts over Mr Kavanaugh's.


They were told by police they would be arrested as they shouted chants, including "this is for all survivors".


Footage shows some being led away in handcuffs by police in an echo of Thursday's protests which saw comedian Amy Schumer and model Emily Ratajkowski be detained alongside other demonstrators.






Amy Schumer joins Kavanaugh rally before her detention





Mr Trump mocks Kavanaugh accuser Dr Ford

They protested after Mr Trump was criticised for imitating Dr Ford, who could not provide precise information about every aspect of the day of the alleged assault, at a rally in Mississippi.


The vote comes after the chairman of the Senate judiciary committee, Republican Chuck Grassley, said the FBI had found "no hint of misconduct" in its investigation into Mr Kavanaugh.


More from Brett Kavanaugh


Kavanaugh scrapes through first Senate vote

Kavanaugh battle is America's moment of reckoning

Teri Hatcher tells of her own sexual assault in message to Donald Trump

Amy Schumer and Emily Ratajkowski detained alongside anti-Kavanaugh protesters

FBI finds 'no hint of misconduct' by Kavanaugh, Senate judiciary chair says

White House defends Trump after he mocks Kavanaugh sex assault accuser

Democrats have complained that the FBI's reopening of its Kavanaugh background check has been far too limited, leaving out contact with crucial potential witnesses.


Several US media publications reported that witnesses who believe the FBI should interview them over the allegations feel like they have been silenced.

Albert Ulebe Posted on October 06, 2018 15:15

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Indonesia earthquake: Queen makes private donation as number of dead rises

The Queen has made a private donation to the relief effort in Indonesia ollowing the devastating earthquake and tsunami which hit the country last week.


Buckingham Palace said the Queen had given money to the Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC) appeal for survivors, which raised £6m in a day when it was launched on Thursday.


It did not say how much money the monarch had given.


The number of dead has reached 1,649 and at least 265 people remain missing after the 7.5 magnitude tremor and resulting tsunami on the island of Sulawesi.



Grieving wife recalls moment she lost husband in quake-tsunami

Fitria Lontaain was strolling along the beach in Palu, hand in hand with her husband Victor





Clear up begins in Indonesia

According to aid agencies, about 200,000 people are thought to be in need of food and shelter.


On Wednesday, the Queen issued a statement on the disaster.


"I was extremely sorry to hear about the terrible earthquake and tsunami in Sulawesi at the end of last week, particularly given these events happened so soon after the recent earthquake in Lombok," she said.


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Ring of fire: Why Indonesia has so many earthquakes

Sky News looks at Indonesia's unlucky position on the world map





International aid arrives in Palu with specialist equipment

"Prince Philip and I send our sincere condolences to all those affected by the disaster and their families."


The RAF has already delivered 17.5 tonnes of UK aid supplies to Indonesia to help people affected. One of its Atlas planes touched down at the international relief centre at Balikpapan on Friday.


Cargo included 1,280 shelter kits and 288 hygiene kits that make up a £3m aid package pledged by the Department for International Development.



Before and after the earthquake

Pictures show the extent of the devastation





DEC launches Indonesia Tsunami Appeal

Also delivered were much-needed handling equipment that includes a forklift truck and conveyor belt that will massively increase the speed at which humanitarian aid can be transferred from flights and distributed to affected communities.


Other equipment includes transport trucks and a lighting tower generator which will speed up the delivery of aid to people who need it most urgently.


More from Indonesia


'She could have survived': Teenager was left for days in quake rubble

RAF delivers 17.5 tonnes of UK aid to Indonesia following quake and tsunami

'The water is coming': Grieving wife recalls moment she lost husband in Indonesia quake-tsunami

Indonesia's race to find survivors after earthquake and tsunami

UK appeal as Indonesian government struggles with quake aftermath

Indonesia earthquake: 'My husband's body was swallowed by the ground'

DEC chief executive Saleh Saeed said donations will ensure aid workers from 14 leading UK aid charities can reach those left homeless and in urgent need of food, water and shelter.


"As the full impact of the disaster unfolds, DEC member charities and their partners are ready to help devastated communities to rebuild their lives," he said. "We would urge people to continue donating."

Albert Ulebe Posted on October 06, 2018 15:11

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5 foods you shouldn't eat before having sex These eats can kill your vibe with gas, bloating, and more.


The food we eat can affect our sex drive in both a positive and negative way, so it's important to choose wisely when it comes to getting some action.

Our libidos are influenced by a number of factors, from stress, tiredness, shift work, financial worries or simply working long hours but the food we eat can affect our sex drive in both a positive and negative way.



Whether you’re on a hot date or planning a cozy night in with your other half, you want to make sure your breath smells fresh. brings you 5 foods you shouldn't eat before having sex.

1. Cheese

Dairy products are generally is a libido killer. For many dairy is congesting and mucus-producing, so not the ideal way to feel before sex.


5 foods you shouldn't eat before having sex.



READ ALSO:7 simple ways to live stress-free life


As much as beans is full of energy after a bean-filled meal, its sluggish nature makes one feel bloated and even an increase in flatulence.


5 foods you shouldn't eat before having sex.



3. Energy drinks

These are often full of sugar and nasties such as artificial colours and flavours. They may give you an instant energy lift, which may increase endurance and stamina, but this may be short-lived.


5 foods you shouldn't eat before having sex.



4. Chicken and Chips

Chips also known as french fries. Fried food, in general, can have some undesirable sexual side-effects. Some of its negative effects include lowering your testosterone levels and decreasing blood circulation


5 foods you shouldn't eat before having sex.



5. Mint

The menthol in peppermint has been shown to reduce testosterone levels, sending your sex drive plummeting. And while bad breath is a turn off, definitely do not chew gum as chewing brings more air into your system, making you prone to burp.

AlbertaU Posted on October 05, 2018 14:07

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Know your body type

In 1945, Willam Sheldon, an American psychologist outlined that people can be categorized into three body types. Ectomorph indicating thinness, Endomorph indicating fatness and Mesomorph indicating muscularity.

Knowing your body type is the most important thing before you start your fitness journey. Let's break these down:

1) Ectomorph

Ectomorph’s are individuals who are skinny with fast metabolism. They cannot gain weight easily and build muscle easily. They generally have a lower body fat percentage, narrow shoulders, small frame and overall skinny look.

Ectomorph Training

The key to training for an ectomorph is to burn as fewer calories as possible but to focus more “hypertrophy” which is breaking down of muscle fibres to allow them to repair and get bigger. This can be done more effectively with compound lifts. Compound lifts are those which recruit more than one muscle group, like the bench press, chin-ups, pull-ups, squats, and deadlifts.

An ectomorph can train three to four times a week in order to allow enough recovery time for muscle growth. Cardio is optional and should be performed occasionally. 

Ectomorph Nutrition

An ectomorph should be in a caloric surplus of about 300 to 500 calories, which means to consume more than your maintenance calories. Staying in a caloric surplus gives an ectomorph the calories it needs to get and stay bigger. A rough macro split for an Ectomorph is 50% carbohydrate, 25% protein and 25% fat.

Ensure that you eliminate simple carbs and consume complex carbs like oats, quinoa, wheat bread and brown rice.

2) Endomorph

Endomorph is the overweight person, someone who has always been overweight, finds it difficult to lose weight and has high body fat. They tend to have poor metabolism and put on weight easily.

Endomorph Training

The key here is to burn as much as calories as possible. An endomorph should train regularly at least five to six times a week. A combination of weight training and cardio training i.e high-intensity interval training is best for an endomorph.

Endomorph Nutrition

Endomorph’s need to focus heavily on their diet. They need to stay on a caloric deficit otherwise losing weight would be difficult. A low carb and moderate protein and fat is ideal for an endomorph. A good macro split would be 40% carbs, 30% protein and 30% fat. It's even more imperative for endomorph’s to avoid sugar and junk food. And monitor their carbs.

3) Mesomorph

Mesomorph is a person right in the middle of Ectomorph and Endomorph and is the best body type. They naturally have a muscular physique, wide shoulders and a narrow waist. They can gain weight easily, build muscle easily and lose fat easily.

Mesomorph Training and Nutrition

They can work out four to five times a week. And add a couple of sessions of cardio on weekly basis. Mesomorph can stay in a caloric deficit or surplus depending on their goals and current body structure. A rough macro split would be 45% carbs, 30% protein and 25% fat.

Mixture of any two types

You can easily be a combination of any two types. You could be an Endomorph-Mesomorph, Ectomorph-Mesomorph and vice-versa. But, the intention of this article was to give a brief idea about various body types so that you can target your fitness goals accordingly.

majsdesaint Posted on October 05, 2018 13:31

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Six Pack Abs Diet: 6 Foods You Must Have To Get Those Ripped Abs

Building a six-pack abdomen is not an easy task. It requires tremendous discipline and unrivalled commitment levels, combined with a targeted training program that not only burns the excess fat but also tones the abdominal muscles with greater accuracy. HIIT workouts and strength training are the order of the day if one is looking to activate the core and reduce the fat around the waistline.

However, a targeted training program is not all you need for a six-pack abdomen; a proper dietalso plays a crucial role in building those sculpted abs. Ensure that the diet has minimal quantities of added sugars and has good amounts of protein, which is quintessential for muscle building and recovery.

Without any further ado, let us look closer at the six foods that you must have to build a sculpted abdomen.

#1 Milk

Benefits: Milk is one of those few foods that contains most the essential minerals and vitamins required by the body. Being a good source of protein, milk is great for muscle building and recovery, making it a must-have after an intense workout.

Nutrients: One glass of non-fat milk provides around 83 calories of energy, 12 grams of carbohydrates and 8 grams of protein. Additionally, it is a rich source of Potassium, Calcium and Magnesium along with vitamin B12.

Quantity to be taken: Two glasses of milk per day.

Alternatives: Soy milk or any other dairy products.


#2 Eggs

Benefits: Eggs find themselves on various diet programs as they are low on carbohydrates, which is quintessential for controlling tummy fat. Studies have shown that having eggs on a regular basis could reduce the HDL levels in the body while also reducing the risk of heart attacks and other cardiovascular ailments.

Nutrients: One large boiled egg provides around 78 calories of energy, 6 grams of protein, 5 grams of fat and less than 1 gram of carbohydrates. Eggs contain good amounts of Calcium, Iron, Magnesium, Selenium, Zinc and Copper along with vitamins A, D, B6 and B12.

Quantity to be taken: Two eggs each day.

#3 Almonds

Benefits: Being a rich source of dietary fibre, almonds and other nuts aid in digestion and go a long way towards improving the feeling of fullness, which ultimately, ensures that you consume less food during the day. Almonds and a rich source of antioxidants and could help maintain blood pressure.

Nutrients: Almonds are very calorie-dense as one cup of this food provides just over 800 calories of energy, 31 grams of carbohydrates, 30 grams of protein and 71 grams of fat. These nuts are also rich sources of many essential minerals such as Potassium, Calcium, Magnesium and Iron.

Quantity to be taken: Structure your diet such that you have at least a fistful of almonds for every couple of days.

Alternatives: Walnuts, Cashew Nuts.

#4 Blueberries

Benefits: Unlike other fruit, blueberries only contain a moderate amount of sugars, making them an ideal fruit for people who are looking to build a six-pack abdomen. Furthermore, they are a rich source of antioxidants and are very effective in controlling blood sugar while also maintaining good cardiovascular health.

Nutrients: One serving of blueberries provides around 85 calories of energy, 21 grams of carbohydrates, 1 gram of protein and negligible quantities of fat. Blueberries are loaded with essential nutrients such as Magnesium and vitamin C and K. Also, they are a good source of dietary fibre.

Quantity to be taken: One cup per serving.

Alternatives: Strawberries and raspberries.

#5 Quinoa

Benefits: Quinoa is a very rich source of dietary fibre, which not only promotes a feeling of fullness but also improves digestion. It is a good source of protein and is one of those plant-based foods that contain all the essential amino acids required by the body. Furthermore, having quinoa on a daily basis could help maintain blood sugar levels.

Nutrients: One cup of cooked quinoa provides around 220 calories of energy along with 40 grams of carbohydrates, 4 grams of fat and 8 grams of protein. It is a rich source of Manganese, Phosphorous, Iron, Copper and Magnesium, along with a host of vital vitamins including Thiamin, Folate, Riboflavin and vitamins A, B6 and E.

#6 Oatmeal

Benefits: Oats contain tonnes of antioxidants, which are quintessential for maintaining blood pressure. Furthermore, oats help in digestion due to the high fibre content present in the food.

Nutrients: One cup of cooked oats contain around 160 calories of energy, 27 grams of carbohydrates, 6 grams of protein and 3 grams of fat. Additionally, they are a very good source of vitamins A and B6 along with Calcium, Iron, Magnesium, Potassium and Sodium.

Quantity to be taken: Have one cup of oatmeal peppered with berries or other fruit as your breakfast


majsdesaint Posted on October 05, 2018 13:20

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Lopetegui needs to fix Real Madrid's attacking woes

The excitement that came with the start of the new season and the Julen Lopetegui era seems to have dissipated at Real Madrid. After a barnstorming start to the season, there are troubling signs that he will need to fix. 

In the Derbi de Madrileno against local rivals, Atletico Madrid, Real looked ponderous in front. Although the Atleti backline was excellent as usual, the Los Merengues' attack failed to threaten Jan Oblak's goal consistently.

There was a distinct lack of cutting edge in the attack. Once again, Karim Benzema failed to do anything meaningful. The midfield failed to create many clear-cut chances as well. Worse was to come. In the UEFA Champions League clash against CSKA Moscow, Real failed to muster enough chances after they had gone behind in the 2nd minute. Too many times, the front line failed to get into position to harm the Russian army side.

This has become a pattern to the team's play. In the early days, against the lesser lights in La Liga, Lopetegui's style looked like it would work a treat. In the tougher games, the possession-based style does not seem to be working. In the La Liga games against Athletic Bilbao, Espanyol, Sevilla and Atleti, Los Blancos have only scored two goals.

Injuries to players like Gareth Bale and Isco have not helped. However, a change of approach and tactics from Lopetegui may be needed. Karin Benzema as the attack's focal point is just not working. The Frenchman has not had a shot on target in six games. His mopey, distracted style keeps breaking down moves and making life difficult for the midfielders.

Now will be the time for Lopetegui to give Mariano Diaz an extended run as the team's main striker. The former Lyon man has shown drive and hustle in the games he has played. His drive and aerial abilities will give players like Marco Asensio, Luka Modric and others something to aim for.

With games against Alaves, Levante (La Liga) and Viktoria Plzen (UCL) before the 28th of October El Clásico clash with FC Barcelona at the Camp Nou, these games will provide the perfect opportunity for Lopetegui to try different formations and tactics before the drama/tension associated with the Clasico.

Lopetegui is surely regretting not adding more attacking quality in the summer. January is a notoriously bad time for buying strikers with reportedly main targets Mauro Icardi, Neymar and Kylian Mbappe definitely not joining in the winter transfer window.

The current setup and style aren't working. Given Real Madrid and Florentino Perez's record with patience is not great so Lopetegui will need to fix the goalscoring issues as soon as possible.


majsdesaint Posted on October 05, 2018 12:32

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The World’s Most Precise Clock Reveals the Nature of Time and the Universe.

Physicist Jun Ye built the world’s most precise clock and is part of the group of scientists who changed our understanding of time itself.

THE MOST UNKNOWN is Motherboard's love letter to the scientific process. For the next nine weeks, we'll be profiling the people trying to answer science's most difficult questions. Our feature-length documentary is now available on Netflix, and bonus episodes are available on YouTube.

The question Jun Ye gets asked the most is: why would you want to make the world’s most precise clock?

For many of us, who live our lives by the day, hour or, if we’re lucky, by the moment, it’s difficult to understand the use in splitting time up into smaller and smaller chunks.

But as the Colorado University, Boulder physics professor explained to me over Skype, the endeavor of studying time is anything but futile. Time, Ye said, isn’t just at the heart of everything we do, but at the very core of understanding how the universe functions.

“Time is one of the most fundamental tools that connects us to nature” Ye said. The passage of the sun across the sky allowed ancient Egyptians to track their work hours, the pull of gravity kept pendulum clocks ticking to allow seafarers to navigate the oceans, and the vibration of quartz under stress brought timekeeping on to people’s wrists. Measuring time has always been at the heart of human society, Ye explained, but how we do that has changed considerably.

As measurements became more precise, scientists discovered that these natural timekeepers were fickle and inconsistent. They searched for clock mechanisms that wouldn’t fall behind or need to be reset as often.

The search led physicists to atoms, which “tick” naturally thanks to their physical properties. Inside each atom are even smaller particles that are arranged like a solar system. In the core are protons and neutrons, the sun, and orbiting them at increasing distances are electrons, the planets. In the tiny, subatomic world, atoms obey the laws of quantum physics. Electrons can jump between orbits and, when they do, they give off or absorb a tiny jolt of microwave radiation and change into a different energy state. This happens many times every second and each jump back and forth is the atom’s transition frequency, or clock tick.

The physicists Louis Essen and Jack Parry found a way to harness the atoms of the soft, silvery-gold metal cesium to make one of the first atomic clocks. In doing so they literally redefined time. A second is now defined as the transition frequency of cesium 133 atoms, roughly 9.2 billion cycles. Essen and Parry’s clock, now a museum piece, used atoms to reset quartz clocks by giving the mineral a nudge if its vibrations slowed down. It would have neither gained nor lost a second in 300 years, if it had stayed in operation that long.

This chart shows the accuracy of various atomic clocks over time. Image: Engineering and Technology History Wiki

Over time, scientists found ways to use cesium atoms on their own. They’d prod the atoms with microwaves tuned to cesium’s exact frequency to make the atoms change to their high energy form. This new generation of clocks improved the stability (how much time is lost or gained) a million times over.

If you glance down at your cellphone or computer right now, the time you see has been synced with more than 500 atomic clocks all around the world. That means throwing in an extra leap second every 19 months or so to allow the time taken based on Earth’s rotation to catch up with the more precise atomic time.

Time isn’t just the subject of Ye’s research; good timing has played at least a small part in his path to building the world’s most precise clock.

He was born in Shanghai, right at the end of China’s Cultural Revolution and at the beginning of its education system revival. Soon after he decided to pursue an educational path emphasizing science and technology, over his other great love, literature, he was selected to represent his school at a national physics competition. That serendipitous event would set him on the road to life as a physicist.

Jun Ye in his office. Image: Lindsay Blatt/Motherboard

“I did reasonably well,” he recalled in an interview for his university’s webpage, “and, I discovered that physics was exciting for me.”

As timing would have it, Ye was in the right place at the right time when physicists figured out how to solve one of the biggest hurdles to making an even more precise clock. Precision depends both on how small you can make the chunks of time but also on how well you can read those chunks. Previous clocks relied on converting an atom’s super-fast microwave radiation to slower radio waves that the electronics of the time could read. That meant you could only see larger “chunks” of time, like having a clock you know ticks every second but with a face that only has hour and minute hands.

When Ye was hired as a physicist for the National Institutes of Standards and Technology and assistant professor at the University of Colorado, Boulder in 1999, he was meant to be taking over from eminent physicist, and Ye’s PhD adviser, John Hall. But Hall and his colleague Theodor Hänsch from the Max-Planck-Institute of Quantum Optics in Garching, Germany were on the verge of solving this clock-reading puzzle.

Around the turn of the century, they invented the optical frequency comb, a time ruler made out of light frequencies from a laser, then retired a few years after that. Now, scientists could read atoms that vibrated at even higher frequencies, including those in the optical range—frequencies between 430 and 770 trillion hertz (for comparison, a pendulum clock swings at a frequency of one hertz).

Ye described this as a “breakthrough” for science that opened up new avenues of exploration. He speaks about this discovery like a great explorer might speak of encountering a new land.

The blue atoms of Ye's clock. Image: Screengrab/Motherboard

“We were basically coming up to [the edge of] a slope where you look down and there’s just wildflowers everywhere in the valley and you can just go down and pick these beautiful wildflowers,” Ye told me.

Soon, Ye was leading breakthroughs of his own. He developed an atomic clock made from strontium 87, a soft, silver-white yellowish metal. Strontium 87’s atoms tick at femtoseconds—that’s 1 million billion times per second. His latest version of the clock has thousands of supercooled strontium atoms arranged in a three dimensional lattice (imagine M&M’s sitting on the peaks and troughs of an egg carton.) The atoms are prodded to start vibrating using a red laser tuned to strontium’s frequency and then an optical frequency comb reads out that vibration.

This is the most precise clock in the world. If it had been running since the big bang, 13.8 billion years ago, it would only have only strayed by one second. Ye shows off the clock in the Motherboard feature, The Most Unknown. He leads Caltech geobiologist Victoria Orphan through a maze of wires to a cavern illuminated by the blue glow of the strontium clock. To the average person, it looks a little like a Rube Goldberg machine.

I struggle to imagine the scale that Ye works on and how or even why he studies what he does. Ye explained that, just like the first sundials allowed people to plant and harvest crops at the right time, atomic clocks hide beneath the conveniences of everyday life.

Take GPS systems, for example. Whether or not your Uber driver brings you to the right place relies, at least in part, on atomic clocks. GPS devices work by calculating how long it took for messages from satellites around Earth to reach it. From there the device can figure out how far away it is from each satellite and then work out your position. Any little error in time measurement and you might end up on the other side of town. A single millisecond error translates to a distance error of 300 kilometers. Ye envisions that atomic clocks will underpin the navigation systems of autonomous vehicles or even the vehicles that are sent further afield to Mars and beyond.

Ye. Image: Screengrab/Motherboard

Ye also thinks there’s great scientific value in creating super-precise clocks.

“Measurement is at the heart of science,” he said “we should be able to reveal the very core of nature.”

In particular, he thinks atomic clocks will allow scientists to figure out how the weird properties of quantum physics, like particles being in two places at once or in superposition, relate to the classical physics we experience everyday.

“There has to be a place where quantum physics and classical physics connect” he reasoned. “Once the universe knows a quantum system is in superposition, somehow it will conspire to break that and turn it into a classical world. It sounds a little like superstition but quantum mechanics is a little bit like that.”

Understanding quantum systems better could help scientists could figure out how to make big things, not just tiny ones, act in a quantum way. That’s the idea behind quantum computing, to run computer bits in all their superpositions at once, instead of one after the other.

Ye thinks that would be possible if there was a clock precise enough to measure how time changes near the tiny dips in spacetime around a particle. Take it one step further and if you measure how other objects are pulled into those dips, you can measure gravity in a super precise way. That could allow geophysicists to predict volcanic eruptions, Ye said, by sensing when masses under the surface of the Earth move by a tiny fraction.

The more we delve into the depths of atomic time, the more endless the possibilities seem. Even Ye himself said he doesn’t believe there’s a limit to a clock’s performance and the leaps forward that accompany it.

“I’ve thought of many road blocks but fundamentally I couldn’t think of any limit,” he said.“My interest, although it’s always been there, is actually growing stronger because of the recent 10 to 15 years of advancement. It makes the whole community feel more and more courageous to ask those deep, insightful questions.”

It’s hard to imagine what a world with such a precise clock would be like but, perhaps, that’s the point. With every leap forward in how we measure time comes some notable technical or societal leap. The pendulum allowed people to cross the atlantic. Atomic clocks enabled GPS and the internet.

The beauty of these clocks is that they, as Ye described, give us the chance to peer over a new mountain and see what wildflowers might be on the other side.

AlbertaU Posted on October 05, 2018 11:04

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How to Make Your Boyfriend Go Crazy over You

Whether you are in a new relationship or if you are a long-term couple, everyone wants their boyfriend to be attentive and attracted to them. As relationships grow and change, it is common for the crazy passion you once had for each other to slow down or be expressed in other ways. Sure he likes you or even loves you, but there are ways to make him go crazy over you. You want him to feel desired, and you also want to encourage this passion by being a desirable partner.


Part 1

Making Your Boyfriend Feel Desired

  1. 1

    Compliment him. Complimenting your boyfriend is an important way to help him feel appreciated and loved. By complimenting him, you will show him that you accept him as he is and that you like the things that he says and does. [1] It is important to compliment your boyfriend for his big accomplishments, but you should also try paying your boyfriend compliments when he does little things as well. For example:
    • “Wow, that was an amazing kiss.”
    • “You looked so sexy and manly out there cutting the grass.”
    • “You were so good in the game today; it’s such a turn on watching you play.”
  2. 2

    Lock eyes with him. Eye contact is a great nonverbal way to show your acceptance of someone. When we like people, we are more likely to make eye contact with them.[2] Show your boyfriend that you love and accept him by gazing into his eyes. If he returns your feelings, then he should gaze into you eyes in return.

  3. 3

    Kiss with passion. Kissing is one of the ways that we evaluate our partners, so being a good kisser is really important. Kissing can also help to improve your boyfriend’s feeling of attraction and connection to you. To be a good kisser, try to keep some things in mind: [3]
    • It’s okay to start off a kiss with your mouth closed and move into a more passionate kind of kiss if the mood is right.
    • Make sure your teeth are clean and your breath is fresh before you attempt a kiss.
    • Focus on him and nothing else when you are kissing. Being distracted while kissing can be a big turn-off.
    • Try touching the back of his head or neck or stroking his arm while you kiss. These extra touches can be a great way to enhance a kiss.
  4. 4

    Surprise him. Nothing helps spark or reignite passion like a little spontaneity. It can help break up your normal routine and show him that you feel crazy about him, which could inspire him to go crazy over you. Be flirty and live in the moment at all times, and he will always feel excited to be around you. Some spontaneous ideas to consider:
    • If your car breaks down in the rain, don’t just sit in the car waiting for him to fix it. Jump out and dance with him on the side of the road.
    • If you normally watch his favorite sports team at home, surprise him with tickets or take him out to a local restaurant with huge TVs to watch the game instead.
    • Take on a sexy alter ego and stay in character during your entire date.
  5. 5

    Encourage him. One huge part of sparking desire in your partner is helping him feel good about himself. Encourage him in his goals like you would encourage a friend. Make sure that he knows that you are there for him and that you support him.
    • For example, if your boyfriend is worried about a job interview, then you can encourage him by saying something like, "You are going to be great! They would not have called you for an interview if they did not already think you were a good choice for the job!"
    • Being a Desirable Partner

    • 1

      Show your confidence. Confidence is a really sexy quality for most people, so feel free to be your most confident when you are with your boyfriend. You can demonstrate your confidence by doing things like sharing your accomplishments and acknowledging your strengths.
      • Keep in mind that some people find confidence a little intimidating. If your boyfriend has low self-confidence, then projecting your confidence may not increase his desire for you.[4]
    • 2

      Tell him about yourself. Revealing things about yourself will help to enhance your boyfriend’s feelings for you.[5] Tell him all about yourself, including your interests, your goals, and your family. Be careful not to reveal too much too soon, though. Keeping some aspects of your life, goals, and feelings can add mystery to your relationship, which may help to increase his interest in you.

    • 3

      Pay attention to what your boyfriend is attracted to. Your boyfriend may have some specific things that attract him, so try to pay attention when he tells you that you look sexy. Perhaps your boyfriend loves lingerie, or maybe he thinks you look sexiest right after a workout. Some things that might help include:
      • Wearing eye makeup. Eye makeup has been shown to make women seem more attractive to some men.[6] Try wearing some eyeliner or eyeshadow and mascara when your boyfriend is around.
      • Using unscented or lightly scented products on your body. It is important for your boyfriend to be able to smell your natural scent. This scent can help him to experience strong feelings of attraction.[7] Try wearing unscented deodorant and using unscented bath products so that your boyfriend can smell your natural scent.
      • Wearing red clothing now and then. One study found that men are more attracted by the color red than any other color.[8] Get a red dress or sweater to wear on a date with your boyfriend and see what happens.
    • 4

      Keep your time together light and fun. In addition to being sexy and desirable, another great way to drive your boyfriend wild is to just be a fun loving person. You want him to want to hang out with you, and showing him that you are the type of person who is up for a good time is a great hook. Don’t try to be someone you’re not, but know that there are a lot of ways to have a good time. Some ideas include:
      • Go for a hike and race him to the top for the last leg. Laughing through a competitive situation will bond you and endear you to him.
      • Go out to watch a sports game with him and his friends and impress them with your knowledge of the game.
      • Play a game of truth or dare to show him you can be silly and fun.

      Part 3

      Increasing His Desire

    • 1

      Stay close by. Proximity has been found to increase feelings that people have for each other. In other words, the more that you see someone, the more likely you are to like that person.[9] To make this work for you, try stopping by your boyfriend’s locker on the way to class, suggest some regular study sessions, or find ways to see more of him.

    • 2

      Respect your boyfriend’s personal space and enjoy yours as well. A great way to make your boyfriend go crazy over you is to make sure that you give him a chance to miss being with you all of the time. Some of the initial spark and passion fizzle out because you get too comfortable with each other. You want him to miss you, but you also want him to know that he isn’t your sole source of happiness.
      • Make plans to spend time with your girlfriends one night per week and encourage him to have a guys night.
    • 3

      Mirror his movements. Mirroring someone’s movements can increase their feelings of attraction for you.[10] To make this work for you, try to copy his physical position now and then. For example, if your boyfriend readjusts himself in his seat and leans on his right hand, wait a few seconds and do the same. Make sure that you are leaning on your left hand so that you look like a mirror image of him.
      • Try to be subtle about this. Mirroring often happens without people noticing they are doing it and it is important to avoid making it too obvious or it might seem strange.
    • 4

      Play hard to get. Even though you are already dating, you can increase your partner’s desire for you by playing hard to get.[11] Some easy ways to play hard to get with your boyfriend include:

ruby Posted on October 05, 2018 10:16

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I am a mother without a baby.

In the UK, an average of nine babies a day are stillborn.

BBC journalist Fiona Crack became pregnant with a longed-for baby girl last year, but her waters broke early and her daughter died.

This is her story of a year of grief and healing and of five extraordinary women who shared her experience.


When I was eight, my cousin had a baby. My Mum knew I loved babies so she dropped me off at her house for a few days “to help”.

I must have been useful because when another cousin had one, I was dispatched again. I walked the babies up and down the hall and deflected swipes from jealous siblings.

I helped with the bath-and-bed routine for our neighbour. I couldn’t wait to be 12 when I could babysit for all the kids in the village. I couldn’t wait to be a mother myself.

But by 29 I had cervical cancer. The operation I needed to save my life would rob me of my chance to carry a child. I found another operation in a medical paper that would allow me that chance - I found a consultant who could do it. When my referral didn’t come through I just turned up to beg.

Several gruelling years of IVF and miscarriage followed. And then finally, one Thursday morning, the baby I had longed for was wriggling around in my last scheduled ultrasound scan. The midwives waved me off wishing me good luck for the birth.

That afternoon I was at work eating a piece of lemon drizzle cake to mark a colleague’s leaving do when I felt hot gushing liquid soak through my trousers. My waters had broken two months early.

The hospital admitted me and said we had to delay labour for as long as possible, allowing the baby to grow stronger. Ten days later they said we were doing well and could go home the next day. But shortly after midnight, the umbilical cord dropped through me, compressing my baby’s supply of oxygen and nutrients. In the six minutes it took to get to the operating theatre, nurses running and shouting, wheeling my bed through empty corridors, our baby died.

I didn’t sleep for 48 hours. I paced. I refused drugs. My precious longed-for baby was curled and silent in my womb - the cord that had bound us hung from me. When my feet ached from pacing I lay on my side facing Tim, my partner.

I remembered a story of a mother who was told her baby had died, but was born healthy. I rang the buzzer to summon a nurse, I asked if they could have got it wrong. Twenty minutes later my partner rang the same bell, asked the same question.

They gave me a C-section the next morning. As I breathed through the mask and felt the anaesthetic injected into my vein I thought: “I have dreamt of looking into my child’s face for 30 years, and when I wake, I will.”

When she - a baby girl - was given to me, my heart expanded in love. She was beautiful - 30cm tip to toe. She had been dressed in a little white dress and hat, and draped in a white hand-knitted blanket. Her fingers and toes rested neatly in perfection. She was long-limbed like us both. We named her Willow.

I imagined I heard Tim’s heart shatter when he said her name. I looked at her in wonder. I couldn’t understand why she was dead.

The midwives and doctors came. There were no answers to our questions. Maybe they weren’t the right questions. We were at the edge of the delivery wing, and I had to listen to women in labour and to the mewling newborns.

My arms ached. I thought I had a blood clot, but the doctors told me it was normal - a biological response to the shock that there was no living child for me to hold. I sobbed. My milk came through, marking my T-shirt, and I was too exhausted to be embarrassed.

In the bereavement suite there was a kitchen, to make cups of tea I couldn’t imagine any bereaved parent could ever stomach. I found myself looking at the cleaning rota - such a stark reminder of the other families who had been there. I thought of their loss. I focused on their survival.

Stillbirth is much more common than people might think but it’s rarely talked about because pregnancy is a time of joy and hope.

We stayed another four nights, our daughter in a refrigerated cot. No-one ever suggested we left but I knew when it was time. I couldn’t bring myself to say goodbye to the midwives who sat with us through that night, who dressed our daughter for us. There were no words of thanks big enough, so they just cried, and we cried, and nodded our heads and left.

We had two matching cuddly lambs in hospital - one that we slept with, one for Willow in her crib. On the drive home I clutched our lamb, damp with tears. I whispered words to it and imagined my daughter could hear them.

Grief folded and stretched time. The midwives had reminded us we were legally required to register Willow’s birth. So one day we travelled to a register office and an official asked quiet sad questions. We left holding legal proof she was here, she was real. Birth and death shared the paper, the only document she will ever have.

Post piled up and I looked away from it, from other people’s kindness and awkwardness. Some friends came. Some family. I put my maternity jeans back on and exchanged platitudes, but there was nothing anyone could say so I went back to bed. We planned a funeral in place of a christening.

Dry-eyed (there seemed to be nothing left), I delivered a eulogy to a crematorium filled with weeping family. The flowers were too big for the little lid of Willow’s casket. We asked them not to close the curtains at the end. When I finally managed to leave I carved off part of my soul to stay with her, my first child.

Two weeks later Tim returned to the sanctuary of work and I was left alone in the house. Our grief took different paths, and my loneliness and isolation increased. I scared myself reading about the rates of relationship breakdown after the death of a child, and decided to find a bereavement counsellor. I found a lot of help on offer for mothers, very little for fathers, but eventually found someone who would help us together, and whom we still see now.

My period came and I raged at the betrayal of my body. I deleted friends on Facebook who had healthy babies the same age as Willow, or friends pregnant with a second or third child. The algorithms made social media a dark place for me, with adverts for baby food, prams and clothes flooding my feed. I became angry, bitter and withdrawn.

One day I took three trains to a house in the far north-east corner of England to visit my 103-year-old grandmother, Nancy. I let myself in and sat at her feet, my head in her lap. She herself had a stillborn baby more than 60 years ago. She stroked my hair and said she was “sorry about the baby” - the baby she didn’t know we originally planned to name after her. It was the hardest visit I made and yet somehow it was the start of my healing.

I did a lot of sleuthing. I applied for my notes from all the hospitals I’ve been treated in over the last decade and researched every stage of my medical treatment and pregnancy, cross-referencing and breaking the codes of doctors’ scribbles. At the heart of my obsession was guilt, a fear that somehow the stillbirth was my fault. A fear that was wrong, but that other parents of stillborn babies seem to feel too.

I found a nine-week-old puppy and brought her home. She weighed 2kg, the weight of a newborn. Her needs made me feel useful. During night-time toilet trips we stood shivering in the dark, and she jumped at me like a child wanting to be picked up. When I called across the park for her, I occasionally called her Willow.

Christmas loomed but I averted my eyes, hastily shoving money into cards for nieces and nephews. We escaped the dreams of our first family Christmas by hiring a remote shepherd’s hut in Suffolk. We walked miles every day, taking it in turns to carry our puppy. On Christmas Eve I went to a magical midnight mass in a small rural church. I cried silently throughout the service. The old lady next to me, a stranger, reached out to hold my hand.

A stillborn baby provides the mother with the same rights and protection as a newborn baby, and as I was entitled to maternity leave, I took it, returning after four months. Work was an easier place than home. I could hide from my loss. And so good did I become at compartmentalising that I was occasionally surprised by colleagues asking if I had had a boy or a girl. I got used to replying “my daughter was stillborn”, and then patting them on the arm and saying “it’s OK, please don’t worry”.

In the long evenings at home I drank too much red wine. I watched Modern Family on a loop. But throughout the winter, there were glimmers of hope, like the snowdrops bravely poking their heads up. Some days I could feel positive again, some days I could see my friends and laugh. Sometimes I was ready to smile when Tim opened the front door. Many times I think we both just tried, not for ourselves, but for each other.

My coping mechanisms are all about doing stuff and so I planned a part of our garden to dedicate to Willow, buying graph paper and poring over garden design books. We started landscaping in the coldest wettest week in February. We hired a 1.5 tonne digger. Friends and family came to help us in snow and frost, in driving rain, forking through piles of wet soil and stones to remove weeds.

Our joyful little puppy Pina played in the mud at our feet and then stamped paw prints all over the kitchen floor. I found an artist to make a sculpture out of willow branches. We visited favourite beaches to collect stones to pave the path. We exhausted ourselves with manual work.

In the week leading up to Mother’s Day, I stood watching the children leave the local village school. On the day itself, I opened the door to the nursery for the first time. I unfolded and refolded the babygros, and then lay down on the floor with the last one, placing it between my collar bone and navel. The dust motes floated in the afternoon sunlight. I thought of the email telling me the curtains for the nursery were waiting. When I had replied that we no longer needed them, they had simply written back: “We will send when you are ready.” I wondered if the saleswoman herself had lost a baby.

I cried and cried and eventually fell asleep. When I woke up it was dark. I found two Mother’s Day cards. One from my Mum, the other from Tim, saying that I was and will always be a brilliant mother to Willow. From that day on, I left the nursery door open, and the air now circulates better through our house.

We prepared for Willow’s first birthday by planning a party in her garden to raise funds for stillborn charities. One of the charities we want to help provides memory boxes to hospitals for bereaved parents. We were given one for Willow and I found the courage to look at it again.

This is what was inside:

A white knitted blanket

Willow’s hospital bracelet

Photos of Willow when she was born

Willow’s foot imprints

A babygro from Willow’s nursery.

Some of these things had been in the box when I received it, others I had added myself. I wanted to find other women who would understand the power of this box. In the weeks leading up to Willow’s birthday I began a journey around the UK to visit bereaved women who were connected with these five objects.

Here are their stories:


Val Isherwood runs the Tigerlily Trust, which provides hospitals with blankets, wraps and gowns for stillborn babies

Everything went great with my pregnancy until probably 16 or 17 weeks. We got that phone call that started with: “Are you on your own?” The hospital told me my baby had something called Edwards’ syndrome and not to expect her to live past 28 weeks.

She got to 32 weeks, and then I was getting something out of one of the bureau drawers in the lounge and felt a stab of pain. We went into hospital and her heartbeat had stopped.

Even though we tried to prepare for that moment I can't really remember much about that day. I remember them saying they would give me this tablet and I'd go home and come back the next morning.

I went through this phase later on where I thought: ‘Was I ever pregnant?’

I suddenly felt very scared that I had a dead body inside me and how cruel it was to send me home. But I'm so glad for that time, because it gave us that last night together. And come Tuesday morning I didn’t want to go back into hospital. I just wanted to keep her forever safe inside and felt like no-one should take her from me.

But that time in hospital was just beautiful. Friends came and met Lily which was really important, because I went through this phase later on where I thought: “Was I ever pregnant?”

I'd bought clothes for her early on in the pregnancy, and they were far too big, so we didn't have anything to put her in, and the hospital didn't offer us anything. So when I was in early labour we went out into town and the only thing we could find was a little T-shirt, and my Mum sewed it in the hospital into a little dress.

One of my regrets is that the dress was cremated with her - I really wish that I still had what she'd been wearing. That's why now we give outfits in matching pairs so that parents can keep the one the baby has worn.

We tried to have another baby as soon as we could after Lily, and we did think about IVF, but with my age the odds were stacked against me. I was 46 at the time and I didn't think I could go through all that and it not work out. So I thought a lot about acceptance - my message to myself was if it's not meant to be then that's my story. I knew I needed to find positive ways to channel all that love and energy that would have gone into raising Lily.

Everything to do with the Tigerlily Trust is inspired by what I wish had been there for me.

So I started appealing for knitters who would help us create the clothes I wished I had been given. People then asked if they could donate their wedding dresses to turn into little gowns, so we've got a lovely seamstress on the Isle of Man who makes them.

Some of the women who had a stillborn baby before we existed were just told to go and buy a doll's dress which they felt was so insulting. Now a lot of the parents who get in touch can't believe someone has gone to those lengths to knit something to put their baby in and to give them that dignity.

I have about 380 names on my list of people who have contributed in some way. Some of them are grandmas whose daughters have lost babies.

My advice to other parents going through this is let yourself grieve hard. Don't be afraid of your grief - share it with people. That's almost precious time before the world sort of expects you to be OK. Let yourself have that time.


Rachel Hayden runs Gifts of Remembrance, which trains midwives to take photos of stillborn babies - this section contains an image of her son Rowan who was stillborn

Rowan was one of triplets, which was a bit of a surprise to me at 40 with two kids already. But the interesting thing is that when I found out I was pregnant I got a sense of him, so I felt like I already knew who he was.

I went in for a scan at 31 weeks and they discovered there was no heartbeat for him. It’s a moment which I’m sure all parents of stillborn babies relate to. There’s just that stillness on the monitor.

We can end up grieving not only for the fact our babies died, but... for the fact we never saw them

I remember the way the nursery nurse spoke to him and handled him and it made me feel I could do the same. So it was “hello and what’s your name?” and “I bet your Mum wants to give you a cuddle”, and all this was great for me because I was utterly clueless.

But I didn’t even think to ask to be involved in the memory making.

She took him away and took handprints and footprints and dressed him and lay him in his Moses basket, and then took two photos of him lying there.

I didn’t know what he really looked like naked or what he was wearing under his little knitted gown, and she took no photographs of him being held - he looked so alone.

Although I was remarkably grateful for what I had, I later came across the work of Todd Hochberg, an amazing US photographer, and realised I could have had so much more. Not only was I blown away by the photographs and how emotional they were, but it was the stories they told - and I found myself comparing.

What I say to the midwives in the training is you need to think for the future, and guide the parents through a process of gathering up details and stories, and saying: “This may feel too much now but it's going to be important later.”

Very little of my training is actually about taking photographs - a big chunk of it is about midwives empowering parents, and saying the right things, and giving them time.

I'll talk about how you have photographs that you might share with people, but there are plenty of photographs that just help you remember - every single photograph is going to be of importance to the family.

This is actually a therapeutic intervention you are doing to help families make sense of what's happened. You're saying: “This is what happened to you in all its mess.” Midwives and nurses clean things all the time but I say just hand over everything as it is. The most precious thing to me of Rowan's is his hat because it smelt like him, so we challenge that approach.

A photo of Rachel's baby, Rowan

If you try and protect us then we can end up grieving not only for the fact our babies died, but we can be grieving for the fact we never saw them. A really poignant story was a mum who said she had never seen her baby girl’s bottom - she said that her other children had birthmarks on their bottoms and she never knew if she had one.

When we look back on things there'll be moments that we will even identify in terms of joy, because you're saying hello to your baby, as well as goodbye.


Ruth Rodgers used to work in finance but was inspired to retrain as a midwife after the stillbirth of her daughter Scarlett. She has just started her first posting, having qualified this summer.

Scarlett was born in November 2011 when I was 31 weeks pregnant. I realised she wasn’t moving so much, but I wasn’t really that worried - I did a full day of work before I went to the hospital. And they couldn't find a heartbeat pretty much straightaway.

I had this amazing bereavement midwife, Jane, who I spoke to on the phone. During the two days before I went into labour she told me not to worry about things like funeral arrangements and post-mortems, but just to think about how I wanted to spend time with my little girl - helping me focus on the most important things at the right times.

There's some amazing care out there, but there are also some poor things that happen repeatedly that are so easy to fix

I also had a brilliant labour ward midwife. It's funny the things that you worry about - I assumed that she would have rigor mortis. I was frightened about how I might feel when I saw her.

And she said: “She'll just look like a baby. She'll be a bit small, her skin might be quite thin, and she'll probably not have her eyes open, but otherwise she'll just look like your baby.” That was all I needed to hear to just carry on.

Of course there were moments of utter misery, but I also have strangely fond memories of watching Strictly Come Dancing and the X Factor, and eating lasagne with one hand and holding the gas and air with the other!

She was born just before six in the morning, and I remember thinking it was amazing that she was still warm and I needed to remember the way that felt because she wouldn’t stay like that.

I fell pregnant again seven weeks after I'd had Scarlett, and miscarried again, having miscarried before. And that's when I became really obsessed with how having a baby works, with how all the embryology works. I read textbooks, I read research papers, I emailed professors in recurrent miscarriage - that's the way I approach life.

I had another two miscarriages after that, and throughout out it all Jane was basically there the whole time and we developed a really special relationship. I guess that’s really where the idea of me training to become a midwife myself started - that supportive relationship between a woman and her midwife.

I was lucky enough to go on to have two beautiful boys, one just before I started training, and one in the middle of my degree. The first of these was an incredibly anxious pregnancy, and I received the most fantastic care from Jane, my consultants and my community midwife, all of whom knew my history and understood the way I felt. I could not have got through it without them, without suffering significant mental health consequences.

In my third year of training I did a long stint on a labour ward and there was a lady who came in thinking she was in labour, only to find her baby had died. It was incredibly fulfilling to care for that woman and her baby and help her through everything.

I think it's rarely appropriate to talk about your own experience to somebody else. If a woman specifically asked me if I’d had a stillbirth then I’d tell them, but I would never volunteer that, because the moment then would become about me and not about them.

But I do suggest things that I found helpful, or that I know others did. I've met so many people over the last few years through online groups who've dealt with their grief and the process of having a subsequent baby all very differently. How you deal with having a stillbirth is incredibly personal.

There's some amazing care out there, but there are also some poor things that happen repeatedly that are so easy to fix. The classic ones are not reading the mum’s notes before an appointment, or not calling the baby who died by their name.

The research very clearly says that grief isn't necessarily related to gestation - there is a link, but actually the link is more to do with the “assignment of personhood”. If you have assigned a person to the baby inside you, you have created a relationship with that person that means that you feel the grief more acutely when they're gone.


Publishing graduate Aliyah makes bespoke wall prints through her online shop, which help parents celebrate their baby’s name and birth date and is working on a bespoke memory book. She is expecting another baby at the end of October.

One of the hardest parts is that we had bought everything for Aamiya - we had loads of clothes ready, we had her cot set up in the bedroom, everything was washed and ready for her.

I had swelling but they just told me it was normal pregnancy swelling. Because I didn’t have any other symptoms I don’t think anyone was overly concerned. And then I woke up one morning and I didn’t feel anything and I just thought I should go and get checked out. And that’s when they told us she’d passed away and I found out I had pre-eclampsia.

They told me my blood pressure was really high and there was lots of protein in my urine and they rushed me into delivery really fast.

I must have fallen asleep because when I woke up she was already bathed and dressed, and next to me in the refrigerated cot. And that’s one thing I regret - obviously it wasn’t in my control to stay awake, but I feel like I missed out on dressing her and that time after birth - the little things you always imagined doing for your baby.

There’s that awkward moment when people don’t know what to say or do, but with my friends it was OK because they all know me so well, and they made the effort to come round and bring me flowers and chocolates. It was nice to know people cared, even if I didn’t want to speak or do anything.

I’ve always been creative, and I first started with the memory book which I’m making for Aamiya. And then I found out about the baby loss community on Instagram.

I got talking to a lot of mums from all over - from America, Canada - just sharing stuff that I’d done in my day and projects that I was working on. And then quite a few people started asking if I could make something for their babies too.

At some point after Aamiya was born I had this overwhelming feeling of wanting everything in the house to reflect her - for everyone to remember she was here. And I think that was a way of dealing with grief - creating stuff so I could put her around the house.

You can spend hours designing things and it just takes your mind off things.

There have been times when I’ve thought it isn’t healthy to just be consumed by one moment in time, so I’ve put the memory book project off for a bit and focused on getting back to work and seeing friends more, but there are times when I go back to it.

I’m definitely more anxious about being pregnant again since I hit the 30-week mark.

At the beginning of my pregnancy, while I was happy and felt blessed that I was able to conceive another child, there were definitely feelings of guilt as you don't want your angel baby thinking they will be forgotten, because they never will be - my partner and I think about Aamiya every single day.

However, as time has gone on these feelings of guilt have subsided - I truly believe this baby was sent by Aamiya. It's been a good pregnancy. Anxiety does get the better of me at times but I try and remain positive. My partner and I will make sure this baby grows up knowing all about their big sister Aamiya.


Megan Evans began a vlog about stillbirth just weeks after the death of her son Milo - this section contains images of him

Before Milo I thought I wasn't maternal - I've got two older brothers who wound me up about pregnancy and how painful childbirth was, so I always said I'm not having children.

When the pregnancy test came back positive, I just thought I'm not supposed to have children.

Because I was so young and petrified, I went straight on to YouTube and typed in “19 and pregnant” but there wasn't much there. There were a few videos but they were by 19-year-olds who had money. I needed to see someone who was just normal and working class, so the next day I told my Mum I was just going to start vlogging about my own situation.

As soon as I started making those videos I had women getting in touch saying they felt the same - how they didn't have their own house and a stable financial situation either. So the vlog all started from there, and I really enjoyed having people get in touch saying “me too” which made me feel comfortable with my situation.

And as time went on then everything just fitted into place.

It's funny how your maternal instincts just kick in and you wouldn't imagine it any other way.

One day I realised that I hadn't felt Milo move all day, and I thought I'd better get checked just in case.

The midwife started to monitor me and she couldn’t find a heartbeat. And the sonographer came in, but so did a midwife, a nurse, a doctor, a consultant. So it was a whole string of people standing at the end of my bed and that's when I really clocked that something was wrong.

It was as if I'd been shoved into a world that I had absolutely no idea how to navigate.

The next day I spent all day seeing my family and discovered my Nan had had a son who died a few days after he was born. I asked her how I was going to survive it and she said: “Take lots of pictures, and make the most of the time you have with him.”

When I went into hospital to be induced I was very scared about what he was going to look like, so I asked my Mum to see him first. She said “oh my god, he’s just perfect” and showed him to me. It was the moment I realised that was the baby I’d been carrying for eight months. Death doesn’t change anything - this was the first time I was going to meet my son.

But it was also devastating. I was holding everything that I was waiting for but I knew I would have to give my baby back. My future was being erased before my eyes.

I said to one of the midwives: “I feel like I'm the only person in the world this is happening to.” She replied: “It's just one of those things that nobody speaks about.”

Three days after I came out of hospital I started thinking about my vlog. People were still commenting on my previous videos saying “wow I'm pregnant too”.

Again I looked for vlogs about stillbirth and again I couldn’t find what I was looking for.

I wasn’t expecting so many people to watch the videos because I didn’t realise how common stillbirth is.

It helped me by telling his story but it was also comforting to see other people say his name.

If someone you know experiences a stillbirth you don't need to know the right things to say. You just need to acknowledge their pain, acknowledge their grief, understand that you're not going to understand, and let them talk and talk until they've finished.

As time's gone on, I've met a lot of people who've understood, and I've found my feet in grief which helps a lot.

A year on

Rowan, Scarlett, Aamiya, Lily, Milo, and Willow. As I lay stones in their memory in a special baby loss garden in Staffordshire, I realise that even though they didn’t see the world, they have changed it through the action they have inspired in their mothers.

But I also know that for each of these women there are many more who choose to hold their memories privately, who mourn behind closed doors.

One in 225 pregnancies in the UK will end in stillbirth. And the death of a baby will not just affect the parents, but the grandparents, the siblings, the family and friends. A bereaved mother, in the process of getting physical care, gets emotional care throughout, but this risks men feeling sidelined, and powerless to help.

The parents I speak to agree that the taboo and silence around stillbirth seems to be gradually easing, but there are still many people who have simply never spoken to me about Willow, never said her name.

My arms no longer ache like those first hours, but they are still empty - I am a mother without a baby

I have, though, felt support from so many people, especially women, many of whom I’d never even met before. As a journalist I have specialised in women’s stories around the world for many years, and yet only this has made me feel an invisible solidarity, a wall of history, of empathy, of strength from women around me.

Over the past year my need to remember and memorialise Willow has jostled with my need for self-preservation. A year on, grief can still occasionally floor me, slicing behind my knees, but I can feel it coming and I can prepare, knowing I can survive its brief but powerful kick.

Willow’s birth made me a Mum and Tim a Dad. My arms no longer ache like those first hours, but they are still empty. I am a mother without a baby.

I think about my own mother. For weeks she sat in our house, the horrific shadow of bereavement hanging over us, my hacking sobs punctuated by the clack of her knitting needles.

She made a beautiful pure white blanket for a baby box which will be opened at a time of immense loss. She knitted it for a stranger who at the time of knitting was an excited expectant mother-to-be, but whose baby would come too early, too sick, or simply stillborn for no known reason.


That baby - we will never know his or her name - will be rocked and mourned in their parents’ arms and will also, thanks to my Mum, have an extra layer, wrapped also in my family’s love - our endurance and our hope.

AlbertaU Posted on October 05, 2018 08:46

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Chicago braces for verdict in trial of cop who killed black teen.

Jason Van Dyke, a white officer, is charged with two counts of first degree murder in 2014 killing of Laquan McDonald.

Chicago, Illinois - A jury in Chicago began its deliberation on Thursday in one of the most closely-watched murder trials in recent memory, in a city riven by racial divides, gun violence and police brutality.

Jason Van Dyke, a white Chicago police officer, shot 17-year-old Laquan McDonald 16 times on the night of October 20, 2014, as the African American teen, carrying a knife and ignoring police commands, appeared to walk away from him along a roadway.

At first, Van Dyke claimed to have acted in self-defence, but dashboard camera footage of the incident released a year later after a Freedom of Information Act request appears to show otherwise, prompting massive public outcry and protests.

Van Dyke is charged with two counts of first-degree murder, 16 counts of aggravated battery, and one count of official misconduct. Three other officers are separately on trial for allegedly covering up Van Dyke's actions.

The trial has riveted Chicago after years of fallout from the video's release, including the firing of the city's police chief, the removal of the Cook County State's Attorney and a federal investigation into the Chicago Police Department.

Dramatic moments

The last few days in court included some of the trial's most dramatic moments.

On Wednesday, Van Dyke stuck by his claim that he feared for his safety because McDonald was advancing on him with "bugged out" eyes, raising and pointing his knife. He said he needed to keep shooting because McDonald continued to clutch the knife while he was on the ground.

But the prosecution highlighted how many other officers did not shoot McDonald and instead had called for a taser to subdue him.

In another key moment, a psychologist said Van Dyke told him in a post-incident evaluation that he told his partner that they would "have to shoot this guy", a possible indication of the officer's intent before he encountered McDonald.

Chicago police officer Jason Van Dyke during his murder trial as a monitor displays a scene from a police vehicle dash cam video, moments after the shooting death of Laquan McDonald [John J. Kim/Chicago Tribune/Reuters] 

Robert Clarke, a criminal lawyer and former alderman in the city, said the verdict could go either way.

"Much of the testimony in [Van Dyke's] defence was not borne out of the details off the video. You don't see someone slashing and waving a knife in the direction of the police," Clarke told Al Jazeera. "On the other hand, how can you get into the mind of a police officer who feels that someone can run at him with a weapon in his hand? ... I can see it from both ways."

A potential "compromise" could be to convict Van Dyke of second-degree murder, meaning Van Dyke unreasonably acted in self-defence, said lawyer Tony Thedford, who previously sued Van Dyke in a separate case and specialises in police misconduct cases.

"If I was representing Van Dyke, that's what I would be attempting to achieve," Thedford told Al Jazeera of a second-degree charge, adding that if convicted of second-degree murder, the maximum he would serve behind bars would likely be half of a 20-year sentence. The first-degree charge carries a minimum 45-year sentence.  

Communities, schools, police prepare for verdict

The city is bracing for the verdict and its potential aftermath. 


Laquan McDonald: Black teen remembered as white cop goes on trial

Activists have already called for a demonstration outside City Hall for after the verdict is announced.

William Calloway, a black activist who filed the Freedom of Information Act request that led to the release of the dashboard camera video, said protesters should "completely shut down the city" if Van Dyke is not convicted.

"[If he is convicted] I think it will be a spirit of jubilee throughout the city, particularly in the African American parts of the city, and people will start to have a sense of hope in law enforcement," he told Al Jazeera.

"It will be the polar opposite if he is acquitted or there's a hung jury. The jubilee will turn into anger and we've seen what anger can turn into in the past in other cities where police shootings have occurred."

Laquan McDonald was shot 16 times by Chicago Police Department Officer Jason Van Dyke in 2014 [File: Paul Beaty/AP Photo]

Police beefed up their presence across the city on Thursday, including along Michigan Avenue, an upscale thoroughfare where protesters blocked traffic and holiday shopping in late 2015 after the dash cam footage was released.

The Chicago Police Department told local media that it had a "comprehensive operating plan to ensure public safety in all of our neighbourhoods while simultaneously protecting the rights of peaceful demonstrations".

Schools are also gearing up for "potential civil unrest", said Leeandra Khan, CEO of Civitas Education Partners, which operates four Chicago schools including three on the city's mostly black south and west sides.

Khan told Al Jazeera she has been in touch with the Chicago Police Department, who are deploying more officers around schools and preparing to make safe passageways in case students walk out in protest of the verdict.

She said her schools are also preparing for the trial's impact on campus by holding after-school forums with social workers for students to "get off their chest" any feelings related to the shooting and the trial. They've also given teachers additional lesson plans to help facilitate sensitive discussions during class time.

"We know this is gonna come up in classrooms," she said. "At one of my schools a lot of my students come from the west side, so it will be  talked about a lot in the community, and when they come back to school there will likely be a response."


Fault Lines

The Contract: Chicago's Police Union

AlbertaU Posted on October 05, 2018 08:07

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Indonesia's race to find survivors after earthquake and tsunami.

As the number of dead climbs to 1,558, the deadline for finding survivors after the earthquake and tsunami is fast approaching.

More than 1,558 people are thought to be dead, missing or injured after the 7.5 magnitude tremor and tsunami in Indonesia.

Meanwhile, the UK government has pledged to match the first £2m of public donations to the Disaster Emergency Committee's earthquake appeal, taking the government aid up to £5m.

And a plane carrying shelter kits, solar lanterns and water purifiers took off from Doncaster Sheffield Airport on Thursday night, bound for Sulawesi, where 70,000 people have been left homeless.

Sky's Siobhan Robbins is on the island, where the desperate search for survivors continues.

Image: Rescuers are continuing to search the rubble for victims

At the edge of a crumbled office block we're witnessing what Indonesia's recovery operation looks like up close.

A team has been sent in to retrieve a body in Palu.

We've attached our camera to one of their helmets, so we can see what they see.

Around them, the concrete has been pulverised, metal girders are twisted and bent.

:: 1,000 earthquake and tsunami victims still missing in Indonesia

First a digger is sent in to move the biggest pieces of debris, then the team scrapes at the smaller bits of rubble until the young mother trapped there is revealed.

Image: Mother Ween Megawati has left behind a three-year-old son

Ween Megawati, 35, was at work when Friday's earthquake hit.

She didn't have time to get out before the building collapsed.

Her family is watching the recovery operation anxiously- after six days of waiting, they want to bring her home.

"I want to her body back so we can have a funeral," her mother, Marsiati Longulo tells me.

"Her father has already seen the body but I can't."

A coffin is brought to the edge of the wreckage as a priest watches on.

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Indonesia earthquake: 'My husband's body was swallowed by the ground'

The risk of disease means Surianti cannot take him home - he must lie with hundreds of others killed in Indonesia's disaster.

Image: Ween's father cries when they find her body

Ween's three-year-old son is too young to understand that his mother is gone, his grandmother too angry to mourn.

"I'm really disappointed that the search team came too late, so my daughter couldn't saved," she says.

The damage caused to the office block by last Friday's earthquake is catastrophic.

Image: There was just 20% chance of survival in this situation

The second and third floor crashed down, crushing the people below, there was no time to escape.

"In this situation, the chance of survival is just 20%," explains the search and rescue unit commander, Rusmadi Adi Putra.

The team pulls Ween's phone from the wreckage and hands it to her brother.

From his face you can see his heart is breaking.

It's a familiar scene across Palu where the bodies have been piling up.

Image: Ween's brother looked heartbroken when her phone was found

Why the ground turns to liquid in an earthquake


The deadline for finding people alive under the rubble is fast approaching.

Officials say a week on from the quake-tsunami the chance of survival will have dropped to almost zero.

After hours digging, rescuers call for a bodybag; the recovery is over, it's time for a young mother to go home.

Her father sobs as her body is laid in a coffin and carried to a waiting ambulance.

Image: An aid plane left the UK on Thursday night for Indonesia

His grief is raw and overwhelming.

It's a grief which has taken a hold of Palu city, where more than a thousand are already confirmed dead.

More from Indonesia

And with possibly a thousand more people still unaccounted for, many more families will have to make the journey Ween's family is making, as more of the missing are recovered.


Video: The Disasters Emergency Committee has launched an appeal following the Indonesian earthquake and tsunami.

:: Donations can be made at, on the 24-hour hotline on 0370 60 60 900; or by texting the number mentioned above. People can also give money over the counter at any high street bank or post office.

AlbertaU Posted on October 05, 2018 07:45

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Grinders, Hoagies And Wedges: What You Call A Sub Sandwich Reveals Where You're From

Hoagie, zeppelin, wedge ? these might sound like meaningless words to you, or depending on where you’re from, they might mean “sub sandwich.” We call the classic sub different names all across this country, but with the exception of a few variations that require certain ingredients, every term points back to an overall American love of a long, crusty roll piled high with meats, cheeses, lettuce and tomato.

To help you understand how different regions of the United States specialize in their own takes on the sub, we’ve collected some of the country’s most interesting names for the bread-and-fixing combos, from the popular to the storied to the strange.

Grinder: New England (Connecticut And Massachusetts, Specifically)

Brian Cleland, owner of Richard’s Grinders in West Springfield, Massachusetts, specifies that the term “grinder” is more prevalent in Connecticut and Massachusetts.

“I could be wrong, but I bet there are a few parts of New England that still think a ‘grinder’ is something that shreds coffee beans,” he says.

His thoughts on the term’s origins echo one somewhat-popular theory, as the history is hard to pin down: “Grinder” was a slang term for an Italian-American dockworker. A common belief is that subs are harder to chew than a typical sandwich made with softer bread, so your teeth have to “grind” in for a bite. Whatever the backstory, the grinder is a source of regional pride.

“In this area, ‘grinder’ is the only term we know for ‘subs,’ ‘hoagies,’ ‘heroes,’ ‘wedges,’” Cleland says. “We know that when we order grinders, we are home.”

Wedge: Westchester County, New York, And Fairfield County, Connecticut

The “wedge” is one of the stranger sub sandwich terms because of two factors. First, the term is used only in two very specific regions, and secondly, its name implies a triangular wedge shape when the sub is decidedly not wedge-shaped.

There are explanations, although as with most of these monikers, none of those explanations can be 100 percent proved. The wedge shape might come from the sandwich being halved diagonally or because a wedge of the bread’s top half is removed to make room for fixings. Or, geometry might not play a role at all, and “wedge” simply may be short for “sandwich.” It’s believed that a Yonkers deli owner coined the term, which would also account for the wedge’s regional domain there.

In nearby Fairfield County, Connecticut, the name speaks to the sandwich’s two “wedges” of bread.

Hoagie: Philadelphia And Southern New Jersey

While Philadelphians might bristle at anyone confusing a “hoagie” with a “hero” (the latter is a distinctly New York term), the connection between a “hoagie” and a “sub” is clear: They’re made with a variety of meat, cheese and toppings on loaves of French or Italian bread, usually served cold. Hoagies may lean a bit more Italian, though.

Some like the origin story that “hoagie” comes from workers called “hoggies” at the Philadelphia Navy Yard, nicknamed “Hog Island.” Others argue the term came about after Hog Island was closed and that “hoagie” comes from jazz musician Al De Palma, who said you had to be a “hog” to eat the sandwich: Again, “hoggie” becomes “hoagie.” Whatever the story, the classic hoagie has mortadella, ham, salami, capicola, provolone cheese, lettuce, tomato, onion, sweet and hot peppers, and oil and vinegar.

Court Street Grocers

Court Street Grocers co-owner Eric Finkelstein (whose hero is pictured above) explains that a hero isn't a type of sandwich but the type of bread one orders it on.

Hero: New York City

“One thing that we like so much about the hero sandwich is that, unlike the hoagie or the po’ boy, there are effectively no rules regarding its construction and it has no fanatics,” Court Street Grocers co-owner Eric Finkelstein tells HuffPost. It’s a typically New York attitude: no fuss, no fanfare, just focus on the food.

“In New York City there is no pride at all in the hero as a specific construct; like a bodega coffee in a Greek or Big Apple cup, our pride is in the utility of the thing more than in the thing itself,” he says. Finkelstein explains that a hero isn’t a type of sandwich but the type of bread one orders their sandwich on; it can have any combination of ingredients.

As far as how it got its name? Surprise, surprise, the history is debated. Many credit food writer Clementine Paddleworth for naming it in 1936 by writing that you had to be a “hero to finish one.”

Blimpie: New Jersey

In the same way we call any adhesive tape “Scotch tape” and any tissue a “Kleenex,” many New Jerseyans have taken to calling a sub a “blimpie.” The sandwich chain Blimpie got its start in Hoboken and named its sandwiches for blimps to indicate that they’d be bigger and better than the typical sub. The quintessential blimpie is stacked with Italian meats and cheeses, and it’s so specifically geographic that it’s an instant giveaway of where you’re from.

Crabby Jack's

Po’ Boy: Louisiana / Poor Boy: The Southern Midwest

Louisiana’s “po’ boy” — which is called the “poor boy” in parts of the southern Midwest — has its own murky history, but both of its possible origin stories start with brothers Benny and Clovis Martin. One legend has it that the Martins fed their half-loaves of French bread stuffed with a variety of fixings to striking streetcar drivers in New Orleans in 1929. Whenever they saw another striker heading for a free sandwich, they’d say, “Here comes another po’ boy.” A newspaper story about the Martins’ sandwich shop in 1933, however, attributed the term to the hard-pressed truck farmers who sold their produce in town.

The original po’ boys often featured oysters, but the sub can include any ingredients. The specifications are that those ingredients are hot, and that French bread is used, which is what sets the po’ boy apart from Italian-bread subs. Today, shrimp po’ boys are especially popular and the go-to for Brandi Faulk of New Orleans institution Crabby Jack’s.

“For me, the mark of a true New Orleans po’ boy is when there’s enough shrimp left on the paper for another sandwich,” Faulk tells HuffPost.

Italian: Maine

Locals trace the “Italian” back to Portland in 1899, where an Italian baker, Giovanni Amato, invented the sandwich as a cheap, easy, filling lunch for construction workers. Amato’s is still a Portland go-to for Italians. An outsider might mistake an Italian for any other sub, but Mainers have guidelines. It’s a soft roll with American cheese and ham, topped with onions, tomatoes, pickles, onions, salt, pepper and oil. The fixings are a departure from the Italian ingredients that earned the sub its name, but this particular mix has fans waxing poetic about the sandwiches and their vendors.


Cutty's meat spuckie (left) and its vegetarian eggplant spuckie (right).

Spuckie: Boston

“Spuckie” was a general term for a sub that faded from popularity before being revived a bit more specifically by a few Boston institutions. “Spuckie” comes from “spucadella,” a long Italian sandwich roll made locally. When city pride inspired favorite spots like Cutty’s to spotlight the spuckie, they honed the fixings: Cutty’s features mortadella, finocchiona (a sort of dry, fennel salami), hot capicola, fresh mozzarella, and olive and carrot salad. There’s also a vegetarian version that swaps eggplant for meat.

“Our spuckies are nontraditional; they’re a new take on the local classic,” says Rachel Toomey Kelsey, who owns Cutty’s with her husband, Charles. “Only a handful of places still use the term, but we wanted to bring it back. Plus, it’s just fun as hell to say.”

Torpedo: New York, New Jersey, Connecticut

The nickname “torpedo” is much more clear-cut than the “wedge.” The shape of the bread that the sandwich is on, well, looks like a torpedo. Just as real torpedoes are slimmer than real submarines, it’s thought that torpedo sandwiches are slimmer than subs. For some reason, the term “torpedo” never spread past New York, New Jersey and Connecticut. Quizno’s used to have a section of its menu dedicated to “Toasty Torpedos” that looked like baguettes stuffed with sub fixings.

Zeppelin: Eastern Pennsylvania

The birth of the “zeppelin” isn’t too far from “hoagie” land in Philly. In Norristown, Pennsylvania, subs are named “zeppelins” using similar logic as the “blimpie”: shape and size. There are some rules with the zeppelin, as have been laid out by local purveyors Lou’s Sandwich Shop and Eve’s Lunch. There can only be one kind of meat, no lettuce and the bread (Italian) had better be fresh. The classic combo is considered to be salami, provolone cheese, tomatoes, onions and olive oil. You can get pretty much any fixings in there, but zeppelin devotees tend to stick to the classic.

bonchan via Getty Images

This is a chicken spiedie, featuring cubes of meat that have been marinated in an Italian dressing-like marinade. This version features melted cheese, but most versions are served without it.

Spiedie: Binghamton, New York

Binghamton’s “spiedie” is strikingly different from what you’d imagine as a typical sub, but it’s a regional favorite. The star ingredient is marinated cubes of meat, and that’s it ? there usually aren’t any toppings or condiments.

“It was traditionally made with lamb, then it went to beef, pork, and our claim is that we started the chicken spiedie in the ’80s,” Sam Lupo, owner of area favorite Lupo’s, tells HuffPost. The sandwich features Italian bread with cubed, marinated meat from a skewer and little else, though Lupo notes things are getting more liberal and some people like to add cheese, mushrooms or hot sauce.

“True spiedie people eat it plain,” he says. The term comes from the Italian “spiedino,” or “skewer” in English. The man behind the spiedie is thought to be Agostino Iacovelli, who sold them in the late 1930s at his Endicott, New York, restaurant. The spiedie is so beloved in the Binghamton area today that it has its own festival.

Cuban: Florida

Perhaps the most specific set of rules belongs to the Cuban. It must be made on Cuban bread, spread with mustard and stuffed with ham, pork (and salami if in Tampa), Swiss cheese and pickles, and heated in a press that makes it juicy and crispy.

While everyone can agree on its preparation, Miami and Tampa debate which city is responsible for its birth. The sandwich has been traced back to Cuba in the 1500s, when it was made with fish and bird meat in casabe, a crackery bread. The Spaniards arrived with pork and ham, and then Cubans brought that updated version to Florida in the 1800s when the tobacco industry developed. The addition of salami in Tampa is thanks to Italian immigrants getting in the mix, but it’s unclear which city can say it was doing the Cuban first.

Sub: Everywhere

If you’re from anywhere else, you probably just call it a sub. On their long rolls, “subs” look like subs, or submarines. The story could end there, but there are a few different theories on when sub sandwiches first got their nickname.

Shopkeeper Benedetto Capaldo made sandwiches for the workers building submarines for World War II, and they ordered so many that people started calling them “subs.” The Naval Sub Base was known as the “New London Sub Base” after that Connecticut town but was technically in Groton, so both Connecticut cities argue for sub fame. However, printed records of the first mention of a “sub” sandwich date back to 1940, before the U.S. was making submarines for WWII.

ruby Posted on October 04, 2018 16:14

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Kenya’s retail sector is one of the most attractive locations for long-term investors in sub-Saharan Africa

Global supermarket chains including France-owned Carrefour and South African Massmart which operates under the Game brand have all pitched their tents in Kenya.

  • Kenya’s retail sector is one of the most attractive locations for long-term investors in sub-Saharan Africa despite cash flow challenges.
  • Global supermarket chains including France-owned Carrefour and South African Massmart which operates under the Game brand have all pitched their tents in Kenya.

If you are considering setting up a retails store or supermarket you might want to set it up in Kenya.

This is because Kenya’s retail sector is one of the most attractive locations for long-term investors in sub-Saharan Africa despite cash flow challenges that have hurt once retail giant Nakumatt Holdings on the brink of collapse, a new report suggests.

With a formal retail penetration estimated at 30 per cent, ahead of peer economies such as Nigeria and Tanzania, the Kenyan market is uniquely positioned to offer investors strategic access to the growing spend not only in Kenya but also the wider eastern Africa,” analysts at financial advisory firm StratLink said in their monthly report update.

play LC Waikiki Area Manager Kremena Pencheva (middle) cuts the tape during the official opening of their third store in Kenya at City Mall in Nyali Mombasa on Friday. (the star)


According to the report, the interest in Kenya’s retail sector is largely fuelled by the sector’s growth due to rising households’ disposable income and as a result has outperformed the economy in the last five years.

It is no wonder then that in recent years global supermarket chains including France-owned Carrefour, the world’s second largest retailer by revenue after Walmart of the US, and South African Massmart which operates under the Game brand have all pitched their tents in Kenya.

Carrefour franchise, which launched its first store in Nairobi in 2016 and now operates five stores, last year for instance recorded Sh8.2 billion ($81m) in sales from its local business riding on accelerated expansion of the supermarket chain.

play Karen-based mall, the Hub. (Capital FM)


This trend is backed by wealthy quarterly and annual reports which all arrive at one conclusion that is, Kenya is among the countries that continue to churn out super-rich individuals at the highest rate.

According to latest report by Wealth-X, a firm that publishes the annual World Utra-Wealth Report, the number of Kenya’s ultra-rich -- defined as people worth $30 million (Sh3 billion) or more -- grew by 11.7 per cent last year, ahead of India, Hong Kong and the United States.

Realtor Knight Frank also published a report mid this year showing that Kenya created 180 new dollar millionaires in 2017 alone, increasing the number of persons with net-worths of more than Sh500 million to 1,290.

play Kenya’s Rosslyn Riviera Shopping Mall (Pulselive.)


All these is but good news for the retail sector investors and more supermarket chains are expected to call Kenya home and hang ‘open for business’ banners on their doors  in the  near foreseeable future.

Africa’s largest mezzanine fund manager early this year acquired Kenya’s Rosslyn Riviera Shopping Mall for USD8m.

It’s not all rosy though and Kenya’s once largest retail chain, Nakumatt holding which at its peak was  East Africa’s biggest supermarket chain with more than 60 outlets spread across Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania and Rwanda before it came tumbling down continue to serve as a warning to investors to be smart and strategic.

AlbertaU Posted on October 04, 2018 16:13

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‘I cut out dairy and gluten and got rid of my terrible heartburn’ I had crazy heartburn, and had no idea why. It wasn’t something I wanted to talk about with my friends at lunch.

play ‘I cut out dairy and gluten and got rid of my terrible heartburn’ (LAURA FORD PHOTOGRAPHY)

When I was 16 years old, I started experiencing acid reflux several times a week. I'd feel food coming up from my stomach to my throat, a sour taste in my mouth, and a burning sensation in my chest.

I had crazy heartburn, and had no idea why. It wasn’t something I wanted to talk about with my friends at lunch.



I dealt with the the symptoms until they got bad enough when I was 19 that I started taking Prilosec, an over-the-counter drug that prevents your stomach from producing excess acid.

It was a huge relief at first, but eventually I realized the OTC stuff just wasn't going to cut it. A few months later, I started taking a stronger prescription medication every day.

'I thought this was my new normal...until I went to a friend's wedding a few years later.'


I forgot to pack my medication for the trip. Knowing that even just a bite of food could make me taste bile, I scrambled to find someone else with heartburn medication, hoping they'd packed extras. I didn’t have a car, so I had to run-literally-to a friend's hotel to get the medicine before the wedding started.

That moment made me realize that I didn’t want to rely on those pills to live my life anymore. I wanted to fix the cause of my acid reflux, rather than just mask the symptoms.

'I'd about how dairy sensitivities could cause GI issues like mine.'

But it was hard for me consider giving up dairy, because it was such a big part of my diet. I loved to snack on yogurt, eat cereal and milk for breakfast, and make pots of pasta. I loved cheese, and I kept a family-sized parmesan shaker in my fridge at all times. (Yes, just for me.) I didn't want to believe my favorite foods could be messing with my digestion.

Finally, I decided to sign up for a seven-day detox led by a health coaching company. I eliminated corn, soy, refined sugar, caffeine, gluten, and dairy. Generally elimination diets require at least a month to see results, but I definitely felt better after that first week. So when the detox was over, I decided to try to ditch dairy for good and limit my intake of gluten, too, since those two foods commonly trigger GI issues.

With the help of a nutritionist, I committed to changing my diet, while weaning myself off of my heartburn meds.

'I haven't taken my meds in years-and I'm basically symptom-free.'


I had a few flare-ups in the months after I stopped taking my heartburn medication in March 2013, but by the fall of that year, I was completely free all symptoms. No more burning in my chest and throat, no more upset stomach, no more sour taste in my mouth. And for the most part, I have been symptom-free ever since.

I've also made a few other changes that I think have really helped my GI problems. I started seeing an integrative medicine doctor, who added probiotics and digestive enzymes to my regimen as well (so I can better digest the foods I eat). I saw another functional medicine doctor who prescribed hydrochloric acid pills, citing low stomach acid as a possible cause of heartburn and reflux.

Aside from the supplements, I drink a glass of water before meals and chew my food slowly to help with digestion. I keep liquified aloe vera leaf on hand, which helps soothe my stomach if I’ve eaten something that upsets it.

'I don't miss my parmesan cheese habit (mostly).'


Though I'd always been a huge cheese-lover, I’ve never felt deprived on my new diet. Here’s what an average day of eating looks like for me:

  • For breakfast, I make a smoothie with berries, protein powder, collagen powder, and non-dairy milk like almond milk.

  • For lunch, I try to eat a serving of fermented foods, which are full of probiotics and great for helping with digestion. Sauerkraut is a go-to for me, and I usually put some in my salad along with leafy greens, chickpeas, and any veggies that I have on hand.

  • I cook dinner for myself and my husband almost every night. Some of my favorites are roasted vegetables, egg frittatas, and turkey chili. A few years ago, I trained in culinary nutrition, and it helped me feel a lot more excited about cooking. I’ve learned to love experimenting with gluten-free and dairy-free recipes, coming up with my own, and sharing them on my blog.

I’m 34, and it’s been five years since I stopped eating gluten and dairy. Now, I don’t even have heartburn pills in my house anymore. I never thought I would be able to have a meal without taking one first, let alone be able to forget about them completely. I’ve never felt better, and I wouldn’t be able to feel how I do now without an open mind, patience, and a commitment to change. Even if it meant throwing out the parmesan shaker.

Rachel Druckenmiller works in corporate wellbeing and lives in Baltimore, Maryland. She writes about her experience with GI problems and shares gluten-free and dairy-free recipes on her blog, Rachel’s Nourishing Kitchen.

AlbertaU Posted on October 04, 2018 15:51

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The Richest WWE Superstars Today

The world of sports entertainment is extremely lucrative in today’s world. Even though it did not begin with a lot of money, the WWE today is spending billions of dollars annually to make the company the biggest and the best in the business.

As a result of that, a lot of people who were stuck in menial jobs have managed to become world-renowned superstars who have millions of dollars in their bank accounts. After tasting success in the wrestling business, some have even moved on to other careers and managed to find a lot of success in those businesses too.

With that said, a lot of superstars have managed to amass enough money to live a comfortable life after sacrificing a lot inside and outside the ring. The WWE has awarded such superstars generously which is the reason why every wrestler tries to jump up the ladder and move on from their current promotion to the WWE.

Let’s take a look at the wrestlers who have managed to make the largest fortune from their in-ring and out of the ring activities.

#10 The Undertaker – $17 Million

Mark William Calaway will always be known as The Undertaker. Being the longest tenuredwrestler in the WWE today, The Undertaker has dedicated his entire life to making it big and becoming the company’s most famous wrestler.

His periodic appearances at Wrestlemania to defend his already damaged Streak, along with one-off appearances on Raw, SmackDown, and major pay-per-views outside the US to sell the show, are reasons enough to make him a part of the list.

He has several specialty matches such as the Buried Alive matches, Casket Matches and Last Ride match to his name, and thus he has a net worth of $17 million.

#9 Shawn Michaels – $17 Million

Joining The Undertaker on the list is another top superstar who is behind the success of the business and the sport itself. The Heartbreak Kid Shawn Michaels has seen unparalleled success in his time with the WWE, remaining with the company for decades.

The four-time world champion and consecutive Royal Rumble winner of 1995 and 1996 is undoubtedly the most gifted wrestlers of all time. He was the company’s first ever Grand Slam Champion. This has ensured that he has at least $17 Million in assets to his name, making him the ninth richest wrestler today.

#8 Chris Jericho – $18 Million

He wasn’t the tallest superstar in the WWE, nor the strongest, or the most muscular. However, he’s one of the most talented and skilled in-ring competitors in the world. Not just that, he is also one of the only men in the business who is multi-talented and has made a name for himself outside the ring through his music.

Chris Jericho is worth $18 million today, and the figures will surely increase with time. He’s still competing inside the ring and rocking heads outside of it. Along with that, Jericho has also written two New York Times bestsellers and appeared on the television show Dancing with the Stars which has significantly boosted his net worth. 

#7 Big Show – $20 Million

Paul Wright signed his first WWE contract back in 1999 and has been with the lucrative company ever since. The Big Show is the gentle giant of the business who is one of the largest athletes in the world. He has had iconic moments in the business with the likes of Shaquille O’Neil and Floyd Mayweather.

Even though Big Show’s age and injuries have caused him to think about retirement, he has still bagged a good amount of money to live a peaceful life ahead. At $20 Million, he is the seventh man on the list. The seven-time world champion has also starred in a few movies, especially his own feature movie called Knucklehead.

#6 Kurt Angle – $25 Million

Kurt Angle is the only Olympic Gold Medalist on the list. Having won the gold medal in the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta, Angle made the right decision to switch to professional wrestling. The great push he received from the WWE resulted in him winning the Intercontinental Championship, the European Championship, King of the Ring and the WWE title belt all within his first year in the business.

Angle also got roles in different movies, such as Warrior, which helped him increase his net worth. Today, Kurt Angle serves as the General Manager of Monday Night Raw and still makes periodic in-ring appearances taking on his old nemesis. He’s worth $25 Million and is sure to retire with a lot more than just a gold medal.

Special Mention: The Bella Twins – $12 Million

A special mention in a list dominated by men, The Bella Twins combined are the richest female superstars in the WWE today. With $6 million each in their bank account, the beautiful duo is worth a total of $12 million today.

A significant chunk of their wealth has come from modeling, acting in movies, and sponsorships. Along with that, their show Total Bellas and their appearances in other shows have boosted their earnings. Couple that with a very good WWE contract, and we have the divas with the highest net worth in the WWE today.

#5 Triple H – $25 Million

Triple H is the son-in-law of Vince McMahon and running the NXT division as nobody else can. He’s led the yellow brand to new heights and is definitely the heir to the throne of WWE. Triple H has been wrestling and playing different roles in the company for almost two-decades now which has helped him grow in his career.

Being one of the top stars of his time, Triple H has headlined many pay-per-views and also the grandest stage of them all WrestleMania a few times. Apart from that, he’s been a part of a few movies too though they haven’t really shown his talent. Today, he’s number 5 on the list with $25 million in his pockets and is sure to climb the ladder to the top three pot soon.

#4 Hulk Hogan – $25 Million

An iconic name in the world of wrestling. “The Real American” is a name known to even non-wrestling fans, and his persona has been copied by many wrestlers and fans alike. Today, he’s worth over $25 million even though he fought in an era when huge money wasn’t associated with wrestling.

The main reason for his wealth is not only wrestling, but acting, sponsorships, advertisements, and a few business ventures. Even though his divorce cost him half of his money, he still has enough in his bank account to live a comfortable life.

Special Mention: Shane McMahon – $35 Million

Most will consider him a wrestler, while die-hard fans won’t. Shane has had many different roles and gimmicks in the company being the son of the Chairman. He’s fought in some crucial matches and put his body on the line each time. Other than that, he has been in various managerial roles for the company.

All this has allowed Shane McMahon to amass $35 million without any need for inheritance. Being a wrestler, a promoter, and also having a few business ventures, has allowed him to secure his future without much financial help from his billionaire father.

#3 “Stone Cold” Steve Austin – $45 Million

He may be known as Stone Cold, but his bank account is still red hot! Retiring from wrestling after a neck injury and due to his ailing knees, Steve Austin has still managed to make a fortune and is No.3 on the list with $45 million.

Steve Austin made it big in the WWE and is still regarded as one of the finest performers the company has ever seen. His attitude and persona led the company forward in the 1990s. Apart from wrestling, Austin has made a fortune from a number of small appearances he makes in WWE, from movies he has starred in such as The Expendables and The Longest Yard, and his own Podcast.

#2 John Cena – $55 Million

There is no doubt that WWE has never seen a bigger star than John Cena. Everything he has touched has turned to gold, and that has allowed him to lift the company’s gold a record 25 times! That has made him main event hundreds of events and earn a truckload of money from the company.

Outside the ring, Cena has made his name in a number of other entertainment fields. He’s starred in a number of movies and continues to do so today, released some music, been the face of many brands, and has signed numerous sponsorship contracts. This has allowed him to become the second richest wrestler today with $55 million and is the only real contender to threaten the No.1 person on the list.

#1 Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson – $220 Million

Not just a superstar, but a super-duper-megastar. The Rock is still one of the biggest names in the wrestling business. However, he has managed to become the biggest name in a number of other fields too. That has allowed him to become the richest man to ever take to the squared-circle (apart from Mr. Vince McMahon of course), and have assets worth over $220 million.

Johnson has a number of sources of income, the most major one being Hollywood. Johnson earned $124 million from June 2017 to June 2018, just by acting which makes his earnings from the WWE a small percentage of his total net worth.

There’s very little hope for any other person on the list to match up to The Rock’s earning.

majsdesaint Posted on October 04, 2018 12:27

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Trump Administration Asks SCOTUS To Block Top Officials From Explaining Census Citizenship Question

The Trump administration is asking the Supreme Court to step in and block two top officials from having to speak under oath in a lawsuit challenging the administration’s decision to add a question about citizenship to the 2020 Census.

In a petition filed Wednesday, the Justice Department asked the high court to prevent Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross and John Gore, the acting head of DOJ’s Civil Rights Division, from having to sit for depositions in the case. A coalition of activist groups, cities and nearly 20 states, led by New York, say the Trump administration was predisposed to adding the citizenship question, and say it violated federal law by not following the proper procedure for doing so.

Getting information from Ross and Gore is crucial to the lawsuit because Ross, who oversees the Census, has said he added the question at the request of the Justice Department. DOJ said it needed the question, which has not been asked on the decennial survey since 1950, to get better citizenship data so it can better enforce the Voting Rights Act. But documents disclosed as part of the litigation show that Ross wanted to add the citizenship question even before the Justice Department requested it, and that it was Ross who initially approached DOJ officials about making the request.

Leah Millis / Reuters

The Trump administration is fighting to block Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross from having to speak under oath about the decision to add a citizenship question to the 2020 Census.


Critics say adding the citizenship question will depress the response rate among immigrants who fear sharing their immigration status with the Trump administration. Data collected by the Census is strongly protected by federal privacy laws and must be kept confidential.

A lower court in New York has ordered depositions of Ross and Gore, saying they possess unique and relevant information that can’t be obtained from other sources. In its Wednesday filing, the government said the lower court’s ruling was incorrect, and that the case should be evaluated based on an “administrative record” of documents compiled by the government detailing why it made its decision.

“The court thought Secretary Ross’s testimony uniquely vital because he was personally involved in the decision to reinstate a citizenship question and the decision is of great importance to the public,” U.S. Solicitor General Noel Francisco wrote in the brief. “The Secretary’s personal involvement in a significant policy decision is not exceptional, and the importance of the Secretary’s decision in this case does not distinguish it from many other decisions of national importance that Cabinet Secretaries make.”

The information that the government has disclosed in the lawsuit so far has raised significant questions about the decision to add the citizenship query. The documents show Ross and top aides discussing the addition of the citizenship question, and a memo in which the bureau’s top scientist advised against adding it.

Justice Department lawyers have been fighting to block the plaintiffs in the case from gathering information beyond the documents that government officials voluntarily compiled about the decision. However, they have been largely unsuccessful. On Sunday, U.S. District Judge Jesse Furman, the trial judge overseeing the case, said the government’s most recent request was “particularly frivolous — if not outrageous.”

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit is also considering whether to block Ross from having to sit for a deposition, but said last week that Gore could be deposed. A trial in the case is scheduled to begin at the start of November.

“The Trump administration has repeatedly tried to block discovery in our suit ? and courts have repeatedly rejected their attempts. You have to wonder what they’re trying to hide,” said Amy Spitalnick, a spokeswoman for New York Attorney General Barbara Underwood (D). “We’ll get to the bottom of how the decision to demand citizenship status was made, as we continue our case to ensure a full and fair Census.”

ruby Posted on October 04, 2018 10:18

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1,000 earthquake and tsunami victims still missing in Indonesia

About 1,000 people are still missing in three areas after the earthquake and tsunami in Indonesia, Sky News has learned.

The number of those still unaccounted for is an estimate by the national disaster agency and is made up of those believed to be missing from the areas of Petobo, Balaroa and Sigi, neighbourhoods on the outskirts of the hard-hit city of Palu.

A spokesman said that most victims in Petobo are in flattened homes buried under at least three metres of mud that has now solidified.

Sutopo Purwo Nugroho said: "The liquefaction damage is unprecedented in Indonesia, despite high seismic activity."

It comes as the number of dead rose to 1,424, while more than 70,000 have been left homeless.

Indonesia earthquake: 'My husband's body was swallowed by the ground'

The risk of disease means Surianti cannot take him home - he must lie with hundreds of others killed in Indonesia's disaster.

Thousands more are believed to be missing from other areas, with people trapped under rubble or mud due to the process of liquefaction which sees the earth loosen due to the earthquake then turn into what looks like a heaving liquid.

Authorities have set a a tentative deadline of Friday to find anyone still alive under the rubble. At that point, a week after the disaster, the chances of finding survivors is almost zero.

The 7.5-magnitude earthquake hit Sulawesi island on Friday and was followed by a tsunami as high as 6m (20ft) which destroyed homes and left hundreds of thousands desperate for food and water.

Six days after disaster struck survivors are still begging for handouts and loot shops as aid has been slow to get to many areas.

Why the ground turns to liquid in an earthquake


The Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC), which brings together 14 UK aid charities, has launched an appeal to raise money for survivors.

DEC chief executive Saleh Saeed said the charities and local partners were working with Indonesian authorities "to get aid to those who urgently need it, as well as helping survivors to cope with the trauma of the last few days".

Sponsored link

"There is an urgent need for clean drinking water, food, medical care and shelter," said Mr Saeed.

"Please give generously and let's save the survivors."

It has set up a number - 70000 - where people can easily donate £5 by texting SKY.

Image: Ruins of houses in the Balaroa sub-district in Palu, Indonesia

The UK government is also sending thousands of shelter kits, solar lanterns and water purifiers to the disaster zone, with a loaded plane leaving the UK on Thursday.

Six experts have been sent to Sulawesi to help coordinate the aid effort and the government offered to send HMS Argyll from Singapore to help.

Indonesian authorities said the ship was not yet needed.

???????? #UKaid to send shelter kits, solar lanterns and water purifiers to the disaster zone in Indonesia

???? Flight loaded with #UKaid is due to leave today


— DFID (@DFID_UK) October 4, 2018

Ruined bridges, damaged roads and landslides have slowed down the rescue and aid effort, says Sky News' Mark Stone, who is in the disaster zone.

He said that so far he had not seen "any coordinated government response" - despite the UN saying 200,000 people urgently need help.

A lack of heavy machinery to move the rubble has also caused problems, while there are safety concerns for those trying to help after around 1,200 inmates escaped from two prisons.

khojho Posted on October 04, 2018 09:55

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A 15-year-old's horrific death from an allergic reaction prompted Pret a Manger to completely change how they label food.

Natasha Ednan-Laperouse died shortly after eating Pret A Manger's baguette sandwich, which contained sesame, to which she was allergic but wasn't labeled on the product package. The chain said on Wednesday that it will start labeling all its ingredients and allergens on products from November.


Natasha Ednan-Laperouse's brother and parents.

(Sky News)


  • Pret A Manger will start labeling all ingredients and allergens on its products from next month onwards.
  • The decision comes after 15-year-old Natasha Ednan-Laperouse died from an allergic reaction to sesame after eating the chain's baguette sandwich which didn't list sesame as an ingredient.
  • A coroner in the UK said Pret A Manger's food labeling was "inadequate."
  • Pret A Manger now wants to make it as difficult as possible for people with allergies to not see the warning signs, Business Insider understands.
  • Prime Minister Theresa May also said she would look into UK food-labeling regulations as well as "the responsibility of individual companies" in light of the death.

Pret A Manger is completely changing the way it labels its food allergens after a 15-year-old died after eating a sandwich that didn't label her allergens.

Natasha Ednan-Laperouse died in 2016 after eating the chain's baguette sandwich with artichoke, olive, and tapenade.

The baguette contained sesame seeds — to which the teen was allergic — but it was not specifically labeled on the sandwich's packaging, an inquest in the UK heard last week.

She bought the sandwich at London Heathrow Airport before flying to Nice, France, and collapsed about 20 minutes into the flight, went into cardiac arrest, and died of an anaphylactic shock within hours.

The coroner, Dr Sean Cummings, said that Pret A Manger's allergy labeling was "inadequate."

Pret A Manger announced on Wednesday that it would label all its ingredients, including allergens, on all its products in the UK. The announcement follows the conclusion of Ednan-Laperouse's inquest, Pret A Manger said in a statement sent to Business Insider.



(Getty Images)


Business Insider understands that the chain plans to roll out full ingredient labeling on product packaging worldwide, starting with the UK. The chains will be rolled out in British shops from November onward, Pret A Manger said in its Wednesday statement.

Over the next few weeks, it also plans to place allergen warning stickers on all individual freshly made products, display allergen warning signs in shops, and list a full ingredient information, including allergens, online and in shops, the company said.

The company's goal is to make make it as difficult as possible for people with allergies to not see the warning signs, Business Insider understands.

At the time of Ednan-Laperouse's death, Pret A Manger had a guide detailing allergens in its foods posted in its shops and on its website, but not on product-shelf tickets, Business Insider also understands. The chain had signs on fridges and at registers advising customers to speak to a manager to see the allergen guide.

UK food-labeling regulations do not require restaurants that make and package food onsite, like Pret A Manger, to label allergen information on each individual product, the BBC reported.

Prime Minister Theresa May on Tuesday said she would "look at" rehauling food-labeling regulations in the UK in light of Ednan-Laperouse's death.

She told the BBC: "This was an absolutely tragic case and our thoughts are with [Natasha's] family and friends over what happened.

"We have obviously to look at this issue, we have to look at the responsibility of individual companies as well.


A screengrab of Natasha Ednan-Laperouse on the flight to Nice, France, shortly before she died of an allergic reaction.

(The Telegraph)


The inquest also heard that Pret A Manger was warned at least six times that its baguettes could cause allergic reactions in the year before Ednan-Laperouse's death.

Ednan-Laperouse's father, Nadim, said his daughter foamed at the mouth and said she couldn't breathe. Those symptoms persisted after he administered two EpiPen shots to his daughter and a doctor administered CPR to her throughout the flight, he said.

Ednan-Laperouse's mother, Tanya, also described listening to her daughter's final moments over the phone.

Clive Schlee, the chief executive of Pret A Manger, said in a statement:

"I want to say again how deeply sorry we are for the loss of Natasha. I said we would learn from this tragedy and ensure meaningful changes happen.

"I hope these measures set us on course to drive change in the industry so people with allergies are as protected and informed as possible. Nothing is more important to Pret right now."

AlbertaU Posted on October 03, 2018 16:08

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Westminster attack inquests: Families say police and security services made key failings

Families of those caught up in the Westminster terrorist attack believe more could have been done by the authorities to prevent the tragedy.

During weeks of often harrowing evidence at the inquests, legal representatives of the five people who died and the dozens of others who were injured, pointed to what they claimed were several key failings by police and security services.

The hearing at the Old Bailey is drawing to a close on Wednesday, with several interim conclusions likely to be made by Judge Mark Lucraft QC, the chief coroner.

Image: The victims. Top: Andreea Cristea and Pc Keith Palmer. Bottom: Aysha Frade, Leslie Rhodes and Kurt Cochran

The inquests revealed much about the lives of those who died, about the events that led to their deaths, but also raised questions about whether some things, if done differently, might, have helped prevent the tragedy.

Terrorist Khalid Masood used a 4x4 Hyundai to plough through pedestrians on Westminster Bridge on 22 March last year, before running to the Houses of Parliament and stabbing to death police officer Keith Palmer.

Masood was shot dead by a police close protection officer.

Counsel for PC Palmer's family criticised a decision by senior officers not to put armed officers at the main gate where Masood attacked. Instead, they were encouraged to carry out roving patrols in the general area.

Dominic Adamson, representing the officer's widow, said his murder was "entirely predictable".

Image: Khalid Masood murdered five people in the attack

Image: Masood did a reconnaissance trip on the bridge a few days before

The hearing was told how PC Lee Ashby and PC Nicholas Sanders, the armed officers on patrol at the time of the attack, had not been near Carriage Gates, where Mr Palmer was stationed, for nearly an hour before Masood struck.

This was despite official guidelines that said they should be "in close proximity" to the gates when they were open.

Mr Adamson accused senior officers of trying to "pass the buck".

He said: "The Metropolitan Police has failed to identify the fact that its armed officers were not doing what they were supposed to do.

"And to this day it has failed to properly acknowledge the failings that it was responsible for in allowing that state of affairs to persist."


Video: Masood was seen joking with hotel staff the day before the attack

The security services were also questioned about whether they could have done more to stop Khalid Masood before he carried out his attack.

He had been investigated as a potential extremist in 2010, but the first trace of him in their records dates back to April 2004.

The inquest heard his phone number appeared in the contact list of someone known to Operation Crevice, which smashed a plot to blow up the Ministry of Sound nightclub and a Kent's Bluewater shopping centre, in April 2004.

At the time, Masood was living in Crawley, West Sussex, which was the epicentre of the investigation that prevented what was then the biggest terrorist plot in Britain.

Sponsored link

He appeared on MI5's radar again six years later as a potential facilitator for extremists travelling to Pakistan through Saudi Arabia.

An MI5 officer, known only as witness L gave evidence at the hearing, revealing that Masood was designated as an MI5 "subject of interest" (SOI).

Image: Masood was shot after he left the car and stabbed PC Palmer

By the end of the year, investigators decided he was not a threat and he was removed from the live SOI list.

Over the next four years he intermittently popped up as a contact of people involved in the banned network once headed by the hate preacher Anjem Choudary.

Witness L said that the atrocity could not have been stopped.

"There simply wasn't enough intelligence for us to work on that would have allowed us to identify his plot and work with the police to frustrate it," he said.

The authorities were also criticised over a lack of action to protect Westminster Bridge and other potentially vulnerable sites from a vehicle attack.

The inquests were told how those tasked with protecting so-called "crowded places" did not regard Westminster Bridge as a crowded place, despite the large numbers of tourists and others who flock there.

The Westminster attack happened just months after terrorists used vehicles as weapons in attacks in Berlin and Nice.

Despite those events, no barriers were erected on the bridge.

Senior police and Transport for London witnesses told the inquests that the bridge was seen as no more or less at risk than many other tourist attractions across the capital.

Today, barriers run the entire length of the bridge - but it took another vehicle attack to change the risk assessment.

Just days after terrorists struck on London Bridge, authorities finally began erecting barriers at several river crossings.

Whether mitigation measures might have saved some or all of the Westminster victims we can never really know for sure.

Dominic Solomon Posted on October 03, 2018 15:42

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Girls’ Academic Successes Are Undercut By Sexual Harassment

Christine Blasey Ford introduced herself to America on Thursday as the promise of gender equality fulfilled. She’s a graduate of an elite girls’ school, a successful scientist and a professor who could name-check parts of the brain, and explain their function, as she was questioned by the Senate Judiciary Committee and the GOP’s handpicked prosecutor.

She also exuded compliance with old-school rules of femininity. She smiled. She is a married mother hosting Google interns in her home. She’s blonde, and in the words of Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), “attractive” and “pleasing.” She said she wanted most of all to do her “civic duty” and to be “helpful.” Mulling a break in her testimony, Ford was deferential, asking senators: “Does that work for you?”

Ford, more than most, has made good on the promise of public gender equality. She embodied exactly what is expected of girls and women today, walking the identity tightwire of being smart but not too smart, assertive but not aggressive, pretty but not sexy, confident but not arrogant.

Yet her exacting compliance with the rules of femininity were still not enough to shield her from vicious attacks on her credibility. Immediately following her testimony, GOP senators dismissed her account as a Democratic ploy, and President Donald Trump tweeted, “this process has been a total sham.”

POOL New / Reuters

As Kavanaugh’s nomination churns toward all-but inevitable confirmation, girls have heard a searing message: Your minds may know no limit, but your bodies still don’t belong to you. Even if you do everything that is expected of you, there is a limit to how much power we will give you.

Indeed Ford’s account ? a smart, ambitious girl violated by equally smart, ambitious boys ? is hardly a relic of the 1980s. A new study from Plan International USA confirmed that girls’ public successes are undercut by unremitting sexual degradation.

On one hand, the researchers found, girls have pulled even with boys in valuing a career, and are just as likely as boys to say math or science is their favorite subject. In a remarkable shift, more girls than boys say being a leader is an important life goal. They are as likely as boys to have considered running for public office.

At the same time, in the classrooms where girls supposedly dominate, a majority hear boys making sexual comments or jokes about girls ? not unlike the ones Brett Kavanaugh memorialized in his high school yearbook? at least several times each week. What’s more, three-quarters of girls ages 14 to 19 said they feel judged as a sexual object or unsafe. 

Joshua Roberts / Reuters

This data shows the paradox of girls’ lives is profound: More high school girls go to college than boys, but not before some 68 percent of them experience sexual harassment in high school.

How far have our daughters come if their entitlement to equality is conditional and doesn’t extend beyond the classroom? 

As the Me Too moment has unfolded, there has been scant public discussion of the youngest victims and perpetrators of assault. As lifelong advocates for girls, we find this puzzling ? and a missed opportunity.

After all, sexual crimes committed by adults do not spontaneously appear in the workplace. The permission to violate another person, and the pressure to remain silent and comply, are first made clear in childhood, where boys and girls learn a social script that positions them to act as perpetrator and survivor.

Early in childhood, boys learn the unwritten rules of so-called toxic masculinity, a performance of manhood that prizes toughness and mocks vulnerability. A “real man,” boys learn, defines his value in terms of conquest, whether it be through sex, money or fists.

Meanwhile, girls learn that to be liked matters more than anything else, including their own feelings.

It’s a desire that today’s teen girls know well. In last week’s study, teen girls said they still feel “a lot of pressure” to put others’ feelings before their own. While over half of boys have heard their fathers or other male family make sexual jokes or comments about women, one-third feel pressure to dominate or be in charge of others. Boys, the researchers concluded, are “receiving the same messages as girls do ? that girls should be valued for their physical traits and sexuality rather than their abilities or intelligence.”

By age 18, one in four girls experiences sexual abuse or assault. 

In order to tackle sexual harassment and violence, we have to address the root cause of them. These deeply entrenched norms harm girls and each of us ? youth, educators, parents, and others ? has a role to play in creating a culture that no longer tolerates sexual harassment in any form, and that values and promotes the dignity of girls and all young people.

“For me and my friends, his past is our now,” a 17 year-old girl told a reporter this week.  

At stake when senators vote is not just a Supreme Court nomination. It is a moment to let boys know that their behavior in high school counts. It is a refusal to accept that we only value girls’ voices when they don’t directly threaten the status quo. It is a chance to let girls know that the invitation to equality that we have given them extends to their bodies as well as their minds.

Otherwise, the message to girls is clear: we believe in you. We just don’t believe you.

Rachel Simmons is the co-founder of Girls Leadership and director of the Lewis Leadership program at Smith College. Judy Vredenburgh is president and CEO of Girls Inc.


ruby Posted on October 03, 2018 14:19

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