Featured Threads

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

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

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

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

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

Credit: SWNS

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Credit: SWNS

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The trial continues.

kabby Posted on October 10, 2018 15:16

  • 0 Paxex
  • 0
  • 546
  • 0

Oxford University Student Marries Herself

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

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

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

Credit: SWNS

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Credit: SWNS

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Well, bang goes that speech then.

Congratulations, Lulu!

kabby Posted on October 10, 2018 14:59

  • 0 Paxex
  • 0
  • 273
  • 0

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

Oh, Mark, you never learn, do you?


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

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

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

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


Don Cheadle's face says it all.



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

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

Oh, Mark, you never learn, do you?

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

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

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

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

Don Cheadle's face says it all.

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

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

Live: People Reading Now

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

Apparently, this is the clip in question.

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

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

I have one question –


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


Oh, Mark.

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

ruby Posted on October 10, 2018 13:50

  • 0 Paxex
  • 0
  • 294
  • 0

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Princess Eugenie's wedding: Ultimate guide


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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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


AlbertaU Posted on October 10, 2018 13:32

  • 0 Paxex
  • 0
  • 274
  • 0

World Mental Health Day: Nine celebrities raising awareness

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


Zayn Malik


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

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

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




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

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

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


Prince Harry

Getty Images


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

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

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

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


Gisele Bundchen

Getty Images


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

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

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


Glenn Close

Getty Images


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

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

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

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

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


Stephen Fry

Getty Images


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

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

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

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


Lady Gaga

Getty Images


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

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

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


Hayden Panettiere

Getty Images


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

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

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

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

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


Nicole Scherzinger

Getty Images


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

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

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

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

jmparker Posted on October 10, 2018 12:57

  • 0 Paxex
  • 0
  • 254
  • 0

Maribe ordered to undergo mental test - VIDEO

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

khojho Posted on October 10, 2018 12:39

  • 0 Paxex
  • 0
  • 306
  • 0

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

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

Humble beginnings and early success

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

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

Modric in action for Dinamo Zagreb

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

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

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

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

Continued progress rewarded

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

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

Modric was a star player for Spurs

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

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

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

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



Modric over Ronaldo, say Supplement panel

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

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

Becoming a Galactico

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

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

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

Modric has won four Champions Leagues with Real Madrid

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

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

The best player in the world

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



Modric: This is my most special award

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

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

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

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

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

Modric was Croatia's key man at the World Cup

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


jmparker Posted on October 10, 2018 12:25

  • 0 Paxex
  • 0
  • 290
  • 0

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

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

Learn to control the goalkeeper

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

Jockey with your defence

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

You do not have to pass forward

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

Use triggered runs when passing

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

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

Take advantage of timed finishing

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

Ryan Pessoa, professional FIFA player and Hashtag United favourite

Find formations that work for attacking and defending

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

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

Find the near post from corners

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

Alternatively, call a player short

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

Put more into your free-kicks

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

Pick the essential players

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

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

jmparker Posted on October 10, 2018 11:46

  • 0 Paxex
  • 0
  • 247
  • 0

Two Britons killed in taxi during Majorca flooding

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

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

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

Another 12 people have been reported missing.

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

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

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

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

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

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


Video: Heavy rain sparks floods in Barcelona

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

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

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

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

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

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

AlbertaU Posted on October 10, 2018 09:56

  • 0 Paxex
  • 0
  • 248
  • 0

Christian bakers win 'gay cake' Supreme Court fight

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

AlbertaU Posted on October 10, 2018 09:53

  • 0 Paxex
  • 0
  • 219
  • 0

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The beginnings of Alakhpura FC

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sonika Bijaria, Alakhpura FC coach

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

AlbertaU Posted on October 10, 2018 09:46

  • 0 Paxex
  • 0
  • 277
  • 0

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Pakistan: US aid cut was money owed, not assistance

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

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

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

Rocky relations

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Restricted military ties

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Inside Story

What does the US want from Pakistan?

AlbertaU Posted on October 10, 2018 09:41

  • 0 Paxex
  • 0
  • 269
  • 0

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Consulate search

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Khashoggi, who wrote critically for the Post about Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman's rise to power, had been in a self-imposed exile in the US since last year, fearful of the prince's low tolerance for criticism.

Cengiz wrote that he also sought to become a US citizen. 

"Although my hope slowly fades away each passing day, I remain confident that Jamal is still alive," she wrote.

"Perhaps I'm simply trying to hide from the thought that I have lost a great man whose love I had earned."

AlbertaU Posted on October 10, 2018 09:35

  • 0 Paxex
  • 0
  • 265
  • 0

Bangladesh court sentences 19 to death over 2004 attack

A Dhaka court also sentences top opposition leader Tarique Rahman to life imprisonment over 2004 attack on a rally.

Dhaka, Bangladesh - A Dhaka court has handed down death penalty to 19 people, including two former ministers, and sentenced a top opposition leader to life imprisonment over a 2004 attack on the current Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.

"They shall be hanged by their neck," said Justice Shahed Nuruddin of the special tribunal, who also awarded life imprisonment to Tarique Rahman, exiled son of former Prime Minister Khaleda Zia.

Zia is already languishing inside a Dhaka jail following her conviction in a corruption case, which came in advance of the country's general election scheduled to be held by the end of the year.

Rahman, who is the acting chairman of the opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP), was jailed for 10 years in absentia in the same corruption case as her mother. He has been living in exile in London since 2008.

Bangladesh's Law Minister Anisul Haque said the government will move a higher court to seek death penalty for Rahman too. 

"We will also take diplomatic steps to bring Tarique back from London," he said.

The security in and around the special tribunal in the capital, Dhaka, was beefed up anticipating protests from BNP leaders and activists.

Senior BNP leaders, including former State Minister of Home Affairs Lutfuzzaman Babar and former Deputy Minister of Education Abdus Salam Pintu, were given capital punishment for hatching the plot to assassinate Hasina.

The BNP said the conviction was "politically motivated" and the party does not "accept it".

Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir, the party's secretary general, said the verdict against its leaders is "just another example of using judiciary for political revenge".

2004 attack

The "August 21 grenade attack case", as it is known in Bangladesh, relates to the deadly attack on a rally organised by Hasina's Awami League (AL) in Dhaka in 2004 when she was the opposition leader.

Hasina narrowly survived the attack after some of her party leaders formed a human shield around her, but up to 20 people were killed, including top AL leader Ivy Rahman.

The case documents said the attack was a "meticulously designed plot" to assassinate Hasina hatched by the BNP.

The BNP and Jamaat-e-Islami coalition government, which was in power at the time of the attack, was accused of scuttling the investigation to protect the masterminds.

After the verdict on Wednesday, Sayed Rezaur Rahman, one of the main prosecutors, said, "The grenade attack is considered one of the most heinous crimes in the country’s history. This is not a politically motivated case, rather a criminal one."

According to the documents submitted by the prosecution, the attack was carried out by the armed group, Harkat-ul-Jihad (HuJI).

Citing the alleged involvement of Mufti Abdul Hannan, the prosecution also alleged the purpose of the attack was to establish "fanatic Islam" in the south Asian country.

Hannan, a senior HuJI leader accused of multiple attacks in Bangladesh, was executed last year.

The BNP alleges that Hasina is crushing dissent and putting rivals behind bars to strengthen her re-election bid.

AlbertaU Posted on October 10, 2018 09:30

  • 0 Paxex
  • 0
  • 256
  • 0

‘We Got Spanked’: Adult Entertainment ICO Suffers $38,000 Hack

“We got spanked.”

That’s the message that SpankChain, the initial coin offering (ICO) funded adult entertainment website, used to inform its users that a hacker had exploited a bug in one of its smart contracts to abscond with 165.38 ETH, worth about $38,000 at the time of the theft. Another $4,000 worth of the platform’s ICO token, BOOTY, was immobilized as a result of the breach, bringing the total economic impact of the hack to about $42,000.

The hack occurred at roughly 6 pm PST on Saturday, though the company did not discover the theft until the following evening, at which point it took the website offline to prevent further breaches.

“Unfortunately, as we were in the middle of investigating other smart contract bugs, we didn’t realize the hack had taken place until 7:00pm PST Sunday, at which point we took Spank.Live offline to prevent any additional funds from being deposited into the payment channels smart contract,” the announcement read.

According to SpankChain, the hacker exploited a “reentrancy” bug, similar to the one used in the infamous DAO hack.

“In short, the attack capitalized on a ‘reentrancy’ bug, much like the one exploited in The DAO. The attacker created a malicious contract masquerading as an ERC20 token, where the ‘transfer’ function called back into the payment channel contract multiple times, draining some ETH each time.”

The company admitted that it had failed to pay for a security audit of its payment channel smart contract, which could have cost as much as $50,000 — well above the amount of funds affected by the hack. Nevertheless, SpankChain said that it realizes now that it should have paid for the audit, expensive though it may have been.

“As we move forward and grow, we will be stepping up our security practices, and making sure to get multiple internal audits for any smart contract code we publish, as well as at least one professional external audit,” the company said.

Most of the affected funds belonged to SpankChain. However, about $9,300 worth of the stolen and immobilized funds belonged to users. Consequently, the company, which raised $7.2 million through its ICO in late 2017, said that it would airdrop $9,300 in ETH to affected users’ SpankPay accounts following the website’s reboot within the next several days.

As CCN reported, SpankChain is just the latest in a long line of Ethereum projects that have lost money when hackers exploited bugs in their smart contracts.

In July, decentralized exchange (DEX) Bancor lost $23 million in ETH and other ethereum tokens when a hacker compromised a wallet used to upgrade some of the platform’s smart contracts. That same month, KICKICO lost 70 million KICK worth $7.7 million when a hacker managed to gain control of the project’s smart contract.

Previously, a smart contract governing multi-signature ethereum wallets suffered multiple security breaches, resulting in a $32 million theft and $150 million in permanently-frozen funds. Such hacks have led Litecoin creator Charlie Lee to suggest that Solidity, the native programming language of Ethereum smart contracts, is a “hacker paradise.”

However, the problem is not isolated to Ethereum. In September, several decentralized applications (dApps) running on the EOS network were exploited as the result of smart contract bugs as well. At least two gambling dApps were affected, losing a collective $260,000 when hackers discovered a way to place bets without having to stake any real tokens, allowing them to gamble consequence-free.

AlbertaU Posted on October 10, 2018 09:09

  • 0 Paxex
  • 0
  • 246
  • 0

James Gunn 'In Talks' To Write And Direct 'Suicide Squad 2'

Director James Gunn is reported to be in talks with DC to write and direct the next Suicide Squad film.

TheWrap reported 'three insiders' have said Gunn will introduce a whole new take to the superhero film franchise, which features some of DC's most famous villains, including Harley Quinn, The Joker, Deadshot, Enchantress and Killer Croc, among others.

Additionally, Gizmodo reported it had confirmed with Warner Bros. that Gunn is in talks to write, with 'an eye to direct' the yet-to-be-named Suicide Squad 2.

Credit: PA

In July, Gunn was sacking from Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy franchise, after offensive tweets from a decade earlier were unearthed, following his criticism of US President Donald Trump.

A move to Marvel's comic book rivals of old, DC, only adds intrigue to the ongoing saga, which has seen the likes of GOTG star Dave Bautista blast the Disney corporation, which now owns Marvel.

The first Suicide Squad film, which was released in 2016 and directed by David Ayer, received mixed reviews, but did earn nearly $750 million worldwide - massive in comparison to its $175 million budget, before promotion and advertising.

Credit: DC/Warner Bros

As Gunn wrote the screenplays for both the first and second installment of the Guardians of the Galaxy films it'll be interesting to see what he brings to Marvel's rivals as he is considered to be a major steal from the company.

The director was fired from the Disney franchise of films after tweets from years ago saw revealed jokes in poor taste, concerning rape and pedophilia - since then, Gunn has apologised and said he had grown as a person in the years since the jokes.

Gunn has since deleted his Twitter account, but before he did, he wrote the following statement via the social media platform: "Many people who have followed my career know when I started, I viewed myself as a provocateur, making movies and telling jokes that were outrageous and taboo.

"As I have discussed publicly many times, as I've developed as a person, so has my work and my humour."

The new Suicide Squad movie is going to be produced by Peter Safran who is famously known for producing films from the highly-successful Conjuring film franchise, including the 2018 film The Nun.

Though it doesn't yet have a release date, fans will be intrigued to see where Gunn can take the franchise following a mixed critical reception for the first installment.

kabby Posted on October 10, 2018 07:50

  • 0 Paxex
  • 0
  • 272
  • 0

The crime thrillers to watch now Bodyguard has finished

If, like the rest of the country, you’ve been glued to Jed Mercurio’s smash BBC show Bodyguard, then it’s likely that the recent finale will have left behind a thriller-shaped void yearning to be filled. Whether you're a fan of dark murder investigations or it's exhilarating political conspiracies that have you wanting more, these brilliant shows are the perfect antidote to the show's departure. Let's just hope it keeps you occupied until the (as yet unconfirmed) second season comes out.


Jon Hall


The inimitable Sarah Lancashire plays Miriam, a well-meaning social worker who gets caught up in the mysterious disappearance of Kiri, a young girl about to be adopted.

Season 1, All4

How To Get Away With Murder

Mitch Haaseth


Shonda Rimes’ Emmy-winning series features an acclaimed performance from Viola Davis as Annalise, a criminal attorney who gets embroiled in a murder case.

Seasons 1-3, Netflix

The Sinner

USA Network


Instead of the classic ‘whodunnit?’, The Sinner is a creepy and puzzling story uncovering what led Cora Tannetti (Jessica Biel) to commit murder in broad daylight.

Season 1, Netflix 


Anthony Platt


Follow Carrie Mathison (Claire Danes) over the course of seven seasons as she navigates and foils global terror plots, corruption and international politics.

Seasons 1-6, Netflix; Season 7, Amazon Instant Video

Line of Duty

Des Willie


Get your teeth stuck into four series of another Jed Mercurio hit — an exhilarating drama based around an anti-corruption police unit where no one can be trusted.

Seasons 1-3, Netflix; Season 4, Amazon Instant Video 5

imeTo see more Proper TV, click here


ruby Posted on October 09, 2018 17:31

  • 0 Paxex
  • 0
  • 251
  • 0

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

  • 0 Paxex
  • 0
  • 243
  • 0

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

  • 0 Paxex
  • 0
  • 246
  • 0


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

  • 0 Paxex
  • 0
  • 255
  • 0

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

  • 11K
  • 6,181 people are talking about this
  • “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

  • 0 Paxex
  • 0
  • 231
  • 0

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

  • 0 Paxex
  • 0
  • 257
  • 0

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

  • 0 Paxex
  • 0
  • 352
  • 0

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

  • 0 Paxex
  • 0
  • 341
  • 0

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

  • 0 Paxex
  • 0
  • 311
  • 0

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

  • 0 Paxex
  • 0
  • 265
  • 0

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

Twitter Ads info and privacy

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

Twitter Ads info and privacy

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

Twitter Ads info and privacy

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

Twitter Ads info and privacy

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

Twitter Ads info and privacy

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

Twitter Ads info and privacy

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

  • 0 Paxex
  • 0
  • 260
  • 0

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

  • 0 Paxex
  • 0
  • 316
  • 0

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

  • 0 Paxex
  • 0
  • 248
  • 0

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

  • 0 Paxex
  • 0
  • 266
  • 0

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

  • 0 Paxex
  • 0
  • 246
  • 0

#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

  • 0 Paxex
  • 0
  • 323
  • 0

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

  • 0 Paxex
  • 0
  • 235
  • 0

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

  • 0 Paxex
  • 0
  • 285
  • 0

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

  • 0 Paxex
  • 0
  • 251
  • 0

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

  • 0 Paxex
  • 0
  • 233
  • 0

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

  • 0 Paxex
  • 0
  • 247
  • 0

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

  • 0 Paxex
  • 0
  • 247
  • 0

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

  • 0 Paxex
  • 0
  • 301
  • 0

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

  • 0 Paxex
  • 0
  • 288
  • 0

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)

Full Screen

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

  • 0 Paxex
  • 0
  • 250
  • 0

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


Love Lottery? How To Play The USA Powerball Online?


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

  • 0 Paxex
  • 0
  • 299
  • 0

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

  • 0 Paxex
  • 0
  • 272
  • 0

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

  • 0 Paxex
  • 0
  • 332
  • 0

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.

Watch: Runaway race horse runs into a bar

Why a national park is holding a 'Fat Bear Week' contest

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

  • 0 Paxex
  • 0
  • 249
  • 0

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

  • 0 Paxex
  • 0
  • 276
  • 0

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.


Sponsored link


How To Play the U.S Mega Powerball Lottery Ticket From Your Mobile?


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

  • 0 Paxex
  • 0
  • 288
  • 0

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.


Sponsored link


How To Play the U.S Mega Powerball Lottery Ticket From Your Mobile?



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

  • 0 Paxex
  • 0
  • 251
  • 0

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

  • 0 Paxex
  • 0
  • 327
  • 0

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

  • 0 Paxex
  • 0
  • 355
  • 0