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Bahrain Minister Hails Blockchain Technology, Urges Adoption.

Bahrain Minister of Electricity and Water Affairs, Dr. Abdulhussain Mirza has called blockchain technology a “true mark of progress” as he urges companies to take full advantage of its benefits.

Speaking at the SmartSec Cyber Security and Blockchain Conference 2018, Mirza said the blockchain technology is an “important advancement” that helps us find a secure way to “facilitate transactions.

 Technologies such as blockchain take us a huge step forward in finding a secure way to facilitate transactions. Blockchain’s ability to protect user’s data is a true mark of progress, because it can be applied in different companies from different industries including cybersecurity.

The Minister also urged Bahraini companies to embrace the initiative as it has the power to promote “innovation” among the “great minds of the community.” He also spoke on cybersecurity and its threat to the global community. According to Mirza, “cyber-security is an essential part of our lives,” and the threat of cyber-attacks should not be taken lightly.

“These global cyber-attacks affected more than 60 countries including Bahrain last year, and the Central Bank of Bahrain recently issued a warning to banks and financial institutions of orchestrated attacks planned at ATMs around the world,” he added.

Bahrain has remained silent on where it stands with blockchain and cryptocurrencies, while Dubai has continued to revolutionize the region with giant strides made in the use of blockchain, Internet of Things and Artificial Intelligence. Mirza’s words is an unexpected voice of reason in an area that is not known for taking bold steps.

Nonetheless, the country issued a regulatory sandbox license to Palmex, a digital asset exchange funded by ArabianChain Technology, allowing it to trail it services as regulators set the stage and consider necessary controls for trading digital assets.

ArabianChain founder and CEO Mohammed Alsehli had said at the time, “As the only regional digital asset exchange with a Sandbox license, we expect to see a significant rise in awareness and adoption, driving a huge spike in the number of trades and token-

Dominic Solomon Posted on September 06, 2018 16:21

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Anger as Italy arrests Tunisian fishermen 'rescuing migrants'

Italy has been urged to release six Tunisian fishermen who were arrested at sea on suspicion of smuggling migrants.

Supporters of the fishermen, from the south-east coastal town of Zarzis, say their colleagues were simply aiding a boat in distress.

The boat, carrying 14 people, was trying to reach the Italian island of Lampedusa last week.

One of the arrested fishermen is Chamseddine Bourassine, president of the Association of Fishermen in Zarzis.

He is a local legend in the town, reports the BBC's Rana Jawad in Tunis.

A small protest was held outside the Italian embassy in the Tunisian capital, calling for the men's release.

One of those present was Mohamed Murad, 22, who is also from Zarzis and was on the boat in distress. He told our correspondent that the engine stopped working, and they were "floating in the middle of the sea and there were children with us crying.. it was a situation you couldn't even imagine".

He said Mr Bourassine and his fellow fishermen found them, and gave them something to eat.

After failing to persuade the migrants to return to Tunisia, the fisherman then said he would try to contact the Italian authorities, with no luck.

"So he tugged us a little further where the Italian coastguard can find us, and it was at a time when our boat would have only lasted for a short time and capsized and we would have died... then the Italian coastguard came and took us."

Mr Bourassine, he said, should not be in prison, "he should be honoured" for preventing the deaths of 14 people.

The Italian coastguard doubts the story given, saying it has no record of an SOS call being made to the Italian coastguard either by the fishermen or the migrants.

The men now stand accused of aiding illegal migrants and could face a 15-year sentence if convicted.

Knii Odoi Posted on September 06, 2018 16:19

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Hundred of Ewes in North America join CEANA for family fun in the park

It was all joy and fun when almost 1000 Ewes joined the Council of Ewe Association of North America (CEANA) fun in the park. The event climaxed a three-day conference which started on Friday and had a fundraising event which raised more than $50, 000 to fund development projects in the Volta region.

Ewes from all over North America converged at the Mississauga Park in Toronto to have fun, eat food mainly made from their region and dance to popular traditional Ewe music borborbor and Agbadza.

For some of the participants, it was a day to fraternize with people they have not seen in years as the this year’s event marked the 25th anniversary of the association. People use the occasion to catch up with friends they have not seen in years to reminiscence the good old days.

For others, it was the perfect opportunity to network and talk about business opportunities.

“After spending much time indoors, strategizing to get development projects back home, this is a perfect opportunity for us to have fun and meet each other,” said Dr. Peter Nat Abotchie, president of CEANA.

He also commended members for turning up in their numbers to make the event a success.

There were local Ghanaian foods like kelewele, agbeli kaklo, roasted corn, akple and fetri detsi.

“These foods remind me of my days in Ghana,” said Naomi Sunu a Ghanaian based in Waterloo, Canada. “I’m impressed about the number of parents who brought their children here, this will let the children know of their heritage and true identity even though most of them were born here,” she added.

For the organizers, this was another successful event. Even as they get ready to for North Carolina for next year’s event, they will still look back at this weekend’s party in the park that lived to it’s billing as one of the most successful.

“Toronto has raised the bar and it is up to North Carolina to beat Toronto,” Dr. Abotchie said.

Even before he ends the interview, Dr. Abotchie is moved by the agbadza music in the background and joins other CEANA members. Such was the magic of the music.

Most people at the party agreed that they could get all of the music on Youtube but won’t get this crowd of people to dance with. They had fun and danced into the night hoping to the get a much bigger crowd in North Carolina next year.
 

seth Posted on September 06, 2018 15:46

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Americans are flocking to these 15 cities where jobs are plentiful, salaries are rising and business is booming

Though housing is scarce and wages are stagnant across the country, a lot of American cities are booming: They offer job opportunities, thriving businesses and an abundance of places to live.

Personal finance site MagnifyMoney identified America's biggest "boomtowns" by analyzing how the 100 largest metro areas in the country changed over a five-year period (between 2011 and 2016) across three categories: population and housing; workforce and earnings; and business growth. Cities could earn a possible score of 100 in each category, which were then averaged together for the final ranking. You can read the full methodology here.

The survey took into account factors such as total number of available housing units, unemployment rate, median earnings for workers, number of business establishments and number of employees paid per pay period to determine which metro areas aren't just rapidly expanding but actually sustaining healthy growth over time.

Below, check out the top 15 attractive U.S. cities where jobs are plentiful, salaries are rising and business is good.

15. Des Moines, Iowa

Population and housing score: 59.7
Workforce and earnings score: 42.8
Business growth score: 52.5

Denis Tangney Jr. | Getty Images

Pioneers of the Territory outside the Iowa Capitol overlooking West Capitol Terrace and downtown in Des Moines, Iowa.

14. Orlando, Florida

Population and housing score: 55.7
Workforce and earnings score: 39.8
Business growth score: 64.2

Corbis | Getty Images

Disney characters perform in front of the Cinderella Castle at Walt Disney World, in Orlando, Florida

13. Charlotte, North Carolina

Population and housing score: 55.7
Workforce and earnings score: 39.8
Business growth score: 64.2

Skiserge1 | Getty Images

Charlotte, North Carolina.

12. Ogden, Utah

Population and housing score: 51.2
Workforce and earnings score: 46.8
Business growth score: 63.3

Mandicoleman.com | Getty Images

A scene showing 25th Street in Ogden, Utah.

11. Houston, Texas

Population and housing score: 77.7
Workforce and earnings score: 41.9
Business growth score: 43.9

Kav Dadfar | Getty Images

Houston, Texas

10. McAllen, Texas

Population and housing score: 60.3
Workforce and earnings score: 62.2
Business growth score: 44.3

DenisTangneyJr | Getty Images

McAllen is the largest city in Hidalgo County, Texas, United States, and the twenty-second most populous city in Texas.

9. San Antonio, Texas

Population and housing score: 57.2
Workforce and earnings score: 45.4
Business growth score: 64.5

dszc | Getty Images

San Antonio, Texas

8. Boise, Idaho

Population and housing score: 53.2
Workforce and earnings score: 47.8
Business growth score: 67

Randy Wells | Getty Images

Boise, Idaho

7. Dallas, Texas

Population and housing score: 61.4
Workforce and earnings score: 48.7
Business growth score: 64.4

Matt Nager | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Dallas, Texas skyline

6. Denver, Colorado

Population and housing score: 52.2
Workforce and earnings score: 58.3
Business growth score: 65.3

photoquest7 | iStock | Getty Images

Denver's economy is solid, and it has a strong, educated workforce. It also has the nation’s fourth-largest concentration of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) employees.

5. Nashville, Tennessee

Population and housing score: 54.5
Workforce and earnings score: 54.6
Business growth score: 72.9

Davel5957 | Getty Images

Nashville, Tennessee

4. Charleston, South Carolina

Population and housing score: 66.9
Workforce and earnings score: 60.6
Business growth score: 71.7

Sean Pavone | Getty Images

Charleston, South Carolina

3. Raleigh, North Carolina

Population and housing score: 84.1
Workforce and earnings score: 48.3
Business growth score: 70.8

Sean Pavone | Getty Images

Raleigh, North Carolina

2. Provo, Utah

Population and housing score: 79.9
Workforce and earnings score: 52.2
Business growth score: 95.1

Bob Weston | Getty Images

Provo, Utah.

1. Austin, Texas

Population and housing score: 100
Workforce and earnings score: 70.3
Business growth score: 93

KOBINAYEBOAH Posted on September 06, 2018 15:05

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China policy bank pledges 500-mln-USD loan to Africa.

The deal was reached at an African investment forum held Thursday in Changsha, capital of central China's Hunan Province.

Afreximbank is an international financial institution aiming to finance and promote intra- and extra-Africa trade. The bank will enhance ties with CDB in financing infrastructure, power, communication, transportation and agricultural projects in African countries, according to the deal.

The CDB also signed a memorandum of cooperation with Hunan provincial government at the forum to promote the province's investment in Africa.

On Wednesday, CDB led the establishment of China-Africa Financial Cooperation Consortium along with 16 African financial institutions.

Since 2006, CDB has spent more than 50 billion dollars financing nearly 500 projects in 43 African countries.

Dominic Solomon Posted on September 06, 2018 15:02

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Manchester United & Arsenal bosses among those calling for major rule change in Champions League and Europa League

Europe’s top club coaches are reportedly requesting an end to the away goal rule in the Champions League and Europa League.

Among the coaches present at the Uefa meeting are Manchester United’s Jose Mourinho and Arsenal’s Unai Emery, along with other big names. And according to BBC Sport, coaches have united to call on Uefa to scrap the away goal rule as it’s been agreed that it no longer feels relevant in the modern game.

This is because managers agree that it is nowadays easier to score away from home than in the past, according to BBC Sport.

 

KOBINAYEBOAH Posted on September 06, 2018 14:10

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Chinese Principal Fired After Welcoming Kindergarteners Back To School With Pole Dance

An extremely unconventional decision for a back-to-school celebration at a kindergarten in China has cost a principal her job.

On Sept. 3, hundreds of kindergarteners and their parents gathered together at the Xinshahui kindergarten in Shenzhen, in the southern province of Guangdong, to watch a female pole dancer perform her routine on a flagpole in the school’s courtyard, according to CNN.

Videos of the act quickly spread across social media, showing the scantily-clad woman sliding up and down the flagpole, which had a Chinese flag on it, while seductively flipping her hair in front of a crowd of children ages three to six.

In China on the first day of school, it is not unusual to have a ceremony to celebrate the occasion, according to CNN. However, those ceremonies usually include something a bit more tame, such as a speech by the principal or alumni.

It’s apparent that the principal of the kindergarten, Lai Rong, had her own interpretation of what she thought would be a good welcome-back performance.

Michael Standaert, an American journalist who is based in Shenzhen, caught the performance on video and took to Twitter to air his frustrations over the principal’s decision to showcase the dancer’s routine.

Who would think this is a good idea? We're trying to pull the kids out of the school and get our tuition back. They wouldn't give us the number of the company that owns the school, but looking into that. pic.twitter.com/vEdIhuq774

— Michael Standaert (@mstandaert) September 3, 2018

 

Principal Lai later told The New York Times that she thought the children would be impressed by the dancer’s skill and wouldn’t focus on other controversial aspects of the routine.

“Children are quite simple, they wouldn’t think such complicated thoughts about this,” she said. “They’d just think that it’s amazing for someone to be able to fly on a pole like that.”

According to The New York Times, Lai told one Chinese news outlet that she was trying to teach the children something new.

“The goal was to get the kids to learn more about one variety of dance,” she said.

 

Footage of the pole dancer’s routine in the kindergarten school’s courtyard.

This is not the first controversial decision that Principal Lai has made regarding performances at the school. Standaert, whose children attend the school, said that one demonstration before school let out for the summer nearly caused him to remove his children from the school.

“So before our kids got out of kindergarten for the summer, there was 10 days of military ‘activities’ and displays of machine guns and mortars at the door; now the principal has welcomed them back with a strip pole dance on the flagpole bearing the PRC flag. She’s gone nuts,” Standaert tweeted.

Standaert also tweeted that when his wife called the school to complain about the pole dance routine, Principal Lai told her it was “good exercise” and then hung up on her.

The principal hung up on my wife when she called after saying it was "international and good exercise" … okay, yeah for adults maybe, but not 3-6 year old kids. pic.twitter.com/OAw8S5ihzX

— Michael Standaert (@mstandaert) September 3, 2018

 

According to The Washington Post, Principal Lai issued an apology on Weibo, attempting to defend her decision. She said that she believed “inviting professional dancers to the kindergarten to perform for the parents would liven up the mood” on the first day back.

“I did not think through the contents of the performance … It was a very terrible viewing experience for the kids and the parents. For that I sincerely apologize,” she added.

Lai lost her job after severe backlash from parents erupted online. The school’s former principal told The New York Times that her life has been greatly impacted because of this one bad decision.

“My whole career in education has been destroyed by just this one event, just five minutes of performance,” she said. “The internet is too powerful.”

It’s safe to say that this is one first day of school that the students and parents of Xinshahui kindergarten won’t soon forget.


Next, discover some of the most fascinating facts about China. Then meet Xin Zhui, a 2,000-year-old Chinese mummy that is one of the most well-preserved bodies in the world.

 

sly Posted on September 06, 2018 13:01

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This Woman Reads 100 Books In A Month (And How You Can Too)

Hi, I’m Therese, a business development manager living in Berlin, Germany. Last month, I managed to read over 100 nonfiction titles in psychology, politics, and leadership. I know it sounds crazy, but I really did. Here’s how. It started with a bet. A colleague challenged me to read Malcolm Gladwell’s Outliers: The Story Of Success in two hours. As determined as I was, I just couldn’t meet the deadline. I got through the first few chapters relatively quickly but found it impossible to finish the book in the designated 2 hours. So, I lost the bet, but it gave me an idea! I needed to find a better way to consume nonfiction books. I found several websites, blogs and apps that transform books into ‘bite-sized’ content. But in the end, I opted for the Blinkist app. I want to read more nonfiction books—I find it really useful to read the key takeaways from lots of books to help me get a feeling for what’s an absolute must for my to-read list! As one of the first services to condense nonfiction books into quick reads, the Blinkist app has 2,500+ bestselling nonfiction titles in its library (including Outliers: The Story of Success — aka, the book that defeated me!). To be honest, I was skeptical at first, but I learned some things that put my mind at ease. For example, I learned that in order to produce quality insights from every book, they have over 100 literary experts hard at work. I also loved that the app has an audio function which allows me to listen to great ideas throughout the day. So, with this cool new sidekick, I set a fresh goal for myself — I’m very competitive like that!— to read the key insights from 100 books in just one month.
So  how did I do?

 

ruby Posted on September 06, 2018 12:38

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China supports peace process in Central African Republic.

Chinese President Xi Jinping (R) meets with Central African Republic President Faustin Archange Touadera at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, capital of China, Sept. 5, 2018. [Photo: Xinhua]

China hopes the Central African Republic will keep achieving new progress as it strives for lasting peace and sustainable development, Xi told Touadera, adding that China is willing to enhance political trust with the country, help it improve food security and its people's livelihood, and continue to send medical teams.

The Chinese president said Beijing will also call on the international community to help with the Central African Republic's peace process.

Touadera said his country firmly adheres to the one-China policy and supports China's cause of reunification, noting that he appreciates China's help to the Central African Republic in promoting the nation's stability and economic development over the years.

The Central African Republic would like to strengthen cooperation with China within the frameworks of the Belt and Road Initiative and the eight major initiatives announced by Xi at the FOCAC Beijing summit.

The two leaders witnessed the signing of bilateral cooperation documents after their talks.

Dominic Solomon Posted on September 06, 2018 12:36

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Boy Dies After Parents Starve Him As Part Of A 40-Day Religious Fast

The boy's father, Kehinde Omosebi, claimed to be a "religious minister" but police found no evidence that the organization he named exists.

Rob Schultz/Wisconsin State JournalThe right-side unit of this duplex on Alexander Avenue in Reedsburg is where the Omosebi family lived.

A father and mother in Wisconsin have been arrested after their 15-year-old son died during a 40-day religious fast.

On Sept. 2, the boy’s father, 49-year-old Kehinde Omosebi, walked into the Reedsburg police station to report the death of his son, Ayanfe Omosebi, according to the Chicago Tribune.

When police arrived at the family’s home they found the doors covered with padlocks and had to force their way inside. There was no phone, power, nor food in the residence.

Inside the home police discovered the “extremely emaciated and deceased body of the teenager. According to the Wisconsin State Journal, the boy’s body was propped up in a chair wearing a gray sweatshirt and his backbones and ribs were visible under his skin.

“It wasn’t like the kid was healthy on Thursday and then died on Friday,” Reedsburg Police Chief Timothy Becker told the Wisconsin State Journal. “His death was a long process and his parents did nothing to stop it. That’s the most concerning thing about this.”

 

Police Investigate Death of 15-year oldReedsburg Police were notified Sunday at approximately 4:00pm of a death of a…

Posted by Reedsburg Police Department on Monday, September 3, 2018

Police also found another son, 11, and the boys’ mother, 47-year-old Titilayo Omosebi, both emaciated but alive. The 11-year-old was unable to walk out of the house when police arrived and had difficulty talking.

The youngest son and his mother were both taken to a local hospital for medical treatment but the mother, Titlayo Omosebi, refused because of “religious restrictions.”

Kehinde told police that he was a “religious minister affiliated with Cornerstone Reformation Ministries.” According to the Wisconsin State Journal, the family started their religious fast on July 19 and Kehinde’s son died on Aug. 31, day 44 of the fast.

“It wasn’t a fast, it was neglect because the statutes make it clear that you have to provide necessary food (to children),” Becker said. “When you lock your kids in the house and the father is the only one who can leave, it stops being a fast and starts being starvation and neglect.”

Reedsburg Police DepartmentLeft: Kehinde Omosebi’s mughost, Right: Titilayo Omosebi’s mugshot

Police also said that Kehinde, who is from Nigeria, made up his ministry organization and title.

“He is not affiliated with any church that has any public records proving their existence,” Becker told the Wisconsin State Journal.

On Sept. 4, Kehinde and Titilayo were charged with “neglecting a child causing death” as well as “neglecting a child causing great bodily harm.” They are currently being held in Sauk County Jail and are both eating again.

“My heart goes out to the kids because the people they trusted the most betrayed them,” Becker said.

Bail for Kehinde is set at $5,000. One of the conditions of his bail is that he cannot have any contact with this surviving son who has been moved to a hospital in Madison and placed in protective custody.


Next, read about the Christian parents whose sick baby died after they refused treatment and prayed instead. Then, discover the story of a sick Minnesota boy who died after his parents prayed for him instead of calling an ambulance.

sly Posted on September 06, 2018 12:35

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Woman pranks husband over lottery - then wins £1m

A woman who pranked her husband over a £250,000 lottery win last month has scooped £1m for real.

Having fallen for the initial trick, Daniel Peart, 27, did not believe wife Charlotte, 28, when she called him at work last week to reveal they were millionaires.

Mr Peart, a self-employed carpenter from Cambridgeshire, was so sceptical he passed the phone to his brother.

"I didn't believe her at all because we like to wind each other up," said Mr Peart.

It was only when she sent him a screenshot of the winning message that he realised it was true - and he was "stunned".

Image:Daniel Peart and his wife Charlotte celebrate their £1m EuroMillions HotPicks win

Image:The couple say they will buy a larger house near Peterborough, where they currently live

Admin worker Mrs Peart said: "He didn't believe me. Actually, he said 'I can't talk to you right now love' and ended up putting his brother on the phone. It was definitely crazy and not a normal day."

The couple, who met at secondary school and have been married for five years, have three children and own a three-bedroom home in Whittlesey near Peterborough.

:: Bigger prizes planned to reverse slump in lottery sales

3:18

 

 

Video:Lottery reforms include new game with monthly wins

They are planning to use their windfall to buy a larger house in the area.

"With a family of five it gets a little cramped, a little tight. All the kids have earned their own bedrooms, they're all excited about that and we're looking forward to the next adventure in our lives," said Mr Peart.

Their children have already been treated to hoverboards and a Nintendo Switch.

Mrs Peart used the last £1.50 in their online lottery account to enter the 28 August draw.

sly Posted on September 06, 2018 11:37

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Messi trains with Barça team b

Messi trains with Barça team b playing after left out 

Sankofi Barbara Posted on September 06, 2018 11:04

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Novak Djokovic marches past John Millman into semi-final.

Novak Djokovic reached the US Open semi-finals after continuing his flawless record in the last eight with victory over Roger Federer's conqueror John Millman.

The 31-year-old earned a 6-3 6-4 6-4 victory over the Australian world number 55.

The Serb, twice champion at Flushing Meadows, has now won all 11 of his quarter-final matches in New York.

He goes on to play Japan's Kei Nishikori in the last four on Friday.

Djokovic missed last year's tournament with an elbow injury but has now reached at least the semi-finals in every appearance at Flushing Meadows since 2007.

The victory was not as easy for the sixth seed as the scoreline suggested, Australian Millman providing stoic resistance before Djokovic came through to take his first match point after two hours 49 minutes, just before midnight local time.

khojho Posted on September 06, 2018 09:52

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India court legalises gay sex in landmark ruling

In a historic verdict, India’s Supreme Court ruled that gay sex is no longer a criminal offence in the country.

The ruling overturns a 2013 judgement that upheld a colonial-era law, known as section 377, under which gay sex is categorised as an “unnatural offence”.
It is one of the world’s oldest laws criminalizing gay sex, and India has been reluctant to overturn it.

Campaigners outside the court cheered and some broke into tears as the ruling was handed down.

“Criminalising carnal intercourse is irrational, arbitrary and manifestly unconstitutional,” Chief Justice Dipak Misra said while reading out his judgement.

India’s gay and transgender communities have fought long and hard to strike down section 377, which carried a 10-year jail term for those who engaged in what it termed “unnatural sex”.

Equal rights activists had argued that the very existence of such a law was proof of discrimination based on sexual orientation.

They frequently said that the law has been used to harass LGBT people

sly Posted on September 06, 2018 09:34

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Spectacular scenery of Danxia landform in NW China's Gansu.

Photo taken on Sept. 5, 2018 shows the scenery of Danxia landform in Zhangye City, northwest China's Gansu Province. (Xinhua/Wei Hai)

Dominic Solomon Posted on September 06, 2018 09:30

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Chinese man to be deported from Kenya after being caught on video making racist comments

NAIROBI (AFP) - Kenya has arrested a Chinese businessman after a video of him making a string of racist remarks was widely shared on social media, the government said on Thursday (Sept 6).

The Chinese national, identified as Liu Jiaqi, has been arrested and is being processed for deportation, said Kenya's immigration department.

"His work permit has been cancelled and (he) will be deported on racism grounds," the immigration service said on its Twitter feed.

 

In the two and a half minute video shared on Twitter and elsewhere, Liu, who appears to be in the midst of a dispute with one of his employees, is recorded issuing a litany of racist slurs.

"Every one, every Kenyan... like a monkey, even Uhuru Kenyatta. All of them," he said. Mr Kenyatta is Kenya's President.

After the employee suggests Liu should "go back to China" if he feels that way, the businessman responds with further abuse.

 

ADVERTISING

 

 

 

 

 

"I don't belong to here. I don't like here, like monkey people, I don't like talk with them, it smells bad, and poor, and foolish, and black. I don't like them. Why not (like) the white people, like the American?"

 

BREAKING NEWS:
Chinese National by the Name Liu Jiaqi who was captured on video yesterday using abusive words has been arrested. His work permit has been canceled and will be deported on racism grounds. Via @GKihalangwa CC. @984inthemorning@K24Tv #AskImmigrationKEpic.twitter.com/WwU3XpCm8E

— Road Alerts (@RoadAlertsKE) September 6, 2018

He added that he only stays in Kenya because "money is important". It was not clear from the video exactly what Liu's job was in Kenya.

Some Kenyans on social media have called for Liu to be charged rather than simply deported.

This is not the first time Chinese workers in Kenya have been accused of racism.

Three years ago, a small Chinese restaurant in the capital Nairobi was shut down by the authorities and the owner charged for operating a "no blacks" policy after 5pm.

Earlier this year, Kenyan workers on a new Chinese-built railway alleged racism and discrimination by Chinese staff and managers.

However, the government dismissed allegations of racism on the US$3.2 billion signature infrastructure project.

Kenyatta was this week in Beijing attending a conference where China promised to invest another US$60 billion in Africa.

The arrest comes a day after Kenyan police raided the African headquarters of the China Global Television Network in Nairobi, briefly detaining several journalists as part of an ongoing crackdown against illegal immigrants.

The Chinese embassy said in a statement it would express its concern through diplomatic channels, after several incidents in which nationals with legal documents were hauled into police stations for verification.

Knii Odoi Posted on September 06, 2018 09:10

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Ethiopia, Somalia leaders urge dialogue to resolve Eritrea and Djibouti border dispute

 

 

Eritrea

The leaders of Somalia, Ethiopia and Eritrea have agreed to initiate dialogue as they seek to resolve a border dispute between the latter and Djibouti, according to Abdinur Mohamed, the communications director in the office of the Somali president.

The leaders, who were meeting in the Eritrean capital of Asmara, agreed to resolve the impasse in the interest of peace and development in the Horn of Africa region.

 

Djibouti in July petitioned the United Nation’s security council, asking the body to ‘facilitate an agreement between them upon a mutually acceptable means of peaceful dispute settlement’.

The disputed land in question is the Dumeira mountain and Dumeira island which Djibouti claims is being illegally occupied by Eritrea.

Both Somalia and Ethiopia have been actively working to achieve the normalisation of relations between Djibouti and Eritrea.

Takeda Alemu, Ethiopia’s ambassador to the United Nations told the security council in July, that Addis Ababa had conducted fruitful and useful discussions with the Djibouti foreign minister.

 

Somalia’s president, Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed Farmaajo, also travelled to Djibouti in August to discuss his own country’s normalisation of relations with Eritrea after he was criticised for calling on the United Nations to lift sanctions on Eritrea.

An arms embargo imposed on Eritrea since 2009 was chiefly to do with its alleged support for Somali insurgent group Al-Shabaab but also because of its agression against Djibouti and refusal to enter any form of mediation over the disputed regions.

 

Calls for the 2009 Eritrean sanctions to be lifted has been strong in recent months following the peace deal between the country and Ethiopia.

The Djibouti – Eritrea standoff is seen by most political and security analysts as the final rift needed to be solved to restore durable peace to the Horn of Africa region.

Knii Odoi Posted on September 06, 2018 09:06

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Floyd Mayweather Reportedly Dragged Into Chris Brown’s Child Support Battle 6 September 2018, 8:08

Breezy is in more child support drama... Floyd Mayweather has reportedly been dragged into Chris Brown’s current child support battle with Nia Guzman. According to Page Six, Guzman has been attempting to seek more child support from Chris Brown over their 4-year-old daughter Royalty. Chris Brown claimed the he already gives her $6,000 a month for private school, medical costs and a nanny, as well as more than $3,000 for activities, travel and entertainment. Court documents filed by the singer also claim he is “providing a 4-year-old with everything she demands could be harmful and is not in her best interest.”

Guzman claims she only makes $400 a month, which is why she is demanding more money from Chris Brown. However in new court developments in the legal battle, it has been revealed by The Blast that she was gifted $20,000 from boxer Floyd Mayweather to start a clothing website inspired by her daughter Royalty. Guzman apparently didn’t want to reveal the name of her financial investor but later told the news to Chris Brown’s legal team, adding the Mayweather “heard about the idea of me wanting to start the company, and he said that he would help with it at no cost.” She claims that she has known Floyd Mayweather and his family for over 10 years. The court case is still underway.

Nii Sackey Posted on September 06, 2018 08:43

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The birth control women don't know

Outside of sterilisation, the IUD is the most effective type of contraception – and unlike a pill or condom, you can ‘set it and forget it’. So why is it used by only a minority of women?

  • By Zaria Gorvett

6 September 2018

What closely resembles an alien insect and decapitates sperm? If you answered the ‘coil’, otherwise known as the intrauterine device (IUD), congratulations! You’re correct.

About the length of a paperclip, these bizarre objects come in a wide range of shapes, from frilly ovals to four-legged spiders. However, the most common variety in the Western world consists of a T-shaped piece of plastic with a dangling ‘tail’ of threads.

To work, IUDs must be placed inside the womb, where they can remain – depending on the brand and type – for up to 12 years. They’re incredibly good at preventing pregnancy.

In Asia, 27% of women use an IUD for contraception; in North America, 6.1% 

In fact, they’re the most effective contraception on the planet – aside from sterilisation or avoiding sex altogether. And apart from those options, they’re also the most popular birth control method worldwide. But that doesn’t mean that most women in every country have heard of them. In Asia, for example, 27% of women use an IUD for contraception. But the rate is just 6.1% in North America… and less than 2% in Australia and New Zealand.

Why is this? And why should more of us know about them?

You might also like these other stories in the Health Gap:
• The strange truth about the pill
• How the menstrual cycle changes women’s brains
• The excruciating condition that only affects women

One reason IUDs aren’t more widely used in the United States might be the lack of marketing. Over the years, pharmaceutical giants have chosen to invest heavily in promoting the contraceptive pill instead, which is more profitable.

“I think patients now are more aware than they were in the past,” says Alyssa Dweck, a gynaecologist based in New York. “But money is obviously important.”

 

 

“There are many companies, with many different formulations [of contraceptive pill], with some of the differences hardly noticeable to individuals,” says David Hubacher, an epidemiologist at the non-profit human development organisation FHI 360. “In contrast, if you look at the main IUD we’ve had on the market since 1988, ParaGard, there hasn’t been much advertising.”

Another reason is that they have a bit of an image problem. There are plenty of hostile rumours about IUDs out there – like the idea that they’re painful, cause infertility, or lead to bad sex. In the light of their checkered history, this isn’t particularly surprising.

The idea that placing a foreign object in a woman’s reproductive organs could prevent pregnancy first emerged in the late 19th Century. To begin with, doctors were pretty much just placing random objects in the cervix, the entrance of the uterus, and hoping that this would do the trick. These early precursors to the IUD, called “stem pessaries”, were made from all kinds of materials, such as bone and cat guts. But later versions were mostly metal screws with long, forked ‘tails’.

 

 

The first mainstream IUDs emerged several decades later, in the 1920s. These were popularised by a German doctor Ernst Grafenberg, who is better known today for having the ‘G spot’ named after him. 

Grafenberg’s design was a simple ring of metal that was placed in the womb, and he soon began performing scientific studies to see if they actually worked. All was going well, but their development was cut short when the Nazis arrested him. He was later rescued by the queen of birth control, Margaret Sanger, and fled to the United States. 

 

 

From then onwards, IUDs really took off. In China, IUDs were an important tool for implementing the one-child policy, along with forced sterilisations. To this day, the country has its own devices which have been especially designed or altered to make them more difficult to remove; they often require surgery.

In America, meanwhile, there was the Dalkon Shield disaster. This infamous brand, which had a broad ‘shell’ a bit like a horseshoe crab's, was introduced in the 1960s. They were based on the idea that IUDs with a larger surface area would be more effective. Instead, they had an unacceptably high risk of pregnancy. Even worse, they also led to widespread infections and infertility. It was a massive public scandal and more than 50,000 women ultimately filed successful lawsuits against the manufacturer.

“Women are always going to be concerned about their future fertility. It took a long time to make IUDs in a way that was considered safer, and to reorient women’s views,” says Dweck.

 

 

Luckily, modern versions are quite different. There are two main types: those that contain copper, and those that slowly release a low dose of the hormone levonorgestrel.

“The products we have today are very safe and effective,” says Hubacher. He points out that even when IUD use was at an all-time low, IUDs were five times more popular with female doctors than the general public. “And if you just look at the subset who were OB-GYN [specialists in reproductive medicine], the rates were up to nine times higher.”

To get to grips with this enthusiasm, it helps to compare them to other contraceptives.

If you take the pill the human way, over 10 years you have a 61% chance of getting pregnant 

Millions of women across the globe, from Melbourne to Mumbai, woke up this morning and punched a small pill out of its packet. They must remember to take one nearly every day, which is surprisingly difficult.

Theoretically, the combined contraceptive pill gives women less than a 1% chance of becoming pregnant in any given year. In reality, most of us accidentally miss around five pills each month – so the rate of pregnancy is actually more like 9%. That means that if you take the pill the human way for 10 years, you have a 61% chance of getting pregnant overall. In other words, more likely than not, you will get pregnant.

 

 

By one estimate, reliance on oral contraceptives leads to 960,000 pregnancies every year. There are also side effects, such as an increased risk of potentially life-changing blood clots and a faded sense of wellbeing.

The issue of compliance is common to most contraception, from condoms to the contraceptive patch. Human nature (and sexual behaviour) being what it is, these just aren’t used in real life as they are intended.

But IUDs are different. Because they require no maintenance aside from insertion, which is done by a medical professional, they’re exactly as effective as they say on the packet. Copper IUDs give women roughly a 1% chance of getting pregnant each year, which works out as an 8% risk over 10 years; hormonal versions provide less than a 1% chance each year or a 2% chance over a decade. The hormonal version comes with what many women see as an added bonus – one in five users find that their periods stop altogether.

Anna Foley, from New Zealand, decided to get a hormonal IUD a few years ago. “In general for me, I loved it because I always sucked at remembering to take the pill,” she says. “Plus I found that I had some negative side effects to the hormones, while the Mirena [IUD] had a lower dose.”

People used to think that IUDs mainly worked after conception, by making it impossible for a fertilised egg to implant. But experts no longer believe this to be the case.

Instead, IUDs work for two reasons. The first is that any object in the womb leads to an inflammatory response: a certain type of white blood cells rushes to the area, where they eat sperm and produce waste that is toxic to sperm. One study found that IUDs increased the number of these cells in the womb by 1,000%.

 

 

The second reason depends on the type of IUD. Hormonal versions modify a woman’s body to make it more difficult for sperm to reach a woman’s egg, and make her womb inhospitable in case one is fertilised. Copper IUDS, on the other hand, are fearsome sperm killers. As copper ions dissolve into the womb, they paralyse and even decapitate sperm – though exactly how remains a mystery.

Still, even modern IUDs come with some risks. The most serious is the possibility the device will be pushed through the wall of the uterus while it’s being inserted, which is classed as a medical emergency but only happens very rarely (one in every 1,000 insertions). There is also a slight increase in the risk of infections, pelvic inflammatory disease and of ectopic pregnancy among other things, but these disappear once it is removed. Of course, other methods of contraception come with risks too – roughly one in every 1,176 women on the pill are at risk of developing a blood clot in any given year, for example.

In terms of the intensity of the pain, I would have told you it was a 10/10 – Anna Foley

But one major concern many women have is that having an IUD inserted will be painful. And while this isn’t always the case, it certainly can be. Foley doesn’t mince words about her own experience. “In terms of the intensity of the pain, I would have told you it was a 10/10. It was really, really bad. And whenever I thought about the pain for the rest of the day I’d just start crying.”

Generally the most intense pain goes away within minutes – it’s like a fleeting spasm – and women are left with a dull ache for the rest of the day. And as several women have pointed out, it’s much less painful than one possible alternative: childbirth.

 

 

In fact, for years doctors thought that the pain of inserting an IUD would only be bearable for women who had already given birth, because their birth canals would be slightly stretched. This had an unfortunate effect: for years, many women didn’t hear about this method from their doctors. We now know that it doesn’t make a lot of difference – women who have already given birth tend to rate their pain as a “level four”, as opposed to a “level six”.

Many doctors are now arguing that all women should be given the option of having a local anaesthetic before insertion, in the hope that this will increase the number of women getting IUDs. Regardless, the popularity of these ingenious, sperm-slaying devices has been increasing steadily since the 2000s. “There’s a big push to recommend IUDs as a first-line option,” says Dweck. Though they’re expensive to buy and insert, over, say, a 10-year lifespan, they can be more cost effective than birth control pills – and health providers have caught on.

Who knows – maybe articles about how they exist will soon be redundant.

--

This story is part of the Health Gap, a special series about how men and women experience the medical system – and their own health – in starkly different ways.

Do you have an experience to share? Or are you just interested in sharing information about women's health and wellbeing? Join our Facebook group Future Womanand be a part of the conversation about the day-to-day issues that affect women’s lives. 

Join 800,000+ Future fans by liking us on Facebook, or follow us on Twitter.

If you liked this story, sign up for the weekly bbc.com features newsletter, called “If You Only Read 6 Things This Week”. A handpicked selection of stories from BBC Future, Culture, Capital, and Travel, delivered to your inbox every Friday.

Knii Odoi Posted on September 06, 2018 07:55

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6 Ways To Fall More Deeply In Love With Your Husband (Even If You Sometimes Hate Him)

1. Think small when it comes to romance Being romantic on a consistent basis doesn't take much time. The problem is not time or a lack thereof — no matter how much you want to resist believing this statement — but rather that you've stopped thinking about romance.

Think of little things you could do that take only seconds, including things like expressing words of appreciation as you leave for work, sending a sweet and sexy text during the day, or bringing home your partner's favorite dessert to enjoy together kid-free after dinner.

2. Remember that you have the power to uplift each other Often, we fail to remember or even think about how positively powerful we are. A simple decision to express yourself in a romantic way can send positive vibes to your partner that could last for quite a while.

It's easy to forget this and feel consumed by the many heavy circumstances and tasks of your life, but pausing to do or say something simple and romantic for the person you love is actually a great way to counteract that feeling that it's all too much.

3. Don’t wait until you "feel like it" Odds are good that your parents didn't openly show their romantic side in front of you, at least, not on a consistent basis. If you wait to do something romantic until you feel like doing it, you probably won't be showing affection to your partner any more often than they did.

4. Pick a time Since you're thinking small, pick a time every day, or at least most days, to do or say that romantic thing. Since it takes seconds or, at most, minutes, you will still have plenty of time left in the day to be a good parent and take care of business.

5. Show your kids how romantic you are Children with parents who are romantic with each other are far more fortunate than parents who do everything for the kids but not much for each other.

6. Think big every once in a while Every so often, get that babysitter for the night (or even for the weekend) and plan something that takes both of you out of the realm of parenthood for a longer period of time.

Nii Sackey Posted on September 06, 2018 06:45

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The Verge fall movie preview, September 2018

Why Verge readers might care:

The Conjuring series has quickly built up its own mini-expanded universe over the last five years. While original franchise director James Wan has since moved on to blockbuster fare like Aquaman, he continues to serve as a producer and writer. (He co-wrote the story for The Nun.) That’s helped ensure that the Conjuring spin-offs largely deliver on the creepy atmosphere and scares of the 2015 original.

Why they might not:

Despite Wan’s involvement, not all films in the franchise have been well-received. 2014’s Annabelle was critically drubbed on release, though the prequel Annabelle: Creation fared better.

What it says about the future:

Evil never dies, and neither do horror franchises — as long as audiences keep turning out for new installments. Like other shared universes, the Conjuring franchise has been diversified across a number of namesake properties, which offer more opportunities for spin-offs, but also insulates the larger franchise from a single failure. No matter how The Nun performs, it’s safe to assume more films in this series will be on their way.

Nii Sackey Posted on September 06, 2018 06:12

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Inter Miami birth

Football legendary David Beckham unveils the name of his team as Inter Miami. His team is scheduled to join the league in 2020.

Pre-Paid Posted on September 06, 2018 05:33

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Versius Robotic Surgical System Unveiled by UK Company

CMR Surgical, a Cambridge, UK firm, is formally unveiling its Versius surgical robotic system that is designed to be portable, easy to setup, and, perhaps most importantly, affordable for hospitals that otherwise would have budget limitations obtaining existing robotic systems.

The Versius is modular in its design, with the moving arms individually mounted on their own carts. This allows the system to be wheeled between different ORs or even transported to another nearby hospital, if such a necessity is to arise.

 

The robotic arms copy some of their mechanics from human arms, giving surgeons an intuitive sense when operating them and allowing the access ports to be placed wherever needed.

3D visualization is provided from within the body thanks to a 3D camera and the matching screens and glasses. The surgeon can sit or stand, depending on the surgery and the surgeon’s preference, something CMR Surgical believes can actually extend the working career of many aging surgeons.

“We believe Versius represents a paradigm shift in surgery,” said Martin Frost, CEO of CMR Surgical, in a statement. “The ground-breaking design, coupled with genuine affordability, means that patients everywhere have the potential to benefit from the advantages of minimal access surgery. Versius is a great example of British innovation and its launch represents a pivotal moment in the next chapter of surgery and patient care.”

Here’s a video from CMR Surgical presenting the Versius:

 

Flashbacks: Meet Versius, Cambridge Medical Robotics’ Portable and Cost Effective Robot for Minimal Access Surgery…Cambridge Medical Robotics Shows Off Its New Versius System…

Product page: Versius surgical robotic system…

Via: CMR Surgical…

 

https://www.medgadget.com/2018/09/versius-robotic-surgical-system-unveiled-by-uk-company.html

Archimedeskay Posted on September 06, 2018 05:16

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How Star Wars: Episode IX May Deviate From Return Of The Jedi

Star Wars: The Force Awakens ended on a similar note to the movie that started it all, A New Hope, with the good guys blowing up a planet-destroying machine and dealing a major blow to the tyrannical antagonists. Then two years later, The Last Jedi arrived, and like The Empire Strikes Back, it was a significantly darker chapter. Within just a few days, nearly all of The Resistance was destroyed by The First Order, with the few survivors just barely escaping aboard the Millennium Falcon. But the new Star Wars trilogy isn't over yet, and at the end of next year, we'll see the conflict between The Resistance and The First Order finally conclude in Episode IX. Only unlike its Original Trilogy counterpart, Return of the Jedi, it doesn't sound like we should expect to see The Resistance launching a full-blown assault to bring down their opponents.

While important Resistance members like Leia Organa and Poe Dameron managed to make it out of The Last Jedi unscathed, our heroes certainly didn't have the numbers to take the fight back to The First Order anytime soon. Word of Luke Skywalker's actions on Crait has already made its way around a galaxy far, far away, as evidenced by Broom Boy and the other kids on Canto Bight learning about it, and as Luke and Leia predicted, the Resistance will be reborn. However, as Oscar Isaac recently revealed, the benevolent movement has turned into more of a guerrilla force when Episode IX rolls around. So while their numbers have managed to grow, rather than carrying out massive assaults against The First Order, they instead quickly attack, go back into hiding, regroup, rinse and repeat, akin to how the Rebellion operated in its earliest years when combating the Empire. Isaac described the operation as "ragged," which is a far cry from where the Rebellion found itself in Return of the Jedi.

The Rebellion lost a lot of good soldiers on Hoth at the beginning of The Empire Strikes Back, but the fact of the matter is that a year after that conflict, the Rebellion had enough people among its ranks to wage an attack on the second Death Star, with Han Solo and Leia Organa leading the effort to destroy the space station's shield generator, while Lando Calrissian, Wedge Antilles and Admiral Ackbar were among the many who took part in the space battle. Sure, some factions of the Rebellion likely stayed behind in case the second Death Star assault wasn't successful, but clearly its leaders felt that they stood a good enough chance to blow up the Empire's newest weapon (particularly since they had what they believed was top-secret information). That doesn't sound like this will be the case at all inEpisode IX. The Resistance may have grown back to being a credible threat, but going off of Oscar Isaac's explanation, there's no way they would have enough people to carry out an assault on the same scale that the Rebellion did three decades ago, and narratively speaking, that's probably for the better.

One of the main criticisms directed towards The Force Awakens was that it felt like too much like A New Hope rehash, so it's doubtful Episode IX will repeat the formula of having its heroes band together to bring down a planet-destroying machine. But on top of that, if the Resistance is relying on guerrilla tactics to keep The First Order on its toes, then unless they're somehow able to rally citizens all across the galaxy far, far away to collectively rise up against The First Order, then they'll have to defeat their enemies through more creative methods. Unlike the Prequel Trilogy, which required the establishment of the Empire and for the Jedi Order to be eliminated, it's a good bet that Episode IX will follow in the Original Trilogy's footsteps and end on on a positive note by having the good guys ultimately overcome the bad guys. For now, it's hard to say how that will be accomplished, but for now, it's good to hear that rather than adhere to closely to Return of the Jedi,Episode IX is embarking on a different path when it comes to two military forces wrapping up their years-long war.

Star Wars: Episode IX will be released in theaters on December 20, 2019, so keep checking back with CinemaBlend for more updates. As for what other Star Warsmovies are on the way, you can get up to speed by looking through our handy guide.

 

https://www.cinemablend.com/news/2457002/how-star-wars-episode-ix-may-deviate-from-return-of-the-jedi

Archimedeskay Posted on September 06, 2018 04:43

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Cryptocurrencies widely plunge after report Goldman is rolling back plans

Bitcoin prices continued to take a hit on Thursday morning Asia time, following a report that Goldman Sachs was dropping its plans for opening a trading desk for cryptocurrencies.

The world's largest digital currency fell to a low of $6,279.08 around 8:36 a.m. HK/SIN, according to data from industry outlet CoinDesk.

Beyond bitcoin, the price of other cryptocurrencies also continued to plunge, according to tracking site CoinMarketCap. As of 11:09 a.m. HK/SIN, the price of ethereum had fallen by 19.72 percent in only 24 hours, while Ripple's XRP token had seen its value dive by 13.92 percent and bitcoin cash dropped by 18.79 percent during that time.

Digital currencies often move in tandem, pulled by the fortunes of bitcoin — which far exceeds its peers in terms of market size. Despite recovering a bit from its earlier daily low, bitcoin is still down about 12 percent over the last 24 hours, according to CoinMarketCap. That figure roughly matched the percentage change shown in CoinDesk's price tallies.

The major recent news in the crypto space came from a WednesdayBusiness Insider report, which cited people familiar with the issue saying Goldman continues to see uncertainty in the regulatory landscape for cryptocurrencies. In October of 2017, the Wall Street behemoth had said it was looking into the possibility of launching a new trading operation focused on bitcoin and other digital currencies.

The report also cited executives as concluding that more steps, many of which are beyond the company's control, need to be taken before a regulated financial institution would be allowed to trade cryptocurrencies.

 

In October of 2017, Lloyd Blankfein, Goldman Sachs' outgoing CEO, had tweeted that the bank was "still thinking about bitcoin."

Another bit of recent bearish news for cryptocurrencies came late last month when the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commissiononce again rejected proposals for a bitcoin exchange-traded fund as it continued to voice concern over fraud and possible manipulation in bitcoin markets. In bids to attract institutional investors, multiple groups have attempted to obtain SEC approval for cryptocurrency-focused exchange-traded funds.

According to data from CoinMarketCap, the cumulative market cap for all cryptocurrencies expressed in U.S. dollars has plunged approximately 72 percent since the beginning of 2018.

https://www.cnbc.com/2018/09/06/bitcoin-other-cryptocurrencies-plunge-after-report-on-goldman-plans.html

 

Archimedeskay Posted on September 06, 2018 04:03

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The Latest: Japan Says 2 Dead, Many Missing in Earthquake

Police search missing persons at the site of a landslide after an earthquake in Atsuma town, Hokkaido, northern Japan, Thursday, Sept. 6, 2018. A powerful earthquake rocked Japan’s northernmost main island of Hokkaido early Thursday, triggering landslides that crushed homes, knocking out power across the island, and forcing a nuclear power plant to switch to a backup generator. (Kyodo News via AP) THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

TOKYO (AP) — THE LATEST on the powerful earthquake in northern Japan (all times local):

11:35 a.m.

A Japanese government spokesman says two people have been confirmed dead after a powerful earthquake rocked the northern main island of Hokkaido.

Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said the search was ongoing for those missing after the quake triggered dozens of landslides in the mountainous region near the epicenter. The magnitude 6.7 earthquake on Hokkaido early Thursday morning also knocked out power across the northern island.

Aerial footage showed slashes of brown earth on many heavily forested mountains, crushed homes and farm buildings and roads buried by avalanches of mud, logs and other debris.

___

10:15 a.m.

The Japanese national broadcaster NHK is reporting that 125 people have been injured and about 20 are feared missing after a powerful quake triggered dozens of landslides in heavily forested mountains on the northern main island of Hokkaido.

The magnitude 6.7 earthquake struck southern Hokkaido early Thursday morning. Power was knocked out across the island.

The government said airports and many roads on the island were closed following the quake.

Officials said that 25,000 troops and other personnel were being dispatched to the area to help with rescue operations.

___

8:30 a.m.

Japan's minister for the economy, trade and industry Hiroshige Seko told reporters that efforts are underway to try to restore power in Hokkaido.

Nearly 3 million households over a widespread area are without electricity after a magnitude 6.7 earthquake struck southern Hokkaido at 3:08 a.m. Thursday (18:08 GMT Wednesday) at the depth of 40 kilometers (24 miles).

Seko said the government plans to use power from the area's four hydroelectric plants as all the area's fossil fuel power plants aren't working.

 

Places like hospitals will get priority, he said, noting he hoped to get power back "within a few hours."

Power is still out at the area's Tomari nuclear plant, but backup diesel generators have kicked in so the reactors' fuel is continuing to be kept cool, according to the government nuclear authorities. The plant has also shut down.

___

4 a.m.

A powerful earthquake hit wide areas on Japan's northernmost main island of Hokkaido early Thursday, triggering landslides as well as causing the loss of power at nearly all of 3 million households and a nuclear power plant to go on a backup generator.

A magnitude 6.7 earthquake struck southern Hokkaido at 3:08 a.m. Thursday (1808 GMT Wednesday) at the depth of 40 kilometers (24 miles), Japan's Meteorological Agency said.

The quake's epicenter was east of the city of Tomakomai. It also struck Hokkaido's prefectural capital of Sapporo, with a population of 1.9 million.

 

https://www.usnews.com/news/world/articles/2018-09-05/the-latest-minister-promises-power-back-in-quake-hit-japan

Archimedeskay Posted on September 06, 2018 03:51

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Senators blast Google for no-show on Capitol Hill

Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg and Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey will appear before the Senate Intelligence Committee Wednesday morning to discuss actions their companies have taken to thwart foreign influence campaigns targeting the 2018 midterm elections. (CNN)

(CNN Money) -- The Senate Intelligence Committee's hearing on foreign use of social media to influence US politics took place Wednesday morning with two of the big tech companies that senators wanted to hear from present -- and one empty chair.

Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg and Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey were in the room and testifying. Google had offered to send Kent Walker, its senior vice president of global affairs, but the committee declined, saying it wanted someone more senior. Google did not offer anyone. So next to Sandberg and Dorsey was an empty chair, with a placecard for Google.

Committee chairman Sen. Richard Burr said the committee would have "valued the opportunity to speak with them [Google] at the appropriate level of corporate representation."

"I'm deeply disappointed that Google -- one of the most influential digital platforms in the world -- chose not to send its own top corporate leadership to engage this committee," Sen. Mark Warner, the committee's top Democrat, said. He added that there are "structural vulnerabilities" in multiple Google products, including Google search, YouTube and Gmail, about which members of the committee want answers. "Google has an immense responsibility in this space," he said.

Google posted on its blog on Tuesday what it described as Walker's testimony to the committee. However, a committee spokesperson shot back, saying, "We appreciate Mr. Walker's commentary, but it is not testimony. We wish his enthusiasm for participating in the Committee's public hearing extended to his company's senior leadership, and that they were willing to answer the Committee's questions."

Although Google didn't show up, conspiracy theorist Alex Jones did, taking a seat in the public gallery. Earlier this summer, accounts associated with Jones and his company InfoWars were removed from Facebook and YouTube for violating the companies' rules. The decision to remove the provocateur was a telling moment in Silicon Valley's efforts to get a handle on the spread of false information on its platforms while also trying to keep their roles as free speech advocates.

Twitter continues to allow Jones to use its platform. He used Periscope, which is owned by Twitter, to livestream his visit to Capitol Hill.

Wednesday marked Silicon Valley's third high profile outing in Washington in less than 12 months. Dorsey and Sandberg used their appearance to outline the steps their companies have taken to tackle disinformation on their platforms and to make political advertising more transparent -- both part of an attempt to avoid a repeat of 2016, when a troll farm with links to the Russian government ran a disinformation campaign targeting Americans.

Both executives said their companies are now working more closely together to share information on foreign threats. But it took Twitter until earlier this week to remove from its platform an account thatFacebook had flagged two weeks ago as being linked to Russian military intelligence. The account was posing as a Syrian activist group.

In her testimony, Sandberg underscored the importance of the companies receiving cooperation from intelligence agencies. "Our understanding of overall Russian activity in 2016 is limited because we do not have access to the information or investigative tools that the U.S. government and this Committee have," she said.

Sandberg said Facebook was working closely with the FBI's new election interference task force.

Both also touted how their companies' efforts to combat fake accounts. Between October 2017 and March 2018, Sandberg said, Facebook removed 1.27 billion fake accounts.

Dorsey said Twitter thwarts 530,000 "suspicious logins" every day.

Sen. Tom Cotton asked why Wikileaks and its leader Julian Assange are still allowed on Facebook and Twitter, citing comments made by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who described Wikileaks as a "non-state hostile intelligence service."

"I am not going to defend Wikileaks," Sandberg responded, but said Wikileaks did not break Facebook's terms of service.

Dorsey also said the group had not violated Twitter's policies, but added, "We are open as always to any law enforcement insight that would indicate a violation of our terms."

Senators appeared to largely avoid any major snafus in their questioning, unlike previous hearings on this subject, after which lawmakers were mocked for asking questions that seemed to reflect a lack of understanding about social media. The Senate Intelligence Committee has been investigating social media's role in political discourse for more than a year.

Likewise, Sandberg and Dorsey seemed well-prepared to handle the questions that came their way. Both were flanked by groups of advisers as they made their way in and out of the Dirksen Senate Office Building.

Dorsey was due to participate in a second hearing on Wednesday before the House Energy & Commerce Committee, where he is set to discuss the algorithms Twitter uses to serve content on users' Twitter feeds and "content monitoring." During that hearing, it's likely Dorsey will face questions about — and push back against — accusations of political bias against Republicans.

-- CNN's Manu Raju contributed reporting.

 

https://www.wsmv.com/news/us_world_news/senators-blast-google-for-no-show-on-capitol-hill/article_79a1969a-4857-504f-a3b5-6ce673fbb542.html

Archimedeskay Posted on September 06, 2018 03:43

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Notts County defender Matt Tootle reveals struggle with gambling

Matt Tootle has spoken out about his problems with gambling

Notts County defender Matt Tootle has publicly disclosed his struggles with gambling, saying it is "rife" in football.

The 27-year-old has previously discussed his mental health struggles and on Wednesday he wrote about his problems with betting.

Tootle wrote on Twitter: "I think the best thing I have ever done is be open and honest about my mental health, as it's drove (sic) me to feel prouder than ever about how I came through the darkest days and be able to help others, which is why I feel I need to be open and honest for the first time about another problem that has been part of my life since I was 16 years old.

"I've been a compulsive gambler for as long as I remember and it has brought to me some of my worst memories. Many times I have tried to quit and been unsuccessful and almost lost love (sic) ones closest to me who tried to help.

"It's an illness and until you decide you actually want to help yourself you will never get over it.

"I'm now one month clean from betting. And I'm proud of it. On top of my mental health I understand I'm a complicated character but one thing I'm sure of is my strength deep within which makes me never give up in any walk of life.

Notts County FC?@Official_NCFC

| We have been helping Toots through this and are liaising with the @EFL to identify if they can offer any further support.

Matthew Tootle@MattTootle

Something I’ve needed to be open and honest about for a long time

5:18 PM - Sep 5, 2018

Twitter Ads info and privacy

"This problem is rife in football and something needs to be done about it and I'm hoping to also help with that now."

County said on Wednesday evening that they have been helping Tootle with this issue.

Hart leaves Luton to join Notts County

Luton assistant manager Paul Hart has left the club to join Notts County as technical director.

"Notts County have issued a statement following a social media post published by first-team player Matt Tootle," the club said.

"The full-back today tweeted about a long-term gambling addiction, for which he has been receiving counselling both within the club and externally.

"Notts take the welfare of all players extremely seriously and will continue to provide Matt with as much support as possible.

"The club are also liaising with the EFL to identify if they can offer any further support."

 

http://www.skysports.com/football/news/11768/11491266/notts-county-defender-matt-tootle-reveals-struggle-with-gambling

Archimedeskay Posted on September 06, 2018 03:29

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ANTHONY JOSHUA is promising to fight ­Deontay Wilder — even if the Bronze Bomber is KO’d by Tyson Fury.

AJ defends his WBA, IBF and WBO heavyweight crowns against Alexander Povetkin at Wembley on September 22 after talks with the American broke down.

WBC king Wilder is expected to meet Fury in December.

But Watford slugger Joshua said: “We’re going to fight regardless because we’re the same weight category, the same era and it’s the fight that people want to see. “Let’s say the worst happens with Povetkin, it don’t stop me from having to fight them. “And if Wilder gets beat in that fight with Fury, I’ll still fight Wilder down the line.”

AJ is not taking his eyes of the ball with Povetkin as he eyes a mega-bout with Fury or Wilder. He added: "I think I've got good opponents on my record so far.

"Povetkin's a good one and I'm at that stage where I do want to look past Povetkin, because the division is alight, it's amazing. "There's some real good challengers out there, but at the same time you've got to focus on your opponent in front of you, and that's why - is it a big threat? Yeah, but if I can't get past him then what can I say, everyone is going to be a big threat.

"I've got to dismantle Povetkin with ease, so I'm the threat, I'm the one to be reckoned with. “It's been years since British boxing, especially at heavyweight, has got the respect it has today, and it's good to be leading the way, and Povetkin is a real game challenger, but he's got to come across myself, I'm game as well, and it will be a good fight. "It's not going to be a quick one. We both can take a lot of punishment, and dish out a lot of punishment, and it's the first one to go."

Nii Sackey Posted on September 06, 2018 03:06

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Facebook Losing Many Users in the US After Scandals: Survey

HIGHLIGHTS

*A large number of Americans are stepping back from Facebook

*42 percent of US users said they had "taken a break" from Facebook

*26 percent said they had deleted the Facebook app

 

A large number of Americans are stepping back from Facebook in the wake of recent scandals over the social network's handling of private user data, a study showed Wednesday.

The Pew Research Center report found 42 percent of US Facebook users said they had "taken a break" from the platform in the past 12 months, and 26 percent said they had deleted the Facebook app from their phone. Among those in the 18-29 age group, the break with Facebook appeared more pronounced, with 44 percent claiming to have deleted the Facebook mobile app.

Although the survey did not indicate how many users were quitting Facebook entirely, the findings suggest a clouded outlook for the company which has been roiled by news of the hijacking of private data by political firm Cambridge Analytica and concerns of foreign influence campaigns on the platform.

According to Pew's survey, three-fourths of US Facebook users have taken some steps to change how they interact with Facebook, including more than half who have changed their privacy settings. Perrin said the concerns about Facebook appeared to transcend political affiliation. "The poll found that nearly identical shares of Democrats and Republicans (including political independents who lean toward either party) use Facebook," he said.

Search Advertisement HOMEINTERNETINTERNET NEWS Facebook Losing Many Users in the US After Scandals: Survey Agence France-Presse, 05 September 2018 Facebook Losing Many Users in the US After Scandals: Survey HIGHLIGHTS A large number of Americans are stepping back from Facebook 42 percent of US users said they had "taken a break" from Facebook 26 percent said they had deleted the Facebook app A large number of Americans are stepping back from Facebook in the wake of recent scandals over the social network's handling of private user data, a study showed Wednesday.

The Pew Research Center report found 42 percent of US Facebook users said they had "taken a break" from the platform in the past 12 months, and 26 percent said they had deleted the Facebook app from their phone. Among those in the 18-29 age group, the break with Facebook appeared more pronounced, with 44 percent claiming to have deleted the Facebook mobile app. Sponsored Content . This is the easiest way to move to America! Usafis by

Taboola Although the survey did not indicate how many users were quitting Facebook entirely, the findings suggest a clouded outlook for the company which has been roiled by news of the hijacking of private data by political firm Cambridge Analytica and concerns of foreign influence campaigns on the platform. "Significant shares of Facebook users have taken steps in the past year to reframe their relationship with the social media platform," researcher Andrew Perrin said in a blog post. Promoted: In the Stores Oppo RealMe 1 (Silver, 64GB, 4GB RAM) 4.4 ? ? 10,990 ? 12,990 Buy 5% Cashback*Amazon Huawei P20 Pro (Blue, 128GB, 6GB RAM, 40MP Leica Triple Camera) 4.4 ? ? 59,999 ? 69,999 Buy Price Drop AlertAmazon Xiaomi Redmi Y2 (Dark Grey, 32GB, 3GB RAM) ? 9,999 Buy 5% Cashback*Amazon Apple iPhone X (Space Grey, 64GB) ? 85,790* ? 95,000 Buy Includes ? 5,500 Cashback*Paytm Mall Xiaomi Mi A2 (Gold, 64GB, 4GB RAM) ? 16,999 Buy 5% Cashback*Amazon Oppo F9 Pro (64GB, 6GB RAM) 5 Mins. Charge, 2 Hours Talk Open SalePaytm Mall According to Pew's survey, three-fourths of US Facebook users have taken some steps to change how they interact with Facebook, including more than half who have changed their privacy settings. Perrin said the concerns about Facebook appeared to transcend political affiliation.

"The poll found that nearly identical shares of Democrats and Republicans (including political independents who lean toward either party) use Facebook," he said. Advertisement "Republicans are no more likely than Democrats to have taken a break from Facebook or deleted the app from their phone in the past year." The report was based on a survey between May 29 and June 11 including 3,413 Facebook users aged 18 and older, with an estimated margin of error of 2.8 percentage points. The survey comes ahead of a congressional hearing on foreign influence campaigns on social media, at which Facebook chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg was to testify.

Nii Sackey Posted on September 06, 2018 02:58

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TISHA CAMPBELL-MARTIN MY EX CAN PAY SUPPORT ... HIS SHIRTS ARE WORTH $750K!!

"Martin" star Tisha Campbell-Martin is adamant her estranged hubby has the money to pay her spousal support ... and she says the proof is in his closet.

Tisha filed new legal docs, obtained by TMZ, and puts Duane Martin on blast for his wardrobe. In particular, she say he has more than 500 shirts that cost $1,500 a piece ... totaling a whopping $750k! Tisha says she knows this because Duane made a video bragging about it. In docs,

Tisha says she has $1.5 million in assets but right now doesn't have a steady source of income, and that's why she's asking for spousal support. She says her monthly expenses total at least $33k per month, and estimates Duane makes around $62k per month. TMZ broke the story ...

Tisha claims Duane was hiding money during their marriage. Tisha filed for divorce back in February after 20 years of marriage.

Nii Sackey Posted on September 06, 2018 02:19

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Firefighters die in blaze in South Africa

Three firefighters have died in a blaze which swept through the upper floors of a building in South Africa's main city, Johannesburg, officials have said.

One firefighter fell to his death while battling the blaze, while the other two were found inside the building.

Thirteen people who worked in the building have been admitted to hospital, officials said.

The fire broke out on the 23rd floor of the building in downtown Johannesburg, and was apparently caused by an electrical fault, the local News24 website reported.

Its correspondent has tweeted a photo of the building.

Knii Odoi Posted on September 05, 2018 20:34

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'Hundreds of migrants' rescued in desert

More than 400 West Africans have been rescued in the desert in northern Niger, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) has said, Reuters news agency reports.

Search and rescue teams found the migrants, split in two groups, at the desert border town of Assamaka on Monday and Tuesday, the IOM added.

The one group was made of 347 people who had arrived in Assamaka on foot on Monday. The group was made up of nationals from 13 countries, including Mali, Guinea and Senegal. A further 92 were found on Tuesday, Reuters quoted the IOM as saying.

Niger is a transit point for thousands of migrants on their way to Libya or Algeria, from where they try to cross the Mediterranean to reach Europe.

Knii Odoi Posted on September 05, 2018 20:29

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Fifa extends Kwesi Nyantakyi suspension by 45 days

Fifa has extended its ban from all football activities on former Ghana Football Association president Kwesi Nyantakyi by an additional 45 days,

He was initially suspended on 8 June for 90 days by the adjudicatory chamber of Fifa's independent Ethics Committee.

The committee are carrying out a formal investigation into Nyantakyi after he was filmed apparently accepting a "cash gift".

The extension of the ban will commence on 6 September 2018.

He was filmed in undercover investigation by controversial Ghanaian journalist Anas Aremeyaw Anas taking $65,000 (£48,000) from an undercover reporter pretending to be a businessman.

Some of the footage from Anas' film was later broadcast by the BBC World Service's investigation's programme Africa Eye.

Soon after the ban on 8 June Nyantakyi resigned from the posts he had held with football's world governing body, Fifa, and the Confederation of African Football (Caf).

He left his role on the Fifa Council and stepped aside from his roles with Caf including as 1st vice-president, the most senior figure at the confederation after its president, Ahmad.

As well as the Fifa suspension Nyantakyi also resigned as president of the GFA on 8 June following an executive committee meeting.

Nyantakyi has always denied any wrongdoing.

Knii Odoi Posted on September 05, 2018 20:23

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Colin Kaepernick: Donald Trump criticises Nike after advert, saying NFL is 'hard to watch'

Nike's new advertising campaign, which features Colin Kaepernick, celebrates the 30th anniversary of its 'Just Do It' slogan 

US President Donald Trump has criticised sportswear company Nike
following its decision to use Colin Kaepernick as the face of a new
campaign.

Kaepernick was the first NFL player to kneel during the national anthem to
highlight racial injustice.

But critics have burned Nike trainers and clothing in protest at the decision
to use Kaepernick in a campaign.

"Nike is getting absolutely killed with anger and boycotts," Trump said.
"I wonder if they had any idea that it would be this way?" he added in a
tweet.

The president also continued his previous criticism of the NFL, saying: " As
far as the NFL is concerned, I just find it hard to watch, and always will, until
they stand for the FLAG!"

Trump's criticism came after tennis star Serena Williams - who is also part
of the Nike campaign to mark the 30th anniversary of its 'Just Do It' slogan -
praised the company's move.

Speaking after her defeat of Karolina Pliskova in the US Open, Williams
called the decision to use Kaepernick a "powerful statement to a lot of other
companies".

Williams said of former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Kaepernick: "He's
done a lot for the African-American community, and it's cost him a lot.

The 23-time Grand Slam singles champion, who is sponsored by Nike,
added: "Having a huge company back him could be a controversial reason
for this company, but they're not afraid.

"It's sad. But he continues to do the best that he can to support."

After Nike unveiled the campaign, Williams tweeted that she was "especially
proud to be a part of the Nike family".

Basketball's LeBron James - also a Nike ambassador - added his support at
an awards ceremony on Tuesday, telling the audience: "I stand with Nike, all
day, every day."

However critics on social media have been using the hashtag #JustBurnIt - a
play on Nike's slogan 'Just Do It' - which trended alongside #BoycottNike.

In announcing the deal, Nike said Kaepernick - who has been out of a
contract since March 2017 and has failed to find a new team - was "one of
the most inspirational athletes of this generation".

The NFL said it "embraces the role and responsibility of everyone involved
with this game to promote meaningful, positive change in our communities".

Kaepernick, who watched Williams' third-round win over sister Venus at
Flushing Meadows, has filed a grievance against NFL team owners he claims
conspired not to hire him because of his protests.

REFERENCE

syllasasante Posted on September 05, 2018 19:12

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Tropical Storm Gordon kills child on US Gulf Coast

A child was killed when Tropical Storm Gordon made landfall on Tuesday, pounding states along the US Gulf Coast with wind, rain and surge waves.

The Escambia County Sheriff's Office said a tree fell on a mobile home near Pensacola on Tuesday night. It did not give a name or age of the child.

A state of emergency has been declared in Louisiana, Alabama, and Mississippi.

Thousands were reported to be without power on Wednesday morning despite Gordon's downgrade from a hurricane.

Image copyrightNHC

Image captionThe storm will carry rain into the US southern interior, forecasters say

Gordon made landfall just west of the Alabama-Mississippi border, the National Hurricane Center (NHC) said, with sustained winds of up to 70mph (110km/h).

The NHC had warned of "life-threatening" storm surges, and possible tornadoes.

Image copyrightGETTY IMAGES

The child was "found deceased" just before 21:00 local time and no one else inside the home was injured, said the Escambia County Sheriff's Office.

Image copyrightREUTERS

Image captionGordon could bring damaging storm surges along the coast

Gordon strengthened as it neared the coast on Tuesday, but did not reach hurricane status.

"Rapid weakening is forecast after Gordon moves inland, and is forecast to become a tropical depression on Wednesday," the NHC said in an advisory.

By Wednesday, wind speeds had dropped to 30mph, as the storm continued to move inland.

Heavy rains and the chance of flooding will continue for several days, according to the NHC.

Image Copyright @ReedTimmerAccu@REEDTIMMERACCU

Report

More than 27,000 customers were hit by power cuts, the Associated Press news agency reported, mostly in coastal Alabama and south-eastern Mississippi.

Image copyrightGETTY IMAGES

Image captionA storm surge warning is in effect for Dauphin Island, Alabama

Image copyrightREUTERS

Image captionLocal residents have been building sand barriers to minimise flooding

Oil and gas companies in the Gulf of Mexico also evacuated more than 50 platforms as the storm swept in, temporarily halting production.

The National Weather Service in New Orleans gave tips to city residents how to prepare for the arrival of the storm.

Image Copyright @NWSMobile@NWSMOBILE

Report

Meanwhile, New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell warned: "The city's absolute number one priority is to ensure the safety of our residents."

New Orleans was devastated by deadly Hurricane Katrina in 2005.

Knii Odoi Posted on September 05, 2018 18:39

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Emirates airline: Passengers sick on Dubai-New York flight

Nineteen people have been taken ill after an Emirates airline plane landed in New York, officials say.

The plane was quarantined at JFK airport as those on board were checked by health officials. Ten were taken to hospital but others refused treatment.

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said that initially about 100 people including some crew had complained of illness.

Flight 203 from Dubai landed at 09:10 (13.10 GMT) with 521 passengers.

Emergency vehicles were seen on the runway as it landed.

Soon afterwards, Emirates airline tweeted that the sick passengers were being attended to and those who were unaffected would be allowed to leave the plane

The CDC said in a statement that is was "aware of an Emirates flight from Dubai that arrived this morning at JFK".

"Approximately 100 passengers, including some crew on the flight, complained of illness including cough and some with fever.

"CDC public health officers are working with... officials to evaluate passengers including taking temperatures and making arrangements for transport to local hospitals those that need care."

Later Eric Phillips, spokesman for New York Mayor Bill de Blasio, confirmed that all the passengers were off the plane and the sick people had been taken to hospital.

He said that some of the passengers had originally come from the Saudi Arabian city of Mecca, which was currently experiencing a flu outbreak, and that the passengers' symptoms were "pointing to the flu".

Skip Twitter post by @EricFPhillips

Report

End of Twitter post by @EricFPhillips

Larry Coben, a passenger on the plane, posted pictures on Twitter of unaffected passengers being checked as they disembarked

 

Report

End of Twitter post by @LarryCoben

ABC News reports that the pilot raised concerns prior to landing that some of the passengers were coughing and experiencing high temperatures

Knii Odoi Posted on September 05, 2018 18:26

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Ethiopia Commercial Ship Dock In Eritrea First Time In 20 YearsA

An Ethiopian commercial ship docked in an Eritrean port for the first time in two decades on Wednesday,state - affiliated media said in a concrete sign of a stunning repproachment between the neighbours and former foes.

The mekelle entered the red sea port of Massawa and was due to carry 11,000 tonnes of Eritrea zinc to china,Ethiopian broadcaster Fauna Broadcasting Reported.

Ethiopian prime minister Ahmed Abiy offered to make peace with Eritrea after taking office in April - part of  a series of reforms that has turned politics on it's head in his country and the region.

Land locked Ethiopia has said it wants to make the re-opening of two roads connecting it to two of Eritrea's ports a priority in reconciliation process.

Eritrea's information minister,Yemane Ghebremoskel said on Twitter that Abiy had arrived in Eritrea on a two day working visit.

The premier would visit Massawa and the capital Asmata he added.

Abiy first visit Eritrea in July as the countries agreed to end a two decade  old  military stand-off over their border and other issues.

 

nuhutk Posted on September 05, 2018 18:07

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Abu Dhabi;the most beautiful city in UAE and the richest in the world

the most beautiful city in UAE and the richest in the world

Dominic Solomon Posted on September 05, 2018 17:54

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Abu Dhabi.

Abu Dhabi: the most beautiful city in UAE and the richest in the world. This wonderful city is the capital the United Arab Emirates and is without a doubt the most developed and richest city in the entire world.

First inhabited by the nomadic Bani Yas tribe in 1760, the settlement remained a small fishing village until oil was discovered.

Abu Dhabi has turned into a busy, modern city with boulevards, silver skyscrapers, high-rise apartment buildings, mega-malls and the world’s most luxurious palaces.

In addition, the landscape around Abu Dhabi is arresting with a golden coastline, sand dunes, lush oases, green palm trees and attractive gardens.

If you decide to visit the city the best place to stay is near the Corniche, the city’s seafront promenade, with its beaches, parks and fountains and modern buildings facing the sea. Other places of interest are mentioned below and should not be missed while you visit Abu Dhabi.

Dominic Solomon Posted on September 05, 2018 17:50

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Alibaba, IBM Ranked Top Globally for Number of Blockchain Patent Filed

Tech giants Alibaba and IBM are vying for the top spot on a new list that ranks global entities by the number of blockchain-related patents filed to date, published August 3.

iPR Daily — a media outlet specializing in intellectual property — says it consolidated data as of August 10 from across China, the EU, America, Japan and South Korea, as well consulting the International Patent System from the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO).

China’s Alibaba only just seals first place, having filed a total of 90 blockchain-related patent applications, whereas IBM has to date filed a total of 89.

In third place is Mastercard — with 80 filings — followed by Bank of America, with 53. Fifth on the new list is China’s central bank, People's Bank of China (PBoC), which has filed a total of 44 patent applications devoted to its project for central bank digital currency.

WIPO data has previously indicated that the highest number of patent filings for blockchain technology in 2017 came from China, which filed 225 that year as compared with the America’s 91 and Australia’s 13.

China’s embrace of the technology is counterbalanced by an increasingly stringent stance against decentralized cryptocurrencies, which has intensified yet further in recent weeks.

This split position is mirrored by Alibaba’s founder Jack Ma, who has been vocal in his endorsement of blockchain, even while reserving skepticism for cryptocurrencies.

IBM for its part has been steadily expanding its involvement in blockchain across diverse fields, recently signing a five-year $740 million deal with the Australian government to use blockchain and other new technologies to improve data security and automation across federal departments, including defense and home affairs.

Dominic Solomon Posted on September 05, 2018 17:40

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Crypto Mining Accepted as an Industry by Iranian Authorities.

The Secretary of Iran's Supreme Cyberspace Council revealed that various ministries of the country’s government have accepted crypto mining as an industry, local news agency IBENA reports September 4.

According to the report, the Cyberspace Council’s secretary Abolhassan Firoozabadi stressed that the mining of cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin (BTC) has been approved as an industry by major government authorities. However, official legislation forming a legal framework for the industry has yet to be introduced in the country.

Firoozabadi said that crypto mining has been accepted as an industry by Iran’s major authorities, including the Ministry of Information and Communications Technology, the Central Bank, the Ministry of Industry, Mine and Trade, the Ministry of Energy, as well as the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Finance.

Firoozabadi stated that the Iranian National Cyberspace Center is developing a platform for cryptocurrency mining regulation. He added that the government is also considering the launch of a national cryptocurrency in order to create a financial tool to cooperate with Iranian business partners amid economic pressure from U.S. sanctions.

The secretary reportedly claimed that the relevant authorities will introduce a regulatory framework for crypto-related startups and firms in late September.

In late August, Iran’s National Cyberspace Center revealed that the draft of the state-backed cryptocurrency project is ready, following instructions from President of Iran Hassan Rouhani. At that time, the deputy director in charge of drafting regulations for Iran's Supreme Cyberspace Council claimed that the idea of launching a national cryptocurrency is being actively pursued.

Dominic Solomon Posted on September 05, 2018 16:17

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Baidu, BYD to partner on mass production of self-driving cars

Last year Baidu launched Project Apollo, named after the Apollo moon landing project, to mark the start of its push to get self-driving cars on the road in China. A technician from Baidu said that Project Apollo will deliver the software platform that can be used by car manufacturers.

At Baidu's AI Worldwide Developers Conference in April, BYD became tech giant's 100th partner in the company's ecological cooperation initiative. And on Wednesday, BYD invited Baidu to attend its Worldwide Developers Conference where it unveiled its self-driving car called Qing Pro, which is the only car that passed Apollo's certification process.

The Apollo platform will improve efficiency in the auto industry, Baidu's CEO Zhang Yaqing said on Wednesday. He said that it can prevent nine out of 10 traffic accidents, cut 40 percent off travel times, and reduce fuel consumption by 40 percent. According to Zhang, half of the work invested into developing the Apollo platform was focused on its security. He said that the partnership between Baidu and BYD will guarantee the safety of drivers.

Dominic Solomon Posted on September 05, 2018 15:17

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UK charges two Russians for attempted murder of Skripals, blames Moscow

Britain charged two Russians in absentia on Wednesday with the attempted murder of a former Russian spy and his daughter, saying the suspects were military intelligence officers almost certainly acting on orders from high up in the Russian state.

British police revealed images of the two men they said had flown to Britain for a weekend in March to kill former spy Sergei Skripal with Novichok, a military-grade nerve agent.

Skripal’s daughter Yulia and a police officer who attended the scene also fell ill in the case, which has caused the biggest East-West diplomatic expulsions since the Cold War. A woman later died from Novichok poisoning after her partner found a counterfeit perfume bottle which police believe had been used to smuggle the nerve agent into Britain.

British authorities identified the suspects as Russian nationals traveling on genuine passports under the aliases Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov. Prime Minister Theresa May said the government had concluded they were officers in Russia’s military intelligence service GRU.

“The GRU is a highly disciplined organization with a well-established chain of command, so this was not a rogue operation, May told parliament. “It was almost certainly also approved outside the GRU at a senior level of the Russian state.”

Skripal, himself a former GRU officer who betrayed dozens of agents to Britain’s MI6 foreign spy service, was found unconscious with Yulia on a public bench in the southern English city of Salisbury on March 4. Police released security camera images of the two suspects and outlined a three-day mission that took them from

Moscow to London to Salisbury, where they sprayed poison on Skripal’s door before flying back to Moscow hours later. Russia’s foreign ministry said the names given by Britain did not mean anything to Moscow, which has repeatedly denied any involvement in the attack.

“We have heard or seen two names, these names mean nothing to me personally,” Kremlin aide Yuri Ushakov told reporters in Moscow. “I don’t understand why this was done and what sort of signal the British side is sending.” Britain and dozens of other countries have kicked out scores of Russian diplomats over the incident, and Moscow has responded tit-for-tat with an identical number of expulsions.

The affair has worsened Russian relations with the West, already under strain over Ukraine, Syria and other issues. May’s spokesman said May had briefed U.S. President Donald Trump on Tuesday evening. U.S. Ambassador to Britain Woody Johnson said on Twitter the United States stood with Britain in holding Russia accountable for its “act of aggression”.

A European arrest warrant has been issued for them, but prosecutors said Britain would not ask Moscow to extradite Russian citizens because Russia’s constitution forbids it.

Nii Sackey Posted on September 05, 2018 15:02

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2 Consolidated Bank staff steal GH¢200,000

Two employees of Consolidated Bank, Ghana (CBG) who stole GHC200,000 from the vaults of former Beige Bank have been remanded into custody by an Accra Circuit Court.

Bobic Kwamena Yeboah and Prince Ababio were alleged to have conspired to steal the money to invest in car business in the event that they were laid off by the bank because of the consolidation of the Beige Bank with four other struggling banks in the country.

Prince Ababio, according to police, claimed he was already into a car dealership business and could introduce his colleague, Yeboah, into the business provided he could deposit GHC200,000 for a start.

Yeboah who was employed as a bullion teller managed to bloat the cash requirement for banks by GHC100,000 on two occasions and handed same to his accomplice Ababio.

He managed to cover the theft by simply rendering account of the cash in the vaults to reflect the stolen money.

Luck, however, eluded them when the vault supervisor decided to do a recount of the money in the vault and realised that a sum of GHC200,000 was unaccounted for.

Yeboah is said to have owned up that he stole the money when the theft was detected but his accomplice initially denied any knowledge of the offence after he had gone into hiding.

He, however, later confessed to agreeing with his accomplice to steal the money to invest in a car dealership business.

They are said to have told police during investigation that they had given the money to a certain Daniel Kyei Nimo aka Chairman, to buy cars for them from Togo.

Bobic Kwamena Yeboah and Prince Ababio have been arraigned on two charges of conspiracy to steal and stealing.

They both pleaded not guilty to the charges and the court presided over by Marian Affoh remanded them into custody as the police make efforts to arrest Daniel Kyei Nimo.

The prosecution led by DSP George Amega told the court that with the collapse of the Beige Bank, Yeboah and Ababio together with seven others were retained under the supervision of one Christian Ekow Aidoo to manage what has been named the central vault of the Consolidated Bank Ghana (CBG).

He said the duties of the accused persons included distributing cash to the various branches under the CBG.

“On August 23, 2018, the two accused met to discuss what their future would be with the eminent lay-off of staff of the merged banks which is likely to affect them. Prince Ababio boasted that he was already into car sales business and in the worse scenario of a lay-off, he would continue with the said business. Bobic Kwamena Yeboah was helpless as he had no business in addition to the banking work. Prince Ababio promised to help him get into the car sales business if he is able to raise the needed fund”, DSP Amega told the court.

The prosecutor stated that an amount of GHC100,000.00 was agreed upon for a start which they agreed to steal from the bank’s vault

He said on that the same day when Bobic Kwamena Yeboah went to receive the cash requirement for distribution to bank branches assigned him, he increased the requirement by GHC100,000.00

“He went for the said amount from the Central Vault which he handed over to Prince Ababio to take away. Yeboah was able to hide the theft when after the day’s work, he was the same person assigned to do cash counting in the vault. He simply added the stolen figure to the cash in the vault before rendering account”, DSP Amega told the court.

He said Bobic Kwamena Yeboah repeated his modus operandi and stole another hundred thousand Ghana cedis from the vault which he again handed over to Ababio. Luck eluded them this time, when after close of work, the Vault Supervisor decided to do a re-count of the cash in the vault and detected the theft.

He said efforts to retrieve the money was unsuccessful and a report was made to Police leading to the arrest of the two.
 

sly Posted on September 05, 2018 13:50

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The joy of a £4m jackpot

Melissa Ede won £4m last Christmas thanks to a National Lottery scratchcard. The money has transformed her life, writes the BBC's Mike Thomson, and even seems to be bringing her happiness.

On a grey and blustery afternoon in Hull, I'm a passenger in a gleaming white BMW convertible gliding through the city's wind-blown streets. People turn their heads as the car cruises past, top down and radio blaring. Many smile in recognition as they spot the face behind the wheel.

"There's not many blonde-haired people driving about in an open-top car on a day like this, is there?" says the driver, turning to me. "It could only be Melissa Ede."

Fifty-seven-year-old Melissa has become a bit of a local celebrity. She used to drive an old Ford Mondeo and lived in a run-down rented bedsit. But everything changed in December last year when she walked into a Hull petrol station and bought a scratchcard. It was to be the biggest Christmas present of her life.

 

 

"Once I'd scratched it, once I'd realised, I had to check it and keep checking it," she says. "Within three days my bank balance went from £1, to £4m."

She now lives in a five-bedroom detached house, complete with what she describes as a "massive garden with all the mod cons".

When the police opened the door the man still had both his hands around my neck

For more than 15 years before her win she had scraped by as a taxi driver, working mostly nights. Some weeks, she says, she earned so little that she struggled to pay her rent and could only afford one meal a day. But the risk of violence from passengers was even worse than going hungry. It's something all taxi drivers have to live with, but one factor made Melissa a particular target. She is transgender.

"I've been strangled, I've been punched and been called all sorts of names. Once I picked up somebody and was driving along when he just started attacking me from behind. He suddenly leaned forward, put his arm around my throat and started throttling me," says Melissa.

"I was really lucky because I was near a police station at the time and managed to pull up right outside. When the police opened the door the man still had both his hands around my neck."


Find out more

Watch Melissa Ede in an excerpt from Mike Thomson's TV documentary, Winning it Big

Listen to the radio documentary, in which Mike meets lottery winners from around the globe

Meet Rachel Lapierre, who is giving her lottery winnings away

Explore other programmes in the BBC World Service's Money and Power season


One result of Melissa's win is that she doesn't have to work again.

Formerly called Les, Melissa was once a married man with a crop of wavy brown hair, and sometimes a moustache too. Though she says she never felt right as a male, even as a child - she never wanted to play with boys' toys and didn't like her hair being cut.

 

 

"I did try telling my parents that I wasn't a boy but that was unheard of in those days," she says.

Her mum and dad just laughed and told her not to be "so stupid". Many assumed the young Les was gay, and bullying blighted her years at school.

She went on to marry and became the father of four children. But the relationship didn't last.

"It was an existence, it wasn't really a life," Melissa says of her time living as a man.

 

 

"It was a very, very difficult time because you are pretending to be something that you actually are not. Your whole life is a lie. It's a big act."

That act continued until 2008 when Les finally became Melissa. Though now much happier - she has an infectious laugh - she says she lost many friends who could not accept the change. Sadly, it was also the beginning of the end for her relationship with her parents, who have since died.

"They told me never to go round there dressed as a female," Melissa says. "I wasn't welcome in their home and that was that. I was cut off from that point on from my parents. I could have gone round and seen them if I'd dressed as a man, but I wasn't willing to do that."

 

 

Melissa had also lost contact with her children, following the break-up of her marriage. Her transition was not the main reason she and her children became estranged, but she accepts that it would be "difficult for anybody to get their head around" what happened.

The same may apply to Melissa's many humorous, musical videos, which she posts on social media. She routinely performs these while half naked with pieces of bread, fruit or other objects hanging from her breasts. Melissa tells me that many have gone viral, with one clocking up more than 40 million views on Facebook.

This is one of the problems with winning such a vast amount of money - who do you trust in your life any more?

Predictably, not all feedback has been positive. In fact some of the videos have generated a barrage of vitriolic, transphobic abuse. True to form, Melissa seems to take this in her stride.

"I get a lot of trolls. It's something that you've just got to accept when you're so out there like I am, it's part and parcel of it all. I don't take it personally, because half of it will be down to jealousy. Let's face it, many people want to go viral and there's not many who can do it. And I've done it time and time and time again. These people don't really hate me, they just hate the fact that they're not me."

Melissa is now in touch with all her children, though one of them only re-contacted her again after her big win, leaving Melissa to wonder whether it had been a factor.

"I had contact with one of them a few years ago and he decided to walk away and not have anything to do with me. So, this is one of the problems with winning such a vast amount of money. Who do you trust in your life any more? Who is there because they want to be or who is there because you are now a millionaire?"

One person Melissa doesn't have any doubts about is her fiancee, Rachel Nason. The 37-year-old, who has five children from a previous relationship, is 20 years younger than her. But Melissa says they had agreed to marry several days before her lottery win.

 

 

"Rachel is absolutely amazing, you know, she's just so selfless. She really, really is. She's just not money-orientated and so I've got no fears over that. After all she was going to marry before I even had money."

You might have thought that with her new fortune, Melissa would be planning some kind of eye-popping, no-expense-spared extravaganza of a marriage. Yet instead the pair plan to tie the knot in the company of just a few nearest and dearest in a local register office - though I suspect that some serious partying is likely to follow.

 

 

Along with Rachel's children, they have already moved into what Melissa describes as their "dream home" (though in fact it was not the first spacious house Melissa tried to buy - her first attempt fell through when residents of neighbouring properties complained that her media profile would be disruptive).

Researchers who have studied the lives of thousands of lottery winners say the initial euphoria doesn't last long

As for multi-millionaire Melissa's wedding dress, she might even buy that in a charity shop. She admits to visiting her favourite one in Hull at least once a week.

"It's surprising what you can find and I do know from past experience and even from people who are into designer labels, that you can find them in charity shops as well," she says. "Why pay full whack for something when you can get it for cut price and you're also helping out a charity. And at the end of the day, bargains are great."

It's perhaps this streak of down-to-earth pragmatism that has led the otherwise carefree and impulsive Melissa to invest three-quarters of her £4m win. Given her love of bargain hunting in charity shops, cheap make-up and humble sausage rolls perhaps she has little need of so much cash. But that doesn't mean that Melissa, who likes nothing better than dancing the night away at a nearby LGBT club, fails to appreciate how lucky she is.

 

 

"The other night I was sat out in the garden and it was a little bit nippy and I thought, 'Oh it would be so nice to have a garden heater.' So I went on eBay and just ordered one. And it's like, 'Wow, I can do this, if I want these things I can buy them.' I love that. It's such a buzz!"

Researchers who have studied the lives of thousands of lottery winners say the initial euphoria doesn't last long.

They have found no evidence that those who hit the jackpot are any happier than the rest of us after the first year. Melissa has a few months to go before she can put this theory to the test - but I would not be surprised if she proves to be an exception.

"I don't have to worry now about having to save for the everyday things. It's a hard life out there having to live on a wage and I don't have to worry when I go to the shops or anything like that," she says.

"If Rachel and I decide we want something, we can have it, without even having to think about it. It's wonderful and I do feel so blessed."

syllasasante Posted on September 05, 2018 13:32

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Army kills three as tension ruins schools resumption in Cameroon

Cameroon's army on Wednesday said it had killed three people in the capital of the country's English speaking North-West region on the same day that the education minister visited the area with tensions spiking as children return to school.

 Separatist in the region say the education system marginalises anglophone pupils and have decreed a boycott of schools in the areas they lay claim to.

Three people were "neutralised"after having "burst into the city"of Bamenda in a car with three others on Tuesday,army spokesman Didier Badjeck told AFP.

According to a wiyness ,numerous shots were heard Tuesday around the hotel where Education Minister Youssouf Adidja Slim was staying during a visit to the city to coincide with the reopening of schools.

 A source close to Slim said the occupants of the vehicle had been spotted and repelled before they could reach the minister.

 Separatist unrest in Cameroon's two minority English speaking regions-North-West and southwest has left scores dead and displaced about 200,000 people since late 2016.

Years of resentment at perceived discrimination at the hands of Cameroon's majority French speakers have led to almost daily acts of violence and retribution, triggering an army crackdown.

 On Monday seven pupils and a head master were kidnapped by armed men at a school in Bafut,near Bamenda.Two students and school head were freed on Tuesday according to information obtained by AFP.

Some secessionist have said on social media that they could not guarantee the security of children who returned to school in defence of the boycott.

 

nuhutk Posted on September 05, 2018 13:31

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Crime-hit Mobike suspends Manchester sharing scheme

Bike sharing firm Mobike is to pull out of Manchester after losing 10% of its cycles each month to theft and vandalism.

The Chinese firm said too many had been stolen, dumped in canals and bins, had locks hacked off or been set on fire.

Manchester has become the only city among 200 worldwide to lose the service because of persistent crime.

Mobike said it had already "processed refunds" and would start removing its fleet imminently from the city streets.

General Manager Jan Van der Ven said the company was "very grateful" to the city, which was the first in Europe to adopt the scheme last July.

'Throwing rocks'

However, he said: "As a private company, we have a duty to ensure our revenues cover our costs since, unlike some operators, we do not use taxpayer money to help balance our books.

"Unfortunately the circumstances in Manchester have not made this possible."

He added: "We have all learnt valuable lessons that will help cities continue to make urban life more sustainable, more active and more healthy through cycling."

 

 

Mobike had insisted its bikes were theft and vandal-proof but Greater Manchester Police received 17 reports in the first 10 days of the scheme.

A gang in Ancoats, east Manchester, was filmed throwing rocks at a bike, trying to destroy it, while thieves would break locks and disable electronic tracking systems.

In April the firm announced a price hike from 50p to 69p per half-hour in a bid to counter the damage.

Mobike said it would conduct "a full review of its time in Manchester".

The company said it would continue to operate in London, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, Oxford and Cambridge.


Analysis

By Tom Mullen, BBC News

Mobike's distinctive orange-rimmed cycles had become a familiar sight in Manchester, and the scheme was well-used.

I clocked up more than 79 miles (128km) on the bikes, which I found handy for whizzing to the gym or shops, or even all the way to work.

But the bikes were obviously an easy target for vandals. The sight of stray bikes dumped by canals, broken or even set on fire was becoming more and more common.

To combat this, Mobike began to shrink its operating area and ramp up fines for people who abused the service. But today's decision shows the company's losses had simply become unsustainable.

With Mobike operating successfully in 200 cities around world, people are wondering why it couldn't work here. It's certainly not a great advert for Manchester.

syllasasante Posted on September 05, 2018 13:22

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Samsung: Time for folding smartphones

Samsung's head of mobile has said it is "time to deliver" foldable smartphones, fuelling speculation the company is about to reveal a bendable device.

In an interview with CNBC, DJ Koh said Samsung's consumer research suggested there was demand for a foldable phone.

Several phone-makers are rumoured to be developing devices with flexible screens that can be folded in half, without a hinge or seam in the middle.

However, Samsung told the BBC it did not currently have "anything to share".

DJ Koh told CNBC that the development process for foldable phones was "complicated" but added that the company had "nearly concluded" it.

However, he said, a foldable phone would need a clear purpose before the company released one.

"Even unfolded, what kind of benefit does that give compared to the tablet?" he said.

"If the unfolded experience is the same as the tablet, why would [people] buy it?

"Every device, every feature, every innovation should have a meaningful message to our end-customer."

Samsung faces fierce competition from Chinese phone-maker Huawei. In July, Huawei became the second-biggest smartphone seller in the world, overtaking Apple.

syllasasante Posted on September 05, 2018 13:11

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Google bosses expected to snub Senate

When Silicon Valley companies once again appear in front of the US Senate on Wednesday, there will be one major absentee: Google.

The Senate Intelligence Committee wanted to hear from Sundar Pichai, Google’s chief executive, or his boss Larry Page, the chief executive of Google’s parent firm, Alphabet.

Barring a dramatic, last-minute change of plan, the BBC understands neither will attend. It would mark the first time a technology firm has refused to comply with the wishes of Congress since the far-reaching inquiries into misinformation and meddling began in the wake of the 2016 election.

Google had instead hoped to send Kent Walker, one of its top lawyers. The offer was abruptly shut down by the committee. Its vice chairman, the Democratic Senator Mark Warner, said an empty chair would be left out to represent Google’s non-appearance.

Eventually, senators may issue a subpoena, forcing an appearance under the threat of prosecution.

“If Google thinks we’re just going to go away, they’re sadly mistaken,” said Senator Warner, speaking to Wired magazine.

The hearing, scheduled to begin at 09:30 (13:30 GMT), is entitled “Foreign Influence Operations’ Use of Social Media Platforms”.

As well as Google, Twitter and Facebook have been called to appear.

@jack leaps to Twitter’s defence

Twitter will be represented by its chief executive, Jack Dorsey, while Facebook is sending its chief operating officer, Sheryl Sandberg. It will be the first time either executive has faced a congressional committee.

Mr Dorsey will also appear, alone, in a hearing on Wednesday afternoon looking specifically at transparency on his platform. He is expected to strongly oppose the suggestion that conservative voices are being silenced on Twitter – a growing claim from the US political right, one that has not been backed up with reliable data.

“Conservative voices have a strong presence on Twitter,” he is expected to say.

“For example, in 2017, there were 59.5 million tweets about Make America Great Again or MAGA. According to the Pew Research Center, people on Twitter used #MAGA an average of 205,238 times per day from Election Day 2016 through May 1, 2018. It was the third most Tweeted hashtag in 2017.”

Where Mr Dorsey may come under fire, however, is over his decision not to ban conspiracy theorist Alex Jones from Twitter, instead giving him what was described as a “time out”. It was later reported by the Wall Street Journal that Mr Dorsey had overruled staff who had decided to ban Mr Jones altogether – though Twitter later described that suggestion as “totally false”.

In short, the question facing Mr Dorsey on Wednesday is to what extent his own politics and power influences how Twitter conducts itself.

Sandberg in the spotlight

Facebook’s chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg is sufficiently famous to satisfy the Senate’s demand for a big company name at its hearing. It means chief executive Mark Zuckerberg, who appeared here in April, can sit this one out.

On Tuesday Ms Sandberg spent the day in private meetings with members of the Senate Intelligence Committee to discuss the issues. In Wednesday morning's hearing, Facebook will go over familiar territory - Ms Sandberg will try to draw attention to its expanding workforce, and share statistics showing its efforts to block millions of suspicious accounts automatically.

The company may also share details about its so-called “war room” – a division of specialists solely working on policing content that may be wrongly targeting US voters as they prepare to cast their votes.

Based on her testimony – released on Tuesday by Facebook – she will offer little new information to the Senate about the company’s efforts, other than to update some statistics relating to the amount of content being removed.

But one important moment may arise when Ms Sandberg argues that Facebook needs more help to solve the crisis, turning the demand to “do more” back on the US government.

“The threat we face is not new,” she is expected to say.

“America has always confronted attacks from opponents who wish to undermine our democracy. What is new are the tactics they use.

“That means it’s going to take everyone - including industry, governments, and experts from civil society - working together to stay ahead.”

This may be Ms Sandberg’s first hearing, but she’s no stranger to Washington politics. Before working at the social network she was chief of staff at the US Treasury.

A brewing crisis for Google

Google’s Mr Walker submitted a written testimony for the hearing, despite the fact he will not be attending the session. In a blog post he said he would be providing private briefings to senators, but did not address the row over his seniority.

The affair risks becoming a public relations crisis for Google, which just last week was doing its best to bat back claims from President Donald Trump that it was censoring conservative news outlets in its search results. The White House did not provide any evidence to support the president’s complaints, but the topic may well come up at Wednesday’s hearing.

“I don't know if it's because [Page] wants to avoid being asked about those things or because they think they're so important and so powerful that they don't need to provide congressional testimony,” said Republican Senator Marco Rubio, speaking to the Washington Post.

He also told the newspaper: “They should be careful with that. When a company gets too big to become accountable, they become a monopoly.”

A looming threat of regulation

The question of new regulation designed to control the powers of technology companies has been a recurring theme since the firms first appeared here to talk about this issue, almost a year ago to the day.

Any regulation concocted in the wake of these hearings would likely end up being enforced by the US telecoms regulator, the Federal Communications Commission. Ahead of the hearings – which the FCC is not a part of – its chairman Ajit Pai criticised what he sees as a serious lack of transparency among the tech giants.

“The public deserves to know more about how these companies operate,” he wrote in a blog post on Tuesday.

“And we need to seriously think about whether the time has come for these companies to abide by new transparency obligations.

“After all, just as is the case with respect to broadband providers, consumers need accurate information in order to make educated choices about whether and how to use these tech giants’ platforms.”

Also under scrutiny will be the ability of Congress to competently probe the tech bosses. During April’s hearing with Mark Zuckerberg, many members were mocked for asking basic, easily-ducked questions of the Facebook chief executive.

Senator Warner has said he is hopeful questions this time round will be better. He suggested his colleagues on the committee had “done their homework”.

syllasasante Posted on September 05, 2018 13:09

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