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Royal Family Just Had It’s First Ever Same-Sex Wedding

Royal Family Just Had It’s First Ever Same-Sex Wedding

By : Emily Brown

Wikimedia Commons

The Royal Family have had their first same-sex wedding. 

The Queen’s cousin, Lord Ivar Mountbatten married his partner, James Coyle, on Saturday (September 22) two years after coming out.

Lord Ivar is a divorced father of three, who married his ex-wife, Penny, 24 years ago. The pair remain on good terms – so much so, Penny gave him away at his wedding at the weekend.

Lord Ivar and Mr Coyle exchanged rings and vows in front of 60 guests made up of family and friends, including Lord Ivar’s three daughters.

The ceremony took place in a private chapel at Bridwell Park, a Grade I-listed mansion near the village of Uffculme, Devon, where Lord Ivar and Penny raised their children.


Sharing a picture with his old and new partners on Instagram, Lord Ivar wrote:

Future and former spouses. My daughters decided it was only right their Mum should walk me down the aisle and give me away to James.

Here’s hoping he won’t say no at the last minute.

No immediate members of the royal family attended the wedding, but Lord Ivar and James received lots of good wishes, including a congratulations from Prince Edward, Lord Ivar’s life-long friend.


Speaking of Prince Edward and wife Sophie, Lord Ivar explained to the Daily Mail:

Their diaries are arranged months in advance and they were not free, but they adore James.

The newly married couple’s honeymoon has been pushed back to later in the year, with its destination yet to be decided.

The wedding celebrations were spread over the weekend, with a welcome dinner for 30 guests on Friday night before the ceremony itself on Saturday afternoon.

Guests had dinner in the orangery, the same setting where speeches were made and dancing took place.

Instead of accepting gifts, the couple asked guests to make a donation to spinal injury charity, Regain.


Lord Ivar explained the couple’s decision to marry:

I suppose if we had met ten years ago a civil partnership would have been nice, but now that marriage between a man and a man is legal it seems the right thing to do.

I have had the whole marriage thing — and been very happy — but James hasn’t, so I see it as a validation of my love for him.

Congratulations to the happy couple!

kabby Posted on September 24, 2018 14:28

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Is Russia taking control of Syria's air defences?

Russia said the S-300 system would "significantly increase the Syrian army's capabilities"

Russia has been talking about selling the S-300 surface-to-air missile system to Syria for almost a decade.

But it was never delivered; a product of Israeli diplomatic efforts and a certain indifference from Moscow towards Israel's air campaign over Syria.

Now, though, Russia seems to be signalling that its "neutrality" is over and that Israel's air operations are seen as running counter to its strategic interests.

Back in 2011 news reports suggested that Moscow was planning to sell up to four batteries of the export version of the S-300 to Syria.

Each battery consists of up to six launcher vehicles, along with separate surveillance and engagement radars and a command post.

It is a mobile and highly capable system but does not necessarily represent a step-change in Syria's capabilities. Syria can already strike targets within the S-300's envelope with its existing systems.

Nonetheless, once integrated with other missile batteries and radars, Syria's capabilities would certainly be enhanced.

Image copyrightAFP

Image captionThe S-300 sale was announced a week after a Russian plane was shot down off Syria

As well as delivering the S-300 system, Moscow plans to equip Syrian air defence command posts with automated systems to ensure, in the words of Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu, "centralised control over all of Syria's air defence facilities and capabilities, the monitoring of airspace and prompt targeting".

In addition, he said "the identification of all Russian aircraft by Syrian air defences will be guaranteed".

This is in effect an admission that there were serious shortcomings in the existing system when a Russian Ilyushin Il-20 electronic intelligence gathering aircraft was accidentally shot down a week ago by Syrian air defence forces responding to an Israeli air strike on the city of Latakia.

Image captionWhere the Il-20 incident happened

Russia appears to be asserting greater control over Syria's air defences. But it remains to be seen whether it will actively try to constrain Israeli operations.

Mr Shoigu also stated that "in parts of the Mediterranean adjacent to Syria, there will be radio-electronic jamming of satellite navigation, on board radars and communications systems used by military aircraft attacking targets in Syrian territory".

This certainly sounds like Russia taking a much more active role.

The problem is that the signals coming from Moscow have been contradictory.

Image copyrightAFP

Image captionRussia's military accused Israeli pilots of acting unprofessionally or with "criminal negligence"

The defence ministry reacted angrily to the shooting down of the Il-20, putting the blame squarely upon Israel, which said its aircraft had targeted a Syrian military facility to prevent the transfer on behalf of Iran to Lebanon's Hezbollah movement of systems to manufacture weapons.

Israel insisted that its jets were back in Israeli airspace by the time the Russian aircraft was shot down and said the blame lay with the Syrian military, as well as with Iran and Hezbollah. An Israeli military delegation travelled to Russia to make the case.

President Vladimir Putin, perhaps mindful of the close relationship he has with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, meanwhile sought to calm tensions.

The storm appeared to have blown over until the Russian defence ministry released a report over the weekend accusing the Israeli pilots of acting unprofessionally or with "criminal negligence", and on Monday announced the sale of the S-300 to Syria.

Skip Facebook post by Ministry of Defence of the Russian Federation



End of Facebook post by Ministry of Defence of the Russian Federation

So what then is the real Russian position and how much difference will the enhancements to Syria's air defence system make?

The Russian position is not entirely consistent.

For a start, Russia has a highly-sophisticated surface-to-air missile system and radars at its own airbase near Latakia. It could very easily have told the Israelis that it would now seek to use these to defend Syrian airspace. But it apparently has not.

Many in the Russian military were understandably angry at the loss of an aircraft with 15 personnel on board, and Moscow felt compelled to act.

But should the anger be directed more at ally, Syria, rather than Israel?

That kind of public condemnation is unlikely to be forthcoming.

Image copyrightAFP/GETTY

Image captionIsrael has carried out air strikes in Syria to thwart shipments of Iranian weapons to Hezbollah

In striking at targets close to the Russian airbase, the Israeli Air Force appears to have crossed a Russian red line.

Israel insists that interrupting weapons shipments to Hezbollah and constraining Iran's growing influence in Syria are vital strategic goals.

Image copyrightAFP

Image captionRussia launched an air campaign in support of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in 2015

But Russia seems to be saying it is no longer willing to turn a blind eye to such operations, which it believes are weakening Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

If this really is Moscow's intention then the Israelis are going to have to tread carefully.

There could be some very tense and bumpy moments in the coming weeks and months.

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seth Posted on September 24, 2018 14:24

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Paedophile To Be Chemically Castrated After New Sex Offenders Law Is Introduced

Paedophile To Be Chemically Castrated After New Sex Offenders Law Is Introduced

By : Julia Banim


east2west news

A paedophile from Kazakhstan is going to be chemically castrated following the introduction of a new sex offenders law earlier this year.

A new law came into force as of January 1, 2018, permitting chemical castration as a punishment for paedophiles.

An unnamed man, from the region of Turkestan, will be given an injection supervised by Kazakhstan’s health ministry.

He will be the first person in the country to receive this punishment, with Turkestan becoming the first region of the country to carry out chemical castration.

east2west News

Kazakhstan President Nursultan Nazarbayev has allocated £20,500 for 2,000 injections on those who have committed child sex attacks.

According to BNEWS KZ, Vice Minister of Healthcare Lyazzat Aktayeva said:

From January 1 2018, the order of the Ministry of Healthcare on the use and rules to use chemical castration has entered into force.

Accordingly, it can be applied by a court decision. Funds are already allocated from the rebulican budget. As of today, one application for the use chemical castration by a court decision has already been received.

According to the Astana Times, the Ministry of Internal Affairs Administrative Police juvenile police department head, Asset Ospanov, has claimed paedophiles have a 70 per cent relapse rate.

This new law applies to those over the age of 18 years old, with the intention of preventing sexual assault crimes against minors.

The procedure itself will be administered within prisons or health care organisations to offenders who have been sentenced to other forms of punishment. In Kazakhstan, sex crimes against children may also result in prison sentences of up to 20 years.

Senator Byrganym Aitimova has said the castration would be ‘temporary’, involving a ‘one-time injection’ based upon ‘the necessity of preventing the man from [committing] sexual violence’, The Mirror reports.

Cyproterone – a steroidal anti-androgen created for treating cancer – will reportedly be used.

Unlike surgical castration, undergoing chemical castration will not stop an offender from experiencing sexual urges indefinitely, and some have raised concerns this procedure may not prevent future attacks.

If you’ve been affected by any of these issues, and want to speak to someone in confidence regarding the welfare of a child contact the NSPCC on 0808 800 5000. If you are a child seeking advice and support call Childline for free on 0800 1111.

kabby Posted on September 24, 2018 14:15

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DR Congo Ebola outbreak: Beni attack halts outreach work

Health workers have been vaccinating people against Ebola to prevent the spread of the virus

Ebola prevention activities have been suspended in the Democratic Republic of Congo city of Beni after a deadly rebel attack.

Treatment centres will stay open but vaccinations and the tracing of people who have been in contact with suspected Ebola patients have stopped for now.

One hundred people have died in the current outbreak in the east of the country, the health ministry says.

It began in July and is the 10th to hit the country since 1976.

The rebel attack in Beni started on Saturday afternoon and lasted for several hours. Eighteen people died including 14 civilians, the army says.

Local sources say the Allied Democratic Forces, a Ugandan Islamist militant group active in the area since the 1990s, was behind the attack, but this has not been confirmed.

Representatives from aid agencies working on the Ebola response are meeting to assess whether to increase security measures in Beni, reports the BBC's Louise Dewast in the capital, Kinshasa.

Some residents of Beni have taken to the streets to protest against the security problems.

The World Health Organization (WHO) had warned in August that insecurity in the region could affect the Ebola response.

At the time, the WHO's Peter Salama described it as a "dreaded" scenario.

This is the second Ebola outbreak in the country this year. The previous outbreak, in the west of the country, killed 33 people, according to the government.

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seth Posted on September 24, 2018 14:13

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Black Eyed Peas announce new album and release provocative music video

Masters of The Sun is set for release on 12 October.

The band have also shared a video for the new track Big Love which comes with warning message and depicts, in graphic detail, a school shooting.

Proceeds from the song will go to March for Our Lives, the student-activist movement dedicated to ending the US mass shooting epidemic.

Writing on Twitter, said: "They took kids away from their parents, but they can’t take guns away from kids? We need compassion, empathy, understanding, patience, guidance, protection, collaboration, tolerance & #BIGLOVE#VOTE."

It's the group's first studio album in eight years and you can check out the new video below.

Black Eyed Peas?@bep

In a time where our Gov can take kids away from their parents but can’t take guns away from kids, we all need to speak up. We all need BIG LOVE. For our full music video head to . Special thanks to @AMarch4OurLives @WomenBelong.@OfficialBigLove #BIGLOVEbep

11:46 AM - Sep 21, 2018

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They took kids away from their parents, but they can’t take guns away from kids? We need compassion, empathy, under……

4:25 a.m. - 21 September 2018



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Posted at6:59

'New' Ramones video unearthed for album re-release

Rolling Stone magazine



A previously unseen video for their‘ 1978 track She’s the One has been released as part of a 40th birthday release of their album Road to Ruin.

The video, which looks like it's been shot through an Insta filter, sees the punk icons dressed in their signature leather jackets and ripped jeans as they tear through their two minute ode to young love.

You've bought the t-shirt now listen to the music...



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Posted at6:41

Guitarist leaves Panic! At the Disco amid allegations of misconduct

Getty Images

The band - fronted by Brendon Urie - have confirmed touring guitarist Kenny Harris will no longer perform with the band,.

In a statement on Twitter, Panic! At The Disco said Harris “will no longer be performing with us because of a personal matter”.

According to reports, the announcement comes after allegations of sexual misconduct were made against Harris on social media.

He is yet to respond to the allegations.

Since 2015, Urie is the only full-time member of the group.

Panic! At The Disco?@PanicAtTheDisco

Touring musician Kenny Harris will no longer be performing with us because of a personal matter.

10:08 AM - Sep 22, 2018

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Posted at6:29

Camp Bestival admits 'financial challenges'

Getty Images

Organisers of the Camp Bestival music festival say they are facing "financial challenges" and are looking for a new partner for next year.

Thousands of people are waiting for refunds after the annual festival was forced to close early when bad weather battered the site in July.

The festival said the closure was not the cause of the problems but admitted it was "not a positive factor".

They said there was "every intention" to hold the event in 2019.

Read more

It's been a tough year for festivals with Festival Number 6 in Wales announcing this year was the last for the time being and the organisers of Womad saying due to the UK visa process it had become harder to attract foreign musicians.



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Posted at6:11

Take That re-record their back catalogue for new album

BBC Radio 2


Gary, Mark and Howard join Chris in the studio to announce the exciting news.

Never forget where you're coming from people...

Take That announced on Friday they're off on a Greatest Hits Live tour next year - with support coming from Rick Astley - to mark 30 years of the band.

Speaking to BBC Radio 2's Chris Evans (above), Gary Barlow joked that the feat "is impossible as I'm only 24!"

Meanwhile a new 27-track Greatest Hits album, Odyssey will be released on 23 November, featuring new versions of old tracks like 1993 track Pray (below), special guests and "a couple of new ones" too.





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Posted at5:55

Liam Payne goes underground in NYC



The One D singer turned solo star has shared the video for First Time, his collaboration French Montana.

It sees him off on a jaunt around Manhattan before he manages to blag a lift with the rapper.

The track is a name dropping spectacular with Rihanna and Mike Tyson given shout outs.

Check it out above.



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Posted at5:35

seth Posted on September 24, 2018 14:05

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Russia to upgrade Syrian air defences.

Russia is to send new anti-aircraft missiles to Syria, a week after Syrian forces accidentally shot down a Russian aircraft during an Israeli air strike.

Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu said that the S-300 surface-to-air missile defence system would be delivered within two weeks.

Fifteen Russian military personnel were killed when the reconnaissance aeroplane was downed on 17 September.

Syria and Russia say Israel was to blame, but it denies responsibility.

In remarks quoted by Russian news agency Interfax, Mr Shoigu said the delivery of the system had been suspended in 2013 following a request from Israel, but added: "Now, the situation has changed. And it's not our fault."

"In parts of the Mediterranean adjacent to Syria, there will be radio-electronic jamming of satellite navigation, onboard radars and communications systems used by military aircraft attacking targets in Syrian territory," he said.

The systems will also be able to track and identify Russian aircraft.

Russia is supporting President Bashar al-Assad in Syria's civil war.

What happened last week?

The incident is reported to have occurred about 35km (22 miles) from the Syrian coast as the Ilyushin Il-20 aircraft was returning to Russia's Hmeimim airbase near the north-western city of Latakia.

Russia's Tass news agency said at the time that the plane "disappeared during an attack by four Israeli F-16 jets on Syrian facilities in Latakia province".

Reports on Syrian state media spoke of an attack in the area shortly before the plane disappeared. According to Sana news agency, the military said it had intercepted "enemy missiles coming from the open sea towards the city of Latakia".

Syrian television also reported explosions over the sky in Latakia just before 22:00 local time. Thirty minutes later, the Sana Facebook page reported that Syrian air defences had responded to enemy missiles.

What does Russia say?

On Sunday, Russia reiterated its stance that Israeli jets had used its reconnaissance plane as cover while carrying out strikes in Syria.

The country's defence ministry said Israel had failed to give it adequate notice of the attack, putting the Russian aircraft in the path of Syrian air defence systems.

"The actions of the Israeli fighter pilots, which resulted in the loss of life of 15 Russian servicemen, either lacked professionalism or were an act of criminal negligence, to say the least," a ministry spokesman said.

How has Israel responded?

Israel maintains that indiscriminate fire from Syrian forces was to blame for the incident.

It said its aircraft were targeting Syrian military facilities "from which systems to manufacture accurate and lethal weapons were about to be transferred on behalf of Iran to Hezbollah in Lebanon".

The Lebanese Shia militant group and Iran are both allies of the Syrian government. Israel has reportedly hit more than 200 Iranian targets in Syria over the past 18 months.

In a statement on Sunday evening, the Israel Defense Forces said that figures in the Russian military had been clear "that the deconfliction mechanism worked and did so in a timely manner".

Albert Ulebe Posted on September 24, 2018 11:39

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UN agency's U-turn after unpaid internships row.

The World Health Organization (WHO) is to offer paid internships for the first time to boost access for those applying from developing countries, the BBC has learnt.

About 1,200 interns are accepted by one of the UN's largest agencies each year to support its work improving public health and tackling global diseases.

Yet fewer than one in four of those chosen are from low-income countries.

For the past 50 years, the WHO has expected its interns to move to their headquarters in Geneva, or one of its six regional offices, and work unpaid without travel expenses for up to six months, costing each person around £5,000 ($6,540).

How a UN intern was forced to live in a tent in Geneva

But after a campaign led by a former intern, the UN agency has agreed to provide full financial support for its young workers by no later than 2020.


It told the BBC that targets are also in place to ensure that 50% of interns come from developing countries by 2022.

"It's unacceptable that 80% of WHO's work goes into supporting people in developing countries, yet only 20% of their interns come from them," says Ashton Barnett-Vanes, 29, a British doctor of English and Jamaican heritage from Wolverhampton, who started the campaign after his internship in 2012.

He spent six years rallying the international community before eventually working with ministers across the Caribbean and Africa to persuade the 194 members of the UN to reach the agreement.

"All it took was for one country to say 'no' for it to be stopped," Dr Barnett-Vanes said. "If you don't have trained staff, you can't develop an effective health system," he added.

"This change could see more than 500 young people each year from developing countries receive professional training that they can invest back into their communities."

Image copyrightFACEBOOK

Image caption

Christabel Abewe says she would not been able to participate without the scholarship

In 2015, Dr Barnett-Vanes and Tara Kedia, 27, a fellow former intern who now works in health policy in Washington DC, launched a crowdfunding campaign to create a $10,000 scholarship to enable two young people to intern at WHO.

Christabel Abewe, 28, from Uganda, and Yassine Kalboussi, now 29, from Tunisia, were chosen.

"I wouldn't have been able to participate without the scholarship," Ms Abewe said.

Image copyrightFACEBOOK

Image caption

Yassine Kalboussi now works at the Tunisian Center for Public Health

Dr Kalboussi agreed: "It would have cost two full years of my salary."

"Professional public health training is not currently provided in Tunisia," he added. "I was one of only three interns from a low or middle-income country out of my group of 162 people."



Dr Kalboussi now serves on the executive committee of the Tunisian Center for Public Health, and Ms Abewe is researching the early detection of breast cancer in developing countries.

More than 100 UN states have no participants each year, while 50 countries - including Angola, Barbados, Cambodia, Cuba and Libya - did not have a single WHO intern between 2015 and 2017, according to WHO data.

Jamaica has had one WHO intern in the past two years.

Dr Christopher Tufton, the Jamaican health minister, championed the campaign in Geneva. "We should make it easier for young people to access these facilities and view it as an investment in the people who participate," he said. "They should be valued."

The WHO has admitted its selection process is not "merit-based" and told the BBC that it recognised its unpaid internships were unfair.

It said that funding for 50 interns per year had already been secured from the Wellcome Trust, a London-based medical research charity, but said "more support was needed".

"If we are to nurture the next generation of global leaders who truly come from all four corners of the earth, we need to facilitate them spending time with us," the WHO media team said.



As a whole, the UN had more than 38,000 interns between 2009 and 2017, but more than 80% (about 30,400) were unpaid.

Based on these figures, this would amount to nearly two million interns in the past 50 years - more than the entire population of Trinidad and Tobago.

A report by the UN's Joint Inspection Unit found that interns had to "endure harsh living conditions" to last the duration of the programme or work "after hours" and informal jobs such as dog-walking to make ends meet.

Image copyrightTWITTER

Headlines were made in 2015 when former UN intern David Hyde, who was then 22, was found sleeping in a tent on the shores of Lake Geneva after finding the cost of living in the city too expensive.

He later admitted it was a stunt to spark a discussion about "unjust unpaid work".

The WHO is the first UN agency to pass a resolution on internships that was brought about by its member states.

As the UN General Assembly is about to start its session, the campaigners hope the issue of unpaid internships will be back on the agenda in light of this year's theme - "Making the United Nations relevant to all people".

"It's about time the UN solved this issue," said Dr Barnett-Vanes. "It's within its gift to and it should follow WHO's lead. "If the UN isn't willing to act, its member states should."

Albert Ulebe Posted on September 23, 2018 23:47

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Afia Schwar warns NAM1 over GHC4m Menzgold investment.

- Afia Schwarzenegger has sent a strong warning to Nana Appiah Mensah following the shutdown of Menzgold



- According to Afia Schwar, her mother has invested GHC 4 million with Menzgold and has been left distressed following the shutdown


- Afia Schwar has therefore asked Nana Appiah Mensah to refund her mother's investment to her


Controversial on-air-personality, Afia Schwarzenegger, has sent a strong warning to the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Menzgold, Nana Appiah Mensah, over the troubles the investment firm has been facing lately.


It will be recalled that the Securities and Exchanges Commission (SEC), almost two weeks ago, ordered Menzgold to shut down its operations for breaching its license.


While Menzgold had always maintained that it had not been taking deposits, it has had to comply with the order leaving customers distressed.




One of these troubled customers, according to Afia Schwarzenegger, is her mother who has become worried over the development.


READ ALSO: Ghana's youngest celebrity DJ Switch joins Bill Gates for Goalkeepers 2018 in New York


In a video shared on her social media pages, Afia Schwar asked Nana Appiah Mensah's associates to advise him to refund her mother's money or face her wrath.


According to Afia Schwar, she had been losing sleep over the matter because she feared the situation could lead to her mother's death which she was not ready for.


"Someone should help me warn that thing called Nam 1 @menzgoldgh @zylofonmedia @mn_appiah @bullhaus @ghkwaku @zionfelixdotcom @gh_rozy @sima_brew @ohene_asiedu @sammybaahflex. And everyone standing with whatever," an obviously angry Afia Schwar captioned the video.



Though Afia Schwar initially kept the details of her complaint subtle, she spilt the bean after some of her followers started raising questions about her video.


READ ALSO: Shatta Wale reveals top secrets about Sarkodie and Kwaw Kese in Kumasi


In one of her responses to the numerous comments on her post, Afia Schwar revealed that her mother had actually invested four million Ghana Cedis with Menzgold though she had advised against that.


Menzgold is yet to officially comment on Afia Schwar's claim but it is worthy to note that this is not the first time the firm is facing such a problem.


In fact, the order from the SEC followed months of warnings from the Bank of Ghana over the operations of Menzgold, especially with regards to the firm taking deposits from its customers.

Albert Ulebe Posted on September 23, 2018 20:37

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Venezuela crisis: Chinese hospital ship docks for a week

A Chinese hospital ship has docked in Venezuela, where for the next week it will provide free health care to local patients.

Venezuela's Defence Minister Vladimir Padrino López, went to the port of La Guaira to welcome the Chinese crew.

He said that the Peace Ark's visit was agreed by President Nicolás Maduro during a visit to Beijing last week.

Venezuela agreed at the time to increase its exports of oil to China, which is one of its main creditors.

Venezuela's economic crisis has led to severe shortages of food and medicines and the collapse of public services.

Image copyrightREUTERS

Image captionVenezuela's Defence Minister Vladimir Padrino Lopez (right) has praised China's gesture

The opposition says the presence of a Chinese hospital ship in Venezuela shows the extent of the humanitarian crisis.

'True diplomacy'

Mr Padrino López thanked China for the gesture of friendship and said that both countries would benefit.

"It is a pleasure to have this ship in Venezuela, which has arrived here after travelling to more than 40 countries" he said.

"This is how true diplomacy is done: with concrete cooperation actions," added Mr Padrino López.

Image copyrightAFP

Image captionThe shortage of medicines and poor working conditions have led to health workers protests

The Venezuelan government blames an international boycott led by the United States for Venezuela's economic crisis.

On Friday, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo promised to unveil "in the coming days" a series of actions against "Venezuelan leadership folks".

President Donald Trump has previously called President Maduro a dictator and accused his government of illegally detaining, beating up and killing opposition activists.

Hundreds of thousands of people have fled the country over the past year, as the crisis worsened.

According to United Nations figures, 2.3 million people left Venezuela between 2014 and June 2018.

Image copyrightREUTERS

Image captionChina's President Xi Jinping and Mr Maduro met in Beijing earlier this month

Mr Maduro travelled to China last week, looking for support to help rebuild the economy.

He said he had signed 28 trade and investment deals with China.

Venezuela said it would increase oil exports to 1 million barrels a day.

The two countries also agreed to invest $5bn (£3.8bn) to help rebuild Venezuela's ailing oil industry.

But there was no public statement from Beijing saying it had agreed to provide new funds to Mr Maduro's government.

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seth Posted on September 23, 2018 06:10

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The tea tycoon who was 'the world's best loser'

Say the name Lipton, and most people think of tea. But behind that brand lies the extraordinary story of a rags-to-riches tycoon, self-publicist, philanthropist and sportsman who was honoured as "the world's best loser".

In early December 1881, a steamer docked in Glasgow, carrying an extraordinary cargo from America. The world's largest cheese.

Two feet thick and with a circumference of 14ft (4m), hundreds of onlookers gathered to watch it being transported by traction engine to the Lipton's store in the High Street - where it was found to be too large to fit through the door.

Image copyrightUNILEVER

Image captionPig parades and giant cheeses were among the stunts used to promote Lipton's stores

Undeterred, the parade continued to the Lipton's Jamaica Street store (which fortunately boasted a wider doorway) where the cheese was manhandled into the shop window.

Nicknamed Jumbo, for a fortnight crowds marvelled at the spectacle, said to be the product of milk from 800 cows and the labour of 200 dairymaids.

As a publicity stunt it was already a success - but the Tommy Lipton had another surprise up his sleeve.

In a ruse worthy of Willy Wonka, he turned the giant cheese into a golden wonder by hiding a large quantity of gold sovereigns inside it.



A few days before Christmas, dressed in white suit, Lipton personally sawed into the monster.

Policemen struggled to maintain order while his assistants wrapped the slices and handed them out to legions of customers who had gathered in the hope of a lucky purchase.

Image captionThe Gorbals district where Lipton grew up was poverty stricken and overcrowded

It was a piece of theatre from a man who was riding a wave of remarkable success, whose grocery stores were spreading far and wide - and a world apart from his childhood in the poverty stricken Gorbals area of Glasgow.

Born in 1848, the son of immigrants from County Fermanagh, across the Irish Sea, Lipton's first lessons in retail came when his father set up a small shop, selling basic provisions in the overcrowded district on the south bank of the Clyde.

From the age of 10 he was picking up simple foodstuffs in a wheelbarrow from the ships that docked on the river.

The docks and the sailors' stories fascinated the young Tommy Lipton.

At the age of 15 he took a job as a cabin boy on a steamer. Two years later he had saved enough money for the passage to America.

Various jobs took him to the tobacco and rice plantations of Virginia and South Carolina - but New York was the biggest influence.

On Broadway he found himself working in the giant store owned by another immigrant of Irish/Scots descent, Alexander Turney Stewart.

A marble-fronted palace of consumption, one of the biggest shops the world had ever seen. Stewart was showcasing an entirely new way of shopping.

Image copyrightGETTY IMAGES

Image captionStewart's department stores heralded a new way of shopping

"He uses a bunch of strategies that we see Lipton using in his own career later," explains Museum of the City of New York curator Steve Jaffe.

"Low mark up, high volume. You get a lot of goods, you can sell them and still make money if you sell them at a reasonable rate.

"Set prices - before Stewart you haggled. Merchants, shopkeepers haggled with customers over prices. He does away with that, it's a set price."

It's spotlessly clean - and behind the counter you have Mr Charm himself.

Laurence Brady, Sir Thomas Lipton Foundation

When Tommy Lipton returned to Glasgow, five years after he'd left, he had still to make his fortune - but now he had a vision of how it could be done.

Still in his early 20s, he opened his own store - Lipton's Market in Stobcross. For Glaswegians it was a very different shopping experience.

"Lipton's Markets he has on the outside, and he has it brightly painted. Then as you go into the shop, it's a total contrast from what he knew growing up as a small boy, "says Laurence Brady, director of the Sir Thomas Lipton Foundation.

"He has his sales assistants there in bright white aprons. He has rows of hams, rows of cheeses.

"His shop is very brightly lit. It's spotlessly clean - and behind the counter you have Mr Charm himself. Anyone walking in, it's 'let me show you these offers we have, how affordable they are'."

No more middle man

It was a recipe for success. Similar stores soon spread across central Scotland- all with the same name over the door. Lipton.

But it was only the start. Lipton knew his business depended on a reliable supply of high quality products, many of them imported. To move onto the next level, he travelled back to County Fermanagh to do a deal.

"He's looking for Irish produce, because that's what his customers are wanting," says genealogist Frank McHugh.

"It's here he changed his method of operating in his business. He employed someone locally to got out and meet the farmers before they arrived at the market - and guaranteed a price.

"This was revolutionary, it was a totally a new way of doing business. It's really how the modern day supermarkets work, they go out to the farmers and they cut out the middle man."

The new approach was so successful, Lipton almost ran out of cash, pawning his gold watch for 30 shillings as he struck deals with the eager farmers.

Image captionThe first Lipton's store in Glasgow was to prove a model for future success

His stores were now springing up across the length and breadth of Scotland - and always with much fanfare.

Enigmatic billboards and flyers would announce that "Lipton is coming".

A butter sculpture in the window, a parade of live pigs causing chaos in the city centre - just some of the tricks that made a Lipton store opening a grand event.

But behind the elegant shop facades, lay a business mechanism which powered forward his profits and expansion.

Image captionLatter day entrepreneur regards Lipton as one of his heroes

"This was genius," says latter day entrepreneur Duncan Bannatyne.

"Tommy Lipton didn't have to rely on any third-party suppliers. He had full control of his supply chain,"

"From the printers, to the packaging, to the distribution, to his network of stores. Tommy had it."

As Lipton's stores spread across Britain his next step was to conquer America, once again cutting out the middle man as he purchased an entire meat packing plant and named it after his mother.

Back in Britain, Lipton's giant cheeses were now regular pre-Christmas attractions. A store manager in Nottingham is said to have hired an elephant to transport one of them through the city.

In 1887 Lipton offered to gift an even bigger cheese, weighing not less than five tons, to Queen Victoria but was politely declined. Whether or not she was amused is unclear.

As always Lipton was on the lookout for the next business opportunity - and it came the shape of a foodstuff which remains linked with his name to this day. Tea.

Image copyrightUNILEVER

Image captionLipton was able to guarantee consistent quality by importing directly from his own plantations

It had once been a precious commodity, worth more than its weight in gold, kept in ornate lockable caddies - but by the mid-19th Century the price had fallen, and it was fast becoming the beverage of choice of the Victorian middle classes.

In May 1890, Lipton travelled to Sri Lanka to buy his first tea plantation.

Just like the Ulster farmers who supplied his first shops, they traded exclusively with Lipton stores - and straight away he put his competitors at a disadvantage.

"Everyone bought through the same location - Mincing Lane in London - where teas were blended but the quality was not reliable," says biographer Michael D'Antonio.

"Sometimes it would be very good, other times it would be mouldy and sometimes you'd buy a packet of tea, and it would all be bad.

"He got the idea to standardise the blend and package it in a way that was consistently fresh and tasted the same when you bought it."

Image copyrightGETTY IMAGES

Image captionLipton's had many plantations in Sri Lanka, then known as Ceylon

By now his grocery empire had taken the Lipton name into the most fashionable streets of Victorian London.

Lipton himself - the boy from the Gorbals - was mixing with the highest echelons of Victorian society.

When the Princess of Wales, Alexandria decided at alarmingly short notice to organise a charity feast for the Queen's diamond jubilee celebrations, it was Lipton who came to the rescue with a donation of £25,000 - well in excess of £2m in today's money.

The following year he was knighted.

"He becomes overnight an A-class celebrity," says Laurence Brady.

"And all those other characters and skills that he has. He is so charming and he's so easy to deal with. Everybody loves to be with him."

Image copyrightGETTY IMAGES

Image captionKnown for his humour and charm, Lipton was feted among Victorian high society

In 1898, when he floated his company, he retained a controlling interest but pocketed £120m, worth a billion pounds today.

Barely 50 years old, he now had the means to realise a childhood dream.

The Americas Cup

It is the world's oldest international sporting trophy. The America it refers to is not a country but a boat of the same name, built by members of the New York Yacht Club.

In 1851 they sailed the schooner to the Isle of Wight at the invitation of the Royal Yacht Squadron for a race - and took home an ornate silver trophy.

A few years later they dedicated it to international competitive sailing.

As a boy Lipton was entranced by the ships arriving in Glasgow, making models and floating them in the city's ponds.

Lipton now joined the world of elite yachting, in his quest for the sport's ultimate accolade.

Image copyrightGETTY IMAGES

Image captionLipton's yacht Shamrock I (right) was defeated - but the race won him many friends

There were strict rules for those hoping to win the America's Cup. Yachts had to be built in the challenger's country and sailed to the start of the race. They also had to be members of a yacht club.

But when Lipton applied to join the prestigious Royal Yacht Squadron he discovered even vast wealth and prestige were not always enough to overcome snobbery. They turned him down.

Instead, he joined the Royal Ulster Yacht Club, based in Bangor, County Down.

Lipton's first challenge in 1899 won the hearts of many Irish Americans.

His yacht was named Shamrock - and while he lost the race, in other ways he was a winner.

Everyone was talking about Sir Thomas Lipton - and Lipton the brand was bigger than ever.

Image captionLipton the man and the brand were strongly linked

A century before the likes of Richard Branson, Steve Jobs and Elon Musk, Lipton had pioneered the idea of the brand built around an individual.

His face, sporting a yachtsman's cap, featured on much of his company's packaging, says food historian Judith Krall-Russo

"Women would like to have photos with him. That was the thing - 'Oh I have a photo with Thomas Lipton'. It was like Elvis Presley, that's what it was like, he was a celebrity. People came aligned with him and they would want to buy that brand."

The visitor book of Lipton's luxury steam yacht Erin reads like an early 20th Century Who's Who.

President Roosevelt, Kaiser Wilhelm, the scientists Edison and Marconi.

It is said he banned all talk of religion or politics while on board.

He challenged again for the America's Cup in 1901 and 1903 with new yachts, Shamrock II and III - again without success.

Image copyrightGETTY IMAGES

Image captionLipton's steam yacht Erin was sunk by a German submarine while serving as a hospital ship

War delayed a planned 1914 challenge. He equipped Erin as a hospital ship and gave her over to the Red Cross. The following year she was sunk by a German submarine.

"He says very publicly on a number of occasions, I would give it all back, I would give everything back if I could save any of those who served on that ship," says Laurence Brady.

Lipton was to make two more bids for the America's Cup - coming tantalisingly close to success in 1920 but "that auld mug", as he called the trophy, always eluded him.

But the good grace with which he accepted defeat earned him goodwill and admiration across America.

After his fifth and final attempt in 1930, the Hollywood actor Will Rogers began a campaign, asking the American public to donate a dollar to purchase a gold "loving cup" to celebrate the perseverance and sportsmanship of the world's "most cheerful loser".

Image captionAlong with the "loving cup" Lipton was presented a book containing messages of goodwill from across America

Presented to him by the Mayor of New York, the lid was decorated with carved shamrocks. The inscription read: "In the name of hundreds of thousands of Americans and well-wishers of Sir Thomas Johnstone Lipton."

He died the following year, bequeathing much of his fortune to his native Glasgow.

Huge crowds lined the streets as the funeral cortege made its way to the Southern Necropolis, where he is buried less than a mile from the Gorbals street where he was born.

Today the Lipton grocery chain is largely forgotten, subsumed by mergers.

His name lives on mainly as a brand of tea, now owned by Unilever. But for modern day entrepreneurs like Duncan Bannatyne, he remains an inspiration.

He says: "Tommy never did win that blooming cup - but he won something far greater.

"The love, respect and admiration of people from all walks of life, from around the world. That makes him a winner in my book."

The Man Who Charmed the World will be broadcast on BBC2 Scotland at 21:00 on Tuesday 25 September and is available on the BBC iplayer.

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seth Posted on September 23, 2018 06:05

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Real Madrid moved top of La Liga after Marco Asensio's VAR-awarded strike proved enough to beat Espanyol.

Asensio drilled in a low shot just before the break when Luka Modric's effort deflected into his path, with the goal given after a lengthy review.

Borja Iglesias hit the crossbar for the spirited visitors with a deft chip.

Former Real keeper Diego Lopez made a fine save to deny Sergio Ramos late on in an otherwise stilted performance by the hosts at the Bernabeu.

Victory takes Julen Lopetegui's side above rivals Barcelona, who can retake the top spot with a draw or victory against Girona on Sunday.

Espanyol drop to sixth following Atletico Madrid's 2-0 win over Getafeearlier on Saturday.

Isco and Asensio highlight new era

Real made sure of victory with a functional rather than fluent performance, the hosts perhaps still working out their identity following the departure of talisman Cristiano Ronaldo and three-time Champions League-winning manager Zinedine Zidane over the summer.

Isco and Asensio once again showed how vital they will be to the new era at the Bernabeu though, the Spain pair central to most of their side's best moves.

Asensio was unmarked when Modric's blocked strike fell to him and clinically found the far bottom corner as Espanyol appealed for offside.

Referee Antonio Miguel Mateu Lahoz consulted VAR and after a long delay awarded the goal, with replays showing Asesnio was clearly onside, as the midfielder appeared to joke about the wait with his celebration, pointing to his wrist.

Isco then created Real's best chance in the latter stages, curving an immaculate cross with the outside of his right foot, only for Lopez to tip the onrushing Ramos' header over the bar.

The lack of fluency could also be down to the hosts making five changes from the side that beat Roma in the Champions League on Wednesday, with Gareth Bale an unused substitute.

Espanyol fail to exploit shaky Real defence

While right-back Alvaro Odriozola made a largely assured debut, Real's defence as a whole was suspect at times but Espanyol failed to take advantage.

Pablo Piatti shot just wide after Real were slow to react to a sweeping Espanyol counter, before former Chelsea keeper Thibaut Courtois saved from Hernan Perez.

After the interval, Ramos was caught dallying in possession on the edge of his own area, with Iglesias robbing him off the ball and beating Courtois with an exquisite lob only to see it ricochet back off the bar.

Despite that warning, Ramos continued to streak forward at will, with Casemiro forced to race back and cover on several occasions. The experienced Spaniard could have cost his side the win, had the visitors been more clinical with their final ball.

Home TeamReal MadridAway TeamEspanyol







Shots on Target









seth Posted on September 22, 2018 22:12

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Joshua knocks out Povetkin in seventh round - reaction.



Anthony Joshua knocks out Russia's Alexander Povetkin in seventh round

Joshua retains WBA, IBF and WBO world heavyweight titles at Wembley

Briton wins 22nd professional fight with his 21st knockout

Povetkin had never been stopped before

Get involved: Tweet #bbcboxing

Live Reporting


By Michael Emons

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Posted at 22:0922:09

Post update

Maybe Eddie Hearn can shed some light on who next for Anthony Joshua.


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Posted at 22:0822:08

'My number one opponent would be Wilder'

More from Anthony Joshua, who is asked who he thinks will win in the Deontay Wilder v Tyson Fury fight, which is scheduled for December 1.


"May the champion bring himself here and have a good old fashioned dust-up," says Joshua. "All I want to fight is serious challengers. If Dillian (Whyte) wants to fight here he is also more than welcome."


Pushed on who his favoured opponent would be, Joshua replies: "My number one would be Wilder, let's not talk about a number two or three."


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Posted at 22:0422:04

'There is a lot of pressure'

Anthony Joshua says: "Alexander Povetkin is a very tough challenger he proved that tonight. I came here to have fun, do what I have done in the gym, he was strong to the head but weak to the body it could have taken seven, nine or 12 rounds to get him out of there.


"Tonight is out of the way let's figure out what's happening on April 13. Let's put a vote out there.


"There are no mandatory challengers? Who do we want to fight? Anyone is welcome. The sport is about what the fans want, but some times we have to face the mandatories."


Asked why the fight against Deontay Wilder did not happen, Joshua adds: "We both did a lot of talking, I'm here now, I had a good fight, have my knockout streak back.


"There is a lot of pressure the whole country is rooting for us. The energy in here spurs you on and you do feel that pressure, I'm not going to lie. A few years ago maybe I wouldn't have won the fight."

Albert Ulebe Posted on September 22, 2018 22:11

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Bill Cosby To Be Jailed On Monday 24th September 2018

American comedian, Bill Cosby may spend the 30 years of his life in jail as prosecutors who are handling his s*xual assault case demands that he is put behind bars on Monday 24th September 2018.

According to reports, the comedian will appear before the court on Monday morning where prosecutors will be waiting to send him to jail soon after he is sentenced.

Around April 2018, Mr Cosby, who is 81, was released on one million dollars ($1million) bail and was ordered to remain at the house till further appearance in court.

As the aggravated indecent s*xual assault case of Bill Cosby on Andrea Constand stands, he is facing a maximum of 30 years imprisonment.

Source. GhanaCelebrities.Com

Nii Sackey Posted on September 22, 2018 13:33

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BACK FER GOOD Sir Alex Ferguson returns to Old Trafford for the first time after brain haemorrhage ahead of Manchester United clash with Wolves

Former Red Devils boss was in 'extremely serious' condition after a seizure but has recovered remarkably quickly

SIR ALEX FERGUSON has returned to Old Trafford for the first time since his life-threatening brain haemorrhage.

The former Red Devils boss, 76, was in "extremely serious" condition after a seizure but has recovered remarkably quickly.



Sir Alex Ferguson beamed on his way into Old Trafford this morning

Manchester United?@ManUtd

"It's great to be back and I just hope we get a win today!"

Our full, exclusive interview with Sir Alex is available to watch now: 

12:08 - 22 Sep 2018

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Sir Alex Ferguson hasn't been seen at United since his May brain haemorrhage

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Welcome back to Old Trafford, Sir Alex. #MUFC

11:09 - 22 Sep 2018

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Man United tweeted the brilliant news, as former Scot boss Ferguson beamed on his way into the stadium this morning.

They went on to say they will "honour his return" at 2.45pm - 15 minutes before kick-off of today's game.

On his return, Ferguson said: "I'm really good. Obviously it's been a long journey and I'm gradually making the steps forward and doing what my son and doctors tell me so I'm really good.

"I'm a bit nervous to be honest with you... maybe a bit tense. I think my last game was Arsenal, back in April sometime, so it's a long time.



Sir Alex Ferguson has recovered from his serious illness remarkably quickly

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Manchester United?@ManUtd

We encourage fans attending today's game at Old Trafford to be in your seats for 14:45 BST as we prepare to honour Sir Alex's return. #MUFC

11:28 - 22 Sep 2018

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Sir Alex Ferguson is back for Man United's game with Wolves at 3pm

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Paul Gascoigne?@Paul_Gascoigne8

Wow I’m sooo happy to see the great man SIR ALEX FERGUSON DOING FANTASTIC and looking class love from GAZZA ?@Shanewh1tfield? I’m here for you xx love ya mate that’s a red heart xx see you soon oh can I borrow your football knowledge xx

12:16 - 22 Sep 2018

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"But, it's great to be back and I just hope we get a win today!

"It's great to be back at the stadium. It's going to be a bit emotional for me when the game gets started and things like that. It had to happen sometime.

"It's bound to be [emotional], particularly when I take my seat in the box, that will be something. But I will be glad to get it over with and get the game started and enjoy it."

In May, the footballing world was rocked by the dramatic news of Fergie's brain haemorrhage.

Peter Schmeichel?@Pschmeichel1

Welcome back boss

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Welcome back to Old Trafford, Sir Alex. #MUFC

12:05 - 22 Sep 2018

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Sir Alex Ferguson will return to his old 'home' for today's game




Sir Alex Ferguson is back at Old Trafford for the first time since Arsenal in April

But within a month, the ex-United chief was out of hospital and being looked after by loved ones.

At the time, a source said: “Everyone knows Sir Alex is a winner and this was one battle he was never going to lose."

Ferguson soon after thanked hospital staff for saving his life in an emotional video, saying: "Believe me, without those people, who gave me such great care, I would not be sitting here today. So thank you from me and my family, thank you very much."

When asked by MUTV if he'd received many messages of support, Fergie said: "It was unbelievable. There were thousands of cards.

"They kept arriving at Salford Royal Hospital but, of course, I had left by that time but they kept coming and kept coming.



Sir Alex Ferguson released a video in July thanking hospital staff

"The number of emails, texts and personal cards to the house was amazing.

"I was overcome and overwhelmed by it. Remember, I did the message and that was to thank the people that had taken the time to send me a message.

"It was really important to do that.

Even with Ferguson progressing so quickly, his appearance at Old Trafford today is still incredibly ahead of schedule.

Last month, close friend Sam Allardyce claimed Fergie was aiming to return to his former stomping ground around the New Year.


Play VideoSir Alex Ferguson thanks medical team who helped him after undergoing surgery for a brain haemorrhage

khojho Posted on September 22, 2018 13:03

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Jurgen Klopp reveals the ‘mistake’ he made with Liverpool summer signing Xherdan Shaqiri .

Liverpool signed Xherdan Shaqiri from Stoke City in the summer (Picture: Getty) Jurgen Klopp believes he has made a ‘mistake’ by not giving Xherdan Shaqiri more game-time following his summer move to Liverpool. The Reds triggered Shaqiri’s £13.5million release clause in July to sign the Switzerland international from relegated Stoke City. The 26-year-old has been restricted to three substitute appearances so far this season and is yet to start a game for Liverpool.


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But Klopp admits it is his own ‘mistake’ that Shaqiri has not featured more prominently and says the summer signing’s ‘time will come’. Liverpool will look to maintain their 100% start to the new Premier League season at home against Southampton on Saturday. ‘He is very positive, not only from the performances but as a guy in the dressing room,’ Klopp said. ‘Everyone loves Shaq, that is how it is – and without playing plenty of minutes. Jurgen Klopp pre-match conference: Liverpool v Southampton Play Video Loaded: 0% 0:00Progress: 0% PlayMute Current Time 0:00 / Duration Time 24:03 Fullscreen ‘That is more my mistake than his. He has done everything to play. I made different decisions but his time will come, that is for sure.’ As well as winning their first five Premier League matches this season, Liverpool also beat Paris Saint-Germain 3-2 in the Champions League during the week. And Klopp says Liverpool’s recent defensive performances were a ‘really big step’ for his team. ‘We don’t feel that [momentum] to be honest because we play, analyse, prepare; play, analyse, prepare and that is it,’ Klopp said of Shaqiri. Shaqiri is yet to start a game for the Reds (Picture: Getty) ‘Maybe it’s because all the jobs are so difficult. There is no game where we have thought: “Thank God we have played them.” ‘None of the results we have this season would have been possible without the greed you have seen or without the aggression you see. No chance.’ Klopp, who will manage his 600th competitive game on Saturday, added: ‘We didn’t win anything so far – not in the past and not this season – so let’s use the momentum and create a new momentum. ‘We really want to be the ugliest team to play against. That is the plan, and to do it with good football players.


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khojho Posted on September 22, 2018 12:50

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Journalist's expulsion from restaurant leads to debate about racism in Angola

The alleged violent eviction of a journalist from an upscale restaurant in Luanda has caused an online controversy, leading to debates about racism and discrimination in Angola.

On 26 August, journalist and activist Simão Hossi visited the Café Del Mar restaurant with a group of friends. On the instructions of the managers, two employees followed Hossi when he was on his way to the restroom. The employees then allegedly assaulted and expelled him from the restaurant with the excuse that Hossi was poorly dressed.

Afterwards, Hossi took to Facebook and shred his version of events in a post:

Yesterday, 26 August, I visited the Ihla de Luanda, in the company of 3 friends, one being a USA citizen who was in Angola for work, they were Jeremias Dito Dalí, Massilon Chindombe, and Rudy Massamba who came from Washington DC.

(…) while looking for a place for us to sit I decided to go to the bathroom and, as I did not know the place I asked an attendant, they said it was straight ahead as he was busy, as I did not find it, I asked a cleaning employee, for her part she asked me quickly where I came from, I answered her like the employee inside the restaurant and that I needed the bathroom, she showed me and I went to use it.

As soon as I left the bathroom I came across more or less 4 to 5 muscly internal security staff that accosted me with questions, what was I there to do, where did I come from and, they then forced me to follow them, I asked where they wanted to take me while accompanied. It was then they used force, one of them took me by force like a baby outside the restaurant area where I was thrown to the floor, the same one who carried me also struck me, and as well as this they also chose words that, this was not the place for me, even though I had been insistently saying that I was accompanied by 3 other people.

As for the question of my clothes, I was actually in flip-flops, I was wearing normal trousers and a long shirt, there were other people with shorts and flip-flops but the target was just me.

For me, the security staff did not act alone, they were covered by the restaurant’s management.

The story was widely shared on social media and many people have publicly criticized and protested the restaurant's actions — among them long-time clients. Hossi was also invited to discuss what happened on the most watched television channel in Angola, TV Zimbo.

In a Facebook post, which was later shared in the newspaper O País, Presidential advisor Ismael Mateus claimed that this case of racism against Simão Hossi is only one of thousands that occur in the country.

According to Mateus, racism in Angola is nothing new, but people prefer to pretend nothing is happening. In some companies, he explained, having lighter skin is a passport to a job or preferential treatment:

It happens in front of us and while we do not take notice of it, these things will continue. One day, when somebody loses their head and a serious incident happens, nobody will remember the people who have been saying for years that we need to discuss racism against the large black majority.

The restaurant's reaction

In their own defense, the restaurant wrote that Simão Hóssi had been dressed inadequately and unacceptably. According to their version of the incident, Hossi was approached by a member of the cleaning staff who reproached him for his poor state of dress. The restaurant management then alerted the head of security who asked Hossi to leave the area which created an unpleasant situation for other clients.

Outside the establishment, police officers on patrol in the area were called in to intervene on behalf of Simão Hossi, who alleged that he had been assaulted. This was disregarded by the officers as he did not show any signs of being assaulted.

Internet users divided over the event

In a Facebook post, Joaquim Lunda, a friend of Hossi, said he did not understand how something like this could happen:

… I have already been several times to this place that you mention, in shorts and flip-flops and even today I was there in shorts and flip-flops, but I was treated well by the staff…could it be that you had an exchange with one of the staff, something like that? I think that it’s very strange, what you just mentioned

Miguel Quimbenze put the blame on Hossi, arguing that he must have treated the cleaning staff member badly:

Buddy you provoked this situation, you treated the cleaning staff member badly, the security staff came on the basis of the information given by this lady. I think that the question the lady asked you was normal

Meanwhile, André Mfumu Kivuandinga, an internet user who followed the event, encouraged Hossi to take the case as far as possible:

Buddy you have to go further with this. You cannot tolerate injustice or discrimination. I am with you, if you need my help, you know where to find me. For that matter, I can do some work on this

Presenter Salgueiro Vincente jumped to Hossi's defense,using Facebook to organize a protest near the restaurant, as well as debates, songs, and poetry.

Action taken in support of the activist and journalist Hossi Sonjamba | Photo used with permission

In response to Vincente's call to protest, Elísio dos Santos Magalhães highlighted the need for a country united against racism:

We are all linked in this cause, divisive racism, tribalism, racial prejudice, enough, enough, enough, enough, enough, Angola without racism, we are all one! And very happy, enough of prejudice about skin colour enough, one day I already suffered this I am very hurt by my former parents-in-law and after twenty years they took away my wife because I am mestizo, due to racism in families, families are destroyed in Angola, enough enough enough

On 9 September, the day of event, demonstrators shared photos of the protest in front of the restaurant:

Demonstration in front of the restaurant | Photo used with permission – Hossi Sonjamba (09.09.2018)

Demonstration in front of the restaurant | Photo used with permission – Hossi Sonjamba (09.09.2018)

According to Hossi’s online posts, the case is still being investigated by Angolan authorities.

khojho Posted on September 22, 2018 12:36

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A film about a Montenegrin freedom fighter seeks to keep anti-fascist values alive

When we first told Mare Lakovic's daughter that we wanted to make her late mother the focus of a documentary marking 70 years of anti-fascism and female emancipation in Montenegro, she reacted to the idea with astonishment. “This must be some kind of a scam,” she told me and my co-author, Dragan Koprivica.

But Vidosava Lakovi?, who is now 80 years old, later came round to the idea. Five months after that initial phone call, and in large part thanks to the memories she shared with us, her mother's story now been made known to tens of thousands of Montenegrins after it was aired by Balkan country's national broadcaster on  July 12 2018.

Mare Lakovic, who was born in 1910 in the Montenegrin city of Cetinje, lived an ordinary life during extraordinary times. She was just over 30 and a mother of four children when she became a widow, after Nazi forces invaded the country then known as the Kingdom of Yugoslavia. Her husband Bogdan, a Communist partisan. was killed in action during the battle of Pljevlja in December 1941. Mare not only witnessed the defeat of fascism in 1945, but was an active participant in the underground partisan struggle.

In the turbulence that followed the communist nation's dramatic split with the Soviet Union in 1948, she was almost interned in a political prison on a barren island in the Adriatic. It was her tireless efforts for the partisan cause during the war and her network of Balkan allies that saved her, as power-brokers at the very top of the Yugoslav hierarchy intervened. She lived to see the collapse of Yugoslavia, nearly five decades after women in the country earned the right to vote, but died 10 years before her native Montenegro gained independence in 2006.

Lakovic was not a complete unknown before we made our film. We had found her among a host of characters that featured in a gripping chronicle called “Eagle's Rock—100 years of a Montenegrin Family's Life” written by the famous Montenegrin broadcaster and publisher Nebojša Bato Tomaševi?. Tomaševi?, a survivor of the 1958 Munich air disaster that killed 23 people including members of the British football club Manchester United, died last year, at 87. But “Eagle's Rock” stands as a permanent testament to the heroic roles played by ordinary Balkan women such as his early mentor Lakovic during times of unimaginable hardship, and helped inspire the film we called Mare Bogdanova's Fight (published online with English subtitles).



By researching and sharing the story of an ordinary person's struggle, we wanted to remind younger generations how the rights that we now enjoy were won, and show that each freedom and right has its own battlefield, where huge sacrifices were made. The title reflects the Balkan custom of calling the wife by the name of the husband, which was common during her lifetime. Within her community Mare Lakovi? was known as Mare Bogdanova, meaning Bogdan's Mare.

A struggle against fascism, and patriarchy, too

Mare Bogdanova (1910-1996)

The Mare Lakovic that emerges from Bato Tomaševi?'s work is a strong role model who provides the author with his first real connection to the partisan movement in Cetinje, which was under Nazi occupation from 1941 to 44. It was Mare who assigned Tomaševi? many of his early errands in the movement, who sent him to observe public executions of captured anti-fascist resistance fighters. Informing on the behavior of those sentenced to death was important for the movement, in order to determine whether they'd cracked under torture. Mare sent him to carry food to the prisoners, to share news from the radio and to keep her informed of everything he saw on his journeys through the town.

The partisan struggle propelled women like Mare, who was illiterate at the time, into positions of quiet leadership. It proved they could be indispensable not just inside the home, but to their communities and country, and led to a gradual shift in values across Yugoslavia.

But if women like Mare formed the background of the antifascist resistance, the movement also needed its trailblazers.

Unlike Mare, League of Communist Youth and Women’s Antifascist Front member Bosa Vukovi? was steeped in political literature from a very young age. Vukovi? was a more vocal opponent of patriarchal conservatism than the vast majority of women of the time. After her participation in the anti-fascist movement, she became the editor of a magazine called “Our Woman”, which came to be viewed as vital to the education and emancipation of women in Montenegro. The women's movement in Montenegro is another focus of our film.

Don't let memories perish, reject historical revisionism

One of our main motivations for preserving the memories from this era of constant struggle was the fact so many of the people who knew Mare and her husband Bogdan are now quite elderly. Luckily we were able to talk to these vital sources of human memory, who helped us to build up a picture of a life of which there is little documentation in the state archives.

The Radio-Television of Montenegro (RTCG), the country's public broadcaster, in turn helped us build historical context into the work by providing some great footage from the era sourced from Lov?en film, Montenegro's communist-era state film studio. The fact that the public broadcaster aired the film shows that the anti-fascist struggle still resonates with society. After all, Montenegro's statehood day on July 13 commemorates the anti-fascist uprising on that date in 1941.

But despite avoiding some of the right-wing populism seen in other Balkan countries, Montenegro is not immune to the conservative trends coursing through Europe and the world as a whole that fly in the face of the anti-fascist movement's principles. The stress conservatives place on family values and religious values threatens to limit individual rights and undo much of the progress forged in extreme circumstances by Mare and others. Abortion and a potential law on same-sex partnerships are two key targets for these groups, but there is no guarantee they will stop there. The distance between various social groups in society is growing at a worrying rate, and the vulnerable are at risk of being cut adrift.

This is where education comes in. Those who create educational policies must be aware of these trends and pay more attention to civic education in schools. It is not enough to simply criticize young people for not knowing or for showing interest in the events that their great-grandparents lived through. It is the responsibility of teachers to show them that the values of anti-fascism are not just a part of history, and that history is studied not to glorify the past, but to safeguard the future.

The film Mare Bogdanova's Fight was produced with the support of the European Union by the Center for Democratic Transition (CDT) non-profit and in cooperation with Media Solution. The production is available online with English subtitles.

khojho Posted on September 22, 2018 12:31

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Anthony Joshua v Alexander Povetkin: Costello and Bunce assess the 'new Joshua'

Anthony Joshua v Alexander Povetkin
Venue: Wembley Stadium Date: Saturday 22 September Ring walk: 21:50 BST
Coverage: Live text commentary from 20:00 BST on the BBC Sport website.

"Is Anthony Joshua going to become the biggest draw in boxing history in terms of the average crowd he attracts?"

BBC Sport's boxing correspondent Mike Costello posed the question and believes the stadium crowds Joshua now attracts makes it likely.

He duly raised the prospect with the IBF, WBA and WBO world heavyweight champion as he prepares to take on Russia's Alexander Povetkin in front of around 80,000 people at Wembley Stadium on Saturday night.

"Really? Wow," said Joshua, 28. "Sometimes you want respect while you're doing it but I think you don't get the gratitude.

"But when you're finished and we look back at what was done, you may get the credit."

In his answer Joshua gave up an issue many feel is eating away at him going into this bout. How, after 21 fights, 21 wins and with three major world titles to his name, does criticism still manage to flow his way?

"I think there's pressure on him, a weight on his shoulders," said 5 live Boxing's Steve Bunce. "There is no way it doesn't affect him when he is having the boot stuck into him."

All on the line for the 'new' Joshua


Could you match Anthony Joshua's workout routine?

Joshua - though he may deny it - looks and sounds frustrated going into his fourth consecutive stadium bout. Those angered by the failure of the Joshua camp to secure a fight with WBC champion Deontay Wilder have made their voices heard.

Married to this frustration is a serious focus born out of the fact the team around him have warned him in no uncertain terms about the dangers Povetkin - with 34 wins and just one loss to his name - poses.

It has led to the champion locking himself away more and stating this may be a new version of him.

There have been subtle changes in his habits, notably a move to train when he wakes up naturally, rather than setting the traditional early alarm boxers live with. The likes of Floyd Mayweather, Manny Pacquiao and Vasyl Lomachenko are men who have utilised the same alarm-free routine.

"There's a new Joshua emerging, he's shedding some of that old skin," Bunce added.

When they walk to the ring at 21:50 BST on Saturday, his new attitude will be tested by an old campaigner. Indeed, on the same night Povetkin, 39, suffered his only loss to Wladimir Klitschko in 2013, Joshua was making his professional debut.

"When I look at his weight, he is one of the lighter heavyweights so that means he has a lot of speed," said Joshua, who came in at 17 stone 8lbs 5 ounces at Friday's weigh-in, more than a stone heavier than Povetkin's 15st 12lbs.

"His strengths, I've worked with people who have them. It's difficult but a good fighter will always find a way," added Joshua.

"We both have a big heart and can dig deep. I'm willing to do what it takes."

And Joshua - earning around £20m for this bout - could earn future reward. He already has Wembley booked again for 13 April, with a lucrative match-up with Wilder a possibility, while the likes of Tyson Fury and Dillian Whyte remain in the frame.

"Everything is riding on it," said promoter Eddie Hearn. "I'm more fearful in this than in the last Joseph Parker fight because of Povetkin's experience. Joshua's going to have to nail him down, beat him up and knock him out."

Povetkin - movement and meldonium

Joshua's team have worked on his ability to deal with Povetkin's lateral movement. Training drills forcing the champion to respond to lights illuminating in sequences around him have circulated on social media.

But Povetkin brings experience as well as slight of foot. The 2004 Olympic champion says he is "just as strong" as Joshua and insists that his defeat to Klitschko on the biggest night of his career to date came at a time when he was "much weaker".

Povetkin, who earned his shot by becoming a mandatory challenger, has used hard-hitting British heavyweight Daniel Dubois as a sparring partner. He often stoops before throwing looping shots or hooks that are renowned for their accuracy and laced with unquestionable power.

His abilities are respected but two failed drugs tests in 2016 have marred his name. He blamed traces of meldonium in his system on the fact he took it before it was banned and later denied using muscle-boosting ostarine when it was picked up in another test.

Asked if Povetkin deserves his shot in light of failed tests, Teddy Atlas - who trained him until 2012 - told BBC Sport: "Some may say it's sour grapes as I am not with him anymore but the answer is no and would be no for everybody.

"I mean this was the biggest title in the world. It stood for honour, for something really special you could strive for and it shouldn't be tainted by anything illegal. Live by those standards, I wish this sport did."

Former two-weight world champion Paulie Malignaggi told BBC Sport: "Guys like that should have to pay a heavy price. They don't. In doping, you have more to gain than lose. When they start to turn it around so there's more to lose than gain, they may start cleaning up the sport."

Gun-slinging - will AJ land first?

BBC Sport boxing commentator Mike Costello: "It is interesting, looking at Povetkin across fights, he has this habit of slipping punches in the same way, dipping his knees and then almost winging a shot over the top with the right hand.

"When he fought David Price, Price clipped him on the way in. Price got there first. It is a gamble to throw that hook when the gap is there left by his winging right hand. You have to get there first and hard or the momentum of his punch will come through. Surely Joshua will see that gap."

BBC Radio 5 live analyst Steve Bunce: "When I watched Joshua training last week he was working on fast, straight shots and also on nasty, little, clubbing hooks. Those are the shots that can catch Povetkin on the temple and put him down as he has a great chin."

Predictions - 'Povetkin is always game'

British heavyweight Dillian Whyte: "I think Povetkin is too short. Joshua will just keep it moving, keep the distance long and stop him inside six. Joshua will pick him off like Klitschko did."

British heavyweight David Price: "I think Joshua will win the fight, I think he has more to his game and I think he will out-muscle Povetkin and beat him late on."

Paulie Malignaggi: "I think Povetkin is one of Joshua's toughest challengers. He's very stable. Even if you knock him down he's always willing to battle.

"I just don't think he has the versatility to overtake Joshua and win a heavyweight world championship. But he has the toughness to take Joshua all the way to points and if you got a sub-par Joshua it's a risk but I don't expect a sub-par Joshua."

The undercard - Campbell eyes revenge

Luke Campbell - an Olympic champion in 2012 like Joshua - will seek to right a wrong when he faces Frenchman Yvan Mendy, who inflicted his first career defeat in 2015.

It will be Campbell's first bout since joining with trainer Shane McGuigan and the winner could be in line for a shot at WBC world lightweight champion Mikey Garcia.

"Physically, mentally, I'm all there," said Campbell, 30. "It's a must-win fight. I believe I will get it. Shane has added to my style and attributes. I am in a great place."

Elsewhere, Liverpool heavyweight David Price - knocked out by Povetkin in March - has taken the chance to face Russia's undefeated Sergey Kuzmin at short notice.

"People don't want to blink," said Price, 35. "The upside for me is potentially life changing."

And also eye-catching on the card is Rio 2016 Olympian Lawrence Okolie'schallenge of British cruiserweight champion Matty Askin.

seth Posted on September 22, 2018 07:06

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Code-cracking WW2 Bombe operation recreated at Bletchley

Computer historians have staged a re-enactment of World War Two code-cracking at Bletchley Park.

A replica code-breaking computer called a Bombe was used to decipher a message scrambled by an Enigma machine.

Held at the National Museum of Computing (TNMOC), the event honoured Polish help with wartime code-cracking.

Ruth Bourne, a former wartime code-cracker who worked at Bletchley and used the original Bombes, oversaw the modern effort.

Broken message

Enigma machines were used extensively by the German army and navy during World War Two. This prompted a massive effort by the Allies to crack the complex method they employed to scramble messages.

That effort was co-ordinated via Bletchley Park and resulted in the creation of the Bombe, said Paul Kellar who helps to keep a replica machine running at the museum. Renowned mathematician Alan Turing was instrumental in the creation of the original Bombe.

"During the war, they had about 200 Bombes," said Mr Kellar. "It was a real code-breaking factory."

For its re-enactment, TNMOC recruited a team of 12 and used a replica Bombe that, until recently, had been on display at the Bletchley Park museum next door.

The electro-mechanical Bombe was designed to discover which settings the German Enigma operators used to scramble their messages.


Image captionThe Bombe was used to work out Enigma machine settings to help read German communications

As with World War Two messages, the TNMOC team began with a hint or educated guess about the content of the message, known as a "crib", which was used to set up the Bombe.

The machine then cranked through the millions of possible combinations until it came to a "good stop", said Mr Kellar. This indicated that the Bombe had found key portions of the settings used to turn readable German into gobbledygook.

After that, said Mr Kellar, it was just a matter of time before the 12-strong team cracked the message.

Ms Bourne, who worked at Bletchley, said authentic methods had been used by the modern code-breakers but the effort lacked the over-riding stress and tension that accompanied the wartime work.

"During the war, there was a feeling of great pressure because the Enigma [encryption] keys changed at midnight so everyone was pushing to get enough information before it went out of date," she told the BBC.

"The only high spot was when your machine happened to find the 'good stop' and you felt pleased about that," she said.

Work on cracking the Engima machine was greatly aided by Polish cryptographers, said Mr Kellar. Friday's event commemorated 80 years since that information was shared with the Allies. In addition, he said, the early stages of the code-cracking re-enactment were broadcast live to a Polish supercomputer conference in Poznan.

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seth Posted on September 22, 2018 06:36

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Week in pictures: 15 - 21 September 2018

Mexican Marines walk away from a fire they'd started to destroy seized supplies of cocaine, marijuana and psychoactive pills in Acapulco.


Image captionA group dances under a shower of fireworks during the Santa Tecla festival in Sitges, Spain.


Image captionA woman waits backstage before performing at an event to raise money for the transgender community in Mumbai, India.

Image copyrightNIC BOTHMA/ EPA

Image captionTeam Koapman of the Netherlands competes at the Tug-of-War World Championships in Cape Town, South Africa. Around 1,100 athletes from 20 different countries compete across the categories.


Image captionTwo horses stand in their stalls at The Museum of Horse Culture in Jiangyin city, near Wuxi, China. The museum houses 47 breeds of horses from more than 30 countries and has won the Guinness World Record for the club with the largest collection of horses in the world.


Image captionNorth Koreans perform during an event celebrating the meeting of the president of South Korea and the leader of North Korea at the May Day Stadium in Pyongyang.


Image captionPhilippe Gillet, 67, lives with more than 400 reptiles and tamed alligators at his home near Nantes, France. Here, in his living room, he feeds his alligator Ali some chicken.

Image copyrightKIRSTY O'CONNOR/ PA

Image captionA ballet dancer practises in the sunshine at the Southbank skatepark in London.


Image captionA man participates in the Diawa Irish Pairs sea angling event in windy conditions on the Dingle Peninsula in Ireland.


Image captionModel Madeline Stuart, who has Down's syndrome, has the final touches put to her make-up before walking down the catwalk at London Fashion Week.

All photographs belong to the copyright holders as marked.

seth Posted on September 22, 2018 06:21

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Three infants among five people stabbed at New York nursery

A suspect is in custody after five people, including three infants, were stabbed overnight at a nursery in the New York City borough of Queens.

Police were called to a home, which investigators say was operating as a nursery, at around 03:45 local time (07:45 GMT) on Friday morning.

Nine children were in the house at the time. The three injured children range in age from three days to 20 days old.

The suspect was found unconscious in the basement with a wound on her wrist.

The 52-year-old suspect, who has not been named by police, was revived after responding New York Police Department (NYPD) applied a tourniquet on her arm.

Investigators believe her injuries to be self-inflicted.

NYPD Assistant Chief Juanita Holmes said two knives were found at the scene.

A father was stabbed in the leg and a female employee suffered several stab wounds to the torso.

All of those injured were taken to hospital in "critical but stable condition", police said, and are expected to survive.

According to investigators, the attacker is believed to be an employee at the nursery.

Chief Holmes said the home was not known to police, apart from one call in 2011 of "children screaming".

It is unclear if the nursery was a legal child care facility, according to CBS New York.

Neighbours said they called police on Friday after hearing screams coming from the building in the Flushing neighbourhood of Queens.

"I got up, went and got dressed, and came out to see which house is it, because obviously I'm concerned, this is my neighbourhood," one neighbour told CBS.

"I didn't even know there was a daycare around here," the man added.

According to ABC News, a butcher's knife and a meat cleaver were recovered from the scene.

The networks added that all of the children were with their parents inside the Mei Xin Care Inc building, which police described as a "short-term residential facility".

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seth Posted on September 21, 2018 23:27

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Rihanna appointed as ambassador by Barbados

Pop singer, actress and designer Rihanna can add another accolade to her growing list of achievements after being given a new ambassadorial role by the government of Barbados.

The artist, whose full name is Robyn Rihanna Fenty, was named "Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary" for her home country on Thursday.

The role involves promoting education, tourism and investment.

Prime Minister Mia Amor Mottley said she was honoured to confer the title.

"Rihanna has a deep love for this country and this is reflected in her philanthropy, especially in the areas of health and education. She also shows her patriotism in the way she gives back to this country and continues to treasure the island as her home," the prime minister said in a government statement.

"She has also demonstrated, beyond her success as a pop icon, significant creative acumen and shrewdness in business. It is therefore fitting that we engage and empower her to play a more definitive role as we work to transform Barbados."

Image copyrightGETTY IMAGES

Image captionRihanna been a cultural ambassador for Barbados since 2008 and helped promote tourism

The singer was born in Saint Michael in Barbados, and grew up in in the capital Bridgetown.

She lived there until her teen years when she was discovered by an American record producer, who helped her break into the US charts.

Last year a street she used to live in was renamed Rihanna Drive in her honour.

In a statement accepting her new role, the singer (who is now described as Ambassador Fenty by the Barbados government) said she "couldn't be more proud to take on such a prestigious title" in her home country.

"Every Barbadian is going to have to play their role in this current effort, and I'm ready and excited to take on the responsibility. I look forward to working with Prime Minister Mottley and her team to re-imagine Barbados."

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seth Posted on September 21, 2018 23:26

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Nigeria's central bank withdraws Skye Bank's operating license, secures customers' deposit with a bridge bank.

Umar Ibrahim, chairman of the Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC), revealed this during a press briefing in Lagos on Friday.

Nigeria's central bank has withdrawn the operating licence of ailing Skye Bank Plc, two years after removing the financial institution's management and board.

The apex bank said it has decided to establish a bridge bank 'Polarise Bank,' to secure the assets and liabilities of Skye Bank


Umar Ibrahim, chairman of the Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC), revealed this in a press briefing in Lagos on Friday, alongside Godwin Emefiele.




Emefiele said: “As a responsible and responsive regulator and in consultation with the Nigerian Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC), we have decided to establish a bridge bank ‘Polaris Bank,’ to assume the assets and liabilities of Skye Bank”.



» more Nigeria's Central Bank Governor Godwin Emefiele speaks during the monthly Monetary Policy Committee meeting in Abuja, Nigeria May 22, 2018.  (REUTERS/Afolabi Sotunde)

“The result of our examinations and forensic audit of the bank  have revealed that the Skye Bank requires urgent recapitalisation as it can no longer continue to live on borrowed times with indefinite liquidity support from the CBN. The shareholders of the bank have been unable to recapitalise it,” he said during the press briefing.


CBN took regulatory actions on Skye Bank Plc in 2016

In 2016, Nigeria's apex bank took over of Skye Bank Plc following persistent turkey to meet minimum thresholds in critical prudential and adequacy ratios.


The reasons also included the bank's huge non-performing loans (NPLs) profile as well as its low liquidity ratio.


ALSO READ: Nigerian banks illegally charged customers over N65 billion in 6 years


Godwin Emefiele, CBN Governor, had explained that the apex bank took a proactive step in order to save the health of the bank from further deteriorating.

Customers' deposits in safe hands

The Asset Management Company of Nigeria (AMCON) will capitalise the bridge bank and begin the process of sourcing investors to buy out AMCON.



Queue at a banking hall in Ngeria  (News360 info)

The CBN chief said: “We wish to assure all depositors that under this arrangement, their deposits shall remain safe and that normal banking services shall continue in the new bank on Monday, 24th September, 2018, to enable customers to transact their businesses seamlessly.”


What is a bridge bank - Polarise Bank

A bridge bank is an institution created by a national regulator or central bank to operate a failed bank until a buyer can be found for its operations.


The task of the bridge bank is to ensure seamless continuity of banking operations.


Recall that in 2011, the Central Bank of Nigeria also revoked the licences of three banks – Afribank, Spring Bank and Bank PHB and established Mainstreet Bank Limited, Keystone Bank Limited and Enterprise Bank Limited as bridge banks in their place.

Albert Ulebe Posted on September 21, 2018 23:17

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Canadian politician says a family can eat on $75 a week

A Canadian political leader has been caught in a dangerous election campaign trap: not knowing the cost of groceries.

Quebec Liberal leader Phillipe Couillard told a radio station this week that a family of three could eat for a week on C$75 ($57; £45).

He conceded it would be challenge and the menu would be limited.

Still, opponents pounced on the comment to accuse him of being out of touch with regular families.

Mr Couillard is fighting to keep his job as the premier of the province in the midst of a challenging election for his party.

The average Canadian family of four spends about $12,000 on food a year. Various estimates suggest families spend anywhere from a low of $140 a week to roughly $230 a week on food.

Manon Massé, a spokesperson for the left-wing Quebec Solidaire party, called Mr Couillard's comments "an insult to all the families who tightened their belts for his balanced budget".

Coalition Avenir Quebec posted an image of a stunned-looking Mr Couillard on Twitter, under the tagline "disconnected from reality".

The Liberal leader has spent two days defending the $75 figure, saying it is not ideal but he knows people who struggle but still manage to live within such a restrictive budget.

Mr Couillard is just the latest politician to fumble an answer over the price of common goods, and to face subsequent accusations that he or she has no real sense of the household budgets of constituents.

Image captionPoliticians have been known to fumble questions on grocery shopping

In 2013, former UK Prime Minister David Cameron had to defend his ignorance of the price of budget supermarket bread by claiming he prefers to bake home-made loaves.

That revelation came shortly after Boris Johnson, then mayor of London, said it did not matter that he was clueless about the cost of a price of a pint of milk or loaf of bread.

A year later, then UK Labour Party leader Ed Miliband was accused of being a "champagne socialist" when he said in an interview his family of four spent about £70 or £80 on groceries a week - well below the roughly £100 average - and then tried to backtrack and clarify his answer.

US political leaders have also been accused of being out of touch with the cost of living on main street.

President Donald Trump's recent assertion that Americans need photo ID to buy groceries was widely disputed.

In 1992, President George H W Bush was ridiculed after he expressed amazement at a supermarket scanner while attending a grocers' convention.

But the White House said Mr Bush was merely impressed the machine could read damaged labels.

And former President Barack Obama fumbled when he told a rural Iowa crowd he was shocked by the cost of arugula at upscale supermarket Whole Foods.

Quebecers go to the polls on 1 October.

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seth Posted on September 21, 2018 23:16

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'Snapchat queen' Fatima Khan jailed for killing boyfriend

A woman who filmed her boyfriend dying in a pool of blood and put the video on social media has been jailed for 14 years.

Fatima Khan, 21, dubbed a "Snapchat queen", plotted with a love rival to kill Khalid Safi, 18, who she had been seeing for two years.

Mr Safi was repeatedly stabbed in the chest by Raza Khan in North Acton, London, in December 2016, jurors heard.

Khan was convicted of manslaughter after a trial at the Old Bailey.

Mr Khan remains on the run, the Met Police said on Friday.

Khan, described by her own defence barrister as "Ilford's Snapchat queen", filmed Mr Safi as he lay dying in the street and posted it on the picture-sharing app alongside an offensive message.

She wept uncontrollably as Judge Michael Topolski QC jailed her and said she had acted in a "cold and callous and despicable way".

The judge said her "disrespect for Khalid reached new and inhuman depths when in an act of grotesque contempt for him you calmly walked towards him as he lay dying".

"You filmed him in the process of dying and take a still picture of him all of which which you sent with that chilling message to all your Snapchat friends."

Image copyrightFAMILY HANDOUT

Image captionKhalid Safi was stabbed to death in December 2016

As with all Snapchat videos, the pictures would have been automatically deleted within 24 hours.

However, one of the group of friends who followed her online posts filmed the message which was used as key evidence in her trial.

Khan had denied murdering Mr Safi, saying she was "ashamed" of the video.

A jury cleared her of murder by joint enterprise but found her guilty of the alternative charge of manslaughter.

The court heard Mr Khan was "a rival for her affections" and Khan arranged for him to kill Mr Safi.

On the day of the killing, Mr Safi and Khan had gone to a Costa Coffee near to her work at Vigilant Security in North Acton.

Mr Khan then arrived in a minicab and walked up to the couple, holding a large knife.

Mr Safi produced a screwdriver and the pair fought for about 15 seconds before the victim was fatally wounded, the court heard.

Image copyrightMET POLICE

Image captionRaza Khan is wanted for the murder of Khalid Safi

In mitigation at the sentencing hearing, Kerim Fuad QC said Khan had a "pathological obsession" with her mobile phone and the Snapchat app.

"It's become an increasingly worrying aspect of society that these devices are playing such a prominent role," he added.

Mr Fuad described Khan as an "attention-seeking princess".

The court heard she had previous convictions for assault, shoplifting and fraud dating back to when she was aged 14.

Det Ch Insp Mark Cranwell reiterated the Met's appeal for information to help find Mr Khan, who is wanted for Mr Safi's murder.

He added: "A petty argument over rival affections has escalated with a tragic outcome. If you know where [Raza] Khan is, I'd urge you to do the right thing and contact the police."

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seth Posted on September 21, 2018 23:11

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Harry Uzoka death: Men jailed for rival model murder

Three men have been jailed for killing a model in a row over his girlfriend.

Harry Uzoka, 25, was stabbed in the heart by fellow model George Koh in west London in January after he went to settle the dispute.

Koh, convicted of murder at the Old Bailey in August, was given a life sentence with a minimum of 25 years.

Merse Dikanda was also found guilty of murder and jailed for at least 22 years, and Jonathan Okigbo was given a 14-year sentence for manslaughter.

Although initially friendly, the relationship between Mr Uzoka and Koh deteriorated after Koh claimed to have had sex with Mr Uzoka's girlfriend Ruby Campbell, who is also a model.

The pair then exchanged angry text messages and arranged to gather some friends and meet up in Shepherd's Bush for a fight.

Image copyrightMET POLICE

Image caption(L_R) George Koh, Merse Dikanda and Jonathan Okigbo were jailed at the Old Bailey

Koh, Dikanda and Okigbo, all 24, took at least three knives - including a machete - with them to the rendezvous.

Mr Uzoka recruited his flatmate Adrian Harper and they armed themselves with dumbbell bars.

Mr Harper told the jury he was "expecting a fist fight".

But he said when he saw his friend again Mr Uzoka said "I've been stabbed," and collapsed in the road.

Mr Uzoka was signed with London's Premier Model Management agency and counted catwalk star Jourdan Dunn among his friends.

Judge Wendy Joseph QC said he had enjoyed helping others, including Koh.

She described Koh's behaviour as swinging "between excessive admiration and spite".

The judge added: "This manifested itself in several ways. Sometimes Koh would claim to look very like Harry and tried to imitate his style of dress. At other times he contacted Harry's Instagram friends, falsely speaking ill of them."


Media captionCCTV of the attack shows Dikanda wiping a blade clean on his trousers

The judge went on to say that while the loss of any life was tragic, it was all the more so "when a victim is so young, able and generous".

She described Mr Uzoka as a young man "who overcame his own difficulties to make a great success of his young life and to be a remarkable role model for others".

"He had, with great talent, forged a successful international career as a male model. He was one of the first black British men to do so."

In a statement read to the court, Mr Uzoka's mother said her son's death was "yet another senseless killing".

"Our lives changed forever when I got that phone call. His death has left a gaping hole, a void and crack in our family.

"The trauma has affected us emotionally and financially, he was an inspiration to all, a beautiful boy who will never be forgotten. We still find it difficult to believe he is actually gone."

The judge also highlighted the impact of the murder on the wider community, saying children were becoming afraid of going out and parents "are thinking of buying their sons stab-proof vests".

seth Posted on September 21, 2018 23:00

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Africa's week in pictures: 14-20 September 2018

A woman beautifies her hands with sasla, a local plant used in the same way as henna, at a wedding in Adigrat town in northern Ethiopia on Sunday...

Image copyrightBBC TIGRINYA

Image captionOther women cook a spicy meat stew, called zigni, wearing bracelets handed out by one of the guests, BBC Tigrinya's Girmay Gebru...

Image copyrightBBC TIGRINYA

Image captionGuests use sticks to dip balls made from barley, called tihlo, into the dish usually served on special occasions.

Image captionIn the capital, Addis Ababa, one-time jailed politician Kefiyalew Tefera is dressed in the colours of the Oromo Liberation Front. He is celebrating the return of the former rebel group's leaders from exile.

Image copyrightAFP

Image captionKenyan men make slippers decorated with beads at an open-air market in the capital Nairobi on Thursday.

Image copyrightAFP

Image captionSierra Leonean children in the capital Freetown attend the first day of their new school year on Monday after the government launched a free primary and secondary education programme.

Image copyrightAFP

Image captionWhile a woman sells second-hand books and magazines at a roadside bookshop in Ivory Coast's largest city Abidjan on Wednesday.

Image copyrightAFP

Image captionStill in Abidjan, popular reggae singer Alpha Blondy gestures as he signs copies of his new album Human Race on Saturday.

Image copyrightREUTERS

Image captionWhile elsewhere in the city, residents show a strong community spirit by getting together to clean their neighbourhood.

Image copyrightREUTERS

Image captionOn Monday, a man makes his way through flood waters in Kogi state in central Nigeria. The floods have claimed the lives of about 100 people across Nigeria in the past two weeks.

Image copyrightEPA

Image captionThe next day in South Africa, storm clouds gather as a man stands in front of a shack built on unstable sand in a poor neighbourhood of Cape Town.

Image copyrightAFP

Image captionOn Wednesday, a supporter of Zimbabwe's ruling Zanu-PF party wears latex gloves and a T-shirt with the image of President Emmerson Mnangagwa, who is visiting a medical centre for people suffering from cholera in the capital Harare...

Image copyrightEPA

Image captionA day earlier, a sword-carrying presidential guard stands at attention as Mr Mnangagwa arrives in parliament...

Image copyrightAFP

Image captionHis first state of the nation address follows his victory in disputed elections in July.

Pictures from AFP, EPA, Getty Images and Reuters

seth Posted on September 21, 2018 22:56

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Hayabusa-2: Japan hopes for historic asteroid landing

Japan's space agency (JAXA) believes it has successfully landed two robotic explorers on the surface of an asteroid, making history.

"We don't have confirmation yet, but we are very, very hopeful," project manager Yuichi Tsuda said.

On Friday, the Hayabusa-2 spacecraft despatched a pair of "rovers" to the 1km-wide space rock known as Ryugu.

Rover 1A and Rover 1B will hop around in Ryugu's low gravity, capturing temperatures and images of the surface.

Hayabusa-2 reached the Ryugu asteroid in June this year after a three-and-a-half-year journey.

Officials hope to confirm a successful landing in a day or two, when the spaceship sends data from the rovers to Earth.

Why does it matter?

While the European Space Agency has previously managed to land on an icy comet, this would be the first spacecraft to successfully place robot rovers on the surface of an asteroid.

Asteroids are essentially leftover building materials from the formation of the Solar System 4.6 billion years ago.

Ryugu is a particularly primitive variety, and studying it could shed light on the origin and evolution of our own planet.


Image captionHayabusa-2 arrived at the asteroid 162173 Ryugu in June

The diamond-shaped asteroid has a blackish-coloured surface, and rotates on its axis around once every 7.5 hours.

How did the rovers reach the asteroid?

Early on Thursday morning (GMT), Hayabusa-2 began descending towards the surface of Ryugu, preparing to eject its rovers.

The little hoppers are stored in a drum-shaped container at the base of the "mothership". Collectively, they form a 3.3kg science package known as Minerva II-1.

About 60m (196ft) from the asteroid, Hayabusa-2 initiated the release of the two robots.

Image copyrightJAXA

Image captionThe Minerva II-1 rovers move by hopping around in Ryugu's low gravity

Japanese space agency officials said that when the front of the drum is jettisoned into space, the two rovers are ejected from the container and fall independently to the asteroid's surface.

One of the principal concerns for deployment was Ryugu's rougher-than-expected surface, which is carpeted with boulders and has very few smooth patches.

What will they do there?

The 1kg rovers are equipped with wide-angle and stereo cameras to send back pictures from Ryugu. Spine-like projections from the edges of the hoppers are sensors that will measure surface temperatures on the asteroid.

They can hop and float around thanks to a motor-powered internal rotor, which propels the robot across the surface.

They will send back their data to the mothership, which will then relay the information to Earth.

"I am looking forward to seeing pictures. I want to see images of space as seen from the surface of the asteroid," JAXA project manager Yuichi Tsuda said.

When will they get samples?

On 3 October, the mothership will deploy a lander called Mascot, which has been developed by the German Aerospace Center (DLR) together with the French Space Agency (CNES).

And in late October, Hayabusa-2 will descend to the surface of Ryugu to collect a sample of rock and soil.

Image copyrightDLR

Image captionThe Mascot lander was built by the German Aerospace Center in conjunction with the French Space Agency

Further on in the mission, Japan's space agency plans to detonate an explosive charge that will punch a crater into the surface of Ryugu.

Hayabusa-2 would then descend into the crater to collect fresh rocks that have not been altered by aeons of exposure to the environment of space.

These samples will be sent to Earth for laboratory studies.

The spacecraft will leave Ryugu in December 2019 with the intention of returning to Earth with the asteroid samples in 2020

seth Posted on September 21, 2018 22:53

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Peggy Knobloch: Man admits dumping missing German girl's body

Prosecutors say a man has admitted dumping the body of a nine-year-old girl, whose disappearance 17 years ago is one of Germany's biggest mysteries.

Peggy Knobloch went missing in 2001 on her way home from school in Bavaria. Her remains were only found in 2016.

Manuel S denies killing Peggy, telling police he took her body from another man, then buried her in nearby woods.

He has not been charged so far but is being investigated for murder, prosecutors said Friday.

One man served jail time for Peggy's murder but was later acquitted in a retrial.

What happened then?

Peggy Knobloch disappeared when walking home from primary school on 7 May 2001.

A huge search was mounted with police and army officers searching as far as Czech Republic and Turkey, in the belief she may have been kidnapped.

She was not found until July 2016, when mushroom pickers came across her bones in a thickly wooded part of Thuringia state.

What's the latest?

The latest breakthrough in the case comes a week after police raided Manuel S's home.

In his confession to police, the 41-year-old said another man directed him to Peggy's lifeless body at a bus stop in her hometown of Lichtenberg.

After failing to revive her, the then 24-year-old wrapped her in a red blanket and drove her into a nearby forest. A few days later, he burned her satchel and jacket at home.


Image captionManuel S claims he found Peggy's body at a bus stop close to her family home

Prosecutors told reporters that the suspect had been released, as "there was no immediate suspicion". They confirmed Manuel S had named the other man at the bus stop.

They declined to reveal further information, including on possible cause of death, saying: "The investigations are progressing."

German media note that the suspect cannot be charged with anything other than murder, as the statute of limitation for lesser charges has passed.

False leads

Two years ago, DNA traces from a notorious neo-Nazi who died in 2011 were found in the woods where Peggy was found, however a connection was never proven.

In 2002, a local man with a learning disability was accused of killing her to cover up that he had sexually abused her. He withdrew his confession but was jailed for life in 2004. He spent his imprisonment in a psychiatric hospital.

Ten years later, his conviction was overturned and he was later freed.

seth Posted on September 21, 2018 22:51

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Man killed in electric scooter crash in Washington DC

A man in Washington DC has died after the electric rental scooter he was riding collided with a car, in what may be the second such death in the nation.

The victim became trapped under an SUV in the tragedy during rainy weather at the trendy Dupont Circle area.

Rescue workers were able to free the man from under the vehicle, but he later died of his injuries.

This month, a scooter rider was killed in Texas. The electric scooter craze has taken the US by storm.

A police official confirmed to BBC News that Friday morning's accident was "fatal", but said other details were still under investigation.

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DC Fire and EMS@dcfireems

#DCsBravest have extricated an adult male who was trapped underneath a vehicle at DuPont Circle NW. victim transported with critical life threatening injuries.

7:36 AM - Sep 21, 2018 · Washington, DC

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One cyclist tweeted that she arrived after the crash and saw "the scooter, a headphone and one brown shoe" at the scene.

In a follow up post, the witness said that "though this is beyond a simple injury that could be prevented by protective gear, be extra careful on scooters, helmets must be mandatory".

It is unclear whether the victim was wearing a helmet or any safety gear as he rode the Lime brand scooter.

A spokesman for Lime told BBC News that the San Francisco-based company is "deeply saddened" by the death and that "our thoughts and sympathies are with the family and loved ones".

"We have offered our full support to local authorities in connection with the investigation."


Media captionWATCH: Meet the workers who charge the scooters

Earlier this month, a 24-year-old man died while riding an electric scooter home from work in Dallas, Texas, in what is reported to be the nation's first death from an electric scooter crash.

The Dallas County Medical Examiner's Office told the Washington Post that Jacoby Stoneking's death has been ruled an accident.

His family believe he died after being struck by a car in a hit-and-run, and are calling for further investigation.

According to the victim's brother, he was not wearing a helmet when he died.

Image copyrightGETTY IMAGES

Image captionScooters have become an increasingly popular means of travel for commuters in US cities (file pic)

In a statement on Thursday, Lime said it had found no evidence that Mr Stoneking's scooter had malfunctioned.

Scooter companies such as Lime, Bird and Skip have been rolling out their dock-free rental vehicles in the past year.

More than 65,000 are thought to be currently on US streets, and medical officials have reported an increase in accidents since the vehicles arrived.

"An electric scooter is pretty much a moped, just a little slower," Dr Sam Torbati, the medical director of a hospital emergency room in Los Angeles, told the Post.

"It makes me real anxious when I see someone with ear buds and a cup of coffee riding without a helmet on the sidewalk," he added.

An official with the US Department of Transportation told the BBC on Friday that because the use of electric scooters is so new, the agency does not track deaths or injuries at this time.

Electric scooter users are considered a "person on a personal conveyance", the official said, adding that he was unaware if any organisation is currently tracking scooter fatalities.

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seth Posted on September 21, 2018 22:41

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Lake Victoria Tanzania ferry disaster: Divers hunt for survivors

At least 136 people have died after a ferry carrying hundreds of people capsized on Lake Victoria, Tanzania, officials say.

Many are missing and it is feared that more than 200 people in total may have drowned. Rescue efforts resumed on Friday after being halted overnight.

The MV Nyerere ferry overturned near Ukara island on its way from Bugorora.

It is thought the overloaded vessel tipped over when crowds on board moved to one side as it docked.

Rescue operations on Africa's biggest lake have involved police and army divers, as well as small private boats and local fishermen.

The BBC's Aboubakar Famau in Tanzania says fear has gripped residents of the Mwanza region as they wait to hear the fate of relatives who travelled on the MV Nyerere on Thursday.

"I received a call telling me that I have lost my aunt, father and my younger brother," says Editha Josephat Magesa, a local resident.

"We are really saddened and urge the government to provide a new ferry because the old one was small and the population is big."

Our reporter says the ferry's engines were recently replaced after local MP Joseph Mkundi complained about the previous ones.

How did this happen?

Local media say the ferry's official capacity was 100 people, but officials say the vessel was carrying more than 400 passengers when it capsized.

It operates on a busy route, crossing eight times a day between the islands of Ukara and Ukwerewe, which are close to Tanzania's second-largest city of Mwanza.

The ferry was said to have been particularly busy because it was market day in Bugorora, on Ukerewe island.

The vessel was also carrying cargo, including bags of cement and maize, when it capsized around 50 metres from the shore.

It is thought that many of the passengers would not have been able to swim.

An official investigation will take place once rescue efforts to find survivors have ended.

Has anyone been rescued?

Tanzania's police chief Simon Sirro Mwanza, who has travelled to the area, confirmed the new death toll.

So far, 40 people have been rescued and are in critical condition, according to Mwanza Regional Commissioner John Mongella. Local officials initially reported on Thursday that 100 people had been rescued.

Exact figures, though, are yet to be confirmed - Reuters said the person who dispensed tickets for the journey also died, with the machine recording the data lost.

Five things about Lake Victoria

Image copyrightAFP

  • With a surface area greater than Switzerland, Lake Victoria is the world's second-biggest lake and the largest in Africa
  • Shared by Uganda, Kenya and Tanzania, some 30 million people depend on its resources
  • Challenges include pollution and falling water levels - biodiversity in Lake Victoria has dropped by 50% since the 1980s
  • English colonialist John Hanning Speke named it after Britain's Queen Victoria when he travelled there in 1858
  • Some have called for the lake's name to be changed - proposals include its Luganda-language name Nalubaale, and Lake Jumuiya which means "togetherness" in Swahili

Has anything like this happened before?

Tanzania has seen a number of nautical disasters, with overcrowding often playing a role.

In 2012, at least 145 people died when a packed ferry sank while transporting people to the island of Zanzibar in the Indian Ocean.

The year before, almost 200 people died in another major incident off the coast of Zanzibar. Hundreds survived, some found clinging to mattresses and fridges.

In 1996, more than 800 people died when the MV Bukoba capsized on Lake Victoria. It was one of the the worst ferry disasters of the last century.

Image copyrightSTEPHEN MSENGI

Image captionScores of people have so far been reported rescued

Image copyrightSTEPHEN MSENGI

Image captionLake Victoria is the world's second-biggest lake and the largest in Africa

Image copyrightSTEPHEN MSENGI

Image captionLarge crowds watched rescue efforts from the shore

seth Posted on September 21, 2018 22:35

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Christine and Frank Lampard have baby girl

TV presenter Christine Lampard has given birth to a baby girl.

The Loose Women star and her football manager husband Frank Lampard have named the girl Patricia Charlotte Lampard.

It's thought she is named after Frank's mum, who he was very close to, who died at the age of 58 in 2008.

The couple announced the news with a photo on social media of the family in hospital with the caption "We're so in love".

Skip Instagram post by christinelampard


End of Instagram post by christinelampard

It is the first child for the former One Show presenter. She is step-mum to Frank's two daughters from his previous relationship.

Christine had recently been filling in for Lorraine on her morning show, finishing work at the end of August.

Image Copyright @clbleakley@CLBLEAKLEY


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seth Posted on September 21, 2018 22:31

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Former X Factor contestant Chico suffers stroke

Former X Factor contestant Chico Slimani has suffered a stroke.

The 47-year-old, who was a popular star on the second series of the show, fell ill on the way back from performing a gig at the weekend.

A statement from his publicist said he was undergoing further tests and asked for privacy for his family.

He reached the quarter-finals of the 2005 series and had a number one in 2006 with It's Chico Time. He also took part in Dancing on Ice in 2012.

He appeared in the Christmas special of Ricky Gervais's BBC One sitcom Extras in 2007, and also released a fitness DVD.

His publicist Kym Rowlingson said: "This has been a great shock to Chico, his wife and their two children, also his close friends and family.

Skip Youtube post by ChicoVEVO


Warning: Third party content may contain adverts


End of Youtube post by ChicoVEVO

"We thank you in advance for giving Chico and the family some privacy at this time."

Speaking in 2013 to mark 10 years of the X Factor Chico told the BBC: "Being on the show meant absolutely everything to me. It changed my life and my family's".

He said he had made a good career and living out of "being a novelty act".

Follow us on Facebook, on Twitter @BBCNewsEnts, or on Instagram at bbcnewsents. If you have a story suggestion email

seth Posted on September 21, 2018 22:27

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Game of Thrones baby names still proving popular

Game of Thrones continues to be a popular source of parental inspiration, according to the latest list of the most popular baby names in England and Wales.

A record 76 baby girls were called Khaleesi in 2017, the title enjoyed by Emilia Clarke's dragon-raising would-be queen in the award-winning fantasy TV and book series.

Three more children were called Daenarys, the real name of the show's Mother of Dragons. And more girls than ever before received the name Sansa, another significant figure on the show.

But if baby-naming is a reliable indicator, Game of Thrones' most popular character appears to be Arya, with 343 newborns given the same name as Maisie Williams' sword-wielding Stark.

That's a big increase on 302, the number of Aryas named in 2016.

Eleven baby boys, the same number as in 2016, ended up being called Tyrion, almost certainly in tribute to Peter Dinklage's Tyrion Lannister - perhaps the show's most intelligent character.

Image copyrightDISNEY

Image captionMoana is the title character of Disney's hit 2016 animation

Animated movie Moana was released at the end of 2016, explaining why seven babies ended up receiving that particular name in 2017 - seven more than the previous year.

The Star Wars universe has also continued to wield its influence on name choices. It's likely the death of Carrie Fisher in December 2016 was a contributing factor to the big increase (to 149) in girls being called Leia.

Indeed, more children than ever before have been given names from a galaxy far, far away. Twenty-one were called Rey and 70 were called Kylo, almost certainly after the characters played by Daisy Ridley and Adam Driver in recent Star Wars instalments.

Three girls were given the name - but hopefully not the personality characteristics - of Harley-Quinn in 2017.

The DC Comics villain and Joker's girlfriend was memorably played by Margot Robbie in the film Suicide Squad.

In a similar vein, the success of the TV series Lucifer, in which the Devil leaves Hell and travels to Los Angeles, seems to have resulted in 11 boys being given the name of the show.

It began in 2016, the year the name Lucifer entered the list for the first time. Four babies were given the name that year, a figure that increased by seven in 2017.

Image captionAlexandra "Binky" Felstead spent six years on Made in Chelsea

Reality TV is also getting in on the act. Before Made in Chelsea, the name Binky had never featured on the list.

That all changed in 2014, and the number of Binkys has steadily increased with 10 newborns getting the name last year.

In case you were wondering, Binky Felstead's real name is Alexandra.

Choosing the right name for a newborn can be a tricky business. Luckily the world of TV and film is overflowing with unusual suggestions, and it's somewhere more and more parents are going to for inspiration.

What's the betting we'll see some baby girls called Toff next year, following Georgia Toffolo's triumph on 2017's I'm A Celebrity?

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seth Posted on September 21, 2018 22:22

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U.S. Lawmaker Introduces 3 Pro-Cryptocurrency Bills to Congress.

On Friday, Sept. a U.S. member of Congress announced that he will introduce three new bills aimed at supporting the development of blockchain technologies, as well as the use of cryptocurrency, within the United States.


Rep. Emmer: U.S. Must Support Blockchain Development

According to Rep. Tom Emmer (R-MN), the initiator of this bold move, the U.S. needs to pass favorable legislation to the burgeoning blockchain industry if it hopes to remain a leader in this space.


“The United States should prioritize accelerating the development of blockchain technology, and create an environment that enables the American private sector to lead on innovation and further growth, which is why I am introducing these bills.”


Overall, the new legislation will support the rapidly growing blockchain industry within the U.S. by providing clear and concise guidelines for investors companies, and businesses, as well as a safe harbor for taxpayers using cryptocurrency assets.


Rep. Emmer, who has just been named co-chair of the Congressional Blockchain Caucus, also added that, “Legislators should be embracing emerging technologies and providing a clear regulatory system that allows them to flourish in the United States.”


Emmer’s Three Pro-Crypto Bills

Emmer’s first piece of legislation is a House resolution to express support for cryptocurrency and blockchain technology. As mentioned, this and the other two bills are aimed at supporting the use and development of blockchain technology in the United States. According to the Emmer, and many other industry experts, the U.S. government cannot do anything to stop their development. Therefore, legislators should be stepping in to provide a clear, concise, and legal framework for their use within the country.


The second bill, the Blockchain Regulatory Certainty Act, confirms that certain entities such as cryptocurrency miners and multi-signature providers, who never fully take control of consumer funds, will not need to be registered as money transmitters. This is because they are only there to help validate the network’s integrity, by providing more security for those who use digital assets.




The final bill, the Safe Harbor for Taxpayers with Forked Assets Act of 2018, aims to address confusion surrounding how to report gains made as a result of cryptocurrency forks to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). Previously, there was little IRS guidance on this matter, so the bill will be used to give taxpayers tight regulation about the use of forked funds. Furthermore, it will also protect individuals from facing fines until the IRS establishes some guidelines on how taxpayers are to report their digital assets.

Albert Ulebe Posted on September 21, 2018 22:14

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Decentralized Crypto Exchange is Solution to Hacks, Will They be Ready?

Not long after the successful hacking attempts on crypto exchanges Bithumb and Coincheck, Japan’s Zaif was hacked, losing $60 million in user funds. All three exchanges were found to have poor security measures.


Coincheck in particular, which lost more than $500 million in XEM, the native cryptocurrency of NEM, outraged investors in Japan after the company’s CEO Koichiro Wada admitted that the firm did not have enough security experts overseeing the exchange.




“We were aware we didn’t have enough people working on internal checks, management and system risk. We strived to expand using headhunters and agencies, but ended up in this situation,”  said Wada.


The NEM team also stated in an official statement that while it has deployed an automatic tagging system to trace lost funds for the investors of Coincheck, the team emphasized that the exchange had extremely poor security systems in place.


Bithumb was similarly criticized by the government of South Korea and local security firms, which ultimately led the exchange to close down for over a month and overhaul its internal management systems.


Decentralized Exchanges Can Solve These Issues


Ledger wallet

Ethereum-based decentralized crypto exchanges like IDEX utilize smart contracts on an immutable blockchain network to process trades in a peer-to-peer manner. Decentralized exchanges are protected from hacking attempts and security breaches because hackers cannot possibly hack into a peer-to-peer network.


On a decentralized exchange like IDEX, users trade crypto with non-custodial wallets like Trezor, Ledger, and MetaMask. Hence, at all times, users have complete control over their funds by connecting their non-custodial wallets to exchanges.




Funds do not leave the wallets of users unless trades are executed on the mainnet of Ethereum, which is irreversible. As such, user funds are never in danger or vulnerable to external attacks.


Decentralized exchanges have already started to appeal to a niche group of traders that are interested in investing in newly launched crypto with low liquidity prior to their integration on centralized exchanges.


Newly created ERC20 tokens and crypto deploy their assets on peer-to-peer digital asset trading platforms first to gain liquidity, as it costs no capital to do so, and then aim for centralized exchange integration.


As for user experience and usability, because most decentralized exchanges are compatible with Ethereum wallets, it is not that much more complex than centralized exchanges. While it requires several more steps, traders that are already technically literate can easily shift to decentralized alternatives.


Can Decentralized Exchanges Compete Against Centralized Exchanges?

As CCN reported, US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) commissioner Hester Peirce previously stated that “only a very particular type of investor can pursue the diversification opportunities such assets can provide,” stating that it requires a specific set of skills and knowledge to trade cryptocurrencies in the market.


Given that cryptocurrency trading on exchanges is already a niche market of its own, it is possible that with better user interface and more incentives, users will explore decentralized exchanges as alternatives.

Albert Ulebe Posted on September 21, 2018 21:11

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In Tanzania At least 126 dead in Lake Victoria ferry disaster.

The death toll in a ferry capsize in Lake Victoria climbed to 126 on Friday, as Tanzanian rescue workers pressed on with the search to find scores more people feared drowned.


» more Witnesses said the ferry sank when passengers rushed to one side to disembark as it approached the dock  (STARTV/AFP)

The death toll in a ferry capsize in Lake Victoria climbed to 126 on Friday, as Tanzanian rescue workers pressed on with the search to find scores more people feared drowned.

The MV Nyerere may have been carrying as many as 200 passengers -- double the ferry's capacity -- when it capsized close to the pier on Ukara Island on Thursday, according to reports on state media.


Witnesses reached by AFP said the ferry sank when passengers rushed to one side to disembark as it approached the dock.




The death toll rose to 126 by mid-afternoon Friday, according to Tanzania's transport minister.


"We are sad to report there are 126 dead," Isack Kamwele told state television, adding that a further update would be provided at 6pm local time (1500 GMT).


Mwanza governor John Mongella had earlier said the number of survivors was 40, but it was unclear whether any new survivors had been found since rescue operations resumed with police and army divers on Friday morning.


"Operations are continuing," he said.


Rescue operations were suspended overnight Thursday and hopes are fading that more survivors might still be found.


State television cited witnesses reporting that more than 200 people had boarded the ferry at Bugolora, a town on the larger Ukerewe Island, where it was market day when locals said the vessel was usually packed with people and goods.


"I have not heard from either my father or my younger brother who were on the ferry. They had gone to the market in Bugolora to buy a school uniform and other supplies for the new school term," said Domina Maua, who was among those seeking information about loved ones.


Davita Ngenda, an elderly woman in Ukara, had already received bad news.


"My son is among the bodies recovered," she said, weeping. "He had gone with his wife but she has not been found yet. My God, what did I do to deserve this?"


Sebastian John, a teacher, said such tragedies had become part of life for those living on the lake.


"Since my birth, people have gone to their deaths on this lake, but what are we to do? We did not choose to be born here, we have nowhere to go," he said.


Overloading and 'negligence'

It remains unclear how many people are still missing.


Tanzania's Electrical, Mechanical and Services Agency, which is responsible for ferry services, said it was unknown how many passengers were aboard the MV Nyerere.


The ageing ferry, whose hull and propellers were all that remained visible after it overturned, was also carrying cargo, including sacks of maize, bananas and cement, when it capsized around 50 metres (55 yards) from Ukara dock.


The cause of the accident was not immediately clear, but overloading is frequently to blame for such incidents.


President John Magufuli was "deeply saddened" by the disaster and called on Tanzanians to "stay calm during these difficult times," according to spokesman Gerson Msigwa.


The country's opposition, however, accused the government of "negligence".


"We have often raised concerns about the poor condition of this ferry, but the government turned a deaf ear. We have repeatedly denounced this negligence," said John Mnyika, deputy secretary general of Chadema, the main opposition party.


Mnyika said overloading was "another failure of the authorities" and criticised "inadequate relief efforts as well as delays" in the rescue operation.


With a surface area of 70,000 square kilometres (27,000 square miles), oval-shaped Lake Victoria is roughly the size of Ireland and is shared by Tanzania, Uganda and Kenya.


Capsizes are not uncommon in the massive lake, and the number of fatalities is often high due to a shortage of life jackets and the fact that many people in the region cannot swim.


The deadliest such accident in recent decades was in May 1996, when around 800 people died after their ferry sank on the way to Mwanza in Tanzania.

Albert Ulebe Posted on September 21, 2018 20:59

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Bitcoin Mining Giant Bitmain Unveils ‘Next-Generation’ 7nm Chip.

Bitmain, the world’s most valuable cryptocurrency company, isn’t ready to relinquish its position as the dominant manufacturer of bitcoin mining chips — at least not yet.


The China-based firm on Friday announced that it had developed a new 7nm application-specific integrated circuit (ASIC) mining chip for the SHA256 algorithm used by bitcoin, bitcoin cash, and many other cryptocurrencies.




Bitmain CEO Jihan Wu announced the new chip — the BM1391 — at the World Digital Mining Summit in Georgia, adding that it will be deployed in the firm’s next generation of mining rigs, the follow-up to the Antminer S9.



GMO Internet, a Japanese tech company based out of Tokyo, unveiled a 7nm chip in June. According to Wu, the BM1391 has an energy consumption ratio of 42W/TH, while GMO’s B2/B3 miners consume 81W/TH at peak.


Notably, Bitmain’s announcement came just two days after competitor Bitfury unveiled a new SHA256 ASIC chip. The “Bitfury Clarke,” while much larger than the BM1391 at 14nm, offers “unparalleled efficiency,” according to the company. Per the company, each chip can achieve a hashrate of 120GH/s with a power efficiency of 55mW/GH. Bitfury, incidentally, operates a mining farm in Georgia, where Wu announced Bitmain’s new chip.




“Bitfury is looking at all factors, including silicon packaging, chip efficiency, optimal power distribution, cooling designs and speed of development when designing our mining hardware,” said Valery Vavilov, CEO of Bitfury. “We think that this will lead to solutions that deliver the best ROI to our customers?—?regardless of ASIC size.”


The announcement also comes ahead of Bitmain’s rumored initial public offering (IPO), which will reportedly take place “very soon.”


Seemingly responding to rumors among analysts that Bitmain was at risk of losing its dominant industry position ahead of its IPO due to lagging technological development, the company said in a statement that this new chip reflects the “strength” of Bitmain’s research and development department and “further consolidates” the firm’s 70 percent market share.

Albert Ulebe Posted on September 21, 2018 20:39

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Conor McGregor struck a big deal with UFC to promote his whiskey — and it also includes 6 more fights.

Conor McGregor will be back in the octagon for the foreseeable future, and his brand of whiskey is getting a promotional spot on the canvas.


Conor McGregor whiskey  (Steven Ryan/Getty Images)

Conor McGregor inked a six-fight deal with UFC that will likely make him the richest athlete in the history of the sport.

The deal includes sponsorship for McGregor's new whiskey and begins with his fight against Khabib Nurmagomedov in October.

There are plenty of great potential fights for McGregor, including a long-awaited third fight with Nate Diaz.

After a two-year absence, Conor McGregor is back in the UFC.




On October 6, McGregor will face off against Khabib Nurmagomedov at UFC 229 for the lightweight championship, and regardless of the outcome, it's not the last we'll see of the Notorious one in the Octagon.


On Thursday, ESPN's Darren Rovell reported  that McGregor had signed a six-fight deal with UFC, assuring that the promotion can sell pay-per-views with its most popular fighter for the foreseeable future. McGregor's initial fight with Nurmagomedov is included within the deal.


While the exact terms of the deal weren't disclosed, McGregor and UFC president Dana White gave some details about the agreement, including the fact that McGregor's new whiskey, Proper Whiskey, would be a sponsor for all of his fights, and present in the Octagon.


"You bet your bollocks it is," McGregor said when asked if the logo of his product will have a presence in the Octagon. "On the canvas. On the canvas. Like [Nurmagomedov's] blood will be on the canvas."


There is no guarantee that McGregor will fight all six bouts of the agreement, but the deal still comes as a relief to UFC, with the promotion happy to have its star back in the picture.


"It's not hard to do a deal with Conor McGregor because we know what he's worth," White told ESPN.


There are plenty of great fights for McGregor in the lightweight division. The winner on the undercard at UFC 229 between Tony Ferguson and Anthony Pettis is a possible outcome, if only because they could start promoting it the same night. Additionally, a third bout with Nate Diaz is something any fight fan would love to see.


The most compelling fight McGregor could book may be a rematch with Nurmagomedov in Russia. McGregor has already teased the possibility, and should the first match between the two be a classic, the potential spectacle of putting McGregor in front of a hostile crowd feels too good for UFC to pass up.

Albert Ulebe Posted on September 21, 2018 17:29

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In Morocco Migrants risk it all to reach Europe.

He is one of thousands of would-be migrants in the kingdom, dubbed "harraga" in Arabic, referring to those prepared to risk it all to reach mainland Europe.


» more A Moroccan youth looks out over the harbour in the Spanish city of Melilla, on September 20, 2018. Having left their homes, some of these young people try to travel to Europe by jumping on the back of a truck or a bus in the port  (AFP)

In the Spanish enclave of Melilla in northern Morocco, 19-year-old Issam crouches near the port after hopping over a fence across one of the only land borders bridging Europe and Africa.

He is one of thousands of would-be migrants in the kingdom, dubbed "harraga" in Arabic, referring to those prepared to risk it all to reach mainland Europe.


"Everyone wants to move," says the young man from the city of Fez, his hood pulled up and his trousers smeared in engine grease.




Fleeing "misery and injustice" at home, he says he is looking for a ticket to a "European paradise".


But his journey is not over yet.


To cross the Mediterranean, he will have to cling to the chassis of a truck boarding a boat, or to the mooring lines of a ferry leaving for Spain.


Further back from the coast in Melilla's highlands, 23-year-old Hamid stares out across the harbour, closely eyeing its criss-crossing vessels.


He left his hometown of central Meknes where he earned just over 5.50 euros ($6.50) a day laying tiles.


"You can't live in dignity with that," says Hamid, who has never learnt to read or write.


"I know fathers who have families who want to leave -- people are desperate," he adds.

'Numbers exploding'


» more Moroccan migrants try to travel to Europe by jumping on the back of a vehicle at the port city of Nador in Morocco, in hope of finding a better life on September 18, 2018  (AFP)

South of Melilla in the Moroccan coastal town of Nador, groups of young men gather on sidewalks, killing time watching busses and trucks en route to the autonomous Spanish city.


"Since the beginning of the year, the number of Moroccans like them looking to migrate has exploded in Nador," a Melilla resident tells AFP.


The number of Moroccans daring to reach Europe by sea has "increased considerably in recent months", says Aziz Kattouf, head of the Moroccan Association for Human Rights (AMDH).


According to Kattouf, leaving has become "easier" and is done "often with out an intermediary... (the migrants) pitching in to buy a boat motor in front of everyone".


A lack of official data means the actual number of Moroccans making dangerous and sometimes deadly bids to reach Europe is unknown.


Since early 2018, Spain has logged more than 38,000 arrivals, according to the International Organization for Migration (IOM).


For their part, Moroccan authorities say that since January they have prevented 54,000 attempts to reach Europe. According to figures from the government spokesman, these included 7,100 Moroccans up to the end of August.



» more Moroccan migrants attempt to travel to Europe by jumping on the back of a vehicle at the port city of Nador in Morocco, in hopes of finding a better life on September 18, 2018  (AFP)

For weeks, Moroccan social media networks have been inundated with videos showing smiling youth brandishing the victorious V with their fingers as they board small rubber boats headed illegally for Spain.


Posts on Facebook advertise crossings to Europe for 7,000 dirhams (630 euros).


On its website, Moroccan Weekly TelQuel has dubbed the digital push illegal migration "Harraga 2.0".

'Isolated, marginalised'

On Wednesday, Morocco's interior ministry sent a memo to local media warning against videos "fundamentally intended to mislead public opinion" and announcing the launch of an investigation.


The same day, a new video appeared showing three activists from Morocco's northern Rif region on a makeshift boat.



» more Sub-Saharan migrants gesture as they leave the temporary centre for immigrants and asylum seekers in the Spanish enclave of Melilla on September 19 , 2018, departing to Malaga in Spain  (AFP)

According to the AMDH's Kattouf, most Moroccans trying to reach Europe come from that area, which has been wracked by protests in 2016 and 2017 over its marginalisation.


"There is a lack of confidence in the projects announced (for the Rif), and an atmosphere of despair has been accentuated by the severe sentences handed to the movement's political detainees," said Kattouf.


In June, activists put on trial for links to the region's social protests were handed sentences of up to 20 years.


Home to one of the continent's most developed economies, Morocco remains marred by major social inequalities, according to official statistics.


Young people in the kingdom, who make up a third of its population, have been particularly marginalised.


Some 27.5 percent of 15 to 24-year-olds -- nearly 1.7 million people -- are not at school, are unemployed or lack any skills.


More than one out of every five migrants in Morocco is under the age of 19, according to the IOM.


Mbarek, a 25-year-old bricklayer came to Nador from Tinghir, 700 kilometres (430 miles) south, to follow in the footsteps of "friends who've gone to Europe".


"In the construction sector, you're not an official employee, you're not protected -- you can die while doing your job and no one will care about you," he says, as fellow travellers nod in agreement.


From the southern semi-desert town of Zagora, 19-year-old Ismail says he has tried to make the journey twice -- each time clinging to the underside of a truck, watching "death" pass beneath him on the road to Almeria, Spain.


Both times he was caught by Spanish authorities and expelled. But he is not about to give up.


In Morocco "we're treated with cruelty. Harraga are seen as less than nothing, isolated and marginalised," he grumbles.

Albert Ulebe Posted on September 21, 2018 15:11

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Syndicated Loan COCOBOD seals $1.3bn syndicated loan For 2018/19 season.

The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Cocobod Joseph Boahen Aidoo said the release of about $650 million will facilitate payment of cocoa for the 2018/2019 Crop season.


The Bank of Ghana is expected to receive the first tranche of a US$1.3 billion cocoa syndicated loan in the next two weeks.

This comes after the successful signing of the cocoa syndicated loan in Amsterdam with 21 banks. The facility will ensure that adequate funds are made available to the Licensed Buying Companies (LBCs) to pay cocoa farmers promptly for their produce during the 2018/19 crop year.


The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Cocobod Joseph Boahen Aidoo said the release of about $650 million will facilitate payment of cocoa for the 2018/2019 Crop season.




READ ALSO: Appreciate government for caring – Amewu


“This will motivate the farmers to work hard to ensure our production targets are met,” he said.


Speaking at the signing ceremony, Mr. Aidoo said: “By appending your signature to this facility you are not only sealing the deal, but you are also indicating your confidence in the cocoa industry and, by extension, the entire economy of Ghana.


“We are indeed encouraged by this confidence reposed in us and want to assure you that it is not misplaced. Over the past 25 years, we have consistently maintained that exquisite reputation of honouring repayment of the year-after-year syndicated loan without a single default. This record in the financial market is remarkable."


 “But whilst painting such enviable credentials, we must not be deceived that all is rosy in the cocoa industry back home. Perennial pests and diseases, the ubiquitous Cocoa Swollen Shoot Virus Disease, volatility and fall of cocoa prices, climate change and poor road infrastructure linking our producing communities to markets and service centers and to the warehouses and the ports are fundamental challenges that contrive against the industry.


“Within the past dozen and half months, we have been able to reverse the declining trend of cocoa production in Ghana from 778,000 metric tonnes to 968,000 metric tonnes, and sustained the upturn because of the productivity enhancement programmes (PEPs – i.e. hand pollination and mass pruning) which COCOBOD introduced along with our conventional CODAPEC and HI-TECH measures.”


READ ALSO: Here’s why Martin Amidu can’t work effectively according to the Auditor General


“Even though the annual facility comes in handy to facilitate these PEPs and payment to cocoa farmers, hardly can it be relied upon for addressing the fundamental challenges. COCOBOD, for instance, has programmed to undertake irrigation on cocoa farms, rehabilitation of diseased and moribund farms, expansion of warehouse capacity, improvement of the conditions of roads that link cocoa communities and promotion of domestic consumption of cocoa. These are largely capital-base projects which require medium to long-term financing and not annual facility. The imperative is that so long as these fundamental challenges remain, the full and real measure of the annual facility cannot also be realized.


“It was against the foregoing backdrop that we made a call for medium to long-term financing. I am happy to note that some of our friends in the international financial sector have responded positively. We urge all others who may not have been aware of this call to join this laudable endeavour. In essence, the annual facility must be complemented with medium to the long-term facility if the former were to bring real and meaningful impact onto the cocoa industry in Ghana.


“Let me take this opportunity to pay tribute to our gallant cocoa farmers who have, through their toils, enabled us to achieve this enviable record in the past 25 years. Their resilience in the face of all the challenges has ensured that we continue to produce enough cocoa of premium quality to fulfill our contractual obligations to our trading partners. If you and I are here today, then it is because of our cherished cocoa farmers. Let us together, therefore, assist them to make the industry a sustainable one,” Mr. Aidoo stated.


“We wish to assure all the Banks participating in this syndication that Ghana Cocoa Board is alive to its obligations under this loan agreement and will fully discharge them as we have always done,” the CEO of cocobod stressed.

Albert Ulebe Posted on September 21, 2018 14:44

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Yaya Toure's agent posts controversial voodoo doll cartoon of Pep Guardiola.

Dimitry Seluk posted a controversial voodoo doll cartoon of Pep Guardiola after Manchester City's Champions League defeat by Lyon

Yaya Toure's agent Dimitry Seluk posted a controversial voodoo doll cartoon of Pep Guardiola after Manchester City's Champions League defeat by Lyon on Wednesday.


» more Yaya Toure's agent Dimitry Seluk (right) has taken another swipe at Pep Guardiola

Seluk, who has been embroiled in a long-standing feud with the City boss over his perceived treatment of Toure, uploaded the image to his Twitter feed following the Premier League champions' surprise 2-1 home defeat in their Champions League opener.




The cartoon shows what appears to be Toure dressed as an African Witch Doctor sticking pins in a voodoo doll, with Guardiola elsewhere feeling a sharp pain in his backside.



It is the latest in a series of digs at Guardiola after Toure left City under a cloud to join Olympiacos this summer.


The midfielder was a key player in two Premier League titles during a glittering start to his spell in England, but later saw his game-time reduce considerably under the Catalan boss, causing friction. He won a third title at City last season playing only a bit-part role.



» more Seluk posted a controversial voodoo doll cartoon on Twitter of the Manchester City boss

Both Toure and Seluk accused the City manager of having an agenda against African players - with the agent going a step further and suggesting that Guardiola was cursed to never win the Champions League again after his actions.


'He turned all Africa against himself, many African fans turned away from Manchester City,' Seluk said earlier this year.

Albert Ulebe Posted on September 21, 2018 13:23

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'I gave birth, and got Hepatitis C'

When Jackie Britton was given a blood transfusion after childbirth, she thought it was saving her life. But the infected blood could have killed her. There are thought to be thousands like her. They often feel overlooked in the wider NHS contaminated blood scandal.

"There are still people dying, not knowing they are infected," Jackie Britton, from Portsmouth, tells the BBC's Victoria Derbyshire programme.

She gave birth in 1983.

Her baby daughter was fine but when Jackie started haemorrhaging she needed a blood transfusion.

It would be another 29 years before she realised that that blood had been contaminated with hepatitis C, for which there was no blood screening at the time.

The virus went undetected for years, slowly damaging Jackie's liver.

As she puts it: "The four units of blood that had saved my life was killing me."

Image copyrightJACKIE BRITTON

Image captionJackie had her daughter in 1983

Jackie started noticing something might be wrong only in her 50s, when she was experiencing "absolute fatigue".

"I would feel physically sick. I would start retching just stood up trying to cook a meal, because of the effort and the energy it was taking out of me.

"Hep C is just trauma after trauma."

A new generation of drugs means Jackie has now cleared the virus itself from her body - but the damage has already been done.

She has cirrhosis of the liver and needs checks every six month to make sure it has not led to cancer or liver disease.

'Treatment disaster'

The contaminated blood scandal of the 1970s and 1980s is often called the worst treatment disaster in the history of the NHS.

Almost 5,000 people with the blood disorder haemophilia were given a treatment contaminated with hepatitis and in many cases HIV.

Then there is a second group of people who like Jackie received a blood transfusion after childbirth or an operation.

There are no solid figures available on exactly how many transfusion patients were infected before 1992.

But estimates range from about 5,000 - the same number of people with haemophilia affected - to up to 28,000, the figure suggested by a Department of Health analysis of the scandal.

It is thought there will still be some people living today with hepatitis C, contracted by blood transfusion, who have not yet been diagnosed.

Image captionBob Leary was infected following an operation for a burst intestine

For Bob Leary, now 72, it all started in 1986 with a burst intestine.

Admitted to hospital and given a transfusion, he didn't think much more of it until he had a blood test four years later.

He was told he had hepatitis C and could expect to live for another 10 to 15 years.

"As you can imagine, it was a very severe shock," he says.

By 2012, Bob's liver had started to fail. He became jaundiced and lost weight dramatically.

The following year, having been told he had just weeks left to live, a liver transplant saved his life.

He will be on medication until he dies.

"I don't want to get into the blame culture, I could be bitter all my life," he says, "but we need to make sure nothing like this happens again."

His hope is that a public inquiry into the contaminated blood scandal, set to begin on Monday, will provide some answers.

It comes after years of campaigning from victims and their families.

Key issues include:

  • whether the government could have moved faster and introduced blood screening for hepatitis C before 1991
  • whether officials knew about the risks of contamination but decided not to tell the public
  • whether enough was done to find and test patients who were given a transfusion before 1992

'She loved living'

For Jackie, it is about far more than her own health.

Last year, her friend and fellow campaigner Sally Vickers died from cancer caused by the hepatitis C she contracted in 1982 following an operation.

"She loved living. I mean she fought and fought," says Sally's husband, Alan.

He remembers the moment she was given less than a month to live.

"The specialist came down and said, 'I'm sorry, it's not only severe cancer in your liver but it has spread to your lungs.

"We simply wanted to come home so that she could be with me."

Image copyrightFAMILY PHOTO

Image captionSally Vickers contracted hepatitis C from contaminated blood

The anger Alan and Sally felt, however, was not directed at doctors, or the NHS, but at the people responsible for the whole blood donation system at the time in the Department of Health.

"I want somebody held accountable for it," Alan says.

"Somebody has got to be accountable for this."

The Cabinet Office said in a statement: "The Infected Blood Inquiry is a priority for the government.

"It is extremely important that all those that have suffered so terribly can get the answers they have spent decades waiting for and lessons can be learnt so that a tragedy of this scale can never happen again.

"Government is committed to providing the inquiry with all the support it needs."

Watch the BBC's Victoria Derbyshire programme on weekdays between 09:00 and 11:00 BST on BBC Two and the BBC News channel in the UK and on iPlayer afterwards.

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seth Posted on September 21, 2018 05:21

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India killing: 'My father ordered my husband's murder'

On 14 September, Pranay Perumalla was murdered in front of his wife, Amrutha, in an alleged honour killing. BBC Telugu's Deepthi Bathini spoke to Amrutha, whose father has been arrested for plotting the attack.

Amrutha and Pranay were high school sweethearts in Miriyalaguda, a small town in the southern Indian state of Telangana. They first met at high school.

"We always liked each other. We used to talk a lot on the phone and then we fell in love," she says with a wan smile.

Amrutha, 21, belongs to a wealthy, upper-caste family, while Pranay, who was 24, was a Dalit (formerly untouchable). In April 2016, they married despite her parents' objections. Now five months pregnant, she finds herself saying the unimaginable.

"My father killed my husband because he did not belong to the same caste as me."

There is no official data but according to one study, hundreds of people are killed each year in India in so-called honour killings - for falling in love or marrying against their families' wishes. Many families still prefer arranged marriages within their own caste and religion.

Police have arrested Amrutha's father, Maruti Rao, and six others, including Mr Rao's brother and three alleged contract killers, in connection with the murder. District superintendent AV Ranganath told reporters that Mr Rao had allegedly conspired with his brother and two other men to kill Pranay - and those men had helped him hire the contract killers for a sum of 10 million rupees ($138,000; £104,000).

He added that the attack outside the hospital was the fourth attempt on Pranay's life.

Mr Ranganath also said that Mr Rao had admitted to the charges and had said he had done this because Pranay was a Dalit and his family was not wealthy.

But Mr Rao and the other accused have made no independent statement about the charges. The BBC contacted Mr Rao's lawyer who said he had no comment. The BBC also visited Mr Rao's house but found it empty and no other members of the family have provided a response.

Image copyrightFACEBOOK

Image captionDalit groups have come out in support of Amrutha

On the day of the murder, Amrutha woke up late. Her back was aching, so she went to the hospital for a check-up. Pranay and her mother-in-law accompanied her.

When they left the hospital, she recalls asking Pranay, who was a few steps behind her, a question. When he didn't answer, she turned around and saw him lying on the ground.

CCTV footage from the hospital, which has been broadcast on national news channels, shows a man following the family as they walked out of the gate. He first hacked at Pranay's upper body with what appears to be an axe. When Pranay fell, he struck him again.

Amrutha says her mother-in-law pushed the man away, while she ran inside the hospital to get help.

"When I called my father to confront him, he said, 'so what should I do? Take him to a hospital?'" she says.

Growing up, Amrutha says, her mother discouraged her from even making friends with children from other castes. So her parents were against her relationship with Pranay from the moment they found out about it. But that didn't stop Amrutha.

"We had to run away to see each other. But I did not care about his caste or how much money his family had. What was important was that we loved each other."

At one point in April 2016, Amrutha says, her parents locked her up at home. "I did not have a way to speak to Pranay but what kept me going was my love for him," she says. Eventually, she managed to escape.

They married in January 2018 and moved in with Pranay's parents, who had accepted their marriage.

Amrutha says they were planning to move to Canada when she found out she was pregnant. They decided to wait until the baby was born.


Image captionSupporters have lit candles for Pranay outside his home

She told her parents about the pregnancy hoping it would soften their stance. But to her shock, her father asked her to have an abortion. And he said so every time she spoke to him after that.

"We always lived in fear but I never thought my father would resort to such cruelty," she says.

No-one in her family has called her since Pranay died - not even her mother, who used to phone her frequently.

"I thought it she used to call me out of concern," Amrutha says. But now, she can't help but wonder if her mother was telling her father about their conversations, perhaps without realising his intentions.

Meanwhile, Pranay's parents and Amrutha have received plenty of support.

Several Dalit rights groups and women's groups have visited the house to express solidarity. On the veranda, there is a photograph of a smiling Pranay surrounded by flower petals and lit candles. Even as Amrutha is speaking, she can hear shouts of "long live Pranay" from the veranda of the house where supporters have gathered.

Hearing this, Pranay's mother, Hemalatha, breaks down. Amrutha, who also starts crying, consoles her. "I blame my whole family. I will not go back to them. Pranay's parents are my parents now," she says.

She has started a Facebook page, Justice for Pranay, which has drawn more than 112,000 followers in just a few days. And several other pages with the same name have cropped up, all of them expressing outrage and appealing for justice.

Image copyrightNATHAN G

Image captionKausalya's husband, Shankar, was killed by her family in 2016 - for marrying her

She has been very active on Facebook, posting photographs of rallies and messages of support as well as of her and Pranay. In one photograph, they are much younger - the caption says, "Born to be together forever."

She has also shared a photograph of a police officer escorting her father - the text above it says, "do not let my father out".

Amrutha's demand for justice has caught the attention of Kausalya, another upper-caste woman whose husband, Shankar, was killed for marrying her. She has since testified against her parents and continues to campaign against caste and honour killings.

"Pranay's killing reminded me of my Shankar," she told BBC Tamil. "Her love for him will make her strong. She says that she is going to stand against caste and that she is going to get justice for Pranay. We will stand with her."

Amrutha says Pranay had always told her that caste should not stand in the way of love.

"Both of us decided to fight for our love. Now, I will fight for justice," she says. "But I am also worried that my father might harm my baby or my in-laws."

You can read the original story on BBC Telugu here.

seth Posted on September 21, 2018 05:02

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Lake Victoria, Tanzania: Dozens drown in ferry capsize


At least 40 people have died after a ferry carrying hundreds of people capsized on Lake Victoria, Tanzania.

One official told the Reuters news agency the number who drowned could be more than 200. Rescue efforts have been halted until dawn on Friday.

The MV Nyerere ferry overturned near the shore between the islands of Ukora and Bugolora.

It is thought the overloaded vessel toppled over when crowds on board moved to one side as it docked.

Officials have said the ferry was carrying more than 400 passengers. About 100 people were rescued while 32 are said to be in a critical condition.

Exact figures, though, are yet to be confirmed - Reuters said the person who dispensed tickets for the journey also died, with the machine recording the data lost.

"We pray to God to give us hope in such an accident," Regional Commissioner Adam Malima told reporters.

"We pray to God to give us hope that there has not been a high death toll."

Locals joined with emergency teams in rescue efforts on Thursday afternoon.

Tragic history

Tanzania has seen a number of nautical disasters, with overcrowding often playing a role.

In 2012, at least 145 people died when a packed ferry sank while transporting people to the island of Zanzibar in the Indian Ocean.

The year before, almost 200 people died in another major incident off the coast of Zanzibar. Hundreds survived, some found clinging to mattresses and fridges.

In 1996, more than 800 people died when the MV Bukoba capsized on Lake Victoria. It was one of the the worst ferry disasters of the last century.

Image copyrightSTEPHEN MSENGI

Image captionScores of people have so far been reported rescued

Image copyrightSTEPHEN MSENGI

Image captionThe vessel was reportedly overcrowded

Image copyrightSTEPHEN MSENGI

Image captionLarge crowds watched rescue efforts from the shore

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seth Posted on September 21, 2018 05:00

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Philippines landslide victims 'sent texts from underneath rubble'

A landslide in the Philippines has killed at least 21 people and left dozens missing, with some texting for help from under the rubble, say police.

The slide on Thursday engulfed two villages in Naga in Cebu province.

It comes days after the north of the Philippines was hit by a typhoon, killing more than 80 people.

Typhoon Mangkhut did not directly hit Cebu province but lead to stronger monsoon rains, increasing the risk of landslides across the country.

'Like an earthquake'

The Cebu landslide took out a whole section of hillside on which people had built their makeshift homes.

"It was like an earthquake and there was this thundering, loud banging sound," resident Cristita Villarba told news agency AP.

Image copyrightAFP

Image captionSome of the houses were completely covered by rubble

"All of us ran out," she said, adding that her husband and children all survived the disaster.

"Many of our neighbours were crying and screaming for help. Some wanted to help those who got hit but there was too much earth covering the houses, including my brother's," she said.

According to local media, more than 600 families from Naga were staying in evacuation centres on Thursday night.

Messages from under the rubble

Local media are citing police chief inspector Roderick Gonzales as saying that several people had been successfully rescued from inside buried houses.

"There were signs of life. Some of them managed to send text messages," he said, raising hopes that they are trapped in air pockets in the debris.

Image copyrightEPA

Image captionRescue workers continued to look for survivors on Friday

The more than 20 houses affected were on the outskirts of the town of Naga.

There were near a former limestone quarry which might have destabilised the hillside above the village.

According to local media, local authorities had previously identified the area as being landslide prone.

seth Posted on September 21, 2018 04:58

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Mylee Billingham: Murder accused dad 'did not help police'

A father accused of stabbing his eight-year-old daughter to death offered no help to police officers attempting to revive her, a court has heard.

William Billingham allegedly kicked out at an officer who was giving him first aid after he was found lying across Mylee Billingham's body.

Birmingham Crown Court heard officers entered the 55-year-old's bungalow in Brownhills, near Walsall, after finding a door key in the letterbox.

Mr Billingham denies murdering Mylee.

He is accused of killing his daughter who suffered a fatal knife wound to her chest at her father's home on Valley View on 20 January.

PC Stacey Banbery told the court she found Mr Billingham "whimpering" with self-inflicted wounds at his home.

She said her colleague PC Samantha Gray saw Mylee on the kitchen floor and kicked away a blood-stained knife, which was about 10in from Mr Billingham's head.

PC Banbery, who took hold of Mr Billingham by the hoodie and dragged him off Mylee, told the jury: "I said 'what's happened?' and 'tell me what you have done'."

Image copyrightHELEN TIPPER

Image captionWilliam Billingham denies murdering his daughter Mylee

PC Banbery treated Mr Billingham while the other officer tried to revive Mylee, who was later pronounced dead in hospital.

She said: "When I was speaking to him his eyes were flickering and every so often he would open his eyes and look at me, but when he saw that I was looking back he would close them again."

PC Banbery said the father-of-six kicked out at her, and added: "When I dragged him into the living room, he then started resisting.

"He had got control over his arms and I felt that he could control his body."

Asked if Mr Billingham had tried to help officers, PC Banbery said: "He wasn't trying to assist in any way. I never heard his voice."

CCTV footage was shown to jurors of Mr Billingham and his daughter visiting a local Costcutter store about two hours before the fatal stabbing.

The defendant and Mylee entered the shop at 18:53 GMT and left shortly before 19:00.

Mr Billingham also denies making a threat to kill Mylee's mother Tracey Taundry.

The trial continues.

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seth Posted on September 20, 2018 23:34

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Wigan boy, 4, drowns in Tenerife hotel pool

A four-year-old British boy has drowned in a packed hotel swimming pool while on holiday with his family in Tenerife.

Presley Stockton, from Wigan, was found at the four-star Hotel Paradise Park Fun Lifestyle in Los Cristianos at 15:40 BST on Wednesday.

A lifeguard pulled him out of the pool and an ambulance was called, but doctors could not resuscitate him.

His grandfather Mike Jolley said Presley was "one in a million" and the family were "broken hearted".

In a post on Facebook, he described his grandson as a "whirlwind" and added: "Fly high my little Angel".

Presley is believed to have been on a 10-day holiday with his parents and grandparents in the Canary Islands.

'Absolute tragedy'

A spokesman for the hotel said: "He was in the family pool. It was packed - we are packed.

"The pool was packed with children and families. It is not a deep pool [and] there were two lifeguards on the spot.

"One pulled him out, the other one came over and they were both doing procedures.

"Two to three minutes later an ambulance came. There were lots of ambulances, five or six doctors were trying to resuscitate.

"He could not swim and had no arm bands on. It is just tragic, an absolute tragedy."

The Canary Islands government's Co-ordinating Centre for Emergencies and Security said Presley is thought to have had "signs of drowning" and possible cardiac arrest.

A spokesman said: "Efforts to revive the youngster using CPR proved unsuccessful and he was confirmed dead at the scene."

seth Posted on September 20, 2018 23:29

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Mexico's president-elect grounded on commercial plane for hours

Mexico's President-elect Andrés Manuel López Obrador still plans to sell the presidential jet after spending three hours grounded on a commercial plane.

Mr López Obrador vowed to press ahead with his plans despite being stuck on the tarmac because of heavy rain.

"I won't get on the presidential plane," he said from his seat on the commercial aircraft on Wednesday.

The left-wing leader, who won the presidential election by a landslide in July, will be sworn in in December.

Mexico's de luxe presidential jet, a Boeing 787 Dreamliner costing $218.7m (£166m), was delivered two years ago after being ordered by former President Felipe Calderón in 2012.

It was said at the time to be the most modern and efficient plane used by any world leader, according to Mashable.

What do Mexicans think?

Mr López Obrador, who has pledged to run an austere government, was one of hundreds of passengers unable to fly from the southern state of Oaxaca to the capital, Mexico City.

Image copyrightREUTERS

Image captionThe president-elect vowed to continue using commercial flights

Footage from on board the flight and acquired by Reuters news agency shows the president-elect explaining that he would be "embarrassed" to board "a luxurious plane in a country where there is so much poverty".

"I'm not going to change my mind because of this," he said, adding: "Enough with this tomfoolery, it's over, it's over, any politician who acts arrogantly won't last."

News of the incident was met with criticism among some residents of Mexico City.

"I think that if the plane has already been purchased then he should just use it," said Alejandro Aguilar, adding that it was "not normal" for presidents to be grounded.


Media captionFive things you need to know about Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador or "Amlo"

Another, Arturo Miranda, said that while the president-elect appeared to be showing empathy with the people, "We would have to ask ourselves how would he travel when he has to attend an international event?"

Along with the sale of the country's presidential plane, Mr López Obrador has promised to turn the presidential palace into a cultural centre and live in a more modest home, cut the presidential salary, and tackle corruption.

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seth Posted on September 20, 2018 23:21

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3D-printed gun pioneer Cody Wilson charged with sexual assault

A Texas man who has played a central role in making 3D-printed weapons available has been charged with sexually assaulting an underage girl.

A warrant was issued for Cody Wilson but he flew to Taiwan before he could be detained, police in Austin said.

A 16-year-old girl alleged she was paid $500 (£380) to have sex with Mr Wilson at an Austin hotel, they said.

Mr Wilson has been at the centre of a legal battle over publishing blueprints that instruct people on making a gun.

Mr Wilson has not yet commented on the case and no lawyer has yet issued a statement.

What are the allegations against Mr Wilson?

Austin Police Commander Troy Officer told a press briefing that a counsellor who had spoken to the girl informed police on 22 August that "that a juvenile female under the age of 17 had reported having sexual contact with a 30-year-old male".

The legal age of consent in Texas is 17.

Commander Officer said the girl met Mr Wilson through the website and had sex with him in a hotel on 15 August.

Police confirmed the girl's story through "videotape and interviews", he said.

The alleged crime is punishable by up to 20 years in prison.

What is the Taiwan connection?

Commander Officer said Mr Wilson had "left the country before we could seek an interview".

Image copyrightREUTERS

Image captionCody Wilson has fought a legal battle on distributing blueprints for the gun

He said: "We know Mr Wilson frequently travels for business. We don't know why he went to Taiwan.

"But we do know before he left he was informed by a friend of the victim that she had spoken to police and the police were investigating him for having sex with a minor."

He said that Mr Wilson was not in custody and that he had "missed a scheduled flight back to the United States".

Taiwan's National Immigration Agency said Mr Wilson had arrived on 6 September, Agence France-Presse reported, but that there had been no US request for judicial assistance as yet.

There is no extradition treaty between the United States and Taiwan.

What is Mr Wilson's role in the 3D saga?

Cody Wilson, a self-styled crypto-anarchist, founded the gun access advocacy group Defense Distributed.

Image copyrightAFP/GETTY

Image captionOne version of a 3D printed gun

He showed off the world's first 3D-printed gun in 2013.

The US government then banned the online posting of blueprints that gave instructions on making the guns.

Mr Wilson launched a legal battle, claiming the ruling infringed his rights to free speech and to bear arms.

The US government this year reached a settlement lifting the ban, but this was then challenged by a number of states.

Last month, a US federal judge in Seattle blocked the release of software that allows consumers to 3D-print firearms.

But Mr Wilson said this ruling applied only to free online distribution and began selling blueprints instead, leading to thousands of downloads.

seth Posted on September 20, 2018 23:06

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