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Roberto Firmino: Steven Gerrard says forward is 'the key' to Liverpool

Brazil forward Roberto Firmino is "the key" to Liverpool's "best squad for a very long time", says former captain Steven Gerrard.

Jurgen Klopp's side are top of the Premier League after winning all six of their top-flight games this season.

Firmino, 26, has two goals and two assists in the league, and also scored the winner against Paris St-Germain in the Champions League.

"Firmino is an absolute genius when you watch him close up," said Gerrard.

"He's as interested in setting up a goal as scoring one."

Rangers manager Gerrard acknowledged Liverpool's other frontline forwards - Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane - are vital to their success but added: "The key is Firmino."

Speaking to BBC Radio 5 live, he added: "They've got decent back-up - if they were to lose Salah or Mane, Daniel Sturridge seems to be in good shape and scoring goals and then they've got Divock Origi and Dominic Solanke."

Liverpool signed Firmino from Hoffenheim in 2015, shortly after Gerrard's final season as a Reds player. The former England midfielder returned to Anfield as a youth coach until his move to Ibrox in May.

"Every time I received the ball he was always available and looking for other players - he's a dream to play with," said Gerrard.

Gerrard won the Champions League, the Uefa Cup, two FA Cups and three League Cups during his 17 seasons at Anfield but said his Liverpool sides "were short in certain positions" in failing to win the Premier League title.

"I look at Liverpool now and can't find any weaknesses when they're at full strength," he said.

"This is a lot stronger than the team I played in - it's Liverpool's best squad for a very long time.

"The only thing they haven't got going for them is the experience. As someone who went very close, we lacked that experience."

'Milner is in the form of his life'

Gerrard also said the standard of James Milner's performances this season has given summer signings Naby Keita and Fabinho the time to "find their feet" in Liverpool's midfield.

"Milner is causing them selection problems. He's in the form of his life," he said.

"On current form he is the first name on the teamsheet."

And Gerrard added that goalkeeper Alisson, who joined from Roma this summer in a deal worth up to a reported £66.8m, and centre-back Virgil van Dijk, a £75m signing from Southampton in January, have "made a big difference".

"Liverpool have looked a different animal since Van Dijk came in and Alisson brings more composure and trust," he said.

"In time that'll be the big difference - the front three will always score goals and the midfielders back them up too - but it's all been about trying to improve defensively and they're very close."

seth Posted on September 29, 2018 07:23

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Brazil candidate says he will only accept results if he wins

SAO PAULO –  Brazil's far-right presidential candidate Jair Bolsonaro said Friday he would only accept the result of next month's election if he wins, suggesting that any victory by a rival would be through fraud.

Bolsonaro, a retired army captain who leads polls ahead of the Oct. 7 vote, did not provide any evidence that there will be vote fraud, but he said he doesn't trust Brazil's top electoral court.

"From what I see in the streets, I won't accept any result that is not my election," the candidate told TV Band.


Bolsonaro, who was hospitalized on Sept. 6 after being stabbed at a campaign event, has accused the rival Workers' Party of having fraud as its plan B in the elections.

His comments about vote fraud have been rejected by Brazil's electoral court and the Organization of American States, which is overseeing the elections.

If no one candidate wins a majority of the vote in the first round, a runoff between the two top vote-getters will be held on Oct. 28.

While Bolsonaro leads heading into the first round, several recent polls suggest he would lose a runoff to former Sao Paulo Mayor Fernando Haddad, who is currently second in the race.

The conservative candidate was expected to be released from hospital on Friday, but his departure was delayed because of fever and a minor infection.

Instead, he spent most of his day denying a report in the magazine Veja in which an ex-wife accused him of fraud, tax evasion and stealing money she kept in a bank safe in Rio de Janeiro. His campaign pledged to take the magazine to court because of the report.

Bolsonaro's ex-wife Ana Cristina Valle said she was "hot headed" when she made the accusations. She is currently running for Congress using her ex-husband's surname.

seth Posted on September 29, 2018 07:17

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Mickey Mouse expelled from Egypt schools

Children in a province north of Cairo may face the new school year without familiar Disney characters to cheer them up, it's reported.

The governor of Qalyubia has decreed that cartoon images of Mickey Mouse and his friends on the walls of pre-schools must be replaced by "military heroes", the Youm7 news site reports.

"We need to replace pictures of Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck with images of famous Egyptians and military martyrs, so that children will look up to them as role models. These characters are US-made, whereas we have our own noble figures who can deepen children's patriotism and love of country," Alaa Abdul-Halim Mohammed Marzouk told reporters.

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A Ministry of Education official in Qalyubia told Youm7 that a committee would see how the governor's orders should be implemented across the whole province.

The Egyptian government of President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi - a former general - is keen to raise the profile of the military in all spheres of public life, in particular education.

Soldiers killed in clashes with Islamist extremists in the Sinai Peninsula are lauded as "martyrs" in the official media, and their families are honoured at official ceremonies.

'Do our children deserve this?'

But Governor Marzouk's decree has come in for mockery on social media, with many users arguing that the authorities need to focus more on crammed classrooms and old-fashioned teaching methods.

Image copyrightTWITTER/YOUM7

Image captionYoum7 tweeted Disney images in a typical Qalyubia kindergarten

"I don't know what to say. I learned to read before going to school because of the Mickey magazine, which I still read now," tweeted one users, referring to a comic that puts Disney characters in an Egyptian setting.

Journalist Mohamed Ragab wrote "Somebody should tell His Highness the Governor that his decision has turned him into a cartoon character."

Some objected to "hanging photos of the dead on the school walls", asking "what have our children done to deserve this?"

But a few people did applaud the initiative. "It's good that we teach our children about the martyrs who sacrificed their lives for the people of Egypt. My regards to the governor of Qalyubia," was one online comment.

Disney characters may strike a particular raw nerve with the Egyptian authorities, London's Al-Araby Al-Jadeed news site reports. A Facebook user was sentenced to three years in jail in 2015 for posting a photoshopped image of President Sisi with Mickey Mouse ears.

Reporting by Rana Taha and Martin Morgan

Next story: Theatre poster upsets Russian bureaucrats

Use #NewsfromElsewhere to stay up-to-date with our reports via Twitter.

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seth Posted on September 29, 2018 06:58

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Archaeologists unearth Roman road in Netherlands

Archaeologists in the Netherlands have discovered a 2,000-year-old stretch of Roman road and the remains of a Roman village at the town of Katwijk, which once marked the northern boundary of the Roman Empire.

The road is 125 metres (410 ft) long and lies close to a busy highway in the Valkenburg suburb. The Roman village comes complete with a canal and burial ground, the Omroep West regional broadcaster reports.

South Holland Province asked archaeologists to examine the whole area where the new RijnlandRoute bypass is to run, aware of the local Roman legacy and anxious to preserve any finds.

The Emperor Claudius built the city of Lugdunum Batavorum at the mouth of the Old Rhine River, which still flows through Katwijk, and ships would sail from there for Britain. But no one expected to find such well-preserved remains in Katwijk itself.

'Great surprise'

"The extent to which the Roman road is complete is a great surprise", the province says on its official website.

Even the tall oak piles that stood alongside the road to stop it from subsiding are in remarkably good condition. Archaeologists reckon the road was built in about the year 125 CE, during the reign of the Emperor Hadrian.


Image captionRoman building material with paint and plaster intact

The dig also uncovered pottery, leather footwear, coins, a fish trap and other household objects, but the rarest find is a piece of building material with fragments of plaster and paint still intact after two millennia.

The excavation will take another few weeks, and the archaeologists should complete their study of the site by end of the year. The public will be allowed to visit the dig on 13 October - Archaeology Day in the Netherlands.

World Heritage

Work on the new road is due to start in the second half of 2019 but will not disturb the site, the provincial authorities promise. The most important finds from the dig will go on display at the RijnlandRoute's information centre, and this may not be the end of the story.

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The excavations are part of the Lower German Limes - the old northern border of the Roman Empire - which the Netherlands has nominated for special UN international status, the Rheinische Post reported earlier in the year.

If the application is successful, the old boundary that runs from Bad Breisig in Germany to Katwijk - including the Roman road - will become a World Heritage Site. The UN's World Heritage Committee is to consider the bid in 2021.


Image captionChief archaeologist Jeroen Loopik with an oak pile that stopped the road from subsiding

Reporting by Martin Morgan

Next story: Mickey Mouse expelled from Egypt schools

Use #NewsfromElsewhere to stay up-to-date with our reports via Twitter.

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seth Posted on September 29, 2018 06:57

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'It's so sad about Tony' - the cyclist who disappeared

A cyclist who vanished in the Highlands a year ago was a "good, decent man", according to a former naval colleague.

Tony Parsons, 64, from Tillicoultry, was last seen at about 23:30 on 29 September at the Bridge of Orchy Hotel.

He then headed south on the A82 towards Tyndrum on his charity ride from Fort William to his Clackmannanshire home - when he disappeared without trace.

John Pritchard paid tribute to his friend as police issued a fresh appeal for information to solve the mystery.

Mr Pritchard, 62, served on a Polaris submarine with Mr Parsons - who was then a chief petty officer - in the 1980s.

Image copyrightPOLICE SCOTLAND

Image captionIt is exactly a year ago since Tony Parsons was last seen

'Solid guy'

In later years they ended up living in the same village and joined the same rugby club.

The retired offshore worker, also from Tillicoultry, told the BBC Scotland news website: "I've known Tony for over 30 years.

"We were in the Navy together - we then lived in the same area and ended up in the same rugby club.

"He was a pretty solid guy - he was a good guy who would do you a favour any time he could. If he could help you he would.

"He was just a good, decent man."

Image copyrightPOLICE SCOTLAND

Image captionTony Parsons cycled through Glencoe village and was last seen at the Bridge of Orchy Hotel

He added: "He loved his rugby - he played, he refereed, he coached, he was heavily involved in rugby in the village.

"It doesn't surprise me that he was doing this ride for charity, that was Tony.

"It's incredibly sad and disappointing that nobody has either seen anything, or if they have they have never come forward to say they've seen anything."

The grandfather had been treated for cancer in the past and was undertaking the 104-mile (167km) ride for a charity.

Extensive searches of the area - close to the West Highland Way - were made by coastguard and mountain rescue teams in the weeks after his disappearance.

Police said there had been nothing to suggest anything suspicious had happened to him.

Image copyrightJOHN PRITCHARD

Image captionJohn Pritchard has known Tony for more than 30 years

Ch Insp Drew Sinclair said: "We have not uncovered any evidence at all of any criminality through the extensive searches and inquiries we have conducted.

"It still remains a missing persons inquiry at the moment.

"We have traced his movements from Fort William, through to Glen Coe, through to the Bridge of Orchy Hotel, and then an unconfirmed sighting about a half mile south of the hotel from another lorry driver.

"From there, there's been absolutely no confirmed sightings of Tony or the bike, which a year on, is unusual."

Police are appealing for visitors to the area over the summer, and those currently in the area, to come forward with any information that might help.

Yellow bike

Mr Parsons left an address in Ross Court, Tillicoultry, at about 09:30 on 29 September and caught a train to Fort William, leaving the town on his bike at about 16:10.

He passed through Glencoe village at about 18:00.

Police have released video footage taken from Claymore Filling Station of him cycling through the village.

The cyclist is 5ft 9in tall, of stocky build, with short hair, a moustache and glasses.

He has a tattoo of an anchor on his upper right arm and a tattoo of an eagle on his left.

He was last seen wearing a distinctive red waterproof jacket.

Image copyrightGOOGLE

Image captionMr Parsons was heading south on the A82 towards Tyndrum when he was last seen

Earlier, he was seen wearing a blue, long-sleeved cycling top, a high-viz vest, fingerless gloves, beige combat trousers, a silver and grey cycling helmet and walking boots.

He was carrying a silver and blue backpack and had a yellow-framed bike with black handlebars.

Ch Insp Sinclair said the family had suffered since Mr Parsons disappeared. He is married with two grown-up children and two grandchildren.

The officer said: "It has been an agonising year for his family, who have had to get through Christmas, New Year, birthdays and anniversaries without answers about where their husband, dad and grandfather is.

"Our thoughts remain with them at this difficult time, and I want to thank the local communities for their co-operation and support throughout our inquiries."

He added: "Tony was last seen wearing cycling gear and the yellow-framed bike he was riding has not yet been found.

"I would appeal to anyone who may have seen a piece of clothing similar to that which Tony was wearing, or who could have found the bike, to please get in touch immediately."

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seth Posted on September 29, 2018 06:36

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Facebook security breach: Up to 50m accounts attacked

Facebook says almost 50 million of its users were left exposed by a security flaw.

The company said attackers were able to exploit a vulnerability in a feature known as “View As” to gain control of people's accounts.

The breach was discovered on Tuesday, Facebook said, and it has informed police.

Users that had potentially been affected were prompted to re-log-in on Friday.

The flaw has been fixed, wrote the firm’s vice-president of product management, Guy Rosen, adding all affected accounts had been reset, as well as another 40 million "as a precautionary step".

Facebook - which saw its share price drop more than 3% on Friday - has more than two billion active monthly users.

The company has confirmed to reporters that the breach would allow hackers to log in to other accounts that use Facebook's system, of which there are many.

This means other major sites, such as AirBnB and Tinder, may also be affected.

Who has been affected?

The firm would not say where in the world the 50 million users are, but it has informed Irish data regulators, where Facebook's European subsidiary is based.

The company said the users prompted to log-in again did not have to change their passwords.

"Since we’ve only just started our investigation, we have yet to determine whether these accounts were misused or any information accessed. We also don’t know who’s behind these attacks or where they’re based. “

He added: "People’s privacy and security is incredibly important, and we’re sorry this happened."

The company has confirmed that Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and its chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg were among the 50 million accounts affected.

What is 'View As'?

Facebook's "View As" function is a privacy feature that allows people to see what their own profile looks to other users, making it clear what information is viewable to their friends, friends of friends, or the public.

Attackers found multiple bugs in this feature that "allowed them to steal Facebook access tokens, which they could then use to take over people's accounts", Mr Rosen explained.

"Access tokens are the equivalent of digital keys that keep people logged in to Facebook so they don't need to re-enter their password every time they use the app," he added.

What does this mean for Facebook?

The breach comes at a time when the firm is struggling to convince lawmakers in the US and beyond, that it is capable of protecting user data.

Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg said on a conference call on Friday that the firm took security seriously, in the face of what he said were constant attacks by bad actors.

But Jeff Pollard, vice-president and principal analyst at Forrester, said the fact Facebook held so much data meant it should be prepared for such attacks.

"Attackers go where the data is, and that has made Facebook an obvious target," he said. "The main concern here is that one feature of the platform allowed attackers to harvest the data of tens of millions of users.

"This indicates that Facebook needs to make limiting access to data a priority for users, APIs, and features."

When asked by the BBC, Facebook was unable to say if the investigation would look into why the bugs were missed, or if anyone at the company would be held accountable for the breach.

Has your Facebook account been affected? You can share your experience by emailing

seth Posted on September 29, 2018 06:16

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I was on a diet for 18 years. Here's what I learned...

Diet culture is dead. Long live diet culture

Alexandra Jones28 September 2018

Health & WellbeingBody Image

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I’ve been on a diet since I was 12. I was fat, with a round face and soft, thick thighs which spread and spilled over the sides of chairs when I sat down. From the moment I became fully aware of it, my body – like most fat bodies at the time – was a problem.

It was the Nineties and my mum, very much a woman of the time, was well-versed in diets; we had bookshelves heaving with guides on everything from Slimming World to Atkins, Beverly Hills and cabbage soup. Thinness seemed to me a prerequisite of womanhood. And back then, fat seemed a simple problem to solve. You went on a diet, you controlled your appetite, you ate less, did some sit-ups and you got thin. Simple!

Somewhere between then and now, that idea has become deeply unfashionable. No one ‘diets’ anymore. Dieting is not cool. Instead, we get #strongnotskinny, do a detox or go 'plant-based'. We eat clean, get lean and follow ancient Ayurvedic principleswhich realign our chakras (and give us, like, amazing skin). Even Weight Watchers, once a regimented weight-loss programme, has rebranded. The company will now be called WW, and feature the very millennial-friendly tagline 'Wellness that Works'.

“This is just a next step, a point of validation,” said the company’s CEO, Mindy Grossman. “Like any brand we have to stay relevant...” Which seems to mean eschewing ‘weight loss’ in favour of the more nebulous concept of 'wellness'.

As she told the TODAY show, WW will aim to be the “global marque of wellness for everyone, beyond just weight...”


A big announcement from Weight Watchers… the company’s CEO and President @mindygrossman announces they will be changing their name and explains why.

05:27 - 24 Sep 2018

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It’s a savvy move; wellness, as an industry, has a global worth of $3.7 trillion (£2.8 trillion). 

It’s hard to say exactly how ‘dieting’ fell out of fashion. As a new generation - my generation - grew up, they began to reject the exploitative, cruel and, often, anti-feminist chatter that pumped out of the industry. We began to reject thinness as the only beauty ideal. From the mid-Noughties onward, we stopped accepting size zero as the norm, and scientists made global headlines by debunking the idea that dieting would lead to sustainable weight-loss. The culmination of all this progress, it would seem, came just a few weeks ago when plus-sized model Tess Holliday graced the cover of a glossy magazine. 



On the surface, it looks like progress. But the torrent of fat-phobic comments the cover elicited hints at our society's deep-rooted and persistent disdain for fat bodies. More on this later.

When I attended my first Weight Watchers meeting, aged 16 (2004), all I had wanted was to be thin. I was obese, according to my BMI (at 5 foot 5 inches, I weighed around 14st) but I didn’t care about ‘health’, or how my body felt on the inside. I just wanted the big reveal, like in films, where a curtain would be pulled back and I’d be there in my new – thin, beautiful, acceptable – body.

In Weight Watchers, each food is assigned a number of points, and you ‘spend’ those points throughout the day. In practical terms, totting-up the points and attending weekly weigh-ins with a group of fellow dieters taught me that eating a family-sized pasta bake and two Mars Bars for dinner was somewhat excessive. Especially for a person who spent eight hours a day sitting down (as I told my PE teacher, “I don’t run unless I’m being chased”). I’d been wearing adult-size 14 and 16 clothes since I was a child and had spent my teen years crashing through weird diets. As the number on the scales went down, I felt in control for the first time in my life. I lost about two stone in total and for a while, I felt like I’d ‘cracked’ it. 

In the 10 years that followed, I gained that weight back (and an additional 3lbs), then lost most of it again through a strict programme of 'super-healthy' sugar and refined-carb-free 'clean eating'. Of course, I spectacularly fell off that bandwagon too, and in the process became ever more obsessed with the food I was putting into my body. In 2015, aged 27, I was thinner by about 3 stone than I had been at 16, but by this point, I was convinced that I was not thin enough.

I was still chasing the ‘reveal’ when I signed up to an online 90-day ‘transformation’ programme run by Joe Wicks, aka The Body Coach. At the time he was a personal trainer with a moderate online following. And he promised results.

The clean eating revolution was at its height, and rather than hate our bodies, we were hating the toxic ingredients that appeared in almost every food. Toxic sugar, toxic gluten, toxic refined rubbish; reports (that turned out to be false) were coming out of Australia that one girl had helped cured her brain cancer by cutting it all out. And so many of us were following suit.


The conversation around food had shifted; ‘clean’ was not a diet, but a lifestyle choice, and that choice had more to do with ‘health’ than weight or looks. Of course, the desire for ‘thinness’ hadn’t gone away, but like everyone else, I’d learned to talk about it in terms that were more in keeping with the time.

When I stumbled across this 'transformation' plan, I felt a small thrill of excitement. The marketing, those bleary before/after shots, was so compelling; I could sit for hours and scroll through pictures of semi-nude bodies – bigger on the left, smaller on the right. Their visible progress was accompanied by earnest testimonials (complete with ecstatic emojis and misspellings) about how much better they felt, how much stronger and healthier. These were people just like me, I thought. And they’d been liberated from their unhealthy bodies by Joe Wicks’ plan.

I had to try. I signed up and paid my money (which at that time was the ruinous sum of £149), then did the prerequisite ‘before’ photo, standing in the mirror in my sports bra and pants. Like that first Weight Watchers meeting, it felt like I was taking a positive step. I weighed and measured myself, then put the numbers into the online platform. When phase one of the plan pinged into my inbox, I sat down to read through the reams of information about calories and macro-nutrients. I was supposed to eat tonnes of protein and more calories; everything was prescribed – from the first pre-workout vitamin drink in the morning, to the final, single, plain boiled egg at night.

What’s funny is that I was convinced by then that dieting and body fascism were over. This new way of eating, and of working out, which focused on ‘health’, ‘getting lean’, ‘eating whole foods’ and ‘staying strong’, seemed somehow friendlier and more holistic than the years of Slimming World and cabbage soup and Atkins that my mum had endured. And that friendly veneer has proved lucrative. Three years later, in 2018, Joe Wicks is worth an estimated £14.5 million

“Ostensibly, [diet culture] is on the retreat,” psychotherapist and author Dr Susie Orbach tells me. She’s been investigating the mental-health impact of diets since her bestselling book Fat is a Feminist Issue published 40 years ago, in 1978. “Because we feel a lot of shame and embarrassment around dieting. But companies are still making huge sums of money by telling us that our bodies are a problem; and offering us solutions in the form of diets, pills and powders.”


The difference, Dr Orbach points out, between 1978 and now, is the words that we use to describe our diets. “Instead of saying ‘this is going to make me thin,’ the language takes on an almost moral quality. We talk about purity, about ‘healthy,’ ‘natural’ and ‘clean’ foods. We use euphemisms (like saying we’re undertaking a ‘transformation’) to signify that we’re going on a diet. But the effect, and the impact on us, is much the same.”

In fact, intensively obsessing over what we eat for ‘health reasons’ has become such a common phenomenon that it has been given a name: ‘orthorexia'. As dietitian Emer Delaney told the BBC: “It tends to start out as a true intention to eat healthy foods, but is then taken to the extreme... It also includes underlying motivations, such as the compulsion for complete control, the desire to be thin, improving self-esteem and using food to create an identity.”

My Body Coach ‘transformation’ went about as well as my Weight Watchers one had. That is, not very well at all. Any weight I did lose I gained back even more quickly than I had after Weight Watchers. I salute all the people who manage to make it work, but I found the sheer amount of food – and the hours of food prep – prohibitive.

Each Sunday, I’d spend hours packing kilos of boiled mince meat into plastic boxes and boiling dozens of eggs. Which wouldn’t have been so bad, but that was only ever half a week's worth. Food prep became the main event of my Wednesday and Thursday evenings too. I thought about food constantly: about which foods were 'ok,' about whether I was hitting all the right targets. 

If I was out, with no food packed, I’d panic about what I was going to eat. Better to not go out for a while, I decided. I realised enough was enough when I found myself insisting that I bring my own food to a friend's house for dinner. She made paella for everyone else; I microwaved myself a watery cashew curry. "So do you think it's working?" she asked encouragingly. I realised that even if it was, it wasn't worth the pain.

But after weeks of the plan, and of eating to the exacting standards that it demands, when I tried to stop, I also realised that I had lost all sense of when and what I should eat.


As Dr Orbach explains, this is one of the fundamental truths about all diets – or, indeed, ‘transformation’ plans. “The more we rely on advice from others, the more we lose touch with our own appetite and eating instincts. Then it becomes a cycle. Our bodies no longer know how to regulate their own mealtimes. We don’t get the normal hunger signals or fullness signals. And we don’t trust them when we do.” Basically, we become reliant on diets, and dieting becomes another coded habit we can’t quite kick.

From this complicated mindset – where we search for someone to tell us how to eat and what to eat, but at the same time reject the idea of diets as faddy and impossible to maintain – new online industries have emerged. Health and fitness influencers. #TransformationTuesday. Accounts dedicated to vegan, gluten-free, sugar-free, lacto-free cooking. They all offer up an example for us to follow. Just don’t call it a diet.

In that same vein, ‘What I eat in day’ videos have mushroomed out of the vlogosphere over the past five years, a wildly popular sub-genre that seems, on the surface, innocuous enough.

They follow a pattern: on screen the person, often a model or fitness professional, looks fresh. They have scrubbed, dewy skin and a rosy flush which spreads across the apples of their cheeks. “I’m going to show you what I eat in a day…” they beam. “This is a very requested subject,” they glance down, almost bashful. “A lot of people have been asking me about my diet. But I wouldn’t even call it a diet, it’s more a lifestyle. I really just enjoy healthy eating.”

These videos are nice to watch. Highly stylised, hosted by friendly, beautiful people, talking directly to camera – directly to us – about a topic we’re all, despite our public protestations, quite obviously obsessed with. “It’s understandable in a way,” agrees dietician Rosie Saunt. She recently posted a thread on Twitter exploring why these videos are damaging...

Rosie Saunt RD@rosie_saunt

I’m fed up of these ‘What I Eat in a Day’ style videos that are extremely popular on YouTube. 1/9

12:30 - 23 Aug 2018

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As she tells me, “It’s really not cool to say that you’re on a diet anymore. So for many people, these videos represent another avenue to becoming thin; they aren’t diets in the traditional sense. But the subtext is, ‘If you eat like me, you’ll look like me,’ so I’ll bet plenty of the people who watch them go away and copy what they see. It can easily lead to obsessive or disordered thoughts about food.”

Of course, it’s not like ‘what I eat in a day’ has never existed before; we’ve been fetishizing the diets of celebrities in magazines for years. What’s different, as Dr Orbach explains, is just the language we’re using to do the fetishizing. We now call it ‘health'. But as Rosie points out, ‘healthy’ has become just a euphemism for 'thin'.

"Basically, when we use the word ‘healthy,’ we’re no longer really talking about good health behaviours. We’re generally referring to a certain body type; and that body type is thin and toned.” What’s more, she continues, "the link between ‘health’ and ‘diet’ is being used to promote toxic and fat-phobic attitudes."

It’s a fact that became particularly apparent when Cosmopolitan recently put model Tess Holliday on its October cover.

Immediately the magazine faced a backlash - particularly from broadcaster and social media provocateur Piers Morgan.

“As Britain battles an ever-worsening obesity crisis, this is the new cover of Cosmo. Apparently we’re supposed to view it as a ‘huge step forward for body positivity.’ What a load of old baloney. This cover is just as dangerous & misguided as celebrating size zero models,” he wrote on Instagram. The danger, he contended, rested on the fact that Holliday’s ‘unhealthy’ body size was being celebrated.

As dietician Helen West pointed out in a Twitter thread that got over 1,000 retweets, despite what we might believe, a person’s health status and their body size are not necessarily related.

View image on Twitter

Helen West RD@HelenlouWest

So, here's a little thread for anybody who’s feeling uncomfortable with the @Tess_Holliday Cosmo Cover. Its about health, weight, fat phobia, and weight bias. So go grab yourself a cuppa @piersmorgan and have a read - you never know, you might learn something 1/

04:33 - 4 Sep 2018

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“I was expecting some push-back to my Tweets,” she tells me. “But the reaction was very mixed and very polarised.”

As she explains, “When you’re thinking about body weight, it’s true that from a medical perspective, overweight bodies have a higher risk of some diseases. But we’re often talking about relative risk, which means compared to a lower-weight person, not absolute risk. You cannot know how healthy someone is just by looking at them. You don’t know whether they move every day, whether they eat the right foods, whether they smoke. These are all bigger predictors of someone’s overall health than their body size.” 

Our culture promotes the false assumption that everyone can be thin if they try hard enough. It’s an assumption that I’ve lived with throughout my life. “But that’s just not the case," Helen says. "And then we attack people because their fat makes them ‘unhealthy,’ but that’s not necessarily the case either. We cannot know a person’s health status. It’s just fat-phobia, pure and simple.”

Genetics, your aerobic capabilities and whether you spend all day sitting down are all better signifiers of internal health than what you look like on the outside. This, out of all of them, feels to me like the only truly radical idea to come out of any modern conversation about diet, bodyweight and health.

Helen, Rosie and Dr Orbach all argue that we need to take a more measured approach towards our bodies and our diets alike - to turn away from the #wellness industry and instead focus on our daily behaviours: “We should try and move every day – anything we can manage, count steps, go for a run, just as long as we’re moving – and eat a balanced diet with plenty of vegetables,” says Rosie. “Equally, though, we should consider our mentality around food.” She argues that restricting our eating and then feeling guilty or ashamed when we binge (“which will happen if you get into that cycle of restriction”), will only cause more damage. “We need to feel free to enjoy the food we have.”

And, as Helen adds, “People who accept their bodies are more likely to take care of themselves. People who feel shame and stigma are more likely to engage in risky behaviours like excessive smoking, eating and drinking.”

I’ve been on a diet since I was 12. Which is funny and tragic because I now live in a body that most people would consider ‘normal'. It is normal. I weigh 10st, I wear size 10-12 clothes, my BMI is 23.



I’m probably the thinnest I’ve ever been. And ironically, the weight came off not at times when I was obsessing over what I was eating, but at times when I became lost in my work, or in a relationship, and just stopped thinking about it. Still, I’d love to say that this means I’m now at peace - that all that time fretting about how I look has culminated in some big epiphany. But that’s not really the case. The fact is, spending years being laser-focused on what you eat, how your body looks, on the numbers on the scales and the size of your clothes, will permanently impact your relationship with your body. I will always feel like it needs work.

seth Posted on September 29, 2018 06:10

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Malia Obama appears in New Dakotas' music video

America's former first daughter has stepped back into the limelight - with a cameo in a music video.

A beanie-clad Malia Obama has been spotted lip-syncing and apparently playing the harmonica in the latest offering by Boston's The New Dakotas.

Never heard of them? You're not alone.

Their songs have yet to make much of a splash on music app Spotify, where the most popular got just more than 2,000 listens. Their last video, meanwhile, got 1,500 views on video site YouTube.

The one featuring Barack Obama's oldest daughter - entitled Walking on Air - has racked more than four times as many in a week.

According to US website The Hill, the band attend Harvard University, which is where Miss Obama is currently in her second year.

The music video appearance is unusual - as a general rule, Miss Obama and her younger sister Sasha have kept a low profile, despite their father being one of the most famous men on the planet.

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seth Posted on September 29, 2018 06:05

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Toronto police have opened an official investigation after the administrators of a Canadian sperm bank have accused a former employee of replacing hundreds of sperm donors’ specimens with his own.


Robert Casgrain, 58, who has worked as a janitor at the Toronto-based fertility clinic since 1996, is suspected by administrators of switching hundreds of semen specimens with his own sperm over a 20 year period.

Administrators claim in the official police report that they estimate Casgrain could potentially be the father to over 22,000 children over a period stretching two decades.

Although Robert Casgrain’s motives for replacing the sperm donors’ samples with his own are not clear at the moment, legal experts believe these revelations could unleash a potential class-action lawsuit against the former janitor.

“We cannot confirm precisely how many births have resulted from Robert Casgrain’s manipulations with registered sperm donor specimens before proper DNA analysis is performed” warned Detective Sergeant Rod Patterson of the Toronto Police Service.

Detective Sergeant Rod Patterson of the Toronto Police Service warned that “even though the precise numbers are not known”, Robert Casgrain’s sperm “may have given birth to thousands of children over a 20 year period” he said during a press conference.

“He kept bragging that half of the clinic’s babies were his,” one former coworker told reporters when reached by phone.

Administrators at the fertility clinic were warned by employees of Casgrain’s erratic behavior and installed hidden cameras in the embryology laboratory last month before eventually contacting the police.

According to one employee who witnessed the surveillance footage, Casgrain is seen emptying the vials of semen into a sink and filling one up with his own sperm while masturbating to pornographic material.

Although it is impossible at the moment to know how many births resulted of Robert Casgrain’s manipulations at the embryology laboratory, DNA tests performed on clinical samples over the next year should authenticate which specimens are from Casgrain.

Legal experts believe Casgrain could face a sentence as low as 18 months and up to three to five years in prison to current Canadian laws.

kabby Posted on September 28, 2018 17:10

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Eerie skull-shaped asteroid will zoom past Earth just after Halloween

An asteroid that, in certain light conditions, resembles a human skull, will fly past Earth just after Halloween.

The space rock’s official title is Asteroid 2015 TB145 and is a so-called “dead comet” that has lost most of its ice and gases. Appropriately for its ghoulish appearance, the asteroid first flew past Earth on Halloween 2015, prompting NASA to call it “The Great Pumpkin.”

In 2015, the asteroid flew past Earth at a distance of just 300,000 miles, reports. For comparison, the average distance between Earth and the Moon is 238,855 miles.


First discovered on Oct. 10, 2015 by the University of Hawaii's Pan-STARRS-1 (Panoramic Survey Telescope and Rapid Response System), the “Halloween asteroid” is set to make another flyby in November, researchers say. However, it will be nowhere near as close to our planet this time.


Dead comet that will safely zip by Earth on Oct 31 looks eerie like a skull:  #HappyHalloween

11:42 PM - Oct 30, 2015

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Asteroid 2015 TB145 will zoom past at 105 times the average lunar distance, SINC reports, citing a research study released last year.

The space rock's diameter measures between 2,050 feet and 2,297 feet, according to scientists.


Last year, a skyscraper-sized asteroid named (441987) 2010 NY65 flew past Earth at about eight times the distance between Earth and the moon. Also in 2017, asteroid Florence, a massive 2.7-mile long space rock, passed by Earth at 18 lunar distances.

In 2016, NASA opened a new office to track asteroids and comets that come too close to Earth. The Planetary Defense Coordination Office (PDCO) formalizes the agency’s existing program for detecting and tracking near-Earth Objects, known as NEOs.

This week, Japan’s space agency released stunning new photos and video of a distant asteroid’s rocky surface that were captured by two small rovers

khojho Posted on September 28, 2018 17:10

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Babysitter transported to hospital after inserting a baby in her vagina




Cincinnati, Ohio | A 31-year old woman was admitted to the University of Cincinnati Medical Center yesterday after the 14-month old toddler she was babysitting got stuck in her vaginal cavity.

Latifah Brown called 911 around 9:30 PM last night, reporting that she had a baby stuck in her vagina.

The operator first assumed that she was giving birth at home and dispatched an ambulance to the site.

The paramedics had quite a surprise when they arrived on the site and saw what was actually happening.

One of the paramedics, Brian Whitmore, related the incident in an interview with WBNS-10 TV.

“The little boy wore a diaper and pyjamas, but he had his legs and abdomen stuck in the woman’s vagina.”

The paramedics spent more than an hour on the site trying to release the child from his difficult position but were unable to get the toddler out.

“I don’t know how she got the child in there! We were both pulling as strong as we could and he wouldn’t come out.”

Ms. Brown and the child were finally transported to the hospital, where doctors were able to separate them after a delicate operation.

The young boy suffers from a dislocated hip, but doctors don’t think he will suffer any sequelae from the incident.

The paramedic, Ryan Whitmore, says he was shocked when he arrived on the scene and saw the fully dressed toddler caught in the woman’s vagina.

The babysitter was interrogated by police and confessed to deliberately inserting the child in her vaginal cavity.

She explained that she was feeling depressed after her doctor told her she could never have children and wanted to know how it felt to give birth.

Ms. Brown now faces a total of 11 criminal charges, including aggravated child neglect causing bodily harm, and could spend up to 65 years in prison.

Her lawyer has asked for a psychiatric evaluation, claiming that she isn’t fit to stand trial.

Depending on the results of the evaluation, her trial could begin in June.

kabby Posted on September 28, 2018 17:05

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Why are people still not wearing seat belts?

Figures showing that more than one in four car occupants who were killed in crashes in Britain last year were not wearing a seat belt have been described as "shocking" by both road safety campaigners and the government.

The Department for Transport data shows the proportion of deaths has reached its highest level since records first started being kept in 2013.

But what could lie behind the rise - and can attitudes be changed?

Britain remains one of the safest places to drive in Europe. And following steep falls between the late 1970s and 2000s, the number of road deaths has remained fairly constant.

The latest figures show that of the 787 drivers or passengers who died in 2017, 27% were not wearing seat belts, a rise from 20% in 2016.

A 2014 survey found 91% of rear seat passengers in England and Scotland wore seat belts - compared with 98% of drivers and 97% of front-seat passengers.

But the government's road safety campaign Think! cites research which shows younger drivers and passengers are less cautious - with those aged 17-34 having the lowest seat belt-wearing habits combined with the highest accident rate.

Yet despite warnings that people are twice as likely to die in a car accident if they do not buckle up, some are still willing to take the risk.

According to the Department for Transport, adults who do not wear a seat belt include those who occasionally forget as well as others who actively choose not to wear one.

Some people told researchers they found seat belts uncomfortable or inconvenient to wear. Others said it depended on the type of journey. For example, they would wear one on a long or unfamiliar route or if they were on a motorway.

Image copyrightGETTY IMAGES

According to the road safety charity Brake, government "inaction" on road safety is breeding "an environment of complacency" among drivers and passengers.

Pete Williams, the RAC's road safety spokesman, says the rise in crash victims who were not wearing seat belts warrants further investigation.

He said a decline in roads policing over the last 10 years may have encouraged people to feel they can get away with illegal driving behaviour.

"It is surprising that anyone these days would get into a car without belting up," he said.

"Drivers generally may also feel more cocooned and less at risk because of the level of safety features in their cars such as air bags, automatic braking and side-impact protection."

Mr Williams added: "We have generations of drivers who have grown up without seeing the 'clunk-click' messages that many of us frequently saw on our screens and made putting on a seat belt second nature."

The DfT maintains it is always looking at ways of making roads safer and said this year's Think! campaign is aiming to teach young people the "importance of wearing a seat belt".

Its data shows the proportion of fatalities not wearing a seat belt varied between 19% and 22% in the years 2013 and 2016, although not all police forces reported figures.

Can audible seat belt reminders help?

Brake cites examples of research papers which argue that audible seat belt reminders have the "proven potential" to increase the seat belt wearing rate.

2006 European Transport Safety Council report found front seat reminders can be provided at minimal cost because the same sensors are used in airbag systems - but rear-seat systems are more costly.

However, regulations requiring car manufacturers to put seatbelt reminder systems in all front and rear seats on new vehicles are set to come in force from September 2019.

Seat belts and the law

  • Use of a seat belt by drivers and front seat passengers in cars was made compulsory in the UK in January 1983
  • Rear seat belt use was made compulsory for children in 1989 and adults in 1991
  • Drivers and passengers caught without wearing a seat belt could be hit with an on-the-spot Fixed Penalty Notice of £100, rising to a fine of £500 if the case goes to court
  • The driver is responsible for ensuring each child passenger aged up to age 14 wears a seat belt and could be fined for each child without a seat belt

Source: Department for Transport

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seth Posted on September 28, 2018 16:02

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Bear Market? CoinMarketCap Hits Milestone with 2,000 Active Cryptocurrencies Listed

The great cryptocurrency bear market of 2018 may have put a damper on speculative investor interest in this nascent asset class, but it does not seem to have led to much of a slowdown in the number of new altcoins being released on the market.

CMC Reaches 2,000 Listed Cryptocurrencies

To wit, cryptocurrency resource site CoinMarketCap hit a new milestone on Friday, as its market cap rankings now include data on more than 2,000 active coins and tokens, an increase of more than 600 since the beginning of 2018.

A significant percentage of this increase stems from the increasing popularity of tokens, cryptocurrencies which run on another coin’s blockchain and are secured by its network. Even projects which eventually launch their own blockchains now often start as initial coin offering (ICO) tokens on Ethereum, Stellar, or another network.

At the time this article was written, CoinMarketCap had 2,008 cryptocurrencies listed on its market cap index. The site does not provide data on how many cryptocurrencies it delists, but, according to its website, indexed projects must be listed on a public cryptocurrency exchange with a functional API and have non-zero trading volume.

Cryptocurrency market cap charts on May 9, 2013 | Source: CoinMarketCap/Internet Archive

That’s not a high bar. PayCoin, an outright scamcoin whose founder was recently sentenced to 21 months in prison, has managed to cling to a $157,000 market cap on the back of $7 in daily trading volume.

Even so, the attrition rate is not insignificant. For instance, three of the 10 largest cryptocurrencies on May 9, 2013 — the earliest date that the Internet Archive’s Wayback Machine crawled the site — are no longer listed on the site. Inexplicably, a cryptocurrency called “BBQCoin,” which was ranked 11th on that date, didn’t manage to achieve mainstream adoption.

Bitcoin: Still the King after All These Years

With so many cryptocurrency projects actively throwing their hats into the ring on a daily basis, it’s even more remarkable that bitcoin — the project that started it all — still accounts for such a large share of the overall market.

As of Friday morning, bitcoin controls a 52.1 percent share of the cryptocurrency market cap. In other words, BTC is not only the most valuable cryptocurrency but is also worth more than the other 2,007 combined.

Source: CoinMarketCap

This hasn’t always been the case. After holding a 97 percent market share in late 2013, bitcoin dominance experienced a moderate decline over the next several years but consistently held above 80 percen. That changed in 2017 when — bolstered by the emergence of ICOs — ethereum briefly challenged bitcoin for its crown. At one point, altcoins controlled two-thirds of the market cap, but this year’s bear market has cemented bitcoin’s dominant position in the crypto ecosystem.

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seth Posted on September 28, 2018 16:00

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Tsunami hits Indonesia's Palu after strong earthquake

A strong tsunami triggered by a magnitude 7.5 earthquake has hit a coastal Indonesian city, officials say.

Waves of up to 2m (6.6ft) high swept through Palu on Sulawesi island, not long after authorities had lifted a tsunami warning.

Video on social media shows people screaming and fleeing in panic and a mosque amongst the buildings damaged.

Officials have reported five deaths - but it is not clear if those were as a result of the tsunami.

Last month, a series of earthquakes struck the Indonesian island of Lombok, killing hundreds of people - the biggest on 5 August killed more than 460.

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David Lipson?@davidlipson

Indonesia geophysics agency says Sulawesi quake caused a tsunami. This video is doing the rounds. We believe it is real.

6:16 AM - Sep 28, 2018

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The 2004 tsunami triggered by an earthquake off the Indonesian island of Sumatra killed 226,000 across the Indian Ocean, including more than 120,000 in Indonesia.

Indonesia is prone to earthquakes because it lies on the Ring of Fire - the line of frequent quakes and volcanic eruptions that circles virtually the entire Pacific rim.

More than half of the world's active volcanoes above sea level are part of the ring.

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seth Posted on September 28, 2018 14:15

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The woman who accidentally ticked: 'I am a terrorist'

Cancer patient Mandie Stevenson had to postpone a bucket list trip to New York after she accidentally labelled herself a terrorist on her visa waiver form.

The online application asked if she was seeking to or had ever engaged in terrorist activities or genocide.

Mandie, from Falkirk, mistakenly answered "yes".

The 29-year-old, who was diagnosed with terminal breast cancer in 2015, only realised her error when her application was rejected.

It meant she had to postpone a dream break to New York and make an emergency trip to the US embassy in London to persuade officials she was not a security threat.

After a couple of intense interviews, a full visa was granted - but the US authorities could not guarantee it would arrive in time for her flight.

Image copyrightLUDOVIC MARIN

Image captionMandie will be making her dream to New York in a couple of weeks

Mandie was advised to rebook her trip, which she was taking with her boyfriend Ross, for a later date.

It cost her more than £800 to rearrange the trip for next month.

Mandie told Mornings with Stephen Jardine she was amazed when her application was rejected.

"At first I thought it was a bad dream and then I realised what I had done," she said.

Image copyrightRICHARD BAKER

Image captionMandie had to go to the US embassy in London to explain her error

The Esta (Electronic System for Travel Authorization) is an online form, which UK citizens can use to waive their need for a full US visa.

One of the questions reads: "Do you seek to engage in or have you ever engaged in terrorist activities, espionage, sabotage, or genocide?"

Mandie said she first attempted to fill in the form on her tablet, but it had crashed - so she tried again at work the next day.

She said: "I believe I ticked 'no' and then when I have scrolled down to click confirm, I think it has nudged and moved. That's the story I'm sticking to.

"A lot of people have said 'how on earth could you do that?' but to me I've done it really easily."

Image copyrightGARY HERSHORN

Image captionThe trip to New York included a visit to the Empire State Building

Mandie said the mistake was "embarrassing" but she thought it would be easy to correct.

However, the American embassy in London told her it was "the worst box you could have ticked".

Mandie had to go to London and pay £320 for an appointment to get a full visa.

After a couple of interviews her application was accepted, but she was told it would take three to five days to be granted.

Mandie said she told them she would miss her flight but the officials advised her to change her plans.

"I pleaded but they just said 'change your holiday'."

Mandie said she had hoped the embassy or the holiday firm would be sympathetic because she has cancer.

"I live in 12-weekly cycles because I get scanned every 12 weeks," she said.

"I book my holidays in very specific times and this New York trip was going to be before I get another set of scan results, so I was really looking forward to it.

"It was stress that I didn't need.

"I thought because it was a genuine error it would be quite an easy fix but I was quite wrong."

'Completely unforgiving'

Simon Calder, travel editor of the Independent, said the question on the Esta visa waiver form was "completely pointless".

"Nobody who was engaged in terrorism, espionage or genocide would ever tick 'yes'," he said.

"I don't imagine that anybody has ever deliberately ticked this box.

"But once you are on that list you are never going to get off it."

He said: "America is completely unforgiving. If that box gets ticked for whatever reason, immediately it's as though the alarms go off, the shutters go down and you are into a spiral of despair."

He said the consequence was a stressful interview and the extra cost of applying for a visa rather than a much cheaper Esta.

He said the best advice was not to book a trip until you have all the paperwork in order.

Mandie told BBC Scotland her bucket list also includes a trip to Canada, meeting football star Steven Gerrard and a visit to Thailand.

But first she will get her trip to New York.

"I'm happy again and I'm keen to get going," she said.

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seth Posted on September 28, 2018 14:13

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Phone-use driver jailed over Dumfries death crash

A recovery driver caught on camera checking his phone prior to a fatal crash has been jailed for five years.

David Shields, 34, crashed into Yvonne Blackman's car in a line of traffic on the A75 in Dumfries last February.

He had previously admitted a charge of causing the mother-of-four's death by dangerous driving.

Footage captured Shields, of Drongan, East Ayrshire, focusing on his phone for a full 18 seconds in the lead-up to the fatal crash.

Mrs Blackman, 66, of Lockerbie, never recovered and died weeks later in hospital.

She was on her way to meet friends when the accident occurred.

Her husband said he hoped the sentence given to Shields would deter other drivers from similar behaviour.

Image copyrightCROWN OFFICE

Image captionThe crash happened on the A75 in Dumfries in February last year

She ended up getting caught in heavy traffic on the A75 Gretna to Stranraer road at about 08:30 on 8 February 2017.

The court previously heard Shields was driving in the area while working for 911 Rescue Recovery.

He met the same line of traffic before ploughing into the back of Ms Blackman's Toyota Yaris.

His defence counsel John Scullion QC said: "He has asked me to apologised to Mrs Blackman's family and is ashamed of his actions that day."

Image copyrightPOLICE SCOTLAND

Image captionYvonne Blackman died weeks after the accident

In addition to his jail term, Shields was banned from driving for seven years and six months.

On sentencing, Lady Stacey said that as a professional driver he should have seen the queue of traffic and stopped but had not because he had focused his attention on his phone.

"I have seen a video of the crash and know you were paying heed to your mobile phone for 18 seconds," she said.

"It was a very dangerous thing to do.

"I know you did not intend the catastrophic result, but you should have known the terrible risk you were taking."

Image captionMrs Blackman's husband spoke outside court following the sentencing

Ralph Blackman said he hoped the five-year jail term in relation to his wife's case would send out a message.

"I hope this sentence deters any drivers from doing the same," he said.

"They should realise the suffering and hurt it causes to the victim's family.

"I've was a professional driver for 40 years and I've never used my mobile phone. If I'm driving I just let it ring."

He said he understood the dangers and other drivers needed to do so too.

"Only a second's inattention can be dangerous and he had 18 seconds with his eyes off the road," he said.

'Avoidable crash'

Ms Blackman, a mother-of-four, had 18 grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.

Her husband said: "She was very bubbly and fun-loving. She had a long life to live."

Commenting on the sentence, Sgt Paul Dodds from Police Scotland said: "This tragic and entirely avoidable crash clearly demonstrates the fatal consequences which can occur when a driver allows themselves to be distracted by another device whether handheld or otherwise.

"Sadly, Yvonne Blackman, being a wife, mother and friend lost her life owing to the inattention of Mr Shields who needlessly allowed himself to be distracted from the road ahead and instead chose to focus his attention on a cradle mounted mobile phone."

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  • Lockerbie

seth Posted on September 28, 2018 14:12

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Welcome to the future of texting, TELBOT. 

TELBOT stands for text messaging on any device combined with great SMS features that you can’t find in your default SMS app.

TELBOT gives you the chance to send messages to more than a million recipients all over the world with just a click.

All you need to do is to input their contacts in the recipient box and type your message.

It also provides a section that makes you the sender anonymous if you wish to.

A text to anyone under normal circumstances costs ghc0.14 to the same network but with TELBOT, you can send messages to anyone anywhere for just 0.5Paxex per the current rate, which is ghc0.7

You can enjoy this new service by Welcome to the future of texting, TELBOT. 

TELBOT stands for text messaging on any device combined with great SMS features that you can’t find in your default SMS app.

TELBOT gives you the chance to send messages to more than a million recipients all over the world with just a click.

All you need to do is to input their contacts in the recipient box and type your message.

It also provides a section that makes you the sender anonymous if you wish to.

A text to anyone under normal circumstances costs ghc0.14 to the same network but with TELBOT, you can send messages to anyone anywhere for just 0.5Paxex per the current rate, which is ghc0.7

You can enjoy this new service by

Dominic Solomon Posted on September 28, 2018 13:54

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Scientists Want to Send Holographic Messages to Nearby Stars on Light Sails The unique properties of holograms could be used to stabilize spacecraft and carry huge amounts of data to the universe.

Image: Breakthrough Starshot

Imagine a fleet of light sails, imprinted with holographic messages, embarking from Earth to the stars beyond. This tantalizing vision is now actively being developed for potential use in projects like Breakthrough Starshot, an interstellar mission concept that aims to send 1,000 tiny spacecraft across four light years to Alpha Centauri, our nearest stellar neighbor.

Unveiled in 2016 by Yuri Milner and Stephen Hawking, Breakthrough Starshot envisions deploying a fleet of stamp-sized “StarChips” attached to light sails in orbit, and accelerating them to about 20 percent the speed of light using massive laser arrays on Earth.

As if that isn’t mind-bending enough, scientists and artists have recently started exploring the futuristic idea of embossing holograms on the light sails. This is not just to make the sails look trippy; it’s also a potential solution to the technical challenge of stabilizing and steering the sails.

To reach their target speeds, Starshot’s sails are supposed to be blasted for several minutes by 50 to 100 gigawatts of energy provided by a laser beam on the Earth’s surface (for comparison, the average nuclear power plant produces one gigawatt, according to the US Department of Energy). But because the laser would be moving due to the rotation of the Earth, some mechanism is needed to keep the sails within the beam as it drifts; otherwise they will float out of the light, failing to accelerate.

“The sail is so lightweight that you can’t really put a control system on there to fire little jets and otherwise correct for the relative position of the sail and the light,” Mason Peck, a professor of aerospace engineering at Cornell University, told me over the phone. “So rather than making the sail follow the light beam with some sort of robotic approach or thrusters, you might make it do so with optical or photon pressure.”

One approach to channel that photon pressure is to create sails with spherical or conical shapes—theoretical studies show that those shapes provide a self-correcting force that could nudge sails back into the beam if they begin to drift off. But spherical sails would more easily collapse under the intense pressures of heat and acceleration, compared to flat square sails.

That’s where the holograms come in. By embossing a hologram shaped like a cone or a sphere onto a flat sail, it might be possible to essentially trick photons into reacting as if the structure were really curved. Meanwhile, the flat design would be better equipped to withstand the enormous forces exerted by the beam.

“If [the hologram] is conical or spherical, that photonic force will push it back in the center [of the beam], but from the point of view of the inertial forces, it’s a flat shape, so it won’t collapse,” physicist Greg Matloff, a light sail expert who serves on the advisory board of Breakthrough Starshot, told me in a phone call.

In other words, a holographic image on a sail may prove to be the best of both worlds, though it will take many years of experimentation to find out for sure. But beyond the potential stabilization and propulsion applications, holograms are also a promising vector for sending messages from Earth into the wider universe.

Matloff and his partner, artist C Bangs, have been ruminating on holographic message plaques for nearly two decades. In 2002, at the suggestion of physicist Robert Forward, the pair co-authored a NASA proposal that detailed how images and information could be encoded into a hologram on a sail. It’s a similar concept to the Voyager Golden Records, the phonographs onboard the Voyager probes launched in 1977, except that a holographic message could contain far more information and would also serve as propulsion for the spacecraft.

Image: C Bangs

Breakthrough Starshot has given Matloff and Bangs the opportunity to resurrect this concept in earnest. In 2017, they consulted with hologram expert Martina Mrongovius, the creative director of the NYC HoloCenter, about the potential to emboss holographic data and artwork onto light sails and other spacecraft platforms.

“It is a space probe tradition to include a message plaque,” Mrongovius told me in an email. “Holograms have a massive information capacity to open up the types of imagery we could send into space. With holographic imaging, you can multiplex hundreds images together and create animations as well as record depth and dynamics.”

Such a platform could contain mountains of data about humans, Earth, and any other subjects we’d want to send out into the cosmos on light sails. Whether or not these messages would ever be intercepted by an alien species that could interpret them is an open question, and also somewhat beside the point.

“Considering how other beings could sense is an aspect of designing deep space messages, as well as longevity,” Mrongovius said. “The more immediately addressable question is how we represent ourselves as inhabitants of Earth. Sending a message is an opportunity to collaborate and build our identity as a species. Sending these messages is humanity’s way of reaching out into space, of saying we understand propulsion, are creative creatures, and that we come in peace.”

Bangs shares this view. “Basically when we do message plaques, we’re doing them for ourselves—we’re not doing them for aliens,” she told me over the phone. “We’re talking about really representing who we collectively feel that we are, and sending it out there.”

Read More: NASA's Newest Interstellar Concepts Rely on Huge Laser Arrays and Gravity Surfing

This tantalizing idea is about to start earning real-world experimental stripes. Earlier this year, NASA greenlit the launch of the Alpha 1U CubeSat, a small satellite developed by Peck and his team at Cornell’s Space Systems Design Studio. On track for launch within the next year or two, the spacecraft will deploy four “ChipSats” attached to a light sail. Six holograms created by Bangs and Mrongovius will also be attached to the side panels of the square satellite, and perhaps even imprinted on the sail.

Fish hologram for Alpha. Image: C Bangs

The iridescent images will be based on sculptures made by Bangs that depict DNA, a fish, a moth, and other life-centric themes. Mrongovius will create holograms based on photographs of these art-pieces. (Bangs and Matloff will be presenting a lecture on the project over the weekend in London, at a meeting for the Initiative for Interstellar Studies.)

“The holograms we are creating look very different to the robotic aesthetic of most satellites,” Mrongovius said. “The CubeSat rotates as it orbits so we are recording multiple images into each face that replay when illuminated by the sun at different angles.”


The team hopes that the project will inspire interdisciplinary ideas about holographic applications in space, beyond Breakthrough Starshot. “For the humans who inhabit the ISS and future space bases, interiors with holographic art can expand visual space, enable dynamic light, and bring the aesthetics of nature into small artificial environments,” Mrongovius said, noting the work of artists Setsuko Ishii and Betsy Connors.

“Holographic art is a confluence of physics and imagination—so is space exploration,” she added. “While enabled by technology, both endeavors are driven by curiosity and vision.”

AlbertaU Posted on September 28, 2018 12:56

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A National Park Is Airlifting Hundreds of Mountain Goats That Have Gone Crazy for Human Pee.

Mountain goats in Olympic National Park are obsessed with human urine and are now a public nuisance.

Image: National Park Service

Outdoor enthusiasts have a storied history of wrecking nature with their excrement and now, hikers are apparently driving mountain goats crazy with pee.

At Olympic National Park in the state of Washington, hundreds of mountain goats are being airlifted by helicopter and moved to forests in the North Cascades. The reason? They’re too thirsty for human piss.

According to the national park, the fluffy ungulate has begun harassing visitors at campsites “where they persistently seek salt and minerals from human urine.” Goats are known to “paw and dig” where people have relieved themselves, causing the animals to become a nuisance.

The park estimates that 375 goats will be relocated this way, according to its final management plan. It’s possible that between 275 and 325 goats will be “lethally removed” by shooting them with rifles over three to five years, though the park says capture and release is its top priority. (“There is no intention to leave rotting carcasses within sight or smell of visitors,” the park clarified.)

Read more: Bad Goats Removed by Helicopter

Successfully captured goats are blindfolded, tagged, and fitted with GPS collars. Once loaded into crates, they’re transported in pairs to nine release sites throughout Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest, Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest, and on land owned by Seattle Public Utilities.

“The plan is to reach a zero population level of mountain goats in the park and adjacent Olympic National Forest lands…[removing] approximately 90 percent of the projected 2018 mountain goat population, or approximately 625 to 675 mountain goats,” the plan states.

Mountain goat removal project area. Image: Olympic National Park

Mountain goats are attracted to sources of salt and minerals to supplement their diet. And in Olympic National Park, where the goats are not a native species, these nutrients are harder to come by.

Yet, while normally shy, mountain goats have become habituated to humans. Many hikers are tempted to feed the animals from their salty palms. Urinating on trailsides is also discouraged, since it causes goats to associate people with their sodium-rich pee. (“Never urinate within 50 yards of a hiking trail,” the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife warns.)


In 2010, a 63-year-old man was gored by an aggressive ram and died in the park.

Authorities have tried to control mountain goat numbers before, removing more than 500 during the 1980s, and even using a border collie to herd them away from visitors. The animals are unable to be sterilized, since no approved chemical contraception exists. The park is unable to introduce predators, such as gray wolves, to eat them, as they are “not effective predators on mountain goats” and would negatively impact other prey animals, such as elk and deer. Hunting within the park is also illegal.

Several alternatives were considered by Olympic National Park. Doing nothing, for instance, focusing instead “on preventing unacceptable mountain goat behavior,” the plan states. But this scenario would have ultimately caused goat numbers to increase.

The relocation project is being led by the National Park Service and the USDA Forest Service. It was developed by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife with assistance from the National Park Service Environmental Quality Division, and input from local tribes and residents.

Similar, pee-related problems have also been reported in Montana’s Glacier National park.

Mountain goats were introduced to the area during the 1920s and have colonized the entire region. Here, they pose a threat to vegetation, cause soil erosion, and compete with native wildlife.

The goats will be relocated to the North Cascades where they are a native species.

AlbertaU Posted on September 28, 2018 09:24

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NASA solves mystery of cigar-shaped UFO, believed to carry alien life

Scientists have uncovered the truth about a mysterious space rock called Oumuamua which has been hurtling through Earth’s solar system and was spotted last year.

A group of acclaimed astronomers, including members from NASA, the European Space Agency and the German Max Planck Institute for Astronomy, released a report this week on the origins of the cigar-shaped asteroid which was first observed in October 2017.

The name Oumuamua is Hawaiian for “messenger from afar arriving first” and was named by the site who first spotted it.

According to the report, “a fast moving object on an unbound orbit was discovered close to the Earth” by a high-powered telescope, located in Hawaii.

The report claims Oumuamua is a metallic or rocky object, approximately 400 metres in length and about 40 metres wide.

It has a “comet-like density” and a dark red surface.

“(The red surface suggests) either an organic-rich surface like that of comets and outer solar system asteroids, or a surface containing minerals with nanoscale iron, such as the dark side of Saturn’s moon Iapetus,” the report said.

The report suggested Oumuamua left its home millions of years ago and was likely sent on its lonely journey when it was “ejected during planet formation and migration” and has been linked to four possible star systems.

It was also calculated that Oumuamua moved faster than the existing laws of celestial mechanics.

The report has been accepted into The Astrophysical Journal.

The discovery of Oumuamua sparked international debate when it was first discovered, as scientists struggled to explain what exactly the long, thin asteroid was and why it was flying so close to Earth.

The discovery even prompted suggestions that the rock was actually an alien spaceship or probe, used to explore our solar system.

But one fact has remained uncontended: Oumuamua is the first object ever observed travelling into our solar system from deep space.

The report found that Oumuamua is likely “one of many” interstellar objects that pass through Earth’s solar system on a regular basis.

khojho Posted on September 28, 2018 08:54

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Rattlesnake emerged from water in Florida, beachgoers say.


Snakes swimming in North Carolina flood waters

Griff Jenkins spots a snake in the flood waters while reporting on Florence.

Florida beachgoers spotted a rather unusual creature Tuesday emerging from the ocean: a possible diamondback rattlesnake.

Photos captured by local resident Rhonda Saunders show the serpent emerging from the water onto the Pensacola Beach.

The snake appeared to be “exhausted” and “trying to keep its head above the water,” Saunders told the Pensacola News Journal, adding a shocked crowd began to surround the creature. It's unclear where the snake came from.


Local animal control officials were called and the snake was eventually removed.

"[An animal control officer] scooped him up with a long-handled net, and dropped him into a carrier," Saunders told the Pensacola News Journal.

“Not much fight left in him,” she said of the snake.

While many beachgoers said the serpent was likely a diamondback rattlesnake, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission was unable to formally identify the snake based off photos alone, biologists with the organization told the newspaper.


Diamondback rattlers are capable of swimming, according to Reptiles magazine. These serpents are the largest venomous snakes in North America, National Geographic reported, noting they “generally live in dry, pine flatwoods, sandy woodlands, and coastal scrub habitats from southern North Carolina to Florida and west to Louisiana.”


Rhonda Saunders was not immediately available for comment when contacted by Fox News on Thursday.

khojho Posted on September 28, 2018 08:34

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12 Fascinating Facts About Your Favorite Foods.

You are what you eat, is the weird half-truth that is spat out again and again. Luckily, it’s not entirely accurate, because otherwise we’d all be mint fudge chocolate chip ice cream, smokehouse BBQ, and meat lovers pizza. What is true is that what we put into our bodies dramatically effects the way it operates. From our thought processes to our fitness level; even our sex drive is influenced heavily by all we consume. Yet, most of us don’t have the first idea what we’re putting into our bodies. And the truth is, what we don’t know might be hurting us.

Processed foods are known to generally be bad for people, since the further one moves away from nature, the fewer nutrients we receive with every swallow. Then again, even in the natural world there are some strange additives that we might not be too keen on filling our gullets with. Sometimes interesting, sometimes revolting, sometimes enticing, here’s 12 fascinating facts about foods we eat every day.


Oreo Filling


The second best creamy goo in the world – behind Nutella of course – is Oreo’s cream. Smooth and sweet, it makes the otherwise ordinary cookies with the cult symbols imprinted on them a special kind of delicious. That signature milkiness could be attributed to actual milk, and sometimes it has a cream cheese base, but most often, Oreo’s cookie filling is made mostly of Crisco. The popular pan greaser has such a delightful consistency that Nabisco decided to add a load of sugar to the fat and dunk it in milk.

Gummy Candies


Vegetarians and vegans are already hip to this lovely fact: Most anything made with standard gelatin is constructed out of the skin and bones shaved off of slaughtered animals, then rendered into the chewy goodness we all enjoy. Loads of sugar is naturally part of the recipe as well, but what’s really important are the colorful dyes. They make the tub of boiling skin and bone look cheery and edible, to say nothing of utterly hilarious when made into an erotic shape.

Check some of our videos

Twinkies Taste


The little, yellow, indestructible, undigestable snack cakes are certainly loaded with fat of questionable origins, but that’s not strange. Every fatty sack of deliciousness has a shady backstory. What is interesting is that Twinkies didn’t always taste like Twinkies. Prior to the second world war – WWII: Nazi Boogaloo – they were banana flavored. During the fighting, banana trade was brought almost wholly to a halt, which forced Hostess to change the taste, since it needed to keep making money off heart disease and diabetes. Ultimately, the vague yellow cream cake is what was settled on, based largely around what supplies were available at the time.



Speaking of the yellow fruit, it’s good to note that a bushel of bananas is called a “hand.” A single banana is also known as a “finger.”

Olive Oil


It’s easy to believe that olive oil shouldn’t have too many problems behind the scenes. After all, you get some olives, you milk the oil out, bottle, sell, and repeat. But why do that when you can use any kind of oil, so long as you can pass it off as Olive? The entire olive oil industry is only slightly more corrupt than Big Tobacco, and has been described as “comparable to cocaine trafficking, with none of the risks,” by a European Union official. Only about 30% of the “olive oil” on the shelves is actually what it says.

Orange Juice


As the world moves toward a more organic future, people are taking stock of what they eat and drink. This has led many to seek out more “honest” 100% juices. Among the most popular is orange juice, the beloved drink of Piko Taro. Names like Tropicana and Simply Orange have been touting their “not from concentrate” juices as superior. While they do actually come from oranges, the flavor doesn’t. All that citrus goodness is completely manufactured and comes from sugars mixed in.



Anyone who’s ever whipped up a loaf of home-baked bread is likely aware that it tends to turn to mold many times faster than stuff that’s store bought. The reason is preservatives, as anyone could have guessed. But the particular preservative in bread is what’s interesting. It’s an amino acid called “L-cysteine” that is found in hog and human hair, cow horns, and duck feathers. It’s an oily liquid similar to the grease on your scalp, though you can’t taste that when eating a ball of Wonder Bread.



As with olive oil, vanilla should be an easy ride. Get the vanilla beans, crush them up, milk them out, grind them up, or ferment them until you get what you need. In some cases, that’s exactly how it works. In cases of synthetic vanilla, the truth is a little more ick-inspiring. The taste and smell of many vanilla-flavored items comes from the anal glands of beavers. It’s a thick, brown substance called castoreum which melds together urine and secretions from their anal and castor glands. If you doubt, one sniff under a beaver’s tail will reveal the baked-in truth.

Shredded Cheese


Pre-shredded cheese operates differently than cheese you shred at home. A clump of freshly grated Colby is a sticky mass, but when it comes out of a store-bought bag, it pours easily and moves without clotting. That bit of marketable magic is cellulose, known to most of us as wood pulp. That mildly gritty consistency of pre-shredded cheese it flecks of timber mixed in for a more pulpy nacho.



This is an FYI for travelers who’ve never heard of the delicacy milt. It’s fish sperm, so eat at your own risk.

Ranch Dressing


Titanium is a marvelous metal. It can stand up to abuse, patinas beautifully over time, and is light enough for any EDC item in your repertoire. But, titanium dioxide, a molecule with both Ti and O atoms is a white powder that is mixed into ranch dressing – among other white foods – to make it look cleaner and more appetizing. There’s no cause for it other than pure manipulation of human buying practices.

Jelly Beans


While any Jelly Beans made with gelatin suffer from the same issue as gummy candies, they also have another dire ingredient: insect secretions. That shiny shellac on the outside, that makes the beans glimmer enticingly, is pulled from the stuff that oozes out of the Kerria lacca insect.

AlbertaU Posted on September 28, 2018 08:11

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Man With Bionic Penis Went Into 5-Day Coma Week After Having Sex For First Time




A man who was born without a penis fell into a coma for five days after having sex for first time.

Andrew Wardle, 45, was fitted with a £50,000 bionic penis after an intensive, 10-hour surgery. He has described the appendage as ‘ridiculously big’, and has said he and his girlfriend, Fedra Fabian, are delighted with the results.

However, just a few days after having sex for the first time, Fedra found Andrew collapsed on the floor. She rushed him to hospital where he remained in a coma for five days.

Andrew’s publicist, Barry Tomes, told MailOnline:

He had a fever for days and was vomiting. They thought he had a neurovirus.

He was supposed to be catching a train down to London to do an interview with This Morning. But Fedra rang to say she had found him unconscious. She was terrified. She has no family here to rely on.

They spent the next five days in limbo. He was so ill they couldn’t do any scans. They even tested for pancreatic cancer but thankfully it wasn’t.

It’s been quite terrifying. Their biggest worry was that the damage had been caused by having sex.

Fortunately, the issue was not caused because of the couple having sex, but was caused by ‘a gall bladder issue’, for which Andrew is now receiving treatment.

It’s been three months since Andrew underwent the surgery to be fitted with a penile implant. He had to live with an erection for ten days before the implant could be deflated, and had to wait a further six weeks before having sex.

Andrew was born a rare condition called bladder exstrophy, which can affect one in every 40,000 people.

Three months after a number of operations, including one to construct Andrew a new bladder, Andrew was able to use his ‘bionic penis’ for the first time.

Speaking to The Sun, Andrew said:

Fedra had booked a romantic trip to Am­s­t­erdam for my birthday, but I felt that would have been too much pressure.

I had to test out the function every morning and night and leave it erect for 20 minutes.

So, one morning, two days before we went away, it just happened. It was nice and natural — and that’s how I wanted it to be.

After what Fedra and I have been through, it’s the cherry on the cake.

Surgeons used skin, muscles and nerves from Andrew’s left arm to construct the penis, as well as veins from his right leg.

Andrew also thanked surgeon David Ralph and his team for the hard work.

He said:

I’m just looking forward to having a fresh start. It’s like I’ve been through a war and I’m just healing and getting my head straight. I owe it to my amazing surgeons to go out and enjoy my life.

I want to thank everyone past and present in the NHS who has got me to this point in my life – I would not be here without you today.

Andrew is receiving treatment for the gall bladder complications, and will soon be on the road to recovery.

kabby Posted on September 28, 2018 08:09

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Lil Wayne Finally Releases Tha Carter V


Three years since his last album, and seven years since the last Carter album, Lil Wayne has finally released his much anticipated Tha Carter V.

The new album features guest appearances from Kendrick Lamar, Travis Scott, Snoop Dogg, Nicki Minaj and XXXTentacion, as well as others. The last track, Let It All Work Out, also features a sample from the Mercury Prize-winning Sampha.

Tha Carter V has been highly anticipated since Wayne announced it in 2012, following the release and success of 2011’s Tha Carter IV. The record began in 2004, when Wayne was just 22, but it’s release was delayed for over five years due to issues with his label.

Universal Music

The fifth instalment was then supposed to be out in 2014, but days before its release the rapper announced his label boss had ‘refused to release’ the record. Taking to Twitter at the time, Wayne said he was ‘a prisoner and so is my creativity’.

Then, in January 2015, Lil Wayne sued the label, Cash Money, demanding $51 million and the right to cut his ties with the record label, as Rolling Stone reports.

In response, Lil Wayne released his Free Weezy Album through Tidal in an attempted dig at his label Cash Money. The label hit back, however, allegedly trying to sue Tidal for $50 million over the project, though the lawsuit was later dropped.

Earlier this year, the rapper revealed to Billboard that the legal disputes between himself and the label had been settled for an undisclosed sum, meaning the path was finally clear to release Tha Carter V.

As part of the new deal, Wayne is now the sole owner of Young Money Records, his own imprint, as well as maintaining a relationship with Universal Music Group.

The Carter series of albums have been Lil Wayne’s defining records. In 2008, Tha Carter III became the last rap album to sell 1 million copies in the US in a single week. Tha Carter IV missed that mark by less than 40,000 copies in 2011.

In 2012, when he announced the fifth instalment, Lil Wayne suggested it would be his last, and that he’d probably retire after its release. However, he has now said: ‘I do think about retirement. I think about how I don’t think I ever will.’


Within the new album, the 36-year-old rapper also addresses the time he sustained a self-inflicted gunshot wound when has was just 12. In the past he has called this an accident, but now suggests it was a suicide attempt.

On new track Let It All Work Out he says:

I shot it, and I woke up with blood all around me
It’s mine, I didn’t die but as I was dying
God came to my side and we talked about it
He sold me another life and he made a prophet

Wayne had previously alluded to this in his verses on the Free Weezy Album track London Roads, and in his feature on Solange’s track Mad.

Now, however, he is focussed on new music and, of course, his role as a father of four.

He said:

My four jewels – when I FaceTime one of them, man, everything goes away.

Welcome back, Lil Wayne.

kabby Posted on September 28, 2018 08:04

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Placenta complications: 'Women must know the risks'

Expectant mothers should be told that the risk of placenta complications rises after a caesarean or fertility treatment, according to top doctors.

Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG) guidelines said early diagnosis of conditions placenta praevia and placenta accreta was vital.

They added doctors should discuss with women the safest way to give birth.

The conditions can lead to heavy bleeding and sometimes put mother and baby's lives at risk.

TV personality Kim Kardashian developed placenta accreta when pregnant with her daughter North West.

TV presenter Amanda Holden suffered from the rare placenta praevia-accreta when expecting her youngest daughter Hollie.

Placenta praevia happens when the placenta attaches in the lower part of the uterus (womb), sometimes completely covering the cervix (neck of the womb).

Placenta accreta is a rare but serious condition when the placenta is stuck to the muscle of the womb and/or to nearby structures such as the bladder.

Both conditions can cause heavy bleeding, particularly towards the end of the pregnancy, because the placenta is low down in the uterus.

This can sometimes require blood transfusions and lead to the loss of the uterus.

The RCOG has produced an online leaflet with information for women who may develop or have these conditions.

It says the rates of placenta praevia and placenta accreta have increased and are likely to continue to increase as a result of rising rates of caesarean births and the use of assisted reproductive technology, such as IVF.

This is because potential scars in the uterus created by caesareans and fertility treatment mean any subsequent pregnancies are more likely to implant in the scar, causing problems with the placenta.

The highest rates of complication for both mother and baby occur when these placenta complications are only diagnosed at delivery, the RCOG said.

And it encouraged more scans and specialised care to help reduce any risks.

Image copyrightGETTY IMAGES

'Discuss risk factors'

Prof Eric Jauniaux, lead author of the guidelines, said: "We hope this updated guidance will support healthcare professionals during discussions with women and their partners who may be considering assisted reproduction, particularly IVF, or an elective caesarean birth.

"These are both risk factors that can increase risk of developing these serious complications of the placenta."

Prof Jauniaux, professor of obstetric and foetal medicine at University College London, said the guidelines should also help doctors to diagnose the complications early and discuss the safest way for women to give birth.

Dr Geeta Kumar, chair of the RCOG patient information committee, said: "It is important for women to be aware of these complications of the placenta, but they should be reassured that these are very rare and specialist care is available.

"Early diagnosis is key to reduce harms associated with placenta praevia and accreta to ensure the safest possible outcome for mother and baby."

What does the placenta do?

The placenta develops together with the baby in the uterus during pregnancy.

It attaches to the wall of the uterus and provides a connection between mother and baby.

Oxygen and nutrients pass from the woman's blood through the placenta and into the baby's blood.

The placenta is delivered shortly after a baby is born, and is sometimes called the afterbirth.

How common is placenta praevia?

It is more common if a woman has had previous caesareans, fertility treatment or if they smoke.

If you have placenta praevia, your baby will probably need to be born by caesarean.

One in 200 women have the condition at the end of their pregnancy.

How common is placenta accreta?

It is a complication which affects between one in 300 and one in 2,000 pregnancies.

This is more common if a woman has previously had a caesarean.

It may cause heavy bleeding at the time of birth.

What is vasa praevia?

Vasa praevia is a very rare condition affecting between one in 1,200 and one in 5,000 pregnancies.

It is where blood vessels travelling from your baby to your placenta, unprotected by placental tissue or the umbilical cord, pass near to the cervix.

If these blood vessels tear, this can be very dangerous for your baby.

Related Topics

seth Posted on September 28, 2018 05:33

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Africa's week in pictures: 21-27 September 2018

Actress Passant Shawky strikes a pose for a photo shoot by the Red Sea during the Egypt's El Gouna film festival on Tuesday.

Image copyrightAFP

Image captionOn the same day, Namibian boxer Paulus Ambunda faces off with Singapore's Muhamad Ridhwan ahead of their upcoming IBO Super Bantamweight title fight in Singapore.

Image copyrightAFP

Image captionOn Saturday, Sudanese judo fighters compete at a women-only event in the capital, Khartoum.

Image copyrightAFP

Image captionA life-size statue of former South African President Nelson Mandela is unveiled at the UN's headquarters in New York City on Monday....

Image copyrightAFP

Image caption..South Africa's President Cyril Ramaphosa (L) said the statue would serve as a reminder of Nelson Mandela's and South Africa's determination to help create a better world for all.

Image copyrightAFP

Image captionThe next day, a snake keeper shows off a python at an agricultural fair in the Democratic Republic of the Congo's capital, Kinshasa.


Image captionOn Wednesday, believers gather in Addis Ababa to celebrate the first festival of the Ethiopian Orthodox Christian calendar year...


Image caption..Meskel Festival marks the moment when St Helena is said to have discovered the cross that Jesus was crucified on.


Image captionOn Monday, schoolboys play football in the street of Egypt's capital, Cairo.

Image copyrightAFP

Image captionOn the same day, Ugandan pop star and opposition MP Bobi Wine hosts a media conference at his Kampala home days after returning from the US where he had medical treatment.

Image copyrightAFP

Image captionAlso on Monday, Afrikaner communities gather and perform a folk dance called the Volkspele to mark South Africa's annual Heritage Day.

Image copyrightAFP

Image captionA capella singers compete at the National Isicathamiya Competition in Durban the day before...

Image copyrightAFP

Image caption..the event is rooted in migrant Zulu culture from the 1950s and features a style category - these men waiting backstage are taking part in the category called oswenka ("swank").


Image captionA mosaic from the House of Amphitrite at Bulla Regia, a Roman archeaologial site in Tunisia, is pictured on Friday.

Image copyrightGETTY IMAGES

Image captionA couple stand on the dance floor ahead of a performance by Nigerian Afrobeat drummer Tony Allen on Saturday in Italy.


Image captionThe same day, a passerby by is pictured on the street of Ain Draham in Tunisia.

Pictures from AFP and Getty Images

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seth Posted on September 28, 2018 05:27

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Air travel 'without your passport leaving your pocket'

New technologies are helping to tackle one of the great scourges of air travel - airport queues. But at what cost to our privacy?

Queues to check-in and drop your bags, at security, at passport control and finally queues at your boarding gate.

Air travel can be a frustrating business, even if these queues are largely a result of airports trying to ensure our safety.

And as more of us fly - 4.4 billion passengers are forecast to take to the skies in 2018 - airports are being pushed to their limits.

So the industry is hoping technology can streamline the process, with increasing use of biometrics such as facial recognition - and not just at passport control.


Image captionPassport control queues are an all-too-common experience for air passengers

For example, British Airways uses facial recognition when boarding passengers on domestic UK flights, as well as for some international flights out of the US.

Travellers flying from Heathrow are photographed when going through security. A second photo is taken at the boarding gate - and if the image matches the original one and the data confirms they are at the right gate, it automatically opens.

The US system combines check-in information with biometrics - images and fingerprints - and biographical data from passports and visas. When a passenger arrives at a boarding gate, a new photo is taken and compared to the data on record.

Raoul Cooper, digital airport design manager at British Airways, says this approach can halve the time it takes to board 240 people onto an international flight, with a consequent 10% improvement in flight punctuality.

Image copyrightBA

Image captionYou can now board some domestic flights without showing your passport at the gate

Image copyrightBA

Image captionBritish Airways operates biometric self-boarding gates at Heathrow Terminal 5

"We believe that this starts to prove how we can use identity services more widely and is an important part of our ambition to create a seamless journey," says Mr Cooper.

"One day, a traditional passport scan or swipe may no longer be needed."

Similar face-scanning technology is being trialled at Singapore's Changi airport, where one potential application could be spotting lost passengers who've missing the final boarding call for their flight, the airport operator says.

Changi's Terminal 4 is already using the tech for self-service check-in, bag drop, immigration and boarding.

In the US, Delta Airlines is planning to use facial recognition at check-in, security, boarding and customs at the Maynard H. Jackson International Terminal at Jackson Atlanta airport, doing away with passport checks altogether for some international travellers.

Research consultancy Frost & Sullivan reckons airport spending towards improving the passenger experience will reach $4.2bn (£3.2bn) by 2020.

"Technology integration into airport functions is driven by a growth demand in air travel and shrinking terminal capacity," says Renjit Benjamin, the firm's industry analyst for aerospace, defence and security.

"The tendency to employ technology is not regionally limited - cities around the globe have ongoing projects that effectively deploy digital technology for seamless passenger management and process efficiency."


Media captionFrom hi-tech airport sensors to the solar palm tree that charges your phone

Dubai airport in the United Arab Emirates also has big - and quirky - plans for biometric technology.

The airport intends to replace traditional security desks with aquarium-like tunnels featuring up to 80 face-scanning cameras disguised as fish. As passengers walk through they are scanned from every angle while they look at the images, and the captured data is compared with existing ID photos.

The first tunnels are due to be installed by the end of 2018, with all terminals to be equipped with the tech-aquariums by 2020.

Tech start-up VChain believes blockchain, the technology underpinning cryptocurrencies, will help provide us with secure, verifiable digital identities that could make airport queues a thing of the past.

Its software generates a signal - a mathematical version of the red, orange, green of a traffic light - about a passenger's passport, helping authorities verify the passenger's identity and build a "reputation" and trust score around that travel document.

These mathematical signals are stored on the blockchain, preventing tampering and achieving verifiable consensus.

The more times the passport and passenger data is verified, the better its reputation becomes, such that inaccurate data entered on a booking website - a common occurrence that contributes to delays - could be corrected automatically, the company hopes.

"[Blockchain is] the best approach we have developed to date as a civilisation for record keeping," claims VChain's chief executive Irra Ariella Khi.

"And good records are good for security, because your risk assessment is always only as good as the records it's based on."

More Technology of Business

The VChain platform is being tested by IAG - the global airline group that owns BA, Iberia, Aer Lingus and Vueling.

"The airport of the future will see passengers breezing through without annoying queues or document checks, with their passport never leaving their pocket," she says.

But wherever biometrics is deployed, concerns about privacy and data protection are sure to follow. Image recognition is getting better, but it is far from infallible, with human rights campaigners such as Privacy International and Human Rights Watch warning about misidentifications and the potential for abuse by authorities.

For its part, BA says it does not hold any passenger ID data, but transfers it to the US Customs and Border Protection identity system, which then sends back anonymised "match" or "no match" signals.

And as long as air passengers benefit from the increased convenience of queue-less air travel, privacy concerns may remain muted.

  • Follow Technology of Business editor Matthew Wall on Twitter and Facebook

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seth Posted on September 28, 2018 05:18

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Air Niugini plane comes down in Micronesia lagoon

A passenger aircraft has come down in a lagoon off Chuuk International Airport in Micronesia after it overshot the runway, say airport officials.

Images circulating online showed the Air Niugini plane, from Papua New Guinea, sitting in shallow water just off the coast.

None of the 35 passengers and 12 crew onboard flight ANG73 suffered serious injuries.

The cause of the crash is unclear, but investigations are due to begin soon.


"The plane crashed in the lagoon, about 160 yards away from the runway," Chuuk airport manager Jimmy Emilio told the BBC.

"Right now we don't really know what happened. Investigations will start earliest tomorrow, but [for now], operations are starting again as usual in the airport."

Mr Emilio said all those onboard the Boeing 737-800 aircraft were taken to hospital for checks, saying he believed some suffered from "minor injuries".

Image copyrightREUTERS

The aircraft was flying from the island of Pohnpei in Micronesia to Port Moresby, the capital of Papua New Guinea, stopping at Micronesia's Weno island on the way.

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seth Posted on September 28, 2018 05:11

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One of the First Bitcoin Miners is Quietly Cashing Out: Blockchain Researcher

As of Thursday, Sept. 25, the bitcoin price has climbed about 3 percent, briefly crossing the $6,700 level and extending toward $6,750 at one point in the early evening.

While this movement has made plenty of cryptocurrency  traders and investors happy in the short-term, a recent analysis of spending patterns relating to some of the earliest blocks of bitcoin has revealed that a very early miner has been taking advantage of the last several years’ long-term upward trajectory to slowly cash out tens of thousands of coins since Dec. 2016.

A recent tweet from a cryptocurrency expert, Blockchain data analyst Antoine Le Calvez, has revealed that a mysterious bitcoin miner has managed to send approximately 30,000 BTC cryptocurrency exchanges between Dec. 2016, and Jan. 2018, potentially cashing them out for a mammoth payday.

Mystery Miner Cashes In

According to Le Calvez, the mysterious bitcoin miner has been smart enough to cash in on their youngest blocks of bitcoin to not reveal the full extent of their mining period.

View image on Twitter

Antoine Le Calvez@khannib

An analysis of the spending patterns of the earliest blocks of Bitcoin seem to indicate that a very early miner sent around 30k BTC to exchanges from Dec 2016 to early Jan 2018.

12:00 PM - Sep 26, 2018

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It would seem that, at the latest, the mining started somewhere around Dec. 2009, back when the value of BTC wasn’t much above $0, still wasn’t anywhere near reaching dollar parity, and the flagship cryptocurrency could be profitably mined with a standard-issue CPU. The first Bitcoin Pizza Day, you will remember, did not occur until 2010.

Furthermore, the researcher believes that the mystery miner had mined for at least seven months. Through this time, he managed to acquire more than 30,000 BTC since block rewards were high and miners were few.

Antoine Le Calvez@khannib

Sep 26, 2018

Replying to @khannib

For those confused by the chart:
X-axis is block height, time flows to the left.

Y-axis is when that block was spent, if it was, also expressed in height, the higher the dot, the most recent the spending.

X-axis runs from 2009-01-03 to 2010-04-10

Antoine Le Calvez@khannib

Before people ask, I don't think it's Satoshi.

12:09 PM - Sep 26, 2018

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He speculates that the miner could have even commenced mining operations earlier than Dec. 2009 since, recognizing that spending older coins is more likely to attract attention, he desires to conceal his sell-off. For some, this may raise questions, such as whether the mystery wallet owner is not Satoshi Nakamoto himself, although the researcher seems to think otherwise.

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seth Posted on September 28, 2018 04:51

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David Beckham avoids speeding prosecution after lawyer 'Mr Loophole' finds technicality

David Beckham will not be prosecuted over a speeding charge after his lawyer, known as "Mr Loophole", successfully fought the allegation on a technicality.


Former England captain Beckham was accused of driving his Bentley at 59mph in a 40mph zone on the A40 in Paddington, London, shortly after 5.30pm on 23 January.


Celebrity lawyer Nick Freeman initially had a setback when a judge dismissed his submission seeking to dismiss the charge.


Mr Freeman, who entered a not-guilty plea, said a lack of admissible evidence meant Beckham had no case to answer.


District Judge Barbara Barnes told him a tribunal could reasonably convict the former England footballer on the evidence and ruled there was a case to answer.


However, Mr Freeman also stated that the notice of intended prosecution arrived one day outside the 14-day limit and was therefore "defective".




Beckham hired Mr Freeman to represent him over a speeding charge - and it turned out to be a good move



Beckham complained about traffic on the same day as the court session. Pic: David Beckham/Instagram

In his submission he told the court: "If the Crown can't prove that the letter was sent by first-class post then the concept that it arrives in two working days goes out of the window.


"It would be unsafe to allow these proceedings to go any further."


The judge told the court that the notice of intended prosecution (NIP) was sent on 2 February and should have arrived at Bentley Motors Ltd, the registered keepers of the vehicle, by 6 February.


But she said she was satisfied on the evidence heard that it did not in fact arrive until the day after the statutory 14-day window.


She said: "What I find is the fact it did not arrive in the post room of Bentley Motors Ltd until 7 February and therefore was one day outside the legal limit.


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"The defendant in this case cannot be convicted."


:: Who is the lawyer who is often the "go-to" man for celebrities accused of driving offences?




Mr Freeman often picks up on technical errors such as spelling mistakes

Mr Freeman, who has trademarked the name "Mr Loophole", has worked with many other footballers, including Joe Cole, Frank Lampard and John Terry.


He revealed his methods in his book The Art Of The Loophole, where he said he never meets a client before a case because he does not want to be compromised by any detail they might reveal.


His first big name client was then-Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson in 1999. He also represented Beckham over another charge the same year.


Mr Freeman argued that Sir Alex had to use the hard shoulder to get to the training ground to allow for his upset stomach and need for a toilet.




Mr Freeman argued that Sir Alex Ferguson really needed to use the hard shoulder

Other reasons the lawyer has given include stars being forced to break the speed limits to escape chasing paparazzi and needing to keep their licences because of family commitments.


He is also known for his in-depth knowledge of motoring law and has helped clients avoid prosecution or charges based on technical errors such as spelling mistakes.


Explorer Sir Ranulph Fiennes escaped a prosecution for an offence due to Mr Freeman pointing out there were spelling errors on the letter summoning him to court and letters were sent out to a "Mr Ran Flenns".


More from David Beckham


David Beckham to go on trial after being charged with speeding in Bentley

Beckham stands in box with mosquitoes in call for action

Beckham's new Miami MLS team a 'dream come true'

Backlash over Beckham's Buckingham Palace tea party

Guy Ritchie defends 'fabulous actor' David Beckham amid King Arthur criticism

Former cricketer Andrew Flintoff was caught on camera in 2008 doing 87mph in a temporary 50mph zone but Mr Freeman pointed out that the prosecution notice was sent two days later than the law allows.


Flintoff only had to turn up at court to confirm his name, age and address and was then let off.

Albert Ulebe Posted on September 27, 2018 22:35

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Newsflash: Bitcoin Price Pops to $6,745 ahead of Quarterly Futures Expiration.

The bitcoin price broke out of its early-week slump on Thursday, scrambling back above $6,700 to return to its weekend levels.


Bitcoin had entered the week near $6,700  after briefly extending as high as $6,815 last Friday. However, the flagship cryptocurrency took a moderate dip on Monday, a correction that ultimately forced BTC below $6,400 on Tuesday ahead of a recovery back to $6,500 on Wednesday.



BTC/USD | Bitfinex

That’s where BTC/USD continued to trade for most of Thursday morning and afternoon, at least until 19:48 UTC when a surge in volume carried the bitcoin price from $6,549 to $6,690 in less than four minutes. At 20:02 UTC, bitcoin broke past $6,700 for the first time since Sunday and popped as high as $6,745 one minute later. As of the time of writing at 21:09 UTC, BTC/USD was trading just above the $6,700 level at $6,702 on Bitfinex.


Several traders have noted on social media that tomorrow, Sept. 28, is the date that quarterly futures expire on OKEx, BitMEX, and CME, events that tend to be accompanied by increased price volatility in the spot markets.




Click here for a real-time bitcoin price chart or here to read CCN’s latest intraday BTC/USD technical analysis.

Albert Ulebe Posted on September 27, 2018 22:09

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Ultimate 'FIFA 19' preview: Best players, fastest and slowest, strongest and more

It's the end of September and that means only one thing in video games: It's time for the latest version of the FIFA franchise to hit our consoles and keep us occupied through the grim, snowy misery of winter.

FIFA 19 hits the stores/internet/whatever this Friday, a run that began with the first pixels hitting our Segas in 16-bit glory back in 1993.

Like those versions that came before, FIFA 19 is great fun. It's enhanced in subtle ways that move the game ever closer to realism but with enough familiarity that you can pick up a controller and dive right in without feeling bewildered. The inclusion of the Chinese Super League means you're now able to control the litany of stars who went there for astronomical sums over the past season or two. (Here's lookin' at you, Ezequiel Lavezzi.) Yet the Russian Premier League has vanished, leaving behind just CSKA Moscow, Lokomotiv Moscow and Spartak Moscow. You can't have it all.

Popular story mode The Journey has been enhanced and expanded to give you more opportunities to impact the future of not just Alex Hunter, as he moves to Real Madrid, but his younger sister (a budding U.S. national team striker) and his best friend from the academy days as he tries to establish himself in the Premier League. The pathways are more complicated for all three interconnected leads, making it a more immersive way to play the game than just league or tournament modes.

Another big add was a reinvention of the passing, ball control and shooting mechanics to leave more room for mastery and improvement that might set a seasoned player apart from a novice.

Finally, the officially licensed presence of UEFA's flagship competitions, the Champions League and the Europa League, is a delight. Each tournament mode carries the branded style right down to the typeface, score chyrons, the match ball and, yes, the official chaaaaaampioooooooons pre-game theme song is in here too. (The first time you play a CL fixture, you can't seem to skip ahead beyond the song so I hope you like it as much as I do.)

Consider this your official guide to all the nuances, changes, highs and lows. Oh, and it's great fun: If you're a super-fan of the FIFA franchise, it will tick all the boxes in your heart and keep the controller in your hands until the FIFA 20 demo drops next September. There's just enough enhancement and refinement to give life to a very familiar and comforting series.

Cristiano Ronaldo again graces the cover as FIFA 19 pushes the game even further than past editions. EA Sports

The Top 10 in the game

10. Toni Kroos, CM, Real Madrid (last year: 9)
9. David De Gea, GK, Man United (11)
8. Luis Suarez, ST, Barcelona (4)
7. Sergio Ramos, CB, Real Madrid (7)
6. Eden Hazard, LW, Chelsea (8)
5. Kevin De Bruyne, CAM, Manchester City (15)
4. Luka Modric, CM, Real Madrid (12)
3. Neymar, LW, Paris Saint-Germain (3)
2. Lionel Messi, CF, Barcelona (2)
1. Cristiano Ronaldo, ST, Juventus (1)

Whether playing a franchise mode or starting a FIFA Ultimate Teams (FUT) dynasty worthy of winning real-life tournaments, you'll want to make sure you've got at least one or two of the above. The ranking has changed a lot in the past year, with two players in particular soaring up the charts: Luka Modric, who's currently winning all the individual awards following a spectacular 12 months for club and country, and Kevin De Bruyne, who grew into his fullest potential as the fulcrum for Pep Guardiola's all-conquering and record-smashing City side in the Premier League.

The top three remain the same, though one has to wonder: Didn't Kylian Mbappe or Mo Salah do enough to crack the top 10? (They're ranked 42nd and 27th, respectively.)

The pass masters

Best passers: Kevin De Bruyne, CAM, Manchester City (92). Luka Modric, CM, Real Madrid (90). Toni Kroos, CM, Real Madrid; Christian Eriksen, CAM, Tottenham (89). Six players, including Lionel Messi, on 88.

Worst passers: Wang Yaopeng, CB, Dalian Yifang; George Ray, CB, Crewe Alexandra; Yoshiaki Fujita, CB, Jubilo Iwata (24). Chen Weiming, CB, Guangzhou R&F (25). Four players tied on 26.

The biggest improvements to FIFA 19 come in the passing and ball movement department, making accuracy a must when kickstarting attacks. It's not like FIFA games of old where you can turn any team into a dangerous bunch of one-touch passers: 19 is the most realistic yet when it comes to how players perform on the ball.

If you're facing one direction but want to lay it off to someone behind your player, it's fair to assume the ball will no longer ping to them perfectly, in stride, as if controlled by magnets. The players at the top end of the passing scale will be able to play a full gamut of long- and short-range passes via air or ground with more confidence, but it still requires forethought as to how you manage possession against the CPU or a friend. Moving the ball within your player's field of vision is the best bet if you want to ensure the killer through-ball finds a winger tearing into space.

Despite being a veteran of the franchise all the way back to 1993 (Della Savia, anyone?), it took me a few games to get a handle on where I wanted the ball to go vs. where it actually ended up.

Changes to the touch and control mechanics means that your player is no longer assured of keeping possession. Unless it's Kevin De Bruyne, of course. EA Sports

Running at light speed vs. stuck in the mud

The fastest: Adama Traore, RW, Wolves; Kylian Mbappe, RW, Paris Saint-Germain (96). Gareth Bale, RW, Real Madrid; Douglas Costa, LM, Juventus; Leroy Sane, LW, Manchester City; Jurgen Damm, RM, Tigres UANL (95). 13 players tied on 94.

The slowest: Aaron Hughes, CB, Heart of Midlothian (24). Frode Kippe, CB, Lillestrom SK; Jamie McCombe, CB, Lincoln City (25). Damien Delaney, CB, Cork City; Matt Rhead, ST, Lincoln City (27). Five players tied on 29.

Speed is still killer in FIFA 19 if you're a fan of the sprint button, but thanks to some tweaks and refinements to game play, it's no longer enough to just mash the controller and watch your player zoom off toward goal. However, the initial burst can be enough to make a difference and you'll note that the wing is where such gifts of acceleration can be found.

Defenders are smarter in how they track your runs and pursue you around the field when trying to kickstart upfield moves. It's no longer enough to simply punt it into space and out-run your markers, though raw pace can help you gain separation. Tweaks to the crossing mechanism become most obvious when you're at full speed: If you're off balance, the variation in cross pace and accuracy is much sharper compared with previous FIFA iterations. A good run is for nothing if you belt the square pass into the stands.

The converse of relentless pace down the flanks is a gaggle of leaden-footed central defenders. Don't attempt to play a high line and offside trap if you have any of the above in your starting XI.

The Journey mode is back with Alex Hunter grappling with life at Real Madrid, though his sister and his best friend also have significant storylines to pursue as well. EA Sports

Separating the strong from the weak

The strongest: Adebayo Akinfenwa, ST, Wycombe Wanderers (97). Tomas Chory, ST, Sigma Olomouc; Kendall Waston, CB, Vancouver Whitecaps (95); Romelu Lukaku, ST, Manchester United; Felipe Carvalho, CB, Valerrenga; Anderson Esiti, CDM, KAA Gent; Kalidou Koulibaly, CB, Napoli; Niklas Sule, CB, Bayern Munich; Kara Mbodji, CB, FC Nantes; Sebastian Coates, CB, Sporting CP (94).

The weakest: Ryo Miyaichi, RM, FC St. Pauli (30). Cesar Valenzuela, CAM, Huachipato; Patrik Karlsson Lagemyr, RW, IFK Goteborg; Bryan Mbuemo, LW, ESTAC Troyes; Jordan Young, ST, Swindon Town (32). Four players tied on 33.

Power can often be important in soccer. Do you win every aerial challenge? Are you a menace in possession and impossible to tackle? Can you bully just about anyone off the ball?

It's no surprise that Akinfenwa, the man they call "The Beast," tops the strength charts again given his remarkable physique and downright intimidating style of play. Unsurprisingly, there's a mixture of players at both ends of the pitch who have the tools to dominate: Depending on how the Champions League group stage goes, we could even see a Sule vs. Lukaku match-up in the knockouts, the ultimate test of immovable object vs. unstoppable force.

Luckily, there's a new range of quick tactical options added to FIFA 19 in case you find yourself out-matched. Building off the "quick sub" menu added to FIFA 18, whereby you could pre-arrange set substitutions or have the option to make a spur-of-the-moment change without pulling out of the game, there's a new range of quick shifts in formation and lineup that you can access mid-game. If something's not working, you can pull up your pre-set tactics and adjust to what your opponent is doing.

Outmatched in midfield? Adjust to add an extra body as the game's happening. Need more support at the back? Tweak the number of players in your defense or push a striker into a more withdrawn centre-forward role to help with retaining possession. It's yet another enhancement adding a layer of realism to proceedings so you can indulge your inner Pep Guardiola when it comes to shuffling the pieces on the pitch.

FIFA 19 brings even more realism and polish to the visuals, which is remarkable given how last year's edition saw a significant increase in quality. EA Sports

The five-star skill club

There's a select list of players in the game who boast the full five-star rating when it comes to skill on the ball. Capable of pulling off just about every trick, flick and bicycle kick imaginable, you want to look to these guys if you're trying to improve your team's showmanship. It's especially useful when receiving the ball in crowded areas: Poor control is more pronounced in FIFA 19 and will be punished accordingly.

Of course, the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo, Paul Pogba and Philippe Coutinho are present, as well as Neymar, Kylian Mbappe and the inimitable Zlatan Ibrahimovic. It's not just attack where the flair can be found: Real Madrid's Marcelo also has the full complement of magic when in possession and is the only defender with five-star powers.

There's a glut of up-and-coming talent to aim for when building a team: Federico Bernardeschi of Juventus is worth grabbing but Omar Abdulrahman (Al-Hilal), Quincy Promes of Sevilla and Martin Odegaard (remember him, Madridistas?) are more realistic still if you're in a franchise mode but lacking the funds of an oligarch to take your team forward. And for anyone saying you can't find wizardry in the English lower leagues, League One Sunderland are repped on the skill front via elder statesman Aiden McGeady.



Red Bulls' Robles & Davis showcase FIFA 19 skills

New York Red Bulls' Luis Robles and Sean Davis stopped by ESPN to square off in FIFA 19 and see how accurate their player ratings are in the game.

The best of MLS

Zlatan Ibrahimovic, ST, LA Galaxy (85). David Villa, ST, New York City FC; Sebastian Giovinco, CF, Toronto FC (82). Carlos Vela, RW, Los Angeles FC; Josef Martinez, ST, Atlanta United FC (81). Bastian Schweinsteiger, CM, Chicago Fire; Ignacio Piatti, LW, Montreal Impact; Wayne Rooney, ST, DC United; Miguel Almiron, CAM, Atlanta United FC; Diego Valeri, CAM, Portland Timbers (80).

Major League Soccer has a handful of players above the 80 rating threshold, though all of them are imported from other leagues. Still, it's nice to see emerging talent like the record-breaking Josef Martinez make the grade as he looks to finish what he started in the goal-scoring stakes. He famously smashed the longstanding record for goals in a single season back in late-August and currently sits on 30 with four regular-season games remaining.

Relax, you're in safe hands

Best hands: Jan Oblak, GK, Atletico Madrid (92). Thibaut Courtois, GK, Real Madrid (91). Manuel Neuer, GK, Bayern Munich (88). Gianluigi Buffon, GK, Paris Saint-Germain (87). Samir Handanovic, GK, Inter Milan (86).

Worst hands: Tim Schneider, GK, KFC Uerdingen 05; Keegan Smith, GK, Wellington Phoenix (44). Eight players tied on 45.

The ratings differentiating goalkeepers arguably have the widest spread when it comes to players sharing a particular number, and nowhere is this more clear than in the Handling stat. Mighty Jan Oblak leads his peers when it comes to catching and holding the ball, whether from set pieces, shots on goal or defending crosses. In short, does he catch or parry balls into the box?

The 47 Club


David Norman Jr., CM, Vancouver Whitecaps; Alec Byrne, CM, Cork City; Lee Watkins, CM, Cambridge United; Kieron Olsen, RB, Carlisle United; Noah Christoffersson, ST, Trelleborgs FF; Ma Junliang, CM, Guangzhou R&F; Zhang Yufeng, CM, Beijing Renhe; Alexander Kaltner, ST, SpVgg Unterhaching; Christoph Ehlich, RB, SpVgg Unterhaching; Josh Lundstram, CM, Crewe Alexandra; Kotaro Fujikawa, CM, Jubilo Iwata; Shandon Baptiste, CM, Oxford United; Jordan Young, ST, Swindon Town; Pierce Phillips, CM, Cork City

Of course, there is fresh life beneath the rarified air of the top players. There are 14 players who qualify for the hallowed "47 Club," those unlucky enough to be bestowed with the lowest OVR rating in the game. Cork City, of the Rep. Ireland Airtricity League, and third-tier German side SpVgg Unterhaching have the dubious honor of having two players each in this hallowed club.

And finally, the Golden Hoof Award

Lincoln City center-back Jamie McCombe wins this prize for having the lowest dribble ability in the entire game. With a 24 rating, it's best just to ask him to punt it immediately upon receiving possession.

khojho Posted on September 27, 2018 17:49

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Euro 2024: Germany beats Turkey to host tournament

Germany has beaten Turkey to host Euro 2024 after a vote by Uefa's executive committee on Thursday.

The two countries made final bid presentations before voting took place in Nyon, Switzerland.

The decision means Germany will stage the European Championship for the first time as a unified country, with West Germany having hosted the 1988 tournament.

Turkey is yet to host a major international football tournament.

It has seen previous attempts to host the Euros in 2008, 2012 and 2016 fail, as well as the 2020 Summer Olympics. Germany staged the 2006 World Cup.

'The procedure was transparent'

Euro 2024 will return to a single-host format after Euro 2020 is held across Europe, including Germany.

Before announcing the winner, Uefa president Aleksander Ceferin said Germany and Turkey had made "very strong bids".

After announcing the winner, he added: "The procedure was transparent. The voting was democratic. Every democratic decision is the right decision so I can only say I am looking forward to seeing a fantastic Euro in 2024."

Euro 2024 will feature 24 teams, taking place in June and July, with 51 games scheduled for up to 32 days.

Berlin will stage the final, while matches will also take place in Cologne, Dortmund, Dusseldorf, Frankfurt, Gelsenkirchen, Hamburg, Leipzig, Munich and Stuttgart.

Former Germany captain Philipp Lahm, an ambassador for his country's bid, said: "We have amazing stadiums, fans who love football, first and foremost we have people who love celebrating with other Europeans.

"We will organise a huge football party in Germany."

Germany and Turkey were the only countries in the running for Euro 2024 and, in the build up, an evaluation report by Uefa stated Turkey's bid had risks.

The report added that Turkey's lack of an action plan in the area of human rights and limited hotel capacity in many cities were matters "of concern". It also labelled the scale of transport infrastructure work required "a risk".

However, it did say the Turkish bid was "in line with the long-term objectives of Uefa."

seth Posted on September 27, 2018 14:02

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X-Men: Dark Phoenix - what the trailer tells us

In the two-minute trailer of X-Men: Dark Phoenix we see Jean Grey as a child, the X-Men attend a funeral and they make a trip into space.

This film focuses on the story of Jean Grey - now played by Sophie Turner - and her relationship to Phoenix and how it affects her mind and body.

The storyline is a crucial part of the comics and we've seen a version of it before in X Men: The Last Stand.

The trailer is a nice taster of what we can expect from the film but it also leaves a few questions unanswered.

Image Copyright 20th Century Fox20TH CENTURY FOX


1. Who is Smith?

Image copyright20TH CENTURY FOX

Image captionJessica Chastain plays Smith

Near the start of the trailer we see the actress Jessica Chastain, with blonde hair and dressed all in black.

She goes into a church and is seen talking to Jean.

She tells her: "You feel like you don't belong. You don't."

It's not clear who Smith is but from the trailer, we're guessing she's a villain.

There is a character called Tabitha Smith in the Marvel Comics, but we will need to wait for more trailers to know exactly who she is.

Fans are also confused about this one.

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Who said, "You don't belong here"? All the other voices I recognized. #DarkPhoenix #Xmen #X-Men

1:27 PM - Sep 26, 2018

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2. Unsurprisingly, they're embracing the dark theme

Image copyright20TH CENTURY FOX

Image captionYou see a dark side to Jean Grey

When the film's called Dark Phoenix, it's not a massive shock that the tone is a lot darker.

Jean Grey is heard in the trailer saying: "They're right to fear me."

In the comics and other films, Jean has always struggled with her powers and in the trailer you see her flipping over police cars and bringing down a helicopter.

We also get a glimpse into her childhood.

Image copyright20TH CENTURY FOX

Image captionJean as a young girl

A very young Jean is seen in the back of a car with her parents and they're involved in a car crash.

There is the suggestion that she may have had a hand in her parent's death.

The music in the trailer is a version of a 1967 song called This is the End by The Doors.

The lyrics include the line: "This is the end, beautiful friend, this is the end, my only friend, the end."

3. Professor X isn't perfect

Image copyright20TH CENTURY FOX

Professor X is always trying to help people and fix everything, but it seems like he can't always do that.

Beast and Mystique both question some of his actions.

Mystique, played by Jennifer Lawrence, says: "Charles, what did you do?"

Has Professor X been messing with Jean's mind in an attempt to try to help her?

He replies: "I had to keep her stable, I protected her."

Beast also loses his temper with Charles, telling him: "This is your fault."

The Professor is then seen sitting by Jean's bedside and says to her: "I'm sorry I didn't stop it sooner."

4. People swap sides

Image copyright20TH CENTURY FOX

Magneto or Professor X - whose side to choose? This has always been a bit of a struggle for some of the X-Men.

In this film it seems to be Jean's turn.

She finds Magneto who's camping out somewhere with his group. Military helicopters swoop in and Jean uses her mind to control them.

The falling out between Beast and Charles must be serious, because he is also seen on team Magneto.

It looks like there maybe a stand-off between Beast, Magneto and two others versus Prof X, Nightcrawler, Storm and Luna.

We also the see the X-Men in uniforms square up to Jean in a street.

5. The X-Men go into space

In the Marvel comics the phoenix force comes from space and that might be why the X-Men make a trip to space in this film.

They're seen in a spaceship wearing their blue jumpsuits with a yellow X on the front.

We don't know much about their trip to space or what happens there, but Charles looks like he is sucked into a ball of fire. Could this be the Phoenix?

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Loving the classic look for the X-men in the Dark Phoenix Trailer. Looks like classic, simple story telling. #DarkPhoenix

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6. Someone dies

Beast and Professor X are at a funeral, Storm and Nightcrawler are also there.

They're at the grave site, but we have no idea about who has died.

It may be one of the X-Men, we will have to wait until February when the film comes out to find out.

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Listen to Newsbeat live at 12:45 and 17:45 every weekday on BBC Radio 1 and 1Xtra - if you miss us you can listen back here.

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seth Posted on September 27, 2018 13:57

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Chinese Man Who Murdered Schoolchildren Executed By Firing Squad



A Chinese man who killed nine schoolchildren and injured many more has been executed by firing squad, according to a court.

Twenty-eight-year-old Zhao Zewei went on a stabbing spree at Number Three Middle School in Mizhi County in China's Shaanxi Province back on 27 April. The attack is thought to have been motivated by revenge.

He was convicted of intentional homicide at the Yulin Intermediate Court and sentenced to death by shooting in July. That sentence has now been carried out.

Zewei is thought to have been bullied during his time as a pupil at Number Three Middle School and harboured a deep resentment that eventually led to him committing the brutal assault on the current crop of students at the school.

Credit: Yulin Court

He is thought to have bought several knives online before bringing three of them to the school and running at students as they left, according to a statement from the court.

That statement also said that the nature of his crimes warranted the use of the death penalty. They said: "The goal of the crime was clear, the murderer's methods were despicable, and the consequences were extremely grave."

Chinese news agency Xinhua reported that Zewei's sentence was carried out at an execution ground in Mizhi County.

The court said that Zewei had not appealed against his sentence, and that the application of a death sentence had been approved after review by the Shaanxi High People's Court and the Supreme Court of China.

Credit: Yulin Court

This latest report follows several instances of the death penalty being used on high profile criminals.

Just under a week ago a nanny who deliberately burned out the house of the family that employed her, killing the whole family of four, was executed in Hangzhou.

Thirty-five-year-old Mo Huanjing was found guilty and sentenced to death for theft and arson by the Hangzhou Intermediate People's Court in Zhejiang Province, Eastern China.

Back in June, two well-known drug dealers also suffered the same fate after being found guilty. In this case the sentence was given on a sports ground in front of hundreds of people, including many young students.

In this case the sentence was carried out immediately after the sentence. The young students who were present are thought to have been brought by their school to show them justice in action, as well as to act against a deterrent against them becoming involved in drug-related crime.

kabby Posted on September 27, 2018 13:24

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Massive iPhone Gravestone Spotted in Russian Cemetery Complete With Screensaver of Deceased

A 25-year-old woman has had a massive iPhone headstone placed over her grave - leading one mourner to think he was hallucinating.

The 5ft gravestone was placed in a Russian cemetery in memory of Rita Shameeva, who died in January 2016.

It is believed to have been erected by her father Rais Shameev long after she died, but he has not commented on the grave.

The authentic tombstone includes all features you'd expect from an iPhone; home and volume buttons, a camera, and even an Apple logo on the back.


Ufa1/east2west news

But the most eye-catching part of the memorial, without question, is the full length photograph of Rita emblazoned across the front of the stone.

Is it what she would have wanted? Hard to say.


Needless to say, mourners at the cemetery in Ufa were stunned when they spotted the huge iPhone while they were paying their respects to loved ones.

It certainly stands out.

Nikolay Yevdokimov told newspaper ProUral: "I thought I was having hallucinations.

"How could an American smartphone suddenly appear at our cemetery? And such a huge one. I came closer and was surprised.

"I've seen many gravestones, but to make one in the form of iPhone - this is the first time, to be honest.

"It was made for a young woman from black basalt most likely. Very unusual."

Rita's father has not commented on the headstone and local maker Ilgam Galliulin denied he was responsible for its design.

Ufa1/east2west news

He said: "My father and I make monuments to order," he said. "But I saw this unusual one for the first time last week."

According to reports, the grave is believed to have been commissioned from a Siberian company which offers "death accessories".

Designer Pavel Kalyuk built a similar headstone as an advertising gimmick.

He said: "We began to make monuments just to attract attention."

However, after he showed his designs at a funeral exhibition in Novosibirsk, he began to receive some bizarre orders.

Whatever next..?

kabby Posted on September 27, 2018 13:07

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Mum ‘Faints’ As Daughter Spends Her Own Money On Shopping


Having kids has got to be one of the most expensive things you can do in your life. Rewarding? Absolutely. Expensive? Definitely. So I can’t imagine the relief when they start spending their own money.

Nicole Brown, from Scotland, was shopping with her friend and decided to buy some cosmetics with her own money, and when she told her mum, she was not expecting the response she got.

Her mum sent her a hilarious photo and the 16-year-old couldn’t stop laughing when she saw it, and neither could Twitter after she shared it.


Speaking to UNILAD about when she got the text, Nicole said:

I was in town getting food with one of my friends and then I went into Superdrug and saw fake tan and teeth whitening on sale which I planned to order that night online but it was on a discount so I just bought it in the store.

So I text my mum to tell her I’d bought it and she got my dad to take the picture of her on the floor fainting because I’d spent my own money.

The farcical photo shows her mum splayed on a marble floor as if she had just fainted followed by texts saying ‘sorry fainted, can’t believe you bought something with your own money’.


After seeing the photo, I can’t stop imagining the moment before the photo was taken. The excitement when her mum had the idea to send the photo, the planning behind the shoot, and the moment Nicole’s dad took the photo.

I wonder how much planning was put into the pose, and how many takes she had to do. I reckon she’s a seasoned meme machine and only needed one take.

Without knowing it, she became a meme, with commenters on Twitter tagging their mates saying ‘me when you spend your own money’, giving mums out there a picture worth a thousand words.


Nicole posted the image to Twitter captioned ‘when you buy something with your own money’, and it received over 3k retweets and 21k likes.

There were many cry-laughing emojis, and most people were tagging their daughter, mums, or partners. She really brought everyone together beautifully through passive aggression.

Talking about the reaction the photo got, Nicole said:

When I told her she loved it and kept making jokes like ‘has anyone asked for my autograph yet’ and just finds it so funny and I wasn’t expecting it to get that many likes or retweets.


One commenter explained the difference between parent’s money and your own:

When you have £5 you really want to keep it but if it’s your parents £5 it’s nothing and it’s gone in minutes.

Another tagged their friend saying ‘Me the day I found out you actually owned a bank card/purse’.


Nicole’s mum has given me inspiration for how I want to be as a parent.

If you can’t find joy in making small and hilarious digs at your kids, why even have them?

kabby Posted on September 27, 2018 12:50

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PM Pat and Rosie and Jim creator John Cunliffe dies.

"Even the skies wept": Tributes are being paid to John Cunliffe, creator of Postman Pat and Rosie and Jim, following his death.

John Cunliffe, the creator of beloved children's characters Postman Pat and Rosie and Jim, has died.

The author's agents David Higham confirmed the news following a death notice and poignant obituary in his local paper, the Ilkley Gazette.

"Left his Ilkley home in a deluge of rain on Thursday, September 20, never to return," the obituary reads. "Even the skies wept for John the gifted creator of 'Postman Pat', 'Rosie and Jim' and author of many earlier published collections of poetry and picture story books for children.

"John's last poetry collection, significantly entitled 'Dare You Go', has now come to fruition for John has dared to go and he has gone."

Image: As well as creating the show, Mr Cunliffe also appeared in Rosie and Jim

Best known for Postman Pat and Rosie and Jim, Mr Cunliffe was the author of about 190 books for young children, including five volumes of poetry, as well as picture books and collections of stories.

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His famous creations were loved by generations of children, who grew up on the tales of Pat and his black and white cat, Jess.

He also appeared in Rosie and Jim as the pair's boat driver, who they referred to as "Fizzgog".

More from Ents & Arts

Before becoming a full-time writer, Mr Cunliffe worked as a librarian and a teacher. His first book, Farmer Barnes Buys A Pig, was published in 1964.

More follows...

AlbertaU Posted on September 27, 2018 12:15

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Obinim Convicted.

Bishop Daniel Obinim

An Accra Circuit Court (Domestic Violence and Gender-Based Division) has convicted Bishop Daniel Obinim, Founder of International God’s Way Church, for lashing two minors in his church on live television.

Bishop Obinim, who initially pleaded not guilty to the charge of assault when he first appeared before the court, changed his plea to guilty yesterday when the case was called.

His conviction brings an end to the over two years’ trial, which made the prosecution handicapped, as the whereabouts of the victims was unknown.

Eyebrows were raised when Daniel Obinim decided to change his plea as he consistently denied the offence, and at a point in the trial denied stating that in his caution statement.

Appearing before the court, presided over by Abena Oppong Adjin-Doku yesterday, Bishop Obinim and his associate pastors pleaded guilty with explanation.

He was subsequently sentenced to a fine of GH¢4,800.00 or in default spend six months in prison.

The other accused persons who are all his associate pastors are Kingsley Baah and Solomon Abraham.

They were also sentenced to a fine of GH¢3,600.00 or in default spend four months in prison.

In addition, Bishop Obinim and his other two pastors are to sign a bond to be of good behaviour and a breach of that bond would land them in jail for three months.

Explaining Bishop Obinim’s action, his lawyer, Ralph Poku Edusei, stated that it is a well-known fact in Ghana that when a child goes off track, he or she ought to be scolded.

He said Bishop Obinim, however, chose the wrong means and venue to do so.

He added that the accused persons had promised not to repeat the act and therefore pleaded with the court to tamper justice with mercy.

Bishop Obinim, together with two of his pastors, was facing trial for assaulting his adopted children – a 14-year-old girl and 16-year-old boy in the presence of his congregants.

Prior to their conviction, Bishop Obinim on many occasions failed to appear before the court which was often told that he had been admitted at the hospital.

The second accused person, Kingsley Baah, also stopped appearing before the court which informed that he was no longer with the International God’s Way Church and that nobody knew of his whereabouts.

The case then took a different twist when the two victims could not be located.

This forced the prosecution, led by DSP George Amega to bring its case to a premature close, paving way for Bishop Obinim to open his defense.

There was some disagreement between Bishop Obinim and the police over the authenticity of investigative caution statement he gave to the police.

Although the prosecution, led by DSP George Amega, maintained that the pastor signed the statement, Obinim denied the allegation.

Obinim said that he gave a caution statement to the Tema Police, but the one presented to court by the prosecution did not bear his signature.

Subsequently, the court gave an order for the signatures of Bishop Obinim to be taken to the forensic lab for examination.

The results of a forensic test on the signatures were not ready at the time he changed his plea and was convicted.

AlbertaU Posted on September 27, 2018 11:26

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Selfie Quadcopter Conquers Ghana. The Idea Is Genius...

This Ghana Selfie trend is going viral worldwide...

Phone selfies are boring. People aren't doing them anymore and they've become unpopular...

First, there was the standard selfie, then the selfie stick, and now the next evolution of the selfie has arrived!

Nobody knows who did it first, but soon thousands of people in Ghana started uploading incredible selfies from insane angles. They uploaded them to social media and soon EVERYONE wanted to do the same! 

Now, this new type of selfie has taken off - Literally - across the world! 

What are we talking about?

It’s the new Drone X Pro, a brand new type of drone made so that anyone can fly it. It's perfect for making the ultimate selfies! 


The Drone X Pro was designed by two German engineers who love drones. They found that the drones they had were very bulky, heavy and difficult to travel with. 

So, they designed this ultra-compact, light drone, and all without sacrificing any of the main benefits of a top HD model. 

It’s firm, it’s easy to control and it can live-stream and record to your phone!

People are using them to take 'the ultimate selfies' - the results are incredible...


How does it work?

We were surprised by how easy it is to set up! First, you have to install an app (just scan the QR code in the manual). It’s all very easy.

Once you have done that, just plug in the battery, connect to your drone and start up the app. In less than 10 seconds you’re ready to fly your drone!

And then the best part comes: flying is so incredibly easy. The controls are just superb, really intuitive. Flying the drone feels natural. A colleague’s kids happened to be at the office, and they figured it all out in seconds—on their first drone flight ever. It’s Just amazing how easy and smooth the controls are!

Once you’re in the air, it’s time to use the built-in camera. You can take the most stunning pictures and videos. Take videos from otherwise impossible angles and impress your friends with the coolest selfies!

See Drone X Pro in action:


How Much Is It?

That’s what we all want to know, right? I guessed it would be like $300 to $400, but I was wrong. They sell it for only $99, (deal only available online, $150 in shops) which is tremendously cheap for a drone of this quality!

How to buy a Drone X Pro

That’s super easy. You can buy it from the official website.

This drone is perfect because...


What makes this drone so special?

The main benefits of the Drone X Pro are its portability, price, camera and its ease of use.

The drone is the same size as a large smartphone. Combine that with its foldable rotors and you probably have the world’s most portable drone. It will comfortably fit in any pocket or bag!

Absolutely, anyone can easily fly this drone! Its controls were designed to perfection. The Drone X Pro also has an incredible hovering capability. No need to focus on the height; just steer and enjoy the flight!

A drone with this name needs a quality camera of course. This drone is just perfect to take awesome pictures and videos.

When flying is so easy, you can fully concentrate on taking stunning shots. Film nature, friends and even yourself in amazing quality!


And so far, we have not even mentioned that the drone is made of ABS plastic. This makes the drone much lighter and stronger.

Last but not least, the price is just amazing. It’s less than $100 for a drone of this quality. This must be the single best price-quality drone there is!

Conclusion: Is it worth it?

Such a quality drone for this price makes us definitely say yes! Just think of the amazing pictures and videos you can take with the Drone X Pro. Even just the fun of flying a drone already makes this worth it. If you’ve never flown a drone, this is the moment you should start!

How To Get A Drone X Pro?

Now that you are aware of this amazing new drone, and if it’s still in stock, here is how to get one:

1) Order the Drone X Pro from the official website.

2) Download the Drone app and connect to your smartphone (Android and iOS)

3) Start making amazing footage of you and your friends or family!

ruby Posted on September 27, 2018 11:18

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New asteroid rover images released

Japan's space agency (Jaxa) has released new images from the robot rovers it has deployed to the surface of an asteroid.

The photos reveal new details of the surface of the space rock, which is known as Ryugu.

On 21 September, the rovers were released on to the surface by the "mothership", Hayabusa 2.

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

The pictures show in clear relief the rough, boulder-strewn landscape of this unusual Solar System body.

Image copyrightJAXA

Image copyrightJAXA

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seth Posted on September 27, 2018 10:54

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Mirrorless cameras: Photography's new decisive moment

Nearly 200 years after the birth of photography, the art form is experiencing a technological revolution.

Smartphones are using multiple cameras and software-based smarts to deliver images that seemingly transcend the limits of their small lenses and sensors.

And while handsets have devastated sales of point-and-shoot cameras, the prospects for more advanced models are seemingly bright thanks to an innovation of their own.

In recent weeks, the industry's biggest two manufacturers - Canon and Nikon - have both unveiled their first full-frame mirrorless cameras, having already seen Sony have great success with the format.

Getting rid of the mirrors traditionally placed inside high-end cameras gets the lens closer to the sensor and paves the way to several innovations.

Image copyrightSONY

Image captionSony announced its first full-frame mirrorless cameras in 2013, and has dominated the format until now

And on the eve of Photokina - the industry's giant trade fair in Cologne - Panasonic has just unveiled a body that could prove the most disruptive of all.

Dedicated digital camera sales grew by 5% in 2017 to $9.9bn (£7.5bn), according to market research firm Futuresource, the industry's first gain since 2010.

It was driven in large part by demand from enthusiasts and professionals for existing mirrorless models costing upwards of £1,000.

With a rush of new models - and their accompanying native lenses - manufacturers have an opportunity to prosper if they can convince consumers that the technology is worth the investment.

What does mirrorless and full-frame mean?

Mirrorless refers to the fact that the device does not include the flippable mirror found in digital single-lens reflex cameras (DSLRs) to show what the lens sees through the viewfinder.

Instead, a small digital display is used to preview the image.

In the past, using such a display involved lag - meaning the image was slightly delayed - and appreciably lower resolution than an optical viewfinder.

But modern viewfinder displays have mostly addressed these issues, while also offering the benefits of being able to preview the effects that changes to camera settings make, as well as showing 100% coverage of the scene rather than the partial view shown by many DSLRs.

The downside is that using an electronic display eats into battery life - reducing the number of shots possible on a charge.

There are other benefits to mirrorless.

  • Camera bodies are typically smaller and lighter than DSLRs
  • There is scope for manufacturers to offer higher-speed burst modes, in which images are quickly taken one after another
  • DSLR lenses can be adapted for use on mirrorless bodies - but the reverse is impractical
  • Cameras can be operated more quietly than most DLSRs, which can be useful at weddings
  • The viewfinder can be used in video mode

Full-frame refers to the fact that the imaging sensor is about the same size as a frame of 35mm format film.

For comparison's sake, the full-frame Sony A7 III's sensor is more than 18 times the size of that of the rear camera on the Galaxy S9 handset.

The principal benefit of making a sensor larger is that it captures more light.

This can be used to

  • produce higher-resolution images
  • offer better low-light capabilities
  • deliver shallower depth-of-field pictures - where the background has a pleasing-looking blur - without having to simulate the effect via software

The downsides include cost and the fact a larger sensor means a bulkier camera.

Image copyrightREUTERS

Image captionFuji has a new medium-format 100-megapixel camera for those looking beyond full-frame capabilities

So, what's the appeal of dropping thousands of pounds on a mirrorless camera and associated gear when a smartphone can capture perfectly decent snaps and auto-enhance them?

There are clear advantages for professionals - sports photographers need high-quality zoom lenses, for example.

Commercial photographers depend on the extra resolution required for large ad printouts.

Fashion specialists rely on the cameras' superior colour science.

And architectural specialists appreciate the extra dynamic range - which helps avoid details being lost in the shadows and brightest parts.

Image copyrightKAIMAN WONG

Image captionYouTuber Kaiman Wong was one of the first to test Canon's forthcoming EOS R camera

"Pros will use whatever is the best tool," said Kaiman Wong, a self-declared photography nerd and YouTube reviewer.

"They don't seem to care about brands, so long as it gets them the shot, and some I know have already gone mirrorless."

No-compromise Instagram

But for manufacturers to justify the R&D costs required to drive mirrorless cameras forward, they also need to attract a lots of hobbyists.

Kim Stone is one early adopter.

Two years ago, the North Devon-based resident bought a Canon EOS M3 - a mirrorless camera but one with a smaller sensor than the forthcoming EOS R.

She uses it to take landscape photographs for her Instagram account despite the extra steps involved in getting them online.

Image copyright@KISTOGRAPHY

Image captionThese are among the images Ms Stone has taken with her mirrorless camera

"It's the ability to be able to adjust the precise settings in the picture set-up," she explained.

"Phones on the market don't offer you as much ease of control over the ISO [light sensitivity], white balance, shutter speed, and aperture. Smartphone lenses are also more restricted.

"Ultimately, you can still only get such good results from a dedicated camera."

Competing cameras

Photokina offers the chance to compare the latest full-frame mirrorless models, several of which have yet to go on sale.

Nikon's Z7 offers a class-leading 45.7 megapixels - useful for delivering huge prints or to tightly crop into an image after it is taken.

When it comes to autofocus, Canon's EOS R may have the upper hand, thanks to its 5,655 manually selectable focus points.

Both firms, however, have been criticised for providing only a single card storage slot. That prevents owners being able to create back-up copies of their photos and videos on the fly, which could be a problem if the data gets corrupted or lost.

Panasonic, however, is teasing a model that promises to combine several cutting-edge features.

Image copyrightPANASONIC

Image captionPanasonic S1R includes several features not found on other cameras of its class

The S1R's specs include

  • 47MP resolution
  • two storage slots - one for SD cards, the other XQD
  • in-body image stabilisation that works in combination with lens stabilisation
  • 4K video at 60 frames per second
  • an LCD screen that can be tilted across three axes, helping owners compose portraits as well as landscapes

"Panasonic's move into the full-frame mirrorless segment is particularly interesting because of its collaboration with Leica and Sigma - both companies with a strong photographic heritage," Futursource analyst Arun Gill told the BBC.

"By adopting Leica's L-Mount, Panasonic's cameras will have an immediate advantage of being compatible with several existing high-quality lenses."

However, the firm has yet to say how much it will cost and the product will not go on sale until "early 2019".

That leaves Sony.

Its A7 III has been a runaway success, managing to hit a feature-price sweet spot. Indeed, the biggest complaint has been a lack of stock.

Many thought the Japanese firm might unveil a video-centric A7S III at Photokina, but the highlight of its press conference was instead the promise of automatically focusing on animals' eyes in the future,

Rumour sites, however, suggest Sony is biding its time ahead of an October event.

Video and stills

But while there's much to be excited about with mirrorless now, the format may take some time to deliver on its true potential.

Image copyrightSONY

Image captionSony's eye autofocus mode is currently limited to humans, but it plans to change that

One tantalising possibility is that it will eventually become possible to take photos in much quicker succession for longer periods of time, without having to sacrifice autofocus or picture quality.

"If you can get 25 to 30 frames per second in full resolution, that's basically video," Mr Wong explained.

"There will probably come a point when we are just taking video.

"You'll take a frame out of that, and that will be the photo."

seth Posted on September 27, 2018 08:14

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China coal power building boom sparks climate warning

Building work has restarted at hundreds of Chinese coal-fired power stations, according to an analysis of satellite imagery.

The research, carried out by green campaigners CoalSwarm, suggests that 259 gigawatts of new capacity are under development in China.

The authors say this is the same capacity to produce electricity as the entire US coal fleet.

The study says government attempts to cancel many plants have failed.

According to this study, there was a surge in new coal projects approved at provincial level in China between 2014 and 2016. This happened because of a decentralisation programme that shifted authority over coal plant construction approvals to local authorities.

The report says that at present China has 993 gigawatts of coal power capacity, but the approved new plants would increase this by 25%.

Image copyrightPLANET LABS INC

Image captionHuadian Nanxiong power station seen in January 2017

China's central government has tried to rein in this boom by issuing suspension orders for more than 100 power plants but this analysis suggests that these efforts have been significantly less effective than previous news reports had indicated.

Image copyrightPLANET LABS INC

Image captionThe same coal plant at Huadian Nanxiong showing new buildings seen in February 2018

In this study, the researchers used satellite photos to examine every power plant that was subject to a suspension order. They found construction ongoing at many locations.

For instance, in September last year, China's National Energy Administration ordered a group of plants - that together could produce 57 gigwatts of electricity - to slow down construction. The organisation also prohibited them from connecting to the grid in 2017.

However the satellite data suggests that half of this capacity appears not to have slowed down at all.

"This new evidence that China's central government hasn't been able to stop the runaway coal-fired power plant building is alarming - the planet can't tolerate another US-sized block of plants to be built," said Ted Nace, from CoalSwarm.

Image copyrightPLANET LABS INC

Image captionA coal plant at Huaneng Daba-4 seen in June last year

Image copyrightPLANET LABS INC

Image captionCoal plant at Huaneng Daba-4 in February 2018

"It's not too late for the central government to fix the problem, but they have to start cancelling projects, not just rescheduling them."

If this extra capacity was operational, it would make it much more difficult for the world to limit CO2.

According to the International Energy Agency (IEA), for the world to limit warming to below 1.75C above pre-industrial conditions, China would have to close all its power plants that don't have carbon capture and storage facilities within 30 years.

"Avoiding dangerous climate change requires essentially phasing out coal plants globally by 2045," said Christine Shearer, lead author of the report. "China needs to begin planning for the aggressive retirement of its existing coal fleet, not building hundreds of new coal plants."

However, some researchers believe that the building of these plants has more to do with boosting the local economy in China than with boosting emissions.

"Coal power plants run only about half the time in China, and one could argue the new capacity is not needed," said Glen Peters, from the Centre for International Climate Research in Oslo, who was not involved with the report.

"The new coal power plant builds are most probably about keeping the economy ticking along, particularly from a provincial government perspective, rather than being needed for future electricity generation."

seth Posted on September 27, 2018 07:33

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Facebook denies claim that Instagram is 'open market' for drug dealers

By Alexander J Martin, technology reporter

Facebook has hit out at claims that its platforms and algorithms support drug dealing, with the problem alleged to be rife on Instagram.

The post was made in response to a report by the Washington Post which claimed Facebook-owned Instagram was functioning as an "open market" for drug dealers.

According to reports, searches on Instagram for terms such as #oxy and #percocet often reveal accounts belonging to drug dealers offering illegal substances.

While those hashtags have now been removed, Sky News found dozens more search terms for drugs with slightly misspelled names or common nicknames which continue to return results.

Based on research by a company called GIPEC, following or liking these posts on Instagram causes users' timelines to be filled with further advertisements by drug dealers.

Facebook said the findings were misleading, stating: "GIPEC created an artificial Instagram feed by following only objectionable content and some brand accounts."

It added that "this kind of manufactured feed is not a real representation of what most people see on Instagram".

Image:Facebook said there is no room for drug dealing on its services

Monika Bickert, Facebook's vice president of global policy management, said in her previous career as a prosecutor she saw "first hand the damage these drugs can inflict on communities and families".

Ms Bikert said there was "no place for this on our services. It's bad for society, bad for people, and against our values".

She stressed that Facebook blocks and filters "hundreds of terms associated with drug sales" and investigates material which is reported to them.

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"This kind of content is also not in our commercial interests. Our business is advertising, and no advertiser wants their ads shown alongside these types of posts," Ms Bickert added.

The report follows an investigation by Sky News in July 2017 which revealed powerful prescription drugs being illegally offered for sale on Facebook.

Sky News found drugs including Valium, Xanax and Pregabalin, an increasingly popular sedative linked to several deaths in the UK, were on offer.

At the time, Sky News flagged up the accounts using Facebook's own reporting tools - just as Ms Bickert says is possible on Instagram - but they stayed up.




Video:Facebook relies on users to flag inappropriate content but it has been criticised for failing to remove offending accounts.

Messages from Facebook Support said: "We've looked over the profile you reported, and although it doesn't go against any of our specific Community Standards, we understand that the profile or something the person shared may still be offensive to you."

Sky News then contacted Facebook's press office to ask why the accounts did not apparently breach their community standards, even though they broke British law.

After we contacted Facebook for comment, all the drug dealing profiles were removed. The company refused an interview but gave a statement:

More from Facebook

"Buying, selling, or trading prescription drugs isn't allowed on Facebook and we urge people to use our reporting tools if they come across this kind of activity, so we can investigate and take swift action.

"We're grateful to Sky News for flagging this content to us and have removed the pages for breaking our standards."

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seth Posted on September 27, 2018 07:18

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Alan Hogg: Three men charged with murder of British man and wife in Thailand

By Siobhan Robbins, southeast Asia correspondent

Three men have been charged over the murder of a British businessman and his wife in a suspected contract killing in Thailand.

Alan Hogg, 64, originally from Edinburgh, and his Thai wife Nott, 61, were reported missing by friends last week after failing to arrive at an appointment.

Two bodies were later discovered buried near a stream in the garden of their property in Phrae province, northern Thailand.

Initial examinations found that Mr Hogg had been shot, his wife had been bludgeoned, police said.

Image:Alan Hogg, 64, and wife Nott, 61, with their brand new pick-up truck, which was stolen when they disappeared. Pic: Viral Press

Three men, including Mr Hogg's brother-in-law, Warut Rattanasajakit, 63, have been charged with premeditated murder, detectives told Sky News.

Officers are investigating whether the couple were victims of a contract killing.

Police say two of the suspects allegedly confessed to the killings, claiming Rattanasajakit paid them about 50,000 baht (£1,172) to do it because of a family feud.

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Rattanasajakit was initially arrested and charged with burglary after the Hoggs' pick-up truck was found hundreds of miles south in Ayutthaya.

Image:The home of Alan Hogg and his wife Nott

CCTV images show Rattanasajakit entering and leaving the property, where he also worked, after the couple went missing.

When first questioned he denied any involvement in their disappearance.

Major General Praputsra, commander-in-chief of Phrae police, said officers were continuing to look into reports that Mr Hogg and his brother-in-law did not get along following the former's arrival in Thailand several years ago.

He explained friends raised the alarm after the couple failed to meet them on 19 September in Chiang Mai, adding it was therefore possible that they may have been harmed the previous day.

More from World

Image:The pick up belonging to Alan Hogg

Investigators found traces of blood in the garage of Mr Hogg's home.

Police are still awaiting for the results of a full post-mortem but say next of kin in Scotland have been informed.

seth Posted on September 27, 2018 07:12

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Richard Glossip: Death row inmate who survived botched execution getting married

By Ian Woods, senior news correspondent

A prisoner who survived an execution attempt because of a mistake with a lethal injection drug is getting married today - almost three years on from his brush with death.

Richard Glossip's bride-to-be is 33 years younger than him, and admits that her family initially opposed the wedding.

Glossip was due to die on 30 September 2015 - his third execution date that year.

But after all legal appeals were exhausted, and an hour after he was scheduled to be put to death, the execution was called off because a pharmacist had supplied the wrong drug.

Image:Leigha Jurasik is to marry a man on death row

It was the latest in a series of botched executions in Oklahoma, and the state has now abandoned lethal injections as its preferred method of execution.

Work is now under way to start using nitrogen gas to kill death row prisoners. If it succeeds in perfecting the process, Glossip would become the first prisoner in the US to die using this method.

Glossip was convicted of arranging for an employee to murder their boss, motel owner Barry Van Treese. He has always maintained his innocence, and there was no forensic evidence to prove his guilt.

Several appeal court judges agreed with his lawyers' submissions, but a majority of judges voted to uphold the sentence and rejected clemency.


Oklahoma to use nitrogen gas to execute death row inmates


Today, his 21-year-old fiancee Leigha Jurasik will be escorted into the death row section of Oklahoma State Penitentiary in McAlester.

The prison staff will supervise a brief ceremony in which they will be allowed to touch for the first time. Previously they've been separated by bars and thick glass.

After the wedding they will have 30 minutes together, overseen by guards.

Miss Jurasik, a student from New Jersey who is training to work as an undertaker in a funeral home, began writing to Glossip having read about his case.

She says neither the age difference nor his pending execution were obstacles.

She said: "When you love someone, you love someone, trivial stuff like that doesn't bother you. He's innocent he should not be there, but it's never been a deterrence in our relationship."

Image:The 21-year-old started writing to Richard Glossip after reading about his case

Of her family's reaction, she said: "They were shocked about it at first especially given his notoriety and all the publicity that's followed his case. The age difference was a thing, but over time they've come to accept it.

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"My mom has probably been the most accepting and she wrote to him herself and wanted to get to know him better and ask him questions.

"They've come to accept it but of course there are family members who don't agree with it but that's pretty much in any relationship."

Speaking from his prison cell, Glossip called his future wife "an incredible person".


Reattempting failed executions is cruel


He added: "She's been there through all the tough times. I'm in one of the worst places a human being could ever be put, and yet she somehow gave me one of the best years I've ever had in my life."

When asked why anyone would want to marry someone on death row, he replied: "I don't know how to explain it because I've asked her a million times, why would she be interested in somebody like in me when she could have anyone out there?

"But to her it's not about the freedom, it's the connection that she and I have."

In his first public comments since Oklahoma decided to pursue nitrogen gas as a way of resuming executions, Glossip told Sky News: "A lot of people say it's going to be more humane, but not everybody is going to lay down and let it happen to them, especially people who are innocent.

"No innocent man is going to lay on a table and say 'go ahead and kill me, I'm cool with it'. If you do, you were never innocent in the first place."

Image:Glossip was due to be killed by lethal injection in September 2015 but it did not go ahead due to an execution blunder

Oklahoma's attorney general Mike Hunter says it's a well-known method of assisted suicide, but Glossip says that is very different to an execution.

"Using gas is no different than suffocating somebody, or drowning somebody. It's the same thing.

"When they use the example of assisted suicide, that's somebody who wants to die because they're very sick and they're tired of being in pain.

"There's a difference between somebody who wants to die, and somebody who doesn't want to die," he said.

More from Oklahoma

Here is a series of podcasts on the Richard Glossip story:










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seth Posted on September 27, 2018 07:11

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Adultery no longer a criminal offence in India

Under the law the woman could not be punished as an abettor - the man was considered to be a seducer

India's top court has ruled adultery is no longer a criminal offence.

The 158-year-old colonial-era law said any man who had sex with a married woman, without the permission of her husband, was guilty of the criminal act of adultery.

It is not clear how many men have been prosecuted under the law since its inception - there is no data available.

A petitioner had challenged the law saying it was arbitrary and discriminated against men and women.

This is the second colonial-era law struck down by the Supreme Court this month -it also overturned a 157-year-old law which effectively criminalised gay sex in India.

While reading out the judgement on adultery, Chief Justice Dipak Misra said that while it could be grounds for civil issues like divorce, "it cannot be a criminal offence".

Who challenged the law?

Last August, Joseph Shine, a 41-year-old Indian businessman living in Italy, petitioned the Supreme Court to strike down the law.

"Married women are not a special case for the purpose of prosecution for adultery. They are not in any way situated differently than men," his petition said.

The law, Mr Shine said, also "indirectly discriminates against women by holding an erroneous presumption that women are the property of men".

Image copyrightEPA

Image captionPrevious pleas were dismissed by the court in the interests of 'stability of marriages'

However, India's ruling BJP government had opposed the petition, insisting that adultery should remain a criminal offence.

"Diluting adultery laws will impact the sanctity of marriages. Making adultery legal will hurt marriage bonds," a government counsel told the court, adding that "Indian ethos gives paramount importance to the institution and sanctity of marriage".

What did the adultery law say?

The law dictated that the woman could not be punished as an abettor. Instead, the man was considered to be a seducer.

It also did not allow women to file a complaint against an adulterous husband.

A man accused of adultery could be sent to a prison for a maximum of five years, made to pay a fine, or both.

And although there is no information on actual convictions under the law, Kaleeswaram Raj, a lawyer for the petitioner, said the adultery law was "often misused" by husbands during matrimonial disputes such as divorce, or civil cases relating to wives receiving maintenance.

"Men would often file criminal complaints against suspected or imagined men who they would allege were having affairs with their wives. These charges could never be proved, but ended up smearing the reputations of their estranged or divorced partners," he told the BBC.

Interestingly, Indian folklore and epics are full of stories about extra-marital love. Most love poems in Sanskrit, according to scholar J Moussaief Masson, are "about illicit love".

But Manusmriti, widely regarded to be the most important and authoritative book on Hindu law and dating back to at least 1,000 years before Christ was born, says: "If men persist in seeking intimate contact with other men's wives, the king should brand them with punishments that inspire terror and banish them".

Where else is adultery a criminal offence?

Image copyrightMANSI THAPLIYAL

Image captionThe latest challenge was made in view of the 'changed social conditions'

Adultery is considered illegal in 21 American states, including New York, although surveys show that while most Americans disapprove of adultery, they don't think of it as a crime.

"The criminal statutes remain in force for largely symbolic reasons, and there isn't enough enforcement risk for anyone to incur the political costs of repealing them," Deborah Rhode, a a professor of law at Stanford University and the author of Adultery: Infidelity and the Law told the BBC.

Adultery is prohibited in Sharia or Islamic Law, so it is a criminal offence in Islamic countries such as Iran, Saudi Arabia, Afghanistan Pakistan, Bangladesh and Somalia.

Taiwan punishes adultery by up to a year in prison and it is also deemed a crime in Indonesia. In fact, Indonesia is drafting laws that prohibit all consensual sex outside the institution of marriage.

In 2015, South Korea's Supreme Court struck down a similar law where a man could be sent to prison for two years or less for adultery. The court said the law violated self-determination and privacy.

More than 60 countries around the world had done away with laws that made adultery a crime, according to Indian lawyer Kaleeswaram Raj.

In UK, adultery is not a criminal offence and like many other countries, one of the main reasons given for divorce.

Couples cannot use adultery as a ground for divorce if they lived together as a couple for six months after the infidelity was known about.

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seth Posted on September 27, 2018 06:50

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The Apprentice: 'Not one candidate is actually stupid'

L-R: Candidates Jasmine Kundra, Daniel Elahi, Sarah Byrne, Kurran Pooni and Sabrina Stocker

The Apprentice is back for another series. And, fortunately, so are the ridiculous introductory statements from the candidates.

"I'm the Beyoncé of business," claims one in the opening episode.

"Money doesn't buy happiness," says another, "but I'd rather cry in a sports car than an old banger".

Such claims are likely to go down in the show's history along with the likes of "everything I touch turns to sold", and "I'm not a one trick pony - I've got a whole field of ponies."

Now in its 14th year, the BBC One show never fails to deliver several contestants who are bigger on arrogance than they are on ability.

But, Lord Sugar says, he "takes exception" to the suggestion that candidates on the show are "stupid".

"The programme itself is an entertainment programme as well as a business programme," he tells journalists at the launch of this year's series.

"Those stupid people you're talking about run six very successful businesses, one of which has made a million pounds this year, and the others are close behind them."

It's true that six former winners of the show have gone on to successful business ventures since the 2010 rule change, which saw Lord Sugar invest in a business idea rather than hiring an apprentice for his own company.

Despite their somewhat over-confident claims, Lord Sugar says: "The whole point of the process is that you do find a winner in the end.

"The people try to fight for their position in the early stages, they say some things which sound a bit silly, but they're not that daft really."

"Can I also interject here," picks up Claude Littner, "and just say, not one of them is actually stupid."

It's perhaps a surprising defence of the candidates from Lord Sugar's sidekick, who doesn't exactly go easy on candidates on the show.

"They're all working very, very hard, and the tasks - you may be watching the TV thinking 'I can do that', I assure you, you can't," he says.

"It's a lot more complex than you think. And they're really trying hard, and it's very, very difficult.

"You get a group, they don't know each other, they're fighting for a position - it's much, much harder than it looks, believe me."

The behaviour and claims of the candidates often bring them notoriety and a brief spell of social media fame.

But that is arguably a drawback - as it could mean the show is more likely to attract people who are fame-hungry rather than those who possess genuine business skill.

"That's a very good point," says Lord Sugar. "I do worry a lot. In the selection process, sometimes I worry that people are there for the wrong reasons.

"And if I do come across them, they don't tend to last too long, let's put it that way.

"Having said that, a lot of the contestants come with the intention of winning the prize and getting the job.

"And what happens is they get fired, and there's that kind of withdrawal symptom after the show ends, where they're not spotted in Tesco anymore.

"They then want to do something else, because they got a flavour of being on TV.

Image captionCan you spot the Photoshop fail in this image? Scroll down to find out what it is

But Steve Tappin, head of Xinfu - a CEO coaching and leadership consultancy - told BBC News that he "would challenge the idea that the show is a credible route into business".

"The Apprentice often features inexperienced people who are very focused around building their own brand and reputation as opposed to having genuine commercial entrepreneurial skills to scale-up a major business," he said.

"Many of them lack the leadership abilities to connect, unite and grow a business."

Tappin was personally mentored by Sir John Harvey-Jones, who presented Troubleshooter, another BBC business series, broadcast in the 1990s.

"Historically, Troubleshooter did have credible leaders involved, and I believe it's less so now," Tappin says.

"My challenge to Lord Sugar is how many of his alumni are on track to run a FTSE 100 company, or comparable-sized exciting private company?"

'Photoshop fail'

Image Copyright @Ciara_Knight@CIARA_KNIGHT


Eagle-eyed Apprentice fans spotted a little error in the press shots which went out to journalists on Tuesday.

One of the new candidates, 26-year-old Kayode Damali, appeared to have sprouted an extra hand as he folded his arms.

It's the latest in a delightful string of image editing mishaps in the last year - such as Vanity Fair giving celebrities extra body parts on its cover and Alicia Vikander's extra-long neck on the Tomb Raider poster.

Lord Sugar defended the show on Tuesday, commenting: "I have to say, with the exception of only one that I can recall, that [the fame-hungry contestants] don't get very far.

"They get used as dummies in quiz shows in things like that and get made fools of, and then fall away."

The exception he's referring to is probably Katie Hopkins - whose controversial opinions helped her maintain a high public profile after leaving the show via newspaper columns and radio shows.

Hopkins recently had to apply for an insolvency agreement to avoid bankruptcy, after the food writer Jack Monroe won her libel action against her.

Asked what advice he would give Hopkins now, Lord Sugar says: "She's made her bed, she's going to have to lay in it.

"It's one of life's lessons that she's learnt. Maybe it might be a wake-up call for her. She's got to solve this thing and move on. There's no advice really that I can give her because she made her own problems. So I hope she's learnt from it."

Image captionLord Sugar chose two winners last year instead of one - Sarah Lynn and James White

This is the first series of The Apprentice to air since Lord Sugar apologised for tweeting a photograph which compared the Senegal football team to beach sellers in Marbella.

He doesn't address this directly at the launch, but acknowledges when asked by BBC News that the advice he gives apprentices about their online behaviour has changed.

"The thing is that when we started 14 years ago, there was no such thing as social media, so things change as we go through," he says.

"The candidates of the programme are briefed at a very early stage that they have to be very careful what they do as far as social media is concerned.

"And social media can be their enemy really, because before we select some of the candidates, we use it ourselves to find out what they've been up to. So it's an era we're running through at the moment."

Pressed on the backlash he experienced on social media in the last year, he says: "You just have to take the rough with the smooth really, it's as simple as that."

The new series of The Apprentice begins at 21:00 BST on Wednesday 3 October on BBC One.

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seth Posted on September 27, 2018 06:43

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Bill Cosby’s first prison meal revealed

Disgraced comedian Bill Cosby had meatballs and rice, along with mashed potatoes and green beans as part of his first meal in a state prison after being sentenced three to 10 years on Tuesday, Fox News has learned. 


Bill Cosby taken from courthouse in handcuffs

Cosby, 81, now known as Inmate No. NN7687, will serve his sentence at SCI Phoenix, a new state prison in Schwenksville, Pa.



It was previously reported Cosby's first meal included vanilla pudding for dessert. However, a spokeswoman for the corrections department said there was no dessert on the menu.


The former television superstar, who traded on a squeaky clean, fatherly image, was sentenced after being found guilty of three counts of felony aggravated indecent assault in April in one of the most widely publicized trials in modern history.

The once revered comedian was found guilty of sexual assault in April for drugging Andrea Constand, a former Temple University employee, in his Philadelphia home in 2004.

Bill Cosby was sentenced to 3 to 10 years in prison for sexual assault.  (Pennsylvania Department of Corrections via AP)

Fox News’ Kaitlyn Schallhorn and the Associated Press contributed to this report.

seth Posted on September 27, 2018 06:19

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Police seek more cash in Madeleine McCann search.

The Home Office says it has received a request for more money, following reports the investigation was due to run out.

Police have applied for more funding to continue the search for Madeleine McCann.

The Home Office has confirmed it is considering the application, which follows speculation over the future of the investigation after it emerged that funding would run out at the end of September.

In a blog on Wednesday, the Home Office said: "We have received and are considering a request from the Metropolitan Police Service to extend funding for Operation Grange until the end of March 2019.

"The Home Office maintains an ongoing dialogue with the MPS regarding funding for Operation Grange."

Madeleine McCann's disappearance

A timeline

Madeleine was three when she disappeared during a holiday with her family in Praia da Luz in Portugal in May 2007.

In 2013, with the Portuguese police appearing to have made little progress, the Met began its own investigation - Operation Grange.

Image: Madeleine was three when she disappeared

In March this year, police were given a further £150,000 to continue the investigation and this money was due to run out at the end of September.

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In May Madeleine's parents marked the 11th anniversary of her disappearance and thanked the public for their continued support.

Kate and Gerry McCann said they would persevere in their mission to find their missing daughter.

Image: Kate and Gerry McCann say they still have hope

A Facebook post written on behalf of Mr and Mrs McCann, said: "It gets harder to know what to say or write as each anniversary of Madeleine's abduction approaches then passes.

"Life is full and busy which helps but Madeleine is still missing and she is still dearly missed.

More from Madeleine McCann

"Information continues to come in (incredible as it may seem after so long, although we are grateful for that) and work goes on. Perseverance and hope remain."

Operation Grange has cost £11.6m so far

AlbertaU Posted on September 26, 2018 16:55

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