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London Fashion Week: Representation is 'still a problem'

Was this the most diverse London Fashion Week to date?

Victoria Beckham chose 47-year-old Stella Tennant to open her debut show in London, model Winnie Harlow, who has vitiligo, opened for House of Holland and wheelchair user and former Paralympian Samanta Bullock closed at the Fashion's Finest show.

Last week, Kate Moss welcomed the increase in diversity in the fashion industry, saying it had changed for the better.

"There's so much more diversity now, I think it's right. There's so many different sizes and colours and heights. Why would you just be a one-size model and represent all of these people?"

Image copyrightGETTY IMAGES

Image captionWinnie Harlow modelling for House of Holland at London Fashion Week

Designer Steven Tai, who has worked at design houses including Viktor + Rolf, teamed up with photographer Rankin and charity Changing Faces to challenge the fashion industry's perception of beauty. At his show he had models with visible scars or disfigurements alongside conventional models.

Speaking after his show on Sunday, he said: "It enriches the setting and enriches the clothes as well. It gives the context of the collection a lot more depth.

"I just want an accurate reflection of the world that we live in. I think as much as fashion is about telling a story, it needs to be conscious of the social responsibilities as well and the effects that it could have on younger girls growing up.

"Familiarity breeds acceptance."

'Treated like a leper'

Brenda Finn was one of the models in the show and told the BBC the feedback after coming off stage was "amazing".

"They loved that the show looked so much more real. People are interested in how the clothes fit on a different body, and on women who look like me."

Finn, who has had alopecia since she was 14, said she was "treated like a leper" when she was younger, and had to be taken out of school because the bullying became so severe.

"To be seen as different was seen as negative," she says. "Ten years ago I never even thought we'd see someone like Winnie Harlow in a magazine, so we've made great strides.

Image copyrightGETTY IMAGES

Image captionBrenda and Chloe model for designer Steven Tai at London Fashion Week

"I hope that someone seeing this show thinks they are normal and can do what they want to do. It took me a long time - I wasted six years of my life before I got to where I wanted to be - so I hope it can help others."

Chloe Root, who was born with a port wine stain birthmark, which covers about half of her body and two thirds of her face, also modelled in Sunday's show. "I've never seen women who look like me in the mainstream media - it's disheartening to feel like I'd never look like that and never fit in.

"It's frustrating that it's such a mono-culture - not just for someone with an obvious difference, but also for someone who's walking down the street that isn't a size six.

"It creates a unity, that goes beyond fashion."

'No regulation'

Image copyrightTONY WELLINGTON

Image captionEunice (centre) closed the show for charity FAD, which offers disadvantaged young people opportunities in fashion

Supermodel Eunice Olumide has added her voice to the discussion: "The fact that we're not able to represent reality in the industry is a problem," she says. "We're looking at life through a very parochial lens. When I started out, people in China and other markets wouldn't even look at you if you're dark-skinned.

"There are no requirements for diversity in the industry," continues the Scottish model. "How can you have an industry that's worth trillions that has no regulation? There's no minimum wage for models, no requirement to make clothes in different sizes. It's common to have hairdressers who have never worked with afro hair before.

"That reflects badly on you as the model because you don't look good, and won't get re-booked."

Fashion commentator and campaigner Caryn Franklin says she's "thrilled" more and more younger designers are taking the issue of representation seriously.

"Teatum Jones have led the way by using models like Kelly Knox and I know they have been hugely influential. This conversation gets louder every season," says the fashion expert.

"Repetition is key - when we see something over and over again we normalise it. That's why it's important to see a range of body shapes.

Image copyrightGETTY IMAGES

Image captionKelly Knox walking at London Fashion Week last year

"Fashion has to wake up to the needs of the end user and show a broader range of people. We all want that. In fact, studies show when the audience can make a connection to the model wearing the clothes, the desire to actually want to make a purchase is increased by 300% - so it's a business no-brainer," she says.

But the obstacles to presenting a show at fashion week with various size models are not only due to "fear of putting their head above the parapet" on the part of the fashion houses, as Franklin puts it, but also one of logistics.

Designers make clothes in sample sizes - meaning that it's, literally, a straight-forward one-size fits all approach to dressing models. For plus-size or "curve" models, there is more work involved planning the show and getting the model in for repeat fittings to make sure the clothes look good on them.

'New York is killing it'

But some don't see that as an excuse.

"The UK is still really far behind," says Beth Willis, co-director at model agency Bridges.

"New York had their best year yet in terms of the number of bigger models and those of colour who were walking in campaigns. London is still using a token plus-sized model here and there."

Willis, who runs an agency for curve models, says none of her models were booked for London Fashion Week - which she says was "not a massive surprise". The plus-size fashion week in May, on the other hand, saw her models booked out: "That's great, but we shouldn't need a plus-size fashion week at all," she says.

She says she's "frustrated" by what she sees as PR stunts on the part of brands.

"Generally a lot of these clients will use a token model and get some good press, but that's it. The repeat bookings are what we need. Designers can't just do one-offs - we need to be changing the face of things regularly."

Brands like River Island, Asos and Figleaf have been lauded for their inclusive advertising campaigns and clothing lines directed at different sections of the population - including plus-size and maternity.

"Fashion week hasn't really been the place where strides are made on diversity," says Willis. "Some people within the industry think it cheapens the brand - and it's not seen as cool.

"Where it needs to come from is the students - so when they're learning pattern-cutting and doing their first shows they need to be thinking about clothes which suit different body shapes. Scaling up a design for a size six doesn't really work.

"It's got better over the past 30 years," Willis says, "but more needs to be done. In terms of the number of brands we work with, that's increased massively - but if you look at New York they are just killing it. You look at the likes of big name models like Ashley Graham, and that doesn't exist here yet. There's a massive difference in what they're doing compared to us."

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Olumide says she's seen fellow models heading to New York agencies because they think they may be more likely to get work there: "In the UK we are much too safe, fashion houses will use people who they know and who they've used before.

"In the US they're interested in who'll sell. There's a migration of models to New York because there they are more likely to take a risk."

In February's fashion week, it was calculated 34.6% of shows represented models of colour in London - compared to New York's 37.3%. The British Fashion Council said in a statement: "Our numbers are above the national UK average representation of 15% but we'd like it to be closer to London's population average of 40%.

"The BFC's objective is for London to become the most diverse Fashion Week."

'LFW diversity has been terrible'

Tamara Cincik, who runs Fashion Roundtable, an organisation which promotes representation in the fashion industry, agrees with Willis and Olumide: "It's always New York that is leading the way. To be world-leading you have to make changes. And make changes within the organisation. It goes deeper than what's on the catwalk.

"Just because Edward Enninful's at Vogue they think that's it," she adds.

"But we're still at the point where you have PRs this London Fashion Week going up to women of colour and asking them why they're sat on the front row at a show.

"One editor of an Italian fashion magazine was sat on the second row while the rest of her team were sat on the front row - because she is of a different ethnicity. It's disgusting.

"Two other editors I know, who are women of colour, were asked whether they were seated in the right seats at two different shows. Both had front row tickets. It plays into a trope of the norm not being women of colour in positions of power and agency - which is what the front row signifies: think front bench in Westminster."

Image copyrightGETTY IMAGES

Image captionAnna Wintour is among those on the front row at Christopher Kane

The former stylist says the fashion industry runs the risk of alienating many would-be customers by its lack of representation.

"I was discussing it with another fashion industry insider and she said she thought the diversity on the catwalk this week has been terrible. Burberry had some inclusion but other big brands had nothing.

"There is a changing demographic. You cannot just have white privilege on the front row, within the organisation and then in the casting, and expect that to resonate with consumers. I think it's got a long way to go."

And that doesn't even take into account the number of shows where disability is not considered - either on stage or off: "At plenty of shows you can't get a wheelchair in them," says Cincik.

"Organisations need to start thinking we can't show here if there is no disability access, however cool it is."

Fashion's Finest was, however, one of the LFW shows which represented disabled people by the inclusion of model Samanta Bullock - a wheelchair user.

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The Brazilian model, a Paralympian and former wheelchair tennis champion, has been working on and off as a model for the past 30 years, and says it feels like "change is coming".

Previously, her work was mainly for fashion aimed at wheelchair users. Now she has done a number of high-end shows and campaigns aimed at the mainstream market and is optimistic about the future.

"If you don't show people in a wheelchair or disabled people in magazines, it's like we don't exist," she says. "A few years ago it was the same for black people, or gay people. It's the right thing to do to show all different types of people.

"It's like opening Pandora's box - people aren't going to go back to how it was before. Once you know what is right, you don't go back."

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seth Posted on September 19, 2018 03:29

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Yoghurts (even organic ones) 'full of sugar'

Many yoghurts are full of sugar and the public should not be lulled into thinking they are eating healthy products, researchers say.

The conclusion comes after a study of almost 900 yoghurts on sale in UK supermarkets.

The research found that organic yoghurts were among the most sugary types.

Only natural and Greek-style yoghurts could be classed as low in sugar.

The study comes as government health officials are encouraging manufacturers to reduce the amount of sugar consumed by the public.

Yoghurts have been identified as one of the food types on which Public Health England wants to see progress.

This research was undertaken shortly after the launch of the sugar-reduction programme.

Image copyrightGETTY IMAGES

Unsurprisingly, yoghurt desserts contained the most sugar - an average of 16.4g per 100g.

This category also included some products that did not contain yoghurt, such as chocolate mousse and creme caramel.

The second most sugary product was organic yoghurts with a typical 13.1g per 100g.

Children's yoghurts typically contained 10.8g per 100g, the equivalent of more than two sugar cubes, the study found.

The NHS recommends that children aged four to six have no more than 19g of sugar, or five sugar cubes a day, and it is advised that those aged seven to 10 consume less than 24g daily.

To be classed as low sugar there needs to be no more than 5g per 100g.

Only 9% of products surveyed were below this threshold.

How much sugar was in the yoghurt?

Desserts - 16.4g per 100g

Organic - 13.1g per 100g

Flavoured - 12g per 100g

Fruit - 11.9g per 100g

Children's - 10.8g per 100g

Dairy alternatives - 9.2g per 100g

Drinks - 9.1g per 100g

Natural and Greek - 5g per 100g

Since the fieldwork for the study was carried out - at the end of 2016 - progress has been made on reducing sugar consumption from yoghurts.

A report published in May showed sugar content in yoghurts had been reduced by 6% in the first year, making it the only food category to exceed the 5% target. By 2020, it is expected sugar will be reduced by 20%.

PHE chief nutritionist Dr Alison Tedstone said this showed "positive steps" were being made.

But Dr Bernadette Moore, lead researcher of this study, said: "Even if we take the reduction into account, most of these yoghurts will still not be low in sugar.

"I think people, including parents, will be surprised to know just how much sugar there is in yoghurt.

"My advice would be to buy natural yoghurt and mix in your own fruit."

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seth Posted on September 19, 2018 03:15

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'Sexist, unsafe' world experienced by young girls

An "alarmingly high" number of girls and young women feel unsafe outside their home, according to annual research for Girlguiding UK.

The survey of 1,903 13 to 21-year-olds in the UK found nearly two-thirds either felt unsafe, or knew someone who was fearful walking home alone.

More than half had suffered harassment, or knew someone who had, it said.

But girls are responding more robustly than before and were also more likely to call themselves feminists, it said.

The research, the tenth over as many years, found more girls claim to understand what feminism means, with almost half saying they are feminists - up from a third in 2013.

One young woman, from the 11 to 16-year-old age group, told researchers a feminist was "a person who strongly believes in gender equality and that everyone no matter their background should be treated equally."

'More sexism?'

Another, aged between 17 and 21, described feminism as "equal rights and opportunities between men and women in the workplace, education and society".

The researchers said they felt the increased understanding of gender equality and equal rights was down to recent intense media coverage of these areas.

Perhaps linked to this greater awareness was the suggestion that fewer girls expected to encounter equality in all areas of life this year than in 2009.

And more girls and young women say they are seeing or experiencing sexism across all areas of their lives.

The researchers said: "It might mean they are more aware of it in the media, online and in public - the result of campaigns like #MeToo and #TimesUp.

"However, it is also possible it may reflect an increase in the scale of sexism for girls."

Compared to three years ago, more girls aged seven to 10 think the way people treat girls and women is affected by "naked pictures of women in the media, jokes about girls and more attention given to women's clothes than actions".

But there were also very real concerns about girls' safety.

Safety fears

One young woman aged between 11 and 16, said: "One thing that would improve girls' lives would be to make it safe for girls to walk down the street alone."

Another, aged 17 to 21, said: "Girls' lives would be better if things like harassment and stalking were taken seriously and punished properly."

The survey also found that an increasing number of girls have experienced unkind, threatening and negative behaviour online compared to five years ago.

But, it added: "Girls are more likely to ignore abuse and report it more, as well as delete posts."

seth Posted on September 19, 2018 03:10

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Millions overcharged for mobile contracts

About four million people have been charged for mobile phones they already own, spending £500m extra on contracts, according to Citizens Advice.

Three of Britain's biggest mobile networks, EE, Three and Vodafone, continue to charge for handsets even after the cost has been paid off.

Many customers have no idea they are being charged for phones after their contracts have ended.

The practice is "unacceptable", said Citizens Advice boss Gillian Guy.

"We need action," she said. "Other companies have already stopped doing this so we're looking for these three major providers to follow suit."

Mobile users only need to continue paying for calls, texts and data, or "airtime", when contracts end - but millions get stung with unnecessary extra charges.

Citizens Advice's research found that on average customers are overcharged £22 a month. The figure could be as high as £38 for high-end devices such as an iPhone or Samsung Galaxy.

Vulnerable people are most at risk of being overcharged. Older people are twice as likely to be charged for a phone they already own longer than 12 months, which could cost them an average of £264.

"Consumers should check their phone bills to see if they can save money with a SIM-only contract or upgrade to a new phone," advised Ms Guy.

Are you paying extra?

Vodafone, EE and Three customers after end of handset-inclusive two-year fixed term deal


average monthly cost if customers do not buy a new contract



  • 36% of customers failed to change after their deal

  • 23% of over-65s stayed on after their deal

  • £38 average extra monthly cost of contracts with handsets like the Galaxy S8 or the iPhone 8

  • £46 potential monthly over-charge for customers with a 256GB iPhone 8

Source: Citizens Advice

Getty Images

Who's affected and what can you do?

  • Anyone who bought a contract from Three, Vodafone or EE that included a handset is being overcharged when their contract ends
  • Users can ask their network to switch them to a cheaper SIM-only deal, or end the contract and move to another provider
  • No-one is automatically entitled to compensation - consumers can only make a claim if it was not made clear in their contract that the deal would continue at the same price

Source: Citizens Advice

Image copyrightGETTY IMAGES

What do the phone companies say?

Regulator Ofcom is consulting on how to address the problem and has proposed sending a single notification to customers before their contract ends.

Citizens Advice said that does not go far enough and that phone companies should separate the cost of mobile service and the phone. O2 has split the cost of its airtime and handset since 2013.

Nina Bibby, chief marketing officer for O2, said: "Charging for phones that have already been paid off does nothing but damage customer trust and the reputation of the industry."

EE said the splitting idea is "overly simplistic and doesn't give the customers either the transparency or best deal that they deserve".

"We agree that customers shouldn't overpay, but we believe that this is best achieved through clear communications with consumers about their options," it said.

Three said: "We make the length of any contract very clear to new customers and make this information available through our customer service channels at all times."

It said it was working closely on the issue of handset financing with the government and regulators.

Vodafone said: "We already contact all of our customers when they are approaching the end of their minimum term to let them know their options. These include upgrading their handset or moving to a SIM-only contract so they are not paying anything for a handset."

It added that from next month, it will give extra data to people who do not opt for either option but stay on their contract after the end of their minimum term.

seth Posted on September 19, 2018 03:08

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PM to announce £2bn for social housing

Two billion pounds of new funding to build affordable and social housing in England will be announced by the prime minister later.

Housing associations, local authorities and other organisations will be able to bid for the money to spend on projects beginning after 2021.

The PM plans to focus on the "stigma" attached to social housing and will say tenants are "not second-rate citizens".

But Labour said the announcement fell "far short" of what was needed.

BBC home editor Mark Easton said the government hopes the money will unlock investment into housing schemes that would otherwise appear too risky.

He said the sector's calls to provide more confidence about future funding - so the 300,000 extra homes required in England each year can be built - had appeared to have been listened to.

Downing Street said the funding was separate to the £9bn of public funding put toward the existing affordable homes programme until 2022.

Mrs May will tell a National Housing Federation summit in London: "Some residents feel marginalised and overlooked, and are ashamed to share the fact that their home belongs to a housing association or local authority.

"On the outside, many people in society - including too many politicians - continue to look down on social housing and, by extension, the people who call it their home."

She will encourage housing associations to change how tenants and society view social housing.

"We should never see social housing as something that need simply be 'good enough', nor think that the people who live in it should be grateful for their safety net and expect no better," she will say.

"Whether it is owned and managed by local authorities, TMOs (tenant management organisations) or housing associations, I want to see social housing that is so good people are proud to call it their home... our friends and neighbours who live in social housing are not second-rate citizens."

Image copyrightREUTERS

David Orr, chief executive of the National Housing Federation, said the prime minister's announcement was "extremely welcome".

"But the really big news here is the prime minister's long-term commitment to funding new affordable homes," he said.

"This represents a total step change. For years, the way that money was allocated meant housing associations couldn't be sure of long-term funding to build much-needed affordable housing."

He said that by changing the way the funding was allocated, ministers had given "long-term confidence and confirmed that we are trusted partners in solving the housing crisis, building new homes and communities".

But shadow housing secretary John Healey said the reality was spending on new affordable homes had been "slashed" and the number of new social rented homes built last year "fell to the lowest level since records began".

"If Conservative ministers are serious about fixing the housing crisis they should back Labour's plans to build a million genuinely affordable homes, including the biggest council house-building programme for more than 30 years," he said.

The English housing survey for 2016/17 reported that 3.9 million households - about nine million people - lived in the social rented sector, which was 17% of households in the country.

The funding covers the next spending review period, from 2021 through to 2028.

seth Posted on September 19, 2018 03:07

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Almost half of UK internet users 'harmed' online

Almost half of internet users in the UK have suffered "harm" online, suggests research.

The harms include bullying and harassment as well as attacks by malware or cyber-thieves.

The study by regulator Ofcom sought to quantify the type and severity of harm that going online could do to people.

Interactions via social networks and email were deemed to be the most likely to cause harm.

Closer look

The study questioned almost 2,000 Britons and found that 45% reported they had suffered some form of harm online.

Ofcom looked at harm in four areas:

  • online content that people see, hear or watch
  • interactions with other users
  • data and privacy
  • cyber-security and hacking

Bad experiences included unwelcome attention via social media, trolling and bullying as well as theft of data or personal information.

Across all these categories, roughly 20% of people reported that their experience had been "very harmful".

About 20% of those questioned said they reported offensive or harmful content when they encountered it. Hate speech, harassment and illegal sexual content were most likely to be reported.

In addition, many of those questioned were concerned about the effect on children of easy access to the net and potentially harmful content or interaction.

The research has been released shortly before Ofcom boss Sharon White gives a speech at the Royal Television Society conference in which she is expected to say the harms have arisen because of a lack of regulation.

"While the regulation of online content has evolved in recent years, there are significant disparities in whether and how it is regulated," she said in a statement released alongside the research.

Ms White suggested that some of the principles underlying what the UK's broadcasters can show could help shape regulation for social media and other online platforms.

Image copyrightEPA

Image captionSocial networks should remove hateful content within an hour, said Mr Juncker

The final form of regulation should be up to government and Parliament, said Ms White in the Ofcom statement. But she said looking at the way broadcasters handle freedom of expression, transparency and how the enforcement of regulations is handled could guide debate.

If fines are chosen as a punishment, online firms should also be subject to "meaningful financial penalties" if they flout rules or fail to protect users, said Ms White.

The call was echoed by Liam Byrne, Labour's shadow digital minister, who said net firms should "step up to their responsibilities".

The study comes as social media firms face increasing scrutiny over how they handle potentially harmful or inappropriate content.

Earlier this month, Jean-Claude Juncker, president of the European Commission, said Google, Facebook and Twitter must remove extremist content within an hour or face hefty fines.

In his annual State of the Union address to the European Parliament, he said an hour was a "decisive time window".

seth Posted on September 19, 2018 03:00

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The secret life of a female bodyguard

Jacquie Davis, who says she was the first woman to become a bodyguard in the UK, has protected royals and celebrities, rescued hostages and carried out undercover surveillance in her 30 years in the industry. Now her own life has inspired a Netflix thriller starring Noomi Rapace.

"When I came into the industry it was a very he-man attitude," says Jacquie. "They just always wanted me to look after the female principal or the children which was ironic - as most of them were fathers and I wasn't even a mother!"

Having initially joined the police, Jacquie decided to move into private security in 1980 because it would give her more variety. "I wanted to do close protection, I wanted to do surveillance and wanted to do investigations," she says.

Being a bodyguard is particularly high-profile at the moment thanks to Bodyguard, the BBC One drama starring Keeley Hawes as the UK's Home Secretary and Richard Madden as her personal protection officer. Writer Jed Mercurio's script is full of plot twists, guns - and a steamy relationship between the two lead characters.

"Technically it's been fine - it is a good drama," says Jacquie, but while such relationships do occasionally happen "you'll get sacked immediately, no question".

In her career she's travelled the world staying in five- and six-star hotels, but says "after 12 to 16 hours of thinking on your feet, it's not glamorous". In addition to this, there is the toll on a bodyguard's private life. "You might not go home for eight to 10 weeks."

Jacquie also specialises in the more dangerous end of the business - surveillance and rescue. Once she found herself begging on the streets of Iraq, disguised in a burka, as part of a mission to rescue oil workers.

While the job is about preventing danger to the client by planning ahead to avoid potential risks, sometimes real life can be as dramatic as any film or TV script.


Image captionRichard Madden and Keeley Hawes in the BBC series Bodyguard

"We were being chased by the Pakistan army and wandered into Kashmir," she told BBC World Service's Business Daily programme. "The Kashmiri rebels were firing at the Pakistan army and we got caught in the crossfire."

She and her team had gone undercover in a rescue mission to free a 23-year-old British woman who'd been tricked into going to Pakistan with her new husband.

Instead the woman was imprisoned, but eventually got a message to her mother telling her she was being held hostage and asking for help. Her mother contacted Jacquie.

One night, Jacquie broke into the villa where the woman was being held, handcuffed to an iron bedstead. "She said she was three months pregnant and was being raped, starved and beaten. I told her, 'We will come back and get you out.'"

But suddenly they got a phone call telling them their cover was blown. "Benazir Bhutto, who I'd worked for [previously], had recognised me and thought she knew why I was there - to rescue somebody," says Jacquie.

It meant they had to rethink their plans and act fast.

"We had to storm the villa by paying a taxi driver to ram the gates," she says. They freed the woman and headed for India with the Pakistani army in pursuit. Going as far as they could in a vehicle they then walked across the mountains.

Image copyrightWHITAKER MEDIA

Image captionNoomi Rapace in Close - inspired by Jacquie Davis's own experiences as a bodyguard

"We were trained and quite fit, but I've got a pregnant woman who's been beaten, starved and has a pair of flip-flops on. To me she was the real hero."

Happily, they managed to dodge the gunfire in Kashmir and were able to bring the woman home.

Jacquie says there have been two big changes over her three decades in the industry.

More women are now signing up, though they still make up only one in 10 bodyguards in the UK.

The business also has a much higher public profile now. "Because of terrorism, security is in people's minds," she says.

This political instability, coupled with an upsurge in the super-rich in the Middle East, China and elsewhere has driven the growth of the sector in recent years.

Figures from the Confederation of European Security Services show there are more than 230,000 people employed in the security services industry in the UK - and 1.9 million in the EU, with 44,000 security companies operating in the sector in Europe alone. Though only a fraction of these will actually be working as bodyguards.

Image copyrightGETTY IMAGES

Image captionSecurity now has a much higher profile, says Jacquie. Politicians like Theresa May are regularly flanked by security guards....

In the UK, the Security Industry Authority (SIA) is the industry regulatory body responsible for personal licensing and private security regulations, and all newcomers need to do a training course first.

Which is fine as far as it goes, says Jacquie, but points out that "you're never going to come off a course and be a bodyguard or close protection operative immediately".

Anybody working in personal protection needs to remember that they are not the client's friend. "You just have to maintain that slight apartness so you can be there when they need it and pull back when they don't," she says.

Jacquie herself is now the subject of an upcoming Netflix film, Close. The action-thriller starring Noomi Rapace was inspired by Jacquie's life as a bodyguard and she was a consultant on the film.

Director Vicky Jewson has said that working with Jacquie "allowed us to bring an authenticity to the action scenes which was very important to me".

Image copyrightGETTY IMAGES

Image caption....while Cate Blanchett talks to fans at the Venice film festival accompanied by her bodyguard

Despite the stereotype of burly security men in dark glasses, the essence of being a bodyguard is brains not brawn, Jacquie insists.

Recruits need to learn the softer skills of the business to work with clients. For instance, which knife and fork to use in a Michelin restaurant and how to have afternoon tea at the Ritz while blending into the background.

You also need to keep up with current affairs, she advises. "You have to be able to talk about the Nasdaq, not The Only Way Is Essex."

She's not dismissive of the personal risks that are occasionally involved but says you can't worry going into a job.

"You do the job you're trained to do. When you come out, that's when you go, 'Oh my God, what have I just done?'"

Listen to the whole interview with Jacquie Davis on Business Daily.

seth Posted on September 19, 2018 02:51

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Syria's air defenses kill 15 Russian airmen in the latest embarrassing blunder.

If the Russian Il-20 was on a regular patrol route of the Mediterranean, Bronk said the Israelis may have tried to plot an attack under a leg of its planned flight path, that they would have observed via local intelligence assets or in information sharing with the Russians themselves.

Syria's air defenses have again proven ineffective and even dangerous as they killed 15 Russian servicemembers flying aboard an Il-20 spy plane during an air battle over the Mediterranean on Monday night.

Syria has Russian-made air defenses that it's had ample opportunity to use as Israel regularly attacks the country and the US has twice fired missiles at its military facilities in response to chemical weapons use.

But Syria has never credibly recorded an missile intercept. Syria's lone anti-air victory came in February when an Israeli F-16, the same plane rumored to have taken part in Monday night's strike, went down from S-200 fire.

On Monday night, that same missile defense system not only failed to hit a single Israeli plane or verifiably intercept a single incoming missile, but it took down an allied aircraft in the process.

Russia's ministry of defense initially blamed the shoot down on a purposeful attempt by Israel to trick Syria into the friendly fire, but Russian President Vladimir Putin later referred to the event as an accident.

But, according to Justin Bronk, an air combat expert at the Royal United Services Institute, Israel could have planned on using the Russian Il-20 for cover all along.

If the Russian Il-20 was on a regular patrol route of the Mediterranean, Bronk said the Israelis may have tried to plot an attack under a leg of its planned flight path, that they would have observed via local intelligence assets or in information sharing with the Russians themselves.

"One of the Israeli hallmarks when they do these sort of fairly bold strikes within the coverage of the Syrian air defenses is heavy electronic warfare and jamming," Bronk told Business Insider.

So not only do the Syrians face heavy electronic interference and jamming of their radars, the threat of Israeli bombs rocking their position, and a big, obvious Russian target flying just above the shrouded F-16s, history shows they're just not that good at air defense.

When the US struck Syria in April 2018, photography showed Syrian air defense sites firing missiles that burned across the sky leaving long, bright trails even in the instant it takes to snap a photo. But Business Insider consulted experts at the time to find out that Syria likely fired many of these missiles with out any target at all in a helpless, face saving attempt to convince the people of Damascus that they hadn't sat idly by.

"It would be very unlikely that the Israelis were trying to engineer a situation where the Syrians shot down a Russian plane," Bronk said, but perhaps they did intend to use the Il-20 overhead to convince Syria not to shoot.

"The S-200 is not a very sophisictated system," said Bronk. "It's not going to distinguish between a fighter and a big plane."

Syria could have easily communicated with the Russians, but likely relies on voice communications which can easily be overwhelmed in times of crisis.

If it weren't for the Israeli strike, the 15 Russians likely would have survived to this day. But ultimately, the death of the Russians and downing of the Il-20 comes down to "sloppy fire discipline from Syrian air defenses," said Bronk.

And for sloppy work from Syrian air defenses, this example hardly represents the first.

Albert Ulebe Posted on September 18, 2018 17:14

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This entrepreneur just got $8.6 million to make advanced AR games for phones (AAPL).

Investors believe that the founder's background in math and machine learning can help the games Illumix makes stand out in a world of games using off-the-shelf AR software like Apple's ARkit.

  • Illumix, a Silicon Valley-based startup, is building augmented reality games and the technology needed to run them.
  • It's attracted $8.6 million in seed funding from top-tier venture capital firms.
  • Its investors believe that the founder's background in math and machine learning can help the games Illumix makes stand out in a world of games using off-the-shelf AR software like Apple's ARkit.

Giant companies like Google and Apple are betting heavily on augmented reality, an emerging technology that enables advanced graphics to be integrated into the real world through your phone's camera lens.

But top-tier venture capital firms are backing a smaller company, Illumix, that's working on the same vision: building the underlying core technology — and focusing on games as one of the first applications for the technology.

"We are designing first and foremost for: What is the user doing? I think we’ve come up with a very distinct tech stack," Illumix founder and CEO Kirin Sinha said in an interview.

"No one knows what a great AR app looks or feels like, to this day, if you ask any consumer what is a great AR experience, most people don’t know. Most people haven’t experienced that before," she continued. "All great content and great applications start with the mentality — what should I do, what is missing, and that is very central to how we have looked at every piece of technology we have developed."

Illumix announced on Tuesday that it had raised $8.6 million in seed funding from firms led by Maveron and Lightspeed Venture Partners.

The first products from Illumix will be a pair of games for smartphones released next year, Sinha said. One is going to be an original title, and the other will used licensed intellectual property from a big game company.

"We are going to see real adoption of AR when there are meaningful, retentive AR experiences, that people start to use every day on their smartphones," Sinha said. "Our goal as a company for right now is to be the premier AR studio, and we are dead set on the applications. If it's not fun, the party is over."

One reason that these investors are betting on Illumix is because it's building its own computer vision technology, or the ability to use a smartphone camera to identify where objects and walls are in the room around the user.

"There are lots of companies — Apple and Google, companies that Sand Hill Road is investing in — they're really building developer tools," Nicole Quinn, partner at Lightspeed Venture Capital, said in an interview. "It's very different from what Illumix is doing."

"They're taking a vertically integrated approach, building out very strong technology that we have not seen elsewhere," Quinn continued. "A lot of others in AR are basically going to be using ARkit, and we think if everyone is just building a game on top of ARkit, then they are going to be similar to one another, but Illumix will be differentiated and unique."

A pure math background

Part of the reason why Illumix is building its own technology — not an easy task — is because its founder, Sinha, is used to tackling difficult problems.

Her career started in academia focusing on math and machine learning research, specifically, at a series of prestigious institutions including MIT, Cambridge, and the London School of Economics.

But it was an accidental company that turned her attention to entrepreneurship. She founded Shine for Girls, a national nonprofit focusing on math advocacy for middle school girls, in 2012. It ended up taking off, to Sinha's surprise.

So she ended up going to business school, and looking to start a company. Lightspeed helped out — she was accepted to its fellowship, which included a bit of money as well as other resources like mentors and startup classes.

It also ended up giving her some early office space. Instead of the apocryphal Silicon Valley garage, Illumix — originally called The Looking Glass — got started in the Lightspeed offices.

"We were actually camped out in Lightspeed's old offices, they did not realize we were there for a solid year," Sinha said. "They gave us the access when we were summer fellows, and then I started hiring people, and telling that this was our official address."

"It was pretty awkward, Lightspeed was like 'Oh, can we come to your offices," and I was like, 'Uh, you'll recognize the address,'" she joked.

Now Illumix has about 11 employees, counts several top-tier firms including Radar Partners, Unusual Ventures, and 451 Media as investors, and it's putting together a team full of experts in computer vision, gaming, and design.

Plus, it's not just working on technology for the short term — Sinha has a vision for when AR technology comes off of the phone and starts being integrated into glasses or other dedicated augmented reality technology.

"If you see a true consumer headset, glasses or contacts, 10-20 years in the future, I think that's the biggest entertainment opportunity has ever seen, bar none," Sinha said.

Albert Ulebe Posted on September 18, 2018 16:30

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The top leading Ghana, Nigeria and African Fintech company Cofred in collaboration with Paxex Ghana have introduced a new service on the Paxex platform called “TELBOT”.


You've been wondering what else to do with your PaxexCoin right? 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. Yes, you heard me right. TELBOT is international!!! All you need to do is to input their contacts in the recipient box and type your message.

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

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

You can enjoy this new service by visiting to sign up and login.

Dominic Solomon Posted on September 18, 2018 16:14

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Before and after photos show how quickly ice is disappearing on Swiss glaciers.

The Rhone Glacier in the Swiss Alps has been shrinking quickly over the last several years. To reduce the amount that disappears, nearby residents have been wrapping the glacier in blankets over the past eight summers. Take a look at how the amount of ice on the Rhone Glacier has changed since 2008.

The Rhone Glacier, a popular tourist spot in the Swiss Alps, has been shrinking quickly over the last several years.

Glaciers and their streams, which were abundant many years ago, are disappearing due to climate change. According to Reuters, glaciologists say half of the small glaciers in Switzerland, as well as the glacier-fed streams, will be gone in less than 30 years.

To reduce the amount that disappears, nearby residents have been wrapping the glacier in blankets over the past eight summers, Quartz reported. According to Swiss glaciologist David Wolken, the method may be reducing the melting by up to 70%.

Take a look at how the amount of ice on the Rhone Glacier has changed since 2008.

The Rhone Glacier is located in Furka, a mountain pass in Switzerland. The top photo shows what it looks like now. On the bottom, a 2009 photo shows how much ice has vanished in the past nine years.


The Rhone Glacier is located in Furka, a mountain pass in Switzerland. The top photo shows what it looks like now. On the bottom, a 2009 photo shows how much ice has vanished in the past nine years.

(Denis Balibouse/Reuters)


The top photo shows the amount of ice on the glacier in September 2018, while the bottom image was taken in July 2008.


The top photo shows the amount of ice on the glacier in September 2018, while the bottom image was taken in July 2008.

(Denis Balibouse/Reuters)


In addition to covering glaciers with blankets, a Dutch research group has proposed blowing artificial snow across glaciers to help reflect sunlight.


In addition to covering glaciers with blankets, a Dutch research group has proposed blowing artificial snow across glaciers to help reflect sunlight.

(Denis Balibouse/Reuters)


This method could be applied to the Rhone.


Another set of photos shows the difference in ice on Rhone Glacier between September 2018 (top) and September 2009 (bottom).

(Denis Balibouse/Reuters)


Researchers are trying to find out what, in addition to water, is lost when a glacier melts.


A tourist takes a photo inside the Ice Cave in Furka.

(Denis Balibouse/Reuters)


Here, Hannes Peter from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Lausanne gathers microorganisms from a stream near Rhone Glacier. He wants to study their DNA and figure out how the organisms have adapted to an extreme environment.


Here, Hannes Peter from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Lausanne gathers microorganisms from a stream near Rhone Glacier. He wants to study their DNA and figure out how the organisms have adapted to an extreme environment.

(Denis Balibouse/Reuters)


According to Reuters, the researchers will examine hundreds of streams at the largest glaciers in the world to collect microorganisms.


According to Reuters, the researchers will examine hundreds of streams at the largest glaciers in the world to collect microorganisms.

(Denis Balibouse/Reuters)

Albert Ulebe Posted on September 18, 2018 14:02

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The 25 best high-paying jobs in America for 2018.

US News & World Report recently released its 2018 Best Jobs rankings, which determines the best occupations in the US based on various factors. Of the jobs that offer the best prospects, stress levels, and work-life balance, these are also the highest-paying.

When choosing a career, it's important to seek out jobs that are meaningful, will allow balance in your life, and that will be around in the future.

But a high salary doesn't hurt, either.

US News & World Report recently released its 2018 Best Jobs rankings, which determines the best occupations in the US based on median salary, employment rate, job growth, job prospects, stress level, and work-life balance.

The publication then ranked these coveted positions by pay, finding that, unsurprisingly, many of America's top jobs come with six-figure salaries.

Positions in the healthcare sector dominated the list, with anesthesiologists claiming the top spot.

Read on to see the 25 best high-paying jobs in the US, with salary data and projected job growth from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics and job descriptions provided by US News & World report (we included mean annual salary data where specific median annual salary data was not available):

25. Medical and health services manager


25. Medical and health services manager

(Maryland GovPics/Flickr)


Median annual salary: $96,540

Projected growth (2016 to 2026): 19.8%

Medical and health services managers are the planners, directors and coordinators who work behind the scenes to keep hospitals, nursing homes, group practices, and other health care facilities running efficiently.



24. Political scientist


24. Political scientist

(US Embassy Canada/Flickr)


Median annual salary: $114,290

Projected growth (2016 to 2026): 2.1%

Political scientists look back at history and monitor current affairs to understand how the policies and laws affect government, business, and people and to forecast trends. Their employers range from the federal government to nonprofits.



23. Actuary


23. Actuary

(Getty Images / Carl Court)


Median annual salary: $100,610

Projected growth (2016 to 2026): 22.5%

Actuaries use mathematics, statistics, and financial theory to measure, manage, and mitigate financial risk and uncertainty. They're essential to the insurance industry, and they're increasingly finding niches in other businesses.



22. Optometrist


22. Optometrist

(Official U.S. Navy Page/flickr)


Median annual salary: $106,140

Projected growth (2016 to 2026): 17.3%

Optometrists perform different tests on patients to determine common eyesight issues like near- or farsightedness, for which they can prescribe glasses or contacts, or eye diseases like glaucoma, for which they can prescribe medicines.



21. Pharmacist


21. Pharmacist

(REUTERS/John Kolesidis)


Median annual salary: $122,230

Projected growth (2016 to 2026): 5.6%

Imperative to the healthcare industry, pharmacists not only fill prescriptions, but also educate patients on the potential side effects of their medications, teach them how to handle side effects, and monitor which prescriptions each patient is taking to prevent mixing incompatible drugs.



20. Business-operations manager


20. Business-operations manager

(Sebastiaan ter Burg/Flickr)


Median annual salary: $99,310

Projected growth (2016 to 2026): 9.1%

Business-operations managers take care of the details that are vital to keeping a business running, including hiring new talent, negotiating contracts, making strategy decisions, and building and leading effective teams.



19. Financial advisor


19. Financial advisor

(Drew Angerer/Getty Images)


Median annual salary: $90,530

Projected growth (2016 to 2026): 14.4%

Financial advisors meet with clients and counsel them on their finances. This could mean sitting down and creating budgets, firming up retirement plans, giving advice about investing, and investing a client's funds on their behalf.



18. Sales manager


18. Sales manager

(WOCinTech Chat/flickr)


Median annual salary: $117,960

Projected growth (2016 to 2026): 7.4%

Sales managers get their company's product into customers' hands. This requires managers to establish client relationships and sales territory, guide sales teams, develop training programs for new hires, outline team strategies, and set short- and long-term goals.

Sales managers typically hold either a bachelor's or master's degree in business administration and have expertise in marketing.



17. Financial manager


17. Financial manager

(Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)


Median annual salary: $121,750

Projected growth (2016 to 2026): 18.7%

Financial managers are integral to their companies because they advise and control the checkbook. Individuals in this position produce profit projections, oversee the cash flow of projects, and coordinate accounting practices. The job is incredibly detail-oriented and requires finesse in handling numbers and communicating complicated financial statements to other employees.



16. Lawyer


16. Lawyer

(bikeriderlondon / Shutterstock)


Median annual salary: $118,160

Projected growth (2016 to 2026): 9.4%

There are quite a few different career paths and specializations lawyers can take, from working at a private firm to a public position as a district attorney. But one thing holds across the many different iterations: Being a lawyer requires long, committed hours in the office.



15. Podiatrist


15. Podiatrist

(Heidi Jones/Getty Images)


Median annual salary: $124,830

Projected growth (2016 to 2026): 9.7%

Podiatrists specialize in feet and ankles, treating conditions that range from ingrown toenails and bunions to fractures and sprains. It's no easy task to become a podiatrist, however. After completing a bachelor's degree, individuals must attend a podiatric medical school, complete a three-year residency program, and pass the American Podiatric Medical Licensing Exam.



14. Marketing manager


14. Marketing manager

(Flickr / Jirka Matousek)


Median annual salary: $131,180

Projected growth (2016 to 2026): 10%

Being a marketing manager doesn't come with a set-in-stone list of responsibilities. It requires employees to balance a variety of tasks, including everything from hiring new talent to strategic planning to design work.



13. IT manager


13. IT manager

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


Median annual salary: $135,800

Projected growth (2016 to 2026): 11.9%

IT managers supervise software and hardware upgrades, protect office networks from hackers and malware, and coordinate technology issues with top executives. The position isn't industry-specific, either. As technology becomes increasingly integral to day-to-day business operations, IT managers have become necessary across all sectors.



12. Petroleum engineer


12. Petroleum engineer

(U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Europe District/Flickr)


Median annual salary: $128,230

Projected growth (2016 to 2026): 14.5%

Petroleum engineers create new technology or create new ways to apply existing technology to help untap oil. Because the industry and the federal government want to encourage engineering breakthroughs and more environmentally friendly extraction techniques, most university students can expect to get their studies fully underwritten and even receive a stipend.



11. Nurse anesthetist


11. Nurse anesthetist



Median annual salary: $160,270

Projected growth (2016 to 2026): 16%

Nurse anesthetists help doctors complete painful procedures by administering anesthesia through intravenous drugs or inhaled gases. To become a nurse anesthetist, registered nurses must complete at least one year of critical-care experience and earn a master's degree from an accredited nurse-anesthesia program.



10. Prosthodontist


10. Prosthodontist

(Dmitry Kalinovsky/Shutterstock)


Median annual salary: $126,050

Projected growth (2016 to 2026): 17.2%

Different from an orthodontist, prosthodontists are dental specialists who build oral prostheses that replace missing teeth. These replacements can help patients in a number of ways, from improving appearances to restoring the ability to speak and eat.



9. Dentist


9. Dentist

(Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images)


Median annual salary: $159,770

Projected growth (2016 to 2026): 17.2%

Dentists help maintain the health of patients' mouths, gums, and teeth by filling cavities, diagnosing oral diseases, and extracting teeth when needed.



8. Pediatrician


8. Pediatrician

(Eden, Janine and Jim/flickr)


Median annual salary: $168,990

Projected growth (2016 to 2026): 17.8%

Pediatricians focus on the physical and mental health of children, from infancy to adolescence. Specialties range from oncology and hematology to developmental behavior and psychiatry, but at the end of the day, it's all about advocating the best course of care and communicating it to parents and patients.



7. Psychiatrist


7. Psychiatrist

(Joe Houghton/flickr)


Median annual salary: $194,740

Projected growth (2016 to 2026): 13.1%

Unlike podiatrists and surgeons, who deal with physical afflictions, psychiatrists tend to patients' mental health. They diagnose and treat complex conditions like bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, depression, and anxiety. Psychiatrists use a combination of methods to treat these disorders and write prescriptions when necessary.



6. Physician


6. Physician

(Scott Olson/Getty Images)


Mean annual salary: $201,840

Projected growth (2016 to 2026): 14.9%

The term "physician" encompasses everything from primary-care doctors to gynecologists to cardiologists to dermatologists — and every niche in between.



5. Orthodontist


5. Orthodontist



Mean annual salary: $228,780

Projected growth (2016 to 2026): 17.3%

Orthodontists are tasked with constructing beautiful smiles by fixing irregular bites and realigning crooked teeth. This is most often done through braces, but they also use retainers and other appliances to create an optimized plan for each patient.



4. Oral and maxillofacial surgeon


4. Oral and maxillofacial surgeon

(Mikhail Olykainen/Shutterstock)


Mean annual salary: $232,870

Projected growth (2016 to 2026): 17.2%

Unlike a regular dentist, oral and maxillofacial surgeons go through an additional four years of surgical training to be able to perform surgical procedures pertaining to the face, mouth, and jaw, such as fixing a cleft lip or administering a face-lift. These doctors are also able to administer anesthesia and diagnose cancer.



3. Obstetrician and gynecologist


3. Obstetrician and gynecologist

(Flickr via usnavy)


Mean annual salary: $234,310

Projected growth (2016 to 2026): 17.9%

Obstetricians and gynecologists help maintain women's reproductive health, though the positions differ. Gynecologists screen for HPV and other STDs, help manage contraceptives, and assist patients with issues like abnormal bleeding. Those who are also obstetricians, often referred to as OB-GYNs, deliver babies and monitor mothers-to-be throughout pregnancy.



2. Surgeon


2. Surgeon

(Phalinn Ooi/flickr)


Mean annual salary: $252,910

Projected growth (2016 to 2026): 16.8%

Surgeons undertake a heavy job: opening up people's bodies to correct injuries, diseases, or deformities. Surgeons are rigorously trained for the serious nature of the job, however. After completing a bachelor's degree and four years of medical school, they must enter a surgical residency program, which takes a minimum of five years to finish.



1. Anesthesiologist


1. Anesthesiologist

(Getty Images/Carsten Koall)


Mean annual salary: $269,600

Projected growth (2016 to 2026): 17.8%

Anesthesiologists are responsible for administering the drugs that allow surgeons to complete painful, invasive procedures without discomforting patients. They also closely monitor a patient's vital signs and critical life functions before, during, and after a surgery.

Albert Ulebe Posted on September 18, 2018 13:49

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I spent 6 weeks in China — here are 5 things the country does infinitely better than the US.

After traveling in China for six weeks, it became apparent to me that there are certain things the country unquestionably does better than the US. High-speed rail is just the start.

  • After traveling in China for six weeks, it became apparent to me that there are certain things the country unquestionably does better than the US.
  • High-speed rail is extensive and convenient; the food is complex, diverse, cheap, and delicious; almost all young Chinese people use mobile payments instead of cash; you can get any kind of errand done with China's on-demand services apps; and China's e-commerce platforms make Amazon look dated.
  • That's not to say visiting the country was easy. Few people speak English and many of China's most convenient services, like mobile payments, won't work for foreigners. But, despite this, I found my time there to be an incredibly enriching experience.

I'm not sure what I expected before visiting China.

Whenever I spoke to people who had visited the country before, the dominant reaction I received — whether the person was white, Chinese-American, or something else — was along the lines of an exasperated sigh and a face that said, "You haven't seen anything yet."

Even when I was in Hong Kong during the first week of my five-month trip, when I told Hong Kongers that I was about to embark on six weeks in China, they smiled knowingly.

"Hong Kong is Diet China," one told me. "Hong Kong is China without all the extra difficulties, weirdness, and inconveniences. Get ready."

After traveling in the country for six weeks, I think I understand a lot of what they were trying to convey. From an American perspective, China does not operate in the way you expect it to.

For example, it is altogether pretty common for companies to have job listings that include qualifiers like "men only" or "only aesthetically pleasing women."

On a smaller scale, times are more or less suggestions. Once when asking the bus station when the last bus to the town I was staying would leave, I was told, "7 p.m., maybe." It left at 6:40 p.m. and I missed the bus. Another time, on top of a mountain, when I asked when the cable car closed, I was told, "whenever the workers decide its time to go home." A sign said 7:00 p.m.. The cable car stayed open until 7:30 p.m.

Among other things: Personal space is nonexistent, few people speak English, and you'll often be told things are not possible with little or no explanation (and that's assuming you understand enough Mandarin to hear the explanation in the first place).

But despite those difficulties, it became apparent to me that there are certain things the country unquestionably does better than the US. Here's a few:

1. High-speed rail and public transport



Fast, seamless cross-country travel.


Traveling to China can often feel like visiting the future. The cities stretch out for what seems like forever, while new skyscrapers, bridges, and futuristically designed landmarks spring up every year.

Nowhere is this feeling more apparent than when you encounter China's high-speed railway network. At 15,500 miles, the country's "bullet train" is the world's largest.

The practical result of this is that you can pretty much travel in anywhere in China via high-speed rail. It's usually comparable in speed to air travel (once you factor in security lines and check-in) and far more convenient.

What's perhaps most amazing is that the entire system has been built in the last decade. China's first high-speed rail line was a single 70-mile demonstration line built specifically for the Beijing Olympics in 2008.

In many major cities, the high-speed rail station is located towards the center of the city and is directly connected to that city's metro, which creates a fast, seamless public transportation experience.

Read more about China's high-speed rail »

2. Food


Even after six weeks in China, I wasn't sick of Chinese food.

(Harrison Jacobs/Business Insider)


Chinese food is considered to be one of the most complex and diverse cuisines in the world by chefs, food critics, and travelers. Americans, and the rest of the West, tend to think of China as one monolithic place, but the opposite is true. China is comprised of over 1.3 billion people, 23 provinces, 56 ethnic groups, and at least as many different cuisines. Libraries-worth of books have been written simply on China's food.

Each cuisine has different flavor profiles, hallmark ingredients, and cooking methods. Sweet and sour is a common taste in Shanghainese cuisine, while Szechuan food is known for its extensive use of the numbing peppercorn of the same name. Steaming is extremely popular in Cantonese cuisine, while a number of western and northern regions boil dishes in a "hot pot." As you can probably guess, none of those hot pots taste remotely similar.

The cuisine is so diverse and specific that it is not uncommon for a particular county or town to be famous for a single dish that is not made anywhere else in the country.

Whenever I talked to friends back home about visiting China for so long, their first question was often, "But didn't you get sick of eating Chinese food all the time?" Friends, if you understood how diverse Chinese cuisine is, you'd know that's a silly question.

Read more about some of the best foods in China »

3. Mobile payments



Even street musicians use QR codes and mobile payments for tips.

(Harrison Jacobs/Business Insider)

Paying with your phone isn't a novelty in China these days. Paying with cash is.

Over the last 15 years, mobile payments in China have grown into a $16 trillion market dominated by China's two biggest tech giants — Tencent and Alibaba. Mobile payments totaled $9 trillion in 2016, according to iResearch Consulting Group. Meanwhile, the US saw $112 billion in mobile payments in 2016, according to a Forrester Research estimate.

Tencent and Alibaba's competing mobile payment apps — WeChat Pay and AliPay, respectively — are used by just about everyone in China, from fancy restaurants and high-end designer boutiques down to street vendors, taxi drivers, and even panhandlers. All you need is a phone-scannable QR code to give or receive money.

Ninety-two percent of people in China's top cities said that they use WeChat Pay or AliPay as their primary payment method, according to a 2017 study by Penguin Intelligence. And the amount spent per month through those services keeps going up.

The one caveat is that those services don't work for most foreigners as they require a Chinese bank account. When I encountered a cafe that only accepted mobile payments, I had to beg someone in the cafè to use their account to pay for me.

Read more about mobile payments in China »

4. On-demand services



In every Chinese city, there are tens of thousands of workers fulfilling city-dwellers' ever wish on-demand.

(Harrison Jacobs/Business Insider)

While most people know about Chinese internet giants like Alibaba, Baidu, and Tencent, the hottest concept in Chinese tech and startups over the last several years is on-demand services.

In China's major cities, you can get just about anything done with a mobile phone and the right app. Want a manicure or pedicure done at your home in a few hours? Queue up Heli Jia, a startup connecting freelance nail artists and stylists with customers for in-home treatments. For in-home massages, check out Gongfu Xiong. For food delivery, get or Meituan Dianping.

That's just the start. People living in China can hire photographers, personal chefs, and driving instructors through different apps. They can get their car washed, laundry done, or rent a bike or scooter in a few clicks. While the US has many of these services as well, in China, they tend to be more affordable, more convenient, and speedier.

And that's without even getting into e-commerce.

5. E-commerce and logistics

play prides itself on deliveries packages within a few hours of orders being placed.



I know, I know. You've got Amazon Prime and your packages magically show up two days after you order them with free shipping (minus the $119/year and the human costs, revealed by Business Insider's Hayley Peterson).

In China, e-commerce giants Alibaba and pride themselves on even faster shipping with no fee or membership. makes 90% of its deliveries in China within 24 hours. 57% of its deliveries are made within 12 hours of order placement. Let's put it this way: If you realize that you forgot your toothbrush at lunch, it'll be delivered to your hotel before it's time to go to bed.

And it's only going to get more fast and efficient. is already using drones to expand its high-speed delivery network to over 100 rural villages and counting throughout China. JD's CEO Liu Qiangdong has said he expects drone delivery to cut costs by 70% once it reaches scale.

Both Alibaba and now have fancy Whole Foods-style supermarkets that offer incredibly fresh high quality food delivered within 30 minutes of an order being placed. It's a marvel to see in action.

There is a human cost. There are 1.2 million kuaidi, or express couriers, in China who suffer low pay and often a brutal schedule of seven-day work weeks with as long as 12 hour shifts.

Albert Ulebe Posted on September 18, 2018 13:41

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Champions League is back: The best games to watch this week

The anthem, the global superstars, the evening football to base your working week around.

The Champions League main tournament returns on Tuesday, 115 days after Gareth Bale's double for Real Madrid helped them beat Liverpool in the 2017-18 final.

It starts with a bang, with several big matches in this week's opening round. Here are the ones we're most excited about watching.

The best strikeforces in the world?

Liverpool v Paris St-Germain (Tuesday, 18 September 20:00 BST)


Two of European football's great entertainers - and potential champions -meet, with arguably the best attacking players in world football.

Since the break-up of Real Madrid's 'BBC' - Karim Benzema, Gareth Bale and Cristiano Ronaldo - and Barcelona's 'MSN' - Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and Neymar, the debate for the top strikeforce is wide open.

Neymar left Barcelona for PSG in the summer of 2017 for a world record £200m, joining £165.7m Kylian Mbappe and the club's all-time top scorer Edinson Cavani in a fearsome front three.

But Liverpool's is equally impressive, with Roberto Firmino, Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah each scoring 10 Champions League goals last season - three of only four players to hit double figures in the tournament.

"They are the two best front threes in world football right now," said French football journalist Julien Laurens on the BBC Euro Leagues podcast.

And then there are the managers.

Paris St-Germain boss Thomas Tuchel's two previous managerial roles have been identical to Reds boss Jurgen Klopp's. He took over at Mainz in 2009, a year after Klopp resigned. And when Klopp left Dortmund in 2015, Tuchel was the man to replace him again. However, he slightly broke tradition this summer when he became PSG manager - a team Klopp has never worked for.

"There are so many narratives," said Laurens. "Klopp against Tuchel - Tuchel facing his mentor really. I don't think there's anyone who knows Klopp as well as Tuchel. I don't think anyone knows Tuchel as well as Klopp either. It'll be fascinating to see how they set up tactically and play the game. The atmosphere will be amazing. I can't wait for it."

Laurens already knows how this year's final will go. "This is PSG's year," he said. "This is Kylian Mbappe's year, Neymar's year and Gianluigi Buffon's year.

"They will win the Champions League in Madrid against Juventus in the final, with Buffon winning his first and last - because I can see him retiring on that peak of his career, winning the only trophy he hasn't won.

"Juventus couldn't win it with him and yet they'll beat them in the final. There's no debate - this is what's going to happen."

A game which guarantees goals

Inter Milan v Tottenham Hotspur (Tuesday, 18 September 17:55 BST)

We all have the same first thought when we hear this game mentioned, right? Arguably the most famous hat-trick on a losing side ever, when Gareth Bale scored three as Spurs lost 4-3 at the San Siro in 2010.

But another notable thing from previous meetings is how high-scoring they have all been. Their four meetings, all in the past decade, have produced 19 goals - and all been won by the home team.

Two weeks after that thrilling defeat in the Champions League group stages, Spurs beat Inter 3-1 at White Hart Lane.

In 2013, they met in the Europa League last 16, with Spurs going through on away goals in extra time after a 3-0 win at home and a 4-1 reverse in Milan.

Harry Kane and Mauro Icardi's scoring records were similar in the league in 2017-18 - although Icardi only needed 101 shots to Kane's 184

The pair have two of European football's top goalscorers.

Inter Milan striker Mauro Icardi - with 29 league strikes - was the joint top scorer in Serie A last season, as well as 2014-15.

Kane - who scored 30 league goals - was only denied a third consecutive Premier League golden boot by Salah. In the past four seasons, Icardi has scored an impressive 98 goals, but that is in the shadow of Kane's 135 strikes.

Argentina international Icardi will be making his Champions League debut at the age of 25 - because he only joined in 2013 and Inter have not been in Europe's top competition since 2011-12.

They qualified for the tournament after beating Lazio on the final day to overtake them into fourth spot. Since then they have signed Belgian midfielder Radja Nainggolan from Roma, Netherlands centre-back Stefan de Vrij - who conceded a penalty in that game - from Lazio and Senegalese winger Keita Balde from Monaco.

Tottenham are the only team in their group to have not won the European Cup - with Barcelona having won five, Inter winning three times and PSV Eindhoven lifting the trophy in 1988.

'The Thomas Lemar derby'

Thomas Lemar has failed to score in his opening five Atletico Madrid matches

Monaco v Atletico Madrid (Tuesday, 18 September 20:00 BST)

Atletico Madrid are looking to bounce back from last season's disappointment and take on another team who have played in a Champions League final without ever lifting the trophy.

Diego Simeone's side were knocked out in last season's group stages - below Chelsea and Roma. That ended a run of four years when their title dreams were crushed by city rivals Real Madrid - including in the 2014 and 2016 finals.

They are fancied to challenge this season because they have strengthened - with Thomas Lemar, Gelson Martins and Rodri joining - while Real Madrid and Barcelona lost key players without making any superstar replacements.

Beaten 2004 finalists Monaco have been stripped of many of their star players for the second summer running, with Fabinho joining Liverpool and France winger Lemar moving to opponents Atletico for an undisclosed fee which is thought to be more than £50m.

Last summer, Mbappe, Benjamin Mendy and Bernardo Silva were among the players to exit the Stade Louis II.

This is their first meeting in any competition.

Euro Leagues podcast journalist Raphael Honigstein said: "This game has an amazing array of talent. They are always two teams who for different reasons are interesting to watch.

"Atletico are different from all top teams in European football. They're so efficient and brutal at times in how they defend, but they can play as well - as we saw in the Uefa Super Cup when they destroyed a very poor Real Madrid.

"Monaco is always the place to go to see the next talent, to see who is coming through and will be sold for 70m euros in six months' time. It will be an interesting game, but maybe not as free-flowing as PSG v Liverpool."

A new era with Ronaldo

Valencia v Juventus (Wednesday, 19 September 20:00 BST)

A new era starts in the Champions League on Wednesday as the greatest goalscorer the competition has ever seen starts his bid to win a joint record sixth European Cup.

Ronaldo has scored 120 Champions League goals for Manchester United and Real Madrid, winning the competition with both. He has won the golden boot, or been joint top scorer, for the past six seasons. The Portuguese has won the cup five times, including the most recent three - one off Paco Gento's record of six in the 1950s and 60s for Real.

But as he chases that record, he has left the competition's most successful team for a club who have not conquered Europe since 1996.

Having got off the mark for his new side with both goals in a 2-1 Serie A win over Sassuolo on Sunday, he starts his European bid in the country he has just left - against a Valencia side who have not had the best start.


"Valencia haven't started the season very well," said Spanish journalist Guillem Balague on BBC Radio 5 live. "They had two draws against Atletico Madrid and Levante and lost to Espanyol with a dangerous lack of intensity, as if they were waiting for a bigger tie, perhaps the Champions League and Juventus and Manchester United.

"But it's strange to see them play that way - Marcelino is an intense coach and they've got quality from the midfield onwards."

Speaking about Juve, Balague added: "They've got Joao Cancelo and he was brilliant for Portugal against Italy, and Paulo Dybala at the moment is mostly on the bench. The manager is using Juan Cuadrado, Douglas Costa, Federico Bernardeschi and Mario Mandzukic - they have all those possibilities up front.

"This will be a crucial game if Valencia want to get out of this group."

This is their first competitive meeting, but five of Juventus' past six defeats in the Champions League have been by Spanish teams - Real Madrid, Barcelona and Sevilla.

What are the other intriguing games?

New Napoli boss Carlo Ancelotti holds the record for most European Cup wins as manager - alongside Bob Paisley and Zinedine Zidane (three)

Both Manchester clubs are kicking off at the same time on Wednesday (20:00 BST), with City at home to Lyon and United - who have won their past two Premier League games after losing two of their first three - at Swiss club Young Boys.

City are favourites to win the tournament this season, but Balague thinks that is "unfair pressure". "They don't have a big enough history in Europe to be considered ahead of many others," he said.

"Unfair pressure? For 10 years they've spent how many hundreds of millions on the team trying to win the Champions League. I think they have a good chance," countered Honigstein. "But I have a feeling Barcelona, who have had some strange games when they've been knocked out in the past few years, might have a big season."

Barca, who have won three domestic doubles in the past four years but have lost in three consecutive Champions League quarter-finals, are at home to PSV Eindhoven.

Balague also fancies Barcelona to win the tournament for the first time since 2015. "Messi said he likes the squad - Arturo Vidal, Arthur, Clement Lenglet and Malcom have been added and it looks like they have the squad depth to win the Champions League," he said.

They have won 24 of their past 26 home games in the Champions League, drawing the other two. Their last such defeat was in May 2013 against Bayern Munich, when they lost 3-0 in the semi-final second leg to exit 7-0 on aggregate.

Red Star Belgrade play their first Champions League group game since 1992 - the year after they beat Marseille on penalties in the final - when they welcome Carlo Ancelotti's Napoli to Serbia.

They will not be able to bring fans to their first two away games, including a trip to Liverpool, after being punished for a pitch invasion and fireworks in their win over RB Leipzig in the play-offs.

Napoli are the eighth club managed by Ancelotti in the Champions League, a tournament record.

Real Madrid start their first Champions League campaign without Ronaldo since 2008-09 as they host last season's semi-finalists Roma.

Real also lost boss Zinedine Zidane in the summer after he led them to three consecutive Champions League titles. Under Julen Lopetegui, they are looking to become the first team to win four European Cups in a row since they won the first five tournaments between 1955-56 and 1959-60.

Bayern Munich visit Benfica - in a repeat of the 2015-16 quarter-final, which the German side won 3-2 on aggregate. Benfica - who have lost their last seven Champions League games - have never beaten Bayern Munich in eight

seth Posted on September 18, 2018 13:34

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McDonald's workers strike over sexual harassment policy

Staff at McDonald's restaurants in 10 US cities will walk out on Tuesday over claims the fast food giant is not doing enough to prevent sexual harassment.

The strike comes after 25 women filed complaints against the chain, alleging it failed to enforce company rules against abuse.

The women said they were ignored after reporting incidents including groping, indecent exposure and lewd comments.

McDonald's said there was "no place for harassment" at its restaurants.

Organisers said the strike would target multiple restaurants in cities including Chicago, Los Angeles and Miami.

It is thought several hundred staff will walk out.

McDonald's has a company-wide sexual harassment policy but the protestors - who are backed by the Time's Up Legal Defense Fund - want to see improvements.

They say procedures for responding to harassment complaints are inadequate and that all staff should undergo anti-harassment training.

Complaints ignored

Since 2016, 25 McDonald's workers have filed complaints with the US National Labor Relations Board, alleging their reports of harassment were ignored, mocked or met with retaliation.

The complaints named both McDonald's franchisees and the company itself. However, the firm regards its franchisees as independent business owners.

In one example, Breauna Morrow, a 15-year-old cashier in St Louis, said that she had been "repeatedly harassed" by a co-worker using "graphic, sexual language".

However, when she reported the incident her "supervisors did nothing".

In another incident, an employee said she had reported being groped by a co-worker at a New Orleans outlet.

Instead of taking action, her managers mocked the woman and said "she was probably giving the worker 'sex appeal'".

'Policies in place'

McDonald's spokeswoman Andrea Abate said: "We have policies, procedures and training in place that are specifically designed to prevent sexual harassment at our company and company-owned restaurants, and we firmly believe that our franchisees share this commitment."

McDonald's also continues to face pressure from labour unions over the wages it pays it staff.

The Fight for $15, a national movement seeking to increase the minimum wage, has been pressurising the chain to increase wages and improve working conditions.

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seth Posted on September 18, 2018 13:01

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Emmy Awards 2018: The 8 best moments (and 1 that didn't happen)

Monday's Emmy Awards had its fair share of unexpected moments, emotional reactions and impassioned speeches. And some revelations about the destiny of Game of Thrones.

1. She said yes!


Media captionGlenn Weiss popped the question to Jan Svendsen

It started off like any other slightly dull acceptance speech but ended up putting all the gathered superstars in the shade.

Glenn Weiss thanked his children and the people he worked with on the Oscars, for which he won best directing for a variety special. Then he paid tribute to his mother, who died two weeks ago.

Then, seemingly inspired by her passing, he to seized the moment and he told his girlfriend Jan he wanted to make her his wife.

An overwhelmed Jan made her way up to the stage and Glenn, as an award show director himself, knew how to avoid being played off by the orchestra. He told Emmys director Hamish Hamilton: "Hamish, I'm going to be a moment."

He put his mother's wedding ring on Jan's finger and dropped down on one knee, to ecstatic applause.

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But what was the plan if her didn't win?

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If he hadn't won, he told reporters he might have popped the question at In 'N' Out Burger afterwards instead.

2. Betty White gets due respect at 96

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Betty White made her first TV appearance a full decade before the very first Emmys were handed out in 1949.

Now, at the age of 96, the Golden Girls star was moved by a standing ovation as she accepted a special honour at the 70th annual ceremony.

"Oh my goodness," she repeated as she took to the stage. "I'm just gonna quit while I'm ahead."

She continued: "It's incredible that I am still in this business and that you are still putting up with me." After more applause, she added: "No, believe me, I'm thanking you."

3. RuPaul makes history

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The Drag Race host became the first person to win the reality competition category and outstanding host for a reality or reality competition programme in the same year, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

He gave a typically impassioned acceptance speech, telling "all of the dreamers out there - if you can't love yourself, how in the hell are you going to love somebody else?"

Holding the statuette aloft, he called: "Can I get an amen up in here?"

4. Leslie Jones is more excited about Regina King than Regina King

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Normally the winner is more overjoyed than the presenter.

But when Ghostbusters star Leslie Jones announced Regina King as the winner of best actress in a limited series or movie for Seven Seconds, Leslie's eyes almost popped out of her head, while King sat impassively, seemingly in shock.

Leslie kept screaming in elation as a still stony-faced King eventually made her way to the stage.

Some viewers pointed out that King was the night's first non-white winner - which had been a long time coming.

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alternately i’m glad the second pair of black presenters got to present to a black winner and not hand it over to a thirteenth white woman #emmys

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5. Teddy Perkins turned up

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Donald Glover didn't win, but he did come dressed as Teddy Perkins. #Emmys

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Donald Glover submitted the Atlanta episode Teddy Perkins - in which he spent most of the time dressed as the creepy alter-ego of the same name - to voters of the best actor in a comedy category.

So it was perhaps fitting that Teddy himself turned up to the Emmys when that award was announced.

But alas we missed out on Teddy's acceptance speech because in one of the night's biggest upsets, Bill Hader beat Glover to the award.

Hader - who won for Barry - even hugged "Teddy" on his way up to the stage.

However, this photo suggests it wasn't Donald himself who was dressed as Teddy.

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6. Game of Thrones is back - but it could have lasted longer

Image copyrightREUTERS

Game of Thrones picked up best drama series again, after a year off in 2017 when it wasn't eligible.

Its forthcoming eighth season will be its last. Author George RR Martin revealed on the red carpet that he wanted it to go on for longer, but that showrunners David Benioff and DB Weiss refused.

"We could have gone to 11, 12, 13 seasons but I guess they wanted a life," he told Variety.

"But that's fine, we've got five prequels in development that are based on other periods in the history of Westeros, some of them just 100 years before Game of Thrones, some of them 5,000 years before Game of Thrones."

7. 'A country that allows hatred to grow unfettered and unchecked'

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One of the strongest messages came from director Ryan Murphy, accepting best limited series for The Assassination of Gianni Versace.

He told the ceremony the show was "about a lot of things".

He said: "It's about homophobia, internalised and externalised, it's about a country that allows hatred to grow unfettered and unchecked. One out of every four LGBTQ people in this country will be a victim of a hate crime.

"We dedicate this award to them. We dedicate this award to awareness, to stricter hate crime laws, and mostly, this is for the memory of Jeff and David and Gianni and for all of those taken too soon."

Jeff is Jeffrey Trail and David is David Madson - both also victims of Versace's killer Andrew Cunanan.

8. When in doubt, thank your horse

At the end of his acceptance speech for best supporting actor in a limited series for Godless, after a slightly (very) dull list of thank-yous including his riding trainer and horse wrangler - Jeff Daniels was sure not to forget the most important thank you of all.

"I'd finally like to thank my horse Apollo. He was Jeff Bridges' horse on True Grit and I felt he was making unfair comparisons."

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At least he didn't go so far as to propose to it.

And one moment that didn't happen

"Those who were waiting for a #MeToo moment during Monday night's Emmy Awards just kept waiting," wrote the New York Times.

"Unlike at previous awards shows this year, emblems of the movement weren't pinned to lapels or sequined gowns.

"#MeToo was mostly absent from acceptance speeches and even from the monologue - except for fleeting jokes by the hosts, Michael Che and Colin Jost."

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seth Posted on September 18, 2018 12:53

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12 dead babies found stuffed in boxes and plastic bags

The governor of Nairobi has ordered an investigation after he made a surprise visit to a hospital in the Kenyan capital and found 12 dead babies stuffed in boxes and plastic bags.


Gov. Mike Sonko said he went to the Pumwani Maternity Hospital on Monday after he received reports of negligence and of employees carrying bodies from hospital rooms. "During the impromptu visit, I uncovered 12 bodies of infants who died at the hospital mysteriously and their bodies hidden in boxes and paper bags inside a room," Sonko said in a statement.


The visit was captured on video


In a confrontation captured on video and shared online, the governor stormed into the hospital and demanded to know how many children died that day. A hospital employee told him only one has died since Friday, but the governor said he's been told the number is higher.


"Don't play with me, I have information on six bodies," Sonko said in Swahili. "You told me there's only one, how many dead babies are there?" Sonko ordered an employee to open several boxes and plastic bags that were sitting in a room, and they counted 12 bodies.

"This is a police case. You cannot lose 12 babies in a day. ... You're hiding bodies in plastic bags. ... these are human beings," Sonko said.


Hospitals are overburdened and underfunded


It was not immediately clear what killed the babies or what happened to their mothers. CNN has reached out to Pumwani Maternity Hospital.


The governor said he's suspended several top hospital officials following the incident, including the superintendent, the administrator and the ob-gyn physician on duty.


Public hospitals in Kenya have a history of neglect and mismanagement, with a health care system that's overcrowded, overburdened and underfunded.


Last year, the treatment at the nation's hospitals almost ground to a halt when doctors and nurses went on strike for months due to low pay and poor working conditions.

Pumwani has no facilities to store bodies, and it's not uncommon for employees to temporarily put bodies in boxes before they are transferred to the morgue, a doctor wrote in the Standard newspaper.


Kenyan officials have demanded changes following the governor's visit to the hospital.

"The situation unearthed at Pumwani is saddening, heartbreaking and undeserving to any family," Nairobi Sen. Johnson Sakaja tweeted. "Spoken to DCI (director of criminal investigations) to investigate concerned parties on the deaths of the babies as well as allegations of child trafficking and baby swaps."


Veronica Ehwia Posted on September 18, 2018 12:20

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Venezuela’s president ate steak at Salt Bae's restaurant while people in his country are starving.

Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro ate at the Istanbul restaurant of Salt Bae — real name Nusret Gökçe — on Monday as his country grapples with hyperinflation, powers cuts, and food shortages. Food at Nusr Et, the restaurant, is very expensive.

  • Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro ate at viral chef Salt Bae's restaurant in Istanbul on Monday.
  • Food at Nusr Et, the restaurant, is very expensive.
  • Meanwhile, Venezuela is struggling through hyperinflation, powers cuts, and food shortages.
  • Florida Senator Marco Rubio slammed Salt Bae — real name Nusret Gökçe — for serving Maduro.

Venezuela's president feasted on expensive steak at celebrity chef Salt Bae's restaurant while millions of people back home are starving.

Nícolas Maduro was seen dining with his wife on Monday at an Istanbul branch of Nusr Et, the international chain of restaurants by to Turkish chef Nusret Gökçe, also known as "Salt Bae."

Maduro was in Istanbul for a stop-off on his way from China, where he went to ask for more loans for his economically-stricken country.

Recent polls of Venezuelans show that many struggle to afford food, and the country often sees mass protests because of their economic hardship. The government has advised Venezuelans to breed and kill rabbits as a way to beat their hunger.

At one point in his meal, Maduro can be seen smoking a cigar and appearing to pose with Gökçe as he was presented with a cigar and a T-shirt.

Reuters also cited him telling fellow diners: "This is a once in a lifetime moment."

Watch the videos here:

Gökçe found international fame and earned his nickname in early 2017 after a video of him cutting up steak and sprinkling salt over it went viral.

Meals at his chain restaurants have been panned as overly expensive. While the menu on Nusr Et's website shows no prices, steaks in his New York restaurant run from $70 to $275, according to the New York Observer.

Gökçe thanked Maduro for visiting the restaurant in at least two tweets on Monday, according to Bloomberg. Both of those tweets have since been deleted.

Maduro, however, confirmed the visit in a state broadcast on Monday. He said, according to Reuters: "Nusret attended to us personally. We were chatting, having a good time with him ... He loves Venezuela, he told me several times."


Maduro in Caracas, Venezuela, in August.

(Miraflores Presidential Palace via AP)


Meanwhile, Venezuela suffers

Maduro feasted on steak as the rest of his country struggles through a profound economic crisis. Venezuela is suffering from hyperinflation, powers cuts, and food shortages.

Venezuela could see inflation as high as 1,000,000% this year, according to a July forecast from the IMF, with locals needing stacks and stacks of cash just to buy basic food items.

A new study by Venezuelan pollster Meganalisis found that 78.6% of the population found it difficult to feed themselves every day, and almost one in three Venezuelas could only afford to eat once a day.

Maduro also devalued the country's currency, the bolivar, by 95% last month and pegged it to the state-backed cryptocurrency, the petro.

Several Venezuelan women said they turned to sex work in neighboring Colombia because the economic crisis had become so bad.


Turkish chef Nusret Gökçe, nicknamed "Salt Bae," found international fame in early 2017 when a video of him sprinkling salt on a piece of steak went viral.



"This weirdo Salt Bae"

Gökçe received huge amounts of criticism for serving Maduro on Monday.

Yusnaby Pérez, a journalist in Venezuela, posted a video of Maduro's meal with the caption: "I wonder how every Venezuelan Chavista will feel tomorrow when they have to return to the daily titanic queue," referring to the huge lines where citizens wait for food every day.

Florida Sen. Marco Rubio also joined in the condemnation.

He tweeted on Monday night:

"I don't know who this weirdo #Saltbae is, but the guy he is so proud to host is not the President of #Venezuela.

"He is actually the overweight dictator of a nation where 30% of the people eat only once a day & infants are suffering from malnutrition."

In another tweet, he also provided the number and address of Gökçe's Miami restaurant, and encouraged constituents to visit or call it in protest.

Albert Ulebe Posted on September 18, 2018 11:41

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53 more Ghanaian referees banned after bribery probe

The Referees' Association of Ghana (RAG) has handed life-time bans to six more referees in the wake of an investigation into bribery.

It also banned 47 match officials for 10 years each, while another 14 were exonerated.

RAG also confirmed the sanctions handed down by the Confederation of African Football (Caf) last month - two for life and six others for 10 years.

It brings the total with life bans to eight and those with 10-year bans to 53.

Those on the list released by RAG have until 1 October to appeal against the rulings.

The investigation was launched after the officials were secretly filmed accepting money by investigative journalist Anas Aremeyaw Anas.

n a statement RAG said those facing lifetime bans "were found culpable for seriously breaching various portions of Disciplinary Code, Code of the Ethics and Regulations of the football controlling bodies by their actions and inactions."

David Laryea and Reginald Lathbridge had already been banned for life by Caf, they have been joined by Safo Adade, Samuel Sukah, Dally Gagba, Furella Barnie, Charles Duwona and Umar Teni.

This is the latest fallout from Anas' film that has seen the Ghana Football Association president Kwesi Nyantakyi resign from his post, as well as from positions he held with Caf and Fifa.

He has also been suspended for 135 days by football's world governing body, Fifa, as it investigates corruption allegations, Nyantakyi has denied any wrongdoing.

On Thursday Fifa and Caf announced a 4 member normalisation committee to take charge of the football affairs in Ghana for the next six months.

Former football association board member Dr Kofi Amoah will head up the committee, he was in charge of the organising committee when Ghana hosted the 2008 Nations Cup.

The other members are Lucy Quist, a former chief executive of a telecoms company, Dua Adonten, a former Asante Kotoko board member and director general of Ghana Post as well as lawyer Naa Odofoley Nortey.

Veronica Ehwia Posted on September 18, 2018 11:17

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Westpac develops blockchain procurement proof of concept.

Learning about blockchain was "like being a caveman coming out into the light".

Plans for the Australian National Blockchain, a legal smart contract network, are well underway. Elsewhere the Australian Stock Exchange has taken a global lead on blockchain upgrades, and Commonwealth Bank has put 17 tonnes of almonds on the blockchain, while also being tapped by the World Bank to create the first blockchain bond.

Westpac doesn't want to fall behind. To the contrary, said Didier Van Not, Westpac's general manager of corporate and institutional banking to the Australian Financial Review, "I want Westpac to be seen as a thought leader in this space."

To that end it quickly cranked out a procurement blockchain proof of concept, built on R3's Corda platform, in partnership with tech consultancy Infosys.

A technology company with a banking licence

It only took three months to develop, but the project isn't necessarily intended to be commercialised, Van Not says. Rather, it's more of an exploration of blockchain and its potential ability to deliver data insights to Westpac and its clients.

"I'm looking to automate as much as I can at Westpac over time and utilise more data analytics and offer services like this to more of our institutional clients.... Corporate Australia is crying out for insights about their businesses, and the data we have about their sectors can have such a big impact and be packaged in such a way that we can provide more insights. It's not about selling the data, but generating insights," he said.

The system itself integrates Internet of things, big data, artificial intelligence and blockchain to create a system that achieves near-perfect buzzword saturation. It's also intended to predict demand and price rises for goods and automate currently manual procurement and payment processes.

"I'm a traditional banker, so for me, this was like being a caveman coming out into the light," Van Not said. "I'd go to conferences and people were talking about a future where machines would help people make better decisions. This was a powerful glimpse of that future."

Ultimately, Van Not said, Westpac sees itself as more of a technology company.

"Looking at the bank nowadays, we're a technology company with a banking licence," he said. "That's why we're spending time with developers, doing this proof-of-concept and talking about these things at conferences."

This might be a necessary approach for financial institutions today, as more and more tech companies start using blockchain and cryptocurrency to make inroads into banking territory.

Albert Ulebe Posted on September 18, 2018 10:49

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Solar Orbiter: Spacecraft to leave UK bound for the Sun

It's taken a little longer than expected but the Solar Orbiter probe is built and ready to begin testing.

UK engineers are putting the finishing touches to the satellite this week before sending it to Germany to begin a year-long test campaign.

Such attention to detail is necessary because of the punishing conditions the spacecraft will experience when studying our star's inner workings.

SolO is going to fly to within 43 million km of the solar surface.

In doing so, the heatshield on the front of the European Space Agency (Esa) satellite will have to cope with temperatures of up to 600C.

If you're thinking, "but I thought we just launched a probe to study the Sun" - you'd be right. That was the US space agency's (Nasa) Parker satellite, which left Earth in August.

The two missions actually have very similar goals - and on many occasions will be working hand in glove, trying to understand what drives our star's activity.


Media captionTim Horbury: "The poles of the Sun are really important"

Parker will do it by going even closer than SolO, to within 7 million km of the solar surface.

This will allow the American probe to sit directly in and sample the Sun's outer atmosphere, or corona. This is the place where the "solar wind" - the storm of charged particles (plasma) and the magnetic fields they carry - get accelerated and blown out into space.

Solar Orbiter, on the other hand, will stand back somewhat to provide the wider context for what Parker is sensing.

Daniel Müller is the Esa SolO project scientist: "The overarching science question we're trying to tackle is about how the Sun creates this plasma bubble around it, and how solar activity changes in time and also changes this bubble we all live in."

SolO can make very similar measurements to Parker from its "gentler" vantage point. But, crucially, it will also be taking pictures. The Esa mission's heatshield has peepholes that give telescopes an opportunity to spy the Sun's broiling surface.

Parker can't do this. If any telescope tried to look past its shield, the hardware would rapidly melt in temperatures that exceeded 1,000C.

"We go close enough with Solar Orbiter that we can co-locate with some surfaces of the Sun," explains Helen O'Brien, an instrument manager from Imperial College London. "We'll get to hover over a section to see how it develops, plus how the atmosphere coming out of that region behaves as it goes past us in space."


Image captionThe diffuse corona is only visible to us on Earth during a total solar eclipse

And there's another aspect to SolO's mission which is very different to Parker. The European satellite is going to use a series of flybys of Venus to gravitationally manoeuvre itself into an inclined orbit so that it can look down on the Sun's poles.

This would be a first - we've never had pictures of these regions.

"Although we can't see them, the poles are where the Sun's magnetic field is really important," says Imperial's Tim Horbury, a principal investigator on SolO. "The Sun's magnetic field is central to its dynamics; the magnetic field drives all the activity on the Sun."

Solar Orbiter was due to launch this year along with Parker, but a number of technical set-backs mean the European probe won't now set off until February 2020.

The delay is disappointing but it shouldn't harm the research. SolO and Parker are still expected to be able to conduct joint science for a number of years.

And at the end of it all, scientists should have a much clearer idea of the underlying motors for the Sun's 11-year cycles of behaviour.

That's important because the biggest outbursts from our star will rattle the Earth's magnetic field. In the process, communications may be disrupted, satellites in orbit around the planet can be knocked offline, and power grids will be vulnerable to electrical surges.

Missions like SolO and Parker should improve the tools used for forecasting these kinds of disturbances.

Image copyrightAIRBUS DS

Image captionSolO's heatshield has peepholes for the telescopes to look through

Solar Orbiter has been assembled by Airbus in Stevenage. There's satisfaction at the aerospace giant that the build phase of the project has come to a close.

Engineers have had to work hard to keep SolO as clean as possible, ensuring there is nothing on the spacecraft that might introduce electrical or magnetic interference to the probe's 10 instruments - and to ward off dust. "If you get dust on the telescopes' lenses and then expose them to the Sun, you'll effectively bake that dust on to their surfaces, and you'll lose science," says integration manager Michelle Sprake. "We've had challenges and have had to come up with solutions."

The Stevenage team is currently boxing up the probe for shipment to the IABG company in Munich where it will be alternately baked and frozen (parts of the probe in shadow in space can go down to minus 180C) to demonstrate its readiness for thermal extremes.

SolO will also be shaken, and "shouted at" by big loudspeakers. This will prove it can handle the violence of riding on top of a rocket.

Assuming Solar Orbiter comes through these trials, the satellite will then be despatched to Florida where Nasa has booked an Atlas vehicle to hurl the mission towards the Sun. and follow me on Twitter: @BBCAmos

seth Posted on September 18, 2018 09:41

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Elon Musk unveils first tourist for SpaceX 'Moon loop'

Elon Musk's company SpaceX has unveiled the first private passenger it plans to fly around the Moon.

Japanese billionaire and online fashion tycoon Yusaku Maezawa, 42, announced: "I choose to go to the Moon."

The mission is planned for 2023, and would be the first lunar journey by humans since 1972.

But it is reliant on a rocket that has not been built yet, and Mr Musk cautioned: "It's not 100% certain we can bring this to flight."

The announcement was made at SpaceX's headquarters in Hawthorne, California, on Tuesday.

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The company said the flight on board the Big Falcon Rocket (BFR) - a launch system that was unveiled by Mr Musk in 2016 - represented "an important step toward enabling access for everyday people who dream of travelling to space".

Earlier on Twitter, Mr Musk had already hinted that the passenger would be from Japan.

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Image captionMr Maezawa said he would invite up to eight artists to join him in space

Mr Maezawa made headlines last year after paying $110.5m (£85.4m) for a painting by the late artist Jean-Michel Basquiat at an auction in New York.

The art enthusiast said on Monday he would invite six to eight artists from around the world to join him on the trip.

"They will be asked to create something after they return to Earth. These masterpieces will inspire the dreamer within all of us," he told reporters.

New rocket for a new mission

Only 24 humans have visited the Moon - all of them Americans; 12 of them landed on the moon. Nasa's Apollo 17 in December 1972 marked the last time humans landed on the moon, or went beyond low Earth orbit.

Mr Maezawa will not land on the moon. He will travel on what is called a "free return trajectory", which will bring his BFR ship back to Earth after it has gone around the far side of the satellite.

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In 2017, Mr Musk announced that he would be sending two paying passengers on a loop around the Moon - which was to have launched as early as this year.

At the time, SpaceX was to have used its heavy-lift Falcon Heavy rocket and the crewed version of the existing Dragon capsule.

But in February this year, Mr Musk said SpaceX would concentrate on the BFR for future crewed missions.

The BFR has never flown, but Mr Musk has released some technical details about it. The rocket is expected to stand 118m high and have a diameter of 9m.

By comparison, the Falcon Heavy is 70m tall and consists of a central rocket core surrounded by two boosters, each with a diameter of 3.66m.

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On Monday, Mr Musk unveiled new artist impressions of the BFR and the spaceship which will carry passengers around the Moon.

It appeared to confirm some design changes to the spaceship, including three large fins near the back and a black heat-shield on the craft's underside.

Eventually, the BFR should be able to lift a whopping 150 tonnes into low-Earth orbit - that is more than the US Saturn V rockets that lofted the Apollo spacecraft.

The SpaceX founder has attracted some uncomfortable headlines of late - he recently smoked marijuana during a webcast with a US comedian.

Shares in Tesla have had a turbulent time after the entrepreneur said in a tweet last month that he wanted to take the carmaker private. He abandoned the idea about two weeks later.

Earlier on Monday it emerged Mr Musk was being sued for defamation over his repeated claims that a British cave diver was a child abuser.

The lawsuit brought by Vernon Unsworth, who helped with the rescue of 12 Thai teenagers from a flooded cave in July, seeks $75,000 (£57,000) in compensation and an injunction against Mr Musk to stop further allegations.

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seth Posted on September 18, 2018 09:39

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Tackling food waste in Nigeria with an app

"Going without food for any person, for any child - it's destabilising, it shakes you to your core. I remember being a child and going without food and being able to have just one good meal in a day."

Oscar Ekponimo's drive comes from a childhood fuelled by hunger. When his father got sick and couldn't work, the whole family went hungry.

But now this tech entrepreneur in Nigeria's capital Abuja thinks he has the answer to the problem of food inequality.

He's the inventor of an app called Chowberry which connects people to supermarket food that would ordinarily end up in the bin.

It has already been taken up by 35 retailers, NGOs (non-government organisations) and other organisations in the country.

At a supermarket in Abuja, a sales assistant unloads shelves filled with semolina, a type of milled flour, into shopping trolleys. He's preparing the products for collection by Thrifty Slayer - a charity that has bought these discounted items via Chowberry.

Discount products

As we stand in one of the aisles, Oscar takes out a tablet to show me how the technology works. "We have a system on this app that allows retailers to put information about products that are about to expire.

"These products are deeply discounted because the products are reaching the end of their shelf life.

"The food would ordinarily be thrown away by the retailers, but with our system they have a way of saving their losses," he adds.

"At the same time NGOs are able to take this food at a very reasonable price and acquire more food for distribution."

Currently anyone can order food at a discount online, although there are 15 charities with priority access who are able to to order larger quantities.

Chowberry has a list of their preferences and sends them updates when it receives the type of food the charities need for their food distribution programmes.

Image captionThe discounted products would otherwise be wasted, contributing to food security challenges

The supermarket that Oscar is showing me round was an early adopter of Chowberry when it launched two years ago.

"Some of the shops we work with have said they've managed to save 80% of what they used to throw away," he tells me.

A study commissioned by the United Nations indicates that globally, one-third of food produced for consumption is lost or wasted.

This amounts to 1.3 billion tonnes a year. UN figures also suggest that one in nine of us across the globe go to bed on an empty stomach - despite there being enough food in the world.

Image captionOscar wants to help people on low incomes be able to feed themselves

Oscar's ability to relate to the problem is at the heart of his mission to reach those living on extremely low incomes, right at the bottom of the pyramid.

The BBC's Innovators series reveals innovative solutions to major challenges across South Asia and Africa

Learn more about BBC Innovators.

"They don't have access to smartphones, so the connecting entity is the NGOs," says Oscar.

Thrifty Slayer is one of the many charities and NGOs that buys discounted products for its food distribution programmes through the Chowberry app.

Its programmes are funded by selling donated second-hand clothing online but Ijeoma Nwizu, Thrifty Slayer's founder, says Chowberry helps the charity's funds go much further.

Image captionNGOs and charities help people in towns such as Pyakasa by offering lunches

"We started feeding about 40 people, but then the community kept growing. Now we feed them and neighbouring communities - about 200 people every Sunday," she says.

"As the numbers of people we feed increased we started to look for ways to keep our costs low. The good thing about partnering with Chowberry is the availability of food in the quantities we need them."

UN figures show over 14 million people in Nigeria are classified as undernourished.

Hunger is a major problem according to Amara Nwankpa, director of public policy at the Shehu Musa Yar'Adua Foundation, an organisation campaigning for food security.

"I think the challenges we face with food supply and access represents an opportunity for innovators. We have no choice but to innovate our way out of this situation," says Amara.

Image captionOscar Ekponimo was driven by his own childhood hunger to set up the app

"Most times I get emotional about it. I get a sense of fulfilment that a simple idea can reach people in a real way. But the feelings are mixed," says Oscar during a visit to Pyakasa, a small dusty town surrounded by mountains on the outskirts of Abuja where a feeding programme is under way.

On the days we are there, around 50 people, mainly women and children, were queuing for lunch. We were told that for most of them, this would have been their biggest meal all week.

"The challenge is to scale up, that's where our work is cut out for the next few years," says Oscar. "I'm in it for the long haul, as long as there's the value chain of food there will always be food floating around."

Food waste is a huge problem and this entrepreneur has global aspirations for his simple solution.

He hopes that once it makes inroads in Nigeria and across Africa, it will go on to transform the lives of people around the world.

This BBC series was produced with funding from Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

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seth Posted on September 18, 2018 09:36

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The rise of the payment app: 'I hardly use cash any more'

Using a payment app to pay your friends directly or split a restaurant bill has become increasingly popular among younger generations in particular. But are they safe?

Nikki Hesford, 32, is a convert to person-to-person payment (P2P) apps, using PayPal to pay for services and Venmo to pay back friends.

"The only time in the last year I've drawn out cash is for the school fete cake stall and to pay my manicurist," says Ms Hesford, who runs her own marketing support company for small businesses.

"If I go for a meal with friends I can't be bothered messing about with two, three or four cards," she says.

"One person will pay on a card and the others will transfer through an app. It takes seconds rather than minutes fussing around with who owes what."

Such P2P apps, like PayPal-owned Venmo, Zelle, Apple Pay, Facebook Messenger, WeChat Pay, and Square Cash, let you pay someone in seconds because they're hooked up to your bank account, credit card or debit card.

They are proving popular with young people wanting a convenient, cash-free way to pay friends back for coffees, takeaways or cocktails, but are also being used for larger payments.

Image copyrightGETTY IMAGES

Image captionP2P payment apps do away with the need for several payment cards when settling the bill

And they're growing fast.

Zelle, one of the most popular payment apps in the US backed by 150 banks, launched in June 2017, but has already processed more than 320 million transactions valued at $94bn (£72bn).

A recent report by Zion market research suggested that the global mobile-wallet market in general is expected to top $3bn by 2022, up from nearly $600m in 2016.

Neeraj Vig, 33, says using a P2P payment app is more convenient and cuts out the awkwardness of having to remind his flatmate every month to pay the rent.

"Instead of chasing my flatmate when the bills come in I'll request the money through an app called Billbutler," he says. "Once he's transferred it to me I'll then pay the bill straight away."

Such apps, along with contactless payment cards and smartphones, are rapidly making cash redundant.

"You no longer need to waste time trying to find a cash machine to settle a debt, or fiddling around with sort codes and lengthy bank account numbers to transfer money," explains Alison Sagar, PayPal UK's head of consumer and marketing director.

Image copyrightONDOT SYSTEMS

Image captionRachna Ahlawat says consumers want the convenience of instant payments these days

"All you need is a mobile number or an email address, and in a few taps you can send money, just like a text message."

Rachna Ahlawat, co-founder of Ondot Systems, a payment services platform, perceives a marked change in consumer behaviour.

"We want transactions to happen in an instant and at the click of a button," she says. "Consumers not only want to operate in real-time, but they are looking for technology that allows them to play a more active role in how they control their payments, and are finding new ways of managing their financial lives."

But there are concerns that security and privacy are being sacrificed on the altar of convenience.

Venmo has always had a social media element to the app, whereby users could include emojis and other comments when sending money back and forth to friends. According to Venmo the pizza emoji is used every 20 seconds.

But unless you restricted your privacy settings, this meant complete strangers could see your spending habits - including money spent on drugs, drink and even strippers. Some people even claim to have uncovered a partner's infidelity via the app.

Image copyrightVENMO

Image captionP2P payment apps are easy and quick to use, but does this make them less secure?

Such personal details are also gold dust for hackers wanting to make fake emails look as if they've come from real people in your organisation, with the aim of persuading you to give away security information or even make payments you shouldn't.

But Venmo defends its approach.

"Our users trust us with their money and personal information, and we take this responsibility and privacy laws very seriously," a spokesman tells the BBC.

"We use encryption to protect our users' account information and monitor their account activity to help identify unauthorised transactions.

"Plus, a user can limit the visibility of payments by updating the privacy settings on a payment even after they have sent it."

Monzo, which launched a P2P payment service in 2016, now enables users to send money to other bank accounts outside of the network. But security is high, the bank says, with PIN [personal identification number] codes and fingerprints used for authentication.

More complicated authentication procedures are required for larger sums, the bank says.

But Pedro Fortuna, co-founder and chief technology officer at Jscrambler, an app security company, warns that the nature of these apps that sit between the user and the bank makes them potentially vulnerable to hackers.

"From the moment that e-banking apps are deployed to the user's mobile device or browser, organisations lose visibility and control over how these apps are presented and how their code is running," he says.

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"Malware injections and reverse engineering attacks can be used by hackers to understand the app's code and silently trick you, going undetected by the typical security measures."

Sean Devaney, strategy director for banking and finance at IT firm CGI UK, believes users of P2P payment apps need to take responsibility for their own data privacy and security.

"In the UK, there is significant regulation that protects users' data, but this protection is only as good as the app provider's ability to implement it," he says.

"With the increasing number of apps all requiring some form of authentication, it's all too tempting to reuse passwords across multiple services. This increases the risk of your data being hacked."

Experts also advise users not to send money to strangers, as P2P payment apps are typically designed to facilitate payments between friends and colleagues, not for commercial transactions - there's no buyer or seller protection.

Used wisely, P2P payment apps are fast and convenient. Just make sure you understand the security and privacy settings, otherwise you could end up giving away more data than you intended and even sending money to fraudsters.

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

seth Posted on September 18, 2018 09:35

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Anthony Joshua v Alexander Povetkin: I can't please everyone, says heavyweight champion

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

Unified world heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua says he will not be "drained" by criticism and has called on the public to support him as a "person" rather than a boxer.

Joshua, 28, defends his IBF, WBO and WBA world heavyweight titles against Russia's Alexander Povetkin at Wembley Stadium on Saturday.

But some fans and pundits have been critical that a bout with WBC champion Deontay Wilder has not materialised.

"I can't please everyone anymore, so I get that and so it's my game now," Joshua told BBC Sport.

"I'm having fun with it. I did 16 fights and went in for a world title, three years an amateur and went and won the Olympics, unified the heavyweight division, and it's still not good enough.

"Either I get stronger from it or I get drained by it. I think I am getting stronger from it as it builds up a thicker skin.

"Get behind me as a person rather than a boxer. If you support me, support me as a person for life but if you're with me just for boxing, when it's going good you'll be there but if it's bad you will not."

'13 April is booked - who wants to step up?'

Of the failed Wilder negotiations, Joshua said the sport was now in an era in which fighters "know their worth" and where the teams around them "negotiate hard".

But he pointed to the fact Wembley is already booked again on 13 April as an opportunity for him to face Wilder or Tyson Fury.

"We are in the same division, the same era, there's no way we can't fight," Joshua added.

"Providing I beat Povetkin, 13 April is booked. Wembley is there - a date and a location - it's just the person who wants to step up and fight me."

Negotiations with Wilder have been going on since Joshua beat Carlos Takam 11 months ago but, in a recent interview, promoter Eddie Hearn said British heavyweight Dillian Whyte was probably favourite to be the opponent on 13 April because of his impressive form and the fact a deal would be easier to make.


What can Chabuddy G teach Eddie Hearn about boxing promotion?

But Joshua must first deal with the threat of Povetkin in front of around 80,000 fans at the national stadium. Hearn himself has said he is "nervous" about an opponent who is arguably overlooked by the public while those involved in the sport know he brings experience, pedigree and threat.

The 39-year-old challenger - twice convicted of doping - has only been beaten once in his 35-fight career, and that loss was to Wladimir Klitschko in 2013.

Joshua rates the 2004 Olympic gold medallist as his third-toughest challenge as a professional, behind his own win over Klitschko and his last outing, a points win over Joseph Parker.

Parker is the only man to take Joshua to the scorecards and the champion is keen to be more aggressive this time out in what will be his fourth successive stadium contest.

"Parker came as a champion so I have to give him that champion's respect, so I'd put him two and Povetkin three," added Joshua.

"He's a gold medallist, been in the game a long time, he's very experienced and has a great knockout threat.

"I'm going in there to spark him out. Go in there, keep a tight guard, don't give him any openings and then whip him around the head and body. He's 39 so he won't be able to take that pressure to the body."

seth Posted on September 18, 2018 09:28

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US slashes number of refugees to 30,000

The US says it will cap the number of refugees allowed into the country next year at a near record low of 30,000.

It compares with a 45,000-refugee limit set by President Donald Trump for 2018 and 50,000 the year before.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced "the new refugee ceiling", adding the US would also process more than 280,000 asylum seekers in 2019.

The refugee cap is the lowest since the aftermath of 9/11, when 27,131 refugees were allowed into the US in 2002.

Over the past decade, the number of refugees admitted to the US has fluctuated from a low of 48,282 in 2007 to a high of 84,995 in 2016.

The US refugee programme was set up in 1980.

According to the New York Times, Monday's announcement represents the lowest ceiling any president has imposed on the programme since its creation.


The Trump administration has pursued tight restrictions on immigration and critics have accused it of scaling back protection for the world's most vulnerable people.

Eric Schwartz, president of the independent organisation Refugees International, called the new cap "appalling".

In a statement published on the body's website, Mr Schwartz said the decision continues the Trump administration's "rapid flight from the proud US tradition of providing resettlement to those fleeing persecution around the world".

Mr Pompeo, however, said it would be "wrong" to view the refugee ceiling as "the sole barometer of America's commitment to vulnerable people around the world".

The limit had to be viewed "in the context of the many other forms of protection and assistance offered by the United States", he said.

The US is currently on track to admit only about half the maximum number of refugees allowed in 2018.

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seth Posted on September 18, 2018 09:22

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Russia blames Israel after military plane shot down off Syria

Russia has said Syria shot down one of its military planes - but laid the blame for the deaths of the 15 personnel on board with Israel.

The defence ministry said Israeli jets forced the Il-20 plane into the path of Syrian air defence systems on Monday after failing to give Moscow enough warning of a strike on Syrian targets.

The Il-20 disappeared off the radar at about 23:00 local time (20:00 GMT).

Israel is yet to comment on the allegations.

Israel rarely acknowledges carrying out strikes on Syria, but an Israeli military official recently said it had hit more than 200 Iranian targets in Syria over the past 18 months.

The Israeli government is concerned by what it calls Iran's "military entrenchment" in Syria, as well as shipments of Iranian weapons to the Lebanese militant group Hezbollah, which is fighting alongside Syrian government forces.

What exactly happened?

The details are murky, and Russia's account of the incident has yet to be verified.

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

Russia's Tass news agency says the Il-20 plane "disappeared during an attack by four Israeli F-16 jets on Syrian facilities in Latakia province".

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

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

The Israeli military refused to comment on reports its planes had targeted facilities in the Latakia area on Monday, saying: "We don't comment on foreign reports."

A number of people were initially blamed after the plane disappeared, but on Tuesday the Russian defence ministry said the aircraft was accidentally shot down by Syria.

What does Russia accuse Israel of doing?

In a statement, Russia said Israel's "irresponsible actions" were to blame, saying it was given less than a minute's warning ahead of the strikes, which was not enough time to get the military surveillance plane out of the way.

"The Israeli planes deliberately created a dangerous situation for surface ships and aircraft in the area," a defence ministry spokesman said.

The spokesman accused Israeli pilots of "using the Russian airplane as a cover", putting it "in the line of fire coming from Syrian air defence systems".

The plane, the spokesman continued, was shot down by a Syrian missile. It is not possible to verify any of these claims.

"As a result of the irresponsible actions by the Israeli military, 15 Russian servicemen have died," the spokesman said.

"This is absolutely out of line with the spirit of Russian-Israeli partnership. We reserve the right to take appropriate action in response."

A search-and-rescue operation is under way, co-ordinated through personnel located at the Hmeimim base, the ministry added.

Why is a Russian aircraft in Syria?

Russia began military strikes in Syria in 2015 after a request from President Bashar al-Assad, who has stayed in power despite seven years of civil war.

The conflict has so far killed more than 350,000 people.

Hmeimim is Russia's main base for air strikes on rebel groups in Syria - strikes that have enabled President Assad's forces to recover much lost ground since 2015.

Russia says its air strikes only target "terrorists", but activists have said they mainly hit mainstream rebel fighters and civilians.

According to The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a UK-based monitoring group, at least 7,928 civilians and 10,069 combatants have been killed in Russian strikes.

Russia has also suffered personnel losses, including the deaths of 39 people when a Russian military transport plane crashed as it attempted to land at Hmeimim in March.

Just a few months earlier, Russia said it had increased security at Hmeimim in response to a foiled drone attack on the base just days after reports that rebel shelling had damaged several planes.

Earlier on Monday Russia and Turkey agreed to create a demilitarised buffer zone in Syria's Idlib province to separate government forces from rebel fighters based there.

Russian President Vladimir Putin said it would be 15km to 25km (9-15 miles) wide and come into force by 15 October.

seth Posted on September 18, 2018 09:16

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Emmy Awards 2018 red carpet fashion - in pictures

The 70th Primetime Emmy Awards took place in Los Angeles on Monday.

Here are some pictures from the red carpet (which is actually not red this year, but gold).

Image copyrightGETTY IMAGES

Image captionGuest actress in a comedy series nominee Tiffany Haddish wore a colourful gown inspired by the Eritrean flag

Image copyrightGETTY IMAGES

Image captionSandra Oh was nominated for best lead actress in a drama series for her role in Killing Eve

Image copyrightGETTY IMAGES

Image captionJames Corden, pictured with wife Julia Carey, was nominated for best variety talk series

Image copyrightGETTY IMAGES

Image captionMom actress Allison Janney, who won an Oscar earlier this year, was up for best lead actress in a comedy series

Image copyrightFRAZER HARRISON

Image captionMillie Bobby Brown from Stranger Things was nominated for supporting actress in a drama series

Image copyrightGETTY IMAGES

Image captionLead actress in a limited series or movie nominee Jessica Biel with Justin Timberlake

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Image captionGilmore Girls star Alexis Bledel - nominated for supporting actress in a drama series for her role in The Handmaid's Tale

Image copyrightGETTY IMAGES

Image captionKristen Bell, whose co-star in The Good Place, Ted Danson, was nominated for lead actor in a comedy series

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Image captionSterling K. Brown, nominated for lead actor in a drama series, with his wife Ryan Michelle Bathe

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Image captionPoppy Delevingne, who starred in Genius: Picasso - which had two nominations

Image copyrightGETTY IMAGES

Image captionNoah Schnapp and Gaten Matarazzo of Netflix's Stranger Things - which picked up three nominations in total

Image copyrightGETTY IMAGES

Image captionInsecure star Issa Rae - nominated for lead actress in a comedy series

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Image captionScarlett Johansson with partner and Saturday Night Live star Colin Jost, who co-hosted the ceremony

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Image captionBritish actress Claire Foy's performance in The Crown won her the prize for best lead actress in a drama series

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Image captionActress Jennifer Lewis said she was wearing Nike "to tell them how proud I am of them for supporting Colin Kaepernick". Nike has made the NFL player, who kneeled during the national anthem at a match to protest police brutality and racial injustice, one of the faces of its celebration to mark the 30th anniversary of the Just Do It slogan.

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Image captionThe Handmaid's Tale actor Joseph Fiennes, nominated for supporting actor in a drama series, and wife Maria Dolores Dieguez

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Image captionBritish actress and Black Panther star Letitia Wright was nominated for supporting actress in a limited series or movie

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Image captionSarah Paulson was nominated for best lead actress in a limited series or movie

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seth Posted on September 18, 2018 09:03

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Emmy Awards 2018: The winners in full

The 70th annual Primetime Emmy Awards have taken place in Los Angeles.

It was a big night for British talent - with Thandie Newton, Claire Foy, Charlie Brooker, Matthew Rhys and John Oliver among the winners.

Here's the full list of winners from Monday's ceremony (the less high-profile awards were handed out last week at the Creative Arts Emmys).

Best lead actress in a drama series

  • Sandra Oh - Killing Eve
  • Keri Russell - The Americans
  • Tatiana Maslany - Orphan Black
  • WINNER: Claire Foy - The Crown
  • Evan Rachel Wood - Westworld
  • Elisabeth Moss - The Handmaid's Tale

Best lead actor in a drama series

  • Jason Bateman - Ozark
  • WINNER: Matthew Rhys - The Americans
  • Milo Ventimiglia - This Is Us
  • Sterling K. Brown - This Is Us
  • Ed Harris - Westworld
  • Jeffrey Wright - Westworld

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Image captionAmy Sherman-Palladino won both the writing and directing Emmys for comedy series The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel

Best lead actress in a limited series or movie

  • Sarah Paulson - American Horror Story: Cult
  • Michelle Dockery - Godless
  • Edie Falco - Law & Order True Crime: The Menendez Murders
  • WINNER: Regina King - Seven Seconds
  • Jessica Biel - The Sinner
  • Laura Dern - The Tale

Best lead actor in a limited series or movie

  • Antonio Banderas - Genius: Picasso
  • WINNER: Darren Criss - The Assassination of Gianni Versace
  • Benedict Cumberbatch - Patrick Melrose
  • Jeff Daniels - Looming Tower
  • John Legend - Jesus Christ Superstar: Live in Concert
  • Jesse Plemons - Black Mirror: U.S.S. Callister

Best lead actor in a comedy series

  • Anthony Anderson - black-ish
  • Ted Danson - The Good Place
  • Larry David - Curb Your Enthusiasm
  • Donald Glover - Atlanta
  • WINNER: Bill Hader - Barry
  • William H Macy - Shameless

Best lead actress in a comedy series

  • Pamela Adlon - Better Things
  • WINNER: Rachel Brosnahan - The Marvelous Mrs Maisel
  • Allison Janney - Mom
  • Issa Rae - Insecure
  • Tracee Ellis Ross - black-ish
  • Lily Tomlin - Grace and Frankie

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Image captionRu Paul's Drag Race won best reality competition programme

Best drama series

  • The Americans
  • The Crown
  • WINNER: Game of Thrones
  • The Handmaid's Tale
  • Stranger Things
  • This Is Us
  • Westworld

Best comedy series

  • Atlanta
  • Barry
  • black-ish
  • Curb Your Enthusiasm
  • GLOW
  • WINNER: The Marvelous Mrs Maisel
  • Silicon Valley
  • Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt

Best limited series

  • The Alienist
  • WINNER: The Assassination of Gianni Versace
  • Genius: Picasso
  • Godless
  • Patrick Melrose

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Image captionThe Assassination of Gianni Versace L-R: Edgar Ramirez, Penelope Cruz, director Ryan Murphy, Ricky Martin, and Darren Criss

Supporting actor in a drama series

  • Nikolaj Coster-Waldou - Game of Thrones
  • WINNER: Peter Dinklage - Game of Thrones
  • Mandy Patinkin - Homeland
  • David Harbour - Stranger Things
  • Matt Smith - The Crown
  • Joseph Fiennes - The Handmaid's Tale

Supporting actress in a drama series

  • Lena Heady - Game of Thrones
  • Millie Bobby Brown - Stranger Things
  • Vanessa Kirby - The Crown
  • Alexis Bledel - The Handmaid's Tale
  • Ann Dowd - The Handmaid's Tale
  • Yvonne Strahovski - The Handmaid's Tale
  • WINNER: Thandie Newton - Westworld

Supporting actor in a comedy series

  • Brian Tyree Henry - Atlanta
  • WINNER: Henry Winkler - Barry
  • Louie Anderson - Baskets
  • Alec Baldwin - SNL
  • Kenan Thompson - SNL
  • Tony Shalhoub - Marvelous Mrs. Maisel
  • Tituss Burgess - Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt

Supporting actress in a comedy series

  • Zazie Beetz - Atlanta
  • Betty Gilpin - Glow
  • Laurie Metcalf - Roseanne
  • Aidy Bryant - SNL
  • Leslie Jones - SNL
  • Kate McKinnon - SNL
  • WINNER: Alex Borstein - Marvelous Mrs Maisel
  • Megan Mullally - Will and Grace

Supporting actor in a limited series or movie

  • WINNER: Jeff Daniels - Godless
  • Brandon Victor Dixon - Jesus Christ Superstar
  • Ricky Martin - Assassination of Gianni Versace
  • Edgar Ramirez - Assassination of Gianni Versace
  • Finn Whitrock - Assassination of Gianni Versace
  • Michael Stuhlbarg - The Looming Tower
  • John Leguizamo - Waco

Supporting actress in a limited series or movie

  • Adina Porter - AHS: Cult
  • Letitia Wright - Black Mirror: Black Museum
  • WINNER: Merritt Weaver - Godless
  • Sara Bareilles - Jesus Chris Superstar
  • Penelope Cruz - Assassination of Gianni Versace
  • Judith Light - Assassination of Gianni Versace

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Image captionRegina King, winner of best lead actress in a limited series or movie for Seven Seconds

Variety talk series

  • The Daily Show with Trevor Noah
  • Full Frontal with Samantha Bee
  • Jimmy Kimmel Live
  • WINNER: Last Week Tonight with John Oliver
  • The Late Late Show with James Corden
  • The Late Show with Stephen Colbert

Variety sketch series

  • At Home with Amy Sedaris
  • Drunk History
  • I Love You, America with Sarah Silverman
  • Portlandia
  • WINNER: Saturday Night Live
  • The Tracey Ullman Show

Reality competition programme

  • The Amazing Race
  • American Ninja Warrior
  • Project Runway
  • WINNER: Ru Paul's Drag Race
  • Top-Chef
  • The Voice

Directing for a drama series

  • Alan Taylor - Game of Thrones
  • Jeremy Podeswa - Game of Thrones
  • Jason Bateman - Ozark
  • Daniel Sackheim - Ozark
  • The Duffer Brothers - Stranger Things
  • WINNER: Stephen Daldry - The Crown
  • Kari Skogland - The Handmaid's Tale

Directing for a comedy series

  • Donald Glover - Atlanta
  • Hiro Murai - Atlanta
  • Bill Hader - Bary
  • Jesse Peretz - GLOW
  • Mike Judge - Silicon Valley
  • WINNER: Amy Sherman-Palladino - The Marvelous Mrs Maisel

Directing for a limited series, movie or dramatic special

  • Scott Frank - Godless
  • David Leveaux, Alex Rudzinski - Jesus Christ Superstar Live in Concert
  • Barry Levinson - Paterno
  • Edward Berger - Patrick Melrose
  • WINNER: Ryan Murphy - The Assassination of Gianni Versace
  • Craig Zisk - The Looming Tower
  • David Lynch - Twin Peaks

Directing for a variety special

  • Stan Lathan - Dave Chappelle: Equanimity
  • Michael Bonfiglio - Jerry Seinfeld: Jerry Before Seinfeld
  • Marcus Raboy - Steve Martin & Martin Short: An Evening You Will Forget For The Rest Of Your Life
  • Hamish Hamilton - Super Bowl LII Halftime Show Starring Justin Timberlake
  • WINNER: Glenn Weiss - The Oscars

Writing for a comedy series

  • Donald Glover - Atlanta
  • Stefani Robinson - Atlanta
  • Alec Berg, Bill Hader - Barry
  • Liz Sarnoff - Barry
  • Alec Berg - Silicon Valley
  • WINNER: Amy Sherman-Palladino - The Marvelous Mrs Maisel

Writing for a drama series

  • David Benioff, D.B. Weiss - Game of Thrones
  • Phoebe Waller-Bridge - Killing Eve
  • The Duffer Brothers - Stranger Things
  • WINNER: Joe Fields, Joe Weisberg - The Americans
  • Peter Morgan - The Crown
  • Bruce Miller - The Handmaid's Tale

Writing for a limited series, movie or dramatic special

  • Kevin McManus, Matthew McManus - American Vandal
  • Scott Frank - Godless
  • David Nicholls - Patrick Melrose
  • Tom Rob Smith - The Assassination Of Gianni Versace
  • David Lynch, Mark Frost - Twin Peaks
  • WINNER: William Bridges, Charlie Brooker - USS Callister (Black Mirror)

Writing for a variety special

  • Melinda Taub, Samantha Bee - Full Frontal With Samantha Bee Presents: The Great American* Puerto Rico (*It's Complicated)
  • WINNER: John Mulaney - John Mulaney: Kid Gorgeous At Radio City
  • Michelle Wolf - Michelle Wolf: Nice Lady
  • Patton Oswalt - Patton Oswalt: Annihilation
  • Steve Martin, Martin Short - Steve Martin & Martin Short: An Evening You Will Forget For The Rest Of Your Life

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seth Posted on September 18, 2018 09:01

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Russia claims it has a new reason to blame Ukraine for the downing of Malaysia Airlines MH17 in 2014.

The Kuala Lumpur-bound MH17 was shot down by a soviet-made missile over the rebel-held eastern Ukraine on July 17, 2014, killing all 298 people on board. Investigators are still trying to determine who launched the missile.

  • Russia's defense ministry claims it has new evidence that the missile that downed Malaysian Airlines Flight 17 (MH17) in 2014 was fired by Ukrainian forces.
  • The Amsterdam-to-Kuala Lumpur flight was shot down by a Soviet-made missile over the rebel-held eastern Ukraine on July 17, 2014, killing all 298 people on board.
  • In May, international investigators concluded that a Russian-made Buk surface-to-air missile supplied by Russian separatists in Kursk were responsible for the crash.
  • But Russia has repeatedly denied any involvement, and its defense ministry claimed it had "newly discovered evidence" which it says discredits previous findings and pins the attack on Ukraine.

Russia's defense ministry claimed on Monday it had new evidence that the missile that downed Malaysian Airlines Flight 17 (MH17) in 2014 was fired by Ukrainian forces.

The Amsterdam-to-Kuala Lumpur flight was shot down by a soviet-made missile over the rebel-held eastern Ukraine on July 17, 2014. All 298 people on board, including 27 Australians, were killed.

Remnants of the Boeing 777 aircraft that crashed outside the city of Donetsk in Ukraine have been analyzed extensively, and investigators are still trying to determine with certainty where the missile emanated from.

In May, international investigators concluded that a Russian-made Buk surface-to-air missile supplied by Russian separatists in Kursk were responsible for the downing of MH17.

"The Buk that was used came from the Russian army, the 53rd brigade,” Chief Dutch Prosecutor Fred Westerbeke told Reuters. “We know that was used, but the people in charge of this Buk, we don’t know.”

The investigating team has referenced images and video showing a white Volvo truck with markings unique to the 53rd brigade carrying the missile from Russia to the Ukraine. The Netherlands and Australia have directly blamed Russia for the attack, and have called on Moscow to admit responsibility and cooperate fully with the ongoing investigation.

But Russia has repeatedly denied any involvement, and has instead shifted blame towards Ukraine with information investigators have deemed "factually inaccurate on several points."

On Monday, Russia's defense ministry claimed it had "newly discovered evidence" which potentially pins the attack on Ukraine.


Russia's Defense Ministry purported to show a "logbook" indicating that the Buk missile had been delivered to a unit in the Ukraine in 1986.

(Russian Defense Ministry/Youtube)


According to the Defense Ministry, the serial number found on debris from the Buk missile was cross-referenced with a log book purporting to show it was produced in 1986. The missile was then delivered by rail to a military unit in Western Ukraine and to their knowledge had since not left Ukraine.

The ministry also claimed some of the video provided to investigators showing the Buk system being transported from Russia were manipulated. The ministry cast doubt on its authenticity.

The ministry also claimed to have audio recordings of Ukrainian airspace officials discussing shooting down aircrafts which flew over its restricted airspace, specifically calling out the targeting of Malaysian Boeings.


Russia also claimed that video provided to investigators used doctored footage of the Buk missile being transported on a white truck.

(Russian Defense Ministry/Youtube)


In response, the joint investigative team said they would "meticulously study" the new information as soon as the documents were made available, noting that previous information provided from Russia had been misleading on several fronts.

Ukraine's Defense Minister Stepan Poltorak on Monday dismissed Russia's claims as an "absolute lie" and "another fake story." Also on Monday, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko signed a decree ending a bilateral friendship treaty with Russia amid deteriorating ties.

Albert Ulebe Posted on September 18, 2018 08:55

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The CEO of The Gates Foundation says we’re approaching a dangerous tipping point in global poverty. We still have time to reverse it.

The Gates Foundation is out with its second annual Goalkeepers report, warning that decades of gains in poverty rates around the world could be headed for a downward slide, unless serious investments are made in women's health and nutrition. Gates Foundation CEO Sue Desmond-Hellman explains.


Bill Gates likes to tout himself as a pretty sunny guy. He regularly asserts that the world is getting better every day, in spite of the fact that the price of a loaf of bread is climbing, many people can no longer afford to buy a place to live, and free and fair elections are consistently under threat.

Gates remains undeterred. "Overall, I'm quite optimistic," he told a crowd of Harvard students in April.

He uses hard numbers to back up this persistently cheery outlook, pointing out that since the $50 billion-plus Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation began in 2000, the number of extremely poor people around the world has fallen sharply.

Since then, over one billion previously impoverished people have busted out of a so-called "extreme poverty" income bracket to live on more than $1.90 a day. In practical terms, this means there are fewer and fewer people getting around on two bare feet, cooking over a flame, and sleeping on the ground.

In 2017, the Gates Foundation launched its first annual Goalkeepers report, checking in on the UN Sustainable Development Goals to see how far we have come in the fight against infectious disease and poverty.

That first report asserted that the world is gradually getting better on those measures. Now the Gates Foundation is sounding the alarm, warning in its second Goalkeepers report that the stunning poverty progress of the past few decades could crash to a halt if more isn't done to help people stay in school and get enough to eat.

While the number of extremely poor people living in countries like China and India looks to be relatively on track to zero out by 2030, the number of people living in poverty in some of the world's poorest sub-Saharan African countries is still creeping upward — and could skyrocket if current trends continue.

Gates Foundation CEO Sue Desmond-Hellman says that forecasted downturn into extreme poverty is not inevitable. She believes the Foundation's biggest task today is helping prevent more poverty in Africa, largely by letting women take the lead in starting and growing their own families.

"If every African woman was able to have the number of children that she wants, you could have a decrease in population growth by 30% by 2100," Desmond-Hellman told Business Insider. "And that's just if she gets to do what she wants."

Education also plays a key role. China experienced its own dramatic poverty reduction in 1990s, arguably spurred in no small part by more educated women entering the workplace. India followed suit in the 2000s. Now is the time to foster a similar African "wave" of prosperity, the Gates Foundation argues.

"We really need to have a third wave, and it needs to happen in sub-Saharan Africa," Desmond-Hellmann said.



(Business Insider)


Why women are critical to everyone's economic success

Today, women in sub-Saharan Africa have an average of .7 more children than what they'd ideally want, according to the new report.

"The worry, the peril is that more babies are being born in the places where it's hardest to live a healthy, productive life," Desmond-Hellmann said.

Nowhere will that be more true than in the African countries sitting below the Sahara desert, she said.

"By 2050, 86% of the world's extreme poor would be in sub-Saharan Africa," she said, "And 40% would be in just two countries: the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Nigeria."

At the same time, these two countries are set to experience rapid population growth, more than doubling and tripling in size. Fixes for this kind of population boom are already working in other African countries further north, like Kenya.

There, nonprofit Marie Stopes International provides free contraception for teens. At first, young Kenyan girls weren't interested in the free contraception, so Marie Stopes shifted its focus to empowering teenagers. They help young girls set goals for the future, and nudge the young women to wait to have kids until they want them, while continuing to finish school and pursuing their own dreams.


Refugees from the Democratic Republic of Congo carry food distributed by the World Food Programme in the Kyangwali settlement on April 10, 2018 in Kyangwali, Uganda.

(Jack Taylor/Getty Images)


Research shows clearly that a young woman who waits until she's finished school to have babies can have a positive, cascading effect on the health of her entire family, and country, for decades.

"Educated girls tend to work more, earn more, expand their horizons, marry and start having children later, have fewer children, and invest more in each child," the report said. "Their children, in turn, tend to follow similar patterns, so the effect of graduating one girl sustains itself for generations."

The Gates Foundation is also highlighting the importance of helping small-scale farmers move from subsistence farming to more focused crop production, zeroing in on growing one product, such as tomatoes, and selling it at market prices. That kind of sustainable business plan means families can make money and provide better nutrition for their kids, instead of simply relying on their own farms for food.

"One thing we know about small-holder farmers is that many of them are women," Desmond-Hellman said. "We know when that kind of economic gain is available for women, she'll spend money on health and education for her children."

Even as Africa is projected to nearly double in population size by 2050, the continent could produce a wave of healthier kids, ready to solve tomorrow's problems. But that's only going to happen if more women get to lead the way, putting their own health and education first.

Albert Ulebe Posted on September 18, 2018 08:53

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Cryptojacking: Attackers Hijack Indian Government Websites to Mine Cryptocurrency.

Hackers stole the processing power of several Indian government websites to mine cryptocurrencies, researchers found.

Citizen portals such as that of the municipal administration of Andhra Pradesh (AP), Tirupati Municipal Corporation and Macherla municipality are among the hundreds of Indian websites that are found to be infected by cryptojacking malware. Cryptojacking, as the term indicates, allows hackers to access victims’ computers for the sole purpose of mining cryptocurrencies. Hackers do this by fooling victims into clicking malicious links on emails, or by infecting websites with JavaScript code by loading it into the victims’ browsers.

They seem to have done the same to many of these government websites mainly because they have high traffic volume, found Indrajeet Bhuyan, one of the security researchers behind the revelation.

“Hackers target government websites for mining cryptocurrency because those websites get high traffic and most people trust them,” he stated. “Earlier, we saw a lot of government websites getting defaced. Now, injecting crypto-jackers is more fashionable as the hacker can make money.”

An effort from Indian media to speak to JA Chowdary, the IT advisor to AP’s Chief Minister, yielded a one-liner response from him.

“Thanks for notifying us about the AP website hacking,” it said.

However, nothing concrete has been done to fix the issue. The malware code continues to run on AP’s public portals. CCN’s recent efforts to reach their websites also met with a downtime error.

Cryptojacking on the Rise

It is not only the government websites that are on the list of cyber-criminals. They are also crypto-jacking highly trafficked enterprise systems for mining cryptocurrencies – secretly. PublicWWW found over 100 sites that are running Coinhive javascript that mines Monero coin. The same script had earlier infected over 200,000 ISP-Grade routers globally and is among the top three crypto-mining malware on the web, alongside Cryptoloot.

Hackers are inclined to use cryptojacking as their prime tool to earn money illegally, for it doesn’t require significant technical skills. The darknet sells cryptojacking kits for a mere $30, finds a Digital Shadows report. It is a cheaper alternative to a much more complex ransomware attack, meaning more money for less risk.

Nevertheless, cryptojacking continues to be a poor man’s choice for its inability to bring in any substantial earning.

“With a hash rate of 80 H/s and CoinHive’s payout ratio, a miner earns about 5.8 USD per day and website on average, which supports our observation that web-based cryptojacking currently provides limited profits only,” states a report by the Braunschweig University of Technology.

Less risk also means less money!

Albert Ulebe Posted on September 18, 2018 08:38

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Flooding from Florence to swamp Carolinas for days – or even weeks; death toll hits 32

Although the torrential rain from Florence may be coming to an end in the Carolinas, the slow-motion disaster of river flooding will continue to wreak havoc across the region for days – or potentially weeks.

It may take up to two weeks for all of the runoff from the storm, which has killed at least 32 people, to drain slowly downstream from the mountains to the coast, forecasters warned. As of midday Monday, 19 river gauges in the Carolinas were at "major" flood stage, the National Weather Service said, and record crests could be challenged or shattered in some communities.

Nearly 20 rivers in the Carolinas were expected to crest in major flood stage this week, the Weather Channel said. 

"Just because much of the rainfall has stopped does not mean the danger has ended," the National Weather Service in Wilmington, North Carolina, said Monday.

Officials warned that this could be the worst flooding in the state’s history. "Flooding has become catastrophic in some areas, and access to some communities will only be possible by boat into later this week," AccuWeather meteorologist Mike Doll said. "This is truly a life-threatening situation."

Rivers such as the Cape Fear, Lumber, Waccamaw and Pee Dee are most at risk. In Lumberton, North Carolina, the Lumber River crested at a record high of 22.18 feet Monday morning. 

“It’s hard going through it all over again,” Lumberton resident Bruce Mullis said, recalling Hurricane Matthew's rampage in 2016. “It’s only been two years. It’s honestly traumatizing.”

In Fayetteville, the Cape Fear River is forecast to crest at 61.8 feet Tuesday, which is more than 25 feet above flood stage and 7 feet below the all-time record. Thousands of people were ordered to evacuate in that city as the rivers rise.

More: 'There is no access to Wilmington' as Florence flooding overwhelms North Carolina

More: Lack of flood insurance heaps misery on homeowners slammed by Hurricane Florence

Record river flooding has been reported in several North Carolina cities and towns, including Chinquapin, Trenton and Manchester, the Weather Channel said. 

As rivers swelled, North Carolina state regulators and environmental groups monitored the threat from gigantic hog and poultry farms in low-lying, flood-prone areas.

In all, a wide swath of North Carolina and a small part of South Carolina saw three-day rainfall totals that, on average, would be expected to occur about every 1,000 years, the Weather Underground reported. This means that amount of rainfall has a 0.1 percent chance of occurring in any given year.

The flooding will expand into western North Carolina and Virginia, including potential landslides in parts of the Appalachians, Weather Channel hurricane expert Rick Knabb said. 

"We need everyone to be just as afraid of flooding as you would be for the winds of a hurricane or tornado," Knabb said. "Waters are rising in entire communities. If you’re trapped in a flooded building, go to the highest level and call 911." 

The storm, which first hit the region last week, will be the USA's costliest hurricane of the year so far: AccuWeather estimated that Florence will cause $30 billion to $60 billion "in economic impact and damage."

By 11 a.m. Monday, Tropical Depression Florence was centered about 240 miles west of Charlottesville, Virginia, and was moving northeast at 15 mph. The Weather Channel said millions of people in the mid-Atlantic and Northeast remain under flash flood watches as the remnant moisture from Florence heads north.

Although the typical peak of the Atlantic hurricane season has passed, officially, the season lasts until the end of November.

Ten tropical storms have formed this season in the Atlantic, five of which have been hurricanes, the National Hurricane Center said. 

Contributing: The Associated Press; Christal Hayes, USA TODAY

Archimedeskay Posted on September 18, 2018 03:58

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Emmy Awards 2018: Thandie Newton and Claire Foy among British winners

Claire Foy, Thandie Newton and Charlie Brooker were among the British winners at the 70th Primetime Emmy Awards.

Welsh actor Matthew Rhys also took home one of the night's big prizes - best leading actor in a drama series.

Foy took home the best actress in a drama series for her role as Queen Elizabeth II in The Crown.

In her acceptance speech, the actress described her time on the Netflix series as "the most extraordinary two-and-a-half years of my life.

"I was given a role I never thought I would ever get a chance to play, and I met people who I will love for ever and ever.

"And the show goes on, which makes me so proud. So I dedicate this to the next cast, the next generation, and I also dedicate this to [her co-star] Matt Smith."

Olivia Colman is due to take over the role from Foy as the show enters its third season.

Newton was awarded best supporting actress in a drama series for her role in Westworld.

"I don't even believe in God but I'm going to thank her tonight," the actress said as she took to the stage to collect her trophy.

Image copyrightGETTY IMAGES

Image captionMatthew Rhys won best leading actor in a drama - one of the night's biggest prizes

Welsh actor Matthew Rhys picked up best leading actor in a drama series for his role in The Americans.

Set in suburban Washington DC shortly after Ronald Reagan is elected president, the series tells the story of two KGB spies in an arranged marriage who are posing as Americans.

"Parts like these come along so rarely. I will forever be in your debt," he told series creator Joe Weisberg in his speech.

Charlie Brooker, the British creator of Black Mirror and his co-writer William Bridges won best writing for a limited series.

John Oliver added to the British success at the ceremony, picking up the prize for best variety talk series for Last Week Tonight with John Oliver.

The Marvelous Mrs Maisel was one of the night's other biggest winners - adding five trophies to the four it won last week at the Creative Arts Emmys.

The series took home best writing, directing, lead actress and supporting actress in the comedy categories, as well as one of the night's big prizes - best comedy series.

Image copyrightREUTERS

Henry Winkler won his first Emmy - supporting actor in a comedy series for his role in Barry - 42 years after he was first nominated for playing The Fonz in Happy Days.

"Skip Brittenham said to me a long time ago, 'if you stay at the table long enough, the chips come to you,' and tonight I got to clear the table," he said in his acceptance speech.

Jeff Daniels took home the prize for best supporting actor in a limited series or a television movie for his role in Netflix's Godless - described as a feminist western.

In addition to his family and co-workers, Daniels thanked the streaming service for "letting artists be artists".

He added: "Little tip for you young actors - when they call and say 'Can you ride a horse?' don't lie. You will find on day one that you're in the Kentucky Derby."

Image copyrightGETTY IMAGES

Image captionGlen Weiss proposed to his girlfriend Jan Svendsen during his acceptance speech

But one of the night's most memorable moments came from Glen Weiss, who proposed to his girlfriend from the stage during his speech.

While accepting outstanding directing for a variety special for The Oscars, he spoke to his partner Jan Svendsen, who was sitting in the audience.

"You wonder why I don't like to call you my girlfriend? Because I want to call you my wife," he said as the crowd began cheering.

Svendsen, who looked shocked and delighted, then made her way up to the stage to accept his proposal.

Weiss said he was giving her the ring "that my dad put on my mom's finger 67 years ago". His proposal came just two weeks after the death of his mother, which he also referred to in his speech.

Rhys joked about the moment later in the night, telling the audience as he collected his award that his girlfriend had whispered to him: "If you propose to me I will punch you clean in the mouth."

The ceremony took place at the Microsoft Theatre in Los Angeles, with Kenan Thompson and Kate McKinnon kicking off proceedings.

"We're celebrating the fact that this year's Emmy Awards has the most diverse group of nominees in Emmy history," Thompson said.

"One step closer to a black Sheldon," he joked - referring to The Big Bang Theory's most famous character.

Image copyrightGETTY IMAGES

Image captionColin Jost and Michael Che are hosting the ceremony

The pair then embarked on a parody song called We Solved It - suggesting the Emmys had single-handedly fixed Hollywood's lack of diversity - which featured cameo appearances from Sandra Oh and John Legend.

Ceremony hosts Colin Jost and Michael Che then took to the stage - referencing the fact that streaming service Netflix received the most nods this year in their opening monologue.

"NBC has the most nominations of any broadcast network," Che said, adding: "Which is kind of like being the sexiest person on life support".

Image copyrightGETTY IMAGES

Image captionJohn Legend made an appearance in the opening musical number about Hollywood diversity - titled We Solved It

Because the Emmys have a total of 122 categories, the less high profile awards were given out last weekend at the Creative Arts Emmys, with 26 awarded on Monday night.

Archimedeskay Posted on September 18, 2018 03:49

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US imposes new tariffs on $200bn of Chinese goods

The US is imposing new tariffs on $200bn (£150bn) worth of Chinese goods as it escalates its trade war with Beijing.

The higher import taxes will apply to almost 6,000 items, marking the biggest round of US tariffs so far.

Handbags, rice and textiles will be included, but some items expected to be targeted such as smart watches and high chairs have been excluded.

China has previously vowed to retaliate against any further US tariffs.

The taxes will take effect from 24 September, starting at 10% and increasing to 25% from the start of next year unless the two countries agree a deal.

President Donald Trump said the latest round of tariffs was in response to China's "unfair trade practices, including subsidies and rules that require foreign companies in some sectors to bring on local partners.

"We have been very clear about the type of changes that need to be made, and we have given China every opportunity to treat us more fairly.

"But, so far, China has been unwilling to change its practices," he said.

He also warned that if China retaliated then the US would "immediately pursue phase three" which would mean imposing further tariffs with taxes on another $267bn worth of Chinese products.

If he does go ahead with a further $267bn worth of tariffs, it would mean virtually all of China's US exports would be subject to new duties.

Chinese stock markets opened lower on Tuesday.

Hasn't the US already imposed tariffs?

Yes, it has. In fact, this latest round marks the third set of tariffs put into motion so far this year.

In July, the White House increased charges on $34bn worth of Chinese products. Then last month, the escalating trade war moved up a gear when the US brought in a 25% tax on a second wave of goods worth $16bn.

This latest round means that around half of all Chinese imports to the US are now subject to the new duties.

It is also the biggest set of tariffs to date, and unlike the earlier rounds this latest list targets consumer goods, such as luggage and furniture.

That means regular households may start to feel the impact from higher prices.

US companies have already said they are worried about the effect of higher costs on their businesses and warned of the risk of job cuts.

While economists generally estimate that the tariffs will have little impact on the overall US economy, they have warned that the effects are difficult to predict.

What items have been targeted?

Officials have said they want to shield consumer goods from the taxes as much as possible.

But many everyday items such as suitcases, handbags, toilet paper and wool are included in this latest round of tariffs.

The list also includes several food items from frozen cuts of meat, to almost all types of fish from smoked mackerel to scallops and soybeans, various types of fruit and cereal and rice.

Products that help computer networks operate, such as routers, are also targeted.

What items are exempt?

The list slated for tariffs originally included more than 6,000 items, but US officials later removed about 300 types of items, including smart watches, bicycle helmets, play pens, high chairs and baby car seats.

The changes come after fierce opposition from companies, including global tech giants such as Apple, Dell and Hewlett Packard Enterprise.

The firms are worried the tariffs will increase their costs since many of their products are manufactured in China.

US tech firms ask for protection from next Trump tariffs

Why is the US doing this?

The White House says its tariffs are a response to China's "unfair" trade policies.

In theory, the tariffs will make US-made products cheaper than imported ones, and so encourage consumers to buy American. The idea is they would boost local businesses and support the national economy.

US officials hope the risk of economic harm will convince the Chinese government to change its policies.

Image copyrightGETTY IMAGES

Image captionChina has imposed retaliatory tariffs, including on US-made cars and motorcycles.

However, many US businesses are critical of the tariffs.

Farmers, manufacturers, retailers and other industry groups have formed a coalition to oppose the tariffs, calling them taxes on American families.

"Tariffs have already resulted in layoffs, and this escalation will continue to squeeze American businesses with higher input costs and American farmers with decreasing commodity values," said Jonathan Gold, a spokesman for the coalition.

How has China responded?

The Chinese have previously hit back with tariffs on $50bn worth of US products in retaliation, targeting their response against key parts of the president's political base, such as farmers.

The government has outlined a plan to impose further tariffs on roughly $60bn worth of US goods, and threatened other measures.

Are the two sides talking?

Not really.

Talks between high-level officials ended in May without resolving the matter. Efforts to restart discussions have failed to progress.

US and China officials had discussed a new round of talks over the past week, but Mr Trump's latest move is likely to sour relations further.

China is reported to have said it would reject new trade talks if Mr Trump imposed the $200bn worth of tariffs on its exports.

Mr Trump's economic adviser, Larry Kudlow, earlier said they were still happy to talk: "We are ready to negotiate and talk with China anytime they are ready for serious and substantive negotiations," he said.

Archimedeskay Posted on September 18, 2018 03:46

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A Swiss village is crowdsourcing for a basic income experiment to give residents up to $2,570 a month.

A Swiss filmmaker is crowdsourcing to start a basic income experiment for hundreds of residents in the town of Rheinau. Participants age 25 or older will receive $2,570 per month for a year.

  • A Swiss filmmaker is raising money to start a basic income experiment for hundreds of residents in the town of Rheinau.
  • Participants age 25 and older will receive $2,570 per month for a year.
  • In a 2016 referendum, 77% of Swiss voters said they did not support a universal basic income.

Two years ago, voters in Switzerland overwhelmingly rejected a referendum on universal basic income, with over two-thirds of voters saying they did not support a program giving citizens unconditional cash payments every month.

Nonetheless, the basic income proposal appealed to Swiss filmmaker Rebecca Panian. In light of the threat of automation replacing a growing number of jobs, she decided to launch her own experiment. She told Business Insider that the election of President Donald Trump also contributed to her decision.

"Before that I have to admit that I often wanted to do something, but I didn’t dare because there was always the voice in my head telling me: “What can you do, honestly? And who are you anyway,'" Panian wrote in an email. "But with Trump becoming president of the U.S., I told myself: if this person gets there, if a 'Trump' is possible, I can very well look for a village to test the UBI."

Panian has chosen the village of Rheinau to conduct a study in which participants age 25 or older will receive 2,500 francs ($2,570) at the start of each month for a year, regardless of employment status. Those between the ages of 22 and 25 will receive 1,875 francs ($1,950) a month, with lower amounts for children and younger adults.

After selecting the town from a list of about 100 that had expressed interest, Panian needed at least half of Rheinau residents to sign up for the pilot.

About 880 of the village's 1,300 residents signed up. Participants whose income is higher than their monthly basic income will need to pay back their basic income at the end of the month. Panian said these residents will help finance the experiment.

"In reality, the basic income has to be financed by some sort of redistribution of money," Panian wrote in an email. "If you would pay everyone MORE you actually needed to create more money, which would end in an inflation and with that the whole UBI-thought wouldn’t make sense because the amount of the UBI couldn’t secure a person to live on it!"

Residents' responses will be used to determine how much money needs to be raised before starting the experiment. Panian said that crowdfunding will likely begin in mid-October.

The national proposal rejected by Swiss voters would have been funded through people's taxes, but the Rheinau experiment will be privately funded. Panian needs to crowdsource the necessary funds, and if she is successful, she will film a documentary and work together with sociologists, an economist, and a media linguist to analyze the outcomes, The Local reported.

Switzerland is one of the wealthiest countries in the world, and Panian told Business Insider that she does not want to focus the experiment on fighting unemployment or poverty. Instead, the experiment is meant to show how a universal basic income can affect a community, she said.

The Swiss experiment adds to a growing list of basic income trials around the world. In the United States, a pilot focusing on low-income black women will soon start in Jackson, Mississippi, giving $1,000 to 15 single mothers. In Stockton, California, an 18-month trial beginning in February 2019 will provide 100 people with $500 a month.

Other recent trials have not gone so smoothly.

Y Combinator delayed its basic income study until next year after a pilot in Oakland, California, took longer than planned. The provincial government of Ontario, Canada, meanwhile, canceled a three-year basic income pilot with 4,000 participants. Despite the premier's promise to let the program keep running, participants will stop receiving monthly cash payments in March 2019, one year early.

In Europe, a prominent two-year trial in Finland is ending in a few months despite researchers' interest in expanding the pilot beyond just those who are unemployed.

Albert Ulebe Posted on September 17, 2018 16:57

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MoviePass competitor Sinemia has launched an unlimited movie-ticket subscription plan for $29.99

Movie-theater subscription service Sinemia announced on Monday a new $29.99 per month plan to see unlimited movies at theaters in the US, Canada, and Australia.

  • MoviePass rival Sinemia is now offering an unlimited movie-ticket subscription plan for $29.99 a month.
  • This is the first unlimited plan since MoviePass ditched its popular $9.99 one in August.


As MoviePass has pulled back its movie-theater subscription service to cater to the casual moviegoer, Sinemia wants to be the new home for power users.

In a press release sent out on Monday, Sinemia announced it has launched the $29.99 unlimited plan for 2D movies in the US, Canada, and Australia.

“While most of our plans are focused on the modern moviegoer who sees one, two, or three movies each month, we want to serve every type of movie lover and that includes frequent moviegoers looking for an unlimited tickets option,” said Rifat Oguz, CEO and founder of Sinemia in the release. “We’ve spent four years testing and fine-tuning our unlimited tickets model and are confident this is the right price to sustainably offer such a plan.”

Sinemia's unlimited plan is the first since MoviePass scrapped its popular unlimited $9.99 plan in August for a more realistic $9.95 for three movies per month.

Sinemia has worked hard to find a fan base in the US as it does in other regions of the world, and it's certainly getting to a point where audiences (and the industry) have to begin to take notice.

For months, it's been a vocal competitor of MoviePass, having put together numerous tiered plans ranging from one movie to three per month, with options for IMAX and family plans. And in late August, a survey from the National Research Group revealed that Sinemia's two movies for $7.99 per month was the most popular movie-ticket subscription plan among moviegoers.

Riding that momentum, Sinemia is swinging for the fences with its unlimited plan. Here's hoping it works out better than it did for MoviePass.

Albert Ulebe Posted on September 17, 2018 16:54

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Nigeria's central bank says bank will pay N10,000 fine for any delay in instant transfer beyond 4 minutes.

The bank also stated that any failed electronic funds transfer or NIP transaction not reversed into the customer’s account within 24 hours will attract a sanction of N10,000 per item.

Nigeria's central bank (CBN) says it will sanction any bank that delayed instant transfer beyond 4 minutes with N10,000 fine.

The apex bank stated this in a circular issued last week, titled, ‘Circular on the regulation on instant inter-bank electronic funds transfer services in Nigeria’.

The circular was issued to all deposit money banks, microfinance banks, mobile money operators and other financial institutions.


CBN regulations on electronic and instant transfers



‘Dipo Fatokun, CBN’s director, banking and payments system department, said the regulation will be effective from October 2, 2018.

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), in furtherance of its mandate for the development of electronic payments system in Nigeria, hereby issues the Regulations on Instant (Inter-Bank) Electronic Funds Transfer Services in Nigeria.

“Please, note that the effective date of the Regulations is 2nd October 2018,” the circular reads.

ALSO READ: CBN extends policy on USSD daily limit transaction of N100,000 to October

The bank also stated that any failed electronic funds transfer or NIP transaction not reversed into the customer’s account within 24 hours will attract a sanction of N10,000 per item.

It, however, said the sanctions will be based on complaints from the sender and/ or beneficiary in the transactions.

Albert Ulebe Posted on September 17, 2018 16:52

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Here are all the major changes coming to iPhones and iPads with iOS 12 (AAPL).

Apple's iOS 12 will finally arrive on Monday, September 17. Here are all the major changes, updates, and new features coming to iPhones and iPads.

On Monday, iOS 12 will arrive for iPhones and iPads.

Apple announced the upgrade to its mobile operating system back in June, at its annual developer conference, WWDC. iOS 12 includes some major new features, along with several changes designed to make using your iPhone or iPad a lot easier.

Among the notable additions: a standalone Measure app that's like a virtual tape measure, tools to combat smartphone addiction, grouped notifications, and customizable animated avatars called "Memoji."

Here some of the most exciting new features included in iOS 12:

iOS 12 gives older devices a performance boost.


iOS 12 gives older devices a performance boost.

(Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)


With iOS 12, older iPhones and iPads will feel like new again.

Apple is giving older devices a performance boost when the new software rolls out on Monday. Apple says that apps will launch 40% faster, the camera will open 70% faster, and the keyboard will display 50% faster.

iOS 12 will be available for devices as old as the iPhone 5S.



Apple has a brand-new app called Measure.


Apple has a brand-new app called Measure.

(Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)


Measure helps you take measurements of real-world objects. The app uses your iPhone's camera to virtually take accurate readings, letting you see the width, length, and height of things just by tapping your screen.

Plus, if you point Measure at a photo, it'll automatically detect it and tell you the dimensions.



Apple's Photos app is smarter and more interactive than before.


Apple's Photos app is smarter and more interactive than before.



Apple made a bunch of subtle updates to the Photos app, putting it on par with apps like the popular Google Photos:

  • Search suggestions. The Photos app can recommend searching for people, places, categories, business names, sporting events, or concerts. When you select a term, the app will pull up all photos related to that term.
  • Search refinements. You can search with multiple search terms too.
  • For You. The Photos app will automatically generate personalized items like memory movies, features photos, and "on this day" images.
  • Sharing suggestions. The Photos app will suggest photos and videos to share with the people who are in them. When someone accepts the images from you, they'll get a recommendation to share their photos back with you. Apple says that sharing is end-to-end encrypted and works via iMessage.



Apple's new Siri Shortcuts can help you speed up your day.


Apple's new Siri Shortcuts can help you speed up your day.



Siri Shortcuts is a way to get things done more quickly. Siri will automatically suggest actions based on how and when you use certain apps. If, for instance, you order a coffee every morning around the same time, Siri will start asking you if you're ready to order it.

Apple included several preloaded Siri Shortcuts with iOS 12, but you can also create your own verbal shortcuts. A phrase like "Help me relax" could trigger a meditation app, for instance, or the phrase "Find my keys" could open up your Tile app and start the geolocation process.



Apple's Stocks and News apps have been redesigned.


Apple's Stocks and News apps have been redesigned.



Apple gave its Stocks and News apps a refresh in iOS 12.

The Stocks app now has relevant business news and sparklines showing a stock's moves throughout the day. Clicking on a stock opens a more in-depth analysis of its performance, including after-hours pricing, which is missing from the existing version.

Apple also added the Stocks app to the iPad for the first time.

The News app redesign lets you jump straight to your favorite news sources. On iPad, there's a new sidebar for easier navigation.



The Voice Memos app has been redesigned — and available on iPad for the first time.


The Voice Memos app has been redesigned — and available on iPad for the first time.



With iOS 12, Apple added the Voice Memos app to the iPad for the first time. The app also got a redesign across the board and is easier to use on any platform, including Mac.

Voice Memos also got iCloud support, which means you can access your voice memos on any device.



Apple's iBooks is now called "Apple Books," and it has a new look.


Apple's iBooks is now called "Apple Books," and it has a new look.



So long, iBooks — Apple has renamed its reading app to Apple Books.

The app is more than a new name, though. Apple Books has been redesigned in iOS 12 to include a new Book Store tab with top charts and curated collections.



Apple CarPlay now supports third-party apps.


Apple CarPlay now supports third-party apps.



With iOS 12, you can use third-party navigation apps with CarPlay, Apple's tool for connecting an iPhone to a car's infotainment system. That means you'll no longer be limited to using only Apple Maps when you connect your iPhone to your car — you can now use Google Maps or Waze instead.



iOS 12 can help you combat smartphone addiction.


iOS 12 can help you combat smartphone addiction.



Apple unveiled new tools to help you cut back on your screen time, along with new controls for parents.

Here's what you can do:

  • "Do not disturb" during bedtime. Enabling this feature means you won't see your iPhone notifications until the next morning, just the time on a dark screen.
  • Set an end time for "do not disturb." You can do this by force-touching on the button in your control center.
  • Screen time. This feature provides an activity summary that details how you used your iPhone or iPad over a week.
  • App limits. You can set time limits for individual apps.
  • New parental controls. Parents can get notifications about their kids' smartphone use.



Your notifications will now be grouped by app.


Your notifications will now be grouped by app.



Apple has historically sorted notifications chronologically, but with iOS 12, they're now grouped by app.

It's a change that users have been begging Apple to adopt for years, and it's one area where Android has had a major leg up, making it a lot easier to deal with piles and piles of notifications.



You can add your student ID card to your Apple Wallet to unlock dorm doors or do anything else you'd use it for.


You can add your student ID card to your Apple Wallet to unlock dorm doors or do anything else you'd use it for.



It works on Apple Watch too. It's coming to only a handful of universities at first, but expect to see this in more places later.



FaceTime will support group chats with up to 32 participants.


FaceTime will support group chats with up to 32 participants.

(Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)


You'll soon be able to video chat with multiple people at once on FaceTime — up to 32 participants, to be exact.

You can add participants at any point, or people can choose to join an active conversation from an iPhone, iPad, or Mac, or use FaceTime Audio from the Apple Watch.

Unfortunately, this feature won't be available when iOS 12 launches to the public on September 17. Expect it included in a software update "later this year."



Apple added Memoji, new Animoji, and different camera effects in iOS 12.


Apple added Memoji, new Animoji, and different camera effects in iOS 12.

(Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)


Apple is expanding its special-effects offerings in iOS 12. The new features include:

  • Memoji. These animated avatars mimic your facial expressions and head movements. Memoji are customizable to look like you — or anyone you want — much like Snap's personalized Bitmoji characters.
  • More Animoji. Apple added four new animated emoji to its lineup. The new characters include a tiger, a koala, a T-rex, and a ghost.
  • iMessage and FaceTime now support your Memoji and Animoji, too. You can add new filters, Animoji, and Memoji to your photos and FaceTime videos, as well as include stickers and text in your iMessage conversations.



With ARKit 2, you can have shared augmented-reality experiences.


With ARKit 2, you can have shared augmented-reality experiences.



ARKit 2 is Apple's first major update to the augmented-reality software it introduced last year.

ARKit 2 offers improved face-tracking, more realistic rendering, support for 3D object detection, and the ability to start an AR experience based on a real-world physical object or space. It also supports shared experiences, where two or more people can play AR games together.

Apple also said it was partnering with the computer-animation studio Pixar to boost its AR initiative. Together, Apple and Pixar developed a new file format for AR called USDZ, which lets people share content "while retaining great 3D graphics and even animations."

Albert Ulebe Posted on September 17, 2018 16:24

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Coca-Cola is reportedly eyeing the legal marijuana industry, and it could soon be a bigger market than soda.

Coca-Cola is in discussion to produce CBD beverages infused with CBD. Analysts at the investment bank Cowen say legal marijuana will hit $75 billion in sales by 2030 and will put pressure on alcohol sales.

  • Coca-Cola is in discussions with Aurora Cannabis to develop beverages infused with CBD, a non-psychoactive compound found in marijuana.
  • Legal marijuana is set to hit $75 billion in sales by 2030, according to a note from analysts at the investment bank Cowen.
  • The market for marijuana could eventually eclipse soda sales.

Coca-Cola is reportedly eyeing the legal marijuana industry. The beverage maker is in discussions with Aurora Cannabis, a Canadian cultivator, to develop beverages infused with CBD, a non-psychoactive compound found in marijuana.

Legal marijuana could soon become a bigger industry than soda, and it has already started putting pressure on alcohol sales, according to the investment bank Cowen. If marijuana is made legal nationwide in the US by 2030, the legal weed industry could generate $75 billion in sales by that year.

Cowen's cannabis sector analyst, Vivien Azer, revised her previous estimate up by $25 billion. Legal marijuana sales are already around $50 billion, Azer said in the note.

Soda consumption, on the other hand, is declining. Per capita consumption fell to a 31-year low in the US in 2016, Bloomberg reports, with $76.4 billion in sales in 2017.

CBD, or cannabidiol, is linked to a range of health benefits and is used in FDA-approved epilepsy drugs. It's also become something of a health-food boom as of late, showing up in products like teas, candies, and beverages.

Legal marijuana is already starting to impact alcohol sales as well.



(Thomson Reuters)


In states that have legalized cannabis, binge-drinking rates have fallen 9% below the national average, and 11% below states that don't allow the sale of recreational marijuana, according to the note. Adults in states with legal cannabis binge drink an average of 13% fewer times per month than those in states without legal recreational marijuana.

"This work builds on our prior assertions that cannabis acts as a substitute social lubricant for consumers," Azer said in the note.

"As cannabis access expands, we expect further pressure on alcohol sales, given this notable divide in consumer consumption pattern," she added.

The cannabis market is still far behind alcohol, however. Sales of alcohol hit $210 billion in 2017, according to the note.

Plus, the market for marijuana will primarily be led by older consumers, as people 55 and over are the fastest-growing segment of marijuana shoppers, according to the note.

Nine states allow or will soon allow the sale and consumption of marijuana, representing almost a quarter of the US population.

Marijuana may also prove to be a tax windfall. The industry is expected to generate $17.5 billion in tax revenue by 2030, according to the note.

Legal marijuana sales hit $9.7 billion in sales in 2017, a number that does not include the industry in California, where recreational marijuana sales began on January 1, 2018. That state's market is predicted to hit $5.1 billion in sales by the end of 2019, outpacing beer sales.

There are still numerous challenges for the booming cannabis market. Marijuana is still considered an illegal, Schedule I substance by the federal government, and many plant-touching businesses don't have access to traditional banks so can't open lines of credit.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions is a noted opponent of increasing access to marijuana, and he rescinded Obama-era protections for that limited the federal government's interference with cannabis businesses.

Albert Ulebe Posted on September 17, 2018 14:58

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Our Emmys 2018 predictions: who should win, who will win, and who got snubbed.

Here's our list of who will win at the 2018 Emmys, and who should, and who got totally snubbed.

The Emmys air on Monday night, and there is some tough competition this year, making it hard to decide who should win in every category.

But it's easier to figure out who will win, based on precedent and buzz.

"The Handmaid's Tale," which won best drama last year, is a favorite to win across all major categories from best drama to best supporting actress. But it could lose in multiple categories to "Game of Thrones," which wasn't in the running for last year's awards. But both of those shows should lose to "The Americans," which had an impeccable final season and has never won, though it's deserved all of the drama Emmys for years.

There's also tight competition among the limited series categories, with incredible shows including "The Assassination of Gianni Versace," "Godless," and "Patrick Melrose," which are all deserving of every award they're up for on Monday night.

We put together a list of our Emmy predictions, along with who we think should win. We also threw in who got snubbed. So if you're excited to see the best contenders among all the nominees this year, look no further.

The Emmys, hosted by "SNL's" Colin Jost and Michael Che, air Monday, September 17 on NBC.

Here's our list of who will win the Emmys, and who should:




(Macall B Polay/HBO)


The nominees:

"The Americans"

"The Crown"

"Game of Thrones"

"The Handmaid's Tale"

"Stranger Things"

"This Is Us"


What will win: "Game of Thrones." Despite its accelerated and lackluster seventh season in 2017, "Game of Thrones" still delivered some excellent episodes and mind-blowing sequences, such as the battle at the end of "The Spoils of War." 2017 Emmy winner "The Handmaid's Tale" had a sophomore slump and just wasn't as popular, so a win for a show on the scale of "Game of Thrones" is probably inevitable.

What should win: "The Americans." Its sixth and final season was perfect and eloquently marked the end of television's Golden Age. We're just glad it was nominated after years and years of snubs, though it absolutely deserves the win in this category. Unfortunately this is the second time the show is nominated in the best drama category, so it doesn't have much of a chance: it's more of a sympathy nomination that's been building for years.

What was snubbed: "Halt and Catch Fire." Sadly, the four-season AMC series, one of the best dramas to come out of the Golden Age (like "The Americans"), wasn't nominated for anything and flew under the radar for the majority of its run.








The nominees:




"Curb Your Enthusiasm"


"Marvelous Mrs. Maisel"

"Silicon Valley"

"Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt"

What will win: "Marvelous Mrs. Maisel." This would be a surprising win over defending champ "Atlanta," but it swept the Golden Globes and is lauded by critics. It was basically made for awards season, but not in a bad way.

What should win: "Atlanta." Season two broke boundaries, even for this show's standards, and it absolutely deserves Emmy number two.

What was snubbed: "The Good Place." Albeit in a very different way than FX's "Atlanta," NBC's "The Good Place" is groundbreaking comedy that has completely transformed what a network comedy can be. It should be a frontrunner, but didn't even get a nomination.








The nominees:

"The Alienist"

"The Assassination of Gianni Versace"

"Genius: Picasso"


"Patrick Melrose"

Who will win: "The Assassination of Gianni Versace." The Emmys love Ryan Murphy content, and if "the People vs OJ Simpson" is any indication, the second season of "American Crime Story" will sweep the awards this year. And it deserves the win for its unique take on the story of a serial killer that focuses on the victims, not just the monster.

Who should win: "Godless." By embracing every cliche about westerns, "Godless" was somehow something truly unique, bolstered by an incredible cast including Michelle Dockery, Jeff Daniels, and Meritt Weaver (all nominees). We also wouldn't be upset if "Patrick Melrose" wins.

Who was snubbed: "The Terror." It is an absolute shame that the best television show of 2018 wasn't nominated in any category. "The Terror" is revolutionary television in so many ways. It deserved better, and should have been an absolute shoe-in for a nomination and the win. Netflix's "American Vandal" deserved a nomination as well for its biting commentary on the true crime obsessed culture.








The nominees:

Jason Bateman, "Ozark"

Sterling K. Brown, "This Is Us"

Ed Harris, "Westworld"

Matthew Rhys, "The Americans"

Milo Ventimiglia, "This Is Us"

Jeffrey Wright, "Westworld"

Who will win: Matthew Rhys. His portrayal of troubled KGB spy Philip Jennings has been the best performance on TV for years, overshadowed by more popular performers on higher profile shows like Bryan Cranston of "Breaking Bad" and Jon Hamm of "Mad Men." Of all the nominations for "The Americans," Rhys is the mostly likely to win. He's been nominated a twice in this category for the series, and this is his last chance.

Who should win: Matthew Rhys. By a long shot. Every other nominee has quite a few more seasons to go into their series runs, and this is Rhys' last chance.

Who was snubbed: Lee Pace, "Halt and Catch Fire." Pace's subdued performance as power hungry tech genius Joe Macmillan flew mostly under the radar. But his ability to make the audience so emotionally connected to his character, (a pretty terrible person), was not easy and should've been awarded and recognized more than it was.








The nominees:

Claire Foy, "The Crown"

Tatiana Maslany, "Orphan Black"

Elisabeth Moss, "The Handmaid's Tale"

Sandra Oh, "Killing Eve"

Keri Russell, "The Americans"

Evan Rachel Wood, "Westworld"

Who will win: Elisabeth Moss. Moss will without a doubt win for her performance in season two of "The Handmaid's Tale." She really gave it her all in an otherwise disappointing season, and did things no one could have imagined any actor was capable of doing.

Who should win: Keri Russell. Moss certainly deserves her likely win. But for the past five years, Russell has been doing some of the best acting in television history on "The Americans" as the cold, dutiful, but sometimes conflicted KGB spy Elizabeth Jennings. She's been nominated multiple times, and now is her last chance to win an Emmy.

Who was snubbed: Mackenzie Davis, "Halt and Catch Fire." I will never stop talking about this show. Davis, who is sliding her way into major movies (including "Blade Runner" and "Tully") definitely has Oscars and Emmys in her future.








The nominees:

Donald Glover, "Atlanta"

Bill Hader, "Barry"

William H. Macy, "Shameless"

Ted Danson, "The Good Place"

Anthony Anderson, "Black-ish"

Who will win: Donald Glover. He won last year, so has an advantage over everyone else. There is a chance that Bill Hader could steal two wins in a row from Glover for his layered performance in season one of "Barry," but Glover's submitted "Atlanta" episode was his best performance yet, so it's not likely.

Who should win: Ted Danson. There is no one else on the planet who could have pulled off what Danson did in season two of "The Good Place," which I won't describe because I don't want to ruin it.

Who was snubbed: Thomas Middleditch wasn't nominated for "Silicon Valley" this year despite it being one of his best seasons, but we're not too gloomy about it.








The nominees:

Pamela Adlon, "Better Things"

Allison Janney, "Mom"

Issa Rae, "Insecure"

Tracey Ellis Ross, "Black-ish"

Lily Tomlin, "Grace and Frankie"

Rachel Brosnahan, "Marvelous Mrs. Maisel"

Who will win: Rachel Brosnahan. The beloved Amazon series wouldn't have worked without her. She has so much fun with her performance, especially in her scenes performing stand-up, that always bring so much to her erratic character.

Who should win: Rachel Brosnahan.

Who was snubbed: Kirsten Bell, "The Good Place" and Rachel Bloom, "Crazy Ex-Girlfriend." Neither would have won since no one stands a chance agains Brosnahan, but both deserved a nom.








The nominees:

Antonia Banderas, "Genius: Picasso"

Darren Criss, "The Assassination of Gianni Versace"

Benedict Cumberbatch, "Patrick Melrose"

Jeff Daniels, "The Looming Tower"

John Legend, "Jesus Christ Superstar Live"

Jesse Plemons, "Black Mirror: USS Callister"

Who will win: Darren Criss. Criss, whose previous credits included Broadway musicals and "Glee," stunned everyone with his gripping and at times nauseating (in a good, acting way) performance as serial killer Andrew Cunanan.

Who should win: Darren Criss or Benedict Cumberbatch, who surprised people in a similar way with his wild, committed, and sometimes hilarious performance in the dark but vibrant Showtime miniseries.

Who was snubbed: Jared Harris, "The Terror." The real terror is that this show didn't get any nominations.





Laura Dern in "The Tale"



The nominees:

Sarah Paulson, "American Horror Story: Cult"

Michelle Dockery, "Godless"

Edi Falco, "Law & Order True Crime: The Menendez Murders"

Regina King, "Seven Seconds"

Jessica Biel, "The Sinner"

Laura Dern, "The Tale"

Who will win: Laura Dern. Dern put her heart and soul into this brutal performance, and it would be downright insulting if she wasn't recognized for it with a win.

Who should win: Laura Dern.

Who was snubbed: Hayley Atwell, "Howard's End." Atwell is truly extraordinary in this otherwise quite ordinary adaptation.






(Macall B. Polay/HBO)


The nominees:

Nikolaj Coster-Waldou, "Game of Thrones"

Peter Dinklage, "Game of Thrones"

Mandy Patinkin, "Homeland"

David Harbour, "Stranger Things"

Matt Smith, "The Crown"

Joseph Fiennes, "The Handmaid's Tale"

Who will win: Peter Dinklage, "Game of Thrones." Emmy voters love him, and he is fantastic, so he'll probably win just by being nominated. Dinklage was fine in season seven, but he didn't have that much to do. And none of his work in it is really worthy of a win compared to the other nominees, including his co-worker Nikolaj Coster-Waldeau.

Who should win: Matt Smith, "The Crown." Smith really showed his chops in the second and his final season of the Netflix drama, and did an excellent job portraying a conflicted man in an unraveling marriage, and he got better and better as the show dug deeper into Prince Philip's dark past.

Who was snubbed: Noah Emmerich, "The Americans." Have you noticed a trend in the snubs sections of this list? Good. Emmerich never got the credit he deserved for his subtle but often gut-wrenching performance as Stan Beeman, an FBI agent unaware of his best friend's true idenity as a KGB spy. The final season built up to Stan's realization at a grueling but perfect pace, and Emmerich said so much, often without saying anything at all.








The nominees:

Lena Heady, "Game of Thrones"

Millie Bobby Brown, "Stranger Things"

Vanessa Kirby, "The Crown"

Alexis Bledel, "The Handmaid's Tale"

Ann Dowd, "The Handmaid's Tale"

Yvonne Strahovski, "The Handmaid's Tale"

Thandie Newton, "Westworld"

Who will win: Alexis Bledel. Bledel won last year in the guest actress category, but this nomination would allow her to get on the primetime stage to accept her award. Another likely candidate is Lena Heady, who did some impressively restrained work on season seven of "Thrones."

Who should win: Vanessa Kirby. Kirby did her best work in her final season as Princess Margaret, and steals every scene she is in, while letting co-star Claire Foy carry their scenes together. Kirby's skill was essential to bringing Margaret's story to life on "The Crown," and certainly paved the way for Helena Bonham Carter to take over in season three.

Who was snubbed: Holly Taylor, "The Americans," who always matched the talents of the incredible and seasoned actors playing her parents. Aubrey Plaza could also have gotten nominated for her role on FX's "Legion."








The nominees:

Brian Tyree Henry, "Atlanta"

Henry Winkler, "Barry"

Louie Anderson, "Baskets"

Alec Baldwin, "SNL"

Kenan Thompson, "SNL"

Tony Shalhoub, "Marvelous Mrs. Maisel"

Tituss Burgess, "Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt"

Who will win: Tony Shalhoub or Alec Baldwin. Shaloub won multiple Emmys for "Monk," so he has an advantage. But Baldwin is hot off of his dated and overdone Trump impersonation on "SNL" that voters loved enough last year to give him the Emmy, and they probably will again.

Who should win: Brian Tyree Henry. Henry really had a chance to shine in "Robbin' Season," way more than he did in season one. He did some of the best performing of the year in both dramatic and comedic ways.

Who was snubbed: William Jackson Harper, "The Good Place." Chidi is a frustrating character most of the time, but Harper manages to make his obsession with ethics and anxiety about something as mundane as picking out a pair of socks something to look forward to — especially when all of the characters on the show are sick of him.








The nominees:

Zazie Beetz, "Atlanta"

Betty Gilpin, "Glow"

Laurie Metcalf, "Roseanne"

Aidy Bryant, "SNL"

Leslie Jones, "SNL"

Kate McKinnon, "SNL"

Alex Borstein, "Marvelous Mrs. Maisel"

Megan Mullaly, "Will and Grace"

Who will win: Kate McKinnon. McKinnon has been the defending champ for two years. She did a lot on "SNL" this season, and carried a weak year.

Who should win: Betty Gilpin. What Elisabeth Moss is doing for dramatic acting on "The Handmaid's Tale," Gilpin is doing for comedic acting on "Glow." Gilpin should win this by a long shot, but it's a long shot.

Who was snubbed: D'Arcy Carden, "The Good Place" and Rita Moreno, "One Day at a Time." They'd have no chance at winning, but their presence is essential to making their characters and their shows work.








The nominees:

Jeff Daniels, "Godless"

Brandon Victor Dixon, "Jesus Christ Superstar"

Ricky Martin, "Assassination of Gianni Versaci"

Edgar Ramirez, "Assassination of Gianni Versace"

Finn Whitrock, "Assassination of Gianni Versace"

Michael Stuhlbarg, "The Looming Tower"

John Leguizamo, "Waco"

Who will win: Jeff Daniels, "Godless." Daniels is an awards-friendly actor and has won Emmys in the past, so he has an advantage.

Who should win: Ricky Martin. Martin didn't have much to do, but he put so much into it and is a really, really great actor.

Who was snubbed: Brendan Fraser "Trust," Tobias Menzies "The Terror." They wouldn't have won, but both actors were important parts of the shows they were in, and it's a shame they weren't recognized.








The nominees:

Adina Porter, "American Horror Story: Cult"

Letitia Wright, "Black Mirror: Black Museum"

Merritt Weaver, "Godless"

Sara Bereilles, "Jesus Chris Superstar"

Penelope Cruz, "Assassination of Gianni Versace"

Judith Light, "Assassination of Gianni Versace"

Who will win: Penelope Cruz. Cruz did some of her best work since "Vicky Cristina Barcelona" as Donatella Versace on the FX series. She brought empathy to a woman who has, for a long time, been the butt of way too many jokes.

Who should win: Judith Light. Light got a nomination is this category instead of guest actress despite being in only two episodes. And she deserves it. Her performance as a woman coming to terms with secrets her murdered husband kept from her for decades is a career best.

Who was snubbed: Nive Nielsen, "The Terror." Nielsen was the heart of the horror series, literally without saying a word. She should have at least been added as a nominee.








The nominees:

"The Daily Show with Trevor Noah"

"Full Frontal with Samantha Bee"

"Jimmy Kimmel Live"

"Last Week Tonight with John Oliver"

"The Late Late Show with James Corden"

"The Late Show with Stephen Colbert"

Who will win: "Last Week Tonight." John Oliver, once again, leads a team that is doing not only great comedy, but great investigative journalism.

Who should win: "Last Week Tonight."

Who was snubbed: "At Home with Amy Sedaris." The show is weird, but wonderful.








The nominees:

"The Amazing Race"

"American Ninja Warrior"

"Project Runway"

"Ru Paul's Drag Race"

"Top Chef"

"The Voice"

Who will win: "Ru Paul's Drag Race." Do we even have to explain at this point?

Who should win: "Ru Paul's Drag Race."

Who was snubbed: "Nailed It!" The Netflix baking competition for people who have very little experience baking is so delightful and clever, we're kind of surprised it wasn't included, but it's heavy satirical nature probably didn't help voters take it seriously.

Albert Ulebe Posted on September 17, 2018 14:56

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LG’s Mobile Carrier to Offer Blockchain Payments for International Travelers.

LG Uplus, the cellular carrier subsidiary of South Korean conglomerate LG Corp., is set to trial a cross-carrier blockchain payments service for overseas travelers.

Dubbed the ‘Cross-Carrier Payment System’ (CCPS), the project sees the LG mobile carrier arm collaborate with partners in Japan, Taiwan and the United States to enable global mobile payment services among global telecommunication carriers, LG Uplus said on Sunday.

LG Uplus has inked a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Taiwan-based Far EasTone Telecom and Japanese giant Softbank to partner for the trial scheduled to begin in early 2019, the Korea Times reports.

The blockchain platform, specifically, will be developed by U.S.-based Silicon Valley startup TBCASoft.

In essence, the rollout of the service will enable Korean subscribers of LG Uplus to make purchases at partner retailers in Taiwan and Japan using their mobile phones. The payments service is based on the Rich Communications Service (RCS) global messaging standard.

“A mobile customer based in Japan, for example, can travel to the USA and make a purchase in dollars via RCS,” SoftBank explained in announcing the prototype of the service last week.

“The RCS global messaging standard can also be conveniently used to send a payment. The flexibility of the CCPS blockchain API enables the recipient to use an RCS-based messaging app or legacy messaging service like SMS or mobile email, to receive person-to-person (P2P) money transfers through the RCS wallet app either in the same country or overseas,” the Japanese telecom carrier added.

With transactions billed and paid through their carrier in their home currency, the ‘direct carrier billing service’ will similarly allow EasTone and Softbank subscribers to use the service for payments when travelling to Japan, Korea and Taiwan. This will help save on overseas credit card markups that include foreign exchange fees, the trio said.

LG Uplus’ mobile service unit director Joo Young-joon said:

“Customers will have the benefit of an overseas payment system based on convenient, economical and secure blockchain technology.”

TBCASoft, SoftBank and Far EasTone are also founding members of the Carrier Blockchain Study Group (CBSG) consortium, a global working group of telecom carriers launched in September 2017. Their namesake product, the CBSG blockchain, is also looking at scaling beyond payments to identity and authentication for subscribers.

“And in addition to the overseas payment solution, LG Uplus will continue to develop new business opportunities with CBSG blockchain and global telecom leaders,” LG Uplus’ Joo Young-joon added.

Albert Ulebe Posted on September 17, 2018 13:29

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People have been hiding needles in strawberries in Australia, and it's put at least 2 people in hospital.

People across Australia have been finding small sewing needles hidden inside their store-bought strawberries. Two people have been hospitalized with abdominal pain. Authorities are scrambling to find the perpetrators, with the government offering US$72,000 for information

  • People across Australia have been finding small sewing needles hidden inside their store-bought strawberries.
  • Eleven people from six Australian states have found needles in their strawberries so far.
  • Two of them were taken to hospital with abdominal pain.
  • Authorities are scrambling to find the perpetrators, with the government offering US$72,000 for information.

People have been hiding sewing needles in store-bought strawberries in Australia, which has sent at least two men to hospital with abdominal pain.

The small needles have been found totally concealed inside the strawberries, making them very hard to find.

At least 11 people across six Australian states have reported seeing needles in their strawberries, although most of them spotted the contamination before swallowing the fruits.

This photo, published by Sky News Australia, shows how easy it is to miss a needle:


A needle found in a punnet of strawberries.

(Sky News Australia/Youtube)


The victims

People started noticing needles in their strawberries earlier this month after a man in Queensland, northeastern Australia, published a viral post claiming that his friend accidentally swallowed half a sewing needle while eating strawberries, and had to be sent to hospital.

Joshua Gane said on Facebook: "He bites through a strawberry and swallows half a sewing needle. We then checked the other strawberries and found another sewing needle lodged inside one of them.

"We are now at the ER [emergency room] because he subsequently started experiencing severe abdominal pain."

Hoani Hearne, a 21-year-old in Queensland, was also taken to hospital after swallowing part of a needle and developing severe abdominal pain on Sunday, according to The Courier Mail.

"I bit straight in — kneejerk reaction was to swallow — and yeah, it wasn't a pleasant surprise," Hearne told the local Nine News TV network, as cited by The Courier Mail.

As of Monday, nine people in five other Australian states have reported finding needles in their store-bought strawberries in five other Australian states outside Queensland.

The latest case came on Monday, when a man in York, Western Australia — the other side of the country form Queensland — found a needle while washing his strawberries, as reported by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.


Terry Lawrence, the acting detective chief at Queensland police, holds up a photo of strawberries with at least one needles inside.

(Screenshot via Business Insider Australia)


Police still have no idea who did it

It remains unclear how the needles managed to get into the store-bought strawberries, and at which stage of the production process the fruits were contaminated.

The Queensland Strawberry Growers Association said last Thursday that the perpetrator could be one of its disgruntled former employees, according to The Australian.

However, with the contamination found across other states in Australia, authorities are no longer sure.

Queensland police are still working to find the perpetrators, and are "keeping a very open mind" as they interview more than 100 people to find suspects, according to Business Insider Australia.

The Queensland state government is also offering AU$100,000 (US$72,000) for information, reported.

Adrian Schultz, the vice-president of the Queensland Strawberry Growers Association lashed out at the "commercial terrorism," and warned that it could effect the entire fruit industry.

Schultz said, according to "I'm angry for all the associated people, it's the farmers, the people who supply them, the packaging people, the truckies with families to support, who suddenly lose their jobs … it's far-reaching."

Albert Ulebe Posted on September 17, 2018 13:05

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This is everything global tennis icon Serena Williams eats for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

23-time Grand Slam singles tennis champion Serena Williams has an interesting diet plan — here's everything she eats in a typical day.

Serena Williams has attracted some unwanted headlines lately.

The 23-time Grand Slam tennis champion fought her way to the 2018 US Open final but got slapped with a hat-trick of code violations before eventually losing in straight sets to Naomi Osaka on September 8.

The aftermath has seen her lampooned in the Australian newspaper The Herald Sun, where she was drawn as an angry baby with grossly exaggerated features like oversized lips, a big nose, and wiry hair. The cartoon was called "racist and misogynistic" by Williams' husband the Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian.

Williams was then slammed as "no feminist hero," while umpires consider a boycott of her future matches because she called the US Open umpire a "liar" and a "thief" too.

The 2018 tennis season may be winding down, but as a two-time Grand Slam finalist this year, Williams shows no signs of winding down herself and will continue to compete next year.

In order to maintain her sporting dominance, Williams has to eat right before a match. So what sort of food does a 23-time tennis major champion serve up?

Here's everything Williams likes to have for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

This is Serena Williams, a superstar tennis player who has reached two Grand Slam tournament finals in 2018 since returning to the sport after taking time out to give birth to her daughter, Alexis Olympia Ohanian Jr.


This is Serena Williams, a superstar tennis player who has reached two Grand Slam tournament finals in 2018 since returning to the sport after taking time out to give birth to her daughter, Alexis Olympia Ohanian Jr.

(Getty Images)


Before a game, Williams "usually can't" eat and says it may be down to nerves. However, if she was going to have a meal, it would be a "protein and carb" combo like turkey sausage and baked potato.


Before a game, Williams "usually can't" eat and says it may be down to nerves. However, if she was going to have a meal, it would be a "protein and carb" combo like turkey sausage and baked potato.



Source: Glamour.



When Williams is away from the court, she spares no expense and orders a delicious and healthy looking platter for breakfast including staples like smoothies and fruits.





It's not all clean-eating, though. Williams has an obvious sweet tooth and won't hesitate to put away a beignet, which is basically a deep fried nugget of sugary dough.





When it comes to lunches, or general snacking, Williams never refuses a taco — and they are an ever-present feature of the tennis champion's Instagram.





Williams once said on Facebook: "I want tacos. Everyday I want tacos. I don't know what to do? Is there help for someone that wants to eat tacos everyday?"


Williams once said on Facebook: "I want tacos. Everyday I want tacos. I don't know what to do? Is there help for someone that wants to eat tacos everyday?"



Source: Facebook.



If tacos aren't on the menu and Williams wanted to celebrate a tennis success, she would order a cheese pizza and french fries.


If tacos aren't on the menu and Williams wanted to celebrate a tennis success, she would order a cheese pizza and french fries.



Source: Glamour.



But sometimes nothing beats home cooking and, for Williams, that means her mother's chicken, rice, and gravy.


But sometimes nothing beats home cooking and, for Williams, that means her mother's chicken, rice, and gravy.



Source: Bon Appetit.



If Williams is doing the cooking, then she likes to wow her friends and family with a number of dishes. "For years I was always making gumbo for everyone," she said. "My other go-to dishes are something I call a 'seven-bean delight' which really only has five beans, but don't tell. And roasted chicken with garlic."


If Williams is doing the cooking, then she likes to wow her friends and family with a number of dishes. "For years I was always making gumbo for everyone," she said. "My other go-to dishes are something I call a 'seven-bean delight' which really only has five beans, but don't tell. And roasted chicken with garlic."



Source: Bon Appetit.



Aside from tacos, there is another food Williams is obsessed with — moon pie. "I love moon pies. If "Moon Pie" sponsored me, I'd be bigger than any house on this planet! I love the originals: banana, chocolate, or vanilla. Now I really want a Moon Pie!"

Albert Ulebe Posted on September 17, 2018 11:58

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China’s Crypto Custody Sector Is Growing despite the Mainland Ban.

The debate on whether the central authorities can ever regulate the cryptocurrency industry intensates further with the launch of a Chinese crypto-startup.

In a right-in-your-face stunt, InVault begins offering its cryptocurrency custody services last week in China despite the mainland ban. The Shanghai startup proposes to attract cryptocurrency exchanges as its primary clients, believing they should avoid the moral hazard of holding clients’ assets.

A custodian, in a traditional sense, holds clients’ securities or cash for safekeeping – in both electronics and physical form. China’s implicit ban on keeping and trading cryptocurrencies could arguably disallow an organization to hold assets that 1) are virtual currencies, and 2) belongs to companies with no legal status in the mainland.

But InVault seems to have found a way to circumvent the ongoing crackdown. The startup offers a decentralized corporate cryptocurrency wallet service, meaning that there would not be a central control over the safeguarded funds. InVault will instead be the custodian of users’ private keys. Local media reports hint that the startup will keep the users’ private keys secured in several Physical Vaults. Only authorized personnel will have access to these safes.


Kenneth Xu, chief executive and founder of InVault, said the only way by which cryptocurrencies can be secured is with the absence of human oversight.

“Today, the vast majority of cryptocurrency exchanges globally still involve their senior management in managing the transfer of digital tokens ordered by clients. Putting the private keys to your cryptocurrency assets in the hands of senior management is akin to putting all your money in their control,” said Xu, speaking to the South China Morning Post.

China’s Crackdown Insufficient to Enforce Crypto-ban

The launch of InVault occurs during tensed times. China’s financial and market regulators had recently stepped up its crackdown against the local crypto operations. During the chase, they blocked access to 124 offshore crypto-exchanges that were providing trading services to Chinese investors, banned events that were to discuss cryptocurrencies and enforced local companies, including WeChat and Alibaba, to monitor and report their users involved in crypto activities.

Chinese crypto companies continue to offer services to Chinese investors from offshore despite the ban. KYC-enabled money exchanges have been replaced by peer-to-peer commerce, which could dampen the regulators’ efforts towards enforcing the crypto-ban overall. Furthermore, fugitive exchanges have started to work under the different domain names, making it difficult for regulators to improve their mouse-chase.


Terence Tsang, the chief operating officer of TideBit, which offers centralized crypto-exchange services in Hong Kong and Taiwan, said in a statement to the local press:

“The latest warning and potentially increased monitoring of foreign platforms is targeted at a batch of smaller exchanges that had claimed to be foreign entities, but are in fact operating in China claiming they have outsourced their operations to a Chinese company.”

Meanwhile, InVault has already scored its first major deal from an undisclosed cryptocurrency exchange for the custodianship of one million Ethereum tokens.

Albert Ulebe Posted on September 17, 2018 09:21

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Primetime Emmy Awards 2018: 7 things to look out for

Will Game of Thrones sweep all before it? Will Donald Glover have the last laugh? Will The Handmaid's Tale repeat last year's success?

The Primetime Emmy Awards will shower statuettes on the stars of this golden age of television on Monday.

Here are the frontrunners and some of the possible stories that could emerge on the night.

1. Game of Thrones is back

Image copyrightHBO

Image captionAny prequel series would have to wait until after Game of Thrones' final series airs in 2019

After Game of Thrones won best drama series in 2015 and 2016, last year's Emmys were a Thrones-free zone. But season seven is eligible this year - and when the nominations were announced, the show was the frontrunner, with 22 nominations.

  • Game of Thrones - 22
  • Saturday Night Live - 21
  • Westworld - 21
  • The Handmaid's Tale - 20
  • The Assassination Of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story - 18
  • Atlanta - 16

Game of Thrones won 12 Emmys a year in 2015 and 2016 - tying with itself for the record for the most Emmys won by a series in a single season.

Because the Emmys have a total of 122 categories, the less high profile awards were actually given out last weekend at the Creative Arts Emmys, with 26 left to be awarded on Monday.

Game of Thrones won seven of the 15 Emmys it was up for last weekend. It's up for another seven on Monday - including for Lena Headey, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau and Peter Dinklage.

Because of double nominations in two categories, Game of Thrones can't break its own record, though - the maximum it can now win is 12.

2. Netflix officially rules television

Image copyrightGETTY IMAGES

Image captionMillie Bobby Brown stars in Netflix's Stranger Things

Just five years after its first Primetime Emmy nomination, Netflix achieved its latest milestone in the battle for our eyeballs by earning a total of 112 Emmy nominations this year, more than any other outlet.

That's the first time a streaming service has topped the list.

Those nominations are spread across 40 shows, including The Crown, Stranger Things, Godless and Glow.

HBO, which has come top for the past 17 years, is now second with 108.

3. Allison Janney goes for golden double

Allison Janney could score a prestigious double if she manages to win best lead actress in a comedy series for her role in CBS's sitcom Mom, in which she plays Anna Faris's... mom.

It would come six months after she won her first Oscar for best supporting actress for playing figure skater Tonya Hardin's mom in I, Tonya.

Janney actually won two Emmys in a row for her role in Mom in 2014 and '15, for for best supporting actress in a comedy series. But she's since been bumped up to lead status.

4. The Fonz to finally get his day?

Henry Winkler was nominated for three Primetime Emmys in a row for playing the super-cool Fonz in Happy Days in the 1970s. He lost every time.

Now aged 72, he's nominated again - this time for playing a decidedly uncool acting coach who winds up teaching Bill Hader's hitman in HBO's Barry.

He's up against the likes of Alec Baldwin and Tony Shalhoub in the supporting actor in a comedy series category. But Winkler is favourite for a long overdue win.

5. Sandra Oh could make history

Image copyrightGETTY IMAGES

After five unsuccessful nominations for best supporting actress in a drama for her role in Grey's Anatomy, Sandra Oh could become the first Asian winner in the lead actress category.

She's nominated for playing MI5 officer Eve Polastri in Killing Eve - which has also earned Phoebe Waller-Bridge (of Fleabag fame) a writing nomination.

British viewers may have caught the first episode of Killing Eve on BBC One on Saturday (and may even have binged on the whole lot on iPlayer) - it was made by BBC America, so was shown in the US first.

But Sandra is up against stiff competition - Elisabeth Moss is thought to be the frontrunner to repeat her 2017 success in that category.

6. The Brits in the running

Image copyrightGETTY IMAGES

Image captionThe Crown's Claire Foy is nominated for best leading actress

Claire Foy is also up against Sandra and Elisabeth in that category, and it is the last chance to reward her for playing Queen Elizabeth in Netflix's The Crown.

Another Brit who's bowing out is Wales' own Matthew Rhys, who is tipped to win best lead actor in a drama for the final series of The Americans.

In the supporting actress drama category, The Crown's Princess Margaret (Vanessa Kirby) is up against fellow Brits Thandie Newton (Westworld), Lena Headey (Game of Thrones) and Millie Bobby Brown (Stranger Things), among others.

Matt Smith, another Crown star, is among the supporting actor contenders, as is countryman Joseph Fiennes for his role in The Handmaid's Tale.

Elsewhere, Benedict Cumberbatch is up for best actor in a limited series for Patrick Melrose, while ex-Downton Abbey star Michelle Dockery is up for the equivalent award for her role in Godless.

7. Will Donald Glover have the last laugh?

Image copyrightGETTY IMAGES

In the comedy categories, the multi-tasking Donald Glover is nominated for best actor, writer and director for Atlanta, and is also nominated for the overall best comedy prize as one of the show's executive producers.

He won two Emmys last year - so can he beat that tally?

He was also nominated this year for outstanding guest actor in a comedy series for hosting Saturday Night Live - that was one of the awards that was handed out last weekend.

He lost that, but won't mind too much because it went to Katt Williams - for Atlanta.

The FX show's main competition in the comedy categories is likely to come from Amazon's The Marvelous Mrs Maisel.

8. The 'putting up with Roseanne' award

Image copyrightREUTERS

Roseanne's short-lived TV comeback was nominated for two Emmys - outstanding multi-camera picture editing for a comedy series (which it lost to Will & Grace); and best supporting actress in a comedy for Laurie Metcalf.

Metcalf, who plays Roseanne's sister Jackie, won this award for three years in a row in the early 1990s.

She's also won two Tony Awards in the past two years and was nominated for an Oscar this year for her role in Lady Bird.

Could she be given a reward from the Emmys for working with Roseanne?

"When Charlie Sheen went on his meltdown for Two and a Half Men, Jon Cryer got an award," said David Allen on the Dual Redundancy podcast's Emmy prediction edition.

"It was like, 'You put up with that? Here's a pat on the back, buddy' And we all know about the Roseanne stories."

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seth Posted on September 17, 2018 03:29

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Green Book wins influential Toronto festival award

The film Green Book has won the influential People's Choice Award at this year's Toronto International Film Festival.

The feel-good drama, which tells the true story of a black musician and his white driver on a tour of America's Deep South in the 1960s, stars Oscar winner Mahershala Ali and Lord of the Rings actor Viggo Mortensen.

The prize is seen as a strong indicator for success in the film awards season.

Previous winners include Slumdog Millionaire, The King's Speech and 12 Years A Slave - all of which went on to win best film at the Oscars.

Nine of the last 10 Toronto winners have earned best film nominations.

The award is chosen by audiences who vote online.

Second place went to If Beale Street Could Talk, which is writer and director Barry Jenkins's first film since Moonlight won the Oscar for best picture in 2017.

Image copyrightTIFF

Image captionIf Beale Street Could Talk is director Barry Jenkins's latest film

Based on a novel by James Baldwin, it is a Harlem-set love story about a young man wrongly accused of rape.

Third place was taken by Netflix release Roma, a two-and-a-quarter hour-long Mexican black and white film about a middle class family and their housekeeper living in Mexico City in the 1970s.

It is directed by Alfonso Cuarón, whose film Gravity won him the Oscar for best director in 2014.

Green Book will be released in the UK in February next year. If Beale Street Could Talk and Roma will both be screened in the London Film Festival next month.

Image copyrightTIFF

Image captionRoma is a black-and-white Netflix film set in 1970s Mexico City

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seth Posted on September 16, 2018 23:09

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Proud Kenyans hail Eliud Kipchoge's new marathon world record With his performance, the 33-year-old beat the previous record set by fellow Kenyan runner Dennis Kimetto in 2014.

Two hours, one minute and 39 seconds.


That's how long, or little, it took Kenyan superstar runner Eliud Kipchoge to cover the 42.2km of the Berlin Marathon - and smash the world record in the process by a staggering 78 seconds.


Unsurprisingly, the news travelled around the globe at lightning speed, including in Kenya and the diaspora where jubilant citizens, celebrities and leaders took to Twitter to hail their sporting hero and celebrate his remarkable feat.

Kipchoge, 33, is regarded as the greatest marathon runner of the modern era.




He burst onto the international sporting scene at the age of 18, winning the U20 race at the World Cross Country Championships in 2003.


In 2012, he started his marathon career with a victory in Germany's Hamburg. The former 5,000-meter race world champion has won 11 of the 12 marathons he has run, including in the 2016 Rio Olympics.


Kipchoge's feat, his third win in Berlin, beats the previous world record set by fellow Kenyan runner Dennis Kimetto in 2014.


His only marathon defeat so far was also in Berlin in 2013, when he was defeated by former world record holder and fellow Kenyan, Wilson Kipsang.


Kipchoge's run on Sunday was the biggest improvement on the marathon mark since Australian Derek Clayton took almost two and a half minutes off the record in 1967.


A proud Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta congratulated Kipchoge, and his fellow countrymen - second-placed Amos Kipruto and third-placed Wilson Kipsang - as the East African trio made a podium sweep.


"Congratulations Eliud Kipchoge for breaking the world record at the Berlin marathon 2018. I also congratulate his compatriots Amos Kipruto & Wilson Kipsang for going out valiantly to bring a 1-2-3 victory for #TeamKenya. You are our heroes. Kenya is proud of you," Kenyatta wrote on Twitter.


Many Kenyans saw  Kipchoge's victory as a temporary relief from the problems the country has been facing recently.

Albert Ulebe Posted on September 16, 2018 22:49

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Palestinian teen fatally stabs American-Israeli activist in West Bank

A well-known American-born activist on behalf of Israeli settlers was stabbed to death outside a West Bank mall Sunday, reportedly by a 17-year-old Palestinian attacker.

The victim was identified as Ari Fuld, a 45-year-old father of four who lived in the nearby settlement of Efrat.

The Israeli military said the attacker arrived at the mall near a major junction in the southern West Bank, close to the Gush Etzion settlement bloc, and stabbed Fuld before fleeing.


Israeli police investigating the scene where Ari Fuld was stabbed Sunday.  (Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

Video footage showed Fuld giving chase and firing at his attacker before collapsing. Other civilians shot the assailant, whom Israeli media identified as a 17-year-old from a nearby Palestinian village. The Times of Israel reported that the attacker was in "moderate" condition.

Fuld was a well-known English-language Internet commenter on current affairs who was known for his hard-line nationalist ideology and strong support for the Israeli military. He also was known for an outspoken manner that included verbal clashes with Palestinians and critics of Israel. At times, his Facebook account had been suspended.


"He did not hold back on his opinions," settler spokesman Josh Hasten told The Associated Press. "If that meant 30 days of Facebook jail, so be it."

Hasten, who said he had known Fuld for about a decade, added that his friend traveled widely to showcase "the beauty and reality of life" in the country.

Fuld delivered care packages to Israeli soldiers and would go on solidarity trips to communities near the Gaza Strip during times of fighting with the Hamas militant group, Hasten said.

"When the rockets were falling, that's when he would get in his car and go down to Sderot," Hasten said.


Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu lauded Fuld on Facebook for fighting his attacker "heroically" and remembered him as "an advocate for Israel who fought to spread the truth."

On Twitter, David Friedman, the U.S. ambassador to Israel and a strong supporter of the settlements, called him "a passionate defender of Israel & an American patriot."

Since 2015, Palestinians have killed over 50 Israelis, two visiting Americans and a British tourist in stabbings, shootings and car-ramming attacks. Israeli forces killed over 260 Palestinians in that period, of which Israel has said most were attackers.

Lastkay Posted on September 16, 2018 20:39

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Phoenix Airport returning to normal operations after shutting down terminal for police investigation

Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport officials have announced that operations are returning to normal after shutting down Terminal 4 “as a precaution” during a police investigation.

PHX Sky Harbor@PHXSkyHarbor

Update - Operations are returning to normal at Terminal 4. Travelers are encouraged to continue to check their flight status with their airlines.

7:10 PM - Sep 16, 2018

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Officials shut down part of the Arizona airport and evacuated all passengers after someone called to report a suspicious, unattended rental car left in a curb lane at the airport.


Officials shut down part of the Arizona airport and evacuated all passengers after someone called to report a suspicious, unattended rental car.  (iStock)

The terminal closure caused flight delays and cancellations of 34 Southwest flights. Other carriers affected include American Airlines, Air Canada and British Airways.


Phoenix police Sgt. Tommy Thompson says a bomb squad was working to make sure the vehicle is not a danger before the terminal can be re-opened.

View image on Twitter

Aditya Padaki@adityapadaki

Stuck in the Phoenix airport lock down #PHX

5:29 PM - Sep 16, 2018

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The vehicle was found about 7 a.m. Sunday on the upper deck of Terminal 4. Authorities are also trying to contact the person who last had the car.


ray mota@rmota

Bomb robots are out now and dogs #phoenixairport @skyharborairport #phoenixpolice #Phoenix

6:12 PM - Sep 16, 2018 · Terminal 4, Concourse C

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An airport spokeswoman says three of the four security checkpoints at the terminal remain closed and the Sky Train has stopped dropping passengers at the terminal.

This story is still developing.\

Lastkay Posted on September 16, 2018 20:33

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