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Apple insists developers ramp up their privacy commitments

Developers must now say how they collect data, what they do with it, and take responsibility for how it is treated if it is sold on.

Apple recently told the U.S. Congress that is sees customer privacy as a “human right,” though the explanation didn’t at that time extend to how third-party developers treat data they get from iOS apps. Now it does.

Privacy for the rest of us

Starting October 3, Apple will insist that all third-party apps (including new apps and app updates) submitted to the App Store include a link to the app developer’s own privacy policy.

This is a big change, as until now only subscription-based apps needed to supply this information — and it also extends to the privacy policy itself, which Apple insists must be clear and explicitly in explaining:

  • What data the app/service collects
  • How this data is collected
  • What is done with that data
  • How data is stored
  • How users can revoke consent and demand deletion of their data

[ Related: Apple's mobile privacy letter to Congress omits an awful lot of context ]

The policy must also promise that any third party to which that data is shared must provide the same or equal protection of user data as explained in the developer’s privacy policy.

Building an evidence trail

The policy states that developers must:

“Confirm that any third party with whom an app shares user data (in compliance with these Guidelines) — such as analytics tools, advertising networks and third party SDKs, as well as any parent, subsidiary or other related entities that will have access to user data — will provide the same or equal protection of user data as stated in the app’s privacy policy and required by these Guidelines.”

This means Apple is insisting developers make verifiable and actionable promises about the data they gather, what they do with that information, and whom they sell that data to.

Any app developer whose primary business is selling people’s data to those vast unregulated data warehousing firms may find these steps make things a little trickier.

This is a massively important step, and I predict that some apps — potentially including some relatively popular apps — may find themselves unable to make these promises, following legal advice.

[ Take this mobile device management course from PluralSight and learn how to secure devices in your company without degrading the user experience. ]

(I’m not pointing any fingers, but any app developer whose primary business is selling people’s data to those vast unregulated data warehousing firms may find these steps make things a little trickier.)

The whole widget

In technology, the weakest security target is always the user. That’s why criminals try to target users with sophisticated and personalized scams.

The same is true of marketing – do you think billions would be spent on advertising if it didn’t make a difference? In the online age, marketing has become increasingly sophisticated and personalized. Until now (as the scandalous behavior of Cambridge Analytica and others of that ilk shows), those marketing techniques may have crossed the line into criminal.

“We’ve never believed that these detailed profiles of people, that have incredibly deep personal information that is patched together from several sources, should exist,” Apple CEO Tim Cook recently said.

They can be “abused against our democracy,” he observed.

Apple has always insisted that it values its user privacy, but critics (often the same critics who have never concerned themselves regarding privacy when other firms have exploited it for profit) have pointed out that just because Apple is privacy-secure doesn’t mean those third-party developers are being so.

Those apps claiming your private data may lack Apple’s commitment to user privacy, they argue, before insisting Apple should do something about it.

Apple has done something about it

Apple already collects much less data about customers than any other big tech firm, and what it does collect tends to be heavily anonymized.

“The truth is, we could make a ton of money if we monetized our customer. ... We’ve elected not to do that. We’re not going to traffic in your personal life. Privacy to us is a human right, a civil liberty,” Cook has said.

Apple is now moving to extend those privacy protections a little, and it has made several moves to try to prevent abuse of personal data for marketing and other forms of social engineering in recent months:

  • It has made it much easier for customers to check all the data Apple holds on them.
  • A new Data & Privacy screen gives a clearer explanation of how Apple uses your data.
  • In macOS Mojave, it will block the tracking code buried in comment threads or social media like buttons.
  • Safari now prevents Share buttons and comment widgets on web pages from tracking you without your permission.
  • Safari now prevents "fingerprinting," in which data companies determine who you are and follow you online based on system configuration.
  • Safari also automatically creates, autofills and stores strong passwords for you and lets you know when you are reusing passwords on different sites and services.
  • New data protections require apps to get user permission before using the Mac camera and microphone or accessing personal data like user Mail history and Messages database.
  • It has made it much harder to hack into iOS devices using the USB port.
  • It has introduced support for third-party password managers.
  • Apple as a company also has an extensive privacy governance structure, which is described here.

Apple’s new move to insist its developers also work to protect end user privacy may have profound consequences, as it implies that it will now monitor and pursue those developers who do not meet the commitments they make.

This will pose some inconvenience for companies whose business is built on gathering and exploiting user data, of course, but it also creates an even bigger divide between those platforms that do care about personal privacy and those that don’t.

Who knows how this could impact future platform choice?

Google+? If you use social media and happen to be a Google+ user, why not join AppleHolic's Kool Aid Corner community and get involved with the conversation as we pursue the spirit of the New Model Apple?

Got a story? Please drop me a line via Twitter and let me know. I'd like it if you chose to follow me on Twitter so I can let you know about new articles I publish and reports I find.

syllasasante Posted on September 03, 2018 18:07

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Electric shock collars for pets to be banned

But government shies away from outlawing 'invisible fencing' systems

Electronic collars that can give dogs and cats shocks are to be banned in England, the Government has announced.

Animal charities have long lobbied for the devices to be outlawed, arguing they are needlessly cruel.

Remotely controlled training devices – e-collars or shock collars – can trigger an electronic pulse of up to 6,000 volts to a dog’s neck, and can shock an animal for up to 11 seconds at a time, according to the Dogs Trust.

Other e-collars emit a painful sound or spray a chemical that is noxious to a dog’s acute sense of smell.

The Kennel Club pushed for a ban, arguing that pets respond to shocks out of fear of further punishment.

Use of electronic shock collars is banned in Wales, and Scotland has begun moves towards prohibiting them.

I urge pet owners to instead use positive-reward training methods

Michael Gove

In England the crackdown follows a public consultation that ran in March in April and attracted more than 7,000 responses.

Environment officials said that as well as being misused to inflict unnecessary harm and suffering, there was also evidence that e-collars can redirect aggression or generate anxiety-based behaviour in pets – worsening underlying behavioural and health problems.

However, the government has shied away from outlawing “invisible fencing” systems designed to keep pets, particularly cats, away from roads. The animal is given a static pulse if it breaches the boundary of a property, so learns to stay away.

Although a ban on shock collars is widely supported by animal lovers, those who defend their use say they are painful only when misused.

Some supporters say they allow the handler to correct or stop a dog as it commits a “crime” such as chasing livestock – when dogs risk legally being shot dead.

A Czech online shop that sells the collars says on its website: “What is wrong with dog getting spanked on his butt when he done something wrong? Nothing. What has changed with the start of electronic collar?” It says no collar has ever killed an animal. “Yes it hurts but it’s the same for punishment by your hand,” it says. 


Environment secretary Michael Gove said: “The use of punitive shock collars causes harm and suffering to our pets.

“This ban will improve the welfare of animals and I urge pet owners to instead use positive-reward training methods.” 

Many people who responded to the consultation expressed concern at the number of pet owners who use the hand-held devices incorrectly and without proper training.

The Dogs Trust, which says training methods such as food rewards are the best technique, said it was delighted by the ban on e-collars but saddened that the move did not cover “containment” fences.

syllasasante Posted on September 03, 2018 16:52

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US Open 2018: Novak Djokovic seeking quarter-final tie with Roger Federer

Former champions Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer will set up a mouth-watering US Open quarter-final if they win their matches on Monday.

Sixth seed Djokovic faces Portuguese Joao Sousa in the fourth round, while Federer plays Australian John Millman.

The former world number ones have not faced each other so early in a Grand Slam since 2007, when Federer won to reach the Australian Open last eight.

First Djokovic must beat Sousa, making his debut at this stage of a Slam.

The world number 44 has already knocked out two seeds - Frenchman Lucas Pouille in the third round and Spain's Pablo Carreno Busta in the second.

"He's a fighter, he's a grinder," Djokovic said. "He will not hand you the victory, you've got to earn it."

Federer's opponent Millman, the world number 52, is also competing in unknown territory after knocking out 14th seed Fabio Fognini in the second round.

Dominic Solomon Posted on September 03, 2018 16:51

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Glasgow dog swallows 8-inch metal skewer


A dog had to be operated on after it swallowed an 8in (20cm) metal skewer at a barbecue.

The six-year-old female sharpei, called Hoshi, had eaten the skewer along with a chicken kebab.

Vets were shocked when they found the metal inside the dog when they took X-rays to investigate a lump in its side.

Hoshi has made a "good recovery" since the skewer was removed in an operation at the Roundhouse Veterinary Hospital in Glasgow in July.

Veterinary surgeon Ruth Greening carried out the procedure.

She said: "We were astounded when X-rays revealed that the swelling on Hoshi's abdomen was the point of a large metal skewer piercing her ribs, which she had apparently swallowed at the barbecue."

The dog spent two to three days recovering in hospital before coming home.

'Hidden dangers'

Hoshi's vegetarian owner, Sandra Kin, said that although the dog had previously eaten things it should not have, she did not expect her to eat the "huge" metal stick.

She said: "We are very fortunate that she didn't end up much worse, thanks to the surgery performed by The Pets'n'Vets Family.

"Hoshi's a little bit crazy; but I guess that's why we love her."

Ross Allan, a vet at the Roundhouse Veterinary Hospital, said it was quite common for dogs to swallow items such as stuffed toys but a skewer was unusual.

He urged people to take care with sharp objects near pets.

He said: "Barbecues are very popular at this time of year and, with the warm weather set to return, we would urge owners to be aware that all pets will often eat any food left unguarded rapidly and without being aware of any hidden dangers, such as sharp skewers."

syllasasante Posted on September 03, 2018 16:41

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Luka Modric: Real star should win Best FIFA Men's Player, says Man Utd great

(CNN) — Former Manchester United goalkeeper Peter Schmeichel expects Luka Modric to beat Cristiano Ronaldo and Mohamed Salah to the Best FIFA Men's Player award for 2018, as the final shortlist of nominees were announced in London Monday.

Real Madrid's Modric faces tough competition from Juventus' Ronaldo and Liverpool's Salah, but Denmark's former shot-stopper thinks the creative midfielder has an extra edge over his competitors.

"Luka Modric was so incredibly good in every department of how you have to judge a good player," Schmeichel told CNN Sport.

"First of all his history is incredible. The story that he can tell from when he was a young kid and what he has done with his football career, it makes him an interesting guy."

Luka Modric of Real Madrid celebrates winning his fourth UEFA Champions League

Who do you think should be named FIFA's best player? Have your say on our Facebook page.

'Incredible' World Cup

The "incredible" history Schmeichel speaks of refers to the midfielder's childhood growing up during the Balkan war.

His father joined the Croatian army, his grandfather was shot by Croatian Serb rebels and his house was burned down, forcing the family to flee to the Adriatic coast. "The war made me stronger," the 32-year-old once said.

The Croatian was in imperious form for both club and country last season, winning a fourth UEFA Champions League title and inspiring Croatia to its first World Cup final.

Though Croatia were beaten by France in the final, Schmeichel -- who is a member of the FIFA Best Goalkeeper judging panel -- believed Modric's performances at Russia 2018 set him apart from the other candidates.

"What he did in the World Cup, together with the coach and his teammates, in producing this amazing result for Croatia is just incredible," said Schmeichel, a five-time English Premier League winner with Manchester United.

"He was scoring goals, he was creating goals, he was fighting. He was just an incredible player in that period."

Croatian soccer star grew up amid conflict 03:21

Ronaldo, so used to scoring hattricks, is aiming to win his third consecutive Best FIFA men's award after adding another European title to his already glittering trophy cabinet.

But both he and Modric will face stiff opposition from Egypt and Liverpool star Mohamed Salah. The 26-year-old enjoyed a record breaking debut season at Anfield, scoring 44 goals and spear-heading his side's journey to the Champions League final.

READ: Can Ronaldo and Juve win the Champions League?

Celebrating the best

The Best FIFA Awards celebrate excellence in both the men's and women's game and winners are chosen based on a combination of votes from fans, national team coaches and captains.

This is the third edition of the awards, with football's governing body having ended its association with the Ballon d'Or in 2016.

The winners will be announced on September 24.

The final shortlists

BEST MEN'S PLAYER: Luka Modric, Mohamed Salah, Cristiano Ronaldo

BEST WOMEN'S PLAYER: Marta, Dzsenifer Maroszan, Ada Hegerberg

BEST MEN'S COACH: Zlatko Dalic, Zinedine Zidane, Didier Deschamps

BEST WOMEN'S COACH: Sarina Wiegman, Asako Takakura, Reynald Pedros

BEST GOALKEEPER: Thibaut Courtois, Hugo Lloris, Kasper Schmeichel

Archimedeskay Posted on September 03, 2018 16:39

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Best Goal.

Bale’s goal against Liverpool in the Champions League Final and Cristiano’s goal against Juventus are nominated for FIFA’s Puskas Award.

Dominic Solomon Posted on September 03, 2018 16:38

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US cancels $300 million aid to Pakistan over its inaction against terror groups

The Trump administration says Islamabad is granting safe haven to insurgents who are waging a 17-year-old war in neighboring Afghanistan, a charge Pakistan denies.

The US military said it has made a final decision to cancel $300 million in aid to Pakistan that had been suspended over Islamabad's perceived failure to take decisive action against militants, in a new blow to deteriorating ties.

The so-called Coalition Support Funds were part of a broader suspension in aid to Pakistan announced by President Donald Trump at the start of the year, when he accused Pakistan of rewarding past assistance with "nothing but lies & deceit."

The Trump administration says Islamabad is granting safe haven to insurgents who are waging a 17-year-old war in neighboring Afghanistan, a charge Pakistan denies.

But US officials had held out the possibility that Pakistan could win back that support if it changed its behavior.

US Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, in particular, had an opportunity to authorize $300 million in CSF funds through this summer - if he saw concrete Pakistani actions to go after insurgents. Mattis chose not to, a US official told Reuters.

"Due to a lack of Pakistani decisive actions in support of the South Asia Strategy the remaining $300 (million) was reprogrammed," Pentagon spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Kone Faulkner said.

Faulkner said the Pentagon aimed to spend the $300 million on "other urgent priorities" if approved by Congress. He said another $500 million in CSF was stripped by Congress from Pakistan earlier this year, to bring the total withheld to $800 million.

The disclosure came ahead of an expected visit by US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and the top US military officer, General Joseph Dunford, to Islamabad. Mattis told reporters on Tuesday that combating militants would be a "primary part of the discussion."

Experts on the Afghan conflict, America's longest war, argue that militant safe havens in Pakistan have allowed Taliban-linked insurgents in Afghanistan a place to plot deadly strikes and regroup after ground offensives.



The Pentagon's decision showed that the United States, which has sought to change Pakistani behavior, is still increasing pressure on Pakistan's security apparatus.

It also underscored that Islamabad has yet to deliver the kind of change sought by Washington.

"It is a calibrated, incremental ratcheting up of pressure on Pakistan," said Sameer Lalwani, co-director of the South Asia program at the Stimson Center think tank in Washington.

Reuters reported in August that the Trump administration has quietly started cutting scores of Pakistani officers from coveted training and educational programs that have been a hallmark of bilateral military relations for more than a decade.

The Pentagon made similar determinations on CSF in the past but this year's move could get more attention from Islamabad, and its new prime minister, Imran Khan, at a time when its economy is struggling.

Pakistan's foreign exchange reserves have plummeted over the past year and it will soon decide on whether to seek a bailout from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) or friendly nations such as China.

"They are squeezing them when they know that they're vulnerable and it is probably a signal about what to expect should Pakistan come to the IMF for a loan," Lalwani said. The United States has the largest share of votes at the IMF.

Khan, who once suggested he might order the shooting down of US drones if they entered Pakistani airspace, has opposed the United States' open-ended presence in Afghanistan. In his victory speech, he said he wanted "mutually beneficial" relations with Washington.

A Pakistani official, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said he was unaware of a formal notification of the US decision on assistance but said one was expected by the end of September.

Pakistan has received more than $33 billion in US assistance since 2002, including more than $14 billion in CSF, a US Defense Department program to reimburse allies that have incurred costs in supporting counter-insurgency operations.

Pakistan could again be eligible next year for CSF.

syllasasante Posted on September 03, 2018 16:36

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U.S. President Trump attacks top union leader


      In this Aug. 27, 2018, photo, President Donald Trump talks on the phone with Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto, in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)                                                                                            

       WASHINGTON -- U.S. President Donald Trump started his Labor Day with an attack on a top union leader, lashing out after criticism from AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka.

        Trump tweeted Monday that Trumka "represented his union poorly on television this weekend." He added: "it is easy to see why unions are doing so poorly. A Dem!"

        The president's attack came after Trumka appeared on "Fox News Sunday" over the weekend where he said efforts to overhaul the North American Free Trade Agreement should include Canada. Trumka, whose organization is an umbrella group for most unions, said the economies of the United States, Canada and Mexico are "integrated" and "it's pretty hard to see how that would work without having Canada in the deal."                                                                         Trump said Saturday on Twitter that there was "no political necessity" to keep Canada in NAFTA. But it's questionable whether Trump can unilaterally exclude Canada from a deal to replace the three-nation NAFTA agreement, without the approval of Congress. Any such move would likely face lengthy legal and congressional challenges.     

         Trump administration negotiations to keep Canada in the reimagined trade bloc are to resume this week as Washington and Ottawa try to break a deadlock over issues such as Canada's dairy market and U.S. efforts to shield drug companies from generic competition.

           Trump wants to get a trade deal finalized by Dec. 1.

      Trumka also said of Trump: "the things that he's done to hurt workers outpace what he's done to help workers," arguing that Trump has not come through with an infrastructure program and has overturned regulations that "will hurt us on the job."

      Asked about the low unemployment rate and economic growth, Trumka said "those are good, but wages have been down since the first of the year. Gas prices have been up since the first of the year. So, overall, workers aren't doing as well."

       On Monday, Trump touted the economy, saying "Our country is doing better than ever before with unemployment setting record lows." He added, "The Worker in America is doing better than ever before. Celebrate Labor Day!"The unemployment rate of 3.9 per cent is not at the best point ever -- it is near the lowest in 18  years.

ruby Posted on September 03, 2018 16:02

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Russian Police Seize 22 Cryptocurrency ATMs under Central Bank Request.

Russian police have recently seized cryptocurrency ATM machines under orders from the country’s central bank.

According to local publication RBC, the ATM developer impacted by the seizure plans to appeal the action, and has incurred economic damage and costs to its reputation, said Sarkis Darbinian, an attorney for the Center of Digital Rights, which defends the company.

Artem Bedarev, head of BBFpro, told RBC the company does not understand the action and did not receive any preliminary inquiries from the prosecutor.

Bedarev said one of the employees conducting the seizure said an investigation will take place for six months. The employee also said the Prosecutor General’s Office took the action based on a letter from the Bank of Russia.

22 Terminals

The company operated 22 terminals in stores, bars and shopping centers in nine cities. An official from Snegir, a shopping center where a unit was installed, confirmed the seizure on Aug. 29.

A Central Bank representative did not answer questions about the seizure. The representative did say the regulator performs systematic actions to determine and correct illegal financial activities. The chance for uncontrolled cross-border transfers brings the risk of cryptocurrency involvement in illegal financial activities, the representative said.

Darbinian, the attorney for the Center of Digital Rights, said there is no rule against buying cryptocurrency, and that the company abides by statutory procedures, identifies users and pays taxes.

Dominic Solomon Posted on September 03, 2018 15:59

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Where Do The Richest Americans Live?

Have you checked the newest "Forbes 400: The Full List of The Richest People in America" yet?

Surprise, Bill Gates, with a net worth of $81 billion, is ranked No. 1 for the 23rd year running. Meanwhile, his friend Warren Buffett fell to third place for the first time in 15 years with a net worth of $65.5 billion.

Thanks to soaring stock prices of hot tech firms, CEOs at the helm of those companies seem to have been accumulating wealth at a much faster pace than others. CEO Jeff Bezos gained $20 billion to boost his net worth to $67 billion, making him the second-richest person in the U.S.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg jumped into fourth place, his highest rank ever, with a net worth of $55.5 billion. However, Oracle founder Larry Ellison landed at No. 5 for the first time since 2007. His net worth is $49.3 billion.

Standing on the No. 6 spot is former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, CEO of the eponymous firm Bloomberg L.P., who has a net worth of $45 billion.

These six richest multi-billionaires have a combined $363.3 billion at their withdrawal, most of which is still held as stakes in the companies they founded. However, part of their fortune is vested in real estate. Mr. Gates, for one, owns a Washington mansion worth about $170 million, several horse ranches across the U.S. and shares in some luxury hotel chains through his private investment firm, Cascade.

Here, take a look at the residences the six richest moguls call home:

1. Bill Gates Worth: $81 billion Home: Medina, Washington

Mr. Gates, 60, spends most of his time at his 66,000-square-foot Medina, Washington, mansion, nicknamed Xanadu 2.0 after the title character's estate in Citizen Kane. The mansion overlooks Lake Washington. It took Mr. Gates seven years and $63.2 million to build this house, which is filled with lots of high-tech features. He purchased the lot for $2 million in 1988, but it's now worth an estimated $170 million, according to public records.

2. Jeff Bezos Worth: $67 billion Home: Medina, Washington

Mr. Bezos, 52, in the process of building his e-commerce empire, scooped up a vast amount of real properties over the years, earning him the No. 26 spot on The Land Report's list of America's largest landowners last year. In terms of residences, he has a 165,000-acre ranch in West Texas, a waterfront house in Washington state, three linked apartments in Manhattan's Century Tower, and a 12,000-square-foot Beverly Hills estate that boasts Tom Cruise as a neighbor, according to Forbes.

His home at Medina, Washington, close to Amazon’s headquarters, boasts 5.35 acres and about 29,000 square-foot of living space. Aside from the main home, there’s also a caretaker’s cottage and a 4,500-square-foot boathouse on Lake Washington.

3. Warren Buffett Worth: $65.5 billion Home: Omaha, Nebraska

Although the shrewdest investor on earth holds multiple real estate investments, Mr. Buffett, 86, is known for living humbly.

His home sits on a corner in Omaha, Nebraska, which he bought in 1958 for $31,500. Mr. Buffett has lived there ever since. The house, originally built in 1921, underwent several expansions to make it a cozy and comfortable 6,500-square-foot home for the man who has a net worth of over $65.5 billion.

4. Mark Zuckerberg Worth: $55.5 billion Home: Palo Alto, California

The youngest richest entrepreneur docks most of his wealth in schools, health and other philanthropies. His real estate portfolio include his home in Palo Alto and a 9.9-million pied-a-terre near Dolores Park in San Francisco.

Mr. Zuckerberg, 32, purchased his first Craftsman-style 5,000-square-foot home in Palo Alto in 2011 for $7 million. He snapped up four of the houses surrounding his home in the following years for about $43.8 million to better keep his privacy. But his plan to tear down and rebuild those four homes has been stalled.

5. Larry Ellison Worth: $49.3 billion Home: Woodside, California

Oracle executive chairman Larry Ellison, 72, has an extensive real estate portfolio. He has bought up large parts of whole neighborhoods in Malibu and around Lake Tahoe. He owns a $70-million Beechwood Mansion in Newport, Rhode Island; a garden villa in Kyoto, Japan; and 98% of the land of Lanai, Hawaii's sixth-largest island, which he purchased in 2012 for $500 million, according to published reports.

His estate in Woodside, California, with an estimated value of $110 million, is modeled after 16th-century Japanese architecture, complete with a man-made 2.3-acre lake.

6. Michael Bloomberg Worth: $45 billion Home: Manhattan, New York

Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, 74, has more than a dozen of properties worldwide. He spends most of his time at his Upper Estate Side townhouse, but he also owns estates in the Hamptons in New York, as well as in London, Bermuda, Colorado and Florida.

Mr. Bloomberg’s townhouse, located at 17 East 79th St., spans five stories with a limestone exterior. During his three terms as mayor, Mr. Bloomberg lived in the townhouse instead of Gracie Mansion. However, he apparently has a plan to turn it into a mega-mansion. Since 1989, he has been gradually buying up units at 19 East 79th St., the townhouse co-op that’s right next door to his current residence. Out of the six units in the white 1880 Greek-revival-style building, Bloomberg now owns five of them, according to The New York Observer.


majsdesaint Posted on September 03, 2018 15:42

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Die Hard 6’s Title Is McClane – Exclusive

30 years on from Die Hard and the NYPD’s finest, John McClane, still has plenty of juice in the tank. The cop-vs-terrorists action saga is set to continue in an upcoming sixth film, simultaneously following Bruce Willis as a 60-year-old McClane and a younger incarnation of McClane in his 20s. And while the project has long been rumoured to be called Die Hard: Year One, the script has a different, cleaner title: McClane.

“You can tell our intention by the fact that the title page we handed in says, ‘McCLANE’,” producer Lorenzo diBonaventura told Empire. “We want you to get invested in John McClane more than ever before.” He added that, despite rumours that the prequel section would take up more of the runtime, the sequel-prequel approach will feature Bruce Willis just as much as his younger incarnation. “I don’t know how you do Die Hard without Bruce,” he said. “The idea that he’s not very significant in this movie is not accurate at all. We are gonna explore John McClane in his twenties. But just as prominent is the 60-year-old version.”

With the script handed in to the studio in July and Len Wiseman on to direct, expect the project to gear up in the coming months. In the meantime, pick up Empire’s Ultimate Autumn Preview issue to read the ultimate guide to the original classic Die Hard, with director John McTiernan and writers Jeb Stuart and Steven E. de Souza talking through every major moment. The issue hits newsttands on Thursday 6 September.

syllasasante Posted on September 03, 2018 15:37

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Dave Bautista ‘Doesn’t Know’ If He Wants To Return For Guardians Of The Galaxy 3

Of all the cast members of the Guardians of the Galaxy movies, Dave Bautista has been one of the most outspoken when it comes to the firing of director James Gunn. The filmmaker was ousted by Disney over the emergence of historic offensive joke posts on his Twitter account, putting the third Guardians film on hold – and following Bautista’s frequent disgruntled tweets) about Gunn’s firing, the actor has thrown his future in the Marvel Cinematic Universe into question. While the entire film is on hold, if production does kick back into gear it's not certain whether Drax the Destroyer will be back.

Speaking on the Jonathan Ross Show, Bautista told the presenter: “It’s a bitter-sweet conversation. Um, no it’s a bitter-bitter conversation because I’m not really happy with what they’ve done with James Gunn. They’re putting the movie off. It’s on hold indefinitely. To be honest with you I don’t know if I want to work for Disney.”

Following a fan campaign calling for his reinstatement and a group statement from the Guardians cast showing support for Gunn, Disney boss Alan Horn reportedly met with Gunn to “clear the air” – but reiterated that the director wouldn’t be re-hired. It was previously thought that Disney would hire an alternative director and use Gunn’s completed Guardians 3 screenplay, with possible rewrites, but with Marvel Studios not yet having announced the Phase 4 slate of the MCU, the future of the Guardians as a whole remains very much in question. INFINITY WAR SPOILER WARNING. Following Thanos’ attack, Drax is one of the characters currently consigned to the dust – so the possibility remains that he could well be written out of future MCU instalments.

Either way, it sounds like there's plenty more patching up to be done before the Guardians regroup.

syllasasante Posted on September 03, 2018 15:34

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Bad Times At The El Royale – Exclusive Images From Drew Goddard's Mystery Thriller

When filmmaker Drew Goddard gets an original idea, you can really bank on the word ‘original’. The man who cooked up an all-new take on the horror genre alongside Joss Whedon in The Cabin in the Woods is back, cracking open a brand new pulp fiction-inspired mystery thriller, filled with all kinds of shadowy characters. Bad Times at the El Royale is looking like a genre-literate blast, boasting a cast including the likes of Chris Hemsworth, Jon Hamm, Jeff Bridges, Dakota Johnson and Cynthia Erivo, all guests at the titular lodging who check in for a night they’ll never forget.

Not only does the film take star billing in the new Empire’s Ultimate Autumn Preview, but we’ve got two brand new images from it right here for you to analyse. First up is Chris Hemsworth’s cult leader Billy Lee, unloading a bag full of cash. And is that two of the other hotel’s inhabitants, tied up and gagged? We’re going to guess Billy’s got bad plans.

Next up, here’s Jeff Bridges as Father Daniel Flynn. Except, he doesn’t seem to be your typical priest because he’s got Lewis Pullman’s concierge in some kind of chokehold. Maybe he got bad room service?

syllasasante Posted on September 03, 2018 15:31

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The untold truth of Jean-Claude Van Damme

During the '80s and '90s, it seemed no action film was complete without Jean-Claude Van Damme kicking butt and doing splits on camera. JCVD was in numerous successful action and sci-fi films during his tumultuous career, but has since faded into the direct-to-DVD bin. Thus, there's a lot of cool stories about the King of Kicks that people either don't know or have long forgotten. Such as …

The titular alien in the Predator movies was initially meant to be played by none other than Jean-Claude Van Damme. He obviously didn't, and ended up leaving the film when he found out that he was little more than a stunt man, and couldn't do any of his martial arts in his epic battle against Arnold Schwarzenegger. Apparently, stalking and clicking are poor artistic substitutes.

At the time of his departure, the Predator looked very different from how we know it today, and there was no way JCVD could have performed any spectacular stunts while wearing the suit. As he explained it to AV Club, "My feet were in the cast of the alien. My hands were in the forearms, my head was in the neck. I was moving everything with cables. It was a very unsecure, very dangerous type of outfit." His movement would have been very limited and impractical, not to mention the fact that the story just didn't call for cool Van Damme-y movement.

JCVD was hired less for his agility and the fluidity of his movement, and more to play a special effect, and little more. This just didn't sit well with the Muscles from Brussels, so he walked after only two days of production, which is a theme that has played heavily throughout his career.

The titular alien in the Predator movies was initially meant to be played by none other than Jean-Claude Van Damme. He obviously didn't, and ended up leaving the film when he found out that he was little more than a stunt man, and couldn't do any of his martial arts in his epic battle against Arnold Schwarzenegger. Apparently, stalking and clicking are poor artistic substitutes.

At the time of his departure, the Predator looked very different from how we know it today, and there was no way JCVD could have performed any spectacular stunts while wearing the suit. As he explained it to AV Club, "My feet were in the cast of the alien. My hands were in the forearms, my head was in the neck. I was moving everything with cables. It was a very unsecure, very dangerous type of outfit." His movement would have been very limited and impractical, not to mention the fact that the story just didn't call for cool Van Damme-y movement.

JCVD was hired less for his agility and the fluidity of his movement, and more to play a special effect, and little more. This just didn't sit well with the Muscles from Brussels, so he walked after only two days of production, which is a theme that has played heavily throughout his career.

The titular alien in the Predator movies was initially meant to be played by none other than Jean-Claude Van Damme. He obviously didn't, and ended up leaving the film when he found out that he was little more than a stunt man, and couldn't do any of his martial arts in his epic battle against Arnold Schwarzenegger. Apparently, stalking and clicking are poor artistic substitutes.

At the time of his departure, the Predator looked very different from how we know it today, and there was no way JCVD could have performed any spectacular stunts while wearing the suit. As he explained it to AV Club, "My feet were in the cast of the alien. My hands were in the forearms, my head was in the neck. I was moving everything with cables. It was a very unsecure, very dangerous type of outfit." His movement would have been very limited and impractical, not to mention the fact that the story just didn't call for cool Van Damme-y movement.

JCVD was hired less for his agility and the fluidity of his movement, and more to play a special effect, and little more. This just didn't sit well with the Muscles from Brussels, so he walked after only two days of production, which is a theme that has played heavily throughout his career.

It happens all the time — two people get together to work on an incredibly terrible movie (1994's Street Fighter), and end up having an affair. It happened to Goldie Hawn and Kurt Russell, so why not Kylie "Cammy" Minogue and Jean-Claude "Guile" Van Damme?

It wasn't confirmed for the longest time, and the rumor mill was rampant for nearly two decades on whether or not the two got frisky while on set in Thailand. Damme had been asked about it for the previous 18 years and even walked out of an interview once, sick of being asked about it so often. Finally, in 2014, after years of speculation, JCVD finally admitted to it in an interview with The Guardian: "Yes. OK. Yes, yes, yes. It happened. I was in Thailand, we had an affair."

He then made it clear it was 10/10, would affair again: "Sweet kiss, beautiful lovemaking. It would be abnormal not to have had an affair, she's so beautiful and she was there in front of me every day with a beautiful smile, simpatico, so charming. I knew Thailand very well, so I showed her my Thailand. She's a great lady." And you're a great orator of euphemisms, Jean.

The affair wouldn't have been such an issue had JCVD not been married at the time to his fourth wife, Darcy LaPier. It isn't likely that his affair with Minogue led to his divorce, though, since LaPier didn't find out about it until he admitted to it in his interview. "I was shocked he would talk to the press about this all these years later to gain some notoriety," she said. "I didn't know about it, I have had my feelings hurt and I feel betrayed." Jean-Claude Van Damn, son. That's cold.

He has been married five times

Despite not being great at the whole "faithful" thing, JCVD has been married a total of five times. From 1980-84, he was married to Maria Rodriguez, after two years of dating. He then married Cynthia Derderian in 1985, but the two divorced the following year after only three months together. His third wife, Gladys Portugues, was married to him in 1987, but the two divorced in 1992. They would later remarry in 1999 — after 15 years, she would again file for divorce from the action star (though they reconciled shortly thereafter). Plus, as mentioned before, he was married to Darcy LaPier from 1994-1997.

Through all of these marriages, JCVD sired a son Kristopher and daughter Bianca with Portugues, plus another son, Nicolas, while married to LaPier. Kristopher is now an action star who has worked on many of his father's projects under the name Kristopher Van Varenberg (JCVD's birth surname) as well as Kris Van Damme.

His daughter, Bianca, has followed in her father's footsteps even moreso than Kristopher, and is not someone you would want to mess with. That's because…

His daughter could kick his ass (and yours)

Bianca Van Damme is certainly not someone you would want to mess with. Though she may not look the part, with her brown locks and full, model-esque lips, she is an extremely capable martial artist. "I want to show little girls and little boys that you can be physical and feminine. That you can cross your legs at the dinner table and then kick ass in a nice, feminine way." Protip: don't let her use your 206 bones to prove her point.

Growing up, she hated martial arts, and was forced into it at the age of seven by her bodybuilder mother, in order to help with self-discipline. Her interests at the time lay more on the side of ballet and speed-skating, but an injury forced her into another path. She embraced martial arts and worked alongside her father in 2008's The Shepherd: Border Patrol. She went on to film six additional movies with her father, and continued to hone her craft.

She started her road in Hollywood as Van Varenberg, to help distance herself from her famous father, but eventually settled on her namesake and is now billed as Bianca Van Damme. While she hasn't competed professionally like her father did before his movie career kicked off, she's been training in martial arts for nearly 20 years, and is just as quick and agile as her dad, which presumably a much bigger "everybody underestimates me" chip on her shoulder.

He was a successful martial artist (and ballerina) long before he became an actor

JCVD didn't just get off a bus in Los Angeles and find work in Hollywood, like so many people have tried to do. He was an active fighter for years before finally breaking into the film industry. His fight record stands at 18-1 in kickboxing, with all 18 wins attributed to knockout. In semi/light contact fights, he holds 44 wins to 4 losses, so his skills in the ring are well-known.

Many have attributed his fighting style and graceful movement to his training in ballet. Yes, the Muscles from Brussels is a trained danseur (That's what a male ballerina is called — don't feel bad, we had to look it up too), but you probably shouldn't try mocking him for taking part in something most often associated with women — you wouldn't want to make him angry. You wouldn't like him when he's angry.

He was the inspiration for Mortal Kombat and Johnny Cage

When Midway released its popular fighting game Mortal Kombat in 1992, few people realized that the game was initially intended to be an homage to none other than JCVD. Shortly after the success of Universal Soldier, the producers approached Midway Games with the hopes of making a game based off the movie. Midway wasn't interested, but they did want to work with JCVD, so they worked out a deal with him to make a game more akin to his film Bloodsport. Unfortunately, the deal fell through, and they never finished working the project.

They eventually turned their idea into Mortal Kombat, and based the Johnny Cage character off of Van Damme. JCVD and Johnny Cage share some similarities — their appearance is similar, as is their back story. Cage is a narcissistic Hollywood actor, not unlike the subject of this article, and his initials of J.C. mirror those of Mr. Van Damme as well. Obviously, since the licensing deal fell through, the character was modeled off another actor, leaving Johnny Cage more of an homage to the Muscles from Brussels, rather than a direct representation of him.

He burned a lot of bridges in Hollywood

Sometimes, we let our egos get the best of us — this can cause a lot of problems when trying to work well with others. A lot of actors have this problem when they experience a string of success, and JCVD is no exception. Fresh off the success of Timecop, he was offered a three-picture deal worth $12 million per film. $36 million is certainly nothing to kick at, but JCVD felt his star power deserved the financial rewards of, say, Jim Carrey, who was commanding $20 million per film at the time. Problem is, when he mentioned this over the phone, they simply hung up on him. So … that's a maybe?

Recalling that particular incident years later, he admitted, "I was completely f**ked up and I made a bad mistake and I was on the blacklist in Hollywood for years."

Even when he did take on a project, he was notoriously difficult to work with. Coming from the world of professional fighting, it was difficult at first for him to not make contact with his on-screen opponents. Twice, while filming No Retreat, No Surrender, he knocked out his co-star, Peter Cunningham. He could also be something of a diva — as we stated before, he left Predator after only two days, and would get into arguments with producers and directors if he was supposed to lose a fight on camera.

There was even a rumor going around Hollywood that he refused Sylvester Stallone's offer to appear in The Expendables, because he didn't want to lose a fight to Jet Li. JCVD denies this, indicating that he was hard at work editing a recent film, and that's why he wasn't able to make the film. He did end up appearing in the sequel, playing the bad guy, and he was actually happy to lose that fight. At least he understands how happy endings work.

He had a cocaine addiction that nearly killed him

One of JCVD's biggest problems once his career began to take a nosedive, was due to the stuff he was snorting up his nose. He has admitted to having a 10-gram-per-day cocaine habit, which cost him around $10,000 a week. By 1999, he had racked up a DUI charge and even tried rehab, but left after only seven days. He eventually relapsed a few years later, and continued his destructive habits.

During this time, JCVD made some rather horrible films, and even did an unnecessary sequel to Universal Soldier. Most of his work went direct-to-DVD, and few people ever saw them. Here's a fun challenge: see if you can name anything JCVD filmed between 1999 and 2008 without Googling. Probably you can't — he made 14 films during this time, and they were all bombs. These poor career choices earned him the nickname "Jean-Claude Van Desperate" — for Hollywood types, that's pretty clever.

It wasn't until he starred in his namesake film, JCVD, in 2008 that he started to make a comeback. He had finally kicked his cocaine habit, and was reflecting on his own life. The film was well-received, and helped to bring him back into the mainstream of Hollywood.

He was suicidal and diagnosed bipolar

JCVD's substance abuse problem has been linked with his bipolar disorder, which went undiagnosed for years. Before he was diagnosed, he would turn to training for help. "When I didn't train for a couple of days, I felt so low and nothing could make me happy." Except for drugs, unfortunately.

JCVD was finally diagnosed with Rapid Cycling Bipolar Disorder in 1998, and he began to take sodium valproate — a mood stabilizing drug — to help him with his condition. He's been very open about his disorder in interviews, and was expressive while playing himself in JCVD, where he exposed himself as a broken man.

Like others with this condition, he was even suicidal at one point, but was able to get the help he needed. As he put it, "I didn't have any reasons to live … I was not excited about anything. Then you have to find back your self-esteem. And then, slowly, every piece of yourself becomes precious again … It's not the drugs, it's a problem with yourself, which you have to cure." After he finally kicked his cocaine habit (cold turkey, at that), he started to move forward. This also helped him reconcile with his third wife (the one he remarried) and he's been dealing with his condition positively ever since.

He's worth $30 million despite not being in a major blockbuster in over a decade

For most people who have five marriages under their belt, a major cocaine habit costing up to $10K a week, and a string of duds at the box office, that would all equal "broke". That's not the case for JCVD, who still has an estimated net worth of $30 million. While he hasn't made many great movies since his heyday in the '90s, he's continued to work constantly since that time. He has been off drugs for nearly two decades, and has devoted much of his life to his work and getting back on top.

He no longer commands the $12 million salary per film he once did, only pulling an estimated $100,000 per film. However, he tends to make several films a year, so he's still pulling in more money than most working-class Joes. Along with his $30 million net-worth, he also has a house valued at just under $10 million, a separate home and gym valued at around $3.5 million, and a McLaren 375 P1s valued at $1.15 million.

Even with his celebrity status experiencing problems over the past 20 years, JCVD has done very well for himself, and he continues to work hard at rebuilding his image, his celebrity status, and his name in Hollywood. Also, money or none, fame or none, he can still beat you senseless.

He's had a rough relationship with his youngest son

Van Damme doesn't have a perfect relationship with all his children, unfortunately. He had been estranged from his youngest, son, Nicholas, for years. Van Damme had an ugly divorce with Nicholas' mother, Darcy LaPier, who worked to keep father and son separate for years. But in the past few years, things were starting to look up — Van Damme's other two kids, Bianca and Kristopher, used Facebook to connect the star with his then-17-year-old son. Van Damme even took the time to get his son in his film, Kickboxer: Retaliation. As Van Damme put it in an interview with tabloid The Sun, "The UFO spaceship took away the mother and kids and now we are all safe. Now everything is back together." Why would he say such a thing, even jokingly? Because you don't get kicked in the head for 40 years without tossing at least a little word salad.

Sadly, it appears the estrangement didn't do wonders for young Nicholas' psyche because in September 2017, he was arrested for allegedly threatening his roommate with a knife. According to The Independent, this roommate says after police had arrived to investigate reports that Nicholas had punched an elevator, he held a knife to the roommate, angry that he let cops in the house. He's been charged with unlawful imprisonment, aggravated assault, and marijuana possession. Van damn, son.

His interviews can be unpredictable and confusing

As his UFO talk hinted at, Van Damme has interesting ways of speaking and thinking. This often pours over into his interviews and press conferences, where he tends to utter just the weirdest turns of phrase you've ever heard. Some choice nuggets (as compiled by Buzzfeed) include, "Air is beautiful, yet you cannot see it. It's soft, yet you cannot touch it. Air is a little like my brain," and "A cookie has no soul, it's just a cookie. But before it was milk and eggs. And in eggs, there's the potential for life." Sometimes, as he did with The Sun, he'll follow his off-the-wall up with, "Belgium jokes, I got ya." That way you know he doesn't really believe cookies are soulless.

That said, try not to ask him the same questions everyone else asks — he hates that, as he'd rather talk about how he gets non-sexual orgasms from walking on the beach. (Yes, he said that.) According to The Independent, he cut off a July 2016 press conference in Australia after reporters kept asking him questions he's sick of. He stormed out, saying, "Sorry guys, I cannot do this anymore. … Those questions you've been asking me, they've been asking me … for the last 25 years: Kylie, 'How's your training,' 'How's your this,' 'How's your that?' So I'm coming to Australia to maybe do something kind of different with the audience." He then wrapped up his interview by exclaiming, "What the f**k is going on with Australia?" Sounds like someone needs a cookie.

He wants to fight professionally again

Van Damme retired as a professional fighter in 1982, both because his acting career took over and because at some point, every fighter gets too old to have their head kicked in for real. But in recent years, Van Damme has expressed interest in fighting again, despite being well over 50 years old. But he doesn't want to fight just anyone: he has a specific somebody in mind.

Around 2010, Van Damme started expressing interest in returning to kickboxing, to face then-37-year-old Somluck Kamsing, who won gold in the 1996 Olympics. Why would he want to do such a thing? To hear Van Damme tell it, it's because "it's kind of dangerous, but life is short." But to hear ESPN theorize in an article about this potential fight, Van Damme wants, or wanted, to turn his comeback into a reality show. In today's world, if it's not on reality TV, it's not reality.

The fight hasn't happened yet, though Van Damme keeps trying to promote it. As reported by Vice, in one weird case (weird for Van Damme, even), he jumped into the ring during one of Kamsing's fights and began fanning him with a towel. This almost resulted in a disqualification for Kamsing, as it meant too many cornermen, but one left to allow the movie star to freely be weird. Whether the fight ever happens is still a mystery, but it sounds like a reality show would be a slam dunk either way.

He was sued by a guy who claims he can't fight

While people may not agree on Van Damme's acting ability, most everyone can agree he's a great fighter who would kill any of us if we stepped up to him. But as it turns out, there's at least one person convinced Van Damme can hardly fight a lick: the guy who inspired Van Damme's first major film.

As the Las Vegas Sun reported, in 1997 Frank Dux, the kickboxer who Van Damme portrayed in Bloodsport, sued Van Damme for $50,000 (later upped to $1.5 million). He said the star didn't pay him for helping co-write his 1996 movie The Quest. During the suit, Dux made sure to dig at Van Damme, saying the man has no idea how to fight. As he claimed, "I asked Jean-Claude to do a simple forward roll [when tutoring him for Bloodsport], and he landed on his head." As for that legit kickboxing career, the one with footage to back it up, Dux insists "Van Damme … lied to the public that he was a martial arts champion."

Unfortunately for Dux, the lawsuit went nowhere. The next year, a jury cleared Van Damme, saying the star didn't owe anyone anything. Dux was optimistic about an appeal, saying, "If you remember Rocky, he didn't win his first fight either." But it doesn't seem like Dux ever filed the appeal, which is like Rocky staying retired and working with Adrian at the pet shop instead.




majsdesaint Posted on September 03, 2018 15:04

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Christina Grimmie's mother dies after battle with cancer

The Grimmie family is mourning another loss. 

More than two years after singer Christina Grimmie was shot and killed at her Orlando, Florida, concert, her mother, Tina Grimmie, who fans affectionately called “Mama Grimmie” has also passed away.

Christina Grimmie’s Family Reaches Out to Families of Las Vegas Victims: ‘We Truly Understand’

The family released a statement about the devastating loss on Sunday, revealing she had lost her battle with cancer. 

“Tina fought a courageous and brave battle with cancer for many years, even until her final hours with her family by her side,” the statement reads. “While this is a bittersweet moment for us as a family, particularly after losing Christina two years ago, we rejoice at the thought that Tina and Christina are united once again in the presence of our Lord and Savior.”

Christina Grimmie's Mother Thanks Fans in Emotional Video One Year After Her Death


We are saddened to announce the loss of our beloved Tina, also affectionately known as “Mama Grimmie” to the millions of fans of Christina Grimmie around the world. She will be missed immensely. ????

— Christina Grimmie (@TheRealGrimmie) September 2, 2018

Calling Tina a “powerful and shining example of motherhood,” the family remarked on her “laugh, energy, passion and joyful spirit” and her support of others. 

syllasasante Posted on September 03, 2018 14:55

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Village Voice shuts down after 63 years

A year after halting its print publications, the infamous weekly The Village Voice is folding due to financial woes, ending a 63-year run.

Publisher Peter Barbey made the announcement on Friday, saying that the now digital-only publication is shutting down because of finances and that most of the 18 remaining staffers have already been laid off.

"Today is kind of a sucky day," he told staff members.

The Voice was the country's first alternative newsweekly, founded in Greenwich Village in 1955 by a group that included writer Norman Mailer. It once had a weekly circulation of 250,000 copies and was home to some of New York's best investigative journalists and music writers.

The combative, left-leaning paper became known for its brash political reporting and its coverage of music and theater. It also became a powerful advocate for New York's gay community.

It won three Pulitzers, for editorial cartooning and feature writing in the 1980s and for international reporting in 2000 for a series on AIDS in Africa.

Barbey, also president of the Reading Eagle newspaper in Pennsylvania, bought The Voice in 2015 in an attempt to save it following a series of ownership changes, staff departures and losses in readership and advertising that had left it, like many other newspapers, in a state of perpetual peril.

He tried to stem the paper's losses by giving up print publication last summer and publishing online only — a step that removed The Voice from the sidewalk boxes that were a fixture on New York street corners for generations.

The move, however, failed to stop the financial bleeding.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

syllasasante Posted on September 03, 2018 14:14

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Theresa May calls for immediate release of journalists jailed for seven years in Myanmar

Theresa May has called for the immediate release of two Reuters journalists jailed for carrying police documents, saying the verdict undermines press freedom.

Wa Lone, 32, and Kyaw Soe Oo, 28, were jailed for seven years after being found guilty of breaking state secrets laws while investigating the massacre of Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar.

Mrs May's spokesman criticised the verdict, saying she was "extremely disappointed" by it, and the sentencing.

The spokesman said: "As our ambassador to Burma, who attended the hearing, has said, we are extremely disappointed with this verdict and sentencing.

"We call for the journalists to be released immediately.

"In any democracy, journalists must be free to carry out their jobs without fear or intimidation. This verdict has undermined freedom of the media in Myanmar."

Britain's foreign secretary, Jeremy Hunt, tweeted that he would raise the case on an upcoming visit to the country.

He said: "Imprisoning journalists who write about inconvenient truths is an unconscionable blow to press freedom, and indeed everyone's freedom.

"Will be raising the extremely serious case of the two Reuters journalists on my forthcoming visit to Burma (Myanmar)."

syllasasante Posted on September 03, 2018 14:09

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The Best Trading Platform in 2018.

CofredCoin is the easiest and secure way to buy, sell and store digital currency. CofredCoin provides easy payment methods by allowing its users to link their Visa, MasterCard and Mobile Money wallet to buy and sell cryptocurrencies. 

CofredCoin is a service of Cofred which has been a secure and quick payment service provider since 2013. Cofred is a truly global company with its headquarters based at Kasoa, Ghana and our other office at Lagos, Nigeria with a staff straight of over 100 representing Ghana and Nigeria.

The exchange started its operations in July 2013 after raising a significant amount in its ICO. The cryptocurrency exchange supports the trading of an impressive number of digital currencies. It is possible to trade well-known coins such as bitcoin, ethereum, dogecoin, paxexcoin, bitcash and litcoin as well as smaller and lesser known digital currencies and tokens.

CofredCoin supports over 20+ cryptocurrencies. This is an advantage for users who want to trade in tokens that are not easily available on other exchanges.

Moreover, over 100+ counties across Africa and Worldwide trade on cofredcoin platform. Indeed,   8000+ Users worldwide already trust the CofredCoin trading platform, because it is the easiest and secure way to send, receive and store digital currencies.

Cofedcoin boasts of one of the lowest trading fees in the cryptocurrency market. The trading fee is not based on a tiered structure as is common amongst other platforms. Cofredcoin trading features are advanced and require an existing understanding of trading platforms.

Dominic Solomon Posted on September 03, 2018 11:44

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Hundred Escaped Libya - BBC

Some 400 prisoners have escaped from a facility near the Libyan capital Tripoli amid deadly violence between militia groups in the city, police say.


"The detainees were able to force open the doors" in order to leave the Ain Zara prison, the local police said.


They added that guards, fearing for their lives, were unable to prevent the breakout following riots at the jail.


Clashes between militias in the city have led Libya's UN-backed government to declare a state of emergency.


The incident on Sunday took place during armed violence between rival factions around the facility, which houses only male inmates.


Many of the prisoners held at the Ain Zara prison in south-east Tripoli were reportedly supporters of the late Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi, and had been found guilty of killings during the uprising against his government in 2011.


Separately on Sunday, two people were killed and several others were injured when rockets hit a camp in Libya's capital housing hundreds of displaced people, according to emergency services and witnesses.


Libya's Ministry of Health reports that some 47 people, including civilians, have died in rival militia clashes in Tripoli over the past week, with dozens more injured.


A UN-backed government is nominally in power in the capital, but militias occupy much of the rest of the country.


Why is there violence?


The violence broke out last week when militias from a city to the south of Tripoli attacked southern areas, leading to fighting with local militias that support the internationally recognised government, the Government of National Accord (GNA).


The GNA has described the clashes as "an attempt to derail peaceful political transition" in the country, adding that it "could not remain silent over the attacks on Tripoli and its suburbs, which is a violation of security in the capital and of citizens' safety".


Human Rights Watch has also condemned the violence, adding that at least 18 of the dead were reportedly civilians, among them four children.


Hundreds of migrants trapped by the fighting have been moved to other detention centres, while the city's airport was closed for two days on Friday.


Libya has faced continuing chaos since Nato-backed militia forces, some of them rivals, overthrew long-serving ruler Colonel Gaddafi in October 2011.


What has the international community said?


UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has said the "indiscriminate use of force is a violation of international humanitarian and human rights law" and has urged "all parties to grant humanitarian relief for those in need".


On Saturday, the US, UK, France and Italy called for an immediate end to deadly violence in Libya's capital.


A joint statement said attempts "to weaken the legitimate Libyan authorities and hinder the ongoing political process are not acceptable".


"We are calling on the armed groups to immediately stop all military action and warn those who seek to undermine stability, in Tripoli or elsewhere in Libya, that they will be made accountable for it," the joint statement read.


However successive attempts at a truce have so far failed to stop the fierce fighting between several militias.



Source: BBC

Archimedeskay Posted on September 03, 2018 11:39

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Drake Rewards Fan $25,000 For Successful Half-Court Basketball Shot During Tour

Drake rewarded a fan with $25,000 for landing a successful half-court basketball shot during his latest performance on tour. The OVO rapper, who is currently on The Aubrey & The Three Migos tour, witnessed the stunning shot in front of a sold-out crowd at New York City’s Barclays Center.

During the tour, Drake has been inviting fans on stage, which transforms into a basketball court, to take on the challenge and gave one lucky fan one chance to win $25,000.

After the shot went in, Drake rushed back onto the stage to congratulate the fan. He is reportedly the first person to successfully land the shot, after Drake previously raised the prize money from $10k to $25k. The Aubrey & The Three Migos tour has been very eventful so far, with fans witnessing surprise performances from Travis Scott and Cardi B, who performed live for the first time since having her baby with Offset.

Nii Sackey Posted on September 03, 2018 05:52

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Aretha Franklin funeral bishop apologizes to pop star Ariane Grande for name joke, inappropriate touching

The bishop who officiated Aretha Franklin’s funeral, Charles H. Ellis III, apologized Friday to Ariana Grande for how he touched her onstage and a joke he made about her name.

Accompanied by her fiance Pete Davidson, Grande traveled to Detroit to attend the ceremony and perform one of Franklin's signature hits, "(You Make Me Feel Like) "A Natural Woman," which she previously sang on the "Tonight Show" on Aug. 16 shortly after Franklin's death.

After Grande's performance, Ellis , the officiant leading the service, brought the singer to the podium, where he cracked a joke about her name sounding like a Taco Bell menu item and awkwardly greeted her on stage.

Images of the moment showed Ellis’ hand holding Grande well above her waist, with his fingers pressing against one side of her chest.

The preacher apologized in an interview with The Associated Press at the cemetery where Franklin was interred late Friday.

"It would never be my intention to touch any woman’s breast. … I don’t know I guess I put my arm around her," Ellis said, adding: "Maybe I crossed the border, maybe I was too friendly or familiar but again, I apologize."

He added: “The last thing I want to do is to be a distraction to this day. This is all about Aretha Franklin.”

Many people posted close-up images of the moment on Twitter, tagging it #RespectAriana.

Ellis also apologized to Grande, her fans and Hispanic community for joking about her name.

"I personally and sincerely apologize to Ariana and to her fans and to the whole Hispanic community," Ellis said. "When you’re doing a program for nine hours you try to keep it lively, you try to insert some jokes here and there."

Grande's fiery rendition even moved her ex-boyfriend, Big Sean. The rapper was also in attendance at the funeral and was spotted swaying to Grande's singing and giving her a standing ovation when she finished. 


kojoskb Posted on September 01, 2018 12:18

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Goalkeeper Allison threesome Goalkeeping Exploit

New Liverpool record signing goal keeper has been involved in a threesome after an amazing kick start of his career in England. More details to follow.

sly Posted on August 31, 2018 22:32

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10 goals that changed the history of football

Football is all about goals and these goals have quite simply changed the history of this beautiful game. A goal in the world cup final, or a last minute winner to win the League or a goal in a final to start an epic comeback, all these goals have all changed the very fabric of the game we love.

There are plenty of important and beautiful goals to choose from and choosing the best 10 out of the numerous historic goals scored is no easy task. However, we at Sportskeeda have decided to go ahead and pick the top 10 goals. Sit back, enjoy and watch the moments which changed the beautiful game:

#10 Steven Gerrard’s goal in the Champions League final against AC Milan (2005)

The 2005 Champions League final in Istanbul was quite simply one of the greatest matches to have ever been played in the history of football. Rafa Benitez’s Liverpool side headed into the 2005 Champions League final as underdogs against Carlo Ancelotti’s amazing AC Milan side.

The first half lived up to the form book as Milan demolished Liverpool with Maldini scoring the opener and Crespo scoring a brace to give the Serie A side a 3-0 lead. However, what followed in the second half is the stuff of legends and still gives Liverpool fans goosebumps.

Liverpool inspired by their captain fantastic, Steven Gerrard made a stunning comeback and scored 3 times in the space of 6 minutes to make it 3-3 in the second half. They later held on till penalties and secured a famous Champions League victory.

The match became so famous that it is now popularly known as the ‘miracle of Istanbul’ and Steven Gerrard’s opening goal was the catalyst for the miracle. The video below gives a brilliant interpretation of the famous Champions League final:

#9 Mario Gotze’s goal in the World Cup final against Argentina

Joachim Low substituted 36-year-old Miroslav Klose with Mario Gotze in the 88th minute and said: "Show the world you are better than Messi and can decide the World Cup." Mario Gotze went on and did just that.

The “German Messi” scored the only goal of the match in the 113th minute, to break Messi’s and Argentina’s hearts and give this talented German side their first major international trophy after 1996. 

Scoring the only and winning goal in the second half of a World Cup final definitely catapulted Gotze’s goal to this list and Joachim Low’s Germany side could finally win a major international trophy after years of missing out on the top prize by narrow margins.

#8 Sergio Ramos’ last minute equaliser against Atletico Madrid in the 2014 UCL final

Any match between Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid is always huge. Make it in a Champions League final with Madrid aiming for their historic ‘La Decima’ and it is a match of epic proportions. The Rojiblancos were well on their way to a historic Champions League triumph, but Sergio Ramos had other ideas.

1-0 ahead with 93 minutes played and just a few seconds left on the clock, Diego Simeone’s Atletico Madrid were already dreaming of lifting the elusive Champions League trophy, but Ramos rose tallest in the 93rd minute to equalise and take the final into extra time.

In extra time, Real Madrid absolutely dominated a shell-shocked Atletico Madrid and secured a comfortable 4-1 victory. Ramos’ last minute equaliser in the final helped Real Madrid and Ancelotti wrap up the historic ‘La Decima’ making them the first team in history to win Europe’s premier competition 10 times.

#7 Pele’s famous bicycle kick against Belgium in 1968

Watching a successful bicycle kick is one of the most awe-inspiring sights in the world of football and arguably the best player in the history of football, Pele made the bicycle kick popular with a stunning goal against Belgium in 1968.

The player received a cross from the left wing but instead of facing the goal, he had his back towards it. As everyone wondered what the footballing genius was up to, he tilted his body backward and sprung in the air to unleash a shot with his highly renowned right foot.

Like the keeper, the rest of the world were stunned with this piece of absolute genius as it redefined the norms of conventional football. Here is the bicycle kick recreated in slow motion:

#6 Michael Thomas’ last minute winner against Liverpool to win the league for Arsenal

The final match of the 1988-89 English football league season was contested on 26th May 1989 at Anfield between the division’s top two sides, Liverpool and Arsenal. With Arsenal needing to win with a margin of 2 clear goals to claim the title, not many expected the Merseyside giants to crumble at home.

Despite being labelled underdogs, Arsenal’s Michael Thomas scored an incredible second goal in the 89th minute to give the Gunners the League title at the home of their title challengers making it one of the most dramatic matches in the history of English football.

Kenny Dalglish's Liverpool were left heartbroken in their fortress at Anfield, while Michael Thomas wrote himself into Arsenal folklore with his title winning goal. Here is the highlights of that incredible game:

#5 Sergio Aguero’s last minute winner against QPR to win the Premier League (2012)

Balotelli to Agueroooooooooooo! Who can forget the goal and the incredible scenes which followed after Sergio Aguero’s winner in the 93rd minute for Manchester City which won them the Premier League title after 44 years.

Heading into the final day of the 2012 season, City only needed to win at home against lowly QPR, but, City seemed to be staring down the barrel when they were 2-1 down after 90 minutes.

An equaliser from Edin Dzeko and a last minute winner from Sergio Aguero raised the roof of the Etihad (yes it was actually full that day) and the rest, as they say is history. The video below displays brilliantly the impact Sergio Aguero’s goal on Manchester City fans. Aguero’s goal ensured that City were more than just ‘noisy neighbours’.

#4 Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s winner in the Champions League final against Bayern Munich (1999)

Sir Alex Ferguson’s ‘Fergie time’ is famous all over the footballing world and it was very evident on that fateful night at Camp Nou when Manchester United came from 0-1 down to win 2-1 against Bayern Munich in the last 3 minutes of the 1999 Champions League final.

Manchester United fans would have been happy with an equaliser in the last minute, and when Sheringham equalised in the 90th minute, many of them would have taken a penalty shootout right there and then, but Ferguson and Solskjaer had other ideas.

Buoyed by the equaliser, United pushed on for a winner and they were rewarded handsomely when the Norwegian scored to give United a famous treble in 1999. Here is the full highlights of the epic Champions League final:

#3 Andres Iniesta’s World Cup final goal against Netherlands

Spain had a big history of underachieving in the World Cups and when they went into the 2010 World Cup, Spain knew that it was one of their best chances to win football’s premier prize.

Spain were blessed with an amazing squad and were looking to cement their place in history as one of the greatest teams in history of football. In the World Cup final against Netherlands, Spain struggled to break down the Orange until the 116th minute when Iniesta popped up to score one of the most iconic goals of recent times.

That goal was important as it cemented Spain’s legacy and made that generation of the Spain squad one of the greatest of all time. Iniesta’s goal united a nation and heralded in an era of dominance for the La Roja.


#2 Marco van Basten’s iconic volley in the 1988 Euro final against Soviet Union

Van Basten was undoubtedly one of the greatest talents to ever play the game. The Netherlands international had his greatest moment in the 1988 Euro final where he scored a stunning volley to give Netherlands their only major international trophy.

Van Basten played a starring role in UEFA Euro 1988 scoring 5 times which included a hat-trick against England, a goal in the semi-final against bitter rivals Germany and the stunning volley against Soviet Union in the final. With one of history’s most gilded touches, he smashed a volley in with all of his elegance and grace to score of the greatest goals anyone has ever seen. The Netherlands won 2-0, and they have not had anyone who could affect a final like that ever since, or ever before.

#1 Diego Maradona’s infamous ‘hand of god’ goal against England in the 1986 World Cup
(and that team-beating solo effort)

Love him or hate him, you cannot ignore him. Diego Armando Maradona is one of the greatest if not the greatest player ever to grace the game. Maradona played in four World Cups, but the one he is remembered most for is the 1986 World Cup in Mexico.Maradona captained the Argentina team to victory in the 1986 World Cup where he absolutely stole the show thanks to his brilliant play and dribbling skills.

Maradona completely made the 1986 World Cup his own. His most famous game was against England where he scored the infamous “hand of god” goal and followed it up 4 minutes later with what is dubbed as the “best goal of all time” when he single-handedly dribbled past the whole English defence to score.

The England game was played in the backdrop of the Malvinas war and Maradona in his inimitable style had this to say:

“It was as if we had beaten a country, more than just a football team. Although we had said before the game that football had nothing to do with the Malvinas war, we knew they had killed a lot of Argentine boys there, killed them like little birds. And this was revenge.”

A goal which meant more than just a goal, a goal which a made Maradona a household name, a goal which altered the history of the game, Maradona’s brace against England is easily one of the most iconic moments in football history:



majsdesaint Posted on August 31, 2018 16:45

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Theresa May plot: Man jailed for life for Downing Street murder plan

A man who plotted to kill the prime minister in a suicide attack has been sentenced to life in prison with a minimum term of 30 years.

Naa'imur Zakariyah Rahman, 21, from north London, was convicted last month of preparing acts of terrorism.

Rahman had planned to detonate a bomb at the gates of Downing Street and then kill Theresa May with a knife or gun.

Sentencing him, Mr Justice Haddon-Cave said Rahman "would have carried out his attack" had he not been arrested.

Rahman was captured by an undercover operation involving the Metropolitan Police, MI5 and FBI.

He was arrested moments after collecting a bag and jacket from an undercover operative that he believed had been fitted with explosives.

The judge said: "I am sure that at all material times Rahman believed the devices to be real and capable of causing serious harm."

He added that the undercover officers involved in the case were "scrupulous" at all times and Rahman was the "instigator and author" of his own actions.

How Rahman was caught

By BBC home affairs correspondent Dominic Casciani

Rahman made contact with IS recruiters via social media - but unbeknown to him the contact was actually an FBI agent.

That agent referred Rahman to an MI5 team of online role players who convinced him that they were genuine IS figures.

"I want to do a suicide bomb on Parliament," Rahman told the MI5 role players.

"I want to attempt to kill Theresa May. All I need now is a sleeper cell to lay low for now."

Rahman, Mr Justice Haddon-Cave said, had been "told and believed" that the rucksack bomb given to him was "capable of causing casualties on a scale comparable to those caused at the Manchester Arena", where 22 people were killed.

Rahman's lawyer argued he had been brainwashed by his uncle - who was later killed in a drone strike while fighting for the Islamic State group in Syria - and said his client had not intended to go through with the plot.

But a probation report read to the court by the judge revealed that Rahman had admitted in prison he would have carried out the attack had he been able to.

A pre-sentence report described him as a "clever and cunning" young man who had the potential to "operate below the radar to dreadful effect".

Mr Justice Haddon-Cave told Rahman he would have "plenty of time" to study the Koran in prison, adding that Islam was "a religion of peace".

The judge added that Rahman - originally from Birmingham - was a "very dangerous individual" and it was hard to predict if he will ever be de-radicalised.

During his Old Bailey trial, Rahman pleaded guilty to a separate charge of engaging in conduct which assisted the preparation of terrorist acts, which related to a "sponsorship" video he filmed for an associate who allegedly wanted to join IS in Libya.

In addition to the life sentence, Rahman was handed six years in prison for the IS sponsorship video.

The sentences will run concurrently, rather than consecutively.


paxex Posted on August 31, 2018 16:34

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The untold truth of Malia Obama

Despite the fact that she spent eight years living in the White House, attending speeches and state dinners, and rubbing shoulders with some of the most important people in the world during her father President Barack Obama's tenure, the eldest Obama daughter, Malia, managed to keep a pretty low profile during her time in Washington, D.C. Now college-aged, and trading in the White House for a Harvard dorm room in Cambridge, Massachusetts, the former president's daughter is starting to branch out and make headlines of her own. 

From what she did with that gap year between high school and enrolling at Harvard, to what really went on during Lollapalooza (in 2016 and 2017), Malia Ann Obama is more than just a former president's daughter. Here's some insight into everything you never knew about the first daughter and her life before, during, and after her eight years in the White House. 

Here's proof that she was never spoiled

Just because she was the first daughter, doesn't mean Malia Obama was spoiled. While she and her sister did "sorta, kinda" get an allowance, it wasn't much, and it came with responsibilities. Malia's father told People, "Originally, we were giving her a dollar a week as long as she did all her chores."

And if you thought the girls got special treatment once they moved into the White House, you'd be mistaken. According to The New York Times, the Obama daughters still had to make their own beds and clean their own rooms. Malia's father told Barbara Walters on ABC News that, while his daughters are special to him and their mother, "they're not special, you know in terms of having to do their homework or having to do chores." Her mom Michelle added that the first thing she said to the White House staff was: "Don't make their beds. Make mine." While she may have said it with a laugh, we're pretty sure she wasn't joking.

She loves this sport, even though she's not a natural

Prior to moving into the White House, the Obama girls were already pretty busy. According to People, that included "soccer, dance and drama for Malia, gymnastics and tap for Sasha, and tennis and piano for both."

During another People interview with their father, he told the magazine how happy he was that his daughters were interested in things they weren't good at. "Malia loves soccer, but she's still so tall and gangly compared to some of these little kids who are zipping around her, although she's getting better. The fact that she's not good at everything right away … means learning lessons about having to work hard at something and improve." Always a supportive dad, he even made time during his presidency to watch her soccer games. 

Malia and her sister are also apparently fans of professional soccer and wanted to meet Argentinean player Lionel Messi when they traveled to Argentina with their father. Unfortunately, not even the U.S. president can disrupt an international sports schedule, and the Obama daughters were unable to meet the soccer star.

She never has (and never will) have a birthday of her own

America's birthday is a time when American politicians are expected to take part in all the fanfare, picnics, and parades — events that are almost as important to the 4th of July as the fireworks. So when your father is one of those politicians and you happen to share a birthday with America, well, your birthday gets a little upstaged. Such has always been the case for Malia. 

According to a 2009 Chicago Tribune piece, she spent many birthdays in hotel rooms, celebrating between her father's appearances. In 2007, for instance, she "spent her birthday following her father around southern and central Iowa," according to the Tribune. Things weren't much different in 2008 when, the Tribune reports, "She spent the evening in a Holiday Inn Express hotel room in Montana. During a break in campaigning, the family partied in the hotel room, ordering in dinner and a birthday cake and dancing to her favorite songs from artists such as the Jonas Brothers and Hannah Montana." 

She still managed to have some epic birthdays

always made sure she knew her birthday was special, and she had some pretty amazing celebrations. Her actual birthday was often spent in hotel rooms, so her parents would throw a big sleepover party with all her friends once they were back home. 

Another shocker: According to a 2008 interview with People, her mother Michelle said that they don't do birthday presents in their family. "We spend hundreds of dollars on a birthday party and movie tickets and pizza and popcorn," she said, her husband adding, "That sleepover is enough. We want to teach some limits to them. And their friends bring over presents." 

In 2009, as the Chicago Tribune reports, she was the first in her family to have a birthday in the White House, with 20 of her girlfriends joining her at Camp David. Not too shabby, Malia. Not too shabby at all. Of course, does any of that compare to an 18th birthday with the likes of Kendrick Lamar and Janelle Monae? That's a tough call.

The Secret Service taught her how to drive

Coming of age in the White House means things the average kid takes for granted aren't necessarily a guarantee. Take, for instance, that sitting presidents aren't allowed to drive. That means Malia had to get behind the wheel for the first time without her dad's guidance. Sure, she might have Secret Service available to drive her around wherever she wants and whenever she wants, but like any teen, Malia was excited to learn how to drive herself when the time came. 

"Driving for Malia, I think, gives her a sense of normalcy, like the rest of her friends are doing," Michelle Obama said in an interview with Rachael Ray (via CNN). "And my kids have got to learn how to live in the world like normal kids." But don't assume that means Michelle took the reigns in teaching her oldest daughter. Michelle revealed that the Secret Service wouldn't even let her get in the car with Malia and took on the task themselves.

Those Lollapalooza videos, though

Malia's first scandal started at Lollapalooza in 2016: A video surfaced of her smoking what appeared to be a joint. "You could smell the marijuana smoke," eyewitness Jerrdin Selwyn told Radar Online. Just a few months later, someone took another controversial photo of Malia at a frat house, according to Radar Online. The image shows Malia in a "smoking kills" t-shirt, ironically standing beside a bong. According to David Maranis' book Barack Obama: The Story, the former President Obama also had an interest in marijuana when he was younger, so he might not have been majorly concerned.

None of these controversies stopped Malia from attending the music festival again in 2017. While no nosy onlookers caught her smoking anything this time, she drew attention to herself with her wild dance moves. TMZ got video of Malia rocking on with friends, and even rolling around on the ground at one point. TMZ also has video of Malia getting whisked out of the festival on a golf cart, implying that she might've gone a little too hard. 

Getting political during her gap year (with a splash of fake news)

Instead of heading to college right after graduating from high school in 2016, Malia took a year off before attending Harvard. To say that Malia was busy during her gap year is an understatement. First, she interned at the U.S. Embassy in Spain. It's unclear whether Malia has any interest in a political career as there wasn't much news about the internship. Real news, that is. 

In the summer of 2017, fake news started circulating that she was fired from her internship for smoking marijuana. The now-defunct website that first "reported" the incident supposedly had an "About Us" page that claimed it "uses facts that don't exist and relies more on imagination than the truth." Unfortunately that didn't stop people from latching on to the rumor.

Regardless of her career ambitions, it's clear Malia has a penchant for political activism considering she protested the Dakota Access Pipeline. In an interview with Seth Meyers, Shailene Woodley (who famously got arrested for her involvement in the DAPL protests) revealed that Malia attended the Sundance Festival "to hear what the chairman from Standing Rock… and some of the water protectors had to say."

She's a total movie buff

Malia has no shortage of interests. In fact, one of her biggest passions seems to be film. While you may think her passion lies in television after those internships as a production assistant on Extant and on the set of HBO's Girls, Malia spent part of her gap year between high school and college learning more about the film industry at The Weinstein Company. Just before beginning her Weinstein internship, she was also spotted at the Sundance Film Festival at a screening of the film Beach Rats. 

It probably shouldn't come as much of a surprise though, because Malia's mother Michelle told People all the way back in 2012 that her movie buff daughter had an interest in film. "Malia has expressed some interest in filmmaking," Michelle said. "Just like her father, she is an avid reader, and she enjoys movies. But she's a [high school] freshman, so she also knows she has years in college to explore her interest." This is probably one reason that Malia toured colleges known for filmmaking, such as New York University, before ultimately deciding on Harvard.

That stealthy secret trip to South America

While the public knew that Malia was going to be spending part of her gap year vacationing with her parents, and part of it working in film, no one knew that she was also going on a three-month gap year program to Bolivia and Peru through a Colorado-based group called Where There Be Dragons. When we say that no one knew she was going, we really mean pretty much no one other than her family and the Secret Service, and that includes the guides. While they knew someone in their midst was important (due to the need for American bodyguards), they didn't know who the important person was. 

One guide told The New York Times, "There was a blonde girl, and we assumed she was the important one," only later learning, long after the trip was over, that it was Malia Obama who had joined them on their trek. In retrospect the guide called Malia "very humble" and "chatty," noting that she "spoke Spanish very well" and was "mesmerized by the Bolivian landscape."

President Obama wasn't ready to say bye to Malia, his best friend

Like most other teenaged high school graduates, Malia couldn't wait to fly the coop (even though that coop was the White House). "Malia is more than ready to leave," her father said during an interview with Ellen Degeneres prior to Malia beginning her freshman year at Harvard. However, both of her parents were anxious about Malia's departure, and likely grateful that she delayed it for a year with her gap year between high school and college.

In an interview with People, Michelle full on side-eyed her husband for calling Malia a grown woman, asserting, "she's still a baby!" Yep, sounds like the Obamas are just like any other family. The former president, on the other hand, says the hardest part about Malia leaving for college is that he's losing his best friend. "It's going to be hard for me not to have her around all the time," he told Ellen. "But she's ready to go. You can tell."

Rapper Swae Lee is interested... and has already planned their dream date

As a beautiful and charismatic woman in the public eye, Malia has undoubtedly garnered some attention from people looking to win her heart — and rapper Swae Lee is one of them. Lee described his dream date with Malia to TMZ, saying he wants to take her to the Bahamas. "We gonna go on a dinner date, 200 feet in the air at a 5-star restaurant," he said. Don't worry, Mr. President: Lee said he plans to go full gentleman and ask your permission first.

It seems, however, Lee is going to have to stand in line if he wants to date Malia. While attending her first Harvard-Yale football game in November 2017 as a freshman at Harvard, Malia was spotted locking lips with fellow student Rory Farquharson. While it's unclear if Farquharson has spent time with the rest of the Obama family, there doesn't appear to have been any permission granted by the former president. So maybe Lee still has a chance after all.

Who is Malia Obama's boyfriend?

Malia Obama began attending Harvard University in the fall of 2017. According to W Magazine, Obama had the gap year many college students could only dream of. She partied in Amsterdam, attended Lollapalooza in Chicago, and began her internship in New York City at Weinstein Company — thankfully now no longer run by Harvey Weinstein himself. Obama has also been spotted at clubs and hitting the streets of New York City with her bodyguards in tow. Though with her confidence and height of over six feet tall, Obama could probably handle her own!

As a student at Harvard University, where she enrolled in the fall of 2017 after that epic gap year, Obama has been getting to know her classmates — and the city of Cambridge — a bit better. After a couple months of getting used to Harvard life, pictures of Obama with a mystery man began to surface, which begs the question — just who is this guy?

Meet Rory Farquharson

The Harvard-Yale football rivalry has been ongoing since the first game (then a rugby match) in 1875, when Harvard beat Yale 4-0. It is still widely celebrated each year on the date of the annual football game, by students and alumni from both schools the world over. So of course Obama got in on the Harvard-Yale action, and she wasn't alone. 

Shortly before Thanksgiving in 2017, TMZ released a video of Obama briefly locking lips with someone while tailgating her very first Harvard-Yale football game. That's one way to kick off a game.

At that point in time, the press didn't know who this young man was. However, it didn't take long to figure it out. He's now known to be Obama's rumored boyfriend, Rory Farquharson. Dating the former president's daughter doesn't exactly create the best opportunity for anonymity but the couple seems to still be going strong regardless. Here's everything you should know about Farquharson.

He's a smoker

Now that her reported beau has been revealed, Obama no longer has to hit the streets of New York City with just her bodyguards in tow. Just a few months after the Harvard-Yale game, Obama and Farquharson were photographed smiling at one another while walking and talking in SoHo, New York City in January 2018. 

The two looked happy in the photos — yay! — but there was something disconcerting about what was revealed in them nonetheless. In virtually every picture from their outing, Farquharson can be seen with a cigarette in hand. 

Perhaps this isn't necessarily too surprising as an estimated one-third of college students smoke, according to ABC News. Either way, it's not exactly a healthy habit. It may also go without saying that the effects secondhand smoke are quite awful too! But hey, at least the lovebirds are also carrying around bottled water to stay hydrated, right?

Is Farquharson a bad influence on Obama?

Unfortunately, Obama also seems to have developed the addictive smoking habit. Is Farquharson a bad influence on Obama? Maybe, maybe not. There's really no telling who started smoking first, but pictures have confirmed that Obama was the first one seen with a cigarette. 

In an interview with Michelle Obama from 2012 reported by USA Today, she discussed Barack Obama's former smoking habit, "I know that his ability to ultimately kick the habit was because of the girls, because they're at the age now where you can't hide. I think that he didn't want to look his girls in the eye and tell them that they shouldn't do something that he was still doing."

Whether she picked up the habit from her dad or developed a "social smoking" habit, it's hard to say. Either way, let's hope both the former first daughter and her alleged boyfriend quit soon!

He goes to Harvard

Whether or not you think of Farquharson as a bad influence on the former president's daughter, there's no denying that he attends a good school. Like Obama, Farquharson is a student at Harvard University, one of only eight Ivy League schools.

According to The Telegraph, this is likely where the lovebirds first met. Though Obama is a freshman in the 2017-2018 school year after taking her gap year, Farquharson — who is the same age as Obama — is a registered sophomore in the 2017-2018 academic year.

While it is not known what Obama is studying, it seems her interests center around the arts. Farquharson, on the other hand, may be following in his father Charles' footsteps. Charles Farquharson obtained a law degree from Cambridge University and is now a chief executive at an investment firm in London. The Telegraph further reported that Farquharson followed quite a few banking-related accounts on Twitter so, if nothing else, the interest is there.

He's British

If you swoon over Brits, you aren't alone; it's no secret that most Americans love English accents. Obama may be part of that majority as her rumored love interest just so happens to be British. 

The Telegraph reported that Farquharson grew up across the pond and attended a private boarding school where he was a member of the chemistry club. He was also deemed "Head of School" during the 2015-2016 school year. Not only was Farquharson a bit of a brain, he was also a jock as he played both rugby and golf. So that's what the Harvard application takes.

Much like Obama, Farquharson also interned before attending Harvard University. As opposed to New York, he spent time in Northern Ireland at the Centre for Democracy and Peace Building.

Obama's rumored man definitely seems ambitious! Would you expect anything less from the daughter of the former President of the United States? Those are big shoes to fill.

He's loaded

According to Harvard University's site, tuition begins at $43,280 per school year. Add room and board, and you're up to around $63,000. While the Ivy League school accepts financial aid and has made headlines for the far-reach of its financial aid initiative in recent years, Harvard definitely seems to favor the rich. Farquharson is no exception.

Rugby School, the prestigious boarding school that he attended in England, costs £11,584 ($14,339) per term, according to The Telegraph. Not exactly chump change, to be sure. The Telegraph also reported that the home where Farquharson spent much of his childhood is a £1.6 million ($2.27 million) house in Martlesham, Suffolk. That isn't the family's only abode, however, as the publication also notes a Farquharson home in London.

With a son in Harvard, an executive father, and a mom who is both an accountant and a lay person for London's Upper Tribunal, the Farquharson family seems to be doing quite well financially.

The royals and the Farquharsons go way back

Just because Farquharson is British, that doesn't mean he knows the Queen, right? Well, he just might. You may already view Farquharson as quite the privileged young man, but, believe it or not, he also has links to the British royal family. 

As it turns out, Obama's main squeeze is the second cousin of Andrew Farquharson, Express reported. Andrew had a lengthy career of working alongside the Queen, first as her courtier and then as her Assistant Master of the Household at Buckingham Palace. Queen Elizabeth II even made him a member of her own order of chivalry — pretty cool, wouldn't you say? In 2006, Andrew took on a similar role for Prince Charles before being let go in 2009 due to, as Clarence House claimed, a "review of costs." Hmm. 

While his relative was working for the royal family, you have to wonder if Rory Farquharson ever got to meet the Queen. 

Once upon a time he was a "lanky, over-confident public school boy"

Farquharson didn't mince words when it came time to write a letter to his 16-year-old self for his school's publication, Meteor. In it, he wrote, "You're a lanky, over-confident public school boy, desperately trying to prove to your friends how much of a 'lad' you are and have failed miserably." Ouch. He went on to tell himself to get a haircut because his "floppy mop" wasn't appealing to the ladies. Well, it seems he hasn't yet taken that advice, but, luckily for him, Obama must not mind much. 

Farquharson's letter wasn't all mean. He advised himself to be open to change, stay true to himself, take responsibility for his own future, and care for his family and friends. "You'll have various relationships and constantly meet new people," he wrote, "You'll even spend time living abroad." Apparently Farquharson is stellar at predicting the future. Still, we bet he didn't think he'd end up dating one of President Obama's daughters!

He's fashionable

Sure, Farquharson has the British accent that makes Americans weak in the knees, but does he have the look to pull off street chic? Of course! Vanity Fair claims that he and Obama both have "mastered New York City street style."  

During his outing with Obama in SoHo, Farquharson was photographed in a puffy blue jacket, a basic gray tee, and dark pants, but all eyes were on his sunglasses — his tiny sunglasses. A popular trend in the '90s is being revitalized by the likes of Selena Gomez, the Kardashian and Jenner clan, Rihanna, and now, of course, Farquharson. Love 'em or hate 'em, if the college kids are jumping on a trend, you're probably going to be seeing more if it.

Will Obama follow suit with a pair of tiny sunglasses all her own? Time will tell but, even if she doesn't, she's fashionable enough without them.

He's not a Trump supporter

Although Farquharson was raised in the United Kingdom, he certainly still has his opinions on American politics. As Obama's supposed suitor, you'd have to assume his political leanings are Liberal rather than Conservative, right? Well, no matter his actual political affiliations, he's definitely not a fan of Donald Trump if his one-time social media activity is any indication.

According to The Telegraph, Farquharson has shared his criticism of President Trump via social media in the past. At one time, Farquharson even retweeted a post that speculated Trump's popular appeal would decrease throughout the year after being elected — a statement echoed by many. 

While we can only speculate whether or not Obama has introduced her reported beau to her family, if Farquharson was a Trump supporter, dinners with the Obamas would probably get a little awkward. That is, if the smoking — and Michelle Obama's probable feelings about it —weren't already awkward enough, ahem.

He deleted all of his social media accounts

It seems there is always a cost associated with dating a public figure. Page Six reported that since he began dating Obama, Farquharson deleted his social media. While you may be disappointed to learn that all of his social media accounts — aside from very few pictures on Facebook — have been wiped out, it is understandable given the scrutiny that comes with high-profile relationships. Just ask Meghan Markle.

According to ABC News, when her relationship with Prince Harry became serious, Markle deleted her blog, stopped sharing photos of her life on Instagram, and stepped away from Twitter. A royal source told ABC News, "Ms. Markle is grateful to everyone who has followed her social media accounts over the years." 

Although Farquharson is not set to become a duke nor prince, dating the former president's daughter is probably the closest you can get to the United States' version of royalty. 

What would President Obama think?

While President Obama hasn't commented specifically on their relationship, he has discussed his thoughts about his daughters growing up and dating. When asked in a telephone interview by ABC News, "What are you going to do when the girls start dating?" President Obama responded, "Oh… that happened. You know, the truth is I'm pretty relaxed about it." 

Obama continued, "For two reasons, one is Michelle… She's such a great example of how she carries herself, her self esteem, not depending on boys to validate how you look or, you know, not letting yourself be judged by anything other than your character and intelligence. And hopefully I've been a good example in terms of how I've shown respect to my wife so, I think, I don't worry about it because they're really solid smart girls — young ladies now." Obama then joked, "The other reason is because they've had secret service. There's only so much they can do!" 

Now that Obama is no longer president, is Malia still protected? The Washington Post explained that, by law, the U.S. Secret Service can offer protection to presidents' children up to ten years after leaving the White House. Though it's unclear what the former president has decided. The Washington Post further explained that Malia's decision to take a gap year could very well mean that she won't take advantage of the Secret Service protection.

Nevertheless, there's no doubt that most everyone — including her alleged beau Farquharson — will be looking out for her well-being.



majsdesaint Posted on August 31, 2018 13:45

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Yahoo Finance Now Offers Trading of 4 Cryptos on Its iOS App.

Yahoo Finance, one of the world's largest news sites for real-time stock quotes and market information, has added a feature allowing cryptocurrency trading on its platform.

According to a blog post on Thursday, the company now supports trading of four types of assets – bitcoin, ethereum, litecoin, and dogecoin – on its iOS mobile app.

The announcement came amid various tweets online yesterday indicating the service appeared to be also available on the desktop version of Yahoo Finance – although, the feature is not visible on desktop browsers at the moment. Yahoo Finance said in the announcement it plans to extend the service to Android, desktop and mobile web platforms in the future.

For the new feature, Yahoo partnered with TradeIt, a platform that integrates with brokerage services to act as a hub for trading financial assets. TradeIt notably integrated with the U.S. crypto exchange Coinbase last year, according to a statement at the time; though it isn't yet clear which brokerage Yahoo is connected with for the new offering.

The financial news service first started its partnership with TradeIt in September 2017, letting users carry out in-app trading of traditional financial assets. The exposure to cryptos at the time was limited to data on prices and portfolio performance.

The site first started tracking bitcoin's price in 2014, as CoinDesk reported. Last year, the company expanded its price tracking service to cover over 100 cryptocurrencies across all its platforms globally.

Dominic Solomon Posted on August 31, 2018 12:17

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Champions League draw

Champoins League is back again, and Man Utd face Juve, Spurs take on Barca,Liverpool do have a difficult group - Paris St-Germain and Napoli

Dominic Solomon Posted on August 30, 2018 17:27

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Crypto Exchange Huobi Acquires Public Firm for $70 Million

Crypto exchange Huobi has become the largest shareholder of a public firm listed in Hong Kong, inching a step closer to a possible back-door listing.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     

Pantronics Holdings, the acquired firm, released a statement on Aug. 29 saying Huobi Group had completed the deal by purchasing about 199 million of its shares via two of the group's subsidiaries – Huobi Capital and Huobi Universal.

With that amount, Li Lin, chairman of Huobi Group and controller of the two subsidiaries, now own 66.26 percent of Pantronics and is effectively the largest individual substantial shareholder.

The deal could further give Huobi the opportunity of a back-door listing in the future – a process where a private firm enters the secondary financial market by purchasing a major number of shares of a public company.

Based on the announcement, the transactions were made at an average price of HK$2.72 (or $0.35) per share with a total amount close to $70 million. However, the number of shares acquired appears to fall short of what the exchange intended.

As CoinDesk previously reported, in a disclosure of interests filed by Pantronics on Aug. 21, Huobi was seeking to purchase 73.73 percent of the firm's ordinary shares which would have cost a total of $77 million. Pantronics' shareholding disclosures were further amended on Aug. 28 to reflect the change.

A spokesperson for Huobi Group declined to comment on the issue and said the firm is not authorized to disclose information other than what was in the announcement.

Further, the latest document on Wednesday offered a peek into Huobi's corporate structure, such as the stakes held by notable investors of Huobi.

Based on the document, while Huobi Capital is fully owned by Li himself, Huobi Universal's largest owners include Techwealth (58.44 percent), Sequoia Capital CV IV (23.32 percent) and Zhen Partners Fund I (7.46 percent). Among them, Techwealth is an investment company, of which Li owns 89.09 percent.

Meanwhile, Sequoia Capital CV IV is a fund that's solely owned by Sequoia Capital China and Zhen Partners is a venture capital firm launched by Chinese entrepreneur Xu Xiaoping together with Sequoia Capital China.

Dominic Solomon Posted on August 30, 2018 17:14

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Boeing Dreamliner nose dives on its way to Tokyo’s Narita airport

This is the terrifying moment a passenger plane nosedives while landing during a typhoon. In dramatic footage, the plane’s nose can be seen suddenly dropping before rectifying itself on approach to Japan’s main airport. The incident happened as Typhoon Cimaron barrelled across Japan, bringing winds of 134mph.

The plane, believed to be a Boeing Dreamliner, is seen on approach to one of the runways at Tokyo’s Narita airport. As it attempts a difficult landing, the pilot is forced to fight against the winds to stop the plane ploughing straight into the tarmac. Typhoon Cimaron caused chaos over Japan last week and commercial airlines cancelled around 300 flights on Thursday and Friday. The typhoon made landfall late on Thursday and passed over the islands of Japan overnight.

As well as winds of almost 134mph, it also dumped 600 millimetres (24 inches) of rain in 48 hours, according to the Japan Meteorological Agency. Television pictures showed torrential rain, flooded streets and some structural damage with roof tiles blown off and one lorry overturned on a bridge by the high winds. Television footage also showed a 60-metre (198-foot) wind turbine felled by gusts on Awaji island, western Japan, crushing two nearby power pylons. The storm left nearly 100,000 households without power.

As well as hundreds of cancelled flights, bullet train services in the region were temporarily cancelled. The Fire and Disaster Management Agency said 30 people were injured while non-compulsory evacuation orders and advisories were at one point issued to more than one million people in western Japan. Cimaron followed Typhoon Soulik, which passed through southern Japan earlier last week, bringing heavy rain to parts of the main southern island of Kyushu. The typhoon is the latest weather front to batter Japan, which has also been sweating through a record and deadly heatwave. This followed devastating heavy rain in central and western parts of the country in July that killed more than 200 people.

paxex Posted on August 30, 2018 16:49

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Mother warns others not to sleep with their babies after she woke to find her 'beautiful' six-week-old son dead

A 'deeply heartbroken' mother has warned of the horrific consequences of co-sleeping with young babies after the death of her six-week-old son. 

Rowan Leach accidentally fell asleep while feeding her 'beautiful baby boy' Hadley, only to find he was unconscious and face down beside her when she woke up.

Winchester Coroner's Court heard Hadley was not breathing when his mother woke at around 8am on September 10 last year.

Ms Leach, 20, immediately rang 999 and began performing CPR before paramedics arrived and rushed her six-week-old to hospital.

However, despite their best efforts Hadley could not be revived and was pronounced dead a short time after.

Ms Leach said the death of her son (pictured) had left her 'deeply heartbroken'

Ms Leach, who was raising Hadley with the help of her mother, had brought him into her bed from his cot at around 3am for a feed when she felt dizzy and fell asleep.

Hadley had been on his back on his mother's pillow when he was being fed, but was found lying on his front when she woke.

Senior coroner Grahame Short was unable to establish exactly how Hadley, of Southampton, Hants, had died but said he had no criticism of Ms Leach as a mother.

Detective Sergeant Matt Parker, who was tasked with investigating the death but found there were no suspicious circumstances.

And Pathologist Dr Sam Holden told the inquest she was unable to find a definitive cause of death.

Recording an open verdict, senior coroner Grahame Short said: 'I have considerable sympathy for a mother caring for a baby in these circumstances, particularly when they don't have a partner to help.'

Addressing Ms Leach, he added: 'I find there is no criticism of you as a mother.'

Following the inquest, grieving Ms Leach said: 'Although there was no conclusive evidence to suggest bed-sharing impacted on this tragic event, I am hoping more can be done in future to raise awareness of the risks of bed-sharing to prevent any more parents suffering as I have.

'The loss of my precious son Hadley has left me deeply heartbroken. I was hoping this inquest would provide me with some answers surrounding his tragic death.

'Unfortunately, no conclusion could be reached. However, we do know that it was not accidental and could not have been prevented.

'My baby boy's life was short but beautiful, all he ever knew was love. We miss and love him more than I can possibly explain.'

An average of 133 babies have died each year over the past five years in cases where co-sleeping is a factor, according to Department for Education data.

It revealed a total of 141 children died while co-sleeping in 2017.

paxex Posted on August 30, 2018 16:02

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Footballer Gareth Bale ‘calls off wedding’ to childhood sweetheart

English footballer Gareth Bale has reportedly called off his wedding to his childhood sweetheart, Emma Rhys Jones amid family turmoil.

The couple have been engaged for two years and planned to wed in a ceremony this summer.

However, they decided to call a stop to the proceedings until she could make up with her father.

Martin Rhys Jones was released from prison on financial fraud charges in September, after spending five years behind bars.

‘There’s so much family turmoil right now, they want things to settle down before tying the knot,’ a source alleged to The Sun.

They added that Gareth and Emma are still very much besotted with one another. Emma’s father has reportedly struck up a romance with a new woman.

The source continued to say that she wants to meet the woman before she turns up to their wedding.

Gareth and Emma have three children together – five-year-old Alba, two-year-old Nava and newborn Axel who they welcomed two months ago.

They are expected to exchange vows in Italy next summer.


paxex Posted on August 30, 2018 15:44

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White House counsel Don McGahn will leave Trump administration in the fall


           President Donald Trump insists that his White House counsel isn't a "RAT" like the Watergate-era White House attorney who turned on Richard Nixon, and he is blasting the ongoing Russia investigation as "McCarthyism." (Aug. 20) AP. WASHINGTON – White House counsel Don McGahn, who had extraordinary access to President Donald Trump during some of his most controversial dealings and decisions, will leave his post this fall, the president said Wednesday.

      Trump announced McGahn's departure on Twitter hours after a report by Axios broke the news that the lawyer planned to leave.Trump thanked McGahn for his service and confirmed his counsel would leave in the fall after the Senate hearings on Brett Kavanaugh, the president's pick for the Supreme Court. 

          "White House Counsel Don McGahn will be leaving his position in the fall, shortly after the confirmation (hopefully) of Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the United States Supreme Court," Trump tweeted. "I have worked with Don for a long time and truly appreciate his service!"   

                Later Wednesday at the White House, Trump said McGahn was a "good man" and may next work in the private sector. Asked about whether McGahn's departure was related to the recent news that he had cooperated heavily with special counsel Robert Mueller, Trump said no and added he wasn't concerned with what McGahn may have told investigators. Less than two weeks ago, McGahn's cooperation with investigators was publicized.

Mueller is leading the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election and is probing any possible obstruction of justice by the president. That has led to speculation that Trump was not pleased with McGahn's 30 hours of interviews with investigators. 

"I knew he was going, also. I had to approve it," Trump said. "We do everything straight. We do everything by the book." 

McGahn's legacy in the White House is a mixed bag of both helping protect the president's conservative agenda and preventing worsening scandals inside the administration. McGahn also worked as counsel to Trump's campaign.

"It might not have always been on the flashy things, but you can see his fingerprints on many policies," said Carl Tobias, a University of Richmond law professor. 

                    He helped pad deregulations at the Environmental Protection Agency and had his hands in the legal debate of the president's so-called Muslim travel ban, Tobias said. His office helped the Interior Department with slashing the amount of federal land protected in national monuments, including the Bears Ears National Monument, and likely helped in the legal vetting of a proposal to significantly cut car emissions rules.

Republican leaders lauded his work on helping the administration reshape the judiciary, concluding with one final mission: guiding Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court. 

"There's not been any White House counsel who has worked so well and so efficiently with the chairman’s office and the Senate Judiciary Committee on judges," said George Hartmann, a spokesman for Senate Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa.

Grassley was perhaps more plaintive in his plea for McGahn to stay.

"@realDonaldTrump I hope it’s not true McGahn is leaving WhiteHouse Counsel," Grassley tweeted at the president. "U can’t let that happen."

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell also said McGahn's departure was a "big loss" and seemed blindsided by Trump's announcement.

"If the reporting is true about Don McGahn’s time at the White House coming to an end later this year, it will be sad news for our country," McConnell said, after Trump himself tweeted it.


He added McGahn was the "most impressive White House Counsel during my time in Washington, and I’ve known them all."

But McGahn's legacy in the White House was also weighed down by the constant barrage of scandals, some of which McGahn tried to prevent. 


                              "This position is such a high-power job and a difficult one in this administration in particular," Tobias said. "You're always in the hot seat."

McGahn reportedly threatened to quit last year when Trump proposed firing special counsel Mueller.

McGahn and others convinced the president that firing Mueller would be a bad idea and eventually Trump pledged to work with the special counsel's office. Officials also told USA TODAY at the time that Trump was well aware of the political fallout from a dismissal of the special counsel.

McGahn and other Trump administration officials also had unsuccessfully sought to persuade Attorney General Jeff Sessions to remain in control of the investigation into Russia's election interference, even as the attorney general faced mounting pressure to recuse himself, two officials familiar with the matter told USA TODAY in January.

More: Trump confirms that White House counsel interviewed with Mueller

More: White House lawyer Don McGahn: 5 things to know about his cooperation with Russia probe

More: President Trump: Special counsel Robert Mueller is just 'looking for trouble'

The news of McGahn's departure comes less than two weeks after his cooperation with Mueller was publicized. McGahn sat down with Mueller's team for interviews that spanned about 30 hours in total, a person familiar with McGahn’s contact with the special counsel’s office told USA TODAY. 

Trump railed against the news media after the scope of McGahn's interviews with federal prosecutors was published. Trump said he wanted McGahn to cooperate with Mueller's team in hopes that the transparency would quicken the pace of the investigation, which has dogged his presidency since it began.

The New York Times reported McGahn took Mueller's team through Trump's comments and actions in some of the most controversial topics that have surrounded the White House. 

McGahn reportedly told investigators what he knew about the president's role in the firing of former FBI director James Comey. He also discussed Trump's repeated criticism of Attorney General Jeff Sessions for recusing himself from the Russia probe.

Additionally, McGahn talked about his role with the Russia investigation before the president hired outside counsel to deal with the matter, the Times reported.

McGahn reportedly felt the president's willingness for him to cooperate with Mueller could be a trick. He feared the president and his team of lawyers might be setting him up to take the blame for any possible criminal charges that arise. 

This was the partially the case during Richard Nixon's presidency. Former White House Counsel John Dean ended up cooperating with investigators, becoming a star witness after fearing Nixon was setting him up to be a scapegoat in the Watergate scandal. 

McGahn's lawyer did not immediately return a request for comment. In announcing the departure, Trump did not name McGahn's successor or offer a reasoning for McGahn leaving. 

Axios reported McGahn wants Emmet Flood to replace him. Flood represented former President Bill Clinton during his impeachment and was hired by the Trump White House to deal with the Russia investigation. Flood also worked for former President George W. Bush.


sarah Posted on August 30, 2018 12:27

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India is Exploring a Central Bank Digital Currency for Payments.

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) joins a growing list of global counterparts in exploring a central bank digital currency (CBDC) that would constitute the digital equivalent of the Indian rupee.

The RBI has established an inter-departmental group to explore the demand and plausibility of a blockchain-based digital currency to be used in domestic payments, the central bank said in its Annual Report 2017-18 [DPF] released on Wednesday.

The monetary regulator cited “rapid changes” in the global payments industry bought on by disruptive factors like the “emergence of private digital tokens and the rising costs of managing fiat paper/metallic money” as factors for the RBI exploring its own digital asset.

The central bank said:

“[A]n inter-departmental group has been constituted by the Reserve Bank to study and provide guidance on the desirability and feasibility to introduce a central bank digital currency (CBDC).”

As reported by CCN earlier this week, the RBI discreetly established the new internal unit with a mandate to research cryptocurrency and blockchain technology under its roof. It is also believed that the unit has been operational for over a month and will also take an interest in drafting regulations for the usage and trading of public, decentralized cryptocurrencies like bitcoin.

The developments come at a time when Venezuela launched the world’s first state digital currency ‘petro’, a controversial token which Venezuelan president Nicholas Maduro claims is backed by the country’s vast oil reserves.

Dominic Solomon Posted on August 30, 2018 12:27

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Top 10 Ways to Help Poor and Needy People

1. Education





                Imparting knowledge can help the poor and needy to stand on their feet. Education is the beginning of getting out from hardships of life. Giving free education to the poor and needy people help them to grow as individuals and help them lead a better life. Education can help them to get a job, be employed build career and achieve success, capability of handling problems and lead a successful life. The poor and needy people can become independent, self-sufficient and better human being through the power of education. Through education, we can help the poor and needy people to develop their skills so that they can take over efforts to revitalize their life rather than always depending on the outsiders to do so for them.

                       2. Better Understanding






                          Understand the needs and requirements of the poor and needy people. Help them overcome the adversities of life. One can help the poor and needy people by understanding their wants, desires and thoughts without diminishing their dignity and helping them achieve those wants in a respectable manner. Also, one should treat the poor and needy people with respect and understanding. This would make a huge difference in their lives. Give them the same respect and courtesy you would accord your friends and family members. Respond them with a kind word and a smile.

                                  3. Donate Old Belongings





                               In order to help the poor and needy, one can donate the old stuff from old clothes to appliances, furniture and other materials. Rummage through your belongings and give them away to the needy. Delving through old stuff and donating does help the poor people and makes a difference to those who needs such stuff. Donating clothes especially in winter season when the weather is too cold is of great help to the poor and needy people. Unneeded stuff can be donated to brighten someone else’s day.

                             4. Group Involvement/Volunteering Teams



                                    Volunteering time and skills can help the poor and needy people. Creating awareness among the people for helping the poor and needy people can get more and more individuals join the drive. Groups can be formed that can help the needy, buy them a meal, give them a ride to shelter and other necessary assistance. Volunteers can help and teach them. These volunteers can help in arranging free health camps, doctors can be invited to treat the poor and needy people.Even the smallest efforts count. By sparing just few hours a week and doing even the smallest bit possible can do great wonders for the poor and needy people. Also, one can encourage friends or family members to join for just a noble cause.

                                                     5. Collection Drive





                                    By conducting collection drives for food, clothes, books, blankets and other necessities one can help the poor and needy people. These collection drives can be conducted in schools,offices or locality and reaches to the neediest people. It is one of the easiest way to help the poor and needy people. Contact the organizations who work for poor people to find out what they need and then organize collection drive by setting up containers at schools, or local premises in which people can drop off donations, ask offices to donate to the drive.

                                    6. Donate Groceries/Eatables





                             Provide nutritious meals to the poor and needy people. Donating groceries can help end the hunger of poor and needy people. They cannot even afford a single time meal for themselves and their family, so donating food will make their stomach fill and stay healthy. Rather than wasting food or throwing it, it is better to give it to a needy person.

                               7. Fund Raising






                              One can join the fund raiser community or engage himself or herself with some organization who are involved in raising funds for the poor and needy people. They can join various activities and plan various strategies for fund raising like help in creating awareness in the society through various modes, conduct various shows like road shows, etc. They can organize activities and become an active member of an organization’s board or membership. Fund raising can involve donating items for free and holding auctions for those items. This would help raise funds.

                                    8. Personal Financial Help






                               Individuals can help the poor and needy people monetarily also. Providing financial assistance to the poor can help them solve the basic problems of living. By providing money to the poor and needy people, they can get the essentials of living. One can get associated with charitable houses and donate money there to help the needy. By providing monetary help to the needy people, they can get meal for their family, a place to live or some clothes.

                               9. Social Media





             Social Media has become one of the most used way to help the poor and needy people and perhaps, the easiest way as well. Through the use of Social media and Social Networking Sites like Facebook or twitter, one can raise his or her voice and create awareness and get a helping hand; can connect to various charity organizations or community centers involved in helping the needy people; can buy products online from websites that donate a portion of their proceeds to charity that helps the poor and needy people.

              10. Moral Consolation






                  One of the better ways to help the poor and needy people is to give them a hand up rather than a hand out    Giving them moral support, showing heartfelt humility and respect makes them aware that someone really does care about them and trying to improve their condition. By providing them with the opportunities to improve their condition on their own would increase their self-esteem and help them in overcoming barriers they face everyday. Work with the poor and needy people and help them discover their own capabilities and capacity and putting them to use at the right place at the right time. Support them and let them know that they have something of value which can be used for meeting their basic requirements.

                    On one hand, there are people who live their life lavishly. They are not only enjoying the joy of essentials but also have what they want and desire; a luxurious living providing them an extra comfort. On the other hand, there are people who cannot even afford the basic requirements of living. They do not have shelter to live, food to eat, and clothes to wear.People who have extra are living a comfortable and a posh life. While those who have barely the vitals are fighting each day for life.They fail to meet the basic requirements.

             There are people who have much more than they need to live while others have barely enough to survive.

              Poor people do not have enough clothing, food, education and healthcare. Being poor means deprived economically, politically and socially. They hardly get opportunities. They have inadequate nutrition, higher risk of diseases and lack access to healthcare and basic essentials for living resulting in low achievement.

                   One cannot make such people opulent but can at least help them achieve the essentials of life and lead a prosperous life. Helping the poor and needy people is a good deed. Caring for the poor and needy people and helping them is a noble endeavor. The more you give to poor and needy people, the more you strengthen their dependency. If you give them the chance or opportunity, you’ll see an effective and long-lasting improvement in their lives. Create a new system built on inter-dependency which motivates them to work and move forward and their dignity is maintained. Tossing out money or other kinds of donation do help the poor and needy people but the need is to direct your energies and efforts in raising them, building relationship, teaching them and moreover, regaining their self-confidence and self-esteem to work for themselves.

                     Change your perspective. Instead of considering them as a project to help, view them as people to love and respect. Following are the few ways to help the poor and needy people.

ruby Posted on August 30, 2018 11:46

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European Club Power Rankings updated: August 2018

Hello readers! Welcome to the latest European Club rankings. This is an update to the previous one. Now all the top leagues in Europe have joined the party as Bundesliga also kick-started the season with Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund dominating as usual. The Premier League had some twists as favourites Manchester City dropped points for the first time this season whereas Liverpool, Chelsea and Tottenham continued their winning runs.

In Italy, Juventus continued their winning run even though Cristiano Ronaldo failed to open his account on both occasions, while Napoli stole the show with a brilliant second-half comeback against AC Milan, Inter Milan and Roma settled for draws that made Inter Milan lose some points and also a spot in the top 10. In Spain, there were no surprises as all the big teams won their matches.


So let us see the rankings of the top teams in Europe based on their overall performances in the past couple of weeks, these rankings will be updated after the next round of matches.

#10 Tottenham Hotspur

With three wins in a row, Spurs are one of the four teams who are yet to lose a point. With brilliant performance against Fulham, Spurs went to Old Trafford for the third round match, although Manchester United were dejected after their defeat against Brighton & Hove Albion, Old Trafford was not an easy place to go and win.

Spurs defied odds by beating Manchester United and that too with a clinical and professional performance stunning Manchester United in front of their fans by a 3-0 victory.

This victory is a statement of intent and Tottenham Hotspur is the team that can undoubtedly lay down a marker for the title race. With this performances, Tottenham stormed into the top 10 rankings while Manchester United missed out of the top list with their abysmal performances.

#9 Chelsea

In the last ratings, Chelsea were not inside the top 10 but with three consecutive wins and with one against their city rivals, Arsenal. Chelsea started their new campaign under Maurizio Sarri in a perfect way. These results set the tone for the 2016-17 Premier League champions to bring back the glory.

Although they had plenty of possession in the game against Newcastle United, they found it extremely difficult to break the deadlock until the later parts of the game against the Magpies. It remains that there is still a work in progress under the new manager for Chelsea, but these victories will boost their morale and lift their confidence after a disappointing season last term.

#8 Liverpool

Liverpool not only had a decent transfer window, but the team also showed their strength on the pitch as well as they are the only team in the Premier League yet to concede a goal and are on top of the table after third-round matches.

Liverpool has bolstered its squad in areas where they were lacking in the last season and that is paying dividends as they not only have fierce attacking power but are also very strong in the back thanks to the signing of the wonderful goalkeeper Alisson Becker, who looks like a strong contender for the Premier League Golden Glove already.

If Liverpool could maintain this level for a prolonged period they are the team who can compete with Manchester City neck and neck, this time the battle will be more interesting.

#7 Bayern Munich

Bundesliga's new season started with regular favourites Bayern Munich winning their opening match against Hoffenheim, Bayern Munich at one stage found it difficult as Bayern's lead from Thomas Muller was cancelled out by Adam Szalai and then Lewandowski kept Bayern ahead with a penalty in the last ten minutes of the play and Arjen Robben sealed the game at the dying moments thanks to wonderful linkup play.

The Bavarian Giants are the usual favourites to land the Bundesliga unless Borussia Dortmund poses some serious threat as they also win their match comfortably.

#6 Paris Saint-Germain

PSG maintained their winning momentum as they won all their three matches and they are undisputed favourites for the Ligue 1 title.

PSG's Champions League hopes to be hugely dependent upon the front three. PSG have not strengthened their squad significantly, although the star player Gianluigi Buffon is a good signing, it remains to be seen how far they will go this season.

#5 Real Madrid

Champions League winners have taken a toll after selling Cristiano Ronaldo. They tasted defeat against their city rivals Atletico Madrid in the UEFA Super Cup.

The European champions did not have any such trouble in La Liga with comfortable wins against Getafe and Girona.


In the absence of Ronaldo Benzema and Bale stole the limelight. The young player Asensio should step up and it will be the season to watch out for the Spanish youngster.

#4 Atletico Madrid

They began their season in stunning fashion with a sensational win against Real Madrid claiming the UEFA Super Cup. With that victory, Atletico Madrid sent a clear statement of intent to the European Giants and they are serious contenders for the Champions League this season.

Their league season didn't go well as they dropped a couple of points in their opening fixture against Valencia and sailed through a 1-0 win over Rayo Vallecano in a typical Diego Simeone style.

Simeone knows how to play in big games, and he is a master in grinding out the results at tough times; his style of play will not bring many goals but slim margins are enough for his team as he has also proved that in the past, so with the more added firepower they probably look like they can have a better season than not.

#3 Juventus

With all the ingredients hitting the top gear in the European elite competition, Juventus team is one to watch out for this season.

Their season began in rusty fashion as they saw off Chievo with Federico Bernardeschi's dying minutes winner. They defeated the talented Lazio side with a comfortable 2-0 win in the second round. A notable point in those two games was that Ronaldo has not contributed to the Juventus scoresheet yet which in perspective is a positive for the Bianconeris. Although Ronaldo did not score, it was a matter of time before he could find his golden touch.

#2 Manchester City

The Premier League champions started the season where they left with a comfortable win over Arsenal and a huge victory over Huddersfield with Sergio Aguero's hat-trick before hitting a speed breaker in the form of Wolverhampton.

Although they were unlucky to lose against the Wolves, this is the Premier League where any unexpected thing can happen at any time.

#1 Barcelona

Barcelona started their season in brilliant fashion against the Alaves with a thumping 3-0 win. They had 79% possession in that game and didn't gave any chance to the opponent, and Messi opened his account with a brace and Coutinho also had his name on the scoresheet.

Their second match was a difficult one against Real Valladolid not because of the opponent but because of the condition of the pitch, the match should not be allowed on such a pitch but luckily no player got any injuries.

Ousmane Dembele provided the winner, which ensured Barcelona's 100% record in the league and also kept their top spot on our list.

majsdesaint Posted on August 30, 2018 11:22

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FIFA World Ranking - 2018



  • World
  • Europe
  • South America
  • Asia
  • Africa
  • N/C America
  • Oceania

Year          2018         2017         2016         2015         2014         2013         2012         2011     

Month          8         6         5         4         3         2         1     

# Team Points   Change
1 France 1726.00   -
2 Belgium 1723.00   -
3 Brazil 1657.00   -
4 Croatia 1643.00   -
5 Uruguay 1627.00   -
6 England 1615.00   -
7 Portugal 1599.00   -
8 Switzerland 1597.00   -
9 Spain 1580.00   -
10 Denmark 1580.00   -
11 Argentina 1574.00   -
12 Chile 1570.00   -
13 Sweden 1565.00   -
14 Colombia 1563.00   -
15 Germany 1561.00   -
16 Mexico 1560.00   -
17 Netherlands 1540.00   -
18 Poland 1538.00   -
19 Wales 1536.00   -
20 Peru 1535.00   -
21 Italy 1532.00   -
22 United States 1508.00   -
23 Austria 1502.00   -
24 Tunisia 1498.00   -
25 Senegal 1498.00   -
26 Slovakia 1493.00   -
27 Northern Ireland 1492.00   -
28 Romania 1490.00   -
29 Republic of Ireland 1484.00   -
30 Paraguay 1477.00   -
31 Venezuela 1476.00   -
32 Costa Rica 1471.00   -
33 Iran 1471.00   -
34 Iceland 1471.00   -
35 Ukraine 1468.00   -
36 Serbia 1459.00   -
37 Congo DR 1456.00   -
38 Turkey 1455.00   -
39 Bosnia-Herzegovina 1452.00   -
40 Scotland 1444.00   -
41 Montenegro 1440.00   -
42 Greece 1436.00   -
43 Australia 1431.00   -
44 Czech Republic 1430.00   -
45 Ghana 1424.00   -
46 Morocco 1418.00   -
47 Bulgaria 1416.00   -
48 Cameroon 1416.00   -
49 Russia 1410.00   -
50 Nigeria 1410.00   -
51 Hungary 1409.00   -
52 Burkina Faso 1408.00   -
53 Norway 1406.00   -
54 Jamaica 1400.00   -
55 Japan 1392.00   -
56 Slovenia 1392.00   -
57 Korea Republic 1387.00   -
58 Albania 1384.00   -
59 Bolivia 1378.00   -
60 Ecuador 1376.00   -
61 Honduras 1368.00   -
62 Finland 1364.00   -
63 Mali 1360.00   -
64 Cape Verde Islands 1356.00   -
65 Egypt 1355.00   -
66 Algeria 1351.00   -
67 Côte d'Ivoire 1344.00   -
68 Guinea 1344.00   -
69 Panama 1343.00   -
70 Saudi Arabia 1336.00   -
71 FYR Macedonia 1336.00   -
72 El Salvador 1332.00   -
73 Syria 1328.00   -
74 South Africa 1327.00   -
75 China PR 1320.00   -
76 Zambia 1315.00   -
77 UAE 1312.00   -
78 Belarus 1306.00   -
79 Canada 1304.00   -
80 Lebanon 1304.00   -
81 Curaçao 1300.00   -
82 Uganda 1296.00   -
83 Congo 1292.00   -
84 Oman 1288.00   -
85 Luxembourg 1286.00   -
86 Gabon 1284.00   -
87 Cyprus 1280.00   -
88 Benin 1276.00   -
89 Iraq 1274.00   -
90 Faroe Islands 1268.00   -
91 Trinidad and Tobago 1264.00   -
92 Kyrgyzstan 1260.00   -
93 Israel 1256.00   -
94 Estonia 1250.00   -
95 Uzbekistan 1247.00   -
96 Georgia 1242.00   -
97 India 1242.00   -
98 Qatar 1236.00   -
99 Palestine 1230.00   -
100 Armenia 1227.00   -
101 Libya 1224.00   -
102 Vietnam 1220.00   -
103 Niger 1216.00   -
104 Haiti 1212.00   -
105 Azerbaijan 1207.00   -
106 Mauritania 1200.00   -
107 Madagascar 1199.00   -
108 Central African Republic 1196.00   -
109 Korea DPR 1196.00   -
110 Jordan 1192.00   -
111 Sierra Leone 1188.00   -
112 Kenya 1182.00   -
113 Bahrain 1180.00   -
114 Mozambique 1176.00   -
115 Philippines 1172.00   -
116 Kazakhstan 1167.00   -
117 Namibia 1166.00   -
118 Zimbabwe 1164.00   -
119 New Zealand 1157.00   -
120 Tajikistan 1156.00   -
121 Guinea-Bissau 1148.00   -
122 Thailand 1144.00   -
123 Malawi 1140.00   -
124 Togo 1136.00   -
125 Chinese Taipei 1135.00   -
126 Antigua and Barbuda 1132.00   -
127 Lithuania 1130.00   -
128 Sudan 1128.00   -
129 Latvia 1122.00   -
130 Andorra 1120.00   -
131 Turkmenistan 1120.00   -
132 Nicaragua 1116.00   -
133 Yemen 1112.00   -
134 Swaziland 1105.00   -
135 St. Kitts and Nevis 1104.00   -
136 Rwanda 1100.00   -
137 Angola 1096.00   -
138 Myanmar 1092.00   -
139 Botswana 1089.00   -
140 Tanzania 1084.00   -
141 Kosovo 1080.00   -
142 Hong Kong 1076.00   -
143 Equatorial Guinea 1072.00   -
144 Solomon Islands 1072.00   -
145 Afghanistan 1068.00   -
146 Guatemala 1064.00   -
147 Lesotho 1064.00   -
148 Burundi 1056.00   -
149 Comoros 1052.00   -
150 Maldives 1048.00   -
151 Ethiopia 1044.00   -
152 Dominican Republic 1040.00   -
153 Suriname 1036.00   -
154 New Caledonia 1032.00   -
155 Mauritius 1028.00   -
156 South Sudan 1024.00   -
157 Tahiti 1020.00   -
158 Liberia 1016.00   -
159 Kuwait 1012.00   -
160 Barbados 1005.00   -
161 Nepal 1004.00   -
162 Vanuatu 1000.00   -
163 Belize 999.00   -
164 Indonesia 992.00   -
165 Fiji 985.00   -
166 Cambodia 984.00   -
167 Papua New Guinea 984.00   -
168 Grenada 980.00   -
169 Singapore 976.00   -
170 St. Lucia 972.00   -
171 Malaysia 971.00   -
172 Gambia 964.00   -
173 Puerto Rico 960.00   -
174 St. Vincent / Grenadines 960.00   -
175 Moldova 957.00   -
176 Chad 956.00   -
177 Dominica 952.00   -
178 Bermuda 948.00   -
179 Laos 948.00   -
180 Liechtenstein 944.00   -
181 Cuba 940.00   -
182 Guyana 936.00   -
183 Bhutan 932.00   -
184 Malta 928.00   -
185 Macao 924.00   -
186 Mongolia 920.00   -
187 São Tomé e Príncipe 920.00   -
188 Aruba 916.00   -
189 Seychelles 916.00   -
190 Guam 912.00   -
191 Timor-Leste 912.00   -
192 American Samoa 908.00   -
193 Cook Islands 908.00   -
194 Bangladesh 904.00   -
195 Brunei 900.00   -
196 Gibraltar 900.00   -
197 Djibouti 896.00   -
198 Samoa 896.00   -
199 US Virgin Islands 892.00   -
200 Sri Lanka 888.00   -
201 Pakistan 884.00   -
202 Cayman Islands 880.00   -
203 San Marino 876.00   -
204 British Virgin Islands 872.00   -
205 Montserrat 872.00   -
206 Anguilla 868.00   -
207 Bahamas 868.00   -
208 Eritrea 868.00   -
209 Somalia 868.00   -
210 Tonga 868.00   -
211 Turks and Caicos Islands 868.00   -

paxex Posted on August 29, 2018 19:41

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5 Legendary boxers who changed their names for professional or religious reasons

A name is just a name. Most people keep their name unchanged, but some change it due to certain reasons. The reasons could be personal, religious, astrological, and commercial. A lot of sportsmen have changed their names. Lew Alcindor changed his name to Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Jeff Pendergraph to Jeff Ayres and so on.

There have been legendary boxers in the history of the game that changed their names before or during their professional career. I have discussed them today and revealed the reason for their name change.

#1. Eligio Sardinas Montalvo to Kid Chocolate

Widely considered a boxer with incredible boxing talent. He took part in the lightweight division and won the world championship by defeating Benny Bass. Sugar Ray Robinson admired him and learned a lot from his boxing style.

He carved a niche for himself by defeating world champions like Fidel LaBarba, Al Singer, and Vic Burrone. Eligio changed his name to Kid Chocolate when he entered the world of professional boxing.

#2. James Joseph Tunney to Gene Tunney

James was an American boxer, born in Ireland. He fought in the light heavyweight and heavyweight division, and won the world title four times, from 1922 to 1928. Tunney defeated Jack Dempsey, Georges Carpentier, and Harry Greb.

James changed his name to Gene Tunney very early in life, and they nicknamed him “The Fighting Marine.”

#3. William Harrison Dempsey to Jack Dempsey

William was born in Colorado and became the world heavyweight champion in 1919. He remained unbeaten for the next 7 years. William had tremendous punching ability, and they consider him as one of the best boxers of all time.

He fought as Jack Dempsey and was one of the sporting icons of the 1920s. Besides boxing, his main contribution was being a soldier in the World War II. He was inducted into the Boxing Hall of Fame in 1954.

#4. Cassius Marcellus Clay Junior to Muhammad Ali

Considered as the best heavyweight boxer of all time, Muhammad Ali was born in Kentucky as Cassius Marcellus Clay Junior. Ali grew up at a time when America was burning due to racial segregation which played a major role in his life. He defeated legendary boxers such as Joe Frazier, Floyd Patterson, and Sonny Liston to become the WBC heavyweight champion.

Clay met his spiritual mentor Malcolm X who brought him into the fold of Islam while fighting against racial discrimination. He then changed his name to Muhammad Ali (One worthy of high praise).

#5. Walker Smith Junior to Sugar Ray Robinson 

Sugar was born as Walker Smith Junior in Georgia. He was a welterweight and middleweight champion whose professional record stood at 128–1–2 with 84 knockouts. Walker defeated Jake LaMotta, Henry Armstrong, and Sammy Angott to become the world champion.

He changed his name to Sugar Ray Robinson to bag his first fight as an amateur boxer in 1936. Muhammad Ali wanted him as a mentor when he was preparing for his world heavyweight championship bouts.  

majsdesaint Posted on August 29, 2018 17:09

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Karius ready for fresh start after convincing Klopp to let him go

Loris Karius was unveiled at Besiktas on Wednesday after joining on a two-year loan and the goalkeeper is eager to move on from his Champions League final blunders with Liverpool.

The German was Jurgen Klopp's first-choice keeper at the end of last season but made two costly errors in the loss to Real Madrid in Kiev.

Liverpool signed Alisson from Roma in the transfer window to take over from Karius, who has now been given a chance to start afresh in the Turkish Super Lig.

Karius, who tests later revealed had suffered a concussion during the final against Madrid, may be forever be associated with his high-profile gaffes, yet the 25-year-old wishes to consign them to history.

"This is life, this is football," Karius said.

"If you give the circumstances - with the serious injury as well - that you don't know in what way it affected me, you have to move on.

"It was an unlucky day, but it's football. I don't think a lot of players reach a Champions League final. If you look at how many goalkeepers in the league reach a Champions League final, I don't know. So, it was a great achievement.

"Unfortunately, on this day we were unlucky and it wasn't the best performance. But there was a lot of things that came together, it's in the past now and I look forward to the future."

Karius also revealed Klopp wanted him to remain at Anfield but that a move away from Liverpool was "important" for his career.

"He told me he would like to have me in the squad because he wants to have the best quality players," Karius added.

"I asked him for my wish and that is important for me to make this move and play for Besiktas. I talked with him a long time. He understands my situation.

"I think it was a good deal for everyone. He wished me well but he said he would have liked to keep me."

majsdesaint Posted on August 29, 2018 16:55

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How to setup PAXEX masternode.


System requirements - USE AN UBUNTU LINUX 16.04 VPS for best results

The VPS you plan to install your masternode on needs to have at least 1GB of RAM and 10GB of free disk space. We do not recommend using servers who do not meet those criteria, and your masternode will not be stable. We also recommend you do not use elastic cloud services like AWS or Google Cloud for your masternode - to use your node with such a service would require some networking knowledge and manual configuration.

Funding your Masternode

  • First, we will do the initial collateral TX and send exactly 50,000 PAXEX to one of our addresses. To keep things sorted in case we setup more masternodes we will label the addresses we use.

    • Open your PAXEX wallet and switch to the "Receive" tab.

    • Click into the label field and create a label, I will use "MN1"

    • Now click on "Request payment"

    • The generated address will now be labelled as MN1 If you want to setup more masternodes just repeat the steps so you end up with several addresses for the total number of nodes you wish to setup. Example: For 10 nodes you will need 10 addresses, label them all.

    • Once all addresses are created send 50,000 PAXEX each to them. Ensure that you send exactly 50,000 PAXEX and do it in a single transaction. You can double check where the coins are coming from by checking it via coin control usually, that's not an issue.

  • As soon as all 50K transactions are done, we will wait for 15 confirmations. You can check this in your wallet or use the explorer. It should take around 30 minutes if all transaction have 15 confirmations

Installation & Setting up your Server

Generate your Masternode Private Key

In your wallet, open Tools -> Debug console and run the following command to get your masternode key:

masternode genkey

Please note: If you plan to set up more than one masternode, you need to create a key with the above command for each one.

Run this command to get your output information:

masternode outputs

Copy both the key and output information to a text file.

Close your wallet and open the Paxex Appdata folder. Its location depends on your OS.

  • Windows: Press Windows+R and write %appdata% - there, open the folder Paxex.
  • macOS: Press Command+Space to open Spotlight, write ~/Library/Application Support/Paxex and press Enter.
  • Linux: Open ~/.paxex/

In your appdata folder, open masternode.conf with a text editor and add a new line in this format to the bottom of the file:

masternodename ipaddress:5555 genkey collateralTxID outputID

An example would be

mn1 93HaYBVUCYjEMeeH1Y4sBGLALQZE1Yc1K64xiqgX37tGBDQL8Xg 2bcd3c84c84f87eaa86e4e56834c92927a07f9e18718810b92e0d0324456a67c 0

masternodename is a name you choose, ipaddress is the public IP of your VPS, masternodeprivatekey is the output from masternode genkey, and collateralTxID & outputID come from masternode outputs. Please note that masternodenamemust not contain any spaces, and should not contain any special characters.

Restart and unlock your wallet.

SSH (Putty on Windows, on macOS) to your VPS, login as root (Please note: It's normal that you don't see your password after typing or pasting it) and run the following command:

bash <( curl )

When the script asks, confirm your VPS IP Address and paste your masternode key (You can copy your key and paste into the VPS if connected with Putty by right clicking)

The installer will then present you with a few options.

PLEASE NOTE: Do not choose the advanced installation option unless you have experience with Linux and know what you are doing - if you do and something goes wrong, the Paxex team CANNOT help you, and you will have to restart the installation.

Follow the instructions on screen.

After the basic installation is done, the wallet will sync. You will see the following message:

Your masternode is syncing. Please wait for this process to finish.
This can take up to a few hours. Do not close this window.

Once you see "Masternode setup completed." on screen, you are done.

To check your masternode status on your VPS, navigate to /usr/local/bin (this is where the script moves files)

cd /usr/local/bin
./paxex-cli masternode status

For Windows setups, use this config in your masternode.conf or paxex.conf (depending on if you are using a VPS or local wallet)

masternodeprivkey=<MASTERNODE GENKEY>

Non-interactive installation

You can use the installer in a non-interactive mode by using command line arguments - for example, if you want to automate the installation. This requires that you download the installer and run it locally. Here are the arguments you can pass to

-n --normal               : Run installer in normal mode
-a --advanced             : Run installer in advanced mode
-i --externalip <address> : Public IP address of VPS
-k --privatekey <key>     : Private key to use
-f --fail2ban             : Install Fail2Ban
--no-fail2ban             : Don't install Fail2Ban
-u --ufw                  : Install UFW
--no-ufw                  : Don't install UFW
-b --bootstrap            : Sync node using Bootstrap
--no-bootstrap            : Don't use Bootstrap
-h --help                 : Display this help text.

paxex Posted on August 29, 2018 15:41

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NASA: Our Solar System Has a 9th Planet

NASA has stated that it's quite likely that our solar system is home to a massive, distant ninth planet. Its existence could shed light on some burning questions about the cosmos.


Earlier this month, NASA issued a press release stating that it’s likely that our solar system has a ninth planet—even if it’s proving difficult to find.

The planet could have a mass ten times that of Earth’s, and be situated twenty times as far from the sun as Neptune. It’s being referred to as “Planet Nine,” and while it’s very difficult to procure clear evidence of its existence, some scientists are absolutely convinced that it’s out there.


In a 2016 paper, Batygin and co-author Mike Brown detailed six known objects in the Kuiper Belt that behave rather strangely. All of them have elliptical orbits pointing in the same direction, and all of those orbits are tilted the same way. Both of these traits serve as clues to the presence of Planet Nine.

Computer simulations that took the hypothesized planet into account indicated that there should also be several other bodies with more extreme tilts from the solar plane, on the order of 90 degrees. Brown realized that astronomers are already aware of five such objects, meaning nature did fit with the simulations.

Planet Nine would also explain why the plane in which the other planets orbit is tilted about six degrees away from the sun’s equator: over time, Planet Nine’s distant gravity has made the entire solar system plane wobble away from center.

paxex Posted on August 29, 2018 15:03

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Chinese company reportedly hacked Clinton's server, got copy of every email in real-time.

A Chinese state-owned company reportedly hacked former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s email server, then inserted code that forwarded them a copy of virtually every email she sent or received after that -- a revelation President Trump is demanding be investigated.

The Daily Caller reported that the firm operating in the D.C. area wrote code that was then embedded in the server and generated a “courtesy copy” for almost all her emails -- which was then forwarded to the Chinese company.

The code reportedly was discovered in 2015 by the Intelligence Community Inspector General (ICIG), which then warned FBI officials of the intrusion.

A source briefed on the matter confirmed to Fox News the details of the Caller’s reporting, and said that the ICIG was so concerned by the revelation that officials drove over to the FBI to inform agents -- including anti-Trump agent Peter Strzok -- of the development after it was discovered via the emails' metadata.

The source told Fox News the hack was from a Chinese company, describing it as a front for Chinese intelligence.

A second source briefed on the matter told Fox News that officials outside of the FBI indicated code on the Clinton server suggested a foreign source was receiving copies of emails in real time.

The hacking report caught the attention late Tuesday of President Trump, who warned that the FBI and DOJ should act or “their credibility will be forever gone.”

Dominic Solomon Posted on August 29, 2018 14:55

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Boat full of African migrants washes up in Spain.

Stunned beachgoers watch as ANOTHER boat full of African migrants washes up in Spain before dozens of young men rush on to shore to cheers

A boat carrying young migrants has landed on a beach in southern Spain, catching holidaymakers by surprise in the second such incident in two days.

Video footage shows the boat approaching the shore and at least two dozen people jumping off into the shallows before running across the sand. 

The migrants, seemingly all young men, dash past beach-goers on their towels as they try to make it off the sands before being caught by authorities.

Some of them even wave to the people enjoying a day out on the beach, who are heard wising them luck, cheering them on and offering them water.

The incident took place on the beach of Fontanilla, in Conil de la Frontera, in the southern Spanish province of Cadiz in the region of Andalusia.   

According to local media, authorities detained those who had arrived on the boat, of which 13 were minors, shortly afterwards.

The incident took place two days after another similar incident on a beach located just a few miles north of Fontanilla.

Holidaymakers watched a semi-inflatable carrying around 50 people, including at least 19 children, land on Barrosa Beach, some seven miles from Fontanilla.

Footage shows refugees sprinting up the popular beach at about 3.30pm on Sunday before attempting to scale cliffs.

The incident happened near a purpose-built residential and tourist resort called Sancti Petri which boasts shops, restaurants and several four and five-star hotels.  

According to local police, some 25 of the migrants, all Moroccan citizens, had been intercepted - 19 of whom were minors. 

A spokesman for the force said the six adults would be taken to an adult migrant holding centre before being returned to their country of origin as part of an agreement with Morocco.

Local media report that at least 500 migrants have landed on the Andalusian coast on 18 different boats since Friday. 

Last month around 50 migrants were filmed landing on a packed beach and sprinting up the sand at a beach in Zahora, a 20 minute drive from Fontanilla.

The men and women videoed jumping from the rickety wooden boat known as a patera in the July 28 arrival, were from sub-Saharan Africa.

Days earlier, dozens of migrants were filmed storming another southern Spanish beach as confused sunbathing nudists watched on.

The dramatic clip, taken on the beach at Tarifa, showed a group of more than 30 migrants landing in a dinghy before sprinting off into woodland surrounding the beach to evade the pursuing Spanish border guards.

Spain has overtaken Italy as the preferred destination for migrant arrivals in Europe this year after Italy's new hardline Interior Minister Matteo Salvini introduced a blanket ban on migrant boats entering the country's ports.

The number of migrants and refugees using the western Mediterranean route to reach Spain stood at 20,992 between January 1 and July 25 according to the IOM, close to the 22,108 people who used it during the whole of last year.

paxex Posted on August 29, 2018 14:51

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UEFA Champions League 18/19: Everything you should know before Thursday's Draw

The UEFA Champions League is just around the corner, with the group-stage draw set to happen on the 30th of August in Monaco. Real Madrid come off the back of their third consecutive Champions League title, while Juventus are without the services of Gianluigi Buffon, who decided to pen a contract with PSG in July.

Barcelona's new captain Lionel Messi openly expressed his ambitions to reclaim the prestigious trophy, while Jose Mourinho looks to bring back United's former glory. All of the above statements only exaggerate the level of intensity and the amount of excitement this new season will bring to us, so before we begin, let's have a look at everything we need to know before the draw on Thursday.

Date: August 30th, 2018

Time: 18:00 GMT (22:30 IST)

Venue: the Grimaldi Forum, Monaco

Where to Watch: (live streaming)

Number of Teams: 32

Defending Champions: Real Madrid CF ( ????????)

Most Titles: Real Madrid CF (13)

Location of the Final: Estadio Wanda Metropolitano (Madrid, ESP)

Pot 1 consists of the champions of the top six leagues in Europe according to their UEFA ranking along with the winners of the previous Champions League and Europa League. Consistent domestic league winners such as Bayern Munich, PSG, and Juventus find themselves in Pot 1 yet again and are the favorites to top their respective groups.

The three most followed Spanish teams of Real Madrid, Atletico Madrid, and FC Barcelona are looking to continue the country's European dominance as fans expect them to seamlessly reach the latter stage of the tournament.

Real Madrid did lose star player Cristiano Ronaldo to fellow pot members Juventus, who have spent an enormous amount of money to bring in players like João Cancelo and Douglas Costa to the club.

The 2015 finalists are shaping up for another lengthy European campaign after narrowly falling short ever since. Ronaldo is expected to form a fearsome front three with the aforementioned Costa and Argentinian sensation Paulo Dybala.

Russian club Lokomotiv Moscow recently won the Russian Premier League, and have bolstered their squad with the loan signings of Benedikt Höwedes and PSG midfielder Grzegorz Krychowiak.

Pep Guardiola's Manchester City will naturally want to improve their record in the Champions League, and the addition of Riyad Mahrez on the right wing means that they have one of the fiercest attacking three in the competition, something that has proved vital for the previous winner's campaign.

Pot 2 of this Champions League consists of the Portuguese and Ukrainian League winners, the 3rd place team in the Bundesliga, and both the second and third place of both the Premier League and the Serie A. Household names like Borussia Dortmund, Manchester United, and SSC Napoli all make their way into Pot 2 after failing to lift their respective domestic titles last season.

Pot 3 consist of some very entertaining teams. French clubs Monaco and Lyon, who are known names in the Champions League, German club FC Schalke 04, Marcelino's Los Che and Russian club CSKA Moscow will all be drawn into different groups from this pot.

Domenico Tedesco is on a mission to rebuild Schalke after seeing many of their star players leave the club for free, while both Monaco and Lyon are looking to be the first French club to lift this prestigious title. Moscow manager Viktor Goncharenko would be looking forward to the new season even though World Cup star Aleksandr Golovin left the club for Monaco.

Spanish club Valencia CF and Czech winners Viktoria Plzen have been highlighted in Blue above because both those clubs can either be in Pot 3 or Pot 4 based on the playoff's outcome and the distribution of teams in each group. Like Liverpool, both clubs are, however, guaranteed a spot in the group stage of the league.

Meanwhile, Dutch club Ajax Amsterdam and Ukrainian club Dynamo Kyiv have been highlighted in red because they are currently contesting in the playoffs to secure a position in the group stage.

In their first playoff game, Ajax thumped Dynamo 3 - 1, with goals scored by Hakim Ziyech and Dusan Tadic at the Johan Cruyff Arena. The winner of this playoff round on aggregate is expected to join Pot 3.

Note that the decision on which Pot the playoff winners go to are not finalized, and so either the winner of PSV Eindhoven ( ????????) vs. BATE Borisov ( ????????) or the winner of Red Bull Salzburg ( ????????) vs. Red Star Belgrade ( ????????) could also join Pot 3.

Club Brugge, Galatasaray, Internazionale and TSG 1899 Hoffenheim are going to be drawn to their respective groups from Pot 4. The Belgian champions haven't quite made their mark in the Champions League yet, with only 33 wins in 90 matches, a paltry 37% win rate. Internazionale, however, was quite the dominant force in the early 200's and even won the treble under the tutelage of Jose Mourinho in 2010.

Turkish powerhouse Galatasaray, who boasted big names such as Wesley Sneijder and Didier Drogba in the past, would look to reach the knockout stages after seeing their local rivals Besiktas JK rise above them in recent years, while Julian Naglesmann knows his team are set to face a challenging group and hopes to exit the group stage in his last year as Hoffenheim coach.

Note that there are only four teams that are confirmed in this pot. Valencia CF and Viktoria Plzen may join this pot based on UEFA's decision, and the other spots are expected to be occupied by the teams highlighted in red above.

BSC Young Boys played Dinamo Zagreb in the first round of the playoff, with the result being 1 - 1 for both sides. Hungarian champions and potential newcomers MOL Vidi lost to Greek club AEK Athens by 2 goals to 1 in their first Champions League playoff game. The winners of both these games based on aggregate will be joining Pot 4.

Also, there is a chance that the winner of SL Benfica ( ????????) and PAOK ( ????????) would join this pot by UEFA's regulations concerning the group stage draws.

majsdesaint Posted on August 29, 2018 14:50

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World's oldest person at nearly 118 says she loves eating cakes, singing folk songs and playing with her chickens

Bolivian woman thought to be the world's oldest person at nearly 118 says she loves eating cakes, singing folk songs and playing with her chickens

Bolivian woman Julia Flores Colque is thought to be the world's oldest person, with a recorded age of almost 118.

She still sings in her indigenous Quechua tongue and strums a tiny Andean guitar known as the charango at her home in the rural town of Sacaba.

In her long life, she has witnessed two world wars, revolutions in her native Bolivia and the transformation of her home town from having a population of 3,000 people to a bustling city of more than 175,000 in five decades.

Her national identity card says Ms Flores Colque was born on October 26, 1900 in a mining camp in the Bolivian mountains.

Aged 117 and ten months, she would be the oldest woman in the Andean nation and perhaps the oldest living person in the world.

However, Guinness World Records has said it has received no application for her and Ms Flores Colque does not seem to care that her record has not been confirmed. She has not even heard of the reference book.

Growing up, the now-centenarian herded sheep and llamas in the Bolivian highlands until she moved in her teenage years to a valley, where she began selling fruits and vegetables.

The produce became her main source of sustenance, and she still maintains a healthy diet though she does indulge in the occasional cake and glass of soda. She never married and has no children.

The previously world's oldest person, a 117-year-old Japanese woman, died earlier this year. Nabi Tajima was born on August 4 1900. Her passing apparently leaves Ms Flores Colque as the world's oldest living person.

Birth certificates did not exist in Bolivia until 1940, and births previously were registered with baptism certificates provided by Roman Catholic priests. 

Ms Flores Colque's national identity card, however, has been certified by the Bolivian government. 

paxex Posted on August 29, 2018 13:47

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Pope Francis facing calls to resign; sexual abuse scandal exposes rifts in the Vatican.

The Catholic Church is reeling after a grand jury report in Pennsylvania found that possibly more than 1,000 children in six dioceses had been sexually abused by about 300 priests or higher ranking officials.

On top of that, the report said that bishops and other top church officials had tried to contain the public outcry and liability by covering up the crimes, which Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro claimed “went all the way to the Vatican.”

But the report, and the Vatican’s subsequent tepid response, has exposed a split within the Holy See which threatens to bring down Pope Francis just five years after he replaced Pope Benedict XVI.

Dominic Solomon Posted on August 29, 2018 13:25

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Meghan Markle and Prince Harry's wedding outfits to be displayed at Windsor Castle.

LONDON –  The outfits Prince Harry and Meghan Markle wore at their wedding are to go on public display later this year at the ceremony's venue, Windsor Castle.

Royal fashion fans will be able to get a close look at the bride's silk Givenchy wedding dress and 16-foot (5-meter) veil, as well as the diamond-and-platinum tiara loaned to Meghan by Queen Elizabeth II.

There will also be a copy of the frock-coat uniform of the Blues and Royals regiment that Harry wore for the May 19 service, which was watched by millions around the world.

The exhibition "A Royal Wedding: The Duke And Duchess Of Sussex" will be at Windsor Castle from Oct. 26 to Jan. 6, and at Holyrood Palace in Edinburgh, Scotland, from June 14 to Oct. 6, 2019.

Dominic Solomon Posted on August 29, 2018 11:42

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MYSTERY ball of light zoomed over parts of Australia before exploding

Giant burning fireball stuns Aussies in Western Australia

A HUGE bang was reportedly heard by residents in Western Australia after a giant, mysterious ball of light beamed across the night sky.

Social media went nuts with reports from baffled Aussies who said the “flaming object” ominously lit up the sky at about 7.40pm local time last night. Some said the object appeared to explode and “continuing off into the clouds”

Several residents reported hearing a “huge bang” which took place about the time there was a “flash in the sky”.

Dashcams and security systems captured the spectacle and many took to social media to describe what they saw.

“(My) son saw a big ball of light fall overhead then a minute later there was a huge bang that shook our house,” Kate Clare commented on a post on the York Community Resource Centre Facebook page.

“I jumped off the couch and my partner went running out the front to see who was throwing something at our window and all the neighbours did the same thing,” Esmeralda Harmer said.

The suspected meteor is believed to have crashed to earth some 100km east of Perth.

paxex Posted on August 29, 2018 11:23

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Super snake: Burmese and Indian pythons crossbred, invaded South Florida, study suggests

                     Burmese pythons invaded South Florida nearly 40 years ago, devouring local animals and slithering through the Everglades.

But a new study suggests at least some of those Burmese pythons are partly Indian pythons, indicating a giant snake hybrid that could spread farther than either species alone. 

For the study, published this month in the journal Ecology and Evolution, wildlife researchers at the U.S. Geological Survey examined the tail tissue from about 400 Burmese pythons across South Florida. At least 13 of those snakes showed genetic signs of Indian pythons, according to a USGS statement.

                        Interbreeding may have resulted in what is known genetically as "hybrid vigor," offspring with the best traits of both species. Breeding between Burmese pythons, which prefer wetlands, and Indian pythons, which favor higher ground, could result in snakes able to spread beyond the marshy terrain of South Florida, lead author Margaret Hunter said. 

? July 29: 14-foot python escaping California wildfire gets loose on the streets
? June 16: 23-foot-long python swallows Indonesian woman
? April 15: Python trackers find record breeding group in Florida


“Hybrid vigor can potentially lead to a better ability to adapt to environmental stressors and changes," Hunter, a research geneticist with the USGS, said in the statement. "In an invasive population like the Burmese pythons in South Florida, this could result in a broader or more rapid distribution.”

The study's authors believe any interbreeding probably occurred before pythons became fixtures in South Florida in the 1980s.

Since their arrival, pythons have sparked steep declines in small-mammal populations across South Florida. Knowing more about the snakes' genetics can help researchers "better understand these invasive predators’ capacity to adapt to new environments,”said Kristen Hart, a research ecologist on the study.

Follow Josh Hafner on Twitter: @joshhafner


Photos: Conservancy snake team tracks, captures and studies pythons


Ian Bartoszek, from right, Jaimie Kittle, and Ian Easterling, lift a Burmese python into a container after capturing it along a tracking route at the edge of urban Collier Country along U.S. 41 East on Tuesday, March 28, 2017. The science department at the Conservancy of Southwest Florida has a team of researchers dedicated to studying, tracking and capturing the Burmese python. Nicole Raucheisen/Naples Daily News

sarah Posted on August 28, 2018 15:38

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5 managers who could replace Jose Mourinho at Manchester United

It all looks to be going wrong at Manchester United. After a transfer window where they failed to bring in any of Jose Mourinho’s top targets, they have made a poor start to the season, and have won just one of their opening three games. 

This was always going to be a big season for the club. Last season, they saw their neighbours across the city run away with the title and playing some of the best football that the Premier League has ever seen

There was a lot of pressure on them to at least close the gap on Manchester City, and play better football than last season, that often left their fans less than impressed. The pressure also comes from the recent improvement from rivals Liverpool, who reached the Champions League final last season and have bought well to strengthen their squad.

It is also a massive season for Mourinho, who is starting a crucial third season. His record in his third season at clubs in notoriously bad, most recently in his second spell at Chelsea, where he was sacked before Christmas after making a shocking start to the campaign.

There are clear fractions between him and the board, particularly after their failure to bring in a centre back over the summer. The questions grew louder on Monday night, when they were torn apart by Tottenham, in one of the most embarrassing defeats of Mourinho’s reign. As he walked off, he stood and applauded in front of the fans for a noticeable period of time, raising questions about what the next step is.

There is a chance that Mourinho is running out of time at United. He looks a broken man, and it looks a near impossible task for him to turn it around. If he does go, here are five men who could be bought in to replace him.

#1 Zinedine Zidane

No manager in world football has had more success over the last few years than Zinedine Zidane. The Frenchman enjoyed a sensational two and a half years at Real Madrid, where he won three consecutive Champions League titles, becoming the first team to do so in the modern era. However, he left Real in the summer, which came as a surprise to many given the volume of success he had in his time in charge at the Bernabeu.

If he were to come to United now, he would be taking over a team in crisis, and make no mistake about it, United are a team in crisis. It was a similar situation when he took over at Real, maybe not as bad, but the team weren’t in a good situation under the management of Rafa Benitez. He is a winner, and United will want a winner. Zidane will also want to prove he isn’t just a one trick pony, so the Manchester United job could be one that excites him.

#2 Antonio Conte 

This sounds like a strange one, but it almost makes sense. In his first season with Chelsea, Conte was a great success, taking the club from 10thto the title, where they played some brilliant football, and he led a successful transition to the 3-4-3 formation. Obviously, it was a pretty disastrous second season at Stamford Bridge, even though he won the FA Cup. He appeared to lose the dressing room and missed out on Champions League qualification.

Conte has proved he is capable of providing short-term success, and maybe that is what United need at the moment. Fans may argue that this is not the Manchester United way, but that doesn’t exist anymore. The second that they refused to give David Moyes time, the United way was gone, so this club is not the same one that Sir Alex Ferguson left. Conte can bring success, even in the short term, so don’t be too surprised if the Italian turns up at Old Trafford.

#3 Mauricio Pochettino

Over the last few years, Pochettino has regularly been linked with the job at Manchester United. He has done a superb job at Tottenham over the last few seasons and has made them into Champions League regulars, without having too much money to spend in the transfer market. In fact, Tottenham failed to sign a single player in the transfer window this summer, and they still looked a class above United on Monday night at Old Trafford.

He has shown that he knows how to get the best out of a group of players, and that is certainly something that would work at United. The only issue is, why would Pochettino want to leave Spurs? They are in a much better position that United now in football terms. Harry Kane and Dele Alli have been excellent under the Argentine boss, and it looks like there is still more to come. He could be part of something special at Tottenham, and it would be a bizarre decision if he were to leave.

#4 Leonardo Jardim

Jardim’s name isn’t one that has been mentioned much with regards to the Manchester United job, but he might be a man worth looking at. He may not be the most high profile manager in Europe, but he has done an exceptional job at the helm of Monaco and deserves the opportunity to show what he can do at a bigger club. He has constantly had to deal with the sale of his best players, but he has consistently led Monaco to Champions League qualification.

One thing that Jardim has done brilliantly is find a way to get the best out of his players. He took Monaco to the Ligue 1 title in the 2016/17 season, during which he also took them to a Champions League semi-final. This was despite having a squad that was, on paper, weaker than that of PSG, and many of the sides they went further than in Europe. There are a lot of underperforming players in this Manchester United squad, and Jardim might finally be the man to get the best out of them.

#5 Diego Simeone

This may seem like an outside bet at this stage, and it probably is, but there are a number of reasons why United should consider Simeone as their new manager. What he has achieved at Atletico Madrid is nothing short of extraordinary. In terms of stature, and financially, they are a million miles behind Real Madrid and Barcelona, but somehow, under Simeone, the clubs are in a very similar position on the pitch. He has taken them to two Champions League finals and won the title in the 2013/14 season.

However, there is a feeling that Simeone has taken Atletico as far as he can, and there isn’t much more he can achieve there. He may feel that his job is done there, so he may be looking for a new challenge, and that is something he will get at United. He has made Atletico one of the top defensive sides in Europe, and that is an area where United really need improvement. He might just be the perfect man for the top job at Old Trafford.

majsdesaint Posted on August 28, 2018 12:49

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Bitcoin Exchange Mt Gox CEO Mark Karpeles Disputes U.S. Fraud Lawsuit.

Mark Karpeles has urged a U.S. federal judge in the state of Illinois to dismiss a fraud lawsuit brought on by former customers of the now-defunct bitcoin exchange Mt. Gox, by insisting that the U.S. court has no personal jurisdiction over him in Japan.

Representatives for Mark Karpeles told U.S. District Court Judge Gary Feinerman that their defendant has no sufficient ties in Illinois, nor did he conduct any business in the state to justify a lawsuit from disgruntled former customers in the state who have accused the former Mt. Gox CEO of conversion, negligence, and fraud, according to Law360.

The accusations are in relation to Mt. Gox’s bankruptcy as a result of hacking and alleged embezzlement in 2014. At the time, Mt Gox lost approximately one million bitcoins, worth around $400 million at the time and nearly 7 billion in current day prices.

A French national living in Japan, Karpeles faced an entry of default claim against him after Judge Feinerman directed the court to name the former CEO as the lead defendant in the customer claims case on Monday, August 13. Karpeles had until Friday, August 24, to oppose the request for entry of default for a hearing that was to be held on Tuesday, August 28. On the day of the deadline, attorneys for Karpeles filed a motion to dismiss the case, claiming he did not have the required ‘minimum contacts” of established ties in the state.

In an excerpt from his motion to dismiss the claims against him, his attorneys said:

“Mr. Karpeles expressly asserts that this Court lacks personal jurisdiction over him and preserves this objection and argument for all purposes…Because this Court lacks personal jurisdiction over Mr. Karpeles, this proceeding against him must be dismissed with no further actions taken, including but not limited to the entry of any default.”

Mt Gox creditors are now being asked to submit claims for reimbursements with a deadline on October 22. 

“Plaintiffs bear the burden of establishing personal jurisdiction,” Karpeles said in his motion while arguing he shouldn’t’ be named in the suit. “Blanket, conclusory assertions that this court has personal jurisdiction are insufficient.”

Dominic Solomon Posted on August 28, 2018 11:29

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