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Obama rails against Trump, Republicans in fiery return to campaign trail.

Former President Barack Obama launched his return to the campaign trail Friday with a fiery speech in Illinois, accusing President Trump and fellow Republicans of becoming a “home” to “the politics of division and resentment.” 

In part of his midterm effort to rally Democrats to the polls and loosen Republicans' grip on power in Congress, the former president warned that the stakes are high and the consequences of staying on the sidelines “dire.”

He reminded voters that Republicans want to continue to unravel his signature health care law, while delivering some of his toughest broadsides against the GOP since leaving office – referring to Trump by name, something he often avoids. 


Obama claimed certain “powerful and privileged” people want to “keep us angry because it helps them keep their power and their privilege.”

“It did not start with Donald Trump,” Obama said. “He is a symptom, not the cause. He’s just capitalizing on resentments that politicians have been fanning for years.”

“Appealing to tribe, appealing to fear, pitting one group against another, telling people that order and security will be restored if [it wasn’t] for those who don’t look like us or don’t sound like us or don’t pray like we do, that’s an old playbook,” Obama said, adding that people on either side of the aisle will call out “bigots and fear mongers” in a healthy democracy.

To cheers, Obama declared: “We are Americans; we’re supposed to stand up to bullies, not follow them.” 

Dominic Solomon Posted on September 07, 2018 17:49

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Nobody wants to buy Warren Buffett's Southern California vacation home, and he just cut the price by $3 million.

Warren Buffett first listed his Laguna Beach, California, home for $11 million in early 2017. In August, he reduced the price by more than $3 million to $7.9 million.

  • Warren Buffett first listed his Laguna Beach, California, home for $11 million in early 2017.
  • In August, he reduced the price by more than $3 million to $7.9 million.
  • Buffett purchased the home for just $150,000 in 1971, which is less than $1 million in today's dollars.


It's been over a year and a half since Warren Buffett listed his Laguna Beach, California, home for sale — and it still seems to be lacking an interested buyer.

In August, he cut the $11 million asking price by more than $3 million, reports the Orange Country Register.

But Buffett could still see a big return if it sells close to the asking price of $7.9 million. The Berkshire Hathaway CEO has owned the home since 1971, when he purchased it for $150,000. That's about $934,000 in today's dollars. He's since renovated the place, which has six bedrooms and more than 3,500 square feet of living space.

The billionaire investor had primarily used it as a beach retreat for his family, but they reportedly hadn't used it much since his first wife, Susan, died in 2004.

Let's take a tour of Buffett's beach-town home.

Albert Ulebe Posted on September 07, 2018 17:47

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Tommy Lasorda's Brother Killed In Car Crash with Police Officer.

The younger brother of L.A. Dodgers legend Tommy Lasorda died Thursday night in a major car accident involving a police vehicle. 

Officials confirm 83-year-old Joseph Lasorda tried to make a left turn in front of a Boca Raton Police Dept. SUV patrol vehicle around 8:30 PM ... and was T-boned by the cop car. 

Lasorda was transported to a nearby hospital where he was later pronounced dead. The officer driving the police vehicle was hospitalized for minor injuries and is expected to be okay. 

Officials are investigating the incident.

Joseph is survived by his wife Gaetana, 2 children and a grandchild.

Dominic Solomon Posted on September 07, 2018 17:13

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Ex-Dallas Cowboys player Joseph Randle arrested on suspicion of rape, records show.

Former Dallas Cowboys running back Joseph Randle was arrested in Kansas on suspicion of rape early Friday morning.

Sedgwick County Jail records say Randle was booked around 3:40 a.m. and according to the Wichita Eagle, his bond has not yet been set. Details about the alleged incident were not immediately clear.

The former NFL player has racked up a series of arrests since being released by the Cowboys in 2015, according to the newspaper. In June, a county judge sentenced him to five years of probation stemming from charges related to a house party two years ago in Wichita in which he was convicted of aggravated burglary and battery, criminal threat and marijuana possession.

Dominic Solomon Posted on September 07, 2018 17:06

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An American Airlines passenger says a flight attendant told her to urinate in a plastic bag after the toilets stopped working during a 6-hour flight to Hawaii.

  • An American Airlines passenger says she was told to urinate in a plastic bag after the toilets stopped working on her August 31 flight from Phoenix, Arizona, to Kona, Hawaii.
  • She said the 187 passengers aboard the flight were told there was a problem with the bathrooms and the only toilet open on the plane was overflowing.
  • American Airlines later said the toilets had been clogged by a diaper that had been flushed.

An Arizona woman claimed that an American Airlines flight attendant told her and other passengers aboard a flight to Hawaii to urinate in plastic bags and bottles after the toilets on their plane were clogged by a diaper.

The woman told KPNX that the 187 passengers aboard her August 31 flight from Phoenix to Kona, Hawaii were told there was a problem with the bathrooms and that the only toilet open on the plane was overflowing.

In video of the incident obtained by KPNX, the woman, who requested to remain anonymous, can be seen speaking to flight attendants about the issue.

"What do you mean I have to pee in a bag?" the woman asked in the video, which was filmed during the six-hour flight.

"They're overflowing. This one has like this much left," the flight attendant responded, suggesting again the woman use a sanitary bag and adding that she knows it's "gross."

The flight attendant can then be heard saying: "I know, it's horrible, and guys are going in bottles."

American Airlines confirmed to KPNX that there was trouble with the plane's toilets, though the company said all were working when the flight took off.

The statement said: "We are very sorry for the trouble this caused the 187 passengers on flight 663. Our customer relations team will be reaching out to all of the passengers on this flight to extend our apologies.

"At American, lavatories must be working properly prior to departure. If an American flight is in the air, and all lavatories become inoperative, the flight will divert to the nearest suitable airport in order for maintenance to rectify the situation.

"Due to the location of the aircraft, the flight continued to its intended destination. The issue was subsequently rectified upon arrival in Kona, and our flight returned to Phoenix as scheduled."

The woman who filmed the video of the flight attendant said she was offered $240 in vouchers and 17,500 miles for compensation, but declined because she thought it was not enough.

Albert Ulebe Posted on September 07, 2018 16:39

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Meet the trailblazer Asnath Mahapa who is the first black female pilot in South African Airways (photos) .

- Asnath Mahapa has set the pace in a particular African airline company.

- She is the first black woman pilot in South African Airways

- She founded the African College of Aviation to help more African women get into aviation

Setting a trend is not an easy thing to do. But some people have gone ahead to make it happen. An example is the trailblazing Asnath Mahapa who made history by becoming the first black female pilot in a particular airline company called the South African Airways. Asnath, 38, grew up in Limpopo, South Africa and fell in love with the idea of flying when she was just 13 years old. As gathered by, she was just 20 years old when she became South Africa's first black woman commercial pilot in 1999.

However, it wasn't until 2003 that Asnath realised that her determination had led to a historic achievement. In an interview with CNN's African Voices, she said. "Before I knew it, I was on TV, the front page of newspapers, and that came as a shock because I was 22 at the time. I was still very young." Her biggest highlight was joining the South African Airways. It was at this point that she realised more women needed to join the aviation industry.

She then founded the African College of Aviation in 2012 to help open doors for more young women. She also established a foundation to help raise funds for those who may not be able to afford the expensive fees at flying schools. Asnath's message to the youth is to work hard: "Anything is possible. Just believe in yourself and be prepared to work hard. Always remember — easy come easy go." Read more:

Albert Ulebe Posted on September 07, 2018 16:30

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Cofred is the fastest way to pay and get paid. The ultimate goals at Cofred are to build a secure online global environment for users and merchants that is flexible and easy to use.

The fastest leading online Company (Cofred) in Ghana, Nigeria and Africa as whole, has introduced a new method for buying PayPal on CofredExchange.

PayPal is an online payments system that supports online money transfers and serves as an electronic alternative to traditional paper methods like Cheques and money orders.…over-with-cofred/ 

Dominic Solomon Posted on September 07, 2018 16:18

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Malware Targeting Bitcoin ATMs Goes on Sale for US$25,000.

Regular bank ATMs have long been a target for criminals but now bad actors are turning their sights on Bitcoin ATMS as cryptocurrencies gain acceptance.

According to Trend Micro security researchers, a malware targeting Bitcoin ATMs has been discovered in the underground markets. The Bitcoin ATM malware which is being sold at a price of US$25,000 takes advantage of a service vulnerability that allows users to purchase bitcoin worth 6,750 in US dollars, British pounds or euros. The cryptocurrency purchases are done using Near-Field Communication (NFC) or the Europay, MasterCard and Visa (EMV) pre-written cards which are provided to buyers of the malware.…sale-for-us25000/ ‎

Dominic Solomon Posted on September 07, 2018 16:01

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Ghana’s ‘Vagabonds’ Wins Best Short Film At Montreal World Film Festival.

Nelly Bilson, Idrissu Tontie and Fiifi Asher, some of the child actors in the short film

‘Vagabonds’, a Ghanaian short film by Amartei Armar, is raising the bar on world film platforms for becoming the first African film to win an award at the 2018 Montreal World Film Festival (MWFF) in 42 years.

The film has brought honour to Ghana’s film industry, being the only film representing the African continent while competing in the world competitive category.

The 2018 MWFF was held in Canada from August 23 to September 3, 2018.

It is organised annually to encourage cultural diversity and understanding between nations. It embraces film productions worldwide and encourages upcoming filmmakers to showcase their work in order to stimulate the development of quality cinematography around the world.

This year’s event attracted a number of filmmakers around the world, as well as screening of international films.

‘Vagabonds’ was among the films that were screened and it went ahead to win best short film.

The win comes not long after the film was praised for its uniqueness and quality at the Black Stars International Film Festival back home in Accra.

‘Vagabonds’ is a story of two orphaned brothers 10-year-old Owusu and five-year-old Gyasi who feel trapped in their orphanage.

The fear of being separated by adoption provokes Owusu’s desire to protect his brother and their bond at all cost. Owusu is willing to do whatever it takes, even if it means escaping into an unknown future.

The 14-minutes short film was produced by Yemoh Ike and features first-time child actors like Idrissu Tontie as Owusu, Fiifi Asher as Gyasi and Nelly Bilson as Maame. It also features Nana Ama McBrown in an unassuming supporting role that reveals a side of her we have never seen before.

Albert Ulebe Posted on September 07, 2018 10:09

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Chinese I.T giant Inspur Group to establish West Africa headquarters in Ghana.

China’s leading cloud computing company, Inspur Group Co. Ltd, has chosen Ghana as its preferred destination in West Africa for the establishment of its regional headquarters.

According to Mr. Peter Sun, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Inspur Group, the decision by the company to establish its headquarters in Ghana was borne out of the country’s peaceful and stable nature, coupled with an impressive economic outlook, which saw Ghana grow at 8.5% in 2017, up from 3.6% in 2016. The Inspur CEO made this known on Wednesday, September 5, 2018, when his company paid a courtesy call on the President of the Republic, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, on the sidelines of the Ghana-Shangdong Business Conference, which was held in Jinan, Shangdong Province.

Inspur, currently has a 57% share of global sales in the Artificial Intelligence server field, is the fastest growing server vendor in the world, and holds the biggest market share for the sale of servers in China. In addition to establishing its regional headquarters in Ghana, Mr. Peter Sun, indicated further that ten (10) Ghanaian students will be selected and offered internship programmes with the company, with these ten students being trained to take up jobs in the company’s operations in Ghana and West Africa. Again, the Inspur CEO indicated the company will invite to China, every year, thirty (30) officials from the Ministries, Departments and Agencies, to be trained in the fields of cloud computing and data technology.

Mr. Peter Sun also indicated the readiness of the company to assist Ghana in the fields of revenue mobilization and green development, “a real estate development concept that carefully considers social and environmental impacts of development.” On his part, President Akufo-Addo noted “the matters you are interested in, i.e. green development, mobilization of tax revenues, and the establishment of your West African Headquarters in Ghana are important matters for us. It will be very good for our country to be involved with major global companies like yours, as it will expose us to the best practices in the industry.”

The President described Inspur’s choice as an excellent one, because “Ghana is a stable country, our economy is picking up very rapidly, and so it is a good base not just for Ghana but also for West Africa.” President Akufo-Addo assured the company of the safety of their investment in Ghana, stressing that “we encourage foreign investment in our country. So, as a base for doing business in West Africa, Ghana is ideal, and it will be a win-win situation for us all.”

Albert Ulebe Posted on September 07, 2018 10:07

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Diego Maradona: Argentine appointed manager of Mexican second-tier side.

Argentine legend Diego Maradona has been appointed manager of Mexican second-tier club Dorados de Sinaloa.

The 57-year-old World Cup winner played 91 times for his country between 1977 and 1994 and also managed them from 2008 to 2010.

His last club job was with Al-Fujairah in the United Arab Emirates, which ended in April.

Mexican newspapers claim Maradona had been hired to replace Francisco Gamez, who was sacked as coach on Thursday.

The club issued a short video on their social media channels with the messages 'Welcome Diego', and 'Make it a 10', Maradona's shirt number as a player.

Maradona played for Argentinos Juniors, Boca Juniors, Barcelona and Napoli among others during his playing career and is widely regarded as one of the best ever to play the game.

He won the World Cup in 1986 with his country, who he coached in the 2010 tournament in South Africa.

Albert Ulebe Posted on September 07, 2018 09:16

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Photos: Zinedine Zidane relaxes on luxury holiday as he waits for Manchester United job offer

As Zinedine Zidane Manchester United speculation hots up, the former Real Madrid manager is living his best life with a luxurious holiday with his family.

The French tactician has been out of work since leaving his post at the Bernabeu at the end of last season, in which he won a third Champions League final in a row.

He now seems to be taking a well-earned break, though sources close to the coach have recently told CaughtOffside that he’s communicated with Paul Pogba and Anthony Martial about being confident of getting an offer to replace Mourinho at Old Trafford imminently.

It remains to be seen if that will in fact happen, but for now Zidane seems to be taking it easy as photos below from the Daily Mail show the 46-year-old basking in the sun with his wife and sons, as well as taking a dip in the ocean…

Zinedine Zidane on holiday with his family

Zinedine Zidane and his wife enjoying the sunshine

Zinedine Zidane has been linked with the Manchester United job

Will we be seeing this man at Old Trafford before too long?


KOBINAYEBOAH Posted on September 07, 2018 08:54

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Delta and Alaska Airlines Terminate Partnership

Delta Air Lines and Alaska Airlines, once close partners, terminated their partnership, largely because of Delta’s move to build up its own hub in Alaska Air’s hometown of Seattle.

The carriers confirmed last week their frequent-flyer and codeshare partnerships will end in April and each carrier described on the websites how the change would affect their customers.

“The airline would continue its commitment of investment and growth in the Pacific Northwest following a decision by Delta and Alaska Airlines to end their partnership,” said Delta Air Lines. “The decision is a positive milestone for both airlines as Alaska focuses on its merger integration with Virgin America and Delta focuses on creating more customer choice at its Seattle-Tacoma International Airport hub.”

The relationship between the two airlines had been among the closest between two U.S. airlines as their codesharing deal allowed the airlines to place their two-letter code and sell seats on some of each other’s flights. Alaska Air and Delta had a frequent-flyer partnership that allowed the members to earn and redeem miles on either carrier’s flights.

The partnership allowed Delta to grow its international operations from Seattle (SEA), especially routes across the Pacific, and Alaska Air to feed domestic passengers onto Delta’s overseas flights. Delta began building its own hub at Seattle, creating competing routes with Alaska Air including some of the airline’s usual routes between Seattle and California and Seattle and Alaska

KOBINAYEBOAH Posted on September 07, 2018 08:26

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Anas exposes international child trafficking ring in Ghana

Investigative journalist, Anas Aremeyaw Anas, has released a documentary on the increasing numbers of child trafficking in Ghana. 


The feature project, christened "Chained by Begging" is a collaboration between Anas and OAfrica, a child support organisation. 


The documentary exposes the phenomenon of how child begging is more than just children asking for money on the streets but how children are trafficked by adults and used for business purposes. 


In “Chained by Begging”, Anas Aremeyaw Anas demonstrates that the recent increase in child beggars can in some cases be linked to cross-border 


child trafficking. 


According to the UN Convention of the Rights of the Child and section 87 (1-2) of the Children’s Act, 1998 (Act 560), child begging is child abuse and also prohibited by law.


It is considered as separation from family and exploitative child labour. 



A statement released by OAfrica on the documentary said child begging is one of the worst forms of child labour which keeps children out of school. 


It also separates children from their families while exposing them to hazardous living conditions and dangers such as rape, ill health and motor 


accidents, it added. 


"In seeking a holistic approach to dealing with this complex trans-border situation, we will need to involve Immigration, Social Welfare, the various Ministries and Embassies and the public,. The public are urged to report all children on the street and to stop giving to child beggars. We call for police and law enforcement agencies to arrest the traffickers," it added.


"Giving child beggars money does not help the children because the money goes to their “masters” and does not serve the wellbeing of these vulnerable and innocent children. In fact, it only makes the industry bigger with more street hildren and more attractive and lucrative for traffickers. If we want to STOP child begging in Ghana then we have to STOP giving money to the children on the street. This will help prevent additional children being recruited as child beggars. 


With funding support from the European Union, OAfrica in collaboration with Tiger Eye PI and The Livingstone Foundation calls on us all to help stop child begging. 


Below is a copy of the full statement released by OAfrica 


In “Chained by Begging” : Anas exposes an international child trafficking ring With the release of “Chained by Begging”, Anas Aremeyaw Anas has demonstrated that the recent increase in child beggars can in some cases be linked to cross-border child trafficking. 


According to the UN Convention of the Rights of the Child and section 87 (1-2) of the Children’s Act, 1998 (Act 560) child begging is child abuse and also prohibited by law in Ghana, as is trafficking, separation from family and exploitative child labour. 


Child begging is one of the worst forms of child labour which keeps children out of school.


It also separates children from their families while exposing them to hazardous living conditions and dangers such as rape, ill health and motor 




In seeking a holistic approach to dealing with this complex trans-border situation we will need to involve Immigration, Social Welfare, the various Ministries and Embassies and the public. The public are urged to report all children on the street and to stop giving to child beggars. We call for police and law enforcement agencies to arrest the traffickers. 


Giving child beggars money does not help the children because the money goes to their “masters” and does not serve the wellbeing of these vulnerable and innocent children. In fact, it only makes the industry bigger with more street children and more attractive and lucrative for traffickers. If we want to STOP child begging in Ghana then we have to STOP giving money to the children on the street. 


This will help prevent additional children being recruited as child beggars. 


With funding support from the European Union, OAfrica in collaborat

Veronica Ehwia Posted on September 07, 2018 08:00

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Kumasi: Five drown after choppy Ankonim River sweeps away vehicle

Five bodies have been retrieved from the Ankonim River in Kumasi, the Ashanti Region capital, Friday after a vehicle in which they were travelling was swept away by strong currents.

The body of a sixth person believed to be the driver of the vehicle cannot be found.

The family of six were driving through flooded streets Thursday evening after heavy rains when the vehicle was dragged into the choppy river.

The Ankonim River overflowed its banks on Thursday after the heavy rains and blocked the only access route leading residential areas.

Joy News’ Erastus Asare Donkor, reports that the family was trapped in the saloon car for many hours before rescue workers arrived.

"Police are here with a pickup vehicle but there are no rescue workers and there are no heavy equipment to remove the [trapped] vehicle. I understand the fire service team came here but left," he described the scene before the bodies were retrieved.

The family were members of the Jehovah's Witnesses working on a new Kingdom Hall [church complex] in the area.



Police and personnel from the Ghana Fire Service spent hours trying to locate the vehicle and its occupants in the river.

With the flood waters receded by Friday dawn, they had a clear strategy on how to move in and retrieve the bodies.

After more than five hours, a libation was poured and divers moved in.

Bodies retrieved included that of a young teenage boy.

Veronica Ehwia Posted on September 07, 2018 07:25

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Kenya depots Chinese man who called citizens ''

A Chinese national identified as Liu Jiafi has been deported by kenyan authorities 

Sankofi Barbara Posted on September 07, 2018 05:22

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Kylie Jenner's changing face: Lip kit queen embraces a natural look while out for ice-cream... months after dissolving fillers from pout


PUBLISHED: 18:27 BST, 6 September 2018 | UPDATED: 20:44 BST, 6 September 2018


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She revealed that she had all her lip filler removed back in July.

And two months later, Kylie Jenner still seems to be enjoying her natural pucker.

The 21-year-old mother to Stormi was spotted enjoying a sweet treat at Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams in Calabasas on Wednesday night. 

Thin is in: Kylie Jenner was spotted showing off a more natural pucker while enjoying a sweet treat at Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams in Calabasas on Wednesday night

Bodacious: The 21-year-old mother to Stormi also put her curvaceous figure on display in a pair of on-trend clinging bicycle shorts along with a pair of white Adidas Falcon trainers


Layer up in a hoodie like Kylie's

Travis Scott merchandise hoodie

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If you’re wondering how to channel off-duty style, look no further than Kylie Jenner!

The reality star was spotted enjoying ice cream in LA with pals when she sported a casual ensemble that included a hoodie, cycling shorts and trainers.

The former is actually Travis Scott merchandise, and features the phrase 'Wish you were here' across the back. It's lovely to see Kylie supporting her beau!

There’s nothing better than an oversized hoodie to snuggle up in on cooler days, or throw on when running errands. So we’ve searched the web for worthy alternatives.

Check out grungy options from the likes of Cheap Monday and Fenty by Puma in the carousel below. Simply team yours with boyfriend jeans for an effortlessly stylish look.










On the trip she showed off noticeably thinner lips while enjoying the delicious artisanal frozen dessert just two months after revealing that she had dissolved her lip fillers.

Archimedeskay Posted on September 07, 2018 04:45

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Barnaby Joyce sexual harassment investigation unable to reach conclusion

Complainant Catherine Marriott says National party’s inconclusive determination ‘isn’t good enough’

Katharine Murphy Political editor


Fri 7 Sep 2018 04.53 BSTFirst published on Fri 7 Sep 2018 04.50 BST





 The National party has been unable to reach a determination on a sexual harassment claim against Barnaby Joyce, Catherine Marriott says. Photograph: Mick Tsikas/AAP

An eight-month investigation into a complaint of sexual harassment against the former deputy prime minister Barnaby Joyce has been unable to reach a determination, according to the woman who lodged it, Catherine Marriott.

Marriott issued a statement on Friday saying the New South Wales Nationals had emailed her on Thursday to advise they had “been unable to make a determination about my complaint of sexual harassment against the former leader of that party … due to insufficient evidence”.

Barnaby Joyce accuses Turnbull of using his affair for 'political advancement'


Read more

Marriott expressed fury with that outcome. “This outcome simply isn’t good enough,” she said. “I’m extremely disappointed that after eight months of waiting, three trips to the east coast at my own expense to meet with the party, my name and confidential complaint being leaked to the national media, and my personal and professional life being upended, the National party have reached a no-conclusion verdict.”

She said while furious with the outcome, she was not surprised, because she did not consider the Nationals to have “the external processes in place to deal with a complaint of sexual harassment by a member of parliament”.

Marriott said she believed the complaint – which Joyce has consistently denied – had been handled internally by the state executive “with no professional external expert brought in at any stage to handle the matter”.

She said the only positive to emerge from the experience was the National party now had a framework to manage complaints.

“While it has come at enormous personal expense, I was not prepared to walk past this kind of behaviour any longer,” Marriott said.

Liberal party should consider quotas for female MPs, Sussan Ley says


Read more

“I am pleased I stood up for what I believed was right and I’m proud I found the courage to make a difference for other people who want to create influence through political circles in future”.

Marriott made the complaint against Joyce in February, and it proved the trigger for his resignation from cabinet. Joyce told reporters the complaint had contributed to his decision to step down. “It’s quite evident that you can’t go to the dispatch box with issues like that surrounding you,” he said.

After Marriott lodged her complaint on 20 February, initially with the National party’s federal executive, it was leaked to the media a few days later.

At the time Joyce said the claim was “spurious and defamatory” and said he had asked for it to be referred to the police.

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Archimedeskay Posted on September 07, 2018 04:34

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Seoul to inspect thousands of toilets for spy cams, but women say not enough being done

 It was late at night when the police knocked on Choi's door and showed her a video which turned her life upside down. The blurry footage was of a naked woman she recognized as herself, walking casually through her apartment on the 22nd floor of a building in downtown Seoul. It had been taken through a window with a telephoto lens from the roof of a neighboring building. Choi -- who requested she only be identified by her last name -- was left speechless.

No apartments looked into hers and she had been completely unaware of being watched, or even that she could possibly be watched. She couldn't sleep that night, consumed by a growing paranoia that someone was still spying on her. "I'm scared to be at home right now because that's where it happened," she told CNN. "I was filmed at my own place so I don't want to be here but also I'm scared to leave the apartment even though it's broad daylight."

Since 2011, the number of cases of illegal filming in South Korea has leaped from 1,300 a year to more than 6,000 in 2017. Women have been recorded in their homes, had upskirt photos taken on the streets, and been caught on spy cams hidden in toilets and changing rooms. Footage has been shared widely online, uploaded to streaming sites and shared on voyeur forums.

In the past four months, tens of thousands of women have joined protests in central Seoul under the slogan "My Life is Not Your Porn." Wearing masks and displaying banners demanding the government to take action to protect them and prosecute men caught filming, the anger and frustration among the protesters was palpable, compounded by the long delay in seeing even slight official action. On Monday, a special squad of women inspectors began daily checks of 20,000 public toilets in Seoul, with plans for tens of thousands of private toilets to also be scoured for spy cams. Some districts have dubbed the teams "safety sheriffs," kitting them out with broad-brimmed cowboy hats. 

But while this approach has received widespread press coverage and promotion by the local authorities, activists and victims say it's not enough, and they still face a lack of interest and understanding from police and some lawmakers. They also point to similar programs that have been in place in the capital since 2016 but have not produced any tangible results or found any spy cams, with some activists accusing the entire project of just being security theater.

Stopping the spread

In Seoul's swanky business district of Gangnam, Lee Ji-soo sits at her computer all day scrubbing the internet of photos and videos published without the subject's permission. Her's is a new profession created by the rising frequency and public awareness of illegal filming: the "digital undertaker." Once she is alerted to a piece of content -- such as spy cam footage, upskirt videos, or sex tapes leaked by ex-partners (also known as revenge porn) -- Lee and her team use proprietary software to search for all copies of it online. They then send a letter, or a legal notice if necessary, to website administrators requesting it be taken down.

While most websites are willing to remove illegal videos or those shared without permission, Lee said there is a "golden window" of about 10 days after a video is uploaded during which it can be easily scrubbed from the internet. After that it gets more and more difficult, as copies spread to other websites and servers outside Korea.

How fast such videos spread is especially problematic for victims of hidden camera pornography, most of whom are completely unaware they have been recorded and may not become so until months or even years after the video is first uploaded.

The speed of transmission is increased by forums and websites dedicated to sharing illegal upskirt videos and revenge porn, many of which have proven difficult to stamp out. Lee said her company had seen a spike in searches for "digital undertakers" and requests for help as the issue has received more attention in South Korea. 

"The most common things that the clients are saying -- and they are quite heartbreaking -- are 'I want to die' or 'I cannot leave my house.' Especially the victims of spy cam or illegally taken videos say that when they encounter people on the street, they feel like they would be recognized," she said.

Nii Sackey Posted on September 07, 2018 03:57

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Number of Australians holding cryptocurrency triples since January despite market plunge

THE number of Australians who own cryptocurrency has nearly tripled since the start of the year despite the market crashing from its peak at the height of crypto-mania in December.

A survey of 2000 people by Finder-backed brokerage firm HiveEx round 13.5 per cent owned crypto in August, compared with just 5 per cent when the same study was conducted in January.

It comes after the price of bitcoin plunged by nearly $US1000 this week to around $US6400 following reports Goldman Sachs was backing away from plans to launch a cryptocurrency trading desk.

“Crypto bulls are feeling the doom and gloom,” ThinkMarkets chief market analyst Naeem Aslam said in a note. “The price of bitcoin is threatening this year’s low once again ($US5887) and this isn’t a good sign at all.”

The 13 per cent decline dragged down the rest of the crypto market, with the total market capitalisation of more than 1900 digital currencies tracked by Coinmarketcap falling by about $US40 billion.

Bitcoin plunged by nearly 15 per cent this week.Source:Supplied

Bitcoin had rallied slightly to $US6500 at the time writing after Goldman Sachs chief financial officer Martin Chavez dismissed the reports as “fake news”.

Mr Chavez was reported by CNBC as telling a tech conference in San Francisco the investment bank was still working on a bitcoin derivative because “clients want it”.

According to the HiveEx study, 50 per cent of those who held crypto did so as an investment, 34 per cent blamed FOMO and 26 per cent said they were using it to save for retirement. More than a third said they were planning to pay their tax bill with crypto.

While 80 per cent of respondents said they would use cryptocurrency regularly for day-to-day purchases if it was as easy to use as Australian dollars, the study found many were still wary.

Of those who don’t own any digital currencies, 65 per cent said it was because they didn’t understand or it was too difficult to use. More than one in five said they thought it was a scam. The same number said it was a bubble.

Last month, Finder co-founder Fred Schebesta revealed his plan to create the “first crypto bank of Australia”. Mr Schebesta said the interest now was actually “so much higher” than during bitcoin’s manic rise in 2017.

“Just because the price of bitcoin has gone down and people feel angry, that doesn’t reduce the interest,” he said. “The interest has boomed.”

Archimedeskay Posted on September 07, 2018 03:56

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Jair Bolsonaro, Brazil's presidential front-runner, stabbed at rally

A front-runner in Brazil's presidential election, Jair Bolsonaro, has been stabbed during a campaign rally.

The far-right politician was attacked in the midst of a crowd in the south-eastern state of Minas Gerais.

He underwent surgery for injuries to his intestines and is expected to recover, hospital officials said.

The controversial politician, who has outraged many in Brazil with racist and homophobic comments, has performed strongly in recent polls.

Polls suggest he would get the most votes in next month's presidential elections if former President Lula da Silva fails in his attempt to overturn a ban on him standing.

How did the attack unfold?

Footage of the incident in the city of Juiz de Fora shows Mr Bolsonaro making a thumbs-up gesture and being held aloft by supporters when he is stabbed with what appears to be a knife.

He then doubles over with pain and his supporters quickly lower him to the ground and bundle him into a car.

After the attack, his son Flavio initially tweeted that the wound was "only superficial", but he gave a more sombre assessment two hours later.

"Unfortunately it was more serious than we had expected," he wrote. "He lost a lot of blood, arrived at the hospital with a (blood) pressure of 10/3, almost dead. His condition now seems stabilised. Pray, please!"

Hospital officials later said Mr Bolsonaro had suffered a "deep" and life-threatening stab wound in his intestines and was in a "serious but stable" condition.

Image captionMilitary police released a picture of the man suspected of stabbing Mr Bolsonaro

He was recuperating well in intensive care after two hours of surgery, they added, but would spend at least a week to 10 days in hospital.

Police said a suspect has been arrested and named him as Adelio Obispo de Oliveira.

What has been the reaction?

Mr Bolsonaro's electoral rivals have all condemned the stabbing. Fernando Haddad, who is expected to replace Lula da Silva on the Workers Party ticket, said the attack was "absurd and regrettable".

Speaking in the capital Brasilia, President Michel Temer said such an attack was "intolerable" in a democratic state and that he hoped Mr Bolsonaro recovered soon.

"Tolerance is a part of democracy. It is a part of the rule of law," he said.

The president's predecessor, Dilma Rousseff, warned that the attack cannot go unpunished "because it must serve as an example so that it doesn't happen to any other candidate".

Who is backing him?

Mr Bolsonaro's backers see him as a strong leader who would crack down on crime.

The 63-year-old, who is representing the Social Liberal Party (PSL), is followed by millions of Brazilians on social media, and many refer to him as the "Brazilian Trump".

He also supports loosening gun control laws, and is backed by millions of evangelical Christians for his uncompromising anti-abortion stand.

How did he become a presidential contender?

A former army captain, Mr Bolsonaro entered politics in the 1980s to defend the rights of military personnel.

Brazil had just returned to democracy, and in 1989 held its first free presidential election.

Few imagined at that time that he could become a serious contender in a presidential poll. But the collapse of the Workers' Party government and the impeachment of President Dilma Rousseff two years ago revealed the extent of political divisions in the country.

Image captionMr Bolsonaro has performed strongly in polls ahead of next month's election

Mr Bolsonaro's outspoken rhetoric and his defence of law and order appealed to many who blamed the left for corruption and the economic crisis.

In 2011, he told Playboy magazine that he would be "incapable of loving a gay son" and that he would rather see such a son of his "die in an accident".

In 2015, he was fined for saying in a newspaper interview that Congresswoman Maria do Rosario was "not worth raping; she is very ugly".

He is currently being investigated for alleged racism over derogatory remarks he made about Afro-Brazilians.

Archimedeskay Posted on September 07, 2018 03:42

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Hollywood legend Burt Reynolds dies aged 82

Hollywood legend Burt Reynolds has died aged 82.

A spokesman for Reynolds said the star died in Jupiter, Florida, on Thursday morning after suffering a heart attack.

Reynolds was known for starring in films including The Longest Yard, Boogie Nights and Smokey And The Bandit.

The actor had suffered with heart problems for years and underwent heart surgery in February 2010.

He was nominated for an Oscar for best supporting actor his role as adult film director Jack Horner in Boogie Nights in 1997.

Reynolds reportedly turned down the roles of Han Solo in Star Wars and John McClane in Die Hard, later saying he was more interested in enjoying himself than pushing his acting career to new heights.

Image:Burt Reynolds suffered a heart attack

In his 2015 memoir, But Enough About Me, he said: "I didn't open myself to new writers or risky parts because I wasn't interested in challenging myself as an actor. I was interested in having a good time.

"As a result, I missed a lot of opportunities to show I could play serious roles. By the time I finally woke up and tried to get it right, nobody would give me a chance."


Burt Reynolds was one of my heroes. He was a trailblazer. He showed the way to transition from being an athlete to being the highest paid actor, and he always inspired me. He also had a great sense of humor - check out his Tonight Show clips. My thoughts are with his family.

20:11 - 6 Sep 2018

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Reynolds turned down the role of James Bond in 1970 when George Lazenby quit following On Her Majesty's Secret Service, saying an American could not play the character.

He later admitted he regretted the decision.

Image:The actor at a premiere in March

Tributes have been paid to Reynolds.

Arnold Schwarzenegger tweeted: "Burt Reynolds was one of my heroes. He was a trailblazer. He showed the way to transition from being an athlete to being the highest paid actor, and he always inspired me.

"He also had a great sense of humor - check out his Tonight Show clips. My thoughts are with his family."

View image on Twitter


I will never forget our dinners,laughs & gems you dropped. Meeting you was one of the greater joys of my adult life & artistic career. You were the “Man” then, now & forever in my book. 10-4 Bandit ,you’ve got nothing but open road now - love, WS. the Student. #burtreynolds

8:16 PM - Sep 6, 2018

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Actor Wesley Snipes referenced a line from Smokey And The Bandit in his tribute to Reynolds.

Snipes tweeted: "I will never forget our dinners, laughs and gems you dropped.

"Meeting you was one of the greater joys of my adult life and artistic career. You were the 'Man' then, now and forever in my book.

"10-4 Bandit, you've got nothing but open road now - love, WS. the Student."

View image on Twitter

Steve Harvey?@IAmSteveHarvey

Very sad to hearing about the passing of Burt Reynolds. He was a great actor, a philanthropist and a pioneer of the cool mustache. Thank you, Burt. You will be missed.

8:17 PM - Sep 6, 2018

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US comedian and TV presenter Steve Harvey tweeted a framed photograph of himself with Reynolds.

Harvey wrote: "Very sad to hearing about the passing of Burt Reynolds. He was a great actor, a philanthropist and a pioneer of the cool mustache. Thank you, Burt. You will be missed."

Comedian Ricky Gervais said: "RIP Burt Reynolds. Seems his whole career was tongue in cheek. Always warm and funny."

Adam Sandler called him a "true legend".

Adam Sandler?@AdamSandler

Burt Reynolds. True legend. Our hero. Funny as hell and a for-real badass. So many great movies. So many great stories. Such a great Dad. Will be missed by all. Deepest condolences to his family.

21:19 - 6 Sep 2018

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Born in Lansing, Michigan, on 11 February 1936, Reynolds was a college football star, impressing for Florida State University.

More from Ents & Arts

Image:Burt Reynolds and his son Quinton at the premiere The Longest Yard in 2005

His acting career began on stage in New York in the 1950s.

He married his second wife, the actress Loni Anderson, in 1988 before divorcing in 1993. The couple adopted a son, Quinton.

Archimedeskay Posted on September 07, 2018 03:26

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This Spider-Man PS4 Freebie Is Available For A Very Limited Time (US Only)

To celebrate the launch of Insomniac's Spider-Man on September 7, Sony is offering a free Spider-Man theme for PlayStation 4. It's a static theme that features a Marko Djurdjevic-illustrated image of Spidey swinging into battle against Rhino and Scorpion. It's set against music from the game and gives all of the PS4 system icons a Spider-Man pattern. Make sure to claim the freebie soon, because the offer ends right when the game launches.

To get your free theme, visit the launch countdown page for Spider-Man, scroll down, and click "Claim Reward." A window will pop up with a code you can bring to the PlayStation Store to redeem. Once you do that, you can select it from the Themes section of the settings menu. Now Spider-Man is slinging webs on your PS4's home screen.

This Spider-Man PS4 Freebie Is Available For A Very Limited Time (US Only) Slinging webs and taking names. Last updated by Chris Reed on September 5, 2018 at 1:44PM Now Playing: Marvel's Spider-Man Review Marvel's Spider-Man Marvel's Spider-Man Follow To celebrate the launch of Insomniac's Spider-Man on September 7, Sony is offering a free Spider-Man theme for PlayStation 4. It's a static theme that features a Marko Djurdjevic-illustrated image of Spidey swinging into battle against Rhino and Scorpion. It's set against music from the game and gives all of the PS4 system icons a Spider-Man pattern. Make sure to claim the freebie soon, because the offer ends right when the game launches. To get your free theme, visit the launch countdown page for Spider-Man, scroll down, and click "Claim Reward." A window will pop up with a code you can bring to the PlayStation Store to redeem. Once you do that, you can select it from the Themes section of the settings menu. Now Spider-Man is slinging webs on your PS4's home screen. Sony is going all-out to market this PS4-exclusive game. You can also pick up a limited edition Spider-Man PS4 Pro bundle for $400--if you can find it in stock. Take a look at our Spider-Man pre-order guide for details.

And don't forget to check out our Spider-Man review. Critic Edmond Tran wrote, "The feeling of embodying Spidey and using his abilities is astonishing, and the time spent on exploring its major characters help make its story feel heartfelt, despite superhero bombast. There have been open-world Spider-Man games before, but none so riveting and full of personality, none that explore and do justice to this many facets of the universe."


Nii Sackey Posted on September 07, 2018 03:21

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Migrants' desperate dash to catch lorries to the UK

By Mark Stone, Europe correspondent, in Ouistreham, France

The problems and the tensions with migration at the French port of Calais are well-established. 

But in a sleepy Normandy fishing port four hours to the west, Sky News has found the tensions and strains have spread.

The town of Ouistreham is now a growing focus for young African men and boys trying to reach the UK.

It's 10am and, while locals shop at the fish market and sip coffee at the town's cafes, scores of young men are dashing after trucks heading to the port right in plain sight of everyone.

Image:The dangerous, brazen, desperate dash is now happening every day

There are three ferries daily from here to Portsmouth in the UK.

At first we think we've stumbled upon a one-off. A random group, chancing it on a truck. But then another truck approaches and the spectacle is repeated.

The dangerous, brazen, desperate dash is now happening every day and every night on almost every truck that passes through.

They are all men, mostly from Sudan and almost all look like teenagers. We can't prove it, but you can just tell: they have baby faces, spindly legs, no stubble.




Video:1 Sept: Thousands march in Germany migrant-row rally

Since the sprawling Jungle camp in Calais was closed last year, the many thousands of migrants in northern France have dispersed across the region.

Some have claimed asylum in France, some have returned to Paris where they live in truly grim conditions but many more are looking for other ways to reach the UK.

The town of Ouistreham hosts the port of Caen. There are daily ferry services to Portsmouth. It's a small port without the same infrastructure or security used at Calais or Dunkirk.

Image:Sky News came across several groups chancing it on a truck

On the edge of the town, the young men sleep in the ditches because the police have orders to remove any tents they try to pitch. They wait for the trucks to arrive.

In our car, we follow one truck with Bulgarian registration plates as it approaches the town. As it slows down to pass a roundabout, a group dashes from the bushes.

They manage to open the door but as it accelerates away they fall back.

A little further on, the driver stops. He's clearly aware of what's just happened. He closes the back door and returns to his cab. But seconds later - even before we were back in our car, they run past us, open the door and clamber on.




Video:Feb: Six shot as migrants fight in Calais

The route down to the port here is not like larger ports - Calais or Dunkirk - where motorways lead straight to the dockside.

Here the trucks must snake through the town which makes them much more vulnerable.

As the Bulgarian truck navigates round the narrow town centre, more young men make their attempts.

The local police are here and do what they can with the resources they have. But right behind their back, the Sudanese clamber back onto the trucks.

Image:They are all men, mostly from Sudan and almost all look like teenagers

In all we counted 18 people get on. Most got off again, unable to hide. But four, maybe five - it was hard to see - made it, inside, to the port entrance.

There, where every truck is checked, four were discovered. We can't be sure, but its possible one young migrant remained inside.

These groups, charging the trucks, are frightening and threatening. Few tourists or locals stop to talk to them; and you can understand why.

But with a smile and the offer of a handshake, we persuaded a few to talk to us because humanising the images is vital if we are to understand what's going on.

Image:A group of men run after a truck at the port of Ouistreham

When you do talk to them, you discover they're just young guys, frequently just 14 or 15 years old, all with no parents present and all with nothing to lose.

The group I spoke to were all from the civil war ravaged Dafur region of Sudan. Mohammed told me he was 14.

"Why England?" I asked him.

"Because my brother is there," he told me, explaining that his brother had used the same route to successfully reach the UK a few years ago.




Video:Jan: Government to increase Calais border spend

"Where are your parents?" I ask them all. "Back in Sudan."

They are driven by that basic human instinct that there must be something better over the horizon in England.

After we watch another truck boarded, an exchange with some locals provides a moment which demonstrates a divide over migration that stretches across this continent.

"They have to find money, and that's why they always attack the weakest: old people," one middle-aged woman says. She doesn't want to reveal her name.

"I live near Paris in a suburb that is known to be very tough, very tough, where we are regularly threatened by some of them. My son was cut."

Image:Sudanese migrants told Sky News they were trying to reach the UK as they had relatives there

She is with her elderly mother who lives in the town. She tells us she no longer feels safe shopping in the market.

Then another woman of a similar age approaches.

"I live here and we have never been threatened," she says, introducing herself as Jacqueline.

"Yes, it's true, there are many here at the moment that are running behind the lorries but honestly, I can't say there are problems here."

The first woman interjects: "You should experience the same [incident] that happened to me in Paris."

Jacqueline: "You were in Paris. And we are here."

Image:French people are divided over whether the migrants are a problem

The first woman shouts back in this spontaneous angry exchange: "We were threatened, I was threatened by seven Arabs in the metro because I was standing and they were sitting and violated me. My son has a scar on his face, madame. You have no idea what will happen."

"Madame, you shouldn't be so extreme. You should try and be more, more... " Jacqueline says before the conversation fizzles out.

It's quite clear that its causing real real tensions within the community. Many here help the young men with food, clothes, toothbrushes. Many others feel genuinely threatened.




Video:1 Sept: Migrants drifting 'for two days' rescued

Mohammed and his friends said three or four of them a month make it to the UK. It's a figure impossible to prove. But from our experience here, it's perfectly conceivable.

Our encounter with the tensions in a port far from Calais came on a day when police went into a makeshift migrant camp outside Dunkirk to move about 500 people living there, who were looking to cross the English Channel to Britain.

Sky News asked the UK Home Office for a statement about the level of security at the ports - the UK and France share responsibility and funding for checks.

A spokesperson said: "Our approach to securing the UK's border is working. At the juxtaposed controls and at ports around the country Border Force officers use some of the most advanced detection technology around to find and stop migrants attempting to reach the UK illegally.

"This includes a commitment from the UK to invest an additional £44.5m to protect the shared border. Part of this is being spent to reinforce the security measures in and around a smaller ports in northern France, including Ouistreham Port near Caen."

Image:The Home Office says it has a 'multilayered search regime using a range of interventions'

The Home Office says that a "multilayered search regime using a range of interventions" is used at Portsmouth to screen all freight vehicles coming into the UK.

It includes heartbeat monitors, carbon dioxide detectors and sniffer dogs.

As the migrants wait for the next truck, what's striking is that aside from the volunteers, no one official is helping or taking responsibility for them.

Archimedeskay Posted on September 07, 2018 03:06

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Japanese number one Osaka eases into U.S. Open semis

Lesia Tsurenko of Ukraine hits a return during the women's singles quarterfinal match against Naomi Osaka of Japan at the 2018 US Open tennis championships in New York, the United States, Sept. 5, 2018. Naomi Osaka won 2-0. (Xinhua/Wang Ying)

NEW YORK, Sept. 5 (Xinhua) -- Japanese number one Naomi Osaka reached her maiden Grand Slam semifinal as she overpowered unseeded Lesia Tsurenko from Ukraine in the U.S. Open women's singles quarterfinal on Wednesday.

The No. 20 seed just needed 57 minutes to send her opponent packing 6-1, 6-1 and became the first Japanese woman to reach a Grand Slam semifinal since Kimiko Date at Wimbledon 1996.

Osaka said: "After I went into the quarters, I want to keep going, so I feel like I have to be focused and keep trying really hard."

The 20-year-old Osaka had total control over the match and was never really tested by Tsurenko. Osaka converted on five out of eight breaking points while Tsurenko had 31 unforced errors compared to just 11 from the Japanese.

Tsurenko said she was troubled by illness and was not able to play at her best in the match. "I just woke up today with a viral illness. I think my throat is not well. I'm not breathing well. I hate matches like this. I didn't want to show this kind of game in front of this big crowd, but unfortunately I'm just not able to play now."

The Japanese number one said she's mentally prepared for a deep run in a major.

"Now I don't feel pressure, so I feel a little bit like I'm used to it," she explained. "In Indian Wells I got a bit distracted if I'm in the lead. And now I feel like I'm finding it easier to try to close it up as quickly as I can."

khojho Posted on September 06, 2018 17:56

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Nintendo Direct For Switch And 3DS Delayed Due To Earthquake In Japan

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[Update] Nintendo has taken the decision to delay the Direct event after a powerful earthquake hit Hokkaido, Japan. The company has said it will provide more details on when the Direct will air in the "near future." [Original story] Another Nintendo Direct is on the horizon. Nintendo announced via Twitter that it will stream a new presentation around the world tomorrow, September 6, and this one will focus on upcoming titles for both Nintendo Switch and 3DS.

Due to the powerful earthquake in Hokkaido, Japan, we have decided to delay this week’s planned Nintendo Direct. We will provide a new time and date in the near future. Thank you for your understanding.

— Nintendo of America (@NintendoAmerica) September 6, 2018

According to the tweet, the presentation is scheduled to run for approximately 35 minutes, which suggests it will be packed with a lot of news and footage. North America's broadcast kicks off at 3 PM PT / 6 PM ET, while Europe's stream begins at 11 PM BST.

The presentation will be broadcast on Nintendo's official website and Twitch channel. GameSpot will also have a stream of the presentation, so you'll be able to tune in right here and watch it unfold.

Nintendo hasn't specified what games will be showcased during tomorrow's Direct, but we'll presumably learn new details on some of this season's biggest Switch titles, such as Pokemon: Let's Go, Pikachu and Let's Go, Eevee and Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. We may also get another look at some titles that were conspicuously absent from Nintendo's E3 2018 presentation, such as Switch's untitled Yoshi game, which was originally slated to release this year.

Nintendo will also likely share some new details about its paid online service for Switch. Despite being scheduled to launch later this month, there are still many details we don't quite know about it. Nintendo has already revealed that Switch owners will need to have an active subscription in order to play most online multiplayer games like Splatoon 2 going forward, but we don't yet know how other titles will be integrated into the corresponding Nintendo Switch Online smartphone app.

We also don't yet know the full lineup of games that will be available as part of Nintendo Switch Online's NES library. Nintendo says 20 classic titles will be playable right from the service's launch and feature newly added online play, but only half of those have been revealed thus far.

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Fortnite High Stakes Challenges: Getaway LTM, Deal Damage To Jewel-Carrying Opponents

Suit up.


After a slight delay, Fortnite's 5.40 update has finally arrived on PS4, Xbox One, PC, Nintendo Switch, and mobile. Along with introducing another new item to Battle Royale, the Grappler, the patch marks the start of the High Stakes event, which features a new limited-time mode and its own set of challenges to complete.

The aforementioned challenges are tied to the new LTM, Getaway. Unlike a typical game of Battle Royale, this heist-themed mode divides players into teams of four, with the objective being to find one of the four safes scattered around the island, extracting the (appropriately llama-shaped) jewel housed within, and making it safely to the getaway van.

There are three High Stakes challenges in all, which will reward you with XP and new High Stakes cosmetics. Each is fairly straightforward and can be reasonably completed by taking part in enough Getaway matches. You can see the full list of High Stakes challenges, and the rewards they confer, below.

  • Play matches of The Getaway (10) -- 5,000 XP
  • Deal damage to Jewel-carrying opponents (500) -- Suited Up spray
  • Pick up a Jewel in different matches of The Getaway (5) -- Cash Flow skydiving trail cosmetic

If you manage to complete all three of the challenges before the High Stakes event ends next week, you'll unlock one final reward: an exclusive Crowbar skin for your pickaxe. Additionally, developer Epic offering a new Wildcard skin in the Fortnite store throughout the event, which comes with four interchangeable masks and a Cuff Case back bling.

Epic is also selling a new Ace Pack. It runs for $5 and comes with two similarly heist-themed cosmetics: the Ace Outfit and the Swag Bag back bling, which looks like a duffle bag stuffed with cash. You'll also receive 600 V-Bucks--Fortnite's in-game currency--for purchasing the Ace Pack, making it a particularly good value.

As previously mentioned, Fortnite's 5.40 patch also added a new traversal tool to the game's arsenal, the Grappler. This gun can be fired at walls and used to launch yourself around the map. Meanwhile, Week 9's set of challenges are scheduled to go live very soon, on Friday, September 7.

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Mayans MC: That Major Sons Of Anarchy Gemma Cameo, Explained

More Sons of Anarchy characters on Mayans MC, please.

Last updated by Chris E. Hayner on September 6, 2018 at 10:04AM



The spirit of Sons of Anarchy is alive and well in Mayans MC. In fact, it's even more alive than most fans of the FX biker drama expected. It was already known that Emilio Rivera would be reprising his Sons role as Mayans godfather Marcus Alvarez in the new series. That's far from the only link to Sons of Anarchy that can be found in the first episode of Mayans MC, though. Warning: The following contains spoilers from the pilot episode of Mayans MC.

In one of the episode's flashbacks to eight years before the current time, none other than former biker queen Gemma Teller (Katey Sagal) appears. She can be seen in the background of a prison visiting room as a recently-incarcerated EZ (JD Pardo) breaks up with Emily (Sarah Bolger). When the split gets louder and more dramatic than is allowed in prison, Gemma is seen more clearly, reacting.

While this is an exciting moment for Sons fans, it's not just a throwaway cameo. In fact, it's a small piece of a bigger puzzle according to Mayans MC co-creator Kurt Sutter. "Having Gemma there in the pilot was fun for us and will speak to something we want to do later on," he explained at the Television Critics Association press tour in a small group interview. "It's a little bit of a nod to Sons, but I think also there's a reason why she was there and we'll find out what it is later on."

As co-creator Elgin James told GameSpot, this isn't the last connection to the original series that will build to something more. "All these little things that [Kurt] plants all pay off somehow," he teased. "So that's all I know is that nothing is just thrown away."

Making sure nothing is a simple cameo is what helps Sutter to ensure Mayans MC doesn't trample on the mythology built by Sons, which is the one unbreakable rule James says he was given. As for what Gemma's appearance means, there's no telling. After all, while she was alive eight years ago, she's dead now. So anything they do to include Gemma in the Mayans storyline will have to remain in the past.

She’s also not necessarily the last Sons character fans will see pop up on Mayans MC. Truthfully, anyone is on the table--even Jax Teller (Charlie Hunnam) himself. That is, as long as it means something. "Whomever I bring back, I can't do it for a sensational one hit kind of thing," Sutter said. "There has to be an integral part of why it's important to the new mythology."

Still, Jax is a long shot. Hunnam has yet to appear on a TV series since the conclusion of Sons of Anarchy and has a number of films in the works. However, if it makes sense from a plot standpoint, Sutter isn't opposed to calling on his former star. "For me to bring Jax back in a flashback, it would really have to be integral to the story," he said.

Mayans MC airs Tuesdays at 10 PM ET on FX.

Got a news tip or want to contact us directly? Email [email protected]

syllasasante Posted on September 06, 2018 17:50

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BMW introduces Intelligent Personal Assistant communications system

The BMW smart assistant, which responds to the prompt "Hey, BMW," uses natural language understanding to help drivers and passengers intuitively interact with the vehicle.

As vehicles morph into computers on wheels, the way people interact with them is changing. Dashboard buttons and knobs are being replaced by high-definition, artificial intelligence-powered supercomputers.

On Thursday, BMW introduced Intelligent Personal Assistant, an AI-powered system to help drivers communicate with their cars as they do with their smartphones.

The always-on-call technology platform, expected to roll out next year, is an intelligent, digital character that can control vehicle settings, navigation and entertainment systems.

Rival Mercedes-Benz is debuting a similar AI-based assistant technology in its next-gen multimedia system. Mercedes-Benz User Experience, or MBUX will appear in the new A-class sedan this year.

Value creation in the auto industry is shifting from the powertrain to digital experiences in the car, Dieter May, BMW Group's senior vice president of digital products, told Automotive News.

"With automated driving, this will accelerate because you have a lot of captive time in the car," May said. "The interior of a car will totally change, and digital can provide great experiences there to differentiate the car versus competitors."

In-vehicle concierge services save time and make the driving experience more convenient, said Brian Moody, analyst at Autotrader.

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"Today, the real luxury in life is time and convenience," Moody said.

'Hey, BMW'

Advanced voice-recognition systems, cloud computing, AI technology and faster computing have made robust and full-featured infotainment systems possible.

The BMW smart assistant, which responds to the prompt "Hey, BMW," uses natural language understanding to help drivers and passengers intuitively interact with the vehicle.

"We are not talking here about voice commands like you know from the past," May said. "It's building a digital character which you can interact with. The digital character ... grows the more you use the car, the more you interact with BMW."

The smart assistant learns driver setting preferences and can make a series of adjustments automatically based on nonspecific requests.

For instance, saying, 'Hey, BMW, I feel tired" adjusts ambient lighting, music and temperature to keep the driver alert. Saying, "Hey, BMW, I'm cold" prompts the assistant to turn up the heat.

The technology serves as a productivity tool -- predicting travel routes based on time of day; syncing with appointment calendars to offer directions to the next meeting; and integrating with Microsoft Office 365 to read emails.

The assistant doubles as a voice-activated manual, educating drivers about vehicle features and functionality.

"In most premium cars, you have so many functionalities that customers don't know what they have available," May said.

Over time, the assistant will offer fuel-saving driving tips; deliver alerts, such as low tire pressure warnings; send service appointment reminders and even schedule the service.

The Intelligent Personal Assistant will be offered for models featuring the new BMW iDrive 7.0 and as part of the Live Cockpit Professional.

Controlling the driving experience

Technology is fueling auto sales, especially among younger consumers.

Half, or more, of drivers are willing to sacrifice on vehicle color, style and brand to get the latest technology, while a third would even sacrifice safety, according to a 2017 survey by Cox Automotive.

It's no longer about features on a spec sheet, Autotrader's Moody said.

"The real differentiator is about the experience; it's about saving time; it's about convenience," he said.

Developing infotainment platforms in-house, rather than relying solely on third-party services such as Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, gives automakers better control of the product development cycle and allows for deeper integration with the vehicle.

It also provides crucial user data that automakers wouldn't have access to with third-party systems.

Understanding what people are doing in the vehicle provides automakers opportunities to create revenue streams and improve the user experience, said Sam Abuelsamid, senior analyst with Navigant Research.

Smart infotainment systems are revenue streams for automakers, creating a marketplace for third-party apps and services that, for instance, allow drivers to find parking or pay for a gas fill-up.

"Whoever owns the platform can skim a percentage off the top," Abuelsamid said. "Those nickel and dimes eventually add up to real money."


syllasasante Posted on September 06, 2018 17:41

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Model jailed for offerring policemen threesome as bribe

An instagram model Kira Meyer,who offered a threesome to traffic police in order to evade arrest has been sentenced to 18 months in jail.

According to Russian tabloid Komsomolskaya Pravda,meyer faced two charges of use of violence against a representative of the authorities and breach of a driving ban.

It was reported that Meyer pleaded guilty to attacking a police officer often she was pulled over in her Mercedes in Moscow Russia,she wanted to snatch an official paper from one of the policeman and inflected injury on him in  the process.

Komsomolskaya Pravda reported that Meyer ran away from a previous accident scene without waiting for police, which earned her a driving ban ,when she had an encounter with the police again and they discovered she had breached her driving ban,she offered them a threesome,so they would not arrest her.

It was reported that meyer did not expect that she would be sent to jail and wept when the sentence was read out.

Kira Meyers lawyer said that he would appeal the verdict .He believed that the influence status of his client on instagram would save her from jail.

nuhutk Posted on September 06, 2018 17:31

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South Sudan soldiers jailed for rape and murder

A military court in South Sudan has sentenced 10 soldiers to jail terms ranging from seven years to life for a rampage in which a journalist was killed and foreign aid workers raped.

The court also ordered South Sudan's government to pay each rape survivor $4,000 (£3,000) in compensation.

The crimes were committed during an attack in the Terrain Hotel in the capital Juba in 2016.

A UN report accused peacekeepers of failing to respond to pleas for help.

South Sudan's military and rebel forces have been accused of committing numerous atrocities since the outbreak of a civil war in 2013, but this was the worst attack against foreigners.

This is the first time soldiers have been sentenced for committing atrocities in South Sudan, the world's youngest nation, which only gained independence in 2011.

What happened in court?

The court ordered the government to give the family of local community radio journalist John Gatluak 51 cows as compensation.

He was taking shelter in the hotel compound when he was killed.

Two soldiers were convicted of his murder and sentenced to life.

Three others were found guilty of raping aid workers, four of sexual harassment, and one of theft and armed robbery.

They have been sentenced to between seven and 14 years in jail.

Thursday's judgment was delivered in a military courtroom packed with diplomats, aid workers and officials.

One accused soldier was acquitted. Another died in detention of natural causes.

The attack took place during heavy fighting in Juba between government and rebel forces.

More than 70 people, including two UN peacekeepers, were killed in three days of fighting.

Five foreign aid workers were raped when troops stormed the hotel compound.

What have people said about the verdicts?

A lawyer representing the rape survivors, Issa Muzamil Sebit, said his clients were not "relieved" by the ruling.

The compensation offered to them was "very embarrassing and it is an insult to the victims", he added.

In his reaction, the defendants' lawyer, Peter Malual Deng, said he was shocked by the verdict, and would appeal against it.

Human rights group Amnesty International welcomed the convictions.

"After much foot dragging, today's convictions and sentences represent a first step towards ending chronic impunity in South Sudan, where both government forces and the armed opposition have committed human rights violations and crimes under international law, with complete disregard for human life," it said in a statement.

How significant are the verdicts?

By Tomi Oladipo, BBC Africa security correspondent

South Sudan's government will use this trial to claim that it is tackling abuses carried out by soldiers.

But this was a high-profile case and it is difficult to see soldiers being put on trial for atrocities committed against locals.

The military top brass on both sides of the conflict seem to be struggling to rein in their troops.

The UN and human rights groups have repeatedly accused them of committing war crimes.

In 2015, the African Union called for a special court to be set up to try war crimes suspects. However, this has not yet happened.

Meanwhile, humanitarian groups continue to complain of the security risk. About 100 aid workers, mostly locals, have been killed in the conflict.

This makes it more difficult to get food and medicine to the millions of people affected by the conflict.

What happened during the attack?

In his evidence during the trial, British hotel manager Mike Woodward said between 50 and 100 soldiers had entered the compound, looted it and raped five women.

"One group proceeded straight to the bar and restaurant while another group continued to the residential area," he was quoted as saying in court.

The rampage lasted for several hours, and included beatings, torture and mock executions, Mr Woodward said.

The UN ordered an investigation after aid workers accused its peacekeepers of failing to come their rescue, despite the fact that they were based near the hotel.

The investigation found that there had been "a chaotic and ineffective response to the violence" by UN troops.

The findings led to the sacking of the force commander, Kenya's Lt Gen Johnson Mogoa Kimani Ondieki.

The UN has about 13,000 troops in South Sudan.

What is the situation in South Sudan now?

President Salva Kiir and rebel leader Rieck Machar signed a peace deal in August.

The agreement stated that Mr Machar will return to government as one of five vice-presidents.

However, this has not yet happened and several previous peace deals have collapsed.

The conflict started after Mr Kiir sacked Mr Machar as his deputy, and accused him of plotting a coup in 2013.

Mr Machar denied the allegation, and accused Mr Kiir of being an authoritarian ruler who had invented the charges against him to avoid a leadership contest.

The dispute led to troops loyal to the two men clashing in Juba, and the fighting then spread to other parts of the country.

It has created one of the worst humanitarian disasters in Africa, with tens of thousands of people killed and millions forced to flee their homes.



syllasasante Posted on September 06, 2018 17:02

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Ghana squad arrive sn in Kenya

The playing body and management of the Black Stars will travel to Kenya today ahead of their Afcon 2019 qualifier against Harambees Stars.


Head coach Kwesi Appiah now has the compliment of a full squad following the arrival of defender Harrison Afful on Wednesday


The team held their last training session in the Ethiopian capital on Thursday morning.


The Black Stars are scheduled to arrive in Nairobi this evening where they will train on the pitch of the Moi International sports center on before Saturday’s game.


Ghana won it's first game of the group by thrashing Ethiopia 5-0 in in Kumasi.

Nartrich Posted on September 06, 2018 17:02

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Toronto Film Festival: Nine rising stars to watch

Some of the movie world's biggest stars will be in Toronto this week as the Canadian city's annual film festival embarks on its latest edition.

Alongside them will be some rising stars and relative newcomers who are already generating buzz in the build-up to this year's Hollywood awards season.

Here are a few of the names to look out for.

Jessie Buckley

Image copyrightTIFF

Coming second on I'll Do Anything was a blessing in disguise for 29-year-old Buckley, who might have been lost to musical theatre had she won the BBC One reality show in 2008.

Instead the Irish-born Rada graduate concentrated on acting, going on to appear in War and Peace, Taboo and The Woman in White for the BBC as well as compelling Jersey-set thriller Beast.

Wild Rose, a musical tale set in Glasgow that has its world premiere in Toronto on Saturday, could be her biggest success to date.

Directed by Tom Harper, it tells the story of Rose-Lynn Harlan, a single mother and convicted criminal who dreams of becoming a Nashville star.

Dame Julie Walters and Sophie Okonedo co-star in the film, which reaches UK cinemas on 8 February.

Timothee Chalamet

Image copyrightTIFF

Oscar-nominated earlier this year for Call Me By Your Name, 22-year-old Chalamet could go one better in 2019 thanks to his latest drama Beautiful Boy.

Based on a pair of memoirs written by father and son David and Nic Sheff, the film sees him play a young man who becomes addicted to methamphetamine.

Steve Carell plays Chalamet's concerned father in Felix van Groeningen's film, which premieres in Toronto on Friday ahead of its UK release in January.

Sophie Cookson

Image copyrightTIFF

Having appeared as a young spy in the Kingsman films, 28-year-old Cookson is no stranger to the murky world of espionage.

That makes her perfect for Red Joan, a fact-inspired drama that draws on the life of Melita Norwood, the woman revealed in 1999 to be the longest-serving Soviet spy in Britain.

Dame Judi Dench and Cookson play the film's main character at different ages in her life in Sir Trevor Nunn's film, which premieres in Toronto on Friday.

The film reaches UK cinemas next April.

Cynthia Erivo

Image copyrightAFP

Theatre lovers will need no introduction to 31-year-old Londoner Erivo, whose performance in the musical version of The Color Purple won her a Tony in 2016.

Soon, though, the whole world will become aware of her talents thanks to her upcoming role in Steve McQueen's heist drama Widows.

Based on Lynda La Plante's 1980s TV series, the film sees Erivo play one of four bereaved women who turn to crime when their husbands are killed.

Viola Davis, Elizabeth Debicki and Michelle Rodriguez are the other female leads in a Chicago-set thriller that opens in the UK on 6 November after opening the London Film Festival on 10 October.

Lucas Hedges

Image copyrightTIFF

Oscar-nominated in 2017 for Manchester by the Sea, Hedges went on to play supporting characters in two of this year's best film contenders - Lady Bird and Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri.

Leading man status surely beckons for the 21-year-old son of director Peter Hedges, bolstered no doubt by his performances in two Toronto premieres.

In Boy Erased, he plays the son of a Baptist pastor (Russell Crowe) who, together with his wife (Nicole Kidman), forces him to undergo gay conversion therapy.

Ben is Back, meanwhile, casts him as a recovering heroin addict who surprises his mother (Julia Roberts, above) with an unannounced Christmas visit.

There's no confirmed UK release date yet for Ben is Back, but Boy Erased will be out in the UK in February.

Kiki Layne


Barry Jenkins' follow-up to the Oscar-winning Moonlight looks set to offer an incandescent showcase for 26-year-old Layne in what is her first film to date.

Based on the novel by James Baldwin, If Beale Street Could Talk casts her as Tish, a newly pregnant young woman in 1970s Harlem whose fiance is falsely accused of rape.

Toronto native Stephan James co-stars in the film, which premieres in Toronto on Sunday and reaches UK cinemas on 18 January.

Sara Paxton

Image copyrightGETTY IMAGES

Gary Hart's 1988 bid to be his party's presidential candidate was spectacularly derailed by an alleged extramarital affair with a model called Donna Rice.

His story is now being retold in The Front Runner, in which Hugh Jackman plays Hart, Vera Farmiga his wife and Sara Paxton Rice.

Rice is a potentially eye-catching role for Paxton, a former child actor who's probably best known for playing the titular mermaid in 2006's Aquamarine.

Jason Reitman's film premieres in Toronto on Friday and reaches UK cinemas in January.

Amandla Stenberg

Image copyrightTIFF

Best known for playing Rue in the first Hunger Games film, 19-year-old Stenberg made headlines earlier this year by coming out as gay in a magazine interview.

More headlines should follow thanks to her roles in two Toronto titles - novel adaptation The Hate U Give, and World War II drama Where Hands Touch.

The Hate U Give sees Stenberg play a teenage girl who is the only witness to the fatal police shooting of her unarmed best friend.

(Her casting in the film version of Angie Thomas's young adult novel has not been welcomed by all, with some complaining she has a lighter complexion than the character in the book.)

In Where Hands Touch, directed by Britain's Amma Asante, she plays a biracial teen in Nazi Germany who falls in love with a member of the Hitler Youth.

The Hate U Give comes out in the UK on 26 October. There's no UK release date yet for Where Hands Touch.

Eleanor Worthington-Cox

Image copyrightTIFF

Worthington-Cox, the only Brit on this year's list of TIFF Rising Stars, is no stranger to recognition.

In 2012, at the age of 10, she became the youngest recipient to date of an Olivier award for her lead role in Matilda the Musical, a prize she shared with three other actresses.

Now 17, the Bafta-nominated star of The Enfield Haunting and Britannia comes to Toronto in Gwen, a rural drama set in 19th Century Wales.

Earlier this year she said "a lot of love (and mud) went into" William McGregor's supernaturally-tinged tale of a farming family struggling to survive.

The Toronto International Film Festival runs from 6 to 16 September.

Knii Odoi Posted on September 06, 2018 16:22

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Bahrain Minister Hails Blockchain Technology, Urges Adoption.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Dominic Solomon Posted on September 06, 2018 16:21

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Anger as Italy arrests Tunisian fishermen 'rescuing migrants'

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Knii Odoi Posted on September 06, 2018 16:19

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

seth Posted on September 06, 2018 15:46

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

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

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

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

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

15. Des Moines, Iowa

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

Denis Tangney Jr. | Getty Images

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

14. Orlando, Florida

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

Corbis | Getty Images

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

13. Charlotte, North Carolina

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

Skiserge1 | Getty Images

Charlotte, North Carolina.

12. Ogden, Utah

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

A scene showing 25th Street in Ogden, Utah.

11. Houston, Texas

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

Kav Dadfar | Getty Images

Houston, Texas

10. McAllen, Texas

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

DenisTangneyJr | Getty Images

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

9. San Antonio, Texas

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

dszc | Getty Images

San Antonio, Texas

8. Boise, Idaho

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

Randy Wells | Getty Images

Boise, Idaho

7. Dallas, Texas

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

Matt Nager | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Dallas, Texas skyline

6. Denver, Colorado

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

photoquest7 | iStock | Getty Images

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

5. Nashville, Tennessee

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

Davel5957 | Getty Images

Nashville, Tennessee

4. Charleston, South Carolina

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

Sean Pavone | Getty Images

Charleston, South Carolina

3. Raleigh, North Carolina

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

Sean Pavone | Getty Images

Raleigh, North Carolina

2. Provo, Utah

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

Bob Weston | Getty Images

Provo, Utah.

1. Austin, Texas

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

KOBINAYEBOAH Posted on September 06, 2018 15:05

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

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

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

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

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

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

Dominic Solomon Posted on September 06, 2018 15:02

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

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

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

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


KOBINAYEBOAH Posted on September 06, 2018 14:10

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

— Michael Standaert (@mstandaert) September 3, 2018


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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

— Michael Standaert (@mstandaert) September 3, 2018


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

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

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

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

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

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


sly Posted on September 06, 2018 13:01

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

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


ruby Posted on September 06, 2018 12:38

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China supports peace process in Central African Republic.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Dominic Solomon Posted on September 06, 2018 12:36

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

sly Posted on September 06, 2018 12:35

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Woman pranks husband over lottery - then wins £1m

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

:: Bigger prizes planned to reverse slump in lottery sales




Video:Lottery reforms include new game with monthly wins

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

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

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

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

sly Posted on September 06, 2018 11:37

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Messi trains with Barça team b

Messi trains with Barça team b playing after left out 

Sankofi Barbara Posted on September 06, 2018 11:04

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Novak Djokovic marches past John Millman into semi-final.

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

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

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

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

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

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

khojho Posted on September 06, 2018 09:52

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India court legalises gay sex in landmark ruling

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

sly Posted on September 06, 2018 09:34

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

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

Dominic Solomon Posted on September 06, 2018 09:30

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

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

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

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


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

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

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








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


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

— Road Alerts (@RoadAlertsKE) September 6, 2018

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Knii Odoi Posted on September 06, 2018 09:10

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




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

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


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

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

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

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


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

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


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

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

Knii Odoi Posted on September 06, 2018 09:06

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

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

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

Nii Sackey Posted on September 06, 2018 08:43

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The birth control women don't know

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

  • By Zaria Gorvett

6 September 2018

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



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

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

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



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

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



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

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

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



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

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

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

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

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

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



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

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

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

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

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

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



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

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

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

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

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



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

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

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


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

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

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

Knii Odoi Posted on September 06, 2018 07:55

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