World

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The meeting between the US President Donald Trump and the Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras was paved by Mondays meeting between the Greek FM, Nikos Kotzias and the National Security Advisor, H.R. McMaster which was of particular importance. It lasted for over two hours with the two counterparts discussing bilateral issues, security matters, defence and terrorism, regional and international subjects. Among them, Greek initiative in the Southern Mediterranean Sea topped their agenda as well as trilateral and quadrilateral cooperations, the Cyprus issue, Syria, Libya, the Israeli – Palaistinian conflict, the Kurdish issue and many more.

The outcome of the meeting was positive and helped in designing the wider framework of cooperation within which the two countries will work. The special weight of the National Security Council proves that Monday’s agenda of Kotzias – McMaster meeting will be part of the talk between Tsipras – Trump, on Tuesday, too.

There are no illusions, however, that there will be a tangible outcome after the meeting of the two leaders. Nonetheless, according to the Independent Balkan News Agency (IBNA) which spoke with a high official in the American government, the regional and international developments and the recovery of the Greek economy will pave the way for bilateral ties’ broadening and strengthening. It is believed this will be of great help to Greece, since it will certify its upgrading at global level.

NATO’s base in Souda, Crete, interests the U.S. but sources argue that it is not part of the present agenda, adding that the priority remains to support a trustworthy ally and improve bilateral relations.

According to premier Tsipras’s official schedule, the Greek PM and the American president will give a joint presser at White House’s Rose Garden where they will answer journalists’ questions.

Source: balkaneu.com

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Even after her death Carrie Fisher is having none of your bullshit.

Heather Ross, a friend of Fisher’s, spoke to a local radio station in Tucson, AZ. about her experience with sexual assault in Hollywood. On the 94.9 Morning Mix, Ross recalled inappropriate advances from a big name producer and how Fisher made clear she had a zero-tolerance policy for that kind of behavior.

After Ross was assaulted by “an Oscar-winning producer” – not Weinstein, but another – Fisher was furious. After the initial shock and fear wore off, Fisher ran into the producer at Sony and delivered him a package.

“It was a cow tongue from Jerry’s Famous Deli with a note that said, ‘If you ever touch my darling Heather or any other woman again, the next delivery will be something of yours in a much smaller box.’”

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The cow tongue was all Fisher’s idea, natch, and she made sure to deliver it in person and watch him open the box.

“That’s just how she was,” Ross said. “I miss her dearly. She stood up for people…She put things out there and in your face.”

Ross met the producer online – their conversations weren’t sexual or romantic, she said, but he did want to meet up and get her involved with his latest project.

“I felt safe thinking, ‘I’m overweight, I’m not attractive to these people, I’m not looking to become an actress,'” she explained.

She met with him and he made sexual advances. “When it happened, it happened so quickly that I was ashamed of myself,” she said. “I thought I did something wrong. And I thought, ‘Well, maybe by meeting up with him…I was asking for it.'”

The producer picked her up in his car then made an excuse to pull over. He reached over her to quickly recline the passenger-side seat then pushed himself on top of her.

Ross explained she thought she was “protected” by not fitting Hollywood’s beauty standards, but her story confirms what most women know and what a piece like Mayim Bialik’s New York Times column failed to pick up on: This happens to all women.

Ross told her mother and friends but ultimately stayed silent for many years, describing the massive power gap between a “kid from Tucson” and an award-winning producer.

Source: yahoo.com

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An EF-18 fighter jet has crashed at the Torrejon military base outside Madrid, according to the Spanish Defense Ministry. The ministry confirmed that the pilot has died.
“As a result of the accident, which took place during take-off maneuvers, the fighter pilot has died,” The Ministry of Defense wrote online. The incident occurred shortly after 11am local time Tuesday.
The EF-18, a modified F/A-18 Hornet, was from the 12th wing of the Spanish Air Force, reports El Mundo.
The incident occurred shortly after 11am local time Tuesday. The Defense Ministry later identified the pilot as Lt. Fernando Pérez Serrano, 26, from Murcia.
An investigation into the cause of the crash is underway, the Ministry of Defense confirmed via Twitter.
The incident took place just five days after another military plane crash claimed the life of pilot Borja Aybar, whose aircraft suffered a malfunction while he conducted landingmaneuvers.

source: RT.com 

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ISIS propaganda chiefs have released a chilling threat to attack the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia.
The terrorist group have published an image of a rifle-carrying ISIS fighter and a bomb baring the regime’s infamous black flag in front of a football stadium.
The official symbol of the 2018 World Cup finals is also included in the alarming promise to bring mayhem to the tournament.
The 2018 FIFA World Cup will be played across 11 cities in Russia from 14 June to 15 July, when the final will be played at the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow.
Tens of thousands of England fans are expected to base themselves in St Petersburg for the month-long finals.
St Petersburg, Russia’s second largest city, was the scene of an horrific ISIS attack when a briefcase bomb detonated on the underground in April, killing 14 people.
The blast was in retaliation to Russia’s airstrikes in Syria that have helped bring the regime to its knees.
Last week ISIS released another propaganda image featuring bullet-ridden photos of President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin, and inviting its followers to stage more attacks on the group’s two leading foes abroad.
The image, shared throughout pro-ISIS channels on the encrypted messaging application Telegram and attributed to Al-Wafaa Media Foundation, featured an excerpt of a Quranic verse manipulated by the ISIS followers to urge fellow jihadis to take every opportunity to conduct deadly attacks in the U.S. and Russia.

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Despite the jihadis suffering severe territorial losses to military campaigns sponsored by Moscow and Washington, the image also claimed that ISIS would overcome its enemies on the battlefield.

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‘Lie in wait for them at every chance to ambush,’ the text reads beneath photos of Trump and Putin pasted to gun target practice sheets.

source: dailymail.co.uk

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A woman has been raped in public and killed by a rebel militant group in the Democratic Republic of Congo, reportedly because she served the gunmen “forbidden food”.
France 24 said it had compiled footage and witness statements documenting the incident, rare evidence of the atrocities being committed on the front lines of a year-long conflict between the Congolese Army and a rebel movement known as the Kamuina Nsapu.
Witnesses said the gunmen forced the woman’s step-son, who was working with her when the food was served, to rape her in the main public square of Luebo, a town of 40,000 people that was briefly occupied by the Kamuina Nsapu earlier this year.
Both were then killed by the armed rebels who, according to the report, then drank some of the victims’ blood.
The killing has been linked to protection rituals which are observed by the Kamuina Nsapu during periods of fighting, including the perceived need to avoid certain foods. The woman, who owns a small restaurant, apparently served gunmen fish – which is banned, along with meat, cassava leaves and vines.
She is reportedly seen in the footage being held by the hair and told she “must die” for committing “high treason”.
One resident of the town, who has asked to remain anonymous, told France 24: “She was accused of serving fish to rebels who were fighting on the frontlines in Kabao. They said she gave them beans that contained pieces of a small, local fish.

source: independent.co.uk

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A Maltese investigative journalist who exposed her island nation’s links to offshore tax havens through the leaked Panama Papers has been killed after a bomb exploded in her car.
Daphne Caruana Galizia, 53, had just driven away from her home in Mosta, a town outside Malta’s capital of Valletta, when the bomb went off, sending the vehicle’s wreckage spiralling over a wall and into a field.
Malta’s Prime Minister Joseph Muscat said her death resulted from a “barbaric attack” that also amounted to an assault on freedom of expression.
He described her as “one of [his] harshest critics, on a political and personal level,” as he denounced her slaying.
As part of the investigation, Caruana Galizia revealed Mr Muscat’s wife Michelle, as well as members of his Government, held companies in Panama.
Mr Muscat and his wife deny they held such companies.
Politico named Caruana Galizia as one of 28 Europeans who are “shaping, shaking and stirring” Europe
Opposition leader Adrian Delia called the killing a “political murder” while observers on social media expressed outraged over the brutal killing.

source: abc.net.au

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In the wake of the Harvey Weinstein scandal, a new viral social media hashtag is aiming to give a voice to women who have survived sexual assault and harrassment.
The hashtag “Me too,” which is currently trending on Twitter and Instagram, was started by former Charmed actress Alyssa Milano. The 44-year-old issued a call to arms on social media, urging women to speak up about their experiences of sexual harassment and assault. She asked women to reply to her tweet and Instagram post by replying “Me too.” Alternatively, women could post the same response on Facebook.

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“If all the women who have ever been sexually harassed or assaulted wrote ‘Me too.’ as a status, then we give people a sense of the magnitude of the problem,” she wrote, explaining she got the idea from a friend.

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Since her post, the hashtag has quickly gone viral, with up to four women a second taking to Twitter and Instagram to respond.
So far the tweet has received over 31K comments, while thousands of others have also updated their status on Facebook to “Me too.
The movement has also generated responses from some celebrities, including Anna Paquin, Selma Blair, Debra Messing, and Anika Noni Rose.

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Westworld actress Evan Rachel Wood added her voice to the cause as well.
“Being raped once made it easier to be raped again. I instinctually shut down. My body remembered, so it protected me. I disappeared. #metoo” she tweeted.
Milano has previously spoken out against film producer Harvey Weinstein as women have come forward and made sexual assault allegations against him.
“While I am sickened and angered over the disturbing accusations of Weinstein’s sexual predation and abuse of power, I’m happy — ecstatic even — that it has opened up a dialogue around the continued sexual harassment, objectification, and degradation of women,” she said earlier.
It isn’t the first hashtag women have used since news of the Weinstein scandal broke. On Friday, #WomenBoycottTwitter was the top trend, with many women choosing to log off for 24 hours.
Milano was one of the first responders to the protest, which was started by her fellow Charmed alum Rose McGowan, who has spoken out about her own experiences at the hands of Weinstein.

source: yahoo.com

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A middle-class mother died from alcohol poisoning after drinking wine all day while on a holiday to celebrate a break in her breast cancer treatment.
Therapist Valerie Jones, 54, was taken to the Greek island of Santorini by her company director husband Nigel as a treat to recuperate from her illness.
An inquest heard that on the second day of the holiday, Mrs Jones had been drinking wine during a morning sightseeing trip, at lunch and again over an evening meal.
She then had a nightcap with her husband before joining a wedding party at their hotel.
Mr Jones, the director of a chartered surveyors in Yeovil, Somerset, went to bed and told his wife to enjoy herself at the party, where she had made new friends.
He woke later that night to be told she had collapsed in the toilets shortly before 2am. She was found to be unresponsive and died on arrival at Santorini General Hospital.
Bournemouth Coroner’s Court was told that Mrs Jones was nearly four-and-a-half times the drink-drive limit, which in the UK is 80mg alcohol per 100ml of blood.
Such levels are enough to cause sudden death from acute alcohol toxicity, the inquest heard last week. It is not known how many glasses of wine Mrs Jones had drunk, and the inquest was told she did not have a drinking problem.
Mrs Jones, who lived in a £1.3million home in Cattistock, Dorset, shared a love of horses with her 19-year-old daughter Immie, a talented dressage rider.
As well as being a company director, Mr Jones was a governor at the £22,000-a-year Sherborne Preparatory School.
Mrs Jones, described at the inquest as ‘bubbly, social and caring’, had become friendly with a group attending the wedding party and was invited to join them for drinks around midnight. Mr Jones was tired and went to bed. A few hours later he awoke to find his wife had not returned.

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An initial post-mortem in Greece concluded her death on September 27 last year was caused by pulmonary oedema, a build-up of fluid in the lungs.
But a post-mortem in Britain found there was little evidence of this and that Mrs Jones’s death was alcohol-related.
Dorset coroner Rachael Griffin ruled Mrs Jones’s death was due to acute alcohol toxicity.

source: dailymail.co.uk

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An appalling fatal attack on a young immigrant barber in broad daylight in Moscow was captured on film and uploaded online, causing outrage. The attacker, reportedly a dissatisfied customer who paid around $3.50 for the haircut, has since been detained.
The story was initially shared by State Duma MP Anton Belyakov on his Facebook page. Belyakov says that one of his friends knew the victim and characterized him as a very skillful barber.
The account describes the victim, known as ‘Danya’ among colleagues, as an unassuming young man from the central Asian Republic of Uzbekistan. Media reports have identified him as 24-year-old Dastan Adekhanov.
Belyakov wrote that the conflict began after Adekhanov gave a male client a haircut, charging him 200 rubles ($3.49) on Thursday – a low price by Moscow standards.
“He [the client] said that he looked in the mirror and didn’t like his haircut,” Belyakov said.
The barbershop staff attempted to resolve the situation and improve his haircut, but the client did not like any of the options.
nstead of asking for his money back, the man suddenly dragged Dastan into the street.
Footage of the attack, uploaded by Belyakov to Facebook and YouTube, shows a young man in a black jacket being chased by a man in yellow T-shirt with what appears to be a long sharp object in his hand, reportedly a skewer. The attacker appears to stab the young man several times while onlookers stop to watch but do not intervene.
The man then walks away, leaving the victim in agony, and turns to walk back moments later to check on him. Moments later, the young man collapses and remains motionless. He reportedly died before an ambulance arrived.
While the authenticity of the video has not yet been verified, it has been partly confirmed by investigators. Russia’s Investigative Committee said in a statement on its website that a criminal case has been opened against a 26-year-old man who has been charged with murder. The statement, which did not disclose the names but said the victim was a 24-year-old man, said the attacker has been arrested and has confessed.
A police source told TASS on Sunday that the attacker was an unemployed resident of Russia’s Kirov Region.
Belyakov’s post and media reports that followed caused outrage online in Russia, with many condemning the suspected murderer and wondering why passersby did not intervene. Belyakov titled the video ‘On thugs and gastarbeiters [migrant workers]. A murder for 200 rubles.’

source: rt

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Witnesses described seeing medics giving CPR to three people lying on the ground.

One passerby, Holly Eddleston, told the Standard: “I was on Parsons Green walking my dog when a policeman ran up to us and said to leave the park immediately so that a helicopter could land.

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“I walked towards the station, there were lots of police cars and a section cornered off with fabric – apparently somebody being resuscitated.

“Sounds of a girl screaming and crying were piercing.

“All of the roads in Parsons have been closed, including my own. Undercover police are searching the area looking down all drains with torches and helicopters circling also. Extremely sad.”

 

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Another witness wrote online: “Came out of Parsons Green Tube Station 30 mins ago to the aftermath of a stabbing. 3 bodies receiving CPR. Station now shut and road closed.”

Sources report that one person has been killed and two more are injured. There are no information regarding their condition.

It is not being treated as terrorism-related, a Met Police spokeswoman told the Standard.

No arrests have been made.

Source: standard.co.uk

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As women around the world come forward with stories of sexual harassment, a report by the Thomson Reuters Foundation shows that Cairo is the world’s most dangerous megacity for women, and has become more perilous since the 2011 uprisings.

Cairo established itself as a city often unsafe for women in 2011 with a series of high-profile sexual assaults in Tahrir Square. Since then, the situation has only grown worse, according to a poll conducted by the Thomson Reuters Foundation. In a survey of experts looking at how well women are protected from sexual violence, harmful cultural practices, access to healthcare and financial independence, Cairo came in last of 19 megacities those housing 10 million people or more behind Delhi, Karachi and Kinshasa.

Women in Cairo are subjected to harassment on a daily basis, experts said. Since 2011, economic conditions in the Egyptian capital and throughout the nation have deteriorated. High unemployment means fewer opportunities for women to gain financial independence, as well as a glut of frustrated, jobless men, particularly among the young. The poor economy also means that health services in the country have worsened.

“The economy has become so bad in the last two, three years that we are suffering a setback in the thinking that women’s issues are not a priority,” Omaima Abou-Bakr, co-founder of Women and Memory Forum, a non-government organisation trying to improve the weak position of Arab women in their culture, told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.

“Everything about the city is difficult for women. We see women struggling in all aspects. Even a simple walk on the street, and they are subjected to harassment, whether verbal or even physical,” Egyptian journalist and women’s rights campaigner Shahira Amin said.

“Now is not the time” became a common response to women agitating for their rights in the years after the 2011 uprisings, often by the women officially charged with protecting those rights.

To wit, Naglaa el-Adly, a member of the Egypt’s National Council for Women, an independent governmental body, told the Thomson Reuters Foundation that she believes women’s rights have improved, pointing to President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi’s declaration of 2017 as the year of Egyptian women.

In addition to the overall rankings, the Thomson Reuters study classified the cities according to each of the subsections as well. Cairo was the third most dangerous megacity for women in terms of sexual violence or their ability to live without facing the risk of rape, sexual attacks or harassment. Delhi and Sao Paolo were tied for the first spot.

Attitudes about sexual harassment in Egypt are at the core of the problem. As in many places, though to a more extreme degree, women in Egypt are blamed for inviting sexual harassment for activities as benign as laughing in public. Those beliefs are inculcated in Egyptians from a young age, and are held by girls as well as boys.

In 2014, a group called Dignity Without Borders videotaped schoolboys and schoolgirls in Cairo talking about harassment. The boys explained how girls provoked harassment. The girls began by explaining that harassment made them feel bad, but by the end of the video were listing the ways in which females invited the unwelcome behavior.

There are few statistics on harassment in Egypt. A study conducted by the Egyptian Centre for Women’s Rights in 2008 found that 83 percent of women said they’d been sexually harassed, many of them daily, and 62 percent of men admitted to harassing women; advocates believe the percentage of women harassed is significantly higher.

The other three areas considered in the study were cultural practices, access to healthcare and economic opportunities. Cairo was deemed the worst city for women in terms of cultural practices, which specifically considered female genital mutilation, underage and forced marriages and female infanticide.

It was the second worst city in terms of economic opportunities for women, which looked at female access to education, ownership of land or other forms of property, and financial services. The only city that scored more poorly was Kinshasa.

And Cairo took the third-worst slot when it came to women’s access to healthcare, including maternal mortality and control over their reproductive health.

The numbers back those findings up.

A 2015 Egypt Health Issues Survey found that roughly nine in every 10 females suffers partial or total removal of external genitalia, despite the practice having been outlawed in 2008. And 17 percent of girls are married before the age of 18 and 2 percent before the age of 15.

World Bank figures show that female participation in the work force was at 23 percent in 2016, down from 26 percent in 1990. And according to US figures, 65 percent of Egyptian women over the age of 15 are literate, compared with 82 percent of men.

The Thomson Reuters Foundation study is not the first to identify Egypt as a place hostile to women. The country topped the list of places that are dangerous for women to visit in a Trip.com survey released in August, in large part due to the verbal and sexual harassment that women routinely face there.

Source: france24.com

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Taking part in even a small amount of exercise each week can significantly reduce the chance of suffering symptoms, researchers showed.

In the largest ever study of its kind, analysis involving more than 30,000 adults revealed 12 per cent of depression cases could have been prevented by a small amount of regular exercise.

And those who do not exercise are 44 per cent more likely to suffer with depression.

The findings, published in the American Journal of Psychiatry, also reveal the role exercise could play in personalised mental health treatment plans.

The study’s lead author, Associate Professor Samuel Harvey, said: “We’ve known for some time that exercise has a role to play in treating symptoms of depression, but this is the first time we have been able to quantify the preventative potential of physical activity in terms of reducing future levels of depression.

“These findings are exciting because they show that even relatively small amounts of exercise, from one hour per week, can deliver significant protection against depression.”

An international research team, led by the Australia-based Black Dog Institute, studied 33,908 Norwegian adults whose levels of exercise and symptoms of depression and anxiety were monitored over 11 years.

A healthy group of participants were asked to report how often they exercise and at what intensity, ranging from without becoming breathless or sweating to becoming breathless and sweating or exhausting themselves.

At a follow-up stage, they completed a self-report to indicate any emerging anxiety or depression.

The study revealed people who reported doing no exercise at all at baseline had a 44 per cent increased chance of developing depression, compared to those who were exercising one to two hours a week.

The research team also accounted for variables which might impact the association between exercise and common mental illness.

Theses included socio-economic and demographic factors, substance use, body mass index, new onset physical illness and perceived social support.

Professor Harvey added: “These results highlight the great potential to integrate exercise into individual mental health plans and broader public health campaigns.

“If we can find ways to increase the population’s level of physical activity even by a small amount, then this is likely to bring substantial physical and mental health benefits.”

The data was collected through the Health Study of Nord-Trøndelag County, one of the largest population-based health surveys ever undertaken, between January 1984 and June 1997.

But the research found benefits did not protect against anxiety, with no link found between level and intensity of exercise and the chances of developing the disorder.

Professor Harvey said: “Most of the mental health benefits of exercise are realised within the first hour undertaken each week.

“With sedentary lifestyles becoming the norm worldwide, and rates of depression growing, these results are particularly pertinent as they highlight that even small lifestyle changes can reap significant mental health benefits.”

Source: express.co.uk

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The United States decided on Sunday to suspend the issuing of visas to Turkish citizens at U.S. diplomatic missions (which Turkey immediately reciprocated) after the Turkish government arrested multiple staffers of the U.S. Embassy in Ankara.

Without notifying U.S. authorities, the Turkish government arrested Metin Topuz, a Turkish national who has been working at the U.S. consulate for over three decades. The questionable charges against him include conspiring with members of the international Gulen movement to allegedly overthrow the government.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has for years sought the extradition of the leader of the Gulen movement, Fethullah Gulen (a chief rival of Erdogan’s), who lives in Pennsylvania.

Furious with the U.S. response to his country’s extrajudicial action, Erdogan declared Tuesday that he does not recognize the authority of the sitting U.S. ambassador to Turkey, John Bass.

But that’s just the latest episode in the troubled Turkish-American relationship. As guests, Turkish officials and security show little to no respect for American laws and sovereignty.

Things really got out of hand in May, when Erdogan’s bodyguards violently attacked peaceful protesters in Washington, D.C., as they were demonstrating against Erdogan’s policies and the government in Ankara.

That wasn’t the first time that the president’s detail showed complete disregard for American laws. They’ve used thuggish tactics several times to shut down peaceful protests, doing so as recently as late September outside of the United Nations in New York City.

In Turkey, the once-secular state continues to trend toward a full embrace of Islamic authoritarianism.

There’s not much left of the republic founded by Mustafa Kemal Ataturk in 1923. An April referendum gave Erdogan virtually unchecked power, stripping away at the country’s foundational checks and balances and ridding the nation of basic human rights protections.

Ever since the alleged Gulen-led coup last year, Erdogan has swooped up dictatorial levels of power, ordering the imprisonment of tens of thousands of academics, religious minorities, activists, journalists, students, and others viewed as potential threats to his blossoming tyranny.

Instead of reinvigorating relations with its NATO allies, Turkey has embraced the countries that seek to bring down the West.

It has partnered with Iran and Iraq to bully the Kurds into submission, coordinating military action with the theocratic regime in Tehran to strip away the possibility of a new free state in the Middle East. Ankara has also rapidly increased military cooperation with Russia, a principal adversary of NATO.

The sitting Turkish government is openly supportive of the global jihadist Muslim Brotherhood and experts allege that high-ranking members of the government are actively supporting ISIS.

Their continuing anti-U.S. actions and rhetoric are impossible to ignore. Before engaging in a coming Syria operation, Turkish special forces were seen on camera taunting the American military, chanting in Turkish, “Wait for us, American Johnny’s, we are coming to get you.”

As a member of NATO, Turkey has special access to highly sensitive information regarding the enemies of the West. Turkey has already abused this privilege, threatening in July to spill classified positions of U.S. special forces operating in the Middle East.

At what time do NATO members declare that enough is enough, and boot the Islamic authoritarian menace out of the alliance for good?

Source: conservativereview.com

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French intelligence agent sent a text message by mistake to the mobile phone of a jihadist, inadvertently warning him that he was under surveillance and undermining an investigation, it emerged on Friday.

The target of the probe, described as an “Islamist preacher” based in the Paris area, immediately understood that his phone was being tapped and his movements monitored.

He called the agent to complain and warned his contacts that they were under surveillance. As a result, separate investigations by two different intelligence services came to nothing, M6 television reported.

“It was undoubtedly the worst mistake the agent ever made,” M6 commented. Interior ministry sources confirmed the report.

The intelligence officer had meant to send the text to a colleague last Saturday. It contained information about the Islamist and the progress of the investigation.

It was only when the Islamist decided to have some fun at the officer’s expense and phoned him minutes after he sent the text that he realised what he had done.

The two agencies involved, the Central Territorial Intelligence Service and the General Directorate for Internal Security, were furious over the mishap.

The incident came as France remains under a state of emergency declared after the 2015 Paris terrorist attacks.

Some of the emergency measures, notably beefed up police powers, are to be made permanent under a bill that has been approved by the lower house of parliament, the National Assembly.

Despite criticism that the legislation risks curtailing civil liberties because it codifies measures such as stop and seizure and house arrest without judicial review, most of the provisions are expected to stand.

Human rights groups want greater oversight by courts, arguing that the bill would grant excessive powers to security forces whose suspicions could stem from flawed or incomplete intelligence.

Source: telegraph.co.uk

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Ed Sheeran has been knocked down by a car in London, according to reports.
The 26-year-old crooner was riding his bike when he was struck down, say pals.
Australian DJ Smallzy has been told that Ed he has broken his arm – putting his upcoming tour plans in jeopardy.
It appears that the incident happened this morning when Ed was cycling down a London street.
He’s due to play a host of tour dates in Asia over the next couple of weeks, which may well be cancelled if he’s unable to perform with a broken arm.
Ed’s first date is scheduled for October 22 in Taipei, followed by appearances in Osaka, Seoul in South Korea, Tokyo in Japan, Hong Kong, the Philippines, Indonesia and Singapore, before moving on to Malaysia and Thailand in November.

source: mirror.co.uk

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A former contestant on “The Apprentice” who accuses President Donald Trump of past sexual misconduct has filed a subpoena for “all documents concerning any woman who asserted that Donald J. Trump touched her inappropriately,” it was revealed on Sunday.
Buzzfeed News first reported the existence of the court document, which names Trump’s campaign organization and any applicable “directors, officers, partners, shareholders, managers, attorneys, employees, agents and representatives” as subjects.
Only a few weeks before the 2016 election, former “Apprentice” contestant Summer Zervos alleged that Trump had tried to kiss and touch her inappropriately without her consent at the Beverly Hills Hotel in 2007.

Her claim came shortly after the October 2016 release of the now-infamous “Access Hollywood” tape from 2005 in which Trump said, “And when you’re a star, they let you do it. You can do anything. Grab them by the p—-. You can do anything.”
Zervos’ subpoena calls for “all documents concerning any accusations that were made during Donald J. Trump’s election campaign for president, that he subjected any woman to unwanted sexual touching and/or sexually inappropriate behavior.”
The subpoena also specifically names at least 10 women and requests documentation associated with them “or any woman alleging that Donald J. Trump touched her inappropriately.”
Trump has flatly denied the allegations, calling the accusations “lies, lies, lies,” which led Zervos to sue him for defamation. His lawyer attempted to have Zervos’ defamation lawsuit dismissed in July, claiming that presidents cannot face civil lawsuits while in office.
That motion to dismiss could decide the merit of this subpoena, according to Gloria Allred, the famed women’s rights attorney representing Zervos.

source: nbcnews.com

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An AirAsia flight heading to Bali from Perth plunged 20,000 feet shortly after take-off on Sunday (Oct 15) morning, leaving passengers terrified, Australian media reports said.
Flight QZ 535, with 145 people on board, was forced to turn back just 25 minutes into its journey after the pilot was alerted to a drop in cabin pressure, according to The Sydney Morning Herald.
It added that a technical problem had caused the plane to drop from 32,000 feet to 10,000 feet without warning.
Passengers on board the plane took videos of the drama that unfolded, as oxygen masks dropped and passengers held on to their loved ones.
Others on the flight told Channel Nine that they had sent text messages to loved ones, fearing they were going to die.
According to ABC, the pilot turned back and emergency services were placed on standby at Perth airport.

The Australian reported that the midair chaos was made even worse for some passengers as the on-board announcements were not in English.
“The panic was escalated because of the behaviour of staff who were screaming, looked tearful and shocked,” Ms Clare Askew, who was a passenger on the flight told reporters at Perth airport. “Now, I get it, but we looked to them for reassurance and we didn’t get any, we were more worried because of how panicked they were.”
“The masks fell down and everybody started panicking,” another passenger, Leah from Perth said. “We were all pretty much saying goodbye to each other. It was really upsetting.”
AirAsia apologised for the incident in a statement and said the flight landed safely at Perth International Airport at 12.40pm local time.
“Our engineers are assessing the aircraft. All affected passengers will be scheduled to the next available flight and provided with necessary assistance including meal vouchers.
“The safety of our guests is our utmost priority. AirAsia Indonesia apologises for any inconvenience caused,” that statement said.

source: channelnewsasia.com

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A massive bomb attack in a busy area of the Somali capital Mogadishu on Saturday is now known to have killed at least 276 people, police say.
Over 300 were wounded when a lorry packed with explosives detonated near the entrance of a hotel.
It is the deadliest terror attack in Somalia since the Islamist al-Shabab group launched its insurgency in 2007.
President Mohamed Abdullahi “Farmajo” Mohamed blamed the attack on them, calling it a “heinous act”.
No group has yet said it was behind the bombing.
“Brothers, this cruel act was targeted at civilians who were going about their business,” the president said.
He has declared three days of mourning for the victims of the blast.
Local media reported families gathering in the area on Sunday morning, looking for missing loved ones amid the ruins of one of the largest bombs ever to strike the city.
Police official Ibrahim Mohamed told AFP news agency the death toll was likely to rise. “There are more than 300 wounded, some of them seriously,” he said.
Officials also confirmed that two people were killed in a second bomb attack in the Madina district of the city.
Mogadishu’s Mayor Thabit Abdi called for unity while addressing a crowd of people who had gathered to protest.
“Oh, people of Mogadishu, Mogadishu shouldn’t be a graveyard for burnt dead bodies,” he said.
“Mogadishu is a place of respect, and if we remain united like we are today, moving ahead, we will surely defeat the enemy, Allah willing.”
An eyewitness, local resident Muhidin Ali, told AFP it was “the biggest blast I have ever witnessed, it destroyed the whole area”.
Meanwhile, the director of the Madina Hospital, Mohamed Yusuf Hassan, said he was shocked by the scale of the attack.
“Seventy-two wounded people were admitted to the hospital and 25 of them are in very serious condition. Others lost their hands and legs at the scene.
“What happened yesterday was incredible, I have never seen such a thing before, and countless people lost their lives. Corpses were burned beyond recognition.”

source: bbc.com

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Jennifer Lopez showed off her dancing skill at the SOMOS Live concert, which was dedicated to raising funds for the victims of the recent hurricane in Puerto Rico.
The explosive Latina singer opened the concert that was broadcast live on TV with a unique interpretation of her great success “Let’s get loud.”
J-Lo set the stage on fire, when she shook her famous booty for 13 seconds to tyne delight of her male fans.

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The conservative People’s Party (OVP), led by 31-year-old Sebastian Kurz, is projected to finish first in Austria’s snap parliamentary election, according to exit polls that suggest a clear shift to the right.

The latest forecasts showed centre-right OVP holding onto first place, winning 31.5 percent of Sunday’s vote.

But, in contrast to initial exit polls, they also had the Social Democratic Party moving from third to second place, edging out the far-right Freedom Party (FPO). The Social Democrats were projected to win 27.1 percent, followed by FPO with 25.9 percent.

According to the exit polls, Kurz’s OVP is well short of a majority. The most likely outcome appears to be a coalition government led by the OVP with the support of the far-right FPO.

Austria’s election arrived almost a year earlier than expected, following a breakdown of an OVP-SPO coalition government in May.

source: aljazeera

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The identity of a female officer accused of having sex on board a nuclear-armed submarine has been revealed.
HMS Vigilant was submerged in the North Atlantic when reports of two high-ranking submarine officials having sexual relations with two different women emerged – something which is forbidden between serving personnel on the same vessel.
It has emerged one of those women is believed to be Sub-Lieutenant Rebecca Edwards, who led a Remembrance Day service in Glasgow just 11 months ago, as some of her comrades threatened to resign over the sex scandal.
Five officers on board the submarine have threatened to quit amid the reports Stuart Armstrong, 41, commanding officer of the Vanguard-class submarine HMS Vigilant, was sexually involved with an officer.
The incident came to light after a member of the crew alerted senior officials at the vessel’s base in Faslane, near Glasgow, and Armstrong has since been relieved of his duties.
The allegations sparked anger among crew members and when their boat completed its patrol and docked in the US, a source told The Times a handful wanted to hand in their notice.
Armstrong’s second-in-command Lieutenant Commander Michael Seal has also been suspended amid the claims, according to The Sun, who also named Sub-Lieutenant Edwards – Assistant Weapons Engineering Officer on HMS Vigilant – as one of the women involved.
HMS Vigilant is one of four British nuclear-armed Vanguard submarines on active patrol which provide protection to the UK in case of a nuclear war.

more at: dailymail.co.uk

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Video footage from the First World War is quite rare, which makes the value of the moving images from the following video somewhat exceptional. It show workers on the assembly line of a British manufacturing facility of DH-6 airplanes. What might appear strange to us in these motion images is the fact that the plane was put together manually.

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Hustler founder Larry Flynt is taking aim at President Trump in a full page ad in this Sunday’s Washington Post, FOX Business has learned exclusively.
Flynt is offering a $10 million bounty on credible information that leads to the impeachment of Trump. The porn king is asking for tax returns information, records from the president’s investment or any “secret dealings with the Russians” that provides what he calls a “smoking gun.”
In the ad Flynt writes, “Impeachment would be a messy, contentious affair, but the alternative – three more years of destabilizing dysfunction – is worse. Both good Democrats and good Republicans who put country over party did it before with Watergate. To succeed, impeachment requires unimpeachable evidence. That’s why I am making this offer.”
Flynt has attempted to take down other lawmakers in the past with $1 million prize for information on sex and scandals that forced the resignation of former Louisiana Rep. Bob Livingston (R) and former Louisiana Sen. David Vitter (R), who admitted to being involved in a prostitution ring.

source: Foxbusiness.com

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Hertha Berlin nodded to social struggles in the United States by kneeling before its Bundesliga home game on Saturday. Hertha’s starting lineup linked arms and took a knee on the pitch, while Pal Dardai’s coaching staff, general manager Michael Preetz, club officials and substitutes took a knee off it before playing Schalke.

“Hertha BSC stands for tolerance and responsibility! For a tolerant Berlin and an open-minded world, now and forevermore!” the club said on Twitter.

“We’re no longer living in the 18th century but in the 21st century. There are some people, however, who are not that far ideologically yet,” Hertha defender Sebastian Langkamp told Sky TV at halftime. “If we can give some lessons there with that, then that’s good.”

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In an incident that has now attracted global attention, a Chinese art exhibition has pulled photographs that seem to compare black people from Africa with the continent’s wild animals after accusations of racism. The show, “This Is Africa,” on view at the Hubei Provincial Museum since September 28, features some 150 photographs by Yu Huiping.
“To show our goodwill and sincerity, we have replaced the photos that our African friends find shocking,” curator Wang Yuejun told Agence France Presse, noting that the photos meant to “show the harmony between man and animal in Africa.” Yu, the vice president of the Hubei Photographers Association, has visited Africa some 20 times over the past decade.
Backlash against the work began after museum visitor Edward E. Duke, who is from Nigeria, shared a video of the exhibition on Instagram, writing “China put pictures of a particular race next to wild animals why? Are they the only race to have impoverished looking people?” He tagged CNN, CNN Africa, the BBC, Fox News, and a variety of other news sources in the post.
It has since been removed, but not since going viral after being reported on by Shanghaiist.
Among the offending images was a set of photos featuring a young boy and a chimpanzee, both yelling, and a shot of a grimacing man paired with one of a growling lion. (More images can be found at Quartz.) According to Shanghaiist, the section of the show is titled “‘相由心生,’ a Chinese idiom that means something like ‘outward appearance follows inner reality.’”
Wang claimed the museum made the decision to juxtapose the two sets of photos, not the artist. “In Chinese proverbs, animals are always used for admiration and compliment,” he told the New York Times, noting that comparisons between people and animals are often positive in China, and that “the target of the exhibition is mainly a Chinese audience.”
The paper noted that “casual racism is common in China,” and news outlets have compared the controversial exhibition, which has welcomed 170,000 visitors, to other recent race-related outrages in the country, which include a soap ad that replaced a black man with a Chinese one midway through, and an unfortunate WeChat translation that turned the Chinese word for “black foreigner” into a slur.

source: news.artnet.com

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At the invitation of Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson, former President of Iceland, His All-Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew delivered the keynote address to the Arctic Circle Assembly before a gathering of 2,000 participants from governments, corporations, universities and ecological institutions. The Ecumenical Patriarch spoke on the importance and influence of religion on raising awareness on the ecological crisis of our time, underlining that spiritual leaders, scientists and politicians cannot avoid engaging in dialogue with one another on climate change. “In order to change what we see,” His All-Holiness declared, “we have to change how we see it. We have to change how we perceive and treat the world, how we use our knowledge and skills to sustain and enhance it.” Earlier this morning, the Ecumenical Patriarch was received for a private conversation at the Harpa conference and concert hall with the Bjarni Benediktsson, prime minister of Iceland.

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0 19
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When it comes to sexual fantasies and what turns someone on to is really a subjective matter. One person’s meat another’s poison, as the saying goes. Some couples like an indoors romantic setting with candles burning, soft music etc. But for the more outdoorsy types that just does’t cut it. They prefer the freedom and scent of nature. But this couple took the outdoors theme to a whole new level. During the recent clashes in Hamburg, Germany between the black bloc anarchists and the police at the G-20 Summit, a couple were “caught” having sex on a balcony while mayhem was under way on the streets below them. Maybe the sound of police sirens and the sight of petrol bombs just did it for them…Who are we to judge them….

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President Donald Trump on Friday threatened to pull out of the Iran nuclear agreement if Congress and US allies do not agree to strengthen it, throwing the future of the deal into doubt as he unveiled a tough and comprehensive new policy toward the Islamic Republic.
“As I have said many times, the Iran deal was one of the worst and most one-sided transactions the United States has ever entered into,” Trump said in a major speech at the White House laying out the sharp turn in US Iran policy.
Trump accused Iran of committing “multiple violations of the agreement,” despite the fact that the International Atomic Energy Agency, America’s European allies and even his own government say that Tehran is complying with the 2015 deal reached by former President Barack Obama and major world powers.
He said that Iran had “failed to meet our expectations in its operations of advanced centrifuges,” and “intimidated” international inspectors into not using their full authority. He also accused the Obama administration of lifting sanctions on Iran under the terms of the deal at a moment when the Iranian clerical regime was about to collapse, an assessment that contradicts the views of many experts.
The President announced that he would no longer make regular certifications that the lifting of sanctions under the deal was in the US interests.
“We cannot and will not make this certification. We will not continue down a path whose predictable conclusion is more violence, more terror and the very real threat of Iran’s nuclear breakout,” he said. “I am directing my administration to work closely with Congress and our allies to address the deal’s many serious flaws so that the Iranian regime can never threaten the world with nuclear weapons.”
He said the flaws of the agreement included “sunset” provisions under which limits on Iran’s nuclear program will begin to expire. Proponents of the deal dispute that. The President warned that the deal was plagued by “insufficient enforcement” and near total silence on the missile program.

source: cnn.com

 

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A cigar once smoked by former British Prime Minister Winston Churchill has sold for 10,000 euros, according to the Boston-based RR Auction house.
Churchill partially smoked the 4in (10cm) cigar at the Le Bourget Airport in Paris on 11 May 1947.
It was sold on Wednesday night to a collector in Palm Beach, Florida. The buyer’s name was not released.
The half-smoked cigar was kept by a British airman who flew Churchill and his wife to and from Paris.
Cpl William Alan Turner saved the Cuban cigar, which features a red-and-gold La Corona label alongside the wartime leader’s full name.
It also featured a photo taken by the Air Quartermaster with an annotation written in pencil that read: “A photograph I took from the doorway of York MW101 at Le Bourget airport, Paris, on 11th May 1947 just before we flew black to Northolt”.
“[Churchill] is surrounded by French ex-servicemen with whom he had been chatting. He stubbed out his cigar in an ashtray when he came aboard, and I took the remains into protective custody.”
During the trip Churchill visited the historic Les Invalides, where he was awarded France’s highest military honour, the Medaille Militaire.
Bobby Livingston, executive vice president at RR Auction, called the item “a synonymous piece from Churchill’s trademark look”.
In 2015, a chewed up Churchill cigar butt was sold for 2,250 euros at a British auction house.

source: bbc.com

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hole

A hole as large as Lake Superior or the state of Maine has opened up in Antarctica, and scientists aren’t sure why it’s there.
The gigantic, mysterious hole “is quite remarkable,” atmospheric physicist Kent Moore, a professor at the University of Toronto’s Mississauga campus, told me over the phone. “It looks like you just punched a hole in the ice.”
Areas of open water surrounded by sea ice, such as this one, are known as polynias. They form in coastal regions of Antarctica, Moore told me. What’s strange here, though, is that this polynia is “deep in the ice pack,” he said, and must have formed through other processes that aren’t understood.
“This is hundreds of kilometres from the ice edge. If we didn’t have a satellite, we wouldn’t know it was there.” (It measured 80,000 k㎡ at its peak.)

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A polynia was observed in the same location, in Antarctica’s Weddell Sea, in the 1970s, according to Moore, who’s been working with the Southern Ocean Carbon and Climate Observations and Modelling (SOCCOM) group, based at Princeton University, to analyze what’s going on. Back then, scientists’ observation tools weren’t nearly as good, so that hole remained largely unstudied. Then it went away for four decades, until last year, when it reopened for a few weeks. Now it’s back again.

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It’s tempting to blame this strange hole on climate change, which is reshaping so much of the world, including Antarctica. But Moore said that’s “premature.” Scientists can say with certainty, though, that the polynia will have a wider impact on the oceans.

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“Once the sea ice melts back, you have this huge temperature contrast between the ocean and the atmosphere,” Moore explained. “It can start driving convection.” Denser, colder water sinks to the bottom of the ocean, while warmer water comes to the surface, “which can keep the polynia open once it starts,” he said.
Using observations from satellites and deep sea robots, Moore and his collaborators are working on as-yet-unpublished research that aims to answer some of these questions. “Compared to 40 years ago, the amount of data we have is amazing,” he said.

source: vice.com

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Indeed, there are many ferocious creatures, both large and small, that are downright deadly. Here are some of the deadliest species in the world. You won’t believe the reason why some made it to this list!

Poison Dart Frogs

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These deadly frogs are aptly named as indigenous tribes would use their secretions to make poison arrows. These frogs have enough poison to kill 10 grown adults. They get their poison by assimilating it from plants they consume. They are common in tropical regions of South and Central America.

Polar Bear

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Unlike most other animals on this list, the world’s largest carnivore is not afraid of you. It has no natural predators and will eat anything that is even slightly meaty, including other polar bears. Although they generally don’t kill humans, it’s probably because there aren’t many of them around to kill.

Green Anaconda

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Not only are they enormous in size and scary to look at, but they are also one of the largest living snakes that are actually non-venomous.  They reside in the moist areas of the Amazon & their choice of weapon is by constriction and will swallow their prey whole.  Although they aren’t considered as man-eaters per say, their large-size and strength still makes them extremely dangerous for humans to approach. So don’t.

Mediterranean Black Widow

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Oh man, just from the looks of this Black Widow seems like it is 10x more deadly than the original Black Widow with a single red spot on it’s body. Not only do these have a crazier pattern than can scare off predators, but it has unusually large venom glands with a very nasty bite.

Millipede

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A close-relative to the centipede that can emit poisonous liquid secretions or cyanide gas through their microscopic pores all throughout their body. The poison can burn through the exoskeleton of ants and can cause severe irritation to larger predator’s skin and eyes. To humans, although they aren’t that much of a fatal creature that can cause harm, they are most definitely something you don’t want crawling around near you. Yuck!
Bullet Ant

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These ants are large by any measuring tool, as many get up to an inch long and have sticky feet so they can climb anything. Their bites have been described as the most painful of any insect. They are called the bullet ant because their bite feels like a bullet wound and throbs immediately like a flesh wound.   You do not want to get bitten by one of these massive bugs.

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After initially jumping to Harvey Weinstein’s defense, director Oliver Stone walked back his comments Friday — saying he was “appalled” by the sexual harassment accusations against the disgraced movie mogul.
The 71-year-old Oscar winner also said he was cutting ties to the “Guantanamo” series due to the involvement with The Weinstein Company, which has fired the Hollywood horndog.
“I’ve been travelling for the last couple of days and wasn’t aware of all the women who came out to support the original story in the New York Times,” Stone wrote on Facebook.
“After looking at what has been reported in many publications over the last couple of days, I’m appalled and commend the courage of the women who’ve stepped forward to report sexual abuse or rape,” he wrote.
Stone first addressed the scandal while at the Busan International Film Festival in South Korea, where he is serving as chairman of the event’s competition jury.
“I’m a believer that you wait until this thing gets to trial,” he said, according to The Hollywood Reporter. “I believe a man shouldn’t be condemned by a vigilante system.”
Stone continued: “It’s not easy what he’s going through either. He was a rival and I never did business with him. I’ve heard horror stories on everyone in the business. So, I’m not going to comment on that. I’ll wait and see, which is the right thing to do.”
After Stone’s remarks, former Playboy Playmate Carrie Stevens accused the “Platoon” director of grabbing her breast at a party.
“Two of a kind! When I heard about Harvey, the first person I thought of was Oliver Stone, and it figures…,” she tweeted Thursday.
In May, Stone teamed with Weinstein Television for production of “Guantanamo,” his first scripted TV series, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
The show is said to explore the US prison for terror suspects at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba, telling the story of the detainees as well as the soldiers, lawyers, reporters and other civilians on the military base.
Stone said he was pulling back from those plans in light of what he had learned about Weinstein.
“I’ll therefore recuse myself from the Guantanamo series as long as the Weinstein Company is involved,” he added on Facebook.
Weinstein has been accused by more than a dozen women of sexual harassment, assault and rape in exposés by the New York Times and the New Yorker magazine.
Police in New York City and the UK have since launched probes following the publication of a series of shocking claims that go back decades.

source: pagesix.com

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anim

Here is the best, funniest, cutest and most ridiculous animal / pet video clips collection. From funny cat fails, to monkeys, penguins, goats, ridiculous dogs and so on. I bet you can’t watch it till the end without laughing.

 

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Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew arrived in the capital of Iceland, Reykjavik, on October 12, 2017 where he was greeted by the Metropolitan of Sweden and All of Scandinavia, Cleopas. The Ambassador of Greece to Norway, Maria Diamanti, the honourary Ambassador of Greece to Iceland, Rafn Alexander Sigurdsson, Archbishop Alexandros Loukatos were also among the welcoming entourage at the airport, along with other dignitaries and political officials and representatives from other Christian denominations. After expressing his thanks to all the attendees at the airport, the Patriarch was transported to his hotel. Bartholomew later visited the historic centre of the capital and later stressed the concern of the Eastern Orthodox Church on climate change during a dinner in his honour by the Lutheran Church.

 

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An attempted robbery in Detroit did not go as planned when the intended victim pulled out a gun and started shooting in a harrowing incident caught on high-definition surveillance video.

Detroit police said Sanchez Quinn, 29, attempted to rob two men at gunpoint outside a supermarket Sunday night when he was met with resistance.

What Quinn reportedly didn’t know was that one of those men was actually a concealed pistol license holder.

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“I turned and looked and saw the other gentleman had a gun pointed at my face,” the unidentified man told FOX2 Detroit. “I was able to knock his hand down and the gunfire rang out.”

The man, who is seen in the video wearing a black and white T-shirt and shorts, was able to take down Quinn, shooting him multiple times. The third man, who was identified as the victim’s cousin, was also shot in the crossfire.

Quinn and the unidentified cousin are expected to survive.

Quinn, who is recovering at a hospital, was arrested, along with another person.

Source: nypost.com

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The Yellowstone supervolcano under America could erupt with terrifying power – expelling up to 250 cubic miles of volcanic rock and ash at once.

The eruption could blanket large areas of America in ash – and possibly plunge Earth into a ‘volcanic winter’.

Yellowstone’s last super-eruption happened 631,000 years ago. Until now scientists believed the ‘build-up’ to such eruptions took thousands of years.

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But researchers from Arizona State University, analysing rocks in Yellowstone, say that the process might take just decades.

NASA has said that supervolcano eruptions are a bigger threat to life than any asteroid.

Graduate student Hannah Shamloo says, ‘It’s shocking how little time is required to take a volcanic system from being quiet and sitting there to the edge of an eruption.’

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‘We expected that there might be processes happening over thousands of years preceding the eruption,’ said Christy Tillat Arizona State, in an interview with the New York Times.

The odds of any supervolcano erupting in the near future remain small, the researchers say – but the forces that drive these rare events may move faster than anyone thought.

Source: yahoo.com

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Britain’s most wanted female terrorist Sally Jones, nicknamed the White Widow, has reportedly been killed in a drone strike.

The fugitive jihadi, who was once a punk rock singer, was said to have been killed in June in a US strike close to the border between Syria and Iraq.

For more than three years, Jones has been the world’s most wanted female terrorist and is now said to have become one of the list of infamous Britons to die after joining Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (Isil).

She fled to Syria from Kent in 2013 to marry computer hacker Junaid Hussain, an Isil fighter from Birmingham, and took her then 11-year-old son, Joe “JoJo” Dixon, with her.

A Whitehall source told The Sun: “The Americans zapped her trying to get away from Raqqa. Quite frankly, it’s good riddance.”

CIA officials told their UK counterparts that a US Air Force Predator killed 50-year-old Jones in June, the newspaper reports.

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(Isil “entry file” of Junaid Hussain shows he crossed into Syria in July 2013)

The delay in her apparent death emerging is said to have been over fears her son might have also been killed in the strike. It is not known if her son was with her.

US intelligence chiefs said they cannot be 100 per cent certain that the strike killed Jones as there was no attempt to recover any of her DNA.

Jones had been a single mother of two living on benefits when she met her future husband, then 19, online and became besotted with him.

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(Junaid Hussain, late husband of Sally Jones)

Hussain told Jones he wanted to leave to join Isil and encouraged her to join him.

Using the pseudonym Umm Hussain al-Britani, Jones is believed to have recruited dozens of women to the terror group by boasting on social media of how wonderful life was in the caliphate.

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(Twitter account believed to belong to Sally Jones tweets about decision to put her on the UN sanctions list)

She encouraged followers to carry out attacks against the West while defending Isil’s beheadings and vowing to do the same.

Her partner was killed in a drone strike on his car in August 2015, she then became know as the White Widow.

She was believed to have been living in Raqqa with her son and was in charge of training all European female recruits, or “muhajirat”.

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(Sally Jones, left in a burqa holding a gun, and right in a nun’s habit)

She was entrusted with leading the secretive female wing of the Anwar al-Awlaki battalion, a unit founded by her late husband that is composed solely of foreign fighters with the purpose of planning and executing attacks in the West.

A young British boy appeared in an Isil propaganda video last year.

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(Sally Jones and her son Joe, aged around seven before they left for Syria)

The smiling blue-eyed child appeared in army fatigues, holding a gun and standing over a kneeling prisoner in an orange jumpsuit before shooting him in the head.

The scene was reminiscent of the Jihadi John executions which took place over the autumn of 2014, except in this case the killer’s face was not masked by a balaclava.

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(Sally Jones appears in a selfie before she left for Syria, in a burqa with a gun -top right- and performing in a punk rock band -bottom right-)

“Isil wants another famous Briton to boost their credentials,” the activist said. “Especially after the death of Emwazi.”

Joe’s grandparents are reported to have recognised him in the footage, although there has been no official confirmation of the child’s identity.

Source: yahoo.com

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Firefighters gained ground on Thursday against wildfires that have killed at least 31 people in Northern California and left hundreds missing in the chaos of mass evacuations in the heart of the state’s wine country.

The death toll, revised upward by eight on Thursday, marked the greatest loss of life from a single California wildfire event in recorded state history, two more than the 29 people killed by the Griffith Park fire of 1933 in Los Angeles.

With 3,500 homes and businesses incinerated, the so-called North Bay fires also rank among the most destructive.

The flames have scorched more than 190,000 acres (77,000 hectares), an area nearly the size of New York City, reducing whole neighborhoods in the city of Santa Rosa to ash and smoldering ruins dotted with charred trees and burned-out cars.

The official cause of the disaster was under investigation, but officials said power lines toppled by gale-force winds on Sunday night may have sparked the conflagration.

A resurgence of extreme wind conditions that had been forecast for Wednesday night and early Thursday failed to materialize, giving fire crews a chance to start carving containment lines.

But fierce winds were expected to return as early as Friday night, and a force of 8,000 firefighters was racing to reinforce and extend buffer lines across Northern California before then.

Despite progress, fire crews remained “a long way from being out of the woods,” Ken Pimlott, director of the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (Cal Fire), told reporters in Sacramento, the state capital.

Mark Ghilarducci, state director of emergency services, added: “We are not even close to being out of this emergency.”

Death toll could rise

Authorities have warned that the death toll from the spate of more than 20 fires raging across eight counties for a fourth day could climb higher, with more than 400 people in Sonoma County alone still listed as missing.

One of the greatest immediate threats was to the Napa Valley town of Calistoga, whose 5,000-plus residents were ordered from their homes on Wednesday night as winds picked up and fire crept closer.

Calistoga Mayor Chris Canning said anyone refusing to heed the mandatory evacuation would be left to fend for themselves if fire approached, warning on Thursday: “You are on your own.”

Melissa Rodriguez, her husband, baby and dog camped in the parking lot of a local college after smoke forced them to flee their Calistoga apartment. “We have high hopes it will still be there when we go back. … It feels sad, helpless, there’s nothing we can do.”

The Tubbs fire on Thursday was within 2 miles (3 km) of Calistoga, which was spared on the first night of the fires. Whether the town burns “is going to depend on the wind,” Calistoga Fire Chief Steve Campbell told Reuters. “High winds are predicted, but we have not received them yet.”

Fire officials have said some people killed in the fires were asleep when flames engulfed their homes. Others had only minutes to escape as winds of over 60 mph (97 kph) fanned fast-moving blazes.

Ghilarducci said the loss of cell towers likely contributed to difficulties in warning residents.

“We have found bodies that were completely intact, and we have found bodies that were no more than ash and bone,” Sonoma County Sheriff Rob Giordano told reporters.

He added that recovery teams would begin searching ruins with cadaver dogs.

Nearly 500 missing

As many as 900 missing-person reports had been filed in Sonoma County, although 437 had since turned up safe, Giordano said. It remained unclear how many of the 463 still listed as unaccounted for were actual fire victims rather than evacuees who failed to alert authorities after fleeing their homes, he said.

“The best we can pray for is that they haven’t checked in,” emergency operations spokeswoman Jennifer Larocque told Reuters.

Sonoma County accounted for 17 of the North Bay fatalities, all from the Tubbs fire, which now ranks as the deadliest single California wildfire since 2003.

About 25,000 people remained displaced on Wednesday as the fires belched smoke that drifted over the San Francisco Bay area, about 50 miles (80 km) to the south, where visibility was shrouded in haze and automobiles were coated with ash.

The fires struck the heart of the state’s world-renowned wine-producing region, wreaking havoc on its tourist industry, while damaging or demolishing at least 13 Napa Valley wineries.

The full economic impact of the fires on the wine industry was not immediately clear. But 90 percent of grapes in Napa Valley were picked before the fires broke out on Sunday, according to Napa Valley Vintners.

California’s newly legalized marijuana industry also was hit hard, with at least 20 pot farms in Sonoma, Mendocino and Napa counties ravaged, said Hezekiah Allen, executive director of the California Growers Association.

All the farms were seeking permits to eventually serve California’s nascent market for state-sanctioned recreational marijuana, Allen said.

Source: france24.com

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Oscar-winning actress Emma Thompson has claimed that the sexual abuse and harassment scandal surrounding disgraced Hollywood producer and Democratic Party donor Harvey Weinstein is just “the top of a very particular iceberg” in Hollywood’s overall culture.

“I didn’t know about these things, but they don’t surprise me at all, and they’re endemic to the system anyway,” claimed Thompson in an interview with BBC Newsnight. “What I find sort of extraordinary is that this man is at the top of a very particular iceberg. I don’t think you can describe him as a ‘sex addict,’ he’s a predator.”

“But what he’s, as it were, the top of the ladder of is a system of harassment, and belittling, and bullying, and interference, and what my mother would have referred to in the olden days as ‘pestering.’ ‘Is he pestering you?’ That’s the word we used to use in the olden days if you recall,” she continued. “This has been part of our world, women’s world, since time immemorial.”

When asked whether she thought there were other sexual predators like Weinstein in Hollywood at the moment, Thompson replied, “Of course. Many.”

“Maybe not to that degree. Do they all have to be as bad as him to make it count?” Thompson asked. “Does it only count if you really have done it to loads and loads and loads of women, or does it count if you do it to one woman once? I think the latter.”

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Thompson was just the latest actress of dozens who have spoken out on the allegations surrounding Weinstein this week. On Thursday, actors Ryan Gosling and Julia Roberts issued statements, while actress Kate Beckinsale revealed in an Instagram post that Weinstein attempted to give her alcohol in a hotel room when she was just 17 years old.

Actress Rose McGowan, who has detailed several of her own claims against Weinstein and reportedly reached a financial settlement with the disgraced mogul in the 1990s, was suspended from Twitter Thursday for tweeting about the allegations.

McGowan returned to the service Thursday afternoon and launched a blistering attack on Amazon chief Jeff Bezos, who she accused of “funding rapists” and other sexual predators.

Source: breitbart.com

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Rival Palestinian factions Hamas and Fatah signed an agreement on Thursday (12 October) on ending a decade-long split following talks mediated by Egypt in Cairo, with president Mahmud Abbas calling it a “final” accord.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu strongly condemned the deal, saying it would make peace with his country “much harder to achieve”.

Under the agreement, the West Bank-based Palestinian Authority (PA) is to resume full control of the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip by December 1, according to a statement from Egypt’s government.

Abbas welcomed the deal and told AFP he considered it a “final agreement to end the division” – though many details remain to be resolved and previous reconciliation attempts have repeatedly failed.

Israel says Islamist movement Hamas, with whom it has fought three wars since 2008, must disarm and recognise the Jewish state as part of any Palestinian reconciliation deal.

US President Donald Trump is currently seeking to restart frozen peace talks between the Palestinians and Israel.

“Reconciling with mass murderers is part of the problem, not part of the solution,” Netanyahu said in a statement.

The agreement was signed in Cairo by new Hamas deputy leader Salah al-Aruri and Azzam al-Ahmad, head of the Fatah delegation for the talks, at the headquarters of Egypt’s intelligence service, which oversaw the negotiations.

Celebrations broke out in the Gaza Strip after the announcement of the deal, with residents waving flags of Egypt, Palestine, Fatah and Hamas.

“We hope they won’t disappoint our people and break the joy,” said Rahaab Kanaan, 55.

Negotiations are now expected to be held on forming a unity government, with the various Palestinian political movements invited to another meeting in Cairo on 21 November.

Sanctions to end

An official from Abbas’s Fatah movement said the Palestinian president was planning to soon travel to the Gaza Strip as part of the unity bid, in what would be his first visit in at least a decade.

Sanctions taken by Abbas against Gaza will also soon be lifted, the Fatah official said.

The deal includes 3,000 members of the West Bank-based PA’s police force redeploying to Gaza, a member of the negotiating team told AFP on condition of anonymity.

The figure is however a fraction of the more than 20,000 police officers employed separately by Hamas.

UN Secretary General António Guterres spoke to Abbas to congratulate him on the deal and said the United Nations “stands ready” to support the PA “take up its responsibilities in Gaza”, a UN statement said.

Guterres also underlined the “continuing need to urgently address the humanitarian crisis in Gaza, particularly with regard to the electricity crisis, and improved access to and from the territory”.

One of the key issues has been punitive measures taken by Abbas against Gaza in recent months, including reducing electricity payments that left the territory’s residents with only a few hours of power a day.

“All the measures taken recently will end very shortly,” Zakaria al-Agha, a senior Fatah leader in the Gaza Strip, told AFP.

The Arab League also hailed the agreement saying it represented an “essential guarantee” toward achieving the aspirations of the Palestinian people to set up their own state.

Egypt’s role

The two sides began meeting in Cairo on Tuesday with the aim of ending the crippling split between the rival factions.

Hamas seized Gaza from Fatah in a near civil war in 2007 and the two factions have been at loggerheads ever since.

Egypt has been keen to improve security in the Sinai Peninsula which borders Gaza and where jihadist rebels have fought a long-running insurgency.

An Egyptian source close to the talks said intelligence chief Khaled Fawzi had followed the negotiations closely.

Last month, Hamas agreed to cede civil power in Gaza to the PA but the fate of its vast military wing remains a significant issue for the two sides.

Hamas is blacklisted as a terrorist organisation by the United States and the European Union.

The blockaded Gaza Strip has seen deteriorating humanitarian conditions.

Faced with increasing isolation and a severe electricity shortage, Hamas has reached out to Cairo for help, hoping to have the Rafah border with Egypt — largely closed in recent years — opened.

Azzam al-Ahmad said that, as part of the deal, Gaza’s border crossings with Israel will be handed back to the PA by 1 November with Rafah to follow shortly afterwards.

Egypt has also agreed to provide fuel to the Gaza Strip for electricity generation.

In return, Cairo pressed Hamas to move forward on reconciliation with Fatah.

Fate of armed wing

Previous attempts at reconciliation have repeatedly failed, and many analysts are treating the latest bid with caution, waiting to see if actual change will occur on the ground.

Last week, PA prime minister Rami Hamdallah visited Gaza for the first time since 2015 and his ministers took formal control of government departments in the territory.

But the move was seen as mainly symbolic, with Hamas still effectively in charge in the Palestinian enclave of two million people.

One of the key sticking points will be the fate of Hamas’s 25,000-strong military wing, the Ezzedine al-Qassam Brigades.

Source: euractiv.com

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0 22
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Authoritarian governments around the world have increasingly embraced the disgraceful tactic of arresting U.S. citizens and holding them as de facto hostages in an attempt to gain leverage over Washington. Iran and North Korea were pioneering practitioners — and both repeatedly extracted U.S. concessions. That probably encouraged other nations, including Egypt and Venezuela. Now comes Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s Turkey, a NATO member that appears well on its way to becoming an outlaw state.

In the past year the Erdogan government has seized a dozen Americans as well as two Turks working for U.S. consulates. With a brazenness that would make Tehran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps blush, Mr. Erdogan recently made clear that the prisoners are little more than pawns whom he wishes to trade for Turks in the United States — particularly the cleric Fethullah Gulen, an Erdogan rival who lives in Pennsylvania. “Give us that pastor,” Mr. Erdogan recently said of Mr. Gulen, “and we will do what we can” to release Andrew Brunson, an America minister.

Following the latest arrest, of a consular employee in Istanbul, an understandably exasperated U.S. Embassy announced a freeze Sunday on the issuance of nonimmigrant visas to Turks — a drastic measure that was quickly reciprocated by the Turkish mission in Washington. Such a ban could hurt many innocent people, including Turkish journalists and civil society activists working to resist Mr. Erdogan’s repression. If it endures, it should be refined to target government officials, business executives and others linked to the regime.

There’s no question, however, that the Trump administration, which has persisted in describing Mr. Erdogan as a close ally, must now stand up to his bullying. The Turkish ruler appears to believe he can persecute Americans with impunity; his arrogance was encapsulated when he watched as his security detail attacked peaceful protesters outside the Turkish ambassador’s residence in Washington in May. His demands about Turks in the United States are equally lawless. Ankara has offered scant evidence that Mr. Gulen is guilty of a crime, which means that U.S. courts could not approve extradition. Two other Turks whose return Mr. Erdogan seeks are being prosecuted for helping Iran evade sanctions.

Over about 15 years in power, Mr. Erdogan may have drawn the conclusion that Washington will inevitably tolerate his transgressions because of Turkey’s strategic importance. Unfortunately, the Obama administration provided plenty of evidence for that, as has President Trump, who after meeting Mr. Erdogan last month inexplicably declared that “we are as close as we’ve ever been.” In fact, Turkey’s value in fighting the Islamic State has diminished as U.S. forces have partnered with rival Kurds; and Ankara’s decision to work with Russia and Iran in Syria, while purchasing an advanced air defense system from Moscow, has further detached it from the West.

The long-standing U.S. alliance with Turkey should be preserved, to the extent that is possible with Mr. Erdogan in power. But that cannot come at the expense of tolerating hostage-taking and assaults on the U.S. rule of law. Mr. Erdogan should be made to understand that he is risking a rupture of relations that will do far more harm to his regime than to the United States.

Source: washingtonpost.com

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0 20
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Israel has said it will join the US in pulling out of the UN’s cultural organisation UNESCO, after US officials cited “anti-Israel bias”.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu praised the US decision as “brave and moral”, a statement said.

The agency is known for designating world heritage sites such as Syria’s Palmyra and the US Grand Canyon.

UNESCO head Irina Bokova earlier called the US withdrawal a matter of “profound regret”.

She admitted, however, that “politicisation” had “taken its toll” on the organisation in recent years.

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The withdrawal represented a loss to the “UN family” and to multilateralism, Ms Bokova added.

The US withdrawal will become effective at the end of December 2018 – until then, the US will remain a full member. The US will establish an observer mission at the Paris-based organisation to replace its representation, the state department said.

Hours after the US announced its withdrawal, the Israelis joined in, with Prime Minister Netanyahu saying he had instructed his foreign ministry to begin preparations to leave.

As well as accusing UNESCO of bias, the US state department said it was also concerned about mounting financial arrears at the agency and said it should be reformed.

The decision follows a string of UNESCO decisions that have drawn criticism from the US and Israel.

In 2011 the US cut its funding to the agency – slashing its budget by 22% – in protest at its decision to grant full membership to the Palestinians.

And last year, Israel suspended co-operation with Unesco after the agency adopted a controversial resolution which made no reference to Jewish ties to a key holy site in Jerusalem.

The resolution also criticised Israel’s activities at holy places in Jerusalem and the occupied West Bank.

Then earlier this year, Mr Netanyahu condemned Unesco for declaring the Old City of Hebron in the West Bank a Palestinian World Heritage site.

He accused UNESCO of ignoring Judaism’s ancient connection to the city, which includes the crypt where its matriarchs and patriarchs are buried.

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The US withdrawal is also motivated by a desire to stop accruing arrears to the agency, Foreign Policy magazine reported. The US cut funding of more than $80m (£60m) of funding to the agency amid the furore over Palestinian membership six years ago, but continues to be charged, and now owes more than $500m, the magazine said.

Mr Trump has criticised what he sees as a disproportionate contribution by the US to UN institutions. The US funds 22% of the UN’s regular budget and 28% of UN peacekeeping.

The decision to pull out of UNESCO was applauded by the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (Aipac), which said that for years, the agency had “betrayed its original laudatory mission… and chosen instead to unfairly target the Middle East’s lone democracy, Israel”.

The US was a founding member of UNESCO. The Reagan administration withdrew from the organisation in 1984 – accusing the agency of corruption and an ideological bias towards the then Soviet Union – but the US rejoined in 2002.

UNESCO is in the process of choosing a new leader, with Qatari and French former ministers Hamad bin Abdulaziz al-Kawari and Audrey Azoulay neck-and-neck in the contest to replace Ms Bokova.

Source: bbc.com

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Israeli spies observed Russian government hackers in real time as they scoured computers around the world for the codenames of US intelligence programs, The New York Times reported Tuesday night.

The Russian intrusion detected more than two years ago used anti-virus software manufactured by the Russian firm Kaspersky Lab as an ad hoc global search tool, the Times said, quoting current and former government officials.

The software is used by 400 million people around the world, including by officials at some two dozen American government agencies, the Times reported.

Israeli intelligence had hacked into the Kaspersky network and upon detecting the Russian intrusion, alerted the United States. This led to a decision last month for Kaspersky software to be removed from US government computers, the Times said.

It is known that Russian hackers stole classified documents from a National Security Agency employee who had stored them on his home computer which featured Kaspersky antivirus software, the paper said.

It said that it is not yet publicly known what other secrets the Russians may have obtained from US government agencies by using Kaspersky software as “a sort of Google search for sensitive information.”

The Times said Kaspersky Lab denied any knowledge of or involvement in the Russian hacking.

Source: yahoo.com

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The United States is withdrawing from UNESCO, the United Nation’s cultural and educational agency, effective 31 December, the US state separtment said in a statement on Thursday.

“This decision was not taken lightly, and reflects US concerns with mounting arrears at UNESCO, the need for fundamental reform in the organization, and continuing anti-Israel bias at UNESCO,” the department said, adding that the United States would seek to “remain engaged … as a non-member observer state in order to contribute US views, perspectives and expertise.”

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Source: theguardian.com

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An American woman, her Canadian husband and their three young children have been released after years of being held captive by a network with ties to the Taliban, U.S. and Pakistani officials said Thursday.

U.S. officials say Pakistan secured the release of Caitlan Coleman of Stewartstown, Pennsylvania, and her husband, Canadian Joshua Boyle, who were abducted five years ago while traveling in Afghanistan and had been held by the Haqqani network in Pakistan.

Coleman was pregnant when she was captured. The couple had three children while in captivity, and all have been freed, U.S. officials say.

A U.S. national security official, speaking on condition of anonymity to discuss an ongoing operation, commended Pakistan for their critical assistance in securing the family’s release — and described the cooperation as an important step in the right direction for U.S.-Pakistani relations.

The U.S. has long criticized Pakistan for failing to aggressively go after the Haqqanis, who have been behind many attacks against U.S. and allied forces in Afghanistan.

In Pakistan, its military said in a statement that U.S. intelligence agencies had been tracking the hostages and discovered they had come into Pakistan on Oct. 11 through its tribal areas bordering Afghanistan.

“All hostages were recovered safe and sound and are being repatriated to the country of their origin,” the military said.

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Three Pakistani military officials, all speaking on condition of anonymity as they weren’t allowed to speak to journalists, also confirmed the hostages’ identities.

The release, which came together rapidly Wednesday, comes nearly five years to the day since Coleman and Boyle lost touch with their families while traveling in a mountainous region near the Afghan capital, Kabul.

The couple set off in the summer 2012 for a journey that took them to Russia, the central Asian countries of Kazakhstan, Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan, and then to Afghanistan. Coleman’s parents last heard from their son-in-law on Oct. 8, 2012, from an internet cafe in what Boyle described as an “unsafe” part of Afghanistan.

In 2013, the couple appeared in two videos asking the U.S. government to free them from the Taliban.

Coleman’s parents, Jim and Lyn Coleman, told the online Circa News service in July 2016 that they received a letter from their daughter in November 2015, in which she wrote that she’d given birth to a second child in captivity. It’s unclear whether they knew she’d had a third.

“I pray to hear from you again, to hear how everybody is doing,” the letter said.

In that interview, Jim Coleman issued a plea to top Taliban commanders to be “kind and merciful” and let the couple go.

“As a man, father and now grandfather, I am asking you to show mercy and release my daughter, her husband, and our beautiful grandchildren,” Jim Coleman said. “Please grant them an opportunity to continue their lives with us, and bring peace to their families.”

The family was being held by the Haqqani network. U.S. officials call the group a terrorist organization and have targeted its leaders with drone strikes. But the group also operates like a criminal network. Unlike the Islamic State group, it does not typically execute Western hostages, preferring to ransom them for cash.

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“We can no longer be silent about Pakistan’s safe havens for terrorist organizations, the Taliban and other groups that pose a threat to the region and beyond,” Trump said in a recent speech announcing his Afghanistan policy. He issued a stark warning: “We have been paying Pakistan billions and billions of dollars at the same time they are housing the very terrorists that we are fighting. But that will have to change, and that will change immediately.”

Source: yahoo.com

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The Asia Pacific islanders, including the indigenous Maori in New Zealand have an incredibly unique physique which makes them the most feared opponents in the sport of Rugby. It is really no wonder that the New Zealand rugby team, known as the “All Blacks”, has been the dominant force in the sport for many years. So much so that pundits fear their difference from the rest of the world is hurting the sport itself. The players on the pitch are truly a special “breed” with their opponents trembling in their boots when facing them before the kick off, especially when the All Blacks perform the Haka. Here is list of some of the most feared Samoan players in Rugby.

 

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Did you know that some places across the globe are considered so classified that we can’t even see them on Google Maps? Conspiracy theories or not, it is a mere fact that Google has blotted out images in some locations on its Google Earth app. The reason is a mystery…Here is a list of six of these….

Ede, the Netherlands

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Ede is a city situated in the centre of The Netherlands. To the west, you’ll find some strangely pixelated parts, which is said to be the location of some of the country’s Command and Control Support. But when you look on Google Maps, you’ll see something called Fantasy4Kids listed – supposedly some child’s play centre – and an electronics store too… why would you censor that?

Moruroa, French Polynesia

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Among the French Polynesian islands scattered in the South Pacific is one called Moruroa, which looks like it may have something to hide…
Parts of the island are visible, while others are really quite blurred; making it impossible to figure out what may be hiding beneath. An airstrip, dock and some buildings are said to be on the island.
France conducted more than 170 nuclear weapons tests near Mururoa between 1966 and 1996 – could this be the reason for the blackout?
Girona, Spain

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Something’s very obviously hidden in the north eastern city of Girona.
It’s not clear what’s beneath the black block, but the standard map view reveals that there are roads, as well as a hotel. Perhaps it’s somewhere the rich and famous go to escape the public (and Google’s) eyes.
Taipei, Taiwan

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This facility is the Republic of China Air Force in the Daan District of Taiwan’s Taipei. Looks fine, right? Look again.
The entire space is suspiciously shaded differently to surrounding areas, leaving us to assume this view has been replaced with a doctored image.
Warsaw, Poland

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Similar to the Republic of China Air Force facility in Taipei, this area in the Polish capital is strangely coloured.
The site is offices of the Military Property Agency and the Military Technical Supervision Office, so it wouldn’t surprise that they’d decide to hide it a bit…
Munitiecomplex Veenhuizen, the Netherlands

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We’re back to the Netherlands again, and the Dutch have been busy masking some more areas hidden.
Apparently this area is off limits to the eyes of the public because it’s an ammunition depot.

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Dominant Dutch team “Nuon” Thursday won an epic 3,000-kilometre (1,860-mile) solar car race across Australia’s outback for the third-straight year in an innovative contest showcasing new vehicle technology.

The World Solar Challenge, first run in 1987 and last held in 2015, began in the northern city of Darwin on Sunday morning with 41 competing cars, with Adelaide in South Australia state the final destination.

Cheers and chants of “Nuna” roared from the large Dutch contingent as the “Nuna 9″ car — travelling at an average speed of 81.2 kilometres per hour (55.5 mph) — crossed the finish line mid-afternoon.

“Welcome to #Adelaide @NuonSolarTeam, winner of the @bridgestone #BWSC17 Schneider Electric Challenger Class,” race organisers tweeted.

The US’ University of Michigan “Novum” was on track for second place ahead of Belgium’s Punch Powertrain.

The event has become one of the world’s foremost innovation challenges with teams looking to demonstrate designs that could one day lead to commercially available solar-powered vehicles for passengers.

Google co-founder Larry Page and Tesla co-founder J B Straubel are past competitors who credit the event in influencing their careers

The win is the seventh for Nuon, with their car overcoming cloudy skies as they took the lead early and stayed ahead in the elite Challenger class, which features slick, single seat aerodynamic vehicles built for sustained endurance and total energy efficiency.

The team’s winning time was 37 hours, 10 minutes and 41 seconds. When their team finished first in 2015, it took them 33.03 hours.

Team manager Sander Koot said they changed their strategy and driving style to cope with weather conditions that included wind gusts of up to 60 kmh.

They also positioned the car so it could benefit from the windy conditions like a sailing ship, the team’s aerodynamics expert Jasper Hemmes told organisers.

There is also a Cruiser class which aims to showcase solar technology for mainstream vehicles that are more practical for day-to-day use.

Another Dutch team, Eindhoven, is on track to finish Friday and win that class, with Germany’s HS Bochum tracking second.

The vehicles are powered by the sun and mostly developed by universities or corporations, with teams hailing from Australia and across the world including the United States, Malaysia, India and South Africa.

They are allowed to store a small amount of energy but the majority of their power has to come from the sun and their vehicle’s kinetic forces.

The crews drove between 8am and 5pm each day with seven checkpoints along a route cutting through the heart of Australia’s central desert region, to get updates on their standings, the weather, and do basic maintenance.

source: AFP

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Fears that modern society is obsessed with youth may be unfounded after research showed that the average age of people judged the most beautiful is now closer to 40.
Scientists from Boston University School of Medicine compared celebrities who were listed in People magazine’s World’s Most Beautiful list in 1990 and compared it them to 2017.
Nearly three decades ago the average age of those judged the most beautiful was 33.2, but this year it is 38.9.
Celebrities including the actresses Sharon Stone and Michelle Pfieffer, both 59, have helped raise the age of beauty. Julia Roberts, the actress, who is 49, was voted overall the most beautiful woman in the world.
Pfieffer, Stone and Roberts were all also included in the 1990 list, suggesting that the three have helped change ageing stereotypes.
The research also showed that there had also been a shift towards darker skin tones. In 1990, lighter skins easily dominated the Most Beautiful list, making up 88 per cent of the celebrities.
By 2017, lighter-skinned stars had fallen to 70.4 per cent of the total. The proportion of celebrities of “non-white” race also increased from 24 per cent in 1990 to 40 per cent today.

Mixed race individuals were represented by just one person in 1990 and by 14 people in 2017.
Writing in the journal Jama Dermatology, the team, led by Dr Neelam Vashi, from Boston University School of Medicine, concluded: “At present, a wider variety of skin colours and inclusion of older age groups are represented among those deemed to be the most beautiful.
“The mass media platform has for years introduced certain criteria for what constitutes beauty.
“Through an examination of the WMB (World’s Most Beautiful) issue of People, we found that these beauty standards are evolving as people learn how to integrate the effects of media with exposure to new cultures and different norms.”
The researchers studied 50 celebrities from the 1990 list and 135 from this year’s list to extract information on age, sex, race, skin type, hair and eye colour, and visible skin conditions.

source: telegraph.co.uk

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