News Headlines - 20 March 2018

Japanese pension data entry outsourced to Chinese firm - The Mainichi

An information processing firm in Tokyo assigned to process the personal data of around 5 million pensioners outsourced part of the task to a Chinese company in violation of a contract that prohibited subcontracts, according to the Japan Pension Service.
The outsourcing came under the spotlight after it was revealed that around 1.3 million people received lower pension benefits in February than they were entitled to as income tax breaks were not adequately reflected.

US & South Korea announce start date for major military exercise - CNNPolitics

The "Foal Eagle and Key Resolve" drills would begin on April 1 for four weeks, both countries said in a statement. Last year, Foal Eagle began on March 1 and continued until the end of April, lasting a total of two months.

Stephen Hawking’s parting shot is multi-cosmic | The Sunday Times

As his family were coming together to plan the funeral of the “world’s most famous scientist”, his academic colleagues learnt that he has left behind a final groundbreaking research paper — completed on his deathbed — describing how humanity might detect other universes.
The research, submitted two weeks ago, sets out the maths needed for a space probe to find experimental evidence for the existence of a “multiverse”. This is the idea that our cosmos is only one of many universes.

London’s free tap water scheme aims to slash plastic pollution | Euronews

London mayor Sadiq Khan, who is trying to encourage more businesses to sign up, says the average adult in the UK capital buys 175 bottles a year.
The scheme encourages people to fill up their bottles instead of buying a plastic one and later throwing it away.

Dublin overtakes London in terms of expense, city report finds

Dublin is ranked 19th out of 133 cities, while London has fallen to 30th place, its lowest ranking in 20 years.
The survey by The Economist Intelligence Unit said the weakening of sterling since the Brexit vote had pushed the UK capital down the rankings.

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News Headlines - 19 March 2018

Brexit: Transitional period to last until end of 2020

The U.K. will remain in the European Union until the end of 2020, but with restricted powers, officials announced Monday.
The EU and the United Kingdom have agreed to a transition process of 21 months — from 29 March 2019 until the end of 2020 — before the country leaves the member bloc completely.

McDonald’s High-Tech Makeover Is Stressing Workers Out - Bloomberg

McDonald’s Corp. has been updating with new technology, delivery, a revamped menu and curbside pickup. But the chain’s “Experience of the Future” effort could backfire. Employees are handling more tasks, in many cases, they say, without pay raises or adequate staffing. So Dickerson, 23, handed over his spatula for the last time.

65% say Abe's wife should face Diet over scandal: poll | The Japan Times

Amid a deepening scandal linked to the cronyism allegations leveled against Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, 52.0 percent of the public thinks Finance Minister Taro Aso should resign over the related document-tampering, and 65.3 percent think Abe’s wife, Akie, should be summoned to testify in the Diet, a survey showed Sunday.

Berlin's children pile up teddy bears in solidarity with Syrian refugees

German school children made a giant pile of teddy bears in Berlin on Thursday, to show solidarity with the huge numbers of young Syrians growing up without an education, as the civil war entered its eighth year.

At least eight hurt as ski lift hurtles out of control in Georgia | The Guardian

At least eight people have been injured after a malfunctioning ski lift threw people from their seats at a ski resort in Georgia.
Skiers and snowboarders were forced to jump from the faulty chairlift on Friday as their seats hurtled backwards down the mountain, with some people falling from carriages at speed, in what one witness likened to “a scene from a Final Destination film”.

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News Headlines - 18 March 2018

‘I made Steve Bannon’s psychological warfare tool’: meet the data war whistleblower | The Guardian

For more than a year we’ve been investigating Cambridge Analytica and its links to the Brexit Leave campaign in the UK and Team Trump in the US presidential election. Now, 28-year-old Christopher Wylie goes on the record to discuss his role in hijacking the profiles of millions of Facebook users in order to target the US electorate

Panama Papers law firm Mossack Fonseca to shut down after tax scandal

Mossack Fonseca, the Panamanian law firm at the center of the “Panama Papers” scandal, said on Wednesday it was shutting down due to the economic and reputational damage inflicted by its role in the global tax evasion debacle.

Japan's anti-monopoly watchdog raids Amazon headquarters

Japan's Fair Trade Commission is investigating whether Amazon is forcing sellers to bear all or part of the losses incurred when Amazon offers bargain discounts online... Japan's antitrust watchdog probed Amazon (AMZN) last year, accusing the company of forcing sellers to offer "the lowest price and the richest lineup of goods" on its online marketplace.

Rise of violent Buddhist rhetoric in Asia defies stereotypes - Channel NewsAsia

Buddhism may be touted in the West as an inherently peaceful philosophy, but a surge in violent rhetoric from small but increasingly influential groups of hardline monks in parts of Asia is upending the religion's tolerant image.

Video from controversial 2014 fatal Utah courthouse shooting released, shows man jumping at witness with pen - The Salt Lake Tribune

It took about five seconds from the time Siale Angilau grabbed a pen from his defense attorney’s table for him to run across the federal courtroom floor and sail headfirst into the witness stand, where he was fatally shot by a U.S. marshal.
On Monday, Salt Lake City’s U.S. District Court released courtroom video of the 2014 shooting, nearly four years after the 25-year-old defendant was shot four times.

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News Headlines - 17 March 2018

Syrian civilians flee embattled Eastern Ghouta and Afrin | Al Jazeera

Civilians continue to flee Syria's Eastern Ghouta and Afrin in record numbers as Syrian and Turkish military operations continue against their respective foes.
Roughly 50,000 people have fled the two areas - 20,000 from Eastern Ghouta, a Damascus suburb, and 30,000 from Afrin, in Syria's Kurdish-dominated northeast - according to some counts.

Former South African president Zuma facing 16 charges of corruption - Independent.ie

Former president Jacob Zuma will be prosecuted on 16 charges of corruption, the director of South Africa's National Prosecuting Authority said.
Shaun Abrahams announced that Zuma will face charges including fraud, corruption, racketeering and money laundering.

Philippines tells UN it will quit International Criminal Court | South China Morning Post

The Philippines said on Friday it had given official notice to exit the treaty that created the International Criminal Court, which is examining President Rodrigo Duterte’s war on drugs.
The move comes days after Duterte announced his nation would quit the court over its preliminary inquiry launched last month into allegations his crackdown on narcotics amounts to crimes against humanity.

Xi Jinping gets second term, with ally Wang Qishan as vice-president | South China Morning Post

The political comeback of Wang – who stepped down from the ruling Communist Party’s top echelon and his position as head of its graft watchdog in October – confirmed a South China Morning Post report in December.
A total of 2,969 people voted to elect him vice-president, with only one voting against.
The National People’s Congress also unanimously confirmed Xi’s second term, with 2,970 votes in favour.

Hello Kitty to make bullet train debut in Japan, East Asia News & Top Stories - The Straits Times

Hello Kitty has already found its way onto bus and aircraft services - and is now set to make its debut on Japan's iconic bullet train.
West Japan Railway will launch "Hello Kitty Shinkansen" services on its bullet train line connecting Osaka and Fukuoka later this year, the company said this week.

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News Headlines - 16 March 2018

Japanese Cabinet's support rate slides below disapproval rate to land at 39% in latest poll | The Japan Times

Public support for Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s Cabinet has plunged 9.4 points since February and now sits at 39.3 percent, leaving it short of the disapproval rate for the first time in five months, an opinion poll showed Friday.
It is also the first time in five months that the support rate has fallen short of 40 percent.
The disapproval rate meanwhile has surged 8.5 points to reach 40.4 percent, according to the poll conducted by Jiji Press over four days through Monday.

US-North Korea meeting: N Korean Minister in surprise Sweden visit - BBC News

North Korea's foreign minister has attended talks in Stockholm with Sweden's Prime Minister Stefan Lofven, ahead of a possible meeting between US President Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un.

‘I screamed, but no one came’: The horrifying sexual violence facing Syria’s women and girls - The Washington Post

That's the conclusion of the United Nations' Human Rights Council, which just released a new report on the horrific sexual violence facing the people of Syria... The stories in the report, written after interviews with more than 450 people, document a terrifying and systematic pattern of sexual abuse by the government during house raids, at checkpoints and in detention centers.

Florida bridge collapse: Pedestrian overpass collapses at FIU, Miami | The Courier-Mail

FOUR people have been found dead in the rubble of a collapsed pedestrian bridge in South Florida, officials have confirmed.
The partially built 950-tonne pedestrian bridge collapsed over a six-lane highway at Florida International University in Miami, crushing cars underneath it. It is believed that section of the bridge was installed last Sunday.

Trump decides to remove national security adviser H.R. McMaster, and others may follow - The Washington Post

President Trump has decided to remove H.R. McMaster as his national security adviser and is actively discussing potential replacements, according to five people with knowledge of the plans, preparing to deliver yet another jolt to the senior ranks of his administration.
Trump is now comfortable with ousting McMaster, with whom he never personally gelled, but is willing to take time executing the move because he wants to ensure both that the three-star Army general is not humiliated and that there is a strong successor lined up, these people said.

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News Headlines - 15 March 2018

Amazon's internal numbers on Prime Video, revealed

Amazon.com Inc’s top television shows drew more than 5 million people worldwide to its Prime shopping club by early 2017, according to company documents, revealing for the first time how the retailer’s bet on original video is paying off.
The documents also show that Amazon’s U.S. audience for all video programming on Prime, including films and TV shows it licenses from other companies, was about 26 million customers. Amazon has never released figures for its total audience.

Toys ‘R’ Us Tells Workers It Will Likely Close All U.S. Stores - WSJ

Toys “R” Us Inc. told employees Wednesday the struggling big-box retailer will sell or close all its U.S. stores, a collapse that threatens up to 33,000 American jobs in the coming months.
The 70-year-old chain, which filed for bankruptcy protection in September, has more than 700 remaining U.S. locations, including Babies “R” Us stores. It would be one of the biggest retail liquidations since Sports Authority filed for bankruptcy in 2016 with 14,500 workers and closed more than 460 stores.

Bitcoin Is Worthless, Bubble May Pop Soon, Allianz Global Says - Bloomberg

It’s a matter of when, not if, the Bitcoin bubble will pop, according to Allianz Global Investors.
The cryptocurrency is worthless, even if blockchain technology could bring significant benefits to investors, said the investment arm of Europe’s biggest insurer, which manages almost 500 billion euro.

Russian aeroplane loses gold-silver bars on take-off - BBC News

A plane laden with tonnes of gold-silver alloy was taking off from Yakutsk airport in Siberia when a loading hatch broke off.
Some 200 bars, each weighing about 20kg (44 pounds), were then scattered across the runway.
All of the bars have now been recovered, a spokesman for the Canadian mine owner told news agency Interfax.

Dog mistakenly shipped to Japan via United Airlines - CNN

United Airlines wrongly shipped a Kansas-bound pet dog to Japan, the second embarrassment this week for the airline and a "nightmare" for the Swindle family -- who are moving from Oregon to Wichita with their beloved pet, a 10-year-old German shepherd named Irgo... On Monday, a French bulldog died on a Houston-to-New York flight after a United flight attendant told its owners to put the dog, in its carrier, in an overhead bin. The airline said it was investigating the French bulldog's death "to prevent this from ever happening again."

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News Headlines - 14 March 2018

Britain Expels 23 Russian Diplomats Over Ex-Spy’s Poisoning - The New York Times

Prime Minister Theresa May of Britain expelled 23 Russian diplomats on Wednesday over the poisoning of a former Russian spy on British soil, raising tensions between the two countries to a level not seen since the heights of the Cold War. She vowed to crack down on Russian spies, corrupt elites and ill-gotten wealth in Britain.

South Korea's former president Lee Myung-bak questioned on graft - Channel NewsAsia

Former South Korean president Lee Myung-bak reported to prosecutors for questioning in a corruption probe Wednesday (Mar 14) and apologised for the controversy.
Allegations of corruption involving the 76-year-old's relatives and aides during his 2008-2013 presidential term have mounted in recent weeks as prosecutors investigate multiple cases of bribery amounting to millions of dollars.

Seven former Aum cult members transferred from Tokyo detention center, suggesting executions near | The Japan Times

The Justice Ministry began transferring seven of the 13 former Aum Shinrikyo cult members on death row from a Tokyo detention center to other facilities, sources said Wednesday, likely moving them one step closer to their execution dates.

Tsuburaya sues Chinese firm over 'Ultraman' - NHK WORLD

NHK has learned that a Japanese firm sued a Chinese film company for copyright infringement for using its "Ultraman" character... The Japanese studio, Tsuburaya Productions, filed the lawsuit with a court in Shanghai last September to stop the film's release. Tsuburaya claimed that the Chinese company had infringed copyright by advertising the movie.

Palestinian prime minister survives assassination attempt in Gaza as bomb hits his convoy

The Palestinian prime minister survived an assassination attempt during a rare visit to Hamas-controlled Gaza on Tuesday, putting a fresh strain on the already torrid relations between the two leading Palestinian factions.
Rami Hamdallah, the prime minister of the Fatah-controlled Palestinian Authority, had just entered Gaza when a roadside explosive detonated near his convoy. Mr Hamdallah was not injured but seven of his guards and aides suffered slight wounds, according to Palestinian media.

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News Headlines - 13 March 2018

Trump Fires Rex Tillerson and Will Replace Him With C.I.A. Chief Pompeo - The New York Times

President Trump on Tuesday ousted his secretary of state, Rex W. Tillerson, extending a shake-up of his administration, 14 months into his tumultuous presidency, and potentially transforming the nation’s economic and foreign policy.
Mr. Trump announced he would replace Mr. Tillerson with Mike Pompeo, the C.I.A. director and former Tea Party congressman, who forged a close relationship with the president and is viewed as being more in sync with Mr. Trump’s America First credo.

Tillerson sacking: Where it went wrong for Rex - BBC News

For a start, his visit to Vegas was NOT leading the bulletins on cable news channels. But secondly it's what WAS the top story that tipped him over the edge and into a hair-raising (lacquer allowing) rage.
The lead item - with whooshes and flashes and giant straps rushing urgently across the bottom of the screen - was the news that Rex Tillerson had refused to deny that he had called Donald Trump a "moron" (with expletive attached).

Qatar World Cup labourers worked up to 148 days in a row | Daily Mail Online

Migrant labourers in Qatar have worked up to 148 days in a row, a report into conditions faced by workers building stadiums for the 2022 football World Cup has found.
A London-based consultancy firm, Impactt, said long working hours remained a problem for many of the 18,500 workers at projects overseen by Qatar's World Cup organisers, the Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy.

Russian exile Nikolai Glushkov found dead at his London home | The Guardian

A Russian exile who was close friends with the late oligarch Boris Berezovsky has been found dead in his London home, according to friends.
Nikolai Glushkov, 68, was discovered by his family and friends late on Monday night. The cause of death is not yet clear. One of his friends, the newspaper editor Damian Kudryavtsev, posted the news on his Facebook page.

Putin says grandfather cooked for Stalin and Lenin

Vladimir Putin’s paternal grandfather worked as a cook for both Vladimir Lenin and Joseph Stalin, the president said in a film posted on the internet on Sunday.

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News Headlines - 12 March 2018

Japan govt altered documents in scandal linked to Abe’s wife - The Washington Post

Japan’s Finance Ministry acknowledged Monday that it doctored documents in a widening scandal linked to Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s wife that has rattled his government and caused its support ratings to slide.
Abe quickly apologized Monday on behalf of ministry officials but did not mention his wife or her suspected role in the scandal.

Japan’s Finance Minister Under Fire as Abe School Scandal Deepens - Bloomberg

Japanese Finance Minister Taro Aso is coming under pressure to resign as a scandal over alleged favors to a school with connections to Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe deepened... The Finance Ministry will concede its involvement in the alteration of 14 papers, removing the names of multiple politicians including some with cabinet experience...

Fukushima 360: walk through a ghost town in the nuclear disaster zone – video | The Guardian

What happens to a town that has been abandoned for seven years after a nuclear meltdown? Greenpeace took former residents and a 360-degree camera into the radiation zone north of Fukushima to mark the anniversary of the disaster. The Fukushima Daiichi plant was damaged by a tsunami triggered by a magnitude-9 earthquake on the afternoon of 11 March 2011. The tsunami killed almost 19,000 people along the north-east coast of Japan and forced more than 150,000 others living near the plant to flee radiation. Some of the evacuated neighbourhoods are still deemed too dangerous for former residents to go back.

Envoys of S. Korean leader head to Japan, China on outcome of N. Korea visit

Special envoys of South Korean President Moon Jae-in were set to leave for China and Japan on Monday to explain to their leaders the outcome of the special envoys' monumental trip to North Korea.
Chung Eui-yong, Moon's top security advisor, was set to embark on a two-day trip to Beijing where he is scheduled to meet Chinese President Xi Jinping.
Suh Hoon, chief of the state spy agency, was also set to visit Japan later in the day. He will meet Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Tuesday.

Tibetan Prime Minister-in-exile asks Chinese President to resolve Tibet issue peacefully | Hindustan Times

Tibetan Prime Minister-in-exile Lobsang Sangay on Saturday urged Chinese President Xi Jinping to resolve the issue of Tibet by dialogue.
He also demanded a UNESCO fact-finding mission to visit the holiest Jokhang shrine in Lhasa in Tibet and investigate a fire incident there that destroyed hundreds of Tibetan artefacts a few weeks back.

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News Headlines - 11 March 2018

Japan marks seventh anniversary of 3/11 with moment of silence | The Japan Times

At 2:46 p.m. on Sunday, Japan observed a moment of silence to mark the seventh anniversary of the mega-quake and tsunami that left about 18,000 people dead or missing while triggering the world’s worst nuclear disaster since Chernobyl.
The anniversary of the calamity on March 11, 2011, arrived as about 73,000 people from the disaster-hit areas have yet to return to their hometowns.

Disney's drone flies over Star Wars land as it's being built

Disneyland just released a teaser trailer for its new Star Wars themed area, a flyover of the construction site that offers the first detailed look at what’s rising in a galaxy not far away at all.

Jeff Bezos' Fortune Crosses $130 Billion As Amazon Stock Continues Climb

While Amazon has been trying to figure out what is causing digital assistant Alexa to laugh unprompted, founder and CEO Jeff Bezos has been laughing all the way to the bank. His fortune climbed past $130 billion this week.
Bezos became $2.1 billion richer on Friday, pushing his net worth to $130.5 billion, as Amazon's stock continues its relentless ascent. Shares have risen 5% in the past week and 85% in the last twelve months. That has quickly made Bezos the richest person on the planet and the first centi-billionaire in the Forbes Billionaire ranks.

White House plan includes gun training for teachers - The Washington Post

President Donald Trump’s plan to combat school shootings will include helping states pay for firearms training for teachers and a call to improve the background check system.
But Trump’s plan will not include a push to increase the minimum age for purchasing assault weapons or an embrace of more comprehensive background checks, as Trump has at times advocated.

PAOK president takes gun onto the pitch to remonstrate with the referee | MARCA in English

The clash between PAOK and AEK had to be suspended due to a pitch invasion by fans and the home side's president Ivan Savvidis also went to remonstrate to the referee with a gun fastened to his belt

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News Headlines - 10 March 2018

Finance Ministry to admit Moritomo documents were secretly altered | The Japan Times

The Finance Ministry has decided to admit that documents related to the shady 2016 land deal struck with Osaka-based school operator Moritomo Gakuen were secretly revised and that key parts were dropped from the version released to lawmakers last year, informed sources said Saturday.

Trump’s Abrupt ‘Yes’ to North Korea: The 45 Minutes That Could Alter History - The New York Times

While Mr. Chung headed to the driveway, Mr. Trump hurriedly called Prime Minister Shinzo Abe of Japan to let him know. Mr. Abe has worked assiduously to cultivate a close relationship with Mr. Trump and taken a hard line on North Korea, but he was left out of the loop, a fact that stung.
“I have an impression that the Japanese are not quite well informed,” said Yoshiki Mine, head of a previous Japanese delegation seeking normalized relations with North Korea. “What we have been told is awfully out of tune, I should say.”

Thailand receives Fukushima's first fish export since 2011 nuclear disaster - The Straits Times

Thailand is the first country to receive a shipment of fresh fish from Japan's Fukushima prefecture following the March 2011 nuclear disaster... The fish was meant to be served in sushi and sashimi dishes at 12 Japanese restaurants in Bangkok last Friday.

France′s Macron seeks closer India ties amid global uncertainty | DW

One of the main highlights of this trip will see Modi and Macron co-chairing the founding conference of the International Solar Alliance (ISA). The ISA was a flagship Indian initiative launched by Modi and former French President Francois Hollande on the sidelines of the Paris Climate Conference in 2015.

Amazon has a fix for Alexa’s creepy laughs - The Verge

Over the past few days, users with Alexa-enabled devices have reported hearing strange, unprompted laughter. Amazon responded to the creepiness today in a statement to The Verge, saying, “We’re aware of this and working to fix it.”

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News Headlines - 09 March 2018

Tax chief exits as ministry suicide casts pall over Moritomo land scandal | The Japan Times

The head of the National Tax Agency resigned Friday in connection with the sweetheart land deal given to an Osaka-based school operator in 2016 that has been linked to Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s wife. The de facto sacking of Nobuhisa Sagawa, approved by the Cabinet, was announced as opposition lawmakers resumed their offensive against Abe’s government.

Channel 4 to move hundreds of staff but keep London HQ | The Guardian

Channel 4 has reached a deal with the government to move hundreds of staff out of London and create a new “national HQ” in another city – but it will not be forced to sell its £100m base in London. The broadcaster has laid out a plan to move 300 of its 800 staff out of the capital next year. It currently employs only about 30 staff outside London.

Canada's homeless piano player dies at 46 - BBC News

The death of a homeless man who played piano on the street has left many mourning in the Canadian city of Edmonton, Alberta.
Ryan Arcand was used to the sounds of the city - cars honking, people shouting, the steady hum of traffic - while living on the street.
He died last week at the age of 46 after years of struggling with alcoholism, mental health and homelessness.

North, South Korea won't march together at Paralympics amid flag row

South and North Korea will not march together at the opening ceremony of the Winter Paralympics, as they did at the Olympics last month, because they cannot agree on a united flag that erases islands disputed with Japan, officials said.

A different side of Ichiro emerges in return to Mariners | The Seattle Times

In a news conference to discuss his one-year contract with the Mariners, Ichiro was more sentimental. The 44-year-old recognizes that his role in the game has changed irrevocably and appears eager to embrace a leadership role. ‘I want to just give it all right here in Seattle.’

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News Headlines - 08 March 2018

North Korea Asks for Direct Nuclear Talks, and Trump Agrees - The New York Times

North Korea’s leader, Kim Jong-un, has invited President Trump to meet for negotiations over its nuclear program, an audacious diplomatic overture that would bring together two strong-willed, idiosyncratic leaders who have traded threats of war.
The White House said that Mr. Trump had accepted the invitation, and Chung Eui-yong, a South Korean official who conveyed it, told reporters that the president would meet with Mr. Kim within two months.

Trump hints at steel tariff flexibility for 'real friends' | Fox News

President Trump hinted that he would sign controversial tariffs on imports of aluminum and steel Thursday, but also suggested flexibility for “real friends” abroad who treat the U.S. fairly.

French publisher determined to reprint Celine's anti-Semitic tracts - RFI

The head of France's most prestigious publishing house said Sunday he still wanted to reprint a collection of violently anti-Semitic pamphlets by Louis-Ferdinand Celine.
Antoine Gallimard declared that he had "not renounced" plans to publish a 1,000-page compendium of the controversial novelist's essays from the late 1930s after an outcry forced him to put the project on ice in January.

March4Women: Thousands rally for gender equality in London

Thousands of people have taken part in a march in London to highlight the fight for gender equality.
The rally coincided with the 100th anniversary of some women being given the right to vote.

Norway boosts whaling quota despite international opposition | The Guardian

Norway has announced a 28% increase of its annual whaling quota to 1,278 whales in a bid to revive the declining hunt amid international controversy.
Whalers have for several years failed to meet the quotas set by Oslo and the number of whaling boats has plunged.

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News Headlines - 07 March 2018

Allegations of Document Tampering Revive Abe Scandal in Japan - Bloomberg

Allegations that public documents may have been altered have revived a controversy over a heavily discounted sale of public land to a school with connections to Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

Sri Lanka Declares State of Emergency After Mob Attacks on Muslims - The New York Times

Sri Lanka’s government imposed a nationwide state of emergency on Tuesday after mob attacks against the minority Muslim population in a central district, violence that has highlighted the country’s fragility as it tries to recover from decades of civil war.

France to set legal age of sexual consent at 15 - BBC News

France plans to fix the legal age of sexual consent at 15, meaning sex with someone younger than that would be considered rape... Under the existing legislation, if there is no violence or coercion proved, offenders may only be charged with sexual abuse of a minor and not rape. This has a maximum sentence of five years in prison and a fine of €75,000 (£66,000; $87,000).

Billionaire Paul Allen Discovers World War II Era Aircraft Carrier in Australia's Coral Sea

The U.S.S. Lexington has finally been found, decades later and thousands of feet underwater.
The crew of Research Vessel Petrel (R/V Petrel), the exploration ship of billionaire and Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen, discovered the wreckage of the World War II-era aircraft carrier Monday. It was found about two miles below the surface of the Coral Sea and more than 500 miles off the eastern coast of Australia.

Video appears to show man with Frances McDormand's stolen Oscar | The Independent

Video footage has emerged of the man accused of stealing Frances McDormand's Best Actress Oscar statuette.
LAPD spokesperson Rosario Herrera said Terry Bryant, 47, was arrested on Sunday evening and is being held on $20,000 bail. A video posted to Bryant's Facebook, now deleted, appeared to show him holding the award aloft.

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News Headlines - 06 March 2018

Two Koreas Agree to Hold Summit at End of April /KBS World Radio

The first inter-Korean summit in more than a decade will take place next month.
Announcing the outcome of a two-day visit to Pyongyang, South Korea's chief presidential envoy Chung Eui-yong said Tuesday that the two Koreas have agreed on a meeting between President Moon Jae-in and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un at the border truce village of Panmunjeom at the end of April.

After Park, former South Korean President Lee summoned over bribery allegations

South Korean prosecutors have called former President Lee Myung-bak to appear for questioning over allegations he took bribes when in office, a prosecutor said on Tuesday in the latest top-level political corruption scandal to rock the country.

South Africa listeria: Source of 'world's worst outbreak' found - BBC News

South Africa says it has finally traced the source of a listeria outbreak that has killed 180 people in the past year - said to make it the worst in history.
The source is a factory operated by Enterprise Foods in Polokwane in Limpopo.
More facilities are being tested to see if they contributed to the outbreak which infected almost 1,000 people.

Woman in Russian spy mystery is Sergei Skripal's daughter | The Guardian

The second person found unconscious in Salisbury alongside the former Russian spy Sergei Skripal is his 33-year-old daughter.
Yulia Skripal was discovered on a bench next to her father on Sunday and is in a critical condition in hospital. She lives in Russia but was visiting the UK, the BBC reported, adding that relatives had not heard from her for two days.

Poisoned umbrellas and polonium: Russian-linked UK deaths | The Guardian

Salisbury’s former spy is not the first Russian to fall ill in Britain in mysterious circumstances
Georgi Markov, September 1978
Alexander Litvinenko, November 2006
German Gorbuntsov, March 2012
Alexander Perepilichnyy, November 2012
Boris Berezovsky, March 2013
Scot Young, December 2014

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News Headlines - 05 March 2018

Two people critical in Salisbury Hospital after exposure to 'unknown substance'

Two people are in a critical condition in hospital after they were thought to have been exposed to an "unknown substance" at a shopping centre.
Wiltshire Police said officers were alerted to concerns about the welfare of a man and woman at The Maltings in Salisbury on Sunday afternoon.

S. Korean Envoys Meet N. Korean Leader, Attend Dinner | KBS World Radio

South Korean presidential spokesman Kim Eui-kyeom revealed in a media briefing that the special envoys would have a meeting with the North Korean leader and attend a dinner with him from 6 p.m.
The South Korean delegation, led by President Moon's chief security adviser Chung Eui-yong, landed at Pyongyang Sunan International Airport at 2:50 p.m., an hour after departing on their two-day visit from Seoul Airport in Seongnam, south of Seoul.

China proposes to extend Xi Jinping's rule | Al Jazeera

China's governing Communist Party has proposed removing a clause in the constitution which limits presidencies to two five-year terms, which would allow the current President Xi Jinping to remain as leader after he is due to step down.

Fukushima students mark 3/11 with ceremony in New York | The Japan Times

Students from Fukushima Prefecture attended a memorial service in New York on Sunday for victims of the March 2011 earthquake, tsunami and nuclear disaster.

Ichiro Suzuki, 44, Mariners near agreement on contract

Ichiro Suzuki, at 44 years old, is getting closer to continuing his major league career where it all began -- with the Seattle Mariners.
The two sides are nearing an agreement on a major league contract, according to a person with direct knowledge of the negotiations.

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News Headlines - 04 March 2018

Trump says North Korea 'called up,' seeking talks with the United States - Chicago Tribune

President Donald Trump said Saturday that North Korea has recently sought talks with the United States and that he "won't rule out direct talks with Kim Jong Un," the North Korean leader.
"Now we're talking. They, by the way, called up a couple of days ago, they said 'we would like to talk,'" Trump said. "And I said, 'so would we, but you have to denuke.'" ... It was not clear whether Trump was describing a direct conversation or messages sent through diplomatic channels.

Bank of Japan governor hints at exit from monetary stimulus

The yen jumped after Haruhiko Kuroda appeared to drop his first hint of Japan’s exit from years of monetary stimulus, as unemployment fell to just 2.4 per cent, the lowest rate in a quarter of a century... Speaking on Friday at a parliamentary confirmation hearing for his second term, Mr Kuroda said: “Of course we will be considering and debating an exit [around fiscal year 2019]”. That fiscal year ends in March 2020.

Cat in blazing Russia building is revived by firefighters | Daily Mail Online

The ginger cat was the last living soul found in the building in the city of Volgograd, in south-western Russia's Volgograd Oblast region, where fire crews fought for four hours to contain the blaze... However, as firemen massaged its chest and then opened the valve on a canister of oxygen close to its mouth, the little animal began to stir.

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle Will Invite Members of the General Public to Their Wedding | Teen Vogue

Kensington Palace just announced that the untraditional couple will break custom once more by inviting people from the general public to attend their wedding.
In fact, thousands of members of the British public will score a coveted invitation. According to a new update on the official Royal Family website, "Prince Harry and Ms. Markle have invited 2,640 people into the grounds of Windsor Castle to watch the arrivals of the Bride and Groom, and their wedding guests, at the chapel and to watch the carriage procession as it departs from the castle."

Oscars 2018: 'The Shape of Water' wins best picture at Academy Awards

Guillermo del Toro’s fantasy romance The Shape of Water picked up four honors — including the night’s big prize, best picture — at the 90th Academy Awards Sunday night. Del Toro took home best director for his film, which also won for original score and production design.

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News Headlines - 03 March 2018

Deadly attacks on French embassy and military HQ in Burkina Faso - The Local

Authorities in Burkina Faso were on Saturday hunting for clues about the masterminds behind Friday's deadly twin attacks on the French embassy and the country's military HQ.
The coordinated attacks in Ouagadougou, which coincided with a meeting of regional anti-jihadist forces, underlined the struggle the fragile West African nation faces in containing a bloody and growing jihadist insurgency.

Detroit’s Glitzy Car Show Likely Moving to Warmer Month In Bid to Stay Relevant - WSJ

Organizers of Detroit’s auto show likely will move the annual event to October from January in coming years, according to people familiar with the matter. The move would offer visitors a chance to test drive moonshot technologies on actual, ice-free streets and create some distance from the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. While auto-show attendance during public days is robust, the Motor City’s big event has gone from a must-attend event for car companies to one that an increasing amount of auto makers avoid.
The show’s leadership team has yet to make a final decision, several of the people said. Also known as the North American International Auto Show, the event will take place as originally planned in mid-January of 2019 and likely go to its new October slot after that.

Harvey Weinstein’s lawyer Benjamin Brafman defends casting couch | The Times

Women who have sex with bosses they find repulsive to advance their careers have made a decision “to do something that is personally offensive” but are not victims of rape, Harvey Weinstein’s defence lawyer has said.
Benjamin Brafman, who has represented Dominique Strauss-Kahn, Michael Jackson, Jay-Z and various mobsters, said the “casting couch” had been around in Hollywood well before Mr Weinstein became a force there.

Film stars protest sexual harassment at 'French Oscars' - France 24

The French film world may be having its #MeToo moment as one after another, stars showed up at the industry's top awards show Friday wearing a white ribbon in a protest against sexual misconduct.

Shivering Europe hopes for weekend respite as deep freeze persists | AFP.com

Europe's deep freeze, which has cost more than 60 lives over the past week, continued to wreak havoc early Saturday as the shivering continent awaited a sliver of weekend respite from a brutal Siberian cold front.

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News Headlines - 02 March 2018

U.S. steel, aluminum stocks up on Trump's tariffs, but other industries fear price rises

Stock prices of U.S. steel and aluminum makers rose on Thursday after President Donald Trump announced hefty tariffs on metal imports to protect them from foreign competition, but many other companies saw stock price falls as they may face higher prices for raw materials which will force them to raise prices for consumers.

Taiwan receives direct threats of war from China over US passage of Travel Act | Taiwan News

After the United States Senate unanimously passed the Taiwan Travel Bill on Wednesday, Feb. 28, China has been angered and has sent warnings as well as stated its dissatisfaction with both Taiwan and the United States... In a strong and direct editorial, the state publication China Daily mentions its fear of Taiwan pushing for independence once the bill becomes law, which would then force Beijing to act with force to bring Taiwan under its control.

Improper shaving of frame caused crack in shinkansen: JR West

A probe by the railway operator has found that the steel frame of the undercarriage in question was 4.7 millimeters thick at its thinnest point, undershooting the minimum 7 mm required for the component, JR West President Tatsuo Kijima said at a press conference in Osaka.
According to Kawasaki Heavy, which separately held a press conference in Kobe, workers scraped off the bottom of the undercarriage frame to smooth the surface before welding work, even though scraping was prohibited in the production manual as it could weaken the product strength.

German SPD minister expects 60 percent party support for coalition

Germany’s Social Democrat (SPD) environment minister said on Thursday she expects party members to support a new coalition government with Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservatives by a margin of 60 percent.

Exiled Former Catalan President Drops Bid to Return as Leader

The former leader of Spain's separatist-minded Catalonia region unexpectedly announced Thursday that he was dropping his bid to return to his job... He said in a video message posted on a website that under current conditions, standing aside and letting someone else lead Catalonia was the way to get a new government.

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News Headlines - 01 March 2018

Trump to impose steep tariffs on steel, aluminum; stokes trade war fears

President Donald Trump announced on Thursday he would impose hefty tariffs on imported steel and aluminum to protect U.S. producers, risking retaliation from major trade partners like China, Europe and neighboring Canada... Trump said the duties, 25 percent on steel imports and 10 percent on aluminum, would be formally announced next week, although White House officials later said some details still needed to be ironed out.

Hope Hicks to Leave Post as White House Communications Director - The New York Times

Hope Hicks, President Trump’s communications director and one of his longest-serving advisers, said Wednesday that she planned to leave the White House in the next few weeks.
Ms. Hicks, 29, a former model who joined Mr. Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign without any experience in politics, became known as one of the few aides who understood Mr. Trump’s personality and style and could challenge the president to change his views.

U.S. Ambassador to Mexico to Quit Amid Tense Relations Under Trump - The New York Times

The United States ambassador to Mexico plans to resign from her post in May, according to a memo circulated on Thursday to embassy staff, the latest in a string of senior diplomatic departures from the region — and more broadly from the State Department.

Macedonia has four options to resolve name dispute with Greece: PM

Macedonia is looking at four options to settle a decades-long dispute with Greece over its name, Prime Minister Zoran Zaev told Reuters in an interview on Tuesday... Macedonia hopes the issue can be resolved in time for an EU meeting in June and a NATO summit in July...

Astronomers detect signal of Universe's first stars

A signal from the Universe's first stars, born a cosmic heartbeat after the Big Bang, has been detected for the first time, astronomers said Wednesday, setting the science world aflutter.
The observation came after a decade-long quest, years earlier than expected, and was described by one excited observer as the biggest astronomical breakthrough since the Nobel-capped detection of gravitational waves in 2015.

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News Headlines - 28 February 2018

North Korean leaders used Brazilian passports to apply for Western visas - sources

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and his late father Kim Jong Il used fraudulently obtained Brazilian passports to apply for visas to visit Western countries in the 1990s, five senior Western European security sources told Reuters.
While North Korea’s ruling family is known to have used travel documents obtained under false pretences, there are few specific examples. The photocopies of the Brazilian passports seen by Reuters have not been published before.

Dodgy data casts cloud over Japan PM's labor reform push

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s plan to revise labor laws, a key part of his economic reforms to boost growth, is facing political headwinds after the government admitted using flawed data to back up its proposals.

Mongolia protests Japanese kids' cartoon mocking Genghis Khan - The Mainichi

Mongolia lodged a diplomatic protest with Japan on Friday after a monthly comic magazine aimed at children included a picture of national hero Genghis Khan with a crude sketch of male genitalia across his forehead.
The comic's publisher Shogakukan Inc. apologized Friday evening in a meeting with Dambadarjaa Batjargal, the charge d'affaires at Mongolia's embassy in Tokyo.

Olympics: Futuristic pointy-eared mascots chosen for Tokyo 2020

Mascot-loving Japan has two new characters to get excited about after two futuristic designs with pointy ears and chequered patterns were unveiled on Wednesday to promote the 2020 Olympics and Paralympics.
Chosen by schoolchildren across Japan and announced before a gymnasium of cheering pupils in Tokyo, the as yet unnamed blue character will be the mascot for the Olympics and the pink cherry blossom-inspired one for the Paralympics.

IOC lifts suspension on Russian Olympic Committee — RT Sport News

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has lifted its suspension on the Russian Olympic Committee (ROC), which was imposed prior to the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympic Games.

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News Headlines - 27 February 2018

Kushner loses access to top-secret intelligence - POLITICO

Presidential son-in-law and adviser Jared Kushner has had his security clearance downgraded — a move that will prevent him from viewing many of the sensitive documents to which he once had unfettered access.
Kushner is not alone. All White House aides working on the highest-level interim clearances — at the Top Secret/SCI-level — were informed in a memo sent Friday that their clearances would be downgraded to the Secret level, according to three people with knowledge of the situation.

Trump says he would have run into Florida school without a weapon - NBC News

President Donald Trump said Monday that he would have charged into a Florida school during the shooting there earlier this month even if he were unarmed.

Support for independence drops to four-year low in Catalonia

The number of Catalans in favor of their region becoming independent from Spain has dropped to a four-year low, a survey showed on Friday, casting renewed doubt over the secession campaign just as its leaders disagree on the way forward.

Rome blanketed by snow as Arctic storm dubbed 'Beast from the East' sets records - Chicago Tribune

The Arctic storm dubbed the "Beast from the East" saw temperatures across much of Europe fall Monday to their lowest level this winter and even brought a rare snowstorm to Rome, paralyzing the city and giving its residents the chance to ski, sled and build snowmen in its famous parks and piazzas.

West Ham and Watford enquire about Yuto Nagatomo, summer exit likely

Serie A giants Inter Milan want to sell Galatasaray loanee Yuto Nagatomo with Premier League duo West Ham United and Watford interested.

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News Headlines - 26 February 2018

Cambodia's ruling party sweeps Senate election after crackdown

Cambodia’s ruling party said on Sunday it had won every seat up for election on the Senate in a ballot held after thousands of opposition lawmakers and local council leaders were stripped of their right to vote.

Diana charity Mines Advisory Group hit by sex scandal claims | The Sunday Times

A landmine charity championed by Diana, Princess of Wales and Prince Harry has apologised for its failure to investigate sufficiently claims that some members of its staff were regularly paying women for sex.
Mines Advisory Group (Mag) is the latest British charity to be drawn into the unfolding sex abuse scandal amid claims it ignored complaints about the “habitual use” of prostitutes by some members of its staff in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

KFC's apology for running out of chicken is pretty cheeky - BBC News

The fast-food chain took out a full page ad in the Sun and Metro newspapers which shows an empty bucket of chicken with crumbs spilling out.
Instead of having KFC logo on the side, the letters have been switched around to read "FCK".

Madrid local calls police on Puigdemont look-alike comedian | Euronews

Spanish comedian Joaquin Reyes thought it was all fun and games when he was shooting for TV in a park outside of Madrid dressed as exiled Catalan president Carles Puigdemont. But his apparent likeness had one local soon call police.

'Black Panther': The Key Lesson Hollywood Refuses To Learn

Today is the day, barring a fluke, that Walt Disney's Black Panther crosses $500 million worldwide, including well over $200m overseas. And the acclaimed MCU actioner hasn’t even opened in Russia (opening in IMAX today, everywhere in Russia on the 26th), Japan (March 1) and China (March 9).
The lessons of Black Panther are obvious. Big movies with and for black people are not remotely box office poison. Big movies with, for and by black people can absolutely pull in good to great overseas grosses as well. It’s a rebuttal of conventional wisdom. But it’s also a rebuttal of the conventional wisdom that Hollywood has ignored time and time again.

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News Headlines - 25 February 2018

Dutch parliament recognizes 1915 Armenian ′genocide′ | DW

The Dutch parliament has overwhelmingly voted to recognize the World War I massacre of Armenians as genocide, in a vote that may stoke further tensions with Turkey... As the successor state to the Ottoman Empire, Turkey denies that the World War I-era deaths amounted to genocide and has lashed out at countries that have officially recognized the term.

Venezuela Opposition Will Boycott Election, and Maduro Tightens His Hold - The New York Times

Venezuela’s alliance of opposition parties declared on Wednesday that it would boycott the coming presidential election, saying the electoral system was rigged in favor of President Nicolás Maduro and his United Socialist Party of Venezuela.
The decision effectively cleared a path for Mr. Maduro’s re-election to another six-year term and threw the future of the nation’s political opposition, deeply weakened by recent election losses and internal fractures, further into doubt.

China will scrap limit on presidential term, meaning Xi Jinping can stay on | South China Morning Post

China will remove the constitutional restriction on the maximum number of terms the president and vice-president can serve, Xinhua reported on Sunday, paving the way for President Xi Jinping to stay on beyond 2023.
In a brief report, the official news agency said the ruling Communist Party had proposed to remove the line that the president and vice-president “shall serve no more than two consecutive terms” from the constitution.

North Korea condemns U.S. sanctions as officials gather for Olympic ceremony

North Korea on Sunday accused the United States of provoking confrontation on the Korean peninsula with new sanctions, while South Korean protesters tried to block North Korean officials reaching the closing ceremony of the Winter Olympics.

Eve Muirhead devastated as Britain's curlers end up empty-handed | The Guardian

Britain’s skip, Eve Muirhead, has admitted her devastation after missing a makable shot to secure a women’s curling bronze, which would have been Team GB’s sixth medal of the Winter Olympics. Instead she inadvertently pushed Japan’s stone into position to allow her opponents to win 5-3.
It was a nervy and conservatively played affair, with little between the teams going into final end. Japan had a 4-3 lead but that was balanced by Britain having the hammer. With one stone remaining, Muirhead had one in hand – and what looked like a good chance to go for two shots and the victory. Instead she threw it too wide and hard and, as Japan’s curlers shed tears of joy, Muirhead kicked a stone in frustration as she left the ice.

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News Headlines - 24 February 2018

The Syrian teenager tweeting the horror of life in Ghouta | The Guardian

Muhammad Najem, a​ 15​-​year​-​old ​resident of the ​devastated rebel enclave on the outskirts of Damascus, is using social media to share videos of daily bombardments, and food and medical shortages. With hundreds of civilians killed this week alone, Muhammad's latest posts have called on the international community to take action and accused President Bashar al-Assad of killing his childhood

Nigeria rescues 76 schoolgirls after Boko Haram attack, others missing

The Nigerian military rescued 76 schoolgirls and recovered the bodies of two others on Wednesday, after the students went missing during a Boko Haram attack on a village, three parents, a resident and a local government official told Reuters.

Trump proposes bonuses for teachers who get gun training - CNNPolitics

President Donald Trump spent Thursday grappling with how to prevent more school massacres and address the gun debate gripping the country, offering solutions such as giving bonuses to teachers who undergo gun training.

Europe’s first cave artists were Neandertals, newly dated paintings show | Science

Now, archaeologists may have to accept that Neandertals were the original cave artists. A team of dating experts and archaeologists reports that simple creations—the outline of a hand, an array of lines, and a painted cave formation—from three caves in Spain all date to more than 64,800 years ago, at least 20,000 years before modern humans reached Europe.

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry in anthrax threat terror | London Evening Standard

Scotland Yard is investigating after a letter containing white powder purporting to be anthrax was sent to Meghan Markle at Kensington Palace.
The letter, addressed to her and fiancé Prince Harry and understood to contain a racist message, led to a security scare, with specialists rushed in to check the powder.

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News Headlines - 23 February 2018

U.S. imposes more North Korea sanctions, Trump warns of 'phase two'

The United States said on Friday it was imposing its largest package of sanctions to pressure North Korea to give up its nuclear and missile programs, and President Donald Trump warned of a “phase two” that could be “very, very unfortunate for the world” if the steps did not work.

2 Japanese men nabbed for shots fired at defacto N. Korean embassy:The Asahi Shimbun

Police have arrested two Japanese men believed to be right-wing activists for shooting at North Korea's de facto embassy in Tokyo.
Police said Friday that the men fired several shots at the General Association of Korean Residents in Japan, a pro-Pyongyang group representing ethnic Koreans in Japan.

Japan welcomes WTO ruling on South Korea Fukushima food row, East Asia News & Top Stories - The Straits Times

Japan on Friday (Feb 23) welcomed a World Trade Organisation ruling that called for South Korea to lift an import ban on Japanese seafood, imposed after the Fukushima nuclear disaster.
However, the issue is expected to continue after South Korea said it would appeal the WTO’s decision and had no plans to repeal the restrictions.

China seizes control of Anbang Insurance as chairman prosecuted

The Chinese government on Friday seized control of Anbang Insurance Group Co Ltd and said its chairman had been prosecuted, dramatically illustrating Beijing’s willingness to curtail big-spending conglomerates as it cracks down on financial risk.

Eastern Ghouta: US accuses Russia of blocking efforts to halt bloodshed - CNN

The United States has accused Russia of blocking efforts to halt bloodshed in Eastern Ghouta as the Syrian regime continues to pound the rebel-held enclave outside Damascus... A draft resolution put forward by Sweden and Kuwait on Wednesday called for a 30-day halt in the fighting to allow for critical aid deliveries and medical evacuations. The Security Council will meet again Friday to vote on the temporary ceasefire, according to Kuwait, the current Security Council president.

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News Headlines - 22 February 2018

Pence was set to meet with North Korean officials during the Olympics before last-minute cancellation - The Washington Post

Vice President Pence departed for a five-day, two-country swing through Asia earlier this month having agreed to a secret meeting with North Korean officials while in South Korea at the 2018 Winter Olympic Games.
But on Feb. 10, less than two hours before Pence and his team were to meet with Kim Yo Jong, the younger sister of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, and Kim Yong Nam, North Korea’s nominal head of state, the North Koreans pulled out of the scheduled meeting, according to Pence’s office.

Former vice chairman admits Samsung paid litigation fees for company linked to ex-leader Lee

Lee Hak-soo, a former Samsung Electronics vice chairman, has admitted that the conglomerate paid lawsuit costs for a company linked to former President Lee Myung-bak, prosecution sources said Saturday.
Lee Hak-soo was questioned for 16 hours Thursday by prosecutors who are looking into a raft of corruption allegations surrounding the former leader and his family.

Japan, Finland agree Moomin issue "resolved" after exam furor

Speaking before the press ahead of a dinner meeting in Tokyo, Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono told Finnish counterpart Timo Soini he understands the issue of the location of "Moominvalley" has been "settled."
"Now we know where the Moomin is, it is in each of our hearts, so we can be very relaxed that this problem is over," Soini replied.

Woman, 26, charged with public order offence after note was left on ambulance windscreen mid-emergency

A 26-year-old woman has been charged with a public order offence in connection with an incident where a foul-mouthed note was left on an ambulance windscreen... They had reported over the weekend that colleagues found a hand-written note from a resident who had complained the vehicle was parked in a resident's parking bay outside their house.

Sheep-Human Hybrids Made in Lab—Get the Facts

Building on a controversial breakthrough made in 2017, scientists announced on Saturday that they have created the second successful human-animal hybrids: sheep embryos that are are 0.01-percent human by cell count.
The embryos, which were not allowed to develop past 28 days of age, move researchers a small step closer to perhaps growing human organs for medical transplant.

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News Headlines - 21 February 2018

Alberto Fujimori to be tried for death-squad killings despite recent pardon

Just two months after being released from prison on a pardon, former Peru President Alberto Fujimori will be going back to trial, according to a Monday decision. A Peruvian court ruled that the 79-year-old Fujimori will have to stand trial in connection with the 1992 death-squad killings of six farmers in the central Peruvian town of Pativilca.
In December, Fujimori was granted a medical pardon from a 25-year-prison sentence for his role in various human rights abuses, leading to widespread protests throughout the country. Those abuses involved authorizing other death-squad killings as part of the conflict between Fujimori’s administration and left-wing rebels that saw nearly 70,000 people die.

Kim Yo-jong revealed pregnancy during Seoul trip: reports

Kim Yo-jong, the sister of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, is pregnant with her second child, and revealed this to South Korean officials during her visit to Seoul earlier this month, local media reported Tuesday.
According to reports citing unnamed sources, Kim told Seoul’s officials that she was with her second child during her visit to the South between Feb. 9 and 11.

Japanese 'baby factory' man wins custody of 13 kids... | Daily Mail Online

A Japanese millionaire has been awarded legal custody to 13 children he fathered through surrogate mothers in Thailand.
Mitsutoki Shigeta, thought to be 27 years old, caused a 'baby factory' scandal in 2014 after Thai police found nine infants living with their nannies in an upmarket Bangkok apartment... Shigeta, the son of a Japanese tycoon, left the country in the wake of the scandal three-and-a-half-years ago.

Angry mob kill suspects in rape and murder of girl (5) - Independent.ie

Nearly 1,000 people dragged two suspects out of a police station and beat them to death in anger after the rape and killing of a five-year-old girl in India's remote north-east, police said.

Moir hits back at allegations of biased ice dance judging

Canada’s multiple gold medal winner Scott Moir on Wednesday hit back at allegations by a French sports official that judging in the Olympic ice dance event could have been skewed in Canada’s favor.

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News Headlines - 20 February 2018

TEPCO ordered to pay damages for 102-year-old man's suicide:The Asahi Shimbun

A court here acknowledged that a 102-year-old man took his life rather than endure forced evacuation due to the 2011 nuclear disaster and ordered plant operator Tokyo Electric Power Co. to pay 15.2 million ($142,300) in damages to his family.
The Fukushima District Court said in its Feb. 20 ruling that the planned mandatory evacuation of Iitate was behind Fumio Okubo’s suicide, adding that the prospect of being forced from his home must have triggered "unbearable psychological strain."

Ex-Olympus chief in fresh assault on former board

The legal action, which has been brought by both Olympus itself and a lawyer known for bringing suits of “social purpose” that challenge Japanese corporate behaviour, centres on whether members of the Olympus board were taking their fiduciary duty seriously as evidence mounted of accounting irregularities.

Mitsubishi Corp. to raise Mitsubishi Motors stake to 20%- Nikkei Asian Review

Mitsubishi Corp. held a 9.23% interest in Mitsubishi Motors as of the end of last September. It will spend some 120 billion yen ($1.12 billion) to buy additional shares through a tender offer. An official announcement is expected as early as Tuesday.
Fellow group members Mitsubishi Heavy Industries and Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ -- which own about 8% and 3% of the automaker, respectively -- are expected to participate in the tender offer. Nissan Motor is the largest shareholder of Mitsubishi Motors, with a 34% stake.

Osaka to host G20 summit in 2019 - NHK WORLD

The Japanese government has decided to hold next year's Group of 20 Summit meeting in the western prefecture of Osaka. It will be the first time Japan has hosted the summit.

Fight over man's flatulence forces flight to make emergency landing | Fox News

A pilot made an emergency landing after a fight broke out over a passenger who allegedly refused to stop passing gas.
Two Dutchmen sitting next to the flatulent passenger reportedly asked the man to stop, but he refused and continued to break wind aboard the Transavia Airlines flight from Dubai to Amsterdam Schiphol.

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News Headlines - 19 February 2018

Australia mulls rival to China's 'belt and road' with US, Japan, India | afr.com

Australia is discussing with the United States, India and Japan the establishment of a joint regional infrastructure scheme to rival China's multibillion-dollar Belt and Road Initiative in an attempt to counter Beijing's spreading influence.

Where is the Tea Party when you need it?

The Tea Party is dead. Donald Trump just staged the funeral rites. The rebellion against public spending lasted less than a decade. Having repeatedly threatened a US default during Barack Obama’s presidency, Republican hawks have meekly switched to the “deficits don’t matter” school. Democrats lack any such stomach for brinkmanship. They are too ambivalent to stand in the way of Mr Trump’s bonanza. What would liberals call their fiscal rebellion? The soya latte with a dusting of hazelnut party?

Former U.S. presidential candidate Romney announces Utah Senate bid

Former Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney, a frequent critic of President Donald Trump, announced on Friday he would run for a U.S. Senate seat in Utah, confirming months of speculation about a return to national politics.

Two Reuters Journalists Face 14 Years in Burmese Prison After Exposing Massacre of Rohingya Muslims | Democracy Now!

In Burma, two journalists from the Reuters news agency have entered their third month in jail. Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo were arrested on December 12 and charged with violating Burma’s Official Secrets Act. They have been denied bail and face up to 14 years in jail. At the time of their arrest, they were investigating a massacre committed by the Burmese military targeting Rohingya Muslims in the village of Inn Din in September.

Russian curler fails Winter Olympics drug test | The Guardian

A Russian athlete who won bronze in the mixed curling at the Winter Olympics has failed a preliminary drug test, putting his medal into jeopardy and throwing the spotlight on the decision to welcome 168 Russian athletes to Pyeongchang after the country was nominally banned for state-sponsored doping in Sochi four years ago.
The athlete has not been officially named but sources have confirmed reports in Russia that it is Alexander Krushelnytsky, who was found to have meldonium in his urine after playing in the mixed-curling tournament as a member of the Olympic Athletes from Russia team alongside his wife, Anastasia Bryzgalova.

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News Headlines - 18 February 2018

Aseman Airlines plane crash kills 66 in central Iran | Al Jazeera

An Iranian passenger plane with 66 people on board has crashed in central Iran during a flight from Tehran to the city of Yasuj, according to Iranian news media reports.

Angela Merkel's Germany is a 'free rider' and a 'threat to the West' storms Polish PM Mateusz Morawiecki as military leaks reveal the country hasn't got enough tanks to send to NATO

POLAND’S PM last night issued a stinging jibe toward Angela Merkel as he hinted Germany was a “free rider” not pulling its weight in NATO... Mr Morawiecki told Germany’s Die Welt newspaper a country that benefits from the defence of the group but didn’t pay its way was “a free rider which threatens the unity of the West”.

Ethiopia's state of emergency to last six months | Al Jazeera

A state of emergency declared in Ethiopia after the resignation of the country's prime minister will last for six months, the minister of defence has said, as the government seeks to stem political unrest amid long-standing demands for greater freedoms.
The measure, which was first announced by state media after a cabinet meeting on Friday, includes a ban on protests and the dissemination of publications "that could incite and sow discord", Siraj Fegessa told reporters on Saturday.

Portugal police 'find cocaine in traveller's padded pants' - BBC News

Police in Portugal have detained a man at Lisbon's international airport accused of carrying 1kg (2.2lb) of cocaine in fake buttocks.

Yuzuru Hanyu makes history with 1,000th gold medal of Winter Olympics | NBC Olympics

Yuzuru Hanyu's latest victory has an extra-special place in Olympics history.
The Japanese figure skater won the 1,000th gold medal since the Winter Games began in 1924, defending his title in the men's individual competition on Saturday. Hanyu was also the first man to win consecutive golds in the event since American Dick Button did it in 1948 and 1952.

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News Headlines - 17 February 2018

Russia Isn’t the Only One Meddling in Elections. We Do It, Too. - The New York Times

“If you ask an intelligence officer, did the Russians break the rules or do something bizarre, the answer is no, not at all,” said Steven L. Hall, who retired in 2015 after 30 years at the C.I.A., where he was the chief of Russian operations. The United States “absolutely” has carried out such election influence operations historically, he said, “and I hope we keep doing it.”

Turkish army hit village in Syria's Afrin with suspected gas: Kurdish YPG, Observatory

Syrian Kurdish forces and a monitoring group said the Turkish military carried out a suspected gas attack that wounded six people in Syria’s Afrin region on Friday.

KUNA : N. Korea poses threat to all allies - NATO chief

NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said Friday that North Korea continues to develop its nuclear and ballistic missile programmes, "which pose a threat to us all.
"All Allies are now within range of North Korean missiles. Pyongyang is closer to Munich than it is to Washington DC and therefore we must put maximum pressure on North Korea to abandon its nuclear programme, by political and diplomatic means and, not least, through effective economic sanctions," he said at the opening session of the Munich Security Conference.

Massive Donald Trump, Kim Jong Un floats feature in carnival parade in Nice, France | Globalnews.ca

Carnival joy filled the French Riviera town of Nice on Saturday night as it welcomed the 134th edition of the King’s Carnival with space as its main theme, honouring French astronaut Thomas Pesquet.

Why Winnie the Pooh is skater Yuzuru Hanyu's lucky charm - CNN

Hanyu's adoring fan club have taken to tossing Winnie the Pooh bears at their hero after he began carrying a tissue box in the shape of the much loved A.A. Milne character back in 2010.

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News Headlines - 16 February 2018

Oxfam government funding cut off after Haiti scandal | The Guardian

Oxfam has agreed to withdraw from bidding for government funding until the Department for International Development is satisfied that it can meet the “high standards” expected.

Facebook loses Belgian privacy case, faces fine up to $125 mln

A Belgian court threatened Facebook with a fine of up to 100 million euros ($125 million) if it continued to break privacy laws by tracking people on third party websites.
In a case brought by Belgium’s privacy watchdog, the court also ruled on Friday that Facebook had to delete all data it had gathered illegally on Belgian citizens, including people who were not Facebook users themselves.

Steve Bannon met with Mueller multiple times over the past week - NBC News

Steve Bannon, who served as President Donald Trump’s chief strategist, was interviewed by special counsel Robert Mueller over multiple days this week, NBC News has learned from two sources familiar with the proceedings.
Bannon spent a total of some 20 hours in conversations with the team led by Mueller, who is investigating possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia as well as other issues that have arisen around the probe.

FBI admits failure to act on Florida school gunman, drawing anger

The Federal Bureau of Investigation said on Friday it had failed to act on a tip warning that the man now accused of killing 17 people at a Florida high school possessed a gun, the desire to kill and the potential to commit a school shooting... A person described as someone close to accused gunman Nikolas Cruz, 19, called an FBI tip line on Jan. 5, weeks before the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, to report concerns about him, the Federal Bureau of Investigation said in a statement.

A previously unknown language has just been discovered in Southeast Asia

A village in the northern Malay Peninsula has been known to anthropologists for some time, but linguists have just figured out that these settled hunter-gatherers use their very own, previously undocumented language.
Comprising just 280 people, the villagers speak an Aslian language newly named Jedek by linguists at Lund University in Sweden.

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News Headlines - 15 February 2018

China’s former internet chief Lu Wei charged with taking bribes | The Times

China’s former chief internet regulator, who was once thought of as a potential president, has become the latest senior figure caught in Xi Jingping’s corruption crackdown, charged with taking bribes and abusing his influence to get sex.
Lu Wei, who was director of China’s Cyberspace Administration until 2016, was accused this morning of being “extremely disloyal”. The People’s Daily, the Communist Party’s official newspaper, portrayed Mr Lu as a brazen abuser of power who lived the high life through corruption.

Uber faces tough new regulations in London

London’s transport authority plans to overhaul regulations for taxis in a move designed to increase oversight of ride-hailing companies such as Uber.
The plans to introduce tougher requirements comes as Transport for London clamps down on companies using technology to disrupt the taxi sector. Uber has appealed a decision by the regulator last year to block the renewal of its its licence to operate in the capital.

Peter Rabbit film producers apologise over allergy scene - BBC News

The makers of the new film Peter Rabbit have apologised after facing a backlash over their depiction of a character's allergy.
A scene in the film shows a character who suffers a blackberry allergy being pelted with them by a gang of bunnies.

South African lions eat 'poacher', leaving just his head - BBC News

A suspected big cat poacher has been eaten by lions near the Kruger National Park in South Africa, police say.
The animals left little behind, but some body parts were found over the weekend at a game park near Hoedspruit.

Winter Olympics: Jamaica's women's bobsleigh coach Sandra Kiriasis quits - BBC Sport

The Jamaican women's historic Winter Olympics bobsleigh debut is under threat after their coach quit and threatened to take the team's sled.
German Sandra Kiriasis, an ex-Olympic champion, claims she was forced out when her role was changed, and that she is legally responsible for the sled.

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News Headlines - 14 February 2018

South Africa's President Jacob Zuma resigns - CBS News

South African President Jacob Zuma said he has resigned "with immediate effect." The scandal-tainted leader made the announcement late Wednesday in a televised address to the nation, avoiding his almost certain ouster in a parliamentary vote scheduled for Thursday after years of corruption scandals.

Disgraced top China politician charged with bribery, another to be prosecuted

Chinese prosecutors have charged disgraced senior politician Sun Zhengcai with bribery, state media said on Tuesday, the latest development in a corruption probe into a man once considered a contender for top leadership... Sun was abruptly removed from his post as the ruling Communist Party’s chief of the southwestern metropolis of Chongqing - one of China’s most important cities - in July, and replaced by Chen Miner, who is close to President Xi Jinping.

The FBI, CIA and NSA say American citizens shouldn't use Huawei phones

Top officials from the CIA, NSA, FBI and the Defense Intelligence Agency testified in front of the Senate Intelligence Committee on Tuesday that the Chinese smartphone makers posed a security threat to American customers.
Republican Senator Tom Cotton of Arkansas asked the group to raise their hands if they would recommend private American citizens use products or services made by Apple competitor Huawei or smartphone maker ZTE. None of them did.

Russia Saratov crash: Ice on sensors 'may be cause' - BBC News

A preliminary analysis of the on-board flight recorder indicated the plane had problems two-and-a-half minutes after it took off, at an altitude of around 1,300m (4,265ft).
The instruments began displaying different speed readings, probably because of iced speed sensors while their heating systems were shut off, the committee said.
When the crew detected the issue, they switched off the plane's autopilot. They eventually took the plane into a dive at 30-35 degrees.

Isil leader Baghdadi 'alive in Syria but injured and no longer in control'

Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the leader of the Islamic State, is still alive but injury and poor health has forced him to relinquish control of the terror group, according to an Iraqi intelligence chief and US officials.

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News Headlines - 13 February 2018

Lotte chief and ex-president's friend jailed in South Korea scandal

The friend of former South Korean leader Park Geun-hye who was at the center of an influence-peddling scandal that rocked the country’s business and political elite has been sentenced to 20 years in jail, a Seoul court said on Tuesday.
The court also sentenced the chairman of the Lotte Group, the country’s fifth-largest conglomerate, to two years and six months in prison in the same case.

U.S. to push for 'reciprocal tax' on trade partners: Trump

The United States loses “vast amounts of money with China and Japan and South Korea and so many other countries ... It’s a little tough for them because they’ve gotten away with murder for 25 years. But we’re going to be changing policy,” he said.
Trump said his administration will impose a “reciprocal tax” to charge other countries - “some of them are so-called allies but they’re not allies on trade.”

Facebook personal data use and privacy settings ruled illegal by German court | The Guardian

Facebook’s default privacy settings and use of personal data are against German consumer law, according to a judgement handed down by a Berlin regional court.
The court found that Facebook collects and uses personal data without providing enough information to its members for them to render meaningful consent. The federation of German consumer organisations (VZBV), which brought the suit, argued that Facebook opted users in to features which it should not have.

Julian Assange: Warrant for his arrest upheld by court - BBC News

An arrest warrant for the Wikileaks founder Julian Assange has been upheld by Westminster Magistrates' Court.
The warrant was issued in 2012 when Mr Assange, 46, breached bail conditions by seeking political refuge at the Ecuadorean embassy... Under the warrant, Mr Assange would be arrested as soon as he left Ecuadorean soil.

A.N.C. Tells Jacob Zuma to Step Down as South Africa’s President - The New York Times

Top leaders of South Africa’s governing party ordered President Jacob Zuma to step down on Tuesday, saying that his continued presence was eroding the “renewed hope” felt since the election of new party leaders in December.
Ace Magashule, secretary general of the African National Congress, said that the party had not given Mr. Zuma a deadline to respond, but added that he was certain that the president would deliver a reply the next day.

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News Headlines - 12 February 2018

Merkel, SPD under renewed fire over German coalition deal

German Chancellor Angela Merkel and the leader of the Social Democrats (SPD) faced further criticism on Monday from within their own parties over a new coalition deal that must still be approved by disgruntled SPD rank-and-file members.

Takata, injured drivers reach deal to end U.S. bankruptcy

Takata Corp’s U.S. unit reached a settlement with its creditors, lawyers for those injured by its deadly air bags and automakers that smoothes the way to end its Chapter 11 bankruptcy and sell its viable operations, according to court papers.

London City Airport shut as WW2 bomb found in Thames - BBC News

The airport will be shut all day and all flights cancelled, affecting up to 16,000 passengers, a spokeswoman said.
The bomb was discovered at about 05:00 GMT on Sunday at George V Dock during pre-planned work at the airport in east London, the Met Police said.

Graffiti Artists Awarded $6.7 Million for Destroyed 5Pointz Murals - The New York Times

Ruling that graffiti — a typically transient form of art — was of sufficient stature to be protected by the law, a federal judge in Brooklyn awarded a judgment of $6.7 million on Monday to 21 graffiti artists whose works were destroyed in 2013 at the 5Pointz complex in Long Island City, Queens.
In November, a landmark trial came to a close in Federal District Court in Brooklyn when a civil jury decided that Jerry Wolkoff, a real estate developer who owned 5Pointz, broke the law when he whitewashed dozens of swirling murals at the complex, obliterating what a lawyer for the artists had called “the world’s largest open-air aerosol museum.”

AC Milan Officially Cut Ties With Kit Sponsor Adidas in Favour of Long-Term Deal With Puma | SI.com

After weeks of speculation, Serie A giants AC Milan have officially announced they will be cutting ties with kit manufacturer Adidas in favour of a new long-term partnership with Puma.
Effective from July 1, the pairing, which claim this new deal brings together "two of the most passionate, iconic and ambitious brands in football industry", will come together, with the Germany-based company instated as Rossoneri's official partner, global technical supplier and official licensing partner.

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News Headlines - 11 February 2018

Russia jet carrying 71 people crashes after Moscow take-off - BBC News

A Russian airliner has crashed after leaving Moscow's Domodedovo airport, killing all 65 passengers and six crew on board.
The Saratov Airlines jet vanished minutes after take-off and crashed near the village of Argunovo, about 80km (50 miles) south-east of Moscow.

Armani uniforms for Tokyo primary school spark fierce debate in Japan | DW

School uniforms designed by Armani and costing more than $700 a pop have caused outrage among parents and even MPs in Tokyo. Taimei Elementary School in the posh Ginza district is to introduce the outfits in April.

NBC apologizes to South Koreans for analyst's remark | joplinglobe.com

"Every Korean will tell you that Japan is a cultural and technical and economic example that has been so important to their own transformation," Ramo said.
An online petition quickly circulated demanding an apology, and NBC did on its NBCSN cable network Saturday and formally to the Pyeongchang Olympic organizing committee.

Pence: The United States is ready to talk with North Korea - The Washington Post

The frame for the still-nascent diplomatic path forward is this: The United States and its allies will not stop imposing steep and escalating costs on the Kim Jong Un regime until it takes clear steps toward denuclearization. But the Trump administration is now willing to sit down and talk with the regime while that pressure campaign is ongoing.

French carnival under fire over 'blackface' night - The Local

A carnival in the northern French port of Dunkirk opened Sunday clouded by a controversy over the use of blackface after criticism from anti-racism campaigners.

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News Headlines - 10 February 2018

Minister orders Oxfam to hand over files on Haiti prostitute scandal | The Times

The government has ordered Oxfam to hand over files on charity staff who paid for sex in earthquake-torn Haiti. The demand follows an investigation by The Times that revealed Oxfam covered up the use of prostitutes by senior aid workers.

Kim Jong Un's Sister Invites Moon Jae-In to North Korea | Time

A rare invitation to Pyongyang for South Korea’s president marked Day Two of the North Korean Kim dynasty’s southern road tour Saturday, part of an accelerating diplomatic thaw that included some Korean liquor over lunch and the shared joy of watching a “unified” Korea team play hockey at the Olympics.

Haruhiko Kuroda likely to win rare second term as BOJ chief: sources | The Japan Times

The government has decided to retain Bank of Japan Gov. Haruhiko Kuroda for another term, sources close to the matter say.
The reappointment of the 73-year-old Kuroda, whose five-year term as BOJ chief expires in April, apparently underscores the government’s wish to accelerate efforts to improve economic growth and end decades of deflation.

Unhappy Larry: Mitsubishi boss startles Downing St cat - BBC News

Kazuo Okamoto spotted the cat as he was about to enter No 10 and stopped off to give him a friendly pat.
But Mr Okamoto, chief executive of Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Europe, had to settle for a wave - as Larry ran off to avoid him.

'Monster' Whitechapel fatberg unveiled at London museum - BBC News

The last remaining chunk of a toxic "monster" fatberg found in London's sewers has been unveiled at a museum.
Once weighing 130 tonnes and stretching more than 250m, the mass of congealed fat, wet wipes, nappies, oil and condoms has been conserved by the Museum of London and industry experts.

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News Headlines - 09 February 2018

The Best Photos From the Olympics Opening Ceremony | Time.com

The 2018 Winter Olympics began in PyeongChang on Friday, as the opening ceremony kicked off the 23rd Winter Games.
Athletes from all 92 countries, including competitors from North and South Korea, were welcomed for the Olympics opening ceremony at the PyeongChang Olympic Stadium.

Kim Jong Un's Sister Arrives in South Korea for Olympics | Time

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un’s younger sister arrived in South Korea on Friday to begin an unprecedented three-day visit in which she will attend the opening ceremony of the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics and then sit down with South Korean President Moon Jae-in for a luncheon at the presidential Blue House in Seoul.

North Korea holds military parade ahead of Winter Olympics - BBC News

North Korea has held a military parade attended by leader Kim Jong-un, a day before the opening of the Winter Olympics in the South... This event is usually held in April and moving it had been seen as a setback to the warming of ties over the Olympics.

Amazon to Launch Delivery Service That Would Vie With FedEx, UPS - WSJ

Amazon.com Inc. is preparing to launch a delivery service for businesses, positioning it to directly compete with United Parcel Service Inc. and FedEx Corp.

Giant rhyolite lava dome formation after 7.3 ka supereruption at Kikai caldera, SW Japan | Scientific Reports

Johnny & Associates, Tokyo, Japan
Hideaki Takizawa

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News Headlines - 08 February 2018

Maldives Declare State of Emergency Amid Political Turmoil | Time

The Maldives government declared a 15-day state of emergency Monday as the political crisis deepened in the Indian Ocean nation amid an increasingly bitter standoff between the president and the Supreme Court. Hours after the emergency was declared, soldiers forced their way into the Supreme Court building, where the judges were believed to be taking shelter, said Ahmed Maloof, an opposition member of Parliament.
Soon after that, security forces arrested opposition leader Maumoon Abdul Gayoom on charges that include bribery and attempting to overthrow the government, his lawyer, Maumoon Hameed, said on Twitter. Gayoom was the archipelago nation’s president from 1978 to 2008 and is the half brother of the Maldives’ current president.

Nissan sees China as its top market by 2022

Nissan Motor Co (7201.T) expects China to become its biggest market in terms of vehicle sales by 2022, Chief Executive Officer Hiroto Saikawa said on Thursday, overtaking the United States where the Japanese automaker is struggling to grow profits.

Companies Everywhere Copied Japanese Manufacturing. Now the Model Is Cracking - WSJ

Japan’s reputation for flawless manufacturing quality and efficiency transformed the country’s postwar economy, changed business practices world-wide and spawned a library’s worth of management manuals and business advice books. Now, the model is cracking.

Plagiarism Software Unveils a New Source for 11 of Shakespeare’s Plays - The New York Times

For years scholars have debated what inspired William Shakespeare’s writings. Now, with the help of software typically used by professors to nab cheating students, two writers have discovered an unpublished manuscript they believe the Bard of Avon consulted to write “King Lear,” “Macbeth,” “Richard III,” “Henry V” and seven other plays.

Robin Williams' death linked to rise in copycat suicides

Suicide rates in the United States spiked almost 10 percent following the death in 2014 of actor Robin Williams, and spiked even more among men and those who ended their lives, like Williams, by suffocation, according to a study published on Wednesday.

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News Headlines - 07 February 2018

Facebook hired a full-time pollster to monitor Zuckerberg’s approval ratings - The Verge

Tavis McGinn applied for a job at Facebook last year hoping to work in market research. He had previously spent three years at Google, where he helped large advertisers refine their marketing campaigns across the company’s family of products. But part way through the interview process at Facebook, the recruiter told McGinn the company had something else in mind for him. How would he like to track the public perception of Mark Zuckerberg?

Syria used banned chemical weapons in Sunday gas attack, officials say | Fox News

Amnesty International has accused the Assad regime of showing “utter contempt” of international law following a chlorine gas attack on the town of Saraqib Sunday. This latest chemical attack comes just one day before the U.N. Security Council failed to agree on a U.S.-proposed statement Monday condemning the continued use of chemical weapons in the war-torn nation. Russia was blamed by some diplomats for its failure.

Two dead, more than 100 injured in Taiwan earthquake: government

At least two people were killed and more than 100 injured in an earthquake with a magnitude of 6.4 that hit the coastal Taiwanese city of Hualien late on Tuesday, the government said.

Probe into ex-President Lee expands

The prosecution searched offices of two key aides of former President Lee Myung-bak, Tuesday, over allegations they received hundreds of millions of won from the National Intelligence Service (NIS) while Lee was in office. Investigators from the Seoul Central District Prosecutors' Office searched offices of the university and foundation related to former Finance Minister Bahk Jae-wan, confiscating computer hard drives and documents. Investigators also searched the office of Jang Dasaro, a former presidential secretary for general affairs. The search is the latest development of a widening investigation into Lee, whose family members and closest aides are coming under growing suspicion over a wide range of alleged wrongdoings mostly concerning abuse of the presidential office. The search also came two weeks after prosecutors searched the home and office of the former president's brother Lee Sang-deuk in Seongbuk-gu and Yeouido in Seoul over similar allegations.

Norovirus Hit the Pyeongchang Winter Olympic Games—Here's What That Means

Dozens of Winter Olympics staffers in Pyeongcheng have been quarantined after a wave of norovirus broke out on Sunday. This includes workers, Civil Security Staff, and foreigners. (Related: "There's a Dark History Behind the Glittering Olympic Games")
About 1,200 Olympics staffers have been confined to their rooms while officials conduct testing for norovirus. To compensate, 900 military personnel were deployed on Tuesday to replace the lost workers. The Olympic Games are still on schedule to start on February 9.

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News Headlines - 06 February 2018

May says Brexit transition deal will be agreed in seven weeks

British Prime Minister Theresa May said on Friday that a Brexit transition period will be agreed with the European Union in seven weeks as she tries to ease concerns that a deal may take longer to reach.

Trump Tax Cut, RAV4 Sales Help Toyota Lift Forecast to Record - Bloomberg

Toyota Motor Corp. announced a surprise earnings boost on Tuesday, forecasting record profit, on the popularity of its RAV4 sport utility vehicle in the U.S and thanks to several billion dollars from President Donald Trump’s corporate tax cuts... Toyota said Tuesday it sees profit rising to 2.4 trillion yen ($22 billion) in the year through March, up from the 1.8 trillion yen it forecast in November. Tax cuts added about 290 billion yen to the bottom line

Samsung scion Lee walks free after jail term suspended, faces leadership challenges

Seoul High Court sentenced Lee to two and a half years in jail on charges including bribery and embezzlement - reducing the original term by half - but suspended the sentence for four years, meaning that he is unlikely to serve any more time in jail.

SpaceX Launches Falcon Heavy Rocket at Cape Canaveral - The Atlantic

On Tuesday, the rocket dreamed up by SpaceX CEO Elon Musk stood 230 feet tall, on the famed launchpad at Kennedy Space Center where the Saturn V flew the first humans to the moon. An estimated 100,000 people traveled here to watch the Falcon Heavy power up and rise into the sky.

Japan's Princess Mako postpones marriage to Kei Komuro - CNN

Japan's Princess Mako and her commoner fiance Kei Komuro have postponed their highly anticipated engagement and wedding until at least 2020, saying they were not yet ready for marriage.
The wedding, which had been set for November, was to be a momentous occasion for the country and the Japanese royal family, led by Emperor Akihito, who plans to abdicate in April 2019.

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News Headlines - 05 February 2018

Dow plunges 1,175 points in worst day for U.S. stocks since 2011 | CTV News

North American stock indexes extended last week's slump, as the Dow Jones industrial average plunged nearly 1,600 points during Monday's trading session -- bringing an end to a period of record-setting calm in the market.
In New York, the Dow finished the day down 1,175.21 points to 24,345.75, or 4.6 per cent, erasing its gains for the year. The S&P 500 index fell 113.19 points to 2,648.94 and the Nasdaq composite index dropped 273.42 points to 6,967.53.

Japanese Apache helicopter crashes in residential area of Saga Prefecture | The Japan Times

A Ground Self-Defense Force attack helicopter crashed Monday in a residential area in Kanzaki, Saga Prefecture, setting at least one home on fire and possibly killing the chopper’s two crew members, officials said.

Incumbent Nago Mayor Susumu Inamine falls in closely watched Okinawa election | The Japan Times

In a political victory for Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and a defeat for anti-U.S. base forces in Okinawa, incumbent Nago Mayor Susumu Inamine failed in his re-election bid Sunday night, losing to a candidate strongly backed by Abe’s Liberal Democratic Party and Komeito.

PyeongChang volunteers struggle with crude working conditions

With PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympics kicking off Friday, many volunteer workers have voiced their frustration over crude working conditions, igniting a controversy in the online community.
Around 15,000 volunteers have signed up to help out with the Winter Games and an additional 6,600 workers will assist at the Paralympics. But even before the Olympics starts, the Korean organizers have come under fire for its treatment of staff, with some of its volunteers suddenly quitting.

How we BBC bosses allowed the gender pay gap to happen

I am liberal. I support the #metoo and #timesup campaigns. At North London dinner parties I even describe myself as a “feminist”.
I was also a manager at the BBC and I paid women less than men. Not all women, but some. I am deeply ashamed. Yet if managers — men and women — at the BBC were truthful they would admit that they all have stories of doing the same. I have two that show how managers end up doing bad things.

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News Headlines - 04 February 2018

North Korea 'uses Berlin embassy to get missile parts' - BBC News

North Korea has been acquiring technology for its nuclear and weapons programmes through its Berlin embassy, Germany's head of intelligence says.
Hans-Georg Maassen told NDR TV that many of these activities had been thwarted, but not all were detected.

Renault to reappoint Carlos Ghosn as CEO

Renault will reappoint Carlos Ghosn as chief executive later this month, despite expectations the long-serving boss would step down when his mandate expires in June, according to two people familiar with the matter.
The carmaker will also name a permanent deputy, as it resettles its leadership team amid often-cool relations with the French government that holds 15 per cent of its shares.

Heaviest snowfall on record blankets Moscow - BBC News

Moscow has seen its heaviest snowfall in a day since records began, with more than 2,000 trees brought down and air travel disrupted, officials say.
More than half the monthly average snow - 38cm (15 inches) - fell on Saturday, beating the previous record from 1957.

Manchester Art Gallery's #MeToo-inspired removal of nude Nymphs painting branded a 'pathetic stunt'

A celebrated painting JW Waterhouse has been removed from display at the Manchester Art Gallery, in an act the museum says aims to "challenge this Victorian fantasy" of "the female body as either a 'passive decorative form' or a 'femme fatale'"... Clare Gannaway, the museum's curator of contemporary art, has called the In Pursuit of Beauty collection a cause for "embarrassment." Gannaway told the Guardian that recent anti-sexual harassment campaigns such as Time's Up and #MeToo had an influence on the decision to remove the painting.

Natalie Wood: Death in Dark Water - Investigator calls new witnesses "very credible" - CBS News

This week, "48 Hours" first reported that the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department had talked for the first time about their investigation into the drowning death of iconic actress Natalie Wood 36 years ago. They are now calling her husband, actor Robert Wagner, a person of interest.

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News Headlines - 03 February 2018

Syrian Kurds outraged over mutilation of female fighter | The Guardian

Syrian Kurds have accused Turkish-backed rebels of mutilating then filming the body of one of their female fighters after a video emerged of her corpse... The Kurds blamed the “terrorist allies of the enemy Turkish state” for mutilating the body of Kobani, who was a member of the all-female Kurdish Women’s Protection Units.

82-year-old programmer speaks at UN - NHK WORLD

An 82-year-old Japanese software programmer has given a speech at the UN in New York on the merits of digital technology for senior citizens.
Masako Wakamiya on Friday described to members of the conference a game app for smartphones she developed for the elderly.

Louvre displays Nazi-looted paintings in bid to find rightful owners of 2,000 unclaimed artworks

The Louvre Museum has put on display 31 paintings looted by the Nazis during the Second World War in the hope that surviving relatives of their original owners will come forward to claim them.
The paintings, recovered in Germany after the war, were among about 100,000 works of art looted by the Nazis during their occupation of France.
More than 45,000 have been handed back but more than 2,000 remain unclaimed, including 296 paintings stored at the Louvre.

Watch Nicole Kidman Snack on Four Bowls of Bugs | PEOPLE.com

In the latest installment of Vanity Fair‘s “Secret Talent Theatre,” Kidman takes on a four course meal of bugs with a pair of chopsticks and a smile. Somehow, she approaches each dish—which look like something out of an episode of Fear Factor—like they’re bowls of candy.

Glee Actor Mark Salling Found Dead After Child Porn Charges | Time

Mark Salling, who played bad-boy Noah “Puck” Puckerman in the hit musical-comedy “Glee,” died of an apparent suicide Tuesday, weeks after pleading guilty to possessing child pornography. He was 35.

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News Headlines - 02 February 2018

Dow plunges in biggest drop in years | New York Post

Stock markets had their worst day on Friday since the dawn of the Great Recession, as fears mounted that the Federal Reserve may be forced to act more aggressively to cool down an economy that’s heating up faster than investors expected.

Trump plan calls for new nuclear weapons - POLITICO

The Pentagon's Nuclear Posture Review, the first since 2010, calls for a "lower-yield" option — with less powerful explosive capacity — for ballistic and cruise missiles launched from submarines.
It also says that nuclear weapons could be used to respond to “extreme circumstances,” including non-nuclear attacks.

Sony Chief Hands Over Reins After Resurgence - WSJ

Sony Corp. is getting a new boss after a turnaround that took it from a string of losses to the biggest expected profit in its history.
Chief Executive Kazuo Hirai picked a day on which Sony again upgraded its profit forecast to announce that he was stepping down after six years and handing the reins to Kenichiro Yoshida, who had helped him trim costs as chief financial officer.

Coincheck to be sued over digital currency theft - NHK WORLD

The team of 5 lawyers says about 10 customers of the Tokyo-based company have consulted them. The lawyers say they will file a lawsuit at the Tokyo District Court as early as mid-February.

Grammy Awards draw 19.8 million viewers on CBS, a nine-year low

The CBS telecast of the 60th Grammy Awards was watched Sunday by 19.8 million viewers, a staggering 24% decline from last year's show... The decline in viewership is the latest indication of how awards shows are grappling with dwindling audiences as younger audiences consume highlights online. Other big awards events such as the Oscars and the Golden Globes have seen losses among younger viewers in recent years as well.

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News Headlines - 01 February 2018

Trump falsely claims his address was the most viewed of all time

On Thursday morning the president said the 45.6 million people who watched Tuesday's State of the Union was "the highest number in history."
That's not true. And it left observers wondering where he came up with such a claim.

Lord Bates's resignation over lateness rejected by PM - BBC News

Lord Bates stunned colleagues in the House of Lords by stating his intention to resign after the "discourtesy" of arriving late to a session.
A spokesman for Number 10 said the resignation was "unnecessary" and he had decided to continue in his role.

Scottish island on sale for same price as one-bed London flat | The Independent

A Scottish island on sale for the price of a one-bed flat in London is attracting a “lot of interest” according to its estate agents... Vaila Sound is an island on the western side of the Shetland Isles – meaning it is technically closer to Norway than Scotland – with just two dilapidated, abandoned cottages that can be yours for £250,000.

How Sanchi's spill could spread

The worst tanker oil spill in decades is unfolding across hundreds of miles of the East China Sea after an Iranian oil tanker carrying more than 100,000 tonnes of toxic oil collided with a freighter and exploded, killing all 32 crew onboard. The ship burned, spewing its cargo, for more than a week before sinking in the waters between China, Japan and South Korea.

Muji pulls catalog in China that left disputed islands off map:The Asahi Shimbun

Japan's Muji retail chain was forced to pull a catalog in China that left the disputed Senkaku Islands off a map after receiving a complaint from Chinese authorities... Beijing took exception to the map included in Muji's furniture catalog for autumn and winter 2017.
The catalog was distributed in China by Muji stores, operated by Ryohin Keikaku Co. in Tokyo.

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News Headlines - 31 January 2018

U.S. dubs Hamas chief Haniyeh as specially designated global terrorist - Jerusalem Post

The United States government has become the first country outside of Israel to categorize Hamas Politburo chief Ismail Haniyeh as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist, Ambassador Nathan A. Sales, the State Department coordinator for counterterrorism, told The Jerusalem Post.

Iconic Ancient Temple Is Latest Victim in Civil War

Much of the magnificent 3,000-year-old temple of Ain Dara, with its mysterious and massive footprints and a structure that provides clues for understanding the biblical temple of Solomon in Jerusalem, has been destroyed in a Turkish airstrike.... A Turkish airstrike destroyed much of the temple on Friday during an attack on the Kurdish-held area south of the city of Afrin, according to the Syrian Ministry of Culture and the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. Photos and video from the Syrian Observatory and Hawar News confirm that more than half of the temple is gone, including many of the sculptures that ringed the site.

Ryanair in ‘historic’ deal to recognise British pilots’ union

Ryanair has reached its first union deal in its 33-year history, agreeing to recognise Britain’s pilot group as it attempts to resolve a long-running battle with cockpit crews over wages and conditions.
Europe’s biggest budget airline on Tuesday said it had signed an agreement with the British Airline Pilots’ Association (Balpa) that will see the union represent about 600 UK pilots directly employed by Ryanair.

Simple blood test spots dementia protein

Scientists in Japan and Australia have developed a blood test that can identify people who have high levels of a protein associated with Alzheimer's disease. If confirmed by further research, this long-sought test could help in the increasingly desperate search for therapies that halt the progression of dementia, which affects tens of millions of people worldwide.

Truck driver arrested for damage to Peruvian archaeological site - UPI.com

Peruvian authorities arrested a truck driver they said drove his vehicle through the Nazca Lines, partly damaging the protected archaeological site.
Peru's Ministry of Culture announced Monday that Janier Jesus Flores Vigo will face charges for ignoring signs indicating the location of the sacred site and driving a cargo truck through it.

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News Headlines - 30 January 2018

First Trump State of the Union Address Makes Appeal for Unity - The New York Times

He said he would bring Republicans and Democrats together around a $1.5 trillion infrastructure plan to “give us the safe, fast, reliable and modern infrastructure our economy needs and our people deserve.” And he dared Democrats to reject what he called a “down-the-middle compromise” on immigration where “nobody gets everything they want, but where our country gets the critical reforms it needs.”

Saudi Arabia is handing out cash from anti-corruption drive

Saudi Arabia is using cash recovered from officials and princes arrested in a corruption crackdown to ease the pain of austerity... Speaking earlier at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, Al Jadaan said some of the cash recovered will be used to fund handouts for the 70% of Saudi nationals who are state employees.

Mitsubishi Aircraft receives first MRJ cancellation | The Japan Times

Mitsubishi Aircraft Corp. has received its first order cancellation for the Mitsubishi Regional Jet, informed sources said Friday.

CAPCOM | Monster Hunter: World Ships 5 Million Units!

Capcom Co., Ltd. today announced that Monster Hunter: World for the PlayStation 4 computer entertainment system and Xbox One*1 has shipped 5 million units worldwide (including digital download sales). A PC version is to be released at a later date.

Cleveland Indians Will Abandon Chief Wahoo Logo Next Year - The New York Times

The Cleveland Indians will stop using the Chief Wahoo logo on their uniforms beginning in 2019, according to Major League Baseball, which said the popular symbol was no longer appropriate for use on the field.
The logo has long been the source of anguish and frustration for those who consider it offensive, outdated and racist, but for many of the team’s fans it is a cherished insignia — a divide that has played out at all levels of sports in recent years with teams featuring such nicknames and insignias. Most universities have stopped using Native American nicknames, while other teams, like the Washington Redskins in the N.F.L., have resisted growing pressure to do so.

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News Headlines - 29 January 2018

FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe stepping down - NBC News

FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, who has been attacked by President Donald Trump, stepped down Monday, multiple sources familiar with the matter told NBC News... McCabe has been at the center of ongoing tensions between the White House and the FBI and has reportedly been under pressure to quit from Trump, whose presidential campaign is being investigated for possible collusion with Russia.

Donald Trump says he might sign back up to a revamped Paris accord | The Guardian

President Donald Trump would be willing to sign the US back up to the Paris climate accord, but only if the treaty undergoes major change, he has said in comments published on Sunday.

Brexit: Britons favour second referendum by 16-point margin – poll | The Guardian

The ICM survey, conducted as part of a Guardian reporting project, found 47% of people would favour having a final say on Brexit once the terms of the UK’s departure are known, while 34% oppose reopening the question.
Excluding the roughly one-fifth who do not have a view gives a lead of 58% to 42% for a second referendum, showing rising interest in the idea as concern grows over the direction of recent negotiations.

Industrial strikes loom as talks with German union collapse - The Local

Germany's metalworkers' union said Saturday that it will intensify its campaign for better pay and conditions, threatening 24-hour "warning strikes" after talks with industry representatives fell apart.

Nearly 1,500 evacuated in Paris region as rising Seine poses flood risk

Nearly 1,500 people have been evacuated from homes in the Paris region, with authorities on alert for any major flood risk after the levels of the swollen River Seine rose further on Sunday.

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News Headlines - 28 January 2018

Holocaust Day marked at Auschwitz - NHK WORLD

A memorial service was held on Saturday to commemorate the 73rd anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz concentration camp in Poland.
Some 60 survivors attended the ceremony, which took place at the site where at least 1.1 million people, mostly Jews, were slaughtered by Nazi Germany during World War Two.

German far-right to launch parliamentary football team - The Local

The far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD) on Saturday announced it was launching its own parliamentary football team, after four of its members were barred from entering the official squad.

Hacked Japanese cryptocurrency exchange to repay owners $425 million

Tokyo-based cryptocurrency exchange Coincheck said on Sunday it would return about 46.3 billion yen ($425 million) of the virtual money it lost to hackers two days ago in one of the biggest-ever thefts of digital money... Coincheck said in a statement it would repay the roughly 260,000 owners of NEM coins in Japanese yen, though it was still working on timing and method.

NY museum offered used, solid-gold toilet to Trumps - The Washington Post

Donald and Melania Trump wanted to borrow a Van Gogh painting from a New York museum for their White House private quarters. Instead, The Washington Post reports , the Guggenheim Museum’s chief curator came up with a pointedly satirical counter-offer: a working solid-gold toilet made by an Italian artist.

Ikea founder Ingvar Kamprad dies in Sweden at 91 - BBC News

The Swedish founder of the Ikea furniture chain, Ingvar Kamprad, has died at the age of 91, the company has announced... The billionaire, who was born in 1926 in Småland, founded Ikea at the age of 17... In the later years of his life, Mr Kamprad faced questions over his past links to fascist groups - something he admitted, but said was a "mistake".

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News Headlines - 27 January 2018

Political storm in Hong Kong as activist Agnes Chow banned from by-election over party’s call for city’s ‘self-determination’ | South China Morning Post

Hong Kong election authorities sparked a political storm on Saturday by banning a pro-democracy activist with strong youth support from running in a Legislative Council by-election in March.

Coincheck Says It Lost Crypto Coins Valued at About $400 Million - Bloomberg

After hours of speculation Friday night, Coincheck Inc. said the coins were sent “illicitly” outside the venue. Co-founder Yusuke Otsuka said the company didn’t know how the 500 million tokens went missing, and the firm is working to ensure the safety of all client assets. Coincheck said earlier it had suspended all withdrawals, halted trading in all tokens except Bitcoin, and stopped deposits into NEM coins.

Air Force One's new refrigerators cost $24 million - CNNPolitics

Air Force One is primed to receive an upgrade that will include new refrigerators expected to cost American taxpayers nearly $24 million.
The US Air Force awarded Boeing a $23.6 million contract in December to replace two of the five "cold chiller units" aboard the aircraft used by President Donald Trump.

Use of sand vests to calm children with ADHD sparks concern | The Guardian

erman schools are increasingly asking unruly and hyperactive children to wear heavy sand-filled vests in an effort to calm them and keep them on their seats, despite the misgivings of some parents and psychiatrists.
The controversial sand vests weigh between 1.2 and six kilograms (2.7 – 13Ib) and are being used by 200 schools across Germany.

UK sandwich eating produces same CO2 as 'millions of cars' | AFP.com

Around 11.5 billion sandwiches are consumed each year in Britain, half of which are homemade and half bought, according to the British Sandwich Association (BSA).
This annual consumption "generates, on average, 9.5 million tonnes of CO2 eq., equivalent to the annual use of 8.6 million cars," said Adisa Azapagic, professor at Manchester University, which produced the study.

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News Headlines - 26 January 2018

Tory MPs considering coup against May as frustration builds | The Guardian

Conservative MPs are considering another attempt at ousting Theresa May if the local elections go badly, as disillusionment with her leadership bubbles up among backbenchers once again.

How Workers in Europe Earned Money for North Korea—Until Now - WSJ

A few days before Christmas, Poland’s parliament quickly convened to put an end to an untenable arrangement: Hundreds of North Koreans working in Poland under slave-like conditions to earn money for their nuclear-armed pariah state.

Nutella price cut sparks fights between shoppers in supermarkets across France | Euronews

A 70 per cent price cut on 950-gram jars of Nutella has sparked violent scenes in supermarkets across France as customers jostled to grab a bargain.
The promotion was launched on Thursday (January 25) by the supermarket chain Intermarché and is due to run in stores until Saturday.

Donald Trump calls report he ordered Robert Mueller's firing 'fake news' | CBC News

U.S. President Donald Trump on Friday dismissed as "fake news" a New York Times report that he ordered the firing of special counsel Robert Mueller last June, but backed down after White House lawyer Don McGahn threatened to resign.

US Olympic team doctor sentenced to 175 years in prison | Radio New Zealand News

US Olympic gymnastics team doctor Larry Nassar has been sentenced to at least 175 years for the sexual abuse of more than 150 victims.

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News Headlines - 25 January 2018

Mount Kusatsu-Shirane: Japanese soldier killed by falling rocks after volcano erupts - CNN

A 49-year-old man has died, and at least 10 others are injured, after a volcano erupted near the popular Japanese ski resort of Kusatsu, shooting flaming rocks into the sky... The man, a member of Japan's Self Defense Force (SDF), was killed by falling volcanic rocks while participating in a training exercises on the mountain at the time of the eruption, the SDF confirmed.

Kyoto University says researcher at iPS institute falsified data for paper - Japan Today

Kyoto University said Monday a researcher at its iPS institute headed by Nobel Prize winner Shinya Yamanaka has engaged in "falsification and fabrication" in a paper published last year in scientific journal Stem Cell Reports.

Abe Will Go to PyeongChang, Despite Japan-South Korea Tensions | The Diplomat

Despite ongoing difficulties in the Japan-South Korea bilateral relationship, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will travel to PyeongChang next month for the opening of the 2018 Winter Olympic Games.
Abe confirmed on Wednesday that he would attend the opening ceremony of the games on February 9... Abe said that he would seek to “firmly convey Japan’s position” on the issue while in South Korea.

German rapper-turned-jihadi Denis Cuspert reportedly killed in Syria | DW

Renowned German jihadi Denis Cuspert has been killed in Syria, at least according to a pro-"Islamic State" propaganda news site. He's been reported dead before. But the site posted photos purporting to show his corpse.

Aum trials leave many questions unanswered | The Japan Times

Despite the massive amount of time spent in courtrooms and convictions that led to 13 Aum members being put on death row, however, much about the cult’s unprecedented crimes remains a mystery — such as the exact motives behind the subway gas attack and how and why the Aum followers, including highly educated youths with promising career prospects, had been drawn to the cult and came to commit the heinous crimes upon the orders of its founder and guru, Shoko Asahara.

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News Headlines - 24 January 2018

Militants Attack Afghan Offices of Children's NGO, Killing 4 | US News

Militants stormed the offices of Save the Children in eastern Afghanistan on Wednesday, killing four people and triggering a shootout with police that lasted almost 10 hours, provincial officials and the organization said.

Kentucky school shooting: 2 students killed, 18 injured - CNN

Another high school has turned into a scene of carnage, this time in western Kentucky... A 15-year-old male student was arrested at the scene, Gov. Matt Bevin said. On Wednesday he was charged with two counts of murder and 12 counts of first degree assault, Marshall County Assistant Attorney Jason Darnall told reporters.

Jeff Sessions Interviewed By Special Counsel Robert Mueller In Russia Inquiry : NPR

Attorney General Jeff Sessions was interviewed last week by special counsel Robert Mueller as part of the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election.
Sessions is the first member of President Trump's Cabinet known to have been questioned by the special counsel's office in its investigation into possible coordination between the Trump campaign and Moscow.

White Moose Cafe owner sends YouTuber Elle Darby invoice for publicity | Metro News

Paul Stenson, who owns the White Moose Cafe and Charleville Lodge in Dublin, has previously offended vegans, people suffering from coeliac disease, breastfeeding mothers and people from Brazil. Melania Trump 'shuns the White House to spend the night at D.C. hotels' His latest public spat, this time with bloggers, was sparked after YouTuber Elle Darby emailed him asking for a free stay.

Paris flooded as Seine bursts its banks after days of heavy rain

Some areas of Paris are under water after the River Seine burst its banks following days of heavy rain... Water levels rose at least 3.3m above normal levels after heavy rains lashed the country over the past few days.

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News Headlines - 23 January 2018

Rescuers in rebel-held Syrian area accuse government of gas attack

Rescue workers in a Syrian rebel-held enclave east of Damascus accused government forces of using chlorine gas during bombardment of the area on Monday, and the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said at least 13 people had suffered suffocation.

Judge refuses to re-issue Carles Puigdemont arrest warrant

Supreme Court judge Pablo Llarena refused the arrest warrant request, arguing the politician's strategy was to "provoke this arrest abroad" so he could blame Spain for missing an upcoming vote in the regional parliament to elect a new leader.

President Trump made 2,140 false or misleading claims in his first year - The Washington Post

One year after taking the oath of office, President Trump has made 2,140 false or misleading claims, according to The Fact Checker’s database that analyzes, categorizes and tracks every suspect statement uttered by the president. That’s an average of nearly 5.9 claims a day.

Jailed German serial killer charged with 97 new counts of murder | DW

The nurse has already been sentenced for killing six patients by injecting them with drugs and then trying to revive them. If convicted, Niels Högel will be one of the most prolific serial killers in German history.

East Asia's baby eel catch plunges to record low- Nikkei Asian Review

Grilled eel is a staple of Japanese cuisine, but it might soon become something of a rarity -- this season's catch of juvenile eels is at a record low, and prices have more than trebled.

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News Headlines - 22 January 2018

Pence says US embassy to open in Jerusalem by end of 2019 - CNNPolitics

The US will open its embassy in Jerusalem by the end of 2019, US Vice President Mike Pence said Monday in Israel's parliament, confirming that the controversial move is speeding up after officials earlier said it could take three to four years.

NY Gov. Cuomo to keep Statue of Liberty open during shutdown - CNNPolitics

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced he will use state funds to keep the Statue of Liberty open to visitors during the federal government shutdown during a press conference on Sunday.

Germany: SPD narrowly backs coalition talks with Merkel | Al Jazeera

Germany's Social Democrats (SPD) have narrowly approved the start of formal coalition negotiations with Angela Merkel's Christian Democrats.
At a special congress held in Bonn on Sunday, 362 out of 642 delegates voted to approve a preliminary coalition deal

Tokyo hit by heaviest snow since 2014 | The Japan Times

Tokyo saw its heaviest snow in four years on Monday, with authorities urging evening commuters to hurry home and prompting those behind the wheel to brace for traffic disruptions.

Philippine volcano explodes, villagers flee back to shelters - ABC News

The Philippines' most active volcano ejected a huge column of lava fragments, ash and smoke in a thunderous explosion Monday, sending thousands of villagers back to evacuation centers and prompting a warning that a violent eruption may be imminent.

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News Headlines - 21 January 2018

Turkey defies US and launches Syria attack

Turkish fighter jets bombed a Kurdish enclave in north-west Syria on Saturday, defying calls from the US for restraint and injuring at least six people, two of them children... Mr Erdogan said on Saturday that the assault would “destroy the terror corridor” along its border formed by members of the Kurdish YPG militia, which Turkey views as a big threat.

At least five killed in Kabul hotel siege that trapped hundreds of guests - The Straits Times

Afghan Special Forces ended an overnight siege at Kabul’s Intercontinental Hotel on Sunday (Jan 21), killing the last gunman from a group of three attackers who stormed the hotel, taking hostages and battling security forces for hours.
Two gunmen were killed on Saturday night. It was initially reported that four gunmen had attacked the hotel.

Trump says position on border wall 'has never changed or evolved' - CNNPolitics

President Donald Trump insisted Thursday that he has remained consistent in his plans for a border wall, a day after his chief of staff, John Kelly, told Fox News he has "changed his attitude" on it.

Europe readies riposte to Trump's 'America First' push in Davos

European leaders will be out in force at the World Economic Forum in Davos this week to defend multilateralism before U.S. President Donald Trump arrives to deliver his “America First” message.

China's 2017 GDP growth accelerates for first time in seven years

China’s economy grew faster than expected in the fourth quarter of 2017, as an export recovery helped the country post its first annual acceleration in growth in seven years, defying concerns that intensifying curbs on industry and credit would hurt expansion.

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News Headlines - 20 January 2018

Macron to restore 'conscription' system - NHK WORLD

French President Emmanuel Macron says he plans to restore compulsory military service as part of efforts to deal with the threat of terrorism.
Macron addressed military personnel on board a ship off the naval base in the southern city of Toulon on Friday.

Toyota to invest 40 bil. yen in Yaris-producing plant in France - The Mainichi

Toyota Motor Corp. is set to invest 40 billion yen ($360 million) to modernize a plant in France's Valenciennes to produce its mainstay Yaris compact car likely to be fully renovated in 2019, sources close to the matter said Saturday.

Trump ex-aide Bannon agrees to Mueller probe interview, avoiding grand jury

Former White House strategist Steve Bannon has reached agreement with U.S. Special Counsel Robert Mueller to be interviewed by Mueller’s investigators rather than appearing before a grand jury, a source familiar with the matter said on Wednesday.
Bannon, who was a close adviser during President Donald Trump’s 2016 election campaign and in his first months in office, had been subpoenaed to testify before a grand jury in Mueller’s probe of links between Russia and Trump’s campaign.

Trump denies U.S. embassy to be moved to Jerusalem within a year

President Donald Trump denied on Wednesday that the planned relocation of the U.S. embassy in Israel to Jerusalem would take place within a year, after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said he expected the controversial move to happen by then.

Toronto makes cut of top 20 cities vying to be Amazon's 2nd headquarters - CBC News

Toronto has made the cut of the top 20 cities that e-commerce giant Amazon is considering for its second headquarters.
Toronto is the only Canadian city to make the short list that also includes 19 U.S. cities, mainly concentrated along its East Coast and Midwest regions.

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News Headlines - 19 January 2018

U.S. government shutdown begins as spending bill fails in Senate

The U.S. government shut down at midnight on Friday after Democrats and Republicans, locked in a bitter dispute over immigration and border security, failed to agree on a last-minute deal to fund its operations.

Syria Turkey and Russia blast US-backed Kurdish border force as "terrorist army" - CBS News

Russia, Turkey and the Syrian government on Monday denounced the U.S.-led coalition plans to form a Kurdish-led border force to secure the areas along Syria's international border to the north with Turkey and to the east, with Iraq... According to the coalition, the core of the force is to be made up of fighters from the existing Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces, the coalition's main ally in the fight against Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) militants. The SDF currently controls nearly 25 percent of Syrian territory in the north and east.

Russia says North Korea summit undermines U.N., aggravates situation

Russia hit out on Wednesday at a U.S.-led effort to increase international pressure on North Korea, saying it was making the situation worse and undermining the United Nations.
Twenty nations hosted by the United States and Canada in Vancouver agreed on Tuesday to consider tougher sanctions to press North Korea to give up its nuclear weapons.

Sacked Catalan leader to travel to Denmark from Belgium - The Local

Catalonia's former leader Carles Puigdemont, who led a failed attempt to break from Spain, will attend a conference in Copenhagen on Monday in what will be his first public trip since fleeing to Belgium in October.

Rolls-Royce considers sale of commercial marine unit

Rolls-Royce will consider selling its lossmaking commercial marine business as chief executive Warren East launches a new round of cost-cutting in a bid to accelerate his shake-up of the blue-chip engineer.

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News Headlines - 18 January 2018

The Highly Anticipated 2017 Fake News Awards | GOP

2017 was a year of unrelenting bias, unfair news coverage, and even downright fake news. Studies have shown that over 90% of the media’s coverage of President Trump is negative.
Below are the winners of the 2017 Fake News Awards.

Toshiba is Selling its Westinghouse Nuclear Unit Assets | Fortune

Toshiba Corp. has agreed to sell claims in its Westinghouse U.S. nuclear unit to bolster its capital by 410 billion yen ($3.68 billion) by March, helping it to erase negative shareholder equity and avoid being delisted... The sale will end the Japanese conglomerate’s troubled foray into overseas nuclear power, which started with the $5.4 billion acquisition of Westinghouse in 2006.

Emirates Airlines helps to rescue Airbus with substantial order - France 24

Emirates Airlines said Thursday it has struck a €13 billion deal to buy 36 Airbus A380 superjumbos just days after the European manufacturer said it would have to halt production without new orders.

Minister for loneliness appointed to continue Jo Cox's work - BBC News

A minister for loneliness, a project first started by the late MP Jo Cox, has been announced by Downing Street... The Commission on Loneliness was first set up by Ms Cox, who was killed before the EU referendum.
A 2017 report said loneliness was as harmful to health as smoking 15 cigarettes a day.

Belgian radio host quits live on air after rape debate | Daily Mail Online

A controversial Belgian radio presenter quit his popular talk show live on air on Monday after causing an outcry by hosting a phone-in debate about whether women can have orgasms when they are raped.
Benjamin Marechal, whose daily show on the French-language RTBF broadcaster is known for its contentious style, resigned after the station received a number of complaints.

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News Headlines - 17 January 2018

PLO leaders threaten to freeze Oslo accords - NHK WORLD

Palestinian officials have threatened to freeze the historic Oslo peace accords in response to US President Donald Trump's decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel... Delegates agreed to freeze the Oslo peace accords unless Israel recognizes a Palestinian state with borders based on the lines set before the 1967 Arab-Israeli war.

European Car Sales Rise to 10-Year High on Peugeot, Renault SUVs - Bloomberg

Registrations in 2017 increased 3.3 percent to 15.6 million vehicles, the Brussels-based European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association, or ACEA, said Wednesday in a statement. The figure was the highest since a record 16 million autos were delivered in 2007.

UKIP leader Henry Bolton clings to job but not girlfriend after her racist Meghan Markle comments | DW

Henry Bolton has ended the "romantic element" of his ties to a young model after her headline-inducing comments about Meghan Markle. But the scandal surrounding the leader has opened the lid on deeper UKIP struggles.

Margaret Atwood faces feminist backlash for #MeToo op-ed - BBC News

Author Margaret Atwood has sparked a Twitter storm after a provocative column on the Me Too anti-sexual harassment movement.
Her op-ed published in the Globe and Mail newspaper questioned the impact of the movement against inappropriate sexual behaviour.
Ms Atwood called the movement a "symptom" of a broken legal system.

Arrest warrants issued for former Blue House officials in bribery case : The Hankyoreh

Prosecutors requested arrest warrants on Jan. 14 for Kim Baek-joon and Kim Jin-mo in connection with their investigation into illicit National Intelligence Service (NIS) payments to the Blue House under former President Lee Myung-bak (2008–13). Kim Baek-joon, 78, is a former Blue House general affairs and planning secretary popularly known as Lee’s “steward,” while Kim Jin-mo, 52, is a former Seoul Nambu District Prosecutors’ Office chief who served as Blue House second civil affairs secretary during the Lee administration.

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News Headlines - 16 January 2018

Romanian Prime Minister Mihai Tudose resigns | DW

Prime Minister Mihai Tudose has been forced out by the PSD as he lost a power struggle with the party boss. Liviu Dragnea rules over the party but is barred from political office because of a criminal conviction.

Days after Hawaii alert gaffe, Japan issues false alarm about a missile launch

Japanese public broadcaster NHK issued a false alarm about a North Korean missile launch on Tuesday, just days after a similar gaffe caused panic in Hawaii, but it managed to correct the error within minutes.

SoftBank says listing of mobile unit an option

SoftBank is in discussions to list the shares of its Japanese telecoms business in Tokyo as billionaire founder Masayoshi Son seeks to further boost the technology group’s investment clout, according to two people with knowledge of the talks.

N. Korea to send orchestra to S. Korea during Winter Olympics

North Korea agreed Monday to send a 140-member orchestra to South Korea during next month's PyeongChang Winter Olympics and hold concerts in Seoul and a sub-host city of the games.
The North's tentatively-named Samjiyon Orchestra will perform in the capital and Gangneung, 240 kilometers east of Seoul, South Korea's unification ministry said after inter-Korean talks on the North's plan to dispatch an art troupe to the South. Gangneung will host ice sports during the Winter Games.

13 Siblings, Some Shackled to Beds, Were Held Captive by Parents, Police Say - The New York Times

A 17-year-old girl who said she was being held captive by her parents in her home about two hours southeast of Los Angeles escaped on Sunday and alerted the authorities, who then rescued her 12 siblings — several of whom were found shackled to their beds and malnourished — the authorities said on Monday.

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News Headlines - 15 January 2018

London's January air quality 'best in 10 years' - BBC News

London's air quality is within legal limits in mid-January for the first time in 10 years, City Hall has said.
The capital breached limits for nitrogen dioxide (NO2) by 6 January every year for the last decade, Mayor Sadiq Khan said.
So far this year, London's NO2 has not exceeded limits - although it is likely to later this month, Mr Khan admitted.

London's crime is out of control – and it's strategy, not police cuts, that are to blame

For the first time in the 18 years I have lived in London, I feel scared to walk home. My borough, Islington, is now the second worst affected by moped crime in the city.

Over 24,000 attempts to access porn sites from parliamentary computers since election, data confirms | The Independent

More than 24,000 attempts were made to access pornographic websites in the Houses of Parliament since the general election, according to official data.
The figure of 24,473 attempts represents around 160 requests per day on average from computers and other devices connected to the parliamentary network - which is used by MPs, peers and staff - between June and October last year.

London rape trial collapses after phone images undermine case | The Guardian

A rape trial has collapsed after the Crown Prosecution Service offered no evidence when it emerged that images from the defendant’s phone of him in bed with his alleged victim had not been disclosed.
The failure of the case at Snaresbrook crown court, east London, is the latest example of crucial digital evidence contained on a mobile either not being found or not being handed over to defence solicitors.

Rape victims’ clothing goes on display in Belgium to show it’s not about what you wear | Metro News

Clothing worn by victims of rape at the time they were attacked has gone on display at an exhibition in Brussels... The clothing was loaned by the victim support group CAW East Brabant and includes tracksuite bottoms, pyjamas and dresses.

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News Headlines - 14 January 2018

Iran Says Over 400 Protesters Still Detained, 25 People Killed

Iran's judiciary says that about 465 people are still being detained across the country for taking part in a wave of antigovernment protests that began nearly three weeks earlier.
Judiciary spokesman Gholamhosein Mohseni-Ejei also acknowledged that 25 people were killed in violence surrounding the protests that began on December 28.

Turkish passenger plane goes off runway metres away from sea | AFP.com

The Pegasus Airlines flight had taken off smoothly from the capital Ankara and landed in Trabzon, but skidded off the runway in the northern airport. No one was injured or killed in the landing.

London's Heathrow Airport hits new record of 78m passengers for 2017 despite capacity crunch | City A.M.

Heathrow said today a record 78m passengers travelled through the airport last year, marking a 3.1 per cent rise on 2016, despite its capacity headaches as it waits to expand.

Meghan Markle's Marks & Spencer jumper is a sell out | Daily Mail Online

In a further sign of how Meghan Markle has thrown herself into British life since moving to London ahead of her marriage to Prince Harry, the royal bride-to-be wore Marks & Spencer for the couple's visit to Brixton on Tuesday.
Meghan, 36, wore a £45 black jumper with bell sleeves from the high street stalwart to visit the studio of Reprezent 107.3 FM in south London, teaming it with black trousers by the British label Burberry and a coat from the Canadian brand Smythe.

Julian Assange is made an Ecuadorian citizen in effort to resolve impasse | The Guardian

The WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange was made an Ecuadorian citizen last month, the nation’s foreign ministry has revealed, in an attempt to resolve the political impasse over his continued presence in the UK.

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News Headlines - 13 January 2018

Trump Lawyer Arranged $130,000 Payment for Adult-Film Star’s Silence - WSJ

A lawyer for President Donald Trump arranged a $130,000 payment to a former adult-film star a month before the 2016 election as part of an agreement that precluded her from publicly discussing an alleged sexual encounter with Mr. Trump, according to people familiar with the matter.

Doctors want President Donald Trump's head examined - CNN

President Donald Trump is "in excellent health," White House physician, Dr. Ronny Jackson, said following his physical Friday... Jackson received an urgent letter from dozens of doctors and health professionals Thursday urging him to perform basic mental health tests on the President... this letter points out that mental evaluations are routine during physicals, particularly for patients who are 66 or older. Trump is 71.

H&M stores in South Africa trashed over 'racist' hoodie - BBC News

South African police have used rubber bullets to disperse a mob trashing H&M stores in and around Johannesburg, after the brand used a controversial picture of a black child.
The protests were organised by the radical Economic Freedom Fighters' party (EFF).

All jewels from Paris Ritz heist recovered: source

French police have recovered all the jewels that a gang of thieves attempted to snatch from a store in the upscale Paris Ritz hotel, a source close to the investigation said on Thursday.

EU plastics tax could help plug Brexit blackhole | Euronews

Plastic could be fantastic for the EU, as it looks for ways to plug a future gaping hole in its budget, left by Brexit.
Plans have been announced for a new bloc-wide tax on plastics, extra revenue to top up the Brussels bank balance. Although how it would work is unclear right now.

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News Headlines - 12 January 2018

Iran deal: Trump issues warning but continues to honor deal - CNNPolitics

President Donald Trump on Friday avoided upending the nuclear deal with Iran that he has repeatedly disparaged, agreeing to waive key sanctions the US lifted as part of the deal.
But Trump warned Friday in a statement that the waiver -- which must be issued every 120 days to keep the sanctions from kicking back in -- will be the last he issues and he delivered a stark ultimatum to European allies on Friday: "Fix the deal's disastrous flaws, or the United States will withdraw."

Donald Trump cancels February visit to UK - BBC News

The US president tweeted he was not a "big fan" of the new embassy - which is moving from Mayfair to south London.
He blamed Barack Obama's administration for a "bad deal" despite the fact the move was agreed under George W Bush.

Trump UK visit: who really sold the US embassy? - BBC News

The claim: The Obama administration sold the US embassy in London for "peanuts".
The verdict: President Trump is right that the sale did take place during the Obama administration. The final amount was not disclosed but estimates of its value varied between £300m and £500m. However, the decision to move was taken when George W Bush was in the White House.

Abe not to attend PyeongChang Olympic opening ceremony: Japanese daily : The DONG-A ILBO

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has decided not to attend the opening ceremony for the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympics on February 9, right-wing Japanese daily Sankei Shimbun reported on Thursday, citing multiple Japanese government sources.

Alabama incentives for Toyota-Mazda factory top $700 million - CBS News

Alabama's total incentive package to Toyota and Mazda will top $700 million after local incentives are added to what the state offered to land the companies' new U.S. factory.
The Huntsville City Council on Thursday approved a $320 million local incentive package. That is in addition to $380 million announced by the state in tax abatements, investment rebates and the construction of a worker training facility.

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News Headlines - 11 January 2018

First Time, Myanmar Army Admit Killing Rohingyas And Confirm Existence Of Mass Grave

Myanmar security forces for the first time admitted taking part in a massacre of 10 Rohingyas in September and confirmed the existence of mass grave in Rakhine.
According to a statement posted on Facebook by Myanmar's commander-in-chief, Senior General Min Aung Hlaing, the massacre took place on September 2 in the village of Inn Din in Rakhine state after tensions escalated pitting Rohingya against security forces and ethnic Rakhine locals following the killing of a Rakhine man.

EU to meet Iran to back nuclear deal in message to Trump

European powers will reaffirm on Thursday their support for the Iran nuclear deal that Donald Trump has rejected, EU diplomats said, on the eve of a deadline for the U.S. president to decide whether to reimpose oil sanctions lifted under the agreement.

Islamic State retreats online to 'virtual caliphate' - Channel NewsAsia

Back in 2015, when the militants held territory the size of Italy, they also commanded a huge digital presence, flooding the web with slick propaganda lionising their fighters and romanticising life under their rule.
Today, with many of the top IS leaders either dead or on the run, what remains of the group's once-sophisticated propaganda machine is also a shadow of its former self.

Nepali woman suffocates in 'menstruation hut' - Channel NewsAsia

A young Nepali woman has died of suspected smoke inhalation while she was banished to a shed for menstruating under an ancient tradition banned more than a decade ago, police said Wednesday (Jan 10).
Many communities in Nepal view menstruating women as impure and in some remote areas they are forced to sleep in a hut away from the home, a practice known as chhaupadi.

Japan rejects South Korean call for extra steps over 'comfort women'

Japan said on Tuesday it can “by no means” accept South Korea’s call for more steps to help “comfort women”, a euphemism for girls and women forced to work in Japan’s wartime brothels, a divisive issue that Japan says was resolved with a 2015 deal.

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News Headlines - 10 January 2018

US welcomes meeting between North, South Korea on Olympics security- Nikkei Asian Review

The U.S. State Department welcomed Tuesday's meeting between North and South Korean officials aimed at ensuring a safe Winter Olympics, and said it would work with Seoul to ensure North Korea's participation does not violate U.N. sanctions.

China puts senior general on trial for bribery

One of China’s most senior military officers is to be prosecuted for bribery, as President Xi Jinping ramps up his half-decade-old anti-corruption drive.
General Fang Fenghui, who sits on China’s central military commission, which oversees the People’s Liberation Army, was transferred to military prosecutors for investigation on Tuesday, China’s official news agency Xinhua reported.

Kodak joins cryptocraze with digital photo licensing site

The 130-year-old company said Tuesday it has used blockchain, the technology underpinning popular digital currencies such as bitcoin, to create a new platform for digital photography with its own digital currency, called KodakCoin... Shares of Kodak more than doubled Tuesday, closing at $6.80. They were also trading 5.8 percent higher in the after-market.

Australia to Allow Export of Cannabis-Based Medicines

Australia is to become the fourth country in the world to allow exports of cannabis-based therapies. The federal government hopes the reforms will help Australia become a world leader in the medicinal cannabis market.
Laws to allow exports of Australian cannabis-based therapies will come into force in February, according to the federal health minister.

Strong earthquake prompts tsunami threat message in Mexico, other coastal countries - CNN

The US Pacific Tsunami Warning Center said tsunami waves were possible for several countries in the Caribbean and Central America, as well as Mexico, after a magnitude-7.6 earthquake struck 27 miles (43 kilometers) off the coast of Honduras.

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News Headlines - 09 January 2018

North and South Korea Meet, Agree to Future Talks

North and South Korean officials met Tuesday in the border village of Panmunjom. They agreed to hold military talks in an effort to improve relations.
Officials in Seoul and Pyongyang were able to watch the meeting through a closed circuit television connection.

Thai foreign minister says fugitive former PM Yingluck in London

Thailand’s former Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra, who fled the country to avoid being jailed over a rice subsidy scheme that lost billions of dollars, is in Britain, Thailand’s foreign minister said on Tuesday.

Venezuela's annual inflation at more than 2600%, says opposition

Prices in Venezuela, which is believed to have the world's highest inflation, jumped 2616 per cent last year, the country's opposition-led National Assembly said, as millions suffer from food and medicine shortages during a severe economic crisis.
Opposition politicians, whose numbers are broadly in line with analysts' estimates, on Monday put December's inflation figure alone at 85 per cent, well into hyperinflation territory for which the benchmark is usually 50 per cent.

Oscar-winning filmmaker Haggis accused of rape, sex assault

A civil lawsuit charging Oscar-winning filmmaker Paul Haggis with raping a publicist has prompted three additional women to come forward with their own sexual misconduct accusations, including another publicist who says he forced her to perform oral sex, then raped her.
One of the other women speaking out told The Associated Press that Haggis tried to sexually assault her. “I need to be inside you,” she recalled him saying, before she managed to run away.

Ex-Google engineer fired over gender memo sues for discrimination

A former Google engineer fired after he asserted in a memo that biological causes were behind tech industry gender inequality sued his former employer on Monday, saying he was discriminated against as a white man with conservative political views.

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News Headlines - 08 January 2018

FBI investigating Clinton Foundation corruption claims - LA Times

The FBI is investigating whether the Clinton Foundation accepted donations in exchange for political favors while Hillary Clinton was secretary of State, two people familiar with the probe confirmed Friday. The revelation comes as President Trump and congressional Republicans have been urging the Justice Department to look into corruption allegations involving the foundation.
It is unclear when or why the probe began, but the sources told the Associated Press it has been ongoing for several months, with prosecutors and FBI agents taking the lead from their offices in Little Rock, Ark., where the foundation has offices.

Trump Tower on fire in Midtown Manhattan - NBC News

Fire Department of New York Chief Roger Sakowich told NBC New York that the fire started in a cooling unit that contains heaters for use during this time of year, and said flames came out a vent just before 7 a.m. on Monday. The fire was reported after Secret Service agents noticed smoke.
The president was not in the building when the fire erupted.

JFK Airport: Water leak floods baggage claim, forces evacuation - CNN

A water main break flooded a baggage claim area at JFK International Airport in New York on Sunday afternoon, compounding flight cancellations and other headaches caused by the cold wave.
Water flowed into Terminal 4, soaking stranded travelers' luggage and forcing a partial evacuation of the terminal, the major arrival point for international travelers. Incoming flights to Terminal 4 were shut down for several hours.

BBC China editor Carrie Gracie quits post in equal pay row - BBC News

Ms Gracie said she left her role as editor of the corporation's Beijing bureau last week, but would remain with the BBC.
She said she would return to her former post in the TV newsroom "where I expect to be paid equally".

Bangladesh records lowest temperature in 5 decades, 12 cold-related deaths reported - Xinhua

Bangladesh Monday recorded the lowest temperature in five decades as mercury dipped to a chilling 2.6 degrees centigrade... The severe cold wave sweeping through Bangladesh brought the normal life and businesses to almost standstill, particularly in the country's northern region facing the Himalayan mountains... Bangladesh Meteorological Department (BMD) says the previous lowest temperature recorded 2.8 degrees centigrade in 1968.

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News Headlines - 07 January 2018

Stockholm metro explosion: Man killed after picking up suspected hand grenade | The Independent

A man died after he picked up a suspected hand grenade and it detonated, killing him and injuring his companion, Swedish police said.
The blast took place on Sunday at about 1100 local time [1000 GMT] just outside the Varby Gard subway station in Huddinge, a residential district in greater Stockholm, said regional police spokesman Sven-Erik Olsson.

UK car sales see first drop for six years - BBC News

New car sales fell for the first time in six years last year, with demand for diesel cars plunging by almost a fifth... The figure was down 5.7% from 2016, while diesel sales fell 17.1% as higher taxes and pollution fears hit demand.

Nintendo Switch Is Now The US's All-Time Fastest-Selling Console (Through 10 Months) - GameSpot

According to Nintendo, the system has now broken another record in the United States: Through its first 10 months on the market, Switch is now the fastest-selling home console.
In those 10 months, which cover the period from launch in March 2017 through the beginning of this month, Nintendo has sold 4.8 million Switch units in the US. That figure tops the mark set by any previous home console in its first 10 months on the market, including the record set by the Wii, which sold 4 million units in the US in a comparable span of time. Through September, Switch sales stood at 2 million units.

Why Is Everyone Wearing Black Dresses on the 2018 Golden Globes’ Red Carpet?

Women in the entertainment industry made a statement at the 2018 Golden Globes on Sunday by wearing all-black dresses on the red carpet... Earlier in the week, the hashtag #WhyWeWearBlack started to go viral as Hollywood’s A-list stars wrote on social media about the #MeToo movement.

'Hottest' Ashes Test day on record as Australia swelters | AFP.com

Australia's largest city recorded its hottest day since 1939 as the mercury rose to 47.3 degree Celsius (117.14 degrees Fahrenheit) in the western suburb of Penrith.
More than 200 weather records were broken nationwide during the last summer, with intense heatwaves, bushfires and flooding plaguing the December 2016-February 2017 season.

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News Headlines - 06 January 2018

Five severed heads left on hood of taxi in Veracruz

The Jalisco New Generation Cartel is believed to have been responsible for leaving the severed heads of five men on the hood of a taxi in Veracruz yesterday.

U.S. helicopter forced to land on small island in Okinawa:The Asahi Shimbun

A U.S. military helicopter made an emergency landing on Ikeijima island here on Jan. 6... Local fire department officials said the pilot made the emergency landing in the Agarihama district. It was not clear what the problem was as no smoke was found coming out of the aircraft.

Former Toyota President Tatsuro Toyoda dies at 88 | The Japan Times

Tatsuro Toyoda, the former Toyota Motor Corp. president who led the company’s ascent to one of the world’s top automakers, has died. He was 88.

Largest known prime number discovered with over 23 million digits | The Independent

M77232917 was discovered on a computer belonging to Jonathan Pace, an electrical engineer from Tennessee who has been searching for big primes for 14 years.
Mr Pace discovered the new number as part of the Great Internet Mersenne Prime Search (GIMPS), a project started in 1996 to hunt for these massive numbers.

Residents of Bell End call for change to their 'embarrassing' street name

Fed up with being the butt of puerile jokes a number of families have asked Sandwell Council to rename their street as Bell Road, with councillors now set to discuss the request.

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News Headlines - 05 January 2018

Spotify touts 70m subscribers as it prepares for public listing

The streaming-music service said in a tweet on Thursday that it now has 70m subscribers, passing the 60m milestone it reached in July.
The announcement comes after the revelation that it has filed paperwork to list its shares on the New York Stock Exchange. That could make the Swedish group the first large, well-known market debut of 2018.

Trump Breaks With Bannon, Saying He Has ‘Lost His Mind’ - The New York Times

While Mr. Trump had remained in touch with Mr. Bannon after pushing him out of the White House over the summer, the two now appear to have reached a breaking point. “Steve Bannon has nothing to do with me or my presidency,” Mr. Trump said. “When he was fired, he not only lost his job, he lost his mind.”

Russia suspected of Syria bombing that killed 30 civilians - Jerusalem Post

At least 30 civilians were killed early on Thursday when jets dropped bombs on a residential area in a besieged rebel enclave east of Syria's capital, a war monitor said, identifying the planes as Russian.
At least four bombs flattened two buildings in the Eastern Ghouta town of Misraba, in an attack that killed around 20 and wounded more than 40 people, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights and civil defense sources said.

Samsung pushes aside Intel, snaps up top spot in memory market: Gartner | ZDNet

On Thursday, research firm Gartner released the results of preliminary research into the memory industry and how it performed over the course of 2017.
According to the agency, worldwide semiconductor revenue reached $419.7 billion, an increase of 22.2 percent from 2016... However, the booming business has been good news for players in the semiconductor field, despite supply problems. Gartner says that for the first time since 1992 Intel has toppled from its perch as the top supplier worldwide, to be overtaken by Samsung.

Chinese netizens furious at racist French nursery rhyme | South China Morning Post

The song, titled Zhang, my little Chinese, was taught at an unnamed school in Aubervilliers, a northeastern suburb of Paris, for more than a decade, China News Service reported on Monday... It was not clear who had produced the video. Nonetheless, the furore that followed prompted France’s education authorities to ban the song, the Chinese report said, without elaborating.

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News Headlines - 04 January 2018

When a North Korean Missile Accidentally Hit a North Korean City | The Diplomat

On April 28, 2017, North Korea launched a single Hwasong-12/KN17 intermediate-range ballistic missile (IRBM) from Pukchang Airfield in South Pyongan Province (the Korean People’s Army’s Air and Anti-Air Force Unit 447 in Ryongak-dong, Sunchon City, to be more precise)... According to a U.S. government source with knowledge of North Korea’s weapons programs who spoke to The Diplomat, the missile’s first stage engines failed after approximately one minute of powered flight, resulting in catastrophic failure. The missile never flew higher than approximately 70 kilometers. The location of the missile’s eventual impact was revealed exclusively to The Diplomat and evidence of the incident can be independently corroborated in commercially available satellite imagery from April and May 2017.

Joshua Boyle, former Canadian hostage, faces 15 criminal charges - CBC News

Joshua Boyle, the Canadian man who was held captive in Afghanistan for five years with his wife, has been charged with several criminal offences in Ottawa, including sexual assault, unlawful confinement and uttering threats, CBC News has confirmed.

Tamil film star Rajinikanth to enter politics in India's 'Detroit'

A big star of India’s Tamil-language movies, Rajinikanth, said on Sunday he is launching a political party, adding drama to a heated political scene in a state with a history of film stars becoming chief ministers... Tamil Nadu, which accounts for the bulk of India’s automobile exports, has been in political limbo since the death of Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa in December 2016. Jayalalithaa was a popular actress before joining politics.

Ryanair passenger takes emergency exit - BBC News

A Ryanair passenger, fed up with waiting to leave a plane in Spain, got in trouble after taking the emergency exit and waiting on the wing... He was later arrested by airport security.

Japanese Comedian Who Used Blackface Comes Under Fire Online - The New York Times

A Japanese comedian is facing criticism for performing in blackface in a widely viewed television show, a move that has outraged many and highlighted the regular appearance of performers in similar makeup on mainstream media outlets in Japan.

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News Headlines - 03 January 2018

Michael Wolff’s ‘Fire and Fury’: Inside Trump’s White House

Shortly after 8 p.m. on Election Night, when the unexpected trend — Trump might actually win — seemed confirmed, Don Jr. told a friend that his father, or DJT, as he calls him, looked as if he had seen a ghost. Melania was in tears — and not of joy.
There was, in the space of little more than an hour, in Steve Bannon’s not unamused observation, a befuddled Trump morphing into a disbelieving Trump and then into a horrified Trump. But still to come was the final transformation: Suddenly, Donald Trump became a man who believed that he deserved to be, and was wholly capable of being, the president of the United States.

Hatch announces retirement, Romney likely to run - POLITICO

Orrin Hatch, the longest-serving Republican senator, announced Tuesday he will not seek reelection in November. The move sets the stage for a likely run for his Utah seat by former GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney... President Donald Trump tried aggressively to persuade Hatch to seek another term, orchestrating a visit to Utah in which the president lavished praise on Hatch and had the senator accompanty him on Air Force One.
Trump’s move was aimed in no small part at keeping Romney out of the Senate. During the 2016 campaign, Romney emerged as a de facto leader of the “Never Trump” movement, calling then-candidate Trump a “fraud” and “phony” who was unfit to serve.

North Korea to open hotline with South to discuss Winter Olympics - CNN

North Korea says it will open its hotline to South Korea for the first time in almost two years on Wednesday, a major diplomatic breakthrough following a year of escalating hostility that could path the way for future talks.

'My button is much bigger': Trump threatens North Korea with nuclear war

In a tweet on Wednesday, the US President responded to a speech made by the North Korea leader in which he said "a nuclear button is always on my desk"... "Will someone from his depleted and food starved regime please inform him that I too have a Nuclear Button, but it is a much bigger & more powerful one than his, and my Button works!"

UK looks to join Pacific trade group after Brexit

Britain has held informal talks about joining a flagship Pacific trade group, in an audacious bid to kick-start exports after Brexit.
The proposal, being developed by Liam Fox’s Department for International Trade, would make the UK the first member of the Trans-Pacific Partnership that does not border the Pacific Ocean or the South China Sea.

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News Headlines - 02 January 2018

Japan Emperor Greets Cheering Crowd at Palace for New Year

Japan's Emperor Akihito, who is handing the Chrysanthemum Throne to his son next year, was showered with cheers from tens of thousands of New Year's well-wishers Tuesday at the Imperial Palace.

Kim Jong Un highlights his 'nuclear button,' offers Olympic talks - NBC News

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un used his New Year’s Day address to warn the U.S. not to test him while striking a softer tone with South Korea, including the possibility of sending a delegation to next month's Winter Olympics.

North Korea Will Launch First Missile of 2018 Soon, U.S. Reports Say

Exactly one year since then President-elect Donald Trump vowed North Korea would never test a missile capable of hitting the U.S., military officials told NBC News on Tuesday that North Korea's first ballistic missile launch of 2018 could occur in a matter of days, with one official describing the timeline as "short-term." While the details of the potential test remained unclear, it would follow North Korea's latest, highest intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) test in late November, a milestone that likely put the entire U.S. within range of the reclusive, militarized state's growing arsenal.

Iran death toll rises as protests continue | Al Jazeera

A number of Iranians have died amid ongoing nationwide anti-government protests that began last week in various cities across Iran.

YouTuber Logan Paul apologizes for showing dead body in Japan’s ‘suicide forest’ - The Washington Post

Logan Paul, one of YouTube’s biggest stars, treated a video he uploaded over the weekend as the equivalent of a TV sitcom’s “very special episode.” To indicate the seriousness of the matter to his young fans, Paul posted a warning at the beginning, telling viewers who are having thoughts of suicide or self harm to seek help. He also demonetized the video so that he would not earn advertising money off its views.
The now-deleted video was titled, “We found a dead body in the Japanese Suicide Forest . . .”, and that is, more or less, exactly what the vlog showed — complete with extended footage of the body of an apparent suicide victim.

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News Headlines - 01 January 2018

Pope Francis prints pictures of Nagasaki atomic bomb victims in warning over 'fruit of war' | The Independent

Pope Francis has issued a card showing a 1945 photo of victims of the Nagasaki nuclear bombing in a stark New Year warning over the threat of global conflict.
The Vatican is to print and distribute copies of the image, which shows a young Japanese boy carrying his dead brother on his shoulders to a cemetery, with the words ”the fruit of war” written on the back.

What next for Brexit in 2018? - BBC News

The only predictable thing is unpredictability. And among both arch-Brexiteers, and ardent Remainers, there is a sense that it is still all to play for... First of all, the joint EU-UK report on "sufficient progress" needs to be turned into a legal text that will form the basis of a formal withdrawal agreement. And there are still plenty of details that remain unresolved.

Set Brexit aside – here are the political issues you mustn’t lose sight of in 2018 | The Guardian

As we go into 2018, Brexit is set to be the all-consuming story of the year once again. But important as it is, at a time when unprecedented government cuts are taking hold we can’t take our eyes off what is happening elsewhere.
Social care
Universal credit
Personal independence payments
Child poverty

US study finds 1 in 10 youth experience some form of homelessness | The Guardian

One in 10 young adults aged 18 to 25 in the US have slept on the streets, in shelters, run away, been kicked out of home, or couch-surfed in the past year, according to a national survey.
The study, Missed Opportunities: Youth Homelessness in America, published in the Journal of Adolescent Health, also found that at least one in 30 adolescents aged 13-17 experienced some form of homelessness unaccompanied by a parent or guardian over the same period.

Niagara Falls becomes ice-covered spectacle - BBC News

Temperatures are predicted to remain below minus 10 degrees Celsius for the next week.
The last time the waterfall froze over completely was in January 2014, when temperatures reached minus 19 degrees Celsius.

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News Headlines - 31 December 2017

Two reportedly killed after Iranian forces 'open fire on protestors' as demonstrations continue for third day

Two people are understood to have been killed after Iranian security forces reportedly opened fire on anti-government demonstrators on Saturday as the largest protests seen in the country since 2009 continued for a third day.

How the Russia Inquiry Began: A Campaign Aide, Drinks and Talk of Political Dirt - The New York Times

If Mr. Papadopoulos, who pleaded guilty to lying to the F.B.I. and is now a cooperating witness, was the improbable match that set off a blaze that has consumed the first year of the Trump administration, his saga is also a tale of the Trump campaign in miniature. He was brash, boastful and underqualified, yet he exceeded expectations. And, like the campaign itself, he proved to be a tantalizing target for a Russian influence operation.

Margaret Thatcher refused to fly with panda, documents show - CNN

The former British Prime Minister once refused to share a flight to Washington with a giant panda on an official visit, according to official documents declassified on Friday ... Thatcher was not impressed. "I am not taking a panda with me," she wrote in blue felt-tip pen on the document containing the request. For emphasis, she double-underlined the words "not" and "me."
"Pandas and politicians are not happy omens!" she wrote.

People we've lost in 2017

A look back at notable people who have died in 2017.

Wenger 811: The Arsenal manager's most memorable moments | FourFourTwo

Arsene Wenger will surpass Alex Ferguson's record number of Premier League matches when he leads Arsenal for the 811th time at West Brom on Sunday.
The Frenchman took over at Highbury in 1996 and has won 10 major trophies during his time at the club, most recently lifting last season's FA Cup... Here, we look at five of the best moments from Wenger's reign.

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News Headlines - 30 December 2017

Saint Petersburg supermarket attack suspect arrested | AFP.com

Russian investigators on Saturday arrested a suspect behind the Saint Petersburg bomb attack which tore through a supermarket this week, wounding 18 people.

Call of Duty player’s prank results in deadly police shooting

A feud between two Call of Duty players led to the death of a 28-year-old Kansas man, who was shot and killed by police after a fraudulent 911 call sent a SWAT team to the man's private home. The news was first reported by local newspaper The Wichita Eagle, which cites numerous now-deleted tweets in which Call of Duty players take responsibility for participating in or observing the intended prank.

She Broke Japan’s Silence on Rape - The New York Times

Elsewhere, her allegations might have caused an uproar. But here in Japan, they attracted only a smattering of attention.
As the United States reckons with an outpouring of sexual misconduct cases that have shaken Capitol Hill, Hollywood, Silicon Valley and the news media, Ms. Ito’s story is a stark example of how sexual assault remains a subject to be avoided in Japan, where few women report rape to the police and when they do, their complaints rarely result in arrests or prosecution.

Nepal bans solo climbers from Mount Everest under new rules - BBC News

Nepal has banned solo climbers from scaling its mountains, including Mount Everest, in a bid to reduce accidents.
The new safety regulations also prohibit double amputee and blind climbers from attempting to reach the summit of the world's highest peak without a valid medical certificate.

New Year Honours 2018: Barry Gibb, Ringo Starr and Darcey Bussell head list - BBC News

Bee Gees singer Barry Gibb and Beatles drummer Ringo Starr have been knighted, and Strictly judge Darcey Bussell made a dame, in the New Year Honours.

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News Headlines - 29 December 2017

Gunmen launch deadly attack on Coptic church near Cairo | The Guardian

At least two gunmen on a motorcycle opened fire outside a Coptic church south of Cairo on Friday, killing at least nine people in the latest attack on the country’s Christian minority... One of the gunmen was killed after an exchange of fire with security forces, while another was arrested as he tried to escape to a narrower street across the road from the church, interior ministry sources told the Guardian.

Trump says East could use some 'global warming' this weekend | Fox News

Trump wrote on Twitter Thursday, "In the East, it could be the COLDEST New Year's Eve on record." He added: "Perhaps we could use a little bit of that good old Global Warming that our Country, but not other countries, was going to pay TRILLIONS OF DOLLARS to protect against. Bundle up!"

Malcolm Turnbull slapped with $250 fine over missing life jacket - The Australian

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has been issued a $250 fine by NSW Maritime Services this afternoon after he failed to don a life jacket on Sydney Harbour this week.
An investigation was launched into the Prime Minister after The Australian reported he had breached local waterway regulations, which dictate that anyone boating alone in a vessel less than 4.8m long must wear a life jacket or face fines.

Bono calls on Suu Kyi to quit over deadly campaign against Rohingya Muslims - Geo.tv

U2 frontman Bono, a leading campaigner for Myanmar's leader Aung San Suu Kyi when she was under house arrest, has called on her to resign over the deadly campaign against Rohingya Muslims.
The singer -- who championed Suu Kyi in the 2000 U2 song "Walk On," with fans encouraged to wear masks of the then opposition leader when the band played it live -- said he felt "nauseated" by images of the bloodshed and refugee crisis.

Top court finds ex-Aum fugitive not guilty in 1995 bombing:The Asahi Shimbun

The Supreme Court upheld a not guilty verdict for a former Aum Shinrikyo member who eluded police for 17 years following the cult’s deadly crime spree, including the 1995 nerve gas attack in Tokyo.
Naoko Kikuchi, 46, had been charged with aiding in an attempted murder in connection with a parcel bomb that seriously injured an official at the Tokyo metropolitan government building in May 1995.

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News Headlines - 28 December 2017

Putin says St. Petersburg supermarket bombing was terrorism

Russian President Vladimir Putin said a bomb blast in a St. Petersburg supermarket on Wednesday was an act of terrorism, and that security forces whose lives were threatened by terrorist suspects should shoot to kill if necessary.

70 Venezuela media outlets closed in 2017, attacks on journalists rose as Maduro worked to 'silence' discontent: union | The Japan Times

Venezuela saw almost 70 newspapers, TV and radio stations close in 2017 while attacks on journalists rose, the main union representing the media said Wednesday, accusing the socialist government of trying to “silence” the press.
The National Union of Press Workers (SNTP) said 46 radio stations, three television channels and around 20 newspapers had been shuttered in the past year.

Ex-footballer George Weah to become Liberia's president | The Guardian

The former footballer George Weah has won Liberia’s presidential election, defeating vice-president Joseph Boakai in a runoff with 61.5% of the vote.
Thursday’s announcement by the country’s election commission chair, Jerome Korkoyah, means Weah will succeed Ellen Johnson Sirleaf as Liberia’s president next month, in what will be the country’s first democratic transition since 1944. It follows two devastating civil wars.

Video gaming: WHO to recognize gaming disorder as mental health condition in 2018 - CNN

In 2018, playing video games obsessively might lead to a diagnosis of a mental health disorder.
In the beta draft of its forthcoming 11th International Classification of Diseases, the World Health Organization includes "gaming disorder" in its list of mental health conditions. The WHO defines the disorder as a "persistent or recurrent" behavior pattern of "sufficient severity to result in significant impairment in personal, family, social, educational, occupational or other important areas of functioning."

US weather latest: Record-breaking cold snap as Minnesota hits -37C | The Independent

A record-breaking cold snap has taken hold of much of the northern United States, with temperatures in Minnesota plunging to an unprecedented -37C... The National Weather Service reported International Falls, Minnesota, the self-proclaimed Icebox of the Nation, plunged to -37C on Wednesday, breaking the old record of -32C set in 1924. Hibbing, Minnesota, hit -28C, breaking the old record of -27C set in 1964.

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News Headlines - 25 December 2017

Queen Elizabeth praises husband's humor in Christmas message

Britain’s Queen Elizabeth will pay tribute to her husband Prince Philip in her Christmas message, and praise his “support and unique sense of humor”.
The 96-year-old prince, also known as the Duke of Edinburgh, has been at the queen’s side throughout her 65 years on the throne, and has regularly grabbed the headlines with his off-color comments.

Jerusalem: Guatemala follows US in planning Israel embassy move - BBC News

Guatemala says it plans to move the country's embassy in Israel to Jerusalem, following a similar announcement from Donald Trump... It was one of only nine nations to vote against a UN resolution effectively repudiating the US' recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital.

Medical pardon for Peru ex-president Fujimori sparks protests - CNN

Peru's President on Sunday pardoned former leader Alberto Fujimori, who was serving a 25-year prison for human rights abuses, citing the failing health of the ex-president.
The Christmas Eve pardon was met with street protests and condemnation from some lawmakers, who questioned whether there was a political deal behind what current President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski's office described as a humanitarian gesture.

Comiket 98 in 2020 to be Held During Golden Week at Tokyo Big Sight - Anime News Network

The official website for the Comic Market (Comiket) event announced on Saturday that the seven organizations behind the event still plan to hold Comic Market 98 in 2020 at the Tokyo Big Sight convention center. The announcement stated the plan is to hold the convention during the Golden Week holidays in April and May instead of during the summer. The event will mark the first time that Comiket will be held during Golden Week. The event will utilize the Tokyo Big Sight's West Hall, South Hall, Aoumi Exhibition Hall, and Conference Tower.

Wagamama apology for 'don't be sick' staff notice - BBC News

Restaurant chain Wagamama has apologised after a manager warned workers they face disciplinary action for calling in sick over Christmas.
A note on a rota at one of its London branches said it was the responsibility of ill staff to find colleagues to cover shifts.

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News Headlines - 24 December 2017

'Merry Christmas' or 'Happy Holidays'? Everyone has Trump on the brain - Chicago Tribune

Donald Trump promised to bring "Merry Christmas" back and on his first Noel as president he seems to have done that — and more.
Americans were already in a longstanding debate about whether there was a war on Christmas, but Trump's presidential battle cry about the greeting appears to have made people even more deliberate about what they say in December.

Snowden's new app protects your physical security - CNET

Haven, an app backed by Edward Snowden, turns an Android device into something like a baby monitor on steroids, or the world's most paranoid nanny-cam.

Sweden plans change in law to require explicit consent before sexual contact | The Guardian

Sweden is moving closer to making changes to its rape laws that would require people to get explicit consent before sexual contact... Under current Swedish law someone can be prosecuted for rape only if it has been proved that they used threats or violence. Under the proposal, rape could be proved if the accuser hadn’t given their explicit verbal agreement or clearly demonstrate their desire to engage in sexual activity.

Let me come back, Catalan leader tells Spain

Catalonia’s separatist leader Carles Puigdemont called on Spain’s government on Saturday to allow him to return home in time for the opening session of the Catalan parliament so that he can become the region’s next president.

Russian president, Vladimir Putin plays an ice hockey match in the Red Square | Euronews

Russian president, Vladimir Putin has played an ice hockey match in the Red Square, alongside the country's Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu.
The Kremlin announced the game of the Night Hockey league on its official website, however it was unclear how many goals the Russian leader managed to score.

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News Headlines - 23 December 2017

10,000 killed in China's 1989 Tiananmen crackdown: British archive - France 24

At least 10,000 people were killed in the Chinese army's crackdown on pro-democracy protesters in Tiananmen Square in June 1989, according to a newly released British secret diplomatic cable that gives gruesome details of the bloodshed in Beijing.

YouTuber who insulted Mexican drug lord found dead with 15 gunshot wounds | Metro News

A YouTuber who insulted a notorious Mexican drug lord was found dead with 15 gunshot wounds. Juan Luis Lagunas Rosales shared a video mocking Nemesio Oseguera Cervantes, also known as El Mencho, a cartel boss with links to drugs baron Joaquin ‘El Chapo’ Guzman.

Woman pleads guilty in fatal shooting of boyfriend in failed YouTube stunt - NBC News

A Minnesota woman has pleaded guilty to fatally shooting her boyfriend in a videotaped stunt they planned to post on YouTube.
The Star Tribune reports that 20-year-old Monalisa Perez pleaded guilty last week to second-degree manslaughter in the June death of 22-year-old Pedro Ruiz III.

TASS: World - Russian experts resume search for missing Argentine submarine

The Islas Malvinas vessel of the Argentine Navy, carrying Russian experts and a remote-controlled submersible, has returned to the area where search for Argentina’s missing San Juan submarine continues, the Argentine Navy’s press service said on Tuesday.

Argentina submarine: Police raid navy and German company offices | DW

Argentine police searched through navy headquarters and state-run shipyard offices on Wednesday in a bid to investigate the disappearance of a submarine last month.
A judge ordered the searches to help probe alleged irregularities with repairs on the German-built submarine.

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News Headlines - 22 December 2017

Logs of Nobel Prize-winning physicist Yukawa show clues on wartime nuke research - The Mainichi

Journals kept around the end of World War II in 1945 by Japan's first Nobel Prize winner, physicist Hideki Yukawa (1907-1981), were released by the Kyoto University Yukawa Institute for Theoretical Physics on Dec. 21.

Kansai Electric decides to scrap 2 reactors at Ohi - NHK WORLD

Kansai Electric Power Company has officially decided to decommission 2 aging reactors at the Ohi nuclear power plant in Fukui Prefecture on the Sea of Japan coast... Kansai Electric President Shigeki Iwane met Fukui Governor Issei Nishikawa and explained the plan to scrap the No.1 and No.2 reactors.

Norwegian herder ordered to put down dozens of reindeer in controversial cull | The Guardian

The supreme court in Oslo rejected an appeal by Jovsset Ante Sara, a small reindeer herder from the indigenous Sami community in the Norwegian Arctic, ruling he must comply with an earlier order to cull 41 of his 116-strong herd.

France to ban all oil and gas production from 2040 | The Independent

France is to ban all drilling for oil and natural gas by 2040 after its Parliament approved part of President Emmanuel Macron’s plans to cut the use of fossil fuels.
It will become illegal to produce or look for oil and gas in the country and its overseas territories. Existing drilling permits will expire in 2040 and, from today, no new ones will be granted.

The Queen and Prince Philip take train from London to begin Christmas break | London Evening Standard

The Queen and Duke of Edinburgh have begun their Christmas break like any other couple and are heading to Sandringham by train.
The monarch and her consort were pictured arriving at King's Lynn station in Norfolk after travelling from London.

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News Headlines - 21 December 2017

Japan Airlines falls victim to email fraud, paying out \384 million to Hong Kong accounts | The Japan Times

Japan Airlines Co. said it has been defrauded out of \384 million ($3.4 million) after receiving emails earlier this year that called for the payments of lease fees and commissions into bank accounts in Hong Kong.

Cultural showcase store opens at new Japan House Los Angeles facility in Hollywood | The Japan Times

At 10 a.m. on the second floor of a shopping mall in central Hollywood on Wednesday, a brightly lit store selling about 1,200 Japanese products opened its doors for the first time to a small crowd of journalists and onlookers... The new facility is one of three global hubs of the Japan House project, run by the Foreign Ministry. Along with one that opened in Sao Paulo in April and another planned for London, the project aims to promote the country’s best art, cuisine, design, entertainment, fashion and technology.

Shots fired along demilitarized zone as North Korean soldier defects - Channel NewsAsia

South Korean guards fired warning shots across the heavily militarized border with North Korea on Thursday as a soldier from the North defected, officials said, complicating efforts to ease tensions over the Pyongyang's weapons programmes.

South Africa's ANC calls for nationalizing central bank, land expropriation

South Africa’s ruling African National Congress has adopted a resolution calling for the nationalization of the central bank and land expropriation without compensation, a senior party official said on Wednesday.

Tolkien Christmas letters to his children to go on show - Channel NewsAsia

The letters start in 1920 after Tolkien’s three-year old son John asked him who Father Christmas was and where he lived.
Tolkien decided to assume the identity of Father Christmas in a written reply, and told stories of the North Pole via handwritten text and illustrations. The letters became a tradition that Tolkien maintained for all four of his children, and he delivered them on Christmas Eve for the next 23 years.

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News Headlines - 20 December 2017

US making plans for 'bloody nose’ military attack on North Korea

America is drawing up plans for a “bloody nose” military attack on North Korea to stop its nuclear weapons programme, The Telegraph understands.
The White House has “dramatically” stepped up preparation for a military solution in recent months amid fears diplomacy is not working, well-placed sources said.

20th death attributed to Takata airbag | Fox News

A driver killed in a crash in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, on July 10 was the victim of a faulty Takata airbag, Honda has confirmed.
It is the 20th known death caused by one of the defective devices globally, which can break apart and spray shrapnel at the occupants of a vehicle... Honda says the owners were sent several notices about the recall and urgent need to replace the older devices with new ones, but never did.

Crack found on Japan's shinkansen bullet train "extremely serious": JR West VP - Xinhua

Train operator West Japan Railway Co. said Tuesday that a 16 centimeter crack found in a steel frame of a carriage of a shinkansen bullet train was "extremely serious."
JR West Vice President Norihiko Yoshie also told a press briefing on the matter that the incident had caused public mistrust in the safety of Japan's shinkansen trains.

TASS: Moscow urges Tokyo to prevent discharge of Fukushima radioactive water

The Japanese government should prohibit the discharge of liquid radioactive waste from the disaster-hit Fukushima nuclear power plant (NPP) into the Pacific Ocean, a spokeswoman for the Russian Foreign Ministry said on Tuesday.

EU and 12 other countries condemn Japan over whaling and reject claim annual slaughter is for research | The Independent

The European Union was joined by 12 other nations in its call for Japan to end its whaling programme, stating that it is “resolutely opposed” to commercial whaling.
Japan is a signatory to the International Whaling Commission’s (IWC) moratorium on whale hunting, but Tokyo continues to hunt the mammals each year under the claim it is for scientific research.

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News Headlines - 19 December 2017

AFP’s internal review after media unit’s social media bungle | The West Australian

The AFP’s media team broadcast internal discussions of media management surrounding a significant arrest on the social media site Periscope last Wednesday, days ahead of the arrest of Chan Han Hoi in Sydney for suspected involvement in helping arm North Korea’s regime with weapons of mass destruction.

Government accepts call to tackle racial bias in justice system | The Guardian

Prosecutions of suspects in London could be deferred or dropped under a pilot programme being considered by the government that is aimed at tackling racial bias in the criminal justice system... Lammy – who pointed out that black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) men and women represent 25% of prisoners despite making up just 14% of the population – welcomed the government’s commitments but attacked its refusal to set diversity targets for a representative judiciary and magistracy by 2025.

Saudi forces intercept Riyadh-bound Houthi missile | Al Jazeera

A Saudi-led coalition battling Yemen's Houthi rebels says it has intercepted a missile fired from the neighbouring country towards the kingdom's capital, Riyadh.

Boris Johnson gulps down can of peach juice from Fukushima | The Independent

Boris Johnson has been filmed drinking a can of peach juice from Fukushima, the Japanese region hit by nuclear disaster after the 2011 earthquake and tsunami.
The video, tweeted by his Japanese counterpart Taro Kono, shows the Foreign Secretary chugging the can at the Foreign Office in London this week.

At least 3 dead after Amtrak derailment in Washington state, official says - CNN

At least three people were killed and more than 100 injured when an Amtrak passenger train derailed in Washington state, DuPont Fire Chief Larry Creekmore said Monday night.
The Amtrak Cascades 501 was making its first trip on a new service route when the train ran off the track near DuPont, spilling 13 cars off an Interstate 5 overpass onto rush hour traffic below, authorities said.

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News Headlines - 18 December 2017

European Commission: Commission opens in-depth investigation into the Netherlands' tax treatment of Inter IKEA

The European Commission has opened an in-depth investigation into the Netherlands' tax treatment of Inter IKEA, one of the two groups operating the IKEA business.
The Commission has concerns that two Dutch tax rulings may have allowed Inter IKEA to pay less tax and given them an unfair advantage over other companies, in breach of EU State aid rules.

Toyota pledges to introduce electric or hybrid versions of all cars by 2025

Toyota will have an electrified or hybrid version of all vehicle models by 2025 as it phases out combustion-only models and aims to draw half its sales from electrified vehicles by the end of the next decade... To further that progress, Toyota will have more than 10 pure EVs for sale from 2020, starting in China, the company said at a press briefing in Tokyo. Following that, its pure EVs will go on sale in Japan, India, Europe and the US.

Top contractors searched over bidding for maglev project:The Asahi Shimbun

Two more major construction companies are under investigation in a widening scandal over suspected bid-rigging for contracts related to Japan's first high-speed maglev train line... Investigators will soon search the offices of Taisei Corp. as well as Obayashi Corp. to ascertain if there was a concerted effort among the nation's four "super general contractors" to collude on the project being overseen by Central Japan Railway Co. (JR Tokai).

Pope warns Japan over 'excessive' competitiveness | Daily Mail Online

Pope Francis warned Japan on Monday over a culture of "excessive" competitiveness in schooling and the workplace as well as an obsession with consumerism... He said he saw "several problems" in Japanese society, such as "excessive competition, competitiveness, consumption, consumption, consumption, consumption and more consumption".

Princess Charlotte to start nursery school in January - BBC News

Princess Charlotte will begin attending a London nursery school in January, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have announced.
The couple's daughter, aged two, will start at the Willcocks Nursery School, close to their Kensington Palace home.

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News Headlines - 17 December 2017

Brexit: Britons now back Remain over Leave by 10 points, exclusive poll shows | The Independent

The British public has swung behind staying in the EU by its largest margin since the referendum, with those backing Remain outstripping Leavers by ten points, a new poll has revealed. The exclusive survey for The Independent by BMG Research showed 51 per cent now back remaining in the union, while 41 per cent want Brexit.

Italian woman jailed in Denmark for ordering murder online in bitcoin

An Italian woman who ordered the murder of her boyfriend through a website and paid a hitman in bitcoin digital currency was sentenced on Friday to six years in a Danish jail. The 58-year-old woman ordered the murder - which was never carried out - in March, transferring 4.1 bitcoin, then worth around $4,000, to the hitman’s virtual wallet, the court found.

War against Daesh in Syria will be won by February: France’s Macron | Arab News

French President Emmanuel Macron on Sunday predicted the Daesh group would be crushed in Syria by February, pushing for the Syrian government and opposition to come together for fresh peace talks early next year.

Belgium ends extradition case against Catalan leader - The Local

A Belgian court formally closed extradition proceedings against deposed Catalan separatist leader Carles Puigdemont on Thursday, after Spain dropped the European arrest warrant against him.

World's steepest funicular rail line to open in Switzerland | World news | The Guardian

Swiss engineering and technology have reached new heights with the opening of the world’s steepest funicular rail line. The €44.6m Schwyz-Stoos funicular (Standseilbahn Schwyz-Stoos in German), which goes into public service on Sunday, has been hailed as a triumph of modern design engineering.

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News Headlines - 16 December 2017

'Theresa and Boris' dressed in twin Christmas jumper | Express.co.uk

There were even reports Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson was preparing to oust the Prime Minister after several high-profile interventions on the negotiations with Brussels.
But the pair put on a united front yesterday – or their wax figures did – donning a Christmas Means Christmas jumper at London’s Madame Tussauds to promote Save The Children’s Christmas Jumper Day on December 15.

Apple TV, Google Chromecast return to Amazon - CNET

Amazon said Thursday that it will again be selling Apple TV and Google Chromecast devices, two video-streaming gadgets the e-commerce giant removed from its site two years ago and that compete with its own Fire TV products.

Glowing Auras and ‘Black Money’: The Pentagon’s Mysterious U.F.O. Program - The New York Times

In the $600 billion annual Defense Department budgets, the $22 million spent on the Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification Program was almost impossible to find... The Defense Department has never before acknowledged the existence of the program, which it says it shut down in 2012. But its backers say that, while the Pentagon ended funding for the effort at that time, the program remains in existence. For the past five years, they say, officials with the program have continued to investigate episodes brought to them by service members, while also carrying out their other Defense Department duties.

Mathematician in Kyoto cracks formidable brainteaser:The Asahi Shimbun

A brainteaser concerning a number theory conjecture that has baffled the best minds since it was first proposed in 1985 may finally have been solved by a mathematician at Kyoto University.
If the proof offered by Shinichi Mochizuki holds up, experts say it would rank in equivalent importance to groundbreaking solutions to other protracted math problems, such as Fermat's Last Theorem, which was solved in 1995, and the Poincare Conjecture, which was resolved in 2006.

Samurai sword expert killed himself in act of 'seppuku' in his bedroom | Metro News

A samurai sword expert took his own life using his weapon in the traditional act of seppuku... Mrs Jones said that he was lying on top of his sword with his arms above his head after killing himself while visiting her during a regular trip back to the UK from Japan where he sold samurai swords.

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News Headlines - 15 December 2017

Window falls from U.S. Marine chopper onto Okinawa school - The Japan News

A window frame fell from a U.S. military aircraft on Wednesday onto the grounds of an elementary school in Ginowan, Okinawa Prefecture, leaving one student slightly injured.

U.S. court removes creditor hurdle to a Westinghouse bankruptcy plan

Westinghouse can now begin negotiating with Toshiba to hammer out details of a plan to bring the company out of Chapter 11 bankruptcy in the coming months.
The company filed for bankruptcy in March after two nuclear power plants it had designed and was constructing in the U.S. Southeast had gone billions of dollars over their fixed-cost contracts.

First glimpse inside new £750,000,000 US embassy with views of London | Metro News

These are the first photos taken from inside the brand new £750 million American embassy in London. The new HQ on London’s South Bank isn’t set to open until January, but a glimpse inside the building shows state-of-the art open spaces complete with picturesque views of the capital’s skyline.

F.C.C. Repeals Net Neutrality Rules - The New York Times

The Federal Communications Commission voted on Thursday to dismantle rules regulating the businesses that connect consumers to the internet, granting broadband companies the power to potentially reshape Americans’ online experiences.
The agency scrapped the so-called net neutrality regulations that prohibited broadband providers from blocking websites or charging for higher-quality service or certain content. The federal government will also no longer regulate high-speed internet delivery as if it were a utility, like phone service.

At Least 6,700 Rohingya Died in Myanmar Crackdown, Aid Group Says - The New York Times

Doctors Without Borders estimated on Thursday that at least 6,700 members of Myanmar’s Rohingya Muslim minority, including 730 children below age 5, had met violent deaths there in the month after a military crackdown on their villages.

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News Headlines - 14 December 2017

Disney is buying most of 21st Century Fox for $52.4 billion

Disney is buying a huge chunk of 21st Century Fox in a deal that promises to reshape the media industry and help the entertainment giant fend off digital rivals such as Netflix.
The $52.4 billion deal will combine two of the biggest players in Hollywood.

Alabama win thrills Democrats as Republicans point fingers

Democrats said on Wednesday their U.S. Senate victory in Alabama could lead to a sweeping comeback for the party in 2018 elections, while Republicans sought to assess blame for a defeat in one of the country’s most conservative states... Trump, speaking to reporters at the White House, said the Alabama outcome would not affect his policy agenda. Republicans are rushing to pass a tax overhaul package by the end of the year.

Venezuela opposition banned from running in 2018 election - BBC News

Venezuela's President, Nicolás Maduro, says the country's main opposition parties are banned from taking part in next year's presidential election.
He said only parties which took part in Sunday's mayoral polls would be able to contest the presidency.

Chaplin family plead to save London Cinema Museum - BBC News

Charlie Chaplin's family have written an open letter to ask for London's Cinema Museum to be saved.
The museum, housed in the former Lambeth workhouse where Chaplin once lived, could be under threat when its lease expires next March.

Video of Starving Polar Bear ‘Rips Your Heart Out of Your Chest’ - The New York Times

The polar bear, though, was not dead — at least not yet. And when it managed to stand up, Mr. Nicklen, a visual storyteller, snapped a photo. When he published it on Instagram, the image garnered such a strong response that he knew he needed to return with other members of his conservation organization and the proper filming equipment. Mr. Nicklen, 49, wanted to show people what a starving polar bear really looked like — he wanted to make a scientific data point something real.

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News Headlines - 13 December 2017

Toyota Deepens Panasonic Battery Ties in Electric-Car Rush - Bloomberg

Toyota Motor Corp. deepened a partnership with battery producer Panasonic Corp. as Asia’s biggest carmaker, which bet big on hydrogen for clean technology, accelerates efforts to make its presence felt in electric cars.
The largest supplier of electric-car batteries and Toyota together are exploring the development of prismatic cells, and the collaboration will include solid-state batteries, the two companies said at a news conference in Tokyo on Wednesday. The agreement builds on a joint venture Toyota and Panasonic have had for over two decades.

Nintendo Switch sells 10 million worldwide - Nintendo Official Site

Despite launching in March, a month not usually reserved for home console launches, and with the busy holiday shopping season still in full swing, the Nintendo Switch system has already sold 10 million units to consumers around the world, according to Nintendo’s internal sales figures... The robust and diverse library on Nintendo Switch features two of the most acclaimed video games of all time in Super Mario Odyssey and The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. At The Game Awards last week in Los Angeles, Super Mario Odyssey won the award for Best Family Game. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild was honored with the awards for Game of the Year, Best Action/Adventure Game and Best Game Direction.

Schoolchildren start voting for Tokyo 2020 Games Mascots - Japan Today

Voting for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games mascots kicked off Monday, with 6.5 million children at elementary schools across Japan given the opportunity to choose their favourite from three shortlisted pairs – each containing one mascot for the Olympic Games and one for the Paralympic Games. Each class can cast a single vote for their chosen mascots at any time in the 10-week voting period.

Inside Trump’s Hour-by-Hour Battle for Self-Preservation - The New York Times

Watching cable, he shares thoughts with anyone in the room, even the household staff he summons via a button for lunch or for one of the dozen Diet Cokes he consumes each day.

Putin orders partial withdrawal of Russian troops in Syria - France 24

President Vladimir Putin flew into Syria and ordered "a significant part" of Moscow's military contingent there to start withdrawing on Monday, declaring their work largely done.

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News Headlines - 12 December 2017

Brexit: City of London will lose 10,500 jobs on day one, says EY | The Guardian

City firms plan to move 10,500 jobs out of the UK on “day one” of Brexit, with Dublin and Frankfurt the financial centres most likely to benefit from the UK’s departure from the EU.
The job tracker compiled by the accountants EY, which counts job announcements to the end of November, found that the number of roles likely to be affected had fallen from estimates of 12,500 a year ago. But it also concluded that the jobs being affected by Brexit were not just the “back office” ones initially forecast, but “front office” staff who deal directly with clients.

Pentagon says it will allow transgender recruits after judge's order - UPI.com

The Pentagon on Monday said it will abide by a judge's decision that transgender military recruits must be accepted into the military by Jan. 1.
Earlier Monday, Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia refused to give the military more time to implement her October injunction that opposed the transgender ban President Donald Trump announced in July.

Apple confirms deal to buy music discovery app Shazam

Apple Inc on Monday confirmed it had reached a deal to acquire Shazam Entertainment Ltd, the U.K.-based app that lets users identify songs by pointing a smart phone at the audio source.

Saudi Arabia to lift 35-year ban on cinemas | The Guardian

Saudi Arabia is to allow cinemas to open for the first time in 35 years as it continues a push to overhaul its society and image after decades of hardline rule.
The first movie theatres will be opened by March and it is intended that up to 2,000 screens will be in place within 12 years.

US Army deserter who wed Japanese abductee in N. Korea dies at 77 - The Mainichi

A former U.S. soldier who deserted to North Korea and later married a Japanese woman who had been abducted by the isolated state died Monday, aged 77.

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News Headlines - 11 December 2017

Suicide bomber strikes New York City at rush hour | New York Post

An ISIS-inspired would-be suicide bomber set off a homemade explosive device at the Port Authority Bus Terminal subway station Monday morning, seriously wounding himself and injuring three others, law enforcement sources said.
The man — a 27-year-old Brooklyn man identified by high ranking police sources as Akayed Ullah — had wires attached to him and a 5-inch metal pipe bomb and battery pack strapped to his midsection as he walked through the Manhattan transit hub.

Trump links New York bomb attack to immigration debate - LA Times

President Trump cited the suspect in the New York subway bombing on Monday as an argument for his crackdown on legal as well as illegal immigration, after the administration said the man entered the country in 2011 on a family immigrant visa.

Uber appeal case against London licence loss planned for April or June next year

Uber’s appeal against the loss of its London licence should begin on Apr. 30 for five days but might be delayed until June, a British judge said on Monday at a preliminary hearing.

GVC in Talks to Buy Ladbrokes Coral for Up to $5.2 Billion - Bloomberg

GVC Holdings Plc is in advanced talks to acquire U.K. bookmaker Ladbrokes Coral Group Plc for as much as 3.9 billion pounds ($5.2 billion), as gambling companies seek greater scale in a business that’s shifting online.

China opens criminal case against former rising star Sun Zhengcai on graft charges | South China Morning Post

China’s prosecutor has begun formal legal proceedings for alleged corruption against the former senior politician Sun Zhengcai, once considered a contender to be one of the nation’s top leaders.

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News Headlines - 10 December 2017

Iraq Prime Minister Declares Victory Over ISIS - The New York Times

Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi of Iraq declared victory over the Islamic State on Saturday, announcing the end of more than three years of battles to regain control over nearly one-third of the country that had been under the terrorist group’s dominion.

This is how nuclear war with North Korea would unfold - The Washington Post

When a South Korean airliner strayed into North Korean airspace, a Northern air defense crew, already jumpy and anticipating the allied maneuvers in the Sea of Japan, mistook it for an American bomber. The crew fired a surface-to-air missile, sending the plane plunging into the ocean, killing all 250 people on board.
The South Korean public was outraged. Within hours, Moon ordered South Korean missile units to strike the air defense battery, as well as select leadership targets throughout North Korea. Moon’s limited missile strike might have been enough by itself to start the nuclear war of 2019...

Obayashi suspected of bid-rigging for maglev project:The Asahi Shimbun

Investigators searched a leading general contractor over allegations of bid-rigging in connection with construction of the 9-trillion-yen ($79.3 billion) super-high speed magnetically levitated train line.

Bitcoin jumps after futures trading begins

Cboe Global Markets, a top U.S. owner of financial exchanges, on Sunday began offering bitcoin futures, allowing investors to speculate on whether the digital currency's price will go up or down... It's the first time a government-regulated exchange has given the green light to trading for a bitcoin-backed security.

Heavy snow sparks travel disruption as four major Tube lines crippled by weather-related problems | London Evening Standard

Heavy snow caused disruption for Londoners travelling across the capital, with major routes affected by the weather conditions.

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News Headlines - 09 December 2017

Israel airstrikes, Gaza rockets amid Jerusalem tensions - CNN

Two Palestinians were killed Saturday in Israeli airstrikes in Gaza, the Palestinian Health Ministry said, as tensions rose in the region after US President Donald Trump's recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

Queen declares HMS Queen Elizabeth ready for duty | Daily Mail Online

It was more than 70 years ago, in the closing months of the war in Europe, that Princess Elizabeth launched her first warship at the age of 18... And yesterday, aged 91, the Queen commissioned Britain’s biggest ever warship, the HMS Queen Elizabeth, into the Royal Navy.

Doctors find brain abnormalities in victims of Cuba mystery

Doctors treating the U.S. embassy victims of suspected attacks in Cuba have discovered brain abnormalities as they search for clues to explain hearing, vision, balance and memory damage, The Associated Press has learned.
It’s the most specific finding to date about physical damage, showing that whatever it was that harmed the Americans, it led to perceptible changes in their brains. The finding is also one of several factors fueling growing skepticism that some kind of sonic weapon was involved.

Colossal distant black hole holds surprises about early universe

The oldest and most distant black hole ever observed -- a celestial brute 800 million times more massive than the sun -- is providing scientists some surprises about the nature of the universe when, on a cosmic scale, it was a mere toddler.

'Plague' of bats wreaks havoc in Charters Towers - ABC News

Charters Towers Regional Council estimates there are about 200,000 bats in the town, numbers it has called "plague proportions".

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News Headlines - 08 December 2017

Japan seeks longer-range cruise missiles amid North Korea threat - BBC News

The missiles will be deployed on Japan's fleet of fighter jets and have a range of up to 1,000km (621 miles).
The move is likely to be controversial, as Japan limits its military to self-defence.

Hirohito's WW2 memoir bought by Japanese accused holocaust denier - BBC News

A memoir by former Japanese Emperor Hirohito about World War Two has been bought by a Japanese surgeon accused of denying the Holocaust and the Nanjing massacre.

Ishiguro praises role of literature in divided world: Nobel lecture

Japan-born British novelist Kazuo Ishiguro warned of the dangers of an increasingly divided world and called on literature to help "break down barriers" during his Nobel lecture Thursday at the Swedish Academy.

Female chief priest and her two attackers dead in Tokyo Shinto shrine stabbings | The Japan Times

A violent attack with Japanese swords and survival knives at Tokyo’s famed Tomioka Hachimangu shrine has left three dead — including the chief priestess and her brother — in an apparent family feud that turned deadly.

Two Palestinians 'killed by Israeli fire' in clashes on 'Day of Rage' | The Independent

Two Palestinians have been killed in clashes over US recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, after Hamas called for a “Day of Rage” in protest against Donald Trump’s decision.
Israeli soldiers shot the two men dead on Friday near the Gaza border, the Palestinian Health Ministry said in a statement, while the Red Cross said scores were wounded in clashes across the West Bank.

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News Headlines - 07 December 2017

Jerusalem status: World condemns Trump's announcement - BBC News

Traditional US allies are among a growing chorus condemning President Trump's decision to recognise Jerusalem as Israel's capital.

Hamas has called for a new ‘intifada’ against Israel. Here’s what that means. - The Washington Post

The beginning of the “third intifada” has been predicted repeatedly in the past, but when the leader of Hamas called for a renewed uprising against Israel on Thursday, there was a sense that this time it could be for real.

Lebanon's Saad Hariri withdraws resignation - BBC News

Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri has officially withdrawn his resignation, a month after saying he was quitting in a shock announcement in Saudi Arabia.

Judge Seeks Arrest of Ex-President of Argentina on Treason Charges - The New York Times

A federal judge asked Argentina’s Senate on Thursday to allow the arrest of Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, the former president, on treason and other charges relating to Iran’s possible involvement in the unsolved 1994 bombing of a Jewish community center in Buenos Aires, which killed 85 people.

Pilots stop 222 asylum seekers being deported from Germany by refusing to fly | The Independent

Pilots have stopped 222 deportations of asylum seekers from Germany by refusing to take off with them on board.
Many of the pilots refused to take control of flights taking people back to Afghanistan, where violence is still rife following years of war and occupation by Western forces.

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News Headlines - 06 December 2017

Trump recognizes Jerusalem as Israel's capital, reversing longtime U.S. policy

President Donald Trump on Wednesday reversed decades of U.S. policy and recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, imperiling Middle East peace efforts and upsetting the Arab world and Western allies alike.
Trump announced his administration would begin a process of moving the U.S. embassy in Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, a step expected to take years and one that his predecessors opted not to take to avoid inflaming tensions.

Google, Amazon still tussling over YouTube on shopping giant's gadgets - CNET

The Google-owned video service is cutting access to the Amazon device on Jan. 1, a Google spokeswoman said on Tuesday. YouTube is also cutting access Tuesday for a second time to Amazon's Echo Show video device.
The moves signal that the ongoing battle between the world's biggest search engine and the world's largest online retailer may get messier in 2018.

Disney and Fox are closing in on deal, could be announced next week: Sources

Disney and Twenty-First Century Fox are closing in on a deal, and it could come as soon as next week, according to sources familiar with the matter.
CNBC has been reporting that Disney has held talks with the Rupert Murdoch-controlled media company to acquire its studio and television production assets, leaving Fox with its news and sports assets. Fox is also talking with CNBC parent company Comcast, but the talks with Disney have progressed more significantly.

Rep. John Conyers Jr. resigns over sexual harassment allegations after a half-century in Congress - The Washington Post

Facing multiple allegations of sexual harassment, Rep. John Conyers Jr. (D-Mich.) resigned as Congress’s longest-serving member Tuesday, becoming the first lawmaker to step down as Capitol Hill grapples with allegations of inappropriate behavior by lawmakers.

Government threatens to use law to force Channel 4 out of London | The Independent

The Independent understands action could be taken in the new year if the broadcaster continues to refuse to shift operations from the capital.
The Government wants the broadcaster to move as part of a plan to boost jobs and growth in the regions, but has faced resistance from senior management who claim it might damage the channel’s income.

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News Headlines - 05 December 2017

Yemen Houthi rebels kill former president Ali Abdullah Saleh | The Guardian

Yemen’s civil war has taken a dramatic turn after Iranian-backed Houthi rebels killed the former president Ali Abdullah Saleh, punishing him for switching sides and seeking peace with Saudi Arabia.
Pictures of Saleh’s corpse appeared on Houthi-run television after the militia said it had killed him as he fled the capital, Sana’a. He had ruled Yemen for more than 30 years and was forced to resign in 2011 as part of the Arab spring political revolution.

North Korea has nearly completed second SLBM test stand barge: 38 North | The World On Arirang

Recent data shows North Korea is advancing its submarine launched ballistic missile program.
The U.S.-based North Korea watchdog 38 North says the regime has almost completed a second submersible ballistic missile test stand barge at its Nampo Navy Shipyard.
This is based on analysis of commercial satellite imagery from three separate days in mid-November.

Japanese supercomputer venture chief arrested for alleged fraud

Tokyo prosecutors on Tuesday arrested the president of a tech venture known as one of the developers of the world's fourth-fastest supercomputer on suspicion of defrauding a governmental institution of 431 million yen ($3.8 million) in subsidies.
The special investigation squad of the Tokyo District Public Prosecutors Office also arrested another official connected with the case and raided the Tokyo headquarters of PEZY Computing, which was part of the team that developed the "Gyoukou" supercomputer.

Japanese shogi pro Habu becomes first to qualify for 7 lifetime titles - The Mainichi

Japanese shogi master Yoshiharu Habu became the first person to qualify as a lifetime holder of seven of Japan's major shogi titles by earning a Lifetime Ryuo qualification with his seventh Ryuo tournament victory on Dec. 5.

Nippon Paint's U.S. hopes dashed after deal with Buffett-backed Axalta falls through | The Japan Times

Nippon Paint Holdings Co. has failed to reach an agreement to buy Axalta Coating Systems Ltd., halting the Japanese paint-maker’s plans to expand sales to automobile manufacturers and bolster its U.S. footprint.

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News Headlines - 04 December 2017

Indian tycoon faces extradition hearing in London | Fox News

The extradition hearing for Indian tycoon Vijay Mallya is set to begin in a London court... He is sought by India on money-laundering charges related to the demise of several of his high-profile businesses, including an airline.

Egyptian lawyer jailed for saying women in ripped jeans should be raped - BBC News

An Egyptian lawyer has been sentenced to three years in prison for saying that women who wear ripped jeans should be raped in punishment... The lawyer made the remarks on a TV panel show in October, during a debate on a draft law on prostitution.

Five Star Movement asks international observers to monitor Italy's election - The Local

Luigi Di Maio, the party's candidate for prime minister, sent a letter making the request to several officials at the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE).
The OSCE often sends observers to monitor elections, including in the recent French, German and Austrian votes.

Growing mass of sex crime cases chased in Los Angeles, London, New York City | Fox News

Police in Los Angeles, New York City and London are working to investigate an ever-growing mass of sexual assault and harassment complaints against powerful men.
Most of the cases stem from claims against disgraced Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein, although investigators say they’ve also received complaints about other men at society’s upper echelon.

London Olympic Stadium taken over by mayor Sadiq Khan - BBC News

London Mayor Sadiq Khan has agreed to take over the former Olympic Stadium amid "financial challenges".
Mr Khan says a "catalogue of errors" by his predecessor Boris Johnson led to the costs of transforming it into West Ham United's new ground soaring... Mayor of Newham Sir Robin Wales said Mr Johnson left the stadium's finances in a "dreadful mess".

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News Headlines - 03 December 2017

Police kept secret copy of porn file on Damian Green | The Times & The Sunday Times

A secret file containing details of the pornography on Damian Green’s computer was preserved by police despite a command from senior officers that the data should be deleted.
The disclosure raises the prospect of decisive evidence coming to light — and is likely to further widen divisions between police and MPs. Senior Downing Street aides are now understood to want Green to resign, rather than forcing Theresa May to decide whether to sack or clear him.

Top FBI official assigned to Mueller’s Russia probe said to have been removed after sending anti-Trump texts - The Washington Post

Peter Strzok, as deputy head of counterintelligence at the FBI, was a key player in the investigation into Clinton’s use of a private email server to do government work as secretary of state, as well as the probe into possible coordination between the Trump campaign and Russia in the 2016 election.
During the Clinton investigation, Strzok was involved in a romantic relationship with FBI lawyer Lisa Page, who worked for Deputy Director Andrew McCabe... The extramarital affair was problematic, these people said, but of greater concern among senior law enforcement officials were text messages the two exchanged during the Clinton investigation and campaign season in which they expressed anti-Trump sentiments and other comments that appeared to favor Clinton.

Met Opera to Investigate James Levine Over Sexual Abuse Accusation - The New York Times

The Metropolitan Opera announced Saturday night that it would open an investigation into its famed conductor, James Levine, based on a 2016 police report in which a man accused Mr. Levine of sexually abusing him three decades ago, beginning when the man was a teenager.

Yemen's former president Saleh offers talks to Saudi-led coalition - France 24

Former Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh said on Saturday he was ready for a "new page" in relations with the Saudi-led coalition fighting in Yemen if it stopped attacks on his country.
The call came as his supporters battled Houthi fighters for a fourth day in the capital Sanaa as the two sides traded blame for a rift between allies that could affect the course of the civil war.

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle in first joint royal event - CNN

Less than a week after her engagement to Britain's Prince Harry was announced, the American actor Meghan Markle got her first taste of the "walkabout" on Friday, in near-freezing temperatures in the English city of Nottingham.

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News Headlines - 02 December 2017

ABC News corrects bombshell Flynn report

ABC News on Friday evening corrected an explosive special report that aired in the morning saying that Donald Trump, as a candidate for president, had asked Michael Flynn to make contact with Russians.

Record fall in net migration to UK in year after Brexit vote

Net migration tumbled by 106,000 to 230,000 people in the 12 months to June, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said.
Some 82,000 of the decline was due to EU citizens, cutting net migration from the bloc to its lowest level since June 2013.
The total fall in net migration was the largest since people moving to Britain started to outnumber those leaving in the 1980s.

Amazon staff complain about conditions in Tilbury | Daily Mail Online

Amazon's staff are falling asleep on their feet and being taken away in ambulances as they struggle to meet warehouse targets, an investigation has claimed.
Cameras monitor every move as employees try to process up to 300 items an hour, it has been alleged. Screens remind them if they are falling short.
Exhausted staff are said to cover clocks so they are not reminded how long there is to go on their shifts, and have to walk up to a third of a mile to use the toilet.

Action Hunger to unveil vending machine for homeless people - BBC News

A vending machine for the homeless is being set up in the UK by a new charity that wants to provide 24-hour access to food and clothing.
Action Hunger will work with Tesco and other partners to stock the machine in Nottingham with items such as fresh fruit, socks and toothpaste.
The machine will be activated by a key card handed out to street people by homeless charity The Friary.

James Cameron on Titanic’s Legacy, the Avatar Sequels’ Progress, and the Impact of a Fox Studio Sale | Vanity Fair

Cameron spoke with Vanity Fair recently about some of Titanic’s unanswered questions, what a sale of the 20th Century Fox movie studio would mean for him, and how his work on the Avatar and Terminator franchises is progressing.

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News Headlines - 01 December 2017

Akihito to become first Japanese emperor to abdicate in 200 years | The Guardian

Japan’s Emperor Akihito will abdicate in spring 2019, almost three years after he suggested his age and health were affecting his ability to carry out his official duties.
The 83-year-old will officially retire on 30 April 2019 in the first abdication by a Japanese emperor for 200 years. His eldest son, Crown Prince Naruhito, will become the 126th occupant of the chrysanthemum throne the following day.

Japan could pump 1,000,000 tons of radioactive water into the sea from Fukushima | Metro News

Experts have advised the government to carry out a gradual release into the Pacific Ocean... Local fishermen have objected to the move saying that the water, no matter how clean, has a dirty image... People have been reluctant to eat the fish and the fishermen believe that any release of water would be devastating to their recovery.

How a former New Zealand MP became a gay icon in Japan - BBC News

This is Maurice Williamson. He was an MP in New Zealand who has now gained a following in Japan.
It appears that Mr Williamson's rising popularity as a gay icon among many Japanese people is thanks to a video of a speech he made four years ago on the subject of same-sex marriage.
The footage seems to have become a battle cry for marriage equality among Japanese social media users.

Christians should pray for Prince George to be gay, says minister | The Guardian

Christians should pray for Prince George to be gay to force support for same-sex marriage in the Church of England, a senior Scottish Episcopal church minister and LGBTQ campaigner has said.

Serious charges await bare-butts Americans | Bangkok Post

Police on Wednesday prepared serious computer crime and religious insult charges with possible imprisonment for two American men arrested at Don Mueang airport Tuesday night for posting photos of their...

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News Headlines - 30 November 2017

North Korea: US urges all nations to cut ties - BBC News

The US has urged all nations to cut diplomatic and trade ties with North Korea after the country's latest ballistic missile test.
Speaking at the UN Security Council, US envoy Nikki Haley said President Trump had asked his Chinese counterpart to cut off oil supplies to Pyongyang.

Russia rejects Trump's calls to cut ties with North Korea - CBS News

The only two countries that have any real ties with North Korea are China and Russia, and on Thursday Russia rejected Mr. Trump's call to cut ties with the Kim Jong Un regime. Instead, Moscow wants the U.S. to try diplomacy, even though North Korea seems more intent on testing missiles than talking, reports CBS News correspondent Ben Tracy.

The FARC Peace Deal: A year in review-the good, the bad and the politics - The Bogotá Post

It’s important to keep in mind that it’s election season and that the race for the upcoming 2018 presidential election is changing the political climate. The current government is eager to show off their good work. On the other hand, as the peace deal wasn’t publicly backed by a second referendum, political opponents are arguing that the current peace deal isn’t broadly supported either and they have used this claim as electoral ammunition to their own benefit. This includes politicians who had previously backed the peace negotiations and converted into hardline critics of the deal.

Amid bitcoin surge, Dudley says offering digital currency on Fed's radar

The Federal Reserve is in early stages of considering “what it would mean” to offer digital currencies sometime in the future and whether it may be necessary as an alternative to cash, a top U.S. central banker said on Wednesday.

Matt Lauer fired from NBC News after complaint about 'inappropriate sexual behavior'

Matt Lauer was fired from NBC News on Wednesday after an employee filed a complaint about "inappropriate sexual behavior in the workplace," the network announced.

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News Headlines - 29 November 2017

North Korean missile was new Hwasong-15 and can hit all of United States, state media says - ABC News

North Korea claims it has completed its nuclear and missile development program with the launch of a new type of missile capable of reaching mainland United States.
A statement released by the regime claims the new "Hwasong-15" rocket was successfully fired this morning.

Trump Shares Inflammatory Anti-Muslim Videos, and Britain’s Leader Condemns Them - The New York Times

President Trump touched off another racially charged furor on Wednesday by sharing videos from a fringe British ultranationalist group purportedly showing Muslims committing acts of violence, a move that was swiftly condemned by Britain’s prime minister as well as politicians across the spectrum.

Theresa May accuses BBC of 'misleading' public about £50 billion Brexit divorce bill - Business Insider

A spokesperson for the prime minister Theresa May has accused the BBC of "misleading" the public about the size of Britain's Brexit divorce bill.
The BBC, along with other outlets, reported UK and EU sources confirming that Britain had agreed a financial settlement with the EU of around £50 billion when it leaves in March 2019.

Uzbekistan incident raises suspicions of Russian involvement in Cuba attacks - CBS News

A newly revealed incident reported by a USAID officer who is based at the American embassy in Uzbekistan is raising suspicions Russia may have been involved and could have had a hand in bizarre attacks targeting U.S. diplomats in Cuba, according to American sources.
In September, the officer and his wife reported, according to one source familiar with the incident, what may have been at least one acoustic attack similar to those experienced by the diplomats in Havana.

Japanese sumo star Harumafuji retires after 'violent assault' - BBC News

Sumo grand champion Harumafuji has said he will retire from the sport, in a scandal that has rocked Japan's highly ceremonial sport.
Harumafuji is being investigated for an alleged assault on a junior wrestler.

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News Headlines - 28 November 2017

Britain and the EU agree Brexit divorce bill

Sources on both sides confirmed that an agreement-in-principle has now been reached over the EU’s demand for a €60bn financial settlement ahead of a crucial lunch meeting next Monday between Theresa May and Jean-Claude Juncker, the European Commission president.

Powell Suggests Fed Is Likely to Raise Rates in December - WSJ

Federal Reserve governor Jerome Powell signaled Tuesday he would stick to the same monetary-policy course his predecessor charted if he is confirmed as the central bank’s next leader, likely raising short-term interest rates in December and lifting them gradually higher in the next two years.

Water entered missing Argentine sub's snorkel, causing short circuit

Water entered the snorkel of the Argentine submarine ARA San Juan, causing its battery to short-circuit before it went missing on Nov. 15, a navy spokesman said on Monday as hope dwindled among some families of the 44-member crew.

Mount Agung eruption: Bali airport closed, flights cancelled - Channel NewsAsia

Flights to Bali were cancelled as Indonesia authorities closed the island's airport and raised the alert on Mount Agung volcano to the highest level, amid fears a significant eruption could be imminent.
Indonesia's national disaster agency said on Monday (Nov 27) that the exclusion zone around the volcano, which is 75km from Bali's tourist hub of Kuta, had been widened to 10km, with people living in the zone being urged to evacuate.

Kate Middleton's uncle branded a "nasty drunk" as he's sentenced for knocking out wife during drunken row in street - Mirror Online

Kate Middleton 's uncle was branded a "nasty drunk" as he was sentenced today for knocking out his wife during a drunken row in the street... Goldsmith was given a 12 month community order and told to undergo 20 rehabilitation sessions after pleading guilty to one count of assault by beating.

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News Headlines - 27 November 2017

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle: BBC Interview Transcript | Time

BBC: Some of that scrutiny — and you ended up making a very public statement about it — was centered on your ethnicity, Meghan. When you realized that, what did you think?
Markle: Of course it’s disheartening. It’s a shame that that is the climate in this world to focus that much on that or that that would be discriminatory in that sense.

Pope meets Myanmar's military chief in shadow of Rohingya crisis

Pope Francis held talks on Monday with Myanmar’s military chief at the start of a delicate visit to a majority-Buddhist country that the United States has accused of “ethnic cleansing” against its Muslim Rohingya people.

Eight bodies found as second suspected North Korean boat washes up in Akita Prefecture | The Japan Times

Eight bodies were discovered in a wooden 7-meter boat that washed ashore in Oga, Akita Prefecture, on the Sea of Japan coast facing North Korea, the Japan Coast Guard said Monday.
The grisly discovery came just four days after eight men, believed to be North Koreans, were found drifting in a 20-meter fishing boat off the coast of Yurihonjo, also in Akita, on Thursday.

Royal Navy steps in to perform Changing the Guard at Buckingham Palace | The Times & The Sunday Times

Royal Navy sailors performed the Changing the Guard ceremony yesterday outside Buckingham Palace for the first time in its 357-year history.
Thousands of tourists gathered outside the palace gates in the crisp wintry weather as 86 sailors from 45 ships performed the routine following a month of practice.

More than 100 reindeer killed by freight trains in Norwegian 'bloodbath' | The Guardian

More than 100 reindeer have been killed by freight trains in northern Norway in the past days in what has been called a “bloodbath”.
One train killed 65 deer on a track on Saturday while 41 died between Wednesday and Friday, the public broadcaster NRK reported late on Sunday.

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News Headlines - 26 November 2017

White S.Africa farmers in new protest over murders | THE DAILY STAR

Hundreds of white South African farmers on Saturday took to the streets of Pretoria, demanding government action over a wave of murders targeting their communities in rural areas.
The march is the latest protest staged over the murder of at least 72 white farmers so far this year, according to figures from campaign group AfriForum.

Trudeau apologizes to Newfoundland residential school survivors left out of 2008 apology, compensation | Toronto Star

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has “humbly” apologized for abuse and cultural losses at residential schools in Newfoundland and Labrador, saying the gesture is part of recognizing “hard truths” Canada must confront as a society.

Argentine navy not giving hope of submarine survivors - ABC News

Argentina's navy says it's not giving up hope that crew members could be alive 11 days after a submarine vanished off the Atlantic coast with 44 people aboard.

Govt eyes manned lunar surface mission - The Japan News

The government plans to launch a project to send astronauts to the moon’s surface on an exploration mission in cooperation with a similar U.S. space project, sources close to the government said.

Jonathan, St Helena's ancient tortoise, awaits visitors - Channel NewsAsia

He is a tourist attraction worth travelling a long way to see - Jonathan the giant tortoise is perhaps the world's oldest land animal, living in pampered luxury on the remote British island of St Helena.
Aged at least 185 - though no one knows for certain - Jonathan should prepare himself for an influx of visitors now that an airport has opened on the small island in the middle of the South Atlantic Ocean.

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News Headlines - 25 November 2017

Egyptian air raid kills 'terrorist' mosque attackers | Al Jazeera

The Egyptian army says an air raid killed some of the attackers involved in Friday's massacre when at least 305 people died in a bomb-and-gun attack on a mosque.

Another Day, Another 'Bitcoin': Diamond Launches As Gold Passes $400

The Bitcoin community has woken up to another hard fork of the network, this time called Bitcoin Diamond (BCD)... BCD’s abrupt entry into the market comes less than two weeks after Bitcoin Gold (BTG) released trading, with the earlier forked Bitcoin Cash (BCH) even hard forking itself during the same period.

Time magazine says Trump's got it wrong on his 'Person of the Year' claim

In a Friday evening tweet, Trump says the magazine informed him he was "probably" going to be granted the title for the second year in a row. He tweets: "I said probably is no good and took a pass."
Later that evening, Time tweeted that Trump "is incorrect about how we choose Person of the Year." The magazine says it doesn't comment on its choice until publication.

Donald Tusk: Britain has 10 days to fix the Irish border issue if it wants Brexit breakthrough

The Prime Minister met Donald Tusk, the President of the European Council, in Brussels as she signalled she is prepared to give ground on the Brexit divorce bill if the EU commits to trade talks.
Mr Tusk said that a breakthrough at the European Council summit on December 14 is "possible" but will still be a "huge challenge". He added that progress must be made "on all issues, including on Ireland".

Tiger shot dead in Paris while roaming streets a mile from Eiffel Tower

A tiger escaped from a circus and onto the streets of Paris before being shot dead and its owner arrested.

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News Headlines - 24 November 2017

Egypt attack: Gunmen kill 235 in Sinai mosque - BBC News

Militants have launched a bomb and gun attack on a mosque in Egypt's North Sinai province, killing 235 people, state media say.
The al-Rawda mosque in the town of Bir al-Abed was targeted during Friday prayers.

Morocco prays for rain as shortage threatens agriculture - BBC News

The king of Morocco called for all mosques in the country to pray for rain on Friday, amid a shortage threatening the country's agriculture.
King Mohammed VI had issued a royal decree asking Moroccans to "to implore the Almighty to spread his benevolent rains on the earth".

Woman raises more than $40,000 for charitable homeless man in Pennsylvania | FOX59

An online campaign has raised more than $40,000 for a homeless man who used his last $20 to fill up the gas tank of a stranded motorist outside Philadelphia.
The GoFundMe.com campaign was started Nov. 10 by 27-year-old Kate McClure after she said she ran out of gas on Interstate-95 and a homeless man named Johnny Bobbitt Jr. offered to walk a few blocks to buy her some.

Man with Swedish Academy ties accused of sexual assault - DN.SE

18 women have told DN’s reporter Matilda Gustavsson that the artistic director of the Club has sexually assaulted and harassed them over many years. Several of the events took place in flats owned by the Swedish Academy. One in Paris, another one in the Old Town of Stockholm. The events have taken place between 1996 and 2017, and several people in the cultural sphere say that similar incidents have happened since the 80’s.

8 Suspected North Korean Fisherman Washed Ashore in Japan | Time

Japanese police said Friday they are investigating eight men found on Japan’s northern coast who say they are from North Korea and washed ashore after their boat broke down. Akita prefectural police found the men late Thursday after receiving a call that suspicious men were standing around at the seaside in Yurihonjo town. Police said they also found a wooden boat at a nearby marina.

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News Headlines - 23 November 2017

Workers at Amazon's main Italian hub, German warehouses strike on Black Friday

Workers at Amazon’s main distribution hub in Italy are planning their first ever strike for Friday, trade unions said, while they are also striking at six warehouses in Germany, threatening to disrupt one of the year’s busiest shopping days.

Saudi Arabia’s Arab Spring, at Last - The New York Times

To better understand it I flew to Riyadh to interview the crown prince, known as “M.B.S.,” who had not spoken about the extraordinary events here of early November, when his government arrested scores of Saudi princes and businessmen on charges of corruption and threw them into a makeshift gilded jail — the Riyadh Ritz-Carlton — until they agreed to surrender their ill-gotten gains.

Only known war memoirs by Emperor Hirohito to go up for auction in New York | The Japan Times

What may be the only existing copy of Emperor Hirohito’s account of World War II and the era leading up to the conflict is set to go on the auction block in New York next month.
The 173-page, two-volume document — known in Japan as “Showa Tenno Dokuhakuroku”(“Emperor Showa’s Monologue”) — was dictated by the Emperor to several of his aides soon after the war and transcribed word-for-word by senior diplomat Hidenari Terasaki. It was published by the monthly Bungei Shunju magazine in 1990, causing a national sensation.

The world of sumo wrestling turned upside down by yet another abuse scandal involving a grand champion | The Independent

A probe into an assault by a sumo grand champion against a junior wrestler threatens to stain the image of Japan's ancient national sport just as its popularity was recovering from previous scandals and a shrinking fan base.

Italy or Chile could be handed World Cup reprieve at Peru's expense | MARCA in English

There remains a glimmer of hope of seeing either Italy or Chile at next year's World Cup in Russia, all thanks to a bill which is set to be presented by a Peruvian congresswoman to parliament and which could see the nation's football federation lose its autonomy.

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News Headlines - 22 November 2017

Dramatic video shows North Korean soldier's escape across border - CNN

Dramatic video showing a North Korean soldier fleeing across the border into South Korea while being shot at by his former comrades was released by the United Nations Command Wednesday.

April 30 most likely date for Emperor Akihito's abdication: government sources | The Japan Times

The government looks likely to choose April 30, 2019, as the date for Emperor Akihito’s abdication, with Crown Prince Naruhito’s succession to the throne to follow on May 1, a government source said Wednesday.

Wage theft endemic across Australia

The new report presents the most comprehensive Australian research conducted into the systemic underpayment of international students, backpackers and other temporary migrants around the country. It paints a bleak picture of the conditions experienced by a high proportion of the more than 900,000 temporary migrant workers who represent more than 10 per cent of the Australian labour market.

Belgium's Justice Minister calls for loot box ban in Europe | PC Gamer

According to Belgian news site RTBF, Belgium's Gaming Commission has not actually finalized its decision on whether loot boxes are gambling. The site says the statement that appeared in the original report, stating that the "mixture of money and addiction is a game of chance," is descriptive of the investigation's intent rather than its conclusion.

Lu Wei: China has detained a key architect of its massive internet censorship regime — Quartz

State media outlet Xinhua reported late Nov. 21 that the Central Committee for Discipline Inspection (CCDI), China’s main corruption-busting agency, has placed former internet czar Lu Wei, under investigation. The revelation marks the fall of a once high-flying political figure who was one of the leading figures behind China’s efforts to police the internet within its borders. But there should be no illusion the move to investigate him signals a change in policy—almost as a reminder of that, news surfaced that Skype disappeared from China’s app stores around the same time as the investigation was announced.

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News Headlines - 21 November 2017

Zimbabwe's Robert Mugabe resigns, ending 37-year rule - BBC News

Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe has resigned, bringing an end to 37 years of rule and sparking jubilant celebrations in the nation's streets.
A letter from Mr Mugabe read out by the speaker of parliament said the decision was voluntary and he had made it to allow a smooth transfer of power.

Iraqi Federal Court nullifies 'unconstitutional' Kurdish referendum - UPI.com

The Iraqi Federal Court ruled the Kurdish independence referendum as "unconstitutional" on Monday, officially making the results as null and void.
Kurdish Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani said the ruling was made "unilaterally and without the presence of Kurdish representatives."

Jose Manuel Maza, Spanish prosecutor leading case against Catalans, dies | DW

Spain's top prosecutor Jose Manuel Maza has died unexpectedly at the age of 66 while in Argentina for a conference. Maza had been leading the probe against members of Catalonia's ousted regional government.

Eight women say Charlie Rose sexually harassed them — with nudity, groping and lewd calls - The Washington Post

Eight women have told The Washington Post that longtime television host Charlie Rose made unwanted sexual advances toward them, including lewd phone calls, walking around naked in their presence, or groping their breasts, buttocks or genital areas.

How Sony Nabbed Quentin Tarantino's Manson Movie | Hollywood Reporter

In the wake of the sexual assault allegations against Harvey Weinstein, his career-long collaborator Quentin Tarantino’s next movie became one of the hottest projects in years on Hollywood’s auction block... It’s a significant win for Sony, given its currently anemic slate, but to acquire the project, the studio had to contend with Tarantino’s lofty demands, including, sources say, a $95 million production budget, final cut and “extraordinary creative controls,” plus a whopping 25 percent of first-dollar gross. Another demand was that the rights to the movie revert to him after 10 to 20 years.

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News Headlines - 20 November 2017

Trump Returns North Korea to List of State Sponsors of Terrorism - The New York Times

President Trump on Monday officially designated North Korea as a state sponsor of terrorism, a provocative diplomatic move that he said was aimed at drastically increasing pressure on the rogue nation to abandon its pursuit of nuclear weapons.
North Korea will join Sudan, Syria and Iran as countries that the State Department identifies as those that have “repeatedly provided support for acts of international terrorism.”

Queen and Prince Philip portraits released to mark 70th anniversary | The Guardian

The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh have been pictured in three more photographs as part of a series of portraits released to mark their 70th wedding anniversary.
The photographs, taken by British photographer Matt Holyoak, show Elizabeth II and Prince Philip in the White Drawing Room at Windsor Castle in early November.

Toshiba looks to raise more than $5bn, end risk of delisting- Nikkei Asian Review

Toshiba's board of directors decided to raise some 600 billion yen ($5.35 billion) in capital, the Japanese electronics maker said Sunday, in a move to ensure that the company remains listed if plans to sell its memory chip unit do not proceed as expected.

London buses to be powered by coffee - BBC News

A biofuel created by blending oil extracted from coffee waste with diesel is to be added to the public transport fuel supply... Biofuel made using waste products such as cooking oil and tallow from meat processing is already used in many of the capital's 9,500 buses.
However, this is thought to be the first time a coffee-derived biofuel has been added to London's public transport system.

Syria army, allies retake Albu Kamal from Islamic State - Channel NewsAsia

Syria's army and loyalist militiamen on Sunday (Nov 19) ousted the Islamic State group from its last urban stronghold in the country as regime strikes claimed more lives in a rebel-held enclave near Damascus... Government forces announced the capture of the town near the Iraqi border earlier this month but lost it to a blistering IS counter-attack a week ago.

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News Headlines - 19 November 2017

Merkel signals readiness for new election after coalition talks collapse

Chancellor Angela Merkel said she would prefer a new election to ruling with a minority after talks on forming a three-way coalition failed overnight, but Germany’s president told parties they owed it to voters to try to form a government.

Robert Mugabe sacked as leader of ZANU-PF | Al Jazeera

Zimbabwe's ruling party, ZANU-PF, has voted to sack President Robert Mugabe as its leader.
Members also voted to name sacked Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa, who Mugabe fired on November 6, as new party leader.

Search for Missing Argentine Submarine Raises Grim Scenarios - The New York Times

As search teams raced against time, and stormy seas, to find a missing Argentine submarine, officials said on Sunday that earlier hopeful reports that the crew might have tried to make satellite calls in recent days appeared to be wrong.

Scotland first country to introduce minimum alcohol price – Channel 4 News

Scotland will become the first country in the world to charge a minimum price for alcohol. Ministers said the 50p-per-unit minimum would help tackle Scotland’s “unhealthy relationship with drink”. The Scottish government can now introduce the measure after the Supreme Court ruled that the legislation did not breach European Union law, five years after it was first proposed.

VW Accelerates Electric Car Effort With $40 Billion Investment - WSJ

Volkswagen AG plans to invest around $40 billion over the next five years to develop electric vehicles, self-driving cars and Uber-like mobility app services in the clearest sign yet that auto makers are betting the future of their industry on the new technology.

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News Headlines - 18 November 2017

Belgian court defers ruling on Carles Puidgemont extradition | The Guardian

A Belgian court has deferred a decision on Spain’s extradition request for the exiled Catalan leader Carles Puigdemont and four members of his former government to next month.
Puigdemont’s lawyer, Paul Bekaert, said no decision had been taken during Friday’s short hearing and the case would resume on 4 December.

South Korean ex-spy chiefs arrested over corruption scandal | SBS News

Two former heads of South Korea's spy agency were arrested on Friday on suspicion of paying millions of dollars in bribes to aides of ousted president Park Geun-Hye, as a widening corruption scandal rocks the country.

North Korean soldier stable, but riddled with parasites | The Japan Times

A North Korean soldier shot multiple times while defecting to the South is in a stable condition but riddled with parasites that could complicate his chances of survival, his doctor said Thursday.

sexual assault: US military reports 20,348 sexual assaults in 4 years - The Economic Times

The US military has reported a total of 20,348 sexual assaults from 2013 to 2016 at the country's defence installations around the world, the Pentagon said in a new report.

Rare Tintin art fetches $500,000 at Paris auction - BBC News

A rare India ink drawing of young reporter Tintin and his faithful dog Snowy has been sold for almost $500,000 (£380,000) at auction in Paris.
The picture from the 1939 comic album King Ottokar's Sceptre was among items by Hergé, the Belgian artist who created Tintin, to go under the hammer.

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News Headlines - 17 November 2017

Comcast Has Approached 21st Century Fox About an Acquisition - WSJ

Comcast Corp. has approached the media company to express interest in buying a substantial piece of it, according to people familiar with the situation. Verizon Communications Inc. is also kicking the tires on Fox assets, though a person familiar with its thinking cautioned the expoloration was in the early stages. And Sony Corp.'s entertainment unit has also informally approached Fox,

The Upstart Saudi Prince Who’s Throwing Caution to the Winds - The New York Times

Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman ordered the arrest of 11 princes in his royal family and nearly 200 members of the Saudi business elite, and has begun to take power from the kingdom’s conservative clerics... As many as 17 people detained in the anti-corruption campaign have required medical treatment for abuse by their captors, according to a doctor from the nearest hospital and an American official tracking the situation.

Navy says it will hold Whidbey Island aircrew accountable for tracing giant phallus over Okanogan County | The Spokesman-Review

Okanogan residents told The Spokesman-Review that they saw the male genitalia deliberately being drawn in the skies above their town by a jet around noon Thursday... The Naval Air Station in Whidbey Island has claimed responsibility for the drawing, calling it “unacceptable” and “of zero training value.”

North Korea rules out negotiations on nuclear weapons

North Korea on Friday ruled out negotiations with Washington as long as joint U.S-South Korea military exercises continue, and said that Pyongyang’s atomic weapons program would remain as a deterrent against a U.S. nuclear threat.

Anne Frank Foundation buys Anne's other home, now a refuge for writers - DutchNews.nl

Amsterdam’s Anne Frank Foundation has bought the flat where Anne and her family lived prior to going into hiding during World War II. The second floor flat at 37 Merwedeplein was home to the Franks from 1933 until July 1942, when they moved to the secret annex on Amsterdam’s Prinsengracht. Anne began writing her famous diary at the flat in the south of the city after she received it on her 13th birthday.

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News Headlines - 16 November 2017

Everything you need to know about 'Gucci' Grace Mugabe

Only a few months ago, Grace Mugabe, the volatile and tenacious First Lady of Zimbabwe, was seen as a potential kingmaker in her country’s succession politics. Last week, it seemed almost certain that she would become the heiress herself... After a night of gunfire and explosions in Harare that has seen the military take control, President Robert Mugabe, ruler of Zimbabwe since its independence in 1980, is apparently safe at home – if a little ousted.

Cambodia's main opposition party dissolved by Supreme Court

Cambodia’s highest court dissolved the main opposition party on Thursday, leaving authoritarian Prime Minister Hun Sen clear to extend more than three decades of power in next year’s election as rights groups decried the death of democracy.

Trump calls Chinese envoy to North Korea 'a big move' - LA Times

President Trump is calling China's plans to send an envoy to North Korea a "big move." ...Following Trump's visit to Beijing, China said Wednesday that it would send a high-level special envoy to North Korea amid an extended chill in relations between the neighbors.

Scandal-hit Nissan loses quality certification for domestic plants | The Japan Times

Nissan, reeling from recent revelations over improper vehicle inspections, said Wednesday that it had lost an internationally recognized certification — which indicates quality vehicle production management — at all six of its domestic plants.

U.S. Soccer exploring pre-World Cup matches with Netherlands Italy - ESPN FC

The U.S. Soccer Federation is looking into the possibility of hosting pre-World Cup international matches involving the United States, Italy, the Netherlands, Ghana and Chile.

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News Headlines - 15 November 2017

Russia used Twitter bots and trolls ‘to disrupt’ Brexit vote | The Times & The Sunday Times

More than 150,000 accounts based in Russia, which had previously confined their posts to subjects such as the Ukrainian conflict, switched attention to Brexit in the days leading up to last year’s vote, according to research for an upcoming paper by data scientists at Swansea University and the University of California, Berkeley.

Zimbabwe's Mugabe 'under house arrest' after army takeover - BBC News

Zimbabwe's military has placed President Robert Mugabe under house arrest in the capital Harare, South African President Jacob Zuma says.

Rare quake measuring 5.4 in magnitude rocks southern South Korea | The Indian Express

A rare 5.4-magnitude earthquake hit South Korea’s southeast today, the second most powerful quake on record in a country that seldom experiences significant tremors. The quake, felt across much of the country including in the capital Seoul, struck at the shallow depth of nine kilometres (six miles) near the industrial city of Pohang at around 2:30 pm (05:30 GMT), the Korea Meteorological Administration said.

40 years since abduction of Megumi Yokota - NHK WORLD

Wednesday marks 40 years since a Japanese schoolgirl was abducted by North Korean agents.
Megumi Yokota was 13 years old when she was taken while walking home from school in Niigata City, on the Sea of Japan coast, on November 15th, 1977.

Scientists discover new planet 11 light-years from Earth - and it could be habitable | London Evening Standard

Scientists in Chile found the planet orbiting Ross 128, a red dwarf star, which is among the coolest stars in the universe.
The planet, known as Ross 128 b, has a surface temperature that may be close to that of Earth, meaning it has the potential to sustain life.
It is also expected to become Earth's closest stellar neighbour in just under 80,000 years as Ross 128 moves towards our planet.

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News Headlines - 14 November 2017

West to Russia’s Putin: ‘We Know What You Are Doing and You Will Not Succeed’

British Prime Minister Theresa May said the Kremlin “is seeking to weaponize information, deploying its state-run media organizations to plant fake news stories and Photoshopped images in an attempt to sow discord in the West and undermine our institutions.”
May had a “simple” message for Russia. “We know what you are doing, and you will not succeed,” she said Monday during a major foreign policy address at the Lord Mayor’s Banquet in London.

Suitcase full of gems worth £1m stolen from jewellery dealer on train

A suitcase containing rubies, emeralds, and sapphires worth £1m has been stolen from a London to Birmingham train.
A jewellery dealer boarded the 7.03pm Euston train on Wednesday 8 November, travelling to Birmingham New Street.

France mulls setting age of sexual consent at 13 after man acquitted of raping 11-year-old - The Local

France could introduce a law to rule that anyone aged under 13 is automatically considered unable to consent to sex after a 28-year-old man was acquitted of raping an 11-year-old because the relations were deemed consensual.

Japan-based name 'Chibanian' set to represent geologic age of last magnetic shift | The Japan Times

The name “Chibanian,” based on a stratum discovered in Chiba Prefecture, is set to represent the geological age when the latest reversal of the Earth’s magnetic fields is believed to have occurred, a Japanese national research institute said Monday.

Chelsea legend Didier Drogba to retire from playing football at the end of the season - Mirror Online

Chelsea legend Didier Drogba has announced that he is retiring from playing football.
The 39-year-old, who is playing for Phoenix Rising in America's USL where he also owns a stake in the club, has revealed that he is to hang up his boots at the end of the current campaign.

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News Headlines - 13 November 2017

ISIS retakes key Syrian border town after fierce fightback - The Straits Times

The Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) group recaptured Albu Kamal in eastern Syria after a fierce fightback to save the last urban bastion of its collapsing "caliphate".
The rebound last Saturday came as the United States and Russia issued a surprise joint presidential statement saying there was "no military solution" to Syria's grinding six-year war.

France mourns Paris attack victims, two years on | AFP.com

France marked two years Monday since its worst ever terror attacks, releasing colourful balloons into the sky to remember the 130 people killed on a Friday night out in Paris.

7.3 Magnitude Earthquake Jolts Area Around Iran-Iraq Border | Time

A powerful 7.3 magnitude earthquake near the Iraq-Iran border killed over 400 people across both countries, sent residents fleeing their homes into the night and was felt as far away as the Mediterranean coast, authorities said Monday.

North Korean soldier, shot and wounded, defects to South

A North Korean soldier defected to the South on Monday after being shot and wounded by the North Korean military, South Korea said.

Sean Parker Says Facebook Was Designed to Be Addictive - AdAge

Sean Parker, the billionaire early Facebook investor and Napster founder, says Mark Zuckerberg knowingly created a monster with addictive social media.
Parker, speaking at an Axios event, pulled back the curtain on Facebook's early days, saying it was designed to consume people.

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News Headlines - 12 November 2017

Tory turmoil as 40 MPs say May must go | The Times & The Sunday Times

Forty MPs have agreed to sign a letter of no confidence in Theresa May as European Union negotiators threaten to block trade talks until March unless Britain agrees to settle the Brexit divorce bill.
The embattled prime minister is facing a fight on three fronts following another week of Tory turmoil in which Priti Patel become the second cabinet minister to resign and two other cabinet ministers — Damian Green and Boris Johnson — faced pressure to quit.

Calls mount for Boris Johnson to be sacked after Iranian gaffe - France 24

The storm began after remarks made by Johnson about Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, a British Iranian woman currently detained in Iran on charges of sedition. Johnson said that Zaghari-Ratcliffe had been in Iran “training journalists”, a diplomatic blunder that could well see the Iranian judicial system increase the 5-year sentence already handed down to Zaghari-Ratclife.

Police chief 'was told of Damian Green pornography claims' - BBC News

A former Scotland Yard chief was aware pornography had allegedly been found on Damian Green's office computer during a 2008-9 police probe, he has said.

Man held in Germany over 1993 Ayr killing of Ansar Shah | The Times & The Sunday Times

A man has been arrested in Germany over the alleged murder of a Scottish restaurant owner almost 25 years ago... Europol, French and German authorities, Police Scotland, the Crown Office and the UK National Crime Agency were involved in arresting a man aged 51 in Frankfurt.

Teen Girl Posed For 8 Years As Married Man To Write About Baseball And Harass Women

For the last eight years, baseball fan-turned-writer Becca Schultz has presented herself online as Ryan Schultz, a false identity she assumed when she was 13 years old, duping and harassing women on Twitter along the way.
On Wednesday night, a woman named Erin tweeted a series of screenshots announcing that Schultz is not actually Ryan, a married father of two studying to become a pharmacist. Instead, Schultz is a 21-year-old college student in the Midwest, whose entire career as an aspiring baseball writer has been under a fraudulent byline.

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News Headlines - 11 November 2017

France postpones target for cutting nuclear share of power production

Environment Minister Nicolas Hulot said on Tuesday it was not realistic to cut nuclear energy’s share of electricity production to 50 percent by 2025 from 75 percent now and that doing so in a hurry would increase France’s CO2 emissions, endanger the security of power supply and put jobs at risk.

Armistice Day: Big Ben breaks silence to mark two minutes' silence remembering lives lost in the UK's wars | London Evening Standard

The bells of Big Ben chimed again at 11am on Saturday to mark Armistice Day commemorations in the capital.
The chimes marked two minutes’ silence in remembrance of those who died in World War One.

UN to Host Talks on Use of 'Killer Robots'

The United Nations is set to host talks on the use of autonomous weapons, but those hoping for a ban on the machines dubbed "killer robots" will be disappointed, the ambassador leading the discussions said Friday.

Richard Browning sets world record in jet engine 'Iron Man' suit

It wasn't Hollywood but Richard Browning's bid to make world history was straight out of a superhero film.
Browning set a Guinness World Record for the fastest speed in a body-controlled jet engine power suit this week.
The founder and chief test pilot of British tech company Gravity Industries reached a speed of 32.02mph on his third attempt at Lagoona Park in Reading.

Amazing Apollo 4: NASA's 1st Saturn V Moon Rocket Test Flight in Photos

On Nov. 9, 1967, NASA launched the first Saturn V moon rocket test flight: Apollo 4. See photos of the launch, and Earth from space, from the amazing Apollo 4 mission here.

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News Headlines - 10 November 2017

Mueller Probes Flynn’s Role in Alleged Plan to Deliver Cleric to Turkey - WSJ

Special Counsel Robert Mueller is investigating former White House national security adviser Mike Flynn’s alleged role in a plan to forcibly remove a Muslim cleric living in the U.S. and deliver him to Turkey in return for millions of dollars, according to people familiar with the investigation.

Yemen missile attack: Weapon fired by Houthi rebels at Saudi capital was Iranian, say US officials | The Independent

The ballistic missile fired by Yemeni rebels that targeted the Saudi Arabia capital was from Iran and bore “Iranian markings,” a top US Air Force official in the Middle East has said.

Brexit day revealed: Britain will leave the EU on THIS date  | Express.co.uk

Ministers will seek Parliament's backing to amend the EU (Withdrawal) Bill so that it explicitly states that the UK will leave the bloc on March 29, 2019.
It will also spell out that Britain will leave at 11pm UK time on that date – which is midnight on the Continent.

Philippines' President claims to have killed someone when he was a teen - CNN

Ahead of APEC meetings with regional leaders, President Rodrigo Duterte told the group, in the central Vietnamese city of Da Nang, that he stabbed someone to death when he was 16.

Italy lowdown ahead of World Cup play-off with Sweden | Daily Mail Online

When Italy were paired with Spain in World Cup qualification Group G, optimism was still high thanks to the Azzurri's solid performances at Euro 2016. That run included a victory against Sergio Ramos and Co in the second round... Dumped into a play-off, the Blues face Sweden in Stockholm on Friday and then at San Siro three days later. The last time the four-time World Cup winners had the same ordeal was 20 years ago, when they met Russia over two legs. Gianluigi Buffon made his debut in the first match, and the Azzurri sneaked through 2-1 on aggregate.

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News Headlines - 09 November 2017

Japan says TPP trade deal talks "agree in principle"

Japan said ministers of countries remaining in the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade deal had agreed in principle on Thursday on a path forward after the United States' withdrawal

Inside the drive to ‘make a deal’ with North Korea - The Washington Post

In South Korea, President Trump abruptly shifted position on negotiations with North Korea, saying he wanted to “make a deal” with the Kim Jong Un regime. If he means it, there may be an opening, because his State Department has been working on a new initiative to break the diplomatic stalemate with Pyongyang, starting with a proposed 60-day freeze in nuclear and missile tests.

Saudi Arabia tells citizens to leave Lebanon at once - BBC News

Saudi Arabia has told its citizens in Lebanon to leave the country immediately... Tensions between the two countries have risen since Lebanon's Saudi-backed PM Saad Hariri resigned on Saturday, saying he feared for his life.

Lift up your hearts, not your smartphones, pope tells priests

Pope Francis on Wednesday chastised priests and bishops who take pictures with their smartphones during Masses, saying they should focus on God instead.
"The priest says 'lift up your hearts'. He does not say, 'lift up your mobile phones to take pictures,'" Francis told tens of thousands of people at his weekly audience in St. Peter's Square, referring to a communion prayer in the Roman Catholic Mass.

Kevin Spacey: Completed film to be reshot without accused actor - BBC News

US actor Kevin Spacey is to be erased from a completed Hollywood film following the allegations of predatory sexual behaviour against him... Spacey, who was late oil tycoon Jean Paul Getty in the film, will be replaced by Christopher Plummer.

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News Headlines - 08 November 2017

Priti Patel forced to resign over unofficial meetings with Israelis | The Guardian

Theresa May’s government was rocked on Wednesday by a second cabinet resignation in a week after Priti Patel was forced to step down as international development secretary.
The minister quit after being summoned back from a trip to Uganda and Ethiopia by Downing Street after it emerged she failed to be candid with May about 14 unofficial meetings with Israeli ministers, businesspeople and a senior lobbyist.

Plans for new bridge crossing River Thames in London | Metro News

Transport for London has today launched plans for a new bridge across the River Thames in London. The river crossing – proposed to be built between Rotherhithe and Canary Wharf – will be available for cyclists as well as those on foot.

On the golf course, Japan’s Abe did a ninja stunt — and Trump didn’t even notice - The Washington Post

The Japanese prime minister, dressed in a white sweater, had just hit his ball out of the sand and was running up out of the bunker. But when he got up onto the grass, he apparently lost his balance and rolled backward into the sandy hole. An aide quickly rushed to help the prime minister.

Nissan cuts full-year profit estimates amid inspection scandal | The Japan Times

Nissan now expects its group operating profit to stand at \645 billion ($5.6 billion) for fiscal 2017 — compared with an earlier estimate of \685 billion — due to costs related to the scandal.

Spain's constitutional court annuls Catalan declaration of independence

Spain’s Constitutional Court officially annulled the Catalan parliament’s Oct. 27 unilateral declaration of independence on Wednesday, a widely expected ruling after the move was suspended by the court.

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News Headlines - 07 November 2017

Disney ends blackout of LA Times after boycott from media outlets | The Guardian

The studio last week banned the LA Times from access to its screenings and talent, citing “biased and inaccurate” coverage – only to trigger a boycott on Monday by several media outlets in solidarity.
But on Tuesday Disney said it had ended its ban.

Sacked Labour minister Carl Sargeant found dead - BBC News

An ex-Welsh Labour minister who faced a party investigation into allegations about his personal conduct has taken his own life, it is understood... He was suspended from Labour after the first minister learned of a number of alleged incidents involving women.

South Korea invites wartime 'comfort woman' to state banquet for Trump | The Japan Times

South Korea announced Tuesday that a wartime ‘comfort woman,’ who has spoken widely of her suffering due to being forced to work in a wartime Japanese military brothel, had been invited to attend a state banquet for U.S. President Donald Trump.

'Black Widow' sentenced to death for several murders - Japan Today

A Japanese court on Tuesday sentenced to death a one-time millionairess dubbed the "Black Widow", who tricked elderly lovers into drinking cyanide and pocketed millions in insurance payouts and inheritance.

Twitter to Roll Out 280-Character Tweets Worldwide - The New York Times

Microblogging website Twitter Inc, known for its iconic 140-character tweets, said on Tuesday it would roll out 280-character tweets to users across the world... User posting in languages including Japanese, Korean and Chinese, which do not face the issue of "cramming", will continue to have a limit of 140 characters, Twitter said.

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News Headlines - 06 November 2017

Harvey Weinstein’s Army of Spies | The New Yorker

In the fall of 2016, Harvey Weinstein set out to suppress allegations that he had sexually harassed or assaulted numerous women. He began to hire private security agencies to collect information on the women and the journalists trying to expose the allegations. According to dozens of pages of documents, and seven people directly involved in the effort, the firms that Weinstein hired included Kroll, which is one of the world’s largest corporate-intelligence companies, and Black Cube, an enterprise run largely by former officers of Mossad and other Israeli intelligence agencies.

Paradise Papers: Commerce chief Wilbur Ross's links with sanctioned Russians - BBC News

A top member of Donald Trump's administration has business links with Russian allies of President Vladimir Putin who are under US sanctions, the Paradise Papers have revealed.

Trump plays golf with Japanese hero Matsuyama - CNN

Trump hit the course Sunday with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and world No. 4 golfer Hideki Matsuyama, playing nine holes before retiring to the clubhouse.

Saudi prince killed in helicopter crash near Yemen border - BBC News

Prince Mansour bin Muqrin, the deputy governor of Asir province, was returning from an inspection tour when his aircraft came down near Abha late on Sunday, the interior ministry said.

Silvio Berlusconi set to return to Italian politics after Sicilian election victory | The Guardian

Silvio Berlusconi looked poised for a stunning political comeback as his rightist bloc claimed victory in an election in Sicily that puts it in pole position for a national vote due by next May.
The regional Sicilian ballot, held on Sunday, was seen as a dry run for the nationwide election, with many of the island’s problems reflecting those of the country as a whole: high unemployment, a debt mountain and sluggish economic growth.

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News Headlines - 05 November 2017

Paradise Papers: Your guide to four years of offshore revelations - BBC News

The Paradise Papers is another massive leak of secret files, the most significant of them belonging to a single offshore law firm, detailing the taxation activities of the wealthy and the famous. It's the latest in a rich pedigree of such leaks.

Texas Church Shooting Leaves at Least 26 Dead, Officials Say - The New York Times

A gunman clad in all black, with a ballistic vest strapped to his chest and a military-style rifle in his hands, opened fire on parishioners at a Sunday service at a small Baptist church in rural Texas, killing at least 26 people and turning this tiny town east of San Antonio into the scene of the country’s newest mass horror.

Carles Puigdemont bailed pending Brussels ruling | The Guardian

A Belgian judge has released the ousted Catalan leader, Carles Puigdemont, and four of his ministers on bail after a hearing lasting more than 10 hours... The judge decided to grant them conditional release late in the evening pending a ruling by a court within the next 15 days whether to execute the European arrest warrant issued by Spain. The five have been told they must not leave the country and stay in a fixed address.

Saudi Arabia arrests 11 princes and four ministers in extraordinary 'consolidation of power' | The Independent

Saudi Arabia has arrested 11 princes, four officials and tens of former officials as part of a sweeping anti-corruption probe which further cements control in the hands of its young Crown Prince, Mohammad bin Salman.

Libyan Salafist-led force breaks up comic festival for 'indecency'

A Libyan force that acts as an anti-crime unit in Tripoli said it had arrested the organisers of a comic festival for “acts of indecency and against public morals”.

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News Headlines - 04 November 2017

Securing North Korean nuclear sites would require a ground invasion, Pentagon says - The Washington Post

The only way to locate and secure all of North Korea’s nuclear weapons sites “with complete certainty” is through an invasion of ground forces, and in the event of conflict, Pyongyang could use biological and chemical weapons, the Pentagon told lawmakers in a new, blunt assessment of what war on the Korean Peninsula might look like.

Apple shares hit record high as Street bullish iPhone X launch

The company reported better-than-expected September quarter earnings results and gave a December quarter sales guidance range above Wall Street expectations at the midpoint Thursday evening.
Apple shares hit an all-time high, opening up 3.5 percent Friday as notes poured in from Wall Street that were positive on last quarter's earnings and even more optimistic about the iPhone X.

'Victory declared' over 130 tonne Whitechapel fatberg - BBC News

A 250-metre long fatberg weighing 130 tonnes which was blocking an east London sewer has been cleared after a nine-week "battle".
The solid mass of congealed fat, wet wipes, nappies, oil and condoms was found in the Victorian-era tunnel in Whitechapel in September.

How I threw away a work of modern art - BBC News

To me, it looked like a child's crude attempt at a mosaic. About a dozen small square tiles of different colours. Glued to the wall in a geometric design vaguely resembling a face with two square eyes.

Jose Mourinho has settled his case with the Spanish tax authorities - and says 'I did not argue' - Manchester Evening News

Jose Mourinho has said that 'everything was closed' after agreeing to settle his high-profile tax fraud case following a hearing in Madrid on Friday morning.
The Spanish authorities alleged that the former Real Madrid manager owed the state almost £2.9million in undeclared revenue related to image rights in 2011 and 2012.

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News Headlines - 03 November 2017

A note to readers - LA Times

This year, Walt Disney Co. studios declined to offer The Times advance screenings, citing what it called unfair coverage of its business ties with Anaheim. The Times will continue to review and cover Disney movies and programs when they are available to the public.

Trump Twitter account shut down by employee on last day of work | The Guardian

A Twitter employee deactivated Donald Trump’s personal account on their last day of work, the company said on Thursday, likely meaning the action was deliberate.

2 Navy SEALs Under Suspicion in Strangling of Green Beret in Mali - The New York Times

Navy criminal authorities are investigating whether two members of the elite SEAL Team 6 strangled an Army Green Beret in June while they were in Mali on a secret assignment, military officials say.

Moors Murders: Ian Brady's ashes disposed of at sea - BBC News

The ashes of Moors Murderer Ian Brady have been disposed of at sea in the middle of the night after a cremation last week, it has been revealed... It was reported that Brady wished to have his remains burnt and ashes scattered in Glasgow, where he grew up. But the city's council said it would refuse any request for Brady to be cremated in the area.

Royal Antwerp confirm youth player Joel Lobanzo has died following a cardiac arrest | Sky Sports

Royal Antwerp have confirmed that youth player Joel Lobanzo has died following a cardiac arrest during a training session.
The Belgian side released a statement on their website saying the 17-year-old became unwell during U19s training on Tuesday, with medical personnel attending to him, before he was transferred to hospital.

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News Headlines - 02 November 2017

Yellen’s Legacy: Economic Progress but a Sense of a Job Unfinished - The New York Times

Unemployment fell steadily during her term, inflation stayed in check and the Fed began backing gradually away from the extraordinary steps it took in the wake of the financial crisis.
That wasn’t enough to save her job, however. President Trump nominated Jerome H. Powell to be chairman of the Federal Reserve, which means that Ms. Yellen will be the first person in nearly 40 years to serve no more than a single four-year term as head of the central bank.

London's property market to be worst hit after Brexit as houses prices plunge | London Evening Standard

London's property market will suffer the most over the next five years as Brexit fears and increasing interest rates limit price rises, a leading estate agent warned today... Overall, between 2018 and 2022, London prices will go up by only 7.1 per cent, half the pace of the UK as a whole and below inflation.

Lenovo buys controlling stake in Fujitsu PC unit; second-quarter profit drops

Lenovo Group has agreed to buy a majority stake in Fujitsu Ltd’s personal computer unit for up to $269 million, in a bid to corner a larger share of a market that is battling weak sales as more people switch to mobile devices.

On a knife edge: The rise of violence on London's streets - BBC News

Across England and Wales an incident involving a blade or sharp object takes place, on average, every 14 minutes. Of the 37,000 incidents in the past 12 months, more than 13,000 offences were committed in London.

Black cab shape not distinctive enough to be trademark, say judges | The Guardian

New-style taxis could soon roll on to city roads after court of appeal judges ruled that the shape of the traditional London black cab was not distinctive enough to be a trademark.
The London Taxi Company wanted to claim exclusive rights to the black cab shape and thwart a rival firm. But Lord Justice Kitchin and Lord Justice Floyd have upheld a ruling made last year by a high court judge.

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News Headlines - 01 November 2017

Michael Fallon quits as defence secretary, saying his behaviour has 'fallen short' | The Guardian

Fallon apologised earlier this week over an incident 15 years ago in which he made unwanted advances to the journalist Julia Hartley-Brewer, repeatedly placing his hand on her knee – although Hartley-Brewer herself insisted: “No one was remotely upset or distressed.”... Allegations of inappropriate behaviour have been swirling around Westminster since the Harvey Weinstein abuse scandal encouraged women to speak out about their experiences of sexual abuse or harassment.

Sony's aibo robot is back, ready to learn new tricks- Nikkei Asian Review

Sony said Wednesday it will roll out a new robot dog on Jan. 11, 2018, the year of the dog, that will be packed with the latest robotic technologies, including sensors to help it recognize its environment, and artificial intelligence to help it "think," plus the mechanics to act on its thoughts.

Netherlands to hold referendum on new surveillance law

The Netherlands will hold a referendum on legislation giving law enforcement authorities far-reaching surveillance powers, the Dutch Voting Commission said on Wednesday.

Lady Gaga Is Engaged to Christian Carino

A source tells Us the Grammy-winning singer, 31, and the CAA talent agent, 48, secretly got engaged over the summer after Carino asked the singer’s father for his permission. Due to her current health state, they are focused on her recovery and don’t have any wedding plans just yet.

Two Russian Skiers Banned For Life From Olympics Over Doping In Sochi

Two Russian cross-country skiers have been banned from attending any future Olympics over doping at the 2014 winter games in Russia’s Black Sea resort of Sochi.
The International Olympic Committee (IOC) said on November 1 that Aleksandr Legkov, who won an individual gold medal and relay silver, was also disqualified from all his events in Sochi.

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News Headlines - 31 October 2017

Sex pest dossier names six Cabinet ministers and senior allies of PM - throwing parliament into panic

PARLIAMENT was in a panic last night after it was revealed a dossier of alleged Tory sex pests names six Cabinet ministers and other senior allies of the Prime Minister.
The bombshell document, drawn up by anonymous female and male staff who work for and with Conservative MPs, details claims about 36 Tories in total — 21 of them serving or former ministers.

New York terror attack: Truck crash in lower Manhattan leaves many dead, injured; suspect in custody - CBS News

Police and witnesses say a man deliberately drove a rented truck onto a busy bicycle path near the World Trade Center in lower Manhattan, killing eight people and injuring at least 12 others, then emerged from the vehicle screaming and brandishing imitation firearms before being shot by police. The suspect was wounded and taken into custody.

Japan Police Find 9 Dismembered Bodies in Tokyo Apartment

Japanese police found nine dismembered bodies hidden in coolers in an apartment southwest of Tokyo, an apparent serial killing case that is transfixing and horrifying the nation.

Apple Is Designing iPhones, iPads Without Qualcomm Parts, Source Says - Bloomberg

Apple Inc. is designing iPhones and iPads for 2018 that don’t use components from Qualcomm Inc. amid an escalating dispute between the companies, according to a person familiar with the matter.

Germany marks 500th anniversary of Protestant Reformation in Wittenberg | DW

Germany celebrated the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation on Tuesday with a national holiday and ceremonies in the eastern city of Wittenberg, where Martin Luther began a split in the Catholic Church that transformed Christianity and Europe.

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News Headlines - 30 October 2017

Former Trump Aides Charged as Prosecutors Reveal New Campaign Ties With Russia - The New York Times

The special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III, announced charges on Monday against three advisers to President Trump’s campaign and laid out the most explicit evidence to date that his campaign was eager to coordinate with the Russian government to damage his rival, Hillary Clinton.
The former campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, surrendered to the F.B.I. and pleaded not guilty to charges that he laundered millions of dollars through overseas shell companies — using the money to buy luxury cars, real estate, antique rugs and expensive clothes. Rick Gates, Mr. Manafort’s longtime associate as well as a campaign adviser, was also charged and turned himself in.
But information that could prove most politically damaging to Mr. Trump came an hour later, when Mr. Mueller announced that George Papadopoulos, a former foreign policy adviser to the Trump campaign, had pleaded guilty to lying to the F.B.I. and was cooperating with investigators.

Why George Papadopoulos Is More Dangerous Than Paul Manafort - The New York Times

Most Americans had never heard of the adviser, George Papadopoulos, before Monday afternoon, but his is the name to remember. That’s because his guilty plea is far more immediately ominous to the president and his inner circle than the charges against Mr. Manafort and Mr. Gates.

Saudi Arabia to allow women into sports stadiums as reform push intensifies | The Guardian

Saudi Arabia will allow women into sports stadiums for the first time from next year, authorities said Sunday, in a landmark move opening up three previously male-only venues to families... The announcement is in line with powerful Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s ambitious reforms shaking up the kingdom, including the historic decision to allow women to drive from next June.

Top Russian child model dies from exhaustion while working for Chinese modelling agency

A 14-year-old Russian model who had worked long hours without medical insurance died of sepsis and a nervous system infection in Shanghai this weekend, Russian authorities have said.

Kevin Spacey apologises over Anthony Rapp 'sexual advance' claim - BBC News

Hollywood star Kevin Spacey has made an apology after being accused of making a sexual advance toward a child actor... Spacey also revealed he was now living as a gay man after years of refusing to address rumours about his sexuality.

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News Headlines - 29 October 2017

Heathrow's secret security data found on memory stick in London street | The Independent

Heathrow Airport’s secret security planning has been revealed in files on a memory stick found in a London street.
The documents outline routes and safeguards for the Queen, foreign dignitaries and top politicians using Britain’s busiest airport. The USB drive also includes maps showing where CCTV cameras are located, and escape routes for the Heathrow Express railway serving the airport.

Kurdish leader Barzani resigns after independence vote backfires

Iraqi Kurdish leader Masoud Barzani said he would give up his position as president on Nov. 1, after an independence referendum he championed backfired and triggered a regional crisis.

North Korea's global threat needs global response: NATO chief- Nikkei Asian Review

North Korea's nuclear and missile program is a "global threat" and "requires a global response," the secretary-general of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization said Friday, while cautioning that "war would be disastrous."

First Rock From Outside the Solar System Sails Past Earth

Astronomers around the world are scrambling to study an object unlike anything they’ve ever seen: a chunk of rock and ice seemingly fired our way from another solar system.
Discovered on October 19, the object is several hundred feet across and is currently speeding away from us at more than 98,000 miles an hour. At that speed, the space rock is moving fast enough to outrun the sun’s gravitational tug—implying that it was never part of our solar system to begin with.

Teenager's life 'ruined' by Live.me and Twitter 'trolls' - BBC News

A teenager claims internet trolls "ruined her life" by superimposing her face on pornographic messages that were shared on social media.

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News Headlines - 28 October 2017

Spain's third quarter unemployment rate falls to lowest since 2008

Spain’s unemployment rate soared to nearly 27 percent at the beginning of 2013, the height of the economic crisis, after a burst property bubble and sliding consumer spending almost forced Spain to request a full sovereign bailout... In the third quarter, the unemployment rate fell to 16.38 percent, according to the National Statistics Institute, down from 17.22 percent in the previous quarter

British security minister says North Korea was behind WannaCry hack on NHS | The Independent

A report released by the National Audit Office (NAO) on Friday found that hospital trusts were left vulnerable to the attack because basic recommendations on cyber-security were not followed.
Speaking on the BBC's Today programme, the security minister Ben Wallace said the government now believes a North Korean hacking group was responsible, but stopped short of suggesting the UK could carry out retaliatory attacks.

Harry Potter still casting his spell over Bloomsbury revenues

Bloomsbury released new editions of J.K. Rowling’s “Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone” with covers dedicated to wizarding school Hogwarts’ houses Gryffindor, Slytherin, Hufflepuff and Ravenclaw to mark the anniversary in June... Revenue from Harry Potter grew 40 percent in the period, the company said on Tuesday, and the young wizard and his magical world will feature strongly in the publisher’s assault on the important Christmas market.

Cambridge News 'received anonymous JFK assassination tip-off' - BBC News

A British local newspaper received an anonymous call about "some big news" in the US, shortly before President John F Kennedy was assassinated, according to documents.
A memo dated 26 November 1963 said the call was made to the Cambridge News at 18:05 GMT on 22 November 1963. This was 25 minutes before Kennedy was shot in Dallas, Texas.

Journalist in alleged rape case calls for change in Criminal Law:The Asahi Shimbun

A journalist whose high-profile rape case was dropped by prosecutors has called for an overhaul of the Criminal Law and authorities’ handling of sexual assault cases to make it easier for victims to find justice.

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News Headlines - 27 October 2017

Catalans declare independence as Madrid imposes direct rule - BBC News

The Catalan regional parliament has voted to declare independence from Spain, while the Spanish parliament has approved direct rule over the region... Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy had told senators direct rule was needed to return "law, democracy and stability" to Catalonia.

Theresa May rents out her central London flat | Daily Mail Online

Theresa May is earning at least an extra £10,000 a year renting out a central London flat she own with husband Philip... It means the rental began just two months after she narrowly survived being kicked out of No 10 and a week after returning from her three week summer holiday.

Ukraine to probe MP's three national lottery victories

Ukraine’s anti-corruption agency said on Wednesday it would investigate the case of an opposition leader who declared in his income statement that he had won the national lottery three times, earning a combined 571,045 hryvnias ($21,335).

United Nations News Centre - Plausible that ‘attack or threat’ led to crash that killed former UN chief Hammarskjöld – new report

A new United Nations-mandated report has found it “appears plausible” that an external attack or threat may have led to the fatal plane crash that killed former UN Secretary-General Dag Hammarskjöld... The chartered DC6 plane registered as SE-BDY crashed just after midnight on 17-18 September 1961, near Ndola (then Northern Rhodesia, now Zambia), killing Mr. Hammarskjöld and 14 of the 15 members of the party accompanying him, with the sole survivor succumbing to injuries a few days later.

Subaru admits improper checks on Japan cars, expects recalls

Subaru Corp on Friday said it had failed to follow proper inspection procedures for vehicles for the domestic market, an issue likely to result in a product recall and adding to a list of compliance problems at Japanese companies.

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News Headlines - 26 October 2017

A Second Woman Has Accused George H.W. Bush of Sexual Harassment | Vanity Fair

On Tuesday, actress Heather Lind posted a now-deleted Instagram post in which she accused former president George H.W. Bush of sexually harassing her during a photo op four years ago. Now a second woman has come forward with a remarkably similar story. New York actress Jordana Grolnick told Deadspin Wednesday about a more recent alleged incident involving the former president.

U.N. Panel Points Finger at Syria in Sarin Attack on Village - The New York Times

The Syrian Air Force was responsible for a lethal sarin chemical attack on a northern rebel-held village on April 4, a United Nations investigative panel said Thursday.
Its report represented the first time that a politically independent investigation had concluded which side in the Syrian civil war had carried out the attack on the village, Khan Sheikhoun.

Butter shortfall leaves French croissants half-baked

France is running short of butter, with some supermarket shelves sitting empty and the price of croissants on the rise, creating a headache for the government just as it tries to make the food chain fairer for farmers.
The shortage is the result of falling milk production and rising butter demand globally, with consumer attitudes toward the spread, once shunned as unhealthy, turning more positive.

New wave of cyber attacks hits Russia, other nations

Cyber attacks using malware called “BadRabbit” hit Russia and other nations on Tuesday, affecting Russian Interfax news agency and causing flight delays at Ukraine’s Odessa airport.

Pope discusses life's biggest questions with International Space Station crew | The Guardian

The Earth is a fragile thing that could even destroy itself, Pope Francis told astronauts on the International Space Station (ISS) on Thursday, saying they had an opportunity to see the planet “from the eyes of God”.

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News Headlines - 25 October 2017

George H. W. Bush Apologizes to Actress After She Claims He 'Sexually Assaulted' Her

The actress, Heather Lind, wrote in a now-deleted Instagram post that she was standing next to the former president when he “touched me from behind from his wheelchair with his wife Barbara Bush by his side.” Lind also alleges Bush told her a “dirty joke.”... The former president’s spokesman Jim McGrath said in the statement, “President Bush would never — under any circumstance — intentionally cause anyone distress, and he most sincerely apologizes if his attempt at humor offended Ms. Lind.”

Kurds offer to freeze independence vote to end conflict with Iraq

The Kurdistan Regional Government has offered to suspend its drive for independence in return for a promise from Iraq to halt its military activity, which has seen it seize huge swathes of territory in recent days.

Berlin security staff pushed young refugees into prostitution | DW

Security workers at Berlin's refugee accommodation centers are pushing young refugees into prostitution, public broadcaster ZDF reported on Tuesday.

Nicaragua to join Paris climate accord, leaving US and Syria isolated | The Guardian

Nicaragua is set to join the Paris climate agreement, according to an official statement and comments from the vice-president, Rosario Murillo, on Monday, in a move that leaves the United States and Syria as the only countries outside the global pact.

Channel 4 move from London could create 7,500 jobs, report says | The Guardian

Forcing Channel 4 into a full relocation outside of London and making more programmes for the broadcaster outside the capital could create nearly 7,500 jobs and deliver almost £600m in economic benefits, according to a new government report... However, the chief executive, David Abraham, and the chairman, Charles Gurassa, have ferociously rejected a wholesale move of Channel 4 and its 800 staff, saying it would be catastrophic for its business.

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News Headlines - 24 October 2017

Clinton campaign, DNC paid for research that led to Russia dossier - The Washington Post

The Hillary Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee helped fund research that resulted in a now-famous dossier containing allegations about President Trump’s connections to Russia and possible coordination between his campaign and the Kremlin, people familiar with the matter said.

China’s Communist Party enshrines “Xi Jinping Thought” in its constitution | Taiwan News

On the closing day of its 19th Congress, China’s Communist Party wrote the ideology of its current leader, Xi Jinping (習近平), into a constitution, a feat elevating him to the same level as Mao Zedong (毛澤東), reports said Tuesday.

Gov't-linked bank to punish 1,000 staff over illicit loans to smaller firms - The Mainichi

The government-linked Shoko Chukin Bank is set to punish about 1,000 employees and managers for involvement in document falsifications and other irregularities regarding low-interest loans extended to "crisis-hit" companies that did not meet eligibility criteria, it has been learned.

New wave of cyber attacks hits Russia, other nations

Cyber attacks using malware called “BadRabbit” hit Russia and other nations on Tuesday, affecting Russian Interfax news agency and causing flight delays at Ukraine’s Odessa airport.

Berlin Zoo hopes sex will cure distressed panda's habit of walking backwards | The Independent

Zookeepers at Berlin's main animal park are hoping to cure a young female panda's habit of walking backwards by introducing her to one of life's most precious pleasures: sex.

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News Headlines - 23 October 2017

Seven dead as Typhoon Lan lashes Japan | The Japan Times

Typhoon Lan blazed through Tokyo on Monday morning after making landfall along the central Pacific coastline earlier in the day, leaving seven people dead as it pummeled Honshu with heavy rain and strong winds.

North Korea blasts Japan for using election to 'pave groundwork' for invasion | The Japan Times

North Korea on Monday blasted “Japanese reactionaries” for working to “pave the groundwork for a reinvasion of the Korean peninsula” after Sunday’s Lower House election that saw Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s ruling bloc secure a sweeping victory.

Japan’s Biggest Bitcoin Exchange Reveal Bitcoin Gold Hard Fork Plans

Tokyo-based bitFlyer, Japan’s largest and best-funded bitcoin exchange, has revealed its intention to distribute Bitcoin Gold (BTG) to users prior to the split of the bitcoin blockchain – expected to occur on October 25th. The exchange also revealed its intention to launch trading services in support of the new cryptocurrency, enabling users to sell, deposit and send BTG from their bitFlyer accounts.

US-backed SDF captures Syria′s largest oil field from ′Islamic State′ | DW

The US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), an alliance of Kurdish and Arab fighters, on Sunday captured one of Syria's largest oil fields in the Deir el-Zour province. Riding on the heels of victory against the "Islamic State" (IS) militant group in Raqqa, the SDF is racing to seize parts of Syria's oil-rich province.

Skeletons reveal perils of moving to London | The Times & The Sunday Times

Reaching across the centuries, the skeletons unearthed by London’s vast Crossrail construction project have exposed the perils of city life up to 450 years ago.
An archaeological study of more than 3,000 skeletons retrieved in recent years from the site of the new Elizabeth line station at Liverpool Street has shown that many belonged to people who migrated to the capital from rural areas but died in their late teens or as young adults.

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News Headlines - 22 October 2017

Abe to push reform of Japan's pacifist constitution after election win

Abe’s Liberal Democratic Party-led (LDP) coalition won a combined 312 seats, keeping its two-thirds “super majority” in the 465-member lower house, local media said.
A hefty win raises the likelihood that Abe, who took office in December 2012, will secure a third three-year term as LDP leader next September and go on to become Japan’s longest-serving premier. It also means his “Abenomics” growth strategy centered on the hyper-easy monetary policy will likely continue.

Labour demands changes to Brexit repeal bill - BBC News

Sir Keir Starmer wants six changes to the bill, which aims to transfer EU legislation into British law.
If these are not accepted Labour will back Tory rebels in an attempt to force a vote on the final EU deal, he said.

Why Soviet prison tattoos are popular - BBC News

The Gulag prison system of the Soviet Union produced a tattoo culture with dark, political and religious themes.
Badges of pride for the hardest in society, they became commonplace throughout the criminal fraternity.

Élysée puddle: Macron's dog Nemo filmed urinating in president's office | The Guardian

But two-year-old Nemo brought a whole new meaning to the term presidential leaks this weekend when he cocked his leg for a long and abundant wee against an ornamental fireplace in Macron’s gilded office during a filmed meeting between the president and junior ministers.

Unsent letter from Titanic passenger sets auction record

The selling price for the document, believed to be one of the last letters written before the ocean liner hit an iceberg and sank in the Atlantic, surpassed expectations.
British auction house Henry Aldridge & Son had predicted the item would go for £60,000 to £80,000 ($79,000 to $106,000). The identity of the buyer, who outbid rivals on Saturday with a £120,000 ($166,000) offer, wasn't disclosed.

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News Headlines - 21 October 2017

President Trump plans to release classified JFK documents | FOX59

President Donald Trump says he doesn’t plan to block the scheduled release of thousands of never publicly seen government documents related to President John F. Kennedy’s assassination.

Steve Bannon delivers blistering attack on former President George W. Bush - CNNPolitics

Steve Bannon delivered a withering attack on George W. Bush Friday night, bluntly questioning the former President's intelligence and his grasp of the concepts that he outlined in a speech that he gave New York this week.

Japanese Company Sues Apple Over 'Animoji' Trademark | The Recorder

Susman Godfrey on Wednesday filed suit against Apple Inc. on behalf of a Japanese company that says the tech giant ripped off the trademark for “Animoji” when it announced a feature for the moving graphics at last month’s iPhone X launch.

Will Australia's 'miracle economy' keep on winning? - BBC News

The economy is growing by about 1.9% per year, according to the Reserve Bank. In 2012, that figure was 3.7%. Weaker growth means that pay packets are shrinking for many workers when adjusted for the rising cost of living, and near-record levels of underemployment are stifling wage increases.

Jose Mourinho: Man Utd attitude at Huddersfield was worse than a friendly - BBC Sport

United had kept seven clean sheets in their previous eight league games, but mistakes from Juan Mata and Victor Lindelof in the space of five first-half minutes were punished with goals by Aaron Mooy and Laurent Depoitre.
Despite almost 80% possession, United managed just three shots on target.

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News Headlines - 20 October 2017

Spanish government aims for January regional elections in Catalonia - PSOE | Euronews

The Spanish government has agreed with the country’s opposition Socialists (PSOE) to hold regional elections in Catalonia in January.

EU anti-trust investigators raid BMW headquarters in Munich - The Local

EU anti-trust regulators have raided the offices of automaker BMW in Munich, the company said, in a fresh blow to the German car industry already hit by the Dieselgate scandal.

Northern Ireland boss admits drink-driving in Edinburgh - BBC News

Northern Ireland football manager Michael O'Neill has pleaded guilty at Edinburgh Sheriff Court to drink-driving.
The court heard he was caught by police in the early hours of 10 September at three times the Scottish drink-drive limit.

Thailand’s royal cremation: Last farewell to King Bhumibol Adulyadej - The Straits Times

After Thailand’s revered King Bhumibol Adulyadej died on Oct 13, 2016, his body was moved to the Grand Palace in Bangkok. Over 12 million people have travelled there to pay their respects since.
The final rites will take place from Oct 25 to Oct 29, with the actual cremation taking place on Oct 26.

Chris Coleman begins informal talks with FAW chiefs over his Wales future - Wales Online

Coleman, who has this week been linked with the vacant Leicester City job , sees his current contract expire after next month’s international camp following the disappointment of missing out on a place in Russia.
The existing deal, signed just before Euro 2016, would have automatically extended to this summer’s finals had they managed to overcome the Republic of Ireland and a play-off.

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News Headlines - 19 October 2017

Nissan to suspend domestic production of cars for Japan market

Nissan Motor Co Ltd is suspending domestic production of vehicles for the Japanese market for at least two weeks to address misconduct in its final inspection procedures that led to a major recall, it said on Thursday.

Fukushima sake promoted in London - NHK WORLD

Sake brewers from Fukushima Prefecture, in northeastern Japan, have pitched their products in London. They wanted to show that they are rebounding from the 2011 earthquake, tsunami, and nuclear disaster.

Insect and bird populations declining dramatically in Germany | DW

Two separate studies highlight a dramatic trend in Germany: the number of flying insects has declined by 76 percent over the past 27 years. There are 15 percent fewer birds than just twelve years ago.

LA Police Department Investigates Disgraced Producer Harvey Weinstein

The Los Angeles Police department says it has opened an investigation into movie producer Harvey Weinstein after someone made allegations of sexual assault.
The LAPD announced the news via Twitter Thursday.

PSG's Khelaifi to be quizzed in Swiss World Cup probe on October 25 - lawyer | AFP.com

Paris Saint-Germain president and beIN Media chief Nasser al-Khelaifi will be questioned by Swiss prosecutors on October 25 in a World Cup media rights probe, his lawyer told AFP Wednesday.

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News Headlines - 18 October 2017

Dow Closes Above 23000 for First Time - WSJ

The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed above 23000 for the first time, driven by soaring shares of International Business Machines.

French parliament adopts controversial anti-terror bill - France 24

The French parliament on Wednesday adopted a tough new anti-terrorism bill that gives authorities vastly expanded powers to search homes, restrict movement and close places of worship.

Attempted murder trial jury shown how to sabotage a parachute | The Guardian

The court hearing the trial of a soldier accused of trying to kill his wife with a sabotaged parachute has been shown a video demonstrating how it could be done in a toilet cubicle in just over five minutes.

Russian Mayor Tells Citizens Not to Beat Up Foreigners During World Cup

As Russia gears up to host the World Cup next year, the mayor of Kaliningrad is calling on citizens to be friendly toward foreign fans who will be in town for the world’s most important sporting event.

Brazil's former Olympic chief charged in 2016 Games bribes investigation

Brazilian prosecutors charged the former head of the national Olympics committee (COB), Carlos Nuzman, and five other people on Wednesday with corruption based on an investigation of alleged bribery to have Rio de Janeiro host the 2016 Games.

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News Headlines - 17 October 2017

SDF captures Syria's Raqqa city from ISIL | Al Jazeera

The Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), an alliance of Kurdish and Arab forces backed by the United States, have announced the capture of Raqqa after a four-month operation to drive out ISIL.

Mercedes-Benz could become a separate Daimler division

Mercedes-Benz could become an independent division of German luxury automaker Daimler AG, the company said Monday.
Daimler's trucks-and-buses division and its financial services business could also become independent divisions in a potential change aimed at giving the units "greater entrepreneurial responsibility," the company said in an announcement to investors.

U.S. authorities seeking Kobe Steel documents related to data scandal

U.S. authorities are seeking Kobe Steel Ltd documents related to the company’s data cheating scandal, the Japanese steelmaker said on Tuesday.

US tells Japan it wants to start FTA talks- Nikkei Asian Review

The U.S. has for the first time told Japan it has a "strong interest" in starting talks over a potential free trade agreement between the two countries.

'Psychic' who claimed to be Dalí's daughter ordered to pay for exhumation - The Local

A Spanish court has dismissed a paternity lawsuit brought by a psychic who claimed to be Salvador Dalí's illegitimate daughter and ordered her to pay for the exhumation of the surrealist painter's remains.

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News Headlines - 16 October 2017

U.S. Military to Begin Drills to Evacuate Americans From South Korea - The New York Times

The United States military said on Monday that it would practice evacuating noncombatant Americans out of South Korea in the event of war and other emergencies, as the two allies began a joint naval exercise amid heightened tensions with North Korea.

Statement from the Press Secretary on President Donald J. Trump’s Upcoming Travel to Asia | whitehouse.gov

As was announced on September 29, 2017, President Donald J. Trump will travel to Japan, the Republic of Korea, China, Vietnam, the Philippines, and Hawaii, from November 3-14, 2017. This update provides further details about the President’s itinerary.

Fault delays new high-speed train's first journey from Bristol to London - BBC News

Broken air conditioning and a 41-minute delay have overshadowed the launch of the UK's new fleet of high-speed trains.
The Hitachi 800 engine will be faster and carry more passengers and will run on GWR for the next 27 years.
But passengers on the first Bristol to London service arrived late and some had to dodge drips as water leaked from an air conditioning unit.

Tears and joy on Britain’s St. Helena as 'world's most useless airport' finally opens

One of humanity’s most isolated outposts joined the 21st century on Saturday when the British island of St. Helena, home to “the world’s most useless airport”, welcomed its first commercial flight.

Tiangong-1: Chinese space station will crash to Earth within months | The Guardian

But in 2016, after months of speculation, Chinese officials confirmed they had lost control of the space station and it would crash to Earth in 2017 or 2018. China’s space agency has since notified the UN that it expects Tiangong-1 to come down between October 2017 and April 2018.

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News Headlines - 15 October 2017

Hustler publisher offers $10 million for dirt on Trump | AFP.com

Hustler Magazine publisher Larry Flynt offered $10 million Sunday for dirt to help remove from office US President Donald Trump, in a full page ad in the Washington Post.

Qualcomm Seeks China iPhone Ban, Expanding Apple Legal Fight - Bloomberg

Qualcomm Inc. filed lawsuits in China seeking to ban the sale and manufacture of iPhones in the country, the chipmaker’s biggest shot at Apple Inc. so far in a sprawling and bitter legal fight.

Hitachi unveils first UK built commuter trains at Newton Aycliffe factory | The Northern Echo

TRAIN builder Hitachi has unveiled the first UK built commuter trains to be completed at its Newton Aycliffe factory... A fleet of 70 Class 385 trains will, say Hitachi, transform journeys for the ScotRail commuter routes, including Edinburgh to Glasgow.

Bangkok Hit With the Heaviest Rainfall in More than 30 Years | Chiang Rai Times

Residents in Bangkok city woke up to knee-deep water and severe flooding after the capital was hit with the heaviest rainfall in more than 30 years.
At least 55 major roads were flooded but most had dried up by the late afternoon, Bangkok Post reported.

Viking Funeral Clothes Reveal Surprising Arabic Lettering

In a surprising find by Swedish researchers, Arabic characters were found woven into the burial costumes found from Viking boat graves, as well as the chamber grave clothing of central Viking Age sites, such as Birka. The garments were kept in storage for more than a century—dismissed as being typical Viking Age funeral clothing—until a new investigation yielded much more intriguing results.

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News Headlines - 14 October 2017

Iran attacks 9,000 email accounts in parliament | The Times & The Sunday Times

Some 9,000 email accounts, including those belonging to Theresa May and other cabinet ministers, were subjected to a sustained attack on June 23. Ninety accounts were compromised.
Russia was initially blamed but investigators have traced the attack to the Tehran regime, The Times can reveal. It is believed to be Iran’s first significant act of cyberwarfare on Britain and underlines its emergence as one of the world’s biggest cyberpowers.

EU to ban business ties with Pyongyang over nuclear tests

North Korean workers in the EU, of which Brussels estimates there are about 400 mainly in Poland, will face a lower limit on the amount for money they can send home and their work visas will not be renewed once they expire.

Scientists Find $1.8 Million Worth of Gold in Swiss Wastewater - Bloomberg

Scientists at the Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Technology estimate that about 43 kilograms of gold -- worth about $1.8 million -- passes through the country’s wastewater every year... The study involving 64 water treatment plants also found about 3,000 kilograms of silver -- equivalent to about $1.7 million -- going to waste every year, much of it residue from the chemical and medical industries.

English student fell 200ft to her death at Seven Sisters clifftop while jumping up and down for a photo | The Independent

An English student plunged 200ft to her death at Seven Sisters after she hopped into the air for a photo just inches from the edge of the scenic cliffs, an inquest heard.

Hertha Berlin players 'take a knee' before match against Schalke - BBC Sport

Hertha Berlin's players and officials "took a knee" to show their support for "an open-minded world" before their 2-0 loss against Schalke on Saturday.

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News Headlines - 13 October 2017

Palestinian rivals Fatah, Hamas sign reconciliation accord

Rival Palestinian factions Hamas and Fatah signed a reconciliation deal on Thursday after Hamas agreed to hand over administrative control of Gaza, including the key Rafah border crossing, a decade after seizing the enclave in a civil war.

Hundreds to be freed from Raqqa in Isis ‘surrender deal’ | The Times & The Sunday Times

Forces backed by the West are negotiating an Isis surrender in the battle for Raqqa and safe passage for civilians, according to activists in eastern Syria.
The US-led coalition confirmed yesterday that its allies were attempting to arrange for thousands of residents still trapped in the jihadists’ former capital to leave.

UK lawmakers join protest tea party to support medicinal marijuana

Several British lawmakers lent their support to a cannabis tea party on the lawns outside parliament on Tuesday, protesting against legislation that criminalizes use of the drug for medical purposes.

Princess Mary divides opinions with kimono-style outfit in Japan | Starts at 60

This time, Mary has gone for something darker than her usual style with a kimono-like ensemble that might have been perfect for the occasion: an official celebration of 150 years of diplomatic relations between Denmark and Tokyo.

Hong Kong Soccer Fans Defy Warnings And Boo Chinese National Anthem

Hong Kong's supporters defied warnings and booed the Chinese National Anthem at the start of Hong Kong's Asian Cup Qualifier against Malaysia.
Before the match, the city’s chief secretary warned that Hong Kong’s soccer team may have to play future matches behind closed doors if supporters continue to boo the Chinese national anthem.

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News Headlines - 12 October 2017

Trump may meet parents of North Korea abduction victim Megumi Yokota during visit to Japan | The Japan Times

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said on Thursday that Tokyo is arranging a meeting between U.S. President Donald Trump and the parents of a Japanese national abducted by North Korean agents during the president’s planned visit to Japan early next month.

Toyota seeking to halve Japan car models as domestic market shrinks

Toyota Motor Corp is aiming to halve the number of car models it sells at home by 2025, a person briefed on the matter said - the second time this month that a Japanese automaker has emerged with plans to sharply scale back in a shrinking domestic market.

Documents indicate former president lied about her role during Sewol sinking: Cheong Wa Dae

The presidential office Cheong Wa Dae said Thursday that it has found documents from the former administration that show the former president may have lied about her role in dealing with the tragic sinking of the Sewol ferry three years ago.

Pope Francis: 40 million Twitter followers and counting - Vatican Radio

Pope Francis’ Twitter account - @pontifex – has reached a milestone: 40 million followers in 9 languages. The figure is significant not only in itself, but in what it represents for the Holy Father, himself, who, like his predecessor, desires to be a Christian witness among many on the “Digital Continent”, especially through social media.

North Yorkshire's The Black Swan 'best restaurant in world' - BBC News

The Black Swan in Oldstead, North Yorkshire, beat Heston Blumenthal's The Fat Duck and Raymond Blanc's Le Manoir.
TripAdvisor said it was the first time a British restaurant had won the title since the awards began in 2012.

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News Headlines - 11 October 2017

Clinton, Obama finally appalled by Weinstein as The New Yorker runs sexual assault allegations | Fox News

For nearly six days, Hillary Clinton’s silence was deafening.
She finally spoke out against Harvey Weinstein yesterday, just as the allegations against him reached a more disturbing level. Clinton is "shocked and appalled by the revelations about Harvey Weinstein," and "the behavior described by women coming forward cannot be tolerated."
...Barack Obama, also the beneficiary of a Weinstein fundraiser, spoke out late yesterday. He said in a statement: "Michelle and I have been disgusted by the recent reports about Harvey Weinstein. Any man who demeans and degrades women in such fashion needs to be condemned and held accountable, regardless of wealth or status."

U.S. to Pull Out of UNESCO, Again | Foreign Policy

The United States plans to formally withdraw from UNESCO, the U.N.’s Paris-based cultural, scientific and educational organization, to save money and protest what it views as the organization’s anti-Israel bias.
The move, which could be announced as early as next week, marks America’s further estrangement from an organization that it helped establish after World War II to widen access to education and ensure the free flow of ideas. The United States will maintain its presence at UNESCO as an observer state.

Japan Stocks Hit 21-Year High as Investors Shrug Off Concerns - The New York Times

In large part, Japan’s stronger stock market is part of a global rise in optimism... But Japan has some of its own good news to share.
Japan’s gross domestic product has expanded for six consecutive quarters, the first time it has gone that long without a contraction in 11 years. Unemployment is at multidecade lows, and corporations are experiencing a surge in profits. Even Japan’s longtime economic bugbear — persistent wage and price deflation — has eased, with both consumer prices and incomes showing modest gains.

Air pollution causes even more than 500 000 deaths a year in Europe

The figures give measure of health emergency. In 2014, air pollution caused premature death (before 65 years) of 520 400 people in forty-one country of European continent, including 487 600 in European Union. This is grisly record of 2017 report on air quality, published on Wednesday 11 October by European Environment Agency (EEA).

Da Vinci portrait of Christ expected to fetch $100 million at auction

The last privately owned Leonardo da Vinci painting and one of fewer than 20 by the Renaissance artist known to still exist is hitting the auction block, Christie’s announced on Tuesday.

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News Headlines - 10 October 2017

Britain could join trans-Atlantic trade alliance bigger than the EU if there is no deal on Brexit

The Telegraph understands that the Government is examining the possibility of joining the North American Free Trade Agreement, known as Nafta, as part of its planning for a “no deal” scenario.

Google uncovers Russian-bought ads on YouTube, Gmail and other platforms - The Washington Post

Google for the first time has uncovered evidence that Russian operatives exploited the company’s platforms in an attempt to interfere in the 2016 election, according to people familiar with the company's investigation.

Kim Jong-nam had 1.4 times lethal dosage of nerve agent on his face, says chemist at murder trial | TODAYonline

The estranged half brother of North Korea’s leader had about 1.4 times the lethal dosage of VX nerve agent on his face after he was attacked at a Malaysian airport, a government chemist testified Tuesday (Oct 10).

82% of Saudi women intend to get driving license, says survey | ZAWYA MENA Edition

As a result, 82 percent of the women are contemplating on getting a license and this is likely to fuel their ambition. The move is expected to uplift the sentiments of females. The biggest emotions expressed by women were related to the feeling that society was progressing the right way (61 percent), a sense of empowerment (55 percent) and enhanced career opportunities (46 percent).

Turkey's President Erdogan appears to nod off in briefing | Daily Mail Online

Footage has emerged appearing to show Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan falling asleep during a live news conference. The 63-year-old could be seen yawning as his Ukrainian counterpart Petro Poroshenko spoke to reporters in Kiev.

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News Headlines - 09 October 2017

Merkel says to start coalition talks on Oct 18 - Yahoo7 News

German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who won an election with a reduced majority two weeks ago, said Monday she would start talks to form a coalition government with two smaller parties on October 18.

Six in 10 voters want Theresa May to stay on as Prime Minister until after Brexit

Nearly six in 10 members of the public want Theresa May to remain as Prime Minister until the end of the Brexit process, a new survey says.
The study by ORB International found that 57 per cent of voters agreed that Mrs May should stay at least until the Brexit negotiations are completed in March 2019.

North Korea’s leader boosts his family’s power by promoting his younger sister - The Washington Post

Kim Jong Un has taken another key step to consolidate his family’s control over North Korea, elevating his younger sister to the powerful political bureau of the ruling Workers’ Party and moving her closer to the center of the leadership.

New court complex planned to bolster City of London after Brexit | The Guardian

A major court complex specialising in cybercrime and fraud cases is to be built in the City of London to promote the UK’s financial and legal services post-Brexit.
The scheme – likely to costs tens if not hundreds of millions of pounds – is being backed by the City of London Corporation, HM Courts and Tribunal Services (HMCTS), the Ministry of Justice and senior judges.

Rare 'fire devil' blazing tornado caught on camera in Portugal - ITV News

A rare phenomenon known as a "fire devil" has been captured on camera in Portugal as five more wildfires swept across the country.
The spectacular fire tornado forms when flames are mixed with dust and wind.

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News Headlines - 08 October 2017

Vice President Mike Pence Leaves Colts Game After Anthem Protest - WSJ

Vice President Mike Pence attended and then left Sunday’s Indianapolis Colts game in response to players protesting during the national anthem, he explained in a string of tweets Sunday afternoon.

Harvey Weinstein Is Fired After Sexual Harassment Reports - The New York Times

The Weinstein Company fired its co-founder Harvey Weinstein on Sunday, after a New York Times investigation uncovered allegations that he had engaged in rampant sexual harassment, dealing a stunning blow to a producer known for shaping American film and championing liberal causes.

Dove apologises for ad showing black woman turning into white one | The Guardian

Dove has apologised after publishing an advert on its Facebook page which showed a black woman turning into a white woman... The advert showed a black woman removing her top to reveal a white woman underneath supposedly after using Dove body lotion.

Kobe Steel admits it falsified data on aluminium and copper parts

Kobe Steel has admitted to falsifying inspection data on about 20,000 tonnes of metals used in aircraft and automobiles in the latest quality scandal to hit corporate Japan.
The company said the issue affected shipments from four domestic factories to about 200 customers in the year to August 2017. End users included the troubled Mitsubishi Regional Jet.

Sony jumps back into robotics after 12-year hiatus- Nikkei Asian Review

Twelve years after abandoning its robot business, Sony will relaunch it next spring with a robot for homes that resembles a dog.
The company is now forming a development team of people formerly involved with Aibo, a robotic pet dog that captured media attention years ago.

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News Headlines - 07 October 2017

Harvey Weinstein Paid Off Sexual Harassment Accusers for Decades - The New York Times

Dozens of Mr. Weinstein’s former and current employees, from assistants to top executives, said they knew of inappropriate conduct while they worked for him. Only a handful said they ever confronted him.
Mr. Weinstein enforced a code of silence; employees of the Weinstein Company have contracts saying they will not criticize it or its leaders in a way that could harm its “business reputation” or “any employee’s personal reputation,” a recent document shows. And most of the women accepting payouts agreed to confidentiality clauses prohibiting them from speaking about the deals or the events that led to them.

Las Vegas shooting victim's family files petition to freeze gunman's assets - ABC News

The family of a California man who was killed Sunday night during the mass shooting in Las Vegas is petitioning a court to freeze the gunman's assets.

Dutch defense minister, military chief resign over peacekeeper deaths | DW

A Dutch safety board report into the deaths of two UN peacekeeping troops in Mali last year claimed two political victims on Tuesday.
Dutch Defense Minister Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert and military chief Tom Middendorp both resigned after the report condemned the country's Defense Ministry of "serious shortcomings" in its care for peacekeeping troops stationed in the African country.

France backs tough anti-terrorism bill after wave of attacks

France’s parliament adopted an anti-terrorism bill on Tuesday that will bolster police surveillance powers and make it easier to close mosques suspected of preaching hatred, but rights groups warned it would lead to civil freedoms being infringed.

ISIS surrenders in Hawija, one of its last Iraqi strongholds.

U.S.-backed Iraqi forces announced Thursday they have retaken one of the Islamic State's remaining strongholds after about 1,000 militants surrendered amid fresh signs the terror group is collapsing and unable to defend its territory.

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News Headlines - 06 October 2017

Nobel prize: Chronicle of wound-up 'Harukists' as Murakami fails to win - BBC News

And this year's Nobel Prize for literature goes to... someone who's not Haruki Murakami again. The BBC delves into the dejected world of his long-suffering fans whose sole desire - to see the Japanese writer win the prize - is thwarted every year.

CIA: N. Korea's Kim Jong Un not a madman - CNNPolitics

...it may be easy to agree with President Donald Trump's recent assessment that North Korean leader Kim Jong Un is a "madman" who is "on a suicide mission for himself."
But top officials from the CIA said Wednesday that Kim's actions are not those of a maniacal provocateur but a "rational actor" who is motivated by clear, long-term goals that revolve around ensuring regime survival.

Tuk-tuks targeted in EV subsidy scheme | Bangkok Post

Energy policymakers have promoted the first commercial launch of electric vehicles (EVs), starting by offering a 106-million-baht subsidy to encourage tuk-tuk owners to switch over from liquefied petroleum...

U.S. Will Return to the Moon, Pence Says - Scientific American

The Trump administration is committed to sending astronauts to the moon as part of a broader push to prioritize human spaceflight and firm up U.S. dominance in the final frontier, Vice President Mike Pence said.

AOL Instant Messenger Is Shutting Down for Good | Fortune

AOL Instant Messenger, the chat app that was a hallmark of the fledgling Internet-era in the 1990s, is about to come to an end. AOL is shutting down AIM on Dec. 15... The death of AOL Instant Messenger, which began in 1997, marks the end of an era—and a nostalgic reminder of a time when the Internet was a shiny, new, and uncharted territory that the masses were just beginning to explore.

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News Headlines - 05 October 2017

Kazuo Ishiguro: Nobel Literature Prize is 'a magnificent honour' - BBC News

British writer Kazuo Ishiguro has won the 2017 Nobel Prize for Literature.
The novelist was praised by the Swedish Academy as a writer "who, in novels of great emotional force, has uncovered the abyss beneath our illusory sense of connection with the world".

Brazil's Olympic Committee President Arrested For Corruption | Brazil News

Federal Police in Brazil arrested Carlos Arthur Nuzman this morning (Thursday, October 5th), the president of the Brazilian Olympic Committee (COB), as well as the general director of the Rio 2016 Organizing Committee, Leonardo Gryner.

Honda to cut Japanese production by a quarter as domestic sales stagnate:The Asahi Shimbun

Honda Motor Co. plans to end production at its Sayama plant in Japan by 2022, cutting domestic capacity by around 24 percent as it shifts focus to electric cars (EVs) and other new technologies.
The automaker has seen stagnant domestic sales and said on Wednesday it was streamlining its Japanese operations as it takes a more nimble approach to development and manufacturing in the face of fierce competition from carmakers and technology companies to make EVs and self-driving cars.

Two women deny murdering North Korean leader's half-brother

He also said the he had wrongly recorded Kim Jong Nam’s nationality as South Korean.
“The police report I made showed the nationality as South Korean, while on the passport, it was written DPR Korea, whereby I did not know what DPR meant. I was only sure that Korea was South Korea,” he told the court.

Gunman had stayed at high-rise overlooking another Las Vegas music festival - Las Vegas Sun Newspaper

The gunman in Sunday’s massacre at the Route 91 Harvest Festival near Mandalay Bay had stayed in a downtown high-rise in the days leading up to the Life is Beautiful festival in September... Paddock departed the Ogden after the conclusion of the festival’s last day on Sept. 24, according to a source with direct knowledge of the situation.

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News Headlines - 04 October 2017

Catalan referendum: Region's independence 'in matter of days' - BBC News

Catalonia will declare independence from Spain in a matter of days, the leader of the autonomous region has told the BBC.
In his first interview since a disputed vote on Sunday, Carles Puigdemont said his government would "act at the end of this week or the beginning of next".

Japan transport ministry raids two Nissan plants over improper checks

The two inspections on Tuesday followed inspections at four more factories last week, the ministry said. The initial four found the automaker had conducted unauthorized final vehicle checks for most domestic models which had not yet been sold, prompting Nissan to suspend new vehicle registrations with the government.

Amazon and Apple caught in latest EU tax crackdown - BBC News

Amazon has been ordered to repay €250m (£221m; $293m) in back taxes after the European Commission said it had been given an unfair tax deal in Luxembourg.
The Commission also plans to take Ireland to court over its failure to collect €13bn of back taxes from Apple.

Yahoo admits that all 3 BILLION of its accounts were hacked in 2013 cyber attack - Mirror Online

Yahoo has admitted that all 3 billion of its accounts were hacked as part of a cyber attack in 2013 - tripling its earlier estimate.
The company, now part of Verizon subsidiary Oath, had previously said that personal information relating to one billion accounts was accessed by a "third-party" in the largest data breach in history.

Why do Australia play football in Asia and do Fifa rules allow nations to switch continents?

Australia had competed in the Oceania Football Confederation (OFC) until 2006, but grew frustrated with Fifa's continued reluctance to grant the continent an automatic World Cup qualifying spot... Since Australia left, New Zealand have qualified for the 2010 World Cup while Tahiti qualified for the 2013 Confederations Cup and Fiji were represented at the 2016 Olympics.

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News Headlines - 03 October 2017

Toshiba buying back 10 percent stake in Westinghouse unit for $522 million

Japan’s Toshiba Corp (6502.T) said on Thursday it is buying back a 10 percent stake in Westinghouse Electric Co from minority shareholder Kazatomprom for 59 billion yen ($522 million), taking full ownership of the bankrupt U.S. unit.

Nissan to recall all new cars sold in Japan in last 3 years

Nissan Motor Co Ltd will recall all 1.2 million new passenger cars it sold in Japan over the past three years after discovering final vehicle inspections were not performed by authorized technicians, it said on Monday.
The recall is the second major misconduct incident involving a Japanese automaker in as many years, after Mitsubishi Motors Corp admitted in April 2016 it had falsified the fuel economy for some of its domestic market models.

GM to launch 20 EV models by 2023 - NHK WORLD

General Motors has announced plans to launch at least 20 models of electric vehicles by 2023.
Officials at the US automaker say they will speed up the development of electric, as well as hydrogen fuel-cell cars.

Catalan referendum: Spanish government could impose direct rule on Catalonia | The Independent

A top Spanish opposition party has called on Spain’s Prime Minister, Mariano Rajoy, to implement article 155 of the country’s constitution in Catalonia, which allows for direct rule from Madrid in Spain’s autonomous regions.

'Sonic the Hedgehog' Movie Races to Paramount | Hollywood Reporter

Paramount Pictures has nabbed the movie rights to Sonic the Hedgehog, the popular SEGA video game franchise... Paramount plans on making a movie that will blend live action and CGI animation as it brings Sonic to the big screen for the first time.

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News Headlines - 02 October 2017

Monarch Airlines goes BUST: 110,000 passengers stranded abroad - ALL flights CANCELLED | Express.co.uk

Passengers booked on the first wave of flights had already arrived at five UK airports when they realised they were unable to check-in... The airline’s collapse has cost the jobs of 2,750 staff while 300,000 future bookings involving 750,000 customers have also been axed.

Madrid vows to 'do everyting' to stop Catalan independence declaration - The Local

Spain will do "everything within the law" to prevent Catalonia from declaring independence, Justice Minister Rafael Catala said Monday, a day after Catalonia's regional government declared victory in a banned secession referendum.

Trump: Las Vegas shooting 'was an act of pure evil'

President Donald Trump on Monday called the mass shooting in Las Vegas "an act of pure evil," and said he would visit Las Vegas on Wednesday to meet with victims' families and first responders.

2 women plead not guilty to killing Kim Jong Nam; prosecution says they practised act overseen by 4 others - The Straits Times

Lawyers for the two women accused of killing Mr Kim Jong Nam, the estranged half-brother of North Korea's leader, are questioning if he was killed by the deadly VX nerve agent or by other means.

Edano plans to form new party as liberal force in election:The Asahi Shimbun

Yukio Edano, deputy president of the main opposition Democratic Party, on Oct. 2 announced plans to form a liberal-leaning party that could become a third major force in the Oct. 22 Lower House election.

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News Headlines - 01 October 2017

Italy says to expel North Korea envoy over nuclear, missile tests

North Korea’s ambassador to Italy will be expelled from the country in protest over Pyongyang’s recent nuclear and ballistic missile tests, Italian Foreign Minister Angelino Alfano was quoted on Sunday as saying.

Kim Jong Un’s Nephew Was in Danger After Father’s Killing, North Korean Group Says - WSJ

When Kim Jong Nam, the exiled half brother of North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un, was killed with nerve gas in a Malaysian airport on Feb. 13, it was evident who might be targeted next.
His 21-year-old son, Kim Han Sol, had similarly criticized the regime in Pyongyang, which was suspected of carrying out the attack.

Oxford University college where Aung San Suu Kyi studied removes portrait of her after Rohingya crisis | The Independent

A portrait of Aung San Suu Kyi has been removed from the Oxford college where she studied... The Swan student newspaper reported the painting was taken down on Thursday and replaced with a painting by Yoshihiro Takada.

Is 16th-century charcoal sketch a naked Mona Lisa?

A French art expert believes a charcoal drawing kept in a collection for more than 150 years may be a preparatory sketch made by Leonardo da Vinci of the Mona Lisa.

Celtic legend Shunsuke Nakamura is better than Cristiano Ronaldo at free-kicks according to FIFA 18 - Daily Record

Celtic icon Shunsuke Nakamura, however, does force his way into the rankings just like one of his deadball efforts used to blast the back of the net while wearing the green-and-white hoops.
The Japanese playmaker scored all kind of stunning free-kicks. Who could forget his goal at Old Trafford or his winner against Manchester United at Celtic Park?

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News Headlines - 30 September 2017

Toshiba Memory sale treads a precarious path- Nikkei Asian Review

After many twists, turns, and delays, Toshiba was finally able to put together a deal to sell its flash memory unit -- but the drawn-out saga isn't over, with a number of hurdles still standing in the way.

Japan's Nissan suspends selling of 60,000 cars due to uncertified safety inspection - Xinhua

Japan's Nissan Motor Co. said on Friday that it has suspended the selling of some 60,000 new cars due to problematic safety inspection process.
The automaker said it would redo the safety inspections of the cars because their safety inspections were conducted by uncertified personnel.

Suzuki mulls joining EV development venture led by Toyota, Mazda

Suzuki Motor Corp. is considering joining an electric vehicle development company recently set up by Toyota Motor Corp. and Mazda Motor Corp., people familiar with the matter said Saturday.

Thousands march in Dublin calling for end to Ireland's abortion ban | The Guardian

Thousands of people have protested in Dublin, calling for an end to Ireland’s strict abortion laws... The government recently set a potential timescale of early summer 2018 for a referendum on the eighth amendment, the section of Ireland’s constitution imposing tight legal restrictions on terminations.

Anti-IS 'sheikh sniper' killed in battle for Iraq's Hawija | AFP.com

A veteran fighter known as "the sheikh of snipers" has been killed in Iraq's battle to retake the town of Hawija from the Islamic State group, his paramilitary force announced Saturday.
Abu Tahsin al-Salhi, who took part in conflicts dating back to the 1973 Arab-Israeli war and said he had gunned down at least 320 IS jihadists, died on Friday.

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News Headlines - 29 September 2017

Lt. Gen. Jay Silveria: The Air Force Academy boss whose racism speech went viral - The Washington Post

Five black cadet candidates at the academy’s preparatory school in Colorado Springs had found racial slurs written on the message boards on their doors.
Silveria, who took over as the school’s superintendent in August, urged cadets to reach for their phones.
“I want you to videotape this so you have it, so you can use it — so that we all have the moral courage together,” he said, surrounded by 1,500 of the academy’s faculty, administrators and athletic coaches.

Teenager arrested after six injured in ‘noxious substance attack’ in London | The Guardian

Six people have been injured after a noxious substance was thrown during an incident at a shopping centre in east London.
A 15-year-old boy has been arrested on suspicion of causing grievous bodily harm in connection with the incident on Saturday evening.

Prayut says Yingluck in Dubai, UAE source says London | Bangkok Post

Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha said on Thursday former Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra is currently in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), while according to a source in the UAE, she left Dubai for London on Sept 11.

Hundreds of Species Arrive in US on Japanese Tsunami Debris

Nearly 300 species of fish, mussels and other sea critters hitchhiked across the Pacific Ocean on debris from the 2011 Japanese tsunami, washing ashore alive in the United States, researchers reported Thursday.

Eiffel Tower celebrates 300 million visitors | Euronews

It’s the world’s most-frequented monument and on Thursday it celebrated its 300-millionth visitor.
The Eiffel Tower in Paris has withstood numerous wars and disasters since it opened to the public in back in 1889.

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News Headlines - 28 September 2017

Japan Election Turmoil Sets Up Two-Horse Race: Abe Versus Koike - Bloomberg

Japan’s main opposition party agreed to merge with a new group created by Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike, setting her up as the main challenger to Prime Minister Shinzo Abe as he dissolved parliament ahead of an Oct. 22 election.

Toyota, Mazda, Denso creating company to hasten electric car development- Nikkei Asian Review

Toyota Motor, Mazda Motor and Denso on Thursday announced they are jointly setting up EV C.A. Spirit, a company to promote the development of electric vehicles.
Toyota will own a 90% stake in the company. Mazda and Denso will equally split the remainder. EV C.A. Spirit will be capitalized at 10 million yen ($88,386).

Munich prosecutors arrest ex-Porsche executive in Audi emissions probe: source

Munich prosecutors have arrested a former board member of Volkswagen (VOWG_p.DE) unit Porsche in connection with an emissions scandal at carmaker Audi, a person familiar with the matter said on Thursday.
Wolfgang Hatz, former Research and Development chief at Porsche and head of powertrain development at Audi and parent Volkswagen in previous roles, was taken into custody, the person said, marking the first arrest of a former board member of one of Volkswagen’s units in Germany.

Microsoft is releasing Office 2019 next year - The Verge

Microsoft is announcing its next major release of Office today at Ignite in Orlando, with a planned release for next year. Office 2019 (arriving in the second half of 2018) will include the usual Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Outlook client apps, alongside server versions of Exchange, SharePoint, and Skype for Business. Microsoft is planning to release preview copies of Office 2019 in the middle of 2018, and the software is primarily designed for organizations that aren’t using the cloud Office 365 versions.

EasyJet says it could be flying electric planes within a decade | The Guardian

EasyJet could be flying planes powered by batteries rather than petroleum to destinations including Paris and Amsterdam within a decade.
The UK carrier has formed a partnership with US firm Wright Electric, which is developing a battery-propelled aircraft for flights under two hours.

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News Headlines - 27 September 2017

King Salman issues decree allowing women to drive in Saudi Arabia | Arab News

Saudi Arabia on Tuesday said it would allow women to drive in the Kingdom, in the latest move in a string of social and economic reforms underway in the country.

Former Thai PM Yingluck sentenced in absentia to 5 years' jail for negligence - Channel NewsAsia

Thailand’s ousted prime minister Yingluck Shinawatra was handed a five-year prison sentence on Wednesday (Sep 27) after the country’s highest court found her guilty of negligence in the management of a rice subsidy scheme.

Ukraine ammunition depot explosion: 24,000 people evacuated after Kalynivka blasts | The Independent

Ukranian emergency services said the blasts occurred at a military base near Kalynivka in the Vynnytsya region, 270km (168 miles) west of Kiev... More than 30,000 people have been bussed out of the area by authorities. The electricity and gas supply has also been switched off.

New Zealand's kingmaker party defers govt decision until October 7

The leader of the New Zealand First Party, which emerged as the kingmaker after an inconclusive weekend election, said on Wednesday he would not make a decision on who should form government until after the Oct. 7 release of a final count.

Paul Horner, writer of fake news about 2016 election, dead at 38 - CBS News

A leading purveyor of fake news in the 2016 presidential election has died outside Phoenix at the age of 38.
Maricopa County Sheriff's Office spokesman Mark Casey said Tuesday authorities discovered Paul Horner dead in his bed on Sept. 18.

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News Headlines - 26 September 2017

Dyson plans to release its own EV by 2020

An unlikely player has stepped onto the electric vehicle playing field. Vacuum cleaner and hairdryer producer Dyson announced today that it has already begun working on its own EV and that it should be ready for launch by 2020.

Twitter just doubled the character limit for tweets to 280 - The Verge

Twitter said today that it has started testing 280-character tweets, doubling the previous character limit, in an effort to help users be more expressive... Now Twitter hopes to ease that burden by doubling the character limit in what it calls “languages impacted by cramming,” which includes every language except for Japanese, Chinese, and Korean.

BBC launches Korean news service - BBC News

A primary focus of the service is North Korea, where government censorship restricts access to independent news.
Korean is one of 12 new BBC language services funded by a £291m ($400m) grant from the British government.

Norwegian news agency accidentally reports death of King - The Local

Norway’s Royal Palace has confirmed King Harald V is in “fine form” after news agency NTB erroneously released an obituary of the monarch on Tuesday.

Guard shot dead near Philippines Presidential palace amid Duterte war on drugs | Express.co.uk

The body of the man from the Presidental Security Group (PSG) was found with a gunshot wound to his chest at 8.50am local time.
The incident took place in Malacanang Park, Manila, the base of Duterte's guard unit and close to his Bahay ng Pagbabago residence.

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News Headlines - 25 September 2017

North Korea accuses US of declaring war - BBC News

North Korea's foreign minister has accused US President Donald Trump of declaring war on his country and said Pyongyang had the right to shoot down US bombers... The White House dismissed the statement as "absurd". The Pentagon warned Pyongyang to stop provocations... Mr Ri's comments were a response to Mr Trump's tweet that the North Korean leadership would not "be around much longer" if they continued their rhetoric.

'300 Rohingyas kidnapped 100 Hindus, killed 92 of them on August 25'

In a stunning disclosure, it has been revealed that 300 Rohingyas abducted 100 Hindus on August 25 and eliminated 92 of them... The revelation comes a day after the Myanmar's Army discovered two mud pits filled with 28 Hindu corpses, including women and children, outside a village in northern Rakhine.

Nearly 50,000 flee amid fears of Bali volcanic eruption | AFP.com

Nearly 50,000 people have evacuated their homes for fear of an imminent volcanic eruption on the Indonesian resort island of Bali, disaster officials said Monday.

Instant karma for vandal caught smashing a shop window | Daily Mail Online

This is the moment a vandal caught smashing a shop window gets his comeuppance - when he is hit by a car while fleeing the scene.
CCTV footage shows a man in a hooded blue sweatshirt and jogging bottoms throwing a brick through the window pane in Lubliniec, Poland, before breaking the glass with his fists.

Uber boss Dara Khosrowshahi says sorry and promises to 'make things right' for Londoners... as he pledges to fight TfL ban | London Evening Standard

Uber today issued a dramatic apology for mistakes that led to it being stripped of its licence to operate - but pledged to fight the decision “on behalf of millions of Londoners”.

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News Headlines - 24 September 2017

Kushner used private email to conduct White House business - POLITICO

Presidential son-in-law and senior adviser Jared Kushner has corresponded with other administration officials about White House matters through a private email account set up during the transition last December, part of a larger pattern of Trump administration aides using personal email accounts for government business.

New travel ban adds North Korea, Venezuela

The Trump administration unveiled new restrictions on travel to the United States from eight countries, including North Korea and Venezuela, after its ban on visitors from six Muslim-majority countries expired Sunday.

China's central bank tells banks to stop doing business with North Korea: sources

China’s central bank has told banks to strictly implement United Nations sanctions against North Korea, four sources told Reuters, amid U.S. concerns that Beijing has not been tough enough over Pyongyang’s repeated nuclear tests.

ISIS challenge Prince Harry to a fight in a new video | Daily Mail Online

Islamic State has challenged Prince Harry to fight the jihadis in a disturbing new extremist video.
In the English-language clip a man who has been identified as Abu Uqayl from Singapore takes issue with the royal - who during his visit to the country spoke about terror attacks in London.

Pee'd off: Dutch women test urinals in public loo protest

By mid-afternoon, more than 160 largely discreet images had been posted on Instagram under the hashtag #zeikwijf -- a Dutch word meaning "a woman who urinates" -- many showing protesters attempting ambitious gymnastic poses to get the angle right.
While admitting the protest would be somewhat "tongue in cheek", organisers have a serious message, saying they want to prove "that it isn't possible for women to urinate in a decent, hygienic and dignified manner in a public urinal designed for me."

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News Headlines - 23 September 2017

North Korea: Quake detected near nuclear test site, China suspects 'explosion' caused tremor - ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

Chinese earthquake officials said the magnitude-3.4 quake detected about 6:30pm AEST on Saturday was a "suspected explosion" but both the CTBTO, which monitors nuclear tests, and a South Korean meteorological agency official said they believed it was a natural quake.

Catalan leader says will proceed with October 1 independence referendum

The leader of Catalonia’s regional government, Carles Puigdemont, said on Thursday his administration would push on with a banned Oct. 1 referendum on a split from Spain, in defiance of a court order banning the vote.

Saudi Arabia accidentally prints textbook showing Yoda sitting next to the king

The Saudi government is scrambling to withdraw a history textbook that accidentally included a doctored photograph of King Faisal sitting next to the little green Star Wars character.
The picture was supposed to illustrate a section on the King’s rule but somehow the book’s editors used a version that showed Yoda perched next to the monarch as he signed the UN charter.

Rodrigo Duterte tells Philippines police to kill his son if drug allegations are true | The Independent

Rodrigo Duterte has ordered police to kill his eldest son if drug trafficking allegations against him are proven true.
The Philippine President added he would make sure those who carried out the execution would be protected from prosecution.

Three people held in Brazil on suspicion of British kayaker's murder | The Guardian

Three people have been arrested over the murder of a British woman who went missing in Brazil while kayaking alone from the source of the Amazon to the Atlantic.
Emma Kelty, a 43-year-old primary school headteacher, was last heard from when she triggered a distress signal last Wednesday while in a notoriously dangerous area.

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News Headlines - 22 September 2017

South Korea's approach to North could challenge US, Japan

South Korea on Thursday approved $8 million worth of humanitarian aid for Pyongyang in a move likely to muddle international efforts aimed at isolating the nuclear-armed state... The news indicates South Korean President Moon Jae-In isn't backing down from direct engagement with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un even as other major players in the long-simmering crisis push for a tougher approach.

Puerto Rico evacuates 70,000 after dam fails in Hurricane Maria's wake | The Guardian

Officials are rushing to evacuate tens of thousands of people from their homes in western Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria inflicted structural damage on a dam and unleashed “extremely dangerous” flash floods.
Some 70,000 residents in the municipalities of Isabela and Quebradillas were being evacuated by bus after a crack appeared in the nearly 90-year old Guajataca dam.

Dentsu chief admits failure to stop illegal overtime work:The Asahi Shimbun

The president of advertising giant Dentsu Inc. admitted in court on Sept. 22 that the company failed to prevent illegally long overtime hours that led to the suicide of a rookie employee.

Google bets anew on smartphones, pays $1.1 billion for HTC's Pixel division

Alphabet Inc’s (GOOGL.O) Google said it would pay $1.1 billion for the division at Taiwan’s HTC Corp (2498.TW) that develops the U.S. firm’s Pixel smartphones - its second major foray into phone hardware after an earlier costly failure.

Toshiba seals $18bn memory chip sale to Bain-led group

Bain Capital, Apple and other US tech groups have agreed a $18bn acquisition of Toshiba’s prized memory chip business, marking one of the biggest private equity-led buyouts since the end of the financial crisis... The acquisition of Toshiba Memory — the world’s second-largest producer of NAND flash memory chips — could yet be delayed, however, by both antitrust scrutiny and legal action by Toshiba’s joint venture partner in the chipmaking business, US group Western Digital.

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News Headlines - 21 September 2017

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe tells UN that the time for talk is over on North Korea | South China Morning Post

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said on Wednesday that countries need to unite to enforce sanctions and apply pressure on North Korea to abandon its nuclear and missile programmes.

Google, Facebook and Twitter told to take down terror content within two hours or face fines

Google, Facebook and Twitter are to be hauled in front of world leaders and given a month to take down terrorist websites within two hours or face heavy fines... Separately the Government is also talking to Amazon and Ebay about the sale of items on their websites could help terrorists launch attacks.

Harvard Withdraws Fellowship Invitation To Chelsea Manning : NPR

The Institute of Politics at Harvard Kennedy School announced Wednesday that Chelsea Manning would be one of its visiting fellows, but less than two days later, the school's dean withdrew the invitation.

Qatar burns $38 billion in reserves as Gulf boycott bites

Three months after it was cast into unprecedented isolation by its neighbors, Qatar is counting the economic cost.
The gas-rich nation burned through $38.5 billion of its vast financial reserves in June and July, ratings agency Moody's estimated this week. And there's no sign of the dispute being resolved any time soon.

UAE bans US-made Kikkoman soy sauce - Khaleej Times

The Ministry of Climate Change and Environment (MOCCAE) has issued a decision to withdraw the US-made low sodium Kikkoman soy sauce product due to its intoxicating content. The decision followed the results of the specialised and accredited laboratory tests that confirmed the product's violation of safety standards.

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News Headlines - 19 September 2017

If threatened, U.S. will 'totally destroy' North Korea, Trump vows

U.S. President Donald Trump escalated his standoff with North Korea over its nuclear challenge on Tuesday, threatening to “totally destroy” the country of 26 million people and mocking its leader, Kim Jong Un, as a “rocket man.”

Cory Gardner launches push to expel North Korea from UN - CNNPolitics

Sen. Cory Gardner of Colorado, who chairs the Foreign Relations Subcommittee on East Asia, is asking 21 countries with embassies in Pyongyang to cut economic and diplomatic ties and support an expulsion of North Korea from the United Nations.

Aung San Suu Kyi breaks silence on Rohingya, sparks storm of criticism - CNN

Myanmar's de facto leader Aung San Suu Kyi finally broke her silence on the Rohingya refugee crisis Tuesday, insisting that her country was not "afraid of international scrutiny."
But her speech in the nation's capital of Nyapyidaw drew widespread criticism: Suu Kyi did not denounce alleged atrocities against the Rohingya community and claimed the government needed more time investigate the exodus from Myanmar of more than 400,000 members of the minority Muslim group.

The Mexico City Earthquake, Through Residents' Eyes - CityLab

On September 19, just 12 days after the second-largest earthquake in Mexican history shook the state of Chiapas and Oaxaca, another one struck the country’s capital... The earthquake hit on the 32nd anniversary of the country’s deadliest shock. Thousands of people died in the earthquake that hit in September 1985. The damages totaled more than $4 billion.

Toyota GR Performance Sub-Brand Launched in Japan | Automobile Magazine

Toyota has announced that it will launch the GR Sport Series sub-brand in Japan to bolster its lineup of sporty cars. The debut of the GR Series follows that of the Yaris GRMN in Europe earlier this year at the 2017 Geneva Auto Show. In addition to the Japanese market, Toyota plans to expand the GR Series of vehicles outside of its home market with Europe being a likely candidate.

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News Headlines - 18 September 2017

Rohingya crisis: Meeting Myanmar's hardline Buddhist monks - BBC News

Six months after they were banned by Aung San Suu Kyi's government the monks are still actively promoting their chauvinist agenda. I was granted an interview with eight leading clergy at the Kim Win Min Gyi monastery in Mandalay... In this view of the world, the brutal crackdown which has sent more than 370,000 Rohingya fleeing to Bangladesh is part of a long struggle against Islamic invasion of Buddhist lands.

Ugandan Minister Sarah Opendi disguises as patient, catches hospital workers demanding bribes - The Standard

Uganda's Health State Minister is an agitated woman after she visited a public hospital and caught health workers demanding bribes to attend to patients. Ms Sarah Opendi said on Saturday that she had received many complaints about the corrupt deals that go on in the public health sector and decided to confirm the reports.

Skin patch that melts fat in mice holds promise to treat obesity, diabetes in humans | The Japan Times

U.S. researchers have developed a skin patch that can melt fat in mice, and future tests will reveal whether it can treat obesity and diabetes in people, a study said Friday.
The patch uses nanotechnology to raise the body’s metabolism and transform energy-storing white fat into energy-burning brown fat, according to the report in ACS Nano, a publication of the American Chemical Society.

Nintendo's Switch is secretly hiding a copy of NES 'Golf'

As it turns out, the company's latest console may carry a NES emulator. Hackers have found the system wrapped around an existing game hidden inside the Switch. The title in question is dubbed "FLOG," and it looks just like Golf (the 1984 sports sim for the NES).

Fatberg in London sewer: Monster fatbergs and how to get rid of them | Express.co.uk

This week it was revealed that the world's largest fatberg has been discovered in the sewers of Whitechapel, east London.
At 240 metres long, the monstrous mound of grease, oil, wet wipes and nappies stretches the length of Tower Bridge and weighs 130 tons - the equivalent of 11 double-decker buses, a blue whale, or 520,000 packets of lard.

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News Headlines - 17 September 2017

Abe poised to dissolve Lower House for snap general election | The Japan Times

The Japanese political world was rocked Sunday after media reports emerged that Prime Minister Shinzo Abe plans to dissolve the Lower House as early as Sept. 28 and call a snap election to take advantage of a disorganized opposition.

Trump Administration Seeks to Avoid Withdrawal From Paris Climate Accord, International Climate Officials Say - WSJ

Trump administration officials said Saturday the U.S. wouldn’t pull out of the Paris Agreement, offering to re-engage in the international deal to fight climate change, according to multiple officials at a global warming summit.

FT journalist killed by crocodile while washing his hands in Sri Lankan lagoon

A Financial Times journalist was killed by a crocodile whilst washing his hands in a lagoon in Sri Lanka during a holiday with friends.

TfL tube platform paint which to be in place for two more months | London Evening Standard

Bright green markings have been painted on one platform at King’s Cross station, which Transport for London (TfL) hopes makes it easier for passengers to move around the platform when busy.
But scores of commuters have complained about the green zone, with seasoned Underground users claiming the scheme rendered years of working out where to stand “useless”.

FTC demands endorsement info from Instagram 'influencers'

U.S. truth-in-advertising enforcers have sent letters to supermodel Naomi Campbell, actresses Lindsay Lohan and Vanessa Hudgens and other celebrities asking whether they have paid deals to endorse products on the photo-sharing app Instagram.

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News Headlines - 16 September 2017

Jets strike U.S.-backed forces in eastern Syria

U.S.-backed militias in Syria said they came under attack on Saturday from Russian jets and Syrian government forces in Deir al-Zor province, a flashpoint in an increasingly complex battlefield.

Support for German SPD slumps to lowest this year: poll

Support for Germany’s center-left Social Democrats (SPD) has slumped to its lowest level this year just 10 days before an election in which conservative Chancellor Angela Merkel looks set win a fourth term, a poll showed on Thursday.

World's oldest person dies - Moss Brown passes away at MoBay medical facility | Jamaica Gleaner

Violet Moss Brown, who had the enviable distinction of being the world's oldest person for just over five months, is dead. She died at a medical facility in Montego Bay, St James, yesterday afternoon, three days after she was controversially removed from her Duanvale home, in Trelawny, where she resided with her grandchildren and other family members.

Fanged creature found on Texas beach after Hurricane Harvey - BBC News

A mysterious fanged sea creature that washed up on a beach in Texas following Hurricane Harvey has been identified... The fangtooth snake-eel, also known as a "tusky" eel, is usually found in waters between 30 and 90 metres deep in the western Atlantic ocean.

I.O.C. Investigation of Russian Doping Might Soon Yield Penalties - The New York Times

The first group of Russian athletes suspected of being part of the country’s sophisticated doping program at the 2014 Sochi Games may soon face the prospect of banishment from the Olympics, an official leading an investigation for the International Olympic Committee said on Friday.

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News Headlines - 15 September 2017

North Korea launches missile over Japan - CNNPolitics

In a major show of defiance to the international community, North Korea fired a ballistic missile over the northern Japanese island of Hokkaido Friday.
The launch is the second to fly over Japan in less than a month, and the first since North Korea's sixth nuclear test and new United Nations sanctions on the country.

North Korea missile test splits world powers - BBC News

China earlier accused the US of shirking its responsibilities, while Russia called US rhetoric "aggressive".
The UN Security Council has unanimously condemned the missile test, but no new sanctions have been announced.

Japan split over how to deal with North Korean missile launches - CNN

Friday's launch has widened a growing fault line in the ideological war over how Japan should deal with the North Korean threat to the region.

Home-made bomb injures 29 on packed London commuter train

A home-made bomb on a packed rush-hour commuter train in London engulfed a carriage in flames and injured 29 people on Friday, but apparently failed to fully explode, in Britain’s fifth major terrorism incident this year.

Theresa May scolds Trump for terror tweets - BBC News

British Prime Minister Theresa May has rebuked US President Donald Trump for suggesting suspects in Friday's London train blast were known to police.

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News Headlines - 14 September 2017

Bitcoin is dropping right now after a big Chinese exchange said it is closing

Bitcoin prices plunged about 13 percent Thursday after one of the biggest exchanges in China said it will shut down its operation... BTC China said in a tweet Thursday that it will close down its operations by Sept. 30 as Chinese authorities crack down on cryptocurrencies.

Samsung enters autonomous driving race with new business, funding

Samsung announced on Thursday at the Frankfurt Motor Show that it has set up a strategic business unit for autonomous and advanced driver assistance services (ADAS), together with a $300 million fund to invest in automotive start-ups and technology.

Google Sued For Gender Discrimination By Female Former Employees

Three former employees of Google have filed a class action lawsuit against the internet company, alleging a pattern of discrimination against women workers, including systemically lower pay than their male counterparts.

Woman arrested on suspicion of trying to break in to Prince George's school

Security arrangements at Prince George's school are being reviewed after a woman was arrested on suspicion of attempted burglary.

Goodbye Cassini: Why NASA crashed this spacecraft into Saturn - The San Diego Union-Tribune

Cassini had run out of fuel. And without fuel, NASA can’t control it. So instead of letting the spacecraft orbit around Saturn, operators used its last fumes of fuel to purposely crash it instead of running the risk of letting it hit a moon and potentially contaminate it, according to NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory.

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News Headlines - 13 September 2017

Fresh claims that Rio 2016 and Tokyo 2020 Olympic bid teams bought votes | The Guardian

The Brazilian federal prosecutors office, which compiled the documents based on French prosecutors’ investigations, drew the conclusion that payments could have been made to Massata Diack by Rio 2016 and Tokyo 2020 “with the intention to buy votes and the support of Lamine Diack, who held particular influence within the IOC”.

White House Considering at Least Six for Fed Chair - Bloomberg

The breadth of the search goes against the narrative that has taken hold in Washington and on Wall Street that the Fed chair nomination is a two-horse race between National Economic Council Director Gary Cohn and current Fed Chair Janet Yellen, whose term expires in February.

Jamie Dimon Slams Bitcoin as a ‘Fraud’ - Bloomberg

JPMorgan Chase & Co. Chief Executive Officer Jamie Dimon said he would fire any employee trading bitcoin for being “stupid.”
The cryptocurrency “won’t end well,” he told an investor conference in New York on Tuesday, predicting it will eventually blow up. “It’s a fraud” and “worse than tulip bulbs.”

McLaren agrees deal to leave Honda for Renault in 2018 F1 season - Autosport

McLaren has reached agreement with Honda to be released from their partnership and switch to Renault power from the 2018 Formula 1 season, Autosport has learned.

Belgian mayor Alfred Gadenne found dead in cemetery with throat slashed | The Independent

Alfred Gadenne, the mayor of Mouscron in western Belgium, was found dead early on Monday evening. His throat is believed to have been cut with a box cutter.
Belgian authorities are questioning an 18-year-old man suspected of killing the elderly mayor.

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News Headlines - 12 September 2017

How Honda lost its mojo - and the mission to get it back

Honda was once a leader in innovation. Its engines dominated Formula One and set new standards for fuel efficiency and clean technology. But in recent years the firm has lost its edge. Now Honda is trying to rediscover its ‘racing spirit.’

This tiny sensor could sleep for years between detection events | TechCrunch

It’s easy enough to put an always-on camera somewhere it can live off solar power or the grid, but deep in nature, underground, or in other unusual circumstances every drop of power is precious. Luckily, a new type of sensor developed for DARPA uses none at all until the thing it’s built to detect happens to show up. That means it can sit for years without so much as a battery top-up.
The idea is that you could put a few of these things in, say, the miles of tunnels underneath a decommissioned nuclear power plant or a mining complex, but not have to wire them all for electricity. But as soon as something appears, it’s seen and transmitted immediately. The power requirements would have to be almost nil, of course, which is why DARPA called the program Near Zero Power RF and Sensor Operation.

Russia offers a bridge across history to connect Tokyo to the Trans-Siberian railway

The ambitious plan gave a welcome dose of optimism to a region engulfed by tension over the North Korean nuclear tests.
Such a road and rail bridge would tie together two countries - Russia and Japan - that have not signed a formal peace agreement ending the Second World War due to a dispute over the Kuril Islands.

Interpol posts fugitive Red Bull scion 'wanted' notice | Bangkok Post

Interpol has posted its red notice for Vorayuth Yoovidhya online publicly, informing the world the scion to the Red Bull energy drink fortune is wanted in Thailand for reckless driving causing the death of a policeman five years ago.

Bodyguard shot dead in apparent Kobe yakuza feud | The Japan Times

A man believed to be a bodyguard of the head of a yakuza splinter group linked to the largest crime syndicate in the country was shot dead during a violent ambush Tuesday in Kobe, police said.

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News Headlines - 11 September 2017

U.N. Security Council approves weakened resolution for new sanctions on North Korea - LA Times

The United Nations Security Council unanimously approved a resolution to impose new economic sanctions on North Korea for its nuclear weapons buildup but the proposed penalties were weaker than the Trump administration had sought.

Donald Trump Honors 9/11 Victims for First Time As President | Time.com

President Trump marked the anniversary of the September 11, 2001 attacks Monday with a pledge of support for the families of those killed that day.

Ghost Jihadis: ISIS Fighters Have Thousands Of Blank Syrian Passports That Could Be used to Provide Fake Identities

The Islamic State militant group (ISIS) has some 11,000 blank Syrian passports that could be used to provide fake identities for jihadists, German authorities believe... German authorities have created a list of the passport serial numbers that could be used by the group, German weekly newspaper Bild am Sonntag reported on Sunday. It cited German federal police and interior ministry documents.

Dalai Lama Urges Aung San Suu Kyi to Resolve Rohingya Crisis

The Dalai Lama, the exiled Tibetan spiritual leader, has again called on his fellow Nobel Peace Prize recipient Aung San Suu Kyi to peacefully end the Rohingya crisis.

Malay woman to be Singapore President - The Hindu

Halimah Yacob, a former speaker of Parliament, will be formally named to the mostly ceremonial post on Wednesday, media reported, after other candidates fell short of the criteria set for contesting the election. Ms. Yacob (63) was born to an Indian Muslim father and a Malay mother.

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News Headlines - 10 September 2017

Bangladesh minister speaks of ‘genocide’ in Myanmar’s Rakhine | Arab News

Bangladesh’s foreign minister said Sunday that genocide was being waged in Myanmar’s violence-racked Rakhine state, triggering an exodus of nearly 300,000 Muslim Rohingya to his country.
“The international community is saying it is a genocide. We also say it is a genocide,” A.H. Mahmood Ali told reporters after briefing diplomats in Dhaka.

YouTube Removes North Korea Propaganda Channel

YouTube, citing violation of "community guidelines," removed the state-run North Korea propaganda channel, Uriminzokkiri, from its website.
"This account has been terminated for violating YouTube's community guidelines," YouTube said.

Shoppers Seem To Have Fallen Out Of Love With The Gap, And The Gap Appears To Agree

Just as shoppers ditch the namesake brand for its younger spinoff chains, so is the Gap. The retailer will shutter about 200 underperforming Gap and Banana Republic stores over the next three years, while adding about 270 Old Navy and Athleta locations.

Has the Voynich Manuscript Really Been Solved? - The Atlantic

This week, the venerable Times Literary Supplement published as its cover story a “solution” for the Voynich manuscript. The article by Nicholas Gibbs suggests the manuscript is a medieval women’s-health manual copied from several older sources. And the cipher is no cipher at all, but simply abbreviations that, once decoded, turn out to be medicinal recipes... “Frankly I’m a little surprised the TLS published it,” says Lisa Fagin Davis, executive director of the Medieval Academy of America. When she was a doctoral student at Yale—whose Beinecke Library holds the Voynich manuscript—Davis read dozens of theories as part of her job. “If they had simply sent to it to the Beinecke Library, they would have rebutted it in a heartbeat,” she says. She told me that, by coincidence, she had dinner recently with Beinecke’s curator, who had not heard from TLS about the article.

Deadly flash floods in Tuscan port city of Leghorn Italy after heavy rain

Four of the victims were family members - a four-year-old boy, his parents and grandfather - whose bodies were found in the flooded basement of their home in the port city of Leghorn in Tuscany.
Mayor Filippo Nogarin warned there could be more casualties because several people were missing.

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News Headlines - 09 September 2017

A Sneak Peak at America’s War Plans for North Korea | Foreign Policy

Put fears of full-blown nuclear war aside for a moment. We’ve never been closer to a conventional North Korean attack on South Korea, and I can attest that the U.S. military knows how devastating the consequences would be. We can expect a massive humanitarian crisis, enormous loss of life, and economic disaster. There’s almost no doubt that the North would lose — but in going down Pyongyang could take much of the Korean Peninsula with it.

Ferrari celebrates 70 years | Euronews

In Milan, around 500 cars were on show as owners and collectors gathered from across Europe to party and parade.
Later they were due to head to Modena, the hometown of founder Enzo Ferrari... Events are also due to take place at Maranello, home of the Ferrari factory and the site where founder Enzo Ferrari fired up his first car in 1947, the 125 S.

French pranksters replace holy water with alcohol - The Local

Tourists visiting a church in the picturesque French town of Chateau-Chalon were surprised to discover that local pranksters had replaced the fonts' holy water with alcohol, the local tourism office said on Friday.

Paraplegic girl found 'in pool of blood' after attack by rats in bed

A paraplegic teenage girl in northern France was found in a pool of blood after being attacked in her bed by rats which bit and scratched her hundreds of times.
The 14-year-old, who was defenceless in her medical bed when the attack occurred last Friday night, suffered 225 wounds all over her body, including her face. Several of her finger tips were gnawed off.

Stunning Northern Lights illuminate northern skies | Daily Mail Online

The auroras were seen as far south as Akansas and Edinburgh in Scotland, with stunning images showing capturing their beauty in incredible detail.
And those in the northern latitudes may have yet more chance to see the lights over the next few days as the aftermath of the solar flare continues to pummel Earth.

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News Headlines - 08 September 2017

Republican senator to unveil new Obamacare repeal bill on Monday

A new Republican bill to replace Obamacare will be unveiled in the U.S. Senate on Monday with backing from President Donald Trump, according to one of two Republican senators who have crafted the legislation.

'Mafia links' halted Trump plan to build Sydney casino » Capital News

Donald Trump’s plan to build and operate Sydney’s first casino were killed off due to his consortium’s “mafia connections”, according to documents made public Thursday after 30 years.
The now US president was in the running for the contract in 1987 with joint venture partner the Kern Corporation, but Australian police were so concerned they recommended it be excluded.

Prince Charles and Camilla dance to Elvis on visit to Scotland | London Evening Standard

The Princes of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall danced to Elvis during a visit to Scotland.
An amusing clip, filmed during a tea dance at Dumfries House in East Ayreshire, showed Prince Charles twirl Camilla around as impersonator John Reid performed the rock and roll god’s hits.

GPS disruptions feared as particles from huge solar flares wash over Earth - The Mainichi

Authorities warned of satellite service disruptions and GPS data errors as particles from the largest solar flares in 11 years began washing over Earth on the morning of Sept. 8, Japan time.
The particles have no impact on the human body, but past major flares have caused GPS trouble, damaged satellites and triggered blackouts, prompting the warning from the National Institute of Information and Communications Technology (NICT).

Attacked by Rotten Tomatoes - The New York Times

Between the first weekend in May and Labor Day, a sequel-stuffed period that typically accounts for 40 percent of annual ticket sales, box office revenue in North America totaled $3.8 billion, a 15 percent decline from the same span last year. To find a slower summer, you would have to go back 20 years. Business has been so bad that America’s three biggest theater chains have lost roughly $4 billion in market value since May.
Ready for the truly alarming part? Hollywood is blaming a website: Rotten Tomatoes.

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News Headlines - 07 September 2017

May's government pushes Brexit bill to avoid 'chaotic' departure

Brexit minister David Davis called on parliament on Thursday to back legislation to sever Britain’s political, financial and legal ties with the European Union, saying that opposing the bill would lead to chaos.

Amazon Plans Second Headquarters, Opening a Bidding War Among Cities - The New York Times

Amazon took the unusual step on Thursday of announcing it wants a second home outside Seattle, starting what is sure to be a fierce bidding war to lure Amazon — and the thousands of high-paying jobs it will bring to town — using a combination of tax breaks and other sweeteners.
By the end of the day, cities including Chicago, Dallas and San Diego, along with states like Michigan, were vocal about their interest, the first of many places expected to consider submitting proposals.

Jaguar Land Rover to make only electric or hybrid cars from 2020 | The Guardian

The UK-based manufacturer promised that all new models from 2020 will be fully electric or hybrid, a year later than Volvo’s target, but a big step beyond its unveiling last November of a single electric concept car.

Engine problem, not bird strike forced JAL flight's return - ABC News

Engine flames that forced a Japan Airlines plane to make an emergency landing earlier this week were caused by damaged turbine blades, not a bird strike as initially believed, Japanese transport officials said Thursday.

Donald Trump 'crushed' by departure of long-serving bodyguard | The Independent

President Donald Trump’s allies are worried that the most damaging of the many recent departures from his White House may be that of Keith Schiller, a little-known former bodyguard who’s one of the President’s closest confidants outside his family.
Schiller is leaving the White House soon to return to the private security business, according to three people familiar with his plans, for a job that will pay far more than his $165,000 government salary.

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News Headlines - 06 September 2017

Navy Seals training South Korean ‘assassination’ squad to deal with Kim Jong-un | The Times & The Sunday Times

South Korean commandos will work with the US Navy Seals who killed Osama bin Laden to create a special unit to assassinate Kim Jong-un in the event of war.

Nissan targets new Leaf global sales of more than 90,000 a year

Nissan Motor Co Ltd is targeting annual global sales of more than 90,000 units for its new Leaf electric vehicle, the company said on Wednesday.

Rare malaria death of girl in northern Italy puzzles doctors - BBC News

A four-year-old Italian girl has died of cerebral malaria in northern Italy, a region free of the disease, in what doctors see as a very mysterious case.

Salvador Dalí’s ‘daughter’ unrelated to him, DNA tests show | The Guardian

DNA evidence taken from the recently exhumed body of Salvador Dalí has shown that he is not the father of a woman who had claimed to be the only child and heir of the eccentric surrealist.

Hurricane Irma destroys 90 percent structures, vehicles on Barbuda - ABC News

Hurricane Irma ripped into the Caribbean island of Barbuda Wednesday morning, killing at least one person and destroying 90 percent of its structures and vehicles, according to Antigua and Barbuda Prime Minister Gaston Browne.

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News Headlines - 05 September 2017

Grenfell Tower: 'Twenty suicide attempts' since blaze as victims suffer from 'survivor guilt'

At least 20 people who survived or witnessed the Grenfell Tower fire have since tried to kill themselves, according to a charity.
A former nurse who is working with victims suggested that "survivor guilt" was among the factors for why victims of the west London blaze were attempting suicide.

McDonald’s faces strike for first time in UK as workers take action over pay and zero-hour contracts | The Independent

Fast food giant McDonald’s is facing strike action on British soil for the first time in history, as workers at two restaurants walk out in a dispute over pay and conditions.
Staff in Cambridge and Crayford in south-east London voted in favour of a walkout, amid concerns over working conditions and the use of zero-hour contracts.

Cambodia Daily Announces Immediate Closure Amid Threats - The Cambodia Daily

Facing imminent threats of closure and legal action over a disputed $6.3 million tax bill, The Cambodia Daily will cease operations as of today, bringing to a close more than 24 years of independent journalism.

JAL plane makes emergency landing at Tokyo's Haneda after engine fire

A Japan Airlines plane bound for New York made an emergency landing shortly after leaving Tokyo's Haneda airport Tuesday morning as flames were seen coming from the left engine, the transport ministry said.

Mother finds baby's coffin empty after 42 year battle to discover what happened to her son

A mother who won a court order to find out what had happened to her baby's remains has discovered that his coffin was buried without a body.
Lydia Reid's 42-year quest looked to have come to a conclusion when a court granted her an order for an exhumation.

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News Headlines - 04 September 2017

Bitcoin: Digital currency price falls on China ICO ban

The price of bitcoin fell sharply after Chinese regulators announced a ban on organizations from raising funds using initial coin offerings (ICOs).
ICOs allow start-ups to raise investment by selling new cryptocurrencies, which are similar to bitcoin, in return for cash. However, the People's Bank of China says this practice, which has become popular around the world as well as in China, constitutes illegal fundraising.

Trump to scrap protection for 'Dreamers,' give Congress six months to fix

President Donald Trump has decided to scrap a program shielding from deportation immigrants who came to the United States illegally as children but will give Congress six months to craft legislation to replace it, sources familiar with the situation said.

Foreign service group concerned by 'sonic harassment' of diplomats in Cuba - CNNPolitics

The State Department announced Friday that incidents of acoustic attacks on US diplomats in Havana, Cuba, which have led to a variety of serious medical symptoms, continued until as recently as last month.

Royal baby: Duchess of Cambridge expecting third child - BBC News

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are expecting their third child, Kensington Palace has announced.
The Queen and both families are said to be "delighted with the news".

TASS: Russian team wins 7 out of 8 gold medals at 2017 Rhythmic Gymnastics World Championships

Team Russia has won seven out of eight possible gold medals of the 2017 Rhythmic Gymnastics World Championships that ended in Italy’s Pesaro on Sunday.
Thus, Russia tops the championship’s medal standings, with seven gold, five silver and one bronze medals. Italy is second, with one gold medal and Japan is third, with one silver and three bronze medals.

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News Headlines - 03 September 2017

It's official: Princess Mako to marry former university classmate | The Japan Times

Princess Mako, the eldest grandchild of Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko, will marry a former classmate at her university, the Imperial Household Agency announced in a much-anticipated news conference Sunday.

Read the Inauguration Day letter Obama left for Trump - CNNPolitics

During his final moments in the Oval Office, President Barack Obama folded into thirds a handwritten letter to Donald Trump, slid it into an envelope, and in neat capital letters addressed it to "Mr. President."

Funding battle looms as Texas sees Harvey damage at up to $180 billion

U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin on Sunday challenged Congress to raise the government’s debt limit in order to free up relief spending for Hurricane Harvey, a disaster that the governor of Texas said had caused up to $180 billion in damage.

Rare Ferrari found after 40 years in Japanese barn - CNN

Between 1969 and 1973, Ferrari produced over 1,200 units of its 365 GTB/4, a two-seat grand tourer capable of 174 mph and unofficially nicknamed "Daytona"... This is that very car, bearing the chassis number 12653 and featuring an all-aluminum body by renowned car designer Sergio Scaglietti, whose "Carrozzeria" has been doing chassis and body assembly on Ferrari cars since the 1950s.

Frankfurt WW2 bomb defused after mass evacuation - BBC News

Bomb disposal experts in Frankfurt have successfully defused a massive unexploded bomb from World War Two, officials have announced.
The news was greeted with spontaneous applause among some of about 65,000 people who were evacuated to enable experts to make the bomb safe.

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News Headlines - 02 September 2017

DOJ confirms Obama did not wiretap Trump during 2016 campaign

The Justice Department confirmed in a court filing there is no evidence that Trump Tower was targeted for surveillance by the Obama administration — contradicting President Trump's controversial claim first made in March.

Honda reaches $605 mln U.S. settlement over Takata air bags

Honda Motor Co said it agreed to a $605 million so-called economic loss settlement on Friday covering up to 16.5 million U.S. vehicles with potentially faulty Takata air bag inflators.

YouTube has a new look and, for the first time, a new logo - The Verge

For the last 12 years, YouTube’s logo has been a pair of anachronisms wrapped inside each other. “We have the word tube in a tube,” says Christopher Bettig, the head of YouTube’s art department. “This is weird. No one know what this is.” Tube is slang for a television set, which used to be powered by vacuum tubes... And so today the brand is getting its biggest aesthetic makeover ever. The YouTube logo is being refreshed, shifting the emphasis away from the word “Tube” and onto the familiar play button which has already become an iconic shorthand for the company. The service is also getting a new typeface, color scheme, and a bunch of major changes to the look, feel, and functionality of its desktop and mobile app.

Bitcoin $5,000: Currency Hits New Record High | Fortune.com

There appears to be no single reason for the recent run-up. Instead, it can likely be explained by the same factors driving this year's cryptocurrency bull run: Publicity-driven speculation; New financial products creating unprecedented liquidity; Trading surges in Asian markets; Institutional investors treating digital currency as a permanent new asset class.

Spain tells North Korean embassy to reduce staff - The Local

Spain told the North Korean embassy on Thursday to reduce its staff in the country in protest against Pyongyang's repeated missile launches and nuclear weapons tests.

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News Headlines - 01 September 2017

Majority of Germans expect Brexit to hurt Britain and EU: poll

Two thirds of Germans believe Britain’s exit from the European Union will have negative consequences for the bloc, with only 20 percent seeing the potential for long-term benefits, a Forschungsgruppe Wahlen poll for ZDF television showed.

Theresa May meets Japanese emperor on final day of visit - ITV News

Downing Street has described the PM's visit to Japan as "highly successful" after Mrs May and counterpart Shinzo Abe agreed to boost defence links.
The British delegation will also leave Tokyo having secured Japanese agreement to model a future UK trade deal on the EU deal that is already in train.

Kenya Supreme Court Nullifies Presidential Election - The New York Times

In a historic ruling and a first in Africa, Kenya’s Supreme Court nullified on Friday the re-election of a sitting president, ordering a new vote to be held within 60 days after finding that the outcome last month had been tainted by irregularities.

Huge Asteroid 'Florence' Zooms Past Earth in Record-Breaking Flyby

At 8:06 a.m. EDT (1206 GMT) today, the roughly 2.7-mile-wide (4.4 kilometers) asteroid 3122 Florence came within a mere 4.4 million miles (7 million km) of Earth — just 18 times the distance from our planet to the moon.

Everton striker Wayne Rooney charged with drink-driving after being stopped by police close to Cheshire home - Mirror Online

Everton striker Wayne Rooney has been charged with drink-driving, after being arrested on early Friday morning... Mirror Sport exclusively revealed Rooney was arrested, shortly after 2am, and has now been charged with driving whilst over the prescribed limit, Cheshire Police have confirmed.

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News Headlines - 31 August 2017

Diana is still in our hearts 20 years on | Border - ITV News

Tributes have been paid to Diana, Princess of Wales, 20 years after she was killed in a car crash in Paris aged just 36... Mourners left flowers, posters and messages outside Kensington Palace to remember her, just as they did 20 years ago.

Britain Looks to Address Inequality With Executive Pay Measures - The New York Times

The proposals include plans to force all publicly listed companies to publish their wage ratio, comparing their chief executive’s salary with that of the average worker, as well as the creation of a register that “names and shames” firms that faced shareholder opposition over executive pay levels.

Meeting between Swedish and Norwegian ministers scrapped following 'no-go zone' claims - The Local

Sweden's Migration Minister cancelled a meeting with her Norwegian counterpart at the last minute after judging that the trip was part of campaigning for Norway's forthcoming election.

China web users debate new rules on online identity - BBC News

Chinese social media users have been debating new rules requiring internet platforms to verify a user's true identity before letting them post online content.
The new rules were issued on 25 August by the Cyberspace Administration of China.
They will take effect on 1 October.

Sea Shepherd to suspend pursuit of Japanese whalers - CNN

In a statement Monday, the group's founder Paul Watson said "Japan is now employing military surveillance to watch Sea Shepherd ship movements in real time by satellite," making it nearly impossible for them to intercept them.
"We cannot compete with their military grade technology."

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News Headlines - 30 August 2017

'I'm not a quitter': Theresa May says she could fight another election as PM | The Guardian

Theresa May insisted she could fight another general election as prime minister, arguing that she is “not a quitter” despite June’s disastrous election result and repeated criticisms of her leadership style.

Sky stops broadcasting Fox News in UK - BBC News

21st Century Fox, which is owned by Rupert Murdoch, said the channel was being withdrawn as it was not commercially viable.
The decision was not related to Fox's takeover bid for Sky, a source told the BBC.

China Bans Weird, Long, and Sensitive Company Names - China Briefing News

The Rules for the Prohibition and Restriction of Enterprise Names, released by China’s State Administration for Industry and Commerce (SAIC), ban businesses from registering company names authorities consider “weird”, overly long, politically sensitive, or mimicking existing brands. Businesses already registered with names authorities deem inappropriate may be compelled to alter them. The new rules came into effect on July 31, 2017.

La Tomatina festival: Spain tomato festival kicks off with giant food fight | Express.co.uk

Around 165 tons of the fruit were thrown, squished and splatted in an hour of fun in the annual event in the small town of Bunol.
Five thousand locals and 17,000 tourists gathered at the town, 25 miles west of Valencia, for the festival, which takes place on the last Wednesday of August.

Thousands more Rohingya flee to border as Myanmar violence flares

More than 18,000 Rohingya Muslims, many sick and some with bullet wounds, have fled the worst violence to grip northwest Myanmar in at least five years, while thousands more are stuck at the Bangladesh border or scrambling to reach it.

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News Headlines - 29 August 2017

North Korea fires missile over Japan in sharp escalation of tensions | The Japan Times

The Japanese government said the missile flew over southern Hokkaido for two minutes, later breaking into three segments before plunging into the Pacific Ocean about 1,180 km east of Cape Erimo.

North Korea just fired a missile right over Japan — but here's why the yen is rallying anyway

Despite North Korea launching a ballistic missile that passed over Japan , in what Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe called an "unprecedented, serious and significant threat," traders still see the yen as a safe-haven play, and they're pushing the currency higher.
The yen has surged, with the dollar fetching as little as 108.32 yen in early Tuesday trade, down from levels approaching 111 yen earlier in the month.

China expected to take over Japan's second spot in contributions to United Nations - The Straits Times

Japan is expected to drop from its position as the second-largest contributor to the United Nations' general budget in the 2019-2021 period, with China taking over that spot, according to a UN report estimating contributions.
Given the high possibility that Japan's current slot, which it has held since the 1980s, will be overtaken by China, Japan's presence in the UN may wane. The United States is the largest contributor.

The Biggest Misconception About Today’s College Students - The New York Times

You might think the typical college student lives in a state of bliss, spending each day moving among classes, parties and extracurricular activities. But the reality is that an increasingly small population of undergraduates enjoys that kind of life.
Of the country’s nearly 18 million undergraduates, more than 40 percent go to community college, and of those, only 62 percent can afford to go to college full-time. By contrast, a mere 0.4 percent of students in the United States attend one of the Ivies.

Emotional Sharapova tops No. 2 Halep at Open in Slam return

When Maria Sharapova's first Grand Slam match after a 15-month doping suspension ended with a victory at the U.S. Open, she dropped to her knees and covered her face, tears welling in her eyes.

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News Headlines - 28 August 2017

Trump on Harvey destruction: 'We are one American family' - CNNPolitics

President Donald Trump struck a unifying tone Monday as he addressed the devastation in Texas wrought by Hurricane Harvey at the top of a joint news conference with Finland's president.

Remains of all 10 missing USS John S. McCain sailors recovered - CNNPolitics

The bodies of all 10 sailors reported missing following a collision between the USS John S. McCain and a merchant vessel have been found, according to a statement from the US Navy's 7th Fleet.

White House 'pressuring' intelligence officials to find Iran in violation of nuclear deal | The Guardian

US intelligence officials are under pressure from the White House to produce a justification to declare Iran in violation of a 2015 nuclear agreement, in an echo of the politicisation of intelligence that led up to the Iraq invasion, according to former officials and analysts.

Google Removes 300 Apps Used to Launch DDoS Attacks From Play Store

Google has removed roughly 300 apps from its Play Store after security researchers from several internet infrastructure companies discovered that the seemingly harmless apps—offering video players and ringtones, among other features—were secretly hijacking Android devices to provide traffic for large-scale distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks.

France has new 'first dog' as Nemo joins the Macrons at the Elysée

Francehas a new "first dog" - a two-year old black labrador-griffon cross called Nemo adopted by Emmanuel and Brigitte Macron from an animal rescue centre.
The French president paid €250 (£231) for the animal in what French media have dubbed a "canine reshuffle", after he and his wife spent two hours picking one over the weekend.

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News Headlines - 27 August 2017

Theresa May will reportedy deliver Brexit and then resign as PM | Metro News

Theresa May reportedly wants to deliver Brexit and then quit as Prime Minister on Friday August 30, 2019... The Mirror reports she has been inviting groups of 15 Tories to Chequers and handing them prosecco and homemade chocolates on arrival.

Emmanuel Macron has spent €26,000 on makeup in his first three months as French president

Emmanuel Macron spent €26,000 (£24,000) on makeup during his first three months as president of France, it has emerged.
In potentially damaging news for the 39-year old centrist leader, whose popularity is waning, Le Point reported that his personal makeup artist - referred to only as Natacha M - put in two bills, one for €10,000 and another for €16,000.

Semi-automated truck convoys get green light for UK trials | The Guardian

Up to three wirelessly connected HGVs will travel in convoy, with acceleration, braking and steering controlled by the lead vehicle, a concept named platooning. Each lorry will have a driver in the cab ready to retake control at any time.

Birling Gap beach evacuated after suspected chemical leak - BBC News

People on the beach at Birling Gap reported painful, stinging eyes and breathing difficulties after a "mist" appeared.
Sussex Police said there was an "unknown haze coming in from the sea" affecting the East Sussex coastline.

Eight mountain climbers die in accidents in Austrian and Italian Alps | The Guardian

All five of those killed were believed to be from Germany, and one was identified as a 34-year-old man from the German state of Bavaria, the German news agency dpa reported.
Two Italians died on Sunday after falling into a crevasse on a glacier in Adamello Brenta park near Trento, in northern Italy... Another Italian climber died on Saturday after being hit by boulders in the Valtellina Alpine area, further west of Trento near the border with Switzerland.

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News Headlines - 26 August 2017

North Korea launches three missiles into sea, heightening tensions - The Washington Post

North Korea launched three missiles into the sea between the Korean Peninsula and Japan on Saturday morning, reigniting tensions after a month of heated rhetoric between Pyongyang and Washington and dispelling President Trump’s assertion that Kim Jong Un had come to “respect” him.

Knife attacks on soldiers, police in Brussels and London | DW

A man armed with a machete has been shot dead after attacking soldiers in the Belgian capital. An hour later in London, two police officers were assaulted by a man with a knife outside Buckingham Palace.

French firm offered spyware to 'find out if your son is gay' - BBC News

A French company offering "invisible PC spy software" has been criticised after it said its product could be used "to find out if your son is gay".
Listing a series of "clues", the company, Fireworld, suggested that "hacking his Facebook account" and seeing if he had visited gay websites could confirm a parent's suspicions.

ESPN Pulls Announcer Robert Lee From Virginia Game Because of His Name - The New York Times

The network announced late Tuesday that the announcer, Robert Lee, a part-time employee who calls about a dozen college football and basketball games a year for ESPN, would no longer participate in the broadcast of the Sept. 2 game in Charlottesville, Va., which became the center of violent clashes this month during a white supremacist gathering.

Far-right smear campaign against Antifa exposed by Bellingcat - BBC News

Far-right activists are using fake Twitter accounts and images of battered women to smear anti-fascist groups in the US, an online investigation has revealed.

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News Headlines - 25 August 2017

Taiwan ex-president Ma found not guilty of leaking secrets | Taiwan News

Former President Ma Ying-jeou was found not guilty Friday of leaking confidential information during a probe into an opposition lawmaker. Appeals are still possible.
The issue goes back to August 2013, when Ma discussed allegations of influence peddling with the nation’s top prosecutor and senior government officials.

Thailand's former PM Yingluck has fled abroad: sources

Ousted former Thai prime minister Yingluck Shinawatra has fled Thailand, sources close to her said on Friday, as the Supreme Court issued an arrest warrant after she failed to attend the court for the verdict in a negligence case brought against her by the ruling junta.

Samsung heir Lee sentenced to 5 years in prison

A Seoul court sentenced Samsung Electronics Vice Chairman Lee Jae-yong to five years in prison Friday, finding him guilty of bribery, embezzlement and other charges in a massive corruption scandal that led to the ouster of former President Park Geun-hye.

Some U.S. diplomats in Cuba diagnosed with serious health conditions, medical records show - CBS News

The diplomats complained about symptoms ranging from hearing loss and nausea to headaches and balance disorders after the State Department said "incidents" began affecting them beginning in late 2016. A source familiar with these incidents says officials are investigating whether the diplomats were targets of a type of sonic attack directed at their homes, which were provided by the Cuban government. The source says reports of more attacks affecting U.S. embassy workers on the island continue.

Japan's field of dreams: school baseball teams vie for Koshien glory | The Guardian

The occasion is the final, decisive game in the national high school baseball championships. The national broadcaster NHK will screen every inning live, the victors are assured of front-page coverage in the following day’s newspapers and, for a couple of hours at least, Japan will come together in the name of amateur sport.

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News Headlines - 24 August 2017

Graft-buster Wang Qishan not on China's new leadership line-up: Report - The Straits Times

China's top graft-buster Wang Qishan is not among the latest candidates for China's seven-member apex decision-making body, The Yomiuri Shimbun has learned from related sources.
Whether Wang would remain on the Political Bureau Standing Committee has been a focus of the reshuffle efforts.

SpaceX just teased a chic new spacesuit

The world just got a glimpse of the suits astronauts may one day wear when they travel to the International Space Station aboard a SpaceX craft.

With Galaxy Note 8, Samsung hopes to smother Note 7 debacle - CNET

Less than a year ago, Samsung's Galaxy Note brand was radioactive.
At that point, the Galaxy Note 7, which had the unhealthy tendency to overheat and catch fire, had endured two recalls before Samsung scrapped the line. Travelers got used to hearing airline attendants read a warning before every flight that the phone was banned from all planes... Today marks the debut of the Galaxy Note 8, the official follow-up to 2016's ill-fated phone.

Switzerland landslide: At least eight missing in Val Bondasca - BBC News

Eight people are still missing after a landslide in an alpine valley in south-eastern Switzerland, police say.
The incident in a remote valley popular with hikers and climbers forced the evacuation of a village in the Val Bondasca region, officials said.

Alastair Stewart upstaged by toddler on afternoon news | The Guardian

A discussion on milk allergies went off script during an ITV news broadcast when a little girl started walking round newsreader Alastair Stewart’s desk before climbing on to it.

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News Headlines - 23 August 2017

Mnuchin’s Wife Mocks Oregon Woman Over Lifestyle and Wealth - The New York Times

Louise Linton, the labels-loving wife of Steven Mnuchin, replied condescendingly to an Instagram poster about her lifestyle and belittled the woman, Jenni Miller, a mother of three from Portland, Ore., for having less money than she does.

Angela Merkel: Ahead, Relaxed, Reflective – Handelsblatt Global

Ms. Merkel said Germany would “not automatically” support the United States if it came to war in the Koreas. On China’s north-western neighbor, North Korea, Ms. Merkel said she’s confident that the room for diplomacy hasn’t been exhausted, insisting she sees “no military solution” to the conflict.” Here, too, Europe could play a larger role in bringing about an end to the conflict. “We can and should involve ourselves more,” she said.

Rescued piglets served up as sausages to firefighters - BBC News

The 18 piglets and two sows survived the fire in Wiltshire in February, which saw 60 tonnes of hay catch fire.
In a controversial move, farm manager Rachel Rivers thanked the Pewsey fire team by giving them sausages.

Rare white koala born at Australia Zoo seeks perfect name from Facebook fans - ABC News

A rare white koala joey has been born at a Queensland zoo, and the search is now on for the right name.

Honda scores in debut for Mexico's Pachuca | The Japan Times

Japan midfielder Keisuke Honda made an immediate impression in Pachuca colors as he came off the bench to score a goal on his Liga MX debut in a 4-1 win over Veracruz on Tuesday.

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News Headlines - 22 August 2017

McConnell, in Private, Doubts if Trump Can Save Presidency - The New York Times

The relationship between President Trump and Senator Mitch McConnell, the majority leader, has disintegrated to the point that they have not spoken to each other in weeks, and Mr. McConnell has privately expressed uncertainty that Mr. Trump will be able to salvage his administration after a series of summer crises.

When You Already Have 35 Political Parties, What’s 63 More? - WSJ

Over the past year, a deluge of 63 wannabe political parties have jumped in line to get official status that would allow them to put up candidates for office. Some are hoping to become official in time for the general elections in October next year... Political scientists say the country’s problem is too many parties. With 35 official political parties in existence, and 26 of them represented in Congress, most lawmakers just spend their time coalition-building.

Former Libyan prime minister released after being 'kidnapped in Tripoli'

A former prime minister of Libya has been released after being held for a week by an armed group linked to the country’s UN-backed government, sources said.
Ali Zeidan, 61, had not been seen since the evening of August 13 as he was detained by armed men in at a Tripoli hotel.

Ischia earthquake: Three brothers freed from rubble - BBC News

Rescuers have freed the last of three brothers who were trapped under rubble after a deadly earthquake on the Italian holiday island of Ischia.
The fire service confirmed they had rescued the 11-year-old at 14:12 local time (12:12 GMT), some 16 hours after the quake struck.

Trump Stares at the Sun During the Eclipse: Will It Harm His Eyes?

But on Monday afternoon (Aug. 21), President Donald Trump was spotted breaking the cardinal rule of eclipse viewing: Don't look at the sun without eye protection. For a brief moment, Trump took off his eclipse glasses and stared straight into the sun — even as an aide shouted, "Don't look," according to Ted Mann, a reporter for the Wall Street Journal.

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News Headlines - 21 August 2017

Pyongyang calls U.S.-South Korean war games a step to nuclear war

The United States and South Korean began long-planned joint military exercises on Monday, heightening tensions with North Korea which called the drills a "reckless" step toward nuclear conflict.

Last American soldier who defected to North Korea is dead, sons say - CNN

James Joseph Dresnok, believed to be the last remaining US soldier in North Korea, died last year, two of his sons said in video posted on a North Korean state-run news site... Dresnok defected to North Korea in 1962 in a daring dash across the heavily fortified demilitarized zone that divides the totalitarian country from South Korea.

U.S. scales back Russian visa operations after Putin cuts embassy staff

The United States began to scale back its visa services in Russia on Monday, drawing an angry reaction from Moscow three weeks after President Vladimir Putin ordered Washington to more than halve its embassy and consular staff.

Barcelona attack suspect Younes Abouyaaqoub shot dead wearing suicide belt by Spanish police

Younes Abouyaaqoub was shot on Monday by armed police in the town of Sant Sadurni d’Anoia in the district of Subirats, around 30 miles west of Barcelona, bringing to an end a five-day international manhunt.

McDonald's India ends its franchise agreement with Vikram Bakshi's CPRL - India Today

McDonalds India on Monday announced it had terminated its franchise agreement with Vikram Bakshi's Connaught Plaza Restaurants. The 169 restaurants operated by the latter will have to stop using the McDonlad's brand name within 15 days.

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News Headlines - 20 August 2017

Cambridge University Press limits access to articles in China

Cambridge University Press, the world’s oldest publisher, has blocked access to more than 300 articles from its leading China-focused journal at the behest of Beijing censors... The articles in China Quarterly, which cover a range of topics deemed sensitive by Beijing from human rights to Tibet and Xinjiang, were blocked within China in the past few weeks, according to Tim Pringle, the editor and a lecturer at the University of London’s School of Oriental and African Studies.

Trumps to skip Kennedy honours to avoid 'distraction' - BBC News

US President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump are to skip an arts awards ceremony to allow those taking part "to celebrate without political distraction", the White House says.

Microsoft Co-founder's Team Finds Wreckage of WWII-Era USS Indianapolis - NBC News

The Indianapolis, with 1,196 sailors and Marines on board, was sailing the Philippine Sea between Guam and Leyte Gulf when two torpedoes from a Japanese submarine struck just after midnight on July 30, 1945. It sank in 12 minutes, killing about 300. Survivors were left in the water, most of them with only life jackets.

Jerry Lewis, a Jester Both Silly and Stormy, Dies at 91 - The New York Times

Jerry Lewis, the comedian, actor and filmmaker who was adored by many, disdained by others, but unquestionably a defining figure of American entertainment in the 20th century, died on Sunday morning at his home in Las Vegas. He was 91.

Nicolai Muller scores Hamburg winner, celebrates, tears cruciate ligament and rules himself out for seven months | The Independent

Hamburg winger Nicolai Muller has been ruled out for seven months after injuring himself in an elaborate celebration of his match-winning goal on the Bundesliga's opening weekend.
The 29-year-old wheeled away to the corner flag after scoring the only goal in the 1-0 win over Augsburg on Saturday but had to leave the field moments later after falling awkwardly from a jumping pirouette.

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News Headlines - 19 August 2017

Steve Bannon leaves White House but promises to fight for Trump

Within hours of his departure, Breitbart News - the conservative news website which Mr Bannon headed before joining Trump's team - announced he had returned to his former home, as executive chairman.

President Trump Won't Attend Kennedy Center Honors Amid Planned Boycotts - NBC News

President Donald Trump and the First Lady will not attend the 2017 Kennedy Center Honors ceremony this December to allow honorees to celebrate "without any political distractions," the White House announced Saturday... The decision came after multiple honorees said they would boycott the 40th annual gala that is traditionally hosted by the president and first lady and recognizes artists for their contributions to American culture.

Neo-Nazi marchers in Berlin matched by counterprotesters | DW

After a group of neo-Nazis were controversially granted permission to hold a rally on Saturday to mark the anniversary of the death of Hitler's former deputy Rudolf Hess, they were met by a larger gathering of counterdemonstrators.

easyJet to release 10-hour jet noises album to help people sleep | Metro News

Jet Sounds, a 10-hour album of the continuous drone of an airplane engine, will be available to download tomorrow in either single or album format.

Death rates far higher for 'alternative' cancer cures, study finds | The Japan Times

People who choose alternative cures for common cancers are up to five times more likely to die than those opting for standard treatments, the lead scientist of a new study said on Friday.
The risk of death five years after diagnosis “was highest for breast and colon cancer,” said lead author Skyler Johnson from the Yale School of Medicine in New Haven, Connecticut — 5.6 and 4.6 times greater, respectively.

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News Headlines - 18 August 2017

Stephen Bannon Out at the White House After Turbulent Run - The New York Times

Stephen K. Bannon, the embattled chief strategist who helped President Trump win the 2016 election by embracing their shared nationalist impulses, departed the White House on Friday after a turbulent tenure shaping the fiery populism of the president’s first seven months in office.

India @ 70: BBC Radio 4 airs ‘dramatisation’ of Salman Rushdie’s Midnight’s Children | Hindustan Times

BBC Radio 4 paid a special tribute to India’s Independence on Monday night by broadcasting a seven-part “dramatisation” of author Salman Rushdie’s 1981 Booker prize winning novel Midnight’s Children. The first episode was aired just before midnight on the eve of the anniversary of India’s 70th Independence Day. The rest of the episodes, of differing lengths, would be aired on BBC Radio 4 through August 15.

Budget cuts fuel frustration among Japan’s academics : Nature

RIKEN’s budget has been cut by more than 20% over the past 10 years. In response, the BSI has reduced its number of principal investigators from 61 to 41 over that period.
Japan’s universities are in similar straits. Following reforms in 2004, their budgets have declined by 1% every year. The move was meant to make universities more responsive to strategic initiatives and more competitive, by aligning their research with industrial or military needs. But it has triggered other, less positive changes. The universities stopped hiring professors. New staff are brought in as contract employees, who flit from grant to grant to stay afloat.

Kei Nishikori is latest injury victim as wrist problem ends his season

Kei Nishikori has become the latest leading player to announce he will miss the rest of the season because of injury.
The world No. 9 withdrew from this week's Masters event in Cincinnati with a right wrist problem and scans have revealed a tear in one of the tendons.

London's female wrestling scene boosted by Netflix show 'Glow' | Reuters.com

There has been more interest in female wrestling and a clearer sense of what it involves since hit Netlfix show 'Glow' came out

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News Headlines - 17 August 2017

Over $9tn of bonds trade with negative yields

From less than $1tn in 2007, the Federal Reserve’s balance sheet has more than quadrupled in size. As the financial crisis spread to Europe and Japan, the European Central Bank, Bank of Japan and Bank of England joined in the expansion. All told, the balance sheets of the four central banks have surpassed $14tn. With the Swiss National Bank and Sweden’s Riksbank, that figure climbs to $15tn and accounts for a fifth of the six countries’ total government debt.

Nothing like this has happened in 323 years

Prior to January 2009, the Bank had never lowered its lending rate below 2 per cent. But it was then lowered to 1.5 per cent, on its way to 0.5 per cent in March 2009 and 0.25 per cent in August 2016. This ultra-easy policy was further buttressed by a huge expansion of the Bank’s balance sheet, which now contains £435bn in UK government “gilt-edged” securities and £10bn in corporate bonds.
Throughout this prolonged recent period of ultra-easy monetary policy, the concern has never been one of runaway inflation, but rather of the opposite. This time really has been different. What does it mean for the future? Nobody knows.

Barcelona: 13 killed as van rams crowds in Las Ramblas - BBC News

Thirteen people died and dozens were injured when a van ploughed into crowds in Barcelona's famous Las Ramblas area, Catalan police and local officials say.

What Science Tells Us About Good and Evil

We at National Geographic have been working on a story about what science tells us about good and evil. Given last weekend’s events, we’ve decided to publish the story now. A version will also appear in a future issue of the magazine.

Daniel Craig confirms he will play James Bond again | The Guardian

He once said he would rather take his own life than reprise his role as 007. But Daniel Craig may now be regretting his words, as he has confirmed he will, for one final time, play James Bond.
Speaking on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert on US TV on Tuesday night, the actor finally put an end to the long-running saga of will he/won’t he play the character for a fifth time.

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News Headlines - 16 August 2017

Trump praises North Korea's Kim for 'wise' decision on Guam

U.S. President Donald Trump on Wednesday praised North Korean leader Kim Jong Un for a "wise" decision not to fire missiles toward the U.S. Pacific territory of Guam, which has eased escalating tension between the two countries.

Trump’s business advisory councils disband as CEOs abandon president over Charlottesville views - The Washington Post

Trump announced the disbanding of the two councils — the Strategy & Policy Forum and the Manufacturing Council, which hosted many of the top corporate leaders in America — amid a growing uproar by chief executives furious over Trump's decision to equate the actions of white supremacists and protesters in remarks he made at Tuesday at Trump Tower.
But those groups had already decided to dissolve on their own earlier in the day, a person familiar with the process said.

Theresa May condemns far-right views after Donald Trump Charlottesville remarks | The Guardian

Theresa May has joined politicians from the main parties in the UK in criticising Donald Trump for suggesting there was a moral equivalence between the Charlottesville racist protesters and those campaigning against them.
But the prime minister has not agreed to requests to cancel Trump’s planned state visit to the UK in the light of his latest comments, despite renewed calls for the honour to be withdrawn.

Euro dips after ECB signals no shift likely at Jackson Hole

The euro fell by as much as half a cent on Wednesday, briefly dipping below $1.17, after sources signalled European Central Bank chief Mario Draghi would not use his Jackson Hole appearance to signal policy change by the bank.

No Cabinet members visited Yasukuni Shrine on war anniversary - The Mainichi

None of the members of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's Cabinet paid their respects to Yasukuni Shrine in Tokyo on Aug. 15, the day World War II ended in 1945, marking the first time for any member of cabinets of Liberal Democratic Party (LDP)-led governments not to have visited the shrine on the war anniversary since 1980.