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2018 International Conference of Data Protection and Privacy Commissioners to focus on Digital Ethics

2018 International Conference of Data Protection and Privacy Commissioners to focus on Digital Ethics

2018 International Conference of Data Protection and Privacy Commissioners to focus on Digital Ethics


The European Data Protection Supervisor (EDPS), Giovanni Buttarelli, and the Chairman of the Commission for Personal Data Protection of the Republic of Bulgaria (CPDP), Ventislav Karadjov, would like to extend their warmest congratulations to the Privacy Commissioner for Personal Data in Hong Kong, who hosted this year’s thought provoking edition of the International Conference of Data Protection and Privacy Commissioners (ICDPPC).

Preparations for the next International Conference, to be hosted by the EDPS and the CPDP in October 2018, will now proceed in earnest.

Conference Video | Debating Ethics: Dignity and Respect in Data Driven Life”

Giovanni Buttarelli, EDPS, said: “One of our biggest challenges as data protection and privacy regulators today is how to respond to the way in which the digital arena is changing our mission in relation to data protection and privacy. The 2018 International Conference will address this challenge by asking whether an ethical approach is needed to regulate the digital world and, if so, how this approach might be developed and implemented. This is a pivotal moment and we must act to ensure that technology is designed and developed to serve humankind and not the other way around.”

Companies and governments are beginning to take advantage of technological developments related to the internet of things, big data, robotics and artificial intelligence. Though these developments can bring many benefits for individuals and society, these benefits depend on ensuring that our values, based on a common respect for the individual and human dignity, remain a core component of innovation. The 2018 International Conference will aim to address these issues by facilitating an open and transparent conversation at global level, and across many different disciplines, on Digital Ethics.

Ventislav Karadjov, Chairman of the CPDP, said: “The International Conference brings together representatives from more than one hundred privacy and data protection authorities around the world. In this era of unprecedented change, where the political and social importance of privacy and data protection in the international arena are higher than they have ever been, it will provide the ideal forum to kick-start the movement towards ensuring respect and dignity for the individual in the digital environment.”

Inspired by the theme of this year’s conference in Hong Kong, which focused on connecting the West with the East, the UN special rapporteur on Privacy, the Digital Asia Hub and the EDPS jointly hosted a side event at the conference, focused on exploring what privacy means in different countries and cultures. Aimed at data protection and privacy authorities and regulators, the event provided an opportunity for an open and interactive exchange of ideas, which proved both thought provoking and revealing. The 2018 International Conference will look to take this debate further.

The EDPS and the CPDP look forward to welcoming a wide spectrum of groups and individuals to the International Conference in 2018 to explore whether and how ethics can be asserted in our digital reality.


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YAHOO Finally Admits all of its 3 Billion Accounts Hit by 2013 Hack

YAHOO Finally Admits all of its 3 Billion Accounts Hit by 2013 Hack

The company said last December that data from more than 1bn user accounts was compromised in the largest breach in history, but is now tripling that figure

CNET Report – Yahoo Finally Admits all of its 3 Billion Account Hit by 2013 Hack

Yahoo said on Tuesday that every one of its 3bn accounts was affected by a 2013 data theft at the tech company, tripling its earlier estimate of the largest breach in history.

The company, now part of Verizon Communications, said last December that data from more than 1bn user accounts was compromised by hackers in August 2013.

Yahoo included the finding in an update to its account security update page. The company said it will begin alerting accounts that were not previously notified of the attack.

However, the company said the latest investigation indicated that the stolen information did not include passwords in clear text, payment card data, or bank account information.

“It is important to note that, in connection with Yahoo’s December 2016 announcement of the August 2013 theft, Yahoo took action to protect all accounts. The company required all users who had not changed their passwords since the time of the theft to do so. Yahoo also invalidated unencrypted security questions and answers so they cannot be used to access an account,” Yahoo said on Tuesday.

The latest disclosure of the massive hack came on the same day that the former boss of credit agency Equifax was grilled in Congress over a breach in its systems that compromised the social security numbers, credit card details and other personal information of 145.5 million people.

The hack has been a costly one for Yahoo and its executives. Marissa Mayer, Yahoo’s former chief executive, gave up her 2016 cash bonus following the incident and the company’s top lawyer, Ronald Bell, resigned in the wake of the hack and the other breaches.

Some 43 consumer class-action lawsuits have been filed against the company, Yahoo said in a May filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Verizon in February lowered its original offer by $350m for Yahoo assets in the wake of two huge cyber-attacks at the internet company.

The closing of the deal, which was first announced in July, had been delayed as the companies assessed the fallout from two data breaches that Yahoo disclosed last year. The company paid $4.48bn for Yahoo’s core business.

A Yahoo official emphasized on Tuesday that the 3bn figure includes many accounts that were opened but never or only briefly used.


Market Watch: Every Yahoo account was affected by 2013 hack, Verizon now says

Express: Yahoo Mail DOWN – Email service NOT WORKING as customers left unable to login

Tom’s Guide: 3 Billion Yahoo Accounts Hacked: What You Can Do


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Equifax would be dead in Europe if GDPR were in place

Equifax would be dead in Europe if GDPR were in place

Equifax would be dead in Europe if GDPR were in place – 143 Million Data Breach is revealing a litany of regulatory ‘horrors’

U.S. consumers hearing the news yesterday of a massive Equifax data breach, which the company revealed potentially affects 143 million consumers, and includes data such as names, addresses, dates of birth, social security numbers, drivers’ licenses and — for a subset of hundreds of thousands — credit card information too, not only had to contemplate the horrendous scale of the thing (Natasha Lamas at TechCrunch Reports)

They were also left to grapple with an Equifax ’emergency response line’ that hung up on them, and an Equifax data breach ‘help’ website that appears to raise a lot more questions than it answers — not least the core consideration that it’s requiring desperately worried consumers to trust a company that has failed to protect their personal data with more of their personal data, by inputting it into a web form, just to check whether they might be affected by the breach.

And that’s before you even consider whether Equifax is trying to use the site’s terms of service to get users to waive their rights to bring a class action lawsuit against it — as appears to be the case. Which would be spectacularly unclassy, to say the least.

The cherry on this unlovely layer cake is the fact the credit checking company states it found out about the breach on “July 29 of this year” — while the unauthorized access apparently occurred “from mid-May through July 2017”.

Rick Smith, Chairman and CEO of Equifax, on Cybersecurity Incident Involving Consumer Data

All this means it’s given itself well over a month before deigning to tell consumers their personal data might be in the hands of identity thieves.

That might not seem so bad if you compare it to the current biggest (known) data breaches — affecting at least 500M Yahoo accounts, and more than 1BN Yahoo accounts — which took place years before the company disclosed the intrusions to the public, although it’s not clear when exactly Yahoo itself discovered the breaches.

Even so, 40 days remains an awfully long time for consumers to be kept in the dark about the fact their identities and other highly sensitive personal data might be being traded by hackers, used to compromise other services, and sold to spammers for targeted spearphishing attacks.

Equifax does not explain the length of time it took to inform the public about the breach. And yesterday said it “will” be writing directly to affected individuals, and is “in the process of” contacting state and federal regulators. So, very clearly, the company hasn’t been spending any of the past 40 days warning affected individuals or informing data watchdogs that its systems had been breached.

The US does not currently have a federal law requiring companies to inform the public about data breaches, though one was proposed in 2015 under President Obama which would have set a 30-day notification requirement, but it failed to get support.

And while the vast majority of states have enacted breach notification statutes of their own at this point, and some have stricter notification requirements than the 2015 proposal, others don’t. It’s a patchwork — and therefore a lottery for U.S. consumers.

Over the pond in the European Union the story is different. A single breach notification standard for personal data was agreed at the end of 2015 — and is set to come into force in May 2018, under the incoming GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation).

This will set a data breach notification bar across the bloc of “not later than 72 hours” after a data controller has become aware of an intrusion.

There are some caveats to this portion (Article 33) of the regulation (phrases like “without undue delay and, where feasible”, and some potential for exclusion based on the type of data being breached (“unless the personal data breach is unlikely to result in a risk to the rights and freedoms of natural persons”).

But the expectation is clearly that data controllers must disclose a personal data breach to a national supervisor data authority, at the very least, radically sooner than the ’40 days later’ which Equifax reckons is an acceptable disclosure timeframe.

(While the type of data involved in the Equifax breach is clearly highly sensitive, so this incident would seem a very unlikely candidate for qualifying for a notification exemption under GDPR.)

Another change Europe’s incoming rules are bringing is a big stick to drive compliance for the new breach notification standard, as companies that do not comply with the new rules risk very stiff penalties for failing to do so.

In the case of non-compliance over breach notification, the GDPR gives data watchdogs the power to issue fines of up to €10M (~$12M) — or up to 2% of the total worldwide annual turnover of a company’s preceding financial year, whichever is higher.

In Equifax’s case its 2016 operating revenue was ~$3.145BN. So — under the GDPR regime — the company might have faced a fine of around $62.9M if it hadn’t reported this data breach multiple weeks sooner than it chose to. (Indeed, it’s expecting its full year 2017 revenue to be even higher, between $3.395BN and $3.425BN, so this theoretical fine inflates to as much as $68.5M.)

Which does rather give pause for thought.

If you’re a multinational corporation processing the personal data of EU citizens those sorts of figures probably send some rather large shivers down the CEO’s spine.

Equifax does indeed have a European presence, and has also said that some UK consumers are affected by the breach — writing yesterday that as part of its investigation it “also identified unauthorized access to limited personal information for certain UK and Canadian residents”, and adding: “Equifax will work with UK and Canadian regulators to determine appropriate next steps.”

So if these events had been shifted just a few months into the future Equifax might well have been forced to handle the breach disclosure very differently — or else it would be risking a very large fine under GDPR.

The question then would be, would it have informed the UK regulatory of the breach within 72 hours whilst continuing to keep U.S. data watchdogs and U.S. consumers in the dark? That wouldn’t seem like great domestic PR.

The aim of Europe’s new rules is of course to encourage companies that collect and store consumers’ personal data not to treat the security of that data as an afterthought. And large fines for failure is certainly one way to grease the pipe of security spending among corporates.

As the UK’s DPA warns on its website in an FAQ about the new breach notification rules: “In light of the tight timescales for reporting a breach – it is important to have robust breach detection, investigation and internal reporting procedures in place.”

While an interesting potential side-effect of the new, tougher regime is whether it will end up forcing higher standards on non-European businesses, especially those in the U.S. — given many do handle EU citizens’ data, and will therefore need to reconfigure their processes to meet the bloc’s new standard.

(The GDPR also expands the definition of what personal data is, and brings additional requirements such as a right for consumers to see what information is held about them and have it deleted on request — so there are other big changes incoming.)

We’ve reached out to Equifax in the UK for comment and will update this post with any response.

In a statement, the deputy commissioner of the UK’s data protection watchdog, commissioner James Dipple-Johnstone, told us: “Reports of a significant data loss at US-based Equifax and the potential impact on some UK citizens gives us cause for concern. We are already in direct contact with Equifax to establish the facts including how many people in the UK have been affected and what kind of personal data may have been compromised.”

“We will be advising Equifax to alert affected UK customers at the earliest opportunity,” he added.

TheRealNews – Equifax Data Breach is a 10 out of 10 Scandal


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Demise of the Petrodollar – The BRICS Conference Bombshell

Demise of the Petrodollar - The BRICS Conference Bombshell. By Narendra Modi [CC BY-SA 2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

Demise of the Petrodollar – The BRICS Conference Bombshell

Putin reveals ‘fair multipolar world’ concept in which oil contracts could bypass the US dollar and be traded with oil, yuan and gold

The annual BRICS summit in Xiamen – where President Xi Jinping was once mayor – could not intervene in a more incandescent geopolitical context.

Once again, it’s essential to keep in mind that the current core of BRICS is “RC”; the Russia-China strategic partnership. So in the Korean peninsula chessboard, RC context – with both nations sharing borders with the DPRK – is primordial, reports Pablo Escobar from Asia Times

RT – Keiser Report: RIP Petrodollar

Beijing has imposed a definitive veto on war – of which the Pentagon is very much aware.

Pyongyang’s sixth nuclear test, although planned way in advance, happened only three days after two nuclear-capable US B-1B strategic bombers conducted their own “test” alongside four F-35Bs and a few Japanese F-15s.

Everyone familiar with the Korean peninsula chessboard knew there would be a DPRK response to these barely disguised “decapitation” tests.

So it’s back to the only sound proposition on the table: the RC “double freeze”. Freeze on US/Japan/South Korea military drills; freeze on North Korea’s nuclear program; diplomacy takes over.

The White House, instead, has evoked ominous “nuclear capabilities” as a conflict resolution mechanism.

Gold mining in the Amazon, anyone?

On the Doklam plateau front, at least New Delhi and Beijing decided, after two tense months, on “expeditious disengagement” of their border troops. This decision was directly linked to the approaching BRICS summit – where both India and China were set to lose face big time.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi had already tried a similar disruption gambit prior to the BRICS Goa summit last year. Then, he was adamant that Pakistan should be declared a “terrorist state”. The RC duly vetoed it.

Modi also ostensively boycotted the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) summit in Hangzhou last May, essentially because of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).

India and Japan are dreaming of countering BRI with a semblance of connectivity project; the Asia-Africa Growth Corridor (AAGC). To believe that the AAGC – with a fraction of the reach, breath, scope and funds available to BRI – may steal its thunder, is to enter prime wishful-thinking territory.

Still, Modi emitted some positive signs in Xiamen; “We are in mission-mode to eradicate poverty; to ensure health, sanitation, skills, food security, gender equality, energy, education.” Without this mammoth effort, India’s lofty geopolitical dreams are D.O.A.

Brazil, for its part, is immersed in a larger-than-life socio-political tragedy, “led” by a Dracula-esque, corrupt non-entity; Temer The Usurper. Brazil’s President, Michel Temer, hit Xiamen eager to peddle “his” 57 major, ongoing privatizations to Chinese investors – complete with corporate gold mining in an Amazon nature reserve the size of Denmark. Add to it massive social spending austerity and hardcore anti-labor legislation, and one’s got the picture of Brazil currently being run by Wall Street. The name of the game is to profit from the loot, fast.

The BRICS’ New Development Bank (NDB) – a counterpart to the World Bank – is predictably derided all across the Beltway. Xiamen showed how the NDB is only starting to finance BRICS projects. It’s misguided to compare it with the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB). They will be investing in different types of projects – with the AIIB more focused on BRI. Their aim is complementary.

‘BRICS Plus’ or bust

On the global stage, the BRICS are already a major nuisance to the unipolar order. Xi politely put it in Xiamen as “we five countries [should] play a more active part in global governance”.

And right on cue Xiamen introduced “dialogues” with Mexico, Egypt, Thailand, Guinea and Tajikistan; that’s part of the road map for “BRICS Plus” – Beijing’s conceptualization, proposed last March by Foreign Minister Wang Yi, for expanding partnership/cooperation.

A further instance of “BRICS Plus” can be detected in the possible launch, before the end of 2017, of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) – in the wake of the death of TPP.

Contrary to a torrent of Western spin, RCEP is not “led” by China. Japan is part of it – and so is India and Australia alongside the 10 ASEAN members. The burning question is what kind of games New Delhi may be playing to stall RCEP in parallel to boycotting BRI.

Patrick Bond in Johannesburg has developed an important critique, arguing that “centrifugal economic forces” are breaking up the BRICS, thanks to over-production, excessive debt and de-globalization. He interprets the process as “the failure of Xi’s desired centripetal capitalism.”

It doesn’t have to be this way. Never underestimate the power of Chinese centripetal capitalism – especially when BRI hits a higher gear.

Meet the oil/yuan/gold triad

It’s when President Putin starts talking that the BRICS reveal their true bombshell. Geopolitically and geo-economically, Putin’s emphasis is on a “fair multipolar world”, and “against protectionism and new barriers in global trade.” The message is straight to the point.

The Syria game-changer – where Beijing silently but firmly supported Moscow – had to be evoked; “It was largely thanks to the efforts of Russia and other concerned countries that conditions have been created to improve the situation in Syria.”

On the Korean peninsula, it’s clear how RC think in unison; “The situation is balancing on the brink of a large-scale conflict.”

Putin’s judgment is as scathing as the – RC-proposed – possible solution is sound; “Putting pressure on Pyongyang to stop its nuclear missile program is misguided and futile. The region’s problems should only be settled through a direct dialogue of all the parties concerned without any preconditions.”

Putin’s – and Xi’s – concept of multilateral order is clearly visible in the wide-ranging Xiamen Declaration, which proposes an “Afghan-led and Afghan-owned” peace and national reconciliation process, “including the Moscow Format of consultations” and the “Heart of Asia-Istanbul process”.

That’s code for an all-Asian (and not Western) Afghan solution brokered by the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), led by RC, and of which Afghanistan is an observer and future full member.

And then, Putin delivers the clincher; “Russia shares the BRICS countries’ concerns over the unfairness of the global financial and economic architecture, which does not give due regard to the growing weight of the emerging economies. We are ready to work together with our partners to promote international financial regulation reforms and to overcome the excessive domination of the limited number of reserve currencies.”

“To overcome the excessive domination of the limited number of reserve currencies” is the politest way of stating what the BRICS have been discussing for years now; how to bypass the US dollar, as well as the petrodollar.

Beijing is ready to step up the game. Soon China will launch a crude oil futures contract priced in yuan and convertible into gold.

This means that Russia – as well as Iran, the other key node of Eurasia integration – may bypass US sanctions by trading energy in their own currencies, or in yuan. Inbuilt in the move is a true Chinese win-win; the yuan will be fully convertible into gold on both the Shanghai and Hong Kong exchanges.

The new triad of oil, yuan and gold is actually a win-win-win. No problem at all if energy providers prefer to be paid in physical gold instead of yuan. The key message is the US dollar being bypassed.

RC – via the Russian Central Bank and the People’s Bank of China – have been developing ruble-yuan swaps for quite a while now.

Once that moves beyond the BRICS to aspiring “BRICS Plus” members and then all across the Global South, Washington’s reaction is bound to be nuclear (hopefully, not literally).

Washington’s strategic doctrine rules RC should not be allowed by any means to be preponderant along the Eurasian landmass. Yet what the BRICS have in store geo-economically does not concern only Eurasia – but the whole Global South.

Sections of the War Party in Washington bent on instrumentalizing India against China – or against RC – may be in for a rude awakening. As much as the BRICS may be currently facing varied waves of economic turmoil, the daring long-term road map, way beyond the Xiamen Declaration, is very much in place


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GIMME FACEBOOK, SUGAR & METH – Hacking the American Mind

GIMME FACEBOOK, SUGAR & METH - Hacking the American Mind



What is the difference between pleasure and happiness? These two positive emotions are often confused with each other, yet they couldn’t be more different. Lustig says that pleasure is short-lived, visceral, usually experienced alone, achievable with substances. Happiness, by contrast, is often the opposite—long-lived, ethereal, often experienced in social groups and cannot be achieved through substances. Pleasure is taking, while happiness is giving. Pleasure relies on dopamine, while happiness relies on serotonin. These too emotions involve two different neurotransmitters, regulatory systems and pathways in the brain

But why should we care? Dopamine downregulates its own receptor: You get a hit, a rush—and then the receptors go down. Next time, you need more and more. Anything that generates pleasure can lead to addiction. Conversely, serotonin does not downregulate its own receptor, so you cannot overdose on too much happiness. There is one thing that does downregulate serotonin though: dopamine. The more pleasure we seek, the less happy we become.

In the last 45 years—in order to sell us their junk—Wall Street, Madison Avenue, Las Vegas and Silicon Valley have conflated pleasure with happiness so that we don’t know the difference anymore. Congress and the Supreme Court have codified corporate behavior, leaving us addicted and depressed. In the process, society has become fat, sick, stupid and broke. The only way to reverse this is by understanding the science of these two ostensibly “positive” emotions—how they interact and how to modulate them. Otherwise, those who abdicate happiness for pleasure will end up with neither

Lustig is a neuroendocrinologist with basic and clinical training relative to hypothalamic development, anatomy and function. Prior to coming to San Francisco, he worked at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis. A native of Brooklyn, Lustig graduated from MIT and received his M.D. from Cornell University Medical College. He has been a faculty member at the University of Wisconsin–Madison and the University of Tennessee, Memphis.

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BROADCASTING HOUSE | Chinese Debt Crisis | IMF Warning

BROADCASTING HOUSE | Chinese Debt Crisis | 2017-08-21 Chinese Debt Crisis | IMF Warnings | Trillions owed | Global Exposure | Runs on Chinese Banks

BROADCASTING HOUSE | Chinese Debt Crisis | 2017-08-21

Chinese Debt Crisis | IMF Warnings | Trillions owed | Global Exposure | Runs on Chinese Banks

Asia Times | IMF’s China Debt Warnings are Eerily Familiar

  • The International Monetary Fund shouldn’t expect much warmth from Beijing these days. Its latest annual health check on Asia’s biggest economy is blunt, sweeping and sure to ruin Xi Jinping’s month as the Chinese president tries to maintain a veneer of omnipotence and stability.
  • The IMF’s worry, of course, is debt. It’s seen this horror film before in neighbouring Japan and the odds of a happier ending for China are negligible
  • “International experience suggests that China’s credit growth is on a dangerous trajectory, with increasing risks of a disruptive adjustment and/or a marked growth slowdown,” the IMF said.
  • What’s fascinating, though, is that we actually have three Asian lenses through which to view China’s debt quandary, none of which paint a particularly hopeful picture: Japan, Southeast Asia, and South Korea.
  • The common-thread reality is that no matter which lens you prefer, China’s rise as a global superpower is stalling before our eyes and Beijing’s meddling is to blame

Financial Times | Opening the credit floodgates saved the Chinese economy after the global financial crisis, but can the government wean the country off its debt dependence?

The Guardian | China Moves to Curb Overseas Acquisitions as Firms’ Debt Levels Rise

  • The Chinese government has served notice on the country’s foreign investment spree in football clubs, skyscrapers and Hollywood as it moves to curb rising levels of debt among domestic companies
  • The announcement of restrictions in a range of sectors follows a buying spree around the globe during which Chinese firms and business tycoons have taken control of assets including Legendary Entertainment, the US film producer behind Jurassic World and Warcraft, buildings such as the Cheesegrater in London, and English football clubs including Southampton and Aston Villa
  • The curbs were announced in a document released on Friday by the state council, China’s cabinet, in the latest move to halt a string of foreign acquisitions. This week the International Monetary Fund described China’s credit-fuelled economic strategy as dangerous, in a strongly worded statement warning that the country’s approach risks financial turmoil
  • Raising concerns that some of the companies involved may be taking on too much debt, the council said: “There are great opportunities for our nation’s companies to embark on foreign investment, but they also face numerous risks and challenges.”
  • It added that through the new guidance, the government hopes to promote the “rational, orderly and healthy development of foreign investment while effectively guarding against risks”
  • The document limits overseas investments in areas such as hotels, cinemas, the entertainment industry, real estate and sports clubs. It also bans outright investments in enterprises related to gambling and the sex industry. The Chinese government had already flagged hotels as an area of concern, having reportedly asked the insurance group Anbang to sell the Waldorf Astoria hotel in New York.

The Australian | China’s ‘Dangerous’ Debt Boom could end badly for all

  • Australia’s economy is being sustained by a credit boom in China that the International Monetary Fund warns is bound to end badly.
  • The fund’s hard-hitting review of China’s economy says there is no international precedent for such a large credit boom culminating in anything other than a sharp downturn or a financial crisis.
  • The fund’s loss of confidence that the Chinese authorities will act to rein in the runaway debt growth has led it to upgrade its growth forecasts for the next three years from an average of 6 per cent to 6.4 per cent.
  • “The baseline implies ongoing support for global commodity exporters which benefit from strong public investment, real estate and heavy industry (such as Brazil and Australia),” the fund says.
  • “But this scenario of high growth and high debt accumulation also raises the probability of a disruptive adjustment to Chinese demand that would result in a sharp contraction in imports and a contractionary impulse to the global economy,” it says.
  • The Reserve Bank largely shares the IMF’s concerns. At the recent parliamentary hearing, deputy governor Guy Debelle said no country had ever gone through a period of financial deregulation without experiencing some disruption.
  • “Maybe China will be the first, or maybe not, and that remains to be seen,” he said. Although Chinese authorities were strengthening regulation of some aspects of the financial system, it had so far had no effect on the overall economy, with debt levels still rising.

Business Insider | One of the most prominent Chinese analysts is sounding alarm on the country’s debt

  • LONDON – Charlene Chu, an influential China analyst, of Chinese debt, warned the country’s debt problem is starting to have global implications.
  • Speaking to the Financial Times’ Gabriel Wildau this week, Chu said: “Everyone knows there’s a credit problem in China, but I find that people often forget about the scale. It’s important in global terms.”
  • Chu became well-known while working as an analyst for ratings agency Fitch as one of the first people to openly warn about the risks of rising debt in the country, a view that is now widely shared even among international institutions.
  • Chu estimated that there will be as much as $7.6 trillion worth of so-called “bad” debt in the Chinese economy by the end of 2017. Bad debts are generally those with unsustainable interest rates which risk getting their holders into difficulty and perhaps defaulting

Bloomberg | China’s Rising Debt Unnerves the IMF. The Alternative Is Worse

  • With debt three times as large as GDP, the nation will represent a huge global risk. Anything less would be a risk as well
  • Debt racked up by China’s government, companies and households will likely balloon to almost 300 percent of gross domestic product by early next decade, the International Monetary Fund projected in its annual review of the country’s economy
  • Big, for sure, and a risk to global financial stability. But anything less would be a risk as well. What would China’s economy and the world’s look like without this level of stimulus? Global growth since the 2007-2009 crisis would be slower and more dependent on the U.S., which is struggling to escape the world of 2 percent growth
  • If that isn’t significant enough, American companies would have likely had fewer buyers for services like banking, education and software. For all the wailing about the U.S. merchandise trade deficit, China itself has a small but growing services deficit with the rest of the world
  • The IMF acknowledged this point. It said gross domestic product, adjusted for inflation, would probably have grown only about 5.5 percent annually over the past four years instead of 7.25 percent
  • At some point, China will further cool its engines and accept slowing growth. IMF directors “noted that economic activity had recently firmed and saw this as an opportunity to accelerate needed reforms and focus more on the quality and sustainability of growth.”

World Alternative Media | China’s CATASTROPHIC Debt Is Scaring The IMF! – What This Means

The International Monetary Fund | China’s Economic Outlook in Six Charts

  • IMF staff have revised up China’s growth outlook compared to last year’s report. Growth between 2017 and 2021 for the world’s second largest economy is now expected to average 6.4 percent, compared to 6.0 percent last year
  • But at a cost of higher debt, which leads to rising risks. According to the IMF’s report, total non-financial sector debt—which includes household, corporate and government debt—is expected to continue to rise strongly, reaching almost 300 percent of GDP by 2022, up from 242 percent in 2016. This raises concerns for a possible sharp decline in growth in the medium term
  • Given strong growth momentum, now is the time to intensify deleveraging efforts. The Chinese government has started to take important initial steps to facilitate private sector deleveraging—credit growth is slowing and the large “credit gap” is narrowing. These efforts should intensify, with the overarching priority being to focus more on the quality and sustainability of growth, and less on quantitative targets
  • To grow strongly, but also sustainably, China needs to boost consumption. At 46 percent of GDP, China’s national savings are 26 percentage points higher than the global average, largely due to the household sector, with consumption correspondingly low. This reduces the current welfare of Chinese citizens, fosters high levels of investment which are unlikely to be absorbed efficiently, and, were investment to fall, would lead to even larger current account surpluses, worsening global imbalances
  • Social spending in China is on the rise, but more can be done. Increasing government spending on health and pensions would increase government consumption, but also private consumption by reducing households’ need to save. Increasing the progressivity of the tax system could finance higher social spending and reduce income inequality, which is among the highest in the world
  • China also needs to increase productivity. This can be done by making better use of resources that are currently going to loss-making (“zombie”) companies, overcapacity industries, and State-Owned Enterprises (SOEs). The IMF estimates that such efforts could increase the contribution of productivity to growth by about 1 percentage point over the long term

Wall Street Journal | How China hides its Infrastructure Debt

Mail Online: China cracks down on foreign spending sprees

  • China is to restrict foreign investments in sports clubs, real estate and entertainment and is banning investment in pornography and “unauthorised” military technology.
  • The new rules were announced Friday by the government which had previously encouraged overseas spending sprees, but then warned late last year of “irrational” acquisitions amid fears that powerful conglomerates were racking up dangerous debt levels.
  • The announcement came days after British football club Southampton said it had entered into a partnership with Chinese businessman Gao Jisheng, with press reports saying he and his family had paid £200 million ($259.5 million) for an 80 percent stake.
  • “Foreign investments that do not conform to China´s efforts towards peaceful development, mutually beneficial cooperation and to macroeconomic regulation are subject to restriction,” said the government, adding it wanted to “prevent risks”.
  • Chinese firms will no longer be able to invest in conflict zones and places that do not have diplomatic ties with China.
  • The rules also ban investments that could harm the country’s interests and security.
  • High-profile Chinese deals in recent years have grabbed the limelight including Fosun’s takeover of Club Med, HNA’s stakes in Deutsche Bank and Hilton hotels, Anbang’s purchase of New York’s historic Waldorf Astoria, and Wanda’s control of Hollywood studio Legendary Entertainment and 20 percent of the Atletico Madrid football club.


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BROADCASTING HOUSE | War with N. Korea Inevitable Says Senator

BROADCASTING HOUSE | War with N. Korea Inevitable

BROADCASTING HOUSE | War with N. Korea Inevitable: ‘Massive annihilation like we have never seen’, says former CIA agent

  • Weapons of Mass Destruction! Have we Heard that Before Somewhere?
  • Pentagon is reporting highly unusual activity near the coast of North Korea, where it detected an ejection test from a North Korean submarine
  • Senator Linsey Graham claims Trump told him War with N. Korea inevitable, leaving many Americans very nervous
  • Former CIA Agent agrees situation is worrisome, citing the dangers facing allies in nearby Soeul (25 million people) and Tokyo
  • Rex Tillerson disagrees and says there are other more measured options, including a strategy of “peaceful pressure”
  • Should Trump have to choose between stability of Asia & security of the USA, he would definitely choose the latter
  • Trump could certainly do with a war…it would certainly draw attention away from his many domestic pressures

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Bitcoin Cash Latest | Maduro | Game of Thrones Leak | Seth Rich Affair | Olympic Venues | Sam Shepard Death | Ronaldo Tax | Scaramucci Demise | Trump & Russiagate |Nemenja Matic Transfer

 Global Top Ten Stories Analyzed & Prioritized via Analytics (Data from

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Vice News Report: Chaos During Venezuela’s “Sham” Elections (HBO)

The Guardian | Maduro condemned after Venezuelan opposition duo arrested in midnight raids

  • The rearrest of two of Venezuela’s most prominent opposition leaders in midnight operations has prompted further condemnation of President Nicolás Maduro’s government – which was already accused of attempting to seize absolute power in the crisis-hit country.
  • Security officials led the raids early on Tuesday, after a court ruled that Leopoldo López and Antonio Ledezma had violated the terms of their house arrests by calling on Venezuelans to protest against the weekend vote to elect a new body to rewrite the constitution.
  • The vote for the constituent assembly was boycotted by the opposition, and has been denounced around the world as an attack on democracy.
  • López was sentenced to 14 years in prison for his role in leading street protests against Maduro in 2014. Ledezma is accused of plotting a coup. Human rights defenders have said in both cases the charges have been trumped up

CNN: Venezuela: Opposition leaders taken from homes

BBC: Venezuela crisis: Trump warns Maduro over jailed opponents

  • The US holds Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro “personally responsible” for the safety of two seized opposition leaders, President Donald Trump has warned.
  • In a statement, Mr Trump also called for the immediate and unconditional release of all political prisoners.
  • Leopoldo López and Antonio Ledezma, who had been under house arrest, were taken to a military prison on Tuesday.
  • This came after Sunday’s controversial vote for a constitutional assembly.
  • At least 10 people were killed, as the opposition boycotted the election.
  • President Maduro said the poll was a “vote for the revolution”, arguing that the move would create peace and foster dialogue by bringing together different sectors of Venezuela’s polarised society

TIME MAGAZINE: Two Venezuelan Opposition Leaders Jailed as Crisis Escalates

  • Teams of heavily armed security agents seized two of Venezuela’s top opposition leaders from their homes in the middle of the night Tuesday, dragging one into the street in his pjamas as President Nicolas Maduro’s government defied U.S. sanctions and international condemnation of a plan to assume nearly unlimited powers.
  • Leopoldo Lopez and Antonio Ledezma were being held at the Ramo Verde military prison south of the capital, accused by the government-allied Supreme Court of violating the terms of their house arrest by plotting to escape and releasing video statements criticizing Maduro.
  • Both men’s allies denied the charges and vowed to continue to try to push the ruling party from power. But they gave little indication of how they planned to do that, and the capital was unusually quiet after months of sometimes violent protests. While the United States and some Latin American allies condemned the arrests, many other nations and international organizations were silent or limited themselves to expressions of concern

OLYMPICS | 1,120 Articles | PARIS 2024 & LOS ANGELES 2028

Associated Press | Los Angeles To Host 2028 Olympics

Slate | A Bargain at $5.3 Billion – Los Angeles’ plan for an Olympics on the (relatively) cheap should change the games forever

  • The competition for the 2024 Summer Olympics came to a very un-Olympian finish this week: Gold medals for everyone! One went to Paris, the last city standing in the hunt for the 2024 Games. Los Angeles, too, has been draped in gold after agreeing to host the 2028 Games instead. And let’s go ahead and give a gold medal to the International Olympic Committee, for obtaining not one but two commitments to host its quadrennial spectacle of debt. (And from democracies, no less!)
  • The settlement turns a coin toss between Paris and L.A. into a “win-win-win,” IOC President Thomas Bach said on Monday. The decision to award two Olympiads at once was framed as a reflection of “the exceptional circumstances and unique opportunities” presented by the two cities. But if you think the IOC decided to forgo its usual bribe-fueled dog-and-pony show because Paris and L.A. were both so grand, I’ve got a billion-dollar aquatics center to sell you.
  • In reality, the IOC is making the most of a bad hand. In the wake of the scandal that was Sochi and the ongoing debacle in Rio de Janeiro, the committee has been buffeted by a near-total lack of interest in the 2022 Games, which were awarded to Beijing, and a string of stinging repudiations from voters in Oslo, Vienna, and Hamburg. Boston, Rome, and Budapest all dropped out of the 2024 sweepstakes due to a lack of popular enthusiasm. In 2014, the IOC approved a 40-point plan of repentance, but the details of its arrangements with host cities are yet to be hammered out. Well, now’s the chance

Reuters | Paris Olympics aims to regenerate poor, northeastern suburbs

  • BOBIGNY, France (Reuters) – The most deprived department in France is expected to be a big winner now Paris is in line to host the 2024 Olympics with thousands of homes and a new swimming center to be built in Seine-Saint-Denis for the games.
  • The poorest of France’s 101 mainland departments, Seine-Saint-Denis sprawls east and north from Paris, much of it a drab expanse of grey suburbs, abandoned factories and poverty.
  • Paris learned on Monday that it was a near certainty to be the IOC’s chosen host for the 2024 games when its only remaining rival, Los Angeles, agreed to wait another four years. Budapest, Boston, Hamburg and Rome had all pulled out of the race.
  • “La Joie est Libre! (Joy Ahead!),” said the front-page headline of L’Equipe sports newspaper, welcoming the news with a play on words. A series of Islamist militant attacks frightened away many visitors from the French capital and city officials hope winning the bid will boost tourism.
  • Organizers of the games say their aim to lift Seine-Saint-Denis’s fortunes helped their case with the International Olympic Committee (IOC).
  • “Bearing in mind the symbolic and real divides which there sometimes still are between Paris and its suburbs, this young, working class place, with young people of all colors and all origins allows us to say to the IOC that these games are a wonderful opportunity to show that Paris is bigger than Paris,” Stephane Troussel, president of Seine-Saint-Denis, told Reuters.
  • Tony Estanguet, co-chair of the Paris bid, said: “We looked at the success of the games in London and for sure, the fact that London succeeded in leaving a strong legacy, a physical legacy in the east of London, was very important for us.”

France 24 | Paris 2024 Olympics: ‘This time, it’s ours!’ (Unofficially Official)


Al Jazeera | American award-winning playwright Sam Shepard dies at 73

Rolling Stone | Patti Smith Shares Elegant, Poignant Tribute to Sam Shepard

  • “He liked getting a role that would take him somewhere he really didn’t want to be, but where he could wind up taking in its strangeness”
  • Patti Smith penned a moving and evocative tribute to her longtime friend and collaborator Sam Shepard for The New Yorker. The writer and actor died at his home in Kentucky Sunday due to complications from ALS at the age of 73.
  • As Smith detailed in her 2010 memoir Just Kids, she and Shepard met in the early Seventies when he was drumming for a folk group called the Holy Modal Rounders – though at the time Smith did not know that Shepard was also already an acclaimed playwright. The pair became fast friends and collaborators, working on a play called Cowboy Mouth, while Shepard also encouraged Smith to try pairing her poetry with music.
  • In her remembrance for The New Yorker, Smith recalled her lengthy late-night chats with Shepard, who would call from all over the world to talk about art, family, history, books and writers. Smith remembered her friend as a willing adventurer who “liked packing up and leaving just like that, going west. He liked getting a role that would take him somewhere he really didn’t want to be, but where he could wind up taking in its strangeness; lonely fodder for future work.”

IMDB | Sam Shepard Mini Bio

  • Sam Shepard was born Samuel Shepard Rogers in Fort Sheridan, Illinois, to Jane Elaine (Schook), a teacher, and Samuel Shepard Rogers, a teacher and farmer who was also in the army. As the eldest son of a US Army officer (and WWII bomber pilot), Shepard spent his early childhood moving from base to base around the US until finally settling in Duarte, California. While at high school he began acting and writing and worked as a ranch hand in Chino. He graduated high school in 1961 and then spent a year studying agriculture at Mount San Antonio Junior College, intending to become a vet.
  • In 1962, though, a touring theater company, the Bishop’s Company Repertory Players, visited the town and he joined up and left home to tour with them. He spent nearly two years with the company and eventually settled in New York where he began writing plays, first performing with an obscure off-off-Broadway group but eventually gaining recognition for his writing and winning prestigious OBIE awards (Off-Broadway ) three years running.
  • He flirted with the world of rock, playing drums for the Holy Modal Rounders, then moved to London in 1971 where he continued writing.
  • Back in the US by 1974, he became playwright in residence at San Francisco’s Magic Theater and continued to work as an increasingly well respected playwright throughout the 1970s and into the ’80s.
  • Throughout this time he had been dabbling with Hollywood having, most notably in the early days, worked as one of the writers on Zabriskie Point (1970), but it was his role as Chuck Yeager in 1983’s The Right Stuff (1983) that brought him fully to the attention of the wider, non-theater audience.
  • Since then he has continued to write, act and direct, both on screen and in the theater.


ESPN | Cristiano Ronaldo’s First Day In Court Explained

The Guardian | Cristiano Ronaldo denies €14.7m tax evasion in Madrid court

  • In a rare attack of camera-shyness, Cristiano Ronaldo hid from the 200 journalists waiting outside the Madrid court where he is under investigation for tax evasion and then, having promised to make a statement, snuck back out without a word.
  • The Real Madrid and Portugal forward spent 90 minutes in court being questioned by judge Mónica Ferrer Gómez over allegations that from 2011 to 2014 he defrauded the Spanish treasury of €14.7m in taxes.
  • It is alleged that he concealed income from the sale of image rights through a financial structure that diverted the money via Ireland to a tax haven in the British Virgin Islands.
  • He disappointed waiting media and fans when he arrived at court via the back door. However, he said he would speak to the media after the hearing, and journalists from some 20 countries waited for two hours in the 30C heat for him to appear.
  • B ut instead they were presented with his media representative, Iñaki Torres, who was roundly booed when he announced that Ronaldo had already left for home after the preliminary hearing, which was held in camera. “He didn’t change his mind,” Torres said. “This was always an alternative.”
  • According to his lawyers, Ronaldo “didn’t break any laws, all he did was follow criteria that the tax inspectors don’t like”. It is not a case of fraud, they insist, but of a difference of opinion.
  • However, the anti-corruption judges claim that Ronaldo used three shell companies to conceal part of his income


Independent | HBO Hack Behind Game of Thrones Season 7 Script Leak is a Sign of things to come, warn Cyber Security Experts

  • A leaked Game of Thrones script appears set to show what’s going to happen next week. But the the hack that allowed it to be leaked in the first place could show what’s going to happen in the coming years.
  • HBO has confirmed that it has been hacked and had a range of important files stolen, which appears to include upcoming TV shows as well as the script. A spokesperson did not confirm which programmes were taken, but a statement from HBO’s chief executive confirmed that the hackers had stolen “proprietary information”.
  • In all, the hackers claim to have taken 1.5 terabytes of information from HBO, and is hoping that the cache will bring it attention. The group sent an email to reporters offering an interview to anyone who “spread the word” about the cyber attack.

Euronews | ‘Game of Thones’ targeted in HBO hack

LA TIMES | HBO and ‘Game of Thrones’ are just the latest Hollywood victims of cybercrime

  • The cyberattack against HBO and its biggest series “Game of Thrones” is the latest reminder that Hollywood remains a vulnerable target for online pillagers.
  • For cybercriminals seeking attention, there are few greater prizes than the hottest show on television or the biggest movie in theaters.
  • The hackers who took credit for attacking HBO say they have stolen and leaked a trove of HBO data onto the Web, including a script for an upcoming episode of “Game of Thrones,” as well as video of new episodes of shows such as “Ballers,” “Insecure” and “Room 104.” And, they say, there’s more to come.
  • HBO confirmed in a statement Monday that it experienced a breach that compromised some of its programming and immediately began to investigate the incident, working with law enforcement and independent cybersecurity experts.
  • “The problem before us is unfortunately all too familiar in the world we now find ourselves a part of,” HBO Chief Executive Richard Plepler said in a memo to employees. “I can assure you that senior leadership and our extraordinary technology team, along with outside experts, are working round the clock to protect our collective interests. The efforts across multiple departments have been nothing short of herculean.”
  • HBO declined to comment further on the investigation


DAILY MAIL | Now Trump’s lawyer faces questions over his claim that president didn’t have anything to do with statement on Don Jr. meeting with Russians

  • President Donald Trump dictated a misleading statement about his son Donald Trump Jr’s 2016 meeting with Russians, the Washington Post reported
  • The statement said the meeting ‘primarily’ discussed Russian adoptions
  • Trump Jr. later revealed the meeting happened after an offer of dirt on Hillary Clinton
  • Trump lawyer Jay Sekulow told NBC last month the president was ‘not involved in the drafting of the statement and did not issue the statement’
  • Sekulow: ‘Apart from being of no consequence, the characterizations are misinformed, inaccurate and not pertinent’

TELEGRAPH | Donald Trump ‘weighed in’ on son’s Russia lawyer statement ‘like any father would do’, White House says

  • The White House said on Tuesday that US President Donald Trump had a role in producing a statement in which his son denied that a meeting he had with a Russian lawyer was related to the 2016 presidential campaign.
  • The comments were later shown to be misleading.
  • Sarah Sanders, White House spokesman, told a briefing that Trump “certainly didn’t dictate (the statement), but … he weighed in, offered a suggestion like any father would do.”
  • “The statement that was issued was true and there were no inaccuracies in the statement,” Sanders said, even though emails later released by Donald Trump Jr. showed that the subject of the meeting was to be possible damaging information about Republican Trump’s rival for the presidency, Democrat Hillary Clinton.

CNN | White House: Trump weighed in on Trump Jr. statement

HUFFINGTON POST | Sarah Huckabee Sanders Suggests Trump ‘Weighed In On’ Son’s Response To Russia Meeting

  • White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders on Tuesday all but confirmed that President Donald Trump dictated his son’s public response to a meeting with a Russian lawyer. Her statement directly contradicts the president’s legal team and may place him in legal jeopardy, as there are multiple ongoing investigations into whether the Trump campaign colluded with Russia last year.
  • The Washington Post reported Monday evening that Trump personally drafted what turned out to be a misleading explanation for Donald Trump Jr. meeting with a Russian lawyer in June 2016. The meeting was held after Trump Jr. was promised the opportunity to collect damaging information on Hillary Clinton that could help his father’s campaign.
  • Sanders pushed back on the Post’s story, yet appeared to confirm Trump’s involvement by claiming he merely “weighed in, offered suggestions, like any father would do.”
  • “Look, the statement that Don Jr. issued is true,” she said. “There’s no inaccuracy in the statement. The president weighed in as any father would, based on the limited information that he had.”
  • The Post’s report and Sanders’ response directly contradict Trump’s lawyer, Jay Sekulow, who said previously that the president was not involved.
  • Trump’s campaign is under investigation for possible collusion with Russia during last year’s presidential campaign, and his son’s meeting is the clearest indication that that may have happened. Trump’s own involvement in crafting the statement, as the Post reported, would almost certainly draw the attention of the multiple investigations ― particularly that of special counsel Robert Mueller, who is probing whether Trump obstructed justice.


The Telegraph | A timeline of Anthony Scaramucci’s fall from grace


  • It already seems like a lifetime ago: On Monday, Anthony Scaramucci was unceremoniously fired from his job at the White House as communications director, a mere 10 days after being hired. Technically, the Mooch wasn’t actually slated to begin his job until August, although he commenced working right away, earning him the unusual distinction of being the first communications director to be canned before he officially started.
  • It was a whirlwind, tragicomic tenure. Softening the blow is the fact that the Mooch, already a wealthy Wall Street financier, returns to civilian life with a major paycheck coming his way: in order to join the administration, Scaramucci had initiated a deal to sell his investment firm, SkyBridge Capital, to Chinese conglomerate HNA Goup.
  • Despite no longer being eligible to defer capital-gains taxes on the sale, the deal is expected to net Scaramucci a tidy $80 million when it closes, and $80 million should be a real comfort as he tries to figure out where it all went so wrong. Would things have turned out differently if, instead of referring to Steve Bannon’s attempt to “suck his own c*ck” in an on-the-record phone call with The New Yorker, he’d merely offered that he suspected Bannon of performing autofellatio in his office? Would newly sworn-in chief of staff John Kelly have been more likely to keep him on if, rather than saying he wanted to “kill all the leakers,” he went the classy route and said he wanted to “take a tire-iron to Reince Priebus’s knee caps”? So yes, tough break for the Mooch, but gobs of money are the business world’s best painkiller.
  • That is, unless Senator Chuck Schumer has his way. On Tuesday, after trolling Republicans with an offer to work together on tax reform (his one stipulation being that the bill cannot achieve anything Republicans want), Schumer sent a letter to Trump advising the president to suspend approval of “all mergers and acquisitions in the U.S. by Chinese entities,” in order to pressure China to “help rein in North Korea’s threatening and destabilizing behavior.”
  • Obviously, were the president to actually listen to the senator from New York, that would mean blocking the sale of Scaramucci’s SkyBridge Capital to HNA. The odds of this happening are probably low. Still, the president appears primed to take a harder line with Beijing, which has been frustratingly unhelpful with Trump’s attempts to “handle” the North Korean crisis.
  • Over the weekend, the president used a pair of tweets to unload on China for not doing more to bring North Korea to the negotiating table, writing that he is “very disappointed” in them and the “foolish past leaders [who] have allowed them to make hundreds of billions of dollars a year in trade, yet they do NOTHING for us with North Korea, just talk.” So maybe he’ll be tempted to take Chuck’s advice, even if it is doubtful China would be persuaded to upend its foreign policy just because it couldn’t get its hands on the Mooch’s fund-of-funds company. If he did, both Trump and Schumer can assuredly look forward to some angry voicemails courtesy of ole Scaramucci, accusing them of “c*ck-block[ing]” him just like Reince.


RUDAW | UN Security Council condemns attack on Iraq’s Kabul embassy

  • NEW YORK–The United Nations Security Council has condemned Monday’s attack on the Iraqi embassy in Kabul, saying that such attacks and terrorism “constitutes one of the most serious threats to international peace and security,” and that it must be combated by all means.
  • “The Security Council condemned in the strongest terms the terrorist attack against the Embassy of the Republic of Iraq in Kabul, Afghanistan, on 31 July, 2017, which resulted in the death of two Afghan civilian employees inside the Embassy and the injury of a police officer, for which local affiliates of Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL/Da’esh) have claimed responsibility.”
  • “The members of the Security Council expressed their deep sympathy and condolences to the families of the victims and to the Government of Iraq and the Government of Afghanistan.” reads a statement from the UN Security Council. “They wished a speedy recovery to those injured in this heinous terrorist attack.”
  • Two people were killed and others wounded as gunmen attacked the Iraqi embassy in the Afghan capital on Monday. The attack which was claimed by ISIS started with a car bomb targeting the compound to allow the gunmen to storm the building.
  • The UN says that the Afghan government must work to bring the perpetrators to justice.

ALJAZEERA | ISIL claims attack on Iraqi embassy in Kabul


DAILY MAIL | Nemanja Matic can ‘let Paul Pogba off the leash’, claims former Manchester United defender Denis Irwin

  • Manchester United signed Nemanja Matic from Chelsea for £40million this week
  • Ex-United left back Denis Irwin believes he can help release Paul Pogba
  • Irwin also thinks £75million striker Romelu Lukaku will score 20 goals a season
  • ‘Matic is a player United have needed for quite a while,’ the ex-left back claimed

CFCTV | Nemenja Matic – All 7 Goals for Chelsea


WEATHER | Tropical Storm Emily Developed Quickly, Made Landfall in Florida, Then Moved Out to Sea in the Atlantic Ocean (RECAP)

  • Tropical Storm Emily moved ashore along central Florida’s Gulf Coast on July 31 at 10:45 a.m. EDT.
  • Other than a few reports of damage, Emily primarily produced soaking rain in parts of central and southern Florida.
  • Emily then moved over the Atlantic Ocean and had no further impact in the U.S.
  • Emily developed from a small area of low pressure along a washed-out front.

BPEarthwatch | Tropical Storm Emily Forms in Gulf of Mexico


YOUNG TURKS | Trump Secretly Pushed Seth Rich Conspiracy Theory

SNOPES | Lawsuit Claims Fox News ‘Contrived’ Fake Seth Rich Story With Trump Administration

  • On 1 August 2017, a Fox News contributor filed a federal lawsuit that accuses Fox News of “contriving” with President Donald Trump and members of his administration “to publish and disseminate fake news to affect politics in America” with the intention of distracting the public from alleged collusion between Russia and members of Trump’s campaign.
  • In the suit, Fox News contributor and former Washington D.C. Metropolitan Police officer Rod Wheeler claims that key quotes attributed to him in the 16 May 2017 Fox News story, which was written by reporter Malia Zimmerman, were fabricated.
  • Wheeler was quoted making statements indicating that he had information that slain Democratic National Committee staffer Seth Rich was the one who had leaked DNC e-mails to document dumping site WikiLeaks during the 2016 election, rather than Russian hackers.
  • Fox News retracted the story on 23 May 2017, saying it that did not meet their editorial standards. Wheeler claims that Ed Butowsky (a Fox contributor who is also a wealthy investor and Trump supporter) and Zimmerman went so far as to collude with the highest level of the United States government to create the false story, with the intention of lifting the cloud of suspicion that Trump associates had themselves colluded with the Russian government to influence the outcome of the 2016 presidential election. One week earlier, the lawsuit notes, Trump had fired FBI director James Comey after meeting with him privately and complaining about the investigation.
  • The lawsuit seeks unspecified monetary damages for defamation, and also accuses the conservative cable channel of discriminating against Wheeler because he is African-American.

THE INDEPENDENT | White House pushed for fake news story about Seth Rich’s death to distract from Russia, claims new lawsuit

  • A wealthy Trump supporter and a Fox News producer conspired to run a fake story about the death of a Democratic National Committee staffer while the White House looked on, a lawsuit has alleged.
  • Rod Wheeler, the detective cited in Fox News’ controversial story about the fatal shooting of DNC staffer Seth Rich, has filed suit against the company for allegedly fabricating his quotes and pressuring him to push a false narrative.
  • “According to the complaint … Fox News was working with the Trump administration to disseminate fake news in order to distract the public from Russia’s alleged attempts to influence our country’s presidential election,” Mr Wheeler’s attorney, Douglas Wigdor, said in a statement.
  • Mr Wheeler was Fox News’ prime source for a story claiming Mr Rich may have been murdered for releasing unflattering DNC emails to Wikileaks. According to the suit, however, Mr Wheeler never found evidence to support this.
  • Instead, Fox News producer Malia Zimmerman and prominent Trump donor Ed Butowsky pressured him to say so – even taking him to a meeting with then-White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer – in an effort to detract attention from the Russia investigation.
  • “Not to add any more pressure but the president just read the article,” Mr Butowsky allegedly texted Mr Wheeler shortly before the article was published. “He wants the article out immediately. It’s now all up to you.”


ASSOCIATED PRESS | Senate Confirms Christopher Wray as FBI Director

THE GUARDIAN | Senate confirms Christopher Wray as new FBI director

  • The Senate on Tuesday confirmed Christopher Wray to lead the FBI, replacing James Comey, who was abruptly fired by Donald Trump amid investigations into Russia meddling in the presidential election.
  • The vote was 92-5 for Wray, a former high-ranking official in George W Bush’s justice department who oversaw investigations into corporate fraud. Wray, 50, inherits the FBI at a particularly challenging time. Comey was admired within the bureau.
  • “This is a tough time to take this tough job,” Senator Amy Klobuchar, a Minnesota Democrat, said during Senate debate.
  • “The previous FBI director, as we know, was fired because of the Russia investigation. The former acting attorney general was fired. And we’ve had a slew of other firings throughout the government over the last few months.”
  • Wray won unanimous support from the Senate judiciary committee last month, with Republicans and Democrats praising his promise never to let politics get in the way of the bureau’s mission.
  • Asserting his independence at his confirmation hearing, Wray said: “My loyalty is to the constitution and the rule of law. Those have been my guideposts throughout my career, and I will continue to adhere to them no matter the test.”


The Dollar Vigilante | Bitcoin Hits New Combined All-Time High Above $3,000 After Bitcoin Fork

CNBC | Meet Bitcoin Cash, The New Digital Currency That Split Bitcoin In Two

BUSINESS INSIDER | BITCOIN EXCHANGE: Orders for bitcoin cash are ‘exploding’

  • On Tuesday, bitcoin ruptured into new distinct currencies: bitcoin and bitcoin cash.
  • Australian Bitcoin Exchange has opened and interest in the new bitcoin cash are exploding.
  • NEW YORK – Sebastian Quinn-Watson has had more than 12 cups of coffee since he woke up around 24 hours ago.
  • Quinn-Watson is a venture partner for a bitcoin exchange operator based in Australia. As such, he has had to stay wide awake to help the firm through the ramifications of Tuesday’s fork that ruptured the bitcoin cryptocurrency into two: bitcoin and the new bitcoin cash.
  • “We are in a new paradigm,” Quinn-Watson told Business Insider around 5 PM ET on Tuesday, or 6 AM Wednesday in Australia. “People have been asking a lot of questions and we expect a lot of volatility.”
  • He said the crypto-madness that has swept the globe is just the beginning. His firm, Blockchain Global, just re-opened its exchange, the Australian Cryptocurrency Exchange.
  • “We literally just re-opened the bitcoin exchange and are confirming the BCC trades over the course of the day,” he said.” We are receiving a lot of off market orders for bitcoin cash – they’re exploding!”
  • Bitcoin cash is a fork of the original bitcoin blockchain: It’s a new software that has all the history of the old platform, but is made up of eight megabyte “blocks” instead of one megabyte blocks, making it faster.

BLOOMBERG | Bitcoin Slide Looks Limited Even After Cryptocurrency Splits

  • Bitcoin might be dividing into two separate blockchains, but its downward slide has so far been contained, signaling confidence the biggest cryptocurrency will come out of the split unscathed.
  • The debate over how to scale bitcoin came to a head Tuesday as some cryptocurrency miners started using software called Bitcoin Cash and splitting a new blockchain off the old one. Blockchain is the technology used for verifying and recording digital currency transactions.
  • Bitcoin’s price should reflect the split by discounting the new coin, according to Charles Hayter, who runs the cryptocurrency data platform CryptoCompare. He likened it to a stock trading “ex dividend” — when the buyer isn’t entitled to collect a dividend on the shares.
  • After four days of gains, bitcoin was down $157, or 5.4 percent, to $2,729 at 11:05 a.m. in New York. Earlier in the day, the cryptocurrency fell as much as 8.4 percent, its biggest decline since July 25. Bitcoin cash futures rose 19 percent to $331, according to


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WINNERS of Love Island 2017…oh…and the Yemeni Cholera Epidemic

'I've met my future wife!' Kem Cetinay and Amber Davies are crowned WINNERS of Love Island 2017... beating Camilla Thurlow and Jamie Jewitt to the £50K prize!

‘I’ve met my future wife!’ Kem Cetinay and Amber Davies are crowned WINNERS of Love Island 2017… beating Camilla Thurlow and Jamie Jewitt to the £50K prize!

  • Hairdresser Kem was awarded prize fund and given choice to split £50K prize or take away the money himself

  • The 21-year-old opted to split the money with Amber, 20, who he described as his ‘future wife’

  • Their on-off romance divided viewers, with the Welsh dancer being voted one of the least popular castmates

  • Camilla Thurlow and Jamie Jewitt came second to the couple, having professed it would be ‘amazing’ to win in an interview with host Caroline Flack

  • It has been revealed the hit show has been recommissioned for 2018 after this year’s record ratings made the show ITV2’s most popular format between 16-34s

Meanwhile…elsewhere in The World: One in every 45 people in Yemen is expected to contract cholera

An estimated 600,000 people in Yemen, or one in every 45, could contract cholera before the end of the year as the conflict-riven country struggles to contain the disease, the head of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) has said. Speaking from the government-controlled city of Aden on Sunday, Peter Mauer warned that the “great tragedy is that this cholera outbreak is a preventable, man-made humanitarian catastrophe”.

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You don’t have to Teach both Sides of a Debate if one Side is a Load of Crap – Bill Maher

You don't have to Teach both Sides of a Debate if one Side is a Load of Crap - Bill Maher

“New Rule: You don’t have to teach both sides of a debate if one side is a load of crap.

President Bush…suggested that public schools should teach “intelligent design” alongside the theory of evolution, because after all, evolution is “just a theory.” Then the president renewed his vow to “drive the terrorists straight over the edge of the earth.”

Here’s what I don’t get: President Bush is a brilliant scientist. He’s the man who proved you could mix two parts booze with one part cocaine and still fly a jet fighter. And yet he just can’t seem to accept that we descended from apes. It seems pathetic to be so insecure about your biological superiority to a group of feces-flinging, rouge-buttocked monkeys that you have to make up fairy tales like “We came from Adam and Eve,” and then cover stories for Adam and Eve, like intelligent design! Yeah, leaving the earth in the hands of two naked teenagers, that’s a real intelligent design.

I’m sorry, folks, but it may very well be that life is just a series of random events, and that there is no master plan–but enough about Iraq.

There aren’t necessarily two sides to every issue. If there were, the Republicans would have an opposition party. And an opposition party would point out that even though there’s a debate in schools and government about this, there is no debate among scientists. Evolution is supported by the entire scientific community. Intelligent design is supported by the guys on line to see The Dukes of Hazzard.

And the reason there is no real debate is that intelligent design isn’t real science. It’s the equivalent of saying that the Thermos keeps hot things hot and cold things cold because it’s a god. It’s so willfully ignorant you might as well worship the U.S. mail. “It came again! Praise Jesus!”

Stupidity isn’t a form of knowing things. Thunder is high-pressure air meeting low-pressure air–it’s not God bowling. “Babies come from storks” is not a competing school of throught in medical school.

We shouldn’t teach both. The media shouldn’t equate both. If Thomas Jefferson knew we were blurring the line this much between Church and State, he would turn over in his slave.

As for me, I believe in evolution and intelligent design. I think God designed us in his image, but I also think God is a monkey.”

― Bill Maher, The New New Rules: A Funny Look At How Everybody But Me Has Their Head Up Their Ass


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NEWS BY NUMBERS | Broadcasting House | 21st July, 2017

NEWS BY NUMBERS | Broadcasting House | 2017-07-21

NEWS BY NUMBERS | Broadcasting House | 2017-07-21

John McCain Brain Cancer | French Armed Forces Chief Resigns | Indian Presidential Election | Alvaro Morata Farewell | Chester Bennington Dies | German Turkish Tensions Rise


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JOHN MCCAIN | Sen. John McCain Diagnosed With Brain Cancer

Glioblastoma, the cancer with which Sen. John McCain has been diagnosed, is a highly lethal malignancy that killed Sen. Edward Kennedy, and Beau Biden, the son of former Vice President Joseph Biden

1187 articles in 7 languages | 17604 Shares

EMMANUEL MACRON | France’s armed forces chief resigns over Macron budget cuts

  • France’s head of the armed forces has resigned days after President Emmanuel Macron publicly rebuked him in a bitter clash over plans to slash the military’s budget by nearly a billion euros in the first major test of the young presidency
  • General Pierre de Villiers said if the budget cuts went through it would leave him in charge of an army “no longer able to guarantee the robust defence force I believe is necessary to guarantee the protection of France and the French people, today and tomorrow.”
  • As a result the five-star general tendered his resignation to the newly-elected centrist president and it had been accepted, he said in a statemen

949 articles in 7 languages | 17732 Shares

RAM NATH KOVIND | Presidential election: Ram Nath Kovind leads after initial rounds of counting

  • Another shock for the Opposition came from Maharasthra, where the Congress and NCP have 83 MLAs, Samajwadi Party has one and CPI(M) one. The AIMIM has two MLAs and the Peasants and Workers Party of India has three. But Opposition candidate Meira Kumar managed to get only 77 votes

707 articles in 5 languages | 2692 Shares

CHELSEA F.C. | Real Madrid stars stop training session to applaud Alvaro Morata during emotional farewell ahead of £70m transfer to Chelsea

  • Alvaro Morata was spotted saying goodbye to his Real Madrid team-mates
  • He shared an emotional farewell with boss Zinedine Zidane and Gareth Bale
  • Chelsea have agreed a club record £70.6million deal for the Spain international
  • AC Milan had shown interest but are set to turn their attention on Andrea Belotti
  • Chelsea will still look to add three more players, Alex Sandro remains a targe

558 articles in 6 languages | 12380 Shares

LINKIN PARK | Der Linkin-Park-Frontmann Chester Bennington ist tot

  • Der Sänger Chester Bennington ist tot in seinem Haus aufgefunden worden. Der Sänger der Crossover-Band Linkin Park wurde 41 Jahre alt.
  • Chester Bennington, der Sänger von Linkin Park, ist tot. Wie das Promi-Portal TMZ berichtet, wurde Benningtons Leiche am Donnerstag aufgefunden. Ein Sprecher der Gerichtsmedizin von Los Angeles bestätigte der Deutschen Presse-Agentur den Tod.
  • Der zweite Sänger und Produzent von Linkin Park, Mike Shinoda, teilte seine Trauer auf Twitter mit. Er sei geschockt und sein Herz sei gebrochen. Die Nachricht vom Tod seines Band-Kollegen sei dennoch wahr. Shinoda kündigte ein offizielles Statement der Band an, sobald weitere Informationen vorliegen würden

520 articles in 6 languages | 11153 Shares

LINKIN PARK | Linkin Park Singer Chester Bennington Dies at 41

  • Chester Bennington, the Linkin Park lead singer whose screeching vocals helped the rock-rap band become one of the most commercially successful acts in the 2000s, was found dead in his home near Los Angeles on Thursday. He was 41.
  • Los Angeles Coroner spokesman Brian Elias said authorities were investigating Bennington’s death, which was first broken by the website TMZ, as an apparent suicide at Palos Verdes Estates, but no additional details were available.
  • His death was reportedly caused by hanging, according to TMZ

480 articles in 1 language | 8535 Shares

TURKEY | Türkei-Streit: Sigmar Gabriel verschärft Reisehinweis

  • Bis hierhin und nicht weiter: Der deutschen Regierung reißt angesichts einer immer bedrohlicheren Menschenrechtslage in der Türkei der Geduldsfaden. Berlin holt zu Gegenmaßnahmen aus – Ankara empört sich über «Respektlosigkeit gegenüber der türkischen Justiz»

471 articles in 1 language | 1332 Shares

STREAMING MEDIA | Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee’s ‘Despacito’ Sets Global Streaming Record

  • “Despacito” has become the most streamed track of all time with more than 4.6 billion plays across streaming platforms.
  • Universal Music Latin Entertainment announced Tuesday the song by Puerto Rican artists Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee and the accompanying remix featuring pop star Justin Bieber had surpassed the previous record holder — Bieber’s 2015 hit song “Sorry,” which has 4.38 billion plays. “Despacito, which was released in January, has been at the top of Billboard Hot 100 for weeks

431 articles in 7 languages | 10756 Shares

CAJA MADRID | Spanish banker found dead with gunshot wound

  • MADRID (AP) — Spain’s Civil Guard said Wednesday that a former chairman of one of the country’s largest banks has been found dead with a gunshot to the chest in a private hunting estate in southern Spain.
  • A spokeswoman with the police force said initial inquiries into the death of the 69 year-old Miguel Blesa had ruled out a homicide
  • The former head of the now defunct Caja Madrid savings bank was awaiting the result of an appeal to a six-year prison sentence for misusing corporate credit cards issued by Bankia SA, another defunct bank
  • Witnesses who were with Blesa in the private property near the southern city of Cordoba told police that the former banker left the group early Wednesday morning saying he was going to take his car

397 articles in 4 languages | 6776 Shares

TURKEY | Germany warns citizens of Turkey risks amid arrests

  • Turkey’s foreign minister has accused Germany of engaging in “blackmail and threats” against Turkey and says Ankara would reciprocate those threats
  • Speaking to reporters during a visit to Cyprus, Mevlut Cavusoglu said as a once close friend and ally, Germany would know “that Turkey would never bow to blackmail and threats.”
  • Germany is calling on Turkey to release a German human rights trainer, who was arrested pending trial on suspicion of links to terror groups
  • The Turkish minister accused German counterpart Sigmar Gabriel of making “ill-tempered statements” against Turkey after the country rejected an alleged request for “Turkey to interfere in the judiciary.”
  • Cavusoglu said: “they request that (German citizens) be released at one, they even give a time-frame… in other words, they make requests that snub the independence of the judiciary

392 articles in 9 languages | 139 Shares

BBC | MUTINY! Bitter recriminations at the politically correct BBC as rich list reveals huge pay gulf between men and women…and between stars like Gary Lineker and the rest

  • Chris Evans tops list with £2.25m but Graham Norton’s full earnings not included
  • Gary Lineker second on £1.8m and Claudia Winkleman is only woman in top ten
  • One top BBC female star, who asked not to be named, told MailOnline that the scale of the gender pay gap revealed today left her ‘mortified’
  • Broadcaster Jane Garvey brands Radio 2 ‘extraordinarily male and entirely pale’
  • Disgruntled staff already using hashtags #notonthelist after seeing salaries
  • The corporation has named those on more than £150,000 a year for first time
  • But only a third are women sparking row that the BBC is an ‘old boy’s club’
  • BBC bosses may face MPs because staff pay for same jobs appears so disparate

392 articles in 1 language | 5474 Shares

CENTRAL INTELLIGENCE AGENCY | Trump ends covert CIA program to arm anti-Assad rebels in Syria

  • WASHINGTON — President Trump has decided to end the CIA’s covert program to arm and train moderate Syrian rebels battling the government of Bashar al-Assad, a move long sought by Russia, according to U.S. officials.
  • The program was a central plank of a policy begun by the Obama administration in 2013 to put pressure on Assad to step aside, but even its backers have questioned its efficacy since Russia deployed forces in Syria two years later.
  • Officials said the phasing out of the secret program reflects Trump’s interest in finding ways to work with Russia, which saw the anti-Assad program as an assault on its interests. The shuttering of the program is also an acknowledgment of Washington’s limited leverage and desire to remove Assad from power

359 articles in 8 languages | 7822 Shares

SALVADOR DALÍ | Exhuming Salvador Dalí: Paternity Suit Leads to Artist’s Grave

  • Salvador Dali’s remains are to be exhumed on Thursday from his Spanish hometown in an effort to test a fortune teller’s claims the renowned surrealist is her father.
  • The artist’s body is buried in the elaborate museum of his work Dali designed himself in the northeastern Spanish town of Figueres, where he was born over 110 years ago.
  • Pilar Abel, a 61-year-old who long worked as a psychic in Catalonia, says her mother had a relationship with the artist when she worked in Port Lligat, a tiny fishing hamlet where the painter lived for years.
  • If Abel is confirmed as the only child of Dali, she could be entitled to part of the huge fortune and heritage of one of the most celebrated and prolific painters of the 20th century

352 articles in 7 languages | 151 Shares

CANNABIS (DRUG) | Uruguay finally rolls out legal marijuana sales

  • MONTEVIDEO (Reuters) – Pharmacies in Uruguay began selling cannabis directly to consumers on Wednesday, culminating a long and pioneering legalization effort that began over three years ago.
  • The South American country of 3.4 million people is the first in the world to legalize the entire process of marijuana production for recreational use, including its cultivation and sale.
  • The law was passed in late 2013 as Uruguay sought to shift the market from criminals to its own government. The product is grown, packaged and distributed by two companies, Symbiosis and Iccorp, authorized and taxed by the state.
  • But the rollout has been slow as the government has faced internal opposition and tricky logistics. In the meantime, several other countries have moved toward a more flexible approach to regulation.
  • In Uruguay, any citizen over the age of 18 can now register to buy cannabis. Aided by fingerprint recognition technology, they can buy up to 40 grams (1.41 ounces) monthly for their personal use

343 articles in 7 languages | 2594 Shares

BENJAMIN NETANYAHU | Hot mic catches Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu bashing European Union

  • BUDAPEST, Hungary (AP) — Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was caught Wednesday by a live microphone railing against the European Union’s “crazy” insistence on resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict as a precondition for closer ties with the 28-nation bloc, and trumpeting Israel as essential to its prosperity and survival
  • Netanyahu was meeting with leaders of Poland, Hungary, the Czech Republic and Slovakia at a regional summit. Netanyahu was discussing Iran, Syria, the Islamic State group, and EU-Israel relations when some of his comments — and those of other leaders at the meeting closed to the media — were accidentally broadcast to journalists in another room covering the conference
  • Netanyahu also made a rare public admission that Israel has struck Iranian arms convoys in Syria bound for Hezbollah “dozens and dozens of times.”

335 articles in 6 languages | 2987 Shares

THE OPEN CHAMPIONSHIP: Latest at the British Open

  • Jon Rahm has escaped a penalty for improving the area of his intended swing. As a result, his bogey became a birdie on the 17th hole at Royal Birkdale in the opening round of the British Open, and Rahm shot a 69.
  • It happened in thick grass left of the fairway. Rahm went to move what he thought was a loose twig to the right of his ball. But it was a vine with thorns growing out of the ground. Lee Westwood noticed it and pointed out the violation (Rule 13-2). The walking official said it would be a two-shot penalty. After the round, Rahm met with R&A rules director David Rickman.
  • He said the vine was not in his intended swing path. Rahm says he moved it only as an instinct to clean up the area around his ball, much like players do with leaves. There was no video evidence of the incident. Rickman says he balanced the facts and rescinded the penalty.
  • As for the shot? It rolled around the edge of the bunker to about 4 feet.

269 articles in 3 languages | 57 Shares

HIV/AIDS: As tide turns, AIDS claimed 1 million lives in 2016: UN

  • AIDS claimed a million lives in 2016, almost half the 2005 toll that marked the peak of the deadly epidemic, said a UN report Thursday proclaiming “the scales have tipped”.
  • Not only are new HIV infections and deaths declining, but more people than ever are on life-saving treatment, according to data published ahead of an AIDS science conference opening in Paris on Sunday.
  • Experts warned, however, that much of the progress can be undone by growing resistance to HIV drugs.
  • Unless something is done, drug-resistant virus strains may infect an extra 105,000 people and kill 135,000 over the next five years, and boost treatment costs by $650 million (560 million euros), said the World Health Organization (WHO).
  • According to a UNAIDS global roundup, 19.5 million of 36.7 million people living with HIV in 2016 had access to treatment.

267 articles in 5 languages | 98 Shares

PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES | Vice chair of Trump’s voter fraud commission wants to add new requirements for voting, email shows

  • The day after Donald Trump was elected president, Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, now the vice-chair of Donald Trump’s commission on voter fraud, told Trump’s transition team of a proposal to change federal law to allow stricter requirements on voter registration.
  • Kobach’s team was “putting together information on legislation drafts for submission to Congress early in the administration,” Kobach wrote to transition team member Gene Hamilton in an email. “I have some already started regarding amendments to the NVRA [National Voter Registration Act] to make clear that proof of citizenship requirements are permitted (based on my ongoing litigation with the ACLU over this).”
  • The email was released Friday as part of that ACLU lawsuit and was first published by the Huffington Post.
  • Amending the NVRA in such a manner “will lead to a dramatic reduction in access to voting,” said Wendy Weiser, director of the democracy program at NYU’s Brennan Center, in an interview. “Every time legal obstacles to restricting the vote have been lifted in recent years, we’ve seen substantial spikes in efforts to restrict the vote.”

253 articles in 4 languages | 7262 Shares

EXXONMOBIL | Treasury fines Exxon Mobil $2M for violating Russia sanctions while Sec of State Tillerson was CEO

  • The Treasury Department has fined Exxon Mobil $2 million for violating U.S. sanctions against Russian individuals, citing actions the oil major took while Secretary of State Rex Tillerson was still serving as the company’s CEO.
  • Exxon Mobil said on Thursday it had launched a legal challenge to the finding. It charges that Treasury was seeking to retroactively enforce changes to its original guidance and had denied the company its constitutional right to due process.
  • The Treasury Department said the violation occurred in May 2014, when Exxon subsidiaries signed legal documents with Igor Sechin, the chairman of Russian oil giant Rosneft and a target of U.S. sanctions. The signings occurred shortly after the United States designated Sechin a Specially Designated National, which prohibits U.S. persons from dealing with him

240 articles in 6 languages | 342 Shares

PLASTIC | Half of All Plastic That Has Ever Existed Was Made in the Past 13 Years

  • The world has a plastic problem. More than 9.1 billion tonnes (8.3 metric tonnes) of it have been produced on Earth, with most dumped into landfills or the oceans, US researchers said on Wednesday.
  • The report in the journal Science Advances is described as “the first global analysis of all mass-produced plastics,” and warns that an even more dire scenario lies ahead
  • At the current pace, “over 13 billion tonnes of plastic waste will be discarded in landfills or in the environment by 2050.”
  • This amount – which converts to 12 billion in metric tonnes – is about 35,000 times as heavy as the Empire State Building in New York City

237 articles in 6 languages | 2639 Shares


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Truth Rating

NEWS FROM THE RIGHT | Broadcasting House | 21 July, 2017

2017-07-21 - NEWS FROM THE RIGHT | Broadcasting House | Mail

NEWS FROM THE RIGHT | Broadcasting House | 2017-07-21

Mediterranean Earthquake | Two New Harry Potter Books? | Furious BBC Women to Sue | Linkin Park Frontman Suicide| OJ Simpson Granted Parole

Killer earthquake hits the Med: At least two dead and hundreds hurt as powerful tremor hits Greek and Turkish holiday resorts, triggering tsunami that sends tourists fleeing for their lives as buildings collapse

  • A powerful magnitude-6.7 earthquake has struck off the coast of Bodrum, SW Turkey, triggering a tsunami
  • At least two people were killed on the nearby Greek holiday island of Kos when a bar ceiling collapsed
  • Tsunami waves flooded beachfront hotels along the Aegean coast with Bodrum and Marmaris worst affected
  • Parts of a Kos mosque collapsed into the town square, while the tremors were also felt on Crete and Rhodes
  • Rescuers were this morning urgently searching for any more victims trapped under rubble with hundreds hurt
  • Collapsed pylons in Bodrum sparked huge electrical fires while power was out across much of the region
  • Tourists told how their hotels were ‘shaking like a jelly’ before the tsunami sent people fleeing low ground

Five more years of EU migration: Cabinet Remainers’ victory after agreeing ‘soft-landing’ transition period that will delay UK getting its borders back

  • Brexiteer ministers have been persuaded of need for ‘soft landing’ after Brexit
  • Agreement could see open borders continue until 2022 in ‘transitional’ period
  • But Remainers have accepted need to leave single market and customs union
  • Source suggests Cabinet has finally reached agreement after week of division

Harry Potter fans in meltdown as TWO new books are set to be released to coincide with the 20th anniversary of the launch of the series

  • Two new Harry Potter books are set to mark the 20th anniversary of the series
  • Will coincide with British Library’s Harry Potter exhibition ‘A History of Magic’
  • Books on Hogwarts subjects Herbology, Astronomy, Care of Magical Creatures

Snouts in the trough! How 52 former ministers have landed plum private jobs with big businesses, charities or in public speaking over the past year

  • Ex ministers and top-ranking civil servants taking lucrative private-sector jobs
  • Some 52 ex-ministers have gained official approval for top roles in 2016/17
  • Allies of David Cameron and George Osborne who fell foul of the PM’s reshuffle

Ten women presenters set to sue the BBC over pay… and ITV make audacious bid for Newsnight’s ‘furious’ Emily Maitlis

  • Women’s Hour host Jane Garvey is leading female stars in plotting legal action
  • At least ten women presenters are thought to be involved in potential lawsuit
  • Meanwhile Emily Maitlis is still considering her options while out of contract

Bandmates and friends of Linkin Park front man Chester Bennington arrive at his LA home after singer’s shock ‘suicide’ which coincided with good friend Chris Cornell’s birthday

  • Chester Bennington, 41, hanged himself at his Palos Verdes home on Thursday
  • The Linkin Park frontman was alone at the time and he was found by an employee
  • Bennington, who had a history of drug and alcohol abuse, was married to his wife Talinda and is survived by his six children from his two marriages
  • The singer’s family were out of town when he killed himself
  • Family and friends said they are in absolute ‘shock’ over the singer’s death
  • His suicide came on the day of his late friend Chris Cornell’s birthday
  • He sang for the crowd of mourners at Cornell’s funeral after his suicide in May
  • Friend said Cornell’s death deeply affected singer who struggled with addiction
  • Linkin Park were in the middle of a tour when news broke of his death
  • His band released its new music video two hours before news of his death broke

How surge in popularity means that boiled egg in your favourite lunchtime sandwich could be a month old

  • Eggs are being boiled in bulk in factories and pasteurised to kill bacteria
  • Packs of scrambled and ready-made fried eggs also being made
  • Method is a way for pubs, hotels and restaurants to reduce their costs

Clever people are more likely to fail their driving test: Experts say motorists with more academic minds may over-think the challenge they face

  • By contrast, motorists with fewer qualifications are more likely to pass first time
  • Creative minds in arts perform better than rational minds in maths and science
  • Research appears to show link between a driver’s qualifications, IQ and professional standing and their chances of passing their driving test first time

In their pocket! EIGHT Labour frontbenchers received union donations totalling thousands in run up to the general election

  • Eight members of Shadow Cabinet received donations from the RMT rail union
  • In total, the RMT gave at least £56,500 to Labour MPs at the time of the election
  • During the Blair years, the RMT was expelled from the party after it clashed with the leadership over its moderate direction

PEN 15 and OR64 SAM: The rude and outrageous licence plates that slipped through DVLA vetting that you can buy for your car

  • Outrageous plates such as TTII TTS, F4 KKA and PEN 15 available to buy online
  • Each year, new plates are approved by DVLA, with handful slipping under radar
  • They then make their way onto online re-seller sites such as National Numbers

Kate, Princess of Hearts! German media dubs the Duchess the new Diana – claiming she has the ‘warmth that only William’s mother could radiate’

  • Duke and Duchess commenced three-day visit to Berlin yesterday
  • Kate was mobbed on visit to children’s charity and doled out hugs and high fives
  • Princess Diana was also known for her tactile displays in public
  • German media has dubbed Kate the new Princess of Hearts

Diane Abbott blunders over numbers AGAIN as she still can’t clearly explain on TV how Labour would fund extra police officers

  • Shadow Home Secretary struggled to outline the Labour Party policy today
  • Challenged to explain how Labour paid for 10,000 officers Abbott stumbled
  • Gaffe recalled a series of embarrassing interviews during the general election

Poland could lose its voting rights in Europe after country passes law that removes judicial independence

  • Andrzej Duda has been trying to bring Supreme Court under government control
  • Moves have angered EU chiefs who could now take country’s voting power away
  • Donald Tusk said the laws breach ‘the high standards expected for public life’

The Juice gets loose! Emotional OJ Simpson is granted parole after nine years in prison with former football star, 70, set to walk free in October after combative hearing in which he showed no remorse for his crime

  • OJ Simpson was granted parole on Thursday after nine years in prison and will walk free in October
  • Simpson was joined by close friend Tom Scotto, his sister Shirley Baker, and his daughter Arnelle at his parole hearing on Thursday
  • Arnelle was his only child at the hearing and fought back tears while reading a letter in support of her father’s release
  • Simpson at one point turned combative when he began to detail the events that occurred the night of his 2007 robbery
  • Simpson got combative saying he never robbed anyone and that the property he stole was his own, while arguing he never had a drinking problem
  • The 70-year-old said he would move to Florida after his release, and looks to have at least $400,000 waiting for him thanks to his NFL pension

Turkey accuses Germany of engaging in ‘blackmail and threats’ after the country warned citizens to be ‘cautious’ when visiting following the arrest of a human rights activist

  • Turkey’s Foreign Minister said relationship ‘cannot be pursued based on blackmail and threats’
  • It comes after six activists were detained after a police raid at a hotel on July 5
  • Germany warned it could no longer guarantee its citizens’ safety in the country

Down but not out: McCain sends out blistering statement accusing the Trump administration of ‘playing into the hands of Putin’ on Syria hours after former POW reveals cancer diagnosis

  • The Trump administration is ending a CIA program to arm and train rebels battling Syrian President Bashar al-Assad
  • The covert program began under the Obama administration and was aimed at pressuring the dictator
  • Senate Armed Services chairman John McCain is one of the foremost Russia critics in the Senate
  • McCain issued a statement accusing the administration of playing into Russian President Putin’s hands
  • Making ‘any concession without a strategy is ‘short-sighted’
  • ‘There is still no new strategy for victory in Afghanistan either’
  • Also tweets: ‘I’ll be back soon, so stand-by!’
  • Trump has pushed improved ties with Russia as an overarching goal, and touted a recent cease fire over part of Syria
  • Putin in 2015 ripped the program as providing ‘aid to illegitimate organizations’ and said it ‘contravenes the principles of international law’

Brussels bids to BLOCK UK from carrying out criminal records checks on citizens during Brexit process

  • EU team ambushed UK delegation about proposals for criminal records checks
  • Brussels says checks cannot be carried out on citizens during Brexit process
  • Spat emerged during tense week of negotiations between Britain and the EU

EU chief negotiator Barnier launches stinging attack at lack of ‘clear British position’ after four days of Brexit talks end in deadlock

  • David Davis and Michel Barnier meeting in Brussels for update on negotiations
  • Fears that the talks are deadlocked on citizen’s rights and Brexit divorce bill
  • EU taking a hard line on agreeing financial terms before trade talks can begin

Sir Vince Cable is elected leader of the Lib Dems as he becomes the oldest person to head up a British political party since Sir Winston Churchill

  • Ex business secretary got the top job after nobody else stood for the post
  • Sir Vince, 74, is oldest political leader since Sir Winston who retired at 81
  • The arch remainer used his speech as leader to demand an ‘exit from Brexit’

Saudi prince is arrested on the orders of furious King Salman after video ‘showing the young royal verbally and physically abusing men and women’ goes viral

  • Prince Saud bin Abdulaziz bin Musaed bin Saud bin Abdulaziz Al Saud was arrested
  • The footage shows a man who looks like the prince punching a man in the head
  • Same man appears to wave a gun at the camera in another scene filmed in a car
  • Citizens are seen with blood dripping from their faces and nursing injuries

Women being paid less than men at the BBC is the fault of FEMALE agents ‘who are not as tough’ says the man who represents £300-a-minute Gary Lineker

  • Jon Holmes said in an interview today: ‘Maybe women are not as tough’
  • He represents Gary Lineker, who is holidaying in LA as furore broke out
  • Daily Mail calculations reveal Lineker earns £300 a minute or £18k an hour
  • Match of the Day host was in California to watch football match on Saturday
  • BBC pays him up to £1,799,000 a year, the equivalent of 12,500 licence fees

BBC stars are STILL dodging their income tax: High-profile presenters routing salaries through personal companies despite corporation banning the deals five years ago

  • High-profile stars have earnings routed through personal companies to avoid tax
  • Firms are taxed at 20 per cent business rate, rather than 45 per cent income rate
  • BBC refused to say who uses the deals, which it officially banned five years ago

United Nations must step in to protect the moon as private firms prepare first mining missions, experts warn

  • For All Moonkind plans to obtain United Nations’ protections for the moon
  • This would include the six Apollo Lunar Landing sites, and the related artefacts
  • The organization will present its plan at the Starship Congress 2017 August 7-9
  • It comes as a lunar sample bag from Apollo 11 sold today for $1.8 million


Believe nothing. Question everything. Think more!

Broadcasting House – Decentralizing ‘ Truth’
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Truth Rating

NEWS FROM THE LEFT | Broadcasting House | 21 July, 2017

NEWS FROM THE LEFT | Broadcasting House | 2017-07-21

NEWS FROM THE LEFT | Broadcasting House | 2017-07-21

Turkish-Greek Earthquake | OJ Simpson Granted Parole | Linkin Park’s Chester Bennington Suspected Suicide | Polish Judiciary Reform | Dark Web Giants Shut Down

Turkey and Greece hit by strong earthquake: two dead and 200 injured – latest

  • A powerful earthquake of magnitude 6.7 has killed at least two people on the island of Kos and injured 200 in Greek and Turkish coastal towns.
  • The quake struck near major tourist destinations around the Aegean sea in the early hours of Friday, Turkish and Greek officials said. Around 200 people have been injured, officials said, with at least 120 on Kos and 70 in Turkey.
  • The United States Geological Survey (USGS), which monitors earthquakes, said it was a very shallow quake – only 10km (6.2 miles) below the seabed – off the southwestern coastal city of Marmaris in the Mugla province. The epicentre was just 10km south of the Turkish resort of Bodrum and 16km east-northeast of Kos

OJ Simpson granted parole after serving nine years of armed robbery sentence

  • OJ Simpson, the former NFL star famously acquitted of murder, was granted parole on Thursday and is expected to walk free in October after being jailed nine years ago for a botched robbery attempt.
  • “I am sorry the things turned out the way they did,” Simpson, 70, said via videoconference with the Nevada board of parole commissioners. “I had no intention to commit a crime.”
  • Four commissioners voted unanimously to grant Simpson’s parole after a nearly 90-minute hearing.
  • Simpson smiled as the four commissioners announced their ruling one by one; he bowed multiple times after the 4-0 decision was announced

Donald Tusk warns of ‘bleak outcome’ from Polish judiciary reform

  • Poland’s rightwing government has been accused of dragging the country back in time by Donald Tusk, president of the European council, as its ministers moved a step clos Tusk, a former Polish prime minister, said the ruling Law and Justice party was reversing decades of progress through its authoritarian agenda
  • On Thursday MPs in Poland’s lower chamber voted to approve a highly contentious law giving control of the nation’s supreme court to the president instead of judges, sparking new protests in Warsaw
  • The move came just 24 hours after the first vice president of the European commission, Frans Timmermans, warned that such was the threat to the independence of the country’s judges from a series of proposed laws, the EU was “very close” to triggering article 7 – a mechanism, as yet unused, that could ultimately lead to Poland losing its voting rights in the council of ministerser to taking control of the judiciary

Cabinet accepts Brexit transition will mean years of free movement

  • The British cabinet has accepted that free movement of people for up to four years after Britain leaves the EU will be part of a Brexit transition deal, according to a senior source.
  • As the EU chief negotiator, Michel Barnier, underlined the need for clarity on the British side at the end of the latest round of exit negotiations, soft Brexiters in the cabinet are now confident they have achieved a consensus about an “off the shelf” transition deal.
  • The claim that a collective view has been reached comes after weeks of a brutal briefing war over competing visions of Brexit since the general election wiped out Theresa May’s majority, culminating in the prime minister’s admonition this week that there is “no such thing as an unsackable minister”, and sowing confusion in Brussels about the reliability of the British negotiating position

Britons in Europe ‘face huge loss’ if EU and UK cannot agree on rights

  • British citizens living in the European Union say they will suffer “a huge loss” if negotiators from the UK and Brussels do not settle their differences over the rights of citizens to live and work across the continent after Brexit.
  • The EU had offered to allow the 1.2 million Britons living in Europe before Brexit to continue to have the right to freedom of movement, so they could live, work, study and enjoy visa-free travel in any EU country.
  • They also wanted to cover the 45,000 British citizens who either work in Europe on short-term contracts or live in Britain and commute to work in an EU country.
  • However, this now looks in jeopardy after EU and British negotiators clashed on the issue this week, during the second round of Brexit talks. Brussels officials have said British people living in the EU could lose the right to live in another member state after Brexit unless the UK makes a reciprocal offer for the 3 million EU citizens living in Britain that would allow them to move to another EU country and return to the UK.

Dark web marketplaces AlphaBay and Hansa shut down

  • AlphaBay and Hansa – two of the largest “dark web” marketplaces for illegal and illicit items such as drugs and guns – have been shut down, the US Justice Department said on Thursday.
  • Police in the US and Europe, including the US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) and the Dutch National Police, partnered to shutter the sites accused of allowing thousands of vendors to sell illegal drugs, of which Europol said there were 250,000 listings on AlphaBay alone, with 200,000 members and 40,000 vendors.
  • The sites operated on the Tor network, which helps users browse the internet anonymously. Visitors to the online marketplaces paid through digital currencies such as Bitcoin.
  • AlphaBay mysteriously went offline earlier this month fuelling suspicions among users that law enforcement action had taken place. It was widely considered the biggest online black market for drugs, estimated to host daily transactions totalling hundreds of thousands of pounds after filling the gap left by the takedown of Silk Road in 2013 by the FBI. FBI acting director Andrew McCabe said AlphaBay was 10 times as large as the Silk Road

Chester Bennington, lead singer of Linkin Park, dies of suspected suicide at age 41

  • Police have confirmed that Chester Bennington, the lead singer of band Linkin Park, has died.
  • His death at his private residence in Palos Verdes Estates in Los Angeles County at approximately 9am Thursday morning was confirmed by the coroner and is being treated as a suspected suicide
  • Bennington, who was 41 years old, joined the group in 1999 and became a household name the year after with the release of the band’s debut album Hybrid Theory, which was nominated for a Grammy award for best rock album. Their second album, Meteora, has sold over 27m units and the band collaborated with Jay-Z for 2004 EP Collision Course.
  • Bennington also fronted the Stone Temple Pilots from 2013 to 2015 and made small appearances in the films Crank and Saw 3D. When his close friend and fellow musician Chris Cornell, lead singer of the bands Soundgarden and Audioslave, killed himself this past May, Bennington honored him on Twitter and performed at his funeral

Boots faces boycott over refusal to lower cost of morning-after pill

  • There have been calls for a boycott of Boots after the chemist refused to lower the cost of the morning-after pill for fear it would encourage over-use.
  • Rivals Tesco and Superdrug halved the price of the emergency contraceptive following a campaign from the British Pregnancy Advisory Service (BPAS), a leading provider of abortion care.
  • The charity had written to retailers asking them to consider offering a more affordable product, after it was revealed that British women are forced to pay up to five times more than their European peers for the contraceptive.
  • Boots, however, said it would not lower the price as it did not want to be accused of “incentivising inappropriate use”. Campaigners said its statement was insulting and sexist.

MP calls for clock-in cards to prove peers are putting in ‘full shift’

  • Peers and MPs should use security cards to tap in and out of parliament so the public can see how much time they are spending in Westminster, a senior MP has proposed.
  • Tommy Sheppard, SNP spokesman in the Commons, has written to the Speakers of both houses and the head of security in the Palace of Westminster asking them to consider his proposal. He suggests it would not only help transparency, but would also aid the authorities in emergency situations.
  • The proposal follows claims that a small number of peers have abused a system that allows them to claim £300 a day once they have signed in to the House of Lords. MPs are paid a salary of £74,000 a year.

Grenfell: council made more on two house sales than it spent on cladding

  • The Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea (RBKC) last year raised more money from the sale of two council houses in the rich south of the borough than it spent on the devastated Grenfell Tower’s new cladding, financial records obtained by the Guardian have revealed.
  • The contrast between the council’s wealth and its drive to cut costs on the tower refurbishment has been laid bare in council documents that reveal the Conservative-controlled council raised £4.5m from the sale of two three-bedroom houses in affluent Chelsea. It spent just £3.5m on the whole of the cut-price cladding system for 120 homes, which burned with such ferocity last month in a blaze that claimed at least 80 lives.

TSB plans to unlock bank accounts with the blink of an eye

  • TSB is to introduce iris recognition as a way for customers to unlock its bank app and access their accounts, making it the first in Europe to use this form of biometric technology.
  • From September, TSB customers with a Samsung Galaxy S8 or S8+ will be able to use the phone’s built-in iris scanner to log into their account on the mobile app by glancing at their phone, instead of inputting an ID and password.
  • The bank says this form of biometric authentication is the most secure as it uses 266 unique characters compared with 40 for fingerprints – which can also still be used to log into the TSB app.

More ex-ministers take private sector jobs amid ‘revolving door’ claims

  • The number of former ministers taking up jobs outside parliament has risen by nearly 60% in a year, official figures disclose.
  • The increase, from 33 former ministers to 52, coincides with complaints that lawmakers are routinely making use of a “revolving door” to pursue lucrative contracts in the private sector.
  • Francis Maude, the former Cabinet Office minister and industry minister, appears to have taken up the highest number of external roles over the past year, with nine posts.
  • Ed Davey, the former energy secretary, declares eight different commissions from his independent consultancy, which specialises in energy and climate change
  • The data has been disclosed in the annual report of the ministerial jobs watchdog, the advisory committee on business appointments (Acoba)
  • Former ministers are required to seek and abide by the committee’s advice before taking up appointments in the two-year period after they leave office.
  • The report found that the committee advised 52 former ministers in relation to 104 appointments in the year to March 2017. During the previous year, 33 former ministers took up 123 jobs.

Senators to Trump: take a ‘moral’ stand on immigrants

  • A top Republican senator has challenged Donald Trump to make “a moral decision” on the fate of hundreds of thousands of undocumented immigrants brought to the US as children, part of a revamped bipartisan push to grant permanent residency to so-called Dreamers.
  • “The moment of reckoning is coming,” South Carolina senator Lindsey Graham warned the president and his Republican colleagues at a press conference Thursday to unveil a new iteration of legislation known as the Dream Act.
  • Graham was joined by Illinois senator Dick Durbin, the Democratic cosponsor of the bill who first introduced legislation of the same name 16 years ago. Their proposal, which mirrors previous legislation that failed to pass Congress multiple times, would grant legal status and a path to citizenship to Dreamers if they were long-term residents of the US

Nasa needs you: space agency to crowdsource origami designs for shield

  • If you know your crane from your bishop’s mitre, Nasa needs you. The space agency is launching a challenge to crowdsource origami-inspired ideas for a foldable radiation shield to protect spacecraft and astronauts on voyages to deep space, such as missions to Mars.
  • “Origami is a natural fit to many problems involving deployability in space,” says Robert J. Lang, origami artist and former Nasa physicist. Photograph: Mark Bolitho
  • With the challenge open for entries from 26 July, innovative designs can be submitted through the website, Freelancer.
  • “The theory is that there will be a lot of people who have expertise in folding techniques or origami and [Nasa] want to find a very efficient way to pack a radiation shield,” said Matt Barrie, founder and CEO of Freelancer.
  • Helen O’Brien, a space engineer from Imperial College London who is not involved in the project, said that radiation shields – typically made of aluminium – are a crucial component of both manned and unmanned spacecraft.
  • “Essentially cosmic rays and other solar radiation can be very damaging to both people and electronics,” she said, pointing out that it can cause cancer, as well as triggering faults in circuits.

Elon Musk: I got ‘government approval’ for New York-DC Hyperloop. Officials: no he didn’t

  • Elon Musk does not have government approval to build a Hyperloop tunnel from New York City to Washington DC.
  • The Tesla executive took to Twitter this morning to tantalize his legion of fans and the tech press with the “news” that he had “just received verbal govt approval for The Boring Company to build an underground NY-Phil-Balt-DC Hyperloop. NY-DC in 29 mins … City center to city center in each case, with up to a dozen or more entry/exit elevators in each city.”
  • Lest any billionaires need to brush up on civics 101: the US system of government does not operate on “verbal government approvals”.
  • Musk walked back his claim about 90 minutes later, tweeting: “Still a lot of work needed to receive formal approval, but am optimistic that will occur rapidly”.

Google to radically change homepage for first time since 1996

  • Google’s famously simple homepage with its logo and single search box on a white background is set to undergo a radical change for the first time since its launch in 1996, with the addition of Google’s interest and news-based feed.
  • The feed of personalised information, which has been a mainstay of Google’s mobile apps for Android and iOS since 2012 along with a home-screen page on Google’s Nexus and Pixel smartphones and tablets, will become part of the main web experience in the near future, the Guardian understands.
  • On Wednesday Google announced it was deploying further customisation to the feed, which took over from its Google Now personalisation in December, using the company’s “advanced machine-learning algorithms”.


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Royal Pretzel Making: is this really the best the Twenty First Century has to Offer?

Royal Pretzel Making. William & Kate play around with pieces of dough

Royal Pretzel Making. William & Kate play around with pieces of dough

William & Kate making Pretzels – is this really the best the Twenty First Century has to offer? Isn’t this what we used to watch on Blind Date at the end of the last Century?

Who organizes this stuff?

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Gotcha! Daniel Hannan MEP Fakes his Social Media Photographs

Gotcha! Danile Hannan MEP needs to be careful, as do these two pictured, what he posts to social media

Gotcha! Daniel Hannan (Member of the European Parliament) has been shown to have faked several of his Social Media photographs. Watch what you post!! Appearances can be deceptive!!

Sharp eyes have shown that Daniel Hannan, MEP,  posted several ‘stock’ photos on social media of his walks in the English countryside, in Wales and in Vermont.

In May 2016 the Twitter account @DanHannanMEP posted: “15 miles up and down over Hampshire’s sloping fields, pausing for a pie @vinehannington. God, I love England in May.” Alongside the words were an image of what was supposedly the Hampshire countryside. There was one problem: The photo he shared was taken in Glamorgan, Wales in 1998 by photographer John Ball!

Gotcha! Daniel Hannan MEP Fakes Pictures posted on Social Media - 2017-07-20

Gotcha! Daniel Hannan MEP Fakes Pictures posted on Social Media – 2017-07-20


Still…he’s not alone. One, travel and beauty blogger Amelia Liana, has been accused of photoshopping herself onto different backgrounds, including a deserted Taj Mahal and a bedside view of the Eiffel Tower. She was called out when the ice-cream she was holding on a New York street could only have been bought on the other side of the city (and surely would have melted in the time to get it there). Another showed her in front of a skyline that didn’t include the massive One World Trade Centre skyscraper. Oh Dear!


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NEWS BY NUMBERS 14 July, 2017: News Gathered, Categorized, Analysed & Prioritized using AI

NEWS BY NUMBERS 24 July, 2017: News Gathered, Categorized, Analysed & Prioritized using AI

NEWS BY NUMBERS 14 July, 2017: Gathered, Categorized, Analysed & Prioritized using Artificial Intelligence

Imported articles: 184,867,253 | Identified events: 6,391,795 | News sources: 25,109 | Unique concepts: 1,520,36 | Categories: 5,014

  • Trump is set to join Friday’s national holiday celebrations, which mark the storming of the royal fortress of Bastille in 1789 that was a key turning point in the French Revolution.
  • He was invited last month by French President Emmanuel Macron, a leader more than 30 years his junior who has criticized Trump on various issues.
  • Despite this invitation, anti-Trump protesters have promised to give the U.S. president a less-than-cordial greeting when he touches down for France’s most important national holiday

Liu Xiaobo: China’s most prominent dissident dies – BBC News

  • Nobel laureate Liu Xiaobo, who was China’s most prominent human rights and democracy advocate, has died aged 61.
    The activist had been serving an 11-year prison term for “subversion” and was recently moved to a hospital for treatment for terminal liver cancer
  • A university professor turned tireless rights campaigner, Mr Liu was branded a criminal by authorities. The Nobel Committee said the Chinese government bore a “heavy responsibility for his premature death”.
  • The campaigner was repeatedly jailed throughout his life. When not in prison, he was subject to severe restrictions while his wife, Liu Xia, was placed under house arrest.
  • Mr Liu died “peacefully”, surrounded by his wife and other relatives, a doctor who treated him said. His final words to Liu Xia were: “Live on well,” the South China Morning Post reported
  • Former president sentenced to 9.5 years by Judge Sergio Moro Conviction complicates Lula’s bid to run for president in 2018
  • Brazil’s former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva has been convicted of bribe-taking and money-laundering in the most dramatic development to date of a sweeping corruption scandal that has shaken the country’s political establishment to its core.
  • Sergio Moro, the lead judge in the multi-billion dollar corruption probe known as Carwash, sentenced Lula to nine and a half
  • A giant iceberg twice the size of Luxembourg has broken off an ice shelf on the Antarctic peninsula and is now adrift in the Weddell Sea
  • Reported to be “hanging by a thread” last month, the iceberg was found to have split off from the Larsen C section of the Larsen ice shelf on Wednesday morning after scientists examined the latest satellite data from the area.
  • The Larsen C ice shelf is now 10% smaller than before the iceberg broke off – or “calved” – an event that researchers say has changed
THE GUARDIAN | ANTARCTICA | 984 articles | 8 languages | 
  • Roger Federer moved into a 12th Wimbledon semi-final and within touching distance of a record eighth title Wednesday as Andy Murray and Novak Djokovic crashed out on a dramatic day at the All England Club
  • Swiss maestro Federer eased to a 6-4, 6-2, 7-6 (7/4) win over Milos Raonic to become the second oldest Wimbledon semi-finalist of the Open era
  • However, defending champion Murray, severely restricted by a right hip injury, was dethroned by Sam Querrey 3-6, 6-4, 6-7 (4/7), 6-1,
TIMES OF INDIA | LONDON | 796 articles | 7 languages | 
  • Federal Reserve Board Chairwoman Janet Yellen during a hearing of the Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC on February 14, 2017
  • The U.S. economy is gathering strength as consumer spending, business investment and global demand for American products rebound from a weak spell at the beginning of the year, likely warranting further gradual increases in the Federal Reserve’s
  • Chuck Blazer, the pioneering American soccer executive who admissions of corruption set off a global scandal that ultimately toppled FIFA President Sepp Blatter, has died. He was 72
  • Blazer’s death was announced Wednesday by his lawyers, Eric Corngold and Mary Mulligan. At a November 2013 court hearing during which Blazer entered guilty pleas to federal charges, Blazer said he had rectal cancer, diabetes and coronary artery disease.
  • 12th July thousands of websites proteseted the government’s recent threats against net neutrality, a harbinger of the internet apocalypse. Internet behemoths like Google, Amazon (which owns Twitch) and Reddit as well as smaller sites like Ifixit and Plays
  • Wednesday was day of action against internet service providers’ push for, among other things, the right to slow down access to or block competing websites. For gamers, rolling back net neutrality means gaming could get a lot more expensive.
  • Right now, the internet is a utility, not a privilege. In 2015, Barack Obama introduced a mandate that forced internet service providers like AT&T, Spectrum and Verizon to give equal internet access to all consumers, preventing providers from charging more for “fast lanes” or throttling certain websites. For example, Verizon couldn’t stifle access to Vox Media because it’s a Comcast venture
  • The Latest on the 69th annual Primetime Emmy nominations announced Thursday in Los Angeles by the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences
  • The Emmy nominations for outstanding reality competition show have been announced. The nominees are: “The Amazing Race”; “American Ninja Warrior”; “Project Runway”; “RuPaul’s Drag Race”; “Top Chef”; “The Voice”. “The Voice” has won the category the previous two years. “The Amazing Race” was dominant in the category before that, garnering 74 nominations and winning 15 Emmy statuettes
  • The Emmy nominations for the best limited television series have been announced. The nominees are: “Big Little Lies”; “Fargo”; “Feud: Bette and Joan”; “Genius”; “The Night Of”. “Feud,” a fictionalized account of the rivalry between Joan Crawford and Bette Davis that aired on FX, was one of Thursday’s top-nominated shows. Jessica Lange, who portrayed Crawford, and Susan Sarandon, who played Davis, were each nominated for best actress in a limited series or movie. Nicole Kidman and Reese Witherspoon were also nominated in the acting category for HBO’s “Big Little Lies.” Ewan McGregor was nominated in the best actor category for “Fargo,” while Riz Ahmed and John Turturro were nominated for HBO’s “The Night Of.”

EU says Brexit talks could fail after Johnson’s ‘go whistle’ remarks

  • The European Union has said the Brexit talks could be derailed by an escalating fight over money as it fired back at Boris Johnson for telling the EU leaders to “go whistle” if they expected Britain to pay a divorce bill for withdrawing from the bloc.
  • “I am not hearing any whistling, just a clock ticking,” said the EU negotiator Michel Barnier at a press conference in Brussels to preview the next round of talks, due to begin on Monday
  • German carmaker Daimler has been accused of selling over a million cars with excessive emissions in Europe and the United States, Sueddeutsche Zeitung newspaper said on Wednesday, citing a search warrant issued by a Stuttgart court.
  • Two months ago, Stuttgart prosecutors searched Daimler sites in Germany following allegations of false advertising and the possible wrongful manipulation of exhaust gas treatment systems in diesel cars.
  • The Stuttgart local court’s search warrant triggered the searches on May 23, Sueddeutsche Zeitung said.
  • According to that document, more than 1 million cars with excessive emissions, including various luxury Mercedes-Benz models, were sold in Europe and the United States between 2008 and 2016, said Sueddeutsche Zeitung, which researched the matter with regional broadcasters WDR and NDR
  • MANILA, Philippines — Filipino boxing icon Manny Pacquiao on Wednesday declared that he intends to continue fighting, despite suffering a shock defeat in his most recent bout
  • In an Instagram post, Pacquiao announced: “I love this sport and until the passion is gone, I will continue to fight for God, my family, my fans and my country.”
  • Pacquiao contemplated retirement after losing via unanimous decision to unheralded Australian Jeff Horn last July 2 in Brisbane, a result that saw him drop his WBO welterweight belt. It was his first defeat since bowing to Floyd Mayweather Jr. in the “Fight of the Century” in May 201
  • Dutch giants confirm young midfielder has received life-changing damage after suffering from heart problems
  • AJAX have revealed that midfielder Abedlhak Nouri sadly suffered “serious and permanent brain damage” after collapsing on the pitch five days ago.
  • The 20-year-old suffered cardiac arrhythmias during a pre-season friendly against Werder Bremen on Saturday.
  • But Nouri has now suffered further problems after being put in a coma while on intensive care.
  • Two Democratic congressmen introduced an article of impeachment on Wednesday against President Trump, accusing him of obstruction of justice over his firing of former FBI Director James Comey.
  • The resolution says Trump “prevented, obstructed and impeded” the investigation of former national security adviser Michael Flynn by “threatening and then terminating” Comey
  • “We now begin the effort to force the House Judiciary Committee to hold hearings on obstruction of justice and Russian interference in our election,” said California Rep. Brad Sherman, who sponsored the resolution. Texas Rep. Al Green is a co-sponsor
  • The San Francisco-based company and Yandex NV are merging their ride-hailing businesses in Russia. Uber will invest $225 million and take a 36.6 percent stake in a new, yet-to-be named venture that will be valued at $3.73 billion, the companies said in a statement Thursday. Shares of Yandex, which will invest $100 million and own 59.3 percent of the new enterprise, jumped as much as 19 percent in early trading in New York to $32.44, their highest level in three years
  • The deal with Yandex is Uber’s second retreat from a major market. Last year, Uber left China in exchange for a 17.5 percent stake in rival Didi Chuxing, after losing more than $2 billion battling its competitor. While Uber remains the dominant ride-hailing operator in the U.S., it has been on the defensive, beset by scandals that led to Travis Kalanick’s ouster as chief executive officer. The agreement with Yandex is part of Uber’s renewed effort to improve revenue, narrow losses and resolve its legal issues
  • Hundreds of German special police raided several buildings in Berlin early Wednesday, arresting four suspects in connection with the brazen heist of a 100 kg Canadian gold coin stolen from one of the city’s museums earlier this year.
  • Heavily armed masked police arrested the suspects, one wearing a hood over his head, in Berlin’s Neukoelln neighborhood. Another nine people are being questioned in the case. All suspects are related to one another and aged between 18 and 20, police said.
  • The raids of 13 different buildings lasted several hours, but the gold coin was not recovered.
  • “We assume that the coin was partially or completely sold,” Carsten Pfohl of the Berlin state criminal office told reporters at a press conference. He added that police also confiscated clothes and cars to comb for traces of gold
  • The Supreme Court has removed Ali Modu Sheriff as the National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party.
  • A five-man panel of the apex court led by the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Walter Onnoghen, in its judgment delivered on Wednesday, reinstated Ahmed Makarfi, earlier sacked by the Port Harcourt Division of the Court of Appeal, as the National Caretaker Committee.
  • A five-man panel of the apex court led by the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Walter Onnoghen, in its judgment delivered on Wednesday, reinstated Ahmed Makarfi, earlier sacked by the Port Harcourt Division of the Court of Appeal, as the National Caretaker Committee.
  • Reading the lead judgment of the Supreme Court, on Wednesday, Justice Bode Rhodes-Vivour, held that contrary to the majority judgment of the Port Harcourt Division of the Court of Appeal, the suit filed by Makarfi faction before the Federal High Court in Port Harcourt was not an abuse of court
  • A French court handed Google’s parent company, Alphabet, a reprieve from a 1.11bn-euro ($1.27bn) tax bill on Wednesday in a major victory for the tech giant.
  • The decision comes after six years of fighting with the French tax authority over back taxes it claims are due from the tech firm for the years 2005 to 2010.
  • The French tax administration argued that Google had to pay taxes in France because the California firm and its subsidiary in Ireland have been selling a service for inserting online ads to clients in France for years through its Google search engine
  • Musician Kid Rock has announced his bid for the U.S. Senate in Michigan.
  • In a tweet Wednesday, Rock, whose birth name is Robert James Ritchie, wrote that the website “” was real and to stay tuned for “a major announcement in the near future.”
  • Rock, an outspoken conservative, endorsed Mitt Romney for president during his 2012 campaign. He told The Guardian in 2015 that he’s a Republican on certain issues, but leans toward the middle on others

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NEWS FROM THE RIGHT: Daily Mail – 14 July, 2017



| Acid Attack in East London | Teenagers use EMOJI code to buy drugs | University Bosses pay too high

Heart attack? Wait longer for an ambulance: Huge 999 shake-up means slower response times for millions

  • Major overhaul of the 999 service will mean 8-minute response target scrapped
  • Those who suffer heart attacks are now likely to have to wait 18 minutes for help
  • In some cases, delay could be 40 minutes for those needing medical attention

Two men on a moped carry out FIVE acid attacks in 90 minutes in East London with one victim receiving ‘life-changing injuries’

  • Gang pulled up next to victims on mopeds and sprayed acid in their faces
  • There were five linked attacks in 90 minutes across north and east London
  • Majority of victims appear to be takeaway delivery drivers out on scooters
  • One driver suffered catastrophic facial injuries – another had acid in his eyes
  • Teenager arrested this morning for GBH and robbery – accomplice is on the run

Britain’s highest paid university boss ‘sets an example of greed’ by raking in half a million pounds with 66 staff earning more than £100,000 a year

  • Dame Glynis Breakwell earns almost £500k as vice-chancellor at Bath University
  • She has 66 colleagues on three-figure salaries with 13 earning over £150k a year
  • These salaries total £8.7m a year. The university’s annual budget is £283m

Revealed: How teenagers use secret emoji code to deal Class A drugs on Snapchat and Instagram as gangs target ‘digital savvy’ school pupils

  • Children using social media to buy and sell Class A drugs, investigation found
  • Youngsters are even employing a code made up of ’emojis’ to conceal the deals
  • One of the country’s largest drug gangs told a BBC documentary 75 per cent of their takings now come through social media transactions

How the BBC’s Laura Kuenssberg was ‘given a bodyguard’ after threats by online hate mob during the election

  • Laura Kuenssberg was apparently so badly threatened that she was given security as she toured the country during election
  • The journalist, who holds one of the most recognisable jobs in broadcast media, was frequently subjected to accusations of bias
  • Some campaigned for the BBC to sack Miss Kuenssberg

King Charles could become a real problem, says Paxman… but he admits President Blair would be even worse!

  • Former Newsnight presenter declared himself royalist due to lack of alternatives
  • He has dismissed the idea of replacing the monarchy with a presidential system
  • Paxman said problems will arise if Prince Charles continues to act like himself
  • He said the role of King is very different to his current role as a Prince

ISIS supporters urge lone wolves to derail trains, blow up oil pipelines and attack the Women’s Euros football championship as their caliphate crumbles

  • Terror accounts on anonymous messaging app have called for attacks in Europe
  • Targets identified as trains, oil pipelines, and the Women’s Euro tournament
  • ISIS often uses lone wolf attacks to distract from defeats elsewhere – such as the fall of Mosul and the ongoing battle for Raqqa

Government’s dependence on the rich for tax revenues is putting public services at risk, watchdog warns

  • The Office for Budget Responsibility said Britain faces a wide range of fiscal risks
  • Brexit changes the ‘likelihood and impact’ of many of the existing risks
  • Unfunded giveaway make it harder for the Government to hit long term targets

Revealed: French President Macron’s great-grandfather was a British butcher who heroically fought at the Somme before staying in Europe and marrying a Frenchwoman

  • George William Robertson received medal for fighting in Battle of the Somme
  • After the Armistice in 1918, he stayed in France and created a family with local
  • He had 3 daughters, including Jacqueline – Emmanuel Macron’s grandmother
  • But he left and returned to Britian – cutting all ties with his secret French family
  • Macron only recently learned of his British bloodline and is keen to ‘explore’ it

Hands above the table! The Trumps and the Macrons dine at the Eiffel Tower – after president told French first lady: ‘You’re in such good shape.’

  • Dinner in the Eiffel Tower at one of Paris’s most expensive restaurants ends French and U.S. first couple’s day
  • Donald Trump was seated next to Brigitte Macron – hours after telling her: ‘You know, you are in such good shape’
  • Classic French menu was custom-made by Alain Ducasse, the country’ most decorated chef
  • The Trumps and the Macrons had six courses featuring Dover sole, filet of beef, and a chocolate soufflé
  • Dinner at Restaurant Jules Verne capped day which saw both Trumps cover some of the highlights of Paris: Napoleon’s Tomb, Notre Dame and a sail on the Seine

ISIS militants are thrown to their deaths and shot where they lie in video allegedly showing Iraqi troops carrying out executions

  • Iraqi government investigating video and promised to bring justice if it is verified
  • It shows a terrified man, thought to be an ISIS fighter, being hurled off high edge
  • He lands on the body of another man and is then shot several times with a rifle

Bosses who snoop on job applicants’ Facebook or Twitter profiles could be breaching data protection laws, warn EU regulators

  • Working party Article 29 said employers need ‘legal ground’ to search candidate
  • Internet searches should be ‘necessary and relevant’ to performance of the job
  • While not legally binding, Article 29 ‘very persuasive’ as new data laws planned
  • According to CareerBuilder, 70 per cent of employers search applicants’ social media profiles


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NEWS FROM THE LEFT: The Guardian – July 14, 2017

NEWS FROM THE LEFT: The Guardian – July 14, 2017

NEWS FROM THE LEFT: The Guardian – July 14, 2017

Brexit Bill | Corbyn in Brussles | Trump Conflicts of Interest | NHS Ranks Highly | Federer Looks Strong

Brexit bill to cause constitutional clash with Scotland and Wales

  • Theresa May appeared to be heading for an explosive constitutional clash over Brexit after the Scottish and Welsh governments said they could not support the great repeal bill – the key proposals drawn up to extricate Britain from the EU.
  • The historic legislation, formally known as the European Union (withdrawal) bill, came under sustained attack after it was published on Thursday, with MPs and human rights campaigners, as well as leaders in Edinburgh and Cardiff, dismissing it as a Westminster power grab.
  • Just hours after the government published the 66-page bill that will repeal the European Communities Act of 1972, and bring decades of EU law on to the UK statute book, the Scottish and Welsh leaders, Nicola Sturgeon and Carwyn Jones, rejected it
  • Campaigners and parliamentarians raised a series of other concerns about the legislation, including the risk that human rights could be undermined and the threat that ministers could seize sweeping powers to tweak laws without full parliamentary scrutiny

Jeremy Corbyn sets out Labour’s vision for Brexit on Brussels visit

  • Labour pitched an alternative vision of Brexit to the EU on Thursday during nearly two-and-half hours of talks with Michel Barnier and his deputy negotiators, which pointed the way for potential compromise on access to the single market.
  • Jeremy Corbyn’s private session at the European commission headquarters in Brussels lasted almost half as long as the British government has spent in formal negotiations in total since triggering article 50 in March, but went further by also including discussion of Britain’s future relationship.
  • “They wanted to hear what our overall approach is and to let us know what their overall approach is, not only for article 50 but also for transitional and final arrangements,” the shadow Brexit secretary, Sir Keir Starmer, told the Guardian.
  • “It was an opportunity for us to have a pretty frank exchange of positions and an opportunity to dive into some of the issues that arise out of that. Hopefully, it is the first of a number of meetings, so we will be able to continue that process.”

Britons’ rights in Europe ‘must not surpass rights of EU citizens in UK’

  • The Swedish minister for EU affairs has said it would be “unfair” for Britons to have more rights in Europe than EU citizens in the UK, as currently proposed by Theresa May
  • Ann Linde warned that the UK must offer the EU reciprocity in its approach to citizens’ rights, and said Theresa May’s government was putting the final Brexit deal at risk if it did not engage in detail with the EU negotiating team soon.
  • Before a meeting in Londn with the Brexit secretary, David Davis, Linde said there was “a risk with such a short deadline that if you do not get the detailed position, that you can’t [go forward]” to the second phase of negotiations, on a trade deal and the relationship with Europe.
  • “We really need to get concrete negotiating positions from the UK. We got three more responses today, but they need to have more detail,” she said.
  • “We have to have reciprocity,” she added. “We cannot have a situation where Britons in Spain have a better situation than a Spanish person in the UK.” That would be “unfair”, she concluded

Trump conflict of interest concerns over links with law firm run by Philippine government official

  • Donald and Ivanka Trump’s companies employ a law firm managed by a Philippine government official, the Guardian has found, the latest in a string of potential conflicts of interests stemming from the first family’s global business empire.
  • By hiring a firm run by a high-ranking member of the Philippine government, Trump opens himself to accusations of wittingly or unwittingly paying a foreign official to secure the interests of his private business.
  • Elpidio C Jamora Jr is one of four named partners at the Manila-based law office that acts as a representative to register trademarks for both the Trump Organization and Ivanka Trump’s personal brand

NHS holds on to top spot in healthcare survey

  • The NHS has been judged the best, safest and most affordable healthcare system out of 11 countries analysed and ranked by experts from the influential Commonwealth Fund health thinktank.
  • It is the second time in a row that the study, which is undertaken every three years, has found the UK to have the highest-rated health system.
  • The NHS has held on to the top spot despite the longest budget squeeze in its 69-year history, serious understaffing and the disruption caused by a radical restructuring of the service in England in 2013
  • Its ranking is even more notable because the thinktank found the UK to put the fourth smallest amount of GDP into healthcare among the 11 nations. While the US spends 16.6% of its national income on health, the UK comes near the bottom, investing just 9.9%. Only New Zealand (9.4%), Norway (9.3%) and Australia (9%) put in less

Shooting attack in Jerusalem’s Old City forces cancellation of Friday prayers

  • Three gunmen have been shot dead during a shootout at the entrance to the flashpoint Temple Mount/Haram al-Sharif complex in Jerusalem, during an attack in which two Israelis were critically wounded
  • Some reports in the Israeli media suggested the attackers were Israeli Arabs, citizens of the town of Umm al-Fahm, although that was not immediately confirmed by police
  • According to first reports by Israeli police, the three assailants, armed with two homemade Carlo submachine guns and a hand gun, shot at several police officers near the Lion’s Gate entrance to the site, before running into the compound

Police investigate spate of five acid attacks in east London

  • Police are investigating a string of acid attacks that took place in less than 90 minutes in east London on Thursday night.
  • One of the victims was said to have suffered “life-changing” injuries during one of the attacks.
  • The Metropolitan police said the incidents appeared to be linked, and two involved victims having their mopeds stolen. Police said one male teenager had been arrested on suspicion of grievous bodily harm and robbery

Wimbledon 2017: Roger Federer looks untouchable as old injuries do for his younger rivals

  • The Swiss is on course for his eighth Wimbledon title and Andy Murray and Novak Djokovic might benefit likewise from a long break from tennis
  • After beating Milos Raonic in three sets on Wednesday he spared a thought for his 30-year-old rivals Murray and Djokovic. The Scot, whose hip finally gave up on him in losing against Sam Querrey in five sets, and his team saw a specialist on Thursday. The Serb retired in the second set against Berdych when an 18-month-old injury to his right elbow flared again
  • Marin Cilic, a former US Open champion playing his best tennis in years, should have the better of it against Querrey, who is unfamiliar with these heady surroundings, but he could struggle in a final against Federer, who can then return to Switzerland with Mirka and their four children to mull over the most astonishing comeback in modern sport

University vice-chancellors are paid too much, says Lord Adonis

  • The government is facing pressure to investigate the high salaries awarded to university vice-chancellors amid accusations that students’ tuition fees are being used to inflate the pay packets of senior management
  • Andrew Adonis, the former education minister, called for an inquiry in the House of Lords as he criticised the “serious controversy” of salary increases awarded to Glynis Breakwell, the vice-chancellor of the University of Bath, along with benefits and non-executive directorships she holds
  • “Last year the vice-chancellor earned £406,000. This year, despite the 1.1% cap on pay for non-managerial staff across the higher education sector, the vice-chancellor’s pay rose by 11% to £451,000,” Adonis said

World urged to take steps to protect Liu Xia after death of husband Liu Xiaobo

  • The international community must honour the dying wish of Nobel laureate Liu Xiaobo by taking immediate steps to protect his wife, the poet Liu Xia, who has endured years of government persecution, friends and supporters have said
  • Activists say Chinese security services have made the 56-year-old’s life a living hell since her jailed husband was awarded the Nobel peace prize in 2010, to the fury of China’s one-party rulers
  • Liu Xia has never been accused, let alone convicted of any crime. But because of her husband’s activism, she has been forced to live under constant surveillance and in almost total isolation at their Beijing home. Her physical and psychological condition is said to have deteriorated dramatically during this time

‘Poverty favours the mosquito’: experts warn Zika virus could return to Brazil

  • Weaknesses in the public health system risk another Zika epidemic in Brazil, according to a report published two months after the government declared the mosquito-borne virus was no longer an emergency
  • Blamed for the birth defect microcephaly, Zika exposed human rights deficiencies in areas such as sanitation, access to clean water, poverty and sexual health restrictions, the report released on Thursday by Human Rights Watch said
  • “The underlying conditions that allowed the outbreak to be so damaging have not been addressed and there is a vulnerability for future outbreaks,” said Amanda Klasing, one of the report’s authors. She added that millions of people lack proper sanitation or fresh water, and women also need better information and access to contraception and safe abortion – which is illegal in most cases in Brazil
  • Zika was first identified in Brazil in 2014 and spread rapidly through the country. There were 191,992 cases in 2016 and by May, 9,351 new cases this year. The ministry of health said Zika was responsible for the majority of the 2,753 cases of the devastating birth defect microcephaly – of which 322 were this year.

Romania hits Canadian firm with $9m ‘retaliatory’ tax bill over gold mine

  • Romania has served a Canadian mining company with a $8.6m back taxes bill days after the company filed a $4.4bn compensation claim over a stalled project in the country. Gabriel Resources tried for more than 18 years to get necessary permits for an opencast mine to extract Europe’s largest gold deposits from beneath the village of Roșia Montană in the Apuseni mountains
  • But the project was halted in 2013 after tens of thousands of demonstrators took to the streets for three weeks of mass protests. The government withdrew its support in 2014 and in 2017 submitted the village and its surrounding area for inclusion on Unesco’s World Heritage list, effectively killing off the mine
  • Late last month, Gabriel Resources announced that it would sue Romania at a World Bank tribunal for $4.4bn in alleged losses, alleging multiple breaches of international investment treaties. If its case is successful, the payout would be worth around 2% of the country’s projected GDP for 2017.
  • Days later, Romania announced the outstanding tax bill for VAT related to the purchase of goods and services between 2011 and 2016, and warned that the company could also be liable for millions more in interest and penalties

Pope Francis allies accuse Trump White House of ‘apocalyptic geopolitics’

  • An explosive article written by two close associates of Pope Francis has accused Steve Bannon, the chief White House strategist, of espousing an “apocalyptic geopolitics” whose roots are “not too far apart” from that of Islamist extremism.
  • The article in La Civiltà Cattolica, which is vetted by the Vatican before publication, lays out a scathing critique of “evangelical fundamentalism” in the US, arguing that, on issues ranging from climate change to “migrants and Muslims”, proponents of the ideology have adopted a twisted reading of scripture and the Old Testament that promotes conflict and war above all else
  • The piece was published just days after evangelical leaders met US president Donald Trump in the Oval Office of the White House and “laid hands” on him in prayer following discussions about religious freedom, support for Israel and healthcare reform


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NEWS BY NUMBERS: Real News Gathered Using Artificial Intelligence – 10 July 2017

NEWS BY NUMBERS: Real News Gathered Using Artificial Intelligence – 10 July 2017

NEWS BY NUMBERS: Real News Gathered Using Artificial Intelligence – 10 July 2017

Qatar rejects Arab states’ accusations, UK’s Boris Johnson flies to Saudi – Reuters

  • CAIRO (Reuters) – Qatar on Friday dismissed as “baseless” accusations that it was financing terrorism, in its first public response to a statement from four Arab states which are leading a boycott against the tiny emirate.
  • The four – Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt, and Bahrain – said in a joint statement late on Thursday that Doha’s refusal to accept their demands to end the diplomatic standoff was proof of its links to terrorist groups.
  • In their statement, the four said the initial list of 13 demands they had put to Qatar was now void and they pledged further political, economic and legal steps against the emirate.
  • In its first reaction to the statement from the four, Qatar dismissed as “baseless” the renewed accusations that it was interfering in the affairs of other states and financing terrorism
  • 1250 online articles at the time of writing

US, Russia agree on ceasefire in southwest Syria –

  • HAMBURG, Germany—Russia and the United States have agreed to a ceasefire in southwest Syria starting from midday on Sunday, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov announced Friday.
  • “Today in Amman Russian, American and Jordanian experts… agreed on a memorandum of understanding to create a de-escalation zone” in the regions of Daraa, Quneitra and Sweida, Lavrov said.
  • “There will be a ceasefire in this zone from midday Damascus time on July 9.”
  • Lavrov was speaking at the G20 summit in Hamburg where he sat in on talks between US President Donald Trump and Russian leader Vladimir Putin — their first face-to-face meeting.
  • 850 online articles at the time of writing

Iraqi Prime Minister congratulates armed forces for Mosul ‘victory’ – Daily News & Analysis

  • congratulated the armed forces for their “victory” over Islamic State after nearly nine months of urban warfare, bringing an end to jihadist rule in the city.
  • Islamic State’s defeat in Mosul three years after taking the city is a major blow for the hard-line Sunni Islamist group, which is also losing ground in its operational base in the Syrian city of Raqqa from where it has planned global attacks.
  • The group, however, still controls territory in Iraq and is expected to revert to more conventional insurgent tactics such as bombings as its self-proclaimed caliphate falls apart.
  • The battle for Mosul – by far the largest city to fall under the militants’ control – has left large areas in ruins, killed thousands of civilians and displaced nearly 1 million people
  • 850 online articles at the time of writing

British baby at end of life support draws in pope, Trump – Tampa Bay Times

  • LONDON — A terminally ill British child has attracted the attention of both the president of the United States and the pope. More than $1.68 million has been raised to help 11-month-old Charlie Gard travel to America for treatment
  • But little has changed for baby Charlie, who suffers from a rare genetic disease that has left him brain damaged and unable to breathe unaided. The life support he is receiving at a London hospital soon will be turned off over the objections of his parents, who want to take him to the United States for experimental therapy they believe could prolong his life.
  • A succession of judges has backed specialists at Great Ormond Street Hospital who say the treatment won’t help Charlie and may cause him to suffer. Britain’s Supreme Court ruled it’s in the boy’s best interests to be allowed to die with dignity. The European Court of Human Rights last week rejected an appeal from Charlie’s parents, Chris Gard and Connie Yates, exhausting their legal options
  • 850 online articles at the time of writing

Donald Trump Jr., Jared Kushner met with Kremlin-linked lawyer – CBS News

  • WASHINGTON — President Trump’s eldest son, son-in-law and then-campaign chairman met with a Russian lawyer shortly after Mr. Trump won the Republican nomination, in what appears to be the earliest known private meeting between key aides to the president and a Russian
  • Representatives of Donald Trump Jr. and Jared Kushner confirmed the June 2016 meeting to The Associated Press after The New York Times reported Saturday on the gathering of the men and Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya at Trump Tower. Then-campaign chairman Paul Manafort also attended, according to the statement from Donald Trump Jr
  • He described it as a “short introductory meeting” during which the three discussed a disbanded program that used to allow U.S. citizens to adopt Russian children. Russia ended the adoptions in response to American sanctions brought against the nation following the 2009 death of an imprisoned lawyer who spoke about a corruption scandal. Trump Jr. said he invited the other two Americans, was asked to attend by an acquaintance not named in the statement, and was not told beforehand with whom he would meet.
  • 385 online articles at the time of writing

Jailed Venezuela opposition leader Leopoldo Lopez given house arrest – The New Indian Express

  • CARACAS: Opposition leader Leopoldo Lopez was released from prison and placed under house arrest Saturday after more than three years in a military lockup, a shock reversal by the government that fueled hopes for a broader amnesty for dozens of jailed activists in a country sliding ever deeper into political turmoil.
  • A euphoric Lopez briefly greeted a few dozen supporters gathered outside his home in Caracas in the afternoon. Climbing atop a wall dressed in a white shirt, he clutched and then kissed a Venezuelan flag and raised his right fist in a show of defiance.
  • Lopez vowed that he is prepared to return to jail rather than give up his fight to remove socialist President Nicolas Maduro
  • 380 online articles at the time of writing

Tesla, for now, loses spot as most valuable carmaker in US – Toronto Metro

  • After three months as the nation’s most valuable automaker, a bad week in an otherwise stellar year has knocked Tesla from the top perch.
  • Over the first six months of the year, Tesla shares gained more than 50 per cent and the electric car company passed General Motors and Ford in market cap. But shares have plunged almost 15 per cent this week, translating to lost market value of $8.7 billion.
  • GM has regained the top spot with a value of $52.67 billion compared with $50.74 billion for Tesla.
  • Tesla has been hit by a trifecta of bad news, starting with a tweet from Tesla CEO Elon Musk. Shares are on track for their worst weekly percentage decline since early 2016 — they fell nearly 6 per cent Thursday alone
  • 350 online articles at the time of writing

Turkish Opposition Leader Finishes 25-Day March With Rally – The National Herald

  • CONSTANTINOPLE (AP) — The leader of Turkey’s main opposition party completed his 25-day “March for Justice” from the capital Ankara to Constantinople Sunday and joined hundreds of thousands of supporters at a rally against a large-scale government crackdown on opponents.
  • Republican People’s Party leader Kemal Kilicdaroglu launched the 450-kilometer (280-mile) march after a parliamentarian from his party was imprisoned in June. The march grew into a protest of the massive clampdown on people with alleged links to terror groups that began after a coup attempt last summer.
  • “Why did we march?” Kilicdaroglu said addressing the rally. “We walked for the non-existent justice. We walked for the rights of the oppressed, for the imprisoned lawmakers, the jailed journalists… We walked for the academics who were thrown out of universities.”
  • Once seen as feeble in his role as opposition leader, Kilicdaroglu has emerged as the voice of many Turks and been likened to India’s Mahatma Gandhi, who led a nonviolent march against British colonial practices.
  • 350 online articles at the time of writing

Giant Tesla-built battery could soon power South Australia –

  • Elon Musk just made an expensive wager: He will build the world’s largest lithium battery in just 100 days or he’ll pay for the whole project.
  • Musk’s electric car company Tesla announced Friday that it won the bid to build the battery in the Australian state of South Australia in an agreement that includes Neoen, a French renewable energy provider, and the South Australian government.
  • The idea started back in March when Musk said Tesla could deliver an operational battery-powered system to the state and that he would begin the 100-day countdown once the official agreement was signed.
  • In September, South Australia suffered significant infrastructure damage after a storm caused a statewide blackout and left 1.7 million citizens without electricity. Further blackouts occurred earlier this year in the heat of the Australian summer.
  • Tesla’s 100MW/129MWh battery will partner with Neoen’s Hornsdale wind farm, which is north of South Australia, putting Australia at the center of global energy storage technology according to BusinessInsider
  • 290 online articles at the time of writing

Camden Market fire: Firefighters battle large blaze at popular London tourist spot – The Telegraph

  • cores of firefighters tackled a major fire at London’s Camden Lock Market on Sunday night, with witnesses saying the blaze spread quickly.
  • London Fire Brigade said 10 fire engines had been sent to the north London site, while more than 70 firefighters battled the flames.
  • Urging people to stay away from the popular tourist attraction, it said the fire engulfed the first, second, and third floors, plus the roof, of a building within the market. The cause of the fire was not yet known, it added.
  • The brigade said around 3.20am that the fire was “now under control but crews will be damping down into the morning”.
  • 150 online articles at the time of writing


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NEWS FROM THE RIGHT: The Daily Mail – July 10, 2017

NEWS FROM THE RIGHT: The Daily Mail – July 10, 2017

NEWS FROM THE RIGHT: The Daily Mail – July 10, 2017

‘If he’s still fighting, we are still fighting’: Charlie Gard’s parents give emotional speech outside Great Ormond Street Hospital as they deliver 350,000 name petition begging for ‘one last chance’ for incurably ill baby to fly to US for treatment

  • Charlie Gard’s parents gave a speech outside the Great Ormond Street Hospital
  • Chris Gard and Connie Yates today said they were ‘overwhelmed’ by the support
  • More than 350,000 people have signed a petition begging for ‘one last chance’
  • His mother said: ‘It should be our right as parents to decide to give him a chance’

European Parliament brands Theresa May’s plans for EU citizens a ‘damp squib’ as they threaten to revoke approval for a Brexit deal unless she ‘offers more’

  • MEPs threatened to veto the proposals in a letter published in newspapers
  • Said plans ‘cast dark cloud of uncertainty over lives of millions of Europeans’
  • Mrs May had put forward what she described as a ‘fair and generous offer’

Islamic activist causes outrage after claiming Grenfell Towers victims ‘were murdered’ by ‘Zionists who fund the Tories’

  • Nazim Ali accused of whipping up hatred in speech made at an anti-Israel rally
  • Police are investigating Mr Ali for comments made at the Al Quds Day march
  • Claimed people were ‘murdered’ by ‘cronies’ who supported ‘Zionist ideology’

Lawyers hunt for the first victim to accuse Michael Jackson of child abuse so he can testify in new $100m suit after vanishing when he won his own $20m

  • Jordan Chandler, now 36, won a $20million settlement from Jackson
  • His father Evan Chandler launched accusations that the King of Pop sexually abused Jordan when he was just 13 years old
  • In a separate case filed in 2013, celebrity choreographer Wade Robson is suing MJJ Productions and MJJ Ventures, companies run by Jackson estate
  • Robson is claiming the two companies ran a ‘covert child sex abuse operation’, inviting children to the ranch for free and giving them gifts
  • Robson’s lawyers have tried to track Jordan down in hopes of taking his deposition, but he can’t be found

Commuters face even more travel misery this morning as railway workers strike for the third time in as many days

  • It will be the 33rd time RMT members have walked out on Southern Rail services
  • Strike coincides with overtime ban by members of the train drivers’ union Aslef
  • Walkout is latest in RMT’s bitter dispute with Southern over driver-only trains

Bosses say graduates can’t cope with office life: Third of companies are concerned about young people’s attitude to work

  • A CBI/Pearson survey of 344 firms found that 32 percent were dissatisfied with graduates’ ‘attitudes and behaviours of self-management and resilience’
  • Some 33 per cent of business leaders were unhappy with graduates’ literacy while 29 per cent said their numeracy was not up to scratch
  • CBI said stretching academic standards ‘should not be the sole focus’ for schools as ‘broader personal development aspects’ risk being side-lined

Trump Jr says he did NOT know Russian lawyer was behind offer of ‘Clinton dirt’: The president’s son hits back at claims of collusion – but admits he agreed to meeting after promise of ‘helpful information’

  • Donald Trump Jr. says he did not know the identity of the person he was supposed to meet for a sit-down arranged by an acquaintance last year
  • Trump Jr ended up meeting with a Kremlin-connected lawyer after being promised compromising information on Hillary Clinton
  • The eldest Trump son confirmed to the New York Times Sunday that Clinton came up in the course of the meeting, which was first reported on Satuday
  • ‘Her statements were vague, ambiguous and made no sense,’ he said of information he received from lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya
  • The New York Times first reported on the meeting yesterday, which was between Veselnitskaya, Donald Trump Jr. Jared Kushner and Paul Manafort
  • It marked the first time Donald Trump Jr. was connected with such a meeting, which tied Trump campaign officials to figures tied to the Russian government

Theresa’s plea for unity: May will relaunch her leadership bid with an appeal to Labour to help her deliver Brexit – as ex-chief whip says she ‘must resign’

  • Theresa May is set to reach out to Labour to ask for help delivering Brexit
  • She will tell Jeremy Corbyn he has a ‘duty to contribute, not just criticise’
  • Prime Minister is trying to shore up leadership amid threat of a challenge

Corbyn’s promise to cancel all student debt would cost £100BILLION Angela Rayner says as she admits fees have not put the working class off university

  • Shadow education secretary admitted wiping out student debt was a ‘challenge’
  • Just days before the election Corbyn said he wanted to deal with the ‘historical misfortune’ of those burdened with student debt if he scrapped fees
  • Rayner also disagreed with the Labour leader about impact of fees on the poor

Cardinal George Pell touches down at Sydney Airport to face historic sexual abuse charges

  • Victoria Police charged Pell with several historical sexual offences last month
  • The 76-year-old is the highest-ranking Church official to face such accusations
  • Pell insists he is innocent and is looking forward to fighting the charges in court
  • The Vatican economy minister is due to appear in a Melbourne court on July 26

ISIS goes up in smoke: US air strike pounds small remaining area of Mosul held by the terror group as Iraq declares victory in the city after a bloody eight-month battle

  • ISIS have held the strategic city in northern Iraq for the past three years after routing the Iraqi government
  • Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi praised the ‘heroic fighters’ of the army for liberating the besieged city
  • Mr al-Abadi visted the city to prove his forces were in complete control of the strategic northern Iraqi city


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