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Total 100 articles, created at 2016-07-05 12:01
(1.02/2)  1  Leicester to land sought-after CSKA Moscow striker Musa for club-record fee – reports — RT Sport

English Premier League champions Leicester City have agreed a fee for CSKA Moscow’s Nigerian striker Ahmed Musa, according to reports. 2016-07-05 12:00 2KB www.rt.com

(1.01/2)  2  National Freedom Party out of the elections after losing last gasp bid

The National Freedom Party (NFP) will not contest the local government elections in August‚ throwing the party’s survival into doubt. 2016-07-05 12:00 2KB www.timeslive.co.za

(0.01/2)  3  Photo of tired Jeremy Corbyn sparks debate on Labour leadership — RT UK

A picture of a tired-looking Jeremy Corbyn standing on a London bus has resurfaced, sparking a passionate online debate about the Labour leader’s future. 2016-07-05 12:00 4KB www.rt.com

(0.01/2)  4  German & French olive branches offered to post-Brexit Britain — RT UK

The frontrunner to become French president in next year’s election, Alain Juppé, has suggested free movement of people should be up for negotiation, in a move seen as reaching out to post-Brexit Britain. 2016-07-05 12:00 3KB www.rt.com

(0.01/2)  5  Turkey ready to work with Russia in fight against ISIS, but no mention of Incirlik base – Ankara — RT News

The Turkish foreign minister has said Ankara would cooperate with any country in the fight against the Islamic State terror group, including Russia, but stressed that he did not intend to offer Incirlik airbase for use by the Russian Air Force. 2016-07-05 12:00 2KB www.rt.com

 6  After FBI grilling, Hillary Clinton calls husband's chat with Attorney General 'chance meeting' — RT America

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton said her husband Bill’s meeting with US Attorney General Loretta Lynch at Phoenix, Arizona’s Sky Harbor Airport was not related to the Federal Bureau of Investigation's email probe and was nothing more than a “chance meeting at an airport tarmac.” 2016-07-05 12:00 4KB www.rt.com

 7  Death toll in Baghdad ISIS bombings surpasses 200 (VIDEO) — RT News

In the deadliest single attack in Baghdad this year, a refrigerator truck bomb in a Shiite district has killed at least 213 people. Islamic State claimed responsibility, while survivors lambasted the Iraqi prime minister for failing to ensure security. 2016-07-05 12:00 3KB www.rt.com

 8  Selfies and weather chat: Inside Jacob Zuma's appearance at The Durban July

President Jacob Zuma stopped by the Durban July held on Saturday at Greyville Racecourse for a quick meet and greet during the evening. 2016-07-05 12:00 2KB www.timeslive.co.za

 9  She's glowing! Pearl 'bumps' into Robert Marawa at Durban July

Pearl Thusi is no stranger to red carpet glam. But this time, dressed in a stunning white dress, there was no denying the glow she had. 2016-07-05 12:00 1KB www.timeslive.co.za

 10  Iceland hearts broken as France wins 5-2 to reach Euro 2016 semi-final — RT Sport

Iceland’s remarkable Euro 2016 campaign came to an end as they fell to a 5-2 defeat to host-nation France in an entertaining quarter-final match in Saint-Denis. 2016-07-05 12:00 3KB www.rt.com

 11  Turkish aid ship reaches Gaza following reconciliation deal with Israel — RT News

The first Turkish ship with humanitarian aid for the Gaza Strip arrived in Israel a week after Turkey and Israel reached an agreement normalizing their diplomatic relations that were suspended in 2010 after a deadly IDF raid against the Gaza Freedom Flotilla. 2016-07-05 12:00 2KB www.rt.com

 12  German vice chancellor calls for dual citizenship for young Brits living in Europe — RT News

Germany and other EU countries should consider the idea of offering citizenship to young British expats, most of whom voted to remain in the bloc in the Brexit referendum, the German economy minister has said. 2016-07-05 12:00 2KB www.rt.com

 13  ‘Sex with celebrities & flying on dragons’: How tech industry re-imagines lucid dreams — RT Viral

The lucid dreaming industry is wide awake - new apps, masks and supplements are continuously being developed, adding to the already-substantial array of products available to enhance dream awareness and control. 2016-07-05 12:00 10KB www.rt.com

 14  Supersize Iranian ‘Hulk’ signs up to help crush ISIS in Syria (PHOTOS) — RT Viral

Iran could be set to unleash a weapon of mass destruction on Islamic State fighters - in the form of 24-stone super soldier Sajad Gharibi. His monster physique has seen him compared to comic book hero, ‘The Hulk’. 2016-07-05 12:00 1KB www.rt.com

 15  Suicide bomber strikes near Prophet’s Mosque in holy Saudi city of Medina (VIDEO) — RT News

A bomb exploded outside the Prophet’s Mosque in the Saudi city of Medina – one of the holiest sites in Islam – on Monday night. Four security officers died and a further five were wounded, reported the country's interior ministry. 2016-07-05 12:00 2KB www.rt.com

 16  Loud controlled explosion rocks Stade de France area before Euro quarter final (VIDEO) — RT Sport

A controlled explosion was reportedly carried out by French authorities just hours before the national team was set to take on Iceland in the quarter-finals of the European Championships. 2016-07-05 12:00 1KB www.rt.com

 17  Protect our schools and universities‚ Nzimande urges youth

SACP general secretary Blade Nzimande has urged the country’s youth not to destroy the country’s institutions of learning. 2016-07-05 12:00 931Bytes www.timeslive.co.za

 18  Corruption under ANC now pervades every level of government: Buthelezi

Over the years the ANC had let corruption seep into governance so that it now pervaded every level of government‚ IFP leader Mangosuthu Buthelezi said on Sunday. 2016-07-05 12:00 2KB www.timeslive.co.za

 19  Marvel transform Trump into ‘big head’ Captain America supervillain (PHOTOS) — RT Viral

Love him or hate him, presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump grabs people’s attention and now Marvel have transposed his likeness into a comic book villain known for his battles with Captain America. 2016-07-05 12:00 2KB www.rt.com

 20  Five killed in suspected politically-motivated violence in KZN

Five people‚ including an ANC councillor candidate‚ have been killed in suspected politically-motivated violence in Kwazulu-Natal. 2016-07-05 12:00 2KB www.timeslive.co.za

 21  People smuggling prosecutions up 50% in one year, but only ‘tip of iceberg’ — RT UK

The number of prosecutions for smuggling illegal migrants into the UK has risen by more than 50 percent in the last year, according to fresh Home Office figures. 2016-07-05 12:00 2KB www.rt.com

 22  Enraged UK veterans blast ‘war of aggression’ ahead of Chilcot’s Iraq war report (RT EXCLUSIVE) — RT UK

A UK veterans’ group has blasted the 2003 Iraq conflict as a “war of aggression” waged on the Iraqi people ahead of the publication of the Chilcot report on Wednesday. 2016-07-05 12:00 2KB www.rt.com

 23  Real-life counter-strike: Watch Russian commandos training in exclusive 360 video — RT Viral

With the help of a helmet-mounted 360 camera it feels like you are watching an FPS – but instead it’s a real elite anti-terrorist unit running through a hostage-rescue scenario. 2016-07-05 12:00 951Bytes www.rt.com

 24  Italy arrests 38 suspected migrant smugglers who ‘sold organs’ for $15,000 — RT News

At least 38 suspected migrant smugglers have been arrested in Italy who are thought to belong to an international trafficking network involved in organ trafficking. 2016-07-05 12:00 3KB www.rt.com

 25  Moscow 'secret police grads’ stage luxury car parade, prompt storm of criticism (VIDEO) — RT News

A video showing a group of youngsters thought to be fresh graduates of Moscow’s FSB secret police academy out for a joyride in Moscow while packed into 30 Mercedes luxury SUVs worth at least $100,000 has raised more than a few eyebrows. 2016-07-05 12:00 2KB www.rt.com

 26  Shape-shifting cylinders: Epic optical illusion mystifies the internet (VIDEO) — RT Viral

A mind boggling video of an optical illusion involving, apparently, shape shifting objects has been watched more than 2 million times on YouTube as internet users have struggled to solve the puzzle. 2016-07-05 12:00 1KB www.rt.com

 27  ANC turns down parliamentary meeting to discuss SABC chaos

The ANC has denied a request by the Democratic Alliance for an Unusual Meeting of Parliament’s Portfolio Committee of Communications to discuss the chaos at the SABC‚ the DA said on Sunday. 2016-07-05 12:00 2KB www.timeslive.co.za

 28  Secrecy policy over SAS ops backwards & damaging – report — RT UK

Britain’s policy of not commenting on Special Forces operations is years behind other Western nations and could harm the UK’s democracy and foreign policy, a new study claims. 2016-07-05 12:00 2KB www.rt.com

 29  Liberals Yabloko announce ‘alternative patriotism’ program for State Duma polls — RT Russian politics

Veteran Russian liberal party Yabloko has announced its candidates and program for the parliamentary elections, prioritizing the ‘demilitarization’ of Russia along with ‘alternative patriotism’ and concessions to the EU in exchange for visa-free travel. 2016-07-05 12:00 4KB www.rt.com

 30  Portuguese TV station to auction recovered mic that Ronaldo angrily threw in lake — RT Viral

A reporter’s mic, which was angrily flung to the bottom of Lyon lake by Cristiano Ronaldo before Portugal’s final group game in Euro 2016, has been recovered by divers and is now set to be auctioned to the highest bidder. 2016-07-05 12:00 1KB www.rt.com

 31  Rivers Church pastor apologises to congregants for ‘racist’ remarks

Controversial Rivers Church Pastor Andre Olivier apologised to his congregants on Sunday for the “racist” comments he made in his sermon last week. 2016-07-05 12:00 2KB www.timeslive.co.za

 32  Billionaire Prokhorov's company denies Russian assets sale — RT Business

One of Russia's major private investment funds ONEXIM group, which is owned by tycoon Mikhail Prokhorov, has dismissed reports the fund is selling all of its Russian assets. 2016-07-05 12:00 2KB www.rt.com

 33  Is Messi reconsidering decision on international retirement? — RT Sport

Lionel Messi has had second thoughts about retiring from international football and could make his return for Argentina in November, according to reports. 2016-07-05 12:00 2KB www.rt.com

 34  Fans want more but no word on Igazi season two

Sunday night saw season one of the hugely popular drama series Igazi come to an end, which left fans calling for a second season. 2016-07-05 12:00 1KB www.timeslive.co.za

 35  a playa or responsible host?

If the receipt of condoms amounting to R1‚052 doing the rounds on social media is anything to go by‚ some revellers had a good time during the Durban July festivities at the weekend. 2016-07-05 12:00 881Bytes www.timeslive.co.za

 36  D'banj gets 'hitched' in top secret ceremony

According to reports in Nigeria, Kokomaster D'banj is now a married man - to a woman with South African roots. 2016-07-05 12:00 836Bytes www.timeslive.co.za

 37  Michael Gove a ‘gossiping drunk’ – Boris ally attacks Tory leadership hopeful — RT UK

Tory leadership hopeful Michael Gove “did the dirty” on Boris Johnson and has an “emotional need” to gossip when drunk, according to key Boris Johnson ally Tory MP Ben Wallace. 2016-07-05 12:00 2KB www.rt.com

 38  Zika panic grows in Africa‚ but cheap rapid test on cards

The dreaded Zika virus has become the new game of cat and mouse that scientists once played with HIV‚ and while South Africa remains free of it‚ two African nations are now affected. 2016-07-05 12:00 3KB www.timeslive.co.za

 39  Bullet scars as Uganda remembers Israel's Entebbe raid

Skimming above the choppy waves through the dark the four planes swooped in low over Lake Victoria, packed with over 200 elite Israeli commandos on a daring raid to free hijacked hostages. 2016-07-05 12:00 5KB www.timeslive.co.za

 40  Russia officially appeals Olympic ban — RT Sport

Russia has officially launched action against the doping ban imposed on its athletics team, filing a case at the Court of Arbitration for Sport in a bid to have the suspension revoked in time for the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio next month. 2016-07-05 12:00 2KB www.rt.com

 41  Watch: 'F**k you Mugabe' says former Zanu-PF youth leader

The leader of a new Zimbabwean political party kicked off the movement by throwing an f-bomb in the direction of President Robert Mugabe. 2016-07-05 12:00 2KB www.timeslive.co.za

 42  Former board members call for task team to investigate trouble at SABC

A number of former South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) board members and senior executives have called for the appointment of a task team to investigate the malaise at the corporation and allow all employees to give evidence without fear of victimisation. 2016-07-05 12:00 3KB www.timeslive.co.za

 43  Did Labour MPs launch Corbyn coup to rescue Blair from war crimes charge? — RT UK

Scottish MP Alex Salmond says the coup against Jeremy Corbyn was launched by a core of right-wing Labour MPs because they fear the anti-war leader will seek the impeachment of Tony Blair after the Chilcot report is published on Wednesday. 2016-07-05 12:00 2KB www.rt.com

 44  Defense Ministry to complete works to seal off Russia’s Arctic borders by 2017 — RT Russian politics

Russia has almost completed construction works on new defense installations on islands in the Arctic, and the military expects to be operating in the new bases before the end of the year, according to Russian media. 2016-07-05 12:00 3KB www.rt.com

 45  Parliament must vote on Article 50 before it’s invoked, says law firm fighting Brexit — RT UK

Legal action is being taken to ensure that the formal process for the UK’s exit from the EU is not launched without the consent of the British Parliament. 2016-07-05 12:00 3KB www.rt.com

 46  Grieving service families threaten to reject Iraq report ‘whitewash’ — RT UK

Families of soldiers killed in Iraq are threatening to boycott the Chilcot Report, branding it a ‘whitewash.’ The news comes amid fears that soldiers could be investigated while war leaders escape scrutiny. 2016-07-05 12:00 3KB www.rt.com

 47  Jail looms as Oscar Pistorius to be sentenced for murder

Disgraced Paralympian Oscar Pistorius could return to jail on Wednesday, when a judge is set to sentence him for murdering his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp three years ago. 2016-07-05 12:00 3KB www.timeslive.co.za

 48  Tokyo to review ‘one-sided’ privileged status of Americans working at US bases in Japan — RT News

Tokyo and Washington have reportedly agreed to limit the preferential treatment given to US citizens under a 1960 agreement on the US armed forces in Japan. Okinawa, home to several US military bases, has long complained that it is overly protective. 2016-07-05 12:01 4KB www.rt.com

 49  China's future megacities to eclipse population of most countries — RT Business

Beijing says it is going to build the world’s biggest city with an economy expected at around $2 trillion. By 2030 the megacity will combine nine large cities that currently have a population of 57 million people. 2016-07-05 12:01 2KB www.rt.com

 50  13yo invented sex attack story about ‘dark-skinned’ man in Austrian pool

The story of a 13-year-old girl being sexually assaulted by a “dark-skinned” man in an Austrian swimming pool was apparently invented by the girl herself, police said. The hoax prompted the authorities to issue a temporary pool ban for refugees. 2016-07-05 12:01 2KB www.rt.com

 51  Brexit supporter Nigel Farage resigns as UK Independence Party leader — RT UK

Brexit campaigner and MEP Nigel Farage has announced he is stepping down as leader of UKIP. 2016-07-05 12:01 2KB www.rt.com

 52  Palestinian village demolished for the ‘100th time since 2010’ — RT News

Israel has demolished the Arab village of Al-Araqeeb in the Negev “for the 100th time since July 2010” and the second time since the beginning of Ramadan, locals and activists say. 2016-07-05 12:01 2KB www.rt.com

 53  Ayatollah Khamenei says Iran won’t coordinate with US on Syria — RT News

Tehran will never coordinate with the United States in relation to Syria or any other regional conflicts, Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei told university students. 2016-07-05 12:01 2KB www.rt.com

 54  Private lives made public

Almost every black household has pictures of family members happily smiling for the camera, with a beautiful studio background hiding their daily struggle. 2016-07-05 12:01 3KB www.timeslive.co.za

 55  ‘Maimane is a #1652!’ – DA leader’s cell number gets used in twar

Unsolicited text messages about the upcoming local government elections from the Democratic Alliance (DA) turned social media platform Twitter into a battleground over privacy on Sunday. 2016-07-05 12:01 2KB www.timeslive.co.za

 56  DA to ‘reveal track record’ of ANC’s Ekurhuleni mayoral hopeful

The Democratic Alliance (DA) is set to dish out discouraging details about the ruling party’s mayoral candidate Ekurhuleni. 2016-07-05 12:01 913Bytes www.timeslive.co.za

 57  Iceland set for sunny future

Iceland's run to the quarterfinals of Euro 2016 showed that a Nordic island known for its volcanoes and pioneering geothermal power has the potential to generate plenty of its own talented footballers, too. 2016-07-05 12:01 2KB www.timeslive.co.za

 58  Lekota: ‘SABC shenanigans mean free and fair elections will not be possible’

The consequence of the “shenanigans” at the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) is that “free and fair elections will not be possible on 3 August”. 2016-07-05 12:01 2KB www.timeslive.co.za

 59  The Big Read: Lousy Hlaudi, get off TV

You could hear the massive collective gasp of shock across the nation last Tuesday. 2016-07-05 12:01 4KB www.timeslive.co.za

 60  Stormers go all quiet, but playoff spot in their sights

The Lions lit up Super rugby at the weekend, but don't count out the Stormers, who are flying below the radar. 2016-07-05 12:01 2KB www.timeslive.co.za

 61  Democracy needs a free and unfettered public broadcaster

The problem with gate-keepers is they tend to overdo their tasks and think of themselves as the only solution to their masters' demands. 2016-07-05 12:01 2KB www.timeslive.co.za

 62  Mercedes not ready to issue orders

The fallout in the Mercedes team following Sunday's Formula 1 Grand Prix continued yesterday and it centred on 2016-07-05 12:01 2KB www.timeslive.co.za

 63  Keep track of those vehicle tracking costs

Do you know how much you are paying every month for your vehicle tracking service? 2016-07-05 12:01 5KB www.timeslive.co.za

 64  Sanitary wear in short supply for school girls

As many as eight out of 10 Gauteng schoolgirls do not have regular access to sanitary products at school, and one in three miss class when they have their periods. 2016-07-05 12:01 2KB www.timeslive.co.za

 65  Fed fells a flyer

Roger Federer yesterday reached his 14th Wimbledon quarterfinal and tied Martina Navratilova's all-time grand slam record of 306 match wins. 2016-07-05 12:01 2KB www.timeslive.co.za

 66  Final place in history

Thousands of black and coloured South African soldiers who died saving their white compatriots in Europe, the Middle East and Africa during World War I will be recognised for the first time in 100 years. 2016-07-05 12:01 2KB www.timeslive.co.za

 67  World's largest telescope joins the hunt for alien life

Work has finished on the world's largest radio telescope, which will hunt for extraterrestrial life and explore space. 2016-07-05 12:01 2KB www.timeslive.co.za

 68  'Fee-free policy will doom varsities'

It would cost universities between R400-million and R2-billion to in-source all services - and if the country were to adopt a fee-free tuition regime some universities would collapse in a few months. 2016-07-05 12:01 2KB www.timeslive.co.za

 69  'Stop advertising on SABC'

Criticism of SABC boss Hlaudi Motsoeneng's censorship of news coverage and his running of the public broadcaster as 2016-07-05 12:01 2KB www.timeslive.co.za

 70  Somizi tipped for MetroFM drivetime

Move over Bonang Matheba and Minnie Dlamini, there is a new 2016-07-05 12:01 1KB www.timeslive.co.za

 71  Amnesty slams Syrian armed groups for ‘chilling’ abuses — RT News

Jihadists operating in northern Syria are committing torture and summary killings of civilians in areas under their control, a new report by Amnesty International has revealed. 2016-07-05 12:01 5KB www.rt.com

 72  Evans quits 'Top Gear' amid sex-pest claims

Chris Evans has quit Top Gear, announcing that 2016-07-05 12:01 1KB www.timeslive.co.za

 73  Hotel murder trial awaits decryption

Forensic experts have returned from Israel with tools to extract data from the phones of Diego Novella and the girlfriend he is accused of killing in Cape Town. 2016-07-05 12:01 1KB www.timeslive.co.za

 74  'Oscar faces long stretch in jail'

Legal experts believe it will be at least six years before convicted murderer Oscar Pistorius will be eligible for parole. 2016-07-05 12:01 2KB www.timeslive.co.za

 75  Gay Games 'to do SA proud'

The man behind the Mother City Queer Project is leading a bid for Cape Town to host the 2022 Gay Games, dubbed the world's biggest sporting and cultural event. 2016-07-05 12:01 2KB www.timeslive.co.za

 76  Cosatu: Save the jobs

South Africa lost 15,000 jobs in the formal sector in the first quarter of this year as the economy continued to flounder, Statistics SA said yesterday. 2016-07-05 12:01 4KB www.timeslive.co.za

 77  VR porn event forced to shut down after too many came early — RT Viral

A virtual reality porn festival in Japan was shut down after too many simulated sex enthusiasts came... um, make that... arrived early. 2016-07-05 12:01 1KB www.rt.com

 78  At least 3 injured as shooting follows July 4 fireworks in Pittsburgh — RT America

Three people have been injured, including a 15-year-old girl, in a shooting in Pittsburgh that followed the July 4 fireworks display. 2016-07-05 12:01 1KB www.rt.com

 79  Driver reverses new car off of blazing transporter (VIDEO) — RT Viral

There are things you should not really do if a car transporter catches fire – perhaps, number one would be: don’t reverse any of the cars to safety, like the driver in the video that has emerged online did. 2016-07-05 12:01 1KB www.rt.com

 80  Abbas Kiarostami, Iran's only Palme D’Or-winning director, dies at age 76 — RT News

Abbas Kiarostami, the only Iranian director to ever win the Cannes Film Festival’s coveted Palme D’Or award, has died in Paris at the age of 76. 2016-07-05 12:01 1KB www.rt.com

 81  Chinese man sheds 66lbs by carrying boulder on head (VIDEO) — RT Viral

A Chinese man may have finally cracked the sought-after secret code for easy weight loss - or perhaps just an easy neck injury. 2016-07-05 12:01 2KB www.rt.com

 82  Thousands of Muslims celebrate Eid al-Fitr in Russia's capital — RT News

Muslims around the world are celebrating one of their most important holidays, Eid al-Fitr, which marks the end of the holy month of Ramadan. In Russia, Muslims also flock to morning prayers, including the thousands expected to descend on Moscow Cathedral Mosque. 2016-07-05 12:01 2KB www.rt.com

 83  Juno mission ready to unlock Jupiter’s secrets — RT America

After an almost five year journey, the US space agency’s solar-powered Juno spacecraft has arrived on Jupiter's doorstep and is "ready to unlock" all Jupiter's secrets. 2016-07-05 12:01 3KB www.rt.com

 84  ‘Possible carcinogen’ found in beloved chocolates — RT News

Tests carried out by a German watchdog revealed Kinder chocolate bars and two other brands tested positive for a hazardous cancer-causing substance. 2016-07-05 12:01 2KB www.rt.com

 85  WikiLeaks rolls out archive of over 1,200 ‘Clinton Iraq War’ emails — RT America

The now-infamous whistleblowing website has published an archive of what is said to be over 1,200 of Hillary Clinton's private emails pertaining to the Iraq War. Julian Assange previously said that the release would be “enough to indict her.” 2016-07-05 12:01 3KB www.rt.com

 86  Sun rises for mad Russian rooftoppers at peak of 640-foot TV tower (VIDEO) — RT News

New followers of an increasingly popular thrill-seeking (but still dangerous) trend have captured a dizzying video of their climb up a 196-meter (643-foot) tall TV tower in the Siberian city of Omsk. 2016-07-05 12:01 2KB www.rt.com

 87  This July 4th Americans Will Be Debating Identity Instead of Celebrating Independence

Article by WN.com Correspondent Dallas Darling. With a major controversy swirling around the new Transgender and Self-Identity Movement, not to mention the 50 gender identities listed on Facebook or the ongoing dispute over whether or to use a hyphen before American, on this July 4th... 2016-07-05 12:01 2KB article.wn.com

 88  China must prepare for military conflict — state media

BEIJING, China — Beijing must prepare for "military confrontation" in the South China Sea, state-run media said Tuesday, as it began naval drills in the area ahead of an international 2016-07-05 12:01 2KB globalnation.inquirer.net

 89  LOOK: OKC fans express disgust over Kevin Durant’s departure

Kevin Durant’s decision to don a Warrior jersey next season has left a trail of broken hearts, and now he’s experiencing some bitter backlash from his now ex-fans. Following the one-time NBA 2016-07-05 12:01 2KB sports.inquirer.net

 90  Too Dangerous to Talk? Some Cities Explore 911 Texting

With gunshots ringing out just feet away, Eddie Justice hid in a bathroom in the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida, and frantically texted his mother for help. "Call police," he wrote. "I'm gonna die. " Moments later, he texted again: "Call them mommy. Now. He's coming. " Justice,... 2016-07-05 12:01 4KB abcnews.go.com

 91  Brent oil falls below $50 as Nigeria ups production

SINGAPORE, Singapore—Oil prices retreated in Asia Tuesday, with Brent easing below $50 on news of increased production from Nigeria following the repair of infrastructure damaged in militant 2016-07-05 12:01 3KB business.inquirer.net

 92  Trillanes files bill to create national ID system

Senator Antonio “Sonny” Trillanes IV has filed a bill that seeks to create a national identification (ID) system. The proposed measure requires the government to issue a “Filipino 2016-07-05 12:01 2KB newsinfo.inquirer.net

 93  More than 100 drug offenders to surrender in Manila — police

MORE THAN a hundred drug offenders are expected to surrender Tuesday at the Manila Police District, according to Radyo Inquirer 990AM. The report cited as its source Chief Inspector John 2016-07-05 12:01 2KB newsinfo.inquirer.net

 94  July 4th Fireworks Barge Explodes, Catches Fire; No Injuries

A barge being used for a July Fourth fireworks celebration in Massachusetts has exploded and caught fire. Police say a malfunction caused the explosion and fire Monday night during a fireworks show on the waterfront in Plymouth, 40 miles southeast of Boston. Witnesses say the fireworks... 2016-07-05 12:01 1KB abcnews.go.com

 95  DFA consular services, US Embassy closed July 6 for Eid’l Fitr

Consular services of the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) will be suspended on July 6, Wednesday, to coincide with Eid al-Fitr, one of the most important holidays in the Muslim 2016-07-05 12:01 2KB globalnation.inquirer.net

 96  Hello Jupiter! NASA spacecraft arrives at giant planet

PASADENA, California, United States — Braving intense radiation, a NASA spacecraft reached Jupiter on Monday after a five-year voyage to begin exploring the king of the planets. Ground 2016-07-05 12:01 4KB technology.inquirer.net

 97  Suspected militant dies in Indonesia suicide bombing

JAKARTA, Indonesia — Indonesian police said a suspected militant died in a suicide bombing attack Tuesday outside police headquarters in the city of Solo. One policeman sustained minor injuries 2016-07-05 12:01 2KB newsinfo.inquirer.net

 98  NBA: OKC thanks Durant for leaving ‘indelible mark’ on franchise

In the wake of Kevin Durant’s decision to leave for the Golden State Warriors, no one would be surprised if the Oklahoma City Thunder brass would express animosity toward their former 2016-07-05 12:01 3KB sports.inquirer.net

 99  New ministers join Modi ministry, Prakash Javadekar elevated to cabinet rank

Minister of State Prakash Javadekar was sworn in as a cabinet minister on Tuesday as Prime Minister Narendra Modi brought about major changes in his ministry 2016-07-05 12:01 2KB www.mid-day.com

 100  Google cheers Juno's arrival in Jupiter with a doodle!

As NASA's Juno probe entered the orbit of our solar system's largest planetary inhabitant after a five-year journey, Google celebrated the scientific milestone with a doodle that says “Juno reaches Jupiter” 2016-07-05 11:43 1KB www.mid-day.com

Articles

Total 100 articles, created at 2016-07-05 12:01

 

 1 

Leicester to land sought-after CSKA Moscow striker Musa for club-record fee – reports — RT Sport (1.02/2)

The player's agent, Tony Harris, has said that the player will join Leicester this week, BBC Sport reports.  
"Everything has been finalised and Musa will be in England for his medical on Wednesday,"  Harris said.
The move has long been discussed, but the clubs are now believed to have agreed a fee in the region of around £16 million (US$ 21 million), which would be a club-record for Leicester, according to ESPN FC . 
CSKA manager Leonid Slutsky told Russian media on the weekend that Musa will head to England on Tuesday to finalize the deal.
Slutsky predicted that Musa would do well with his new club: "If you look at the way things are done over there, you'll see he is a player just made for English football. "
Musa has reportedly rejected advances from Southampton, Everton and West Ham in favor of joining the Foxes as they seek to retain the Premier League title they won in remarkable fashion last season.
Leicester manager Claudio Ranieri has moved quickly to bolster his squad during the summer transfer window, signing French midfielder Nampalys Mendy, striker Raul Uche Rubio, centre-back Luis Hernandez, and goalkeeper Ron-Robert Zieler.
Star striker Jamie Vardy has also agreed a new deal to stay at the club after rejecting a move to rivals Arsenal.
Leicester will make their debut in the UEFA Champions League next season – something which is sure to have been a big draw for Musa, who knows the competition well from his time at CSKA.
The 23-year-old Nigerian forward joined the Moscow club in 2012, and last season scored 18 goals in 44 appearances, TASS reports.
READ MORE: Rostov falls short as CSKA wins Russian Premier League
He has played 58 times for the Nigerian national team, scoring 11 times.
Foxes to buy an Eagle
timeslive.co.za

 

 2 

National Freedom Party out of the elections after losing last gasp bid (1.01/2)

This follows the Electoral Court’s decision to dismiss the party’s bid to be included on the ballot paper‚ after missing the Electoral Commission of SA’s (IEC’s) payment deadline.
The Electoral Court’s decision is a blow for the already embattled NFP‚ the country’s fifth-biggest political party‚ whose leader Zanele Magwaza-Msibi has been out of action for more than a year after falling ill at the end of 2014‚ leading to a vacuum that led to divisions within the party.
At the weekend two senior party members‚ secretary-general Nhlanhla Khubisa and national chairman Maliyakhe Shelembe‚ resigned from the NFP.
The party approached the Electoral Court last week after treasurer Xolani Ndlovu‚ in what the party called an “administrative error”‚ misread the deadline provided by the IEC and paid the R90‚000 deposit late.
The IEC on Monday said the court had dismissed the NFP matter. The order was issued on Saturday. However‚ the NFP made no mention of the court’s decision at a press briefing held in Durban on Sunday. But it did announce that it had decided to suspend deputy chairman Scelo Mabika and Ndlovu.
This means the party‚ formed on the eve of the 2011 local government polls‚ will have no representation at local government elections ahead of the next general election in 2019.
The NFP was a breakaway party from the Inkatha Freedom Party.
It is not clear whether the fracturing party can survive if it cannot contest the August 3 elections. Worsening its position are the suspensions and resignations of party leaders.
The party has said it will take the matter all the way to the Constitutional Court in a bid to contest the polls.
In 2011‚ the NFP won 644‚917 votes‚ giving it more than 200 councillors‚ mainly in KwaZulu-Natal.
The NFP went on to forge a coalition with the ANC in 19 hung municipalities in KwaZulu-Natal.
Magwaza-Msibi has worked closely with the ANC‚ and is the deputy minister of science and technology‚ but has not been active since her illness.
Two NFP bigwigs fall on sword
timeslive.co.za
NFP president urges calm as her party falls apart
timeslive.co.za

 

 3 

Photo of tired Jeremy Corbyn sparks debate on Labour leadership — RT UK (0.01/2)

The photograph was taken in August last year, long before the Labour leader faced a motion of no confidence and two thirds of his party launched a coup against him.
It was uploaded to Facebook again on Saturday evening by Amar Alam and has since gone viral for a second time.
“This is Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, not in a Rolls Royce or another fancy car, but rather on a public bus home after a long day of campaigning,” Alam wrote.
“He has the lowest expenses of any Parliamentarian and lives by the very principles he talks about, unlike most politicians, including the 172 MPs that stabbed him in the back,” he added.
More than 50 of the Labour Shadow Cabinet and front bench MPs have so far resigned, and 172 MPs said they had no confidence in Corbyn in a secret ballot.
But the fight continues, with Corbyn ignoring the motion and some Labour councilors signing a letter pledging their continued support.
Corbyn’s aides are refusing to let Labour’s deputy leader, Tom Watson, hold a one-on-one meeting with him, claiming Watson will try to “bully” the leader into resigning.
The aides say they have have a “duty of care” to block Corbyn from being alone with Watson.
“We are not going to let that happen. He’s a 70-year-old [sic] man. We have a duty of care … This is not a one-off. There is a culture of bullying. Maybe it’s a Blairite/Brownite thing,” a senior Labour source told the Guardian.
Many have taken to social media to comment on Corbyn’s ability to lead.
“ Everybody knows he's a man of deep principles and integrity. That doesn't however tell us whether he has the management ability to run a national government ,” wrote Guy Gratton, a point that was echoed by some other Facebook users.
“ I don't doubt for one minute that Jeremy Corbin is an honest and highly principled man, I believe too that he[’s] sincere in his beliefs, but it's a tough world out there, often dishonest and unprincipled I wonder could he be capable as leader of the opposition ,” commented Leonard Capaldi.
“ He is a decent man but he can't win and he certainly can't lead. No amount of London left bluster changes that ,” wrote Ash Boothright.
Of course many supporters of Corbyn came out in force against the naysayers.
“ To all the ‘he's alright but not a leader’ comments – Corbyn is principled, hardworking, trustworthy, but NOT a psychopath who wants power at any cost – sounds great to me! Look at what all these amazing ‘leaders’ of recent years have achieved – mostly misery and inequality ,” wrote Nicola Pollinger.
“ In Finland, our current PM welcomed refugees in his home, and our Ex-PM (a woman) took the tube every day to work! It is completely normal and brings our leaders to a same level with their people - can't believe the UK has become so right wing they portray Corbyn as some revolutionary communist when in fact he is fighting for progress that is already put into action AND WORKS in Scandinavian countries, for instance ,” argued Rtia Rasheed.
READ MORE: To the rescue? 60,000 join Labour in 1 week as party’s MPs launch anti-Corbyn coup
Last week, Labour officials said 60,000 new members had joined the party since the EU referendum results were announced last Friday.
The surge marked one of the fastest rises in membership of any political party in British history and puts Labour’s member total at 450,000, which is 10,000 higher than its previous peak under former Prime Minister Tony Blair.
READ MORE: Prisoner of circumstance? Labour chief Corbyn wants to quit, but sources say allies won’t let him
Should Corbyn keep fighting for Labour leadership? He still thinks so… — RT UK
rt.com

 

 4 

German & French olive branches offered to post-Brexit Britain — RT UK (0.01/2)

Juppé, who will visit London on Monday, told the Financial Times he would push for a “pragmatic approach” in talks over the UK’s new trade status, saying there is room for compromise and that everything is “up for negotiation.”
EU leaders have warned that full access to the single market is only possible with open borders.
But Juppé says the UK should not be punished.
“We need to find ways to cooperate, to find a solution to have the UK in the European market, one way or another - whether it is part of the European Economic Area or something else,” he said.
The EU is uneasy about giving the UK any concessions on free movement, as it could lead to calls for similar treatment from other nationalist politicians in Europe.
Juppé has joined various EU leaders calling for the UK to trigger Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty and begin the formal process for leaving the bloc.
“They can’t say ‘yes, no, maybe.’ Now they must draw the conclusions of the vote. When you get divorced, you don’t stay in the same house. It is not a question of days, but it has to be fast.”
The candidate also warned that if he became French president he would scrap the Touquet agreement that allows Britain to carry out border controls in Calais to keep unwanted refugees at bay.
“The logic requires that border controls take place on British soil … We must move the border back to where it belongs.”
German Vice-Chancellor Sigmar Gabriel is also reaching out to British citizens, saying he will raise the issue of dual citizenship in his country’s elections next year.
“Let’s offer it to the young Britons living in Germany, Italy or France so that they can remain EU citizens,” Gabriel said at a meeting in Berlin of his Social Democratic Party, according to the Guardian.
“It’s a good sign that the youth of Great Britain are more clever than their bizarre political elite,” he continued.
“For that reason, we can’t raise our drawbridge on them. We have to think now about what we can offer Great Britain’s younger generation.”
His comments come as Theresa May, the foremost Conservative candidate to lead Britain into exit talks, said the status of EU citizens in the UK would be a factor in negotiations.
UK politicians are expected to argue they cannot make guarantees about the status of EU migrants in the UK until similar guarantees are made by the EU about the status of Britons living there.
Research for the think tank British Future by ICM found 84 percent of the British public supports letting EU migrants stay - including three quarters (77 percent) of Leave voters.
Just 16 percent of the public think EU citizens should be required to leave the UK and that UK citizens in Europe should return home, with 23 percent of leave voters and 15 percent of Conservatives agreeing.
UK govt proposes 15% corporate tax to boost post-Brexit economy — RT Business
rt.com

 

 5 

Turkey ready to work with Russia in fight against ISIS, but no mention of Incirlik base – Ankara — RT News (0.01/2)

Earlier on Monday, news agencies cited Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu as telling national TV channel TRT that Ankara would cooperate with “everybody who is fighting Islamic State [IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL].”
“Ankara has opened the Incirlik airbase to all those wishing to join the active fight. Why not cooperate with Russia in the same manner?” Cavusoglu said.
Several hours later Cavusoglu denied mentioning Russia’s possible presence at Incirlik.
“I did not make such a comment. We said that we could cooperate with everyone in the fight against ISIS," Reuters quoted Cavusoglu as saying in comments broadcast live on television.
“We said that we could cooperate with Russia in the period ahead in the fight against Daesh [Islamic State]. I did not make any comment referring to Russian planes coming to the Incirlik airbase,” Cavusoglu said, as cited by Reuters.
The Russian and Turkish special services are yet to revive channels for sharing information between intelligence agencies, which have been inactive for some time, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said, adding that the time has come for them to be “reloaded” and made fully-functional again.
Peskov made the point that to his knowledge, the Russian and Turkish militaries have not yet resumed official communication.
Commenting on allegations that Russian citizens could have been involved in performing the terror acts that struck Istanbul’s international airport last week, Peskov said this serves as yet more proof of how important the contact between the security services is, and shows that the information they exchange must be reacted to in the proper way.
Peskov said that Russian security services informed their European colleagues about those who are now suspected of staging the terror attacks in Turkey, and that the terror suspects had visited a number of European states, as well as Turkey.
Ankara could let Russia use its Incirlik airbase to fight ISIS – Turkish FM — RT News
rt.com

 

 6 

After FBI grilling, Hillary Clinton calls husband's chat with Attorney General 'chance meeting' — RT America

READ MORE: Hillary Clinton interviewed by FBI over classified email scandal
Clinton made the comments during her first media interview since being interrogated by the FBI for more than three hours on Saturday.
The former secretary of state spoke with NBC’s Chuck Todd on Meet the Press  over the phone, telling him firstly she had been “eager” for the FBI interrogation and was "pleased to have the opportunity to assist the department in bringing its review to a conclusion. "
The FBI grilling came more than a year after Clinton admitted using a private email server for official emails, hundreds of which were classified, during her time as America’s top diplomat.
Clinton refused to comment, however, on news reports that a decision not to file charges against her would be announced in the coming weeks: “I am not going to comment… I have no knowledge of any timeline – this is entirely up to the department.”
Lynch, who was nominated to her current position by President Barack Obama in 2014, declared earlier this week she would accept recommendations from career prosecutors and the bureau she oversees in response to backlash for her 'Sky Harbor summit' with the former president on Monday.
READ MORE: 'I don't know': US AG Lynch claims ignorance on Clinton email probe timeline 
Lynch said the meeting was purely “social” with grandchildren as the main topic. The two go way back after ' Grandpa Bill' appointed her as a US attorney in 1999 during his presidency.
Hillary Clinton echoed Lynch’s words during her Meet the Press interview, telling Todd she first heard about the incident from the news and described it as “a short, chance meeting at an airport tarmac.”
She laughed off the idea that her husband and the Attorney General discussed the Department of Justice’s review of her email probe.
“Both of their planes, as I understand it, were landing on the same tarmac at about the same time, and the Attorney General's husband was there, they said hello, they talked about grandkids, which is very much on our minds these days, golf, their mutual friend, former Attorney General Janet Reno, it was purely social,” the former New York Senator said.
When asked if she thought her husband should have known better, she replied, “Well, I think hindsight's 20/20. Both the attorney general and my husband have said that they wouldn't do it again even though it was, from all accounts that I have heard and seen, an exchange of pleasantries. But obviously, no one wants to see any untoward conclusions drawn, and they said they would not do it again.”
An all-white, all-female panel of political commentators speaking with Todd after he aired his Clinton interview slammed the Phoenix meeting.
Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein appeared on CNN's Sunday talk show "Reliable Sources," but was not asked about the email probe, instead talking about her Green New Deal, which would " create millions of jobs by transitioning to 100% clean renewable energy by 2030. "
Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson weighed in on the controversy over Trump's controversial tweet about Clinton.
READ MORE: Trump tweets ‘Clinton corrupted’ with six-pointed star, drawing accusations of anti-Semitism
The former New Mexico governor told CNN's program "State of the Union" that Trump “has said 100 things that would disqualify anyone else from running for president but it doesn’t seem to affect him. The stuff he’s saying is just incendiary. It’s racist.”

 

 7 

Death toll in Baghdad ISIS bombings surpasses 200 (VIDEO) — RT News

Late on Saturday night, the suicide bomber drove the vehicle into a busy shopping intersection in the affluent Karrada district of the Iraqi capital. The holy month of Ramadan meant the street was busy with residents breaking their fast after nightfall, with many also gathered to watch the Euro 2016 football championship on public TV screens, and shop ahead of next week’s Eid festival.
Then the explosion rang out.
"It was like an earthquake. I wrapped up my goods and was heading home when I saw a fireball with a thunderous bombing," eyewitness Karim Sami told AP. "I was so scared to go back and started to make phone calls to my friends, but none answered. "
A host of buildings – including a shopping center and a gym – were damaged, with charred cars smoking in the street.
At least 25 children were killed, and the death toll mounted throughout Sunday, as a fire took 12 hours to contain, and rescue services attempted to extract bodies from under the rubble.
Almost immediately, the Islamic State terror group boasted that it was behind the attack on its sectarian rivals, calling it a “security operation.”
In another Baghdad district, a roadside bomb exploded in a busy market, killing five and injuring 16, in a consistent pattern with Islamic State’s favored tactic of launching multiple near-simultaneous attacks to create a sense of terror. No one has yet claimed responsibility for that attack, however.
READ MORE: ‘US uses sectarian violence as weapon to unthread and destabilize Middle East’
One person has been arrested in connection with the explosions.
Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi, a politician from Iraq’s Shia community, raced to Karrada, vowing revenge.
"The terrorist groups carried out such desperate deadly attacks as a result of being crushed in the battlefield," said al-Abadi, in reference to the government’s recapture of Fallujah from ISIS over the past month.
But few were contented with al-Abadi’s rhetoric, and videos uploaded on the internet showed his cortege being jeered by Karrada residents, with many throwing cans and stones at the armored vehicles. According to Iraq Body Count, more than 1,000 civilians have died violently each month this year, continuing a resurgence in violence in the country, which has been concurrent with the rise of Islamic State.
Condolences and statements of solidarity poured in from the the UN, the US government and Iraq's allies in the anti-ISIS coalition.
“These acts of mass murder are yet another example of Da’esh’s [ISIS's] contempt for human life. From Baghdad to Istanbul, Brussels, Dhaka, and Paris, Da'esh terrorists murder the innocent to attract attention and recruits. They will not succeed,” said a statement from the White House, which has endorsed and supported the latest counter-offensive against the Islamists.
But despite reassurances from the coalition that control of Fallujah would deprive extremists of their launch pad for such attacks, the setbacks may only force ISIS to employ even more desperate and savage tactics.

 

 8 

Selfies and weather chat: Inside Jacob Zuma's appearance at The Durban July

Zuma made a quick appearance in the Mabala Noise marquee at the event to deliver an impromptu 5-minute speech.
During the speech Zuma expressed great disappointment over the cold weather, citing that many fashion lovers couldn't dress up like previous years when the weather is known for being warm and sunny.
Zuma added that the horse racing event was a great tourist attraction for the province of KwaZulu-Natal and South Africa as a whole.
"Thank you very much all for coming. It always makes firstly Durban to look very good, secondly for KwaZulu-Natal to look good and thirdly look South Africa looks good. Today it's just an unfortunate history of the weather that we are faced with climate change. Normally on this day, it is sunny, it is nice, it is warm and to us who belong here, humid and wonderful. And therefore for those abandl' ukotini can shine, because the weather agree. Unfortunately, today the weather is not friendly. "
"This is a day to be happy. Where you come to see abadl' ukotini just the way you like it. You can be playful with fashion choice. I thought I should came here and to just greet you guys. "
He said that he was happy to be part of the young people who came to the event and used the opportunity to campaign for the coming local municipal election.
"Durban July is known for people overspending money on alcohol and designer clothing, Zuma said he would've preferred to have such exorbitant amounts of money to be spent on the party coffers but is happy because it is going towards the province. "
"I'm sure many of you are going to sleep here, because you must spend money when you are here. It's just that if you were putting the money coffers of the ANC, then I would be very happy, so that we can spend it," he said.
"It is great to greet you guys on a happy note and on a not so serious note," He concluded
After the speech Zuma took photos with some onlookers, including with Khanyi Mbau who was in attendance at the event.
This article first appeared on SowetanLIVE.

 

 9 

She's glowing! Pearl 'bumps' into Robert Marawa at Durban July

Pearl, who posted a series of images of herself at The Durban July on Saturday, flaunted her happiness for everyone to see.
Not just that, she also shared a snap with her rumoured bae Robert Marawa.
Now, these two have been denying their romance for, like, forever, but dear Pearl couldn't resist teasing us with the snuggly picture.
And why should she? Just look how damn happy she is in 5 pictures.

 

 10 

Iceland hearts broken as France wins 5-2 to reach Euro 2016 semi-final — RT Sport

France controlled large parts of the game and put in a superb first-half performance that saw them go in 4-0 up at the break. Iceland came into the game more in the second half and scored twice, but France also scored again to ensure they ran out comfortable 5-2 winners.
The result sends France through to a semi-final clash against Germany at the Stade Velodrome in Marseille on Thursday.
For Iceland, it brings to an end a wonderful run at a tournament in which they defied expectations.
Appearing for the first time in a major tournament finals, the Icelanders have captured headlines and hearts around the world through their determined style of play and the vociferous support of their fans.
The nation with a population of just 330,000 had progressed to the quarter-final stage following an unbeaten three matches in the group stage and a historic win against England in the first knockout round.
This time, however, Iceland came up against a France team which, roared on by a partisan home crowd, proved too full of attacking verve for the Icelandic defense.
Striker Olivier Giroud gave France the lead on 12 minutes after latching on to a through ball and firing between the legs of Iceland goalkeeper Hannes Halldórsson from 8 yards out.
France doubled the lead eight minutes later when midfielder Paul Pogba powered in a header at the back post from an Antoine Griezmann corner.
Dimitri Payet made it 3-0 on 43 minutes with a left-footed strike from outside the box, and Griezmann added a fourth just moments later when he ran through to chip the ball over advancing Iceland ‘keeper Halldórsson.
Iceland was more of a threat in the second half and got the goal their efforts deserved on 56 minutes when Kolbeinn Sigthórsson poked in a cross.
Although the French lead was restored to four goals just three minutes later when Giroud connected with a free-kick to head past Halldórsson, Iceland refused to give up, and grabbed another goal on 84 minutes through midfielder Birkir Bjarnason to make it 5-2.
It was a hugely entertaining game in which Iceland more than played their part, and their fans, as always, gave a fantastic account of themselves with numerous performances of their famous Viking hand clap.
Ultimately though it proved a step too far for Iceland, as they came up against a France team that is starting to look like the side that so many have tipped to win the tournament.
The French have clicked into gear at the right time and Didier Deschamps’ men will be in confident mood when they face Germany in Marseille on Thursday – with the winners of that game surely being favorites for victory in Sunday’s final at the Stade de France.
The other semi-final sees Wales take on Portugal in Lyon on Wednesday, with the Welsh now flying the flag as the tournament’s underdogs.
Iceland, despite the heavy defeat, can hold their heads up high after a superb tournament that will live long in the memory for the country, its fans, and millions of others around the world.

 

 11 

Turkish aid ship reaches Gaza following reconciliation deal with Israel — RT News

The Lady Leyla container vessel, carrying more than 10,000 tons of humanitarian aid for the Gaza Strip, reached the Israeli port of Ashod after departing on Friday from the Turkish city Mersin, Turkey’s Anadolu news agency reported Sunday. It took Lady Leyla 35 hours to reach its destination, the agency added.
The delivery, which comes days ahead of the major Muslim holiday of Eid al-Fitr, includes food packages, toys, clothes and shoes to the people in Gaza, according to Turkey’s Disaster and Emergency Management Authority.
Diplomatic ties between the two countries suffered a setback after an incident in 2010 when Israeli troops attacked the Gaza-bound Mavi Marmara aid ship in international waters, killing eight Turkish and one Turkish-American activists.
The six ships sent by the Free Gaza Movement and the Turkish Foundation for Human Rights and Freedoms and Humanitarian Relief (İHH) were carrying humanitarian and construction supplies to the blockaded Gaza Strip.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu expressed his regret for the attack as long ago as 2013, but it has taken three years to normalize diplomatic relations. The agreement was brokered with the help of the US.
Under the deal, Israel will agree to Turkey's humanitarian presence in Gaza, which among other things involves the completion of a hospital in the Palestinian enclave and the construction of a new power station as well as a plant for desalination of water, local media reported.
Israel rendered an apology and will also pay $20 million in compensation to a special fund dedicated to the families of the victims killed by the IDF soldiers.
Turkey agreed to pass a law that would put an end to lawsuits from the families of the victims killed in the raid. It also demanded that Israel lift the Gaza blockade, but Israel refused to fulfill this condition.

 

 12 

German vice chancellor calls for dual citizenship for young Brits living in Europe — RT News

“Let us offer this to young Brits who live in Germany, Italy or France, so that they could remain European Union citizens,” German Vice Chancellor and Economy Minister Sigmar Gabriel said at a meeting with the Social Democratic Party (SDP) in Berlin on Saturday, according to local media.
Brexit is yet another reason to make the process of obtaining dual citizenship easier, Gabriel said, also stressing that the SDP supported the idea long before Britain’s decision to leave the EU.
Under current nationality law, non-EU and non-Swiss citizens applying for German citizenship usually have to renounce their old citizenship.
“[Young British people] knew better than those snobs from the British elite that their future was at stake,” Gabriel said, adding that the German government “shouldn’t just pull up the drawbridge in front of them” and must think of what else it can offer.
Meanwhile, more and more Britons are applying for German citizenship these days, not waiting for an official proposal from the EU governments, Hesse Minister-President Volker Bouffier told Die Welt newspaper on Sunday.
Last week, the president of the Greens-European Free Alliance group in the European parliament, Rebecca Harms also voiced concern over the future of the younger British generation, calling on the EU countries to immediately give them certainty regarding their legal status on the continent.
“People should be given as much certainty over their future as possible during these very uncertain times,” Harms told Reuters on Wednesday. The options include offering British citizens the right of residency or dual citizenship, Harms added.
Voters aged 18 to 24 years old feel “angry” about the outcome of the referendum vote, recent opinion polls show. More than 70 percent of young people voted to remain.
Tens of thousands of people have recently taken to the streets of London to protest the Brexit vote, demanding to nullify the results of the vote or to hold a second referendum.
Britons voted by 52 percent to 48 percent to quit the EU in the referendum that took place on June 23.

 

 13 

‘Sex with celebrities & flying on dragons’: How tech industry re-imagines lucid dreams — RT Viral

Some credit the boost in interest to the 2010 blockbuster Inception which created a fantasy vision of dream engineering where people could hack the dreams of others and steal secrets from their subconscious.
Others believe the rise in popularity of the nocturnal ‘hobby’ is in line with the on-demand Netflix loving-culture we inhabit. Not content with merely sleeping, we now want to also control the dream process to live out our greatest desires.
So what exactly is lucid dreaming and why are startups flooding to Kickstarter in a bid to launch their latest aid to enhance the experience?
A lucid history
The practice of achieving this hybrid state of consciousness dates back more than 1,000 years in the teachings of Tibetan Buddhist monks seeking enlightenment. Lucid dreaming is considered one of the core principles of Dream Yoga - a spiritual practice considered by its practitioners as an important part of the preparation for death.
The term ‘lucid dreaming’ describes the dissociated state of the dreamer who is aware they are dreaming and can therefore exert control over the process. It was coined in 1913 by Dutch psychiatrist Frederik Willems van Eeden. He classed lucid dreams as the seventh and ‘most interesting’  type of dream and highlighted the importance of finding a “scientific order” to explain the phenomenon.
In the late 1970s scientific research determined that lucid dreaming was like all dreaming which occurs during REM sleep, but it was Stanford University psychophysiologist Stephen La Berge who brought the idea of conscious dreaming into the mainstream with his ongoing research in the area.
He developed an eye signaling method in the 1980s in which trained sleeping subjects could alert researchers when they were experiencing a lucid dream. From this, he determined that flashing lights into a subject's eyes during REM sleep could induce a lucid dream state and produced the, now-defunct, NovaDreamer mask i n 1992.
A lucid dreaming industry emerges - through Kickstarter
La Berge’s work provided the basis for the ‘Remee Mask’ launched amidst much hype thanks to a successful Kickstarter campaign in 2012 by entrepreneurs Duncan Frazier and Steve McGuigan.
The crowdfunding campaign easily surpassed its target of $35,000, raising a whopping $572,891.
The overwhelming reaction to its launch no doubt gave others confidence that there was a market for such devices and contributed to the rise of similar Kickstarter campaigns. Some proved controversial and none was quite able to emulate Remee’s success.
In 2013, a kickstarter campaign for a LUCI Advanced Dream Inducer was canceled just days from its deadline, with the company behind the project, GXP Technologies accused of fraud.
It had, by that point, greatly surpassed its target of $40,000, raising over $360,000.
GXP halted the crowdfunding campaign, saying it had secured alternative funding for their device. They subsequently issued a statement accusing a competitor of starting the rumor and apologised to backers for canceling the project.
GPX also said their lucid dreaming product would still be launched thanks to the support of a single investor, however at the time of writing it doesn’t appear to have reached the market.
Another, somewhat more niche, lucid dreaming aid, the nocturnal penile tumescence (NPT) lucid dreamer, failed to reach its $50,000 funding goal last year. The novel premise for the device was that it would detect a man’s erection and send an audio cue to trigger a lucid dream. The project raised $7,000.
Newcomers to the market
The makers of Remee, however, don’t seem threatened by new developments in the industry.
“We have heard of a few things being worked on, but they've been in development for years and don't seem to be much closer to actually entering the market than they were when they were announced,” Remee co-founder McGuigan told RT.
He believes though that there is huge potential for the lucid dreaming industry as the related tech improves.
“The sky’s the limit! Computers and sensors are getting smaller and more powerful. It's not unrealistic to think that we will be able to decode dream data in our lifetimes,” he said, referencing pioneering research at UC Berkeley on vision reconstruction.
New products are changing tack and adding the use of sound, brainwave measurement and even minor electrical shock to help induce lucid dreaming.
Thomas Peisel, co-author of A Field Guide to Lucid Dreaming, says two of the most exciting products coming on stream are iWinks’  aurora headband and Luciding’s LucidCatcher .
“These technologies are using more advanced methods for achieving lucidity,” he says.
Peisel doesn’t believe, however, that these devices are necessary: “I think it can be great to use technology to help someone get lucid in their dreams, but it’s not necessary. Every single person can have lucid dreams on their own without supplements or products. What these new emerging technologies can do is just open the door.”
“My only concern is being dependent on anything outside of yourself in order to be lucid. We can be lucid tonight, we can do it with only a blanket and a pillow,” he added. “Well, even that is not necessary.”
US startup iWinks raised over $290,000 on Kickstarter for its aurora dreamband and has recently announced the arrival of the first batch of mass produced devices.
The ‘dreamband’ is designed as a wearable device which uses EEG (electroencephalogram) sensors to measure your brainwaves for REM detection during sleep, and combines sound and light stimulus to induce lucidity.
Research carried out in 2014 established a link between the administration of a mild electric shock and the occurrence of lucid dreaming.
A Ukrainian company, Luciding, is now putting that to the test with their headband LucidCatcher. It uses low electrical pulses, or ‘transcranial electrical stimulation’ , to provoke lucid dreams while the user is in deep REM sleep.
The technology was developed alongside researchers from Russia’s Novosibirsk State University.
They have recently released results of their tests, converting them into a ‘lucidity scale'. Manufacturing of the LucidCatchers is now underway.
The user puts the band on their head before going to bed, checking the positioning of the electrodes is correct via a related mobile app. The band is designed to detect REM as the wearer sleeps, and apply light stimulation to alert the user to the fact they are asleep.
A short documentary, Kiev Dreamers, was produced by MEL films about the new device and highlights the growing industry around escapism in Ukraine.
Chief Technology Officer at Luciding, Michael Skrychevsky, describes lucid dreaming as akin to Netflix and says many people’s wildest dreams include having sex with a celebrity and flying a dragon.
Dr Rory MacSweeney, a London-based dentist and lucid dreaming expert , told RT that while he understands the natural apprehension around using electrodes on the head for this purpose, he believes it’s a likely avenue for the industry to explore and may prove effective.
He classes the current technology as basic and limited, and doesn’t believe masks or similar “cueing” devices are a solution.
“The eye mask sends a signal into the dream to disrupt the scene so as to prompt one to the fact that they are dreaming. However, since the dreamscape is ordinarily quite a disordered field of operation, any disruption tends to go relatively unnoticed,” he pointed out. “So the mask for me is not a great solution.”
MacSweeney believes that currently the most effective aid to inducing lucidity is dietary supplements , but notes these can have side effects.
Among the most popular supplements taken for this purpose is galantamine, often referred to as the ‘lucid dreaming pill.’ It’s an alkaloid synthesized from plants, including the red spider lily and common daffodil bulbs, and is prescribed for treating dementia and Alzheimer's.
Stephen LaBerge first tested galanthamine on lucid dreamers in 2004 and established that galantamine treatments are more effective than placebos for lucid dreaming induction. These results were verified by Thomas Yushak in 2007.
Further research carried out in 2012 by LaBerge and Kristen LaMarca found that the likelihood of having a lucid dream with 8 milligrams of galantamine was almost six-times greater compared to taking a placebo.
The booming sleep industry and the potential of the lucid dreaming market
So what does the future hold for the lucid dreaming market? The sleep industry, generally, is booming as sleep and quality of sleep seems to be more difficult for the average person to obtain. The multi-billion dollar industry is thriving, with the US the single largest market, and predictions point to continued growth.
In 2015, an estimated $7.1 billion was raked in from the 2,800 sleep disorder clinics across the US.
This is expected to rise to the $10 billion mark by 2020, according to a report from industry researchers at IBISWorld.
A report by bccResearch published in 2014 predicted the global market for sleep-aid products would grow to $76.7 billion by 2019, with the sleep apnea products and diagnostics market expected to do particularly well, jumping from $11.8 billion in 2013 to $23.6 billion by 2019.
So will the growing lucid dreaming market get their piece of this profitable pie?
“Where there is desire, there are dollars and people are becoming increasingly more curious about this state of consciousness suffice to say there is a gradual swelling of demand.”  MacSweeney said.
“This is another dimension of reality that we want to explore and industry wants to pave the way,” he added.
MacSweeney believes the answer to truly enhancing this natural state of virtual reality lies in the prefrontal cortex.
“The problem is essentially that our prefrontal cortex is offline and this is where the opportunity lies. One needs to stimulate the prefrontal cortex suffice to trigger intellectual insight to recognise that one is dreaming whilst not triggering a waking response.”
“The prefrontal cortex is the key. Whoever can hack that and switch it on wins the game.”

 

 14 

Supersize Iranian ‘Hulk’ signs up to help crush ISIS in Syria (PHOTOS) — RT Viral

Gharibi can reportedly lift loads of up to 175kg (386lb) and in recent months amassed a huge following via social media, posting pictures of himself lifting large iron weights.
The 24-year-old giant has now announced his intention to fight terrorism by stepping in to help Bashar Assad’s forces crush Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) in Syria, report BBC Persian .
Also referred to as the ‘Persian Hercules’, Gharibi reportedly revealed his decision to join his nation’s military support for the Assad regime on Instagram.
While little is known about the man mountain, his Instagram reveals he has Hulk-like 64cm (25 inch) biceps and regularly powerlifts.
If Gharibi’s formidable, scowling presence on social media is anything to go by, IS won’t like him when he’s angry.

 

 15 

Suicide bomber strikes near Prophet’s Mosque in holy Saudi city of Medina (VIDEO) — RT News

WARNING: GRAPHIC VIDEO
Monday is the last night of the holy month of Ramadan, with people breaking their fasts. Thousands had been congregating to hold sunset prayers marking the occasion, which ushers in the beginning of Eid, the biggest festival in the Muslim calendar.
Alongside the four security guards, the suicide bomber himself died in the blast. "The vibrations were very strong. It sounded like a building imploded,"  Qari Ziyaad Patel, an eyewitness, told AP.
Multiple videos flooding social media showed charred corpses lying next to the burning husk of a car in the mosque’s car park, as police and ambulance sirens blared, and hundreds of onlookers filmed footage on their smartphones.
Also known as Al-Masjid an-Nabawi, the Prophet’s Mosque is one of the holiest sites in Islam. It was the second mosque ever built, with the aid of Mohammed himself, who lived in a house next door. His tomb is still located there – sealed off from worshipers – and an iconic green-painted dome has been built over it.
Other explosions took place Monday in the port of Jeddah, and Qatif, an eastern city populated by the predominantly-Sunni country’s embattled Shia minority.
The Jeddah blast occurred outside the US consulate – the attack on a foreign target in years – and resulted in wounds to two security officers, as well as the death of the bomber.
In Qatif, the explosion was next to a mosque, where people had gathered to evening prayers. So far, only body parts, presumably belonging to the bomber, have been identified.
Although no one has claimed responsibility for the attacks, Islamic State has previously targeted both, Shia worshippers and security forces, in a series of suicide bombings in Saudi Arabia, starting in 2014.

 

 16 

Loud controlled explosion rocks Stade de France area before Euro quarter final (VIDEO) — RT Sport

The sound of the loud explosion could be heard as soccer fans made their way towards the 80,000 seater stadium in Paris. 
According to Le Parisien , police carried out a controlled explosion on a suspicious car parked near the stadium. 
Reports on social media suggest people have been prevented from approaching the area. 
It is not know why police targeted the vehicle, but the incident comes months after terrorists with links to Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) exploded suicide vests in the Saint-Denis area last November.
At that time, the French international soccer team was playing Germany in a friendly when three explosions rocked the Parisian suburb.

 

 17 

Protect our schools and universities‚ Nzimande urges youth

Mark Cavendish, riding for the South African-sponsored Dimension Data team, yesterday won his second stage of the 2016 Tour de France in a dramatic finish to the third stage of the race at Angers.

 

 18 

Corruption under ANC now pervades every level of government: Buthelezi

Addressing an IFP election campaign rally in Daggafontein in Mpumalanga‚ Buthelezi said that poverty‚ unemployment‚ crime and poor service delivery marred every province of our country.
“We should be much further in our journey away from these problems‚ for we have lived under a democracy for 22 years. But those tasked with governing South Africa‚ and administering our democracy‚ have failed to do what they should have.
“Over the years‚ they let corruption seep into governance so that now it pervades every level of government‚ from national departments‚ to provincial and local government‚” the IFP leader said.
“When we first began to see the evidence of corruption in the ruling party‚ some leaders were honest about it. President Mandela himself spoke to international journalists and lamented (and I quote): ‘Little did we suspect that our own people‚ when they got a chance‚ would be as corrupt as the apartheid regime. That is one of the things that has really hurt us.’
“But two decades later‚ corruption has become so entrenched in the ruling party that even their own members don’t trust the President‚” Buthelezi said‚ adding that scandals were now just everyday news.
South Africa’s own President walked under a shadow of corruption charges - charges that were yet to be tested in a court of law‚ he said.
“Yet under this kind of leadership‚ the message is clear that abuse of power‚ fraud‚ self-enrichment and laziness will all go unchallenged. The door has been opened to corrupt and greedy officials at every level.”

 

 19 

Marvel transform Trump into ‘big head’ Captain America supervillain (PHOTOS) — RT Viral

Featuring in Marvel writer Jason Latour’s first Spider Gwen Annual issue of the year, a character called MODAAK bears an uncanny resemblance to the Republican presidential candidate.
The mock-up appears to be a spoof of MODOK – a fictional mobile organism designed by scientists that goes off the rails and becomes a killing machine.
While Trump’s appearance as Captain America’s nemesis in the comic can only be speculated to be an allegory for the political situation in the US, the fact that MODAAK stands for “Mental Organism Designed as America’s King” shows just what Marvel thinks of the billionaire businessman.
The original MODOK character’s strange appearance prompted a hilarious moment in animated series The Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes when Thor struggled to describe his enemy. 
“It’s some kind of… that is a very big head,” the very confused Norse god said.
Images from inside Latour’s comic show the tanned supervillain taking a beating from a female Captain America, while uttering the words: “Must make America…”
Trump is not the first presidential candidate to feature in a comic. Democrats Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton have also been given the comic book treatment by publishers Storm Entertainment. 
Storm Entertainment president Darren Davis said that the books were not meant to “proselytize for one party, one candidate, or one point of view.”
“If we are to be successful, we need to balance our stories and provide an even-handed look at our readers and the process by which they govern… warts and all.”

 

 20 

Five killed in suspected politically-motivated violence in KZN

Thembi Mbongo‚ 35‚ a candidate for ward six outside Osizweni in the Newcastle region‚ was shot dead in her home in front of her husband and children on Saturday night. She was shot by two unknown men who had knocked at her door requesting to speak to her.
Four other people were killed in KwaNdaba‚ Maphumulo in an incident believed to be linked to faction-fighting‚ according to Kwazulu-Natal MEC for Transport‚ Community Safety and Liaison Mxolisi Kaunda.
“Details of these killings are still unclear but police have been directed to work around the clock to ensure that those responsible are found and brought to book immediately‚” Kaunda said.
“We strongly condemned these incidents. We are all working for a peaceful KwaZulu-Natal but these killings undermine our work. I am also concerned at the increased incidents of the murder of those who have agreed to stand up as representatives of the community in the forthcoming elections.
“We find these totally unacceptable as it undermines our democratic processes. We urge all people of the province to resolve their differences through peaceful means and avoid letting these conflicts turn into violence‚” Kaunda said.
ANC Provincial Secretary Super Zuma condemned Mbongo’s killing‚ describing it as an act of corwardness. He added that the ANC was deeply concerned at the killing of its ward candidates as the local government elections drew closer.
“The killing of Cde Mbongo comes less than two months after the killing of ANCYL Deputy Regional Chairperson Cde Wandile Ngubeni who was gunned down in eMadadeni Township.
“We believe that there is an orchestrated campaign to derail the ANC from an overwhelming victory in the Newcastle area and Amajuba District as a whole. We are calling upon police to leave no stone unturned in apprehending the killers of Cde Thembi.
“We are also appealing to police‚ to act swiftly to conclude the investigations of both cases so as to help ensure peace and stability in this area as we move closer to the local government elections. We are also appealing for our members to remain calm and to allow police to conclude their investigations‚” Zuma said.

 

 21 

People smuggling prosecutions up 50% in one year, but only ‘tip of iceberg’ — RT UK

The statistics, which were revealed during a parliamentary session in response to a question by Labour MP Gareth Thomas, indicated that 88 people had been taken to court for people smuggling in 2015/2016 compared to just 52 the previous year.
The chairman of the home affairs select committee, Keith Vaz, said that while the government welcomes the increase in prosecutions, many people smugglers are still managing to fly under the radar.
“ Based on the number of illegal immigrants who have entered the country, this is only the tip of the iceberg and we need to be tougher on enforcement rather than what we have done before, which is to send vans around telling people to leave the country,” he told the Press Association.
“And it’s vital that we send out a strong message to those who are smuggling people into this country that we will not tolerate such criminality,” Vaz stressed.
Last month, it was revealed that Home Secretary Theresa May had scrapped round-the-clock aerial surveillance of the Channel costing £4 million out of budgetary concerns, despite being advised against it by Baroness Neville-Jones, a former security minister and chairman of the Joint Intelligence Committee.
READ MORE: People smugglers offer fishermen ‘25 times’ regular pay to carry migrants across Channel
Last week, two British citizens admitted to trying to illegally bring eighteen Albanians into the UK. The smugglers, British judo champion Robert Stilwell, 33, and Mark Stribling, 35, were rescued along with the migrants they were trafficking when their small boat began to sink off the coast of Kent in late May.
According to the National Crime Agency (NCA), trafficking gangs are charging desperate migrants upwards of £10,000 to come to Britain.
It is believed that traffickers are increasingly using the rural Kent coastline to bring in migrants in order to get around increased security at the major ports.
European policing agency Europol has identified twelve migrant smuggling hotspots along the UK’s coast that are targeted by people smuggling gangs.

 

 22 

Enraged UK veterans blast ‘war of aggression’ ahead of Chilcot’s Iraq war report (RT EXCLUSIVE) — RT UK

Veterans for Peace UK (VFPUK), which is reported to contain up to 400 armed forces veterans from Britain’s recent conflicts, has criticized the country’s establishment over the war. It is the first public intervention by an ex-services organization on the issue.
“ Whatever Chilcot says, this country and its armed forces executed a war of aggression on the people of Iraq, ” the group claimed in a statement seen in advance by RT and due for release Monday evening.
The group also called for legal action against those who led the war.
“ In a joint enterprise with the USA, we prosecuted an occupation of Iraq that defied the Geneva Conventions. Under the Nuremberg principles, those ultimately responsible should face trial ,” the press release said.
While the ex-services group acknowledged and criticized the role of former Prime Minister Tony Blair in the war, they said that the issue was much broader.
“ Whilst Tony Blair is the obvious villain and in our opinion should face a criminal investigation, it is the UK as a whole that needs to change. ”
VFP also linked the Iraq war with other conflicts in which the UK had engaged over the last decade and a half. “ Since Iraq, our forces have attacked Helmand [in Afghanistan], Libya, Iraq and Syria. We are playing a key role in the Saudi Arabian attack on the Yemen, ” they said.
The toll of the wars, the group argued, included huge casualties, damage to infrastructure and the environment, a “ significant rise in terrorism globally ” and a “ huge ” refugee crisis.
VFP called for a deeper analysis of Britain’s role in the world and said that war was “ not the solution to the problems the world faces in the 21st century. ”

 

 23 

Real-life counter-strike: Watch Russian commandos training in exclusive 360 video — RT Viral

The video  was shot by RT in Moscow, where the police Special Rapid Response Unit – known as SOBR – train at their dedicated base.
For this scenario, the drone-aided unit had to surround a building where ‘hostages’ are being held, climb to the roof, rappel down and then neutralize the ‘terrorists’ without civilian ‘casualties’.
See what epic Crimean Bridge will look like in RT’s breakthrough 360 video

 

 24 

Italy arrests 38 suspected migrant smugglers who ‘sold organs’ for $15,000 — RT News

Palermo’s anti-mafia unit launched an investigation after receiving testimony from Nuredin Weharabi Atta, a people smuggler sentenced to five years in prison by an Italian court this year. According La Repubblica , apart from the flourishing illegal immigration racket operating in the Strait of Sicily, there has been evidence of organ trafficking too. Traffickers reportedly sold the organs of hundreds of migrants that had not survived the journey to Italy. Worse still, some of those unable to pay the fee were killed for their organs, which the smugglers then sold for up to $15,000, including those of children.
Atta said he had decided to cooperate with the justice system because “there had been too many deaths, especially those at Lampedusa in October 2013... and too many others,” Il Tempo reported , referring to a shipwreck in which 359 people perished. 
The criminal network had its financial headquarters in a perfume shop near the Termini station in Rome. Police managed to track the money flow and seize €526,000 and $25,000 in cash last month, along with documents from hundreds of bank accounts containing the names of foreign citizens.
Many migrants make the journey to Italy by sea, according to La Repubblica. Those with more cash avoid putting their lives at risk in shabby boats by buying fake marriage certificates for €10,000 or €15,000 that allow them to come to Europe by land, or even plane, on the grounds of alleged family reunion. Once in Italy, newly arrived migrants receive phone calls from their family members, who send them additional money so that they can continue to their final destinations. The Netherlands and Sweden appear to be the two most popular countries of choice, La Repubblica reported. Money transfers were documented thanks to bugs and cameras that police planted in rooms used by the criminal network in Italy. Money made from trafficking migrants is thought to have been reinvested in illegal trade importing drugs from Ethiopia.
Europe is currently facing its worst refugee crisis since World War II. Last year alone some 1.8 million asylum-seekers entered the European Union fleeing war and poverty across the Middle East and North Africa, according to data from the EU border agency Frontex.
According to a report from Europol and Interpol, criminal networks generated $5-6 billion trafficking asylum seekers and economic migrants to the EU in 2015. The report  describes  migrant smuggling as a multinational business, with participants from over 100 countries, representing one of the main profit-generating activities of organized crime in Europe. 
At least nine out of ten child refugees arriving in Europe via Italy this year have been unaccompanied, UNICEF says in a new  report. UNICEF spokesperson Sarah Crowe told RT last month that minors are often forced to rely on human smugglers and go through  “various forms of abuse and exploitation”  on their perilous journey to Europe, which sometimes takes them  “months and even years.”  
“If you try to run they shoot you and you die. If you stop working, they beat you. It was just like the slave trade,”  Aimamo, 16, told UNICEF, describing the farm in Libya where he and his twin brother worked for two months to pay the smugglers. The brothers said that when they arrived in Libya after a risky journey through Senegal, Mali, Burkina Faso, and Niger, they were arrested and beaten before one of the smugglers secured their release

 

 25 

Moscow 'secret police grads’ stage luxury car parade, prompt storm of criticism (VIDEO) — RT News

The FSB newbies cruising the streets of the Russian capital in black four-wheel drive G-Wagens blocked traffic in their lane several times, while honking their horns for no reason. To help a cameraman take some great shots, they formed a long line from time to time, making it difficult for other vehicles to pass by safely. Meanwhile, young men in white shirts keep protruding from the car windows, joyfully shouting and waving to each other while taking pictures and videos on their cell phones. 
The footage of the parade was later posted on the internet by its participants, as well as several witnesses.
The ostentatious show raised a lot of questions on social media platforms, where users voiced outrage, wondering where the 22-year-old lieutenants, who are supposed to, among other things, focus on fighting corruption, actually got the money to pay for such pricey vehicles.
"For four years they were taught conspiracy, corporate ethics, and that one must not disclose secrets,” retired FSB Major General Aleksander Mikhailov told Komsomolskaya Pravda (KP) daily.
“Those [riding in these cars] were not intelligence or counter-intelligence agents, but merchants of the first guild,” he pointed out. “ So pompous and arrogant. If that’s how they start their careers, they won’t do any good,” he noted, adding that all of the joyriders should be reprimanded and FSB Academy officials punished.
Mikhailov said the fact that the young people uploaded the video of their ride on the internet with their faces clearly visible speaks for itself.
“It’s treason with a capital T. Betrayal of the interests of the [intelligence] agency in full. No one knows yet where those guys will be serving. So, how can you download photographs of the already acting FSB agents on the internet?” he told REN TV broadcaster.
Another group of “golden boys” came under fire in Moscow in May, when 20-year-old Ruslan Shamsuarov, dubbed “petrol boy” by the Russian media, cruised the streets of downtown in his Gelandewagen along with a group of friends. When traffic police demanded that they pull over, as they had been going way over the speed limit, the youngsters refused to stop and, on the contrary, sped up, provoking some six police squads to chase them through the city. Footage of the chase, which they broadcast live on Periscope, went viral on Russian social media.

 

 26 

Shape-shifting cylinders: Epic optical illusion mystifies the internet (VIDEO) — RT Viral

The ‘ambiguous cylinder illusion’ was created by artist Kokichi Sugihara from Meiji University in Japan, who was also named as a finalist in the Best Illusion of the Year Contest 2016 for the installation.
The video begins by showing six rectangular prisms, standing upright in front of a mirror but the reflection looking back reveals six cylinders.
It continues to gradually add objects to the puzzle, baffling the viewer as the mirror images generate contrasting interpretations of the 3D shapes.
The internet has been left amazed by the optical magical trick. One YouTube commenter wrote: “The only plausible scientific explanation is voodoo magic,” while others claimed their “brain was hurting” just watching the illusion unfold.
However, it wasn’t long until some 3D puzzle enthusiasts came to the rescue to enlighten the confused 2.3 million viewers, who were questioning the reliability of their senses and perception, on how exactly the illusion works.
A video posted by the 3D Printing Channel uses a 3D printer and reverse engineering to reveal the hybrid object is in fact a ‘squircle’.
It explains that the true shape is the point where the circle blends into a square, this is because the sides of the object are different - two are arching upwards while the other two are dipping downwards.
READ MORE:Braintease or clickbait? How being 'smart' is the new dumb online

 

 27 

ANC turns down parliamentary meeting to discuss SABC chaos

DA spokesperson on communications Phumzile Van Damme said the the party had received a response from the ANC's Cedric Frolick‚ Parliament's Chair of Chairs‚ declining the DA’s request.
Last week‚ the DA requested a meeting in terms of National Assembly (NA) Rule 223 to have the SABC board‚ the national broadcaster’s COO‚ Hlaudi Motsoeneneg‚ and Communications Minister Faith Muthambi appear in Parliament to answer for the chaos at the SABC. The Rule allows for parliamentary committees to meet when Parliament is not in session to discuss urgent matters of national importance.
“We wrote to the ANC Chief Whip‚ Jackson Mthembu‚ who passed the matter to Frolick‚ who declined the request and indicated that a meeting can only take place only after the election. “This is deeply ironic given that‚ as reported in the Sunday Times today‚ the ANC has indicated that it is committed to investigating the chaos and censorship at the SABC‚” said Van Damme.
She said it was now clear for all to see that the ANC was not serious at all about restoring the credibility of the public broadcaster‚ and that the claim of commitment to investigate was merely “a ploy to pull the wool over the publics’ eyes and South Africa's media fraternity”.
“The truth is that Mr Motsoeneng was deployed to the SABC to do the ANC’s bidding during an election where the ANC stands to lose major support. Waiting until after the election stands to serve the ANC‚” Van Damme charged.
“The ANC wants Minister Muthambi and the SABC Board to investigate Motsoeneng because they know it will be another whitewash. Minister Muthambi and Prof Maghuve are staunch supporters of Mr Motsieneng and have promoted and protected him at every opportunity.
“We give the ANC in Parliament one more chance to fix this matter and convene a meeting of the Communications Committee‚ or face being in dereliction of its constitutional duties to conduct oversight over the SABC. “This simply cannot wait until after the election. The problems at the SABC are now‚ and need to the fixed now‚” Van Damme added.

 

 28 

Secrecy policy over SAS ops backwards & damaging – report — RT UK

The study by the Sustainable Security think-tank examines the British policy of ‘ no comment ’ on covert military operations and compares it to the practice of other Western nations.
Author Emily Knowles warns that the long-standing UK policy is badly out of date and has the triple impact of diminishing the accountability, effectiveness and legitimacy of UK Special Forces operations.
On the issue of accountability, Knowles says that it is self-evidently “ impossible to hold the government to account over actions it won’t disclose. ”
She argues that effectiveness may also be damaged by the fact that, in Libya for example, UK troops appear to be secretly aiding anti-jihadist militias which themselves oppose the UN- and UK-backed unity government. Blanket secrecy means such operations have received inadequate debate and attention.
Legitimacy can be undermined by the assumption that unreported operations are carried out in legal grey areas.
There is little public understanding of, or clarity over, how SOF are supposed to operate when they are deployed,” Knowles claims.
“ This feeds an assumption that they are specifically used for illegal and otherwise illegitimate operations. ”
Knowles also compares UK blanket secrecy to the relative openness of Western allies on the issue of elite troops.
“ In contrast to the UK’s blanket refusal to comment on the deployment of its SOF, it is not unusual for official spokespeople from the American, Australian and Canadian administrations to publicly announce details of SOF deployments, ” she says.
She cites repeated occasions when figures like US President Barack Obama announced details of such operations, arguing that while there is “ still a high degree of institutional opacity surrounding allies’ use of SOF ” there is no official “ blanket refusal to engage the public over all SOF activities that characterizes the UK’s approach. ”
She concludes that reflexive secrecy has very damaging implications at a time when warfare is shifting increasingly towards the clandestine.
Government and MoD policy has long been that no comment is made on Special Forces activities on a number of grounds. One reason is a fear that the effectiveness of Special Forces operations could be compromised by publicity. Concerns over the identity and safety of troops and their families have also been cited in the past.

 

 29 

Liberals Yabloko announce ‘alternative patriotism’ program for State Duma polls — RT Russian politics

“ Someone who lives in Russia remains the pinnacle of our proposals ,” Grigory Yavlinsky, Yabloko founder and one of the party’s leaders, told reporters as he presented the election platform.
According to Yavlinsky, the key elements of the program were the further development of democracy and anti-corruption laws that would allow Russia to join the “European community” as soon as possible.
READ MORE: Veteran Russian liberal vows to beat Putin in 2018 presidential race
Other factors that would supposedly benefit this goal are the demilitarization of the country, offering society “ an alternative concept of patriotism ,” and changing the way the state interacts with mass media. The document elaborates that alternative patriotism should be based on security, prosperity and respect for its citizens.
One of the Yabloko candidates for the elections, rights activist Lev Schlosberg, said the party also wants to press for an international conference on Crimea, the lifting of the Russian countersanctions on Western countries, and the initiation of a dialogue on a visa-free regime with the European Union.
“ We don’t want today’s graduates to go to war, our country needs them alive. We are going to stop the war – the war inside Russia and the war against the whole world ,” Kommersant daily quoted Schlosberg as saying.
The party chose not to draw up a separate election list for Crimea and Sevastopol, but included these federal regions in a joint constituency with South Russia Krasnodar Region.
Yabloko’s controversial proposals almost immediately drew criticism from rival Russian politicians. The head of the group ‘Sevastopol-Crimea-Russia People’s Front’, Valery Podyachy, even asked Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB) to check the document for possible violation of the law that forbids public calls for destruction of the country’s territorial integrity.
“ The question of the Russian Federation’s territorial integrity is not a discussion issue, from the legal point of view it cannot be questioned. When investigators invite the participants of this party congress for questioning they will get their opportunity to discuss things ,” Podyachy said in comments with TASS.
Deputy governor of Sevastopol, Aleksandr Reshetnikov, also said that in his view law enforcers should check Yabloko’s program for possible calls to break up Russia’s territorial integrity. Deputy Prime Minister of Crimea Ruslan Balbek suggested that Yabloko apologize to all Russians for doubting their country’s unity.
Yabloko is one of Russia’s oldest political parties to have always had a liberal and pacifist agenda. Despite losing many of its supporters and failing to claim any parliamentary seats for many years, the party has rejected proposals to cooperate with other groups. In particular, in February this year Yabloko said it will not participate in the Open Elections project launched and sponsored by Mikhail Khodorkovsky, or any of the former oligarch’s other projects.
Yabloko emphasized that the party considered Khodorkovsky’s political views unacceptable, especially with respect to the ‘oligarchic’ system of a merger between big business and state power. However, the liberals also dismissed Khodorkovsky’s recent attempts to discuss revolution and a leftist turn in Russia as unacceptable.
READ MORE: Anti-Maidan activists blast Yabloko party over US-funded protests
Parliamentary elections in Russia are scheduled for September 18 this year. The polls will be conducted under new rules – half of the 450 lower house MPs will be running on party lists and the other half from single-mandate independent constituencies, instead of the previous system in which all deputies were elected on party tickets.
In addition, the election threshold for parties has been lowered from 7 to 5 percent and party registration rules have been simplified, which has resulted in a sharp increase in political competition.

 

 30 

Portuguese TV station to auction recovered mic that Ronaldo angrily threw in lake — RT Viral

Portugal’s captain was walking with his teammates before their match against Hungary when he didn’t take kindly to an interruption from a reporter from Portuguese station CMTV.
Ronaldo grabbed the mic from reporter Diogo Torres, who was working for CMTV, a station with which Ronaldo has a long-running feud , and threw it in the lake.
READ MORE:Euro 2016: Angry Cristiano Ronaldo throws reporter's mic into lake  
CMTV has confirmed that the roving mic has now been recovered by divers Paulo Martins and Antonio Bessone Basto and will be auctioned off.
Proceeds from the auction will be donated to a charity in Ronaldo’s hometown of Funchal, in Madeira, which supports children with disabilities.
Portugal is now preparing for their fourth Euros semi-final in the past five years. They will take on underdog Wales on Wednesday.
READ MORE:Wales pulls off historic 3-1 victory over Belgium in Euro 2016 quarter-final

 

 31 

Rivers Church pastor apologises to congregants for ‘racist’ remarks

Before the start of the 8.15am service‚ Olivier read out a statement to his congregants expressing his regret for his last Sunday service which was seen to suggest that black people are lazy.
Olivier initially defended his sermon‚ but on Wednesday‚ he apologised.
“I want to make a statement that will help heal our church.
“Reflecting on the statements in my sermon last Sunday‚ I realise that they were deeply hurtful‚ offensive and racist… It was never my intention to hurt anyone.
“I acknowledge the damage and harm that my statements have caused and for this I am truly sorry‚” Olivier said.
His congregants responded by clapping as Olivier was reading the statement.
“I would like to apologise unreservedly and ask for your forgiveness.
“I am committed to build into this nation and I continue to elevate lives as I endeavour to do for the last 30 years‚” Olivier continued.
“I am determined to learn from mistakes. I am choosing to rise above my shortcomings…”
He thanked his congregants for “your amazing love‚ your kindness‚ your prayers and support… God bless you”.
Olivier did not conduct the service‚ visiting Pastor Chris Mathebula did.
Mathebula’s sermon was titled “Out live yourself”. He encouraged congregants to live for others and to contribute towards nation building.

 

 32 

Billionaire Prokhorov's company denies Russian assets sale — RT Business

“We have made no decisions on this matter. The group has always been and will continue to be an important player in the Russian market, maintaining a strategic interest in investments in the country," ONEXIM Group CEO Dmitry Razumov said in a statement.
According to Razumov, the company is always negotiating purchases and sale of assets, as well as attracting new partners in respect of certain assets – which are a common business activity. Some of those processes continue for years, and it is “incorrect to make statements on the sale of all the company’s assets based on the fact of such talks,” he said.
On Monday business daily Vedomosti reported the ONEXIM Group is selling all of its assets following raids by Russia's Federal Security Service on the company’s offices in April. According to Vedomosti, the decision to sell the assets may be linked to the searches. One of its sources said rumors about the company’s intention to sell the assets could be linked to a “strong recommendation from the Kremlin” but there was no evidence of that.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov dismissed reports of the administration’s involvement in the potential sale of ONEXIM assets, calling them “total nonsense.”
READ MORE: Tycoon Prokhorov denies sanctions link to US basketball club ownership move to Russia
The ONEXIM Group is one of Russia’s major private investment funds with a diversified investment portfolio in mining (Russian Aluminum Rusal, Uralkali potash company), financial services (Soglasie Insurance Company, Renaissance Capital and Renaissance Credit, International Financial Club), real estate (OPIN), media (RBC media holding, Snob), energy sector (Quadra power generator), utilities and technology.
Forbes magazine estimates Mikhail Prokhorov’s fortune at $10.3 billion. The businessman is the sole owner of the Brooklyn Nets basketball team.

 

 33 

Is Messi reconsidering decision on international retirement? — RT Sport

Argentine newspaper La Nacion  cites an unnamed former teammate of Messi as saying that the star will sit out the games against Uruguay and Venezuela in September, but will then make a return with the ultimate aim of claiming World Cup glory in Russia in 2018.
The Barcelona superstar missed a penalty in the Copa America final shootout defeat to Chile at the end of June – Argentina’s fourth Copa America final defeat in the past 12 years, and the third on penalties.
READ MORE: Chile beats Argentina on penalties to win Copa America again
That prompted Messi to announce he was hanging up his boots from the international game, a decision that was expected to trigger several others to follow suit.
But Messi – a five-time Ballon d’Or winner – has reportedly had a change of heart and could return to lead his country at the next World Cup.
Hundreds of football fans gathered in Argentina's capital, Buenos Aires, on Saturday to demonstrate their appreciation for the playmaker, pleading with him to continue with the national team.
Assembling in the rain near the Obelisco de Buenos Aires, supporters reportedly cried out for Messi to remain in the squad, cheering "lead us Messiah. "
The rally for his return appears to have begun on social media, where the hashtag #NoTeVayasLio , or #Don't go, Lio, featured alongside images of the player.
The rally seems to have had the desired effect with Messi allegedly expected to return in time for Russia 2018 qualifying after taking a break during September's international fixtures.
For all his club and personal accolades, international success has so far evaded Messi, with Argentina losing the 2014 World Cup final to Germany, and then consecutive Copa America finals to Chile in 2015 and 2016. The only medal the 29-year-old has to show for his international career is the 2008 Olympic Gold he won with Argentina's Under-23 side.
READ MORE: Messi-mania: Even Barack Obama’s daughters want to meet Argentine legend
Messi became his country's all-time leading goalscorer during the Copa America, scoring his 55th career international goal to surpass Gabriel Batistuta's record.

 

 34 

Fans want more but no word on Igazi season two

The season finale caused a social media frenzy with viewers inundating the platform with comments about the drama series, which kept everyone glued to their seats every Sunday night.
Judging by the thousands of social media comments, which saw the show top the Twitter trends list for hours, fans were left wanting more after the finale.
However, Mzansi Magic is keeping the news safely guarded with there being no word on whether Ferguson Films will be producing a second season for the broadcaster.
"Igazi season 01 has had a very warm reception from Mzansi Magic audiences. Once the decision has been made to commission season 02 and the on-air date has been confirmed, we will communicate this to all our audiences," said Mzansi Magic's head of PR Nondumiso Mabece in response to an enquiry by TMG Entertainment.
Hopefully the positive reactions to the show will help speed up the process.
@FERGUSON_FILMS Thank God for the Fergusons. Now we look forward to season 2 #iGazi — Zesizwe Hadebe (@Zesified) July 3, 2016

 

 35 

a playa or responsible host?

Pep Guardiola ushered in a new era at Manchester City promising "hugs and kicks up the backside" as his club welcomed the manager they believe will make them a global superpower.

 

 36 

D'banj gets 'hitched' in top secret ceremony

Iceland's run to the quarterfinals of Euro 2016 showed that a Nordic island known for its volcanoes and pioneering geothermal power has the potential to generate plenty of its own talented footballers, too.

 

 37 

Michael Gove a ‘gossiping drunk’ – Boris ally attacks Tory leadership hopeful — RT UK

Wallace, who previously served as Johnson’s campaign manager, made the withering attack on Tuesday, writing in the Telegraph newspaper.
Wallace claimed that, on Thursday morning, ahead of Johnson’s eventual shock withdrawal from the leadership race sparked by David Cameron’s resignation, “ I got a call from a journalist asking me if it was true Michael Gove was deserting Boris, I denied it. ”
Minutes later, Wallace writes, he saw Tory spin doctor Lynton Crosby looking “ ashen white ” while “ taking a call from someone who turned out to be Michael Gove. ”
“ He has done the dirty on us, mate,” were the words I remember most afterwards, ” Wallace says.
He also appeared to accuse Gove of being a serial leaker. “ From the minute Michael Gove came on board with Boris’s leadership campaign, things started to go wrong.
“ There was a leak a day in the press, starting with the camera crews at Boris’s house in Oxfordshire on the first day and ending with the infamous email from Sarah Vine, Michael’s wife, ‘accidentally’ finding its way to the papers, ” Wallace raged.
The Gove issue is by no means a new one, Wallace notes, claiming that during his time as a Tory whip the office “ leaked like a sieve. ”
“ Important policy and personnel details made their way to the papers. Michael seems to have an emotional need to gossip, particularly when drink is taken, as it all too often seemed to be, ” the former army officer said.
Since withdrawing his support, Gove has maintained that he did so in the best interests of the country.
He told the Telegraph at the time that, to his “ deep regret ” his confidence in Johnson had “ evaporated. ”
“ That led me to make the difficult decision, at no little cost, to put friendships aside and act in the national interest, ” he said.
His actions have attracted hostility from the Johnson camp. On Sunday, the former mayor’s sister, Rachel Johnson, called Gove “ a sort of Westminster suicide bomber, whose deadly belt of explosives has been detonated not by his own hand, but by his own wife. ”
Gove acted like “ a political psychopath, ” she said.

 

 38 

Zika panic grows in Africa‚ but cheap rapid test on cards

Researchers have also found that microcephaly - small brain and head - is not the only problem Zika causes‚ while other scientists are developing a cheap and rapid detection test.
Guinea-Bissau has reported three confirmed cases of the disease‚ while Cape Verde (also in West Africa) has seen 7500 cases since October 2015.
South African researchers are monitoring the spread of the disease‚ and Professor Maureen Coetzee‚ director of the Wits Research Institute for Malaria‚ said in a statement: “Extremely rapid spread of Zika virus has opened up new avenues of research to determine the likelihood of a similar epidemic occurring in South Africa.”
The American Chemical Society said it was pinning hopes to a rapid Zika test that costs only $2 and analyses saliva.
Lead researcher Jinzhao Song‚ from the University of Pennsylvania‚ said the test was “highly sensitive”‚ could aid in the “rapid detection” of Zika and was “simple‚ easy to use‚ and inexpensive”.
It could also be carried out at point of care and came in the form of a disposable cassette “that carries out all the unit operations from sample introduction to detection”.
Song added: “Our system is particularly suitable for resource-poor settings where centralised laboratory facilities‚ funds and trained personnel are in short supply.”
This could allay a global panic if early detection leads to slowing down the spread.
Even though the World Health Organisation (WHO) recently advised that the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro should not be moved or postponed‚ because the risk of them causing a further spread was “very low”‚ public health experts are still debating the validity of the call.
New information on the effects of the virus is fuelling the flames of fear.
According to the Scientific American‚ “doctors have found that children who escape microcephaly remain vulnerable to joint pains‚ vision impairment and seizures”.
Others effects reported in research to be presented next week at a conference in Texas include developmental delays that only become apparent “in the weeks and months after birth”‚ and “trouble with feeding‚ and persistent crying”.
What has also spread panic is the WHO’s announcement in March of proof that the virus‚ like HIV‚ could be sexually transmitted.
The organisation said transmission of the virus through sexual contact was “more common than we thought”.

 

 39 

Bullet scars as Uganda remembers Israel's Entebbe raid

Landing soon after midnight at Uganda's Entebbe airport on July 4, 1976, it took the paratroopers less than an hour to storm the base and free over 100 passengers held aboard an Air France plane, an operation that has gone down in special forces legend. The plane had been hijacked a week earlier on June 27.
Four decades later, Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu visits Uganda on Monday for the anniversary, not only to mark the operation and boost the now friendly ties between Uganda and Israel, but also to pay a deeply personal tribute.
The commando leader, the only Israeli soldier killed in the raid, was his older brother, 30-year-old Lieutenant-Colonel Yonatan Netanyahu.
Netanyahu will visit the old terminal at Entebbe -- still the airport for the capital Kampala -- where the walls are still scarred by bullet holes.
Last month, some of the retired commandos who took part in the raid visited the scene of the extraordinary rescue, standing alongside Ugandan officials, including the son of their then enemy, dictator Idi Amin.
As an operation, it was "a difficult one", remembered Amir Ofer, then a sergeant major and now a businessman.
"We had short time to prepare for it," he said, noting the more than 3,500 kilometres (2,200 miles) separating Uganda from Israel, with a 48-hour ultimatum before the gunmen would start killing hostages. "The clock was ticking away after the terrorists gave their ultimatum. "
An Air France plane en route from Tel Aviv to Paris had been hijacked by two Palestinians and two Germans in Athens, and ordered to fly to Entebbe with 250 passengers aboard.
Uganda's Amin, who had cut ties with Israel in favour of cash handouts from Libyan dictator Moamer Kadhafi, allowed the hijacked plane to land.
On arrival, Jewish and Israeli hostages were separated and others freed, leaving about 100 hostages and crew members guarded by the hijackers.
Neither the captors nor Ugandan troops ever expected special forces could stage a raid from so far away, taking the airport by complete surprise.
"We fanned out without anyone realising that we were an enemy force," Ofer said, describing how they rushed out of the plane after touching down in the dark. The first team roared out of the plane in a black Mercedes that looked like Amin's personal car, but their cover was blown when they had to shoot a Ugandan guard.
"Within minutes of our arrival, we were able to arrive at the terminal, killed the terrorists and within an hour we were on our way back to Israel," Ofer added.
All but three of the hostages were freed in the raid while 20 Ugandan soldiers and seven hijackers were killed, along with several Ugandan citizens.
One other hostage, a 75-year-old Israeli woman who had been transferred to a hospital, was subsequently killed on Amin's orders.
Enemies in 1976, Uganda and Israel plan to use the commemoration of the raid to boost their friendship.
The raid "will forever remain at the heart of all those that got involved," said former Israeli sergeant-major Alex Davidi who took part in the operation.
Bonifence Byamukama, from the Uganda Tourism Board, said they were "working on a monument in order to preserve the history" of the raid, including the bullet scars in the walls.
Netanyahu's trip, the first by an Israeli premier to Africa since Yitzhak Rabin visited Casablanca in 1994, is the culmination of years of rapprochement and is hoped will boost links with African nations, particularly on security issues.
Galvanised by a growing demand for Israeli security assistance and his government's search for new allies, Netanyahu has put a fresh focus on improving ties on the continent.
Amin's son Jaffar, a 10-year old boy when the Entebbe raid took place, welcomed the commandos to Uganda this month as a "sign of reconciliation", remembering the stories his father told after he was deposed and forced into exile.
Amin, whose eccentric eight-year regime helped his name become a shorthand for African dictatorship and violent misrule, said he had been "close" to the soldier who shot dead Yonatan Netanyahu.
The officer, named as Captain Rafael Osacha, reportedly died quietly in retirement in the 1990s.
Jaffar recalled what his father had said when he asked why he had not sent fighter jets to shoot down the departing Israelis.
"My father said of the Israelis, 'Son, those are the children of God, when they start to fight, they never stop,'" Jaffar said.
"To him, he felt they had come to rescue their people, they had accomplished their mission, so he let them go. "

 

 40 

Russia officially appeals Olympic ban — RT Sport

Konstantin Vybornov, a spokesman for the Russian Olympic Committee, confirmed that the appeal has been filed with the court in Lausanne, Switzerland, and will be heard on July 19.
The International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF), track and field’s world governing body, suspended Russia in November 2015 after a report detailed widespread doping.
A small number of Russians are still able to compete if they can show they have been based outside the country and are subject to testing from a respected anti-doping agency.
However, it is believed only two Russians would currently fit that criteria out of 80 that have applied, according to Alexandra Brilliantova of the Russian Olympic Committee’s legal department.
IAAF informant Yulia Stepanova, a former drug cheat whose statements have been used in the case which led to Russia’s ban, has already been cleared to compete at the Olympics under a neutral flag.
The 800m runner was handed a two-year ban in 2013 and with husband Vitaly Stepanov, a drug-testing official, made allegations about the level of cheating among Russian athletes.
President Vladimir Putin has criticized the suspension, saying that the entire body and its athletes cannot be held responsible if someone tests positive.
If the Russian Olympic Committee is successful in its appeal, then the Olympic application deadline will be extended to enable Russian athletes to apply.
READ MORE: Legislation around doping abuse must be tightened - Putin
The 2016 Olympic Games start in Rio on August 5.
At the last Olympic Games, in London 2012, the Russian athletics team won 16 medals, seven of which were gold.

 

 41 

Watch: 'F**k you Mugabe' says former Zanu-PF youth leader

Acie Lumumba‚ 26‚ a former Zanu-PF youth leader‚ told a press conference at the launch of his new youth political party‚ Viva Zimbabwe‚ that Mugabe had never seen Zimbabweans angry.
“So here is the red line. Mr President Robert Gabriel Mugabe‚ f**k you. I have drawn the line‚ our kids are in trouble‚” Lumumba said.
Lumumba said he was not threatening the president‚ but wanted Mugabe to know that should anything happen to him the same fate would befall Mugabe's children.
“My name is Lumumba. Lumumba‚ Lumumba. I say it three times so that you do not forget it. Come get me... I'm someone’s child‚ a war veteran's child. You touch me... but I hope you live long‚ because God forbid something happens to you and your kids will be touched too... One thing they must never forget is when they go‚ they leave their own kids,” Lumumba said.
According to The Zimbabwean‚ the unapologetic young leader reiterated his sentiments in a question-and-answer session‚ claiming that what he said is exactly the feelings of all young people of Zimbabwe.
Lumumba reportedly had to leave the conference prematurely as security agents stormed the room. Lumumba's whereabouts are currently unknown. It has not been confirmed whether he is missing or in hiding.
The young politician is no stranger to controversy. Earlier this year‚ he was involved in a sex tape scandal. Lumumba made a video replying to the allegations‚ saying he was disgusted that the government was so desperate to discredit him they would leak a personal intimate video.
Opposition is mounting against the 92-year-old Mugabe, whose decades in office have been marked by economic decline, repression of dissent, claims of vote-rigging, mass unemployment and emigration.

 

 42 

Former board members call for task team to investigate trouble at SABC

The open letter from comes as the Right2Know campaign and the Save our SABC Coalition meet SABC chief operating officer Hlaudi Motsoeneng later on Monday over suspended journalists.
The group met Motsoeneng on Friday during a picket by unions‚ activists and journalists against censorship and the suspension of three journalists two weeks ago outside the public broadcaster’s offices in Johannesburg.
The letter was written by former deputy board chairperson Brigalia Bam; University of Johannesburg vice-chancellor and former board member Professor Njabulo S Ndebele; former editor-in-chief SABC TV News Joe Thloloe; former board member and editor-in chief SABC TV News Allister Sparks; former deputy chief executive officer Govin Reddy; former deputy chief executive SABC News Mathatha Tsedu; and former chief executive SABC News Barney Mthombothi.
In the letter‚ they said censorship had no place at the SABC.
“It is alien to and in violation of the noble principle of freedom of information and/or freedom of speech as enshrined in our constitution.”
The former board members and executives said the state of fear under which SABC employees were working was not conducive to good journalism or programming.
“It has to cease forthwith. The individuals or management found responsible for the censorship and victimisation of employees should be disciplined and removed from the organization.”
The former board members and executives were intimately involved in the transformation of the corporation from an apartheid state broadcaster to a true public broadcaster.
“As public broadcaster the corporation was transformed to reflect the solemn commitment of the new South Africa to an ethos of openness‚ fairness‚ independence both in its programming and the manner in which it was governed.”
They said these values were central to the character of South Africa’s new democracy that was being shaped.
“The enforcement of news censorship and the summary dismissal of journalists who objected to such an instruction is a gross violation of those principles.”
They said such actions‚ together with distortions in the balance of news reporting that had been evident to them for some time‚ had reached a point that amounted to an abandonment by the SABC of its mandate to be a fair and honest reflector of events in our society.
They called upon the SABC to serve without fear or favour and to be a force for good.
They said that given the divisions in our country and the high rate of illiteracy‚ the SABC had a responsibility not only to help arm our people with skills‚ but also to educate them about their civic responsibilities.

 

 43 

Did Labour MPs launch Corbyn coup to rescue Blair from war crimes charge? — RT UK

In an op-ed for the Herald Scotland newspaper, former Scottish National Party (SNP) leader Salmond said he hopes Sir John Chilcot’s Iraq war probe will result in Blair stranding trial.
In a few revealing paragraphs, however, Salmond mulls the obsession of Labour MPs with forcing current leader Corbyn’s resignation.
A leadership contest after the Brexit vote would be understandable, Salmond says, but “what exactly was the urgency in getting the removal vans to visit Corbyn’s office last week?
“I had a conversation on exactly this point with veteran Labour firebrand Dennis Skinner. He answered in one word: ‘Iraq.’ The Skinner line is that the coup was timed to avoid Corbyn calling for Blair’s head next Wednesday from the Despatch Box.”
Several MPs, including Salmond and Corbyn, are expected to call for legal action to be taken against ex-Prime Minister Blair over his role in the Iraq war, namely his distortion of the facts about the presence of weapons of mass destruction.
Impeachment laws have not been used in Parliament since 1806, but the process could see Blair put on trial and banned from holding a position of power for the rest of his life.
Quizzed by Sky News on Sunday, Blair said he would not comment on the Chilcot inquiry until the report was made public.
Asked why Labour members “hated him so fundamentally, ”he was unable to explain, adding “politics is a strange business.”
A confrontation with Corbyn still looms, as the Labour rebellion is yet to unseat him.
As the coup attempt limps into a second week, ex-Shadow Secretary of State Angela Eagle, whose leadership bid has been expected for over a week, came out Monday to say she would run “if Jeremy doesn’t take action soon.”
A new series of warning shots were fired by Eagle at the start of the week, as she told the press: “There are many people, MPs, party members up and down the country, asking me to resolve the impasse and I will if something isn’t done soon.”

 

 44 

Defense Ministry to complete works to seal off Russia’s Arctic borders by 2017 — RT Russian politics

Unnamed sources in the Defense Ministry told popular daily newspaper Izvestia that by mid-summer construction workers will have completed barracks and sentry posts on the Novaya Zemlya and Severnaya Zemlya archipelagoes as well as on the Alexandra, Franz-Joseph and Vrangel islands.
The source emphasized that establishing Russia’s military presence in the Arctic was the main priority for the Defense Ministry.
READ MORE: North Pole-2015: Russia launches drifting Arctic station
The paper also reported that the military is paying particular attention to environmental protection during the construction works and in view of future operations of the sites. It has also undertaken efforts to repair the damage inflicted on the fragile Arctic ecology during the Soviet era.
In 2015 workers cleared garbage from about 78 hectares of land, collecting about 4,300 tons of scrap metal in the process. This year they expect to gather about 4,600 tons more, and about 4,100 tons will be transported to the mainland and recycled, the source told reporters.
The deputy director of Russia’s Geography Institute, Arkady Tishkov, said the Defense Ministry was not the only Russian organization heavily involved in the development of the Arctic regions of the country. The Emergencies Ministry, the State Meteorological Service and the Russian Academy of Sciences were working on a joint infrastructure that would solve transport and logistical problems, he said.
In 2014 Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu presented a major plan to cover Russia’s northern borders with a network of military bases and radar stations as part of the country's strategy in the Arctic. “This year we will have total radar coverage and in 2015 we will be almost fully prepared to meet unwelcome guests from the east and the north,” the minister said.
The plan also provides for the building of 13 airfields, one land test range for the Air Force, 10 radar sites, and direction centers.
In March 2015 the Russian military held major exercises on the orders of President Vladimir Putin, seeking to test its readiness to counter challenges in the country’s north and particularly in the Arctic. The drills involved about 38,000 troops, 41 ships, 15 submarines and 110 aircraft.
READ MORE: Russian army beefs up Artic presence over Western threat
“New military challenges and threats demand further boosting of the military capabilities of the armed forces and special attention is being paid to the condition of the newly-set-up strategic command in the north,” Shoigu told reporters as he announced the start of the training. Shortly beforehand, Shoigu had warned that Russia would consider protecting its national interests in the Arctic through military means if necessary.
“The constant military presence in the Arctic and the possibility to protect the state’s interests by military means are regarded as an integral part of the general policy to guarantee national security,” he said.

 

 45 

Parliament must vote on Article 50 before it’s invoked, says law firm fighting Brexit — RT UK

London law firm Mischon de Reya is acting for a group of business people and academics who say it would be unlawful for a prime minister to invoke Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty without a full debate and vote in Parliament.
Triggering the article would formally begin the process of Britain’s withdrawal from the EU.
There is no legal requirement that Britain invoke the article within a specific amount of time, but once notice is actually given by the prime minister, there is a two-year time limit within which an exit deal must be negotiated.
The timeframe can be extended only with the unanimous agreement of the remaining 27 member states.
Lawyer Kasra Nouroozi says the result of the referendum is not in doubt, but it needs to be enacted through a formal process.
“We must ensure that the government follows the correct process to have legal certainty and protect the UK constitution and the sovereignty of parliament in these unprecedented circumstance,” Nouroozi told the BBC.
“The outcome of the referendum itself is not legally binding and for the current or future prime minister to invoke Article 50 without the approval of parliament is unlawful.
“We must make sure this is done properly for the benefit of all UK citizens. Article 50 simply cannot be invoked without a full debate and vote in parliament.”
A prime minister acting alone under prerogative powers technically lacks the constitutional authority to invoke Article 50 without being given the authority to do so by an act of Parliament.
As the referendum was advisory and non-binding, Westminster could technically refuse to ratify the vote. About two thirds of MPs are pro-EU and could block the whole process.
However, as 52 percent of the population voted for 'Leave,' it is highly unlikely that Parliament would block a Brexit, as it would be seen as undemocratic.
London and Brussels appear to have reached a stalemate since the June 23 Brexit vote, as the EU has ruled out any possibility of holding informal talks on Britain’s exit before it invokes Article 50.
However, outgoing Prime Minister David Cameron, who in the aftermath of the vote said he is stepping down, is resisting pressure to begin the two-year talks process as quickly as possible, insisting that it is for his successor to decide when to issue the country’s formal intention to leave the bloc.
A new PM is expected to be in place by September.
There have been a number of arguments put forward as to how the UK’s departure from the EU might be slowed or stopped.
By law, the UK’s legislatures in Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland must be consulted before EU laws can be annulled – which could throw a monkey wrench into EU Brexit negotiations.
Northern Ireland and Scotland voted to 'Remain' in the EU.
Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said she would tell MPs to refuse “legislative consent” if the Scottish parliament is required to ratify the UK’s withdrawal.
There have also been calls for a referendum re-run. A petition demanding another vote has already collected over four million signatures.

 

 46 

Grieving service families threaten to reject Iraq report ‘whitewash’ — RT UK

Some of the relatives of the 179 British service personnel killed during the Iraq War have long expressed concerns over the long-delayed inquiry, due to report on Wednesday.
“ It will be a whitewash. I’m absolutely disgusted. I’m not going because it will be a whitewash, ” Julia Nicholson, whose son Gary died in a plane crash along with ten others in 2005, told the Daily Mail on Monday.
“ Tony Blair has got blood on his hands. He will have covered his back and [George W.] Bush’s back, ” she added.
Another bereaved mother, whose son was among the youngest killed in the war, said she would not be attending Wednesday’s publication.
“ It’s been horrendous, I’m very apprehensive about this. This man [Blair] has put 179 kids to the slaughter - there’s no justice, ” Janice Procter, whose son Michael Trench was 18 when he was killed, told the Mail.
“ It [the report] is not going to give me any closure or comfort. I’m not going down on the day. I’m not going to waste two hours of my life reading it. ”
The relatives raised their concerns as the International Criminal Court (ICC) appeared to suggest that while soldiers could be tried for torture and abuse if the report finds it occurred, the war leaders of the era will not face charges under current rules.
On Monday, a spokesman for PM David Cameron said that leaders, not soldiers, should be under scrutiny.
“ The purpose of the report was about examining the decision-making at senior levels in the run-up to and during involvement in Iraq. It wasn’t about punishing our soldiers who served with bravery and dedication, " he argued. 
The ICC, however, is not yet able to try those accused of the ‘ crime of aggression ’ under international law.
According to the court, the issue hinges on whether the court will be able to “ exercise jurisdiction ” over cases of “ aggression, ” which it defines as a “ crime committed by a political or military leader which by its character, gravity and scale constituted a manifest violation of the [United Nations] Charter. ”
Although there is support for such a move, the decision to include it will not be made until January 2017.
Newly-promoted shadow Wales minister and long-time opponent of the post-9/11 wars Paul Flynn MP has called for proper provisions to be created for families to air their grief.
Recapping in a blog on his website on Sunday, Flynn said “ Parliament is on trial ” over Chilcot and Iraq.
In a speech in the Commons on Thursday he warned “ those who are likely to be accused by the Chilcot report have already employed lawyers to go over their defenses. ”
He said Parliament must take “ responsibility for a decision taken in this place in 2003 that resulted in the deaths of 179 of our brave soldiers, probably in vain, and the deaths of an uncounted number of other people. ”

 

 47 

Jail looms as Oscar Pistorius to be sentenced for murder

Pistorius was freed from prison last October after serving one year of a five-year term for culpable homicide.
But an appeals court upgraded the conviction to murder, which has a minimum standard sentence of 15 years. Due to his time already spent in jail and mitigating factors such as his disability, he may be given a lesser term.
Pistorius, 29, shot Steenkamp to death in the early hours of Valentine's Day in 2013, claiming he mistook her for a burglar when he fired four times through the door of his bedroom toilet.
Judge Thokozile Masipa, who heard the original trial, will deliver the sentence three weeks after a court hearing that marked another episode of high drama in the long-running case.
Pistorius, sobbing heavily, hobbled on his stumps across the courtroom to demonstrate his physical vulnerability as his lawyers argued he should not return to jail on account of his anxiety disorder and depression.
"I don't think he will get the 15 years," Ulrich Roux, who is unaffiliated with the case but has followed it closely, said.
"His personal circumstances and the disability will be taken into account. One possibility is that part of the sentence may be suspended. "
At the sentencing hearing, prosecutor Gerrie Nel argued that the double-amputee sprinter should be given a lengthy jail term as he failed to show any remorse for the murder.
Nel also criticised Pistorius for filming a television interview, despite claiming to be too unwell to give evidence in court.
In the interview -- his first since the killing -- Pistorius said that he believed Steenkamp would want him to devote his life to charity rather than return to prison.
"If I was afforded the opportunity of redemption, I would like to help the less fortunate," he said.
"I would like to believe that if Reeva could look down upon me that she would want me to live that life. "
At a June court hearing, Steenkamp's father 73-year-old Barry broke down during his testimony as he called for Pistorius to "pay for his crime" of murdering Reeva, a model and law graduate.
Pistorius, who pleaded not guilty at his trial in 2014, has always denied killing Steenkamp in a rage, saying he was trying to protect her.
The sentencing may not be the end of the saga that has gripped South Africa and the world, as Pistorius or the state could launch a final round of appeals.
If jailed on Wednesday, he would likely return to the hospital section of Kgosi Mampuru II Prison in Pretoria, separated from the general population of inmates.
Since his release, Pistorius has lived under restrictions at his uncle's mansion in Pretoria.
Supreme Court of Appeal judges in December described the sprinter's testimony at his trial as "untruthful" and delivered a damning indictment of the original verdict.
Pistorius, whose legs were amputated below the knee when he was 11 months old, made history by becoming the first Paralympian to compete against able-bodied athletes at the 2012 London Olympics.

 

 48 

Tokyo to review ‘one-sided’ privileged status of Americans working at US bases in Japan — RT News

The two sides have agreed that American civilians paid by the US government to work for the US military in Japan should be subject to the Japan-US Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA), a Japanese government source told Kyodo news agency. 
“Japan and the United States are currently reviewing the treatment of Americans subject to the (SOFA). We are making final arrangements to swiftly compile effective measures,” Japan’s deputy chief cabinet secretary, Koichi Hagiuda, told a news conference.
As things stand now, Japanese prosecutors do not have the power to indict members of the US military or its “civilian component” if they are alleged to have committed a crime while they were on duty, giving US authorities carte-blanche to take jurisdiction over the case. Okinawa says the applicable scope of the “ civilian component,” as currently defined in the agreement, is ambiguous. The  pact defines it as “civilian persons of United States nationality who are in the employ of, serving with, or accompanying the United States armed forces in Japan.”
Okinawa hosts several huge US military bases that occupy nearly one fifth of the island’s territory and accommodate about 50,000 US nationals, including 30,000 military personnel. The bases, which many locals see as a disturbing legacy of America’s post-WWII military occupation of Japan, have been blamed for noise, air pollution, and crime.
Citing local police statistics, the  Japan Times reported that from the reversion of Okinawa to Japan in 1 972 to the end of last year, the prefecture had seen at least “574 heinous crimes committed by members and civilian workers of the US forces and their relatives,” including 26 murders, 129 rapes, 394 burglaries, and 25 cases of arson.
Earlier this year, a US civilian base worker was arrested on suspicion of raping and murdering an Okinawa woman. Thousands protested the killing of Rina Shimabukuro, a 20-year-old office worker from the city of Uruma who disappeared in late April. Her body was found after a confession from Kenneth Franklin Gadson, a 32-year-old former US Marine who had been working as a contractor at the Kadena Air Base. The veteran admitted to strangling the girl, but his defense attorney told  Stars and Stripe that Gadson had confessed to police while he was “still in a daze” from two suicide attempts.
In late May, another US Marine, who was charged with the rape of a Japanese woman on the island of Okinawa, pleaded guilty to the crime, which occurred in mid-March. The serviceman, Seaman Apprentice Justin Castellanos, 24, admitted to finding the drunk and passed-out Fukuoka tourist in the hallway of Naha hotel, where he was staying. Appearing before a three-judge panel at a Naha District Court, the American pleaded guilty to the rape and said he had decided to take advantage of the situation by taking the fast-asleep woman to his room.
On July 4, another US Air Force member stationed in Okinawa’s Kadena Air Base was arrested on suspicion of drunk driving, The  Asahi Shimbun reported. According to local prefectural police, Staff Sargeant Christopher Aaron Platte, 27, has denied the charges.
Late last month, Okinawa police arrested a woman who worked at a shop on a US military base for drunk driving. The arrest came after the Japanese prefecture had launched night patrols following the suspected rape and murder of a local woman by a US contractor.
Francis Shayquain Elijah, 24, drove her car into another vehicle at an intersection close to her home, Kyodo news agency reported, adding that the Japanese driver was taken to the hospital. The suspect first denied being drunk, alleging that she had only consumed spirits the previous day, but a breath test revealed that she had an alcohol level four times the legal limit, according to Japan Today.
That incident followed the recent case of a US Navy sailor who was also arrested on suspicion of driving drunk which involved a collision with two mini vehicles that left two locals injured.
In an effort to bring more discipline to the troops, the US Navy command imposed a drinking ban on all 18,600 sailors stationed in Okinawa in early June. Ten day later, however, a statement from US Naval Forces Japan said that sailors were allowed to drink on base as well as at their off-base houses. Other drinking off-base is still prohibited, AP reported.

 

 49 

China's future megacities to eclipse population of most countries — RT Business

Once a predominantly agricultural region, the Pearl River Delta has been transformed into the world’s largest urban area which eclipses the population of many small countries.
The 15,000 square miles are home to about 57 million people. The region includes the cities of Shenzhen, Dongguan, Huizhou, Zhuhai, Zhongshan, Jiangmen, Guangzhou, Foshan, and Zhaoqing. The cities have populations ranging from nearly 2 million to more than 14 million people.
The Pearl River Delta began to take shape as an urban hub during the tech and manufacturing boom of the 1990s. It saw the most rapid urban expansion in human history – morphing into the country’s manufacturing heartland.
According to a World Bank report the Pearl River Delta has overtaken Tokyo to become the world’s largest urban area in both size and population.
Several hundred million people are expected to move to cities in East Asia over the next 20 years as economies shift from agriculture to manufacturing and services, the report said.
Beijing announced plans to mesh the cities into a single megacity in 2008. It has engineered a property boom during the financial crisis to compensate for the weakness in overseas demand. Later it implemented tightening measures to cool the heated property market.
The government is also planning to create an even larger megacity, combining Beijing, Tianjin and Hebei – to be known as JingJinJi. The current population of this area is 130 million – more than the whole of Japan – and covers an area of over 212,000 square kilometers (that’s a bit bigger than New England).
Major construction projects have been the main tool for boosting investment and sustaining growth in China since the beginning of 2015.
READ MORE: The Pearl River Delta showcases the Chinese Dream
However last year, the Chinese government rejected 17 construction projects costing $17.6 billion. The decision was said to improve the environmental impact assessment system and fix loopholes that allow corruption.
Even with a significant drop in housing prices, more than 60 million apartments in China remain empty. While the real estate sector accounts for about 25-30 percent of China’s GDP, it’s impossible for the country to prop up the economy without reviving the vital industry.

 

 50 

13yo invented sex attack story about ‘dark-skinned’ man in Austrian pool

The schoolgirl was since interviewed by several times by police and finally on Wednesday she admitted that the whole incident had been invented, local media cited police. 
The girl’s story, which took place in the Austrian town of Mistelbach, hit the headlines back in June.
The teenager claimed that she was first followed by a young man into the women’s changing room. Once there, he forced her to perform oral sex. The girl however fiercely resisted and started shouting, forcing the attacker to flee.
According to the would-be ‘victim’, the man was a “foreigner.”
There are currently eight facilities housing refugees around Mistelbach. Police immediately began checking the camps.
Following the incident the mayor temporarily banned all refugees from attending the swimming pool. The authorities put a poster next the pool entrance reading “Today no entry for refugees,” and two guards were hired to patrol the premises.
The police’s belief of the 13-year-old’s story was apparently influenced by previous attacks involving refugees.
In 2015, a man named as Amir. A., an asylum seeker from Iraq, raped a 10-year-old boy at a swimming pool in Vienna. After the attack, the assailant claimed to police that it was a “sexual emergency.” He was sentenced to six years in prison for sexual abuse and rape of a minor.
READ MORE: 2 teenage girls sexually assaulted by Afghan migrants at German waterpark
A similar incident happened in March this year in the Austrian town of Klagenfurt, where a 37-year-old mother and her four-year-old son fell victim to sexual harassment by a refugee.

 

 51 

Brexit supporter Nigel Farage resigns as UK Independence Party leader — RT UK

“I have never been and I have never wanted to be a career politician,” he said in a speech on Monday morning.
“I couldn’t possibly achieve more than we managed to achieve in the referendum. So I think it’s right that I should stand aside as leader of UKIP.”
Now that, as he sees it, he has his country back, Farage said he is ready to get “his life back.”
Farage, who returned to the leadership almost immediately after resigning from his post in the wake of a disappointing UKIP result at the 2015 general election, has ruled out the possibility of changing his mind once more.
With questionable sincerity, Farage joked it is a “terribly good idea” for Douglas Carswell, UKIP’s only MP and a fierce critic of the incumbent, to become the next UKIP leader.
Carswell, who during the referendum campaign attacked Farage for the “indefensible” posters depicting a mass of immigrants queuing to get into Britain under the heading “Breaking Point,” reacted to the news by tweeting a smiling emoji wearing sunglasses. Acknowledging that reaction, Farage said, "I'm pleased that he is smiling because that's not something I have seen very often from him. "
He refrained from backing any particular candidate for the Conservative Party leadership, but said he or she must be a Brexit supporter. Frontrunner Home Secretary Theresa May backed the Remain campaign, while Andrea Leadsom and Michael Gove are pro-Brexit.
Meanwhile, more than 60,000 people have signed a petition for Farage - who will remain an MEP in the European Parliament for the next two years - to be involved in negotiations for Britain to leave the European Union.

 

 52 

Palestinian village demolished for the ‘100th time since 2010’ — RT News

“A large number of Israeli police accompanied with bulldozers stormed the village [on Wednesday] at dawn and demolished all the houses, tents and other facilities,” local activist Aziz Al-Touri told The Middle East Monitor media outlet.
Israeli authorities claimed that they leveled the village because it was constructed on state land and didn’t have the necessary building permits.
Another activist, Saleem Araqeeb, said that the demolition of the village went ahead despite a decision by the Israeli Higher Court of Justice that ruled al-Araqib’s lands don’t belong to the state, as quoted by the International Middle East Media Center.
He added that after the decision, Israeli authorities filed another lawsuit urging the court to order al-Araqib’s residents to pay a daily fine of 5,000 shekels (around $1280).
Moreover, the villagers have also been sued for the cost of the first eight demolitions of their village, for which Israel is seeking 1.8 million shekels ($467,000), Al-Jazeera reported.
Even before storming the village, Israeli forces had “been harassing the residents who were hiding in the village cemetery” for days, Al-Touri said, adding that “the locals don’t hope for things to become better.”
“When we rebuild the village, we expect the Israeli occupation to raid and demolish it at any time,” Al-Touri said.
However, the residents won’t give up, he added. The “oppressive and inhumane” acts against the villagers will only see their love for their land grow, the activist said.
Between 70,000 and 90,000 people live in largely Bedouin villages of the Negev desert, and Al-Araqib is one of the about 40 Negev villages that Israeli authorities have declared unrecognized.
Currently, some 53,000 Palestinian Bedouins living in those villages can’t prove land ownership and about 100 homes have been destroyed since the beginning of 2015 alone.
The residents of these villages are full Israeli citizens, but the state doesn’t provide them with water, electricity, infrastructure, or sewage systems.
In most of the villages, there are no basic state services like schools and hospitals.

 

 53 

Ayatollah Khamenei says Iran won’t coordinate with US on Syria — RT News

“We don't want such coordination as their [the US’] main objective is to stop Iran's presence in the region,” Khamenei said, according to the transcript of his speech published on his website Sunday.
Iran, along with Russia, has been supporting Syrian President Bashar Assad in his fight against Islamic extremists.
Khamenei commented on the situation in which, despite the nuclear deal coming into force in January, international financial institutions and banks are still reluctant to do business with Tehran because of certain sanctions still not lifted by Washington.
Both the American Congress and US administration are “still engaged” in hostility against the Iranian nation, Khamenei said.
“Those who believe in looking to the West for the progress of the country have lost their minds because wisdom tells us to learn from experience,” Khamenei said.
On Friday, in a speech aired live on state TV, Khamenei said that “America has continued its enmity towards Iran since [the 1979 Islamic] revolution... It is a huge mistake to trust the evil Britain and the great Satan [the United States].”
Khamenei explained that Washington should not be cooperated with because “their aims in the region are 180 degrees opposed to Iran’s.”
He also advised student organizations to form a “united anti-American & anti-Zionism front of students in the World of Islam.”
The leader noted that Muslim students should “launch campaigns in cyber space” to oppose hostile regimes.
Khamenei’s military aide also said Friday that the US would “disintegrate” within the next quarter-century.
“The US has reached a point today that it will witness fragmentation and disintegration 25 years later,” Fars news agency cited General Nasser Arasteh as saying.

 

 54 

Private lives made public

A collection of these portraits is on display until September at The Walther Collection Project in New York, a reminder of where we come from as a nation.
The photographs were taken between 1972 and 1984 by SJ "Kitty" Moodley, at Kitty's Studio in Pietermaritzburg.
Curator Steven Dubin says the photographs "offer an evocative and refreshing view of apartheid-era South African society and expand the history of vernacular studio portraiture in Africa.
A vibrant community institution and anti-apartheid hub, Kitty's Studio provided a safe space for local clients to collaborate with their photographer in the construction of portraits that often overturned established conventions.
As the struggle continued outside and the apartheid government enacted laws to restrict the lives of black people, life continued.
Dreams and aspirations were expressed in different forms and these portraits are but one of the platforms used to tell the life of a black man under apartheid.
Many a family album tells a story of a life so controlled that many of the pictures are indoors.
My grandparents have pictures of themselves at a beach; sand and picnic baskets. But this scene is inside a studio. What those pictures tell is of a life where they were never permitted to go to the beach and enjoy what God gave us all.
Their passion for nature and dreams of walking hand in hand at the beach were never realised.
They found comfort in a studio to be near a sea.
Have a look at a picture of two handsome, stylishly dressed young men from the 1970s striking a relaxed, confident, even playful pose, says Dubin.
They stand cross-legged on either side of a large floral arrangement that rests upon a simply constructed wooden stand. The men gaze directly at the camera, looking sharp. But their outfits of khaki pants, caps and a plaid sport jacket tell us that these young men are in a transitional state: they are recent Xhosa initiates (amakrwala, or 'unripe fruit') and are, therefore, obliged to respect their tribal elders and honour the ancestors. "
One significant insight that emerges from these portraits, argues Dubin is that throughout the apartheid era "non-white" South Africans used photographic self-representations to challenge media depictions of them and to show how their private lives transcended narrow state-sanctioned identities. Kitty's portraits allowed his sitters to distinguish themselves not only as individuals but also as members of self-styled social groups.

 

 55 

‘Maimane is a #1652!’ – DA leader’s cell number gets used in twar

Critics and supporters of the SMS campaign let rip with their opinions.
DA leader Mmusi Maimane’s cellphone number ended up being shared with hundreds of thousands of people during the twar – with some suggesting that he should be the one at the receiving end of unsolicited calls and messages.
“The DA needs volunteers for Election Day. Would you be able to assist for a few hours on 3 August‚” read of the party’s SMS messages shared online.
Radio presenter Redi Tlhabi vented her frustration‚ complaining there was no option for people to opt out: “Whaat! REALLY? We must take time‚ to send u our personal info‚in order to UNSUBSCRIBE from list we did not choose?”
“& yr sms does not give us OPT OUT/ STOP option. It's the least u can do after accessing our numbers without consent‚” she tweeted.
DA member of Parliament Gavin Davis tried to steer the debate in a different direction‚ tweeting: “#WhileYouComplainAboutAnSMS there are children at public schools with a 0% matric pass rate.”
But ‏@ThembiMrototo was having none of it and replied: “If you really cared you would use the money spent on your annoying SMS campaign to get those children tutors. SMH!”
Users then realised that Maimane’s cellphone number ended with the digits 1652 – the year that Jan van Riebeck arrived to “oppress us”‚ said Mzwanele Manyi – and the debate went off on another tangent.
Bo Mbindwane ‏tweeted‚ “Mmusi Maimane's cellular phone number ends with ...1652. U just can't make this up! He is a #1652”

 

 56 

DA to ‘reveal track record’ of ANC’s Ekurhuleni mayoral hopeful

A Bangladeshi politician has spoken of his shock on discovering his son was one of the suspected gunmen who murdered foreign hostages, and said many young men from wealthy, educated families had gone missing.

 

 57 

Iceland set for sunny future

At the start of the 24-team tournament few would have predicted a nation of just 330000 people would knock out England on their way to the last eight, in which they lost 5-2 to France on Sunday.
"It is something no one expected us to do, which is good because it gives kids back home hope that this is possible," said Swansea City midfielder Gylfi Sigurdsson.
"We have 10 to 15 players at a good age. The future will be bright for Iceland. "
The performances in France have provided the current squad with a perfect stage to display their talents and Icelandic players will have more opportunities to move to Europe's bigger clubs. Iceland is now firmly on the scouting map.
"There are some young players here, and, if everyone stays in good clubs, the future looks really positive. "
Much of the success story has been down to the Icelandic soccer association's decision to create the infrastructure to play the game all-year round.
But to some Iceland's arrival on the European scene is not a surprise.
The country's youth teams have increasingly qualified for top tournaments.
"You could see it coming - maybe not beating England, but you could see they would be competitive," said Uefa interim general secretary Theodore Theodoridis.
As the country starts the next goal of qualifying for the 2018 World Cup, some of those younger players will be needed. Older heads, such as midfielder Kari Arnason or defender Ragnar Sigurdsson, will be past their peak and others, like Eidur Gudjohnsen, will have retired.
None of Iceland's results was a fluke for a young team that was solid and organised throughout. In addition to a strong defence, they showed they had a killer instinct, as their eight goals in five games highlighted.
Qualification for the World Cup will be tougher than the Euros, with Europe having just 13 spots instead of the 24 for this tournament. But the bonus is that Iceland will now not fear a group containing Croatia, Turkey, Ukraine and Finland.
While Croatia will be favourites to secure top spot, Iceland ran them close in qualifying for the 2014 Brazil World Cup.

 

 58 

Lekota: ‘SABC shenanigans mean free and fair elections will not be possible’

Congress of the People (Cope) leader Mosiuoa Lekota said his party “is not shocked” by revelations that made by former acting SABC CEO Jimi Matthews that he was party to a decision to limit airtime devoted to the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF).
Lekota said Matthews “partly confessed and revealed what is happening in the SABC editorial room‚ where he‚ [COO] Hlaudi Motsoeneng and some senior members of the ruling party decided in 2013/14 not to give Julius Malema and his EFF party coverage on SABC TV”.
He said a “similar plot was hatched against [Cope] in both the 2009 and 2014 elections”.
“There has always been a plot to weaken and destroy Cope and Julius Malema admitted in 2014 that‚ when he was still a senior member in the African National Congress National Working Committee‚ he was part of a clandestine committee whose sole objective was to execute the demise of Cope”.
“Cope strongly believes that with these latest revelations and the current deliberately engineered political chaos at the SABC‚ free and fair elections will not be possible on 3 August 2016‚” said Lekota.
“This is already evident with the one sided reporting by the SABC on the election campaigns of political parties.” Lekota is expected to outline his “position on the shenanigans and reign of terror at the SABC” later on Monday.

 

 59 

The Big Read: Lousy Hlaudi, get off TV

Hlaudi Motsoeneng, the SA Broadcasting Corporation chief operating officer who acts as though he is emperor of the airwaves, was at it again.
"Censorship is an English word. It is unknown in African languages. I don't know the concept. I cannot be a censor," he told a press conference.
We wrung our hands in despair. We held our heads in our hands and wept. We couldn't believe just how low we have sunk.
But why were we depressed by Motsoeneng?
Why are we so surprised, so despairing, that an ignoramus of this order and magnitude now runs the most powerful public broadcaster on the continent?
We should not be surprised at all by what is happening at the SABC. Mediocrity is now the new normal. It has been since May 2009.
What we are seeing now is merely a rerun of what has already happened across many parts of our government, our institutions and our state-owned enterprises.
The mediocre - so long as they bow and genuflect to Number One at the Union Buildings and smile and scrape at his lieutenants in Saxonwold - are now in charge.
President Zuma - a sexist, homophobic, crass, incapable and shameless man who has handed over important and prominent cabinet posts to his friends - was the original embodiment of mediocrity and on his watch, mediocrity has flourished.
We lowered our standards when we voted for him in 2009 and lowered them even further in 2014. With him have come patronage and mediocrity.
No wonder former president Thabo Mbeki said last week that our fellow Africans are appalled to see how we have lost our way in South Africa.
But mediocrity is not who we are. When Motsoeneng claims that Africans love him and what he represents, don't believe the propaganda. For we are not mediocre. Not by a long shot.
We are brilliant and amazing. We are clever. We are funny. We are competent.
We have degrees. We have high standards. We are academic and we are 'street'. We eat at the top table but we are also down with the people.
We are left and we are right. We are everything but mediocre.
To understand who we are, to understand why we reject Motsoeneng's mediocrity and his appalling ideas, please read or listen to suspended SABC economics editor Thandeka Gqubule's speech at the corporation's headquarters last Friday.
Gqubule went through an impressive and exhaustive roll call of the greats of South African journalism and called on them and their spirits to inspire and guide today's journalism as they fight for their profession's integrity.
All the great journalists of our time were named: John Tengo Jabavu, Pixley kaIsaka Seme, Ruth First, Peter Magubane, Can Themba, Sol Tshekisho Plaatje, Allister Sparks, Percy Qoboza - there were so many; so many.
All of them were men and women whose achievements brought on goose-bumps.
Would you add Hlaudi Motsoeneng's name to this roll call? Does his name deserve to be anywhere near that of Nat Nakasa, Casey Motsisi or Zwelakhe Sisulu? No.
He is mediocre. They were not.
Gqubule said it was the freedom of expression brought about by the works of these men and women over decades "that gave us this vocation".
She said: "Do not allow the sun to go down on us.
"We will not. We must not. The future of our children depends on all of us raging, raging, against the dying of the light.
"Our children must enjoy the free press and the free thought we have enjoyed for the past 20 years. "
She referred to the dawn of democracy in 1994 and pointed to the fact that one of the conditions for the transition into democracy was to have a free, independent and balanced public broadcaster.
"Now we are at that moment again as we approach what is likely to be a closely contested election, where forces of darkness are trying to bend the public asset, the public broadcaster, to their own ends," she said.
The good people of this country need to realise that Motsoeneng is not the only problem.
The problem is the rise of mediocrity in our politics - the use of the "yes minister" type of person, like Motsoeneng, to undermine our freedoms and our institutions.
You see such mediocre and pliable people at SAA, at the Hawks, at the SABC and many other places. With them in place, Zuma is secure.
We must rage, rage, against the dying of the light that is our democracy.
They must not win. They cannot win. If they do, then what kind of country are we leaving behind for our children?

 

 60 

Stormers go all quiet, but playoff spot in their sights

While the Lions deservedly received acclaim for their impressive home win over the Sharks, the Stormers' record-breaking exploits in walloping the Rebels in Australia went largely unheralded.
The Stormers' record 57-31 win in Melbourne, coupled with the Bulls' defeat against the Jaguares in Buenos Aires, has pushed them closer to clinching the Africa 1 region and a playoff.
The Stormers are now nine points clear of the Bulls and only a desperate collapse would allow the Bulls to overhaul the Stormers for top place in the region with two regular season matches remaining.
Seven tries were a good return against a Rebels side that have not conceded as many tries or points in a match this season, even against New Zealand's top teams.
Importantly for the Stormers, they have built some momentum as the season reaches the business end.
Said Fleck: "Beating the Rebels was important and we now need to follow that through against the Force and the Kings. It has given us confidence and we are in a good place. "
Victory was built on a mammoth effort from the pack, particularly in the scrums, and some clinical finishing. The Stormers also showed their ability to play the full 80 minutes by scoring four tries in the final quarter.
"Tactically we were a lot smarter in the second half, which allowed the pack to dominate," said Fleck.
The Stormers are in Perth, where they face the Force on Saturday and will do so without flanker Nizaam Carr, who has a shoulder injury and will return home.
Carr suffered the injury during the win over the Rebels.
Fleck said there would be no need to call up a replacement.
Fleck is confident that the team has good cover for Carr.
Sikhumbuzo Notshe was impressive off the bench against the Rebels and would slot in to the starting lineup. Utility forward Rynhardt Elstadt is also with the squad.

 

 61 

Democracy needs a free and unfettered public broadcaster

We see this kind of behaviour especially in institutions that rely on government patronage.
As the man in charge of the public broadcaster that is slowly changing into a state broadcaster, SABC chief operating officer Hlaudi Motsoeneng is overreaching and is now embarrassing even his handlers.
But we can' t blame everything that is wrong at the SABC on Motsoeneng and we should also expose his foot soldiers and handlers.
For the SABC to be liberated from political agendas, we should look beyond Motsoeneng.
South Africa's struggle to have free and unfettered access to information should never stop.
We come from a past where all South Africans were force-fed propaganda. Whites were told about black communists who would kill them. They were told that black people were happy under white rule, bar a few communists who claimed to speak on behalf of the masses.
A number of black leaders fought to keep the "homeland system" intact.
To them black people were either naïve or mentally unable to handle democracy.
That is why we had black supporters of the worst form of government.
It is then not surprising that Motsoeneng has support both inside and outside the SABC.
Those who view objection to his rule as counter-revolutionary easily forget how censorship delayed democracy in this country.
We again call on the ANC to join other voices and fight Motsoeneng's censorship.
Failure to step in will come back to bite the ANC.
Let the chief induna and his supporters know that the SABC belongs to all of us and they alone cannot determine what is good or bad for us as news consumers.

 

 62 

Mercedes not ready to issue orders

Team orders were enforced at Ferrari in 2002, when Rubens Barrichello was under instruction to let Michael Schumacher win, even if the Brazilian was in a position to take the chequered flag ahead of the German.
But Wolff might have to impose some authority on Hamilton and his other driver, Nico Rosberg.
At the very least Wolff might want to order them not to crash into one another. This follows their third collision in five races.
Sunday's crash, blamed on Rosberg, came only four races on from their crash in Spain, where both men were forced into retirement on the opening lap.
On Sunday, however, Hamilton managed not only to survive the collision, but overtake his arch-rival and teammate and win the Austrian Grand Prix, while Rosberg limped into fourth place.
It could easily have been a one-two for Mercedes if Rosberg had not driven into Hamilton's car at a turn just when the British driver was overtaking on the outside.
The latest incident has left Mercedes with problems. But Wolff was unwilling to voice an opinion.
"I am fed up with trying to analyse it," he said soon after the crash.
The team boss said he had an opinion on the crash, but refused to share it.
Mercedes chairman Nikki Lauda was also coy on the matter.
"I think, Nico's fault," he said. "Although I have to see it again. "
Pundits and former F1 drivers who expressed an opinion on the incident were unanimous: Rosberg was to blame this time.
Crucially, the stewards agreed. Rosberg, they said, had failed to turn into the corner when he should have; instead he went straight on, hitting Hamilton's car.

 

 63 

Keep track of those vehicle tracking costs

Chances are, if that cost is built into your insurance premium, you have no idea.
As with cellphone contracts, the tracking device itself, like the phone, is not free - you pay it off as part of your subscription during what's known as the "initial period".
In the case of cellphone contracts, that's two years, and it's three years in the case of vehicle tracking contracts.
So, it stands to reason then, surely, that when that initial period is up, the subscription should reduce because the hardware is then paid off, and the subscriber is left to pay only for the service?
Well, yes, in the case of a cellphone contract, if you resist the temptation to "upgrade" your contract after two years, to get your hands on the latest smartphone, your subscription will reduce.
But when it comes to vehicle tracking contracts, it's not that simple, mainly because of a complex arrangement of discounted subscription deals with insurance companies.
Last month I realised that my monthly Tracker subscription had not been reduced after 36 months when the hardware was paid off.
I made a call to Tracker to query this, and without any argument, the consultant reduced my monthly subscription from R131 to R70.
I mentioned this on a radio show in the context of finding ways to cut your monthly expenditure.
Suhail Motala of Durban, who had been listening, realised that his three-year vehicle tracking contract with Netstar had rolled over to a month-to-month basis from November, but his subscription had remained R179.
So he contacted the company, and after a bit of a runaround, he was told that from the end of this month his subscription would drop to R100 a month.
He was still savouring that good news when he got another call from Netstar to say that the fee would be just R60 a month - a saving of R110 a month.
What's more, he was told he would be refunded the "over-payment" since November, and last week Netstar deposited more than R900 into his account.
Which got me thinking - how many others are overpaying for their tracking services, having paid off their hardware? Why are these subscriptions not automatically reduced from year four?
Netstar's communications manager, Shona Minards, said the company did automatically reduce the amount to the service-only portion after three years but only "if the subscription they are paying at that time is more than the relevant monthly service-only fee in force at the time of contract expiry".
I asked what percentage of clients had their monthly fees automatically reduced after three years. The response: "We cannot assist with providing these statistics. "
In Motala's case, Minards said, Netstar's current "recommended retail pricing" for his tracking service was currently more than R169 a month - R240, in fact - so his contract amount was not reduced in November when his three-year initial period ended.
Only about R60 of his monthly fee had covered payment of his tracking device, I was told.
So why was Motala's fee so drastically reduced and the "over-payments" since November refunded when he raised the issue?
That was a gesture of goodwill, Minards said, and a bid to retain him as a customer. Quite a gesture!
If you ditch one car insurance policy for another, after shopping around for a more competitive price - an exercise you should do regularly - bear in mind that you will lose the discounted rate you got on your vehicle tracking service at the time of installation.
That's what happened to me when I switched insurers.
I asked Tracker the same question I asked Netstar - why aren't subscriptions automatically reduced when the initial three-year period is up, to take into account that the hardware is paid off?
"Tracker's business model does not accommodate a reduction in the monthly subscription at the end of a 36-month contract period," said Tracker's communications manager Nandi Canning.
"In fact, the initial cost of getting a customer on board - including the cost of the hardware and installation - is recouped over a much longer period to enable Tracker to stay competitive in the market from a price perspective. "
In other words, long-standing customers are subsidising the special deals offered to new ones. So, why was my subscription substantially reduced when I made that call?
The R70 monthly subscription I was offered is usually only available to my current insurer's policyholders when they are new Tracker customers, I was told.
But I was given it as a goodwill gesture. And I won't be getting a refund.
WHAT TO DO:

 

 64 

Sanitary wear in short supply for school girls

This is what nongovernmental organisation Equal Education has found in a survey of 232 girls in schools in three Gauteng districts.
Equal Education wants the government to provide free feminine hygiene products to girls of school-going age across the country, and they are not the only organisation saying so.
The purpose of the project, explained Equal Education's Gauteng head, Zandile Ngubeni, is to audit the impact of local government's programme of providing dignity packs, containing sanitary products, to school pupils.
Ngubeni said: "We would like the government to curb the problem of girls missing out on school because of their periods by providing feminine hygiene products in township and rural schools. "
But it is not just the lack of sanitary wear that is stopping girls from going to school. Equal Education has also found that most of the girls are absent because of headaches, cramps and nausea, which are not provided for in the dignity packs.
South Africa is not alone - Unicef estimates that 10% of girls in Africa miss school because of menstruation.
Currently there is no formal programme by national or local government to supply sanitary products.
Department of Social Development spokesman Lumka Oliphant said that sanitary products were distributed at a provincial level .
Besides finding that girls did not have regular access to menstruation products at school, many also said they had no access to these products at home.
Ngubeni said: "Of the girls surveyed, eight out of 10 had no sense of what was happening to their bodies at the onset of menstruation. "
Nongovernmental organisations Dignity Dreams and Subz Pads and Panties believe the best solution to dealing with girls missing school because of menstruation is to provide washable and reusable sanitary pads.
Dignity Dreams provides six reusable sanitary pads at a cost of R130. According to project administrator Lucille Herbst, these reusable pads can last three years.

 

 65 

Fed fells a flyer

A short while later, also on centre court, defending champion Serena Williams brushed aside the Russian challenge from Svetlana Kuznetsova 7-5 6-0.
Federer, a seven-time champion at Wimbledon, achieved his double landmark by seeing off high-flying Steve Johnson of the US 6-2 6-3 7-5 in the fourth round.
Despite pre-match hype about Johnson, fresh from victory at the Nottingham grass court event, there was to be no Independence Day party for the burly American, as Federer showed more than enough to suggest he remains on track for a record eighth Wimbledon men's singles crown.
Cilic progressed to his third Wimbledon quarterfinal when Japanese fifth seed Kei Nishikori pulled out of their last-16 clash with a rib injury.
Federer has a 6-1 record over Cilic, but the big Croatian stunned him in the US Open semifinals in 2014 on his way to his maiden grand slam title.
"He brushed me off the court in the US Open a few years ago and I hope to get him back," said Federer.
Federer has reached the last eight without dropping a set.
Sam Querrey followed up his shock defeat of Novak Djokovic by beating French veteran Nicolas Mahut 6-4 7-6 (5) 6-4 to reach his first grand slam quarterfinal. Querrey is the first American in the last eight at Wimbledon since Mardy Fish in 2011.
In the women's singles, Slovakian 19th seed Dominika Cibulkova sent world No3 Agnieszka Radwanska crashing out with a surprise 6-3 5-7 9-7 fourth-round victory yesterday.
Cibulkova, who also defeated Radwanska at Eastbourne last month, played high-quality tennis to secure her first Wimbledon quarterfinal berth since 2011.
The 27-year-old, who has never made the last four at the All England Club, cried tears of joy as she rolled on the court in celebration after the final point, but the triumph could come with a sting in the tail as she will have to postpone her wedding if she makes it to Saturday's final.
The 2014 Australian Open runner-up is due to get married to fiancé Miso Navara in Bratislava on the same day, after planning the big day nine months ago. Now she may have to change plans.

 

 66 

Final place in history

A special wall of remembrance that will contain the names of more than 6,000 South Africans who died in the Great War will be unveiled in France this week.
The unveiling is part of the centenary celebrations of the battle of the Somme and other clashes, including that of Delville Wood, in which thousands of South Africans died fighting German troops.
Black and coloured South African troops enlisted into the SA Native Labour Corps were used as stretcher-bearers and to dig trenches. None ever received medals for their efforts.
Now the names of all black, coloured and white troops who died have been etched onto the wall, which has been erected at the South African memorial near Delville Wood.
Among those to be remembered are the more than 260 Native Labour Corps members buried in Arque-la-Bataille cemetery near the Delville Wood memorial.
The wall will also carry the names of the hundreds of members of the Native Labour Corps who died in the sinking of the SAS Mendi in 1917.
Major-General Roy Anderson, trustee of the Delville Wood Trust, said nearly 90000 black and coloured South Africans were enlisted into the corps.
"Over 2000 of these men served in France in appalling conditions, with over 1100 of the corps' members dying in Europe alone. "
Anderson said the wall was created to recognise the sacrifices made by all South African troops.
Shaun Booth, deputy director-general of heritage in the Department of Military Veterans, said the move was a long time in coming.
"The Native Labour Corps gave their lives while rushing to rescue their wounded white compatriots. But they never got the recognition for their brave deeds. "
Defence Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula will officiate at a service on Friday and President Jacob Zuma will unveil the wall.

 

 67 

World's largest telescope joins the hunt for alien life

China fitted the final of 4450 panels into the centre of the 500m-wide Aperture Spherical Telescope, or FAST, over the weekend.
The telescope, which cost $180- million (about R2.6-billion) and took five years to build, will be switched on from September.
"The project has the potential to search for more strange objects to better understand the origin of the universe and boost the global hunt for extraterrestrial life," Zheng Xiaonian, deputy head of the National Astronomical Observation under the Chinese Academy Sciences, which built the telescope, told Xinhua news agency.
Around the size of 30 football pitches, the radio telescope is significantly larger than the current record holder, Puerto Rico's 300m-wide Arecibo Observatory. It is also 10 times more sensitive than Germany's 100m-wide steerable telescope, according to Xinhua.
From September the telescope will undergo trials and adjustments. Before then 9000 people who live within a 5km radius of the centre will be relocated to ensure radio silence in the area.
The telescope will be made available to researchers across the world and will help to detect pulsars and gravitational waves.
FAST is expected to eventually be able to detect amino acids, the building blocks of proteins, which would signal life on other planets.
Researchers as far as 2000km away from the site in Pintang county, Guizhou, can use the telescope for observation and control.
President Xi Jingping is determined to establish China as a space power. Its ambitions include putting a man on the moon by 2036 and building a space station, the first module of which will be launched in 2018.
The country recently unveiled the world's most powerful supercomputer. It is almost three times as powerful as its nearest competitor.

 

 68 

'Fee-free policy will doom varsities'

This is the warning of Universities South Africa's Ahmed Bawa.
Bawa took over at the organisation, which represents universities, in May after being vice-chancellor of the Durban University of Technology for more than five years.
The organisation is determined to play a more active role in determining policy, something the government has largely dictated.
To this end, the organisation recently established a funding strategy group, which will make a financing proposal to the Department of Higher Education and Training, and the Treasury, by the end of the year.
Said Bawa: "The extra expenditure on in-sourcing in the university sector is likely to be between R400-million and R2-billion.
"If we move into a fee-free regime, the one thing that is completely clear to me is that, unless there is some way of ensuring that the fee-free component [lost to universities] is raised in some other way, universities will simply collapse.
"We are talking about R30-billion and unless the Treasury comes up with that I just can't see us moving to fee-free.
"Our understanding at the moment is that there will be a fee increase in 2017 and that the fee increase is likely to be associated with the Consumer Price Index.
"What that would do in terms of the sector and its stability we are not really sure of. "
President Jacob Zuma recently established a commission of inquiry into the funding of higher education.

 

 69 

'Stop advertising on SABC'

Activists met yesterday to plan protests from tomorrow to Friday and called on advertisers to boycott the SABC to hit it "where it hurts".
"Hlaudi will lose in the court of public opinion," said Right2Know member Dale McKinley.
"We should be shaming companies that choose to advertise on the SABC," said Julie Reid, another member of Right2Know. "That is where it will hit the SABC hardest. "
The two were speaking at a meeting of activists convened to discuss plans to picket outside the public broadcaster's building in Auckland Park, Johannesburg. Rights groups also intend protesting at the ANC offices in Johannesburg.
Former SABC news editors and board members yesterday wrote to President Jacob Zuma, Communications Minister Faith Muthambi and Mbulaheni Maguvhe, chairman of the SABC board, complaining that "news is censored and editorial decisions are dictated".
"We express grave concern that the SABC has deviated from the clear principles of good broadcasting that were laid down during transformation. "
The signatories included Brigalia Bam, former deputy chairman of the SABC board; Allister Sparks, former board member and editor-in-chief of TV news; and former deputy CEO of the SABC Govin Reddy.
"The state of fear under which SABC employees are working is not conducive to good journalism or programming," they said.
At least seven journalists have been suspended for questioning decisions that political protests not be covered.
Journalist Lukhanyo Calata was suspended yesterday after writing: "The decisions taken recently by the SABC cannot be described in any other way but as being a curbing of media freedom. A freedom to report ethically, truthfully and without bias. "
Right2Know, the Save Our SABC Coalition, the Media Workers' Association of SA and other activists plan to continue protesting against Motsoeneng, whom they called a "petty tyrant".
They intend picketing the Independent Communications Authority of SA on Thursday, when it is expected to deliver its ruling on whether the SABC's ban on footage of property destruction in service delivery protests is lawful.
They also plan to protest at the ANC national head office, Luthuli House, on Friday, accusing ANC leaders of propping up Motsoeneng.

 

 70 

Somizi tipped for MetroFM drivetime

Oozing flamboyance wherever he is seen, like this weekend when he rocked six- inch Christian Louboutin heels and a Zarth designer white ensemble at the Vodacom Durban July, the 43-year-old has bagged a gig as a radio personality on MetroFM.
Sources at the SABC revealed that Mhlongo has been in talks with the SABC over signing a contract for some time and some even said he was to join the afternoon drive slot with Thabo 'Tbo Touch' Molefe.
This was before Molefe announced that he was leaving the station last week.
Returning from his trip to Durban, Mhlongo said he wasn't ready to discuss anything as he "hadn't signed anything.
"I can't talk about something that I haven't got yet. Let me sign and all will be revealed in due time. "
Later Mhlongo slipped and said: "When I do radio it will be on Monday to Fridays, which won't clash with my time on Idolson Sundays. "
Mhlongo launched an exercise DVD last month, hosted the 22nd S A Music Awards and is expected to release his biography and cook book in October.
"Things are looking up for me. I am grateful and blessed.
"Ngiyakwazi ukuhlupheka. I know what it's like to be down and out. I went from having money to having nothing. This is God giving me a second chance and I am accepting it full on," said Mhlongo.

 

 71 

Amnesty slams Syrian armed groups for ‘chilling’ abuses — RT News

The probe, "Torture was my punishment: Abductions, torture and summary killings under armed group rule in Aleppo and Idlib, Syria" documents  widespread abuse carried out by jihadists in the Aleppo and Idlib provinces of northern Syria. It’s based on interviews with some 70 individuals living or working in the areas.
“This briefing exposes the distressing reality for civilians living under the control of some of the armed opposition groups in Aleppo, Idlib and surrounding areas. Many civilians live in constant fear of being abducted if they criticize the conduct of armed groups in power or fail to abide by the strict rules that some have imposed,” Philip Luther, director of Amnesty International’s Middle East and North Africa Program, said.
The 36-page brief accuses five jihadist groups of carrying out abductions and torturing their victims in “war crimes” that have been taking place since 2012. The NGO highlights atrocities committed by the Nour al-Dine Zinki Movement, al-Shamia Front and Division 16 alongside Jabhat al-Nusra and the Ahrar al-Sham Islamic Movement.
The report notes that Jabhat al-Nusra, the al-Shamia Front, and the Ahrar al-Sham Islamic Movement imposed Sharia law in the areas they control and appointed judges to mete out punishments. Under their administration, the jihadists went on to establish prosecution offices, in addition to police forces and detention centers.
“Some groups, such as Jabhat al-Nusra and the Ahrar al-Sham Islamic Movement, have applied a strict interpretation of Sharia and imposed punishments amounting to torture or other ill-treatment for perceived infractions,” Amnesty  said in a press release.
Interviewing the surviving victims, the report notes 24 cases of abduction in the Aleppo and Idlib governorates between 2012 and 2016. Those abducted included civilians and children, in addition to religious minorities.
Amnesty also documented five torture cases carried out by al-Nusra and the Nour al-Dine Zinki Movement, in 2014 and 2015.
One of the victims is “Ibrahim” who was abducted by Jabhat al-Nusra in April 2015 in Aleppo. He was tortured for three days for organizing peaceful protests. He was later released and abandoned on the side of a road.
“I was taken to the torture room. They placed me in the shabeh position, hanging me from the ceiling from my wrists so that my toes were off the ground. Then they started beating me with cables all over my body… After the shabeh they used the dulab [tire] technique. They folded my body and forced me to go inside a tire and then they started beating me with wooden sticks,” he said, according to the report.
Another victim, “Halim”, was abducted by the Nour al-Dine Zinki Movement in July 2014. The humanitarian worker who was supervising a project in a hospital in Aleppo city was held for two months before being tortured into signing a “confession.”
“When I refused to sign the confession paper the interrogator ordered the guard to torture me. The guard used the bisat al-rih [flying carpet] technique. He placed my hands above my head, and forced me to lift my legs in a perpendicular position. He then started beating me with cables on the soles of my feet. I couldn’t bear the pain so I signed the paper,” he said.
The report highlights “summary killings” of civilians often in front of crowds by Jabhat al-Nusra and the al-Shamia Front. Among those killed were reportedly a 17-year-old boy accused of being gay and a woman accused of adultery.
Summary killings have also been conducted against captured members of the Syrian armed forces and members of the pro-government militias, according Amnesty’s findings.
“The deliberate killing of people held in captivity is prohibited by international humanitarian law and amounts to a war crime,” the NGO said.
“Passing sentences and carrying out summary killings without a judgment from a regularly constituted court with full judicial guarantees is a serious violation of international law and amounts to a war crime,” Luther said.
ISIS kills 400, mostly women & children, in Palmyra – Syrian state TV
The most recent case  of summary killings was recorded outside the city of Palmyra in April, where the Syrian Army unearthed a mass grave consisting of at least 40 bodies, many of them women and children. Last May, Syrian state TV also reported the terror group had killed more than 400 local Palmyra residents, among them public servants, women and children.
The Syrian war has “endured inhumane suffering,” President Bashar Assad told Sputnik news agency in April, adding he would not wish it on any other state.
Over this time, his country has faced “terrorist aggression, accompanied by atrocities unprecedented in recent decades, and maybe even in the past centuries,” President Assad said.

 

 72 

Evans quits 'Top Gear' amid sex-pest claims

The presenter is understood to have become tired of the constant press sniping about the motoring show, which recorded poor viewing figures.
The announcement comes after police confirmed yesterday morning that they are investigating allegations of sexual assault after the presenter was accused of grabbing the breasts of a female colleague in the 1990s.
The Met confirmed that a woman had made an allegation of "non-recent sexual assault" to officers on May 23, six days before Evans' newly revamped Top Gear returned to the BBC. Police said the allegation related to "incidents in the 1990s".
Heat Street, a news website, reported in May that a former colleague of Evans had complained that he had exposed himself to her and grabbed her breasts.
Evans has previously denied the claims, saying they amounted to a "witch-hunt".
Neither the BBC nor Evans' representatives would comment on the claims yesterday. A spokesman for the corporation said the presenter would continue to host his Radio 2 show.
A friend of Evans said: "Every single day he's been accused of something else.
"In the end you just think 'f*** off'. If the show had done better in the ratings, perhaps the battering would have been less fierce. Who knows? "
Under Evans, Top Gear has performed poorly in the ratings, and sank to a new low of 1.9million viewers on Sunday.

 

 73 

Hotel murder trial awaits decryption

The prosecution is trying to determine what happened between the Guatemalan businessman and US marketing executive Gabriela Alban.
Depending on what information the devices yield, Novella could face a stiffer charge with a life sentence.
The Israeli foray emerged yesterday during Novella's appearance in the Cape Town Magistrate's Court.
He was arrested almost a year ago after Alban's body was found in their room at the Camps Bay Retreat Hotel. At the time allegations surfaced she was sexually abused, her head smeared with faeces and cocaine was found in the room.
Prosecutor Louise Friester-Sampson told the court experts were poring over data.
"The forensic team arrived last week with the necessary tools to decrypt the phones and an iPad," said Friester-Sampson.
"The extraction [of data] will determine if the state will change the charge to that of premeditated murder. "
Friester-Sampson asked the court for more time to finish the investigation before the trial started. But Novella's lawyer, William Booth, was not pleased.
"[Novella] has supplied the state with passwords regarding the cellphones; we were told these will no longer be needed," said Booth.
The matter was postponed to July 20.

 

 74 

'Oscar faces long stretch in jail'

Pistorius will be sentenced in the Pretoria High Court by Judge Thokozile Masipa tomorrow.
By law the crime of murder carries a minimum sentence of 15 years' imprisonment.
Not only will it be years before he is released, but the likelihood of Pistorius being able to appeal his sentence is slim, say law academics, who believe that he will receive at least 12 years' direct imprisonment.
While Judge Masipa will take into account the year Pistorius spent behind bars on a culpable homicide conviction, experts doubt he will get off lightly.
The Supreme Court of Appeal overturned the culpable homicide conviction, stating that Pistorius was guilty of murder. The Constitutional Court upheld that ruling.
Legal expert Dr Llewellyn Curlewis, chairman of the Law Society of the Northern Provinces' criminal law committee, said Masipa could work only within the parameters of a minimum of 15 years' imprisonment.
"She must start by deducting one year for the time Pistorius has already served. She then has the discretion, in terms of the Criminal Procedure Act, to deduct more time where she finds compelling and substantial evidence.
"Rehabilitation factors alone do not suffice. What will be taken into consideration is the fact that he is a double amputee, [that he is] willing to undergo rehabilitation and whether she believes he has shown proper remorse," Curlewis said.
"If she hands down a sentence of between 11 and 14 years she will be spot on in terms of sentencing.
"But, unlike his culpable homicide conviction, where correctional supervision was imposed, this sentence is one of direct imprisonment. Pistorius will have to serve half [his term] before he will be eligible for parole.
"He cannot deviate from this, which means he will probably serve at least six years in prison. "
Wits University law professor Stephen Tuson said three factors had to be taken into consideration when it came to sentencing: the offender's circumstances, the seriousness of the offence and the interest of society.
He said Masipa had to exact an appropriate level of retribution "without destroying the offender".

 

 75 

Gay Games 'to do SA proud'

Ian McMahon, who is behind the annual Mother City Queer Project party in December, and owns Crew, a popular Cape Town gay bar, heads the Cape Town Gay Games XI bid steering committee.
McMahon is in the US and could not be reached for comment but Cape Town Pride - which he used to chair - confirmed his involvement. McMahon won a bronze medal at the 2002 Gay Games, in Sydney, Australia.
The Gay Games are usually hosted by interested parties, not governments, and the City of Cape Town said it was not involved.
The 10th Gay Games, in Paris in 2018, are expected to attract 15,000 contestants, making them bigger than the Olympic Games. But Federation of Gay Games director for international development, Leviathen Hendricks, admitted that no qualification process was involved.
Cape Town is competing against 10 other cities in the bid to host the games, including Tel Aviv, Hong Kong and Washington DC. They have until November 30 to complete their bid presentation.
A shortlist of three will be announced in February and a selection panel will visit each of them. The host city will be chosen in Paris later in the year.
Hendricks said anyone could participate in any sport at the games, even ones they had not played or "aren't any good at".
He said there was a wide range of sports, including rugby and boxing, and joked that there might even be "handbag throwing in high heels".
New sports that will feature are archery, boxing, fencing, pétanque (a form of bowls), roller derby and wheelchair rugby.
"The Gay Games started in 1982 to foster self-acceptance for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transsexual people, and to show them and the rest of the world that we are as sporty as anyone else," said Hendricks.
"Homophobia and transphobia are still very prevalent in sports communities all around the world. "
The last Gay Games, in Cleveland in the US in 2014, funnelled $70-million into the local economy.
South Africa was the first country to constitutionally protect the rights of LGBT people and it would be the first time an African country hosted the games.

 

 76 

Cosatu: Save the jobs

But the economy overall shed 355,000 jobs, including those in agriculture and households, in the first quarter, according to an earlier report, the Quarterly Labour Force Survey.
Statistics SA's Quarterly Employment Statistics survey published yesterday shows that employment fell in all industries except for community services, construction and electricity-related work.
The jobs bloodbath comes at a time when South Africa is fighting to avoid the downgrading of its sovereign credit rating, which is hovering precariously one notch above junk status. The rating is up for review in six months.
With the labour market on its knees, Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan is working to avoid a ratings downgrade later this year and has called for joint efforts by labour, business and the government to kick-start the economy.
In an effort to help turn the tide on unemployment and continuing job losses, labour federation Cosatu has called on the unions affiliated to it to tread carefully when negotiating pay increases.
For the first time, Cosatu is calling for restraint. It says there should be a balance between wage demands and the preservation of jobs.
Sizwe Pamla, Cosatu's national spokesman, said yesterday that the call to affiliates was to "negotiate with a view to preserving jobs".
Pamla said that, as the economy continued to shed jobs, it was important that wage negotiations were well managed.
"We have called on our affiliates not to over-promise and demand wages that will lead to workers losing their jobs down the line.
"What we are saying is that workers should not be misled and promised increases that will affect their jobs. We are approaching a recession and if this economy collapses it will affect all of us. We are all in danger," said Pamla.
Cosatu general secretary Bheki Ntshalintshali called for a rethink by unionists involved in salary negotiations.
"You don't want to get an increase and then thereafter people are retrenched and only a few remain to enjoy the benefits of that increase. "
Cosatu said it would advise its affiliates to push for above-inflation increases for those at the bottom of the pay scale.
It said better-paid workers would negotiate for increases in line with inflation, which was at 6.1% in May.
Ntshalintshali said that under the present economic conditions excessive executive pay would make it difficult for unions to reduce demands or accept lower increases.
"'How can a single person get a R71-million a year salary and yet somebody else cannot survive,' they will say. There needs to be a change in attitude.
"For the lower grades it really has to be inflation-plus. We don't determine how much above inflation [the demand should be] but it can't be at inflation level, it can't be below inflation. "
Platinum workers in a union not affiliated to Cosatu, the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union, went on strike for five months in 2014, demanding monthly pay of R12,500 - but the pay of the CEOs of the three biggest platinum producers ranged between R7.5-million and R18.5-million per annum.
Cosatu affiliates will be involved in pay negotiations this year on behalf of platinum miners, teachers and health workers.
Cosatu affiliate the SA Transport and Allied Workers' Union began wage talks last week, and the Food and Allied Workers' Union, also an affiliate, plans to end its wage talks this month.
The talks come at a time when Africa's most industrialised economy is projected to grow at its slowest since the 2009 recession with unemployment at about 27%.
Cosatu, which is a member of the tripartite alliance led by the ANC, plans to encourage its negotiators to develop policies that will guide their long-term approach to pay talks so multi-year deals can be reached to create stability, he said.

 

 77 

VR porn event forced to shut down after too many came early — RT Viral

It has emerged that the country’s first-ever event of its kind, Adult VR Fest 01, was turned off early last month because of overcrowding at the Akihabara district venue.
The festival offered visitors a peek at the latest in VR sex tech including a headset which, with the help of an inflatable doll, replicated sex with a women.
A translated version of events which appeared on VRTalk described how pent-up porn fans were turned away as a “riot” threatened to erupt outside the festival, before attendees got a chance to penetrate the venue.
“The event didn’t start until 2:00 p.m., so I went there in high spirits an hour before then, but the city was already overflowing with people,” local blogger Eizo0000 reported.
READ MORE: Virtual reality sex suit looks as disturbing as it sounds (VIDEOS)
“While waiting for my friends, I couldn’t help but think that if they couldn’t control the mass of people, a riot or something similar could happen,” wrote Eizo0000. “The 20 lucky guys closest to the building were let in by staff.”
A bizarre video , purportedly from inside the event, gives some insight into the weird world of VR porn.

 

 78 

At least 3 injured as shooting follows July 4 fireworks in Pittsburgh — RT America

Gunfire was heard at about 10:30pm in downtown Pittsburgh as thousands were returning home following the fireworks show, police said.
While police are yet to establish the motives behind the incident, authorities said that three people sustained injuries and are now being treated in hospital.
One of the victims is a 15-year-old girl who was shot in the leg, Public Safety Department spokeswoman Sonya Toler told reporters.
The other victim is a woman who suffered a wound to the head. The severity of the injury is not yet known. She is said to have been alert when paramedics arrived at the scene.
The identity of the third victims has not been disclosed by the police.
READ MORE: 14-year-old killed by own father at Florida shooting range
So far no arrests have been made. Streets in the area of the shooting remain closed.

 

 79 

Driver reverses new car off of blazing transporter (VIDEO) — RT Viral

The footage said to have been shot in China (no details of when and where exactly) takes you right into the thick of the action. A car transporter loaded with at least six sedans caught fire and you could have started the countdown till it all explodes two minutes ago.
But the man running around the truck seems to have a better idea of what to do. Instead of leaving the scene with the best speed he could master, he gets into the only car not yet on fire – and actually reverses it back and out of the blaze.
While the video does look impressive, it should not be repeated at home, or indeed anywhere.

 

 80 

Abbas Kiarostami, Iran's only Palme D’Or-winning director, dies at age 76 — RT News

He won the French prize in 1997 for his minimalist film ‘Taste of Cherry’ as well as reaping several awards at other film festivals.
While Kiarostami made most of his films within Iran after the Islamic Revolution in 1979, he shot his last two features in Japan ( “Like Someone In Love” ) and Italy ( “Certified Copy” with Juliette Binoche), the latter of which was nominated for a Palme D’Or and won the festival’s Award of the Youth.
Avant garde French-Swiss director Jean-Luc Godard reportedly said: "Film begins with D. W. Griffith and ends with Abbas Kiarostami. "
The Hollywood Reporter wrote in 2013 that Kiarostami usually steered clear of making political comments about the government of his home country.
Some of his films pre-dating the revolution were banned, and in one case, his 1978 film The Report, the master negatives were destroyed.
Kiarostami had been undergoing cancer treatment at the time of his death.

 

 81 

Chinese man sheds 66lbs by carrying boulder on head (VIDEO) — RT Viral

Cong Yan, a 54-year-old man from Jilin, dropped an impressive 30 kg (66 lbs) by carrying a 40 kg (88 lbs) cement block on his head for an extended period.
Yan reportedly dropped the weight in a year and has managed to keep it off for four through his daily regime of walking, hiking, and climbing steps while weighed down.
"About four years ago I was overweight, I weighed about 115 kg (253 lbs). I was suffering since I could not move easily,” Yan told RT.
He said after seeking help with losing the weight at his local health center, he decided to turn down the expensive Chinese traditional plaster they offered him, instead choosing to walk to Northern Mountain, where he “saw lots of people doing exercise.”
“I noticed that body warming and walking can make my body more powerful, but only walking didn't make me sweat,” said Yan.
“That's why I decided to use stones to practice weightlifting. At first, I just lift the stone up and down, up and down, my arms became sore very quickly. I put the stone on my head when I was tired, however, I found it was comfortable doing exercise in this way," he added. 
Cong is considering an application to the Guinness World Record folks for the most “trendy” way to lose weight, reported the South China Morning Post.
Then again, for some people, carrying heavy objects on their head is ‘old hat.’
Cong is considering an application to the Guinness World Record folks for the most “trendy” way to lose weight, reported the South China Morning Post.
Then again, for some people, carrying heavy objects on their head is ‘old hat.’

 

 82 

Thousands of Muslims celebrate Eid al-Fitr in Russia's capital — RT News

Holiday celebrations begin after a new moon is sighted in the sky, which means the date for Eid varies from country to country. However, after failing to spot the new moon, religious authorities in the Gulf Arab countries – Saudi Arabia, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Kuwait – agreed that the three-day festival will begin on June 6.
Ramadan is the month of fasting for Islam adherents which precedes Eid. During the holy month, Muslims from dawn until dusk are forbidden to consume food and drink, engage in sexual relations and other “sinful” behavior.
WATCH LIVE FROM MOSCOW CATHEDRAL MOSCOW
Eid al-Fitr, or “festival of breaking of the fast”, is celebrated on the first day of the 10th month of the Islamic lunar calendar and begins when a new moon is sighted in the sky. After morning celebrations worshipers return home and continue festivities with their loved ones, neighbors and friends.
A common greeting during this holiday is “ Eid Mubarak! ” meaning “ Have a blessed Eid! ”
In Russia, Islam is the second most widely spread religion after Orthodox Christianity; some 20 million Muslims living in the country make up around 15 percent of the population.
Over 200,000 of Muslims in Moscow are expected to take part in morning prayers, according to the Russian Council of Muftis. The ceremonies will be held in the city’s four main mosques including the Moscow Cathedral Mosque and several squares across the capital.
Moscow Cathedral Mosque is one of the largest mosques in Europe and can hold some 10,000 worshipers. It was opened in September 2015 after several years of reconstruction. The original structure was built in 1904.
Over 37 locations in the city’s suburbs will be available for worshipers to conduct religious rituals.
Rawil Gaynetdin, the chairman of Russian Council of Muftis, sent his greetings ahead of the celebrations.
“Having been able to suppress desires of the body during the whole month, worshipers proved to themselves that they have the power to control them [their desires], [they proved] that spirituality rules over the corporeal,” he said.
“ We reminded ourselves that we cannot simply live for the sake of satisfying our desires, that the genuine pleasure does not stem from material values, but stems from spiritual enhancement, that serving people and helping those in need and not entertainment brings genuine happiness.”

 

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Juno mission ready to unlock Jupiter’s secrets — RT America

Jubilant scientists in NASA control room rose to standing ovation when Juno was confirmed to have entered Jupiter's orbit after the burning of the engine.
Now the spacecraft is expected to have slowed down to 1,212 miles per hour (542 meters per second), positioning itself safely in the orbit and re-orienting toward the sun to recharge its batteries.
Ahead of the final descent into Jupiter's orbit, scientists were on the edge of their seat hoping for Juno to complete the maneuver before it ran out of power. Once in orbit, Juno is to circle the planet 37 times over the next 20 months, flying some 3,100 miles (5,000 kilometers) from Jupiter’s surface.
"I'm really just nervous that the whole orbit insertion rocket burn is going to work enough to get us into orbit and then allow us to turn back to the sun before we run out of battery power," Scott Bolton, the principal investigator for Juno with the Southwest Research Institute in San Antonio said at a news conference ahead of the historic moment.
NASA expects to receive first images via JunoCam from Jupiter in a few days, as the spacecraft awaits “downlink” windows a “handful of times” as it orbits the distant planet.
Juno was forced to shut down its cam five days prior to the arrival, but now scientists eagerly await the images, including the one of the "Great Red Spot" – a raging storm three and a half times the size of Earth located in Jupiter's southern hemisphere.
“What Juno's about is looking beneath that surface,” Bolton said. “We've got to go down and look at what's inside, see how it's built, how deep these features go, learn about its real secrets.”
According to Bolton, the team of scientists “just did the hardest thing NASA's ever done.”
Juno was launched from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station on August 5, 2011. The mission of the spacecraft is to study the origin and evolution of Jupiter. Scientist hope to shed light on how much water there is in Jupiter's atmosphere. Juno will also be instrumental in measuring the composition, temperature, cloud motions and other properties of the planet.
READ MORE: Juno entering Jupiter's orbit: 5 things you need to know
In addition to mapping out Jupiter's gravity fields, Juno will help study Jupiter's magnetosphere near the planet's poles, with a special focus on the auroras – northern and southern lights.
Juno is the second spacecraft to orbit Jupiter, following the Galileo probe which orbited the planet in 1995-2003.
The day on Jupiter is about 10 earth hours and its year is about 12 Earth years. Its effective temperature is some 112 C and surface gravity - approximately 2.5 times Earth's. Its mass is some 318 times that of Earth’s.

 

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‘Possible carcinogen’ found in beloved chocolates — RT News

Foodwatch called for Ferrero’s Kinder Riegel, Lindt’s Fioretto Nougat Minis, Sun Rice Classic Schokohappen by Rübezahl to be taken off the shelves on Monday after tests found “possible carcinogens.”
The sweet treats had been contaminated with “so-called aromatic mineral oils (MOAH),” says Foodwatch, but the manufacturers are allegedly reluctant to recall their products.
“The manufacturer is guilty of gross negligence. Instead of clearing the dangerous candy from the shelves and alerting consumers, they [postulate]... that everything was undertaken legally,” said Foodwatch’s John Heeg.
READ MORE: WHO researchers claim very hot drinks ‘probably’ cause cancer, coffee OK though
Foodwatch tested more than 20 different kinds of potato chips and chocolate snacks and found saturated mineral oils (MOSH) which it warned can “accumulate in the human body and [cause] long term damage to organs” with children particularly at risk.
"There is no acceptable levels of mineral oils in food for consumption," Heeg told the German edition of The Local , citing the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) who he says considers MOAHs “likely carcinogenic and mutagenic. "
"You can't see it, you can't taste it, but it's in there," warned Hegg. "We recommend not purchasing these products because the levels are simply unacceptable for consumption. "
READ MORE: U may ban Monsanto weedkiller over health concerns
Kinder Riegel, “one of the best-selling chocolate bars in Germany,” had the worst MOSH and MOAH values.
The chemicals are usually transferred to foods through recycled packaging that previously had been printed with inks which may contain oils.
Foodwatch is calling for strict limits on saturated mineral oils (MOSH) in food and a zero tolerance for aromatic mineral oils (MOAH).

 

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WikiLeaks rolls out archive of over 1,200 ‘Clinton Iraq War’ emails — RT America

On Monday, WikiLeaks tweeted a link to a search aggregate of 1,258 emails that Clinton wrote or received discussing US engagement in Iraq while she headed the State Department. The Iraq War email bundle is part of a trove of Clinton's correspondence that was released by the State Department in February, under the Freedom of Information Act.
In March, WikiLeaks launched a searchable archive consisting of 30,322 emails from Hillary Clinton’s private email server that she used while serving as Secretary of State. The 50,547 pages of documents cover Clinton's correspondence from 30 June 2010 to 12 August 2014. Out of that number, 7,570 of the documents were sent by Hillary Clinton.
The use of private email for state-run business has become a thorn in the side of Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign. With Democratic convention just weeks away, the public eye is following a close watch of a potential grand jury indictment.
READ MORE: After FBI grilling, Hillary Clinton calls husband's chat with Attorney General 'chance meeting'
This past weekend, the FBI spent more than three hours questioning Clinton about the email scandal, but as elections loom, the Bureau has yet to issue a report on its findings.
It has been a year since inspectors general from the State Department and federal intelligence agencies referred the case of Clinton’s server to the Justice Department last July.
The FBI questioning fell days after it was reported that former president Bill Clinton had held talks with Attorney General Loretta Lynch, responsible for the government’s investigation of Hillary Clinton’s emails. Clinton denied that her husband's meeting with Lynch had anything to do with the email investigation.
Many believe that the former Secretary of State will not be indicted for her use of private email.
"That’s just not going to happen," Senator Cory Booker of New Jersey, told CNN's State of the Union program Sunday. "That’s something that, to me, is not within the realm of possibility. "
"I am not worried about it," Democratic Senator Sherrod Brown told ABC’s This Week on Sunday. "There will not be an indictment, and that means she did what many secretaries of state have done in the past. "
Prior to Monday's release, the founder of WikiLeaks, Julian Assange warned that "upcoming leaks in relation to Hillary Clinton" would be enough to indict her.
"We've accumulated a lot of material about Hillary Clinton. We could proceed to an indictment," Assange told ITV.
Yet at the same time, the whistleblower said that despite overwhelming evidence calling for an indictment, Lynch “will never” proceed with the charges.

 

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Sun rises for mad Russian rooftoppers at peak of 640-foot TV tower (VIDEO) — RT News

The vertigo-inducing footage which was captured by two 18-year-old adrenalin junkies is sure to send chills down your spine if you are just not that into recklessly putting your life in danger.
The fearless Russians take their viewers all the way up to the highest platform which they romantically termed “ heaven’s door .” Truth be told, the TV tower actually offered absolutely stunning and heaven-like views in the small hours.
Thick and smooth clouds reminiscent of cotton candy, slightly touched with the sun’s early gold and pale pink tones, floated at arm’s length, and almost justified the unjustifiable risk.
It must have been a truly jaw-dropping experience, at least for one of the two friends, Max Miller, who literally failed to keep his mouth closed throughout the whole video.
Opinions over the death-defying tricks, which were undertaken with no safety harness, have naturally been divided. Some of the commenters were filled with awe towards the boys, praising their skills and nerves of steel. Others, however, were left concerned over the tower’s radiation which the boys might have been exposed to while on top.
READ MORE: ‘I've been locked up 6 times’: Russian rooftopper stops at nothing to take stunning pics
The footage posted on YouTube on July 3 has garnered over 40,000 views so far.
Rooftopping involves climbing urban structures and performing stunts, usually with no safety gear, has gained popularity in recent years.
Adventure lovers all over the world avoid security and CCTV cameras in audacious effort to reach stomach-churning heights, enjoy breath-taking views and (trite but true) to take selfies and collect likes and followers on social networks, sometimes at the expense of their lives.

 

 87 

This July 4th Americans Will Be Debating Identity Instead of Celebrating Independence

(Source: National Constitution Center ) There's no doubt the Founding Fathers signed the Declaration of Independence in July 1776. But which date has the legitimate claim...
Fourth of July is a day when Americans celebrate their country's independence. Independence Day is filled with parades, outdoor barbecues and fireworks. Many will don...
Some news as Philadelphia prepares for its raucous, red, white, and blue observance of Independence Day: You're celebrating the wrong day, people! John Adams jumped the gun ...
(Source: Santa Fe Group A/S ) Posted: 04/07/2016 Author: Santa Fe Relocation Services Independence Day was a pinnacle turning point in American history which is why it is ...
(Source: Armagh, Banbridge and Craigavon District Council ) InJuly 4, 2016 Shoppers across Armagh, Banbridge and Craigavon are being urged to shop local and support the ...
i Prime Minister Dileita Mohamed Dileita, surrounded by dancers in traditional dress, celebrates the 30th anniversary of Djibouti's independence. Patrick Robert/Corbis via...
(Source: El Paso County, TX ) EPCSO CELEBRATES INDEPENDENCE DAY WITH EL PASO COUNTY CITIZENS El Paso County Sheriff's Office 3850 Justice Dr., El Paso, Texas 79938 Website: ...
(Source: National Constitution Center ) As we celebrate the Independence Day holiday, it's time to look at some famous birthdays of people born on the same date as the ...
(Source: League of the South ) Cook outs, fireworks, and Lee Greenwood on the airwaves (or perhaps Toby Keith) will characterize how most Americans-including Southerners, ...
(Source: National Constitution Center ) It is a fact of American history that three of the five Founding Father Presidents died on the Independence Day anniversary. But was...

 

 88 

China must prepare for military conflict — state media

BEIJING, China — Beijing must prepare for “military confrontation” in the South China Sea, state-run media said Tuesday, as it began naval drills in the area ahead of an international tribunal ruling over the maritime dispute.
China asserts sovereignty over almost all of the resource-rich strategic waterway despite rival claims from Southeast Asian neighbors — raising tensions with the United States, which has key defense treaties with many allies in the region.
On Tuesday, China began a week of naval exercises in waters around the Paracel Islands.
READ:  Vietnam protests against Chinese drills in South China Sea
They come a week before a United Nations-backed tribunal in The Hague rules on a case brought by the Philippines challenging China’s position.
Beijing has boycotted the hearings and is engaged in a major diplomatic and publicity drive to try to delegitimise the process.
In an editorial, the Global Times — a newspaper owned by the People’s Daily group that often takes a nationalistic tone — said China should accelerate the build-up of its defense capabilities and “must be prepared for any military confrontation”.
“Even though China cannot keep up with the US militarily in the short-term, it should be able to let the US pay a cost it cannot stand if it intervenes in the South China Sea dispute by force,” it added.
In recent years Beijing has rapidly built up reefs and outcrops into artificial islands with facilities capable of military use.
Manila lodged its suit against Beijing in early 2013, saying that after 17 years of negotiations it had exhausted all political and diplomatic avenues to settle the dispute.
The Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) will issue its ruling on July 12, though China has consistently rejected the tribunal’s right to hear the case and has taken no part in the proceedings.
The arbitration case had been orchestrated by the Philippines and the US to portray China as “an outcast from a rules-based international community”, said an editorial in the China Daily.
The newspaper, which is published by the government, added: “It is naive to expect China to swallow the bitter pill of humiliation”.

 

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LOOK: OKC fans express disgust over Kevin Durant’s departure

Kevin Durant’s decision to don a Warrior jersey next season has left a trail of broken hearts, and now he’s experiencing some bitter backlash from his now ex-fans.
Following the one-time NBA MVP’s announcement to the Player’s Tribune that he would team up with Steph Curry and Klay Thompson of the Golden State Warriors, frustrated fans took to social media to convey their feelings.
Big Rich, owner of the Pink Parrot bar in Oklahoma City, paid a visit to Durant’s home on Monday (Tuesday in Manila) and stationed a “For Sale” sign with the word ”coward” scrawled across it.
After saving the All-Star the expense of hiring a realtor upon his exit, the bar operator wasn’t done, as he also delivered a passionate speech about how good Oklahoma City has been to Durant over the years, and how he had no heart.
In addition to depositing the forward’s now-former jersey on his doorstep, he bid him a scathing farewell.
“You have no heart of a champion. Goodbye, KD.”
Twitter user @Jay_Pums, meanwhile, wasted no time setting Durant’s jersey up in flames— reminiscent of the time Cleveland fans did the same on LeBron James’ uniform during his departure from the team in 2010.
The four-time league scoring champion will leave the Oklahoma City Thunder after nine fruitful seasons with the team. During his tenure with Thunder, Durant made the NBA All-star selection seven times and was named league MVP in 2014.
Along with Russell Westbrook, Durant led the team to an NBA finals appearance for the fourth time in franchise history and first since 1996, when the club was still based in Seattle. The Thunder, however, lost the series to the LeBron James-lead Miami Heat in five games.
KD will join the 73-win Golden State Warriors squad on a reported two-year $54.3 million contract. Khristian Ibarrola
RELATED STORIES:
Kevin Durant joins Stephen Curry, Warriors
Durant’s move to the Warriors changes the NBA landscape

 

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Too Dangerous to Talk? Some Cities Explore 911 Texting

With gunshots ringing out just feet away, Eddie Justice hid in a bathroom in the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida, and frantically texted his mother for help.
"Call police," he wrote. "I'm gonna die. "
Moments later, he texted again: "Call them mommy. Now. He's coming. "
Justice, who would later be confirmed among the 49 people killed in last month's attack, was among several victims who texted relatives to call 911, fearing they would draw too much attention by making voice calls.
None of them could text 911 directly because Orlando is among the vast majority of U. S. cities that don't have that capability. But as active-shooter and hostage situations become more common, police departments are exploring technology that would allow dispatchers to receive texts, photos and videos in real time.
Out of more than 6,000 dispatch centers nationwide, a little more than 650 can accept text messages, with more than 150 making the text-to-911 upgrade this year, the Federal Communications Commission said.
Democratic U. S. Sen. Charles Schumer, of New York, has been pushing for text-to-911 in New York City, which has been studying it for nearly a year. Such a system, he said, can "save lives by informing 911 dispatchers of critical details that can guide first responders. "
Emergency officials stress, however, that a voice 911 call is preferred when possible because a dispatcher can elicit details more quickly than texting back and forth. The major concern for many cities, including some of the nation's largest, is that overuse of texting when it's not absolutely necessary could slow response times and cost lives. In Los Angeles, which doesn't have 911 texting, a police dispatch official last year cautioned that response times for text 911 could be triple that for voice calls.
Nearly every municipality with text-to-911 service has sought to address that concern by promoting the slogan: "Call if you can, text if you can't. "
Officials also warn that with text messages your approximate location isn't automatically sent to emergency responders, like it is with voice calls. Instead, they encourage people to give 911 call takers an accurate address or location as quickly as possible.
Supporters of such systems say their use would go beyond active-shooter and hostage situations to scenarios in which a battered spouse, for example, could surreptitiously message police without alerting the attacker.
"If someone could snap a photo or a quick video showing the perpetrator that'd be enormously helpful to law enforcement," said Joseph Giacalone, a criminal justice professor at John Jay College of Criminal Justice and a retired police detective.
San Bernardino, California, rolled out its text-to-911 service in December about two weeks after an attack at a social services center where a man and his wife killed 14 people at a holiday gathering. In New Hampshire , where text-to-911 service is available statewide, Democratic Gov. Maggie Hassan said it was a "common-sense initiative that will help save lives. "
Text-to-911 service also has been used by deaf and hard-of-hearing people to get in touch with police.
A deaf woman in Alpharetta, Georgia , texted police to report there were two children locked in a car in a shopping mall parking lot, and police rescued them.
Authorities say 911 texting, like its phone counterpart, has also been abused.
Last year, a teenage girl texted 911 to falsely report there was an active shooter at a high school in Marietta, Georgia, said police, who arrested her at her home an hour later.
———
Follow Michael Balsamo on Twitter at http://twitter.com/MikeBalsamo1

 

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Brent oil falls below $50 as Nigeria ups production

SINGAPORE, Singapore—Oil prices retreated in Asia Tuesday, with Brent easing below $50 on news of increased production from Nigeria following the repair of infrastructure damaged in militant attacks.
Bloomberg News reported Tuesday that Nigeria, Africa’s biggest oil producer, pumped an average 1.53 million barrels a day last month, up around 90,000 a day from May.
The Nigerian state minister for petroleum resources, Emmanuel Kachikwu, said last month that a ceasefire with rebel forces had allowed the Nigerian government to repair the damaged oil pipelines, Bloomberg reported.
At around 0325 GMT, US benchmark West Texas Intermediate for August delivery was down 67 cents, or 1.37 percent, to $48.32 and Brent crude for September eased 42 cents, or 0.84 percent, to $49.68 a barrel.
“Oil prices are pulling back on easing supply disruption concerns, as markets reacted to news that Nigerian production has increased last month,” IG Markets analyst Bernard Aw told AFP.
“Nonetheless, oil prices remained relatively stable around the $50 mark. This will be welcomed by the oil sector.”
Despite the increase in production, a recent resumption of attacks on Nigerian oil pipelines has underscored the volatility of the situation in the country.
Crude prices had edged up on Monday after Nigerian oil militant group Niger Delta Avengers on Sunday claimed five attacks on the country’s oil and gas infrastructure in a revival of their sabotage campaign after a recent lull.
The Avengers are fighting in the Niger delta region for a bigger share of crude revenue and greater political autonomy.
British bank Barclays said prices will also remain under pressure from the impact of Britain’s vote to leave the European Union, which is yet to fully unfold.
“The dire warnings about the effect on global financial markets and risk appetite from a UK vote to leave the EU are yet to manifest themselves in commodity markets, which in general have performed robustly over the past week,” it said in a market analysis.
“Whether this proves to be the calm before the storm depends on the extent of negative contagion,” it added.
“The deterioration in the global economic outlook, financial market uncertainty and potential ripple effects on key areas of oil demand growth are likely to exacerbate already-lacklustre industrial demand growth trends.”
RELATED STORIES
Gasoline, kerosene prices slashed Tuesday
Oil jumps as US crude inventories fall

 

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Trillanes files bill to create national ID system

Senator Antonio “Sonny” Trillanes IV has filed a bill that seeks to create a national identification (ID) system.
The proposed measure requires the government to issue a “Filipino Identification Card” to all Filipinos, whether residing in the Philippines or abroad.
According to Senate Bill no. 95 or the Filipino Identification System bill, the “Filipino ID shall be made of tamper-proof security material” and basic information such as “imprinted photograph, name, birth date, sex, date of issue, signature of owner” should be included.
Trillanes also specified that each ID must have an individual serial number issued by the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA), as well as biometric data of the individual cardholder.
“Ultimately, this measure would help the government deliver better services to the people,” Trillanes said.
“Having a national ID system would be helpful in our anti-crime and anti-terror campaign. By having a centralized database, we would have easy access to information about suspects, fugitives and other lawless elements,” he said.
The Senate explained that the integrated identification system would help “reduce leakage” in social service programs, such as the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program.
The “Filipino ID,” as stated in the bill, must be free of charge upon registration “as part of the government social service responsibility.” Citizens, however, will have to pay a fee to replace lost cards. KC Tayam , INQUIRER.net trainee/KS/rga

 

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More than 100 drug offenders to surrender in Manila — police

MORE THAN a hundred drug offenders are expected to surrender Tuesday at the Manila Police District, according to Radyo Inquirer 990AM.
The report cited as its source Chief Inspector John Guiagi, commander of the Plaza Miranda Police Community Precinct.
The police official reportedly said he will first conduct background checks on the 130 individuals who are expected to surrender.
Guiagi, whose precinct covers 89 barangays, added that those who will surrender must pledge never to take part in any drug-related activity again.
The surrender of these individuals will help the police trace the source of drugs in Manila, Guiagi said.
The radio report said about 167 individuals connected to drug activity in Manila surrendered to the city police yesterday.
Hundreds of drug users and pushers have been surrendering to police and government officials in different parts of the country since President Rodrigo Duterte was sworn into office.
Duterte has been known for his strong stance against drugs and criminality.
Last week 170 drug pushers and users surrendered in Mindanao.
READ: Over 170 ‘drug pushers, users’ surrender to Digos, Zamboanga City cops
In Cebu, 160 self-confessed drug peddlers and users surrendered to the Mandaue City police this week. Jaehwa Bernardo, INQUIRER.net trainee/KS/rga
READ:  160 drug peddlers, users surrender in Cebu

 

 94 

July 4th Fireworks Barge Explodes, Catches Fire; No Injuries

A barge being used for a July Fourth fireworks celebration in Massachusetts has exploded and caught fire.
Police say a malfunction caused the explosion and fire Monday night during a fireworks show on the waterfront in Plymouth, 40 miles southeast of Boston.
Witnesses say the fireworks show had been going on for about 10 or 15 minutes when there was a large boom on the barge followed by bursts of fire. The barge fire lasted for about 10 minutes and may have spread to a second barge.
Firefighters say they're at the scene. They're trying to determine what caused the malfunction.
No injuries have been reported.

 

 95 

DFA consular services, US Embassy closed July 6 for Eid’l Fitr

Consular services of the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) will be suspended on July 6, Wednesday, to coincide with Eid al-Fitr, one of the most important holidays in the Muslim faith.
READ: July 6 declared holiday for Eid al-Fitr
“In compliance with Proclamation No. 6 issued by the President of the Republic of the Philippines, the transacting public is informed that consular services at the Office of Consular Affairs in ASEANA, mall-based OCA satellite offices in Metro Manila, including DFA Regional Consular Offices will be temporarily suspended on Wednesday, July 06 2016 in observance of Eid’l Fitr, a national holiday by virtue of RA 9177,” DFA said in its announcement.
It will accommodate clients who have scheduled appointments on the said day on July 7 to 15 instead. Those with July 6 appointments for passport and other consular services will have to bring proof of confirmed appointments.
US Embassy closed
In a statement, the Embassy of the United States in Manila also said it will be closed to the public to observe the religious holiday, which marks the end of the holy month of Ramadan.
“The Embassy and its affiliated offices will resume their services on Thursday, July 7,” it said.
Malacañang earlier declared July 6 a regular holiday “to bring the religious and cultural significance of Eid al-Fitr to the fore of national consciousness.”
READ: Malacañang declares July 6 a holiday in observance of Eid al-Fitr
The date of the Eid al-Fitr, which also confirms the start of the month of Shawwal—the 10th month of the lunar Islamic calendar—is determined by the first sighting of the crescent moon after sunset.
This is why the date of the holiday is announced late, sometimes almost a month after the Philippine government releases its official list of nationwide holidays. RAM/rga

 

 96 

Hello Jupiter! NASA spacecraft arrives at giant planet

PASADENA, California, United States — Braving intense radiation, a NASA spacecraft reached Jupiter on Monday after a five-year voyage to begin exploring the king of the planets.
Ground controllers at the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory erupted in applause when the solar-powered Juno spacecraft beamed home news that it was circling Jupiter’s poles.
The arrival at Jupiter was dramatic. As Juno approached its target, it fired its rocket engine to slow itself down and gently slipped into orbit. Because of the communication time lag between Jupiter and Earth, Juno was on autopilot when it executed the daring move.
The spacecraft’s camera and other instruments were switched off for arrival, so there won’t be any pictures at the moment it reaches its destination. Hours before the encounter, NASA released a series of images taken last week during the approach, showing Jupiter glowing yellow in the distance, circled by its four inner moons.
Scientists have promised close-up views of the planet when Juno skims the cloud tops during the 20-month, $1.1 billion mission.
The fifth rock from the sun and the heftiest planet in the solar system, Jupiter is what’s known as a gas giant — a ball of hydrogen and helium — unlike rocky Earth and Mars.
With its billowy clouds and colorful stripes, Jupiter is an extreme world that likely formed first, shortly after the sun. Unlocking its history may hold clues to understanding how Earth and the rest of the solar system developed.
Named after Jupiter’s cloud-piercing wife in Roman mythology, Juno is only the second mission designed to spend time at Jupiter.
Galileo, launched in 1989, circled Jupiter for nearly a decade, beaming back splendid views of the planet and its numerous moons. It uncovered signs of an ocean beneath the icy surface of the moon Europa, considered a top target in the search for life outside Earth.
Juno’s mission: To peer through Jupiter’s cloud-socked atmosphere and map the interior from a unique vantage point above the poles. Among the lingering questions: How much water exists? Is there a solid core? Why are Jupiter’s southern and northern lights the brightest in the solar system?
“What Juno’s about is looking beneath that surface,” Juno chief scientist Scott Bolton said before the arrival. “We’ve got to go down and look at what’s inside, see how it’s built, how deep these features go, learn about its real secrets.”
There’s also the mystery of its Great Red Spot. Recent observations by the Hubble Space Telescope revealed the centuries-old monster storm in Jupiter’s atmosphere is shrinking.
The trek to Jupiter, spanning nearly five years and 1.8 billion miles (2.8 billion kilometers), took Juno on a tour of the inner solar system followed by a swing past Earth that catapulted it beyond the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter.
Along the way, Juno became the first spacecraft to cruise that far out powered by the sun, beating Europe’s comet-chasing Rosetta spacecraft. A trio of massive solar wings sticks out from Juno like blades from a windmill, generating 500 watts of power to run its nine instruments.
In the coming days, Juno will turn its instruments back on, but the real work won’t begin until late August when the spacecraft swings in closer. Plans called for Juno to swoop within 3,000 miles (5,000 kilometers) of Jupiter’s clouds — closer than previous missions — to map the planet’s gravity and magnetic fields in order to learn about the interior makeup.
Juno, built by Lockheed Martin, is an armored spacecraft — its computer and electronics are locked in a titanium vault to shield them from harmful radiation. Even so, Juno is expected to get blasted with radiation equal to more than 100 million dental X-rays during the mission.
Like Galileo before it, Juno meets its demise in 2018 when it deliberately dives into Jupiter’s atmosphere and disintegrates — a necessary sacrifice to prevent any chance of accidentally crashing into the planet’s potentially habitable moons.

 

 97 

Suspected militant dies in Indonesia suicide bombing

JAKARTA, Indonesia — Indonesian police said a suspected militant died in a suicide bombing attack Tuesday outside police headquarters in the city of Solo.
One policeman sustained minor injuries in the attack that unfolded about 7.30 a.m. local time.
Maj. Gen. Condro Kirono, chief of Central Java Police, said authorities believe the attack was carried out by a militant network that targets police and other security forces.
“This was done by terrorism networks that continue to regenerate. Whether it is an old or new network will be revealed by the investigation,” he said.
READ: Suicide attack on Indonesian police station, officer hurt
TV footage showed a limited amount of damage on the street and a partially destroyed motorcycle.
Indonesia has carried out a sustained crackdown on Islamic militants since the 2002 bombings by Jemaah Islamiyah on the tourist island of Bali that killed 202 people. Militant networks have been weakened and recent attacks have been small in scale but ideological inspiration from the Islamic State group has provided the impetus for some local radicals to regroup.
The attack occurred a day before predominantly Muslim Indonesia, and Muslims worldwide, celebrate Eid al-Fitr, the end of the fasting month.
Solo is known as a hotbed of Islamic radicalism in Java, one of Indonesia’s main islands. The city is home to the fundamentalist Al Mukmin Islamic boarding school founded by Abu Bakar Bashir, the aging spiritual leader of the Bali bombers, which produced a generation of violent militants.
Kirono said a bomb squad combed the area around police headquarters for explosives and extra security precautions will be taken for Wednesday’s Eid al-Fitr prayers in the city.
President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo condemned the violence and called on Indonesians to be calm but vigilant during Eid.

 

 98 

NBA: OKC thanks Durant for leaving ‘indelible mark’ on franchise

In the wake of Kevin Durant’s decision to leave for the Golden State Warriors, no one would be surprised if the Oklahoma City Thunder brass would express animosity toward their former superstar.
READ: Kevin Durant joins Stephen Curry, Warriors
Instead, team owner Clay Bennett and general manager Sam Presti took the high road and expressed their gratitude for everything Durant gave the organization.
The team executives released classy statements on their former player’s departure on Monday (Tuesday in Manila), via a tweet from ESPN’s Mark J. Spears.
“Kevin’s contribution to our organization during his nine years were profound, on and off the court. He helped the Thunder grow and succeed in immeasurable ways and impacted the community just the same. We thank him for his leadership, his play, and how he represented Oklahoma City and the entire state of Oklahoma,” Bennett said.
Presti penned a heartfelt message of his own:
“Kevin made an indelible mark on the Thunder organization and the state of Oklahoma as a founding father of this franchise. We can’t adequately articulate what he meant to the foundation of this franchise and our success. While clearly disappointing that he has to move on, the core values that he helped establish only lead to us thanking him for the many tangible and intangible ways that he helped our program,” OKC’s GM and executive vice president wrote.
The statements are a contrast to the tasteless   letter put out by Cleveland Cavaliers team owner Dan Gilbert, when a similar situation occurred involving LeBron James’ exit in 2010. James, however, returned to the team and led the franchise to its first NBA title last month.
Durant was drafted by the Seattle SuperSonics with the second overall pick in 2007 before the franchise relocated to Oklahoma City. The team was in shambles that time, but with the help of young promising talents—Russell Westbrook, James Harden and Serge Ibaka—the franchise crawled out of mediocrity and flourished into a legitimate title contender in recent years.
Despite his departure, Durant informed Presti of his decision through a phone call, before announcing his move to the world via the Player’s Tribune.
He dutifully stayed in OKC when he could have explored free agency in 2010, and was a tremendous ambassador for the team. Khristian Ibarrola
RELATED STORY: 
Durant’s move to the Warriors changes the NBA landscape

 

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New ministers join Modi ministry, Prakash Javadekar elevated to cabinet rank

New Delhi: Minister of State Prakash Javadekar was sworn in as a cabinet minister on Tuesday as Prime Minister Narendra Modi brought about major changes in his ministry.
Prakash Javadekar and Narendra Modi
In a solemn function at Rashtrapati Bhavan, others who joined his ministry as Ministers of State included Faggan Singh Khulaste, Vijay Goel, M. J. Akbar, S. S. Ahluwalia and Ramdas Athavale.
A total of 19 MPs are expected to take oath on Tuesday. All of them are from the BJP barring Athavale.
List of new ministers in Modi government
The follwing is the list of new ministers in Prime Minister Narendra Modi's government:
List of new ministers in Modi government
The follwing is the list of new ministers in Prime Minister Narendra Modi's government:
The 19 new Ministers of State:
Faggan Singh Kulaste
S. S. Ahluwalia
Ramesh Chandappa Jigajinagi
Vijay Goel
Ramdas Athavale
Rajen Gohain
Anil Madhav Dave
Purushottam Rupala
M. J. Akbar
Arjun Ram Meghwal
Jaswant Sinh Bhabhor
Mahendra Nath Pandey
Ajay Tamta
Krishna Raj
Mansukh Bhai Mandavia
Anupriya Patel
C. R. Chaudhary
P. P. Chaudhary
Subhas Ramrao Bhamre
Faggan Singh Kulaste
S. S. Ahluwalia
Ramesh Chandappa Jigajinagi
Vijay Goel
Ramdas Athavale
Rajen Gohain
Anil Madhav Dave
Purushottam Rupala
M. J. Akbar
Arjun Ram Meghwal
Jaswant Sinh Bhabhor
Mahendra Nath Pandey
Ajay Tamta
Krishna Raj
Mansukh Bhai Mandavia
Anupriya Patel
C. R. Chaudhary
P. P. Chaudhary
Subhas Ramrao Bhamre

 

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Google cheers Juno's arrival in Jupiter with a doodle!

Washington: As NASA's Juno probe entered the orbit of our solar system's largest planetary inhabitant after a five-year journey, Google celebrated the scientific milestone with a doodle that says “Juno reaches Jupiter”.
"A NASA satellite built like a tank is settling into polar orbit around Jupiter, the mysterious gas giant two doors down from Earth,” Google said in a statement on Tuesday.
"Today's Doodle celebrates this incredible moment of human achievement. Bravo, Juno!,” it added.
The Juno mission was launched on August 5, 2011 with the primary aim of improving our understanding of the solar system's beginnings by revealing the origin and evolution of Jupiter.
(With Agency inputs)


Total 100 articles.
Created at 2016-07-05 12:01