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Richard Spencer attacked on camera during inauguration interview


White nationalist leader Richard Spencer was punched in the face on camera as he spoke to a reporter on camera after Donald Trump’s inauguration on Friday.

The incident happened at around 2:30 p.m., USA Today reports.

Spencer is the head of the National Policy Institute, a white nationalist “research and educational” foundation. He’s also credited with coming up with the term “alt right” in an attempt to rebrand white nationalism, presumably to make it sound less like an extremist, racist hate movement.

He was in the middle of explaining the significance of Pepe the frog — a cartoon character that white nationalists have coopted as their own symbol — to a reporter when an unidentified person popped on camera and socked him.

Since Spencer has not filed a police report, there’s no open investigation into who the assailant was, CNN reports. However, Spencer told the network that he does plan on filing one. He also said on Twitter that there was no “serious damage.”

Spencer has claimed he is not a white supremacist. However, he’s also supported a ban on non-European immigration, called for a “peaceful ethnic cleansing” and declared that “America belongs to white men.”

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Bristol police shoot Taser at their own race relations adviser

A pair of Bristol police officers were caught on video firing a Taser at a man tasked with easing relations between the black community and law enforcement after they mistook him for a wanted criminal.

Judah Adunbi, 63, was approached by officers while he was walking his dog near his home in the Easton area, the Guardian reported.

Video footage recorded by a neighbor show police asking Adunbi to identify himself, which he refuses to do. Officers repeatedly ask the man his name and explain to him they believe he’s a wanted person.

“I’ve done no wrong,” he tells them in the recording. “Leave me alone.”



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Bye-bye fillings! Alzheimer’s drug lets teeth repair themselves

Dentistry has come a long way since the bad old days when they’d whip out all your teeth at the slightest excuse. But while that may true, many of us still have metal or plastic fillings to plug holes in damaged teeth.

Fortunately, researchers from the U.K.’s King’s College London are on the case — and they may have just found a way to banish artificial fillings for good. What they describe in a new research paper, published in the journal Science Reports, is a method for stimulating the renewal of living stem cells in teeth, using a drug developed to help with Alzheimer’s.

To put it another way, it could soon be possible to trigger damaged teeth to repair themselves.

The human body is able to heal small amounts of dental damage, by activating the tooth contact stem cells in the tooth’s soft inner core, known as the pulp. In situations such as tiny cracks or fissures, these cells are stimulated to differentiate into specific tooth cells. Known as odontoblasts, these cells can then make new dentine and replace the area that is damaged.

However, this natural repair doesn’t work for more significant damage — although it was enough to teach the King’s College researchers a valuable lesson.

“We have studied the cellular and molecular mechanisms involved in this natural repair and, based on this, have developed a simple method to enhance the process by overstimulating the stem cells,” lead researcher Paul Sharpe told Digital Trends. “The result is a more robust repair that can fill in bigger holes. The process produces a natural repair that maintains tooth structure.”

The researchers hope that such a solution will remove the failure rate associated with artificial methods of plugging holes in teeth.

As to when this process may be available to the public, Sharpe said that the current plan is to begin a clinical trial next year. “The research so far has been generously supported by the Medical Research Council in the U.K. and we aim to turn to them to support the trials,” he said.



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Rothschild Wealth Is Now Greater Than 75% Of World Population Combined


Equality no longer holds any water; today’s world is solely based on selfish and personal gain. Little to no consideration is made about other people and how one’s actions may affect the others. Consequently, we have the House of Rothschild which is the richest family in the world. The family controls more wealth than the top 8 individual billionaires combined, surprisingly, the family controls more wealth than 75% of the total world’s population.

The recently released report by Oxfam International brought to light the unfairness and injustice that is inherent in our global economic system. The combined wealth of the world’s top 8 individual billionaires is more than the lower half of the world’s population, a total of 3.6 billion people.

The combined wealth of the top 8 billionaires sums up to $426.2 billion. Bill Gates top’s the list with a total of $75b followed by Amncio Ortega whose net worth is $67 b, Warren Buffett – $60.8 b, Carlos Slim Helu – $50 b, Jeff Bezos – $45.2 b, Mark Zuckerberg – $44.6 b, Larry Ellison – $43.6 b, Michael Bllomberg – $40 b.

In a report issued by the Waking Times, the Oxfam assertion that world economies are mismanaged in favor of the wealthy is nothing but the cold hard truth. The major problem with the world’s economy is the global central banking model which consists of privately owned debt-based fiat currencies.

Mayer Amschel Rothschild established the first banking and finance houses in Germany in the 18th century. Its without a doubt that the current banking model is the product of hundreds of years of planned development, manipulation, trickery and force.

Mayer Rothschild carefully cultivated his wealth with the assistance of his five sons, this enabled him to profit immensely during the French Revolution. He provided financing ad war materials to Austria and in turn, the budding family empire evolved into a multi-national organization and as a result he became a major financier of industry and war.

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'Big Bang not true': This is what REALLY created universe, says man 'abducted by aliens'


THE Big Bang never started the universe, according to a man who bizarrely claims to have been abducted by aliens who put him straight on the scientific theory.

The man detailed his experience on a popular conspiracy forum, giving details of what he alleges they told him.

Among his supposed revelations are that the universe did not come about as a result of the Big Bang and that aliens are able to communicate with each other via telepathy.

The anonymous man claimed his first contact with beings from outer-space happened when he was young when one got in touch with him through his brainwaves.

He the says that since then, he has been constantly conversing with them.

He wrote: "For the last 17 years it’s been an on and off again thing. I’d just gone five years without any contact or communication incidents, but in August 2016, things got very serious, very fast.

“I went to bed one Saturday night just like any other night. But Sunday morning was not anything like any Sunday I’d been through before.

"I woke up and realised immediately what happened. I was freezing. And soaking wet. And I felt like I was in a dream. Have you ever been under anaesthetic? Same feeling when waking up.”

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Measles outbreak grows in L.A.'s Orthodox Jewish community despite California's strict new law

months after California’s strict vaccine law took effect, a measles outbreak has infected 20 people, most of them in Los Angeles County, prompting a search for others who may have been exposed to the highly contagious virus.

Most of the patients live in western areas of the county, including L.A.’s Westside, the Santa Monica Mountains and the San Fernando Valley. Santa Barbara and Ventura counties each reported one case.

Hershy Z. Ten, a rabbi who runs Jewish healthcare foundation Bikur Cholim in L.A.’s Beverly Grove neighborhood, said county health officials told him a measles outbreak was affecting the county’s Orthodox Jewish community. He convened a panel last week to discuss steps that Jewish day schools and synagogues could take to stem the outbreak and ensure unvaccinated children are immunized.

>Measles is very, very serious,” he said.

“Those children are at risk and they put other children at risk.”


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Apple depicts Qualcomm as a shady monopolist in $1B lawsuit

Apple is suing mobile chip maker Qualcomm for $1 billion in a patent fight pitting the iPhone maker against one of its major suppliers.

The 100-page complaint filed Friday in a San Diego federal court depicts Qualcomm as a greedy monopolist abusing its power in a key segment of the mobile chip market to extort royalties for iPhone innovations that have nothing to do with Qualcomm's technology.

For instance, Qualcomm demanded royalties on Apple's fingerprint identification system built into recent models of the iPhone and also for larger storage capacities on the devices, according to the lawsuit.

Qualcomm denied the allegations.

more here:


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Priebus defends Trump, top aide; says media has 'obsession' to 'delegitimize' president

White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus on Sunday defended President Trump and a top aide’s sharp criticism this weekend of news agencies, saying “there is an obsession by the media to delegitimize this president.”

“We are not going to sit around and let it happen,” Priebus told “Fox News Sunday.”

Trump suggested to CIA staffers Saturday on his visit to the agency that his well-publicized rift with the U.S. intelligence community was drummed up by the media.

Trump didn’t agree with some in the intelligence community’s assessment that Russia influenced the 2016 White House race to help him win.

And Trump argued more recently that somebody within that community leaking an unofficial dossier with alleged damaging personal information about him was like living in “Nazi Germany.”

Priebus told Fox that “one bad actor” likely leaked the document so Trump wasn’t angry at all of the country’s intelligence officers.

“I’m telling you;

>It was a love fest in there,” Priebus said

about Trump’s visit at CIA headquarters that was attended by about 300 staffers.


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How Muslim Americans plan to resist the Trump administration


On December 17, 2015, Donald Trump proposed a complete ban on all Muslims from entering the United States, sparking outrage and fear in communities across the country. In the summer of 2016, he then promoted the idea of creating a database to track Muslim Americans that was eventually condemned by hundreds of Silicon Valley employees who pledged to never help create such a registry. Now, after winning the presidential election thanks to the support of 58 per cent of all white voters, the former real estate mogul will be sworn into office as the nation’s 45th president. In the days ahead of the inauguration, The Independent asked emerging voices to weigh in on the following three questions:

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White House accuses media of playing down inauguration crowds

The White House on Saturday accused the media of framing photographs to understate the crowd that attended Donald Trump's inauguration, a new jab in a long-running fight between the new president and the news organizations who cover him.

In an unusual and fiery statement on Saturday night, White House spokesman Sean Spicer lashed out about tweeted photographs that showed large, empty spaces on the National Mall during the ceremony on Friday.

"This was the largest audience ever to witness an inauguration, period. Both in person and around the globe," Spicer said in a brief statement. "These attempts to lessen the enthusiasm about the inauguration are shameful and wrong."

Washington's city government estimated 1.8 million people attended President Barack Obama’s 2009 inauguration, making it the largest gathering ever on the Mall.

Aerial photographs showed that the crowds for Trump's inauguration were smaller than in 2009.

Spicer's rebuke followed a larger-than-expected turnout for women's marches protesting Trump across the United States on Saturday, including at the flagship event in Washington, where a crowd of hundreds of thousands clogged the streets and appeared to be larger than those who came for Trump's inauguration.

Spicer, who did not take questions from reporters, said spaces for 720,000 people were full when Trump took his oath.

He also said the National Park Service does not put out official crowd counts. "No one had numbers."

Washington’s Metro subway system said 193,000 users had entered the system by 11 a.m. on Friday, compared with 513,000 at that time during Obama's 2009 inauguration.

On Saturday, Metro reported ridership of 275,000 at 11 a.m. as it struggled to handle the crowd converging on downtown Washington for the protest march.

Trump has long used the media as a foil during his unconventional climb to the White House. On Saturday, he blamed the media for making up his feud with the CIA over its investigation into Russian hacking.

Spicer also criticized a reporter who made an error in a pool report during a brief ceremony in the Oval Office on Friday. Earlier, Trump called out the reporter by name at the CIA headquarters.

"There's been a lot of talk in the media about the responsibility to hold Donald Trump accountable, and I'm here to tell you it goes two ways. We're going to hold the press accountable as well," Spicer said.



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Minimum Wage Hikes Will Help Amazon Kill Millions Of Sales Jobs Sooner Than Later

In a few years, local communities in America will be totally different places. There will be very few iconic retail chain stores, or sales people behind counters and on the shopping floor. Automated Amazon Go stores and remote warehouses will replace most local retail stores, killing millions of sales jobs, and bring further losses to investors in these icons.

And making this transformation happen sooner rather than later? Minimum wage hikes.

For years, American retail icons like Macy’s, JCP, and Wal-Mart colored the lives of local communities, providing sales jobs for millions of people. Then came on-line retailer Amazon to crush these icons, as evidenced by their sluggish sales, falling margins, and equity price performance.

In the most recent quarter, for instance, Macy’s sales dropped by 4.20 percent, while Amazon sales increased by a whopping 29 percent. In the last ten years, Macy’s stock is down 34 percent, while Amazon’s stock is up close to 2000%–see table.

Now things are expected to get worse, as Amazon is getting ready to roll out its own Amazon Go stores—a new chain of convenience stores to be rolled out in 2017 without floor employees to assist customers, no store greeters, and no cashiers to collect payments. They will all be replaced by technology – which will monitor customers entering the store, record what they buy, and ensure that they are charged the appropriate amount (that’s according to a video release, though it was denied by an Amazon spokesperson).

While the primary driver behind Amazon’s new store concept is to speed the shopping experience by cutting down the long lines usually observed in convenience stores, cutting labor costs is also a factor. Amazon usually operates at razor thin margins, and cutting an employee or two can make the difference between making and losing money.

Sadly this trend of doing away with salespeople will be supported and reinforced by minimum wage hikes, which will hit traditional retailers, which employ too many employees compared to Amazon, hard -see table.

JCP’s labor force, for instance, is half the size of Amazon’s, though its sales are one-tenth of that of Amazon. How can a company like that cope with wage hikes and compete effectively against Amazon?



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SNL Writer Bullies Barron Online, Should Be Wary of How Strongly Melania Fights For Her Son


Every First Family is always the subject of the nation's attention and fascination. Sometimes, whether first lady or first children can also be subject to some criticisms if warranted. But bullying and humiliating an innocent president's child is always completely unacceptable.

One writer had the mean and nasty spirit to mock and bully the new President's youngest son, 10-year old Barron Trump, and has been facing tremendous public backlash since then.

Saturday Night Live writer Katie Rich tweeted during President Donald Trump's Inauguration this reprehensible tweet: "Barron will be the country's first homeschool shooter".

The tweet was posted for a good three hours on Friday, before the barrage of outraged and indignant reactions and responses from the public came flooding in on social media, most netizens upset with Rich. Facing online firestorm, Rich deleted the malicious tweet after three hours. The television writer has also changed the setting of her Twitter account to private, preventing the public from viewing it.

A twitter account of "Trump Super PAC" reacted with a tweet: "Disgusting! SNL writer @katiemaryrich attacks Barron Trump which proves everyone SNL is mentally disturbed!Not funny!@nbcsnl#Inauguration. Another netizen with the user name Jack Murphy also aired his disapproval with the tweet: " The fact that writer and other people are willing to attack Barron Trump, a ten-year old just shows how much we really needed change." Another Twitter user @FriendlyJMC wrote, "Wow! Who think insulting kids is funny? Weak."

A visibly upset netizen also reacted with the message: "Hate Trump all you want. Leave his kids-especially Baron alone. He's done nothing to you liberal scumbags ridiculing him." Others have questioned NBC for tolerating such hate while others call for the boycott of Saturday Night Live and NBC. Saturday Night Live has been highly-critical, disparagingly even, of President Trump. Rich has been writing for the show since 2013.

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University of Washington President Changes Story, Admits MILO Protests Were Violent

Ana Marie Cauce, president of the University of Washington, has amended a previous statement where she claimed that protests at MILO’s event last night were largely peaceful. She now admits that multiple people were assaulted by protesters.

In an initial statement on the events that occurred outside MILO’s speech at the University of Washington, the president of the university Ana Mari Cauce stated that she was outraged that people would resort to violence in what was “otherwise a peaceful protest.”

Of course based on video evidence from Breitbart reporters, even before the shooting took place, the event last night was anything but peaceful. Below is a video of MILO’s cameraman being assaulted by anarchist protesters.


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Indian parents arrange 'corrective rape treatment' for son after discovering his sexuality


The parents of a young gay man in India arranged for him to be subjected to ‘corrective rape’ after finding out about his sexual orientation, it has been reported.

The man, who has not been named, lives in Kolkata with his male partner. He was not ‘out’ to his parents, however his partner’s parents were aware of the couple’s relationship.

When his family found out that he is gay, his they hired local thugs to ‘torture’ him by beating him and subjecting him to emotional abuse, The Indian Times reports.

They subsequently took him to a doctor for medical treatment to ‘cure’ him of homosexuality, whereupon it was suggested he should receive “corrective rape treatment”.

The young man hired a lawyer and served a restraining order against his family, in a bid to escape them and avoid the attack.

However, he has now reportedly run out of funds for legal proceedings, prompting concerns his protections could run out.

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Chinese investors gobble up owner of PCWorld, Macworld etc

>Two Chinese investors are buying the owner of PCWorld magazine and the IDC market research outfit – International Data Group (IDG) – but IDC’s high-performance computing research businesses are not included in the sale.

>The two Chinese investors are China Oceanwide Holdings Group Co, Ltd and the confusingly named IDG Capital. They were apparently bidding separately several months ago, but joined forces under the encouragement of Goldman Sachs, IGC’s banker.

>They are paying a sum estimated between $500m and $1bn. The American Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) has cleared the sale, which should complete by April.

>IDG claims it is the number one tech media group in the world, with operations in 97 countries. Its media brands include CIO, Computerworld, PCWorld, Macworld and more with a zillion associated events, such as CIO round tables and perspectives. It is headquartered in Boston and was founded by Pat McGovern in 1964, and who died in 2014. McGovern made 130 trips to China during his career.

>China Oceanwide is an international conglomerate active in financial services, real estate assets, media, technology and other strategic investment areas. It was founded by its chairman, Zhiqiang Lu.

More at


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The DNC Emails Were Leaked And Not Hacked: Obama Admits


If you consider journalistic incompetence worthy of praise, Barack Obama’s last press conference was a success. During the press conference, which lasted for about half-an hour, Obama addressed questions ranging from the commutation of Chelsea Manning’s sentence to enquiries regarding his personal life and how they talked about the 2016 election with their daughters.

The enquiries by the media clearly showed that the press hardly understands its own role in a free society. The Los Angeles Times recently noted that Obama was very successful in keeping the U.S. military forces at war for all eight years of his tenure. Despite this, the press only enquired not quite a hard-hitting inquiry for an outgoing president.

Obama, alongside several Democrats who were intrigued by their loss in the Presidential election resulted in blaming Russia for hacking the DNC emails. Unfortunately, Obama had no evidence to back his claims.

However, during the press conference, Obama revealed that the conclusions of the intelligence community with respect to the Russian hacking were not conclusive as to whether WikiLeaks was witting or not being the conduit through the release that it made of the leaked emails.

Obama clarified that the U.S. government has no evidence as to how WikiLeaks got the DNC material. In a report issued by Murray, Obama’s statement is important since it undermines the stream of completely evidence-free nonsense that has been emerging from the U.S intelligence services for the last two months.

Following the terrible loss of the Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton, a series of suppositions have been coined together to explain the loss of Hillary Clinton. Based on Murray’s statement in which Obama refers to the emails that were leaked and not the servers that were hacked. It’s obvious that Obama agrees with experts that were involved on the subject. It’s now evident that the entire torment revolving around the Russian interference with the 2016 election was nothing but a smokescreen.

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Meet Amazon Prime Surprise Sweets

If you thought the checkout aisle was bad for your candy cravings, you might not want to read any further.

Did your sugar addiction get the better of you? Still with us? In that case, say hello to Amazon’s newest Dash button — Prime Surprise Sweets. Yes, it’s exactly what you think it is. A surprise box of sweet treats that you can get delivered right to your door within two days. For $18, you can get an artisanal selection of small-batch candies that hail from across the nation. And yes, you can push that button as many times as you want.

The latest member of the Dash family seemed to launch rather surreptitiously sometime in the last month or so (though it’s not hard to guess why — we wouldn’t want to send the nation into a candy craze either). As it stands, it’s and seems to have quietly launched sometime within the last month. As it stands, there are two obstacles in the way between you and your box of goodies. First, you have to be an Amazon Prime member (which is actually the case for any Dash button), but second, it’s currently still in invite-only mode. That said, Amazon claims that its Prime members who request an invitation will get a response within a few weeks. Currently, it’s unclear as to when the online retail giant plans to open the floodgates.

So what exactly are we missing out on here? As per the examples on Amazon’s website, the majority of boxes include four treats (some include five). There are dark chocolate bars, milk chocolate truffles, “chic Champagne Bubbles,” whoopie pies, and almond toffee, just to name a few. Each box also comes with a tasting card so you know exactly which artisan made which sweet, and to keep you on your toes, Amazon will try to send a different box every time you place an order.

There’s an element of exclusivity that comes with these boxes, too. According to Amazon, some of these treats aren’t available individually yet, so the only way to get them is through a Surprise Sweet box. So get on that waitlist, friends. You know you deserve some candy.



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Women's March Draw Crowds- And Invites Confusion As Well


There is no doubt that the Women's March was a big event that drew crowds, but there are also massive confusion that attended the reporting of it.

For one, there is really no one definite, clear and unifying description for what it truly is and the motive behind it. The central focus seems to be the Women's March in Washington but there are also almost simultaneous ones that happened in major cities across the U.S. that also attracted crowds, mostly of women. But the U.S. rallies also had parallel events across big countries all over the world from U.K. across Europe to Australia and New Zealand to South Africa, among others. The Women's March in Washington was earlier projected by some organizers as a post-inauguration protest against President Trump, emanating from old campaign controversy of decades-old recording where the president was reported to have said some unfavorable remarks against women. Yet there were organizers from Los Angeles and elsewhere who refused to call their marches as protests. Some said it was an occasion for women to stand up for equality. 400 cities participated across the world, but the global agenda is for equality and change. So, it is kind of difficult to sweepingly say the rallies were in protests of the new American president or if they are patently anti-Trump.

And then there is that odd question if it's really a " march" at all, or merely a gathering or a rally. The supposedly central event in Washington failed to march to the White House as originally planned. Some organizers justified the non-march due to the huge crowds that made a march "impossible".

Then there are of course the wide disparities and variations in crowd estimates for the supposed march in Washington to other similar events in other key cities across the U.S. In Los Angeles alone, the police estimate put the crowds at 100,000 while the organizers said the number of "demonstrators" could have ballooned to 750,000. New York estimates dizzyingly vary from 200,000 to 500,000. The Washington march had estimates from 250,000 to half a million, although mainstream media are putting it at half a million mark.

There is also apparently some disagreement among the ranks of women advocates. One of the organizers, Pussyhat Project, asked women to wear pink " pussy hats" to the rallies. They have even made those hats for distribution or selling to fellow women-protesters. The choice of "pussy hats" according to its proponents was to make a strong visual statement, reclaim the word " pussy" from the President, again emanating from that decades-old recording.The choice of pink was for its very " female color" representing caring, compassion and love, qualities associated with women for which they have been criticized for being weak, but advocates insist actually speak about how strong women are. Feminists groups like the Bitchmedia disagreed with the organizers and with the choice for pussyhats to make a statement, arguing that subscribing to that is actually a form of gender essentialism, one that asserts that the "gendered characteristics of feminine are directly linked to the biological characteristics of females, specifically the presence of vagina". That binary is something that feminists have fervently fought against for a long time already, believing instead that femininity is but just a social construction or merely assigned to femaleness and that females can be feminine or masculine, of any combination of the two, as can males. They also argue that women may not necessarily be caring, compassionate and loving, but are not any less women than those we are or chose to have those attributes. For these reasons, feminists groups do not approve of the "pussyhats" statement of some women-groups.

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Meet the women of the Women's March on Washington

Having travelled across the country by plane, train, bus, car and foot, hundreds of thousands of women are flocking to the nation’s capital this weekend to storm the National Mall.

They are not there for the Presidential Inauguration, but many say they have a message for Donald Trump’s America.

Conceived in the late hours of election night, the Women’s March on Washington all began with a frustrated Facebook post by Hawaii grandmother Teresa Shook. “What if women marched on Washington around Inauguration Day en masse?” she wrote on her wall.

A few hours later, the social media thought bubble was transformed into a Facebook event page. More and more began clicking the link. As it turns out, Shook was not the only disgruntled voter searching for a new cause.

For many rooting for a female president, the pain of Hillary Clinton’s defeat could only be expressed in physical terms. “I felt like I was kicked in the crotch, honestly,” notes school psychologist Dawn Houpe, who texted her teenage daughters words of encouragement throughout election night.

As Rust-Belt states turned red, Houpe’s pain worsened.

“I felt as a woman like I had just been sucker-punched,” admits the breast-cancer survivor from South Carolina. “That’s exactly what it felt like.”

“I felt like I had a hangover the next day,” Denise Valkyrie of Bloomington, Indiana explains of watching her governor become vice president. “It was just an awful, awful feeling.”


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Taylor Swift Supports Women's March on Washington: 'I'm Proud to Be a Woman Today'

While Swift did not publicly voice her opinion on the the presidential election, she did encourage fans to vote on Election Day, posting a photo of herself on Instagram waiting in line to cast her ballot.

Earlier on Saturday, Madonna gave an impassioned speech at the Women's March in Washington, D.C. that alluded to Donald Trump taking office as President of the United States, opening with: "Welcome to the revolution of love, to the rebellion, to our refusal as women to accept this new age of tyranny, where not just women are in danger but all marginalized people, where being uniquely different right now might truly be considered a crime. It took this horrific moment of darkness to wake us the f— up." She also performed her hits "Express Yourself" and "Human Nature."


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DOJ Admits Blackwater Contractors Were Caught in Enemy Crossfire


Former Navy SEAL and former Blackwater CEO Erik Prince talked about the United States v. Slatten case currently being argued before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. circuit. Also known as the “Nisour Square case,” it involves the conviction of former Blackwater contractors who were convicted of criminal offenses related to the shooting of Iraqi civilians in 2007. The contractors are seeking to have their convictions overturned on the grounds that they believed themselves to be under attack.

“I was there in person,” Prince told SiriusXM host Alex Marlow. “I feel terrible for the guys. I feel terrible for their families.”

“They’re appealing based on the fact that the government really shopped the venue, to force the case into a D.C. jury versus Utah, where the men surrendered,” he said. “You can imagine a Utah jury seeing things differently than a D.C. jury would.”

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Australia Day ad featuring girls in hijabs raises $100K


In an act of retaliation against “a series of complaints, some of which were of an abusive and threatening nature”, anti-racism campaigners have doubled their $50,000 target to have a taken-down Australia Day advertisement, featuring two young girls in hijabs, put back up.

The electronic billboard, which was originally located in the Melbourne suburb of Cranbourne, is said to have received copious amounts of complaints, namely targeted at QMS, the organisation that put the billboard up.

"There were a series of complaints, some of which were of an abusive and threatening nature, that were made to the organisation QMS that put the billboard up," Robin Scott, Victoria’s Minister for Multicultural Affairs, says.

And it is these “complaints” that spurred advertising agency Campaign Edge to create a Go Fund Me page to feature the girls in another campaign.

"I'm really angry, this was a photo of two young Australian girls celebrating Australia Day," executive director of Campaign Edge told ABC Radio Melbourne, [as reported by the ABC.

"I feel for the Muslim community, they're damned if they do, damned if they don't."

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Obama again tries to box in Trump on Russia; tells him not to links nuclear weapons to sanctions


US President Obama warns Donald Trump to continue supporting Ukraine in its confrontation with Russia, refuses to entertain lifting of sanctions in return for agreement with Russia on arms control.

Obama’s comments unsurprisingly once more bring together his criticisms of the two men in the world whom he most viscerally objects to, and who it is clear in his own mind he has conflated: Vladimir Putin and Donald Trump.

Equally unsurprisingly, Obama’s comments concerned the issue of sanctions, which for him as for many others have become a symbol of the bad relationship between the US and Russia, which goes far beyond any objective assessment of their actual effectiveness.

Obama’s comments related to the hint in Donald Trump’s recent interview with The London Times and Bild-Zeitung that he might lift sanctions on Russia in return for Russia’s agreement to a deal over nuclear weapons. Here is what Obama is reported to have said

Russia continues to occupy Ukrainian territory and meddle in Ukrainian affairs. I think it would probably best serve, not only American interests, but also the interests of preserving international norms if we made sure that we don’t confuse why these sanctions have been imposed with a whole set of other issues. It is important for the United States to stand up for the basic principal that big countries don’t go around and invade and bully smaller countries.

The suggestion that the US should punish other countries for “invading and bullying smaller countries” will provoke a cynical shrug in Moscow, as it will in most places around the world, especially so coming from Obama in light of his role in destroying Libya in 2011.

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Suspect in custody in Trump protest shooting outside Milo Yiannopoulos event, Seattle police say

Police said a suspect was in custody early Saturday after a man was shot and critically wounded in Seattle as protests against the inauguration of President Trump turned violent.

Seattle Police said they removed a 32-year-old man with a gunshot wound to the abdomen at a University of Washington demonstration Friday night against a far-right commentator who was making an appearance on campus.

People in Seattle marching against Mr. Trump had just walked to the campus where the rally against Milo Yiannopoulos was taking place Friday evening. Yiannopoulos writes for right-wing Breitbart News and is known for leading a harassment campaign that resulted in a lifetime ban from Twitter.

Harborview Medical Center spokeswoman Susan Gregg said the man who was shot arrived at the hospital at 9 p.m. and that he was in surgery and in critical condition. The Seattle Police Department released a statement early Saturday saying a person of interest in the shooting had turned himself in to University of Washington police.

University police said in its own statement that a suspect was taken into custody and that there were no outstanding suspects.

No other details were immediately released.

more here:


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About 700 Microsoft employees will be laid off next week, sources say

Microsoft is expected to conduct another round of layoffs next week when the company reports its quarterly earnings on January 26. About 700 jobs are expected to be impacted, according to someone familiar with the matter.

That is not a huge number compared to Microsoft's workforce of about 113,000 people, but we understand nerves have been running high inside of Microsoft as employees hear rumors that hundreds of jobs will be cut.

This layoff is part of the previously announced plan to cut 2,850 roles announced in June in Microsoft's annual report. At that time, Microsoft said that it planned to complete those cuts by June 2017, which is the end of Microsoft's 2017 fiscal year.

Most of the 2,850 roles scheduled to be cut have already been eliminated, according to the person familiar with the matter. The upcoming cuts won't be specific to any single group, but will be spread across the company's worldwide offices and business units, including sales, marketing, human resources, engineering, finance and more.

The goals of these rotating smaller layoffs is not to reduce costs but to update skills in various units, this person tells us. And such layoffs don't have much of an impact on Microsoft's overall headcount. Microsoft is still hiring, with well over 1,600 job openings posted on LinkedIn.

We understand that Microsoft typically gives laid-off employees 60 days to find a new position internally and offers two weeks pay for every 6 months of employment, according one employee.

Under Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, Microsoft has experienced several rounds of layoffs including cutting approximately 7,400 positions in its last fiscal year, primarily from the phone business and its largest ever layoff in history of 18,000 jobs in 2014.



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Supporters of Alt-Right Leader Richard Spencer Start Doxing His Inauguration Attacker


Presidential Inaugurations are a proud part of American democratic traditions. President Donald Trump's historic oath-taking as the 45th U.S. President is made all the more extraordinary given all the hurdles and challenges he had to win and overcome to get to the White House, and for the right and privilege to serve the American people. All Americans also have the right to be in the streets of Washington or anywhere else in the U.S. to show their support for the new president and celebrate with him. Protesters are just as free to air their sentiments and express their disagreement with President Trump- for such is the beauty of a working democracy. But apparently, some protestors abused that freedom and took things too far.

Prominent alt-right leader and activist Richard Spencer showed up in Washington with similarly-minded individuals to demonstrate their support anew for President Trump. They have every right to be there, after all they helped elect the new Chief Executive of America. Unfortunately, it turned out many of them were not safe from the unwarranted, unprovoked and violent attacks of out-of-control and dangerous protesters.

Spencer was just speaking in an interview with ABC News Washington bureau chief Zoe Daniel when a demonstrator struck him across the face. Spencer just kept talking when he was hit again in the ear. Witnesses said the attacker was wearing a mask when the assault on Spencer was carried out on the corner of 14th and K Street, at around 2:30 p.m. The attack was captured on video in photos.

Spencer later took to Twitter to share the incident and said that he could take a punch. His succeeding tweets after that were more biting. He said that if law enforcement cannot protect them from antifa assaults, they will begin protecting themselves. Spencer also tweeted a message to call on President Trump to do something about the assaults his group suffered at the rallies. The alt-right leading activist also acknowledged in another tweet that his only mistake was giving an interview to someone on a public street while animals tore through D.C.

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Microsoft to stop updating the original Windows 10 release after March 26

Windows 10 has changed quite a lot since its original release in July 2015. The November Update and Anniversary Update both introduced new features and major changes, making it a much better and more rounded OS.

But the problem with having different versions of what is essentially the same operating system is that supporting multiple branches isn’t feasible.

Microsoft has said previously that it will only update two Current Branch for Business versions of Windows 10 at a time, and come March 26 it will stop updating the original release, known as 1507.

Businesses that haven’t updated will still be able to continue to use Windows 10, they just won’t receive any updates. In order to continue to receive updates, companies will need to move to a newer version. Microsoft naturally recommends 1607, which is the Anniversary Update.

The end of updates doesn’t affect consumers because Windows 10’s mandatory update approach ensures that users are always running the most up to date version of the OS.



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One Of President Trump’s First Acts Will Cost Homeowners Millions Of Dollars

WASHINGTON ― With what may have been his first presidential order, Donald Trump made it more expensive for working- and middle-class Americans to buy their first homes. The move will increase costs for 750,000 to 850,000 Americans in the next year alone, according to the National Association of Realtors.

The Obama administration had said last week that the Federal Housing Administration would drop the cost of mortgage insurance it sells by almost a third to 0.60 percent. But after Trump took office, the Department of Housing and Urban Development, which oversees the FHA, told lenders the fee cut was off. The reversal of the reduction will mean that homebuyers who borrow $200,000 under the program will see their mortgage insurance fees go up by $500 a year relative to what the Obama administration had ordered, according to figures released by the FHA when the cut was announced.


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1 person injured in Morgan Street house fire

One person was injured Friday in a fire that seriously damaged a house in the 200 block of Morgan Street, Elgin fire officials said.

The fire was reported at about 5 p.m., and firefighters arrived to find fire, strong heat and smoke in the basement and first floor, according to a news release from the Elgin Fire Department.

The person injured resided at the house and was transported to Provena Saint Joseph Hospital in Elgin for treatment, the release said. No information was released on the extent of injuries or the person's condition. All residents were outside of the house by the time firefighters arrived.

The fire was under control within 30 minutes. The damage estimate was pegged at about $60,000 and the house deemed uninhabitable, the release said. Investigators continue to look into the cause of the blaze.



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Mankind is facing an apocalyptic moral test, says evolutionary psychologist


Evolutionary psychologist Robert Wright sounded bleak in a couple of recent columns:

"Given the growing prospect that humankind, having reached the brink of a global community, will dissolve into chaos … you could say that our species is facing an epic moral test," he wrote at meaningoflife.tv.

"In light of recent political and social developments in the United States and abroad," he wrote at the New York Times, "our work is cut out for us."

Wright has argued in several books that expanding morality played a central role in human evolution, creating the framework for ever-larger, more cohesive, and more powerful societies. Today, he says, mankind needs to take at least one more big step forward.

His 2010 book, "The Evolution of God," showed that we have at least come a long way already. In it, he described how religion has gradually moved toward respect for all people. For instance:

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The Obamas Are the Most Adorable as They Officially Exit the White House

As President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama made their final departure from the White House on Friday, many couldn't help but notice their small, loving gestures toward each other that have become characteristic of the first couple during their time in D.C.

While awaiting Donald and Melania Trump prior to the inauguration, for instance, Michelle brushed off Barack's shoulder.

And he returned with a kiss on the cheek.


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Awash in migrants, Italy steps up deportations for relief

As Italy looks for fresh ways to cope with the hundreds of thousands of migrants bottled up in the country, one solution is rising to the top of the agenda: deportation.

The pressure on Rome to ease its migration problem is growing after the country saw a record 180,000 migrants arrive by boat last year, bringing the total of seaborne arrivals to about half a million since the start of 2014. The revelation that the Tunisian man accused of a deadly attack on a Berlin Christmas market had evaded an Italian expulsion order also has given Italy new impetus to toughen its stance.

In response, the new government of Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni is set to unveil plans Wednesday to open 16 new detention centers throughout the country to hold migrants who receive expulsion orders, enabling Rome to raise the number of forced repatriations. They are also ordering police to intensify efforts to find illegal migrants.

Italy also plans to curtail the number of appeals migrants can lodge when their applications are denied and create special sections within the court system to process the appeals more quickly.


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Mark Zuckerberg sues hundreds of Hawaii families to force them to sell their land


Mark Zuckerberg is reportedly suing Hawaiian families who have ancestral rights to land within his $100 million (£81.2 million) property in a bid to force them to sell their plots.

The Facebook founder has launched the legal action in an attempt to make his 700-acre beachfront estate on the Island of Kuai more private.

Under legislation dating back to 1850 known as the Kuleana Act, almost a dozen native families currently have the right to live on small sections of land within the billionaire's property on the island, according to the Honolulu Star Advertiser.

Mr Zuckerberg is understood to have filed suits called “quiet title actions” against several hundred Hawaiian people through different companies he owns.

Some of owners of the land are now dead and the owners of the plots can be difficult to trace, since land possession under the old law is largely undocumented.

The plots, known as kuleana lands, are often divided into ever smaller portions as they are passed down through families.

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Mexican State Gave Child Cancer Patients Water Instead of Chemo


The government gave hundreds of cancer victims distilled water instead of chemotherapy treatments in the latest scandal to rock the State of Veracruz. Hundreds of victims, including at least 32 children, died under the care of state-run facilities where the fake medicine was administered.

The bombshell revelations were made this week by current Veracruz Governor Miguel Angel Yuñez who has been exposing the wrongdoings of former Veracruz Governor Javier Duarte, Mexico’s Proceso Magazine reported. According to Yuñez, the government used fake medicine due to a lack of funds after officials raided the state’s coffers.

The revelations about the cancer treatments come after Yuñez, the current governor, received the laboratory results of various samples taken from the government medicine that was used on children. The results revealed that the cancer medicine was actually distilled water and had no medicinal properties. According to Proceso, Veracruz has one of the highest rates of fatalities in relation to cancer with one out every 10 patients dying.

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At least 16 die as bus carrying Hungarian students crashes in Italy

ROME - A bus carrying Hungarian students home from a skiing trip to France slammed into a highway barrier in northern Italy and caught fire, killing at least 16 people, police said Saturday. Thirty-nine people survived, though some were seriously injured.

No other vehicles were involved in the crash, and it wasn't clear why the bus hit the overpass support column on the highway near Verona just before midnight, said police commander Girolamo Lacquaniti.

Sixteen badly burned bodies were pulled from the wreckage. Of the 39 survivors, 26 were injured, some seriously, he said.


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LGBTQ Marchers Protest Vice President-Elect Mike Pence in His Neighborhood


More than 500 supporters of LGBTQ rights in Washington, D.C., marched, danced, and chanted two miles from the shopping district of Friendship Heights to the Chevy Chase home of Vice President-elect and Indiana Gov. Mike Pence Wednesday evening–two days before he is sworn in as vice president.

“We’re here to send a clear message to Mike Pence that we are here, we are queer, and we are dancing, and we will not tolerate hatred or bigotry in our country,” said Firas Nasr, the founding organizer of WERK for Peace. WERK for Peace describes itself as a “queer-based grassroots movement that uses dance to promote peace.”

Nasr said when he saw the people watching from the sidewalks, windows, and doorways, he was not surprised by the generous welcome the marchers received. “We are preaching love, and we are here to spread love and self-acceptance and community–and so we welcome them in our community.”

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Trump to be sworn-in as 45th president of the United States


Capping a morning of inaugural pomp and pageantry, Donald Trump stepped before a sprawling crowd at the U.S. Capitol Friday, poised to be sworn in as the 45th president of the United States. His ascent puts Republicans in control of the White House for the first time in eight years.

W Trump gave a thumbs-up, pumped his fist, and mouthed "thank you," as he walked to his seat next to incoming Vice-President Mike Pence.

Ahead of the swearing-in ceremony, Trump and his wife, Melania, were greeted at the White House by President Barack Obama and Michelle Obama for the traditional private meeting of outgoing and incoming presidents and their spouses. Posing for photos on the North Portico, the couples exchanged hugs as Barack Obama chatted about the demands of protocol.

Trump has pledged to upend many of Obama's major domestic and national security policies, including repealing his signature health care law and building a wall along the entire U.S.-Mexico border. But he's offered few details of how he plans to accomplish his agenda, often sending contradictory signals.

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It’s Official Gen. Mattis Is The Pentagon Chief And Gen. John Kelly For Homeland Security


Shortly after President Trump was sworn into office, the Senate has confirmed retired Marine General James Mattis as the Defense Secretary and retired Marine General John Kelly as the homeland Security Secretary. General Mattis was the first to be confirmed as President Trump’s Secretary of Defense shortly after Trump’s inauguration.

The retired Marine General Mattis recently served as commander of the U.S. Central Command and he’s highly respected by both Republicans and Democrats for his service in the military. General Mattis retired from the military back in 2013, this implies that he needed a waiver to bypass a law that clearly states that Defense Secretaries must be out of uniform for at least seven years from military service.

The Congress easily passed the waiver last week and then President Trump signed the waiver legislation as his first act of President. Despite, some Democrats expressing their concerns about granting Mattis the waiver as they cited the need to maintain civilian control of the military, their concerns were not adequate to hinder Mattis from becoming Pentagon Chief.

The Senate also voted to confirm Kelly for Department of Homeland Security. Kelly is a 45-year old Marine whose impeccable credentials have made him a four-star general. Fortunately, Kelly has an expansive wealth of experience that enables him to understand the real threat. Kelly also happens to share the same opinion on the Southern border as the easiest way for those who intend to harm America. The border will be made secure and all threats will be eliminated with Kelly at the helm.

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Le Pen Leads French Presidential Poll, Could Be On Her Way To Replicating Trump's Victory


ar-right leader Marine Le Pen comes out strong with the lead in the first round of the French presidential elections based on a new poll, and in the process raising hopes that she is well on the way to pulling off what Trump has accomplished in the 2016 U.S. presidential election.

The Front National Leader had between 25 and 26% support compared with Francois Fillion who received between 23 and 25% based on the Ipsos Sopra Steria poll for the French newspaper Le Monde and the Cevipof research centre.

Mainstream media have been claiming that Fillion is still the candidate to beat and that they are expecting him to still beat the far-right leader in a second round runoff in May. But the former Republican Prime Minister has actually lost up to four points in the first polls of the year, and there has been a significant wavering of public support for the more established candidate.

The preferred narrative of the mainstream French media in undermining Le Pen's strength is similar to the way the established American media pushed for the so-called winnability, even invincibility, of Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton. Of course, we know what happened next. Tonight, Donald Trump will be inaugurated as the 45th President of the United States.

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President Trump Signs Executive Order Easing The Burden Of ObamaCare President Donald Trump Is Well


President Donald Trump is well on his way to fulfilling a strong campaign promise- the repeal of the highly- contested ObamaCare. A few hours after being inaugurated as the 45th President of the United States of America, President Trump signed an executive order directing federal agencies to ease the burden of ObamaCare, the signature health program of former president Barack Obama.

While it has yet to be fully clarified what practical implications or effects the said order would bring, it would give broad authority to the Department of Health and Human Devices and other agencies to take actions available to them under the law to ease regulatory requirements from ObamaCare. It compels agencies to target provisions that impose a fiscal burden on a state or a cost, or regulatory burden on individuals or businesses.

Definitive congressional action would still be needed to make major changes in ObamaCare. President Trump has repeatedly said he will make it his administration's goal to eventually repeal the law. Congress has already taken the crucial first steps toward repealing ObamaCare through the complex budget reconciliation process.

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Centrelink staff told not to fix mistakes in debt notices – whistleblower

New whistleblower says staff ‘are struggling daily with our consciences’ after being told not to correct errors they see unless the customer points them out

>Centrelink’s compliance teams are being told not to correct errors with its flawed debt recovery program, allowing the “unjust system” to generate millions of dollars in bogus debts, a new whistleblower has alleged.

>The explosive claims are detailed in a lengthy letter anonymously sent by a Centrelink compliance officer to the progressive political group GetUp, which released it publicly alongside the Community and Public Sector Union on Thursday.

>The department of human services has dismissed the letter as inaccurate, and general manager Hank Jongen said it did not “accurately represent how the system works”.

>Jongen said “some staff do not welcome technology driven change” and the department would continue to try to explain how the system operates to workers.

>The letter details a litany of errors with the new automated compliance system and speaks of the despair felt by Centrelink’s compliance officers as vulnerable Australians are wrongly issued with welfare debts.

>“We are struggling daily with our consciences and pushing back against our leaders every single day,” the whistleblower wrote. “We are telling the [online compliance intervention system] help desk over and over that what we are doing is wrong.

>“Nothing changes and gradually I can see officers simply accepting that they are powerless to change anything, powerless to help customers have accurate outcomes and powerless to stop this process. I see these reviews every working day and I am horrified at what I am being directed to do.

>“I am risking my job sending this information in the desperate hope that exposing such an … unjust system might just make a difference.”

>Some of the allegations in the letter have already been aired, including that the system is erroneously doubling up an individual’s income because of “fuzzy matching” between Centrelink and tax office records of business names, leading to the creation of inaccurate debts.

>But many other claims in the letter are new. The whistleblower said compliance officers were being expressly told not to fix errors generated by the automated system, even when they could prove the debts were wrong.

>The whistleblower alleges that the teams were told they should only correct errors if they were identified by customers, who were rarely in a position to understand the complex factors behind their debt.

More at


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Senegal sends troops into Gambia to force longtime leader to step down


Senegal announced that its troops entered neighboring Gambia on Thursday to force its longtime ruler, Yahya Jammeh, to step down, part of a bold West African regional effort to defend a democratic election won by the opposition.

The operation was announced after the successor chosen by voters last month, Adama Barrow, took the oath of office from exile in the Senegalese capital.

“We have entered Gambia,” Senegalese army Col. Abdou ­Ndiaye wrote in a text message to the Reuters news agency. Videos of camouflaged Senegalese tanks and Humvees driving toward the Gambian border circulated on social media. But news reports later said that the operation was halted until Friday afternoon to allow a group of West African heads of state to attempt a final negotiation with Jammeh.

By evening, the troops had not yet appeared in Banjul, the Gambian capital, according to residents, but news of their deployment had spread. Gambians poured into the streets in support of the Senegalese forces and Jammeh’s ouster.

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Inauguration Day arrives: Trump set to take oath as 45th president


President-elect Donald Trump woke up Friday in Blair House, the President's Guest House only steps from the White House, to begin a carefully choreographed ritual leading up to the peaceful transfer of power as he takes the oath of office at noon as the 45th president of the United States.

At 8:30 a.m., Trump and his wife, Melania, will attend a prayer service at St. John's Episcopal Church, known as the "Church of Presidents," on nearby Lafayette Square before joining outgoing President Obama and first lady Michelle for tea on the South Portico of the White House.

At 10:30 a.m., as moving vans and decorators rush to transform the Obama White House into the Trump White House, the two couples will travel by limo down Pennsylvania Avenue for the formal swearing-in ceremony on a specially built platform on the West Portico of the Capitol overlooking the National Mall.

The ceremony — including a formal address by the new president and the swearing-in of Mike Pence, a former Indiana governor and congressman, as vice president — marks the end of an exhaustive, combative campaign in a bitterly divided nation.

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Single mother unlawfully jailed for council tax debt, High Court rules


Melanie Woolcock struggled to make payments because she prioritised paying rent, gas, electricity and buying food for her 17-year-old son

A single mother was unlawfully sentenced to 81 days in prison after she fell behind on council tax payments, the High Court has ruled.

After losing her job Melanie Woolcock accrued more than £4,700 in council tax arrears.

She had been ordered to pay off the debt at a rate of £10 a week but she said she was too unwell to continue working in a sports shop, and struggled to pay rent and feed herself and her teenage son.

After she failed to keep up instalments, Bridgend magistrates ordered her imprisonment on 18 July last year.

She spent 40 days in jail before the Centre for Criminal Appeals (CCA) challenged her detention and she was released on bail.

Mr Justice Lewis found that a previous court ruling had failed to assess her financial means and dismissed a previous assertion that her missed payments were due to “culpable neglect.”

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Jewish centres face wave of bomb threats in the US


Jewish community centres across the US have faced two waves of bomb threats this month, prompting an FBI investigation and a security advisory.

As reported by the JJC Association of North America, a total of 27 centers across 17 states were targeted this week, similar to threats faced by 16 centres in nine states last week, suggesting the scale of the threats has increased.

In both cases, there were evacuations and the police worked quickly to give the centres the all-clear. No actual bombs were found.

The FBI is investigating "possible civil rights violations in connection with threats".

David Posner of the JCC association said in a statement that the group is "concerned about the anti-Semitism behind these threats."

"While the bombs in question are hoaxes," he said, "the calls are not."

The Anti-Defamation League issued a security advisory to Jewish institutions across the country, adding that it was closely monitoring the situation and has been in touch with state and federal police.

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Donald Trump's Inauguration Countdown


The big day is finally here, fireworks are about to herald Trump's big moment, the President-elect swept into Washington on Thursday on the evening of his presidential inauguration as he vowed to unify a nation that has been sorely divided and as a result its clamoring for change.

The President-elect made it clear that his presidency is a movement like no other, adding that America has not seen it before. Mr. Trump declared this at a celebratory evening concert on Thursday night with the majestic Lincoln Memorial for a backdrop.

Its no surprise to find out that Trump expressed his deep gratitude towards the unwavering supporters who were with him from the very beginning as he pledged that they are not forgotten. Trump said goodbye to his supporters and then fireworks exploded into the sky.

The President-elect started taking more accessories of the presidency during the day, he gave a salute to the Air Force officer who had welcomed him as he stepped off a military jet with wife Melania at Joint Andrews just outside Washington. Mr. Trump also placed a ceremonial wreath at Arlington National Cemetery.

Speaking at a lunch on his ballroom at his own hotel, Trump gave a shout-out to Republican congressional leaders, adding that he just wanted to let the world know that they're doing very well together.

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Uber agrees to $20M settlement of FTC complaint over driver pay, financing


Uber has agreed to pay $20 million to settle accusations from the Federal Trade Commission that it exaggerated the amount drivers could earn and misled them about the benefits of its car financing options.

Uber claimed on its website that drivers’ median income topped $90,000 a year in New York and $74,000 in San Francisco, according to the FTC complaint. On Craigslist, Uber said a driver in Washington, D.C. would “Make $21/hour.”

In fact, the actual figures were $61,000 in New York and $53,000 in San Francisco, and fewer than 20 percent of drivers in the District reached $21 an hour, according to the complaint.

And while Uber touted “the best financing options available” for cars, drivers ended up with worse-than-average rates, the FTC said.

Uber’s $20 million settlement will go toward refunds for drivers who were “taken for a ride,” according to Jessica Rich, director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection. “This settlement will put millions of dollars back in Uber drivers’ pockets.”

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Donald Trump is about to get control of thousands of nuclear weapons


President-elect Donald Trump becomes President Trump on Friday. That will give him control over the United States' arsenal of close to 1,400 active nuclear warheads — that is, warheads affixed to ballistic missiles or placed inside bombs at American air bases.

For critics of Trump, this is a terrifying proposition. The thought of a politician as unpredictable as the new president with his finger on the proverbial nuclear button (there is no actual button) is prompting an unprecedented level of panic in Washington.

In October, a letter signed by 10 former nuclear launch officers warned that Trump was ill-suited for the task of commander-in-chief.

"The pressures the system places on that one person are staggering and require enormous composure, judgment, restraint and diplomatic skill," the statement read. "Donald Trump does not have these leadership qualities. On the contrary, he has shown himself time and again to be easily baited and quick to lash out, dismissive of expert consultation and ill-informed of even basic military and international affairs — including, most especially, nuclear weapons."

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Who’s dressing Melania Trump for the Presidential Inauguration?


With the Presedential Inauguration ceremony looming this Friday, all eyes in the fashion world shift to Melania Trump and what designer she will choose to wear on one possibly most important public appearance of her life thus far.

According to WWD both Karl Lagerfeld and Ralph Lauren are both preparing looks for the incoming First Lady this weekend.

The American designer is believed to be working on a day-time outfit for the ceremony while the responsibilities for the evening-wear may be handed to his fellow fashion expert, despite the fact that both men are known for their distinctive (and dissimilar) styles.

The publication has reported: ‘In an act of his own bipartisanship, Ralph Lauren, an unabashed Hilary Clinton supporter, is believed to be working on a gown and an Inauguration Day ensemble for the Slovenian-born former model.

While another report from the same publication has suggested that the infamous Chanel and Fendi designer Karl Lagerfeld is also working on a look for the Inauguration celebrations.

If Melania is to go with the German’s design, she will be breaking the unspoken first rule of Inauguration etiquette by opting for a non-American designer for this incredible significant event.

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Indiana Kellogg’s Snacks Plant Expected to Close by September


Per a WTHI report, Kellogg’s Snacks Plant in Seelyville, IN is participating in the #DumpKelloggs boycott, and is set to close by September of this year.

Company officials announced in August of 2016 that the plant will cease work, leaving 150 people out of a job.

The plant will close out in phases beginning in the first quarter of 2017, and officials expect it to be completely closed by September.

Kellogg’s will look to sell the building once operations have been completely shut down.

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Obama administration withdraws rules regarding education funding for poor children


The Obama administration has in its waning days decided not to move forward with education regulations that would have overhauled how school districts spend billions of dollars meant to educate poor children.

The administration, including Education Secretary John B. King Jr., and its allies in the civil rights community had championed the changes­ as necessary to ensure that funding meant for the nation’s neediest children is not diverted to more affluent schools.

But the proposed regulations had triggered strong resistance from most of the education establishment, including teachers unions, district leaders and state superintendents, as well as from Republicans on Capitol Hill.

GOP leaders had said they would use every tool at their disposal to roll back the regulations, should the Obama administration choose to finalize them. That threat took on new power after the election of Republican Donald Trump as president.

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A new mayor promised to fix a Texas city. Instead, he resigned after just 37 days on the job


Just a little more than a month after taking office, a Texas mayor has announced his resignation on social media following a series of pointed questions about his personal and professional background.

Corpus Christi Mayor Dan McQueen said Wednesday on Facebook that he was stepping down.

“Consider this my resignation,” he said in the post, according to the Corpus Christi Caller-Times. “I resign immediately. The city can no longer deal with such differing views and divisiveness. I step down from my position as Mayor, in order to allow the council and city to regain focus on success.

“Sorry, they are now into my ex-wives and kids. Nothing good will come from that mess.”

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US air strikes kill Isis militants plotting new terror attacks in Europe as Libya camps destroyed


American forces have bombed two Isis camps in Libya where militants were plotting new terror attacks on Europe.

Ashton Carter, the outgoing US defence secretary, said initial estimates suggested more than 80 fighters were killed.

“They were external plotters who were actively planning operations against our allies in Europe,” he said.

“They may also have been connected with some attacks that have already occurred.”

Mr Carter, speaking in his last press briefing before Donald Trump’s inauguration, said: “These were critically important strikes in our campaign and to destroy Isis not just in Iraq and Syria, but wherever it emerges."

He said he was confident that his successor would continue American efforts to “deliver Isil (Isis) the lasting defeat it deserves”.

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Ebola, war … but just two psychiatrists to deal with a nation's trauma


The history of Africa’s oldest psychiatric hospital is written on the walls of its isolation units, desperate messages chiselled into the woodwork like scars. “I came here for I don’t have any money,” reads one note in a corner of the room. “People want me to run from my father’s house,” reads another. “You go nowhere,” announces a third. “Stay out.”

Since the hospital opened in the early 19th century, most Sierra Leoneans have aspired to do exactly that, avoiding this imposing building perched high on a hill above the capital, Freetown.

Still the country’s only mental healthcare facility, the Sierra Leone psychiatric hospital is known in the local Krio language as the “crase yard” or “place for crazy people”. During the civil war in the 1990s, rebel fighters got as far as the staff quarters before turning back, too afraid of what they might find inside, witnesses say.

When the world’s worst Ebola outbreak began there two years ago, Sierra Leone had just 136 doctors working in the public sector, according to the World Health Organisation, a massive shortfall for a population of 6 million.

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Trooper who rescued teen: 'No one should be trafficked'


An Arizona Department of Public Safety trooper said his training in identifying signs of human trafficking helped him rescue a 16-year-old runaway who was being sold for sex.

Trooper Jonathan Otto, 33, said a traffic stop near Kingman led to the discovery Jan. 11 after he'd noticed a vehicle driving in excess of 100 mph along U.S. 93 in the early-morning hours.

After interviewing the occupants of the vehicle, Otto said he recognized one of its female passengers as demonstrating indicators of human trafficking. Though the girl initially said she was 18, Otto said he found information about her at the scene that showed she was a minor.

41 arrested in Tennessee human-trafficking probe.

At the time of the stop, the 16-year-old was in the company of a man and woman with whom she shared mutual friends, Otto said. They were identified by DPS officials as Rasheen Adams, 22, and Chicha Harris, 22, of Las Vegas.

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Botched dermal fillers which disfigured woman's face left her blind in one eye


When Carol Bryan visited her cosmetic surgeon for to try a dermal filler, she couldn’t have predicted that it would cause her to go blind in one eye and contemplate taking her life.

Almost a decade later, Bryan, from south Florida, is campaigning to raise awareness about how seemingly harmless, low-risk cosmetic procedures can be dangerous.

Bryan had been getting botox injections since her late thirties to smooth out fine lines on her face. In 2009, aged 47, she decided to try fillers in order to fix what cosmetic doctors described as lost volume in her forehead and cheekbones. She was among the over 15million people in the US who undergo some form of invasive cosmetic procedure each year, from injectable fillers to breast implants.

But two different fillers, including one which was silicone, were combined in the same syringe and injected into her face in area that they shouldn’t have been.

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‘Worse than the great depression’ Renowned economist warns of BLEAK future for Eurozone


A TOP economist has painted a bleak picture of the eurozone despite deluded Brussels bureaucrats insisting it can bounce back.

The current situation for many countries in the EU has been labelled “bleak” as they remain in huge debts and cannot find a way out, according to Joseph Stiglitz.

The renowned economist and professor was speaking on Wednesday at the World Economic Forum’s annual meeting in Davos.

Mr Stiglitz said in a meeting titled ‘Fixing Europe’s Disunion’ the Euro was not created against a backdrop of institutions which could support it.

And as a result, he said, it is failing.

He said: “In Europe they have got things working in many ways better - but Europe as a whole, particularly since the global financial crisis the eurozone in particular has been near stagnation.

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On Inauguration Day, respect for the office and hope for the nation


You are about to take the most serious oath of office anyone has the privilege to take. You were not my choice, but I support and respect the office.” Those are the heartfelt words of Kit Keane, 66, of Chicago, one of many who responded when we asked readers to share their hopes and advice for incoming president Donald Trump.

The inauguration of a president is always, on one level, a political event: One party has triumphed, the other has been vanquished. It also is something more than a political event: the celebration of a constitutional democracy in which power changes hands peacefully, at the command of the people.

This year, even more than most, many of the vanquished are in no mood to celebrate. Scores of Democratic members of Congress will boycott the ceremony at the Capitol. Thousands of Americans are assembling in Washington to welcome a Trump administration, but thousands also are coming to protest. Some of the latter question the very legitimacy of Mr. Trump’s ascension.

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The U.S. flew stealth bombers across the globe to strike ISIS camps in Libya


Two Air Force B-2 stealth bombers struck Islamic State camps southwest of the Libyan city of Sirte on Wednesday night, less than a month after the Pentagon declared an end to an extended air campaign there.

Pentagon press secretary Peter Cook said that the aircraft, known for their distinctive bat-like appearance, dropped more than 100 bombs and hit two Islamic State encampments about 30 miles outside Sirte. The outposts were inhabited at least in part by fighters who had fled the city in the fall, and the operation was approved by President Obama, Cook said.

Defense Secretary Ashton B. Carter told reporters Thursday that the camps contained militants “actively plotting” attacks in Europe and that the strikes were “critically important.”

“As always, external operations are a very important part of the reason to destroy ISIL, as well as to wipe them out of Libya itself,” Carter said, using an acronym for the Islamic State.

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The Trump era is a leap in the dark


Two big and passionate crowds have descended on Washington — one thrilled by Donald Trump’s inauguration, the other appalled. Never in my lifetime has a new president been anticipated with such raw enthusiasm on one side and such fear and loathing on the other.

Admit it, you have no idea what a Trump administration will actually be like. Neither does Trump, I would wager. He is a 70-year-old business executive and self-promoter extraordinaire whose lifelong working habit is to go to his office, see what opportunities the day presents and then improvise. He is not going to change.

Americans have elected as president a man who was caught on tape boasting of how he assaults women, kissing them and touching their genitals without invitation, and gets away with it because of his celebrity. It is fitting, then, that the biggest planned protest is Saturday’s Women’s March on Washington, with scheduled speakers such as Gloria Steinem and Angela Davis. A-listers such as Katy Perry are expected to attend.

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Will Donald Trump be the peace president that Obama was not?


In particular, there is hope that Trump’s statements that he wants the US and Russia to have friendlier relations will mean the Trump administration will work to reverse the much-increased tensions of the last few years between the nations — tensions characterized by harsh words, sanctions, and military deployments.

In this week’s Ron Paul Institute weekly email to subscribers, RPI Executive Director Daniel McAdams wrote about how Obama’s foreign policy turned out to be different than the one for which many peace supporters had hoped. McAdams also discussed in the email other matters, including Obama granting a commutation for whistleblower Chelsea Manning. (You can sign up here to receive free RPI updates.)

Read here the RPI weekly email beginning paragraphs, in which McAdams addresses Obama’s foreign policy and the last-minute escalation of confrontation with Russia that Obama is leaving for the incoming president to deal with:

It seems strange that this will be the last time I write you under the presidency of Barack Obama. I recall the slight ray of hope we felt when he took office, after eight years of the crazed neocons who ran Bush’s White House. At the time, Dr. Paul had just finished his ground-breaking 2008 presidential run and so much had changed for us in the Congressional office.

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Fake news handed Brexiteers the referendum – and now they have no idea what they're doing


'Would we have won without immigration? No. Would we have won without…the NHS? All our research and the close result strongly suggests no. Would we have won by spending our time talking about trade and the single market? No way'

There was something fitting about Michael Gove meeting Donald Trump, only the second British politician to do so since his election victory after Nigel Farage. Gove entered what he called the “looking-glass world” of Trump Tower to interview the President-elect for The Times newspaper. Like Farage, he got his ticket to Trump’s man cave as one of the architects of Britain’s vote to leave the EU.

The parallels between Trump’s sensational victory and the vote for Brexit have been well-documented and slightly overcooked. You can’t always read across the Atlantic. What the two earthquakes did have in common was the way they were secured in what has been dubbed the era of “post-truth politics” based on appeals to emotion rather than policies and facts.

Its proponents try to turn the tables on their critics. So Trump accused CNN of peddling “fake news” when it ran the sensational allegations that Russia has damaging information on him. Claims that the pope and Denzel Washington endorsed Trump were “fake” but can’t be blamed on Trump’s campaign. Some of his claims about migrants are probably better described as “false news”, which has always been with us but has got worse in the digital age.

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Facebook censors RT: the information war has begun


For a long time, people have feared the worst in respect to Facebook censoring real news outlets, whose editorial line broadly goes against the neo-liberal status quo of the western fake stream media.

Today, RT confirmed that a Facebook ‘bot’ sent RT’s Facebook page admins a message saying that they will not be allowed to post, “photos, video or shared content”.

This essentially takes RT ‘off air’ for Facebook users. The ban is set to expire Saturday morning, Moscow time, the day after Donald Trump’s inauguration.

The intention is clear, Facebook does not want RT to report on the run-up to the inauguration, nor do they want RT’s 4 million+ Facebook followers to have easy access to RT’s inauguration coverage.

Is this the last gasp of contempt from the old elite against real media, young media and fresh media? Is this one last censorship drive before the fake streamers fade away? A lot of this depends on Donald Trump.

Yes, the President of the United States does not legally control Facebook, which is technically a private entity, but it is well known that Facebook often cooperates with government and indeed deep state forces to push an agenda.

Now, one of the most popular alternative media sources in the world has been censored from the world’s most popular social media platform. The information war has officially been declared.

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7th Circuit: Chicago’s Shooting Range Ban Is ‘Unconstitutional’


The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit struck down Chicago’s ban on gun ranges on January 19, calling it “unconstitutional.”

The rules preventing the building of gun ranges were contained in a body of ordinances that allowed gun ranges in “manufacturing” portions of the city only, while “[placing] limits on the distances [gun ranges] can be located in relation to other gun ranges and to residential areas, schools, parks and places of worship,” according to the Associated Press (AP).

The AP also reported that a three-judge panel cited the city’s contention that “the ordinances serve important public health and safety interests” and that gun ranges “attract gun thieves, cause airborne lead contamination and carry a risk of fire.”

The opinion issued by the court, however, countered the city’s arguments, saying:

The city has provided no evidentiary support for these claims, nor has it established that limiting shooting ranges to manufacturing districts and distancing them from the multiple and various uses listed in the buffer-zone rule has any connection to reducing these risks.

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Apple iTunes SCAM - if you get this text message, do NOT open it


APPLE users are being targeted by a new SMS scam which aims to trick them into revealing login details - here’s how you can stay protected.

Apple customers have been warned to up their security protection following the detection of a new SMS text message scam targeting users of its iTunes and iCloud services.

Criminals are attempting to steal user information through text messages claiming that their accounts have been compromised.

However following through on the message could leave customers at risk of having valuable details stolen - here’s all you need to know.

Users told Express.co.uk that they are being targeted by messages claiming that their Apple account has been suspended “due to security reasons”.

The victims are told that in order to unlock their accounts, they need to click on a link included in the message.

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REVEALED: Fraud now most common crime in England and Wales as one in 10 fall victim


FRAUD is now the number one crime in England and Wales, it was revealed today.

Around one in 10 adults are victims of scams and you are twice as likely to be swindled than have your car stolen.

Traditional offences such as burglary and vehicle theft are continuing to fall.

But official statistics show there were 3.6 million frauds and 2 million computer misuse offences in the year to September.

The shift confirms a change in tactics by criminals, say experts.

Fraud and so-called cyber offences have been included Crime Survey for England and Wales for the first time.

Latest figures show that there were 1.9 million cases of fraud on UK-issued bank and credit cards - an increase of 39 per cent on the previous year.

The CSEW shows there were there were a total of 11.8 million crimes committed in the past year.

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Disintegrating European Union lacks ‘VISION’ that sparked Brexit, blasts Italian minister


THE European Union is at risk of crumbling because it lacks “vision” that inspired movements such as Brexit and Donald Trump’s election win, Italy’s finance minister has said in a scathing attack.

Pier Carlo Padoan told world leaders at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, the EU is being “turned around completely” just days after Prime Minister Theresa May set out her plan for Britain’s departure from the bloc.

He said: “The problem in Europe is Europe.

“The challenge the Brexit and Trump is posing is that there is a vision.

“You may agree or disagree with that vision, but there is a challenge that Brexit is posing and Trump is posing.

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Amazon deal offers free £10 to spend TODAY and here's how to claim it


AMAZON is offering every customer £10 off their order and all you need is this code to get the deal.

Amazon shoppers are getting some money back today as the online retail giant launches its free £10 deal.

After coming top of a new nationwide poll for customer satisfaction Amazon.co.uk is offering £10 off selected orders over £50 placed today.

If you fancy taking them up on this offer all you have to do is head to Amazon's website and enter the code BIGTHANKS when you checkout.

Amazon says its £10 offer is available on all products sold by Amazon retail.

However, customers should note that the offer cannot be redeemed for products sold by third-party sellers on Amazon Marketplace, digital content or AmazonFresh and AmazonPantry orders.

“We always appreciate the support of our customers so we’re thrilled to start the year with such positive feedback,” said Doug Gurr, UK Country Manager, Amazon.

“We know we can always get better, and we’re confident our investments in the UK will enable us to further improve the shopping experience for all our customers in 2017.”

Over the last year, Amazon introduced new innovations to further improve the shopping experience for customers.

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STURGEON'S WARNING: First Minister declares second independence referendum is 'LOOMING'


NICOLA Sturgeon today declared that a second independence referendum is "looming", warning she is "determined to save Scotland from Brexit".

The First Minister stepped up threats of another poll in the wake of Theresa May's pledge to take Britain out the EU single market.

Earlier this week the Prime Minister give her clearest signal yet she will reject SNP demands for a bespoke deal allowing Scotland to stay in the trading zone.

Scottish Secretary David Mundell later poured cold water on the plan insisting the country "cannot be a member of the single market".

He has also rejected calls for new powers over immigration to be devolved to Holyrood.

Ms Sturgeon's latest threat came as Scottish Government's proposals were discussed at a meeting of the Joint Ministerial Committee (JMC).

Her Brexit Minister Mike Russell emerged from talks in London insisting Scotland "should not be treated with contempt" and that the "clock is ticking".

But Mr Mundell insisted UK Government plans for access to the single would deliver "exactly what Scotland's businesses are looking for".

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'Germany HAS benefitted' Euro bank boss defends policies amid furious German criticism


MARIO Draghi has been forced to defend his monetary policies from an onslaught of criticism in Germany, as the two sides continue to bicker over the best way to save the eurozone economy.

The European Central Bank (ECB) boss today insisted Germany has benefitted from its measures, which include ultra low interest rates and a mammoth money-printing programme that has injected trillions of euros into the region.

Amid growing resentment over the effects of ECB policies, Mr Draghi urged German citizens to be patient.

But the comments will be of little comfort, as the central banker also made clear the ECB is not set to change course any time soon.

Mr Draghi said an economic recovery was in the interest of everyone in the eurozone - including Germany - and said rates would rise when the economy is stronger.

It comes as the ECB kept rates on hold and maintained its money-printing programme, which was last month extended until December 2017.

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CNN imagines assassination of Donald Trump and Mike Pence (VIDEO)


That last epithet is of course what Donald Trump assigned to fake news outlet Buzzfeed.

CNN has just done a show fantasising about a mass assassination/terror attack during Donald Trump’s inauguration.

Like school-boy scoundrels, they imagined what might happen if Donald Trump, Mike Pence, The Speaker of the House of Representatives and the Pro-Tem Senate leader, were all murdered in a massive attack.

They then described how in the event of such an ungodly event it would be Obama’s cabinet members who would be in-line to become President.

Let me explain my disgust.

Firstly, fantasising about the murder of leaders is deplorable. Never in the height of the Cold War would any proper American media outlet have fantasised about ‘what are the possibilities of Brezhnev being assassinated’. Nor in the USSR would Nu Pogodi have been interrupted for a special broadcast about ‘The top 10 ways to murder Richard Nixon’.

CNN has hit really hit rock bottom. Not content to have been an open Clinton propaganda mouth-piece, their reporters now indulge themselves with fantasies of a terrorist attack or worse could take the lives of American representatives of all parties.

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Obama implies US intelligence community ‘doesn’t know’ how Wikileaks obtained DNC and Podesta emails


US President Obama in what was supposed to be his final press conference as President (it turns out he may be giving another one tomorrow morning) made a very interesting comment about the role of Wikileaks in the publication of the DNC and Podesta emails, which appears to cast doubt on the whole story of Russian interference in the US election.

It has been a central claim in the whole Clinton leaks story that after hacking the DNC’s and Podesta’s computers Russian intelligence passed on their stolen emails to Wikileaks as part of a ‘dirty tricks’ Russian operation to swing the US Presidential election to Donald Trump. Supposedly this operation was ordered by no less a person than Russian President Putin himself.

The US intelligence community in the two reports which it has published has failed to say how Russian intelligence passed on the stolen DNC and Podesta emails to Wikileaks, and has not provided any evidence it actually did so. Our old friends “the anonymous officials” are reported to have told the US news media ‘off the record’ that the US intelligence community has identified the Russian officials responsible for ‘directing’ the stolen emails to Wikileaks. However this is not the same as saying that the US intelligence community actually knows how it was done.

This is crucial because it is the publication of the emails, not the hacking of the DNC’s and Podesta’s computers, which is the heart of the scandal.

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RT invited to join the United Nations as official In-house broadcaster


A number of Russian dignitaries and media professionals gathered in Midtown Manhattan at the United Nations headquarters on Tuesday evening to mark the occasion. Speaking at the official ceremony in the UN Conference Room 4 were Russia’s UN ambassador Vitaly Churkin, UN Under-Secretary-General Cristina Gallach, and RT Director General Alexey Nikolov.

RT’s hashtag #QuestionMore could be seen on all of the UN member states’ digital desktop name displays throughout the auditorium.

Under-Secretary-General Gallach welcomed RT’s addition to the UN’s in-house network, “The UN in-house television network is viewed by UN staff members, delegates and visiting officials. It is home to a diverse range of news broadcasting networks from around the world and in different languages, and today welcome the newest member to the network.”

In an earlier press statement, RT head Alexey Nikolov said, “Today, in the era of sweeping, global political changes, it is more important than ever to consider different points of view – to compare them, to draw independent conclusions. In just 11 years, RT has won worldwide acclaim as a go-to source for alternative perspectives on current events. The diversity of views and stories that we represent is the embodiment of the fundamental principles of the Organization. We are pleased that the voice of RT will now be heard at UN level”.

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‘Pray for me’ Donald Trump calls on SIX religious leaders to help him become President


DONALD Trump has called on six religious leaders to pray for him at his inauguration, more than any other US president, as he prepares to move into the White House.

The President-elect has struggled to book headline performers for the event on Friday, with high profile entertainers refusing to take part.

But despite failing to attract the star power that showed their public support for Barack Obama, the billionaire businessman has been busy making up the numbers in other ways.

Six religious leaders will pray for Donald Trump, a Christian, and take part in the swearing-in ceremony as he becomes the 45th president of the US.

Reaching out to a range of faiths Hispanic evangelical Samuel Rodriguez, Archbishop of New York Timothy Dolan and Jewish Rabbi Marvin Hier will pray for the property tycoon.

Pastor Paula White, Bishop Wayne T. Jackson and controversial evangelist Franklin Graham will also give readings.

Mr Graham’s role in the ceremony has been condemned by Muslim groups calling for him to be banned from the inauguration accusing him of being an Islamophobe.

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UK post-Brexit trade deal with India threatened by Theresa May's visa crackdown


One of Britain's most important post-Brexit trade partnerships could be at risk due to Theresa May's refusal to reform visa restrictions for Indian citizens.

The Prime Minister has insisted leaving the EU would allow Britain to find other partners abroad and India, the world’s fastest growing major economy, was the first country she visited, accompanied by a large business delegation, outside Europe after the referendum.

But as the offensive to secure a trade deal continued on Wednesday, senior diplomats and Indian government officials warned Ms May’s refusal to reform visa restrictions could scupper her hopes.

Boris Johnson has flown in to Delhi to meet members of the government, business leaders and, he hopes, the Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The Foreign Secretary is due to explain the UK’s position on Brexit and stress how leaving the EU offers further commercial and industrial opportunities for the two countries.

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Multimillionaire who funded Brexit campaign launches anti-establishment 'news website'


Arron Banks has launched an anti-establishment news website intended to herald “radical political change”, echoing the tones of American alt-right site Breitbart.

Westmonster, co-owned by Michael Heaver, former press adviser to Nigel Farage, launched on Wednesday night with a welcome message stating the establishment had “taken one hell of a beating” in 2016 and encouraging viewers to “stick around”.

Modelled on right-wing American news aggregation site Drudge Report and echoing the opinionated and provocative tone of Breitbart, the website is expected to publish some original news content, as well as enlisting celebrities and backbench MPs.

Mr Banks, branded “Britain’s latest media baron” by the BBC, has donated millions to Brexit campaigns and is expected to use the 800,000 Facebook followers from Leave.EU, which he co-founded, to boost traffic for the new Westmonster site. By Thursday morning, Westmonster's Twitter account had accumulated more than 2,500 followers.

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Germany warns Theresa May she won't be taken seriously if she turns UK into a tax haven


Germany’s finance minister has warned Theresa May she will not be taken seriously by world leaders if she breaks a G20 agreement by slashing taxes to attract business after Brexit.

The Prime Minister has made clear she is ready to walk away from negotiations if the European Union only offers the UK a “punitive” trade deal.

Setting out her strategy on Tuesday, she warned that Britain would respond to any attempted punishment for Brexit by changing the basis of its economic model and reducing corporate taxes to attract investment.

But Wolfgang Schäuble said Mrs May’s claim that the country will emerge from Brexit as a “truly global Britain” would be undermined if she followed through on her warning.

She would be breaking an agreement reached by world leaders at 2015’s G20 summit in Antalya, Turkey, not to use corporate taxes to compete with other countries, he said.

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Donald Trump Inauguration 2016: Live Updates, Day One


Welcome to Breitbart News’s live coverage of the 2016 inauguration of Donald Trump, the 45th President of the United States.

All times Eastern.

11:10 PM: Tens of thousands of anti-Trump protestors and celebrities kicked off left-wing filmmaker Michael Moore’s “100 Days of Resistance” Thursday, rallying outside Donald Trump’s New York City International Hotel. Breitbart’s Jerome Hudson reported on the event “which featured speeches from political figures including New York Mayor Bill De Blasio and Minneapolis Mayor Betsy Hodges and actors Alec Baldwin, Robert De Niro, and Mark Ruffalo.”

Moore told the crowd that America has entered into a “very dangerous” time, after electing a “sociopath.”

“With a lot of work on our part, we will stop this man,” Moore shouted. “He will not last four years.”

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The Brexit Supreme Court row shows that we should be paying closer attention to our constitution


When Donald Trump is inaugurated as the 45th President of the United States, the ceremony will be the culmination of a democratic process that is played out, come rain, come shine, every four years. Many criticisms can be made of the workings of US democracy, from voter registration to the gerrymandering of constituencies to the role of money and – as seen in 2000 – the actual mechanics of voting and counting.

Much harder to fault is the Constitution which underpins US democracy. Not only does it provide for the peaceful handover of power and a new president whose legitimacy – even after this bizarre election year – is largely unchallenged. It also enshrines the institutional checks and balances that constrain presidential power.

The US constitution is brief, to the point, and practical. Written more than two centuries ago, it has held up so well that many of us journalists covering the aftermath of the “tied” 2000 election took to carrying around a copy to find out what was supposed to – and indeed did – happen next.

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Trump’s arrival on eve of inauguration ushers in ‘real change’ to Washington


Donald Trump’s arrival in Washington Thursday on the eve of his inauguration as the 45th president snapped the capital city into its new reality, as the buoyant business mogul celebrated his unlikely political ascent with signature bravado and spontaneity.

Kicking off three days of carefully orchestrated inaugural proceedings infused with pomp and guided by precision and protocol, the president-elect reveled in the moment and delivered a tribute to the populist movement that propelled him into office.

“We all got tired of seeing what was happening and we wanted change, but we wanted real change,” Trump said on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial. “It’s a movement like we’ve never seen anywhere in the world, they say.”

Exhorting thousands of supporters at the conclusion of an evening concert that was punctuated by a glimmering fireworks display, Trump vowed, “We’re going to work together, and we are going to make America great again — and, I’ll add, greater than ever before.”

Trump and his extended family signaled a new era in the country’s governance as they stepped off a military plane at Joint Base Andrews. They headed directly to his Pennsylvania Avenue property, the Trump International Hotel, where the president-elect irreverently toasted his Cabinet nominees.

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China GDP beats expectations to grow 6.8% in third quarter


China's economy grew a slightly more than expected 6.8 percent in the fourth quarter, supported by higher government spending and record bank lending. But, the decision to double down on spending has stoked concerns about an explosive rise in debt.

The country also faces growing uncertainties from a cooling housing market as the government is trying to push through painful structural reforms. These reforms could help in dealing with the root-cause of the rising debt and housing problems but will weigh on near-term growth.

The National Bureau of Statistics said on Friday that in 2016, the world's second-largest economy expanded 6.7 percent roughly in the middle of the government's 6.5-7 percent growth target. This rate is still the slowest pace in the last 26 years.

Reuters reported that economists had expected China to report 6.7 percent growth for both the fourth quarter and the full year. In the third quarter, the nation's economy grew 6.7 percent.

Although China has a solid economic base this year compared to last year, it has to face increasing uncertainties in 2017. Economists say the housing frenzy is showing signs of cooling and the impact of previous stimulus measures are expected to fade.

However, if U.S. President-elect Donald Trump imposes tough protectionist measures on trade, China might have to face new pressure for its sluggish exports.

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Malaysia's Carey port city a threat to Singapore? Port Klang chief pats aside China funding question


Port Klang Authority chairman explained on Thursday that the massive RM200 billion ($45 billion) port industrial city planned in Malaysia's Carey Island is "not a threat" to Singapore or any other ports along the Strait of Malacca.

"Singapore is also building a big terminal at Tuas which is 65 million TEUs (20-foot equivalent units); whereas for Carey Island, we are only talking about developing the port in phases - maybe up to a maximum of 30 million TEUs only," said Kong Cho Ha, chairman of Port Klang Authority, the body behind the project, according to The Channel News Asia.

Authorities are expecting construction to start by 2025 if the Malaysian government approves the proposal. "By 2025, the other terminals on Port Klang – such as West Port and North Port – would have already reached their capacity," said Kong.

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Seumas Milne quits Guardian for permanent Labour party position


Seumas Milne, Jeremy Corbyn’s director of communications, is leaving the Guardian to work permanently for the Labour leader, it has been announced.

Milne, who was previously associate editor, and a columnist at the paper, was initially granted unpaid leave to work for Labour, after Corbyn swept to the Labour leadership in 2015.

But he is to become a permanent feature of the leader’s team, which has recently been beefed up with a series of new faces, including the former Momentum spokesman James Schneider.

In an email to staff, Katharine Viner, the Guardian’s editor, said: “I’m writing to let you know that, following a period of unpaid leave from Guardian News & Media, Seumas Milne has decided to continue in his role as the Labour party’s strategy and communications director, and is leaving the staff of the Guardian.

“I would like to thank Seumas for his brilliant Guardian journalism, and we hope he’ll write for us again in the future.”

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Fake News CNN Versus President Donald Trump: Network’s Top Executive Makes Veiled Threat


Fake news outlet CNN’s top executive, Jeff Zucker, is threatening the incoming president of the United States Donald J. Trump.

“It’s just unfortunate that the most powerful person in the world is trying to delegitimize journalism and an organization that plays such a vital role in our democracy,” Zucker, CNN’s president, said in an interview with New York Magazine’s Gabriel Sherman, when asked about how Trump denounced CNN as “fake news” at his press conference last week in New York City. “I think he’s entitled to his opinion, but it’s — to use one of his favorite words — sad.”

Later in the interview, when asked by Sherman about how Trump shut down CNN’s Jim Acosta telling him his network was “fake news” and instead took questions from real news outlets like Breitbart News Network and Fox News, Zucker specifically threatened Trump in a veiled way that CNN will work to hurt the incoming president’s reputation on the world stage.

“Acosta didn’t get to ask a question at last week’s press conference. The first question went to Fox News, and Breitbart got to ask a question. Are you concerned about getting access to Trump?” Sherman asked Zucker.

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Obama Runs His Victory Lap After an Eight-Year Loss of Global Influence


After President-elect Donald Trump is sworn into office and Hillary Clinton supporters finally accept it, an important question will confront a divided America: Can a once-great nation recover the greatness it has surrendered?

A group of U.S. government analysts meets every four years to forecast where America is going, based not on who is president but on rising international influences impacting future American influence.

That group found that, just like the sun set on the British Empire giving rise to the “American Era,” we are witnessing the beginning of the end of American global influence at its peak. Analysts predict a massive shift in international affairs occurring over the next five years. “For better or worse,” they suggest, “the emerging global landscape is drawing to a close an era of American dominance following the Cold War.”

It should come as no surprise this forecast follows an Obama presidency based from the outset on promised change. But the change Obama has won is not that for which we had hoped. Apparently, the America our fathers and forefathers built, fought for, and made great was an America Obama resented.

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Watch Live: Trump ‘Make America Great Again’ Celebration


Thursday, President-elect Donald Trump and Vice President-elect Mike Pence will speak at the “Make America Great Again! Welcome Celebration” live from the Lincoln Memorial beginning at 4 p.m. ET.

Country singer Toby Keith and 3 Doors Down are set to perform, as well as various military bands.

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Obama Commutes Life Sentences of Four Mexican Cartel Leaders


Four family members who ran one of the largest cartel smuggling operations in south Texas had their life in prison sentences commuted and will likely be returning to this border city from where they ran their criminal empire. One of the main destinations that the criminal organizations delivered drugs to was Chicago, Illinois.

This week, outgoing President Barack Obama commuted the sentences of 209 convicted criminals and pardoned 64 others. The majority of the convictions were from drug trafficking or production offenses.

Four of those convicted criminals who had been sentenced to life in prison will be released by May 17. They ran a criminal organization made up of close to 80 men and women who worked with Mexico’s Gulf Cartel to move between 100,000 to almost 750,000 pounds of marijuana into the U.S. during a 10-year period. The drugs were moved into Houston and then distributed to Atlanta, Chicago, and other major metropolitan areas.

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Facebook has been buzzing with news about Friday's presidential inauguration – but not all of the stories filling our feeds have been true.

One recent story headlined "BREAKING: Clinton Invited Herself To Trump's Inauguration – Trump Uninvited Her 30 Minutes Later" has been going viral over the last two weeks.

But it's not true.

About a dozen websites picked up the story. At least one version of the article got thousands of shares on Facebook, according to a counter on the article.

That particular article was published on a website run by World News and Rumors, but it appears the story was published for the first time on USA Daily Post on Jan. 1. No contact information was available for either organization. So, ABC News dug into the story and here's what we found:


Apart from the names of the people in this story, there was virtually nothing in this article that was factually correct.

The fake news story claims that "apparently" the Clintons decided to attend the inauguration "without actually consulting" Trump. Just a half hour later, the fake news story says, Trump had uninvited her from the ceremony. This is not true.

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Government prepares for spike in hate crimes upon verdict


The Government is “prepared” for a spike in hate crimes next week after the Supreme Court rules on whether the Prime Minister has the power to bypass Parliament before triggering the Article 50 exit clause.

Home Office minister Baroness Williams of Trafford told peers that they had “learned the lessons” from a spate of hate crime incidents recorded in the wake of last year's EU referendum.

“We are working very closely with the police and community organisations to monitor any changes in hate crime levels,” she said.

Lady Williams also confirmed Home Secretary Amber Rudd would be meeting with consular staff from all the EU embassies.

Stop Hate UK chief executive Rose Simkins said reducing hate crime was a "long-term commitment" and could not be prevented with a “short-term fix”.

“For the Government to be prepared, they have to be putting resources into going out into communities, talking to people about their fears and concerns, on all sides - to people who are fearful but also those who are feeling pushed to commit these kinds of acts,” she told The Independent.

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Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman, the Mexican drug lord who was recaptured last year after six months on the run, arrived in the U.S. Thursday night just hours after the Mexican attorney general's office confirmed he was being extradited to the United States, the Department of Justice announced.

Guzman arrived around 9:30 p.m. at Long Island MacArthur Airport in Islip, N.Y., located about 50 miles east of Manhattan, where he was met by dozens of law enforcement personnel.

He is expected to be driven to the Metropolitan Correctional Center in Lower Manhattan and is expected to make his first court appearance Friday in Brooklyn.

The drug kingpin is being charged in six separate indictments throughout the U.S., the Department of Justice said. The department also gave credit to the Mexican government for its "extensive cooperation and assistance" in securing Guzman's extradition.

In a radio interview Thursday, former DEA Administrator Jack Riley, who helped bring a case against Guzman, called today the best of his life.

"He's going to face justice. He's not going to get his own prison," Riley said. "He's not going to dig a tunnel out. He's not going to bribe the officials."

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Martin McGuinness quits politics to recover from serious illness


Henry McDonald Ireland correspondent

Thursday 19 January 2017 19.38 GMT First published on Thursday 19 January 2017 18.07 GMT

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Martin McGuinness, the outgoing deputy first minister of Northern Ireland, has quit frontline politics to concentrate on recovering from “a very serious illness”.

McGuinness resigned as deputy first minister last week in protest at the handling of a botched energy scheme, forcing a snap election. He has now revealed that after “a lot of thinking” he will not be contesting those elections due to ill health.

McGuinness said: “The question I asked myself was, ‘Are you physically capable of fighting an intensive 5/6 week election and doing it to my full abilities?’ I rapidly came to the conclusion that I am not in any physical state to fight such a campaign. So I have taken the decision that I will not be a candidate in the upcoming election.”

During months of crisis at the end of 2016, McGuinness missed a trade mission to China due to illness. It is understood he is gravely ill as a result of a rare condition that attacks the heart, kidneys and other vital organs.

Reports in Dublin, which were later confirmed to the Guardian by Irish government sources, said McGuinness was suffering from amyloidosis, which also attacks the central nervous system.

The Guardian view on Northern Ireland: there may be trouble ahead

Editorial: A political crisis amid the churn of Brexit should see politicians face up to the real problems in the province. Unfortunately there is no sign that they want to

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The 66-year-old republican veteran, the former chief of staff of the Provisional IRA, has been central to the peace process and power sharing for almost three decades.

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WWII bomb discovery closes Waterloo and Westminster bridges


Two of London’s busiest bridges have been closed after an unexploded second world war bomb was found in the river Thames.

Waterloo and Westminster bridges, as well as part of Victoria Embankment, remained shut on Thursday afternoon while specialist officers carried out safety checks. Nearby underground stations were evacuated as a precaution.

The Metropolitan police confirmed the bomb was being dredged up from the river. It remains unclear how long the checks will take. A spokesman for the Met said: “There are road closures in place in and around the area whilst the item is assessed.”

Motorists were advised to avoid the area, but the road closures caused heavy traffic in large areas of central London.

MBNA Thames Clippers tweeted: “The river is closed between Charing Cross bridge and Westminster bridge, this is expected to be closed overnight.”

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MRI twice as likely as biopsy to spot prostate cancer, research shows


Every man with suspected prostate cancer should have an MRI scan, which is twice as likely to identify the presence of dangerous tumours as the invasive biopsy used currently, say doctors.

A major trial, which could influence a change of practice in the NHS, will amount to “the biggest leap forward in prostate cancer diagnosis in decades, with the potential to save many lives”, Prostate Cancer UK said.

Researchers publishing in the Lancet medical journal have shown that an MRI picks up 93% of aggressive cancers, compared with 48% for a biopsy. The biopsy, which removes a sample of tissue for lab testing, often misses the tumour altogether.

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The Prostate MRI Imaging Study (Promis), led by researchers at University College London (UCL), also showed that more than a quarter (27%) of all men with suspected cancer could avoid a biopsy altogether.

MRI scans were shown to be better at ruling out cancer, as well as identifying tumours that are not dangerous because they are slow growing and do not need to be treated. In the trial, the number wrongly diagnosed with a cancer that needed treatment was reduced by 5%.

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Lib Dem leader accuses Labour's Corbyn of giving up over Brexit


The Liberal Democrat leader, Tim Farron, has accused Jeremy Corbyn of “lamely giving up” while Britain “drives off a cliff” towards Brexit, and said future generations will not forgive Labour for failing to stand up to Theresa May’s plans.

In an overt attempt to steal votes from Labour in pro-remain constituencies, Farron said he believed Corbyn had put his party on the wrong side of the biggest political issue in a generation and was struggling because his MPs were increasingly split on how to respond.

“I think what Labour has done is to believe this is too difficult for them politically, let’s just wait for it to go away, and the meeker we are, the quicker it will go away. I think that’s the calculation they’ve made, and this and future generations are not going to forgive them for that,” he said. “We are saying that Jeremy Corbyn and now Keir Starmer [the shadow Brexit secretary] as well – you have a Labour party from top to bottom that is failing.”

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On Thursday, Corbyn sparked disquiet among his colleagues by signalling that he would expect Labour MPs to back legislation triggering article 50. Up to 30 Labour MPs, including several shadow cabinet members, are considering rebelling rather than back a bill that they believe will endorse the 12-point Brexit plan laid out by May in a speech on Tuesday.

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Young SAF regular found to have committed suicide with own rifle in Sembawang Camp


In a sad revelation in court yesterday, the death of a young Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) regular servicemen in Sembawang Camp has been officially ruled a suicide, Channel NewsAsia reports.

The autopsy concluded that 20-year-old Pravinraj Selvaraj shot himself with his issued rifle. Based on the trajectory of the bullet, he placed the weapon in his mouth before pulling the trigger.

It was on the morning of Nov 21, 2015 that Pravinraj and his partner were issued rifles along with a loaded magazine, and an empty one during a guard duty stint at Sembawang Camp,

That afternoon around 2.30pm, Pravinraj went to the toilet, while his partner waited outside. Calling out to Pravinraj after 10 minutes, the regular told his partner that he needed more time.

It was a few minutes after the interaction that a loud explosion was heard in the toilet. The partner saw bloodstains on the ceiling and alerted his superiors. Police and Singapore Civil Defence Force rescuers arrived to force open the cubicle, where Pravinraj was found slumped on the floor with his rifle.

He had written a suicide note on his phone, in which he left his belongings to his best friend, thanked his friends for being there for him, and told his girlfriend he loved her. Further investigations revealed that he had browsed suicide-related websites on his phone, and had sent pictures of bullets to his girlfriend and four of his closest friends just hours before he killed himself.

No evidence of "bullying, mistreatment or work-related grievance" was found during Pravinraj's time with the SAF, says State Coroner Marvin Bay.

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As thousands of people descend on Washington D.C. for the inauguration of President-elect Donald Trump, months of security planning, intelligence gathering and coordination are coming to fruition to protect lawmakers and the public.

The event, like the pope's visit and the Democratic and Republican national conventions, is designated as a national security event, which unlocks federal resources and allows Secret Service to assume the leadership role for security.

While there are no specific or credible threats, almost every federal partner imaginable will be contributing to the security apparatus this weekend, including the FBI, ATF, Park Police, Customs and Border Protection, the Coast Guard, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Department of Energy.

The United States Capitol Police Department is responsible for securing the Capitol and the Metropolitan Police Department will be primarily protecting the parade route, while still serving the entire city outside of inaugural activities.

In addition, more than 3,000 police officers from around the country are expected and National Guard troops will be patrolling.

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Steven Mnuchin, President-elect Donald Trump's pick for treasury secretary, found himself on the defensivefor failing to disclose $100 million in real estate assets on his financial disclosure forms before today's confirmation hearing.

Sen. Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., pointedly asked Mnuchin, a former hedge fund manager, if he would support closing tax loopholes in the U.S. that "extremely wealthy people use, such as yourself, to avoid paying taxes?"

She said Mnuchin, 53, also failed to include his position as a director of a Cayman Islands holding corporation.

Mnuchin said his offshore bank accounts in the Cayman Islands were used only to benefit nonprofits and pension funds and were allowable by law. Regarding the omission about his position in a shell company, Mnuchin claimed the mistake was an oversight.

"As you all can appreciate, filling out these government forms is quite complicated," he testified before the Senate Finance Committee.

"I did not use a Cayman Island entity to avoid paying taxes for myself … We shouldn't be encouraging people to set up Cayman Island funds," he said, arguing that we need to "close these tax issues that make no sense."

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Obama commutes 330 sentences in a bittersweet advance for clemency


President Obama commuted 330 prison sentences on Thursday afternoon, bringing his total to 1,715 prisoners who will serve shorter time than they were sentenced to by judges and juries.

The bulk of the commutations go to people who were busted on drug charges, both major and minor, and then subjected to outdated mandatory minimum sentences or federal sentencing enhancements.

Some 67 of the petitioners granted clemency Thursday were imprisoned for life. Obama has now replaced life sentences with shorter terms for 568 people throughout his 8 years in office — and shortened more prison terms than any other president in history.

The push still comes dramatically short of the administration’s initial ambitions. When Obama and then-Attorney General Eric Holder launched their clemency initiative in hopes of righting some of the wrongs of America’s long drug war, the administration hoped to shorten 10,000 criminal sentences.

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Donald Trump lands in Washington DC ahead of inauguration as country readies itself for mass protest


There was a smile, a wave and a even a short, sharp salute to the military officials greeting him. Donald Trump had clearly been practicing.

America’s President-elect flew into Washington, ready and apparently eager to assume office. Whether America, and the rest of the world, is quite so ready for him, remains to be seen. Certainly the city is taking security seriously – with more than 900,000 people, both protesters and those celebrating, set to arrive in the city for Mr Trump's inauguration.

“The mood around the city was just so celebratory during Obama’s inauguration,” said Heidi Batchelder, a DC school teacher, who said she would simply follow events on the radio and miss the parade. “In our school, the mood has been sombre since the election – amongst our students, amongst the faculty – so it’s just been a very different experience. It feels like this cloud has descended.”

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Future generations 'are not going to forgive' Labour for giving up on Brexit


Future generations “are not going to forgive” Jeremy Corbyn and the Labour Party for “lamely giving up” over Brexit, Tim Farron has said.

The Liberal Democrat leader said it was “not divisive” to stand up to Theresa May and The Conservatives, but Labour believe “it is too difficult for them politically” and they are just waiting “for it to go away”.

“I think that’s the calculation they’ve made, and this and future generations are not going to forgive them for that,” he told The Guardian, before accusing them of being “the most ineffective opposition in living memory.”

Labour was lamely giving up “as we go over a cliff,” he said, adding that it is “not divisive to hold the government to account”.

His comments followed Mr Corbyn’s confirmation that he would expect his MPs to back Theresa May when she triggers Article 50 and starts the two-year exit process.

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President Obama writes powerful open letter to Congress asking them to close Guantanamo Bay prison


The President blamed Congress for failing to close the prison, and having more regard for partisan support than taxpayer money and national safety

President Barack Obama has renewed his appeal to close controversial military prison Guantanamo Bay, accusing a partisan Congress for placing politics above taxpayer money, national safety and common sense.

In an open letter to Congress the day before he hands the White House to Donald Trump, the 44th President said there was "no justification" for keeping the prison open as it costs too much money, employs military members who could be better employed elsewhere, harms relationships with allies and is used by terrorists as propaganda against the US.

Mr Obama said if shutting the prison had been "easy", he would have done it years ago, but blamed a Republican-led Congress for failure to complete an action which he had set out to do in 2009. He said history would judge them "harshly" as a result.

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Donald Trump to visit CIA headquarters on his first full day as president


Donald Trump plans to visit CIA headquarters on Saturday on his first full day as US president, as he takes command of the agency that he has harshly criticised in the past.

A senior US intelligence official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the purpose his visit was to swear in Mike Pompeo as the spy agency’s new chief.

However, that plan, will depend on whether Mr Pompeo receives Senate confirmation by then, and it was uncertain whether the Senate would act in time.

The visit would nonetheless have a symbolic element to it,as Mr Trump has repeatedly criticised the CIA since his election victory since it concluded that Russia was involved in cyber hacking that interfered with the US election.

Mr Trump has since accepted the verdict of Russia's involvement.

But he raised hackles among intelligence professionals earlier this month when he accused them of leaks that led some US media outlets to report unsubstantiated claims that Russia had collected compromising information about him.

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Australian senator slammed for Twitter comment


An Australian senator has been slammed for a comment he made on social media less than an hour after a person was killed and pedestrians injured in Melbourne this afternoon.

Senator David Leyonhjelm, who represents New South Wales for the Liberal Democratic Party, shared a story from the Herald Sun about the breaking news.

"It's feared at least one pedestrian has been hit in the Bourke St Mall by a rogue car diving erratically. More soon,'' the newspaper tweeted out.

Leyonhjelm commented on his Twitter page: "Probably one of those semi-automatic assault cars.''

The off-the-cuff comment has backfired on the politician, with members of the public calling it inappropriate given the incident was still happening.

One woman wrote: "What an appalling thing to say in reaction to this event. Where is your compassion? You are supposed to be a leader.''

Another unimpressed user said: "David Leyonhjelm thinks the Bourke St mall deaths are comedic, what a complete tosser.''

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'There's one first lady': Ivanka Trump calls suggestions that she will fill Melania's role 'sexist'


Ivanka Trump finally broke her silence about rumours she might fill the role of first lady when her father takes office on Friday in an interview with Good Morning America.

"Well, I think its an inappropriate observation. There's one first lady and she'll do remarkable things," said Ivanka, referring to her father's wife Melania.

She later told Deborah Roberts in the interview, which will air in full on 20/20 in the US next Thursday, that she also found the comments "sexist", saying that they seemed to suggest that two women could not have a powerful role in her father's White House administration.

Ivanka also revealed during the interview that she is still close to former first daughter Chelsea Clinton despite her father's victory over Hillary in the election, and said that she will likely go to her for advice once she settles down in Washington DC next week.

Meanwhile, CNN reports that Melania is starting to put together the Office of the First Lady and is considering a male for the role of social secretary.

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I’m an anti-abortion feminist. I’ll walk at the Women’s March, whether organizers like it or not.


Aimee Murphy is founder of Life Matters Journal.

Note to the women’s movement: It is possible to be both pro-life and a feminist. In fact, it is possible to be pro-life and a feminist and opposed to President-elect Donald Trump. It’s too bad the organizers of the Women’s March on Washington refuse to accept this fact. This week march organizers indicated that women like me are not welcome in their ranks.

When the Atlantic reported that the Women’s March had approved New Wave Feminists, a pro-life feminist group, as an official partner, Twitter exploded with the rage of a thousand pro-choice feminists. They insisted that being pro-life and feminist is impossible, and that New Wave Feminists is “anti-woman,” “misogynist,” “nauseating” and worse.

You can guess what happened next. The Women’s March leadership caved to the pressure and removed New Wave Feminists from their website. Afterward, they released a statement declaring that their “platform is pro-choice and has been from day one” and that “the anti-choice organization in question is not a partner. . . . We apologize for this error.”

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Trump nominates Georgia ex-Gov. Sonny Perdue for Agriculture secretary


President-elect Donald Trump plans to nominate ex-Georgia Gov. Sonny Perdue for the secretary of Agriculture post on Thursday, said two people close to the confirmation confirmed Perdue's nomination, speaking on condition of anonymity because it has not been made officially.

That is expected on Thursday, a day before Trump is sworn into office in Washington, D.C.

Perdue, 70, served on Trump's agriculture advisory committee during the election campaign. Weeks after Trump was elected, Perdue met with the president-elect in Trump Tower in New York City.

"I'm interested in helping the country," Perdue told reporters Nov. 30 in the lobby of Trump Tower. "I told the president-elect Trump that I would be happy to serve from Georgia, where I am very happily living with my wife and 14 grandchildren, or I'd be happy to serve him if he thought I could be helpful to him here in D.C."

The Perry, Ga., native started his political career as a Democratic state senator in 1992. He switched to the Republican Party six years later. He was elected governor of Georgia in 2002 and served until stepping down in 2011. Months later, he launched Perdue Partners and Perdue Consulting Group. He created Perdue Partners, an international trading company, with three of his state government appointees, including his cousin and Sen. David Perdue.

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Waikato road works fatal crash could have been avoided if H&S procedures followed, says judge


f either of two construction companies in charge of a Waikato road works site had followed key Health and Safety procedures a young mother of two would not have died, a Hamilton judge has found.

Transfield Services New Zealand Ltd - which has changed its name to Broadspectrum New Zealand Ltd since the crash - and NZ Traffic Hamilton Ltd were ordered to pay about $210,000 in fines and reparation over the death of Te Kauwhata woman Veronique Bond after a truck reversed over her as she sat on her scooter at road works on Island Block Rd on March 4, 2015.

In a scathing reserved decision released to the Herald, Judge Philip Connell listed a series of failures by the companies stating "the defendants' standard of compliance can only described as lax at best" and the "pointlessness" of identifying hazards without following procedures to avoid them.

Transfield employee John Gisborne was also sentenced for his part in the incident in the Hamilton District Court today .

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Govt to appeal landmark Rena wreck ruling which allows councils to ban fishing


A landmark court ruling which allows councils to place restrictions on fishing is being challenged by the Government.

The Environment Court ruled in December that councils were able to impose fishing rules in their regions for the purpose of protecting native species. It was hailed at the time as a "very important" decision by environmental group Forest and Bird, who said it could be applied by councils across the country.

The Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) confirmed today that Crown law had appealed the court's decision this week, but would not comment further.

"The case is now before the High Court therefore we cannot comment."

Forest and Bird and the Motiti Rohe Moana Trust took the matter to the Environment Court in a bid to prevent fishing around Astrolabe Reef, where the ecosystem had suffered after being struck by the container vessel MV Rena in 2011 - New Zealand's worst environmental disaster at sea.

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Motorsport: Spectator dies in Monte Carlo after Kiwi rally driver Hayden Paddon crashes


A spectator involved in Kiwi Hayden Paddon's rally crash in Monte Carlo has died.

The Hyundai driver lost control on ice, and slid off the road and into a bank, where someone was standing.

There are conflicting reports about whether Paddon's car hit the spectator, or whether he fell from the steep bank into which the car crashed.

Live footage showed the spectator tumble down the bank and other spectators rush to check on the person.

Paddon and co-driver John Kennard were not injured.

A short time ago Hyundai Motorsport said via social media they would be withdrawing from the event, a tweet which Paddon shared with his followers.

In a statement Hayden Paddon RallySport Global Ltd said "we are deeply saddened to have just received the following statement from Rally Monte Carlo officials, plus the following statement from Hyundai Motorsport: It is with great sadness that the Automobile Club de Monaco confirms further details of the incident that occurred in SS1 with car #4 (Paddon/Kennard).

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Sorry Hillary, New Study Says 'Fake News' Did Not Affect The Election Result


Defeated candidate Hillary Clinton and shocked Democrats scrambled to explain their crushing loss in the 2016 U.S.

Presidential election using a host of alibis from supposed Russian election interference, to FBI's "ill-timed" announcement that it would reopen its probe on Hillary private email server scandal, all the way to Hillary's favorite excuse- the proliferation of fake news that favored Trump and swayed voters' perceptions against her. Well, there's some fresh but not fake news for Hillary that will destroy her sorry excuses for her devastating setback. A new survey concludes that so-called " fake news" favoring Trump may have exceeded those favoring Hillary but did not have a significant impact on the presidential election

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‘Operation Stop Soros’ Movement Launched In Macedonia


The crooked George Soros is facing scrutiny in Macedonia after the activities of his Open Society Foundations started being examined on Tuesday by a new initiative. The initiative which was launched in Macedonia is known as ‘Stop Operation Soros’ SOS is dedicated to countering the influence of the billionaire globalist George Soros.

Speaking at a press conference, the founders of the group called on all free-minded individuals to join hands regardless of their religion or ethnicity in fighting against one-mindedness that has inhibited the civil sector.

The initiative aims at focusing on unveiling the subversive activities by Soros-funded NGOs. Reports from Nikola Srbov who is a columnist for pro-government news portal Kurir and co-founder of SOS point out that the Soros-funded NGOs have monopolized civil society in Macedonia. Adding that Macedonian citizens have witnessed the instrumentalization, abuse and the takeover of the entire civil sector to meet the goals of one political party, Srbov also emphasized that its unacceptable and it violates the principles of civic organizing.

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CNN Wants an Angry Reporter to Cover ‘Fake News’


CNN recently posted a job advertisement for a reporter who’s main task is to monitor “fake news” online. According to the positon’s description, the ideal candidate should be passionate about debunking “fake news” stories and should be very familiar with the “deepest corners” of the Internet.

CNN posted the advertisement at Turner Jobs. According to the news network, the candidate will work as part of the new media team of CNNMoney. As the team’s newest reporter, this person will cover news stories that have been deemed by the network as “fake news.” In doing so, the reporter will have to point out the inaccuracies in the stories as well as debunk them through follow-up reports.

Aside from these tasks, the reporter will also have to trace the source of these kinds of news stories and identify who advertises and publishes them. As noted by CNN, this is part of the network’s effort to expose the truth.

In terms of the candidate’s character, CNN noted that this reporter should be very passionate about discrediting “fake news.”

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Alibaba’s Jack Ma Blames U.S., Not China, for Failing Economy


In what seems to be an indirect response to President-elect Donald Trump’s criticism on China, Jack Ma, founder of the largest online retailer Alibaba, said that the U.S. should blame itself for its ongoing economic issues. Ma made his statement during his appearance at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.

Ever since the campaign period, Trump has maintained a firm stance against China. One of his polices back then was imposing higher taxes on U.S. companies that have manufacturing facilities in China.

According to Trump, this type of practice takes away potential jobs for the American people.

In response to this notion, Ma stressed that it is not the fault of other countries if U.S. jobs are relocated overseas.

“It’s not that other countries steal jobs from you guys,” he said during the event according to CNBC. “It’s your strategy. Distribute the money and things in a proper way. You’re supposed to spend money on your own people.”

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Sorry Hillary, New Study Says 'Fake News' Did Not Affect The Election Result


Defeated candidate Hillary Clinton and shocked Democrats scrambled to explain their crushing loss in the 2016 U.S.

Presidential election using a host of alibis from supposed Russian election interference, to FBI's "ill-timed" announcement that it would reopen its probe on Hillary private email server scandal, all the way to Hillary's favorite excuse- the proliferation of fake news that favored Trump and swayed voters' perceptions against her. Well, there's some fresh but not fake news for Hillary that will destroy her sorry excuses for her devastating setback. A new survey concludes that so-called " fake news" favoring Trump may have exceeded those favoring Hillary but did not have a significant impact on the presidential election.

The study, co-authored by economists Matthew Gentzkow of Standord University and Hunt Allcott of New York University, also reveals that the political impact of social media in general is. in fact, overrated. The scholars' paper " Social Media and Fake News in the 2016 election melds new browsing data, a 1,200- person post-election online survey they conducted and the assembling of a database of election-related stories categorized as fake news by known fact-checking websites including Poli+Fact, the timeframe of which covered the three month-period before the election.

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Trump To Take "Four Or Five" Executive Actions On Day One


The President-elect Donald Trump is serious about making the required changes in the government, this will require a lot of effort and for his administration to optimize on its time in office. Sean Spicer, who’s the spokesman was cited by Reuters saying that the President-elect Donald Trump may take four or five executive actions on Friday as soon as he is sworn into office.

Speaking at a news briefing on Wednesday, Spicer said that Trump has got four to five executive actions that he’s going to sign on Friday. Adding that there’s other actions that he’s also expected to sign with respect to a couple of issues that Trump has prioritized. However, Spicer did nor expound. It’s no surprise since Trump had pledged to take executive actions as soon as he takes up office to counter some of the policies of Democratic President Obama. It’s still unclear as to what actions he’ll take. However, Forbes has compiled a list of Obama’s own Executive Orders which will be most likely targeted by Mr. Trump.

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OBAMA OUT! Luxury possessions moved out of the White House ahead of Trump's inauguration


THE Obamas have started moving their belongings out of the White House after eight years in the presidential palace.

With Donald Trump set to take over the presidency on Friday, removal vans were seen transporting furniture to the upmarket Kalorama neighbourhood in Washington DC where Barack and Michelle Obama have rented a new home.

The luxury 8,200 square-foot property has eight bedrooms and nine bathrooms and is worth an estimated £3.4million ($4.3million), according to reports.

Ivanka Trump, the daughter of Obama’s successor Donald Trump, and Amazon founder Jeff Bezos will be among the Barack and Michelle’s new neighbours when they move into their new home.

Removal men were spotted taking three sets of golf clubs into the house following Trump’s suggestion that the outgoing President spent too much time indulging in his favourite pastime.

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Shocking Tale Of A Canadian Girl's Sufferings From Sexual Assault Committed By Syrian Migrant Boy


The Rebel media posted a disturbing Youtube video report of a story its journalist and commentator Faith Goldy has been working on for almost a year that may seriously cast doubts on Western countries' seemingly politically-correct policies on migrants, especially when such supposed virtuous agenda tragically tramples on host-countries own citizens' rights and safety.

The Rebel report discussed the harrowing experience of how a young girl's supposed fairy tale first high school dance turned into a vicious nightmare due to the wild transgression of a migrant boy. A 14-year old girl from Fredericton High School in New Brunswick in Canada attending her first school dance in October last year was sexually harassed by a Syrian migrant boy.

The report went on to discuss the graphic details of the repugnant crime, where the boy simply walked up to the girl-victim and wantonly touched her most private parts. The assault happened so fast and aggressive the girl did not know what was coming to her. The girl's friends were able to pull her away before further disgusting harm could be done to her.

The report featured an interview with the girl's mother who discussed with Goldy how her daughter's tragic experience did not end with the Syrian boy's deplorable indiscretion ,but went on as she tried to seek redress for what happened to her daughter. The mother said the school was not as helpful and accommodating to her request for a meeting about the case, and even made her feel as if her complaint was not important.

The mother unfortunately also received the same cavalier attitude when she accompanied her daughter to report the matter to the Fredericton City Police. At one point, there were even comments made that seem to justify the boy's unforgivable action, blaming it instead to the boy's situation of coming from another country, adjusting to Canada and the raging hormones of an adolescent boy. Imagine how horrifying that is to the mother out to get even semblance of justice for her young daughter.

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Wall Street gets a Donald Trump windfall as Goldman Sachs and Citigroup profit from volatile trading


Goldman Sachs and Citigroup both reported fourth-quarter profit that surpassed analysts’ estimates as a bond-trading revival spurred by Donald Trump’s surprise victory lifted earnings across Wall Street.

The two firms were the last of the major US banks to report results, with JPMorgan, Morgan Stanley and Bank of America posting gains as investors placed bets on the direction of interest rates and the economy after the November US election. Citigroup’s profit rose 7.1 per cent on a 36 per cent jump in fixed-income revenue, while earnings at New York-based Goldman Sachs more than tripled, with bond trading up 78 per cent.

Citigroup chief executive Michael Corbat and Goldman Sachs boss Lloyd Blankfein have been cutting costs and restructuring management to adjust to stricter capital requirements and a revenue downturn since the financial crisis. Goldman Sachs’s 2016 revenue was the lowest in five years, though investors and analysts are speculating the firm’s trading operations could be one of the biggest beneficiaries of Mr Trump’s policies.

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Trump to Dems :"I hope They Give Me Their Tickets , We Need Seats So Badly"


Speaking in an interview with Fox News, the President-elect Donald Trump revealed that Democrats shunning his inauguration this Friday ought to return their tickets. This follows announcement by 54 House Democrats who pledged not to attend the inauguration.

There has been a rapid increase in the number of Democrats who’ve boycotted attending Trump’s inauguration following the recent feud between Mr. Trump and John Lewis. The President-elect Donald Trump called out John Lewis adding that he was all talk and no action. However, it’s no surprise to find out that the Democrats are boycotting the inauguration, at the end of the day that’s the best way for them to show how bitter they are following their loss in the election.

Trump is less concerned by their absence as he pointed out that they should return their tickets. The Hill’s whip list reported that a huge number of Democrats intend to break with tradition by skipping Trump’s inauguration.

Trump slammed Lewis after he claimed that he had never boycotted an inauguration despite doing so during former President George W. Bush’s in 2001. Trump mocked Lewis adding that he conveniently doesn’t remember.

Trump also emphasized that he dislikes tweeting and that he uses Twitter as a defense against the media. Adding that he gets very dishonest media and press and the only way for him to counteract is through twitter. Trump is always able to call out misstatements that are made about him. However, he added that he’ll reduce his Twitter activity once the press shows some respect towards him.

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BREAKING: CIA Releases Million Pages Of Declassified Documents


Nearly 13 million pages of declassified files have been published online by the Central Intelligence Agency. Previously, the documents were only accessible from the National Archives College Park, Maryland from four terminals.

The declassified documents contain information on UFO sightings, Human telepathy, Nazi war crimes and the Cuban Missile Crisis. It's taken a while for the documents to be released. During Bill Clinton's tenure, he ordered the agency to release all documents at least 25 years old with historical value to be declassified. Fortunately, the CIA complied, however access to the documents was limited since anyone who wanted access had to make their way to the US National Archives in Washington D.C.

In a report issued by engadget, back in 2014, a nonprofit organization called MuckRock filed a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit pressing the CIA to post all of its documents online. However, the agency stated that it would take up to six years to scan all its content.

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Vice.com Is Pushing The LGTBQP Madness


Its unfortunate that Vice.com has little to no consideration of the societal healthy existence, in fact, the media outlet is up to no good, its been striving so hard to push the LGTBQP madness with the sole intent of corrupting and eroding the societal moral values. In what appears to be a deceptive strategy, Vice.com has been using flowery words to appeal to the masses, such include substituting terms such as tranny with transition. However, the site doesn’t tell you that trannies walk down the street at night yelling at every man that walks by that they will do blowjobs for free. This is the kind of pathetic madness that Vice.com is advocating for.

Extremist Democrats such as the extremist lesbian Democrat Annise Parker are trying to compel the society to buy into their wicked ideologies, they are doing so with the help of media outlets such as the Vice.com to spread the wicked ways.

The transition gender madness encompasses the term of many gender identities associated with those who do not identify or exclusively identify with their sex at birth. However, its not indicative of gender expression, hormonal makeup, sexual orientation or how one is perceived.

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Rescuers Still Hard At Work To Find Survivors In The Rigopiano Hotel Avalanche In Italy


The determination of the search and rescue team looking for survivors of an avalanche at a mountain hotel in Italy is unrelenting despite the daunting challenges. Their search operation has gone into the night, with up to 35 people under rubble and snow.

Only two survivors have been identified so far, and they were outside the hotel at the time of the avalanche. Still, searchers said they are not ready to surrender hope yet in locating and rescuing survivors despite finding no signs of life. Rescuers had to battle the elements to reach the site. So far, three bodies were recovered from the ruins of the Rigopiano hotel, in the central Abruzzo region.

The avalanche struck on Wednesday, only hours after multiple earthquakes hit the region. Four of the earthquakes were stronger than magnitude 5, made worse because terrified residents of rural areas were already struggling with heavy snow fall at that time. Italy's Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni described the twin tragedies an " unprecedented vice of frost and earthquakes", and called for national security.

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Declassified CIA Memos Reveal Probes Into Gold Market Manipulation


A series of declassified memos from 1970 has been released by the CIA, the memos relate to the newly created SDR and the gold market. The memos provide a lot of insight on how the CIA viewed the gold market including the perceived manipulation of gold and the potential for the SDR to become a gold substitute in the international monetary system.

It’s worth noting that the classification of the documents is significant since the second highest classification used by the CIA is termed “secret”. As denoted by the CIA, the unauthorized disclosure of secret information is likely to cause serious damage to national security.

The declassified SDR and gold documents was marked “SECRET” including a warning stating that the document contains information that affects the national defense of the United States within the meaning of Title 18 sections 793 and 794 of the US Code.

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Looking Ahead: Trump Unveils His 2020 Winning Reelection Slogan


Right after winning the 2016 U.S. presidential election, Donald Trump immediately went down to take care of serious business to fulfill his campaign promise of " Make America Great Again" by working to keep jobs in America for Americans, working the foreign relations dynamics to wrestle back America's power and position before the world, and recruiting the best people to push for a stronger military. Political observers even asked if Trump were the President already after his victory as his hard work and dedication overshadowed Obama on the dying days of the latter's administration.

And now, a day before he officially takes his oath as the 45th President of the U.S., so forward-looking Trump is and so confident he is of how he would perform as the new Commander-in-Chief of the U.S. that he already has a working slogan for his 2020 reelection bid. Trump revealed in a recent newspaper interview what it would be. It's a take off and a logical continuation of his Make America Great Again- none other than Keep America Great! Tomorrow's official new President made sure on including the exclamation point for emphasis and for greater vigor.

Trump also proved that he is serious with the slogan that he called on his lawyer during the interview where he first revealed the new slogan, and right there and then instructed to have Keep America Great! trademarked for him. He earlier had the same vision for the winning Make America Great Again slogan as he sought its trademark as early as 2012, following Mitt Romney's loss to President Obama. Trump paid a $325 fee to get the rights to the slogan he himself thought of.

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US soldiers line border with Russia to ‘DEFEND’ west from Putin’s fire as tensions grow


Soldiers are set to be deployed to Lithuania and Estonia to bolster defences, it was announced just days after 4,000 US soldiers arrived in Poland.

The huge deployment comes at a time of heightening tension between the USA and Russia, who are believed to have interfered with November’s presidential election.

Yesterday, Lithuania and Estonia signed agreements with the US to secure the presence of troops in the country. Latvia also signed a similar agreement last week.

Lithuanian defence minister Raimundas Karoblis said yesterday: “We are interested in the continued presence of American troops in Lithuania, as this is one of the key elements of our security.”

The development came just days after thousands of American troops arrived in Poland.

This latest deployment is believed to have been rushed through in the final days before Donald Trump replaced Barack Obama as president of the United States.

Mr Trump is not a supporter of NATO and his election has set alarm bells ringing in the country’s Eastern European allies.

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Second Cathedral Embroiled In Muslim Prayer Controversy


Gloucester Cathedral has provoked controversy by hosting an event featuring the Islamic call to prayer, as well as Buddhist chanting, Rasta drumming, and a Pagan rock band in an event just days after a Scottish cathedral was criticised by hosting Muslim prayers denying the divinity of Jesus Christ.

The ‘Faith’ exhibition by artist Russell Haine, held inside the Christian monument, features 37 portraits of individuals from different belief systems, including Zoroastrians, Druids, Witches, Pagans, and Baha’i, as well as all the major world religions.

The Islamic call to prayer — which states that Muhammed is Allah’s prophet, a teaching incompatible with Christianity — was performed at the launch of the exhibition, by local Imam Hassan of Masjid-e-Noor Mosque.

Reverend Ruth Fitter, vicar of St. Paul and Stephen Church, who helped arrange the event, said the call was “absolutely beautiful” and encouraged Christians to embrace all religions rather than spread the gospel in any way.

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Tourists Flee ‘Nightmare’ Paris Amidst Rising Theft, Assaults, Terror


Tourists from China are avoiding France amid surging violence and crime, a Chinese tourism expert has said, reporting that customers are turning to Russia as a safer destination.

President of the Chinese Association of Travel Agencies in France, Jean-François Zhou, said “increasingly violent” thefts and assaults are turning France into “one of the worst destinations for foreign tourists”.

Mr. Zhou, a representative for major Chinese travel agency Utour in France, reported a steep decline in visitor numbers from Asia, and said many tourists are now looking to Russia as a less dangerous holiday destination.

“In 2016, there were 1.6 million Chinese tourists compared to 2.2 million in 2015. The number of Japanese tourists dropped 39 per cent, and Koreans 27 per cent. Our tourists have turned to Russia, which is less attractive but at least it is a safe country. For Putin, it is an economic windfall”, he told Le Parisien.

Rising violence and aggression account for the drop, according to Mr. Zhou, who said: “For a number of Chinese tourists, the dream of visiting France and Paris has turned into a nightmare.

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EU Parliament chief negotiator warns Theresa May she can't expect 'tariff-free' access to the single


The European Parliament's chief negotiator has warned Theresa May that she cannot expect the "tariff free" access to the single market that she and her ministers are hoping for post-Brexit.

Guy Verhofstadt said the days of the UK "cherry picking" the best parts of the European Union are over, and called on the UK to work in a "frank and open manner" with the EU.

His intervention follows Theresa May's speech this week in which she set out the main priorities she would target in talks, including "tariff-free trade", while saying little about the compromises she would have to make to get them.

In an article for The Guardian Mr Verhofstadt said: "It is an illusion to suggest that the UK will be permitted to leave the EU but then be free to opt back into the best parts of the European project, for instance by asking for zero tariffs from the single market without accepting the obligations that come with it.

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Xi calls for world without nuclear weapons


Chinese President Xi Jinping called for a world without nuclear weapons at the UN on Wednesday and urged a multilateral system based on equality among nations large and small.

His speech at the United Nations in Geneva came at the end of a diplomatic tour that included a landmark address at the World Economic Forum in Davos, just days before Donald Trump is sworn in as the 45th president of the United States.

Some experts have seen Xi's Swiss tour as a bid to capture the mantle of global leadership at a time when Washington is clouded by uncertainty with an unpredictable political novice about to take charge.

"Nuclear weapons should be completely prohibited and destroyed over time to make the world free of nuclear weapons," Xi said, according to an official translation.

China has been a nuclear power since 1964.

In an address that stretched beyond 45 minutes, Xi also sought to make the case for a global governance system that strives for a level playing field among countries where interventionist tendencies are resisted.

"We should reject dominance by just one or several countries", Xi said, adding that "major powers should respect each other's core interests."

"Big countries should treat smaller countries as equals instead of acting as a hegemon, imposing their will on others," he further said, speaking alongside the new UN secretary general Antonio Guterres.

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Cambodian women rescued from sex slavery in Japan


ven Cambodian women have been rescued from a restaurant in Japan where they were allegedly forced into sex work after a victim made a desperate Facebook plea for help, an official said Wednesday.

The women, who are in their 20s, were lured to work at the restaurant in central Honshu island November with promise of high wages by a Japanese owner who arranged visas and airfares for the them, the Cambodian foreign ministry said in a statement

‘But (he) threatened and forced the victims to have sex with guests at the restaurant and did not pay them salaries,’ the statement said.

Cambodian foreign ministry spokesman Chum Sounry told AFP the women were rescued in mid-December after a victim wrote a plea for help on the Facebook page of the Cambodian embassy in Japan.

Japanese authorities in Gunma prefecture, west of Tokyo, were then alerted.

Six of the women are now staying at the Cambodian embassy in Tokyo awaiting repatriation on Thursday while the seventh victim was sent home late last month for health reasons.

Cambodian officials did not say if the Japanese restaurant owner was arrested or faced any charges.

Japan has long been a destination for women from Southeast Asia seeking higher wages who often find themselves forced into sex work or indentured labour.

Last August the Philippines warned its citizens against illegally travelling to Japan in search of work, saying they often risked being trafficked for sex or forced labour.

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Girl kills herself in live online video and police cannot stop footage being viewed by millions


A video of a 12-year-old girl's suicide which she recorded live on her mobile phone has been viewed by millions of people online, prompting calls for action to remove the footage.

As viewers watched her live online, Katelyn Nicole Davis filmed herself as she claimed that she had been a victim of sexual abuse by a family member. Then she took her own life.

The youngster used a livestreaming app which allowed her to broadcast herself using her mobile phone.

But following her death, the video of her suicide went viral after it was copied from the feed on Live.me, a social media app similar to Facebook Live, and duplicated.

The full 42-minute video of the girl preparing for and carrying out her suicide was available on YouTube and Facebook for several days but were removed when both companies were contacted by The Independent.

The YouTube video had received nearly 40,000 views before it was taken down.

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Rescued use WHATSAPP to cry for help from UNDER snow after 80 EARTHQUAKES


Emergency services are at the scene of the devastating avalanche in Italy, but their efforts have been hampered by the snow.

Teams of rescue workers, dogs and helicopters have been at the scene this morning to locate the missing people.

There were at least 80 aftershocks over night, including two of 3.5 magnitude.

Fabrizio Curcio, Head of Civil Protection, has said: "There are thousands of workers in difficult conditions, risking their lives to try to bring relief and assistance to citizens.

"The situation is critical, with two events - bad weather and earthquake - but I say again: we have not lost a minute and I assure you that the whole civil protection system will continue to work and use all necessary resources.”

Rescuers have recovered the body of a victim of the avalanche from the hotel as other workers say no-one has been answering their calls.

Rescuers on skis reached the hotel at 4am local time (3.00am GMT) after their rescue mission suffered severe delays because the conditions.

The prefect of Pescara, Francesco Provolo, said: “This is one of the most important hotels in the area. They are prepared for emergencies.”

Two survivors have been rescued as workers search for at least three people still missing.

The rescued pair have been named as Giampiero Parete and Fabio Salzetta by Italian media. they sent a WhatsApp message to rescuers which read: "Help help we are dying of cold".

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Beijing again dismisses Trump’s “One China” policy change suggestion

China’s foreign ministry on Sunday again rejected President-elect Donald Trump’s suggestion that he might use American policy on Taiwan as a bargaining chip between the two sides.

Ministry spokesman Lu Kang said that the “one China” policy is “non-negotiable.” Since recognizing Beijing in 1979, Washington has maintained only unofficial ties with Taiwan, the self-governing island that Beijing considers its territory - a status quo that Trump has repeatedly threatened to upend since winning the November election.

“The government of the People’s Republic of China is the only legitimate government representing China,” Lu said in a statement. “That is the fact acknowledged by the international community and no one can change.”

Trump told The Wall Street Journal in an interview published Friday that “everything is under negotiation, including ‘one China.’”

The interview is the latest indication that Trump could shake up the U.S.-China relationship, particularly on Taiwan, which China considers a core national interest.

China was already angered by Trump’s Dec. 2 phone call with Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen, the first time an American president or president-elect has publicly spoken to Taiwan’s leader in nearly four decades. Beijing considers any reference to a separate Taiwanese head of state to be a grave insult.

more here:


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'Britain will FORGE a new place in world' May tells leaders to 'SERVE THE PEOPLE' at Davos


The British Prime Minister told leaders free trade and globalisation has to work for everyone as she told them Britain is a multicultural country which is open to trade.

She also spoke about slavery as the “scourge of our world” as she urged leaders to take responsibility for cutting it out and look after those who are being "left behind".

Mrs May hit out at far-right and far-left parties are using people's anger and fears to create immediate solutions which will not last in the world of today.

In a speech tailored to those elite leaders in Davos, Switzerland, Mrs May said: "Those of us who meet here are all optimists who believe in the power of public and private cooperation to make the world of tomorrow better than today.

"We are all united in our belief that that world will be built on the foundation of free trade, partnership and globalisation.

"Yet beyond the confines of this hall those forces for good we take for granted are being called in to question the forces of liberalisation and free trade that have an overwhelming impact on our world, the forces that underpin the rules based international system which is key to our global beliefs of unity are at risk of being undermined.

"Across Europe parties of the far left and right are seeking to exploit this opportunity gathering support by feeding off an underlying sense felt by some people with modest to low incomes living in relatively rich countries in the west are not working for them.

"Those parties who embrace the politics of division and despair, who offer solutions which are easy, feed off the sense in the public that mainstream and political leaders have failed to address their problems."

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Vaccines for three deadly viruses fast-tracked


Scientists have named three relatively little-known diseases they think could cause the next global health emergency.

A coalition of governments and charities has committed $460m to speed up vaccine development for Mers, Lassa fever and Nipah virus.

They are asking funders at the World Economic Forum Davos for another $500m.

The Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (Cepi) aims to have two new experimental vaccines ready for each disease within five years.

New vaccines usually take about a decade to develop and cost hundreds of millions of dollars.

The Ebola outbreak in West Africa, closely followed by the Zika epidemic in Latin America, exposed just how "tragically unprepared" the world is for new outbreaks.

Jeremy Farrar, director of the Wellcome Trust, one of the founding members of Cepi, said: "Before the 2014 outbreak we only had very small Ebola epidemics that were in isolated communities that we were able to control.

"But in the modern world with urbanisation and travel, 21st Century epidemics could start in a big city and then take off the way Ebola did in West Africa.

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Toyota examining"how to survive' in post Brexit Britain after May's Single Market announcement


Japanese automotive manufacturer Toyota has warned that it is examining “how to survive” in a post-Brexit UK just days after Prime Minister Theresa May said that Britain would leave the single market as part of the divorce from the bloc.

In an interview with the Financial Times conducted at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Takeshi Uchiyamada, chairman of Toyota, said that his company would have to ramp up its competitiveness in order to weather the effects of Brexit.

“We have seen the direction of the prime minister of the UK, [so] we are now going to consider, together with the suppliers, how our company can survive,” the paper quoted him as saying.

Toyota has in recent months been plagued by poor results and having to recall millions of cars last year over defective airbag and fuel emissions control units.

In October, Toyota’s Chief Competitive Officer and Executive Vice President Didier Leroy told reporters that although the Brexit vote would likely threaten the carmakers competitiveness in the region, he did not see it as a trigger to shift production away from the country.

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Angela Merkel's senior economic adviser says Theresa May's plan is impossible


German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s senior adviser has warned that Theresa May’s proposed Brexit plan is impossible.

Ms May used a speech on Tuesday to tell international leaders that she would take the UK out of the single market, but still wanted to negotiate access to it.

Yet German politician Michael Fuchs said the Conservative's plan was "not possible" because "you can't eat a cake without paying for it".

The Prime Minister has said the UK is prepared to default to World Trade Organisation rules if the EU does not cut a favourable agreement for Britain during Brexit negotiations, claiming: “no deal for Britain is better than a bad deal”.

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New Euro President to force EU members to SHARE asylum seeker numbers


Mr Tajani, who was voted in as the new president to replace Martin Schulz, will put migration rules at the top of his to-do list, as well as Brexit negotiations and rescuing EU trade policy as deals are in a dire state.

The Italian politician, from the centre-right European People’s Party group – headed by Jean-Claude Juncker, is an ex-European commissioner and has taken over from Germany’s Martin Schulz.

He is set to reform the EU’s migration rules in an overhaul of the Common European Asylum System, including the possibility of introducing common procedures for asylum claims and a way of allocation asylum seekers between EU countries.

The new president has pledged to support the reforms for the Schengen Information System, which is used by EU countries to track criminals.

One of his first tests will be navigating the EU-Canada trade deal through Parliament.

Mr Tajani will be dealing with the decision to grant market economy status to China, according to the World Trade Organisation agreements.

He has committed himself to being a neutral president who does not predetermine the outcome of decisions.

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Jewish Centers Across U.S. Amid New Wave of Bomb Threats


Dozens of Jewish Community Centers in the U.S. were evacuated Wednesday, including in Manhattan and California's Bay Area, after receiving near-simultaneous bomb threats, according to various local reports.

The wave of threats came just nine days after a nearly identical incident targeted 16 Jewish insitutions across the eastern U.S., though it was unclear of the events of both days were connected.

The JCC Association of North America said that 28 centers have been threatened in total on Wednesday in the following 17 states: Florida, Alabama, Tennessee, Massachussets, New Jersey, Connecticut, California, Kansas, New York, Michigan, Ohio, Maryland, Minnesota, Delaware, Maine, Missouri and Texas.

Wednesday's incidents came just over a week after 16 Jewish institutions across several eastern states received similar threats.

The calls were said to be prerecorded in some cases and live in others, with the caller using voice disguising technology, and likely came from a single source.

In Florida, the Miami Beach Jewish Community Center was threatened and briefly evacuated, according to local police.

A second Florida JCC, in Palm Beach Garden, was also evacuated and police swept the building and the adjacent Arthur I Meyer Jewish Academy looking for explosives, according to a local ABC affiliate.

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18 Terrorist Bomb Threats in the USA in the last 2 weeks






Since January 1, 2017 there have been at least 18 terrorist bomb threats in the United States. The targets? Day cares, houses of worship. community centres. Of a particular religious affiliation.

You would think this might make the news, right?

Unfortunately, these bomb threats are against unfashionable targets. And so the mainstream media simply doesn’t talk about them much. If at all.

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Hundreds of thousands of retired Britons in EU 'may be forced to return'


Hundreds of thousands of elderly Britons living in Europe may be forced to return to the UK unless the government guarantees that their healthcare will continue to be reimbursed by the NHS, campaigners for British people settled in Spain and France have warned.

The House of Commons Brexit select committee was told on Wednesday that an unintended consequence of Brexit could be a surge in immigration of British migrants both working and retired.

Groups campaigning for the rights of Britons settled in Europe told the committee that many pensioners in countries such as Spain and France would not be able to afford private health insurance if the current system was jettisoned post-Brexit.

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“They may have no alternative but to come back,” said Sue Wilson, one of the founders of the Remain in Spain group.

The committee was also told there could be an exodus of professionals whose right to practise law, medicine or other disciplines would no longer be recognised if a deal was not done. They heard that in Italy alone 383 professions were legally recognised.

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Italy earthquakes: Many feared dead in hotel buried by avalanche


Thirty people are missing after an avalanche buried a small hotel in the mountains of central Italy after a series of earthquakes, authorities say.

The avalanche covered the three-storey hotel in Abruzzo, an earthquake-hit zone of central Italy, on Wednesday evening.

The civil protection agency said it is working to get emergency vehicles to the Hotel Rigopiano, in the town of Farindola, through roads covered in snow, joining initial rescue efforts overnight by alpine rescue squads.

Italian news agency Ansa quoted the head of a mountain rescue squad as saying "there are many dead."

Mountain rescue teams reached the hotel by skis around 4am (3am GMT), SKY TG24 reported.

"Around 30 people are unaccounted for, between guests and workers at the Hotel Rigopiano in Farindola," said Fabrizio Curcio, head of Italy's civil protection department.

"We're dropping our rescue units down by helicopter and they are starting to dig," said Luca Cari, a spokesman for the national fire brigades.

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Manning’s Actions ‘Every Bit as Egregious and Damaging as Snowden’s’


Lt. Gen. (Ret.) William G. “Jerry” Boykin, Family Research Council’s executive vice president, strongly denounced President Barack Obama’s plan to free Chelsea Manning in a Wednesday interview on Breitbart News Daily SiriusXM radio with hosts Alex Marlow and Raheem Kassam.

As Breitbart reported Tuesday:

President Barack Obama announced his plan to free Chelsea Manning (who changed his name from Bradley) after leaking classified military documents to WikiLeaks and being sentenced to 35 years in prison for his crimes.

Once in prison, Manning went on a hunger strike to demand sex change surgery in prison, which was granted by officials at the cost of American taxpayers.

Boykin said, “I think what Manning did and was caught at … was every bit as egregious and damaging as what [Edward] Snowden did.”

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Garcetti Fundraising for L.A. Mayor’s Race Outside California


Democratic Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti is raising campaign funds far outside California this week, reportedly hoping to bring in $100,000 in contributions.

In Chicago on Monday, Garcetti held the first of three fundraising events — a cocktail fundraiser at a home, according to the Los Angeles Daily News.

Garcetti is making the fundraising stops before and after an official three-day U.S. Conference of Mayors meeting being held in Washington, D.C.

He will hold yet another fundraiser there in Washington, D.C. as well as a third event in New York.

Garcetti political strategist Bill Carrik told the Daily News that the fundraising goal has been set at $100,000 between the three events. The trip will come to an end on Friday, when Garcetti returns to L.A.

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US accuses JP Morgan Chase of mortgage discrimination


The U.S. on Wednesday sued JP Morgan Chase for discriminatory practices within its mortgage lending division.

The federal lawsuit said the investment banking giant charged higher rates and fees resulting in millions of dollars in added charges to 53,000 blacks and Hispanics between 2006 and 2009, compared to other borrowers, in violation of the U.S. Fair Housing Act and the Equal Credit Opportunity Act.

The average black borrower paid $1,100 more during the first five years on an average loan of $191,100, while Hispanic borrowers paid $1,000 more on an average loan of $237,000, the government said in the lawsuit filed in the federal court of the Southern District of New York in Manhattan.

JP Morgan Chase reached a $13 billion settlement in 2013 with the Justice Department for its mortgage practices.

The bank, along with Bank of America, Citibank and Goldman Sachs have paid more than $40 billion since 2012 for related activities that lead to the 2008 financial crisis.

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US' Biden calls on richest one percent to share wealth


Outgoing U.S. Vice President Joe Biden Wednesday called on the world's richest one percent to pay a fair share of their wealth.

In the final days of President Barack Obama’s administration, Biden addressed the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland for the last time as vice president by sharing his thoughts on global economy and security, including the relationship between the U.S. and Russia.

Saying that world’s richest one percent must pay more in taxes, Biden said "The top one percent is not carrying its weight."

In a contrast with the incoming U.S. leader, Biden described Russia as the biggest threat to the liberal world order, saying, "It’s imperative that we act urgently to defend the liberal international order."

“The liberal world order with America and Europe as its core was the bedrock of success the world enjoyed," Biden said.

"The effort to fracture the international liberal order is mostly led by Russia," he added.

Saying, "The world is probably safer than it has ever been, but it does not feel that way," Biden added, "There is a palpable uncertainty about the state of the world."

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Media normalizes climate science denial of Trump nominee for Interior Secretary


President-elect Donald Trump’s nominee for secretary of interior, Rep. Ryan Zinke (R-MT), is a garden variety climate science denier. His Tuesday testimony revealed a lack of knowledge regarding the basics of climate science, and he repeated standard climate denial talking points designed to confuse and mislead the public.

But here are the headlines his nomination hearing was greeted with:

Trump Pick To Head Interior Department Says Climate Change Is Not A Hoax (NPR)

Interior pick Zinke on climate change: ‘I don’t believe it’s a hoax’ (Politico)

Interior nominee Ryan Zinke doesn’t believe climate change is hoax (CBS)

Is this what the world’s leading nation in both science and technology has come to?

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Snoop Dogg Blasts ‘Uncle Tom’ Black Artists for Performing At Trump’s Inauguration


Rapper and co-star of the television series Martha & Snoop’s Dinner Party Snoop Dogg posted a video daring artists he calls “Uncle Tom-assed n*ggas” to perform at Donald Trump’s inauguration.

“So ain’t nobody going to perform for Donald Trump, huh?” the California rapper asks in a video posted online. “Which one of you jigaboo-ass n*ggas gonna be the first one to do it? Wait, I’m going to roast the f*ck out of one of you Uncle Tom-assed n*ggas for doing it.”

“Which one of you n*ggas gonna do it first?” Snoop asks, then answers in a condescending manner: “I’sa bees the one that performs for him, sir.”

Broadway singer Jennifer Holliday, who is black, has already backed out of performing at Trump’s inauguration, describing her initial decision to perform a “lapse in judgment.”

The Marching Tornados of Talladega College, Alabama’s oldest private historically black college, has faced fierce backlash after the school’s president accepted an invitation to perform at Trump’s inaugural parade.

“They’ve said that I have shamed the college by making this decision, and I’ve had folks say that I’m a disgrace to my African-America race,” Talladega College President Billy Hawkins told Fox News host Bill O’Reilly. “It’s been pretty nasty.”

Bucking Snoop’s criticism is Sam Moore of legendary soul and R&B duo Sam & Dave, who is expected to perform at the “Make America Great Again! Welcome Celebration” on January 19 in Washington, D.C.

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North Korea may test-launch ICBM soon - South Korean media


North Korea may be preparing to test-launch a new, upgraded prototype of an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM), South Korean media reported on Thursday, citing military sources.

In his New Year's speech, leader Kim Jong Un said North Korea was close to test launching an ICBM, and state media has said a launch could come at any time. Experts on the isolated and nuclear capable country's missile programme believe the claims to be credible.

That test launch could be imminent, and potentially coincide with the inauguration of U.S. President-elect Donald Trump on Friday, South Korean media said.

South Korean intelligence agencies reported on Wednesday that they had recently spotted missile parts being transported, believed to be the lower-half of an ICBM, raising fears that a test-launch may be imminent, the Chosun Ilbo newspaper said, citing unidentified military sources.

"It was different from a conventional Musudan missile in its length and shape," the source told the Chosun Ilbo, referring to the Musudan intermediate-range missile tested by North Korea last year.

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Google quietly stopped publishing monthly accident reports for its self driving cars

Google officially spun out its self-driving car project into the newly-named Waymo company in December.

But while the car group unveiled a shiny new logo and brand to the world, it quietly washed away another, less-flattering bit of information from its public identity.

The company removed the page of monthly reports detailing traffic collisions and other accidents on public roads that involve its self-driving vehicles. And Waymo will no longer publish the accident reports on its website, Business Insider has learned.

The page that once hosted all of the accident reports now redirects to Waymo's general website, which makes no mention of any accidents.

more here:


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Singapore confirms no fake food products imported from China


Singapore food authorities said on Tuesday that no Chinese fake food products were detected in the country. This statement comes after scores of Chinese factories were busted for making counterfeit branded food products.

"As part of AVA's food safety surveillance programme, imported food products are regularly inspected and sampled for testing to ensure compliance with our food safety standards and requirements. So far, we have not detected any fake food products imported from China," an Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority (AVA) spokesperson told Channel NewsAsia.

The AVA spokesperson said that the food products which do not fulfill AVA requirements will not be allowed for sale."Enforcement action will be taken against anyone found guilty of contravening our regulations," AVA added.

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China asks US not to let Taiwan leaders attend Trump inauguration


China has asked the United States not to permit Taiwanese representatives to attend the inauguration of President-elect Donald Trump on Friday. The move assumes significance after Trump's recent utterances over the One-China principle ruffled feathers in China.

Reuters said on Wednesday Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying announced the Chinese move at a press briefing.

Taiwan had earlier said a delegation led by former premier Yu Shyi-kun will represent the country at the inauguration of Trump on January 20. The attendance of Taiwanese delegation at the presidential inauguration will further complicate the three-way diplomatic balance.

Taipei said lawmakers and leaders from both the ruling Democratic Progressive Party and the opposition Nationalists will attend the event in order to "express the importance our government and people place on close friendly bilateral relations."

Taiwan assumed the centre-stage of US-China ties immediately after Trump won the November 8 election, following which Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen telephoned the Republican leader to congratulate him. An offended China said the unprecedented move violated the long honoured One-China principle and upset the bilateral ties.

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Retired Catholic priests call for abolishment of celibacy


The Catholic Church should end the celibacy vow, a group of senior priests in Germany has said.

In an open letter, the group of 11 high ranking clerics said every man should have the right to choose to take the vow or not.

The retired clerics were ordained in Cologne in 1967, and wrote the letter as part of a review of their 50 years in the Catholic church.

“We believe that requiring that every man who becomes a priest to remain celibate is not acceptable,” group member Franz Decker told DW.

“We think, every Catholic should be allowed to choose if they would rather be celibate or not, regardless of whether they want to work as priests or not - just like in the Protestant Church or the Orthodox church, really, every church but the Catholic Church.”

The group argue celibacy causes many modern priests to suffer from seclusion and believe the men have little to gain from church-imposed solitude.

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Marck Zuckerberg denies in court Facebook's Oculus stole VR tech from ZineMax


Facebook Chief Executive Officer Mark Zuckerberg took to the witness stand in Dallas Federal Court on Tuesday and denied all allegations of Oculus stealing virtual reality technology from ZineMax.

A few years ago, Zuckerberg, one of the finest tech visionaries, made a huge bet on a very new technology, virtual reality or VR, and bought Oculus, one of the most prominent startups in this field for over $2 billion.

Videogame publisher ZeniMax Media Inc filed a case against Oculus in 2014, in the middle of the Facebook-Oculus deal. ZeniMax said that Oculus unlawfully used its intellectual property to develop the virtual-reality system that includes the Rift headset.

While testifying for the first time in a court room, Zuckerberg denied that Oculus has used any technology that was not its own in the making of Oculus virtual reality headset. He also said that virtual reality will take another five to 10 years to take the proper shape, as we expect.

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Gang rape video of 16-year-old Somali girl sparks outrage and leads to £7,000 in donations


Five teenage boys have been arrested and a sixth is on the run.

The gang rape of a 16-year-old girl in Somalia has sparked outrage after a video of the brutal attack was shared online, leading to more than £7,000 being raised to help the girl and her family “rebuild their lives somewhere else”.

Six teenage boys allegedly forced two girls into a car and drove them to the outskirts of Goldogob, near the border with Ethiopia, where they subjected them to a violent sexual attack in December last year.

A video of the gang rape of one of the girls, aged 16, was shared on social media including Facebook, which reportedly shows her being tortured, stabbed, and sexually assaulted in the attack.

Five teenage boys have been arrested by police in connection with the rape of the two girls, while a sixth man is on the run, VOA reports.

According to a GoFundMe page set up by philanthropic organisation Somali Faces, the 16-year-old girl has been hospitalised for a month following the attack due to the severity of her injuries.

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Abbas’ Fatah Party Agrees To Form Unity Government With Terror Group Hamas


Following three days of reconciliation meetings in Russia, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas’ Fatah party has agreed to launch talks to form a unity government with Gaza-based terror group Hamas.

“We have reached an agreement under which, within 48 hours, we will call on Mahmoud Abbas to launch consultations on the creation of a [national unity] government,” Azzam al-Ahmad, a senior official of the ruling Fatah party, told a press conference.

He added that the Moscow talks had the aim of restoring “the unity of the Palestinian people.”

Meanwhile, Hamas’ deputy chairman, Moussa Abu Marzouk, said a unity government “is the most effective tool to promote the contentious issues that formed during the years of division, and it is responsible to promote the solutions, including the holding of free and democratic elections in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.”

Iran-backed terror group Palestinian Islamic Jihad was also in Russia for the talks. Both PIJ and Hamas have sworn to destroy Israel.

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2 suspects remanded over Russian envoy’s assassination


Two suspects, including one police officer, were arrested Thursday in connection to the assassination of Andrey Karlov, Russia’s ambassador to Turkey, according to a security source.

Police detained five suspects Wednesday, including police officer Sercan Baser and tradesman Enes Asim Silin.

The pair was remanded later by an Ankara court pending trial under accusations of "being members of Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETO)".

The court approved the release of three other suspects under judicial control.

Karlov was fatally shot Dec. 19 by Mevlut Mert Altintas as the diplomat delivered a speech at an art exhibition in the Turkish capital.

Altintas was later shot dead in an exchange of fire with security personnel.

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President Bush, 92, was admitted to intensive care at Houston Methodist Hospital to address "an acute respiratory problem stemming from pneumonia. Doctors performed a procedure to protect and clear his airway that required sedation," his spokesman, Jim McGrath, said in a statement.

Barbara Bush also was admitted to the hospital Wednesday morning as a precaution after "experiencing fatigue and coughing," McGrath said in the same statement.

President Bush was first hospitalized over the weekend suffering from shortness of breath and a cough and was treated with IV antibiotics.

At first, McGrath reported that he was responding well to the drugs. But Wednesday, the 41st President's condition changed and he was admitted to the intensive care unit, sedated and intubated.

"It's definitely very concerning," said Dr. Sanjay Gupta, CNN's chief medical correspondent, who noted that it is the first time President Bush has been intubated to protect his airway. "Certainly when someone is sedated, they're having trouble breathing on their own."

Bush, who served a single term as President from 1989 to 1993, was already not expected to attend the inauguration of President-elect Donald Trump in Washington on Friday due to health concerns.

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No solution for Syria without Turkey: Analyst


There is no solving the conflict in Syria without Turkey, a Middle East political analyst have said.

"All the supporters of the fighters on the ground in Syria are somehow [geographically] distant from Syria. They can withdraw their jets anytime and stop financing the groups they support," said Muhamed Jusic, a Bosnian columnist for Al-Jazeera Balkans.

"However, Turkey does not have that luxury. Whatever takes place happens at the Turkish border. Therefore, there is no solution to the Syrian conflict without Turkey."

Saying that Turkey has largely been forsaken while dealing with security problems both at home as well as at its borders or handling the refugee issue, Jusic accused the international community of not sharing the burden.

Turkey hosts some 3 million Syrian refugees, more than any other country in the world. The country has spent around $25 billion helping and sheltering refugees since the beginning of the Syrian civil war.

"In the past, Turkey proposed to its allies having a no-fly zone in northern Syria, but they rejected it," Jusic said.

-The best choice

According to him, Turkey can play a constructive role in finding a solution for Syria, adding that Turkey's efforts both in the field as well as diplomatic negotiations for Syria are the best choice among the options presented by the world.

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Amazon worker fired after ‘greetings from Uncle Adolf’ note caught


An Amazon worker was sacked after a note was discovered by a Jewish lady in a parcel gifted to her, which read “Greetings from Uncle Adolf”.

The lady, who was based in the UK, had received a package of toys for her niece. Liran Meydat who sent the parcel said that the lady ‘freaked out’ after opening the parcel and ‘took it pretty badly’, according to a Daily mail report.

The controversial note was put inside the packaging and not the stuff inside, which made Liran think that someone inside the services company did it.

Police took rapid action once the issue was reported and the package was confiscated for lab testing.

It is believed that the Jewish identity of the woman was judged by her surname.

An Amazon spokesman reportedly said that it took the incident very seriously and extended apologies to the lady, adding that the person involved in the matter was fired after due investigation.

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Nikki Haley at Confirmation Hearing for UN Gig: UN Is ‘At Odds with American Interests’


Incoming President Donald Trump’s pick for United Nations ambassador, South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, questioned whether the United States is getting what it pays for from the international body during her Senate confirmation hearing.

“We contribute 22 percent of the UN’s budget, far more than any other country. We are a generous nation. But we must ask ourselves what good is being accomplished by this disproportionate contribution,” testified Nikki Haley before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee Wednesday, echoing President-elect Trump’s staunch criticism of the United Nations.

She argued that the United States can use its funding of the UN as “leverage” to accomplish goals that benefit the American people.

“To your credit, the Congress has already begun to explore ways the United States can use its leverage to make the United Nations a better investment for the American people” declared Haley.

“The time has come for American strength once again,” she also said, later adding, “My goal for the United Nations will be to create an international body that better serves the interests of the American people.”

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Inside the top secret CIA files on New Zealand - who they spied on and what they said


An extraordinary database of CIA documents has been made available, revealing the United States' intelligence agency's history of spying on New Zealand.

The database was put online this week and reveals internal Central Intelligence Agency reports which detail the inner workings of New Zealand political parties, briefings on our Prime Ministers and the times we have upset the most powerful nation in the world.

It is a trove of both treasure and trivia, including:

• The CIA's belief former Prime Minister David Lange accidentally backed himself into a corner on the nuclear-free issue, and US concerns the policy could spread throughout the Pacific.

• That Lange told US officials he believed nuclear propulsion was safe.

• The revelation that New Zealand's nuclear free stance - for which we were punished for decades - didn't make any difference to the US from a military perspective.

• A detailed biography of former Prime Minister Sir Robert Muldoon and detailed accounting of his pro-US sympathies, including that Muldoon saw himself as a world leader in financial leadership despite "limited achievements" at home.

• The suggestion former US President Ronald Reagan tell Muldoon he was his favoured candidate to win an election during a White House visit.

• A McCarthy-era report into communism in New Zealand - a concern which was present throughout the documents into the late 1980s.

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Joel McHale compares Trump to Iron Man at People's Choice Awards


Even though Joel McHale didn't say Donald Trump's name in his People's Choice Awards monologue, everyone knew who he was referencing.

McHale, the show's host for the evening, didn't linger too long on politics in his opening spiel. But with the inauguration several days away, he briefly referenced current events, joking that the People's Choice Awards were "the one night of the year where Hollywood reacts positively to what the middle of the country thinks."

If his analogy stands, Hillary Clinton is Captain America and Donald Trump is Tony Stark — make of that what you will.

Taking the stage to accept the award for Favorite Action Movie Actor, Robert Downey Jr. didn't directly reference McHale's comments about his Iron Man character. But he did make it clear he's no oligarch, declaring, "Power to the people, stick it to the man!"

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Project Star Gate: CIA makes details of its psychic control plans public


The CIA has revealed details of its "Project Star Gate" mission to develop psychic abilities for the first time.

The revelations come as part of a huge dump of documents – almost 12 million in all – that are being made available on the internet. And they show the organisation's plans to harness the supernatural in ways that have never been seen before.

Project Star Gate, as it was known, was the codename for a US government project intended to use psychic and supernatural phenomenon for spying and military uses. In one of the pages, it lays out why the government wants to use it – the benefits include the fact that it is "passive", "inexpensive" and that there is "no known defense".

The papers show how the organisation was looking to harness those powers to spy on people, to make changes to important objects and . All of that would be done by operatives far from the people and things that were actually being affected.

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Gorillas, monkeys and other primates must be saved from 'impending extinction', urge 31 scientists


Thirty-one leading scientists have issued an urgent plea to save humanity’s closest biological relatives, saying scores of different species of apes, monkeys and other primates are all now facing “impending extinction”.

Despite gorillas, orangutans and lemurs being among the most popular wild animals, a factor that helps fund conservation efforts, their main threats are almost entirely caused by human beings.

Primates are hunted for meat and body parts or captured for life as pets; their habitats are destroyed as industrial-scale farms to make foodstuffs like palm oil take over previously wild land, dams are built or mining, oil and gas companies move in; and new threats like climate change and the spread of human diseases to animals are also emerging.

Of the 504 primate species, about 60 per cent are threatened with extinction and 75 per cent have declining populations.

However, the researchers, who published the findings of a major review of primates in the journal Science Advances, insisted they could still be saved.

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Android app now saves queries if you have bad signal and produces results when internet returns


Google has announced an update to its search app for Android, designed to make spotty connections easier to deal with.

Whether on a rural road, in a train tunnel or a lift, we’ve all tried to perform a Google search in an area with patchy mobile signal, proceeding to land on a broken page instead of that familiar blue and white list of results.

Until now, the only course of action had been to wait for your phone’s signal bars to fill up before performing the search again.

However, the latest version of the Google app on Android saves your search queries whenever you have no signal, automatically delivering your results as soon as it detects a connection again.

It’s a slick solution that should save your eyeballs from lengthy periods spent glaring at your phone’s signal bars.

“And if you’re worried about data charges or preserving battery life, don’t fret,” wrote Google product manager Shekhar Sharad in a blog post announcing the new feature.

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CIA uploads millions of classified documents to its website, including information on UFOs and psych


The CIA is putting its secret history online, uploading millions of newly declassified documents.

The documents include previously unseen information about the agency's hunt for UFOs and its work on the "Star Gate" project, which tried to teach humans to become psychic and see through walls.

One document, for instance, describes that project in detail. It shows how the CIA recruited volunteers to go through a programme of training that would let people access information without any of the usual means, and which would be used as a weapon for which there is "no known defense".

The US spy agency will put up 12 million pages into its online "reading room", where people will be able to search through the documents.

The previously classified pages include private briefs given to presidents and the information that is passed between its operatives. They cover everything from the Cold War and Vietnam to relatively modern problems like terrorism.

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Wham! Italy Pummeled by 10 Earthquakes in Four Hours


Having not yet recovered from the severe earthquakes of recent months, central Italy was struck by 10 earthquakes in succession over a four-hour period Wednesday, all of them registering over 4.0 on the Richter Scale.

Wednesday’s earthquakes varied in magnitude between 4.1 and 5.7, and several lasted a significant amount of time.

The first quake, measuring 5.3, struck the beleaguered city of Amatrice at 10:25am local time, and the shock waves could be felt in contiguous regions and all the way south in Rome. Amatrice had already been laid waste by a powerful earthquake last August 24, which destroyed the town and left nearly 300 dead. After the quake, the mayor of Amatrice announced: “The town is gone.”

The second quake—the strongest of all—hit just a few miles from the epicenter of the first, 45 minutes later. In all, five of the 10 quakes struck within five miles of Amatrice.

The bell tower of the church of Sant’Agostino was one of the few monuments in Amatrice to survive last summer’s earthquake, but Wednesday’s quakes finished the job, bringing the tower crumbling to the ground.

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NYT: Davos Elite Fret About Inequality Over Vintage Wine and Canapés


Peter S. Goodman writes in the New York Times that the Davos elite are well aware of the “populist fury” fueled by working-class people around the world who have borne the brunt of globalist economic policies.

Goodman notes, “If the world is indeed in the throes of a populist insurrection, the pitchforks could do worse than to point here. The Davos elites have enjoyed outsize influence over economic policies in recent decades as a growing share of wealth has, perhaps not coincidentally, landed in the coffers of people with a need for bank accounts in the British Virgin Islands, while poor and middle-class households have seen their earnings stagnate and decline.”

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Donald Trump announces plans for military parades in major US cities after he becomes President


“Make America Great Again.”

The four words that would help propel Donald Trump to the White House were an inspiration born years before, when hardly anyone but Trump himself could imagine him taking the oath of office as the 45th president of the United States.

It happened on Nov. 7, 2012, the day after Mitt Romney lost what had been presumed to be a winnable race against President Obama. Republicans were spiraling into an identity crisis, one that had some wondering whether a GOP president would ever sit in the Oval Office again.

But on the 26th floor of a golden Manhattan tower that bears his name, Trump was coming to the conclusion that his own moment was at hand.

And in typical fashion, the first thing he thought about was how to brand it.

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Zardari meets US politicians in Washington


Former President and Co-Chairman Pakistan Peoples' Party Asif Ali Zardari held meeting with US politicians on Thursday.

According to details available to Geo News, flanked by Senator Sherry Rehman and Senator Rehman Malik. Zardari held meetings with Tim Roemer, Jim Slattery, Martin Frost and Cliff Stearns on matters of bi-lateral regional interests.

Earlier, the PPP leader also met US senator John McCain and others on Wednesday. Senator John McCain, chairman of Arms Service Committee, hosted a dinner for Zardari where the meeting took place. He was accompanied by Senator Rehman Malik and Sherry Rehman.

During the meeting, US-Pakistan relations, War on Terror, and matters of mutual interest were discussed.

Earlier, sources had reported that Zardari will be attending the inauguration ceremony of US President-elect on Friday. The news was later denied by PPP senator Sherry Rehman.

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‘Planned opposition purge’ by Erdogan was catalyst for Turkey’s military coup, spies say


Secret EU intelligence report claims rumours Turkish president sought to crackdown on dissenting army officials triggered last summer’s failed military coup.

Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan was planning to purge the country’s armed forces of suspected dissenters to his government before the failed military-led coup in July 2016, new European intel says.

A secret report written by Intcen - the EU’s intelligence agency - found that the hastily organised attempt to overthrow Mr Erdogan last year was motivated by the fact that military generals feared they were going to be subject to an imminent crackdown on the opposition.

“The decision to launch the coup resulted from the fears of an incoming purge,” the August 2016 report, seen by The Times, read. “The coup was just a catalyst for the crackdown prepared in advance.”

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Senior Australian politician says burqa is 'not part of our culture'


A senior Australian politician has courted controversy by saying that he would not “encourage” people to wear the burqa because “it is not part of our culture”.

Colin Barnett, the Premier of Western Australia, said the government had no plans to ban the Islamic veil worn by many Muslim women.

But he told the online newspaper WAToday: "I would encourage people not to wear that type of clothing in Australia and as Australian citizens.“

He added: "It is not part of our culture. I think in most countries now you don't find it's the case."

The Burqa has been a hot topic in Australia over recent weeks after Pauline Hanson, the leader of the far-right One Nation party, called them an “evil tool of oppression”.

She said she would ban the burqa from all official buildings if her party wins the Queensland election.

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If the EU wants to survive after Brexit it should build closer ties with Russia


How can Brexit be better for Europe? From the UK perspective the whole business is about the sort of economic relationship the country will feel comfortable with. The debate is framed as a balance of positives and negatives: gaining freedom over borders and over trade with non-EU countries, but at the cost of less favourable access to the European market.

From a European perspective, however, the debate has been largely framed in terms of competing minuses. By how much should the UK be punished for leaving? It must not be allowed to “cherry-pick”. How much damage might there be to European exports? There are modest pluses, such as the luring of banking jobs out of London and towards Dublin, Frankfurt or Paris. But, put it this way, the idea of the UK leaving the EU is not generally regarded as a positive for the project. If you watch the response of the audience to Theresa May’s Brexit speech on Tuesday, note that the British clapped enthusiastically but several European ambassadors refused to applaud.

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BBC Trust rules Laura Kuenssberg inaccurately represented Jeremy Corbyn on shoot-to-kill


The BBC's political editor Laura Kuenssberg inaccurately represented Jeremy Corbyn's views on shoot-to-kill policies in the aftermath of the Paris attacks, the BBC Trust has ruled.

A viewer complained to the Trust about the November 2015 News at Six report on security measures being considered by the British government in the wake of the Paris terrorist attacks.

Ms Kuenssberg said that she had asked the Labour leader whether he would support a shoot-to-kill policy if a similar attack happened in London, and if he was Prime Minister.

The footage showed Mr Corbyn responding: “I’m not happy with a shoot-to-kill policy in general. I think that is quite dangerous and I think can often be counter-productive. I think you have to have security that prevents people firing off weapons where you can."

The viewer said this was misleading because no reference had been made to the Paris attacks when Mr Corbyn had been asked about the issue. They claimed it was "in order to cause Mr Corbyn maximum political damage".

The clip used on the programme was from a longer sequence in which Mr Corbyn and Ms Kuenssberg had discussed "the kinds of horror in Paris" moments earlier.

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Deciphering results of Kuwait National Assembly election


At a time when Kuwait is facing serious internal problems and external challenges, political alliance of Islamist parties emerged victorious in the just concluded Majlis al-Umma or national assembly elections. The alliance bagged nearly half of the directly elected seats in the parliament. The total strength of the Assembly is 65 with 15 appointed ministers who are ex-officio members and 50 directly elected—10 each from five electoral districts.

We were sure of getting good number of seats and people reposed faith in us, Said newly elected member Waled Tabatathi, who belongs to Salafi groups. Muslim Brotherhood and Salafis bagged ten seats together while their allies including liberals won good number of seats and it will have major role in the decision making policies of the next government in Kuwait. However, there are apprehension that their victory may lead to confrontation with the government at a time when there is a volatile situation in the region. The election result was also surprising for many as more than sixty per cent members of the dissolved house lost elections where people overwhelmingly voted to give chance to young candidates.

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Sitting down for too long can speed up ageing, finds new study


Sitting down for long periods of time isn’t just bad for your metabolism, it can make you age quicker too.

New research has found that sitting down for 10 or more hours a day without regular exercise can make a person’s cells age prematurely.

Published in the American Journal of Epidemiology, the University of California San Diego study looked at nearly 1,500 women aged between 64 and 95.

It found the cells of women who sit for over 10 hours and do less than 40 minutes of moderate-to-vigorous exercise a day have are biologically eight years older than women who are less sedentary.

The women with biologically older cells had shorter telomeres which are found at the end of DNA strands and help to protect chromosomes from deterioration.

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Fivefold increase in number of EU citizens held in UK detention centres since Tories took power


The number of EU nationals detained in immigration centres has increased fivefold since the Conservatives came to power, The Independent can reveal.

The sharp rise has led to concerns the Government is trying to “spread anxiety” among people from EU countries living in the UK, in an effort to deter others from moving to Britain.

In 2015, the last full year for which Home Office data is available, 3,699 EU citizens were detained under immigration powers – 11.4 per cent of all detainees – while in 2009 just 768 were detained, 2.7 per cent of the total.

In many cases, no crime had been committed, with people detained for reasons such as losing their ID card or having a birthday party in a park, according to the charity Bail for Immigration Detainees (BID).

Barrister Adrian Berry told The Independent he believed the Government was pursuing a policy of deliberate hostility towards EU citizens, which could intensify when the country leaves the EU.

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Paul McCartney Sues Sony to Regain Rights to Beatles Songs

Paul McCartney has filed suit in New York against Sony/ATV and is looking to get a declaratory judgment that states he will soon regain his copyright ownership share to a treasured catalog of songs created as a member of The Beatles.

In what could become one of the most important legal battles in the music industry this decade, the iconic songwriter is looking to leverage the termination provisions of the Copyright Act.

In 1976, Congress increased the period that works are under copyright protection, and, in recognition of authors who had signed over their rights to publishers and studios without much bargaining power, allowed such authors 35 years hence to reclaim rights in the latter stages of a copyright term. Artists such as Bob Dylan, Tom Petty and Prince have used the mere threat of termination to negotiate new deals and better compensation arrangements.

According to McCartney's complaint, he transferred rights to songs co-authored by him and John Lennon between 1962 and 1971 to various music publishers.

more here:


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Tourists Flee ‘Nightmare’ Paris Amidst Rising Theft, Assaults, Terror

Tourists from China are avoiding France amid surging violence and crime, a Chinese tourism expert has said, reporting that customers are turning to Russia as a safer destination.

President of the Chinese Association of Travel Agencies in France, Jean-François Zhou, said “increasingly violent” thefts and assaults are turning France into “one of the worst destinations for foreign tourists”.

Mr. Zhou, a representative for major Chinese travel agency Utour in France, reported a steep decline in visitor numbers from Asia, and said many tourists are now looking to Russia as a less dangerous holiday destination.

“In 2016, there were 1.6 million Chinese tourists compared to 2.2 million in 2015. The number of Japanese tourists dropped 39 per cent, and Koreans 27 per cent. Our tourists have turned to Russia, which is less attractive but at least it is a safe country. For Putin, it is an economic windfall”, he told Le Parisien.

Rising violence and aggression account for the drop, according to Mr. Zhou, who said: “For a number of Chinese tourists, the dream of visiting France and Paris has turned into a nightmare.

“[Chinese tourists] are robbed in the palace of Versailles, at the foot of the Eiffel Tower, in front of their hotel, as they leave the coaches … In high season, not a day goes by without tourists being assaulted.”

Violent incidents in France have “sparked panic” on social media in Chinese, Mr. Zhou said, recalling one in which an 80-year-old man was seriously injured as he tried to resist thieves, and he reported how female tourists have been pushed to the ground while criminals steal bags containing all their papers.

Having lived in France for 25 years, Mr. Zhou said he has borne witness to the country’s deteriorating security situation over the decades, which has resulted in Paris ranking “number one in Europe in terms of the upsurge in delinquency”.

While so far there are no organised campaigns calling on Chinese tourists to avoid visiting France, the experienced travel agent said that a boycott “has already begun”, with “several Asian operators preferring to divert Asian tourists to Italy, Spain, and Russia”.

Paris’s regional tourism office last year reported a slump in visitor numbers to the city, and attributed some of the decline to terror fears, as more than 200 people have been killed in Islamic terror in France since 2015.



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Amazon Launches Its Own Monthly Anime Streaming Service

Anime streaming services seem to be taking over the internet. You’ve got Crunchyroll, Funimation, Hulu’s anime section and several others. There are plenty of ways to stream your favorite shows if you’re willing to pay to do it, and Amazon is hoping you’ll spend a fiver on its latest subscription anime streaming service Anime Strike.

Currently, the channel has rights to anime that’s currently already airing in Japan like Scum’s Wish and Blue Exorcist: Kyoto Saga, as well as older shows like When They Cry, One-Punch Man, and a smattering of others. There’s a decent offering of anime if you need to supplement your other choices, but on its own, at the moment it’s a little weaker than the other options out there.

But that’s probably to be expected since it just made its debut. The service was just launched, and for $4.99 a month in addition to your Amazon Prime subscription (yes, it’s a paid extra unfortunately). But you’ll gain access to over 1,000 anime titles, with several exclusive titles that you can only find on that service, simulcasts, and classic films from the annals of anime history. You can sign up for a free 7-day trial if you’re interested in trying out the service, but you’ll have to have already been signed up for Amazon Prime to add it to your video inventory.

This is part of a new Amazon Channels initiative that began in earnest in December 2015, where Amazon adds specialized services like HBO, Stars or Showtime and online-only offerings that you can pay additional fees for to enjoy.

If you’re looking to choose which anime streaming service might work best for you, keep in mind that there are both Japanese and English voice tracks for several shows on here if that tips the scales, and there are new episodes being added every week. It’s going to be a pretty decent contender for sure, but it’ll need more time to incubate before it can offer as many awesome shows as some of its competition does.

more here:


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Austria to tighten anti-migrant border controls


Austria aims to tighten border controls, in particular on its frontier with Slovakia following a rise in migrants trying to enter the country, the defence minister was quoted as saying Wednesday.

He said that 299 migrants have been intercepted so far this year in Lower Austria state bordering Slovakia and the Czech Republic.

This compares with 174 in Burgenland state, whose border with Hungary has been the main area for controls so far.

Many of those entering from Slovakia cross via train, meaning more checks on trains are needed, Doskozil said, adding that 100 soldiers could be made available to assist.

At the western end of the country, Doskozil also said 292 people were caught so far in 2017 in Tyrol state after crossing from Italy but that most of these were sent back over the border.

"There were only 25 asylum claims in Tyrol. Here the sending back is working. But we need to be cautious and keep an eye out for new developments at the Brenner Pass," he said.

The measures are part of a package that Doskozil and Interior Minister Wolfgang Sobotka aim to present in 10 days. Kurier reported.

It also said that Austria will host a meeting of interior and defence ministers from central European countries on February 8.

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Twitter Is Selling Its Developer Platform to Google as It Continues to Shrink

When it was introduced by Twitter with much fanfare in 2014, the Fabric developer platform was supposed to be a game changer for the company. It was a way of appealing to mobile app developers by giving them a suite of tools that integrated with Twitter in order to make the short-messaging service that much more indispensable.

Although the team behind Fabric says it was successful in helping app developers reach more than 2.5 billion active mobile devices, any future success will belong to someone else now. Twitter announced on Wednesday that it has sold the platform to Google for an undisclosed sum, effective immediately.

As for why it decided to sell, all Twitter would say is that it made the decision because it is "focusing on our core products and businesses, to best position Twitter for long-term growth." The company also recently shut down its Vine video-sharing app, which had become popular with a wide range of creative users.

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Wynn Las Vegas removes all Tom Ford beauty products and sunglasses from the resort

The Wynn Las Vegas has removed all Tom Ford beauty products and eyewear from the resort after comments the designer made about Melania Trump.

Ford, 55, said during an appearance on The View in November that he would not be dressing Melania Trump while she was in the White House because his clothes are 'too expensive' for a first lady to wear, noting that in that position she would have to 'relate to everybody.'

Donald Trump responded this this by telling Ainsley Earhardt on Fox & Friends that Melania never asked Tom Ford to dress her.

'Never asked Tom Ford, doesn't like Tom Ford, doesn't like his designs,' said Trump.

He then went on to say: 'Tom Ford is an example. "I will not dress the First Lady." He was never asked to dress - and Steve Wynn just called me and he said he thought it was so terrible what Tom Ford said, that he threw his clothing out of his Las Vegas hotel.

more here:


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Trump nominates Georgia ex-Gov. Sonny Perdue for Agriculture secretary

President-elect Donald Trump plans to nominate ex-Georgia Gov. Sonny Perdue for the secretary of Agriculture post on Thursday, said two people close to the confirmation confirmed Perdue's nomination, speaking on condition of anonymity because it has not been made officially.

That is expected on Thursday, a day before Trump is sworn into office in Washington, D.C.

Perdue, 70, served on Trump's agriculture advisory committee during the election campaign. Weeks after Trump was elected, Perdue met with the president-elect in Trump Tower in New York City.

more here:


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Virginia Executes Ricky Gray for Virginia Family Murders

The state of Virginia executed a man Wednesday night who confessed to the horrific drug-fueled murders of a couple and their two young daughters.

Virginia Department of Corrections spokeswoman Lisa Kinney said 39-year-old inmate Ricky Gray was pronounced dead at 9:42 p.m. following a lethal injection with the drugs midazolam, rocuronium bromide, and potassium chloride at the Greensville Correctional Center in Jarratt.

Kinney said Gray was asked if he had any last words before the death sentence was carried out, and he responded, "Nope."

Gray's attorneys had appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court to put execution plans on hold based on Virginia's planned use of the drug midazolam for his lethal injection, which is so controversial that Arizona has agreed to never use it again. But the high court denied the request without explanation in a one-sentence order.

more here:


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Former President Bush moved to intensive care as wife Barbara also hospitalized

Both President George H.W. Bush and former first lady Barbara Bush are now in a Houston hospital and will not attend Friday's inauguration of President-elect Donald Trump.

The 92-year-old former president on Wednesday was moved to intensive care at Houston Methodist Hospital after being admitted on Saturday, his office said in a statement.

"Shortly after our previous report on President Bush’s condition, he was admitted to the ICU at Houston Methodist Hospital to address an acute respiratory problem stemming from pneumonia," the statement read. "Doctors performed a procedure to protect and clear his airway that required sedation. President Bush is stable and resting comfortably in the ICU, where he will remain for observation."

Barbara Bush, 91, was admitted Wednesday morning as a precaution after experiencing fatigue and coughing, officials said in a statement.

The 41st president previously sent a letter to Donald Trump expressing his regrets he could not attend Friday's presidential inauguration, adding he and the former first lady "will be with you and the country in spirit."

more here:


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Hundreds plan ‘gay dance party’ at the house of Vice President-elect Mike Pence


It is an understatement of some measure to say that Vice President-elect Mike Pence is not thought of favourably by many members of the LGBT community.

Over the years, the congressman and governor has claimed same-sex couples represented “societal collapse”, he has opposed laws to prohibit discrimination against gay people, supported so-called conversion therapy, and said that being gay was a personal choice.

Now, activists in Washington are organising a “queer dance party” outside his home, as the city prepares for the inauguration of Mr Pence and Donald Trump.

“The homo/transphobic Mike Pence has graciously invited us to shake our booties and bodies in front of/around his house in Chevy Chase,” says a message posted on the Facebook page of WERK for Peace.

“We plan on leaving behind [biodegradable] glitter and rainbow paraphernalia that he can NEVER forget. #WeAreQueer #WeAreHere #WeWillDance That's right, get ready to WERK it and tell Daddy Pence: homo/transphobia is not tolerated in our country.”

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NATO General agrees with Donald Trump…NATO has “some structures that are obsolete.”


Trump has a unique talent to overturn “sacred cow” issues, with simple word framing and marketing genius.

Think “build the wall”, which brought out the taboo US immigration policy issue to the forefront.

Now Tump is doing it again with his “NATO is obsolete” mantra…placing what was once a “do not touch” foreign policy pillar into the demolition crosshairs.

Days after Trump gave a couple of stunning interviews to the London Sunday Times and Germany’s Bild newspaper, where Trump again called NATO “obsolete” (sending US neocon war hawks and European neo-liberal freeloaders into a complete panic), a current NATO General is now repeating Trump’s mantra, noting that ‘NATO is indeed obsolete.’

Military.com reports…

A top NATO general is conceding that parts of the military alliance need to be brought up to date following U.S. President-elect Donald Trump’s claim that NATO is “obsolete.”

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NEW Investigation Uncover Plots to Chain the Trains and Shut Down DC During Trump's Inauguration


Leaders of the DisruptJ20 movement and other affiliated fringe groups have been planning to disrupt President-elect Donald Trump’s inauguration. This is according to the Part 2 of a series that Project Veritas has just released. Its no surprise to find out that most of these activities are likely to violate multiple criminal laws.

Several DisruptJ20 meetings took place throughout Washington DC and one in Brooklyn in which Project Veritas journalists were invited via Facebook. Speaking at a DJ20 Spokes Council meeting, Carrefour, the NY.DJ20 organizer expressed his intentions to block all major points of entrance to the District of Columbia by bridge, highway, and Metro Rail. Legba was holding a conversation with another organizer in which he expounded on a plan to chain trains at Metro Center, L’Enfant Plaza and Gallery Place.

Carrefour states that him and his accomplices figured that if trains pull up, one person was going to lock one end of a chain to an edge and the other end of the chain to the end of the car. Adding that it only takes 15 seconds and everyone can leave and the train will not be in a position to move since its anchored.

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Facebook accused of 'racially biased censorship'


Nearly 80 rights groups on Wednesday accused Facebook of "racially biased censorship" and failing to be more transparent about its removal policies and cooperation with law enforcement, adding to criticism the company has faced in recent months over its management of content on its network of 1.8 billion users.

The sharp rebuke, sent in response to a December letter from Senior Vice President Joel Kaplan, reflected increasing impatience among advocacy groups that say Facebook has inadequately addressed their concerns despite repeated promises of action from senior executives.

Instead, the groups wrote, Kaplan's response "merely explains current, publicly available Facebook policies and fails to address the modest solutions to racially biased censorship we presented in earlier letters and meetings." SumOfUs, Centre for Media Justice and the American Civil Liberties Union were among the signatories.

In his letter, Kaplan acknowledged Facebook's community operations team "sometimes get things wrong" but said the company was committed to correcting mistakes and working with outside partners.

Facebook has been persistently criticised in the past year over how it polices everything from harassment and extremist propaganda to gun sales and news hoaxes on its enormous platform, a multifaceted challenge the company has often responded to with tweaks of its existing terms of service and community standards. More recently, the company has faced controversy regarding displays of violence broadcast in live video.

Last week the company announced a new "Journalism Project" intended to improve and deepen its relationship with news organisations, one of a series of moves taken in response to a storm of opprobrium that it did not do enough to tackle the problem of fake news stories during the US presidential campaign.

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John McCain and Paul Ryan freak out over Obama’s decision to commute the sentence of Chelsea Manning


US Speaker of the House Paul Ryan and Arizona Senator John McCain are not happy about Obama’s latest, high profile act of clemency.

Here is how John McCain feels about Obama’s decision to grant clemency to Chelsea Manning (as quoted by ABC News)…

“It is a sad, yet perhaps fitting commentary on President Obama’s failed national security policies that he would commute the sentence of an individual that endangered the lives of American troops, diplomats, and intelligence sources by leaking hundreds of thousands of sensitive government documents to Wikileaks.”

Paul Ryan had this to say, echoing much of McCain’s disdain for Obama’s act…

“This is just outrageous. Chelsea Manning’s treachery put American lives at risk and exposed some of our nation’s most sensitive secrets. President Obama now leaves in place a dangerous precedent that those who compromise our national security won’t be held accountable for their crimes.”

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CONFIRMED: Russia and Turkey fighting ISIS together


Following weeks of reports that the Russian air force was quietly providing air support to the Turkish army fighting ISIS in the strategic Syrian town of Al-Bab, confirmation has now finally come from Russia that this is indeed happening.

Indeed the Russians have confirmed that the Russian and Turkish air forces for the first time engaged in a joint air strike.

Confirmation of the joint air strike has come from the Head of the Main Operations Department of Russia’s General Staff, Lieutenant-General Sergey Rudskoi, who is reported by the official Russian news agency TASS to have said the following

The air operation, agreed on with the Syrian government, involves nine warplanes of the Russian Aerospace Force, including four Sukhoi Su-24M, four Sukhoi Su-25 aircraft and one Sukhoi Su-34 bomber, as well as four F-16 and four F-4 fighters of the Turkey’s Air Force. A total of 36 targets are planned to be hit.

In the past two days, a reconnaissance mission involving unmanned aircraft and cosmic reconnaissance equipment was carried out in order to help fix the targets,In the past two days, a reconnaissance mission involving unmanned aircraft and cosmic reconnaissance equipment was carried out in order to help fix the targets.

The joint airstrikes against the ISIS facilities, delivered by Russia and Turkey, have already proven highly effective

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Boy, 2, choppered from Great Barrier after swallowing up to 50 pills


A 2-year-old boy was flown to hospital from Great Barrier Island yesterday after he ate up to 50 ibuprofen pills.

Paramedic Stefan Gabor said the boy had been left alone in a car for a short time around 7pm.

When his mother came back he had a "chalky mouth" and had got into Nurofen and Clonazepam, a drug used to treat anxiety.

His mother knew how much medication was gone and estimated he could have had up to 50 tablets.

She took him to a Claris medical centre and the doctor called the Auckland Westpac Rescue Helicopter.

Gabor, 43, said that even though the boy was in quite a good mood he was in serious condition due to the amount of medicine he had potentially consumed.

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PETA calls for boycott of Kiwi actor KJ Apa's new movie A Dog's Purpose after abuse allegations


A leaked video of dog abuse on the set of KJ Apa's new movie has prompted PETA to call for a boycott.

TMZ has published footage taken behind the scenes of A Dog's Purpose showing a German Shepherd struggling to get free as a trainer attempts to put it in rushing water.

As someone off-camera says "You've just got to throw him in", the dog eventually is put into the pool but quickly becomes submerged. The footage ends as staff rush to rescue the animal.

The footage has led to the representative from the American Humane Association, who was on set at the time, being fired. The organisation is responsible for the 'No animals were harmed' message at the end of movie credits.

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Obama to Trump: Keep Russia sanctions separate from nuclear talks


President Barack Obama urged President-elect Donald Trump on Wednesday to keep separate the issue of economic sanctions on Russia from the pursuit of talks to reduce nuclear stockpiles.

Trump, who takes office on Friday after winning the Nov. 8 election, said in an interview with the Times of London published on Monday that he would propose offering to end sanctions on Moscow in return for a nuclear arms reduction deal.

Obama's administration imposed the sanctions in 2014 after Russia's annexation of the Crimea peninsula from Ukraine.

"Russia continues to occupy Ukrainian territory and meddle in Ukrainian affairs," Obama told reporters during his final news conference at the White House.

"I think it would probably best serve, not only American interests but also the interests of preserving international norms if we made sure that we don't confuse why these sanctions have been imposed with a whole set of other issues," he said.

"It is important for the United States to stand up for the basic principle that big countries don't go around and invade and bully smaller countries," the Democratic president added.

Trump, a Republican, has said he wants he wants to improve ties with Russia, despite allegations by US intelligence agencies that Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered a cyber campaign to boost Trump's campaign against Democrat Hillary Clinton. Moscow has denied the allegations.

Obama worked on a nuclear arms control agreement with Moscow early in his presidency, resulting in the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty signed in 2010.

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George H.W. Bush Now In Intensive Care, Barbara Bush Also Hospitalized


George H.W Bush had been admitted to a hospital over the weekend due to breathing problems. Reports from AP show that his condition may have deteriorated since he has been moved to the intensive care unit of a Houston hospital. The former First Lady Barbara Bush is also in the hospital. Reports claim that the former president was taken to the hospital due to shortness of breath.

In a statement made by McGrath, the 92-year-old Bush is responding well to treatments. Reports from his office also state that Bush was treated for an acute respiratory problem that stems from pneumonia. However, reports from his office also said that doctors had performed a procedure to protect and clear his airway that required sedation and as a result, he was stable and resting comfortably.

McGrath also said that doctors and everyone was very pleased and they all hope to have him out very soon. In a report issued by Jean Becker, who is Bush’s chief of staff, Bush will be released in a few days. The Former First Lady Barbara Bush was also admitted as a precaution on Wednesday for coughing and fatigue.

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Netflix adds 7 million subscribers in global expansion


Netflix added a record seven million subscribers over the past quarter as part of its global expansion drive, fuelling a surge in revenue and profit for the streaming television giant.

California-based Netflix said in its quarterly report Wednesday it ended the year with nearly 94 million subscribers, adding five million outside the United States in the last three months of the year.

"This was the largest quarter of net additions in our history and was driven by strong acquisition trends in both our US and international segments," Netflix said in its quarterly update.

That growth helped push net profit up 55 percent in the fourth quarter to $66.7 million, while revenues were up 36 percent from a year earlier to $2.5 billion.

The stronger-than-expected results lifted Netflix shares more than eight percent in after-hours trade.

"This quarter marks the 10-year anniversary of our launch of streaming," said Netflix.

"The next decade will be even more amazing and tumultuous as internet TV supplants linear TV, and as we strive to remain a leader."

Netflix added nearly 20 million new customers globally in the full year after announcing last January its plan to expand to some 190 countries to become a "global television network."

"We are learning rapidly how best to match content with audience tastes around the world," said the company's quarterly letter to shareholders.

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Firms push hydrogen as top green energy source


Over a dozen leading European and Asian firms have teamed up to promote the use of hydrogen as a clean fuel and cut the production of harmful gases that lead to global warming.

Convened on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum, the first Hydrogen Council brought together 13 firms, among them top carmakers BMW, Daimler, Honda, Hyundai and Toyota as well as leading industrial gas companies Air Liquide and Linde.

Others at the gathering late Tuesday included energy firms Alstom, Engie, Shell and Total as well as mining company AngloAmerican.

Scientists have long pursued the use of electric fuel cells for cars that use hydrogen – the lightest element with the atomic number 1 – as the byproduct of its combustion is water and not gases that cause climate change.

Air Liquide's chief executive Benoit Potier described the council as "key leaders of the energy transport and industry sector joining forces to express a common vision of the key role hydrogen will play in the future to bring a solution to the energy transition."

In particular, the firms will share data and research to make hydrogen technologies profitable, as well working on international standards to help speed their adoption.

They will also try to convince governments to support the technology, another indispensable condition for its success.

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Iraq announces 'liberation' of east Mosul


Iraqi forces have retaken control of east Mosul from Daesh, commanders said on Wednesday, three months after a huge offensive against the militant bastion was launched.

Elite forces have in recent days entered the last neighbourhoods on the eastern side of Mosul, on the left bank of the Tigris River that runs through the city.

Speaking at a news conference in Bartalla, a town east of Mosul, Staff General Talib al-Sheghati, who heads the Counter-Terrorism Service (CTS), announced "the liberation… of the left bank".

Sheghati added however that while the east of the city could be considered under government control, some work remained to be done to flush out the last holdout jihadists.

The "important lines and important areas are finished," he said, adding that "there is only a bit of the northern (front) remaining."

Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi said "the efforts of our brave forces were successful in the shape of the completion of the main plan of clearing the left side."

Operations were ongoing to clear some parts of east Mosul, including some forested areas along the Tigris, Abadi said in a statement.

Wednesday's announcement marks the end of a phase in the operation launched on October 17 to retake Mosul, Iraq's second city and the last major urban stronghold Daesh has in the country.

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In last days, Obama Administration transfers $500 million to UN climate action fund


The State Department announced Tuesday it would transfer $500 million to the United Nations’ Green Climate Fund (GCF), likely irking Republican lawmakers while keeping what commitments it can to the international community before President-elect Donald Trump takes office on Friday.

“The Green Climate Fund is a critical tool that helps catalyze billions of dollars in public and private investment, in countries dealing not only with the challenges of climate change, but the immense economic opportunities that are embedded in the transition to a lower-carbon economy,” a spokesman said.

Under President Obama, the United States pledged $3 billion to the fund, which supports low-carbon and resilience projects in developing nations. Environmental groups and a network of faith-based groups applauded the decision, which brings the total U.S. contributions so far to $1 billion.

But it’s not clear if the other $2 billion will ever appear.

Trump has pledged to cut all spending to international climate projects, including payments to the UN fund. His transition team has also questioned how much money the State Department spends on environmental issues abroad.

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Obama's Chelsea Manning 'Pardon' Proves The "Russian Election Hack" Story Was One Big Lie


Chelsea Manning’s prison sentence has been reduced from 35 years to 7 years by President Obama. The Army soldier was convicted back in 2013 after leaking hundreds of thousands classified documents about US national security activities to WikiLeaks. Its estimated that Manning leaked approximately 750,000 classified documents.

The content of the leaked documents includes military intelligence in Iraq and Afghanistan, diplomatic cables and video files that show US strikes against terrorists. Unfortunately, one of the instance shows strikes that claimed the lives of two Reuters journalists.

Obama has granted Manning clemency and as a result he admits that the massive leak of classified intelligence information was damaging but not so damaging to call for a 35 year prison sentence. However, Manning’s leak is arguably the most damning US intelligence leak ever.

In comparison to the John Podesta's email, Manning’s intelligence leak is worse in relation to the US national security. Surprisingly, the establishment is up in arms calling for a heavy retaliation for Podesta’s email leaks.

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Leaked Animal Abuse Video Spurs Boycott Movement Against ‘A Dog’s Purpose’


Animal rights groups are calling on the public to boycott the upcoming film “A Dog’s Purpose” after a pre-production video showing an improper treatment of a German Shepherd leaked online. The video shows the terrified dog being forced to jump into turbulent water.

Earlier today, TMZ posted a video taken from the set of the film on YouTube. The clip shows a German Shepherd standing with its trainer near a pool filled with rushing water. Based on the trailer for the film, the pool was meant to replicate the conditions of a turbulent river.

As seen in the video, it’s obvious that the dog doesn’t want to jump into the water. However, this didn’t stop the trainer from carrying the dog and just dropping him in.

Once the dog was in the water, the shooting for the film resumed. However, during the final seconds of the clip, the dog can be seen at the edge of the pool, presumably pinned by the churning water, which was produced by outboard motors. After the dog’s head went under water, members of the production crew stopped filming while another trainer, who was also in the water, rushed in to save the animal from drowning.

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Is VICE A Safe Space For Pedo Perves?


Children are valued in most, if not all, societies. They are loved, cared for and protected as much as possible from all harm and danger. The fact that they are innocent and many times defenseless make them all the more vulnerable, that is why they need greater protection. That is also one of the main reasons why pedophiles are not tolerated and accepted in most civilized and educated societies. For how can any sane, mature, responsible adult look at children as sex objects and not as the innocent, precious, young persons they are that should be cared for?

Apparently, the ratings or hits-obsessed Vice.com and its other platforms are only concerned about the volume of their readership and not the well-being of children.Of course, any publication or site would wish for optimum public support, but for the sensational VICE no trick, style or approach is cheap and appalling enough not to employ so long as they get to be read. It does not matter if they are basically churning out rubbish. What could they be thinking? Some of their "shocking" articles last year practically support pedophiles, project pedophiles in a-gasp-romantic fashion, make the dangerous aberration seems oh so practically normal! Simply disgusting!

Worse, VICE even try to "legitimize" their taking up the cudgels for pedophiles with supposed studies and academic arguments. Have the world run out of worthy advocacies and campaigns that VICE would take on the welfare of pedophiles? How could they pretend there's nothing wrong- whatever one's faith, race, social status or educational attainment- with people who view children with lust and malice, or have the conscience to even consider harming them sexually, or worst, actually abusing them?

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New photographs show inside of Pulse nightclub after deadly Orlando attack


The City of Orlando has released the first detailed photographs of the inside the Pulse nightclub taken by police after the worst mass shooting in modern US history.

The 417 photos, released on Tuesday, show where police said they used explosives to breach one of Pulse's walls to free people trapped inside during the June 12 shooting.

Large punctures to an exterior cinderblock wall of the nightclub can be seen. On the other side is a bathroom where patrons were trapped for more than three hours.

The collection of photographs also shows a shirt, firearm and helmet of one of the officers who fired at Pulse nightclub attacker Omar Mateen.

Forty-nine people were killed and dozens were injured after the gunman entered the gay nightclub and opened fire last June.

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Obama grants Chelsea Manning early release


President Barack Obama dramatically shortened on Tuesday the prison sentence for the woman convicted of one of the largest leaks of classified information in U.S. history.

Chelsea Manning, then known as Bradley, leaked classified military documents to whistleblower website WikiLeaks that were made public in 2010.

The ex-Army intelligence analyst brought to light sensitive diplomatic cables, videos of U.S. airstrikes that resulted in civilian casualties in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, and intelligence assessments of detainees held at the military prison in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

The disclosures squarely focused international attention on WikiLeaks, which was a hitherto little-known website.

Manning attempted suicide twice last year, fueling speculation about her mental health.

She will be released May 17, according to the White House. She was serving a 35-year prison sentence that would not have seen her release until 2045.

Manning had been jailed since 2010. She was convicted by a military court in 2013 of "aiding the enemy" and several violations of the Espionage Act.

Rumors had mounted over the past few weeks that she was on Obama's clemency shortlist as he prepares to leave office at the end of the week.

“I’m relieved and thankful that the president is doing the right thing and commuting Chelsea Manning’s sentence,” said Chase Strangio, a staff attorney with the American Civil Liberties Union who is representing Manning.

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US, EU make final plea for free trade deal


With the anti-globalization wave impacting major elections, including that of US President-elect Donal Trump, the United States and European Union made a final plea on Tuesday to conclude a trans-Atlantic free trade deal.

Just three days away from Trump's inauguration, and on the same day British Prime Minister Theresa May unveiled her Brexit blueprint, Washington and Brussels issued a joint report to sell the benefits of the massive trade pact that just needs the political will to conclude.

The rationale for the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) "is even stronger today than it was when we started these negotiations," US Trade Representative Michael Froman said in a statement.

"We launched the TTIP negotiations in 2013 because we were convinced that the transatlantic trade relationship, already the biggest in the world, could be an even stronger driver of job creation, growth and competitiveness on both sides of the Atlantic."

The joint report said that "with the political will to prioritize long-term gains for our economies and our broader relationship, the United States and the EU could achieve what we set out to do in 2013: conclude an ambitious, balanced, comprehensive and high-standard agreement."

The sides have held 15 negotiating rounds in the effort to reduce tariff and regulatory barriers to trade and investment between the two economies.

However, the report acknowledged the parties have "significant work to do to resolve our differences in several important areas of the negotiations."

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Galaxy Note 7 explosion chaos inspires fire-extinguishing batteries


A team of researchers at Stanford University has created a lithium-ion battery designed to extinguish itself if it ever overheated and caught fire.

The battery contains flame retardant chemical compound triphenyl phosphate (TPP), which sits inside a shell within the electrolyte fluid. The shell melts at 150C (302F), releasing the TPP and thereby eliminating any risk of a full-blown fire.

In tests cited by the research, published in the journal Science Advances, the burning battery extinguished itself after 0.4 seconds.

Samsung inadvertently thrust the issue of lithium-ion battery safety into the public eye last year, after several models of its Galaxy Note 7 'phablet' inexplicably caught fire.

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Mobile phone company EE is fined £2.7 million by Ofcom for overcharging tens of thousands of custome


Mobile phone company EE was today fined £2.7million by Ofcom for overcharging tens of thousands of its customers and then deciding not to give their money back.

Britain's biggest network made 'fundamental billing mistakes', with almost 40,000 people overcharged about £250,000 in total between 2014 and 2015.

Customers were charged £1.20 per minute, instead of 19p per minute, for calling the company's 150 customer services number while roaming within the EU.

Victims were incorrectly charged as if they had called the United States and as a result, at least 32,145 customers were overcharged around £245,700 in total.

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Russia extends Snowden’s asylum


The Russian government announced on Wednesday that Edward Snowden’s asylum in Russia has been extended.

“Snowden has just extended the term of the residence permit in Russia for another couple of years,” said Maria Zakharova, a spokeswoman for the Russian Foreign Ministry, The Washington Times reported.

The former National Security Agency contractor has been living in Russia since 2013, when he provided classified details of previously unknown domestic and international US surveillance programs to media outlets.

Several prominent human-rights groups have publicly requested Barack Obama for some type of clemency for Snowden, including Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch. The White House, however, has maintained that Snowden's disclosures harmed national security and that he would need to face trial upon his return to the US before any pardon can be considered.

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China Urges The U.S. To Block Taiwan's Delegation From Attending Trump's Inauguration


The U.S. Presidential Inauguration is a big global event, watched closely not only by Americans but the world over.Naturally, most nations always send government leaders and representatives to attend the ceremonies and celebrations in solidarity with the U.S. China, used to its dictatorial ways, however is not just concerned about its own attendance, but is sending a rather stern warning, or order, to the U.S. not to accept the delegation from Taiwan.

China, through its Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying, has asked the U.S. on Wednesday to prevent the Taiwanese delegation from attending President-elect Donald Trump's inauguration on Friday, January 20. China's wishes were relayed to the Trump transition team and to the outgoing administration of President Barack Obama.

China also urged the U.S. to avoid any forms of official exchange with Taiwan. Asia's superpower also hit Taiwan for its efforts to "undermine" U.S.-China relations.

Problem for China is that their cries now may be too late as Taiwan is already all set with its delegation. In fact, its delegates are most likely in the U.S. by now as they departed Taiwan on Monday to go to Washington. Former Premier Yu Shyi-kun led the delegation composed of politicians from Taiwan's ruling Democratic Progressive Party and the opposition nationalists. The delegation is also eyeing meetings with politicians, academics, and overseas Chinese community representatives for their U.S. trip.

China and Taiwan continue to engage in bitter conflict as Taiwan asserts its independence while China insists that Taiwan is part of their territory. China and Trump had tense exchanges as well in the recent months, emanating from Trump's accepting the congratulatory call from Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen. Trump also took the effort to underscore the vibrant relations of the U.S. with Taiwan especially in economic and trade matters, emphasizing its highly profitable arms sales to Taiwan. China, for its part, keeps harping on the "One China policy" it has forged with the U.S. nearly four decades ago.

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Walmart to Create 10,000 Retail Jobs, 24,000 Construction Jobs


Walmart announced Tuesday it would be creating 10,000 jobs in the United States this year, a number that’s on par with the amount of jobs the store has created in previous years, as President-elect Donald Trump puts pressure on companies to create more jobs in the U.S.

The new jobs will be retail jobs for Walmart’s 59 new stores planned for the next fiscal year that starts in February or e-commerce jobs, but there will also be 24,000 new construction jobs created in order to build the new stores, Reuters reports.

Walmart said the number of new jobs is about the same as previous years, and is part of $6.8 billion in capital investments in the U.S. for the new fiscal year which starts Feb. 1.

The investments also include construction and remodeling of stores and distribution centers as well as expansion of new services such as online grocery pickup, KWTV reported.

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Isis video shows jihadis at Istanbul tourist landmarks promising fresh Turkish terror attacks


Islamic State has threatened to carry out fresh attacks in Turkey in a video showing one of its supporters roaming the streets of Istanbul.

Still images from the footage appeared to show a militant, dressed in black and with his or her face covered, at landmarks in Istanbul popular with tourists.

A voiceover warns that Turkey will become a “target for jihad”, threatening a ”fiery battle” in a country that has already suffered dozens of Isis-inspired attacks in recent years.

The footage, released on Monday, was followed hours later by the arrest of the gunman who carried out the deadly New Year's nightclub attack in the Turkish capital.

It featured a chant, popular among Isis supporters, threatening to attack the "disbelievers" in their homelands, according to the terror monitoring website Site Intelligence Group.

Among the sites to feature in the footage is the Sultan Ahmed Mosque, also known as the Blue Mosque, one of Istanbul’s most famous attractions.

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Betsy DeVos, Trump’s Pick for Education Secretary, Won’t Rule Out Defunding Public Schools

Betsy DeVos, President-elect Donald Trump's pick to lead the Department of Education, faced tough questions on Tuesday from Democratic lawmakers at her charged confirmation hearing.

DeVos refused to promise that she would not privatize or strip funding from the public schools she would oversee if confirmed.

Asked bluntly by Sen. Patty Murray of Washington whether she would commit to keeping funding for public schools intact, DeVos dodged the question.

"I look forward, if confirmed, to working with you to talk about how we address the needs of all parents and all students," she said. "We acknowledge today that not all schools are working for the students that are assigned to them, and I'm hopeful that we can work together to find common ground and ways that we can solve those issues and empower parents to make choices on behalf of their children that are right for them."

"I take that as not be willing to commit to not privatizing public schools or cutting money from education," Murray replied.

"I guess I wouldn't characterize it in that way," DeVos said.

more here:


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MLK daughter says God can triumph over Trump


rtin Luther King’s daughter said on Monday that “God can triumph over Trump,” but the slain civil rights leader’s son struck a conciliatory tone after meeting with the president-elect on the US holiday that honours their father.

The comments by the children of King, who championed racial justice until he was assassinated in 1968 at the age of 39, punctuated an imbroglio involving Donald Trump and African-American congressman John Lewis that broke out over the weekend.

The dispute started when Lewis, 76, a contemporary of King’s who endured beatings and jail time in the civil rights movement of the 1960s, said in a televised interview that he saw Trump’s election as illegitimate because of Russian interference in the campaign.

That drew a scornful response from Trump.

Bernice King, King’s youngest daughter, told a gathering at Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta not to give up hope and “Don’t be afraid of who sits in the White House.”

“God can triumph over Trump,” she said, drawing a standing ovation, one of several times she was interrupted by thunderous applause.

The service at the church where King once preached takes place every year on Martin Luther King Jr Day, a federal holiday honouring his life.

This year the holiday fell days before Barack Obama ends his second term as the country’s first African-American president.

Trump takes the oath of office as his successor on Friday.

Obama and first lady Michelle Obama spent part of their last MLK Day in office helping paint a mural in the “community room” of a Washington shelter, to which they donated a play set used by their daughters when they arrived at the White House in 2009.

Trump, who won only 8% of the black vote, offered praise for King in a Twitter post on Monday, a few hours before meeting King’s oldest son, Martin Luther King III, at his Trump Tower offices in New York.

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Congressional Budget Office says Obamacare repeal would be a catastrophe


On Tuesday, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) released its estimate of how many people will become uninsured if Republicans move forward with their likely plan to repeal the Affordable Care Act, and the numbers are brutal. Thirty-two million people would lose their health insurance by 2026, and premiums would double in the same time frame.

Americans would also see a sharp and immediate drop in insurance rates. According to the CBO, “the number of people who are uninsured would increase by 18 million in the first new plan year following enactment of the bill.”

The CBO examined a bill pushed by Republicans in the previous Congress, the “Restoring Americans’ Healthcare Freedom Reconciliation Act of 2015,” which would phase out provisions of the Affordable Care Act that help make health insurance affordable — including subsidies for plans purchased on Obamacare exchanges and the law’s Medicaid expansion. It would also immediately repeal provisions, such as the law’s individual mandate, which are intended to bring people into the insurance market.

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Former US President George HW Bush admitted to hospital in Houston


Former US President George HW Bush has been admitted to hospital in Houston.

The 92-year-old was in a stable condition and "doing fine", his office chief of staff Jean Becker told CBS Houston.

The reason for Mr Bush's admission was not immediately made clear but he is expected to leave the Houston Methodist Hospital in a couple of days, Ms Becker said.

Mr Bush, the oldest living former President, suffers from a form of Parkinson's disease that leaves him unable to walk unaided and uses a wheelchair or scooter to get around.

Although the illness has not stopped him celebrating his birthdays with parachute jumps, most recently for his 90th. His first jump was escaping his plane when it was shot down over the Pacific during the Second World War.

Mr Bush served as 41st President of the US between 1989 and 1993, having been Vice President under Ronald Reagan.

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Top court foils attempt to ban far-right party


Germany’s Constitutional Court has said that the far-right National Democratic Party (NPD) resembled Adolf Hitler’s Nazi party, but ruled against banning it because it was too weak to endanger democracy.

Germany’s 16 federal states had pressed for the ban amid rising support for right-wing groups that has been stoked by popular resentment over the influx of large numbers of migrants.

Critics, including Jewish groups, condemned the court ruling, saying that it sent a signal that legitimised the spread of hatred.

While the court said the NPD’s aims, viewed by Germany’s intelligence agency as racist, anti-Semitic and revisionist, violated the constitution, it said there was insufficient evidence that it could succeed and this made a ban impossible.

“The NPD intends to replace the existing constitutional system with an authoritarian national state that adheres to the idea of an ethnically defined ‘people’s community’,” the court said. “However, currently there is a lack of specific and weighty indications suggesting that this endeavour will be successful.”

In the countdown to German federal elections in September, the NPD has been eclipsed on the right end of the political spectrum by the anti-immigrant Alternative for Germany (AfD) – which has seen support jump as high as 15% in opinion surveys – and it has failed to capitalise on the ongoing refugee crisis.

The court said it looked “completely impossible” for the NPD to achieve its aims by parliamentary or other democratic means.

The NPD has never won enough support to win seats in the federal parliament and in September lost its last seat in a regional assembly.

However, it is represented on local councils and in 2014 won a seat in the European Parliament.

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Norway sends hundreds of troops to Russian border region as Cold War surveillance pact is revived


Norway is deploying hundreds more troops to the remote region of Finnmark, bordering Russia, as part of a plan to expand defences within the Arctic Circle.

The bolstered military presence in the far north of the country comes as the UK, US and Norway begin to revive a Cold War-era pact to monitor Moscow’s activities in the North, Norwegian and Barents seas.

The deployment is part of a plan approved by the Norwegian government late last year to significantly increase defence spending.

Describing the move as “historic”, the political adviser to Norwegian Defence Minister Ine Marie Eriksen Søreide said Norway would “further increase our land forces in the northernmost county, Finnmark, by establishing a new company sized ranger unit at the Norwegian-Russian border” of around 200 troops.

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Edward Snowden allowed to stay in Russia for two more years


Former US. intelligence contractor Edward Snowden has been given leave to remain in Russia for another couple of years.

"Snowden's residency in Russia has just been extended by another couple of years," a Russian foreign ministry spokeswoman, Maria Zakharova, said in a post on Facebook.

The 33-year-old Mr Snowden is wanted in the United States to face trial on charges brought under the tough Espionage Act of 1917 after he leaked thousands of classified documents in 2013 revealing the vast US surveillance of private data put in place after the September 11, 2001 attacks.

Last year he said he was not worried about the incoming Donald Trump administration stepping up efforts to arrest him and stood by his decision to leak the classified material.

“I don't care,” he said in November. “The reality here is that yes, Donald Trump has appointed a new director of the Central Intelligence Agency who uses me as a specific example to say that, look, dissidents should be put to death.

“But if I get hit by a bus, or a drone, or dropped off an airplane tomorrow, you know what? It doesn't actually matter that much to me, because I believe in the decisions that I've already made.”

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Boris Johnson says countries are 'queuing up' to sign free trade deals with Britain


Boris Johnson has said it is not on the UK's agenda to "weaken or undermine" Europe after the Prime Minister was perceived as warning Brussels not to punish Britain over Brexit.

Insisting that there are numerous countries around the world "queuing up" to sign free trade deals with the UK, the Foreign Secretary said the UK would also rely on a strong Europe.

It follows Theresa May's comments that it would be "an act of calamitous self-harm" if the European Union attempted to make an example of Britain to dissuade other countries leaving the bloc.

Her threat to walk away from a bad deal on trade with the single market came after Chancellor Philip Hammond said the UK could "change the basis of (its) economic model" if refused access.

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France weighs UN sanctions regime for Mali


France is considering a UN Security Council draft resolution that would set up a sanctions regime for Mali to target opponents of a peace deal signed 19 months ago, the ambassador said Tuesday.

The peace accord signed in June 2015 between the Malian government and rebels ended years of fighting in the north, but its implementation has been piecemeal.

Mali regained control of the north after a French-led military intervention in January 2013 drove out rebels, but rebels remain active across large parts of the region.

French Ambassador Francois Delattre told reporters that a sanctions regime for Mali was a "very important" measure and that France was eager to discuss it at the council.

"The utmost priority with respect to Mali is to encourage the swift implementation of the peace agreement and to make sure the mission there, MINUSMA, has everything it needs," Delattre said.

In one of his last reports in late December, former UN secretary-general Ban Ki-moon called on the council to consider targeted sanctions against those who are impeding the peace deal.

"The peace process in Mali is at a critical juncture," Ban wrote.

While there has been some progress, "the signatory parties continue to disagree on key interim measures, thus stalling the process for all other provisions."

The Security Council will meet Wednesday to discuss the situation in Mali.

The proposed sanctions regime would set up a mechanism to allow individuals and entities to be blacklisted by the United Nations. Targeted sanctions include a global travel ban and an assets freeze.

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Japanese PM pledges to work for regional peace


Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has pledged to work for peace and prosperity in the Asia-Pacific region. He made the comment during a speech he gave in Hanoi, at the end of a tour to the Philippines, Australia, Indonesia and Vietnam.

Abe said the countries he visited are all important neighbours, sharing the Pacific Ocean, as well as basic values.

He said the leaders of the four countries agreed with him completely that freedom of navigation is vitally important, and that to secure that principle, the rule of law must be thoroughly upheld, Japan’s broadcaster (NHK World) reported.

Abe also said that on the firm basis of the Japan-US alliance, he will consolidate peace and prosperity in the region stretching from Asia to the rim of the Pacific and to the Indian Ocean.

The remark is seen as indicating that he will play a leading role in regional peace and prosperity, with China’s increasing maritime activities in mind.

Abe discussed the Trans-Pacific Partnership free trade agreement, or TPP, with Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc. Abe said that throughout the trip they renewed their pledge to put the TPP into effect soon.

Based on the achievement of the TPP, he said, he will aim for bigger, higher-quality, and more ambitious deals such as the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership, RCEP.

President-elect Donald Trump has pledged to withdraw the United States from the TPP. Abe said he and the leaders agreed to continue to work together closely, with the belief that the US commitment is essential to the peace and prosperity of the region.

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Federal Appeals Court upholds limitations on Inaugural protests

The Washington DC circuit of the United States Court of Appeals has confirmed that limitations remain on the ability of protest organizers to take up space in the spectator areas of the Inauguration Day ceremonies this coming Friday.

>As a result of the ruling by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, the inauguration committee can keep set-aside bleacher seats in place at Freedom Plaza and in front of the Trump International Hotel — prominent locations along the parade route where protesters had sought to demonstrate.

>Judge Pillard wrote that while the First Amendment requires “that any reasonable, content-neutral regulation limiting expression along the parade route leave ample space available for peaceful demonstrations,” it does not “support Answer’s claim of a right to displace spectator bleachers with its own demonstration at Freedom Plaza.”

>“We simply hold that this regulation is content neutral, reasonable, and provides ample alternative channels for communication,” the ruling states.

Washington Times link:


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The Secret Service Is Ready For Any Unprecedented Inauguration Threats


In a shocking revelation, an undercover video from Project Veritas revealed that anarchist groups are plotting to disrupt the Trump inauguration by dumping butyric acid into the heating and ventilation systems of buildings expected to be used for this weekend's activities. There has also been reports stating that 750,000 protesters are expected to head to Washington D.C. with the sole intention of paralyzing the city. In addition to that the recent unusual move by Obama, he recently fired the D.C. National Guard Chief as the inauguration is around the corner.

In a statement made Secret Service Director to Washington Top News, Mr. Joseph Clancy admitted that the threat level at Trump's inauguration is totally different from what the Secret Service has seen in the past, adding that the contentious campaign cycle in 2016 has made people to be willing to go to greater lengths to do things they were not willing to do in the past.

The Secret Service director cited various episodes that happened in the campaign, where people jumped over those bike racks or security zone.In the past, it was very rare for somebody to do that. Today, in this past campaign, people were willing to do it."

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These 8 billionaires are worth as much as the poorest half of the world


As the global elite descend upon Davos for the World Economic Forum to rub elbows, Oxfam released a report today which it introduced in this way:

It details how big business and the super-rich are fueling the inequality crisis by dodging taxes, driving down wages and using their power to influence politics. It calls for a fundamental change in the way we manage our economies so that they work for all people, and not just a fortunate few.

Last year in its report, if figured that 62 people owned the same wealth as “the poorest half of the planet,” but this year more data became available. Had this data been available last year, it would have shown that 9 men owned as much as the poorest half of the planet.

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Thai south Muslims mourn death of rebel 'spiritual leader'


Muslims across Thailand's restive "Deep South" are mourning the death of Sapae-ing Basor, the spiritual leader of a near 13-year rebellion against Bangkok's rule that has claimed more than 6,800 lives.

The insurgency sees separatist rebels carry out near-daily attacks on security forces and perceived collaborators with the Thai state, which colonised the region over a century ago.

The majority of the dead are civilians in a conflict that has seen both insurgents and Thailand's military accused of rights abuses.

Sapae-ing, who was in his eighties, died peacefully on January 10 across the Thai border in Malaysia where he had lived since fleeing treason charges.

The school he founded is believed to have incubated many rank-and-file rebels.

"He was a philosopher who played an important role in education," said a statement by the Mara Patani, a group representing some rebel factions in peace talks with the Thai junta, confirming his death.

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Amazon is crushing Walmart, eBay, and Target in the growing mobile shopping space


Amazon is already the largest online shopping site in the world, but it's also showing signs of dominating the next most important shopping platform: mobile shopping.

According to a new note published by Oppenheimer this week, Amazon's lead in the mobile shopping space is growing by a wide margin, tripling the number of US unique visitors to its mobile app over the past two years. Meanwhile, its biggest competitors like Walmart, eBay, and Target saw almost no growth in the same time span.

On top of that, Amazon's mobile app is increasing its penetration rate in the US, with 50% of US online shoppers now on its app.

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Gmail is the latest victim of a phishing scam


Gmail is the latest victim of a phishing scam that is even fooling experienced technical users.

The scam is being described as one of the most convincing yet, and tricks users into giving their Google login details, allowing the attacker to sift through their messages.

Emails containing the rogue attachment can come from people in the recipient's own address book, and attacker can even copy their style of writing, convincingly passing the fake email on to the victim's contacts.

The fake email uses image attachments that look like a PDF file.

When you click on the attachment, you are directed to phishing pages, disguised as the Google sign-in page.

If you enter your details, your Gmail account becomes compromised, allowing the attacker to sift through your sent messages folder and pass on the scam.

Even more worryingly, the phishing pages do not seem to trigger Google's HTTPS security warnings, which normally warn users if they land on an unsafe page.

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Russia expects US to join Syria talks in Astana


Russia expects the new U.S. administration to attend Syria peace talks in the Kazakh capital Astana, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said Tuesday.

"We hope that the new administration [of President-elect Donald Trump] will be represented in Astana," Lavrov said at an annual news conference in Moscow.

The Russian minister said it would be a "right" decision to invite representatives from the new U.S. administration.

"This would be the first official contact with the Trump administration," said Lavrov.

Negotiations between the Syrian government and opposition negotiators to reach a political solution to the six-year war in Syria are due to begin on Jan. 23.

Lavrov said the aim of Astana talks was to reinforce the cease-fire and to ensure the participation of opposition field commanders in the political process.

Lavrov said he hoped the cooperation with Trump administration on Syria would be "much more effective" than that with out-going President Barack Obama administration.

Following last month's Syria cease-fire deal, brokered by Turkey and Russia, the Astana meeting comes as part of ongoing efforts by the two countries to promote a political solution in war-torn Syria.

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Gambia's president declares state of emergency


The measure was prompted by the "unprecedented and extraordinary amount of foreign interference in the December 1 presidential elections and also in the internal affairs of The Gambia," Jammeh announced on state TV.

The 15-nation Economic Community Of West African States (ECOWAS) has repeatedly called on Jammeh to respect the result of the vote he lost to opponent Adama Barrow and step aside, a call backed by the UN Security Council, African Union and others.

After Jammeh's announcement, The Netherlands urged Dutch citizens not to go to The Gambia and a Dutch travel agency said it was preparing to repatriate hundreds of holidaymakers.

Jammeh said foreign powers had created an "unwarranted hostile atmosphere, threatening the sovereignty, peace, security and stability of the country," forcing him to act.

Under the Gambian constitution a state of emergency lasts seven days if the president declares it unilaterally but up to 90 days if the national assembly confirms it, which has not yet happened.

The terms of the declaration were left vague by Jammeh and seemed to correspond to laws already in place in a nation where human rights abuses are rife.

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Trump's education secretary spars with Bernie Sanders in contentious confirmation hearing


In a sometimes contentious confirmation hearing, education secretary pick Betsy DeVos pledged Tuesday not to dismantle public education and said she wasn't selected for the job simply because of her wealthy family's generous contributions to the Republican Party.

Sen. Patty Murray of Washington state, the top Democrat on the Senate Health, Labor, Education and Pension Committee, asked DeVos point blank to pledge that she would not seek to privatize public schools or take money away from them.

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Nigerian air force kills 52 in strike on refugee camp: MSF


Nigeria's air force killed at least 52 people and injured 120 in an air strike on a refugee camp in the country's northeast on Tuesday, a spokesman from Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) said after the military earlier disclosed the strike was meant to target Boko Haram militants.

MSF said the strike occurred in Rann in Borno state, the epicentre of the jihadist group's seven-year-long bid to create an Islamic caliphate. Nigerian General Lucky Irabor, a regional military commander, located the incident at Kala Balge, a district that includes Rann.

Irabor, who said it was too early to determine the cause of the incident, told journalists an unknown number of civilians had been killed, adding that humanitarian workers from MSF and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) were among the injured.

"At least 52 people were killed and 120 wounded," said Tim Shenk, a spokesman for the MSF medical charity. "The organization's medical and surgical teams in the region are preparing to treat evacuated patients," he added.

An ICRC spokeswoman said six Nigeria Red Cross members were killed and 13 wounded.

The United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) said the deaths "underline the importance of protecting civilians in complex humanitarian emergencies."

The Boko Haram insurgency has killed more than 15,000 people since 2010 and forced some two million to flee their homes, many of whom have moved to camps for internally displaced people.

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Trump meets Supreme Court candidate


Donald Trump has met one of the judges on his shortlist for a US Supreme Court nominee, less than two weeks before he is expected to announce his choice for the nation's highest court.

Judge William Pryor, an Alabama-based judge on the 11th US Circuit Court of Appeals, met the president-elect in New York on Saturday, said two people familiar with the meeting.

Trump said last week he would select a candidate to fill the seat of the late Justice Antonin Scalia within his first two weeks in office.

He has promised to seek someone in the conservative's mould and said he was working from a list of 21 people.

For nearly a year, the court has had only eight justices, which means they can deadlock at 4-4 on decisions.

The likely confirmation of Trump's choice by a Republican-controlled Senate would restore a fifth vote for conservative outcomes in cases involving voting rights, the power of unions and in class-action lawsuits.

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UK arms to sales to Saudi are 'breeding a new generation of terrorists'


Former Government Minister Andrew Mitchell has warned that Britain is heightening the risk of terror attacks at home by assisting Saudi Arabia in its bombing and blockade of Yemen.

Mr Mitchell, a high profile campaigner on the ongoing civil war in Yemen, said the UK’s role in the Saudi led coalition risked it becoming “complicit in the destruction of a sovereign state.”

“Yemen is not starving, Yemen is being starved and Britain is part of a coalition that is blockading this country by both land and sea,” Mr Mitchell told The Daily Telegraph. “People are horrified about what is happening and we are stoking hatred in this generation and particularly the next generation.”

More than 10,000 people have been killed in Yemen, since Saudi Arabia began bombing the country in March 2014 after Houthi rebels rebelled against the Yemeni government.

The UK government continues to sell arms to Saudi Arabia, even after recent reports indicated that now-banned British-manufactured cluster munitions sold to the Saudi government decades ago have been dropped in civilian areas.

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Swiss Police Are Ready to Blast Drones Out of the Sky at Davos

The gunner looks like a character in a dystopian movie in which the ruling elite prepare to fight off a scrappy, tech-savvy rebellion. The reality? Maybe not that far off.

Swiss police were pictured this week in Davos testing anti-drone jammers, which resemble massive machine guns, as part of security preparations for the World Economic Forum. The annual gathering of members of the world's business and political elite has brought more than 3,000 attendees to the skiing resort.

In Davos, police were testing to make sure the equipment was ready and able to take down any drones potentially carrying out covert missions, said Steffen Wicker, managing director at H.P. Marketing & Consulting Wüst, which makes the jamming guns pictured.

The concern is that drones could be used to take pictures and map police and security positions, conduct surveillance, or, in a worst-case scenario, launch an attack.

The German company has sold various types of jamming equipment to police and military forces around the world for almost 30 years. Demand for drone-specific devices has risen as the flying machines have become cheaper and more prevalent, Wicker said.

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Gallup: Obama Gets a Minus 9 Percent Final Grade From the Public


The nation’s overall progress reversed and then slid backwards during the eight years President Barack Obama has been in the White House, according to Gallup’s new survey of American adults.

“Asked about the state of the nation over the past eight years, Americans say the U.S. gained ground in four of 19 policy domains, and they say it lost ground on 14 and held steady on one,” said the Gallup press statement, which highlighted factors deemed favorable to Obama.

The public sees “the biggest setbacks on the federal debt, crime, the gap between the rich and the poor, and race relations,” Gallup admitted. Those grades were, respectively, minus 36 percent, minus 35 percent, minus 34 percent, and minus 27 percent for “race relations,” Gallup acknowledged. Obama also scored minus 7 percent when Americans were asked about the “situation for blacks.”

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Google was overwhelmingly against Trump, now it's trying to win him over

President-elect Donald Trump's views on a range of issues, from immigration to climate change, alienated many left-leaning tech employees in Silicon Valley, but none more so than those working at Alphabet.

During the presidential campaign, 33 employees at the tech giant donated $20,000 to Trump, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. That was a tiny fraction of the 1,400 employees who donated to Hillary Clinton's campaign, for a total of $1.6 million.

And it wasn't just political donations.

The revolving door between the Obama administration and the company swung hard and frequently during the past eight years: 22 former White House officials left the administration to work for Alphabet, according to research from the Campaign for Accountability.

Alphabet's support for Clinton was evident in its C-suite as well.

WikiLeaks revealed that Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt emailed John Podesta — Clinton's campaign manager — volunteering to fund, advise and recruit talent for her White House run. CFO Ruth Porat donated $2,700 to Clinton, the maximum amount of money an individual can contribute to a federal campaign.

Like many tech companies, Alphabet has a range of potential political issues that it must consider, from immigration to privacy, taxes to encryption. There are also regulatory concerns.

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Cubans Stranded at Border Hope for Trump Welcome


The dream of arriving to the U.S. under the Wet Foot-Dry Foot policy has turned into a nightmare after hundreds of Cubans have been left stranded at the Texas-Mexico border. The islanders have a 20-day permit from the Mexican government to travel north that leaves them subject to deportation thereafter.

More than 50 Cubans currently stuck in this border city are left only to hope that President-Elect Donald Trump shortly reverses the recent decision imposed by President Barack Obama that ended the fast-tracked naturalization process for Cuban refugees. Some of the Cubans who spoke with Breitbart Texas expressed their surprise and disappointment upon learning that U.S. authorities would not let them enter the country legally.

“A new president that wants to help the oppressed people of Cuba is our only hope,” said Carlos Martin, a stranded Cuban refugee. “We have nothing and we can not go back; it was a very radical decision.”

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Former foreign secretary Lord Hague joins Wall Street giant Citigroup as Brexit looms


William Hague, the UK’s former foreign secretary, will be joining Wall Street giant Citigroup as senior adviser.

Lord Hague, who quit frontline politics in 2015 and last year campaigned for Britain to remain in the EU, has become the latest prominent figure to join the payroll of a US bank as the UK prepares to quit the EU.

The appointment of Lord Hague follows that of Mervyn King, former Governor of the Bank of England, as senior adviser to the investment bank in July last year.

A spokeswoman for Citi said the bank was “delighted” Lord Hague will be joining the company.

She said: “Lord Hague's experience on the global stage and his profound understanding of the forces shaping the world will be a key asset for Citi.“

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Brexit: Germany welcomes 'clarity' in Theresa May's speech as Europe reacts


Theresa May’s Brexit speech has “finally” given Europe “a bit more clarity”, Germany’s foreign minister has said.

Frank-Walter Steinmeier said the Prime Minister's willingness to engage in a positive partnership with the European Union had been noted.

Ms May confirmed the Government’s intention to pull out of the single market when Britain leaves the EU, ending months of uncertainty and confusion following the June referendum.

“Finally a bit more clarity,” said Mr Steinmeier in a statement, adding that the other 27 EU countries want close and trusting relations with Britain and will aim for constructive negotiations.

“[Ms May] emphasised that Great Britain is seeking a positive and constructive partnership, friendship with a strong European Union. That’s good,” he said.

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Samsung's next Galaxy phone may be hiding in plain sight


I added a screenshot from a separate video, also released by Samsung, showing a similar device.

Samsung recently released a video found by Forbes that features a previously unseen, unreleased smartphone, which has some glaring similarities to rumors about the Galaxy S8.

Now, it's unlikely that Samsung would knowingly release a video featuring the Galaxy S8 before its release, but Samsung is no stranger to accidental leaks. Last year, Samsung let slip a few details about the Galaxy S7 on its own website.

The video shows a smartphone, pictured below, with narrow borders on the top, bottom, and sides — details that match rumors about the Galaxy S8. And the pictured smartphone is missing a physical home button, which lines up nicely with the rumors that the Galaxy S8's home button will be embedded into the display, making it essentially invisible.

However, it's not clear from the screenshots above if the phone's edges are curved. In fact, it doesn't look like it has curved edges at all. That missing feature alone could dispel the notion that the video is, indeed, showing the Galaxy S8. If the current rumors are correct, Samsung will only offer the S8 with curved edges, like the Galaxy S7 Edge, and not with a flat screen. It wouldn't be surprising if Samsung offered a curved-only Galaxy S8 considering the success it's had with the Galaxy S6 Edge and S7 Edge.

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Mark Zuckerberg, in Suit, Testifies in Oculus Intellectual Property Trial

A few years ago, Mark Zuckerberg, chief executive of Facebook and one of tech’s shrewdest seers, made a huge bet on a new technology, virtual reality, buying Oculus VR, one of the most prominent start-ups in the industry, for more than $2 billion.

His dream of bringing virtual reality to the masses still has not come true.

That frank assessment came from Mr. Zuckerberg on Tuesday in a federal courtroom of all places, where Facebook is tangling with a games publisher that has accused Oculus of stealing technology that went into the creation of the Oculus virtual reality headset. The trial offered a window into how Mr. Zuckerberg views the progress of one of his biggest bets, and a glimpse of Facebook’s approach to making deals in Silicon Valley.

“I don’t think that good virtual reality is fully there yet,” said Mr. Zuckerberg, who wore a suit and tie while testifying, instead of his regular uniform, a T-shirt and jeans. “It’s going to take five or 10 more years of development before we get to where we all want to go.”

Mr. Zuckerberg spoke during a court appearance, in which he was questioned about the Oculus deal. He denied accusations that Oculus had taken technology it did not own, and said he had never before testified in a courtroom.

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Mike Pence poses biggest threat to women in a generation, say campaigners


“For me, my faith informs my life. I try and spend a little time on my knees every day. But it all for me begins with cherishing the dignity, the worth, the value of every human life.”

These are the words of Indiana Governor-turned-Vice President-elect Mike Pence, who outlined during a debate last year why he did not agree with a woman’s right to choose.

He is often described as softly spoken, with an almost pained, apologetic facial expression when he talks. Yet the Governor who has been propelled to the second highest spot in government is not so soft or apologetic when it comes to eroding constitutional protections for women.

Jennifer Dalven, director of the reproductive freedom project at the American Civil Liberties Union, told The Independent that Mr Pence was “extraordinarily hostile” to women’s rights.

“It’s very nervous-making to have him in the position of Vice President,” she said. “But I’m hopeful. We are seeing a groundswell of opposition.”

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Restaurant chain Chuck E. Cheese prepares IPO

The parent of Chuck E. Cheese has begun preparations for an initial public offering (IPO) that could value the U.S. restaurant chain at more than $1 billion, including debt, people familiar with the situation said on Tuesday.

The IPO would be a bet that Irving, Texas-based Chuck E. Cheese's arcade games and kid-focused activities will differentiate it in the minds of investors from other more commoditized restaurant chains that have failed to whet their appetite.

Chuck E. Cheese's private equity owner, Apollo Global Management, has initiated conversations with banks about an IPO that could come in the second half of 2017, though it has not yet hired underwriters, the people said.

An outright sale of the company is also possible were Apollo to receive an attractive enough offer, the people added.

The sources asked not to be named because the IPO preparations are confidential. Apollo and CEC Entertainment, the company that owns Chuck E. Cheese, declined to comment.

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Theresa May Sets Britain on Course for a Hard Brexit

U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May has outlined her vision for a U.K. outside the European Union, confirming that Britain will leave the bloc’s single market in order to regain full control of immigration.

May, who has been accused of a “muddled” approach to pulling Britain out of the E.U., laid out a 12-point plan for Brexit in front of an audience of diplomats in London. In a wide-ranging speech, May also said that the U.K. would seek:

>A free-trade deal with the E.U. outside the single market.

>A new customs relationship that would allow Britain to negotiate trade deals around the world, but have “frictionless” cross-border trade.

>A “phased implementation process” at the end of the two-year period of negotiations, rather than a lengthy transitional deal.

>No more unrestricted immigration from the E.U.

>Complete withdrawal from the European Court of Justice.

The Prime Minister also guaranteed the U.K. Parliament a vote on the final Brexit deal, ahead of a Supreme Court verdict on whether the agreement would need lawmakers’ approval.

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Netflix is really bad for DVD sales, according to new research


Having movies available on Netflix is really bad for DVD sales, according to new academic research.

In 2016, subscription streaming video from the likes of Netflix overtook disc sales for the first time, at $6.2 billion to $5.4 billion. Netflix pays billions to license TV shows and movies, so the rise of subscription video isn't inherently a bad thing for the movie industry.

But a new academic study, pointed to by TorrentFreak, suggests that having a movie on Netflix can depress DVD sales in a major way.

To try and figure out the effect Netflix has on DVD sales, the researchers looked at a "natural experiment" that took place when Epix, a movie and TV distributor, moved its streaming catalog from Netflix to Hulu, which has a much smaller subscriber base, in 2015.

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Samsung chief questioned behind closed doors in arrest warrant hearing

A South Korean judge questioned Samsung Group leader Jay Y. Lee behind closed doors on Wednesday to decide whether he should be arrested over his alleged role in a corruption scandal that led parliament to impeach President Park Geun-hye.

Lee, 48, in dark overcoat and purple necktie, did not answer questions from reporters on his way into the special prosecutor's office and then the Seoul Central District Court, where guards stopped journalists at the door.

A special prosecutor on Monday said it would seek a warrant to arrest the third-generation leader of the country's largest conglomerate on suspicion of bribery, embezzlement and perjury.

Lee, who has been the de facto leader of South Korea's biggest conglomerate since his father Lee Kun-hee was incapacitated by a 2014 heart attack, was questioned last week for 22 straight hours at the prosecutor's office in Seoul.

He has denied wrongdoing.

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After a war on leaks, Obama makes a U-turn, commutes Chelsea Manning’s sentence

With barely 72 hours left in office, President Barack Obama Tuesday did an abrupt U-turn on his years-long assault on government leaks and showed leniency toward two military figures who’d helped make public highly sensitive secrets.

Both Democrats and Republicans said they were bewildered – even angered – by Obama’s commutation of the 35-year prison term of Chelsea Manning, the former Army intelligence specialist who turned over some 700,000 classified and sensitive diplomatic documents to the anti-secrecy website WikiLeaks.

Obama also pardoned retired Marine Gen. James Cartwright, the former vice-chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff who pleaded guilty to lying to federal investigators when he denied that he revealed to the New York Times the existence of a highly classified campaign to cripple Iran’s nuclear program with a computer worm. The Stuxnet virus crippled Iran’s delicate nuclear equipment and was the first major use in history of a digital weapon.

For most of his two terms in office, Obama relentlessly sought to prosecute those who spilled government secrets, trying to deter others from following suit. Republican and Democratic critics said Tuesday’s commutation rendered that effort worthless.

Sen. John McCain, chairman of the Armed Services Committee, called the commutation of Manning’s sentence “ a grave mistake that I fear will encourage further acts of espionage and undermine military discipline.”

Manning’s “dishonor will last forever,” McCain said.

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She Had Her Boyfriend Kill Her Half-Brother for ‘Street Justice’

Della Nichols was enraged when she thought her half-brother had molested her 6-year-old daughter. So the former Oklahoma City stripper had her boyfriend kill him, police say.

Nichols and Adrian Escajeda, the boyfriend, were arrested last week for the Dec. 5 murder, after more than a month on the lam. Police finally caught up with them in Mexico with the help of local authorities, and extradited them to Oklahoma through Texas.

The two apparently skipped town after Nichols gave her paramour a directive to cut out the legal system and take justice into his own hands by killing her half-brother, Ulises Lopez. “We were advised Della said she sent… Escajeda to assault the man and do street justice,” the police affidavit said.

“I love you I did this for you… I accept whatever is coming for me,” Escajeda, the boyfriend, allegedly texted Nichols after the body was discovered. “Don’t forget that there was no one who did something big like this… so you know that I really love you… I’m sorry I destroyed your Christmas again.”

It was Nichols’s own mother who walked in to find her son’s gruesomely executed body.

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Letgo raises $175 million for its used goods marketplace

With a pitch for its users to just let go of the things they no longer need, the online used goods marketplace letgo has managed to grab on to $175 million in new financing.

Since its launch in 2015, the would-be Craigslist killer has raised at least $325 million to tackle the U.S. market.

It’s been growing a blistering clip, to over $20 billion in gross merchandise value sold on the platform, up from just $25 million in the months following its launch.

The investor group that came in to finance the company in its last round (and to help back the merger of letgo with rival Wallapop) remains intact, for the Series C investment. It includes original investor Naspers, and 2016 entrants Insight Venture Partners, Accel, the stealthy New York-based venture firm 14W, Eight Roads Ventures, Mangrove Capital Partners and FJ Labs.

The company’s valuation is now approaching $1 billion, according to published reports, and brings letgo to the top of a very crowded heap of entrants in the classified space.

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Thomas Tull to Exit Legendary Entertainment

In a major Hollywood executive shake-up, Legendary Entertainment chairman and CEO Thomas Tull is resigning under pressure from the company's Chinese owner.

Tull, a former financial-industry executive who founded Legendary in 2005, sold the company to China's Dalian Wanda Group for a reported $3.5 billion in early 2016. He had been retained as CEO, but sources say Wanda became frustrated with his management and recent projects such as The Great Wall and the currently shooting Pacific Rim 2.

The exit is a dramatic shift for Wanda, whose Hollywood ambitions were cemented when its Legendary acquisition became the largest purchase of a studio by a Chinese company. The deal helped transformed Wang Jianlin, Wanda's chairman and China's richest man, into a major entertainment power player considering he also owns AMC cinemas and Dick Clark Productions.

With Tull out, Jack Gao, Wanda's CEO and senior vp international investments and operations, will lead Legendary as it seeks a full-time CEO. Mary Parent, the studio's head of production, is said to be staying on and will receive the full financial backing of the company.

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Deutsche Bank will settle with US regulators over mortgage-backed securities for $7.2 billion


Deutsche Bank will settle with US regulators for $7.2 billion over financial crisis-era residential mortgage-backed securities.

The $7.2 billion figure was announced in December by the bank, and confirmed on Tuesday by the Department of Justice.

The settlement comes after months of wrangling between the bank and regulators. The original settlement was reported to be around $14 billion, which sent Deutsche Bank's stock into a tail spin in September 2016.

After talk of a possible bailout from the German government, the bank eventually brought the settlement lower.

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Mark Zuckerberg reveals that Facebook paid more than we thought for Oculus VR


Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg revealed new details about his 2014 deal to acquire the VR company Oculus during a public appearance in court on Tuesday.

Zuckerberg visited the Dallas courtroom to testify in the ongoing lawsuit against Oculus by video game publisher Zenimax, which claims that the Oculus Rift VR headset is partially based on its stolen technology.

During his testimony, Zuckerberg revealed that Facebook paid an additional $1 billion for Oculus in employee retention packages and goal targets, according to Mike Isaac of The New York Times.

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Qualcomm allegedly paid Apple billions of dollars in rebates to use its chips


A newly unsealed antitrust suit from the Federal Trade Commission alleges that Qualcomm entered into an anticompetitive deal with Apple to keep its modem chips in Apple's products, including the iPhone and iPad.

The deal allegedly included "substantial incentive payments" on the condition that Apple would continue using Qualcomm's baseband processors "exclusively" in all iPhone and iPad models from 2011 and 2012.

"In all, Qualcomm’s 2011 and 2013 agreements with Apple provided for billions of dollars in conditional rebates from Qualcomm to Apple," according to a complaint filed by the FTC.

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Here's why Russia is bullish on oil in 2017


Russia’s Mineral Resources Minister, Sergei Donskoi, has demonstrated strong optimism about the direction oil prices are going this year and next. He believes that Brent crude could reach US$65 a barrel by the end of next year thanks to the OPEC-non-OPEC production cut agreement that, according to Donskoi, will remove excessive supply from the market, helped by growing demand.

Donskoi’s remark is very well timed: both Brent and WTI are sliding slowly but surely down, after the international benchmark jumped over the US$55 barrier but was unable to stay there. Many analysts believe the price rally that resulted from the agreement struck by OPEC and 11 non-OPEC producers including Russia is losing steam as shale producers in the U.S. ramp up production and worries grow that some of the parties to the cut deal will cheat.

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United Airlines beat fourth quarter earnings estimates, but a massive tax bill is killing profits


On Tuesday, United Airlines reported fourth-quarter 2016 profits of $397 million at $1.78 per share. According to AP, this beat Wall Street estimates of $1.65 per share.

In addition, the airline generated $9.1 billion in total revenue during the December quarter — up 0.2% from the same period in 2015.

For the year, United registered $2.3 billion in profit against $36.6 billion in total revenue. In addition, the airline returned $628 million to employees in the form of profit sharing.

"Our fourth quarter financial and operating performance capped an outstanding year for United Airlines," United Airlines CEO, Oscar Munoz, said in a statement. "In 2016, we put into action our plan to become the best airline in the world, and last year's results demonstrate we are on our way to achieving that ambition."

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Julian Assange under pressure to hand himself in for extradition following Manning commutation


Will Wikileaks founder Julian Assange now hand himself over to be extradited to the US?

Last week, Mr Assange said on that he would give up his sanctuary in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London for more than four years, if Barack Obama showed "clemency" to whistleblower Chelsea Manning.

“If Obama grants Manning clemency Assange will agree to US extradition despite clear unconstitutionality of DoJ case,” WikiLeaks said on Twitter.

Mr Assange has been in self-imposed exile at the embassy to avoid extradition to Sweden, where he faces sexual assault charges. Mr Assange could also face possible espionage charges in the United States.

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Sociology professor suggests mass murder could be seen as a violent form of protest


If there’s one thing Americans can agree upon, it might be that people – no matter how angry they are – shouldn’t be indiscriminately firing guns into crowds.

Yet mass shootings are on the rise, with the shooting at the Fort Lauderdale airport just the latest example.

I’m fearful that what we’re seeing isn’t just an increase in violence but the normalization of a habit, a new behavior recognized as a way to express an objection to the way things are.

That is, I’m afraid that mass murder may be becoming – to the horror of almost all of us, but to the liking of a violent few – a form of protest.

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Texas police officer shot, killed; standoff continues


A Little Elm, Texas, police officer was shot and killed Tuesday afternoon after police approached a man carrying a gun in a residential area, according to authorities.

The suspected shooter was holed up in a house in the 1400 block of Turtle Cove Tuesday evening, surrounded by police and SWAT. A Twitter account for the City of Little Elm called it an "active shooter situation in the area of Lobo and Eldorado."

Officers responded to the home around 3 p.m. CT after residents reported seeing a man with a gun, officials said. After being told to drop the weapon, the suspect began shooting at officers from inside the house, Lt. Orlando Hinojosa said. Detective Jerry Walker was hit, officials said at a news conference.

Other officers were able to drive a squad car to Walker and move him to another area where he was airlifted to the Denton Regional Medical Center, where he later died.

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Donald Trump's criticism of Angela Merkel cannot be accepted by Europeans, says French finance minis


Criticism of German Chancellor Angela Merkel by Donald Trump cannot be accepted by Europeans, the French Minister of Finance has said.

Michel Sapin said the President-elect's criticism of Europe only serves to reinforce European solidarity.

"The more he [Mr Trump] makes this sort of statement, the more Europeans close ranks," Mr Sapin told reporters.

In an interview with The Sunday Times, Mr Trump said Ms Merkel had made a "catastrophic mistake" with her open door policy on refugees.

Mr Trump also suggested the Christmas market attack by a Tunisian man in Berlin was one effect of Ms Merkel's policies and described Syrian refugees as "all these illegals".

Mr Sapin said such criticism by the President-elect was unacceptable.

"The attack on the Chancellor is not an argument we can accept as Frenchmen or as Europeans," he said.

US Secretary of State John Kerry also said it was inapprorpiate for Mr Trump to weigh directly into the politics of another country by attacking Ms Merkel.

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Ford CEO predicts that in 15 years most cars for sale will be electrified


In less than 20 years there will be more electrified vehicles on the market than traditional gas-powered cars, Ford CEO Mark Fields told Business Insider during a recent interview.

"Our view is that the industry offerings, 15 years from now, is that there are going to be more electrified offerings than there are internal combustion engines," Fields said.

"So we want to build our reputation around that, we want to build our brand resonance around that…We want to be a leader in this area."

For a company that makes most of its money selling gas-powered trucks and SUVs, this might sound like a stretch. But Fields is serious about growing the company’s electrified products and he’s making big investments to prove it.

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Anonymous tells supporters use tools given by them to attack Donald Trump


Anonymous has called on its supporters to attack Donald Trump and leak information about him.

One of the most popular accounts associated with the hacking collective has tweeted a string of accusations at the President-elect, claiming that Mr Trump has connections with a host of people. And it called on its supporters and followers to "get him".

After tweeting a range of messages about information – apparently a reference at least in part to a dossier released last week that claimed to give detail on Mr Trump – it claimed that the President-elect would see that information made public.

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Trump's attitudes toward the EU and NATO could lead to 'unprecedented changes in US foreign policy'


If President-elect Donald Trump's recent statements on the European Union and the NATO are any indication, his administration could bring unprecedented changes to longstanding alliances between Western countries.

In an interview published Sunday with the Times of London and Bild newspapers, Trump questioned the value of the NATO alliance when he was asked whether he understood why many in eastern Europe feared Russian aggression.

"I said a long time ago — that NATO had problems," Trump told The Times and Bild. "Number one it was obsolete, because it was, you know, designed many, many years ago. Number two — the countries aren't paying what they're supposed to pay."

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Gmail phishing: Latest cyber attack infects users by mimicking past emails


A sophisticated new phishing technique that composes convincing emails by analysing and mimicking past messages and attachments has been discovered by security experts.

Discovered by Mark Maunder, the CEO of WordPress security plugin Wordfence, the attack first sees the hacker send an email appearing to contain a PDF with a familiar file name.

That PDF, however, is actually a cleverly disguised image that, when clicked, launches a new tab that looks like this:

It’s the Gmail sign-in page, right? Not quite. A closer look at the address bar will show you that all is not quite as it seems:

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Internet companies send letters to customers who have been downloading pirated content


The UK’s major ISPs are this week set to start sending “educational letters” to customers who have been using their connection to access films, TV shows and music illegally, as part of a government campaign to crack down on piracy.

The ISPs won’t monitor customers’ activities themselves, but will instead rely on data from anti-piracy firm MarkMonitor.

The measures have been a long time coming, and it shows. Having initially been agreed back in 2014, the system will only apply to P2P file-sharing, so any customers exclusively using illegal streaming services won’t be targeted.

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Nigerian military jet mistakenly bombs refugee camp killing ‘more than 100’


A Nigerian military jet has mistakenly bombed a refugee camp, killing more than 100 people, a government official has said.

The incident took place in Borno state in northeastern Nigeria, where the military has been waging a military campaign against the militant group Boko Haram.

Aid organisations and the local military said the strike hit a camp for internally displaced people in Rann, part of the Kala-Balge local government area on the Cameroon border. Regional military commander Major General Lucky Irabor told the Reuters news agency he did not know how many people were killed.

“Many civilians including personnel of International Committee of the Red Cross and Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) were wounded,” he said.

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Former Italian Air Force officer Antonio Tajani elected President of the European Parliament


A former Italian Air Force officer has been elected the new president of the European Parliament.

After four rounds of voting Antonio Tajani was victorious, receiving 351 votes and beating his fellow countryman Gianni Pittella who achieved a total of 202.

The 53-year-old is a member of the European People’s Party (EPP), a pro-European centre-right political party whose current leader is Jean-Claude-Juncker, the president of the European Commission.

In his victory speech he devoted the result to the victims of the Italian earthquake.

“This was as democratic process and as I said today, I will be the president of all, I will respect all members of parliament and all groups,” Mr Tajani said.