South Korea Warns North Over ‘Repeated Provocation’

South Korean president, Moon Jae-in, has issued a stern warning to North Korea against using it’s military drill exercise with the United States as an excuse to intensify the “vicious cycle” of tensions.

Tens of thousands of South Korean and US troops are taking part in the Ulchi Freedom Guardian joint military drills, a largely computer-simulated exercise that runs for two weeks in the South.

Moon described the exercises as “purely defensive in nature” and told Pyongyang it “must not use it as an excuse to launch provocations that will worsen the situation”.

“North Korea must understand its repeated provocations are what is forcing South Korea and the US to conduct the joint defensive drills, which in turn keeps the vicious cycle going,” the president told a cabinet meeting.

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BBC Starts Pidgin Digital Service For West Africa Audiences

A new language service for digital platforms in English-based Pidgin for West and Central Africa has been launched by the BBC World Service.

Pidgin is one of the most widely-spoken languages across the region, even though it is not officially recognised.

The launch is part of the World Service’s biggest expansion since the 1940s, following a government funding boost announced in 2016.

Pidgin will soon be joined by 10 more new services in Africa and Asia.

The WS also plans to offer more mobile and video content and a greater social media presence.

It will also enhance its television services across Africa, including more than 30 new TV programmes for partner broadcasters in sub-Saharan Africa.

Arabic and Russian programming will also be boosted in the 2020 project.

BBC

 

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Van Crashes Into Pedestrians In Barcelona

Several people have been hurt after a van in Barcelona ploughed into pedestrians.

Pictures and video emerging from the scene show police cars and ambulances near the Las Ramblas tourist district in the city.

A local reporter said gunfire has been heard at the Corte Ingles store in the area.

Armed police have also been seen rushing into the area while emergency services have asked to close Metro and train stations in the city.

The local police force was said to be evacuating the area including the nearby main square the Plaza de Catalunya.

It is also being reported that the driver of the van fled on foot after crashing into the pedestrians.

Daily Mail

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Incumbent President Uhuru Kenyatta Wins Kenyan Presidential Election

Kenya’s President Uhuru Kenyatta has been re-elected following Tuesday’s vote, election officials say.

Mr Kenyatta, in office since 2013, took 54.3% of votes, ahead of his rival Raila Odinga, with 44.7%.

After the announcement, Mr Kenyatta called for unity, telling opposition supporters: “I reach out to you… We are all citizens of the same republic”.

But the opposition rejected the results even before they were declared, calling the process a “charade”.

However it has been endorsed by international observers. Mr Kenyatta said they had ensured a “free, fair and credible election”.

Earlier, Mr Odinga’s supporters said he had won, and published their own figures. The electoral commission said this was “illegal and premature”, and said basic mathematical errors had been made.

Many observers fear a repeat of the violence after the disputed election 10 years ago when more than 1,100 Kenyans died and 600,000 were displaced.

Raila Odinga has come up short again in what was his fourth and probably last attempt to become the president of Kenya.

BBC

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Court Jails Ex Police Officer For Using Helicopter To Film People Having Sex

A former police officer who used a helicopter to film people having sex and sunbathing naked has been jailed for a year.

A judge at Sheffield Crown Court sentenced Adrian Pogmore after he used a South Yorkshire Police helicopter to spy on people in their gardens.

Footage shot by the “sex-obessed” former officer included graphic scenes of a couple having sex in a range of positions on their suburban patio.

Other footage shown in court showed a woman sunbathing naked in her garden, two naked naturists sitting outside their caravan and a couple lying naked on sun-loungers outside their home.

A judge has been told how the couple filmed having sex, who are not being named for legal reasons, told officers they were “putting on a show” for Pogmore, 51, who knew them through the South Yorkshire wife-swapping scene.

Prosecutors said the officer was “a swinging and sex-obsessed air observer” who was referred to as the “team deviant” by other members of the air support unit at South Yorkshire Police.

Independent

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Chelsea FC Boss Roman Abramovich Announces Decision To Separate From Wife

The Russian billionaire and owner of Chelsea football club, Roman Abramovich, is splitting from his wife, Dasha Zhukova, the couple have announced.

Abramovich and Zhukova, an art collector and gallery director, met in 2005 and have two children together.

“After 10 years together, the two of us have made the difficult decision to separate, but we remain close friends, parents, and partners in the projects we developed together,” said a joint statement on Monday.

A spokesman for Abramovich, 50, declined to comment further, or to say whether the couple planned a formal divorce.

Forbes estimated Abramovich’s wealth at $9.2bn (£7bn) this year, making him the 139th richest person in the world. He is known for his love of luxury, owning the world’s second-largest yacht and a portfolio of property across the world.

 Zhukova, 36, is the daughter of a Russian oil magnate, and was educated in the US. She was treated with some scepticism when she entered the international art world, opening her Garage gallery in Moscow in 2008 and famously declining to name a single artist she admired in an interview.
The Guardian
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American Leadership Was Better Under Obama, Says Sen. John McCain

United States Senator, John McCain, has said American leadership was stronger under former President Barack Obama.

In a Guardian report published on Sunday, McCain affirmatively said: “As far as American leadership is concerned,” Obama was better.

McCain vocally criticized many of the Obama administration’s foreign policy decisions.

 McCain also lost to Obama when he ran as the GOP nominee in the 2008 presidential election.

The Arizona Republican was also asked what “message” the president delivered to the U.K. last week when he publicly criticized London’s mayor, shortly after a terror-related attack that left eight people dead and many more wounded.

“What do you think the message is? The message is that America doesn’t want to lead,” said McCain, chairman on the Senate Armed Services Committee.

“They are not sure of American leadership, whether it be in Siberia or whether it be in Antarctica,” he added.

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#RwandaDecides: President Kagame Heads Towards Victory, Wins 98% Of Votes

Rwandan President Paul Kagame has won  a third term in office, garnering a whopping 98 percent of votes counted, according to partial results released today.

There had been little doubt that the 59-year-old would return to the helm of the east African nation which he has ruled with an iron fist since the end of the 1994 genocide.

With 80 percent of results counted, Kagame had secured some 5.4 million votes, far more than the 50 percent plus one required for him to win re-election.

“We think that at this level … it will be the same result, no change after having counted 100 percent (of votes),” said national elections commission chairman Kalisa Mbanda. Full provisional results will come through later Saturday.

The commission estimates 97 percent of 6.9 million voters turned out to cast their ballots.

Of the results tallied, Kagame had 98.66 percent — a figure which could still shift slightly — while his two little-known rivals barely made a dent.

Frank Habineza of the Democratic Green Party — the only permitted critical opposition party — won 0.45 percent of votes and independent candidate Philippe Mpayimana scored 0.72.

 

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US Attorney General Jeff Sessions Talks Tough, Vows Crackdown On Leaks Of Classified Information

Attorney General Jeff Sessions pledged on Friday to rein in government leaks that he said undermine American security.

In prepared remarks, Sessions said: “No one is entitled to surreptitiously fight their battles in the media by revealing sensitive government information. No government can be effective when its leaders cannot discuss sensitive matters in confidence or to talk freely in confidence with foreign leaders.”

Sessions said in his remarks that his department has more than tripled the number of active leaks investigations compared to the number pending when President Barack Obama left office. He said the department is reviewing guidelines related to subpoenas of journalists.

“This nation must end the culture of leaks. We will investigate and seek to bring criminals to justice. We will not allow rogue anonymous sources with security clearances to sell out our country any longer,” Sessions said in his remarks.

Recall that President Donald Trump had  complained on Twitter last week that Sessions was weak in cracking down on leaks, saying, “Sessions has taken a VERY weak position on Hillary Clinton crimes (where are E-mails & DNC server) & Intel leakers!”

TIME

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North Korea Faces Food Drought

North Korea is facing severe food shortages after being hit by its worst drought in more than 15 years, the United Nations said, calling for urgent food imports to stop children going hungry.

A severe lack of rainfall in the first half of this year has badly damaged vital harvests in a country where malnutrition is already widespread, according to the report by the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).

Seasonal rainfall has dropped below 2001 levels and could cause “a sharp deterioration in food security conditions of a large part of the population,” said Vincent Martin, FAO Representative in China and North Korea.

“Immediate interventions are needed to support affected farmers and prevent undesirable coping strategies for the most vulnerable, such as reducing daily food intakes,” Martin added.

Staple crops such as rice, maize, potatoes and soybean — which many North Koreans traditionally rely on to get through the May to September lean season — had been decimated by the drought. Vulnerable people such as children and the elderly would be worst affected by food insecurity, the FAO said.

Hundreds of thousands of North Koreans are believed to have died during widespread famine in the 1990’s.

 

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American Singer Chester BenningTon Dies At 41

Chester Bennington, the lead singer of the rock band Linkin Park, was found dead Thursdayaccording to a spokesman for the LA County Coroner.

He was 41.
The coroner’s office was called out to a home in Palos Verdes Estates shortly after 9 a.m.Thursday. Authorities said they were treating the case as a possible suicide.
Bennington’s band found success in 2000 with their album “Hybrid Theory” with Bennington’s heartfelt vocals leading the way.
The news caused an outpouring of grief among celebrities, especially coming so soon on the heels of the death of Soundgarden frontman Chris Cornell, a close friend of Bennington’s who committed suicide in May.
Bennington had reportedly performed Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah” at Cornell’s memorial service.
Bennington’s bandmate Mike Shinoda tweeted, “Shocked and heartbroken, but it’s true. An official statement will come out as soon as we have one.”

 

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Inspirational Story Of An Armless Man Who Defy All Odds To Become A Professional Tailor

An inspirational man has defied the odds by becoming a professional tailor – despite having no arms.

Madan Lal, 45, from Haryana in India was born without arms but learnt to adapt to the demands of everyday life by using his feet.

Now he uses his talented toes to stitch beautiful garments from a shop in his village.

He said: ‘Whatever I have to do in my life, it’s just with my feet. All the stitching work I do with my feet. From cutting the cloth to measurement, I have to use my feet.’

Speaking of growing up with his disability Mr Lal explained: ‘It didn’t bother me during my childhood. My grandparents used to take care of me and help me with daily chores.’

But he did encounter prejudice towards his disability outside of his family circle.

He said: ‘When I was young almost every school denied me admission because of my disability. The teachers refused to admit me into the school.

He said: ‘I went to many places and met many tailors. I requested them to train so that I can earn out of it. But all of them laughed at me.

‘They said I could not make clothes without arms. It’s not possible. I can’t ever run a stitching machine. They sent me back to my village.’

A determined Mr Lal decided to travel to Fatehabad and search for a tailor who was willing to train him.

He said: ‘I went to Fatehabad to learn stitching from a tailor. He initially refused to teach me. He said, “You don’t have any arms, how would you do stitching?”

‘I said, “Just give me one chance”. He said okay and within 10 to 15 days my teacher started saying, “You will become successful”. And I became very happy.’

Within a year, Mr Lal had learned the art of tailoring and had opened a shop in his village. The impact on his life was immediate.

He said: ‘That day I forgot all the sufferings. It was the best day of my life. I saw people coming to my shop to greet me. The whole village was happy, as if they were part of my family.’

But some potential customers were still initially dismissive of the idea of a man with no arms being able to stitch.

Lal said: ‘People used to make fun of me. They never believed that I would learn tailoring using my feet.

‘They would say, “He stitches with his feet, he will ruin our clothes”.’

‘Then I slowly started to win their confidence. And then a lot people started to come to me for stitching.’

Mr Lal cuts the cloth by holding his scissors with his feet which he also uses to take measurements and operate his sewing machine.

And now Madan’s talent has overcome even the most sceptical of his villagers, and his exploits have made him something of a local hero.

He said: ‘Some people said that I could ruin clothes because I stitch using my feet. Now everyone at our village comes to my shop for stitching their clothes.

‘That’s the love and support I got from people.

‘It’s not like the past anymore. I have won the confidence of everyone.’

DailyMail UK

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