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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Democrats File No-Confidence Motion Against Trump

Two dozen congressional Democrats, on Wednesday, launched a no-confidence motion against United States President, Donald Trump.

“This is an attempt at a political intervention,” Representative Steve Cohen told reporters as he unveiled the resolution questioning Trump’s fitness to serve as commander in chief.

Cohen said the resolution details “misdeeds and actions that give people lack of confidence in him and the direction he is taking our country.”

They include accusations that Trump accepted payments from foreign powers including from officials staying at his hotels, and fired the FBI director because of the ongoing investigation into possible Trump campaign collusion with Russia.

The resolution urged the president to release his tax returns; “unequivocally acknowledge” that Russia interfered in the 2016 election; and refrain from using Twitter inappropriately.

Cohen said he discussed his motion with House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and that she did not object.

“We have a president who actively undermines the very principles of our government, and a Republican Congress that makes excuses for him as though his behavior were normal,” said congresswoman and co-sponsor Judy Chu.

“It is not normal. Trump’s behavior is cruel, unethical and it is driving people’s faith in government to dangerously low levels.”


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U.S. Sen. John McCain Battles Brain Cancer

Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) has been diagnosed with brain cancer, his office announced Wednesday.

The 80-year-old Republican leader had been away from Washington the past several days, recovering in his home state from a surgery he underwent last Friday in Phoenix to remove a blood clot above his left eye. Following the operation, tissue pathology revealed that a primary brain tumor known as a glioblastoma was associated with the blood clot.

McCain’s office said in a statement on Wednesday that the senator remained optimistic, despite the difficult news.

McCain’s surgery made headlines last week when the Senate decided to delay a vote on the GOP health care bill until he had recovered.

The Arizona senator has had a long career in public service. He has served the state of Arizona since 1982, when he was elected to the House of Representatives. Four years later, he won a seat in the U.S. Senate, where he has served as chairman of the Senate Commerce Committee and the Senate Armed Services Committee.

McCain ran a memorable presidential campaign in 2008, choosing Sarah Palin, then governor of Alaska, as his running mate. The two were defeated by then-Sens. Barack Obama and Joe Biden. Both of McCain’s 2008 Democratic opponents tweeted their support for himWednesday evening:

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Court Remands Married Teacher In Custody Over Alleged Sex With A 15-Year-Old Pupil

A married teacher is accused of having sex with a 15-year-old pupil after becoming “infatuated” with him.

Deborah Lowe, 53, of Elmsbed Caravan Park, Poynton, appeared in Stockport Magistrate’s Court via video link accused of grooming the child, now aged 17.

Ms Lowe was arrested last week after police received a tip, and is charged with sexual activity with a boy under the age of 16 and abusing a position of trust.

She denied the charges, and her defending lawyer reportedly said she “wants to clear her name”.

The prosecution said police had obtained diaries and text messages which showed Ms Lowe, who has separated from her husband, was “infatuated” with the alleged victim.

She is accused of having sex with him several times in her caravan.

The case will continue at Minshull Street Crown Court and Ms Lowe has been remanded in custody.

The Independent

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Lion Kills 10-Year-Old Girl Near Game Reserve

A young girl has been killed by a lion while relieving herself at night at the back of a hut in a rural part of Zimbabwe, a police spokesman told the state-linked Chronicle newspaper.

The aunt of the little girl, named as Mitchell Mucheni, saw the lion drag her into the bush, Assistant Inspector Kudakwashe Dehwathe said.

The child’s body was later found about 300m away, he added.

The incident happened on Saturday night in Chiredzi.


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Court Sentences Three To Death Over Attack On Woman

Three Kenyan men – who stripped and attacked a woman in a bus, in an incident that was recorded and widely shared on social media three years ago – have been sentenced to death by a magistrate in the capital, Nairobi.

The death sentence was imposed after the three were convicted of robbery with violence. A further sentence of 25 years was given for stripping the woman, Jilo Kadida, a court reporter with Kenya’s privately owned Starnewspaper, told the BBC.

The jail term was, however, suspended as they had already been handed the death penalty, she added.

The three sentenced men are bus driver Nicholas Mwangi, conductor Meshack Mwangi and Edward Ndung’u.

Nairobi chief magistrate Francis Andayi said the attaxk was a “senseless and uncouth act that they seemed to enjoy because they were cheering as they stripped the woman”, the privately owned Daily Nation newspaper reported.

The victim told the court that there were about seven men in the bus during the attack and that they wanted to rape her but she lied that she is HIV positive.

She said the video recording shared on social media was only 59 seconds but the incident lasted longer, the Daily Nation reported.

The video of the attack sparked protests with hundreds of women marching in Nairobi under the banner #MyDressMyChoice, following reports that the men attacked her for allegedly being “indecently dressed” in a miniskirt.


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Bodies Of Missing Couple Found After 75 Years

The frozen bodies of a Swiss couple who went missing 75 years ago in the Alps, have been found on a shrinking glacier, Swiss media said on Tuesday.

Marcelin and Francine Dumoulin, the parents of seven children, had gone to milk their cows in a meadow above Chandolin in the Valais canton on Aug. 15, 1942.

“We spent our whole lives looking for them, without stopping. We thought that we could give them the funeral they deserved one day.

“I can say that after 75 years of waiting this news gives me a deep sense of calm,’’ their youngest daughter Marceline Udry-Dumoulin told the paper.

In a statement, Valais cantonal police said that two bodies bearing identity papers had been discovered since, by a worker on Tsanfleuron glacier near a ski lift above Les Diablerets resort at an altitude of 2,615 metres (8,600 feet).

However, DNA testing would be carried out to confirm the identities of the couple.

“The bodies were lying near each other. It was a man and a woman, wearing clothing dating from the period of World War Two.

“They were perfectly preserved in the glacier and their belongings were intact.”

“We think they may have fallen into a crevasse where they stayed for decades.

“As the glacier receded, it gave up their bodies,’’ Bernhard Tschannen, director of Glacier 3000, told the paper.

Marcelin Dumoulin, 40, was a shoemaker, while Francine, 37, was a teacher.

The paper said that they left five sons and two daughters.

“It was the first time my mother went with him on such an excursion.

“She was always pregnant and couldn’t climb in the difficult conditions of a glacier,’’ Udry-Dumoulin said.

She said after a while, they were separated and placed in families.

“I was lucky to stay with my aunt; we all lived in the region but became strangers.

“For the funeral, I won’t wear black. I think that white would be more appropriate. It represents hope, which I never lost,’’ Udry-Dumoulin said.


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EU Allocates 700m Euros To Develop Sustainable Energy In Nigeria

The European Union (EU) says it has so far committed over 700 million euros for the development of sustainable energy in Nigeria and other ECOWAS countries from 2014 to 2020.

The Head of Cooperation, EU delegation to Nigeria and ECOWAS, Mr Kurt Cornelis, said this in Abuja on Monday at a workshop on policy and regulation for clean energy mini-grids and renewable energy in ECOWAS region.

Cornelis said access to electricity and promotion of sustainable energy solutions were at the core of EU’s cooperation with the region, hence the provision of the grants to ECOWAS countries.

He said given the challenge in the electricity production, there was the urgent need to address the energy deficit, using the various energy mix in the region.


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In-Laws Beat Woman With Hockey Sticks In India

An Indian woman has allegedly being beaten by her in-laws over a dowry dispute.

The victim, Meena Kashyap, had been beaten after giving birth to a girl who her husband’s family refused to accept.

The 35-year-old from Patiala, Punjab, was attacked as part of the dispute over her dowry of 700,000 (£8,300) rupees given by her parents to her husband’s family.

Footage shows her screaming and desperately trying to protect herself as she is hit with what appear to be hockey sticks by two men, believed to be her brother-in-law and his friend.

Her husband’s family had apparently found out she had previously made complains about them treating her with violence.

Her father told India’s ANI news agency: “We had complained about the issue last year itself but nothing was being done regarding that.

“They have been married for the past two years now and have a girl child. Their family asked for 700,000 rupees for dowry.”

See video below:


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Baboon Interferes With Electricity Installation, Causes Massive Blackout

A baboon interfered with electricity installations in Zambia’s tourist capital, Livingstone, and cut power supply to about 50,000 customers.

The animal managed to access a power station in the area on Sunday, and tampered with high voltage machines that supply electricity to the southern and western provinces of Zambia, according to Henry Kapata, the spokesman for the country’s power utility, Zesco.

He said Livingstone’s 28,000 residents and a further 22,000 people in the region were completely without power for about six hours while repair works were carried out.

Mr Kapata also told the BBC: “It [the baboon] received a massive electricity shock but as you know baboons are highly insulated by nature and it survived with severe burns. Had it been a human being, it would have died.”

The Zesco spokesman said the baboon’s electricity shock was caught on CCTV.

His words: “If it were a human being, it would have been prosecuted for vandalism and faced a minimum 10 years in jail with a maximum 25 years”.

Mr Kapata said power has since been restored with the animal handed over to local wildlife authorities for treatment.

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