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  • Charity ship says migrants' safety at risk, Italy to allow minors off

    LAMPEDUSA/BARCELONA, Aug 17 (Reuters) - A charity that operates a rescue ship carrying 134 migrants off the coast of Italy said on Saturday that it could not guarantee their security, after the boat had spent more than two weeks waiting for a port to disembark in. The migrants picked up off the coast of Libya, most of whom are African, are waiting to disembark on the southern Italian island of Lampedusa. Italy's far-right Interior Minister Matteo Salvini has ordered his officials not to let them do so, although on Saturday he made a partial concession, saying he would allow any children to leave the boat.

    Sat, 17 Aug 2019 10:27:20 -0400
  • From tusks to tails, nations eye trade in endangered species

    Golocal247.com news

    From guitars to traditional medicines and from tusk to tail, mankind's exploitation of the planet's fauna and flora is putting some of them at risk of extinction. Representatives of some 180 nations are meeting in Geneva to agree on protections for vulnerable species, taking up issues including the trade in ivory and the demand for shark fin soup. The World Wildlife Conference on trade in endangered species, known as CITES, which takes place every three years, aims to make sure that global trade in specimens of wild animals and plants doesn't jeopardize their survival.

    Sat, 17 Aug 2019 10:26:37 -0400
  • Heavy downpours wreak havoc in Istanbul, flooding historic Grand Bazaar

    Strong rains in Istanbul on Saturday flooded several neighbourhoods, as well as the Grand Bazaar, while officials said one person was found dead in the city. Rain started early in the day in parts of Istanbul and picked up pace around noon. Footage from parts of the Grand Bazaar showed shopkeepers, ankle-deep in water, clearing the water out of their stores and the halls.

    Sat, 17 Aug 2019 10:14:32 -0400
  • Suspect in New York City subway scare apprehended by police

    A man blamed by New York City police for leaving two kitchen appliances resembling pressure cookers in a subway station, causing chaos for commuters during Friday morning's rush hour, has been apprehended, authorities said on Saturday. Chief of Detectives Dermot Shea wrote on Twitter that the individual, caught on camera leaving the devices inside the Fulton Street station in Lower Manhattan, was located and an investigation continues. The discoveries and massive response by law enforcement snarled street and subway traffic and revived fears of bombings that used such makeshift devices in New York City in 2016 and in Boston in 2013.

    Sat, 17 Aug 2019 10:07:32 -0400
  • "May God ruin Trump", Tlaib's grandmother says

    BEIT UR AL-FAUQA, West Bank, Aug 17 (Reuters) - Sitting under an olive tree in the Israeli-occupied West Bank, Muftia Tlaib scoffs at the attention she has recently received from the president of the United States. Tlaib is the grandmother of U.S. congresswoman Rashida Tlaib, at the centre of an affair that has drawn Donald Trump and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu together against U.S. Democrats. On Thursday, bowing to pressure from Trump, Israel barred a visit by Rashida Tlaib and fellow Democrat Ilhan Omar that it had initially said it would allow.

    Sat, 17 Aug 2019 10:02:59 -0400
  • Suspect in New York City subway scare apprehended by police

    A man blamed by New York City police for leaving two kitchen appliances resembling pressure cookers in a subway station, causing chaos for commuters during Friday morning's rush hour, has been apprehended, authorities said on Saturday. Chief of Detectives Dermot Shea wrote on Twitter that the individual, caught on camera leaving the devices inside the Fulton Street station in Lower Manhattan, was located and an investigation continues. The discoveries and massive response by law enforcement snarled street and subway traffic and revived fears of bombings that used such makeshift devices in New York City in 2016 and in Boston in 2013.

    Sat, 17 Aug 2019 09:47:08 -0400
  • Italy's Salvini agrees to disembark minors on migrant ship

    Golocal247.com news

    Italy's hard-line interior minister appeared to buckle under pressure Saturday to ease the political standoff over a migrant rescue ship with 134 people aboard, saying he would allow minors to disembark after being at sea for two weeks. Premier Giuseppe Conte had written a second letter to Interior Minister Matteo Salvini demanding that minors be allowed off the boat. Salvini wrote back Saturday with a three-page missive of his own saying he would do so but made clear it was Conte's choice and that it didn't set a precedent.

    Sat, 17 Aug 2019 09:46:09 -0400
  • Golocal247.com news

    New York City subway scare suspect taken into police custody

    No description related. Click here to go to original article.

    Sat, 17 Aug 2019 09:42:21 -0400
  • Russian opposition activists picket for free elections

    Russian opposition activists staged a string of pickets in central Moscow on Saturday to call for free elections and for charges against protesters detained at recent rallies to be dropped. Moscow has been rocked by weekly protests for more than a month since the authorities barred opposition candidates from running in an election for the city's legislature in September. Police have briefly detained more than 2,000 protesters in recent weeks, launched criminal cases against some dozen people for mass disorder and used force to disperse what they said were illegal protests.

    Sat, 17 Aug 2019 08:58:34 -0400
  • Reuters World News Summary

    Afghan Taliban officials said on Saturday the killing of the brother of their leader in a bomb attack would not derail talks with the United States aimed at securing the withdrawal of U.S. troops after 18 years of war. Newly released U.S. court documents show the United States issued a warrant for the seizure of an Iranian tanker that British Royal Marines had seized last month in Gibraltar, citing evidence that it was transporting oil to Syria in violation of U.S. sanctions. The oil tanker Grace 1, the more than 2 million barrels of oil it carries and $995,000 are subject to forfeiture based on a complaint by the U.S. government, U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia Jessie Liu said in a news release on Friday.

    Sat, 17 Aug 2019 08:58:32 -0400
  • Reuters US Domestic News Summary

    Actresses Eva Longoria, America Ferrara and more than 200 other Latino artists and civil rights leaders on Friday penned a letter of support to the Latino community in the United States after a mass shooting in Texas and immigration raids in Mississippi. Thousands of travelers at U.S. airports faced delays on Friday because of an nationwide outage of U.S. Customs and Border Protection's (CBP) processing systems that lasted several hours.

    Sat, 17 Aug 2019 08:58:32 -0400
  • Reuters Entertainment News Summary

    Following is a summary of current entertainment news briefs. American heavy metal band Metallica has donated 250,000 euros to a Romanian association building the country's first pediatric oncology hospital, they said. The donation to Daruieste Viata (Give Life), founded in 2012, came ahead of the band's sold out concert on Wednesday, its fourth in the European Union state since 1999, the association said on its Facebook page.

    Sat, 17 Aug 2019 08:58:31 -0400
  • Reuters Health News Summary

    AbbVie Inc has priced its new rheumatoid arthritis treatment at $59,000 a year after gaining U.S. approval on Friday, a big boost for the drugmaker struggling with rising competition for Humira, its blockbuster therapy for the same condition. A woman and her child were the first two cases confirmed with Ebola in Congo's South Kivu region this week, opening a new front in the fight against the outbreak. Health officials said on Friday that the latest cases were more than 700 km (430 miles) south of where the outbreak was first detected.

    Sat, 17 Aug 2019 08:58:30 -0400
  • Reuters Science News Summary

    Following is a summary of current science news briefs. Millions of years after the ancestors of humans evolved to lose their tails, a research team at Japan’s Keio University have built a robotic one they say could help unsteady elderly people keep their balance. Genetic research that reconstructed the past population dynamics of the cave bear, a prominent prehistoric denizen of Europe, implicates Homo sapiens rather than climate cooling in the Ice Age extinction of these brawny plant-loving beasts.

    Sat, 17 Aug 2019 08:58:28 -0400
  • Person of interest in New York City pressure cooker scare taken into custody: Police source

    Golocal247.com news

    The person of interest related to the abandoned rice cookers that caused a bomb scare in New York City has been taken into custody, a police source told ABC News Saturday morning. Larry Griffin, of West Virginia, was apprehended by police early Saturday.

    Sat, 17 Aug 2019 08:52:00 -0400
  • Judge blasts Georgia officials' handling of election system

    Golocal247.com news

    Georgia election officials have for years ignored, downplayed and failed to address serious problems with the state's election management system and voting machines, a federal judge said in a scathing order this week. U.S. District Judge Amy Totenberg said those problems place a burden on citizens' rights to cast a vote and have it reliably counted. Despite those findings, Totenberg ruled Thursday that Georgia voters will use that same election system this fall because of the short time before the next election.

    Sat, 17 Aug 2019 08:51:32 -0400
  • Taliban say killing of leader's brother will not derail U.S. talks

    Afghan Taliban officials said on Saturday the killing of the brother of their leader in a bomb attack would not derail talks with the United States aimed at securing the withdrawal of U.S. troops after 18 years of war. Taliban leader Haibatullah Akhundzada was not in the mosque near the Pakistani city of Quetta when a bomb went off but his younger brother, Hafiz Ahmadullah, was leading Friday prayers and was among four people killed, several Taliban officials have said. There was no claim of responsibility for the blast that came after both Taliban and U.S. officials have reported progress in talks on an agreement centred on a U.S. troop withdrawal from Afghanistan in exchange for a Taliban security guarantee.

    Sat, 17 Aug 2019 08:49:14 -0400
  • Chance the Rapper on why he donated $1M for mental health: 'We all can be affected by it'

    Golocal247.com news

    Chance the Rapper is known for being a high-profile advocate of public schools in his hometown of Chicago, but he is also using his platform to take on the issue of mental health. The artist, whose real name is Chancelor Bennett, committed last year to donating $1 million to health services in Chicago through SocialWorks, his nonprofit organization. SocialWorks also launched its own mental health initiative, My State of Mind, which provides grants to mental wellness service providers and is working to create an "inclusive guidebook" of mental health services in the Chicago area, according to SocialWorks.

    Sat, 17 Aug 2019 08:46:39 -0400
  • REFILE-UPDATE 1-Sudanese factions sign accord on transitional government

    Sudan's main opposition coalition and the ruling military council on Saturday signed a final power-sharing agreement, paving the way for a transitional government following the overthrow of long-time leader Omar al-Bashir. Stability in Sudan, which has been grappling with an economic crisis, is seen as crucial for a volatile region struggling with conflict and insurgencies from the Horn of Africa to Egypt and Libya. The Transitional Military Council (TMC) has ruled Sudan since April, when the military ousted Bashir following months of protests against his rule during which dozens of demonstrators were killed.

    Sat, 17 Aug 2019 08:30:09 -0400
  • UPDATE 1-Standard Chartered faces fine for sanctions breaches- Sky News

    Banking group Standard Chartered is facing a fine for failing to prevent sanctions breaches, Sky News reported on Saturday. Britain's Office of Financial Sanctions Implementation, which includes police and intelligence officers as well as finance ministry officials, has notified the lender that it aims to impose a penalty of more than 10 million pounds ($12 million) on the bank in coming weeks, Sky News said http://bit.ly/2ZatPEx. Sky News provided no further details.

    Sat, 17 Aug 2019 08:14:24 -0400
  • India eases some curbs in Kashmir, including fixed line phone use

    Indian authorities eased restrictions on movement and restored landline telephone links in some parts of Kashmir on Saturday, the biggest relaxation in a crippling lockdown since New Delhi announced it was removing the region's special status on Aug. 5. The moves came even as there were celebrations and protests by Kashmiris opposed to the Indian policy in Srinagar on Friday night.

    Sat, 17 Aug 2019 07:55:48 -0400
  • Refinitiv data shows detained Grace 1 still at anchor

    Refinitiv tracking data briefly showed the Iranian tanker at the centre of a diplomatic dispute between Tehran and the West had changed its position status off Gibraltar on Saturday. The Grace 1 was given permission to leave Gibraltar on Thursday, although the United States is still seeking to detain it.

    Sat, 17 Aug 2019 07:54:25 -0400
  • Standard Chartered faces fine in coming weeks for sanctions breaches- Sky News

    Standard Chartered PLC is facing a fine for failing to prevent sanctions breaches, Sky News reported on Saturday. Britain's Office of Financial Sanctions Implementation, which includes police and intelligence officers as well as finance ministry officials, has notified the lender that it aims to impose a penalty of more than 10 million pounds ($12.15 million) on the bank in the coming weeks, Sky News said http://bit.ly/2ZatPEx. Sky News provided no further details, and Standard Chartered was not immediately available for comment on Saturday.

    Sat, 17 Aug 2019 07:39:00 -0400
  • Civilian death toll mounts as Syrian offensive widens

    Air strikes have killed more than two dozen civilians including 11 children in rebel-held northwestern Syria in the last two days in an escalation of a Russian-backed offensive, a war monitor and local activists said on Saturday. An air strike in the village of Deir killed seven people, mostly children, on Saturday morning, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said. On Friday, air strikes in the village of al-Haas killed 13 people.

    Sat, 17 Aug 2019 07:33:27 -0400
  • Portugal's fuel-tanker drivers back down, walkout continues

    Portuguese fuel-tanker drivers will maintain their strike indefinitely after a 10-hour meeting of union leaders and government officials ended without an agreement. The meeting, which started on Friday afternoon and lasted until the early hours of Saturday, took place after the striking drivers said they would suspend the now six-day-old strike and negotiate with their employers association ANTRAM in government-brokered talks. With the Socialist government acting as a mediator, ANTRAM and National Hazardous Materials Drivers' Union (SNMMP) submitted their proposals but did not sit at the same negotiating table.

    Sat, 17 Aug 2019 07:22:57 -0400
  • Rescue worker killed in attack on ambulance in northern Myanmar - army

    One rescue worker was killed and several others were wounded when an ambulance came under fire in northern Myanmar amid clashes between troops and ethnic rebels in the region, an army spokesman and a witness said on Saturday. The rescue workers were 13 miles from Lashio, the largest town in Shan State, where ethnic armed groups have been fighting for greater autonomy from the central government, when their convoy came under attack. After that, the ambulance was hit by an RPG and the car turned over and he died," said Aung Kyaw Moe, a member of the Lashio Youth Charity Association who said he survived the assault.

    Sat, 17 Aug 2019 06:57:58 -0400
  • Houthi drone attack causes "minor" gas fire, oil production unaffected-Saudi source

    A drone attack launched by Yemen's Houthi group on an oil field in eastern Saudi Arabia caused a "minor" fire at a gas plant but had no impact on oil production, a Saudi industry source said. The attack on the Shaybah oil field was carried out "most probably" by three drones, the source said, adding that it had caused no casualties and that the fire had been extinguished.

    Sat, 17 Aug 2019 06:48:30 -0400
  • UPDATE 2-Yemen's separatists quit some Aden posts as Houthis strike Saudi oil facility

    ADEN/DUBAI, Aug 17 (Reuters) - Southern Yemeni separatists withdrew on Saturday from some government buildings in Aden that they seized last week but held on to military camps that give them control over the southern port, interim seat of Yemen's Saudi-backed government. The separatists' takeover of Aden has strained a Saudi-led military coalition formed to confront the Iran-aligned Houthis as the movement stepped up attacks on the kingdom, hitting a Saudi oil installation on Saturday.

    Sat, 17 Aug 2019 06:20:58 -0400
  • 'You can still sense the love': Baby boomers revel at Woodstock 50 years on

    Baby boomers dressed in tie-dye, rolling wheelchairs and chasing a memory of peace and love flocked to Bethel, New York, for the weekend to mark the 50th anniversary of Woodstock, the music festival that defined 1960s counterculture. Thousands of flower-crowned visitors made the journey to the Bethel Woods Center for the Arts, which now owns the original festival site, to hear some of the same musicians including Arlo Guthrie, attend a planned Saturday concert by Santana, and feel the spirit of community that the 1969 festival produced. Woodstock, which was held at Max Yasgur's dairy farm in upstate New York from Aug. 15-18 and featured about 30 acts, became a logistical nightmare when more than 400,000 people showed up, causing traffic gridlock for miles.

    Sat, 17 Aug 2019 06:00:00 -0400
  • Meet the Journalist Who Exposed the Jeffrey Epsteins of Victorian London

    Golocal247.com news

    Wealthy men soliciting underage girls for sex. Girls lured to expensive homes by promises of good-paying jobs. Captains of commerce and heads of state reveling in debauchery. Officials looking the other way.A newspaper exposé written by British journalist W.T. Stead, “The Maiden Tribute of Modern Babylon” sounds just like the sordid sex ring of Jeffrey Epstein, who died of an apparent suicide in prison on Aug. 10.The difference is that Stead’s account appeared over a century ago, in London’s Pall Mall Gazette in the summer of 1885.In the four-part series, investigative journalist W.T. Stead graphically detailed the ways that wealthy Victorian men procured young girls for sex. Ironically, Stead was the only one who ended up in jail.Lured by the Promise of a Better LifeOn July 6, 1885, the first article in Stead’s exposé was published. Stead revealed how thousands of girls, most of whom were between 13 and 15 years old, were bought for sex by prominent London men, including a “well-known member of Parliament,” a cabinet minister, a doctor and a clergyman who obtained a 12-year old virgin for £20.As soon as it hit London’s newsstands, the story went viral. Stead already had a reputation as a fearless editor who advocated “Governmentby Journalism” and didn’t shy from sensationalism. The Gazette’s reporting was front-page news in the U.S., with The New York Times covering the scandal and the reaction by Englishauthorities.Instead of working to swiftly shut down the illicit sex trade and identify those involved, London’s city solicitor ordered police to seize copies of the Gazette and to arrest vendors for selling copies of the paper. Despite – or because of – the attempted censorship, copies sold well above their cover price. Thousands waited outside newspaper offices for their chance to buy each new installment.Those who could get their hands on a copy learned about how women recruited young girls, and how the authorities who knew about it failed to intervene.Stead interviewed women who explained how they enticed girls to enter the homes of wealthy men with promises of meals, money and jobs. Looking out for “pretty girls who are poor,” brothel keepers and professional procurers recruited orphans, shop girls, servants and nursemaids to “visit” gentlemen.“The police knew all about them long ago,” Stead added, noting that officers were discouraged from pursuing leads, while prosecutors intimidated potential witnesses.Stead interviewed some of the men who paid for the girls. They assured him that the maidens willingly – sometimes eagerly – consented. As the member of Parliament told Stead, “I doubt the unwillingness of these virgins … it is nonsense to say it is rape.”The victimized girls told a different story: They were lured with the promise of a better life. They had no idea that the employment agencies they used were actually fronts for prostitution.Once the girls consented to go into the gentleman’s house, there was no going back. According to Stead, those who resisted were told that they could choose either to be raped and paid, or raped “and then turned into the streets without a penny.”Powerful Predators Remain in the ShadowsThe “maiden tribute” in the series’ title was a reference to the Greek myth in which virgins were sacrificed to theminotaur of Crete, the half-man, half-bull so brutal that a labyrinth was built to contain him. But Stead points out that, unlike the mythic narrative, which required the sacrifice of seven virgins every nine years, modern London was witnessing an exponential number of girls being sacrificed each day.The abuse wouldn’t stop, Stead insisted, until people started believing the girls.“When a woman is outraged,” he wrote, “her sworn testimony weighs nothing against the lightest word of the man who perpetrated the crime.”The Victorian men in Stead’s account were never publicly named. Nor did they ever face criminal prosecution. As a journalist, Stead refused to reveal his sources. And once public attention waned, officials declined to pursue Stead’s leads.In an ironic twist, Stead himself served three months in prison for abduction. In order to prove how easy it was, he had a procurer deliver a 13-year-old girl named Eliza Armstrong to him. Even though it was done for the sake of his reporting, the authorities pounced.Stead’s reporting did have one desired effect: It mobilized support for a parliamentary bill that raised the age of consent for girls from 13 to 16. But none of the women who recruited the girls and none of the men who sexually molested them were held accountable.Different Century, Same Story?In some ways, the parallels between the men of Victorian London and Epstein are striking.Ghislaine Maxwell, Epstein’s one-time girlfriend, allegedly acted as Epstein’s procurer. According to The New York Times, one of Epstein’s victims, Virginia Giuffre, fingered Maxwell as the one who approached her and invited her to Epstein’s home, promising that she could learn how to give massages and “earn a lot of money.” Maxwell has also settled several civil suits with Epstein accusers who named her as his accomplice. Too often, it seems the law serves the interests of powerful men. We saw this in Epstein’s 2007 non-prosecution agreement proffered byAlexander Acosta, who was, at the time, the U.S. attorney for the Southern District of Florida.As the Sentencing Project noted in a 2018 report submitted to the United Nations, “The United States in effect operates two distinct criminal justice systems: one for wealthy people and another for poor people and people of color.” Epstein emerged relatively unscathed during his first brush with the law. Rarely do the authorities haul the same powerful men before the courts a second time, as they did with Epstein.We can thank the dogged reporting of journalists, who, over the past few years, have been exposing patterns of male sexual abuse, making sure to keep the story in the public eye until justice is served. Ronan Farrow’s Pulitzer Prize-winning New Yorker articles exposing Harvey Weinstein’s decades of predation and his articles detailing Les Moonves’ sexual harrassment played a big role in holding both powerful men to account.Julie Brown and Emily Michot of the Miami Herald revealed the secret Acosta deal and uncovered more than 80 of Epstein’s alleged victims. Due in part to their reporting, Epstein was indicted in July.With the continued persistence of journalists, victims and the public, perhaps the labyrinths that shield the other minotaurs in our midst will be permanently razed.This story first appeared in The Conversation on August 12.Image: Reuters

    Sat, 17 Aug 2019 05:34:00 -0400
  • Senior UK Conservative lawmaker says he could not back Corbyn-led government

    A Conservative lawmaker at the centre of efforts to block a no-deal Brexit said on Saturday he was pessimistic about his chances because he and other party colleagues could not support a caretaker government led by opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn. With Prime Minister Boris Johnson vowing to take Britain out of the European Union with or without a deal by Oct. 31, anti-Brexit politicians from all sides have been trying, and so far failing, to agree on a plan to stop it from happening. Corbyn, leader of the main opposition Labour Party, wants a caretaker government with himself as head, and then an election.

    Sat, 17 Aug 2019 05:24:41 -0400
  • Father charged with homicide after 12-year-old daughter kills neighbor in car crash

    Golocal247.com news

    The father of a 12-year-old girl who allegedly got behind the wheel of a car and accidentally ran down her neighbor has been charged with criminally negligent homicide. Tomas Mejia Tol, 42, was arrested on Friday after his daughter allegedly was driving in the parking lot outside their home and killed a man who was walking his three dogs and then crashed into a tree. Enrique Vazquez, 47, was killed in the accident.

    Sat, 17 Aug 2019 05:22:00 -0400
  • UPDATE 4-Houthi drone attack on Saudi oilfield causes gas fire, output unaffected

    A drone attack launched by Yemen's Houthi group on an oil field in eastern Saudi Arabia on Saturday caused a limited fire at a gas plant but had no impact on oil production, state-run oil company Saudi Aramco said. Saudi Aramco said there were no injuries and no interruptions to oil operations.

    Sat, 17 Aug 2019 04:53:29 -0400
  • UPDATE 2-Hong Kongers stage more anti-government protests, braving storms

    Thousands of Hong Kongers including many teachers took part in more anti-government rallies on Saturday, braving thunderstorms to march past shops shuttered due to growing concern that police could adopt tougher tactics to drive activists from the streets. Following an escalation in violence over the past few days, the rallies this weekend are a key test of whether the protest movement can retain the broad support that it has appeared to enjoy. The peaceful turnout suggested it may, though the protests turned more confrontational by nightfall.

    Sat, 17 Aug 2019 04:03:29 -0400
  • Kazakh advocate of Muslim rights in China set free in plea bargain

    A Kazakh rights activist who campaigned against the detention of ethnic Uighurs and other Muslims in special camps in China has pleaded guilty to a hate speech charge in exchange for securing his freedom, his lawyer said on Saturday. Serkzhan Bilash, a naturalized Kazakh citizen born in the Chinese region of Xinjiang, led Atajurt, a group that has worked for the release of ethnic Kazakhs from camps where activists say more than a million ethnic Uighurs and other Muslims are held.

    Sat, 17 Aug 2019 03:56:39 -0400
  • U.S. issues warrant to seize Iranian tanker off Gibraltar

    The United States has issued a warrant to seize an Iranian oil tanker caught in the standoff between Tehran and the West in a last ditch effort to prevent the vessel from leaving Gibraltar. The Grace 1 was seized by British Royal Marines at the western mouth of the Mediterranean on July 4 on suspicion of violating European Union sanctions by taking oil to Syria. Gibraltar lifted the detention order on Thursday after the British territory's chief minister said he had secured written assurances from Tehran that the cargo would not go to Syria.

    Sat, 17 Aug 2019 03:51:50 -0400
  • Rescued Thai baby dugong killed by ocean plastic

    An orphaned baby dugong rescued in Thailand earlier this year died on Saturday due to pieces of plastic clogging her digestive system, authorities said. The dugong, whom Thais had fondly taken to calling Marium, meaning "lady of the sea", had been under the care of Thai authorities since she was founded stranded on a beach in the southern Krabi province in April. Last week, Marium was found ill and refused to eat, losing a lot of weight, said Nantarika Chansue, one of the vets who took care of the dugong.

    Sat, 17 Aug 2019 03:33:05 -0400
  • Kilroy was here: Athens walls awash in painted squiggles

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    Kilroy was here, and lots of his friends too. In Athens, illicit spray-painting forays leave an often-indelible mark on the Greek capital's public and private buildings, street signs and bus stops, while public artworks and even ancient ruins are not spared. Some parts of central Athens are so afflicted with graffiti — largely undecipherable squiggles in bold, broad strokes — that few facades remain untouched and property owners give up on repainting.

    Sat, 17 Aug 2019 03:15:05 -0400
  • Australian police tell Chinese to keep peace after scuffles at rally over HK

    Police in Melbourne issued a warning on Saturday after small scuffles erupted between supporters and opponents of the Hong Kong protest movement during a rally attended by several hundred people from the city's Chinese community on Friday evening. The police said that they interviewed two men in relation to "unlawful assault" and released them pending summons, after pushing and shoving took place at the rally organised in support of the Hong Kong protesters. Australian media reported the rally attracted 600 people at its peak.

    Sat, 17 Aug 2019 03:13:54 -0400
  • Saudi-led coalition fires flares over Yemeni port of Aden - residents

    Saudi-led coalition warplanes fired flares over Yemen's Aden at dawn on Saturday, residents said, near camps occupied by southern separatist fighters who last week seized control of the port city which had been the interim seat of the government. The coalition overnight on Saturday renewed a call for the separatist forces to withdraw from all sites they have recently captured in Aden. The seizure of government military bases by separatist fighters a week ago has complicated United Nations efforts to end Yemen's war and has exposed strains in the Sunni coalition formed four years ago to battle the Iran-allied Houthi group.

    Sat, 17 Aug 2019 03:04:10 -0400
  • Fiji PM accuses Australia's Morrison of "insulting" Pacific island nations

    Fiji Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama accused Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison of insulting leaders of Pacific island nations during a regional summit earlier this week, and said Chinese officials were far more tactful and better mannered. The Fijian prime minister's comments come after the Pacific Islands Forum failed to agree on tough new climate change commitments at the insistence of the pro-coal Australian government, upsetting leaders of island nations at risk from rising sea levels.

    Sat, 17 Aug 2019 02:46:14 -0400
  • Jeffrey Epstein's death ruled suicide by hanging, medical examiner says

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    New York City's medical examiner has ruled Jeffrey Epstein's death in a Manhattan jail cell suicide by hanging. The disgraced financier, who was facing federal sex trafficking charges, was found unresponsive in his cell at Metropolitan Correctional Center in Lower Manhattan on the morning of Aug. 10. Epstein, 66, was set to stand trial next year for allegedly sexually abusing dozens of girls in New York and Florida.

    Sat, 17 Aug 2019 02:30:51 -0400
  • Crews reopen Denali park road, tourist buses begin to return

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    Road crews have cleared one lane in Alaska's Denali National Park and Preserve, and buses are beginning to return about 300 stranded tourists back to the park entrance. Park spokesman Paul Ollig told The Associated Press that all the stranded passengers are expected back at the park entrance Friday night, but he didn't have an exact time of when they would arrive. "Our team did an outstanding job responding to multiple debris slides along a pretty remote section of road," said Erika Jostad, Denali's chief ranger.

    Sat, 17 Aug 2019 02:30:49 -0400
  • Hong Kong tense as weekend of protests begins with teachers' rally in rain

    Over a thousand Hong Kong school teachers braved thunderstorms on Saturday to start a weekend of anti-government demonstrations that some activists fear could see tougher police tactics on the city's streets. Following the escalation in violence during the past few days, the demonstrations this weekend will provide a litmus test as to whether the protest movement can retain the broad support that it has appeared to enjoy. Demonstrators say they are fighting the erosion of the "one country, two systems" arrangement that enshrined some autonomy for Hong Kong since China took it back from Britain in 1997.

    Sat, 17 Aug 2019 02:01:25 -0400
  • ‘It's techno-racism’: Detroit is quietly using facial recognition to make arrests

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    Critics in the majority-black city point out that the technology is flawed and often misidentifies people of color and womenA display shows a facial recognition system for law enforcement during a technology conference. Photograph: Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty ImagesFor the last two years, Detroit police have been quietly utilizing controversial and unreliable facial recognition technology to make arrests in the city.The news, revealed in May in a Georgetown University report , has shocked many Detroiters and sparked a public debate in the city that is still raging and mirrors similar battles playing out elsewhere in America and across the world. Among other issues, critics in the majority-black city point out that flawed facial recognition software misidentifies people of color and women at much higher rates.Detroit also now has the capability to use the technology to monitor residents in real time, though Detroit’s police chief claims it won’t.Willie Burton, a black member of the civilian Detroit Police Commission that oversees the department, noted Detroit’s population is 83% black and that made using the technology especially worrying.“This should be the last place police use the technology because it can’t identify one black man or woman to another,” he said. “Every black man with a beard looks alike to it. Every black man with a hoodie looks alike. This is techno-racism.”At a July meeting on the issue held by the police commission, arguments got so heated over facial recognition that officers arrested and temporarily jailed Burton as he loudly objected to its use.The technology presents obvious questions over whether police are violating residents’ privacy protections. Detroit’s facial recognition software makes it much easier for the city to track people’s movements across time while efficiently and secretly gathering personal information, said Clare Garvie, an author of the report from the Georgetown Law Center on Privacy and Technology.“It can betray information about sensitive locations – who someone is as a person, if they’re going to church, an HIV clinic, and the supreme court has said we have a right to privacy even if we are in public,” she said.Garvie conservatively estimates that a quarter of the nation’s 18,000 police agencies now use facial recognition technology, and over half of American adults’ photos are available for investigation.Chicago runs a similar program as that in Detroit, while the Los Angeles police department may be operating a small number of cameras that track the public in real time.Meanwhile, some local governments are proposing regulations to limit it. San Francisco and Oakland in California and Cambridge and Sommerville in Massachusetts have recently banned the technology. Florida’s Orlando scrapped a pilot real-time surveillance program after the software proved to be unreliable, and New York governor Andrew Cuomo is attempting to implement facial recognition software in New York City with no success, so far.At the federal level, Congress in May held hearings on the issue. Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib, whose district includes parts of Detroit, recently introduced legislation that would prohibit its use at public housing.“Policing our communities has become more militarized and flawed,” Tlaib said during the 22 May hearing. “Now we have for-profit companies pushing so-called technology that has never been tested in communities of color, let alone been studied enough to conclude that it makes our communities safer.”But facial recognition software is just the latest in Detroit’s development of a comprehensive public surveillance apparatus that includes multiple camera programs.As part of its Project Green Light, the city installed nearly 600 high definition cameras at intersections, schools, churches, public parks, immigration centers, addiction treatment centers, apartment buildings, fast food restaurants, and other businesses around the city.Police pull still images from those and thousands of other private cameras, then use facial recognition software to cross-reference them with millions of photos pulled from a mugshot database, driver’s license photos, and images scraped from social media.Were Detroit to start using the software in real time, it could continually scan those entering any location covered by its cameras, or motorists and pedestrians traveling through an intersection, for example.Though there’s no oversight, Detroit police chief James Craig insists the department won’t use real time software and only runs still images as an “investigative tool” for violent crimes.Police say any match requires “sufficient corroboration” before an arrest can be made. But Garvie notes the software has already lead to false arrests elsewhere in the country.Facial recognition technology’s premise “flips on its head” the idea of innocent until proven guilty, Garvie said at a recent Detroit forum on the topic.“Biometrically identifying everyone and checking them against a watch list or their criminal history assumes they’re guilty until they prove they’re innocent by not having a record,” she said. “That’s not going to make us more secure. It’s going to make us more afraid.”A Detroit police spokesperson couldn’t say how many arrests involved the technology, though Craig told the Guardian no false arrests have been made. He acknowledged issues with accuracy, but stressed that matches are treated as a lead and go through a rigorous review process. “Facial recognition is only part of methodical investigation to identify and confirm that the suspect is involved in that crime,” he said. Some residents say the technology is already sowing more distrust in Detroit as civil rights advocates accuse the city of intentionally muddying the waters. Georgetown’s report noted police did not mention on the Green Light website that cameras would be used with facial recognition software, and property owners who installed them weren’t made aware of it.“There’s been no transparency and we won’t stand for it,” Burton said. “We don’t want it here, and we are going to fight back because we deserve better.”

    Sat, 17 Aug 2019 02:00:37 -0400
  • China state agency successfully launches rocket for commercial use: CCTV

    A Chinese government space agency successfully launched on Saturday its first rocket meant for commercial use, state television CCTV reported, as firms in the country compete to join a commercial satellite boom. Smart Dragon-1 rocket, which weighs 23 tonnes and was developed by a unit of China Aerospace Science and Technology Corp (CASC), successfully delivered three satellites into orbit after a launch in Jiuquan, Gansu, CCTV said. China envisions constellations of commercial satellites that can offer services ranging from high-speed internet for aircraft to tracking coal shipments.

    Sat, 17 Aug 2019 01:52:51 -0400
  • China state agency successfully launches rocket for commercial use-CCTV

    A Chinese government space agency successfully launched on Saturday its first rocket meant for commercial use, state television CCTV reported, as firms in the country compete to join a commercial satellite boom. Smart Dragon-1 rocket, which weighs 23 tonnes and was developed by a unit of China Aerospace Science and Technology Corp (CASC), successfully delivered three satellites into orbit after a launch in Jiuquan, Gansu, CCTV said. China envisions constellations of commercial satellites that can offer services ranging from high-speed internet for aircraft to tracking coal shipments.

    Sat, 17 Aug 2019 01:49:53 -0400
  • EXCLUSIVE-Muslim insurgent group says it met with Thai government

    The main group fighting an insurgency in Thailand's largely Muslim south said it had held its first meeting with officials from the new Thai government and had set out demands as a condition for any formal peace talks. Officials of the Barisan Revolusi Nasional (BRN) said they met a Thai delegation at a location in Southeast Asia on Friday and demanded the release of all people detained over suspected links to the insurgency and a transparent investigation into abuses by security forces. "If the official peace talks are a feast then these secret meetings are like bringing the cow into the kitchen, but the cow is not even slaughtered yet," Pak Fakir, 70, a senior BRN member told Reuters in a rare interview.

    Sat, 17 Aug 2019 01:44:06 -0400
  • Judge rules against reinstating police officer after fight

    A judge has vacated an arbitrator's ruling that ordered the Seattle Police Department to reinstate an officer who was fired for punching a drunk, handcuffed woman after she kicked him during a 2014 incident captured on patrol car video, the Seattle Times reports . King County Superior Court Judge John McHale found in a ruling released late Friday that the arbitrator's Nov. 30 decision to order the city to reduce Officer Adley Shepherd's firing to a 15-day suspension and put him back on the job amounted to discipline so lenient it "violates the explicit, dominant and well-defined public policy against the use of excessive force in policing," the newspaper says. Mayor Jenny Durkan and City Attorney Pete Holmes praised McHale's ruling.

    Sat, 17 Aug 2019 01:30:00 -0400
  • Reuters Health News Summary

    AbbVie Inc has priced its new rheumatoid arthritis treatment at $59,000 a year after gaining U.S. approval on Friday, a big boost for the drugmaker struggling with rising competition for Humira, its blockbuster therapy for the same condition. A woman and her child were the first two cases confirmed with Ebola in Congo's South Kivu region this week, opening a new front in the fight against the outbreak. Health officials said on Friday that the latest cases were more than 700 km (430 miles) south of where the outbreak was first detected.

    Sat, 17 Aug 2019 00:57:44 -0400
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