Vietnam reelects conservative Nguyễn Phú Trọng as General Secretary of the Communist Party of Vietnam. Deputy Prime Minister Nguyễn Xuân Phúc, a member of the Politburo, is expected to replace Nguyễn Tấn Dũng as prime minister. Dũng is not eligible for another term.
Vietnam's Communist Party Wednesday re-elected its 71-year-old chief for a second term, an expected outcome that sees the conservative pro-China ideologue cementing his hold on power. The party's congress elected Nguyen Phu Trong (pronounced Noo-yen Foo Chong) to a 19-member Politburo, the all-powerful body that handles the day-to-day affairs of the government and the party. In a subsequent vote, he was immediately chosen as the general-secretary, the de facto No. 1 leader of the country. The announcement was made on the official Vietnam News Agency's website. Officials said Deputy Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc was also elected to the Politburo, and he is now expected to become the prime minister. He will replace Nguyen Tan Dung, who had had led economic reforms over the last 10 years and had harbored ambitions for the top job. His challenge, however, was snuffed by Trong's supporters during the weeklong party congress that ends Thursday. The third most important member elected to the Politburo was Minister of Public Security Tran Dai Quang, who will be the country's new president, said the officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak to the media. The general secretary, the prime minister and the president, along with the chairman of the National Assembly, are the four key members in the collective leadership represented by the Politburo, and the 180-member Central Committee, which handles policy. The renewal of the leadership means little change for Vietnam. Trong is expected to continue to push Dung's economic reforms. Despite having a reputation for being pro-China he is not likely to be totally subservient to Beijing as that would risk massive anger from ordinary Vietnamese who harbor a deep dislike and historical suspicion of China. "Many people were afraid that a conservative trend would prevail if Mr. Trong is re-elected. But ... whoever they may be, and however conservative they may be, when they are at the helm they are under pressure to carry out reforms," Le Hong Hiep, a visiting Vietnamese fellow at the Institute of Southeast Asia Studies in Singapore, told The Associated Press. The Communist Party is entitled by the constitution to govern and Vietnam's 93 million people have no direct role in electing the leaders of the 4.5 million-member party. It is believed that as a compromise with Prime Minister Dung's camp, Trong will not serve his full five-year term but may hand over power to another leader mid-way. Dung was seen as a pro-business leader who investors believe would have continued with economic reforms he set in motion 10 years ago that helped Vietnam attract a flood of foreign investment and was partly responsible for tripling the per capita GDP to $2,100. He was also seen as standing up to China, which is making aggressive territorial claims in the South China Sea and building islands, much to the chagrin of Southeast Asia nations who have conflicting claims in the waters. China sent an oil rig into Vietnamese waters in 2014, triggering a massive backlash among Vietnamese, including attacks on Chinese businesses. Dung was vocal in criticizing China then, while Trong was muted. Despite Trong's reputation as being an anti-thesis of Dung, the reality is not so black-and-white. Observers agree that the economic reforms Dung started have the blessings of the collective leadership, including Trong. A clear example came when a plenum of the outgoing Central Committee overwhelmingly endorsed Vietnam joining the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a U.S. led free-trade initiative. As for China, Trong will likely not risk the ire of the public by being soft if Beijing's assertiveness impinges on Vietnam territorial integrity. The cosmetic change in the leadership also means that Vietnam has no immediate hopes for political reforms, even though there is a desire in the government to loosen up on public freedoms. "They are faced with a dilemma. They want to maintain the one-party rule and at the same time they want to have reforms in some limited areas," said Hiep, the Vietnamese scholar. "Their trend is to change, but they will still be cautious, because the party's ultimate goal is to maintain their monopoly on power," Hiep said.
Government Job change - Election
January 2016
['(AP via ABC News)', '(Channel NewsAsia)']
At least 42 people are killed in a bus crash in Nepal.
Another 43 people were injured when the bus came off the road at Luham in Salyan district, some 400km (250 miles) west of the capital Kathmandu. Many of the injured are in a critical condition, police said. They said the number of dead could rise. The bus was carrying more than 100 people when it skidded off the mountain road on the road to Tulsipur. ... most of the injured passengers are in critical condition District police officer Shankar Yadav The bus fell about 250m (950ft) into the ravine. District police officer Shankar Yadav told news agency AFP 40 bodies had been recovered at the scene and two more people had died on the way to hospital. "The number of casualties could rise as most of the injured passengers are in critical condition. Twenty-three seriously injured people have been rushed to a regional hospital in Nepalgunj," he said.
Road Crash
October 2006
At least 27 migrants die in a shipwreck in the Aegean Sea when a boat capsizes in the Turkish bay of Edremit, near the Greek island of Lesbos.
At least 27 migrants have died off the Turkish coast trying to reach the Greek island of Lesbos, Turkish media say. The victims, including 11 children, drowned when their boat capsized after setting off from Balikesir province. About 400 people have died crossing into Europe in 2016, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) says. Most were travelling to Greece on their way to northern Europe. Recent fighting in Syria has sent thousands of people fleeing towards the Turkish border. The sea route from Turkey to Greece was the most popular way for migrants trying to enter Europe in 2015. Migrant crisis: In depth report Crisis in graphics In the latest incident, Turkish media quoted official as saying that 40 migrants set out for Lesbos from the Altinoluk area early on Monday. They say their boat capsized two miles (3.2km) into the crossing. Hurriyet newspaper says the vessel was using a new route, because security forces have stepped up moves to deter migrants from taking their chances. The paper also denied earlier media reports that another migrant boat had capsized further south off Izmir province. News of the deaths came as Germany's Chancellor Angela Merkel was in Turkey to discuss ways of reducing the number of migrants travelling to Europe. After talks with Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, Mrs Merkel said they had agreed to seek help from Nato - both countries are members - in handling the migrant crisis. She said they would use the next meeting of the alliance to consider "to what extent Nato can be helpful with the surveillance situation at sea'' and support the EU border agency Frontex. The IOM says more than 68,000 migrants arrived on Greek shores in the first five weeks of 2016, despite often stormy conditions. This is a huge rise from last year, when the figure for the whole of January was less than 1,500. Nearly half of those who have arrived in Greece this year are from Syria, the IOM says. But thousands of Syrians seeking to flee a government offensive in Aleppo, backed by Russian air strikes, are being prevented from leaving their homeland. Turkey has so far closed the border to most of the 30,000 migrants gathering at the Kilis border crossing, despite appeals by EU leaders to let them cross. After her talks in Ankara, Mrs Merkel said: "In the past days we have been not only shocked but horrified by the human suffering of tens of thousands of people through bomb attacks predominantly carried out by the Russian side." Mr Davutoglu said his country would accept the migrants "when necessary", and that it would reveal plans next week to slow the flow of arrivals. Calls from EU leaders for Turkey to open its borders to Syrian refugees have been criticised by both pro-government and opposition commentators in Turkey. The opposition daily Cumhuriyet says: "While the EU is increasing security measures and closing borders to immigrants, it is asking Turkey to let them in." The pro-government Yeni Safak says the calls from EU leaders are redolent of "hypocrisy". The paper describes the treatment of immigrants in Europe as "inhumane". A columnist for the centre-right paper Hurriyet, Fatih Cekirge, also expresses indignation. He says world powers have different agendas with regard to Syria, but they are all sending the same message: "Don't come to Europe as a refugee, but die far from us."
February 2016
['(ANSAmed)', '(Leadership)', '(news.com.au)', '(BBC)']
Colten Treu faces charges of vehicular homicide and drug related charges after he drove his car into a group of Girl Scouts collecting trash by the road, killing 3 and a mother along a Wisconsin highway Treu claimed his passenger was huffing Dust–Off and caused the accident by grabbing the wheel as he saw the scouts
Colten Treu, 21, and his roommate both told authorities there had been a fight for the wheel, but they differ in their accounts of what led to the intervention. In the moments before Colten Treu's black truck plowed into a group of Girl Scouts along the side of the highway, killing four, there had been a dramatic fight for control of the steering wheel. Treu and his passenger, John Stender Jr., both admitted to police that Stender grabbed the wheel after they had been inhaling fumes from a keyboard cleaner to get high, but each maintains a different reason for the intervention. According to Stender, he grabbed the wheel to correct Treu's driving after noticing Treu looked "out of it"  and crossed over the center line, according to a criminal complaint obtained by the Minneapolis Star Tribune. Stender said Treu yelled at him, grabbed the wheel, and swerved hard, causing the car to jerk back in the direction of the Girl Scouts. "Mr Stender stated the next thing he recalled is waking up down the road," the complaint said, according to the Leader-Telegram. However, Treu claims he didn't pass out and said he had only taken two short huffs from the can of Dustoff both men were using before the crash. He told investigators Stender had been huffing heavily and grabbed the wheel causing Treu to lose control of the vehicle, the complaint said. After striking into the group of Girl Scouts who had been picking up trash along the rural highway as part of a service project, Treu fled the scene. The car was later found parked in a garage with "significant front-end damage, with weeds observed stuck in the front bumper," the criminal complaint said. Treu told investigators he saw the group of seven girls and five adults before he crashed into them Saturday around 11:40 a.m., the Leader-Telegram reports. Jayna S. Kelley, 9; Autumn A. Helgeson, 10; Haylee J. Hickle, 10; and Hickle's mother, Sara Jo Schneider, 32, were all killed in the crash. A fifth victim, Madalyn Zwiefelhofer, was taken to the hospital with severe injuries. According to the criminal complaint she suffered "traumatic aortic rupture, splenic laceration, pulmonary laceration, hematoma of the left anterior frontal lobe, acute kidney injury and acute hypoxic and hypercarbic respiratory failure." Treu was formally charged Tuesday with 11 counts, including four counts of homicide by intoxicated use of a vehicle, four counts of hit-and-run involving death, one count of hit-and-run causing great bodily harm, and one count of intentionally abusing hazardous materials and bail jumping. Stender has not been charged, and it's not clear yet whether any charges are expected for his involvement in the crash.
Road Crash
November 2018
['(KSTP)', '(Oxygen)']
Hours after the announcement, Morales resigns from the presidency amid pressure from the military and the police in what he deemed a 'coup'.
Bolivian President Evo Morales has resigned after nearly 14 years in power, amid turmoil following his disputed re-election last month. The head of the army had called on him to go after protests over his election win. Auditors found irregularities with the poll but Mr Morales said he had been the victim of a coup. He said he was leaving to help protect families of political allies, after their homes were burned down. In a televised address, Mr Morales urged protesters to "stop attacking the brothers and sisters, stop burning and attacking". The biggest criticism of Evo Morales was his lack of respect for Bolivia's democracy - accused of overstaying his welcome and refusing to step down. But the fact that the military has called the shots on the president standing down does not do much for Bolivia's democracy either. Now Evo Morales has gone, there is a power vacuum. Increasing numbers of his Mas party are resigning, and it feels like there is a need for retribution - for Evo Morales and his people to pay the price for the mistakes they made while in power. His supporters have called this a coup - his detractors the end of tyranny. The priority now is to choose an interim leader, call new elections and bring a polarised Bolivia together or face yet more unrest and violence in the coming weeks. Vice-President Alvaro García and Senate President Adriana Salvatierra also resigned. Protesters took to the streets to celebrate, chanting "yes we could" and setting off fire crackers. Bolivia has been rattled by weeks of anti-government protests, following the reports of election fraud. Tensions first flared on the night of the presidential election after the results count was inexplicably stopped for 24 hours. The final result gave Mr Morales slightly more than the 10-percentage-point lead he needed to win outright in the first round of the race. At least three people died during clashes that followed. Some uniformed police officers also joined the protesters. On Sunday, the Organization of American States, which monitored the elections, said it had found evidence of wide-scale data manipulation, and could not certify the result of the previous polls. Pressure continued to build on Mr Morales during the day, as several of his political allies resigned, some citing fears for the safety of their families. The army chief, Gen Williams Kaliman, urged Mr Morales to resign "to allow for pacification and the maintaining of stability". The military also said it would conduct operations to "neutralise" any armed groups that attacked the protesters. Opposition leader Carlos Mesa - who came second in last month's poll - thanked protesters for "the heroism of peaceful resistance". In a tweet, he described the development as "the end of tyranny" and a "historical lesson", saying, "Long live Bolivia!" However, the Cuban and Venezuelan leaders - who had previously voiced their support for Mr Morales - condemned the events as a "coup". Cuban President Miguel Díaz-Canel described it as a "violent and cowardly" attempt against democracy, while Venezuelan leader Nicolás Maduro said tweeted: "We categorically condemn the coup realised against our brother president." Mexico says it is considering granting asylum to Mr Morales. Bolivia's first indigenous president, he had served as leader since 2006. He ran for a fourth consecutive term in the October elections after a controversial decision by the constitutional court to scrap presidential term limits. In a 2016 referendum, a majority had voted "no" to dropping the limit of term numbers that Bolivians could serve. However, Mr Morales' party took the issue to the constitutional court, which abolished the term limits altogether. Evo Morales' turbulent run Bolivia country profile Setback for EU in legal fight with AstraZeneca But the drug-maker faces hefty fines if it fails to supply doses of Covid-19 vaccine over the summer.
Government Job change - Resignation_Dismissal
November 2019
['(BBC News)', '(The Guardian)']
In rare protests, dozens are arrested in Kazakhstan during Independence Day. Protestors demand political reform and the sidelining of the family of former President Nursultan Nazarbayev.
Police detained dozens of people in Kazakhstan’s two main cities on Monday at rare protests demanding political reform and the sidelining of the family of former President Nursultan Nazarbayev. Groups of up to 100 anti-government protesters marked Independence Day with simultaneous demonstrations in the capital, Nur-Sultan, and in the commercial hub Almaty. They chanted slogans such as “Wake up Kazakhstan!” and held banners that read “Kazakhstan without the Nazarbayevs” or “Parliamentary republic”. In both cities, protesters were able to rally at initial gathering points, but police then detained dozens of people who tried to march through the streets. Nazarbayev, 79, handed over the presidency to a handpicked successor in March after nearly three decades in power dating to Soviet times. He still wields broad control, holding a number of official titles including chairman of the security council and leader of the ruling party. Nazarbayev’s successor, Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, has said he would liberalize laws governing protests - which currently make any rally not explicitly sanctioned by the authorities illegal - but such changes have not yet been implemented.
Protest_Online Condemnation
December 2019
A New Year's Eve celebration stampede in Shanghai kills at least 36 people and injures 49 others.
A crush at New Year's Eve celebrations in Shanghai has killed 36 people and injured some 47 others, Chinese officials say. The crush happened in Chenyi Square in Shanghai's historic Bund district overlooking the Huangpu river. Thousands of people had gathered to see in 2015. Social media reports suggest the stampede was triggered by people stopping to pick up fake money thrown from the balcony of a nightclub. The Shanghai City government said the situation began to deteriorate at 23:35 local time (15:35 GMT) and that a "working group" had been set up to handle the incident. Photos posted on social media showed people receiving first aid on the road and large numbers of police securing the area. Many of the dead are believed to be students, with 25 of them women, state media report. President Xi Jinping has told the Shanghai government to find the causes of the crush as soon as possible, according to state TV. A traditional new year fireworks display on the Bund had already been cancelled due to official fears of overcrowding, the Shanghai Daily reports. The BBC's John Sudworth in Shanghai says the investigation may focus on why so many people turned out despite the cancellation and whether there were enough police resources in place to look after them. English tourist Rebecca Thomas from Manchester told the BBC she had seen dead bodies on the ground. "CPR was being given to 10-15 people in the street by loved ones whilst police stood by and watched. "I asked a police officer if I could help and was told to move along. I saw a man giving his wife or girlfriend mouth-to-mouth on the floor whilst police watched," she said. "There were really too many people!" wrote one user of Sina Weibo - a Chinese equivalent of Twitter. "Squeezed inside, you could not budge, and could only move with the crowd." The user, called iiisay, added that traffic police had linked hands to form a human wall after the crush, but the wall was still breached several times. US photographer Gaby Gabriel told the BBC: "Nobody seemed to be in control and people were crying. It was one of those times when you see the worst in people." Another Sino Weibo user, Small Metal Makes Steel, said: "At the time there were lots of people, police at the scene maintained order and wouldn't let people near [the scene of the injuries]." "Lots of people spontaneously linked hands to block the crowds, so the injured had space to settle down, and to allow a clear passage for ambulances," he added. In a statement, the Shanghai City government said that those hurt had been transferred to hospitals across the city, and that the Shanghai party secretary had visited some of the injured. Earlier, Shanghai's police department wrote on its verified social media account that some "tourists" had "fallen over" at the Bund, and urged people to leave the area in an orderly fashion. According to the Shanghai Daily, close to 300,000 people turned up for New Year's Eve celebrations last year, leading to traffic problems. China country profile
December 2014
['(BBC)', '(China Daily)']
MP Margaret Ferrier is arrested after breaching COVID-19 restrictions.
Margaret Ferrier, the MP who travelled between Glasgow and London after testing positive for coronavirus, has been charged with culpable and reckless conduct. Officers in Glasgow arrested Ms Ferrier, 60, last night, months after her case was referred to prosecutors. A report had been made in November to the procurator fiscal’s office, which investigated before deciding to prosecute. Ms Ferrier disclosed in early October that she had taken a test on a Saturday before travelling to Westminster that Monday while awaiting the results. During a debate on the virus she thanked NHS staff and other key workers then learnt of her positive result that night. She returned to her constituency by train on the Tuesday morning. She was suspended by the SNP and has since
Famous Person - Commit Crime - Accuse
January 2021
['(The Times)']
German Justice Minister Heiko Maas says he will propose legislation to annul homosexuality convictions, and create a “right to compensation.” A 19th–century law outlawed sexual relations between men. Homosexuality was decriminalized in 1969, but the law itself was not rescinded until 1994.
German men convicted on the basis of a 19th century law criminalizing homosexuality now have a chance at getting late justice in the wake of an expert study commissioned by the Anti-Discrimination Agency. Their supposed crime was the same during the Nazi era as it was in the federal republic founded in 1949: They loved other men and had homosexual sex. Those who were caught engaging in homosexual acts or who were denounced as homosexuals were spared no mercy by the state. The law containing the infamous Paragraph 175 outlawing sexual relations between men dates back to the 19th century, but it was applied especially zealously under Nazi rule. The law remained intact even after 1945. Homosexuality was decriminalized in 1969, but Paragraph 175 was not abolished until 1994. By that time, more than 50,000 men had been convicted for being gay, something that "violated the very core of their human dignity," said Christine Lüders, the head of the government's Anti-Discrimination Authority, in Berlin on Wednesday. At her side was Martin Burgi of the Ludwig Maximilian University in Munich. The legal expert has compiled a study on the rehabilitation of homosexuals convicted under the law. He's confident it can be done, saying there's no legal barrier to rehabilitating the men. Heinz Schmitz (l.) with Christine Lüders (m.) of the Anti-Discrimination Authority Men convicted by Nazis already rehabilitated For laypeople, it's hard to understand why men convicted under Paragraph 175 by the Nazis have been rehabilitated since 2002, while verdicts handed down in the post-war era are still being upheld. The logic is as appalling as it is banal: The Nazi dictatorship was declared an unjust state; the Federal Republic of Germany, on the other hand, is based on democratic principles. That means the men who had the misfortune to be found guilty of homosexuality in the post-war era still have criminal records. But Burgi says that "collective rehabilitation" of those affected by the law can be achieved with the help of social and democratic principles. One of the men who stands to benefit from this is Heinz Schmitz, who was sentenced to two years on probation by a juvenile court in 1962 for being gay. Schmitz is a pseudonym; the 73-year-old prefers not to reveal his real name in public. The reason: Family members received anonymous threats after he first spoke publicly about his homosexuality. Prison guard: 'The pig from Freiburg' But Heinz Schmitz had the courage to go on the offensive about his fate. As part of a rehabilitation initiative, he appears in a short video for the Anti-Discrimination Agency. In it, there's a sentence that remains painful to Schmitz all these years later: "There comes the pig from Freiburg." That's how he was greeted by a guard at a juvenile detention center where he'd been ordered to spend three weeks. It was supposed to be a kind of educational measure. Otherwise, Schmitz remembers his judge as being someone with a "good heart." A lot of other homosexuals received much tougher sentences. The chances that his conviction will be annulled more than 50 years after he was sentenced are good. Federal Justice Minister Heiko Maas has already said he will draw up the necessary legislation. "We will never be able to completely eliminate these outrages by the state, but we want to rehabilitate the victims," Maas said. Schmitz: 'I would cry If the convictions are annulled, there will also likely be financial compensation for the victims. Burgi has already spoken of plans for "collective compensation." Heinz Schmitz says rehabilitation would make him happy, even if it comes after such a massive delay. When asked how he would react, he answers candidly: "I would cry." Representatives of Germany's state governments have pressured Berlin to allow marriage for same-sex couples - and give them full adoption rights. But not everyone is behind the move toward equality, reports Naomi Conrad. (12.06.2015)   Britain has issued a pardon to the World War II code breaker Alan Turing over a conviction for homosexuality. Turing is regularly hailed as the father of modern computing and credited by many with shortening the war. (24.12.2013)
Government Policy Changes
May 2016
['(AP via The Washington Post)', '(Deutsche Welle)']
At least 26 people are killed and several others are injured when a bus carrying tourists from Thailand overturns in Malaysia.
BANGKOK, Dec 20 - Thailand's Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Monday confirmed that at least 23 Thai nationals were killed when their bus crashed on a Malaysian highway in the morning. Thani Thongpakdi, deputy permanent-secretary of the foreign ministry's Department of Information, reported the Thai embassy in Kuala Lumpur said the double-decker bus carried 34 tourists--33 Thais and one foreign tourist of unknown nationality. Twenty-three were killed in the accident which occurred around 10am. Mr Thani said officials of the Thai embassy in Kuala Lumpur rushed to the accident scene in Perak state, 300 kilometres away from the Thai border at Songkhla's Sadoa district, and that the ministry is awaiting details of the names of the victims. Mr Thani said 23 Thai tourists were officially confirmed dead by now and any corrected total death toll is expected within tonight, while the Consular Department has informed the victims' families of the incident. Meanwhile, in the latest development, Agence-France Presse (AFP) reported acting Perak state police chief Zakaria Yusof confirmed that 37 people were on board the bus and 28 were killed in Malaysia's worst-ever coach accident. Among them 25 were Thai tourists and three were Malaysians--the driver, co-driver and a local guide. Nine Thais survived the accident and are now hospitalised nearby the accident scene, the police chief told AFP. The bus reportedly hit a road divider and overturned as it departed one of Malaysia's top tourist destinations, the Cameron Highlands, and had reached the foot of the hills. Mr Yusof said the bus was en route to Kuala Lumpur and that he believed the tourists were to fly to Bangkok from there, adding the investigation is underway to find the cause of the accident. (MCOT online news)
Road Crash
December 2010
['(Bernama)', '(Thai News Agency)']
Fire and Rescue NSW firefighters gain access to previously cut-off towns and settlements by bushfires in New South Wales, taking advantage of cooler weather. The small town of Balmoral is reported as being destroyed with NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian saying there's "not much left" of the town.
Bushfires have almost wiped out an entire small town south west of Sydney as officials sent to investigate the damage confirm there’s “not much left”. Premier Gladys Berejiklian said Rural Fire Service crews sent to Balmoral to assess the situation after fire ripped through the area on Saturday had reported the town was destroyed. “Unfortunately we have received bad news, there’s not much left in Balmoral,” Ms Berejiklian said. “Teams are going on the ground into those communities today to make full assessments and to let people know if it’s safe to go back.” Ms Berejiklian said she understood people who have lost everything still wanted to go and see if anything could be salvaged, but they would not be able to return until the area was declared safe. “We want people to have access to their land and their property as soon as they can, but it has to be safe as well and the expert teams will make sure that happens as soon as possible,” she said. RELATED NEWS: Our race to refuge: ‘Everyone get inside now!’ RFS contractors owed hundreds of thousands of dollars Ancient Wollemi pines at risk of wipe-out This comes as NSW Police say a man is missing from the rural village of Bell after a huge bushfire tore through the Lithgow area destroying dozens of buildings. The man in his 60 or 70s lives on a remote property in Bell and the area was engulfed in fire on Saturday, NSW Police Chief Inspector Chris Sammut said on Sunday. Another elderly man who had been missing from neighbouring Dargan has been located “safe and sound”, the Rural Fire Service tweeted on Sunday morning. He was found at an evacuation centre in Lithgow which was threatened by the huge Gospers Mountain megafire over the weekend. Chief Insp Sammut said the man who was still unaccounted for lived on one of the remotest properties in Bell. “He may have self-evacuated or went to stay with friends and we want the public to let us know any information they have to assist us locate this missing person,” he said. Chief Insp Sammut confirmed up to five properties were burned in Lithgow on Saturday while about 30 buildings were lost in Clarence and Dargan. Those numbers include sheds and other structures. About 350 residential homes in Lithgow remained without power on Sunday afternoon. BUSHFIRE CRISIS The Premier joined Prime Minister Scott Morrison and other officials on a tour of the Wollondilly Emergency Fire Control Centre, where operators have been battling the massive out-of-control Green Wattle Creek fire. Mr Morrison said managing fatigue among firefighters was a significant focus going forward and praised the 1000 volunteers who responded to a call for more help on Saturday. “There are more members registered here in NSW than we have in our ADF … so it is an enormous number of people that turn up,” he said. Mr Morrison said the government would seek to discuss proposals to compensate volunteer firefighters losing income to help battle blazes. “We’re certainly open to talking about those issues about how we can best sustain that volunteer effort, but I think we always must be mindful that at its heart it always has been – and for it to exist on that scale – it will always exist as a volunteer effort.” NSW RFS commissioner Shane Fitzsimmons said the RFS was “very conscious” of the financial burden worn by volunteer firefighters who take time off work to assist. “In some of these drought stricken areas of NSW, even small business owners … they might be the only person running that business now so they can’t even duck away for a few days because they’ve had lay off employees,” he said. “So we know acutely very much how tough our people are doing it, but the overriding message they’ve got when these things are happening, when their colleagues are out there and they’re trying to defend their communities, they want to be there with them.” In some rare good news in the state’s bushfire crisis, a man thought to be missing from the village of Dargan near Lithgow whose home was “enveloped by fire” on Saturday was located safe and well this morning by NSW Police. The man was at an evacuation centre the entire time. RFS spokeswoman Angela Burford said: “He’s alive and well, he’s in a good condition.” A post shared by Blue Mountains / Australia (@bluemtns_explore) Ms Burford said the number of homes lost in the Lithgow region on Saturday would likely be in the “dozens”. “Over the coming couple of days we will have more conclusive numbers — some areas are still active (firegrounds),” Ms Burford said. “(It’s likely) to be dozens at this stage.” Meanwhile, the Grose Valley fire in the Blue Mountains was upgraded to emergency warning level again on Sunday. “Fire activity is increasing,” the RFS tweeted. “If you are in the Blackheath area and your plan is to leave or you are not prepared, leave now towards Katoomba.” * Additional reporting by Derrick Krusche and AAP RESIDENTS ‘RAN FOR THEIR LIVES’ On Saturday, residents had to run for their lives as a record number of fireys tried to hold back “the most dangerous bushfire day by a long shot” the state has faced this season. And NSW Rural Fire Services Commission Shane Fitzsimmons said the bushfire emergency was far from over. Four firefighters succumbed to heat exhaustion and a fifth was taken to hospital with burns on his face and hands, but no lives were lost as communities took heed of emergency warnings and evacuated as violent wind gusts pushed fire fronts ­towards towns. Another firefighter was hit by a car in the Blue Mountains in the late afternoon and was taken to hospital. A record 4000 NSW Rural Fire Service volunteers were joined by more than 6000 emergency personnel to fight fires by ground and air. At one stage, firefighters were faced with seven ­emergency declarations and increasingly dangerous conditions after a fire-generated thunderstorm formed over the Shoalhaven fires. Fire has continued to burn south of the Bells Line of Road on Saturday night with a southerly briefly making fire behaviour erratic. The 450,000-hectare Gospers Mountain fire is thought to have destroyed up to 20 homes in total. However cooler conditions on Sunday and for much of next week are likely to make containment of the mega-blaze partially easier. The evacuation centre at Lithgow Workies Club slowly filled with residents fleeing homes on Saturday, with NSW Families and Community Services pledging to assist evacuees seeking shelter. Amanda Rich had safely delivered her two pet dogs to a friend’s place on the outskirts of Lithgow before attending the centre. The 32-year-old mum of four said she was on her own as the bushfire raged on both sides of her street, with her husband at work. “At least I got everything out in the car before those embers came,” she said. Ms Rich said the RFS warned her to vacate quickly because “two fires are coming from Wallerawang and two coming from the mountains”. Max Hawken, meanwhile, didn’t let his 82 years prevent him installing sprinklers on his Vale of Clwydd roof and pledging to defend his home. “I have put the sprinklers ready all around the roof,” Mr Hawken said. “This fire will be one of the worst we have if this town burns.” Mr Hawken said he had defended his cottage several times over the more than half a century he’d lived in it and was ready to again. At 8.30pm on Saturday, there were 120 fires burning across the state, with 70 out of control and four burning at emergency level. Down in the Shoalhaven region, the Currowan fire is burning just north of Batemans Bay and to the west and southwest of Ulladulla, with the southerly activating its western boundary near communities such as Nerriga. Among the more aggressive fires is Green Wattle Creek in southwestern Sydney, with the blaze remaining volatile despite cooler temperatures. The fire pushed back through Balmoral yesterday, and out west to communities towards south of Bargo, forcing the closure of the Hume Highway. While weather conditions were expected to ease today, total fire ban areas will remain in at-risk areas. Mr Fitzsimmons said firefighters would today be working on “a combination of things” to contain fires. “Our big focus is on trying to consolidate and establish containment lines across as many fire grounds as we can,” he said. “We have got significant fire spread now south of the Bells Line of Road and through the valley system, such as the Grose Valley in the Blue Mountains region, so there will be a detailed assessment of the potential threat and the likely threat coming in days or weeks to the Blue Mountains region. While firefighters will be granted a reprieve with cooler weather over the next few days, conditions are likely to again deteriorate, NSW ­Emergency Services Minister David ­Elliott warned. “The high tempo of ­firefighting operations predicted were realised, with emergency services personnel reaching the extent of their capabilities,” he said. “It’s safe to say that, although there have been losses, the co-ordinated response to yesterday’s situation has no doubt saved lives and property. It was the state’s most dangerous bushfire day by a long shot. “Although the forecast for cooler weather next week will allow some reprieve … we’re not out of danger, so complacency is not an option.” To join the conversation, please
December 2019
['(Daily Telegraph)', '(Reuters)']
Four people, including celebrity photographer FranoisMarie Banier, are arrested in a taxevasion investigation into L'Oréal heiress Liliane Bettencourt.
Police have opened three probes involving L'Oreal heiress Liliane Bettencourt following allegations of tax evasion and of illegal donations to the president's 2007 election campaign. Those arrested on Thursday include society photographer Francois-Marie Banier, a friend of the heiress, 87. The case has rocked Nicolas Sarkozy's government. Mr Banier was formally detained for questioning at the Paris office of the financial crimes unit. Mrs Bettencourt's financial adviser Patrice de Maistre and her former tax lawyer, Fabrice Goguel, were also held. Carlos Vejarano, the manager of the Arros island in the Seychelles, which Bettencourt allegedly owns and used as a tax haven, and allegedly gave to Mr Banier, was the fourth person seized by French police. The four men were expected to be held for 48 hours, after which police must decide whether to press charges. Mr Banier is already facing trial charged with abusing Mrs Bettencourt's frailty to obtain gifts with a value estimated at up to 1bn euros ($1.28bn; 800m). He is being sued by Mrs Bettencourt's daughter, Francoise Bettencourt-Meyers, for allegedly exploiting her mother's mental fragility to gain access to her fortune estimated to be worth 17bn euros ($20bn; 14bn). Mr Banier, who denies all the charges, made his name as a photographer, and his work has been published in Le Figaro and the New Yorker. In his youth, Mr Banier was the friend of 1960s cultural figures including Salvador Dali and Samuel Beckett. But his friendship with Mrs Bettencourt angered her family. Mrs Bettencourt's daughter called him the "predator". The affair has embarrassed Mr Sarkozy's government because of allegations that his campaign team accepted 147,000 euros from Mrs Bettencourt to help his election in 2007, around 20 times the legal limit. Mr Sarkozy has vigorously dismissed the accusations, calling them lies and calumny. He claimed his opponents were trying to destabilise the government as it tried to reform the pension system. Mr Sarkozy has also expressed confidence in Labour Minister Eric Woerth, who is accused of accepting illegal donations. He has denied any wrongdoing. The latest twist came as Mrs Bettencourt, the main shareholder in the cosmetics giant L'Oreal, called for an audit into firms managing her fortune to show she was mentally competent.
Famous Person - Commit Crime - Accuse
July 2010
A car crash in Austria leads to the death of Christian Kandlbauer, thought to be the first man to drive using a mind–controlled robotic arm.
A man thought to be the first to drive using a mind-controlled robotic arm has died in an Austrian hospital after a serious car crash. It is not known whether his bionic arm had any role in causing the accident. Christian Kandlbauer, 22, was found in the wreckage of his specially-adapted Subaru on Tuesday. Late on Thursday he was pronounced brain-dead in intensive care at the Graz hospital and his life support was switched off. Mr Kandlbauer lost both of his arms four years ago, after being shocked by 20,000 volts. He was fitted with a mind-controlled robotic arm by the medical technology company Otto Bock Healthcare, which said it was the first project of its kind in Europe. Using both his left and right arm - which was a normal prosthetic limb - he was able to pass his driving test in a specially converted car. On Tuesday he was found by a lorry driver who came across his burning car on a road near Bad Waltersdorf in south-east Austria. The driver managed to put out the flames, but it needed firefighters to extract Mr Kandlbauer from the mangled wreckage. He had been interviewed by the BBC about his revolutionary limb earlier this year. "I feel very happy," he said at the time. "It is like my earlier arm - I feel that my arm is a part of my body." He had returned to work as a warehouse clerk at the garage that once employed him as a mechanic. He said he was grateful that he had the freedom to get on with his life. Kandlbauer on his hi-tech robotic limb Otto Bock Christian Kandlbauer page Otto Bock UK One Covid vaccine dose cuts hospital risk by 75% But the number of Delta variant cases recorded in the UK has risen by 79% in a week, figures show.
Famous Person - Death
October 2010
['(BBC)', '(Ap via The Guardian)', '(USA Today)']
Oakland Athletics outfielder Yoenis Céspedes defeats Bryce Harper of the Washington Nationals to win the 2013 Major League Baseball Home Run Derby.
OK, so you probably weren't asking yourself anything remotely like that. We're talking, after all, about a two-time Home Run Derby champ, about the only man to win a Derby as a representative of each league, about the guy who won last year's Derby. So come to think of it, it's pretty clear what the Prince is doing in Monday night's 28th edition of the All-Star Home Run Derby. But you know what? Whether you were asking that question or not, we're going to answer it anyhow. If there were no such thing as the Home Run Derby, we'd have to create one -- just for humans like Prince who can do stuff like, well, this. That, says ESPN's Home Run Tracker, is what a 460-foot home run looks like. Wow. Even if you closed your eyes and just listened to the voice of the Tigers, Mario Impemba, describe it -- with words such as "thunderbolt" and "monster" and the awesomely evocative phrase, "Oh, he killed it" -- you could tell this was something special to see. And that, ladies and gentlemen, is why the Home Run Derby exists. It doesn't mean anything. It doesn't "count" for anything. But who cares? Stuff will happen, before your eyes, that fits under the category: Something Special to See. And isn't that what we love about baseball the most -- the chance to see something that will rattle around our memory banks for weeks, or months, or maybe even decades? So we hope we speak for all of North America when we say: We can't wait. And to help you get stoked for Derby No. 28, here come all the cool Derby notes and numbers it was safe to round up in one place, with the invaluable assistance of our friends at ESPN Home Run Tracker: The five longest bombs hit this year by your eight Derby contestants, according to the Home Run Tracker -- and we bet you'd never guess who's No. 1: 1. David Wright, 464 feet, May 3, against Atlanta's Craig Kimbrel 2. Prince Fielder, 460 feet, May 10, against Cleveland's Corey Kluber 3. Pedro Alvarez, 456 feet, May 17, against Houston's Hector Ambriz 4. Pedro Alvarez, 454 feet, April 18, against Atlanta's Julio Teheran 5. Robinson Cano, 442 feet, July 1, against Minnesota's Scott Diamond Which of these eight thumpers consistently hits those poor, innocent baseballs the farthest? We can actually pass along that sort of life-changing info, thanks to Home Run Tracker. But as we get ready to present the average true home run distance of your eight Derby combatants, see if you can guess where they rank, 1 to 8. We bet you can't! 1. Yoenis Cespedes, 407.9 feet 2. Pedro Alvarez, 407.1 feet 3. Michael Cuddyer, 406.8 feet 4. Bryce Harper, 406.5 feet 5. Chris Davis, 403.9 feet 6. David Wright, 404.7 feet 7. Robinson Cano, 401.5 feet 8. Prince Fielder, 396.2 feet Now here's the really fun fact to come out of that list: The two guys who have actually won a Derby in their careers -- Cano and Fielder -- rank seventh and eighth. So remember that when you're picking your winner, all right? It's not how long. It's how many. Still. Now here's now another way to look at this field -- by the percentage of fly balls these men hit that come down in somebody's nachos plate. We've ranked our contestants, 1 through 8, based on highest home run-to-fly ball ratio, as compiled by FanGraphs. At least this is a list you might be able to predict with more accuracy. 1. Chris Davis, 35.6 percent 2. Pedro Alvarez, 32.0 percent 3. Bryce Harper, 23.2 percent 4. Robinson Cano, 21.6 percent 5. Michael Cuddyer, 20.8 percent 6. Prince Fielder, 13.6 percent 7. Yoenis Cespedes, 13.6 percent 8. David Wright, 12.5 percent Ballparks play a big part in this, obviously. Prince's ratio, back when he played in bopper-friendly Milwaukee, was 20.3 percent overall and 22.7 percent just at Miller Park. Since he pulled into not-so-bopper-friendly Detroit, those figures have plunged to 16.4 percent overall and 16.6 percent at Comerica Park. Coincidence? Yeah, sure it is. But on that note, it's time to delve into … Speaking of ballparks, there's a good chance you'll never hear Citi Field and the phrase "home run paradise" in the same sentence anytime soon -- certainly not from any Mets hitters. But you might be surprised by this stunning revelation: This park is actually ranked by ESPN's park-factor calculations as being the 12th-easiest stadium in baseball to hit a home run in this season. Yes, really. Citi Field also ranked 12th last year, by the way, after the Mets so graciously moved the fences in. In the two previous seasons, in its less lovable Copper Canyon alignment, it ranked 28th and 27th respectively. So we're going to permit only medium-volume grumbling about the size of the park over the next couple of days, as opposed to the near-deafening, hold-your-ears, high-decibel grumbling that would have been allowed if the Derby had visited two years ago. But wait. We're not finished with our shocking Citi Field revelations. We went back through the past nine Derbies and looked at where the host ballparks ranked in ESPN's Park Factor calculations at the time. And guess what? This will be actually the second-easiest park to hit a home run in out of the past nine Derbies. Yes, really. Here come those park rankings, by home run factor, in the season in which they hosted the Derby: So come to think of it, only really mild grumbling about this park will be permitted. Whispers, maybe. Now we know. Citi Field actually makes Busch look like Williamsport. Here's another fun game you, too, can play with the ESPN Home Run Tracker: How many home runs have these eight guys hit this year that would not have been out of Citi Field? Fewer than you think, actually. Want to play? Check out the Pedro Alvarez page. Then click on the "Overlay" tab and scroll down to "Citi Field." And voila. So how would playing at Citi Field have affected our Derby-ites? Here ya go: Just for fun, would you like to see the longest home run ever mashed at Citi Field? Jump in our Way-Back Machine to May 16, 2011: Giancarlo Stanton (then known as Mike) at the dish, a 465-foot missile coming right up. While we're on the subject, could we please get the great Giancarlo in the Home Run Derby once before he retires? Thank you. Now back to our program. We're not sure how many folks who do not live near the confluence of the Ohio, Allegheny and Monongahela Rivers have ever seen Pedro Alvarez let that bat of his fly. But it's something to see, all right. Take a look. How often do you hear the expression, "Clear the deck -- cannonball coming," at a sporting event? But it fit splendidly in this case. "Alert the Coast Guard" also would have worked for that shot, by the way. But Alvarez's opposite-field power might be even more awe-inspiring than his pull-one-into-a-river power. That's why Pirates general manager Neal Huntington says his two favorite Alvarez rocket launches came last Sept. 16 at Wrigley Field, when he did something very few left-handed hitters in history could possibly have done: Hit two balls that returned to earth on Waveland Avenue, beyond the left-field bleachers. Check out the second of those two blasts. Crazy to think a human being could hit a baseball here! Just goes to show you, Huntington said, "how dangerous he can be to all fields when he focuses on being a hitter with power" -- as opposed to just a "power hitter," if you know what he means. Then there's the lunar orbiter known as Yoenis Cespedes. Ever seen the first home run he hit in the Coliseum in Oakland after joining the A's last year? Here it is -- all 462 feet of it. But heck, that's just a popup for this guy, compared with the satellites he launches in batting practice every day. "He hits balls regularly up into the suites in our park in BP," said A's assistant GM David Forst. "He hit one in BP to dead center field that went over the batter's eye, into one of the upper-level suites, way up above that batter's eye. He hits balls into the left-field suites all the time. But that's the longest one I've ever seen him hit. "There are plenty of guys who put on a show in batting practice," Forst said. "But this guy's in a class by himself." So will that translate into Home Run Derby glory? It'll be a blast finding out. Shockingly, you can place a small wager on this Home Run Derby at certain establishments. Shockingly. Now, we would never endorse that sort of thing. But if you're curious, here are the current odds on who's going to win, courtesy of Bovada LV. Chris Davis (Orioles), 11-4 Prince Fielder (Tigers), 15-4 Yoenis Cespedes (Athletics), 11-2 Bryce Harper (Nationals), 11-2 Pedro Alvarez (Pirates), 11-2 Robinson Cano (Yankees), 6-1 David Wright (Mets), 9-1 Michael Cuddyer (Rockies), 12-1 You know why Home Run Derby Day is a great time to be a pitcher? Because it's the one day all summer the pitchers don't have to face these guys. But that didn't stop us from recruiting one pitcher who has played in both leagues to give us superlative reviews of the biggest bats in the field: Harper: "I don't think you'll see him hit a lot of balls that go 450, 500 feet, but he might hit a whole bunch [of homers]. He's got such a short, compact swing, he's not going to get as tired as the guys who swing a little harder. He's a hard guy to predict. He could hit zero -- [but] once he hits one, he might hit 30." Fielder: "He fills up a lot of the batter's box, I'll tell you that. But it's not just his girth. He's also pretty tall.
Sports Competition
July 2013
The Russian Ministry of Internal Affairs detains Ziyavudin Magomedov, his brother Magomed Magomedov, and the chief executive of the Summa Group on charges of embezzlement of public funds and criminal association. A Moscow court orders Ziyavudin Magomedov, one of the richest Russians, to remain in pre-trial custody until May 30. ,
MOSCOW, March 31. /TASS/. The Russian Ministry of Internal Affairs opened a criminal case against owners of Summa group on fraud and criminal association charges, official representative of the Ministry Irina Volk told TASS. According to her, the Investigative Department of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Russia carries out preliminary investigation of the criminal case over "embezzlement of budgetary funds on a grand scale, including those allocated for the construction of infrastructure and power supply facilities." She also noted that on March 30 the Ministry and the Federal Security Service conducted searches in 25 regions of Russia, including Moscow and the Moscow region, aimed at detaining suspects in the crime. "Ziyavudin Magomedov and Magomed Magomedov, co-owners of Summa group of companies, as well as Head of the company in the group Artur Maksidov were detained on suspicion of committing these crimes. Materials for applying a measure of restraint to the detainees are sent to court," Volk concluded.
Famous Person - Commit Crime - Arrest
March 2018
['(TASS)', '(Reuters)']
Incumbent President Pierre Nkurunziza dies at the age of 55. Pascal Nyabenda, president of the National Assembly, assumes the presidential office ad interim.
Burundi's President Pierre Nkurunziza, aged 55, has died after suffering a cardiac arrest, the government says. He was admitted to hospital on Saturday after feeling unwell, his condition improved but on Monday he had a cardiac arrest and efforts to revive him were unsuccessful, officials say. After 15 years in power, Mr Nkurunziza was due to step down in August. In 2015, the announcement that he would run for a third term plunged the country into chaos. It sparked anger as some questioned the legality of a third-term bid. There was a failed coup attempt, hundreds of people died in clashes and tens of thousands fled the country. After a change in the constitution, he was able to run for a further term in last month's election but he decided to retire and was to be known as the "supreme guide to patriotism". He was also due to receive a $540,000 (£440,000) retirement pay-out and a luxury villa. By Samba Cyuzuzo, BBC Great Lakes Pierre Nkurunziza was loved and feared in equal measure - loved by those who felt he lived up to his promises when he was elected after the civil war, and feared by his political opponents. When the former rebel leader took office in 2005, at the age of 40, the country that had been brutally torn apart by an ethnic conflict that had killed about 300,000 over a decade. Young, optimistic and charismatic, he managed to live up to everyone's expectations by uniting people and rebuilding the economy. Between 2006 and 2011, the president - known for his preaching and love of football - received seven international awards for his peace-building efforts. But after a decade in power, his reputation took a nose dive and the unity he had built collapsed when he organised a referendum to allow him to stand for a third term. Deadly protests erupted, there was a coup attempt and hundreds of thousands of people fled the country. After this he only left the country officially once - by car to neighbouring Tanzania. The UN accused him of oppressing the opposition and killing and abducting opponents, accusations vehemently denied by Burundi's government. Despite suspicions that he planned to stay on for a fourth term, he did not stand in elections in May, which were held despite coronavirus. He and his wife Denise, who had five children together and adopted several others, regularly organised prayer gatherings - and the man who was to become Burundi's "supreme guide to patriotism" put all his successes down to God, including what he said the country's success against Covid-19. The official statement announcing the president's death said he was taken ill in the evening after helping out at a volleyball match in Ngozi, northern Burundi, on Saturday. He went to hospital, but appeared to be recovering on Sunday and was able to communicate with the people surrounding him, the government says. His condition, however, rapidly changed on Monday. Before the civil war, Mr Nkurunziza, who had graduated in sports education, was a teacher and assistant lecturer at the University of Burundi. He survived the killings of 1993 when ethnic Hutus were targeted at the university and joined the Forces for the Defence of Democracy (FDD) rebel group. He emerged as its leader and after the 2003 peace deal, Mr Nkurunziza was named minister of interior before parliament elected him president in August 2005. Outside of politics, he was well known for his love of football. At one time he was the coach of the army football team and as president had his own side - Hallelujah FC. Since last week, Mr Nkurunziza's wife, Denise Nkurunziza, has been receiving medical treatment in Kenya. She was rumoured to have tested positive for coronavirus - a disease Mr Nkurunziza had appeared to downplay, holding an election in the midst of the outbreak, and even expelling World Health Organization representatives from the country. The government has announced seven days of national mourning. According to the constitution, if the head of state dies in office then the president of the national assembly, currently Pascal Nyabenda, should succeed him. The winner of May's presidential election, Evariste Ndayishimiye, is due to be sworn in as president in August.
Famous Person - Death
June 2020
An earthquake strikes Sumatra sparking fears of a tsunami.
An earthquake of magnitude 7.4 has struck offshore near the Indonesian island of Sumatra, near Aceh province. The quake struck 214km (133 miles) south of Aceh's capital of Banda Aceh, the US Geological Survey (USGS) said. A local tsunami alert was issued and later lifted by the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center. The site is very near that of 2004's 9.2 magnitude earthquake. About 220,000 people were killed in the Indian Ocean tsunami the quake triggered. The epicentre of the latest quake was at a depth of 61.4km, about 66km (41 miles) south-west of Meulaboh district, the USGS said. The district, and other parts of Aceh, were devastated in the 26 December 2004 earthquake. Ring of Fire The quake hit at 1259 (0559 GMT). Local media reported some houses were damaged and power lines knocked down, Associated Press news agency said. The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center lifted its tsunami watch several hours after the earthquake. "Sea level readings indicate that a significant tsunami was not generated," the Hawaii-based centre said in a statement on its website. "Therefore, the tsunami watch issued by this center is now cancelled." The USGS earlier said it believed there was no threat of a destructive, widespread tsunami but the possibility of a local tsunami existed. Indonesia is located on the volatile Pacific Ring of Fire, a belt of tectonic activity girdling the Pacific Ocean that triggers earthquakes and volcanic activity. Aceh is on the north-western tip of Sumatra, one of Indonesia's main islands, and is frequently rocked by earthquakes. One last year near Padang in West Sumatra province killed more than 1,000 people. About 170,000 people were killed in Aceh from the 2004 earthquake and the tsunami it launched. The waves spread across the Indian Ocean to cause death and destruction as far away as Sri Lanka, Burma and Thailand.
May 2010
['(BBC)', '(Bangkok Post)', '[permanent dead link]', '(France24)', '(IAfrica.com)']
Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa announces that Tamils will be given greater say in matters of governance, proposing power sharing agreements.
Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa, seeking a second term in the January 26 presidential poll, on Tuesday said Tamils would be given greater say in matters of governance through devolution of powers to provinces and promised to create an upper House in the Parliament by proposing an amendment in the Constitution on his re-election. In an interactive session over breakfast with Colombo based foreign media at his official residence here Mr. Rajapaksa said, "The end of the war does not mean the end of the conflict. We need to politically address the needs of Tamils." The promises made by Mr. Rajapaksa have to be evaluated against the backdrop of serious efforts being made by the former Army Chief to garner Tamil and Muslim voters who account for 25 per cent of the electorate after securing the endorsement of the post-Prabakaran Tamil National Alliance (TNA). Most political observers here are of the view that the forthcoming presidential election would be a close contest. A few months ago, re-election of Mr. Rajapaksa was considered a foregone conclusion. The emergence of the retired General as the rallying point for the political opponents of Mr. Rajapaksa has changed the ground scene. Since both the chief contenders are from the majority Sinhalese community, the focus would be especially on the choice of the Tamils who account for 12.5 percent of island nation’s 20 million people. Mr. Rajapaksa said that he planned to hold discussions with various Tamil groups on holding the early Northern Provincial election and also consult all parties in a bid to hammer out consensus on a political solution to the ethnic conflict acceptable to all stake holders. On his promises of a political solution and more powers to provinces, the President said, "All this will require amending the constitution and seeking the approval of the people at a referendum. The ordinary people simply want to live in peace, but there is a demand and a need for a political settlement." Emphasising that he does not consider Tamil as minorities, the President said that he wants to treat all the citizens in Sri Lanka as equal and give them equal rights. Mr. Rajapaksa said rapid development of the North and the East of the island are underway with investment and aid from World Bank , Asian Development Bank (ABD), Japan, US , Iran, India and China. He said the World Bank was spending 450 million dollars over four years to reconstruct war-damaged highways in Tamil regions. In response to a question on proliferation of the Army camps in the North and the East, the President said that after the end of the 30 year old ethnic conflict, the Army is involved in the reconstruction, de mining and infrastructure development in the region and hence one can see its continued presence.
Famous Person - Give a speech
January 2010
['(The Hindu)', '(AFP)']
The opposition Democratic Progressive Party in Taiwan makes large gains in local elections against the Kuomintang.
Taipei, Dec. 6 (CNA) The opposition Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) received a major boost when it retained three of its magistrate seats and retook the significant Yilan County in Saturday's local elections. Even though the ruling Kuomintang (KMT) won 12 out of the 17 mayor and magistrate seats up for grabs, its support base was weakened in several localities. The ratio of votes won by the KMT this time was lower than the 50.96 percent it won in the last elections of 23 magistrates and mayors in 2005. In comparison, the DPP's Yilan victory, along with the retention of its other three seats and the major gains it made in the KMT's traditional strongholds of Penghu and Taitung, were seen by the party as affirmation of the leadership of DPP Chairwoman Tsai Ing-wen, who took over the party helm in May 2008 at a time when the party was in disarray in the wake of the snowballing corruption scandal surrounding former President Chen Shui-bian. Given the fact that the DPP also saw its share of the vote increased from the 41.95 percent it won four years ago to 45.32 percent, compared with the KMT's 47.88 percent, this could mean that the party is now out of the shadow of the disgraced ex-president, according to DPP sources. Tsai has successfully stemmed the party's slipping popularity, but her real challenge will be a DPP chair election next May, municipality elections in late 2010 and even the party's strategy for the 2012 presidential election, a party official said. With Saturday's "minor victory, " the party official said, more people will be interested in joining the race in the municipality elections set for next year. Even before Saturday's elections, Kaohsiung Mayor Chen Chu and Kaohsiung Magistrate Yang Chiu-hsing had reportedly been bickering, as both are known to be interested in running in the 2010 election, when the city and county will be merged into a single municipality. Tsai mediated between the two prior to Saturday's election, requesting them to "put party unity on the pedestal," but their fight for the candidacy is expected to start again. The usually low-key Tsai was obviously happy late Saturday about the party's performance, saying that she was "gratified about the growth, but the outcome has not changed the basic structure of the electorate." She described the elections as "the people casting a no-confidence vote against the performance over the past 18 months of the President Ma Ying-jeou administration." She attributed the KMT setback to its "wrong policy," saying that the Ma administration's rapid China-tilt policy has led to uneasiness among the people. Another reason, she went on, is the Ma administration's poor efficiency and ability. Tsai also said that the retaking of Yilan shows that the DPP has "regained the trust of the voters." In other localities, even thought DPP candidates did not win, the ballots they garnered were often not far behind those of their KMT rivals, which was a "tremendous boost" to the party, she added. She said the challenge for the party now is not to beat the KMT but to become the "best and the most trustworthy" party in Taiwan. Tsai also said the party has already begun work to formulate a "10-year policy guideline" to chart the party's blueprint for the nation's development over the next decade.
Government Job change - Election
December 2009
['(Taiwan News)', '(Al Jazeera)', '(Daily Telegraph)']
Witnesses and hospital officials say that 22 Iraqis, among them children, women, and youths, are killed in a U.S. air strike in a residential neighborhood in Fallujah. U.S. officials say that they targeted an Abu Musab alZarqawi safe house. Iraqi locals dispute the American account.
They say women and children were among the dead, and that a second missile strike was aimed at rescuers trying to find victims of the first attack. US forces say they were targeting members of a network headed by an al-Qaeda leader, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi. They have not suggested, however, that Zarqawi was caught in the assault. Morning attack Falluja residents say two missiles were fired at a poor neighbourhood by a US aircraft at about 0930 local time (0530 GMT) on Saturday. Pictures from the city showed houses reduced to rubble. They brought us 22 corpses - children, women and youths Ahmed HassanCemetery worker In pictures: Falluja raid Profile: Abu Musab al-Zarqawi "An American plane hit this house and three others were damaged. Only body parts are left," a witness told news agency Reuters, as rescuers searched the wreckage for survivors. "They brought us 22 corpses - children, women and youths," cemetery worker Ahmed Hassan told the agency. Hospital sources have also said women and children were among the dead. Other witnesses accused the US forces of deliberately trying to kill rescuers with their second strike. 'Significant evidence' In Baghdad, Brigadier General Mark Kimmitt said the house was being used by fighters loyal to Zarqawi, who Washington blames for a series of suicide bombings and the beheading of the American contractor, Nick Berg, whose death was filmed and broadcast on the internet. Today coalition forces conducted a strike on a known Zarqawi safehouse Brigadier General Mark Kimmitt "We have significant evidence that there were members of the Zarqawi network in the house," Brig Gen Kimmitt said. "Today coalition forces conducted a strike on a known Zarqawi safehouse in southwest Falluja based on multiple confirmations of actionable intelligence." The air strike caused "multiple secondary explosions" - evidence of ammunition and roadside bomb materials stored there, he said. Hundreds of residents of Falluja are believed to have died in April when US forces sealed off the town and tried to wrest control from resistance fighters. 'Wedding' attack The town has remained relatively calm since, but correspondents say the American military remains frustrated by its failure to rid the town of militants. Last month, American forces were embroiled in a similar dispute after they bombed a group of people close to the border with Syria. They insisted they had responded to fire from foreign fighters; Iraqis said it had been a wedding party, and that 40 innocent people were killed.
Armed Conflict
June 2004
['(Reuters)', '(CBC)', '(BBC)']
A poll shows that U.S. presidential candidate John Kerry gained limited support after the Democratic Convention.
A new ABC News/Washington Post poll shows Kerry's gain is smaller than usual for a convention bounce, testament to the unusually polarized race, with many voters committing early to each candidate. Still, it comes at a crucial time for the Democratic candidate, countering a loss of momentum leading up to his convention. The Massachusetts senator gained five to eight points among registered voters on issues and attributes alike, while Bush lost about as many. And after a convention that focused heavily on his military experience in Vietnam, Kerry leads Bush as "better qualified to be commander-in-chief," by 52 percent to 44 percent. Sampling, data collection and tabulation for this poll were done by TNS. Perhaps most critically, Kerry solidified more of his support. He sharply boosted the level of enthusiasm among his supporters; made some progress on being more than "not Bush" (but needs more); and produced a solid increase in his "strong" support, up 13 points to 85 percent, now on par with Bush. While Kerry won some ground on Iraq, his gains occurred disproportionately among people who say the economy is the most important issue in their vote — making the economy look increasingly likely to be the tipping point in this election. The Race Among registered voters, 50 percent support Kerry in this ABC News/Washington Post poll, 44 percent Bush and 2 percent Ralph Nader — a gain of four points for Kerry and a loss of four for Bush from the pre-convention ABC/Post poll. That net shift of eight points is about half the average, 15 points, for challengers running against incumbents in elections since 1968 (ranging from +30 for Bill Clinton in 1992 to -3 for George McGovern in 1972). The average bounce for all candidates is 12 points. Among likely voters, Kerry's six-point edge slips to an insignificant two points — 49 percent support for Kerry, 47 percent for Bush and 2 percent for Nader, a net (and at best very slight) six-point shift toward Kerry from the pre-convention poll. Last week's ABC/Post poll did not show a notable difference between registered voters and likely voters; it now appears across a range of questions (but not, however, the "commander-in-chief" question). Likely voters are defined by factors such as intention to vote and past voting behavior. Each campaign can take some bragging rights from these results: Kerry, that he moved the ball in his direction in a tight and highly polarized contest; Bush, that Kerry's bounce was smaller than usual, and that after Kerry held center stage for four days, the race is still essentially tied among likely voters. The changes measured here do not involve the vast bulk of the population; most people are firmly set on one of the two candidates. It's a small segment — moveable voters — that shifts preferences as the campaign progresses, and there are fewer moveables than usual this year. (Indeed nearly all the changes in this survey are within single digits for each candidate.) The next key question is how well Bush bounces out of his own convention late this month. Issues Kerry, even after his convention, still needs to make his views better known. Fifty-three percent of registered voters say they have a good idea where he stands on the issues — up a bit (seven points) from before the convention, but still far behind Bush. Kerry leads Bush among registered voters in trust to handle five of eight individual issues tested in this poll — health care, education, the economy, international relations and (more closely) taxes, with the two about even in three others — Iraq, counterintelligence and terrorism. Among likely voters, though, Kerry leads in fewer, three of the eight — education, health care and international relations. This is in any case a gain for Kerry from before the convention, when he didn't lead among registered voters in any of six issues tested. Bush had an advantage on Iraq, terrorism and taxes, and they were about tied on the economy, education and health care. On each of these, Kerry gained six to eight points in this poll, and Bush lost five to eight. Trust Candidate on These Areas: Trust to HandleNowPre-conventionNet Change Health care Kerry +19 Kerry +3 Kerry +16 Terrorism Bush +3 Bush +18 Kerry +15 Iraq Kerry +2 Bush +12 Kerry +14 Taxes Kerry +6 Bush +6 Kerry +12 Education Kerry +13 Kerry +1 Kerry +12 Economy Kerry +11 Bush +1 Kerry +12 Health care Kerry +19 Kerry +3 Kerry +16 Int'l relations Kerry +9 NA NA Intelligence Kerry +5 NA NA Note, the advantages and "net change" in this table (as in following ones) combine the shifts toward Kerry and away from Bush on each item. For example, if on one item Kerry gained six points and Bush lost six, that would be a net change toward Kerry of 12. As such these shifts are moderate ones, representing small albeit significant movement. The top three issues remain the same: The economy, cited by 25 percent of registered voters as the most important issue in their vote; the war in Iraq, cited by 23 percent; and the campaign against terrorism, 20 percent. There's a vast difference in vote preferences among these groups: Among registered voters, those who say terrorism is the top issue favor Bush by 83 percent to 15 percent; those who say it's Iraq prefer Kerry by 72 percent to 26 percent. Economy Preferences among "terrorism voters" are little changed from before the convention; among "Iraq voters" there's been a bit of a shift to Kerry. But it's the economy that looks to be the tipping point: Those who say it's the top issue in their vote favor Kerry over Bush by 60 percent to 33 percent in this poll, compared with an even split before the convention. It's the biggest change among any single group in this survey. Main Issues NowPre-convention Net Change Economy voters Kerry +27 Kerry +1 Kerry +26 Iraq voters Kerry +46 Kerry +33 Kerry +13 Terrorism voters Bush +68 Bush +62 Bush +6 It's telling, too, that moveable voters are more apt than definite ones to pick the economy as the top issue in their vote. Among those who say they'll definitely stick with their candidate, 22 percent pick the economy as their No. 1 issue; among those who are moveable, it's 39 percent. (Moveables, however, also are paying less attention to the election. An open question is how many of them actually will vote this fall.) A key variable in the race, then, is the extent to which Kerry can persuade voters that Bush has mismanaged the economy — and in this poll 47 percent say most people have gotten worse off since he took office, which the Democrats were able to nudge up from 41 percent last week. Kerry's task is made more difficult by the fact that consumer confidence as measured by the ongoing ABC News/Money magazine poll turned sharply up earlier this summer, after a springtime flop. Terrorism Kerry also looks able to garner some votes on the issue of "winning the peace" in Iraq. But he has a far tougher task on terrorism — likely to be made no easier by the focus on 9/11 and its aftermath at congressional hearings on the 9/11 commission report his month, leading up to the Republican convention in New York City. This survey was conducted Friday through Sunday. Another potential concern for the Kerry camp is that their lead was largest in Friday interviews, immediately after the convention, and less so in Saturday and Sunday interviews. There's no significant difference in results from Sunday interviews compared with those the day before, suggesting the heightened terrorism alert had no meaningful impact on the views measured here. All the same, it's clear that terrorism is Bush's strongest issue by far — the one, above any other, that he wants the election to be about. His Rose Garden appearance today announcing action on the 9/11 report underscores the point. Attributes Kerry leads Bush among registered voters in five of eight personal attributes tested in this poll — a vision for the future, empathy, understanding complex issues, and (more narrowly) honesty and values. Bush has the advantage in consistency and, more narrowly, leadership; the two are about even on who can "keep the country safer." Among likely voters, Kerry's lead again slips, to two of these: empathy and vision. This still is better for Kerry than before the convention, when Bush led among registered voters in five of six attributes tested. Opinions About the Candidates Personal attributesNowPre-conventionNet change Leadership Bush +6 Bush +19 Kerry +13 Security Bush +3 Bush +16 Kerry +13 Values Kerry +6 Bush +6 Kerry +12 Honesty Kerry +6 Bush +6 Kerry +12 Consistency Bush +29 Bush +40 Kerry +11 Empathy Kerry +14 Kerry +4 Kerry +10 Vision Kerry +13 NA NA Complexity Kerry +8 NA NA Kerry also managed a shift on the optimism factor: The number of registered voters who see him as an optimist gained 10 points, to 65 percent, while the number who call Bush optimistic lost eight, to 64 percent. Bush has criticized Kerry for a dour outlook; today, though, the two are evenly rated as optimists — a result that holds among likely voters and registered voters alike. Kerry did not manage much movement in favorability: Fifty-one percent of registered voters have a favorable opinion of him overall, about the same as pre-convention (48 percent). Bush's favorability rating slipped by seven points, to 47 percent. (John Edwards is seen favorably by 49 percent, essentially unchanged; Teresa Heinz Kerry by 34 percent, up seven points.) Approval Ratings Bush's overall job approval rating remains a split decision: Among all Americans, 47 percent approve, matching his career low, and 49 percent disapprove. The only postwar president to win re-election despite less-than-majority approval was Harry Truman. On the other hand, none has lost re-election with consumer confidence as high as it is now (in data since Eisenhower). One of those long-term trends will break this fall. As noted, Kerry's best feat was to rally his troops. The number of his supporters who are "strongly" behind him has advanced from 66 percent in April to 72 percent before the convention and 85 percent now. Bush's strong support has been steady, now 86 percent. Similarly, 56 percent of Kerry's supporters now say they're "very" enthusiastic about him, up 15 points from before the convention. Bush's support, though, is about as energized — 53 percent "very" enthusiastic. Half of Kerry's supporters now support him more on his own merits, rather than mainly because he's not Bush, and that's up from 41 percent before the convention. But he has more work to do here; much more of Bush's support is affirmative in nature — 82 percent. In an indication of how much ice there is in the river, 83 percent of Kerry's supporters, and 79 percent of Bush's, say they will "definitely" stick with their guy. By contrast Bush's support was 68 percent definite, Al Gore's 65 percent, at about this time in 2000. It's these kind of numbers that make big movement in the election difficult. Just 19 percent of registered voters, and 15 percent of likely voters, say there's any chance they'll change their mind, down from 26 percent in June. And fewer say there's a "good chance" they'll reconsider — only 7 percent of registered voters. Groups Among groups, the largest shifts in Kerry's favor occurred among economy voters, young adults, southerners, white Catholics and college graduates. Kerry and Bush now run about evenly among white Catholics, a key swing voter group. And they're even in this poll in the South, customarily a Bush stronghold. Edwards might have moved that number; it'll be important to watch whether or not it moves back. There was some movement in political party identification in this poll: Among registered voters, 39 percent say they're Democrats, 29 percent Republicans and 26 percent independents (among likely voters, who account for 55 percent of adults in this poll, it's 40 percent-32 percent-24 percent). That's more Democratic, and less Republican, than usual; it was 34 percent-33 percent-29 percent among registered voters in the last ABC/Post poll. Moving loyalty, of course, is precisely what conventions are all about. Methodology This ABC News/Washington Postpoll was conducted by telephone July 30-Aug. 1 among a random national sample of 1,200 adults, including 940 self-identified registered voters. The results have a three-point error margin.
Government Job change - Election
August 2004
['(ABC News)']
President of Uruguay Tabaré Vázquez resigns as the leader of the Socialist Party following a row over the vetoing of an abortion decriminalisation bill.
Uruguayan President Tabare Vazquez has resigned as a member of the country's Socialist Party amid a row over his vetoing of an abortion bill. The controversial bill would have decriminalised abortion in the first 12 weeks of pregnancy. Mr Vazquez was said to be angry by criticism of his opposition to bill, which many in his own party had backed. Several leading party members said they would try to persuade him to reverse his decision. "It is a painful decision, both for the president and for us, and we will do everything possible to keep him from leaving," said Monica Xavier, a Socialist Party senator. Under current Uruguayan law, women who have abortions, other than if they have been raped or their lives are in danger, face up to nine months in prison. Those who carry out the procedure face up to two years in prison. In November, the Uruguayan Senate voted by 17 votes to 13 to make abortion legal if there was a health risk to the mother or foetus. The bill would also have allowed a woman to end her pregnancy in the first 12 weeks under other circumstances, such as extreme poverty. But centre-left Mr Vazquez, who is also a doctor, vetoed the bill, saying it was more important to provide support for women with unwanted pregnancies than to enable them to have abortions. Mr Vazquez's decision was made public by Vice-President Rodolfo Nin Novoa, who said Mr Vazquez had written last week to the party's secretary-general. Opinion polls had suggested a majority of Uruguayans favoured easing their predominantly-Roman Catholic country's restrictions on abortion.
Government Job change - Resignation_Dismissal
December 2008
Chadian rebels take the town Biltine as they move toward the capital N'Djamena.
Rebels in Chad say they have taken the eastern town of Biltine - the third town they have captured in recent days. They say they will march to N'Djamena, 750km (470 miles) away, to oust President Idriss Deby. There was no immediate reaction from Chad's capital. Mr Deby accused the EU force in Chad (Eufor) of "turning a blind eye" to the killings of civilians by the rebels. Separately, the UN refugee agency said it had halted activities in eastern Chad due the deteriorating security. The UN High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) said the town of Abeche, the agency's main operating base in the east, "was sealed off by the Chadian National Army on Monday, making movement very difficult". There are 12 refugee camps in eastern Chad housing some 250,000 refugees from the conflict-torn Darfur region in neighbouring Sudan. 'Passing through' A spokesman for the rebel National Alliance said on Monday that the attackers had met no resistance in Biltine. They were not planning to remain in the town, he said. The rebels only briefly occupied Goz Beida and passed through Am Dam. There was no immediate reaction from the government or independent confirmation that Biltine had fallen. The government described a previous claim of a rebel advance as a "publicity stunt". It said on Sunday that the rebels were trying to draw security forces out of their defensive positions in towns and cities. On Monday, President Deby accused the Eufor of failing to prevent the killings of civilians and refugees by the rebels. "We have the right to ask ourselves about the effectiveness of such a force, of the usefulness of its presence in Chad," he said. 'Proxy war' Troops in the French-dominated 3,700-strong Eufor started to deploy to Chad and the Central African Republic in April after a brief delay caused by an attempt by rebels to overthrow the Chadian government. In February, rebels reached President Deby's palace before being repelled by government forces. The UN has said Sudan and Chad are fighting a proxy war through each other's rebel groups. Last month, rebels from Sudan's Darfur province reached the outskirts of the Sudanese capital, Khartoum, before being repelled.
Armed Conflict
June 2008
['(BBC News)']
22-year-old Metropolitan Police Constable Ben Hannam admits to possession of an indecent image of a child, and a judge accordingly lifts reporting restrictions designed to allow a fair trial, revealing that Hannam became the first serving UK officer to be convicted of a terror offence after being found guilty at the Old Bailey of National Action membership.
PC Ben Hannam, 22, becomes the first serving British police officer to be convicted of a terrorism offence First published on Thu 1 Apr 2021 13.20 BST A man has become the first serving British police officer to be convicted of a terrorism offence after he was found guilty of membership of a banned neo-Nazi group. Ben Hannam had been working as a probationary officer for the Metropolitan police for nearly two years before his details were found on a leaked database of users of an extreme rightwing forum. The 22-year-old was found guilty on Thursday at the Old Bailey in London of membership of the terrorism group National Action (NA), which was banned in December 2016. He was also convicted of lying on his application and vetting forms to join the Met and of having terrorism material detailing knife combat and making explosive devices. A ban on reporting the case was lifted after Hannam admitted possessing an indecent image of a child, which was to have been the subject of a separate trial. The Met has insisted Hannam would never have been able to join the force had it known of his interest in the extreme rightwing and his previous membership of NA. However, the case has put the Met’s vetting processes and the extent to which the force has kept pace with the evolution of the far right under spotlight. The force states online it “won’t accept applications from anyone who is, or has been, a member of the BNP or similar organisations”. The Met faces criticism for not asking Hannam’s school for a reference, something campaigners say would have flagged up concerns about his views. Work to update the police vetting process has been underway independently of the case and amendments are due to be published by the College of Policing. Hannam had signed up to the extreme rightwing forum Iron March when he joined the London branch of NA in March 2016. He wrote in a diary he had been “desperate to impress” an older NA organiser and his association with the group ended before he began working for the Met. The Met identified Hannam may have been a member of NA during its investigations into details from the Iron March forum that had been leaked on to the internet. He was arrested at home, where the police found neo-Nazi posters, notes detailing his NA membership, as well as NA badges and business cards. The ban on the NA in 2016 was the first time that a far-right group had been proscribed as a terrorist organisation by the home secretary and came after it had celebrated the murder of the Labour MP Jo Cox. NA members have included a 23-year-old who was jailed for life after pleading guilty to a plot to kill another MP, Rosie Cooper. On his first Iron March post, Hannam admitted he was “completely swayed” by NA, whose ideology was described in court as being based on hatred of non-white groups. He went on to try to recruit a new member via the forum, saying most NA members agreed that a “Hitler was right” slogan was “a bit too edgy”, but adding: “Then again it is pretty funny and we all know our stance on the big man.” Hannam went on to attend the NA conference in Liverpool and went to boxing and graffiti events after NA was banned. But he insisted he had never been a member because he did not go to demonstrations or banner drops. He applied to join the Met in July 2017, just days after he had spray painted the symbol for an NA alias, NS131, in a storm drain on the outskirts of Swindon, an act that was filmed for a promotional video. Commander Richard Smith, the head of the Met’s counter-terrorism command, said it was a unique case and that there was no evidence Hannam had abused his position “to further his extremist views”. “Once we identified his involvement with that organisation we took immediate steps to arrest him and put him before the court,” Smith said. “Obviously there will be some concerns from the public around the fact that a member of a proscribed group managed to become a member of the Metropolitan police service. But once we identified that fact we acted very robustly and swiftly.” The case is also latest in which support for NA and far-right causes have come under scrutiny. Two days ago a 16-year-old was given a 12-month intensive referral order after pleading guilty to four counts of inviting support for NA. Referring to Hannam, who told jurors he had been attracted to fascism at 16 and contacted NA after seeing propaganda online, Smith said: “Certainly it it would appear in this case that this young man was radicalised by material that was available online” But the campaign group Hope not Hate said questions had to be asked about police vetting and how well the authorities were monitoring groups like NA. “What is so concerning is how Hannam joined the police in the first place and managed to operate freely inside it without his involvement in far-right politics being known,” said the group, which counted Hannam as the 60th far-right activist or sympathiser to have been convicted of terrorism-related (or similarly violent) offences since early 2017. “Given the changing nature of Britain’s far right, and it’s move to a post-organisational state, it seems incredible that the police only ask recruits about membership of the BNP. This is a failure which allowed a Nazi activist to join the force.” Hannam, of Edmonton, north London, is suspended from duty. Checks found “nothing of concern” in his work at the Met and no complaints from colleagues or the public about his behaviour.
Famous Person - Commit Crime - Sentence
April 2021
['(The Guardian)']
American comedian and Muscular Dystrophy Association chairman Jerry Lewis dies in Las Vegas, Nevada, at the age of 91.
Jerry Lewis, the brilliant, sometimes divisive giant of comedy, died at his Las Vegas home Sunday morning at age 91. The news was first reported by the Las Vegas Review-Journal and then confirmed by Lewis’s agent. Tributes came in from all corners of the showbiz world, including those who worked alongside Lewis and who were inspired by him. Jerry Lewis just died. When I met him, I feel apart, just sobbed. I guess it's time for that again. — Penn Jillette (@pennjillette) August 20, 2017 How did my life get good enough that Jerry Lewis would smile at me? And how sad to lose him. pic.twitter.com/taPhl1utzO — Penn Jillette (@pennjillette) August 20, 2017 Jerry Lewis has passed on. I sincerely hope his afterlife is a warm, peaceful… …haven. — Patton Oswalt (@pattonoswalt) August 20, 2017 The French were right about him all along. RIP Jerry Lewis pic.twitter.com/jNLRPQeS4G — Gilbert Gottfried (@RealGilbert) August 20, 2017 Oh NOOOOO!!! Jerry Lewis just died! Another comic legend has left us. Martin&Lewis were the Beatles of comedy! Nobody was EVER bigger! — Rob Schneider (@RobSchneider) August 20, 2017 As a kid, I'm pretty sure I was the biggest Jerry Lewis fan in the world. Truly. R.I.P. Jerry Lewis. — Kumail Nanjiani (@kumailn) August 20, 2017 One of the greatest of all time. A legend. A showman. A comedic icon. A movie star. An activist. A one of a kind. RIP #jerrylewis pic.twitter.com/h3ODZgZjAa — Josh Gad (@joshgad) August 20, 2017 even tho u said women arent funny rest in peeeeeeeaaacccccceeeeee https://t.co/f4K8lav7zG — Chelsea Peretti (@chelseaperetti) August 20, 2017 Condolences to the family of Jerry Lewis. The world is a lot less funnier today. ☹️ — William Shatner (@WilliamShatner) August 20, 2017 We have lost a great comedian and even greater heart. Thank you for the laughs and the feels, Jerry Lewis. https://t.co/vdYCfd7atJ — George Takei (@GeorgeTakei) August 20, 2017 In a career that spanned nearly his entire life, Lewis played funnyman to Dean Martin; starred in, wrote, and directed the original Nutty Professor; and served as longtime host of TV’s most famous telethon. Once Hollywood’s most bankable star, Lewis fronted more than 50 movies, from the light Martin-and-Lewis fare of Artists and Models to Martin Scorsese’s darkly funny The King of Comedy. Born Joseph Levitch (or, per biographer Shawn Levy, Jerome Levitch) on March 16, 1926, in Newark, N.J., the future star was, like his idol, Charlie Chaplin, born into a show-business family. Lewis’s father was a Catskills entertainer; his mother, a pianist. Lewis rated his first applause at 5. By the time he was a teenager, he had a full-fledged act, pantomiming his way through the popular songs of the day. In 1946, Lewis, then 20, was playing an Atlantic City club when another act on the bill canceled. For a replacement, Lewis suggested a singer. His name: Dean Martin. Onstage, Martin exuded slickness; Lewis acted like a monkey boy. Together they were were a hit. For a time, Martin and Lewis, as they were billed, were everywhere — TV, records, radio, and the movies. The duo cranked out 16 films in seven years. After a red-hot decade together, the relationship cooled. Lewis became bent on becoming an auteur like Chaplin; Martin balked at being bossed around by the budding multihyphenate. “I like the co-star but not the director, writer, and producer,” Martin sniped at the time. After their 1956 split, the pair would reunite onstage just once, in 1976 at Lewis’s Muscular Dystrophy Association telethon. Mutual pal Frank Sinatra brokered the summit. Martin died in 1995. “We loved one another more than any two men ever loved one another in their lives — period,” Lewis told the Toronto Sun. Per conventional wisdom of the day, Lewis was the star of Martin and Lewis. And just as the pundits expected, Lewis was an immediate smash on his own, starring in and producing the 1957 hit The Delicate Delinquent. The movie’s opening sequence was classic Lewis, depicting a 30-year-old grown man mugging and jutting around like a kid on a sugar high. “He’s 9 years old. He’s forever,” Lewis once said of his movie persona. As silly as it all looked, Lewis was dead serious about the work. He wrote, he produced, he directed — film after film after film, from The Bellboy to The Ladies Man to The Errand Boy. Behind the scenes, he was credited with improvising a video-playback machine to monitor his performances — a now-standard procedure on the movie set. Then, in 1963, his signature movie. “Every director in the history of cinema prays for the one work,” Lewis recalled for the Kansas City Star. “And I’ve had mine — The Nutty Professor. That’s the one.” The tale of a hapless academic (read: a Jerry Lewis type), who upon gulping a magic potion turns into suave ladies’ man (read: a Dean Martin type), The Nutty Professor was embraced by audiences and critics alike. The New York Times called it “less of a showcase for a clown than the revelation (and not for the first time) of a superb actor.” After Lewis’s peak, a long, long valley followed. A much-hyped 1963 primetime variety series was canceled after only 13 episodes. He was dropped by his longtime movie studio, and by 1968, was without any deal at all. A back injury fueled a long addiction to prescription painkillers. Martin, meanwhile, began to look like the tortoise to Lewis’s hare. After a slow, post-split start, things perked up. He spent the 1960s hanging with the Rat Pack, selling records and starring in movies. Martin was cool; Lewis was not. By the late 1960s, Lewis was so uncool that fan Woody Allen couldn’t convince his backers to let the older comic direct him in his first starring vehicle. (In Lewis fashion, Allen wound up directing himself in Take the Money and Run.) For a time, Lewis wasn’t even the most famous member of his own family: Eldest son Gary Lewis briefly eclipsed his father with the 1960s pop band Gary Lewis and the Playboys (“This Diamond Ring”). None of this escaped the notice of Martin, who gloated in 1965: “You know, when Jerry Lewis and I broke up, he said I wouldn’t last two years in show business.” By the 1970s, Lewis was known almost exclusively for his annual MDA telethon. He made just two films during the decade; only one was released. The one that wasn’t released — or finished — was The Day the Clown Cried. It was supposed to be for Lewis what Life Is Beautiful was for Roberto Benigni in the 1990s — a comic’s chance to prove he had the depth to take on the horrors of a Nazi concentration camp. Benigni won Oscars for his movie. Lewis, who played a German clown leading Jewish children into a crematorium, got nothing but notoriety. After the film’s financing fell through, a legal dispute kept what Lewis had shot — and paid for with his own money — on the shelf. Bootleg copies of the script have circulated for years. Lewis even screened a rough cut for a chosen few. In both cases, reviews were not kind. “This movie is so drastically wrong, its pathos and its comedy are so wildly misplaced, that you could not, in your fantasy of what it might be like, improve on what it really is,” eyewitness Harry Shearer (The Simpsons, This Is Spinal Tap) once remarked. Lewis confessed to Entertainment Weekly that only one copy exists, and he had no intention to disclose its secret whereabouts. In 2016, 30 minutes of footage were leaked online. In 1982, Lewis revived his career for a time with a profane, but all-business performance as a Johnny Carson-like talk-show host in Scorsese’s stalker comedy The King of Comedy. The work generated Academy Awards buzz, but, in the end, not a nomination. Awards-crazy Hollywood was not, and never had been, crazy for Lewis. He never earned an Oscar nomination. He never won a competitive Emmy. While comics are routinely seated at the kids’ table during awards season, the snubbing of Lewis continued even into his elder-statesman years. There were no lifetime-achievement tributes from the American Film Institute, the Kennedy Center Honors, or the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor. The French, meanwhile, were mocked for routinely heaping honors upon him. Only after Lewis entered his 80s did some Hollywood love finally, if somewhat-reluctantly come his way. In a 2005 Los Angeles Times piece that stumped for an Academy tribute for Lewis, writer David Weddle suggested that Lewis’s reputation as a “tantrum-throwing egomaniac” might have hurt his stock with the Hollywood community. Certainly, Lewis won no admirers for his history of comments against women who work in comedy (“I don’t like any female comedians”), women who work in any professional field (“I think of [a woman] as a producing machine that brings babies in the world.”), and the very people his telethon was designed to help (“You don’t want to be pitied because you’re a cripple in a wheelchair? Stay in your house.”). In 2009, Lewis was the recipient of the Academy’s Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award for his decades of raising money on behalf of the Muscular Dystrophy Association. That work also earned him a nomination for the Nobel Peace Prize. But in 2011, Lewis even wore out his welcome with the MDA. The group nixed Lewis’s planned swan-song telethon appearance, and ousted the comic as its national chairman. “No comedian since Charles Chaplin has been so loved and so reviled,” Weddle wrote in his defense of Lewis. In 2016, the Hollywood Reporter called its interview with the then-90-year-old Lewis a “train wreck.” “Jerry Lewis [was] vital and completely engaged,” the trade paper said. “He’s just engaged — almost happily so — in being difficult.” In recent years, Lewis battled a variety of health problems. A bout with pulmonary fibrosis even pushed him to contemplate suicide, he eventually revealed. Earlier this year, Lewis required hospitalization and rehab for a urinary-tract infection. In the end, Lewis probably had the best answer to the question, “Who was Jerry Lewis?” Lewis sad: “I’m an American icon.” Watch: Jerry Lewis makes reporter squirm in one of his final interviews: More from Yahoo: Jerry Lewis: A photo gallery of his most iconic roles Ken Tucker on Jerry Lewis’s love-hate relationship with TV Footage of Day the Clown Cried surfaces, quickly pulled from YouTube Jerry Lewis’s infamous Day the Clown Cried to be shown… in a decade Ray Evernham and Tony Stewart are making changes based on Fan Feedback "I left the pub in pure shock and close to tears." Bryson DeChambeau walked behind another Brooks Koepka television interview ... only this time he jumped into the shot Thursday at Torrey Pines. The Celtics shook up the NBA landscape Friday morning by reportedly trading Kemba Walker to the Thunder. Chris Forsberg shares his initial reaction to the blockbuster. Dallas Mavericks hell week continues; coach Rick Carlisle quits 10 days after saying he wants to return The SKIMS mogul says "there will be limits" to her sexy photos in the future. Two former Georgia football players are projected to sign with the same NFL team. Scott Disick and Kourtney Kardashian open up about their current relationship status as co-parents in a juicy sneak peek at the second part of the Keeping Up With the Kardashians reunion. Amid a rambling, off-the-rails phone interview with Sean Hannity on Fox News, former President Donald Trump finally admitted a critical fact: “We didn’t win.” It was the first time since the presidential election more than seven months ago that Trump has conceded to his successor, President Joe Biden. Biden also won the Electoral College 306-232. Esther Andrews, of Esther Andrews Bridal, hand-knit her wedding dress. It had over 4 miles of mohair lace yarn and was covered in tomatoes. In a clip from the series “Covid and the Vaccine: Truth, Lies and Misconceptions Revealed” making the rounds on social media Thursday, the former Utah Jazz guard brags about his supposed expertise on the coronavirus pandemic.
Famous Person - Death
August 2017
At least three people have been killed in bomb blasts that hit two buses in the village of Bikfaya near Beirut, Lebanon.
The casualties were travelling on two buses near Bikfaya, a mainly Christian town in the hills north of Beirut. Initial reports said 12 people had died. Investigators sealed off the area to collect evidence from the wrecks. The bombings come at a time of acute political tension in Lebanon, and a day before the second anniversary of the killing of former PM Rafik Hariri. Organisers of a mass rally planned in downtown Beirut on Wednesday to mark the Hariri assassination said there were no plans to cancel it. Every time the possibility of practical solutions looms, Lebanon's enemies rush to commit a new crime Lebanese President Emil Lahoud Lebanese radio said the buses were passing through the village of Ain Alaq, just south of Bikfaya. The BBC's Jim Muir in Beirut says this clearly well-planned attack, involving considerable organisation, will reinforce fears of many Lebanese that hidden hands are at work trying to stir up civil strife. Tension Officials said the first bus exploded, causing damage and casualties, and as people rushed to the scene, a second explosion ripped through the second bus as it drove up behind it. The death toll was initially reported as much higher, but the Lebanese Red Cross said its workers had only delivered three bodies to hospitals. Bikfaya is the ancestral home of the Gemayels, one of the most prominent Christian families in Lebanese politics. Pierre Gemayel, a member of Lebanon's western-backed, anti-Syrian coalition government, was gunned down by unknown attackers in East Beirut last November. Three other prominent public figures from the anti-Syrian camp have died in bombings in the last two years. Syria has always denied accusations of involvement. Saad Hariri, Rafik's son and political heir, described the bombings as a "cowardly terrorist attack" designed to disrupt the anniversary ceremonies. President Emile Lahoud, of the pro-Syrian camp, said they were a clear attempt to foil a peaceful resolution between Lebanese factions. "Every time the possibility of practical solutions looms on the horizon between the Lebanese factions to strengthen their unity, the enemies of Lebanon rush to commit a new crime against innocents," he said in a statement. Political and sectarian tensions have running high in Lebanon, erupting in clashes in January between supporters and opponents of the government. Correspondents say organisers from the different political factions have been working hard to avoid problems at Wednesday's pro-government rally, close to where opposition supporters have been holding a sit-in. Lebanon's political crisis arose when six pro-Syrian ministers resigned in November, primarily over the endorsement by the cabinet of a UN tribunal to try suspects in the Hariri bombing.
February 2007
['(BBC)', '(ITV)']
Archeologists digging under the Roman Forum, Rome, Italy, discover a tomb estimated at 3000 years old, predating the creation of the Forum by several centuries.
State TV Thursday night showed an excavation team removing vases from the tomb, which resembled a deep well. Archaeologists were excavating under the level of the ancient forum, a popular tourist site, when they dug up the tomb, which they suspect is part of an entire necropolis, the Italian news agency ANSA reported. "I am convinced that the excavations will bring more tombs to light," ANSA quoted Rome's archaeology commissioner, Eugenio La Rocca, as saying. Also found inside the tomb was a funerary urn, ANSA said. State TV quoted experts as saying the tomb appeared to date to about 1,000 B.C., meaning the people who constructed the necropolis pre-dated the ancient Romans by hundreds of years. Legend has it that Rome was founded in 753 B.C. by Romulus and Remus, the twin sons of the god of war, Mars. Last year, archaeologists who have been digging for some two decades in the forum said they believed they found evidence of a royal palace roughly dating to the period of the legendary founding.
New archeological discoveries
January 2006
['(USA Today)']
Six Italian scientists and an ex–government official are convicted of multiple manslaughter and sentenced to six years in prison over the 2009 L'Aquila earthquake after prosecutors accuse them of being "falsely reassuring" before the event.
Six scientists and government official given six years in jail for underestimating risks of L’Aquila earthquake in 2009. Six Italian scientists and a government official have been found guilty of multiple manslaughter for underestimating the risks of a deadly earthquake in the town of L’Aquila in 2009 that left 309 people dead. Judge Marco Billi on Monday sentenced all seven members of Italy’s Major Risks Committee to six years in prison for failing to warn the population of the risks just days before L’Aquila and surrounding towns were hit by the earthquake. The members were also ordered to pay court costs and damages. Among those convicted were some of Italy’s most prominent and internationally respected seismologists and geological experts, including Enzo Boschi, former head of the national Institute of Geophysics and Volcanology. “I am dejected, desperate,” Boschi said after the verdict. “I thought I would have been acquitted. I still don’t understand what I was convicted of.” Some commentators had warned that any convictions would dissuade other experts from sharing their expertise for fear of legal retribution. Al Jazeera’s Claudio Lavanga, reporting from L’Aquila in Italy’s central Abruzzo region, said the unprecedented verdict came as a surprise. “Especially since the prosecutor was asking for four year prison sentences. The judge deemed them responsible enough to get six years in prison.” The victims’ families said outside the court that they were happy with the verdict. “They are all saying the same thing,” Lavanga said. “Had the scientists not reassured them that an earthquake was very unlikely to come – only six days before a big earthquake came – maybe they would have decided to sleep outside,” he said, adding that the scientists will appeal the verdict. Failure to alert Prosecutors have argued that the seven – all members of the Major Risks Committee – failed to adequately alert the town’s population after studying a series of small tremors in the weeks before the 6.3-magnitude quake struck. The experts provided “an incomplete, inept, unsuitable and criminally mistaken” analysis, downplaying risks and reassuring residents, leaving them unprepared for the quake, said prosecutors during the year-long trial. The committee met six days before the earthquake devastated the region, tearing down houses and churches and leaving thousands homeless. “This seems to be a case of bad timing rather than bad science,” said Lavanga. “Clearly, [the scientists] said, ‘look, we cannot predict an earthquake. We can say that the likelihood that these small tremors will lead to a major earthquake is not that great’. One of them even got carried away and said that the small tremors were a good thing, because they would dissipate the energy and make it unlikely for a major earthquake to come.” The then vice-director of Italy’s Civil Protection department, Bernardo De Bernardinis, told reporters the seismic activity in L’Aquila posed “no danger” and advised residents to relax with a glass of wine. But government lawyer Carlo Sica has called for the seven defendants to be acquitted. Minutes from the March 31 meeting were not valid as evidence because they were only written and signed following the April 6 earthquake, he argued. “They are not guilty of anything, the earthquake’s no-one’s fault,” he said. Last week Filippo Dinacci, lawyer for De Bernardinis and one of the other defendants, denounced the charges as something out of “medieval criminal law”. Outrage The case sparked outrage when the charges were brought against the geophysicists in 2010. Many commentators complained that the scientists were merely scapegoats and that science itself was being put on trial. “Scientists we have spoken to have described this trial as something of a ‘witch hunt’,” said our correspondent. “They understand the need for relatives [of those killed] to find someone responsible, but say that they should turn their attention to those who failed to meet the building regulations in a highly seismic area.” More than 5,000 members of the scientific community sent an open letter to Italy’s President Giorgio Napolitano denouncing the trial. Their colleagues were being prosecuted for having failed to predict an earthquake: but that was a feat widely acknowledged to be impossible, they argued. Prosecutor Fabio Picuti, however, insists the point is not whether they could have predicted the quake. He says the government-appointed experts’ job was to evaluate the risk and advise a large population in a town with fragile, ancient buildings. The seven defendants include Enzo Boschi, who at the time was the head of Italy’s national geophysics institute; Giulio Selvaggio, head of the INVV’s national earthquake centre in Rome; and Franco Barberi of Rome’s University Three. The other scientists on trial are Mauro Dolce, head of the Civil Protection’s seismic risk office, Gian Michele Calvi, head of the European Centre for Training and Research in Earthquake Engineering (EUcentre); and Claudio Eva of the University of Genoa.
Famous Person - Commit Crime - Sentence
October 2012
['(BBC)', '(The Guardian)', '(Al Jazeera)']
In Seattle, Washington, a Seattle Fire Department crew, responding to reports of a natural gas leak in the Greenwood neighborhood, are caught in an explosion that injures nine firefighters. The explosion blew out windows in businesses and storefronts in the surrounding blocks, destroying three businesses and heavily damaging a fourth.
Nine firefighters were injured early Wednesday when a massive explosion tore through a quiet Seattle neighborhood, destroying buildings and littering the area with debris, officials said. A battalion chief and eight firefighters from the Seattle Fire Department were hurt in the incident, which occurred after fire crews responded to a report of a natural gas leak, the department said in a news release. All nine fire-service members “were transported to Harborview Medical Center with minor injures and are expected to be released later today,” the department said. “Search dogs have been brought in as a precaution to ensure there are no other patients.” Fire investigators are working with the Seattle Police Arson Bomb Unit and Puget Sound Energy to determine the cause of the explosion and two-alarm fire, the department said. Fire crews responded to the gas leak shortly after 1 a.m. in the Greenwood neighborhood, the department said. The explosion that followed “blew out windows in businesses and storefronts in the surrounding blocks,” sending glass and debris flying, the department said. “It shook the house,” Josh Koolbaugh, who lives in the neighborhood, told NBC News. “It sounded like an extremely loud boom.” Koolbaugh told NBC that he walked to the scene after the explosion. “I saw three buildings that were all leveled,” he said. “There’s nothing but rubble and bricks, and there was a fire in the middle of the rubble. … It’s like something out of a movie.” A photographer from a Fox affiliate was in the area when the explosion occurred, the station wrote on its website, and “described the aftermath of the explosion as a war zone,” Q13 Fox said in its story. Another resident of the neighborhood, Emily Pfeifer, told NBC that she “heard a low boom and was rocked from a dead sleep, like a single gentle shove.” “The rocking was accompanied by the sound of things shaking briefly in my room,” she said, adding: “I thought a car must have hit my building.” The fire department said there were 67 firefighters, medics and commanders at the scene following the explosion. Some of them will remain at the scene “on fire watch” throughout the day, the department said. A Puget Sound Energy spokesman told the Seattle Times it is a “reasonable assumption” that a gas leak caused the explosion. Gas has been shut off to the location, the spokesman told the newspaper.
Gas explosion
March 2016
['(The Washington Post)', '(KING–TV)', '(Seattle Fire Department)']
U.S. envoy to Afghanistan and Pakistan Richard Holbrooke is hospitalised in a critically ill state in Washington, D.C., after gasping at a meeting with Hillary Clinton.
Richard Holbrooke, the US envoy to Afghanistan and Pakistan, has been taken critically ill, the US state department says. Mr Holbrooke, 69, was admitted to hospital on Friday and has undergone surgery to repair a tear in his aorta. His family have joined him at his hospital bedside in Washington DC. Mr Holbrooke is best known for brokering the Dayton peace accords in 1995, which ended the Bosnian war. President Barack Obama named Mr Holbrooke as his special representative to Afghanistan and Pakistan in January 2009. Since then, he has played a key role in defining the strategy for the Obama administration on one of its foreign policy priorities. Mr Obama said he and his wife Michelle were praying for Mr Hobrooke, describing him as a "tireless public servant" and a "towering figure in American foreign policy". "We continue to pray for his recovery, and support his family in this difficult time," Mr Obama said. Mr Holbrooke was working at the State Department when he was taken ill. In a brief statement released on Saturday, State Department spokesman PJ Crowley said: "This morning, doctors completed surgery to repair a tear in his aorta. He is in critical condition and has been joined by his family". The aorta is the largest artery in the human body and carries oxygenated blood from the heart. Nicknamed "the Bulldozer", Mr Holbrooke has gained a reputation for confronting warring leaders to get them to come to the negotiating table. Mr Holbrooke is one of the state department's top diplomats, having served in Vietnam and at the United Nations. In the wake of his success at Dayton, he was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize. In 1997, then President Bill Clinton named him as ambassador to the UN. In his role as President Obama's envoy, he has clashed regularly with Afghan president Hamid Karzai. After the disputed presidential elections in August 2009, Mr Holbrooke was widely reported to have confronted Mr Karzai about poll irregularities. However, a spokeswoman for the US embassy in Kabul denied there had been any shouting or that Mr Holbrooke had stormed out. Mr Holbrooke was later criticised by US Gen Stanley McChrystal in a controversial article published in Rolling Stone magazine in June. In the article, Gen McChrystal was quoted as saying: "Oh, not another e-mail from Holbrooke... I don't even want to open it." As a consequence of his remarks, Gen McChrystal was sacked by President Obama. Mr Holbrooke has maintained a hectic travel schedule. In September, he visited Pakistan to see the aftermath of the floods which devastated the country. He has also travelled to the north-west of the country, a stronghold for insurgents which lies largely outside government control. Mr Holbrooke was born in New York and is of German-Jewish descent. He was educated at Brown University, and is married to the writer, Kati Marton. As well as his diplomatic career, Mr Holbrooke has also worked in the financial sector. US Department of State One Covid vaccine dose cuts hospital risk by 75% But the number of Delta variant cases recorded in the UK has risen by 79% in a week, figures show.
Famous Person - Sick
December 2010
['(BBC)', '(The Hindu)']
Iraqi security forces find the bodies of 53 men shot recently in Hamza south of Baghdad.
Iraqi security forces have found the bullet-riddled bodies of 53 men in a mainly Shia area south of Baghdad. The men, who were bound, blindfolded and had wounds to the head or chest, were found in a field outside Hamza al-Gharbi, a town in Babil province. It was not immediately clear who the victims were or why they were killed. Meanwhile, Prime Minister Nouri Maliki alleged that Kurdish-controlled Irbil province is becoming a haven for the jihadist-led Sunni rebels. However, he provided no evidence to back up the claim, which was vigorously denied by a Kurdish official in London. The prime minister's relationship with the autonomous Kurdistan Regional Government, which controls Irbil and two other neighbouring provinces, has deteriorated as the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (Isis) and its allies have taken control of large swathes of northern and western Iraq. Security officials said an investigation was under way to determine the identities of the bodies discovered in an agricultural area near Hamza al-Gharbi early on Wednesday, as well as the circumstances of their killings. The victims were men aged between 25 and 40, police and mortuary officials said. It appeared they were killed several days ago. The area south of Hilla is predominantly Shia and has not seen any significant activity by the jihadist Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (Isis) and its allies over the past month. However, Sunni militants have been carrying out attacks around the southern outskirts of Baghdad since the spring. In response, Shia militiamen have been rounding up Sunnis they suspect of being behind the violence, many of whom later turn up dead. The number of bodies found around the capital has reportedly risen since the beginning of the year, sparking fears of a return to the peak of the sectarian civil war in 2006 and 2007, when dozens were found each day dumped by the roadsides and in fields and canals. Elsewhere in Babil province on Wednesday, two car bombs reportedly killed two people and wounded 13 others. At least eight soldiers were killed and 30 injured in fighting with jihadists at a military base in the Mansouriya area, north of the city of Baquba in Diyala province, a medical official told the AFP news agency. In his weekly televised address, Mr Maliki said government forces were fighting a "battle of destiny" to protect Iraq, its territorial integrity and sovereignty from internal and external threats. He stressed that Iraq was facing a "conspiracy" by jihadist militants and remnants of the Baathist regime of former President Saddam Hussein, who he said were operating out of Kurdish areas. "We will never be silent about Irbil being a headquarters for the terrorist operations of [the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant], and Baathists and al-Qaeda," he warned. "They will lose, and their host will lose also because he did not provide an example of patriotic partnership." The president of the Kurdistan Region, Massoud Barzani, has said he no longer feels bound by the Iraqi constitution and intends to hold a referendum on independence within months. He has also insisted that Kurdish parties will not join another Maliki-led government. Kurdish Peshmerga fighters have meanwhile moved into previously disputed areas that have been abandoned by Iraqi security forces in the face of Isis's advance, such as the oil-rich region of Kirkuk.
Armed Conflict
July 2014
Zimbabwe's Movement for Democratic Change files papers with the Constitutional Court in Harare arguing that the recent elections be annulled because of widespread allegations of illegalities and intimidation of voters by Robert Mugabe's ZANU–PF party.
Harare - Zimbabwe's Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) challenged President Robert Mugabe's landslide re-election in the country's top court on Friday, calling for a re-run of the 31 July vote the MDC says was rigged. Lawyers for the MDC, which is led by Morgan Tsvangirai, filed papers with the Constitutional Court in Harare arguing the election should be annulled because of widespread alleged illegalities and intimidation of voters by Mugabe's Zanu-PF. "We want a fresh election within 60 days. The prayer that we also seek is to declare the election null and void," MDC spokesperson Douglas Mwonzora told journalists outside the court. Zimbabwe's constitution says the court must rule on the case within 14 days. Most analysts believe the MDC's legal challenge to Mugabe's victory will not prosper given Zanu-PF's dominance over the judiciary and state institutions in the country. Mugabe will be sworn in only after the case is decided. Zanu-PF has denied any vote-rigging in the election, which Tsvangirai, who had served as Mugabe's prime minister in a fractious unity government, has called a "coup by ballot". The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission announced on Saturday Mugabe had beaten Tsvangirai with just over 61 percent of the votes, against nearly 34% for Tsvangirai. While election observers from the African Union and the Southern African Development Community (SADC) broadly approved the presidential and parliamentary elections as orderly and free, the vote has met serious questioning from the West. The United States, which maintains sanctions against Mugabe, has said it does not believe his re-election was credible. The European Union, which has been looking at easing sanctions, has also expressed concerns over alleged serious flaws in the vote. "The person on trial here is not the MDC but Mr Mugabe. Zimbabweans expect nothing but justice," Mwonzora said.
Government Job change - Election
August 2013
['(Reuters via News24)']
Scotland's First Minister Nicola Sturgeon schedules a meeting Wednesday with European Parliament President Martin Schulz about remaining in the EU, and intends to discuss the Scottish issue with the European Commission.
- Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said she will meet European Parliament leaders in Brussels on Wednesday to seek a way for Scotland to remain in the European Union. Scotland voted decisively to stay in the EU in last week’s referendum, putting it at odds with the United Kingdom as a whole, which voted in favor of Brexit. Sturgeon has called the prospect of Scotland being taken out of the EU “democratically unacceptable” and said she would take all necessary steps to prevent it, including revisiting the issue of independence from the United Kingdom. In an initial visit to Brussels on Wednesday she would set out Scotland’s position to the speaker of the European Parliament, Martin Schulz, and to representatives of the major groups of European lawmakers, she said. However Donald Tusk, the President of the European Council which defines the EU’s overall political direction and priorities, will not be meeting Sturgeon, his spokesman said, because he did not think it was an appropriate time. Sturgeon said she also intended to discuss the Scottish issue directly with the European Commission, the EU’s executive body. “Our early priority has been to ensure that there is a widespread awareness across Europe of Scotland’s different choice in the referendum and of our aspiration to stay in the EU,” she told the Scottish parliament. She said she had already discussed the fallout from the Brexit vote with the president and prime minister of Ireland, and that the Scottish government was directly in touch with the governments of other EU member states. Earlier a European lawmaker for Sturgeon’s Scottish National Party (SNP) called on European Union colleagues to respect that the Scottish vote had diverged from the British one. “Scotland did not let you down. Please, I beg you, ‘chers collegues,’ do not let Scotland down now,” said Alyn Smith, winning a standing ovation from his counterparts. Sturgeon has said the results of the EU referendum showed a split between Scotland and the rest of the UK and that a second independence referendum was now “highly likely”. Scots rejected independence by 55 to 45 percent in a 2014 referendum in which EU membership was presented as one of the key advantages of remaining part of the UK. Sturgeon argues that the Brexit vote has changed the context so profoundly that Scots should be able to vote again on the issue, should independence turn out to be the best way for Scotland to remain an EU member. Polls show some indication that support for independence has risen since the Brexit vote, though there are also doubts on how long such support may be sustained. The Scottish arm of Britain’s ruling Conservative Party, which is the main opposition to the SNP in the Scottish parliament, attacked Sturgeon for linking the EU issue to the possibility of a second independence referendum. “You do not dampen the shockwaves caused by one referendum by lighting the fuse for another,” Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson told the parliament in Edinburgh. “(The Brexit vote) does not break the continuing logic of our sharing power with the UK, not splitting from it.”
Diplomatic Talks _ Diplomatic_Negotiation_ Summit Meeting
June 2016
['(Time)', '(Reuters)']
Following a 2-2 draw between Chelsea F.C. and Tottenham Hotspur F.C. at Stamford Bridge, Leicester City F.C. are confirmed as champions of the Premier League for the first time in their history. Leicester City were 5000-1 outsiders at the beginning of the season. ,
Last updated on 2 May 20162 May 2016.From the section Leicestercomments1136 Leicester City have won the Premier League title in one of the greatest sporting stories of all time. Tottenham's 2-2 draw at Chelsea on Monday confirmed a stunning achievement for Claudio Ranieri's side. Leicester started the campaign as 5,000-1 outsiders for the title after almost being relegated last season. But they have lost just three league games in what has been described as a "fairytale" and the "most unlikely triumph in the history of team sport". Closest challengers Spurs, Arsenal, Manchester City, Manchester United and last year's champions Chelsea, have all failed to match the Foxes' consistency across the season. Former Leicester, Everton and England striker Gary Lineker described his hometown team's achievement as "the biggest sporting shock of my lifetime". The Match of the Day presenter had suggested the Leicester players were on the "edge of sporting immortality" last month. He told BBC Sport: "I can't think of anything that surpasses it in sporting history. It is difficult to put over in words. "I got emotional. It was hard to breathe. I was a season ticket holder from the age of seven. This is actually impossible." After Leicester drew 1-1 at Manchester United on Sunday, Tottenham needed to win all three of their remaining league games to catch the Foxes. But their title hopes were ended when they squandered a 2-0 lead to only draw at London rivals Chelsea. Match of the Day pundit and former Newcastle United, Blackburn Rovers and England striker Alan Shearer said Leicester's achievement was "the biggest thing ever in football". Shearer, who won the Premier League in 1995 with underdogs Blackburn, told BBC Sport: "For a team like Leicester to come and take the giants on with their wealth and experience - not only take them on but to beat them - I think it's the biggest thing to happen in football." Gianni Infantino, president of football's world governing body Fifa, said Leicester's "beautiful story" was a "fairytale". The East Midlands club was also quick to hail the achievementexternal-link of Ranieri and his players, saying they "have captured the imaginations of football fans around the world with one of the most brilliant and unlikely sporting triumphs ever seen". Sports data analysts say Leicester are set for a potential £150m boost for winning the title, coming from Premier League prize money, Champions League participation cash and increased match-day revenues from ticket and hospitality sales. "In terms of domestic football, Leicester City winning the Premier League is the greatest achievement ever and I think it will never be surpassed," former Leicester midfielder Robbie Savage told BBC Sport. "It is incredible. This is a turning point in Premier League history." Leicester East MP Keith Vaz said: "This is the greatest day in the history of this city. It's the top, absolutely the top to win the English Premier League, the best league in the world. It's a miracle and what Claudio Ranieri has done with this amazing team." Former Foxes manager Martin O'Neill, who led the club to their previous highest Premier League finish of eighth in 2000, said: "Not only is it a brilliant story, but it gives everyone that little bit of hope again that romance has not left football. "It's been the talk of Europe, there's no question about that. Everything about this season has been remarkable." Snooker player Mark Selby, a Leicester fan, clinched his second World Championship title a little over 10 minutes after his hometown team won the Premier League crown. "To be Premier League champions is a fantastic achievement and I want to say well done to Claudio and the boys," he said. Even Prime Minister David Cameron passed on his congratulations, saying it was "an extraordinary, thoroughly deserved, Premier League title". It is Leicester's first top-flight title and the club, owned by Thai billionaire businessman Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha, have also qualified for next season's Champions League group stages for the first time. The Foxes started the season among the favourites for relegation and only the three promoted sides - Watford, Norwich and Bournemouth - were longer odds for the league title. Ranieri, who took over from the sacked Nigel Pearson in the summer, was seen as an uninspired choice by some fans and pundits after his predecessor had overseen a run of seven wins in nine games as Leicester escaped relegation in 2014-15. The Italian's previous job ended abruptly when his Greece side lost to European minnows Faroe Islands during Euro 2016 qualifying. Yet the charismatic 64-year-old's team - assembled for less than £30m and playing pacy, direct, counter-attacking football - has confounded the experts. Savage added: "I'm speechless, it is unbelievable. I've seen England win the Ashes and get OBEs and MBEs. This Leicester team's achievement is greater than any of that. They should be recognised in the honours list." Leicester's title triumph is expected to generate millions of pounds in additional income for the local economy with tourism boosted by the club's higher global profile. Kasabian, the Leicester-born platinum-selling, stadium-filling rock band, will play two gigs at the Foxes' King Power Stadium on 28 and 29 May, sayingexternal-link it will be "the biggest party the city has ever seen". Guitarist Serge Pizzorno said: "It feels like we're almost centre of the universe." Mayor of Leicester Peter Soulsby has kept celebration plans secret, but said: "Twelve months ago we were re-interring the remains of the last king of England to die in battle [Richard III] and we were worried about our football team. "We had the eyes of the world upon us and frankly we thought that it could not get any better, or bigger. Well, it has. "I don't believe in miracles but this is as near as it gets. "We've had media interest from across the world. We were on the front page of the Wall Street Journal, I've spoken to two German television crews in the last few days, Chilean television and Italian television twice. It really has attracted worldwide attention beyond anything that we fully understood." Chairman Srivaddhanaprabha bought the club in 2010 for £39m and, after Leicester were promoted from the Championship in 2014, said he would spend £180m to get them into European competition in three years. According to BBC South Asia correspondent Jonathan Head, the Thai businessman's travel retail group King Power has "hit the jackpot" and can now start to "tap into a bottomless well of passion in this football-mad nation of 68 million people". Leicester's story is epitomised by 29-year-old striker Jamie Vardy. Released by Sheffield Wednesday at 16 for being too small, he rose through non-league football until Leicester paid Fleetwood Town £1m for him in 2012. He is now an England international, second in the Premier League's scoring charts this season and was named the Football Writers' Association Footballer of the Year on Monday. Meanwhile, Professional Footballers' Association Player of the Year Riyad Mahrez, 25, was bought for just £400,000 from French second-tier side Le Havre in January 2014. Only 14 players have made more than a dozen league appearances - illustrating how settled the side has been - and Ranieri's preferred starting XI cost an estimated £22m, less than a 10th of what is arguably big-spending Manchester City's first-choice line-up. Leicester 3-2 Aston Villa, September 2015: The Foxes score three times in the final 18 minutes to move second in the table. Stoke 2-2 Leicester, September 2015: Another comeback maintains the Foxes' unbeaten start to the season. Leicester 1-1 Manchester United, November 2015: Jamie Vardy scores in his 11th consecutive game - a new Premier League record. Leicester 2-1 Chelsea, December 2015: Defending champions Chelsea are left just a point above the relegation zone as Leicester return to the top of the table. Tottenham 0-1 Leicester, January 2016: Rivals Spurs are beaten by a late Robert Huth header. Two further FA Cup games between the teams in the same month see Spurs go through after a replay. Manchester City 1-3 Leicester, February 2016: Nearest rivals Manchester City are comprehensively beaten by another superb away performance. Riyad Mahrez becomes the first player to reach double figures in terms of both goals (14) and assists (10) in the Premier League this season. Leicester 1-0 Southampton, April 2016: A fifth 1-0 win in their past six games puts Leicester seven points clear of nearest rivals Spurs with only half a dozen games left. Leicester 4-0 Swansea, April 2016: Despite top scorer Jamie Vardy being suspended and Tottenham chasing hard, Leicester show no signs of pressure with a routine victory to go eight points clear with three games to go. BBC Sport's chief football writer Phil McNulty was one of hundreds of journalists and pundits to predict a lowly finish and probable relegation for Leicester in his season preview. At the start of the season, 47 people placed a bet with Ladbrokes for Leicester to win the title at 5,000-1, around half of whom chose to cash out early. One Leicester fan took £72,000 from a £50 bet, when he would have won £250,000. Joe Crilly, from bookmakers William Hill, described Leicester's title win as "the biggest sporting upset of all time", while Ladbrokes' Alex Donohue said it was his company's "biggest payout by a distance". Crilly added: "It is not just a one-off like Japan beating South Africa in the rugby (which was 200-1), it has been a sustained effort over a full season and one which we, as bookmakers, continued to believe was impossible until just a few weeks ago. "The Foxes only became odds-on favourites for the first time at the end of March when they moved five points ahead at the top of the table, such was the scepticism with which we viewed Leicester's ability to continue their title push. It is quite simply incredible." And these are the 10 most discussed Leicester moments of the season on Twitter: The popular chant from Leicester fans - that striker Vardy "is having a party" - was never more true as the forward held a get-together at his home for team-mates to watch the Tottenham game. Supporters also gathered outside the star's home, while many more filled the city's bars and pubs, or took to the streets to celebrate the historic moment. These comments are now closed. Get latest scores and headlines sent straight to your phone, sign-up to our newsletter and learn where to find us on online. The latest rumours and stories from around the world of football. Analysis and opinion from our chief football writer. How to get into football - the most popular sport in the world, with clubs and facilities throughout the UK.
Sports Competition
May 2016
['(Sky Sports)', '(BBC)']
Partially recognized Republic of Abkhazia holds the first round of the presidential election. Incumbent President Raul Khajimba and oppositor Alkhas Kvitsinia heads to second round on 8th September.
A hotly contested election campaign in Georgia’s breakaway Abkhazia region failed to produce a winner on August 25. Based on an early vote count, incumbent Raul Khajimba and opposition candidate Alkhas Kvitsinia will compete in a runoff on September 8. Both are avid supporters of national independence for the de facto republic and believe in close ties with Russia, but differ on issues like corruption and crime.    A record nine candidates contested the race, making a first-round victory unlikely. The campaign was marred in May by the poisoning of Aslan Bzhania, a lawmaker who was tipped as Khajimba’s main challenger. Bzhania had to drop out of the race. De facto President Khajimba, who is running for his second term, received just over 26 percent of the 70,000 votes cast. Kvitsinia came close behind with about 25 percent; a veteran of the 1990s separatist war with Georgia, he is endorsed by Bzhania, who is still recovering from mercury poisoning.  Another candidate, ex-Deputy Foreign Minister Oleg Arshba, also won just shy of 25 percent, but election authorities said on August 26 that the runoff will be between Khajimba and Kvitsinia. Under Abkhazia’s system, the winner must clear a 50 percent threshold. Turnout was about 56 percent. Weeks before the polls, Russian President Vladimir Putin met Khajimba, a fellow ex-KGB officer, in an apparent show of support. Despite Abkhazia’s near-existential dependence on Moscow for economic and military support, Putin’s endorsement failed to secure victory for Khajimba in the 2004 election, exposing a degree of resistance to Moscow’s will in the recalcitrant region. This time, Putin stopped short of formally endorsing Khajimba. The Kremlin leader – widely accused of monopolizing power in Russia for decades – said he was expecting a clean and democratic vote in Abkhazia. Because most of the world regards Abkhazia as part of Georgia, credible election observers were not on the ground to monitor the vote. Instead, present were mainly observers from Russia and its allies, Venezuela and Nicaragua. One German parliamentarian – Stefan Keuter, from the far-right Alternative for Germany party – also showed up. Abkhazia’s post-Soviet separatist peers South Ossetia, Nagorno-Karabakh, Transnistria, as well as Ukraine’s twin breakaway territories of Donetsk and Luhansk also dispatched monitors.   All declared the vote democratic.   Georgia, on the other hand, called the balloting illegitimate since it disenfranchised Georgians driven out of Abkhazia in the 1990s. “With hundreds of thousands expelled from Abkhazia as a result of the ethnic cleansing there […] the ‘election’ obviously cannot have legitimacy, especially since the occupying force [Russia] controls the area and has virtually unlimited power,” said Vladimer Konstantinidi, a spokesperson for Georgia’s Foreign Ministry. The European Union and United States also dismissed the election as illegitimate.
Government Job change - Election
August 2019
Authorities in Lebanon arrest Islamist preacher Omar Bakri Muhammed, days after a court sentenced him and 21 others to life imprisonment for carrying out "terrorist acts".
BEIRUT, Lebanon, Nov. 14 (UPI) -- A radical Muslim cleric who once cheered the Sept. 11 terror attacks on the United States has been arrested in Lebanon, security officials confirm. Omar Bakri Mohammad was taken into custody at his home in northern Lebanon this weekend after being sentenced to life in prison Thursday as part of a massive case involving more than 40 individuals, Britain's Sky News said.. Mohammad, 50, was convicted for inciting murder, theft and weapons possession. Sky News said he had vowed to never spend a day behind bars. Mohammad is a fundamentalist Sunni preacher who spent 20 years living in Britain. He had publicly praised the 2001 terrorist attacks on the United States and the so-called 7/7 attacks in England, which led to his expulsion in 2005. The Syrian-born Lebanese national said he did not accept Lebanese law and would not turn himself in following the guilty verdict.
Famous Person - Commit Crime - Accuse
November 2010
['(UPI)', '(Lebanese National News Agency)', '(Reuters)']
A fire at a 13-story apartment complex in Bohumín, Czech Republic, kills eleven people and injures ten others. Rescue workers say all of those who died resided on the 11th and 12th floors of the building, with five of them jumping from the windows "in a panic".
Officials say at least 11 people have been killed and 10 others injured in an apartment building fire in the northeastern Czech Republic PRAGUE -- At least 11 people have been killed and 10 others injured in an apartment building fire in the northeastern Czech Republic, officials said Saturday, with some suggesting that the fire could be arson. Police said the fire hit the 11th floor of the 13-story building in the afternoon in the town of Bohumin. Firefighters spokesman Lukas Popp told local media that six people, three adults and three children, were killed in an 11th-floor apartment. The other five died after trying to escape from the building “in a panic” by jumping from the windows on the 12th floor, Interior Minister Jan Hamacek told Czech public radio. Hamacek and the head of the regional government, Ivo Vondrak, both suggested the fire was likely intentionally set. Regional firefighter chief Vladimir Vlcek said it was unusual how quickly the fire spread through the entire apartment but said authorities were still investigating the cause of the fire. Regional chief police officer Tomas Kuzel said police have detained one person in connection with the fire. Kuzel said at least 10 people were injured in the fire, while Hamacek said one firefighter suffered a serious injury.
August 2020
['(ABC News)']
A small plane and a tour helicopter collide over the Hudson River in the United States.
NEW YORK (CNN) -- Five Italian tourists visiting New York from Bologna are among the nine victims believed killed Saturday in a midair collision of a sightseeing helicopter and a single-engine plane over the Hudson River, a law enforcement source said. First responders gather on a pier after a plane and helicopter collided Saturday over the Hudson River. The tourists, who apparently died with the chopper's pilot, were part of a group of 12 visiting the United States, the source said. The helicopter was operated by Liberty Helicopter Sightseeing Tours. The bodies of two adults and one child were recovered after the collision, which occurred around noon over the Hudson between New York and Hoboken, New Jersey, authorities said. The child is believed to be one of the three people on the plane, a single-engine Piper PA-32 Saratoga that took off from New Jersey's Teterboro Airport, authorities said. A source involved in the investigation identified the pilot and owner of the plane as Steven Altman, whose brother Daniel and nephew Douglas also were among the victims. The two adult bodies, discovered underwater, are believed to be two of the Italian tourists aboard the helicopter, the law enforcement source said. The Italian Foreign Ministry said consulate officials were working with New York authorities to identify the victims. Helicopter wreckage was found in about 30 feet of water, while the plane is believed to be near the midchannel point of the Hudson in deeper water, the source said. A side-scanning sonar is being used to pinpoint the plane and has identified a possible third debris field, the source said. The search is scheduled to resume Sunday morning, Debbie Hersman, chairwoman of the National Transportation Safety Board said at a riverside news conference late Saturday. Underwater visibility of about two feet hampered Saturday's search effort, she said. All nine people in both aircrafts are thought to have been killed in the collision, New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg said. See where the collision occurred » "There was an accident which we do not believe was survivable," said Bloomberg, noting that the search for survivors had become a recovery mission. A temporary flight restriction over the rescue area -- about three nautical miles around and 2,000 feet up -- was put in place, a Federal Aviation Administration spokeswoman said. A witness told investigators he saw the airplane approach the helicopter from behind, Hersman said. The witness said the plane's right wing made contact with the helicopter, an American Eurocopter AS350 operated by Liberty Helicopter Sightseeing Tours, Hersman said. View images from the scene » Another Liberty pilot who was refueling at a nearby heliport told NTSB investigators that he saw the plane approach the helicopter and tried to warn the helicopter pilot, but got no response, Hersman said. "This is a VFR corridor -- that means Visual Flight Rules prevail," Hersman told reporters late Saturday. "You are supposed to be alert and see and avoid other aircraft in the vicinity." iReport.com: Police search for debris Witnesses reported seeing debris flying from the helicopter as it crashed. The helicopter wreckage has been found, but the search for the plane, single-engine Piper Saratoga PA-32, will continue Sunday morning, Hersman said at a riverside news conference. Witness Arnold Stevens said after the plane had a wing sheared off, it began "corkscrewing" into the water. The helicopter "dropped like a rock" after the collision, which happened about noon. See a series of photos from the scene » Radar contact was lost with a small plane this morning believed to be the aircraft in the crash, FAA spokeswoman Arlene Salac said. Ben Berman, a former investigator with the National Transportation Safety Board, said if the helicopter fell straight down, it's likely there was a rotor failure. Scott Schuman was with his grandparents on the Hoboken side of the river when they heard a loud bang. "The plane was kind of whirlybirding its way down, brown smoke coming out the back of it, and it crashed into the water. Then a few seconds later the helicopter with debris falling off of it also hit as well," Schuman said. "It was a scary sight," he added. iReport.com: Were you there? Send images He said some of the debris fell in Hoboken, and "we covered our heads." Asked if he had seen anyone in the water, Schuman replied, "I have not seen anything, but judging by the impact when the plane and the helicopter hit, it would be very unlikely for a positive outcome." Hoboken Mayor Dawn Zimmer called on witnesses who filmed or photographed the incident to come forward. "It would be extremely helpful to have that footage," she said. The busy airspace surrounding New York's Manhattan island has been the site of several aeronautical mishaps in recent history. Earlier this year, a US Airways plane with 155 people on board ditched into the Hudson, apparently after striking at least one bird upon takeoff from New York's LaGuardia Airport, officials said. Capt. Chesley B. "Sully" Sullenberger's landing, which resulted in no deaths or serious injuries, was captured on closed circuit television. In 2006, Yankees pitcher Cory Lidle and his flight instructor were killed when the 34-year-old ballplayer's plane crashed into a high-rise apartment building near the East River, city officials said. CNN's Susan Candiotti contributed to this report.
Air crash
August 2009
Dubai receives a US$10 billion bailout from Abu Dhabi to help fund troubled Dubai World.
Abu Dhabi has stepped up to bail out neighboring Dubai with a surprise $10 billion aid package for the debt-laden Dubai World. The move has pushed stock markets up, but Dubai says creditors still need to approve a standstill on outstanding debt. Dubai says $4.1 billion of the money received from Abu Dhabi is allocated to property developer Nakheel to repay its Islamic bond which matures on Monday. Nakheel says it will repay the bond over the next two weeks. A Dubai government statement says the excess funds will be used to help government-controlled holding company Dubai World, which has asked creditors to agree to restructure 26 billion U.S. dollars of its debt, up until the end of April 2010.
Financial Aid
December 2009
['(Gulf News)', '(Al Jazeera)', '(CCTV)']
Security is increased in Bangkok, Thailand, ahead of anti–government protesters by the "red shirts" over the coming days.
Demonstrators have been marching ahead of Sunday's rally Thailand has mobilised about 40,000 security personnel ahead of rallies by "red shirt" opposition protesters over the coming days. The demonstrators plan to meet around the country before converging on the capital, Bangkok, by Sunday. They are mainly supporters of former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra, who was ousted in a military coup in 2006. They say they plan to rally until Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva calls new elections. Ceremonies have been held at several spots around the city, but red shirts say they will now disperse until Sunday. Small groups of men in camouflage - part of a planned large security presence - can be seen on a few street corners. But the capital is peaceful, going about normal business. The red shirts' leaders insist their protest will be peaceful, in contrast to the riots almost a year ago in which two people died. They also insist they have no plans to follow their rivals - the now quiet yellow shirt protesters who helped depose the elected government of former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra. It was the yellow shirts who closed the international airport for eight days in December 2008, causing huge disruption to tourists. The red shirts say they want new elections and hope to show by force of numbers alone that their cause is just. The government has promised a tough reaction if the protests turn violent. The Internal Security Act has been invoked, giving the military the power to impose curfews and restrict numbers at gatherings. Checkpoints have been set up on the roads into Bangkok. But reports from the city say that it is quiet. Small groups of protesters staged demonstrations in some key streets but later dispersed. "Today we had some small groups gathering, this is not yet a rally. We want to build sentiment before Sunday," a red shirt leader, Jatuporn Prompan, told AFP news agency. The red shirt movement, led by the United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship (UDD), has promised a huge but peaceful demonstration on Sunday. Smaller rallies, meetings and "political schools" have been planned for various provinces before convoys of vehicles carry protesters to the capital. The red shirts' last major protests, in April last year, turned violent, with two deaths and dozens of people injured. "If there is a siege, we would no longer consider it a peaceful protest and immediately take steps to disperse the crowds," Deputy Prime Minister Suthep Thaugsuban said. The protest leaders say the government is playing up the threat of violence to justify a possible crackdown. The red shirts oppose the 2006 military coup that toppled Thaksin Shinawatra. They say Prime Minister Abhisit came to power illegitimately with the backing of the military and the Bangkok-based elites. Mr Thaksin's main power base was in the rural north. He is now living in self-imposed overseas exile, after he was ousted amid allegations of corruption and abuse of power. Last month the Supreme Court ruled that just over half of the assets ($1.4bn; £910m) belonging to Mr Thaksin or his family which were frozen since the coup, should be seized.
Protest_Online Condemnation
March 2010
['(Thai News Agency)', '(Al Jazeera)', '(BBC)']
French commuters face chaos after a public transport strike over proposed changes to pensions of transit workers continue.
PARIS (Reuters) - Striking workers shut down most of France's rail network on Thursday and further disruption was expected in a protest over pensions, posing the biggest test yet of President Nicolas Sarkozy's ability to push through reforms. Unions called the 24-hour strike in an attempt to force concessions from the government, which plans to scrap privileges that allow a minority of public sector workers to retire as early as 50 or 55 years old. Several unions also voted to carry on striking on Friday causing further disruption to the rail network and to the metro and local trains in the Paris region. Four cross channel Eurostar trains would also be cancelled, the SNCF said. Bernard Thibault, head of the powerful CGT union, said abandoning the so-called "special regime" pension schemes would be the first step towards smaller pensions for all workers. "We're heading towards a generalised impoverishment of pensioners in the future, in both the public and private sectors," he told France Inter radio. Rail operator SNCF said 73.5 percent of workers joined the strike and only a fraction of trains were running. Public transport in Paris was also badly hits but services outside the capital were running more normally. Striking gas and power utility staff, who would also be subject to the new pension rules, cut 10,000 megawatts (MW) or almost 16 percent of production capacity at EDF nuclear plants on Thursday. On a bright day in Paris, a rally organised by unions attracted thousands of placard-waving protestors. "Today it's the special regimes but tomorrow it's the whole system they will attack," said Richard Benejean, a researcher for EDF. FLIGHTS The government wants to put employees paying into the "special regimes" on an equal footing with civil servants and private sector workers, increasing their contribution period from 37.5 years to 40 years. "If we don't reform these special regimes today, no-one will be able to guarantee their staff in five, 10 or 15 years, that they will be able to pay their pensions," Labour Minister Xavier Bertrand told parliament. But buoyed by the high turnout during the day, Thibault said: "The reform in its current form will not go through, it seems totally clear this evening," he said on TF1 television. The government is also planning a wider reform to all pensions next year. The special funds were introduced after World War Two, mainly for workers in physically demanding jobs, but they are running deficits that will cost the taxpayer an estimated 5 billion euros (3.49 billion pounds) this year. Sarkozy vowed to phase out the special regimes during his election campaign this year and has offered talks on how best to do that while refusing to back down on the principle. Lengthy protests mortally wounded a conservative government 12 years ago and it was forced into a humiliating climbdown over similar pension reforms. All sides have played down the 1995 parallel. An Ifop poll on Wednesday showed 82 percent of people backed reform of the "special regimes", and 61 percent opposed the strike. The senior members of the Socialist opposition and even unions agree state pensions must be reformed but argue that workers should not bear the brunt of any changes.
October 2007
Writer and radical independentist Quim Torra faces his first investiture debate after being nominated yesterday for President of the Generalitat of Catalonia. In his speech, he reaffirms to continue with the republican project, to undertake a constituent process and to be under Carles Puigdemont's directions. (El País)
The deposed Catalan president Carles Puigdemont has anointed a new candidate as his successor, raising hopes that the region could have a government as early as next week after five months of legal and political impasse. Quim Torra, a close ally and former leader of the pro-independence grassroots group Òmnium Cultural, was announced by Puigdemont on Thursday night. Catalonia has been without a government since the regional election in December, which was called by the Spanish government after it sacked Puigdemont’s administration in response to its independence referendum and subsequent unilateral declaration of independence. However, the move backfired after the three secessionist parties held on to their parliamentary majority. Attempts to form a new government have so far come to nothing. Puigdemont remains in self-imposed exile, facing possible extradition in Spain over his role in the push for independence, while two other presidential candidates – Jordi Sànchez and Jordi Turull – are still on remand. Although Torra faces no such legal barriers, Puigdemont acknowledged that his latest candidate would not have an easy ride. “We have the opportunity to use the [referendum] mandate and build the country of freedoms and rights that millions of people are demanding,” he tweeted on Thursday night, adding: “I personally understand the effort and sacrifice of taking office in such extreme circumstances.” The first investiture debate will be held at noon on Saturday. However, as Torra does not have the necessary support to win an absolute majority in the subsequent vote, there will be a second debate on Monday, which requires only a simple majority for victory. Torra said he was honoured by Puigdemont’s confidence, referring to him as “the legitimate president of Catalonia”. His anointment was swiftly dismissed by unionist parties in Catalonia. The centre-right Citizens party, which took the largest share of the vote in the December election, described Torra as Puigdemont’s puppet and pointed out that he had written a string of controversial tweets six years ago. Among them were: “Spaniards know only how to plunder”; “It’s been quite a while since Spaniards removed the word shame from the dictionary”, and “We’ve been living under Spanish occupation since 1714”. The Catalan Socialist party said it would not support Torra, whom it described as one of “the most sectarian” voices in the pro-independence bloc. Ada Colau, the mayor of Barcelona, called on Torra to apologise for his anti-Spanish remarks. “Perhaps Quim Torra is Puigdemont’s most faithful candidate, but Catalonia needs a president with a capacity for dialogue and reconciling the country,” she tweeted on Thursday. If Torra did attend parliament to be invested, she added, he ought to begin by saying sorry for his “ethnicist” comments that were offensive to millions of Catalans. The region will have to return to the polls in July if a government is not in place by 22 May.
Famous Person - Give a speech
May 2018
['(The Guardian)']
After acquitting five Muslim men of murder, Thai judge Kanakorn Pianchana gives a speech complaining of corrupt pressure upon the judiciary, including in this case, to convict without sufficient evidence. He then shoots himself in the chest in court in Yala, but survives. Criticism from judges of the Thai legal system is rare, but rights groups claim Muslims often face trumped–up charges in the region, which is Muslim–majority and suffers from insurgency.
A Thai judge shot himself in a courtroom after delivering a rare speech railing against the country's justice system. Kanakorn Pianchana acquitted five Muslim men of murder on Friday before calling for a fairer judiciary. He then recited a legal oath, pulled out a pistol and shot himself in the chest. But the judge survived and was rushed to hospital where he is recovering from his injuries. A statement believed to have been written by the judge before giving his ruling suggests that his suicide attempt could have been related to alleged interference in the case. The judge worked at the Yala court in the insurgency-hit south of Thailand. After acquitting the five men of murder and firearms offences, he addressed the court with an impassioned speech that he broadcast live on Facebook. "You need clear and credible evidence to punish someone. So if you're not sure, don't punish them," he said. "I'm not saying that the five defendants didn't commit the crimes, they might have done so," he added. "But the judicial process needs to be transparent and credible... punishing the wrong people makes them scapegoats." The Facebook feed then cut but people in court said the judge read out a legal oath in front of the former Thai king's portrait before whipping out a pistol and shooting himself. He was rushed to hospital where he is reported to be in a stable condition. It is not fully clear why Judge Pianchana attempted to take his own life. Suriyan Hongvilai, the spokesman of the Office of the Judiciary, told the AFP news agency he shot himself due to "personal stress". But local media reported that the judge could have been referring to the case he had just ruled on. A statement believed to have been written by the judge and posted to Facebook before he shot himself stated that he had been pressured to find the men guilty despite lack of evidence. "At this moment, other fellow judges in Courts of First Instance across the country are being treated the same way as I was," he wrote. "[If] I cannot keep my oath of office, I'd rather die than live without honour." Criticism of the judicial system by judges is extremely rare in Thailand. Rights groups have alleged that security forces trump up charges against Muslim suspects in the Malay-Muslim majority region.
Famous Person - Give a speech
October 2019
Continental Airlines and five men go on trial for their alleged role in the crash of Air France Flight 4590, a Concorde flight, that killed 113 people in 2000.
PONTOISE, France, Feb 2 (Reuters) - Continental Airlines and five men went on trial on Tuesday for their alleged role in the crash of an Air France Concorde that killed 113 people in 2000 and brought an end to an era of luxury supersonic travel. The Concorde, carrying mostly German tourists bound for a deluxe Caribbean holiday cruise, was taking off in Paris on 25 July 2000 when an engine caught fire. Trailing a plume of flames, it crashed into a hotel in the town of Gonesse, 6 km (4 miles) southwest of Charles de Gaulle airport. Investigations found that a small piece of metal from a Continental aircraft that had taken off before the Concorde had punctured its tyres, sending debris into the sleek drop-nosed plane’s fuel tanks and setting off the fatal fire. U.S. carrier Continental CAL.N has always denied responsibility for the crash and questioned the safety record of the ageing Concorde. The trial, held at a modern court house in the small town of Pontoise, some 30 kilometres north of Paris, could have wide-ranging implications for the way the airline industry maintains its planes and the stringency of security measures. The airline and the five individuals are facing charges of involuntary manslaughter for the crash. The accused men include John Taylor, a welder who worked for Continental at the time of the crash and his supervisor, Stanley Ford. Henri Perrier, the head of testing of the Concorde programme before becoming its director, and Jacques Herubel, the plane’s former chief engineer, are also accused, as is Claude Frantzen, former head of France’s civil aviation body. All 109 passengers, including three children, and four hotel employees on the ground died in the crash. “We want to remind (the court) that the plane was not empty, we want to bring in the human dimension so that the trial does not get lost in debates over technicalities,” said Stephane Gicquel, secretary general of FENVAC, an association representing accident victims. If found responsible, Continental Airlines faces a 375,000 euro ($521,700) fine, while the five individuals face 5 years imprisonment and a 75,000 euro fine, court officials said. The trial is expected to last until May 28. Continental’s lawyer Olivier Metzner, said he would present witnesses disputing the version of events presented by investigators and he said there were doubts about the maintenance and safety record of the Concorde. “I question the independence of the investigators, I question those who did not want the truth, I question Air France and it is evident that on July 25, 2000, the Concorde should never have been allowed to take off,” Metzner told reporters. Air France, which is a civil plaintiff in the case, has three witnesses to testify that the fire was caused when the Concorde ran over the piece of metal, its lawyer Fernand Garnault said.
Famous Person - Commit Crime - Investigate
February 2010
Taxpayer March on Washington takes place in Washington, D. C. According to various estimates ranging from 60,000 to more than 1 million people march from Freedom Plaza to the United States Capitol. The event coincided with other similar protests organized in various cities across the nation.The protesters rallied against what they consider big government, the dismantling of free market capitalism, abortion, and President Barack Obama's proposals on health care reform, taxation, and federal spending, among other issues.
Tens of thousands of people have marched from the White House to Capitol Hill in Washington to protest against Barack Obama's healthcare reforms. The demonstrations came as the US president sought to boost support for his plans during a Minneapolis rally. Addressing a crowd of 15,000, Mr Obama said he refused to accept no change on his top domestic priority. He said he would not allow special interests to "use the same old tactics to keep things the way they are". "I will not accept the status quo. Not this time. Not now," Mr Obama said in the democratic-leaning state, which has one of the country's smallest numbers of uninsured residents. 'Taxed to death' But in Washington protesters attacked Mr Obama's administration for what it called out-of-control spending - on healthcare, the stimulus packages and the bailout of the banking and car industries. Healthcare in the US costs $2.2tn a year, or 16% of the country's GDP - nearly double the OECD average. The protesters insist that spending tax dollars on a government-run health insurance option will increase inflation and lead the country to economic ruin. "Born free, taxed to death," one protester's sign read while another, held up by an immigrant from Ukraine, said: "I had enough of socialism in the USSR." The march - co-ordinated by the conservative Freedomworks organisation which calls for lower taxes and smaller government - brought together protesters from across different states. 'Door open' Days after urging Democrats and Republicans in Congress to work together, Mr Obama said his plan was open to ideas from across the political spectrum. "If you come to me with a serious set of proposals, I will be there to listen. My door is always open," he said. He warned, though, that he would not waste time with those who believe: "it's better politics to kill this plan than improve it". It is estimated that some 46 million Americans do not have health insurance, and a further 25 million are thought to have inadequate insurance. The healthcare plans currently being considered in Congress are all attempting to expand coverage, while also reforming the system to prevent spiralling costs. The bill would expand coverage to 97% of Americans, at a cost of some $900bn (£540bn). What are these?
Protest_Online Condemnation
September 2010
['(also known as the 9/12 Tea Party)', '(BBC)', '(Los Angeles Times)']
After declaring himself President of the Central African Republic, Seleka chief Michel Djotodia says that he has suspended the constitution of the country and dissolved its parliament.
The leader of rebels who have seized the capital of the Central African Republic says he is suspending the constitution and dissolving parliament. Michel Djotodia said there would be a transition period until "credible and transparent" elections, during which he would "legislate by decree". He added he would uphold a peace deal that promises elections in three years. Ousted CAR leader Francois Bozize has fled to neighbouring Cameroon, officials there have announced. Following the takeover, the African Union has suspended CAR and imposed sanctions on rebel leaders. About 5,000 Seleka fighters swept into the capital Bangui on Sunday after the collapse of a power-sharing deal - the Libreville Accord. The deal collapsed when Seleka withdrew its members from the government. "I consider it necessary to suspend the November 27, 2004 constitution, to dissolve parliament as well as the government," Mr Djotodia said in a statement to reporters. The statement could not be broadcast due to power cuts, Reuters reported, and instead was recorded and issued to journalists. "During this transition period which will lead us to free, credible and transparent elections, I will legislate by decree." He added: "We will lead the people of Central African Republic during a three-year transition period, in accordance with the Libreville Accord." Earlier, South African President Jacob Zuma said at least 13 South African soldiers were killed in the battle against the rebels on Sunday. The troops had been stationed in Bangui to support government forces. It is the heaviest loss of life for South Africa in a single battle since it became a democracy in 1994. Looters and armed gangs are reported to be still roaming the streets of Bangui. The UN says tens of thousands of people have fled CAR into neighbouring Democratic Republic of Congo and Cameroon. CAR has been unstable since its independence from France in 1960 and is one of the least-developed countries in the world.
Famous Person - Give a speech
March 2013
A Paramount Airlines helicopter crashes in Sierra Leone, killing 22 people, with reports of at least one survivor.
The passengers were returning from watching Togo beat Sierra Leone 1-0 in an African Nations Cup qualifier. One of the two Ukrainian pilots survived when the helicopter burst into flames as it came into land. Helicopters and ferries are the only way to reach the airport, which is located across a bay from Freetown. The Togolese passengers had chartered the helicopter for the seven-minute flight from the city to the airport. But none of the national football team was on board; they were waiting in Freetown for the next shuttle flight to the airport. The helicopter was operated by Paramount Airlines, and owned by a Nigerian businessman, according to an airline maintenance officer quoted by the AFP. The officer said that it caught fire as it was coming in to land at Lungi airport at about 2030 on Sunday. "There was an explosion on board the helicopter before it landed," said Donald Bull, general manager of the Sierra Leone Airport Authority. The Russian-made Mi-8 helicopter was consumed by the flames before airport fire crews could reach it. "From what we hear, most of the victims were burnt beyond recognition," said Chernor Ojuku Sesay of the Sierra Leone Football Association. The co-pilot has survived, but was reported to be in critical condition. The Togo players and officials of the team were the next group due to be ferried by the helicopter. Joseph Muller, one of the journalists within the Hawks' travelling party, said: "We are shocked at the death of our colleagues, it's unbelievable. Those who died included staff members of both the Togolose Sports Ministry and the Togo Football Federation as well as female journalist Olive Menzah. The most read story in Europe is: Mona Lisa 'had high cholesterol'
Air crash
June 2007
['(BBC)', '(Reuters AlertNet)']
American serial killer Bobby Joe Long who murdered 10 women in the Tampa Bay Area during an eight month period in 1984 is executed by lethal injection.
A serial killer who terrorized Florida with a murderous spree that claimed 10 women in 1984 was put to death Thursday, his execution witnessed by a woman who survived one of his attacks and aided in his capture. Bobby Joe Long, 65, was pronounced dead at 6:55 p.m. Thursday following a lethal injection at Florida State Prison. Long had no last words, simply closing his eyes as the procedure began, witnesses said. The killer terrified the Tampa Bay area for eight months in 1984 as women began showing up dead, their bodies often left in gruesome poses. Most were strangled, some had their throats slit, and others were bludgeoned. Law enforcement had few clues until the case of Lisa Noland, who survived one of Long's attacks. She witnessed Thursday's execution from the front row. Just 17 in 1984, Noland was abducted by Long outside a church that year. He raped her but ultimately let her go free. She left evidence of his crimes on the scene and gave police details leading to his capture. Long confessed to the crimes, receiving 28 life sentences and one death sentence for the murder of 22-year-old Michelle Simms. Noland positioned herself in the witness room where she hoped Long would see her. "I wanted to look him in the eye. I wanted to be the first person he saw. Unfortunately, he didn't open his eyes," she said. "It was comforting to know this was actually happening." She said she began to cry after she left the room once it was over. "The peace that came over me is a remarkable feeling," she said. Another witness wore a polo shirt with a photo of one victim on the front and the words "Gone But Not Forgotten." On the back were photos of all 10 slaying victims and the words, "The Ones That Matter."  Family members of Long's victims are spoke to the media after the execution, CBS Tampa affliate WTSP reports. Vicki Elliot's brother thanked Gov. Ron DeSantis for signing the warrant for his execution and Chanel Williams' mother said the execution gives her peace of mind knowing justice has been done. Kim Swan's sister said she thinks Long was as shocked as any of the survivors that he was executed. She said she thinks he thought he would sit in prison until he died naturally. Noland was the victim Long let go. The day before her abduction, she said, she had written a suicide note, planning to end her life after years of sexual abuse by her grandmother's boyfriend. But she ended up making heroic use of that history. "At the time he put the gun to my head, it was nothing new to me," she told The Associated Press earlier this week. She said she knew from her past abuse that if she fought Long, it would enrage him. "I had to learn who he was, what made him tick. If I did the wrong move, could it end my life? So literally, the night before I wrote a suicide note out, and now I was in a position where I had to save my life," she said on Wednesday. Investigators were baffled by the trail of bodies Long left around Tampa Bay. Artiss Ann Wick was the first killed, in March 1984. Nine others followed. Law enforcement had few clues until Noland told her story. Noland said beforehand that she knew what she would have said if she could have addressed Long. Said Noland: "I would say 'Thank you for choosing me and not another 17-year-old girl.'" "Another 17-year-old girl probably wouldn't have been able to handle it the way that I have," she said. Long moved from West Virginia to the Miami area as a child and was raised by his mother, a cocktail waitress. After high school, he married his childhood sweetheart, but later became violent. The ex-wife, Cindy Brown , told AP she recalls fearing for her life as the attacks grew worse, including a day he choked her and knocked her unconscious.  WTSP reported he had no visitors the day he was executed.  In the AP interview Wednesday, Noland described her attack in excruciating detail: the church where Long abducted her, the gun he pressed to her head, the bright light she could see on the car's dashboard beneath the edge of her blindfold. It said Magnum, as in Dodge Magnum. She was menstruating and made sure she left blood evidence on the car's backseat. She could tell when they were on an interstate north of Tampa. When she was brought to the killer's apartment, she counted the steps up to the second floor. When he let her use the bathroom, she made sure she left fingerprints everywhere. She knew she couldn't make him angry. She appealed to a glimmer of kindness he showed while he washed her hair after raping her repeatedly. She asked what made him do what he did. He said he had suffered a bad breakup and hated women. She told him he seemed nice and that maybe she could be his girlfriend. She wouldn't tell anyone. Long later got Noland dressed. He let her loose and told her not to take the blindfold off for five minutes. She got out of the car and tripped on the curb. Long caught her before she fell. She waited for what seemed like an eternity and pulled off the blindfold. She was in front of a tree in another churchyard. Today, she claims that tree as hers, and included it in the design of a T-shirt she made to mark Long's execution. And she's joined the ranks of the law enforcement officers who captured Long. She's a deputy with the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office, the same department she helped lead to Long's arrest.
Famous Person - Commit Crime - Sentence
May 2019
['(CBS News)']
In tennis, German Angelique Kerber defeats Czech Karolína Plíšková in three sets to win the 2016 US Open women's singles title.
Last updated on 10 September 201610 September 2016.From the section Tennis Germany's Angelique Kerber backed up her status as the new world number one with a thrilling win over Czech Karolina Pliskova in the US Open final. Kerber, 28, won 6-3 4-6 6-4 in New York to add the US Open to her victory at the Australian Open in January. Pliskova's semi-final win over Serena Williams had already ensured the German will top the new rankings on Monday. "All my dreams came true today and I'm just trying to enjoy the moment," said Kerber. "It's incredible. I'm standing here with a second Grand Slam trophy and it means so much to me." Kerber was appearing in her third Grand Slam final of 2016, and the German played with the authority of a world number one in waiting. Pliskova, 24, went into the final with a WTA Tour-leading 447 aces this year and on an 11-match winning streak that included victory over Kerber in last month's Cincinnati final. The Czech had never been past the third round of a major before this tournament and made 17 unforced errors in the first set, but fought back with 17 winners in the second before powering 3-1 ahead in the decider. It looked as though Kerber's athleticism and defensive skills would not be enough, but she levelled at 3-3 and then roared as a blistering forehand winner helped her move ahead once again. At 4-4 in the final set it came down to a test of nerve, and Kerber's was rock solid as she held impressively before Pliskova fell 0-40 behind and blazed a forehand wide on match point. "It's always tough to play against her," said Kerber. "I was trying to stay in the moment, be aggressive, I was just trying to enjoy the final. It's an amazing stadium. "It means a lot to me. When I was a kid, I was always dreaming to be the number one player in the world and to win Grand Slams, and today's the day." Pliskova said: "I found out I can play my best tennis on the big stages. She proved she's the world number one. I knew it was going to be difficult, but I found myself some power in the second set." Kerber is the first German to win the US Open since Steffi Graf in 1996 and her ascent to the top of the rankings is the result of a spectacular year. She began 2016 ranked 10th in the world after failing to get past the third round of any of the Grand Slams in 2015, but Saturday saw her claim a Tour-best 54th win of 2016. Kerber won her first major titles in Australia and the US, as well as reaching the Wimbledon final, where she lost to Williams, and the Olympic final, where she lost to Monica Puig. The German began the season with a shock win over Williams in Melbourne, which was only possible after she had saved a match point against Japan's Misaki Doi in the first round. Analysis and opinion from the BBC's tennis correspondent. How to get into tennis - it's fun, will keep you fit and caters for all levels and abilities. Find your nearest court and learn the basics with our guide. Get the latest tennis headlines sent straight to your phone, sign-up to our newsletter and learn where to find us on online.
Sports Competition
September 2016
['(AP)', '(BBC)', '(US Open)']
Kiribati postpones its parliamentary elections for a week.
The president of Kiribati, Tantei Maamau, at the 2019 Pacific Islands Forum summit in Tuvalu. This comes as emergency measures in response to the covid-19 pandemic have disrupted public services, despite no confirmed cases of the virus in the country. Voters will go to the first of two rounds of polling on Tuesday, with second round votes the week after that. There have been no public announcements on whether distancing and hygiene restrictions may be enforced when polling in the Kiribati national elections starts Tuesday. Amongst the line-up of 111 men and 7 women running for 44 available seats, the country's first President Ieremia Tabai aims to make a comeback. Vincent Tong, the son of former President Anote Tong, is also standing, while caretaker leader Taneti Maamau is vying for another term. High profile climate diplomat Tessie Lambourne is making her political debut, boosting hopes from gender activists for more women at the parliamentary table.
Government Job change - Election
April 2020
World War II Royal Australian Navy warship HMAS Sydney is discovered off the coast of Western Australia after being missing for 65 years with the loss of all 600+ crew.
The group searching for HMAS Sydney has found the wreckage of the World War II Australian warship off the coast of Western Australia, the ABC has confirmed. The breakthrough by the Finding Sydney Foundation comes less than 24 hours after it announced it had located the wreckage of the German raider Kormoran, which also sank after a battle with the Sydney in November 1941. The Sydney's entire crew of 645 went down with the ship in the Indian Ocean and its location has been a mystery for 66 years. The Australian ship was last seen badly damaged and steaming over the horizon after the exchange of gunfire with the Kormoran, which also sank after the battle. Members of the crew on the research ship the Geosounder found the Kormoran using sonar technology and were confident of locating the Sydney. The wreckage of the Kormoran was found about 100 nautical miles off Steep Point, more than two kilometres below the ocean's surface, and the Sydney was found just 10 nautical miles west. Chief executive officer of the Finding Sydney Foundation Bob Trotter says although the experts have been working in very deep water, they can be sure of their findings. "Very sure. David Mann's our project director on the water out there, has done this about 30 times before in very deep water and he's probably the world's best at finding manmade objects at the bottom of the sea in very deep water," he said. Royce Laycock was son of an engine stoker who worked on the ship and was only four when his father died. "It's good news to know that they've found the ship, because you really didn't realise or know what happened," he said. "I've read all the books and stories and publications over the 66 years, and it's just good news." The son of another sailor who died on the Sydney, Bob Honor, says it is an important discovery. "It's been a 66-year wait. Why?" he said. "Because they were trying to hide something? I don't know, I have no idea, I don't really care now. I'm happy to think they have found it after so long." Lee O'Neill's father also went down with the ship, and he says he hopes the finding will bring closure to the families. "I've always wondered how a ship like that could lose all men," he said. "I've read so many books on it and heard so many different stories and spoken to people. Things to me just don't add up. I realise it won't bring him back and I accept that, but I just want to know what happened." Even before an official announcement, federal politicians are having their say about how the discovery site should be commemorated. Coalition backbencher Bruce Scott says the wreck of the Sydney should be left as a permanent war grave. "It should be left with all on board to rest in peace. And the same with the Kormoran," he said. "It's a war grave and it should be left as other ships have around the world from the First and Second World Wars - on the sea bed. "I think that's the way the sailors who went down with the Sydney would like to think it was that way as well, particularly the families." Naval Association spokesman Les Dywer says it was a major discovery. "[I am] absolutely excited that they've finally unravelled the resting place of one of the greatest naval mysteries ever," he said.
New archeological discoveries
March 2008
['(ABC News Australia)']

Dataset Card for DocEE Dataset

Dataset Summary

DocEE dataset is an English-language dataset containing more than 27k news and Wikipedia articles. Dataset is primarily annotated and collected for large-scale document-level event extraction.

Data Fields

  • title: TODO
  • text: TODO
  • event_type: TODO
  • date: TODO
  • metadata: TODO

Note: this repo contains only event detection portion of the dataset.

Data Splits

The dataset has 2 splits: train and test. Train split contains 21949 documents while test split contains 5536 documents. In total, dataset contains 27485 documents classified into 59 event types.

Differences from the original split(s)

Originally, the dataset is split into three splits: train, validation and test. For the purposes of this repository, original splits were joined back together and divided into train and test splits while making sure that splits were stratified across document sources (news and wiki) and event types.

Originally, the title column additionally contained information from date and metadata columns. They are now separated into three columns: date, metadata and title.

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