Philippines Abu Sayyaf chief likely plotted suicide attacks

first_imgJolo (Philippines): An Abu Sayyaf commander aligned with the Islamic State group most likely plotted the suicide attacks on an army camp in the volatile southern Philippines by two militants whose identities remain unknown, a Philippine official said Saturday. Interior Secretary Eduardo Ano cited intelligence as showing Hajan Sawadjaan most likely harbored the two suicide bombers and plotted Friday’s attack in an army camp that killed three soldiers, two civilians and themselves. The military says 22 other soldiers and civilians were wounded. Also Read – Turkey preparations for Syria offensive ‘completed’The Islamic State group claimed in a statement that two of its fighters carried out the attack with explosive belts but overstated the military casualties at about 100. It posted what it claimed was a picture of the two young-looking militants before the attack, wearing what appeared to be explosive vests and standing beside a black IS-style flag with lush foliage in the backdrop. Ano and other security officials have previously blamed Sawadjaan, who is based in the jungles of Sulu province’s mountainous Patikul town, for the Jan. 27 suicide bombing of a Roman Catholic cathedral during a Mass that killed 23 people in Sulu’s capital town of Jolo. Also Read – Imran Khan arrives in China, to meet Prez Xi JinpingHe is also the suspected mastermind of a July 31, 2018, explosion of a bomb-laden van that killed its driver, reportedly a foreign jihadist with Moroccan blood, and 10 other people in nearby Basilan province. The Associated Press has seen a captured militant’s video of the foreign jihadist, who used the nom de guerre Abu Kathir Al-Maghribi, with Sawadjaan and his men in a jungle encampment before the foreign militant died in last year’s blast in Basilan. Philippine officials vowed to hunt down and destroy Sawadjaan and his men. “We’ve monitored Sawadjaan’s group training suicide bombers before they were deployed. So we will go to the source and destroy his camp,” Ano said. “If these bandits have not learned from the terrorists who were annihilated in Marawi, then this time they will,” said presidential spokesman Salvador Panelo, referring to the southern city where Philippine troops quelled a five-month siege two years ago and killed hundreds of Islamic State group-linked militants and their commanders. In Friday’s attack, military officials said one militant tried to enter the camp but set off his explosive when he was stopped, killing three soldiers at the gate. The second militant dashed into the camp but was shot by other soldiers. He yelled “Allahu akbar,” or “God is great,” before detonating the bomb that he carried, damaging vehicles in a parking lot. If the two attackers turn out to be Filipinos, they would be the first known local suicide attackers in the country’s south, a prospect deemed unlikely by some Filipino officials in the past. The southern region has been the scene of decades-long minority Muslim unrest in the largely Roman Catholic nation. “Philippine authorities were always deluding themselves to think that somehow it was impossible culturally for Filipinos to become suicide bombers,” said Jakarta-based terrorism analyst Sidney Jones. “This isn’t about culture, it’s about indoctrination, and no one is culturally ‘immune.'” The suicide attacks underscore an effort by Islamic State group supporters in the region, especially in the Philippines, to show that despite the brutal group’s battle setbacks in the Middle East, “their commitment to the caliphate remains and their fight will continue,” Jones said. Battle setbacks have reduced the number of Abu Sayyaf armed fighters to less than 400 but they have remained a national security threat. Mostly based in impoverished Sulu and outlying islands, the group has been blacklisted as a terrorist band by the United States and the Philippines for bombings, ransom kidnappings and beheadings.last_img read more

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CongressJDS leaders in a huddle as Ktaka govt battles for survival

first_imgBENGALURU: Karnataka Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy, who cut short a private visit to the US, went into damage control mode, calling a meeting of Janata Dal-Secular (JDS) lawmakers at a hotel. Sources close to him said at least some of the rebel MPs of the ruling coalition, who resigned over the last week, bringing the government to the brink of collapse, may return to the fold.Through the day, his father former Prime Minister HD Deve Gowda held a string of meetings with leaders of his party as well as the Congress. If the resignation of all 13 lawmakers is accepted, the government of the Congress and JDS which has a wafer-thin majority could come apart. The JDS patriarch also met Congress’s troubleshooter DK Shivakumar. Former chief minister Siddaramaiah too has called a meeting of Congress Legislature Party on Tuesday. Also Read – IAF Day: Tributes paid to soldiers killed in line of duty in JammuMeanwhile, the Congress’ state in charge, KC Venugopal, has come to Bengaluru and met state party leaders at a private hotel. Congress played down the crisis, with its former chief minister, Siddaramaiah, saying, “There is no threat to the coalition government. It is safe”. Congress veteran, Mallikarjun Kharge, dismissed rumours about plans to make him the next chief minister. Kharge blamed the BJP for destabilising the government. Speaker Ramesh Kumar said he would look at the latest batch of resignations only after he returns to work on Tuesday. The Congress and the JDS together have 118 members in the 224-seat state assembly, along with one BSP and one Independent member. The defections will bring its numbers down to 105 and the majority mark in the assembly from 113 to 106. The BJP also has 105 members. The BJP has said it should be invited to form a new government if the ruling coalition lacks the numbers. But it has denied the coalition’s accusations of engineering the crisis. It has called a meeting of its legislature party Monday at 5 pm. “Let’s wait and watch. Are we sanyasis (hermits)?,” state BJP chief BS Yeddyurappa said. P5last_img read more

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Notley lifts ban on imports of BC wines to Alberta

first_img“We believe it is our right to take appropriate measures to protect the interests of B.C. from the drastic consequence of a diluted bitumen spill,” Horgan said at a news conference. “We are prepared to confirm that right in the courts.”He said the federal government declined an invitation to join the province in the reference question. Horgan denied B.C. is backing down, saying the intention is to have cooler heads prevail.“This is not about politics. This is not about trade. It’s about the right for B.C. to be heard.”The province will move ahead with consultations on four other areas of its plan to protect the environment, such as establishing timeframes for responses to spills and requiring some form of restitution to cover the lost use of public resources in the event of a spill. Horgan said he wants B.C. and Alberta to be good neighbours, but the rest of Canada needs to know how strongly British Columbia feels about protecting its coastline.“I believe the federal government and the government of Alberta do not understand the depth of feeling that the transport of diluted bitumen has in B.C.,” Horgan said.Notley recently imposed the ban on B.C. wine in retaliation for a pledge last month by Horgan to reject increased levels of oil through the Trans Mountain pipeline until the province reviews spill safety measures. The B.C. government is against the expansion of Kinder Morgan Canada’s pipeline from Edmonton to Burnaby, although it has already been approved by the federal government. EDMONTON, A.B. — The Alberta government accepted an olive branch from British Columbia and suspended its ban on the province’s wine Thursday in a dispute over the Trans Mountain pipeline.Alberta Premier Rachel Notley took the step after B.C.’s John Horgan said his government will ask the courts if it has the right to protect its environment by restricting diluted bitumen shipments through the province. “I think it is fair to say that in a small way today B.C. blinked,” Notley told reporters at the legislature in Edmonton. “B.C. is stepping back from the brink and abiding by the law, and this is a good thing.”Horgan said his government is filing a constitutional reference case on the issue, which has been at the centre of the heated trade war between B.C. and Alberta. In the meantime, B.C. will not proceed with proposed regulatory restrictions on the increase of diluted bitumen transportation. Alberta accused Horgan of illegally trying to kill the pipeline expansion. While Notley is suspending the retaliatory ban on B.C. wine, she left her options open.“If it becomes clear that this action is, in fact, part of a deliberate strategy to harass the pipeline and its investors with frivolous or unconstitutional legal challenges, we will act immediately, and we will expect our federal partners to do the same,” she said.Notley and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau have made it clear that only Ottawa, not the provinces, has the authority to decide what goes in trans-boundary pipelines. As for B.C.’s constitutional reference case, Notley expressed her doubts it will be successful.“I’m confident that the courts will not give B.C. rights it does not possess under our Constitution,” she said. “I’m confident the Constitution will be upheld and we will have seen the last of these ridiculous threats.”center_img Federal officials have been meeting with their B.C. counterparts to find a solution to the impasse. Notley, who had also scuttled talks to buy B.C. electricity, had been threatening further retaliatory action.Horgan said his efforts to safeguard B.C.’s interests generated a disproportionate reaction from Alberta that put an entire industry and the livelihoods of people who depend on it at risk.– With files from Dean Bennett in Edmonton.last_img read more

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Modi Mamata go after each other in battleground West Bengal

first_imgTamluk/Jhargarm (WB): Prime Minister Narendra Modi Monday accused West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee of doing “cheap politics” over cyclone Fani, claiming she did not speak to him when he tried to contact her to talk about the calamity. He alleged his efforts to talk to state government officials to take stock of the situation too was “scuttled” by Banerjee. Modi also accused Banerjee of “religious intolerance”, and said people were being arrested for chanting ‘Jai Shri Ram’. He dared the chief minister to have him arrested for the chant hailing the Lord. Also Read – India gets first tranche of Swiss account details under automatic exchange framework “Today, I am back from Odisha after reviewing the situation in the aftermath of the cyclone. I had called ‘Didi’ twice to discuss the issue with her. I waited for her to call back, but she did not respond. “She is so arrogant that she did not speak to me. ‘Speedbreaker’ Didi is more interested in doing cheap politics instead of tackling the situation,” Modi told election rallies in Tamluk and Jhargram. Cyclone Fani left a trail of death and destruction in Odisha and also hit parts of West Bengal. Also Read – Trio win Nobel Medicine Prize for work on cells, oxygen Modi said even today he wanted to speak to Banerjee and state officials to take stock of the situation but the chief minister did not allow that to happen. Banerjee responded to the prime minister’s criticism, saying she could not talk to him because she was camping in Kharagpur to monitor the situation as the cyclone advanced towards West Bengal. Addressing an election rally in Gopiballavpur sub-division of Jhargram, Banerjee said Modi had indeed called her for a meeting at Kalaikunda, where he landed for an election meeting after touring cyclone-battered Odisha. “Are we his servants that we have to go wherever he beckons? Now he will allege that I have not responded and not extended cooperation. “My (poll) meeting at Jhargram today was already fixed. Election is on in West Bengal, while it is over in Odisha. Why should I share dais with an expiry prime minister during election time?” Banerjee shot back. A huge controversy has erupted over Modi’s failure to get in touch with Banerjee to discuss the situation that obtained in the wake of the cyclone. As he could not get through to the chief minister, Modi had called up Governor Keshari Nath Tripathi. He, however, spoke to Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik. Banerjee’s Trinamool Congress had accused the prime minister of by-passing the chief minister in disregard for the federal structure of the polity. A senior central government official had, however, rejected the allegation, claiming Modi called up Banerjee who did not return it. Modi on Monday invoked Lord Ram at his rallies and said people in West Bengal were facing hurdles even in following their religious beliefs. “In Bengal, people face obstacles even while performing pujas and religious rituals. Things have reached such a point that if you chant ‘Jai Shri Ram’, you will be put behind bars,” he said. The prime minister was obviously referring to a recent incident where three people were arrested allegedly for chanting ‘Jai Shri Ram’ when Banerjee’s convoy was passing by. A video of the incident has gone viral on social media. While hailing Lord Ram with the chant at his Jhargram rally, Modi dared Banerjee to have him arrested. “Didi has thrown people into jail for chanting ‘Jai Shri Ram’. I thought of greeting her with the chant so she can throw me behind bars, too. I will then serve the innocent people who are in jail for chanting in praise of Lord Ram,” he said. “The arrogance of many a mighty gets shattered in front of the Lord. You too will lose your arrogance, Didi,” Modi said. Addressing an election rally in Bishnupur, Banerjee snapped back, insisting ‘Jai Shri Ram’ was a slogan of the BJP , which used it during elections. “Does Ramchandra become BJP’s election agent when polls come?” she asked, asserting the slogans of the people of Bengal were “Vande mataram” of Bankim Chandra Chattopadhyay and “Jai Hind” of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose. Referring to the recent comments by CPI(M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury on epics Ramayana and Mahabharata, Modi said it is fashionable for communists to abuse religion. “I can understand if communists abuse religion. Even those who have Sita and Ram in their names don’t respect religion. It is fashionable for them to make derogatory references to our holy books and our religion,” Modi said. Yechury had recently said Ramayana and Mahabharata were specimens of Hindu violence. On the UN designating terror group JeM chief Masood Azhar a “global terrorist”, the prime minister said, Banerjee did not welcome the development fearing her “votebank” will get angry with her. Modi claimed the TMC would win hardly 10 of the state’s 42 Lok Sabha seats, and Banerjee’s dream of becoming the prime minister with the help of ‘Mahamilawati’ alliance will be dashed. “Your model of chomki and dhamki (threat and intimidation) will no longer work in Bengal. You cannot snatch away the right to vote freely and fairly. Your political ground is fast slipping away. People have decided to defeat her. She has lost her mental balance.” he said. Modi said West Bengal under Banerjee was known for “triple T — Trinamool, Tolabaazi, Tax”. In local parlance, ‘tolabaazi’ roughly means organised extortion. Maintaining that the state has already seen three political ideologies -Naampanthi (people who rule by using the name of family–Congress), Vaampanthi (Leftist), Daam aur Damanpanthi (people who rule through corruption and oppression–TMC)– Modi said time has come for it to adopt “Vikaspanthi” (people wedded to the ideology of development) represented by the BJP.last_img read more

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Update regarding job losses at Brock

As identified in the May 5 update regarding job losses at Brock, officials from OSSTF and the University met on a number of occasions to discuss opportunities to address bargaining unit staffing reductions through attrition and redeployment where possible, as well as other creative solutions that may limit the potential effects of bumping.The University and OSSTF have reached an agreement that is intended to further limit the impact of bumping. Both parties will discuss the agreement with affected bargaining unit members and supervisors over the next two weeks, and then provide a further update to the Brock Outlook website in mid-June.

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Security Task Force in TimorLeste agrees to step up disarmament – UN

A Security Task Force in Timor-Leste, where violence earlier this year caused over three dozen deaths and forced some 150,000 people to flee their homes, has agreed to step up a national disarmament campaign, the United Nations mission there (UNMIT) has reported.The move came on Friday during a Security Task Force meeting where Secretary-General Kofi Annan’s Special Representative, Sukehiro Hasegawa, underscored the need to collect weapons that remain in the hands of civilians. Among those attending was Brigadier-General Mick Slater, who reported that more than 1,700 firearms have already been collected and the process continues. “Thousands of traditional weapons have also been collected and destroyed,” he saidMr. Hasegawa emphasized that the assistance of the Timorese people “will be essential in indicating the location of illegal weapons and identify those persons who are in the possession of such weapons.” Increasing security concerns were also expressed by a number of political party representatives who participated in a separate meeting on the electoral process, UNMIT said in a news release. Political party representatives emphasized the need for the UN and the international security forces to establish and maintain a secure environment in the period leading up to, during and immediately following the 2007 presidential and parliamentary elections. read more

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Michigan State brings out Aaron Crafts offensive best

CHICAGO-In Aaron Craft’s sack of basketball weaponry, scoring prowess sits at the bottom, rarely showcased while being overshadowed by defensive ability and on-court leadership. There’s something about playing Michigan State, though, that brings out the junior guard’s talent for putting the ball in the basket. Behind a 20-point outburst on 13 shots from its floor leader, Ohio State bested the Spartans, 61-58, in a slugfest of Big Ten powers in the semifinals of the conference’s tournament at the United Center in Chicago Saturday afternoon. The offensively-centered display from Craft comes roughly three weeks after he poured in 21 points in an upset of then-No. 4 ranked MSU in Columbus Feb. 24. “I don’t know what it is,” said OSU coach Thad Matta of Craft’s scoring performances against the Spartans. “It’s a good thing, because as you guys know, they’ve usually been at the top of the league. I thought he was tremendous.” Craft’s ball-poking skills were evident against MSU, too-he had four steals-and the bulldog-type defender understands that’s what he is going to be known for. He enjoys it. But being the leading scorer in a bout that pushed the No. 10-ranked Buckeyes into the tournament championship game of the nation’s best conference pleases Craft just the same. “I’m probably going to be known as a defensive player and I have no problem with that, none at all. But when I can knock down some shots, it helps our team. It’s not just about me trying to earn a name for myself, it helps our team be better. That’s what it’s all about,” Craft said, who has three 20-point games in his career. The array of shots hit by Craft didn’t come until after halftime Saturday, though. His first attempt of the game fell short of the rim and the net. Craft had just two points in the opening 20 minutes of play with OSU trailing, 29-28. “My first shot was an air ball, so that wasn’t the greatest start to the game. I just tried to stay confident in myself and my teammates believed in me and that helps a lot,” Craft said. Once the contest’s second act began, the rosy-cheeked scoring assassin broke out. Craft hit a scooping, left-handed layup to give OSU its first basket of the second half and tie the game, 30-30. On the following MSU possession, he stole the ball from Spartan junior point guard Keith Appling before finding junior guard Lenzelle Smith Jr. for a layup in transition. His next steal-a tap of the ball to himself on a floating MSU inbounds pass into the backcourt-came directly after that assist. This time, he did it all himself, floating a layup in over the Spartan’s floor leader. “A couple guys came up and said you have to keep being aggressive like you did the last time we played them. I got some open looks, got some easy buckets and obviously, knocked down some pull-ups,” Craft said. OSU scored 33 points in the second half, 18 of which came from Craft. Five layups, two jumpers, a 3-pointer and a free throw. Six of those made shots came with the scoring margin at two points or less. His final two field goals of the game propelled the Buckeyes to their biggest lead of the game: eight points with 7:22 remaining. “He got to the middle, made some jump shots and hit a three, the defense couldn’t guard him after that,” said sophomore guard Shannon Scott. With the game in doubt, it was the Buckeyes’ go-to scorer that came through. Junior forward Deshaun Thomas scored OSU’s last three points to all-but secure a victory. It was Craft, however, that allowed the Buckeyes to be in a position to secure a win. “He looked like me out there,” a grinning Thomas said, who led the Big Ten in scoring in the regular season. While many in attendance at the United Center were surprised with Craft’s point total, the junior’s teammates weren’t. “Not at all. I’ve known Aaron for three years now and we’ve seen Aaron do this before. It’s just now that you guys are seeing it in a game,” redshirt senior forward Evan Ravenel said. While Craft’s offensive displays against MSU are outliers in his season-he averages 9.6 points on the year-he’s been one of the Buckeyes best options during the team’s seven-game winning streak. Craft scored 15 points in OSU’s shocking win at Indiana March 5 and had 14 against Illinois March 10. Craft has been admittedly more offensively minded of late. He and assistant coach Chris Jent have been working to fix a hitch in his shot. It’s slowly starting to go away, but his form is still far from fundamentally sound. “We’ve put in a lot of time, a lot of effort. Sometimes it’s there, sometimes it’s not, so we’re continuing to work on it. As long as it feels good, I don’t care what it looks like,” Craft said. When the hitch isn’t there, Craft has proven to be a dominant force on the offensive side of the court. “When he gets his shot going, he’s impossible to stop, really,” Scott said. Thanks in part to Craft’s effort Saturday, OSU will face Wisconsin, which upset No. 1 seed Indiana, Sunday afternoon for the Big Ten tournament title. If the Buckeyes are going to be successful against the Badgers and for the rest of March, Craft will likely need to perform similarly to the way he has against MSU. Craft’s teammates expect nothing less. “I told him as soon as the game was over, bring that tomorrow. Whatever you did last night and this morning, do it again,” Smith Jr. said. OSU and Wisconsin are set to tip-off at 3:30 p.m. Sunday at the United Center in Chicago. The Buckeyes, playing in their third-straight conference championship game, will be trying to win their fourth Big Ten tournament title under Matta. read more

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LeBron And The Cavs Could Make Dwyane Wade Young Again

2015-16Miami5.0– 2008-09Miami3.1– 2016-17Chicago3.1%– The percentage of Wade’s offense that came from cuts to the basket basically doubled during the years he teamed with LeBron and then dropped back to its original level as soon as James went back to Cleveland. Source: ESPN Stats & Information Group Utah Jazz23461238.2 After being bought out by the Chicago Bulls, 12-time All-Star Dwyane Wade had a handful of solid options to consider when deciding which team to sign with.There was the fairy-tale possibility of rejoining the Heat, the franchise he was drafted by and where he won three titles. The suddenly fortified Oklahoma City Thunder and San Antonio Spurs — the team that effectively ended Miami’s Big Three era back in 2014 by winning the title that year — were also suitors. But as enticing as those teams might have been, none of them have LeBron James.So it isn’t surprising that Wade is choosing to sign in Cleveland, where he not only has a great chance at reaching the NBA Finals again but also gets to reunite with one of his closest friends. But if we only examine those two factors, we might be overlooking the biggest incentive Wade has in all this: LeBron and the Cavs may be a fountain of youth for the 35-year-old.James makes life easier for everyone he plays with (well, Mario Chalmers might disagree), and Wade was no exception while the two were in Miami. Wade logged career bests in effective field-goal percentage and true shooting percentage during that four-year run, from his age-29 to age-32 seasons. His stark improvement as an off-ball threat — specifically as a cutter who would make his break toward the basket while defenses were preoccupied with James — helped take the Heat’s offense to another level. 2007-08Miami3.0– 2012-13Miami11.4– TEAMMAKESATTEMPTSSHARE So depending on how quickly the duo jells (or re-jells), Wade may get far easier shots than he got last season in Chicago, when he generated just 3 percent of his offense from cuts to the basket and took his average shot attempt from more than 12 feet away, tied for the longest average shot distance of his 14-year career.Some will question whether Wade — and to a greater extent, Derrick Rose — is a good enough jump shooter to keep defenses honest while James is running the show and probing for driving lanes. But a closer evaluation of Wade’s game suggests that he can more than hold his own as an off-ball threat if used properly.Wade has shown himself to be a competent 3-point shooter when stationed in the corner, shooting almost 38 percent138 of 101. from the corner in the seven seasons since James signed with Miami in 2010 — considerably better than his 27 percent2147 of 550. on all other 3-point tries over that same span. That’s particularly meaningful for Cleveland, which led the NBA in corner 3-point makes and attempts by a huge margin, according to ESPN Stats & Information Group. (Perhaps unsurprisingly, the Cavs launch far more corner triples when James — one of the best passers in the sport — is on the court compared to when he’s on the bench.) Wade cut to the basket far more when playing with LeBron CORNER 3S 2013-14Miami9.4– 2014-15Miami4.3– Cleveland Cavaliers35385041.5% Boston Celtics25362340.6 2009-10Miami4.6– 2011-12Miami8.6– SEASONTEAMSHARE OF OFFENSE THAT STEMS FROM CUTTING TO THE BASKET 2010-11Miami6.5– The years in bold highlight seasons in which Dwyane Wade was teammates with LeBron James.Source: Synergy Sports Technology Houston Rockets26769038.7 Miami Heat27769040.1 The Cavs take (and make) more corner 3s than anyone elseFor the 2016-17 regular season One variable that figures to be vital is how much Wade is being asked to do; especially in an offense that already features LeBron, Rose, the oft-forgotten Kevin Love and, at some point after the new year, Isaiah Thomas, who was acquired in the Kyrie Irving deal. It’s not hard to imagine Wade frequently handling the ball to give James a rest, though his game and Rose’s are similar in that both can develop tunnel vision when they’re driving to the basket.It would be wise for Cleveland to take a conservative approach that helps maintain Wade’s aging body for the postseason. J.R. Smith is seemingly a better fit for the Cavs’ starting lineup, thanks to both his size and his superior outside shooting.None of this is meant to suggest that Wade will be a perfect fit with the Cavs, as there are a handful of things that James and Wade simply won’t be able to replicate this many years after their first partnership. Chief among them: The swarming, blitzing defense the Heat used to trap pick-and-rolls. (Chris Bosh was truly special defensively with those teams.) In fact, a defense featuring the two of them might be a half-step slow now.However, even if Wade performs more fluidly during the regular season, it’s possible that, given his age, he and his body may not be totally dependable come playoff time, no matter how the Cavs manage his minutes. The 2014 Finals, in which the Heat got blasted by San Antonio four games to one, were a prime example.But if there’s one thing we’ve seen with Wade’s game in the past, it’s that James’s presence — as it has done for many others — will lessen the physical toll on Wade and possibly help offset the effects of Father Time. And that means the Cavaliers have little to lose with this signing. read more

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Police force teaches officers youth language in popo engagement classes

Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. Other translations included “popo or feds” which means “police” and “swear down” which means “tell the truth,” it said.A Lancashire Police spokesman said the list was on display at their station in St Annes.“It’s in place to help the neighbourhood team understand some of the terms and phrases used by teenagers,” he said.Sheldon Thomas, chief executive of Gangsline, a consultancy that trains professionals to understand gang mentality, recently highlighted the need for officers to become more “street” in order to effectively communicate with young gang members and other youths.He said slang words such as “gwop,” which means a wad of cash and “sweets” which means bullets were akin to a foreign language to most serving officers.”This is how they speak,” he said. “You have to adapt your strategy. How can you serve a community if you don’t understand the community?”Javed Khan, chief executive of Barnardo’s, has warned that police and social media firms are failing to detect gang videos because they don’t understand “youth language,” which evolved so quickly the criminals were keeping ahead.He cited as an example “plugging”, the practice by which gangs compel a child to carry drugs internally with the risk that if caught by rivals, the drugs are forcibly removed. If the “popo” want the kids on the street to “swear down” they should take careful note.Police officers at on the Fylde coast in Lancashire have compiled a list of street slang in a bid to teach officers how to decipher youth language.The list, scrawled on a whiteboard, explains that Stormzy is a rapper from Croydon as opposed to being concerned with meteorology.It states that  “beef-ting fam” means “starting an argument” while “peng” means “good/attractive” and “GOAT” stands for Greatest of all Time.A photograph of the board was posted on Twitter by a police officer from Lancashire.“Spotted at a Police station somewhere on the Fylde coast,” he wrote.“Never have I ever laughed so hard. Would genuinely be lost in a conversation with youth today.”The list of translations was spotted by a member of staff on the Reigate and Banstead beat in Surrey and published on its Facebook page, with the tongue-in-cheek claim that it was rolling out youth language training to engage with “younger R&B residents”.When a member of the public suggested that “Wagwan” meant “what’s going on?” as opposed to “Hello, how are you?” the force replied: “Indeed. But that in itself translates to a greeting. ‘Wagwan?….Reet bruv’ = ‘Hello how are you today?…..I am very well Thank you squire.’” “This is dangerous because social media companies … or the police may not be aware of the context and may not flag up the content,” Mr Khan said. read more

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Lyra McKee Journalist shot dead in Northern Ireland had found calling in

Lyra McKee’s mother has always recalled that while other children would mumble “Mummy, Mummy” in their sleep, she heard her own daughter asking, “Why? Why?”It was that curiosity that would lead Ms McKee to her calling in life, to try and tell the stories of those who did not have a voice.As tributes poured in from across the world for the “rising star”, who was shot dead during Londonderry riots on Friday night, Seamus Dooley, NUJ assistant general secretary, was among those to described her as “a journalist of courage, style and integrity”.But he had no doubt, he said, that it was her “commitment and passion” that led her to observe the riot which would claim her life.Ms McKee grew in north Belfast, just off the Murder Mile which was so named because of the number killings on the road during the Troubles.She was just four years old when the ceasefire was called and often wrote about how her own life and the lives of those around her were defined by the decades of violence that had gripped Northern Ireland. In 2016, Forbes Magazine named her one of their 30 under 30 in media and she had written for a number of publications. Lyra McKee has written about growing up gay and Catholic in a city scarred by the troubles Credit:PSNI Angels With Blue Faces, a non-fiction book about the Troubles murder of South Belfast MP Rev Robert Bradford, was released in 2018.Her literary agent, Will Francis, who described her as “gifted, brave, kind and funny”, said that her latest book was to explore the side effects of the conflict and the disappearance of children in the 1970s.The night after her death Ms McKee had been due to attend dinner with her partner and her friends Alison Miller and  Anna Burns, the Booker Prize winning author, where they had planned to discuss The Lost Boys.Ms Miller vowed: “The book was almost finished and it will be finished.” “The Ceasefire Babies was what they called us. Those too young to remember the worst of the terror because we were either in nappies or just out of them when the Provisional IRA ceasefire was called,” she wrote in an article about the high suicide rates. Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. Lyra McKee has written about growing up gay and Catholic in a city scarred by the troubles  “We were the Good Friday Agreement generation, destined to reap the spoils of peace. The spoils just never seemed to reach us.”She was raised a Catholic, but friends say that she never let the division lines that divided her city into her life, and paid no attention to age or religion instead wanting simply to be a good person. Ms McKee had recently moved to Derry to live with her partner, Sara, with whom it is said she was very much in love. As well as working as a freelance journalist she had almost finished her book, The Lost Boys, which was due to be published by Faber in 2020. She rose to prominence after writing a piece about growing up gay in Belfast called Letter To My 14 Year-Old Self which was subsequently turned into a short film.She had struggled with coming out, she explained, and had thought as a child that she was would “go to hell” for her sexuality. But she reassures her teenage self that journalism will help her through, adding: “For the first time in your life, you will feel like you’re good at something useful. You’ll have found your calling.”She finished the piece with the line: “Keep hanging on, kid. It’s worth it. I love you.” read more

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VIDEO Cat outsmarts dog… ninja style

first_imgIT’S A SHORT clip, but brilliant in its simplicity.After you’ve watched it once, go back and watch it again, but just keep your eye on the dog (as suggested by a YouTube commenter). It’s almost as funny.YouTube/WalterSantiEast 17′s Dublin Christmas concerts… what to expect>Advice from a 3-year-old: “you need to toughen up” (VIDEO)last_img

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Beautiful National Geographic photos of muchloved animals and pets

first_imgFEAST YOUR EYES on these.The photos are a selection from the National Geographic, Your Shot  ’Animals We Love’ project which invites readers to submit images depicting their passion for animals and photography. We keep our 113-pound Lab out of our daughter’s room (swallowing a pair of underpants got him banished), but getting up on her bed is one of his little pleasures in life. Perhaps surrounding him with treats would complete his idea of heaven. Or if he can’t reach them….a nightmare. Source: Mike Melnotte Cat lover carrying his pets through the Hiroshima streets. Source: juan fontaine 15 years ago I rescued and hand raised two orphan antillean manatees, since then I have not stopped working with those amazing and gentle animals. Source: Luis Eduardo Sandoval Bavaresco Perhaps our cat Sonic was just too old, or too lazy to care about primal instinct. Or perhaps, Rosy the Rat was too blind, or too naive to worry about fear. Or perhaps… there are no rules when it comes to love within a family. Source: Meg Kumin Source: Margherita Vitagliano Having a sick cow in the herd affects any farmer deeply and even though this farmer has over 400 head of cattle, he can quickly asses which are sick and bring these out for treatment – he knows every single one, he raised every one of them. To calm his cows during treatment, he sits on it. Source: Henrik Kaarsholm In Asia, it is a common sight to see people feed golden fish like we feed pigeons in Europe – the idea is to create harmonious shapes by throwing food in chosen spots – or to have fun. Baby bottle fish feeding is a popular attraction. Source: StÈphanie Amaudruz Old Milo doesn’t bark much, he just likes staring at you like Robert De Niro. Source: B. Yen26 photos that sum up Ireland perfectly>Itchy elephant at Dublin Zoo grabs a stick to scratch behind her ear>last_img read more

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Watch the SpaceX Dragon capsule dock with ISS

first_imgUpdate: Capture complete! At 9:56 am ET the ISS managed to dock the Dragon capsule.At 4:21am Central Time the SpaceX Dragon capsule is expected to come within 10 meters of the International Space Station and then dock using the ISS’s robotic arm. You can see the live stream above of the final approach NASA has been kind enough to share with the world.The Dragon capsule finally saw a successful launch attached to a Falcon 9 rocket on May 22. After a 10-minute climb the capsule ejected and started its journey to rendevous with ISS some 400km above the Earth. Yesterday the capsule stopped some 2.5km from the station in order to carry out a number of system tests for its communications, guidance, and control abilities. With those completed successfully, it came within view of the astronauts early this morning and is currently getting into position for docking.On board the Dragon is some 500kg of cargo. It includes food and water for the astronauts, as well as new equipment to be used on board ISS. SpaceX is hoping that once this mission is completed it can obtain a freight service from NASA to continue supplying the ISS in future.last_img read more

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Weather Eye Warm clear days as far as the eye can see

first_imgMonday was a very typical June day: morning clouds, plenty of afternoon sunshine and highs in the 70s. Doesn’t get any better than that, does it? It does if you like less cloudiness and more heat.And that is the forecast for today and Wednesday, with highs in the 80-85 degree range. We will still have some light north-to-northwest winds to make it feel really nice.No rain is in the forecast for quite some time, and the Rose Festival Parade outlook couldn’t be better. It is all clear ahead for just about any activities, and you will likely see rapid growth in the gardens this week.May rainfall reports are coming in from around the area with some very impressive amounts. Dave Campbell, a mile west of Heisson, reports that this was his wettest May since he began keeping records in 1968. That qualifies as a milestone for sure.The firefighters battling wildfires in California will get a brief break as cooler temperatures set in but then hot weather rebounds later this with the warmest of the year down there over 100 degrees.last_img read more

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Suncity to launch new VIP room at Wynn Palace

first_img Hoiana golf course to welcome first players from 23 September Macau’s largest junket operator, Suncity, is set to launch a new VIP room at Wynn Palace that will boost its table count in the Cotai property by 40%.The news was unveiled by Wynn Resorts executives during the company’s 2Q18 earnings call on Thursday, with CEO and President Matt Maddox revealing the new room – which will overlook the Wynn Palace performance lake – is scheduled to open in September. Inside Asian Gaming has learned that the room will include a total of seven tables.“There is additional demand so our largest junket operator will be taking a new room,” Maddox said. “We’re really excited about it.”Ian Coughlan, President of Wynn Macau Ltd, said the company expects the new Suncity room to be “a huge success.”“It’s a really attractive gaming area with its own individual access from the street. It’s very nicely appointed at the front of the property,” he explained.VIP turnover at Wynn Palace climbed 20.9% to US$14.03 billion in 2Q18. Wynn Resorts shares favored over Wynn Macau: analysts Load More Lack of premium mass strategy begs questions of SJM’s Grand Lisboa Palace launch: analysts RelatedPostslast_img read more

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City Seeks to Remedy Vote Allowing Business to Open under Takeoff Path

first_imgThe Norfolk (Va.) City Council is having second thoughts about its vote last month to allow a business located under the takeoff path of Naval Station Norfolk Chambers Field to open after the decision was harshly criticized by John Harvey Jr., Virginia’s secretary of veterans and defense affairs. Dan Cohen AUTHOR “The last thing that needs to happen now is for any city or county in the commonwealth of Virginia to signal publicly, ‘OK, we’re just not going to play by the rules here that we agreed to,’” said Harvey, a retired four-star admiral. The commander of Naval Station Norfolk had voiced opposition to the business application prior to the city council’s vote. The city manager told the paper that staff have spoken to the owner, who is “open to a dialogue with us that results in a win-win for both her and the city.” In a March 10 letter to Norfolk Mayor Paul Fraim, Harvey said the city’s decision jeopardizes the future of the airfield, formerly known as Norfolk Naval Air Station, reported the Virginian-Pilot. He warned DOD could view the vote as an indication the city does not support the naval station, which possibly could lead to a recommendation to close the airfield. In response to Harvey’s criticism, the city council agreed to see whether the business owner will agree to move to a new location, with city assistance. The council cannot legally undo its approval, the city attorney ruled. “We have no ability to do anything other than to ask or to try,” Fraim said. The council made an exception to a city policy limiting the use of property in the accident potential zones surrounding military airfields because city officials failed to inform the prospective owner of the banquet hall about the policy for more than two months after she applied for permits. The site of the banquet hall is about one-and-a-half miles from the east end of the runway at Chambers Field, putting it in Accident Potential Zone 2.last_img read more

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Texas Officials Deny Any Cap On Special Education In Letter To Feds

first_img Share PexelsTexas officials denied they imposed any cap on special education in a letter to the U.S. Department of Education.The Texas Education Agency told federal authorities that it never created a cap on how many children with disabilities could receive special education services.At the same time, the state’s Deputy Commissioner of Academics Penny Schwinn said that the state will add new changes to clarify rules for districts, citing “recent confusion” over the special education indicator.The letter was sent after federal authorities ordered Texas last month to end its arbitrary benchmark for special ed, unless Texas could show no children have been denied needed services.The state agency’s strong denial of any cap stands in sharp contrast to a major investigation by the Houston Chronicle. It revealed that state officials could have set an arbitrary benchmark at 8.5 percent for special ed. Since then, special ed enrollment in Texas schools has plummeted. The state now has lowest percentage of kids in special education in the country. The national average is higher at 13 percent.In the letter to the U.S. Department of Education, Texas officials defended the data-monitoring system that allowed them to keep tabs on districts and their special ed enrollment. They also denied that the goal was to cut back on services for children with autism, mental illness and other disabilities in order to save money.Federal law says children with disabilities are entitled to a free and appropriate education.It’s not clear when the feds will respond. “The Education Department will carefully review the state’s response and, after the review is concluded, determine appropriate next steps,” said Jessica Allen, assistant press secretary for the U.S. Department of Education.In Austin, some state lawmakers are already gearing up to address the issue. Speaker of the House, Rep. Joe Straus, R-San Antonio, has called for an immediate overhaul of special education in Texas.last_img read more

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Emails Point To Manafort Offer To Brief Russian On Campaign

first_imgMatt Rourke, File, APIn this July 17, 2016 file photo, Trump Campaign Chairman Paul Manafort talks to reporters on the floor of the Republican National Convention at Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland as Rick Gates listens at back left. Emails obtained by The Associated Press shed new light on the activities of a firm run by Donald Trump’s campaign chairman. They show it directly orchestrated a covert Washington lobbying operation on behalf of Ukraine’s ruling political party, attempting to sway American public opinion in favor of the country’s pro-Russian government. Manafort and his deputy, Rick Gates, never disclosed their work as foreign agents as required under federal law.WASHINGTON (AP) — In the middle of Donald Trump’s presidential run, then-campaign chairman Paul Manafort said he was willing to provide “private briefings” about the campaign to a Russian billionaire the U.S. government considers close to Russian President Vladimir Putin.Manafort’s offer was memorialized in an email exchange with a former employee of his political consulting firm in July 2016. It was first reported by The Washington Post, which said portions of Manafort’s emails were read to reporters.Manafort spokesman Jason Maloni confirmed to The Associated Press that the email exchanges were legitimate but said no briefings ever occurred. The email involved an offer for Oleg Deripaska, a wealthy Russian who made his money in the aluminum business.The July 7, 2016, email came a little over a week before the Republican National Convention, while Manafort was leading the Trump campaign’s day-to-day operations. It also occurred about a month after Manafort attended a meeting with a Russian lawyer at Trump Tower.That meeting was brokered by Donald Trump Jr., who was told in emails that the meeting was part of a Russian government effort to help his father’s campaign.The Manafort email exchange regarding Deripaska is one of thousands of pages of material turned over to congressional committees by the Trump campaign. It is also in the possession of special counsel Robert Mueller, who is investigating whether there was any coordination between Trump associates and Russians looking to interfere in the presidential campaign. Mueller is also probing Manafort’s taxes and his foreign banking as part of an investigation related to his consulting work in Ukraine.Manafort has denied any wrongdoing, saying his work in Ukraine was open and appropriate. He has also denied any involvement in any efforts to undermine the U.S. election on behalf of Russia. Deripaska has denied any involvement with the Trump campaign and said he is willing to testify before congressional committees investigating Russian election interference to defend his reputation and his name.According to the Post, Manafort wrote the email to a former employee, Konstantin Kilimnik, who had worked for years with him on political consulting in Ukraine. Manafort asked Kilimnik to pass the offer to Deripaska.“If he needs private briefings we can accommodate,” Manafort wrote — referring to Deripaska — in the email, according to the Post.In a statement, Maloni dismissed the correspondence as “innocuous.” He said the exchange was part of an effort on Manafort’s part to collect money from clients who owed him money. The Post reported that several email exchanges between Manafort and Kilimnik discussed money that Manafort said he was owed by former clients in Eastern Europe.“It is no secret Mr. Manafort was owed money by past clients after his work ended in 2014,” Maloni said in the statement.The email is the first to indicate that Manafort was attempting to reach Deripaska while he was working on the Trump campaign, but it’s unclear whether the offer ever reached Deripaska or his representatives. The Post reported that according to documents detailed to its reporters, there was no evidence Deripaska received the offer.Attorneys for Deripaska in New York and Washington did not respond to phone messages or emails Wednesday evening. Kilimnik did not immediately respond to an email Wednesday evening. A phone number previously used by him was not accepting calls.The Post quoted Vera Kurochkina, a spokeswoman for one of Deripaska’s companies, who said inquiries about the emails “veer into manufactured questions so grossly false and insinuating that I am concerned even responding to these fake connotations provides them the patina of reality.” She also dismissed the email exchanges, the Post said, as scheming by “consultants in the notorious ‘Beltway bandit’ industry.”The Associated Press reported in March that before signing with Trump’s campaign, Manafort secretly worked for Deripaska and proposed plans for political consulting work in Eastern Europe that he said could “greatly benefit the Putin Government.”In a 2005 memo to Deripaska, Manafort laid out the details of the proposal that were subsequently spelled out the following year as part of a $10 million contract, according to interviews with people familiar with payments to Manafort and business records obtained by the AP. It’s unclear how much of the work was carried out. The AP previously reported that Manafort and Deripaska maintained a business relationship until at least 2009. The two later had a falling-out laid bare in 2014 in a Cayman Islands court.The AP cited U.S. diplomatic cables from 2006 describing Deripaska as “among the 2-3 oligarchs Putin turns to on a regular basis” and “a more-or-less permanent fixture on Putin’s trips abroad.” Deripaska has also sworn in a New York state court document that he has been granted “a diplomatic passport from Russia, and on occasion I have represented the government in countries outside Russia.”Deripaska sued the AP for defamation over the story in May in U.S. District Court in Washington, alleging the story was inaccurate and hurt his career by falsely accusing him of criminal activity. Deripaska’s lawyers complained to the AP at the time that the article “suggests that Mr. Deripaska has been involved with Mr. Manafort more recently,” and the lawsuit said, “Mr. Deripaska severed relations with Mr. Manafort many years ago.” The AP has said it stands by the accuracy of its story, and has asked a federal judge to dismiss the lawsuit.Manafort has previously said he worked for Deripaska to advance his business interests but denied his work was meant to advance Russia’s interests.The Post reported that Kilimnik and Manafort at times referred to Deripaska as “OVD” in the emails. That shorthand is consistent with how Manafort and other employees at his former consulting business referred to the billionaire in other documents obtained by the AP, including the 2005 proposal that referred to a plan to “greatly benefit the Putin Government.”According to other emails obtained by the AP that are in the hands of Mueller and congressional committees, Manafort had previously shut down efforts to have Trump meet with Russians during the campaign.In mid-May 2016, a Trump campaign aide wrote to Manafort that “Russia has been eager to meet Mr. Trump for quite some time,” noting that representatives from the country had been reaching out to him.Manafort responded to his deputy, Rick Gates, that the meetings were a nonstarter. “We need someone to communicate that DT is not doing these trips,” he wrote, referring to Trump. The two decided that the communication should come from a person in the campaign who responds to “all mail of non-importance” so as not to send a message. ___ Associated Press writer Eric Tucker contributed to this report. Sharelast_img read more

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In Mexico Is Legalized Pot Just A Pipe Dream

first_img Share Yuri Cortez/AFP/Getty ImagesMarijuana plants are grown for medicinal purposes in a clandestine greenhouse in Mexico City in 2015. Mexico legalized medical marijuana in 2017, but recreational pot remains largely illegal.They were astonishing comments from a cabinet member made in the most deliberate of settings.At a conference in late January, Mexico’s top tourism official told reporters legalizing marijuana would help combat an epidemic of violence that has enveloped parts of the country.“It is absurd that we have not taken that step,” Tourism Secretary Enrique de la Madrid said. He said cannabis legalization should start in Baja California Sur, a state with hot spots like Los Cabos, and Quintana Roo, where Cancún is located. Both regions saw spikes in violence last year.The comments ricocheted across the Mexican media. Not only were they unexpected, but they also came six months before a presidential election in which a major debate is how to proceed with a U.S.-backed drug war that has contributed to Mexico’s highest homicide rate on record.Guillermo Arias/Associated PressA Mexican soldier walks through a cloud of smoke carrying marijuana plants to a fire at an illegal plantation at the Sierra de Juárez, in northern Mexico, in 2010. The U.S. and Mexico have long cooperated in cannabis eradication efforts“This is the first time that we hear a top-level official in office recognize that prohibition does engender violence,” said Alejandro Madrazo, a professor in the drug policy program at the Center for Research and Teaching of Economics in Mexico City. “We shouldn’t say, ‘What did the secretary smoke?’ We should take it seriously.”Tourism Secretary De la Madrid later said the idea he was airing at the conference was his own, tweeting: “I want to emphasize that my opinion about marijuana legalization is a reflection in a personal capacity, based on analysis and study of the issue for many years. I am convinced that we should debate it, as part of the solution to violence and insecurity in Mexico.”De la Madrid could not be reached for comment.The idea of legalizing marijuana in Mexico is not new. Former Mexican President Vicente Fox called for decriminalizing the drug — once he left office. The proposal went nowhere. And as recently as 2016, President Enrique Peña Nieto proposed a bill to allow Mexicans to carry up to an ounce of weed, saying it made no sense for the U.S. and Mexico to pursue wildly different drug policies. The legislation stalled in Congress.Recreational marijuana remains largely illegal in Mexico. The country decriminalized personal possession of small amounts in 2009, but those prosecuted for selling or smuggling the drug face heavy penalties.In 2015, the Mexican Supreme Court ruled to allow people to grow pot for personal use, although the ruling only technically applied to the four plaintiffs in the case. In June 2017, Mexico legalized marijuana for medical and scientific purposes.Surveys say most Mexicans are wary of legalizing marijuana — but their opposition appears to be softening. An April 2017 poll by nonprofit group Mexicans United Against Crime and the pollster Consulta Mitofsky found that 56 percent of Mexican respondents opposed legalizing marijuana. That’s down from 77 percent in a Mitofsky poll in 2010.One major — very major — change occurred in the intervening years: the United States’ own shifting stances on cannabis.Most significant for Mexico, neighboring California legalized the sale of recreational marijuana in January. The market in that state alone is expected to reap $5.1 billion by 2019, according to research firms BDS Analytics and Arcview Market Research.“Colorado, California and the other states that have legalized marijuana have in some ways put the U.S. in a really awkward position,” said David Shirk, a Mexico security analyst and professor at the University of San Diego. “On one hand, we are telling our friends like Mexico we want you have to have a zero tolerance policy on illicit drugs while at the same time we have let the camel’s nose under the tent when it comes to marijuana.”The U.S. and Mexico, both signatories of United Nations counternarcotics treaties, have cooperated in drug busts and marijuana eradication efforts for decades.“There is a significant contradiction in current U.S. policy that Mexico and other countries will begin to use as a basis for modifying their own drug policies,” Shirk said.All that’s to say: It seems unlikely Mexico will legalize marijuana in the near future. Then again, 10 years ago, who would have imagined that today one could go to a pot dispensary in nine states in the U.S. and walk out with legally grown strains like Granddaddy Purple, Bubba Kush or Super Silver Haze?As to whether legalizing marijuana in Mexico would reduce violence — that’s up for debate.Estimates vary widely about drug cartel profits and the potential blow posed by legal pot.A 2010 report from the RAND Corporation in Washington, D.C., said legalizing marijuana in California would cut Mexican cartel profits by just 2-4 percent. A 2012 study by the Mexican Institute for Competitiveness concluded the cartels could lose 22-30 percent of revenue in three western states — Colorado, Oregon and Washington — that legalized marijuana.Cartels still smuggle weed into the U.S. but now there’s been a reverse trend: officials seizing high-quality weed headed southbound at the U.S.-Mexico border. What’s more, Mexican traffickers have shifted their focus to heroin and meth. Competition for those lucrative U.S. markets has helped drive up violence in Mexico, say security analysts and law enforcement.There are other factors at play, too. New criminal gangs have emerged — which has led citizens to form militias to defend themselves. Their battles have become a major source of violence in Mexico in recent years.But security analysts believe more of the violence results from Mexico’s strategy to take down top narco bosses, leaving power vacuums and vicious battles to fill them. That’s been especially evident following Mexico’s extradition of Sinaloa cartel leader Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán to the U.S. in January 2017.Legalizing cannabis in Mexico would likely have a dual effect, Shirk said: It could lead to an even bigger growth in the heroin and meth markets, causing yet more violence. But it could also free up Mexican law enforcement to focus on combating harder drugs, as well as preventing and solving violent crimes.“The overwhelming resources of the state are going to prosecute poor, uneducated, dark-skinned males who possess marijuana. By de-emphasizing their criminalization you would release major government resources which could be used to prosecute serious crimes like homicide and kidnapping,” professor Madrazo said.But Alejandro Hope, a Mexico security analyst, said police resources have already been redirected away from marijuana crimes.“There are a lot of reasons for legalization — eliminating a source of extortion, eliminating police corruption. But reducing homicides is probably not a big one.”While the push to legalize marijuana may take years to materialize — if ever — the tourism secretary’s comments had an immediate impact in Mexico in one major way: the race for the presidential election in July.It instantly became a topic of debate, and all of the leading presidential candidates were asked whether or not they support legalization. So far, none has, including leftist Andres Manuel López Obrador, who is leading in the polls.Lisa Sánchez, drug policy director of Mexico United Against Crime, which supports legalizing marijuana, said she found the timing of De la Madrid’s comments “shady” given the political context. Even so, she wasn’t complaining.“The minister is providing the general public with the right arguments,” Sánchez said. “The public debate about this is going to happen sooner rather than later.”Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.last_img read more

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YouTubes Cleanup Efforts Are Driving Business Opportunities for Creators Says Product Chief

first_img YouTube Rings in Era of Ad-Supported Originals By Making ‘Cobra Kai’ Free to Watch Silicon Valleywood: Content Creators Discuss if Storytelling is Driven by Data Google tapped Mohan to head YouTube’s product and design in 2015. Previously, he was SVP of display and video ads at Google, after joining the internet giant in 2008 with Google’s $3.1 billion acquisition of DoubleClick.As for what YouTube’s biggest business challenges are at this point, Mohan stayed on message — citing the need to “let our creators grow in every sense of the term.”“Whether you call it a challenge or opportunity, the conversation always goes back to: What is the magic of YouTube?” he said. “It’s building these awesome opportunities for the new creative economy. These creators are almost new companies in some sense.” Related Mohan continued, “The way I really think about that is, it’s a continual effort to remove — as quickly as possible — any content that violates our guidelines, raising up reliable sources, and reducing the impressions of borderline content which maybe we shouldn’t be recommending as much.”YouTube has been focused since its inception on “creating opportunities for creators,” Mohan claimed. The platform has introduced new products to help creators grow their audiences, such as YouTube Stories (short, mobile-only videos that expire after seven days), scheduled video premieres, and virtual-reality features. To scale those audiences into businesses, YouTube has been providing new monetization tools, including the introduction last year of Channel Memberships and a way for channel owners to sell merchandise.And new this year, YouTube plans to roll out programs and tools for creators to support and raise money for causes. “YouTubers have shared that they want to use YouTube to generate funds and contribute resources for things that are important to them,” Mohan said. “My job as chief product officer is to find ways to make that simpler and easier.”In addition to Mohan’s Thursday keynote at VidCon, YouTube will stage other events at the July 10-13 convention in Anaheim. It’s hosting screenings of and cast panels for two YouTube originals — season 4 of murder-mystery competition series “Escape the Night” with Joey Graceffa and comedy “Liza On Demand” season 2 starring Liza Koshy. At VidCon, YouTube also is hosting meetups for diverse creators, including Latino, Asian, black, and LGBTQ creators.On July 11, it’s reprising YouTube OnStage, a live entertainment showcase in its third year, headlined by Meghan Trainor (who recently passed 10 million subscribers on her YouTube channel) along with performances from others including comedy duo Rhett & Link of “Good Mythical Morning”; “America’s Got Talent” finalist Sofie Dossi; and DJ Earworm.“The core of the event is kind of like the YouTube platform coming to life,” said Mohan. “I see fans fly in from around the world to see their favorite creators for a few minutes.” YouTube continues to make headlines for objectionable content and misinformation hosted on the world’s biggest video platform. And it’s been criticized for not doing enough to combat the problems.Neal Mohan, YouTube’s chief product officer, is responsible for all of the service’s products, which reach more than 2 billion users each month. This week, he’s heading to the 10th annual VidCon creator/fan confab in the U.S., where the exec is set to deliver a keynote focused on YouTube’s efforts to empower creators with new ways to help them build communities and ultimately make money.A big part of that mission, Mohan said, is to refine and enforce policies that keep the bad stuff off YouTube — so that the good stuff can thrive.“What underpins everything [about YouTube’s mission to support creators] is our responsibility as a global platform, to make sure our platform is safe for everyone,” he said in an interview with Variety.center_img ALL NEW! HOT LIPS 2 11 lipstick shades inspired by 11 incredible icons Ad by Charlotte Tilbury See More AdChoices But life on YouTube isn’t a nonstop party. Alongside its creator-centered initiatives, YouTube has spent considerable time trying to clean up the platform.Last month, it added a way for users to remove suggestions from channels they don’t want to watch. It also specifically banned videos that promote the idea that one group is superior to others, including neo-Nazi content, and said it will widen efforts to limit recommendations of “borderline content and harmful misinformation” outside the U.S. In addition, it has taken steps to reduce the risk children will be targeted by predators on the service, including banning young kids from live-streaming without adult supervision and blocking the ability to leave comments on nearly all videos with minors.“We are continuously working on our community guidelines,” Mohan said. He maintained that changes YouTube has put in place have involved “months of work” including consulting with third parties across the world.At Facebook, CEO Mark Zuckerberg has proposed a plan for users to appeal content decisions through an independent body. The Facebook Oversight Board would be comprised of 40 outside participants to make “decisions would be transparent and binding” — a kind of Supreme Court to rule on individual cases when questions come up about what should stay and what should get removed.Could that work for YouTube? Mohan said the Google-owned video platform remains focused on establishing a workable set of community guidelines with clear and efficient enforcement. “We have always worked with third parties and external organizations,” he said. “You need a combination of incredibly well-trained raters, as well as technology.”Meanwhile, Mohan declined to comment on a report last month in the Wall Street Journal last month that Google execs were debating the idea of moving all videos for children to the separate YouTube Kids app. The FTC is said to be investigating YouTube for possible violations of the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act, which prohibits collecting data on kids 13 and under. YouTube hasn’t denied the WSJ story; a rep said in a statement: “We consider lots of ideas for improving YouTube and some remain just that — ideas. Others, we develop and launch, like our restrictions to minors live streaming or updated hate speech policy.” Popular on Variety ×Actors Reveal Their Favorite Disney PrincessesSeveral actors, like Daisy Ridley, Awkwafina, Jeff Goldblum and Gina Rodriguez, reveal their favorite Disney princesses. Rapunzel, Mulan, Ariel,Tiana, Sleeping Beauty and Jasmine all got some love from the Disney stars.More VideosVolume 0%Press shift question mark to access a list of keyboard shortcutsKeyboard Shortcutsplay/pauseincrease volumedecrease volumeseek forwardsseek backwardstoggle captionstoggle fullscreenmute/unmuteseek to %SPACE↑↓→←cfm0-9Next UpJennifer Lopez Shares How She Became a Mogul04:350.5x1x1.25×1.5x2xLive00:0002:1502:15last_img read more

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