Friday, July 28, 2017

Russia orders out U.S. diplomatic staff, may seize properties


The Russian Foreign Ministry, led by Sergey Lavrov, ordered a reduction of U.S. diplomatic personnel in Russia on Friday, saying the move is a response to new sanctions from Congress. File Photo by Mark Ralston/UPI| License Photo
 
July 28 (UPI) -- Russia ordered a reduction in U.S. diplomatic staff in Moscow and other cities on Friday, and may seize U.S. properties -- in response to new sanctions from Congress.
A Russian Foreign Ministry statement requested the U.S. embassy in Moscow and American consulates in St. Petersburg, Yekaterinburg and Vladivostok to reduce its personnel to about 455 in total -- approximately the number of Russian diplomatic staff in the United States.
"This measure is further proof of the Unites States' extremely hostile foreign policy," the foreign ministry said in a statement. "Hiding behind its sense of superiority, the United States arrogantly ignores the stances and interests of other countries."
The ministry also said it would seize a Moscow warehouse and a country home in the suburb of Serebryany Bor that are used by the U.S. embassy.
The actions are similar to the December 2016 expulsion of Kremlin diplomats from the United States and the seizure of two of Moscow's diplomatic compounds in retaliation for Russian interference in the U.S. presidential election. At the time, the Russian foreign ministry recommended that President Vladimir Putin provide a response, but Putin chose to wait in an apparent attempt to build trust with then-incoming President Donald Trump -- a move that Trump lauded.
"Relations with Russia are being dragged down by political infighting in the United States," the foreign ministry added. "Despite Washington's constant outbursts, we have adhered to responsible and reserved behavior and have not responded to express provocations until now. However, the latest events confirm that certain circles in the U.S. are fixated on Russophobia and open confrontation with our country."
The ministry specified that the actions are in response to a vote Thursday in the U.S. Senate which imposed harsher economic sanctions against Russia. The Senate voted 98-2 to pass the bill and send it to Trump's desk. Two days earlier, the House of Representatives passed the legislation by a 419-3 vote.



When News Breaks Out, We Break In. (The 2014 Bloggies Finalist)

North Korean hackers shift focus to stealing money, not secrets Reports say



It has been reported that North Korean hackers are increasingly targeting vulnerable foreign financial institutions, seeking to convert their Internet espionage efforts into a cash cow, according to cybersecurity experts.
UPI reports that  a new report by the South Korea-based Financial Security Institute said North Korean hackers were behind the online theft of $81 million from the central bank of Bangladesh. Internet security experts also said they were able to trace the attempted hacking of Polish banks to hackers in North Korea. Evidence in that case suggested the reclusive communist regime was plotting more than 100 other potential ecommerce robberies, The New York Times reported.
North Korean hackers were also believed to be a part of the global "WannaCry" cyberattack that crippled Britain's healthcare industry and forced major companies to pay ransom in order to have their computer systems unlocked, the BBC said.
The tactic marks a shift from previous hacking attempts by North Korea that did not have a clear economic benefit for the Kim regime. Instead, North Korean hackers mostly targeted institutions to garner secrets from businesses and governments and foster uncertainty. The most notable North Korean hack of that nature was against Sony in 2014.
As international sanctions over its nuclear weapons program continue to pound the North Korean economy, the government of Kim Jong Un has been forced to turn to hacking as a means of generating foreign cash supplies to pay for imports that support its failing domestic economy.


When News Breaks Out, We Break In. (The 2014 Bloggies Finalist)

Jerry Seinfeld tops Forbes' list of highest-paid comedians

 
Jerry and Jessica Seinfeld arrive on the red carpet at the "SNL" 40th Anniversary Special on February 15, 2015. Seinfeld has been named the highest paid comedian for 2017 by Forbes. Chris Rock and Louis C.K. also made the list. File Photo by John Angelillo/UPI| License Photo
 
July 28 (UPI) -- Jerry Seinfeld has taken the No. 1 spot atop the Forbes annual list of highest-paid comedians, ahead of Chris Rock and Louis C.K.
The list, released Thursday, has the Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee star earning $69 million over the past year, thanks in part to a Netflix stand-up deal he signed and syndication checks from hit '90s sitcom Seinfeld.
Coming in second place is Chris Rock, who earned $57 million and then Louis C.K. with $52 million.
All top five comedians listed, including Dave Chappelle in fourth place with $47 million and Amy Schumer, the lone woman on the list, with $37.5 million in fifth place, made big profits over the past year due to deals with Netflix.
Last year's top earner Kevin Hart has fallen to sixth place with $32.5 million, as he has focused more on his film career then taking the stage for stand-up shows.
Seinfeld's lucrative deal with Netflix was announced in January, and includes bringing over his series Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee to the streaming service along with filming two new stand-up specials and helping the company develop scripted and non-scripted programming.


When News Breaks Out, We Break In. (The 2014 Bloggies Finalist)

Does sugar make you sad? New science suggests so


Higher rates of refined sugar consumption have been associated with higher rates of depression. Photo courtesy of Pixabay 
 
July 28 (UPI) -- The thought of a cupcake, skillfully frosted with fluffy vanilla icing, may put a smile on your face, but research suggests that, in the long term, a sweet tooth may turn that smile into a frown - but not for the reasons you think. In a new study, published in Scientific Reports, my colleagues and I found a link between a diet high in sugar and common mental disorders.
The World Health Organization recommends that people reduce their daily intake of added sugars (that is, all sugar, excluding the sugar that is naturally found in fruit, vegetables and milk) to less than 5 percent of their total energy intake. However, people in the U.K. consume double - in the United States triple - that amount of sugar. Three-quarters of these added sugars come from sweet food and beverages, such as cakes and soft drinks. The rest come from other processed foods, such as ketchup.
At the same time, 1 in 6 people worldwide suffers from a common mental disorder, such as a mood or anxiety disorder. Could there be a link between high sugar consumption and common mental disorders?
Earlier research, published in 2002, examined the link between depression and sugar consumption in six countries. The researchers, from Baylor College, found that higher rates of refined sugar consumption were associated with higher rates of depression.
Since then, a handful of studies have investigated the link between added sugar consumption and subsequent depression. In 2011, researchers in Spain found that when they grouped participants based on their commercial baked food consumption, those who ate the most baked food had a 38 percent increased chance of developing depression compared with those in the group with the lowest intake. The association remained even after accounting for health consciousness and employment status.
In 2014, researchers studied the association between sweetened beverages in a large U.S. group. They found that sugar-sweetened and artificially sweetened drinks (diet drinks) could increase a person's risk of developing depression. And, more recently, a 2015 study, including nearly 70,000 women, found higher chances of depression in those with a high added sugar intake, but not in those with a high intake of naturally occurring sugars, such as those found in fruit.
Trying to explain the link
We are still not sure what causes depression, but some researchers believe that biological changes are at the root of it. Some of these changes could be influenced by sugar and sweet taste. For example, a study in rats found that diets high in sugar and fat can reduce a protein called BDNF that influences the growth and development of nerve cells in the brain. This protein is thought to be involved in the development of depression and anxiety.
Another possible biological cause is inflammation. High-sugar diets can increase inflammation - a protective reaction of the body, normally directed against microorganisms or foreign substances. While common signs of inflammation, such as redness, are far from a mood disorder, the symptoms that keep us in bed with a cold are much closer, such as low energy and being unable to concentrate. Ongoing research suggests that mood disorders could be linked with inflammation, at least in some cases.
Dopamine is another possible culprit. A study using rats earned headlines for suggesting sweet foods could be as addictive as cocaine. This might be due to affects on dopamine, a brain chemical involved in the reward system. Dopamine is also thought to influence mood. And addiction is itself associated with a higher risk of developing a mood disorder.
Finally, sugar intake could be associated with other factors, such as obesity, which itself is related to mood.
But these associations could also reflect a reverse phenomenon: Low mood could make people change their diet. Sweet foods could be used to soothe bad feelings by providing a short-term mood boost. And low mood and anxiety could make simple tasks, such as grocery shopping or cooking, so difficult and exhausting for the sufferer that they might start to avoid them. Instead, they might opt for junk food, takeout and ready meals - all of which have a high sugar content.
What our study adds to the debate
For our latest study, my colleagues and I put the reverse association idea to the test. We used sugar intake from sweet food and drinks to predict new and recurrent mood disorders in a group of British civil servants. We also investigated whether having a mood disorder would make people more inclined to choose sweet foods and drinks.
We found that men without a mood disorder who consumed over 67g of sugar had a 23 percent increased risk of suffering from a mood disorder five years later, compared with those who ate less than 40g. This effect was independent of the men's socioeconomic status, physical activity, drinking, smoking, other eating habits, body fat and physical health.
We also found that men and women with a mood disorder and a high intake of sugar from sweet food and drinks were at higher risk of becoming depressed again five years later, compared with those who consumed less sugar. But this association was partly explained by their overall diet.
We found no evidence for a potential reverse effect: Participants did not change their sugar intake after suffering from mood disorders.
The ConversationDespite our findings, a number of questions remain about whether sugar makes us sad, whether it affects men more than women, and whether it is sweetness, rather than sugar itself, that explains the observed associations. What is certain, though, is that sugar is associated with a number of health problems, including tooth decay, type 2 diabetes and obesity. So cutting down on sugar is probably a good idea, regardless of whether it causes mood disorders or not.



When News Breaks Out, We Break In. (The 2014 Bloggies Finalist)

The Corruption Perceptions Index: See The Most Corrupt and Least Corrupt in the World

 The Corruption Perceptions Index ranked 176 countries on a scale of 0 (perceived to be highly corrupt) to 100 (perceived to be very clean).
In the 2016 Corruption Perceptions Index released on Wednesday July 26 by the Berlin-based ​organisation, Somalia was ranked the most corrupt country in the world for the 10th straight year.
Transparency International estimates that, “corruption, bribery, theft and tax evasion, cost developing countries US $1.26 trillion per year.”
Chairman of the group, José Ugaz, said in the most corrupt countries, “we often see democracies in decline and a disturbing pattern of attempts to crack down on civil society, limit press freedom, and weaken the independence of the judiciary.”
The 2016 CPI, showed that 122 of the 176 countries ranked finished with a score below 50, which Transparency International identifies as having a “serious corruption problem.”
The countries topping the list are generally clustered in Africa and Central Asia Several war-torn nations, such as South Sudan, Syria, Sudan, Yemen, Afghanistan and Iraq which are ranked in the top 10 
Meanwhile, Denmark (90 points) was ranked as the least corrupt nation in the world for the fifth straight year. New Zealand tied for the top spot, while Finland, Sweden and Switzerland round out the top five.
The Corruption Perceptions Index conducted by Transparency International, commenced in the year 1995.

When News Breaks Out, We Break In. (The 2014 Bloggies Finalist)

One of Ronaldo, Bale or Benzema Could Leave Real Madrid Zidane Says

French tactician, Zidane has revealed that the trio of Real Madrid star men could make an exit from the club considering the situation of the transfer market.

 
Cristiano Ronaldo
 
Real Madrid manager, Zinedine Zidane has admitted that one of Cristiano Ronaldo, Gareth Bale or Karim Benzema, could leave this summer.
Zidane says he is eager to ensure they all stay at the club, but refused to guarantee anything.
This comes amid the La Liga club heavily linked with Monaco’s Kylian Mbappe. Speaking after Wednesday night’s 4-1 friendly defeat to City, Zidane refused to comment on the race for Mbappe’s signature.
“That question is not for me, it is for someone else,” he told Marca.
“I hope that BBC (Bale, Benzema, Cristiano) remains, hopefully all of them will stay,” he said.
“But until August 31 anything can happen.”


When News Breaks Out, We Break In. (The 2014 Bloggies Finalist)

Wonders: See the World’s Most Lifelike Toy that Speaks, Smiles and Sings


A company has built an intelligent s*x robot that can smile, speak and sing which has given many people pleasure.
The new robot head can speak, smile and even sing
 
A s*x doll company is making a Terminator-style robot head which can speak, smile and even sing – but only in Chinese, The Sun UK has reported.
The report revealed that the prototype of the DS Doll Robotic Head, which is coated in silicone “skin” and is controlled by a smartphone and a PlayStation controller, is the world’s most lifelike mechanical s*x servant.
Photos of the model made by Doll Sweet Dolls and EX Doll, has a “stunningly beautiful” face and can listen and answer questions using sophisticated voice recognition software.
 
 
The company is hoping to launch a crowdfunding campaign to help produce an English and Japanese version.
Despite not having a rotatable neck, the robot head will fit all the company’s other doll bodies, which have flexible limbs allowing them to “move as a real person.” Paul Lumb, head of Cloud Climax, says the prototype is the “Bugatti Veyron of VR” and comes with a similarly hefty price tag of around £4,500.
 
 
The company is Europe’s only authorised EX Doll retailer and the makers are hoping to bring the robotic head to the UK at the end of next year

When News Breaks Out, We Break In. (The 2014 Bloggies Finalist)

World's Biggest Fertiliser Plant Goes Operational in Nigeria

 The Senior Special Assistant to the Acting President on Media and Publicity, has announced in a statement issued in Abuja that Osinbajo will be inaugurating the world's biggest fertilizer plant in Rivers state.


 
Acting President Yemi Osinbajo will visit Port Harcourt, on Thursday, to inaugurate the world’s biggest fertiliser plant built by Indorama Eleme Fertiliser and Chemicals Limited.
Mr Laolu Akande, the Senior Special Assistant to the Acting President on Media and Publicity, made the announcement in a statement issued in Abuja on Wednesday.
According to the presidential aide, the plant with production capacity of 1.5 million metric tons of Urea fertiliser is considered the world’s largest single-train Urea plant.
Eleme Petrochemicals Company Ltd, now Indorama Eleme Fertiliser and Chemicals Limited, was privatised in 2006 after the sale of Federal Government’s 75 per cent shares to a core investor through competitive bidding process.
The  plant has a production capacity of 4,000 metric tons of nitrogenous fertiliser per day. It was built with $1.5 billion dollars.
The  opening of the plant is expected to boost the agriculture sector not just in Nigeria, but also in Africa and beyond.
Akande said fertiliser from the plant would be made available to farmers nationwide at affordable cost.
This will boost crop yield for farmers and help in minimising food grain deficit in Nigeria, Akande said.
The plant consists of 2300 TPD Ammonia plant, 4000 TPF Urea plant, 83 km long Gas Pipeline, and an Export Port Terminal.
The main plant, measuring approximately 40 hectares, is located within the perimeter of Indorama’s existing petrochemical site in Port Harcourt.
The Gas Pipeline for the fertiliser plant was constructed by IEFCL within an existing 15 meter wide Right of Way (“ROW”).
Part of the $1.5billion was used to build a new jetty  at Onne Port on a plot of land measuring approximate 6 hectares
The jetty comprises 320 m long Quay along with terminal infrastructure including all material handling facilities necessary for urea and a urea storage facility with a capacity of 45,000 MT.
The transfer of urea from the fertiliser plant will be by road via an existing road network.
Construction of the new fertiliser plant commenced in early 2013 with commissioning coming two years later than planned. 
 
-NAN


When News Breaks Out, We Break In. (The 2014 Bloggies Finalist)

See What 24,000 Facebook Likes Have Done to a Couple

 A man promised to marry his girlfriend if her Facebook gets as many as 500 likes, however something much more impressive happened.

Amanda Barr and Stuart Gunn
 
Women want longterm commitment, men are resistant – or so the stereotype goes.
While we may all dream of meeting someone who wants to marry us without being paid, bargained with, or badgered into it (wouldn’t it be nice to get hitched to someone who actually wants the same in return), sometimes, things don’t run that smoothly.
That’s the case for Amanda Barr, anyway.
She’s been bugging her partner, Stuart Gunn to marry her for the past ten years, but he’s always put off making the legal commitment.
This week, Amanda came up with a way to finally get a wedding: Facebook.
Amanda managed to get Stuart to agree to marry her if she got 500 likes on a Facebook post.
‘So as many of you already know me and Stuart has Been together now for 13 years we have 3 amazing beautifull children, a lovely home, we are happy and content,’ Amanda wrote on Facebook.
‘The only problem is my last name!! [I’ve] been nagging him for the past 10 years now to get married but no luck such as yet!!
‘So enough is enough now I’m not getting any younger I would love to be married by next year.
‘So Stuart has said if I get 500 likes and 50 shares by the end of this month he will propose this year and set a date for next year.
‘So I need all mine and Stuart’s family and friends to share and like the hell out of this post. LETS GET ME DOWN THE AISLE GUYS.’
The post has since received more than 24,000 likes, and racked up the necessary 500 likes within 55 minutes, so it’s safe to say that Stuart is now officially obligated to tie the knot.
‘I can’t believe it has gone like it has,’ said Amanda. ‘I’ve had messages from Australia, Poland, and America.’
 It sounds like Stuart will be sticking to his end of the bargain.
‘If 22,000 people reckon I should marry Amanda then I should get on with it,’ he said. ‘It’s about time.’
Getting on with getting married out of social obligation and pressure from the internet. So romantic.
 
***
Via Metro UK


When News Breaks Out, We Break In. (The 2014 Bloggies Finalist)

Zlatan Ibrahimovic Immortalized on Bank Note in Sweden (Photos)


It is barely overstating the matter to say Zlatan Ibrahimovic has attained living legend status in Sweden. He is the country's top scorer and is being immortalised in a statue outside the national stadium.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic has his face on currency after being represented on the 1,000 kroner note
Swedish professional footballer, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, who played as a striker for Manchester United in last season's English Premier league, has attained living legend status in his country as he has just being immortalised with his face on currency after being represented on the 1,000 kroner note by a Swedish artist.
According to a report by Dailymail, he former Barcelona and Juventus striker who is also in a statue outside the country's national stadium, seemed impressed with the piece, made by photographer Bingo Rimer.
Ibrahimovic who shared the photo showing him posing with a blown up version of the note on Instagram, captioned it; 'You have Benjamin Franklin and you have me,' referring to the statesman whose likeness adorns the $100 note in the US.
 
 
Unfortunately for his fans, the note is not official Swedish currency and is not available, meaning you cannot make a payment with a wad of Zlatans.
It is unlike the official stamps released by Sweden in 2014, with five special edition pieces released of the forward in the yellow of the national team.
However the famously self-confident forward will be pleased with Rimer's choice of note, with 1,000 kroner - roughly equivalent to £93 - the largest denomination available in Swedish currency.


When News Breaks Out, We Break In. (The 2014 Bloggies Finalist)

Here are the Top 23 African Cities with the Highest Number of Billionaires

Africa is indeed producing more millionaires, as the number of millionaires are increasing dramatically judging by the latest report by AfraAsia Bank.
File photo: Lekki, Lagos, Nigeria
 
AfraAsia Bank's Africa Wealth Report 2017 has made a comparison of 23 African cities with the highest number of billionaires as at the year 2016.
 In the list of 23 countries, Lagos, Nigeria's former capital came 4th, only topped by two South-African cities; Johannesburg and Cape Town as well as the Egyptian city of Cairo.
 Here is the list of cities and the number of multi-millionaires they have respectively:
 
1. Johannesburg (incl. Sandton) - 970
2. Cairo - 480
3. Cape Town - 440
4. Lagos - 360
5. Nairobi - 280
6. Luanda - 240
7. Durban (incl. Umhlanga) - 130
8. Pretoria - 110
9. Casablanca - 110
10. Accra - 100
11. Abidjan - 90
12. Algiers - 90
13. Alexandria - 110
14. Windhoek - 60
15. Dar Es Salaam - 50
16. Gaborone - 50
17. Mombasa - 40
18. Abuja - 40
19. Addis Ababa - 40
20. Kampala - 40
21. Maputo - 40
22. Lusaka - 30
23. Marrakesh - 30
 
With no other Nigerian cities listed, the nation’s commercial nerve-centre automatically clinches the wealthiest spot among Nigerian major cities.
The report is the result of New World Wealth’s extensive research covering the wealth market in Africa which report covers wealth, luxury, prime property, collectable and wealth management trends on the continent from 2006 to 2016, with projections to 2026.


When News Breaks Out, We Break In. (The 2014 Bloggies Finalist)

Breaking News: Jeff Bezos, Owner of Amazon.com, is Worlds Richest Man, Bill Gate Dethroned

A new billionaire has emerged today as the world's richest person in the world thereby overtaking Microsoft founder, Bill Gates.

Jeff Bezos, owner of Amazon.com, became the worlds richest man on Thursday
 
Jeff Bezos, owner of online retail giant Amazon.com, surpassed Bill Gates as the wealthiest man in the world on Thursday.
 
According to Forbes,  Bezos emerged as the the richest person in the world, with a fortune topping $90 billion for the first time ever.
 
When markets opened on Thursday, Bezos had a net worth of $90.6 billion, putting him $500 million ahead of Microsoft founder Bill Gates.
 
Amazon stock opened up 1.6% on Thursday, adding $1.4 billion to Bezos’ net worth. That was enough to put him ahead of Gates, who was last surpassed on Forbes’ real-time rankings for just two days nearly a year ago by Spanish retail giant Amancio Ortega.
 
Forbes started tracking billionaires around the globe in 1987. Bezos is now the seventh person to hold the title of the world’s richest person and the third American to top the global ranks besides Gates and Berkshire Hathaway CEO Warren Buffett.


When News Breaks Out, We Break In. (The 2014 Bloggies Finalist)

Five Kenyan School Girls to Represent Africa at Google's Technovation Challenge

The five Kenyan school girls, aged 15 to 17, are the only Africans selected to take part in this year's international Technovation competition. The young girls developed an App to end female genital mutilation.
One of them is quoted by Thomson Reuters Foundation as saying that "FGM is a big problem affecting girls worldwide and it is a problem we want to solve". Stacy continued that "This whole experience will change our lives. Whether we win or not, our perspective of the world and the possibilities it has will change for the better."  According Reuters, the five girls are from Kenya's western city of Kisumu call themselves the 'Restorers' because they want to "restore hope to hopeless girls", said Synthia Otieno, one of the team.
Reports say almost one in four Kenyan women and girls have undergone FGM, which involves the partial or total removal of the external genitalia, even though it is illegal in the East African nation.
Although the girls' Luo community does not practice FGM, they have friends who have been cut.
"We were very close but after she was cut she never came back to school," said Purity Achieng, describing a classmate who underwent FGM. "She was among the smartest girls I knew."
I-cut connects girls at risk of FGM with rescue centres and gives legal and medical help to those who have been cut.
Its simple interface has five buttons - help, rescue, report, information on FGM, donate and feedback – offering users different services.
Kenya is one of the most technologically advanced countries in Africa, known for its pioneering mobile money transfer apps.
Technovation, which is sponsored by Google, Verizon and the United Nations, aims to teach girls the skills they need to become tech entrepreneurs and leaders.

When News Breaks Out, We Break In. (The 2014 Bloggies Finalist)

'Titanic' Stars Leonardo DiCaprio, Kate Winslet, Billy Zane Reunite


Leonardo DiCaprio (L) and Kate Winslet attend the London premiere of "Revolutionary Road" on January 18, 2009. File Photo by Rune Hellestad/UPI| License Photo
 
July 27 (UPI) -- Titanic stars Leonardo DiCaprio, Kate Winslet and Billy Zane reunited this week ahead of the film's 20th anniversary.
DiCaprio, 42, hosted Winslet, 41, and Zane, 51, at his annual Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation dinner Wednesday in St. Tropez, France, which raised funds for environmental causes.
"Gangs back together," Zane captioned a photo on Instagram of himself with his former co-stars. "Now we're saving icebergs. Go figure.."
People reported prior to the event that DiCaprio and Winslet would auction off a private dinner with the two of them at the gala. The winning bidder will dine with the stars in October or November at a place of their choosing in New York.
DiCaprio and Winslet played ill-fated lovers Jack Dawson and Rose Bukater in Titanic, with Zane as Rose's villainous fiancé, Cal Hockley. Zane said in a 2016 interview with Today that he wishes Rose and Cal had stayed together in the film.
"He was a little misunderstood," the actor said of his character. "I wasn't the iceberg. I did not drown 2,000 people. I got off the boat."
"Yes, [I think Rose made the wrong choice]," he added. "I think he found redemption by the end. I wish he had found her on the Carpathia and was able to right his wrongs."


When News Breaks Out, We Break In. (The 2014 Bloggies Finalist)

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Quincy Jones Wins $9.42M in Royalties Dispute with Michael Jackson's Estate

Quincy Jones (R) and Chris Tucker attend the 50th anniversary screening of "In the Heat of the Night" on April 6. Jones was awarded $9.42 million in a dispute with the estate of Michael Jackson. File Photo by Jim Ruymen/UP| License Photo
 
July 27 (UPI) -- Music producer Quincy Jones was awarded $9.4 million in damages Wednesday in a dispute over unpaid royalties with the estate of Michael Jackson.
A Los Angeles jury sided with Jones who took Jackson's estate to court for underpaid royalties stemming from Jackson concert film This Is It and two Cirque du Soleil shows that used the pop icon's music following his death in 2009, Variety reported.
Jones sought $30 million in damages when he sued the estate in 2013 stating that he was unfairly cut out of posthumous deals made for the film and Cirque du Soleil shows. The estate countered that he was only due $392,000 due to minor accounting errors.
"This lawsuit was never about Michael," Jones said a statement, The New York Times reported. "It was about protecting the integrity of the work we all did in the recording studio and the legacy of what we created."
"I view it not only as a victory for myself personally, but for artists' rights overall," he added.
"Any amount above and beyond what is called for in his contracts is too much and unfair to Michael's heirs," Jackson estate lawyer Howard Weitzman said following the verdict.
Jones collaborated with Jackson and produced three of his most successful albums, Off the Wall, Thriller and Bad.


When News Breaks Out, We Break In. (The 2014 Bloggies Finalist)

Falling Sperm Counts Could Lead To End Of Human Race - New Study Reveals

A new study has made a controversial claim that failing sperm counts could effectively lead to the end of the human race.
 
A major study has found that sperm counts of Western men are at a ‘shocking’ record low that it now poses a potential threat to fertility in industrialised countries.
There has been a 59.3 per cent drop in sperm produced by men from North America, Europe, Australia and New Zealand between 1973 and 2011.
One possible cause of the decline, which shows no sign of slowing, is environmental chemicals.
Study co-leader, Dr. Hagai Levine, of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, said the findings were ‘an urgent wake-up call.’
Levine said, “Eventually, we may have a problem, and with reproduction in general, and it may be the extinction of the human species.”
Professor Daniel Brison, of the department of reproductive medicine at Manchester University, said “the extent of the decline in this study is shocking.”
Other fertility experts warned of a “double whammy” caused by falling sperm counts and women waiting until their 30s to get pregnant.
The study, published in the journal Human Reproduction Update, found no similar decline in South America, Asia and Africa.
Co-author, Prof. Shanna Swan, from New York’s Icahn School of Medicine, said: “The fact that the decline is seen in Western countries strongly suggests that chemicals in commerce are playing a causal role.”
Exposure to chemicals in the womb, adult exposure to pesticides, smoking, stress and obesity have all been linked to falling sperm counts.
 
***



When News Breaks Out, We Break In. (The 2014 Bloggies Finalist)

Football Transsfer: Doubts over Neymar Moving to PSG in France


Reports have it that Barcelona players are currently talking with Brazilian superstar, Neymar to discourage his move to the French giants.
 
Neymar
 
Gerard Pique has sparked panic at Barcelona after appearing to backtrack on his ‘he stays’ tweet on teammate Neymar, target of a blockbuster transfer by Paris Saint Germain.
“Doubts, doubts and more doubts,” ran the headline Wednesday on the front page of Catalan daily Sport above a photo of the striker lost deep in thought.
PSG are trying to lure the 25-year-old Brazilian to France and are ready to pay off his 222 million euro ($256.8 million) release clause and make the player the best-paid footballer on the planet.
Last week Pique took to social media to say “he’s staying” – but when pressed on the matter Tuesday ahead of a pre-season friendly in the United States against Manchester United he was less sure of himself.
“It’s a personal opinion from the conversation that I had with him and my intuition,” Pique said.
“But it’s not official,” he added. “And it’s not for me to say if he’s going to stay or not.”
The position sent a shudder down the spine at Barcelona.“Pique retracts and feeds the uncertainty,” the newspaper Sport said. “The situation is eroding confidence at the club,” columnist Tomas Andreu wrote in Sport.
“What really hurts here is the silence of the player himself, which in the end says a great deal.”
 Neymar departed the stadium without addressing reporters after starring in a 2-1 win over Juventus on Saturday.
“They (the club) did not expect the negotiations with PSG and the player to go this far,” he said.
At the same press conference, the Argentine defender Javier Mascherano said he had told Neymar to carefully weigh up the pros and cons.
Mascherano added all the players, including Lionel Messi, had spoken the player to ask him to stay.


When News Breaks Out, We Break In. (The 2014 Bloggies Finalist)

What You Need to Know About this Woman Who Has Lived All Alone For The Past 40 Years In One of the World's Most Remote Islands

A woman has been found out to have lived in one of the world's mot remote islands all alone by herself for the past 40 years.

 
Zoe Lucas has lived all alone by herself
 
Zoe Lucas is a 67-year-old woman who has lived alone on a remote island for 40 years.
However, she insists she never gets lonely – as long as she’s got her binoculars to hand to admire its stunning wildlife.
According to The Sun UK, Zoe Lucas lives in a wooden-clad house on Sable Island off the coast of Canada, which is covered in fog for around 127 days of the year.
But despite that, Zoe feels perfectly at home in the peace and quiet – with 400 horses, 300,000 grey seals and 350 species of bird to keep her company on the 26-mile island.
 
The woman lives in this wooden building on the island
 
She first fell in love with Sable Island when visiting as a 21-year-old student in 1971 and soon made it her home.
Speaking to MailOnline Travel, Zoe said: “I squawked and squawked, I wanted to come so bad. I originally came out here for the horses.”
Now a citizen scientist, the 67-year-old rarely returns to her hometown of Halifax in Nova Scotia – and instead depends on supplies being flown in on a weekly basis.
There is no way to reach the island, other than by boat or charter plane.
 
It earned the nickname “graveyard of the Atlantic” after more than 300 shipwrecks.
 
 
During her four decades living on the island, a refrigerator, crateful of fresh peppers from a shipping container, popped balloon carcasses and even a fake LEG has washed up on the beach.
Zoe spends her days studying ecology and collecting horses’ skulls so that scientists can discover how the animals have been able to adapt to the island’s stark landscape.
In 2013 Sable Island was made a National Park Reserve on June 20, 2013.


When News Breaks Out, We Break In. (The 2014 Bloggies Finalist)

See Thrilling Photos of 2017 Miss BumBum Beauty Pageant Contestants (Photos)

 Many people are drooling following the release of tantalizing photos showing beautiful Miss BumBum 2017 Beauty Pageant contestants.

One of the Miss BumBum 2017 hopeful poses for the camera
 
Hopefuls who might emerge victorious in the 2017 Miss BumBum pageant have released these jaw-dropping photos of their incredible assets as the next stage of the controversial competition looms.
According to The Sun, the shapely candidates are getting ready for the official launch of the contest in Sao Paulo’s famous Paulista Avenue next month.
 
 
The curvy competitors are trying to wow the public with these breath-taking “belfies” before an online vote narrows the 27-strong field to 15 finalists.
 
The final will take place in Sao Paulo in November.
 

When News Breaks Out, We Break In. (The 2014 Bloggies Finalist)

Nigerian Youths Can Now Contest for Presidency as Senate Reduces Age of Office of President, Governor, Others


A total of 86 Nigerian Senators have voted and passed the bill which seeks age reduction for elective offices in Nigeria.
 
The members of the Senator Bukola Saraki-led Nigerian Senate have on Wednesday, July 26, passed a bill which proposed a 35-years as the minimum age for the office of the president from the initial 40-years mandated by the 1999 constitution. 
The lawmakers also moved a motion to encourage Nigerian youths to contest for the post of Governor or Senator at the age of 30, away from the initial 35years limit mandated by the 1999 constitution. 
TORI News also gathered that the bill goes on to stipulate that 25-year-olds can now legislate in the National and State Houses of Assemblies in Nigeria. 
 
 
The amendments were made during the debate on report for constitution review which had been earlier adopted by the joint session of the committees of both the Senate and the House of Representatives.
NOTE: For the new bill to take effect, it needs the endorsement of 24 state assemblies and President Muhamamdu Buhari's assent.
Senate's approval is just one of the steps required to amend the constitution. 
We'll be bringing you more details later.

When News Breaks Out, We Break In. (The 2014 Bloggies Finalist)

Nigerian Pastor Makes Baffling Prophecies, Says Buhari Will Lose Battle, Osinbajo Sworn-in as President and Atiku Will Win 2019 Election

A Nigerian pastor has made shocking revelations of what will happen in the near future for Nigeria as the President's health crisis lingers.

President Muhammadu Buhari and Acting President Yemi Osinbajo
 The General overseer of King of Kings Deliverance Ministry, Prophet Emmanuel Chukwudi has prophesied that ailing President Muhammadu Buhari will not return to Nigeria as the President.
 He further noted that Acting President Yemi Osinbajo will be sworn-in as President amid fierce opposition. The Prophet added that the 2019 will be won by the former Vice-President Atiku Abubakar.
He made the prophesies while being conferred with a new title by his kinsmen, according to a report by DailyPost.
“I saw Buhari saying that he is no more in charge. Then I saw Osinbajo being sworn in. But the opposition is just too much. He can only last till 2019.
"He should battle very well not to be removed from office before then. This is not the first time I am saying that Buhari will not pilot Nigeria into 2019, and this is not the first time I am being shown Atiku as the next president.
"It’s over three years now that Atiku was first revealed to me.
“Buhari has handed over power spiritually to Osinbajo. He cannot return to power, in case anyone is expecting him”, the Prophet said.

When News Breaks Out, We Break In. (The 2014 Bloggies Finalist)

Lesson from Nigeria: Senate Okays Independent Candidature For Elections

Independent candidacy which has been constantly advocated in the Nigerian political space has finally been approved by the upper chamber.

 
 
Nigerian Senate on Wednesday approved independent candidature for the country’s electoral process.
The approval on Wednesday was part of the ongoing amendment of the 1999 constitution. Before now, only political parties could sponsor candidates for elections in the country.
The development means candidates can now vie for elective positions without joining a party.
The amendment had sought to move certain items to the concurrent legislative list to give more powers to the States.
During the electronic voting on the amendment of the constitution, 46 senators voted in support of the proposal, while 48 senators voted against and one abstained.


When News Breaks Out, We Break In. (The 2014 Bloggies Finalist)

Amber Rose Opens up on her Relationship with Kanye West, Says Rapper Bullied her for Six Years

Amber Rose has opened up on her past relationship with popular American rapper, Kanye West, which according to her was oppressive.

 
Kanye West and Amber Rose
 
Reality TV star and model, Amber Rose who has been silent about her relationship and eventual breakup with music star Kanye West has finally opened up in a recent interview with Complex.
She said the rapper bullied her. Amber Rose and Kanye West officially began dating in 2008. After two years, the pair broke up and Rose ended up with rapper Wiz Khalifa, with whom she has a son, Sebastian. She later broke up with the rapper and is currently with 21 Savage, her new boyfriend.
 Meanwhile West is married to Kim Kardashian.
 One of the hosts of the Complex show, “Everyday Struggle,” Joe Budden, quizzed Rose about Kanye West’s mental health condition, which has been the topic of many headlines since he was hospitalised in 2016. At first, Amber Rose was reluctant, but the host’s persistence paid off.
 “Imagine living with him,” Rose said at last. “That’s all I’m gonna say.” Budden and one of his co-hosts, Akademiks, continued to press her about her and West’s Twitter fight in January of 2016. After West mentioned her son while dissing Wiz Khalifa, Rose fired back with some personal details about their former s*x life.
“I still have never said anything mean about Kanye,” she maintains. “This is after six, seven years of constant bullying from him. He said one thing about my child…”
The buzz cut-spotting celeb made sure to note that her relationship with West didn’t leave a lasting damage.
She said: “I could have had a reality show just off the fact that I was his girlfriend,” she explained.
“I said ‘You know what? I’m a real-*ss b*tch. I’m gonna take the high road. I’m gonna work my *ss off and I’m gonna get everything that I’m gonna get on my own.”


When News Breaks Out, We Break In. (The 2014 Bloggies Finalist)

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

AFCON 2019: SDF MP Writes to President Biya, Expresses the Urgency in Including Bamenda as Host City

 SDF Member of Parliament for Bamenda / Bali Constituency has expressed disgust over the fact that Bamenda has not been selected among the cities to host AFCON 2019. Hon. Fobi Nchinda Simon expressed the Bamenda man's worries in a  open letter to the Head of state, President Paul Biya in which he outlined some pertinent issues . 
HERE BELOW IS THE LETTER


OPEN LETTER: To H.E. Paul Biya, President of The Republic of Cameroon
Subject: Urgency in Including Bamenda in Hosting The AFCON 2019


Your Excellency,

I am the MP for the Bamenda/Bali Constituency. It might be needless to state here that it is the largest constituency in the entire country. However, it suffices to remind you that according to demographic statistics, Bamenda is the third largest city in Cameroon after Douala and Yaounde and is one of the fastest growing town in the Republic.
Under your auspices, the government has chosen Yaounde, Douala, Bafoussam, Garoau and Limbe as the towns to host the African Nations Cup in 2019. Bamenda, the chief town of the Northwest region was inexplicably left out as one of the towns to host matches or training sessions of the teams that will participate in AFCON 2019. When Cameroon won the bid to host the AFCON 2019, the entire nation including Bamenda was in euphoria. But this euphoria has dissipated as Bamenda has been side-lined in the construction and rehabilitation of infrastructures for the competition. Does it mean that the denizens of Bamenda in particular and the North West region in general are not Cameroonians, who equally have the right to the entertainment and the joy of the AFCON 2019 festival with its attendant socio-economic fallouts?
Your Minister of Sports and Physical Education granted a press conference the other day to outline the infrastructures the government has earmarked for AFCON 2019. He said the African Football Confederation, CAF, requires 32 stadia for the competition. From the statistics he presented, none of the stadia or training grounds is in the NW region. Meanwhile, Yaoundé and other cities are having two stadia. Why is Bamenda side-lined? Is it still the continuous marginalisation of the Anglophones?
I know Bamenda has no road linking it to the other cities in Cameroon. If your government’s promises are anything to go by, then by 2019, a decent road will link Bamenda to the other major cities of Cameroon. Equally, the Bamenda airport is now operational and the transportation of teams to Bamenda can no longer pose problems.
If the neglect of Bamenda by your government was an oversight, then CAF has given you an opportunity to right the wrong done to Bamenda. Instead of 16 teams, the competition will now have 24 teams. It is therefore urgent and necessary for the organising committee to add Bamenda as one of the sites to host the AFCON 2019. In addition, CAF has shifted the competition from January 2019 to June 2019 thus, giving you ample time to construct a stadium and ancillary facilities in Bamenda.
Football remains a unifying factor in Cameroon. It will be an unpardonable act for the government to side-line Bamenda, an act which can be wrongly interpreted by the population and which can further polarised the nation. Bamenda has been and is home of some major football clubs in Cameroon and it does not augur well to deprive the city of basic football infrastructure.
Your Excellency, I am counting on your fast and effective decision to include Bamenda among the towns to host the AFCON 2019.
I remain sincerely yours,
Hon Fobi Nchinda Simon
MP Bamenda/Bali Constituency



When News Breaks Out, We Break In. (The 2014 Bloggies Finalist)

Hollywood Vibes: 'Wonder Woman 2' Set for December 2019

Cast member Gal Gadot attends the premiere of "Wonder Woman" at the Pantages Theatre in Los Angeles on May 25. The box office smash has been given a 2019 release date. File Photo by Jim Ruymen/UPI  License Photo
 
July 26 (UPI) -- Fans of Wonder Woman will get a sequel, but will have to wait until December 2019 to get it.
Warner Bros. Studio spokesman Jack Horner announced that Wonder Woman 2 will be released on Dec. 13, 2019 with actress Gal Gadot returning in the starring role.
Wonder Woman has been one of the biggest hits of 2017, grossing $780 million worldwide, including nearly $400 million in U.S. ticket sales, according to Box Office Mojo.
The comic book movie has also impressed critics, who have been tough on superhero movies of late, with a 92 percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes.



When News Breaks Out, We Break In. (The 2014 Bloggies Finalist)

Britain to Start Taking Gas, Diesel Vehicles Off Roads in 2040

July 26 (UPI) -- For environmental reasons, Britain will ban all new gasoline- and diesel-powered vehicles from its roads beginning in 23 years, a government report says.
The plan, expected Wednesday, aims to start removing gasoline and diesel engines in 2040. It follows a similar declaration in France and comes after the British government was ordered by courts to develop new plans to reduce nitrogen dioxide in the air.
Judges ruled that prior clean-air plans were inadequate to meet European Union pollution limits in coming years.
Britain's government has said the poor air quality has an unnecessary and avoidable negative impact on citizens' health, and costs up to $3.5 billion in annual lost productivity.
Part of the new plan involves an offer of $260 million to local governments to change rules where vehicle emissions surpass EU thresholds. Ideas so far include changing road layouts, reprogramming traffic lights and imposing charges on the oldest and most polluting cars on the road.
The plan also includes $1.3 billion for government purchase of ultra-low emissions vehicles, nearly $130 million to improve infrastructure for electric vehicle charging stations and $378 million for retrofitting existing vehicles.
Climate change is also a reason for the plan to get gas vehicles off the road.
"We can't carry on with diesel and petrol cars," Environment Secretary Michael Gove said. "It's important we all gear up for a significant change which deals not just with the problems to health caused by emissions, but the broader problems caused in terms of accelerating climate change."
Gove added that some of the onus rested on local communities to come up with ways to limit emissions, including possible prohibitions on commuters and the addition of cleaner mass transit options. Local leaders are called on to draw up "appropriate plans" to deal with climate challenges related to emissions, he said.
Energy consultant group Wood Mackenzie said that it estimated about 10 percent of the passenger vehicles on British roads will be electric by 2035, leaving more than 30 million conventional vehicles still in service.
Apart from what he said are the "massive" investments required to build new infrastructure, Alan Gelder, the group's senior vice president for refinery and chemicals research, said the strain on the grid would be significant.
"If, in 2035, 5 percent of the EV fleet were to charge at the same time, the load on the grid could soar by up to 40 gigawatts," he said in an emailed statement.
Though the measure could lead to dramatic cuts in fuel consumption, the measure does little to address the oil demand from airlines and commercial vehicles, he added.
French Environmental Minister Nicolas Hulot said in early July the country would end the sale of gasoline and diesel vehicles by 2040 and become carbon neutral by 2050 as part of its efforts to address the goals in the international Paris climate agreement.
Swedish automaker Volvo around the same time said it was marking an end to the era where its consumer fleet has vehicles powered only by the internal combustion engine. All vehicles launched from 2019 will have an electric motor.
In June, parties to an effort steered in part by the International Energy Agency set a goal of 30 percent new electrical vehicle sales by 2030.



When News Breaks Out, We Break In. (The 2014 Bloggies Finalist)

2018 Elections: Jean Nkuete, CPDM Scribe Mobilizes, Strategizes the Diasporas in Paris

At the invitation of the Secretary General of the Central Committee, Jean Nkuete, the members of the ten CPDM sections of Europe and America gathered in Paris on July 15, 2017 to strategize on party issues. Speculations are rife at that the meeting was to adopt a winning strategy in the upcoming elections in Cameroon. 
CPDM scribe in an opening statement described the presence of dispora party officials of his party as "a sign of the commitment of each and every one for the development of Cameroon under the leadership of HE Mr. Paul Biya, National President of the Party, President Of the Republic and Head of State "
.To Jean Nkuete, the unprecedented meeting, which followed the one organized in Douala, for the African CPDM Sections, is making the party stronger. During the meeting, party section executives were drilled on the roles and responsibilities of the party executives, their role improving relations between Cameroon and their host countries as well as the CPDM in the face of the problems of national unity and stability of institutions" and "the place of communication in party life etc etc.
Some of the key speakers during the meeting were Pr Jean Pierre Fogui,Professor Paul Célestin Ndembiyembe, Professor Elvis Ngolle Ngolle, Thomas Fozein, and Christophe Mien Zok

 
When News Breaks Out, We Break In. (The 2014 Bloggies Finalist)