Month: December 2018

Did Kerala students raise IS flags in support of terror outfits ? | News Hour 31 DEC 2018

Did Kerala students raise IS flags in support of terror outfits | News Hour 31 DEC 2018
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A fact checker's guide to stopping fake news – BBC News

A fact checker’s guide to stopping fake news – BBC News

Media playback is unsupported on your device Video A fact checker’s guide to stopping fake news
What can you do to stop fake news and misinformation? Professional fact checker Maarten Schenk has five top tips.
Video Journalist: Joanne Whalley
You can follow BBC Trending on Twitter @BBCtrending , and find us on Facebook .
And you can listen to Trending on the BBC World Service .
All our stories are at bbc.com/trending . 29 Dec 2018

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Obituary: June Whitfield – BBC News

These are external links and will open in a new window Close share panel Dame June Whitfield was a constant presence in British post-war comedy.
Often playing the female stooge to some of Britain’s most famous entertainers, she called herself “a comic’s tart”.
But after six decades on radio and television, she established herself as a star in her own right.
The actress always said she was “very bad at getting round to things”.
But from her early radio roles in the 1950s, through to her scatty antics on Absolutely Fabulous, she made more than 1,300 appearances on radio and TV.
June Rosemary Whitfield was born in Streatham, south London on 11 November 1925.
Her father was a telephone company executive, her mother an amateur actress who pushed her young daughter into dramatics and dancing. Image caption By the mid 1950s she was one of radio’s biggest stars
Trained at Rada, to which she attributed her hard work ethic, Whitfield took her first professional acting job in 1944.
She was soon in demand on stage, radio and later television, and her long and varied career made for some surprising connections.
When she appeared in the London production Ace of Clubs, she was befriended by the show’s creator, Noel Coward, and spent weekends at his glamorous country home.
Later she joined the chorus line of South Pacific, with its American lead Mary Martin, dating the star’s young son, a pre-Dallas Larry Hagman. Second billing
However, her husband of 46 years, Tim Aitchison, was not from the same industry, but a chartered surveyor.
Whitfield’s ability to conjure up characters and superb sense of comic timing kept her in demand from across the entire canon of British comedy.
Stars such as Tony Hancock, Frankie Howerd, Ronnie Barker, Benny Hill, Bob Monkhouse and Tommy Cooper all clamoured to work with her. Image caption She was always the versatile sidekick
She called her autobiography …and June Whitfield, in recognition of the fact that she always got second billing.
“The greatest of show business mysteries,” Denis Norden once said, “was how anyone could contemplate doing a comedy show without June Whitfield.”
With Frankie Howerd, she recorded a version of the song Je T’aime, but even their spoof, complete with ironic heavy breathing, was considered too risque for the time and was famously banned by the BBC.
Her most memorable radio role was in The Glums, Frank Muir and Denis Norden’s spoof family soap, part of the popular show Take It From Here. Chemistry
For seven years as the long-suffering Eth, her most oft-heard line was the lamenting “Ooh, Ron”, addressed to her hapless fiance.
And for two decades, she read the News Huddlines for her long-time friend and colleague Roy Hudd, in radio’s longest-running audience comedy.
Her first starring TV role came in the BBC sitcom Beggar My Neighbour in 1966. Image caption Terry and June: a gentle style of comedy
She went on to form her first working relationship with Terry Scott in Scott On before the pair teamed up again for Terry and June.
The chemistry between the unflappable Whitfield and her hare-brained husband was so solid that many viewers believed they were married in real life.
Described as the apotheosis of undemanding, middle-class, primetime comedy, Terry and June attracted audiences of 15 million during its eight-year run.
Whitfield described herself as living “in the suburban corner, in real life and in the parts I’ve played. Very English, and nothing wrong with that”. Unlikely icon
She also became the face of a string of adverts for Birds Eye frozen ready meals with the punchline: “It can make a dishonest woman of you.”
Her big screen appearances included four Carry On films, and, in 1996, the part of Aunt Drusilla in a film adaptation of Thomas Hardy’s Jude the Obscure
“The Carry Ons were a nudging sort of humour, like seaside postcards,” she said. “Not at all politically correct, which was always a good thing.” Image caption She played serious roles, here as Aunt Drusilla in Jude
In 1992, she became an unlikely icon to a new generation of fans with her portrayal of Edina’s unworldly mother in the internationally successful Absolutely Fabulous.
Originally scheduled to appear in just one episode, she went on to become one of the show’s most popular characters.
“As Joanna Lumley says, Ab Fab made us born-again actresses,” she commented.
As the new century dawned, Whitfield continued a wide variety of roles including parts in Midsomer Murders and that retirement home for actors of a certain generation, Last of the Summer Wine. Muse
In 2009 she appeared in The End of Time, the Doctor Who episode that was the last for David Tennant.
She was awarded an OBE in 1985 and CBE in 1998 and, in 2017, became a Dame.
Despite her success, Whitfield never wanted a lead role, explaining that she lacked the drive and confidence. Image caption She won a new generation of fans as the dotty mother in Absolutely Fabulous
And as the on-stage muse to stars like Hancock and Cooper, she was all too aware of the personal cost.
When they died prematurely, she attributed this to “the responsibility, the stress and strain” of carrying the show.
Instead, June Whitfield revelled in her role of versatile sidekick for three generations of audiences.
She enjoyed enduring popularity and success, a life she described in her autobiography as “full of love, affection and laughter, of gigs, gags and a couple of gongs”. Related Topics

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Obituary: June Whitfield – BBC News

These are external links and will open in a new window Close share panel Dame June Whitfield was a constant presence in British post-war comedy.
Often playing the female stooge to some of Britain’s most famous entertainers, she called herself “a comic’s tart”.
But after six decades on radio and television, she established herself as a star in her own right.
The actress always said she was “very bad at getting round to things”.
But from her early radio roles in the 1950s, through to her scatty antics on Absolutely Fabulous, she made more than 1,300 appearances on radio and TV.
June Rosemary Whitfield was born in Streatham, south London on 11 November 1925.
Her father was a telephone company executive, her mother an amateur actress who pushed her young daughter into dramatics and dancing. Image caption By the mid 1950s she was one of radio’s biggest stars
Trained at Rada, to which she attributed her hard work ethic, Whitfield took her first professional acting job in 1944.
She was soon in demand on stage, radio and later television, and her long and varied career made for some surprising connections.
When she appeared in the London production Ace of Clubs, she was befriended by the show’s creator, Noel Coward, and spent weekends at his glamorous country home.
Later she joined the chorus line of South Pacific, with its American lead Mary Martin, dating the star’s young son, a pre-Dallas Larry Hagman. Second billing
However, her husband of 46 years, Tim Aitchison, was not from the same industry, but a chartered surveyor.
Whitfield’s ability to conjure up characters and superb sense of comic timing kept her in demand from across the entire canon of British comedy.
Stars such as Tony Hancock, Frankie Howerd, Ronnie Barker, Benny Hill, Bob Monkhouse and Tommy Cooper all clamoured to work with her. Image caption She was always the versatile sidekick
She called her autobiography …and June Whitfield, in recognition of the fact that she always got second billing.
“The greatest of show business mysteries,” Denis Norden once said, “was how anyone could contemplate doing a comedy show without June Whitfield.”
With Frankie Howerd, she recorded a version of the song Je T’aime, but even their spoof, complete with ironic heavy breathing, was considered too risque for the time and was famously banned by the BBC.
Her most memorable radio role was in The Glums, Frank Muir and Denis Norden’s spoof family soap, part of the popular show Take It From Here. Chemistry
For seven years as the long-suffering Eth, her most oft-heard line was the lamenting “Ooh, Ron”, addressed to her hapless fiance.
And for two decades, she read the News Huddlines for her long-time friend and colleague Roy Hudd, in radio’s longest-running audience comedy.
Her first starring TV role came in the BBC sitcom Beggar My Neighbour in 1966. Image caption Terry and June: a gentle style of comedy
She went on to form her first working relationship with Terry Scott in Scott On before the pair teamed up again for Terry and June.
The chemistry between the unflappable Whitfield and her hare-brained husband was so solid that many viewers believed they were married in real life.
Described as the apotheosis of undemanding, middle-class, primetime comedy, Terry and June attracted audiences of 15 million during its eight-year run.
Whitfield described herself as living “in the suburban corner, in real life and in the parts I’ve played. Very English, and nothing wrong with that”. Unlikely icon
She also became the face of a string of adverts for Birds Eye frozen ready meals with the punchline: “It can make a dishonest woman of you.”
Her big screen appearances included four Carry On films, and, in 1996, the part of Aunt Drusilla in a film adaptation of Thomas Hardy’s Jude the Obscure
“The Carry Ons were a nudging sort of humour, like seaside postcards,” she said. “Not at all politically correct, which was always a good thing.” Image caption She played serious roles, here as Aunt Drusilla in Jude
In 1992, she became an unlikely icon to a new generation of fans with her portrayal of Edina’s unworldly mother in the internationally successful Absolutely Fabulous.
Originally scheduled to appear in just one episode, she went on to become one of the show’s most popular characters.
“As Joanna Lumley says, Ab Fab made us born-again actresses,” she commented.
As the new century dawned, Whitfield continued a wide variety of roles including parts in Midsomer Murders and that retirement home for actors of a certain generation, Last of the Summer Wine. Muse
In 2009 she appeared in The End of Time, the Doctor Who episode that was the last for David Tennant.
She was awarded an OBE in 1985 and CBE in 1998 and, in 2017, became a Dame.
Despite her success, Whitfield never wanted a lead role, explaining that she lacked the drive and confidence. Image caption She won a new generation of fans as the dotty mother in Absolutely Fabulous
And as the on-stage muse to stars like Hancock and Cooper, she was all too aware of the personal cost.
When they died prematurely, she attributed this to “the responsibility, the stress and strain” of carrying the show.
Instead, June Whitfield revelled in her role of versatile sidekick for three generations of audiences.
She enjoyed enduring popularity and success, a life she described in her autobiography as “full of love, affection and laughter, of gigs, gags and a couple of gongs”. Related Topics

Read More…

Bre Payton, US conservative news writer, dies at 26 – BBC News

Bre Payton, US conservative news writer, dies at 26 29 December 2018 These are external links and will open in a new window Close share panel Image caption Payton appeared on the BBC to debate President Trump calling the press “the enemies of the people” The conservative US writer and commentator Bre Payton has died at the age of 26 after falling ill.
A friend, Morgan Murtaugh, found her unconscious on Thursday. She died in hospital where she was found to be suffering from H1N1 flu and meningitis.
Online magazine The Federalist, which Payton wrote for, said she “brightened the lives of everyone around her”.
Payton made several appearances for Fox News, and also appeared on other major channels, including the BBC and CNN.
“She fought strong and lived a life worth noting in the books,” a memorial page said.
“We are so incredibly honoured to have known this wonderful human being.”
Meghan McCain, the daughter of the late US Senator John McCain and a prominent political commentator, paid tribute. Skip Twitter post by @MeghanMcCain Ben and I are absolutely gutted and horrified by this news. Our prayers for @Bre_payton and her family. We are less without her – in every possible way. A wonderful, fearless, vibrant, intelligent young woman. Sending prayers to all of her family and friends during this darkness. https://t.co/K5nfRiB7gy Report End of Twitter post by @MeghanMcCain
H1N1 is an influenza virus subtype. A new strain of it that was declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization in 2009 became popularly known as swine flu . Children and young adults have been particularly affected. Related Topics

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Notable deaths of 2018 – BBC News

British actor best known for his role as Bill Webster in Coronation Street. Image copyright ITV/REX/Shutterstock
Read more here Howard Lew Lewis
Actor and comedian who starred in BBC TV’s Blackadder, Brush Strokes and the children’s series Maid Marian and her Merry Men.
Read more here Katie Boyle
Former model and actress turned TV presenter. She became best known for her glamorous presentation of the Eurovision Song Contest in the UK and her appearance on numerous panel shows.
“My whole career really started by accident. There was a time when I was on the BBC three times a week – it seems very strange to think of that now, but it was the only thing people watched.”
– Katie Boyle
Read more here Peter Wyngarde
Actor who played dandy detective Jason King in the 1970s TV show that was a partial inspiration for the Austin Powers films. Image copyright Alamy
“As a man, there were few things in life he didn’t know. I sometimes nicknamed him The King because he simply knew everything.”
– Thomas Bowington, Wyngarde’s agent and manager
Read more here Verne Troyer
Actor best known for playing Mini-Me in the Austin Powers films, the clone and sidekick of Dr Evil, played by Mike Myers. He also played the goblin Griphook in the first Harry Potter film. Image copyright Getty Images
Read more here Penny Marshall
American actor, writer and director who starred in the television series Laverne and Shirley and went on to direct films including Big and A League of Their Own. She also directed Awakenings, which starred Robert de Niro and Robin Williams, and was nominated for three Academy Awards including best picture. Image copyright Getty Images
Read more here Dudley Sutton
Actor who found fame as Tinker Dill in the BBC TV series Lovejoy. A veteran of stage, film and television. Image copyright Getty Images
Read more here Bill Maynard
Actor whose career spanned variety shows, cinema and television – but he was best known as the loveable rogue Claude Jeremiah Greengrass in the ITV police drama Heartbeat. Image copyright PA
Read more here Rachael Bland
BBC Radio 5 Live newsreader and presenter, praised for co-hosting the cancer podcast You, Me and the Big C, and for documenting her life with the disease on an award-winning blog. Image copyright PA
Read more here Sir Roger Bannister
The first man to run a mile in under four minutes, establishing him as one of the great names of British athletics. He went on to become a leading neurologist and the Master of Pembroke College, Oxford. Image copyright Getty Images
“However ordinary each of us may seem, we are all in some way special, and can do things that are extraordinary, perhaps until then… even thought impossible.”
– Sir Roger Bannister
Read more here Kofi Annan
Former UN secretary general and Nobel Peace Prize winner who focused on the organisation’s role in fighting poverty, injustice and disease and was able to act as an honest broker at the highest levels of diplomacy. Image copyright Getty Images
“My generation of Africans has learned the hard way that no state can truly be called democratic if it offers its people no escape from poverty, and that no country can truly develop so long as its people are excluded from power.”
– Kofi Annan
Read more here Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha
Thai businessman and owner of Leicester City Football Club. He made his fortune in duty-free retail. He bought Leicester City in 2010, became chairman in 2012 and led them to a sensational Premier League title in 2016.
His interest in the team was said to have been sparked by seeing them play in the League Cup final at Wembley in 1997, the first time he had been to a match in England. Image copyright Getty Images
“A man of kindness, of generosity and a man whose life was defined by the love he devoted to his family and those he so successfully led. Leicester City was a family under his leadership. It is as a family that we will grieve his passing and maintain the pursuit of a vision for the club that is now his legacy.”
– Leicester City Football Club
Read more here Baroness Jowell
Former Labour cabinet minister Tessa Jowell played a major role in securing the 2012 Olympics for London. Diagnosed with a brain tumour, she campaigned for more NHS cancer treatments. Image copyright Getty Images
“She knew she was dying and yet she was prepared to give everything she had in order to help people in the future. If anyone wants to know what politics can achieve they can just look at her life and how she lived it, and how she ended it, as a testimony to all that’s best in politics.”
– Tony Blair
Read more here Lord Ashdown of Norton-sub-Hamdon
Jeremy John Durham “Paddy” Ashdown led the Liberal Democrats for 11 years, after having served as a Royal Marine and member of the UK intelligence services. In 2002, he was appointed as UN high representative in Bosnia-Herzegovina, helping to steer the country through its post-war reconstruction. He was known for speaking his mind and for his drive and energy – which earned him the nickname Action Man. Image copyright Getty Images
“A man of duty, passion, and devotion to the country he loved – right up to the very end. In Government, Paddy Ashdown was my opponent. In life, he was a much-valued friend. His loss will be felt deeply by many – and not least by myself.”
– Sir John Major
Read more here Lord Carrington
British Conservative former foreign secretary, secretary general of Nato and EU peace envoy to the former Yugoslavia. Peter Carington was awarded the Military Cross in World War Two, he also chaired the auction house Christie’s. Image copyright Getty Images
Read more here Sir Peter Tapsell
Conservative MP who served for over 50 years under nine Conservative leaders and became Father of the House. He was described as “the grandest of grandees” by the late sketch writer Simon Hoggart. Image copyright Getty Images
Read more here Lord Martin of Springburn
Michael Martin was a Scottish Labour MP, Speaker of the House of Commons and the first blue-collar worker to occupy one of the most senior posts in British public life. Image copyright PA
Read more here Lord Heywood of Whitehall
Cabinet secretary and head of the civil service, Jeremy Heywood was active in more than three decades of British politics. A trusted adviser to prime ministers, he could cross the divide between opposing parties. Image copyright Getty Images
Read more here Eric Bristow
Five-time darts world champion nicknamed the Crafty Cockney, whose cheeky man-of-the-people image and charisma were central to the sport’s domination of post-pub TV in the 1980s. Image copyright Getty Images
Read more here Maria Bueno
Brazil and South America’s most successful female tennis player, who won 19 major titles during her career in the 1950s and 60s, including three Wimbledon singles titles and four US championships. Image copyright Getty Images
Read more here Roy Bentley
Last surviving member of England’s 1950 World Cup squad and former Chelsea striker and captain. He led the club to their first league title win in 1955, and scored 150 goals in 367 appearances. Pictured centre. Image copyright Getty Images
Read more here Ray Wilkins
Former England midfielder who played for Chelsea, Manchester United, AC Milan, Rangers and QPR. He made 84 appearances for England and captained his country 10 times, while he won the FA Cup with Manchester United in 1983 and the Scottish league title with Rangers in 1989. He was also Chelsea assistant coach and manager of QPR, Fulham and the Jordan national team. Image copyright Getty Images
Read more here Cyrille Regis
England centre forward, who played for West Bromwich Albion and Coventry City. He was a pioneer for black footballers in British football when he played alongside Laurie Cunningham and Brendon Batson at West Brom, inspiring a generation of black British players to take up football. Image copyright Getty Images
Read more here Peter Thomson
A five-time Open Championship winner, he became the first Australian golfer to claim the title, in 1954. Image copyright Getty Images
Read more here John Dunlop
Leading horse trainer whose career spanned 46 years, with more than 3,500 winners to his name including victories in the Derby and the St Leger. Image copyright Getty Images
Read more here Tony Bullimore
Yachtsman who survived four days in an air pocket under the overturned hull of his boat, following a storm during the non-stop Vendée Globe solo round-the-world race. A philanthropist, he worked hard to improve race relations in his home of Bristol. Image copyright Shutterstock
Read more here Baroness Trumpington
Conservative peer Jean Barker was a society girl who became a Bletchley Park codebreaker, working against the Nazis, in World War Two. Known for her independent spirit, she achieved fame for flicking a V-sign at a colleague during a debate in the House of Lords. Image copyright Shutterstock
“I had a fantastic time during the war, doing a job that was very worthwhile, having fun when I went out on the town in the little time off that we were allowed, and living life to the full whenever I got the chance. And I still certainly do.”
– Baroness Trumpington
Read more here Billy Graham
Preacher who took his mission of mass evangelism worldwide, preaching to an estimated 215 million people in 185 countries – and reaching hundreds of millions more through his radio and television ministry. Image copyright Getty Images
“I’ve had many opportunities to see what the average clergy would never see. And, on each of those occasions, I’ve tried to let those I’ve come in contact with see a little bit of what the Gospel of Jesus Christ is about.”
– Billy Graham
Read more here Sister Wendy Beckett
Roman Catholic Carmelite nun and art historian, who became an unlikely television star when she presented a succession of popular TV programmes from art galleries around the world. Her belief that art belonged to everyone, her avoidance of jargon and obvious passion for her subject endeared her to audiences.
Read more here Surgeon Captain Rick Jolly
Royal Navy medical officer, who saved the lives of hundreds of British and Argentine troops during the Falklands War – the only person decorated by both countries for his service during the conflict. Image copyright Shutterstock
Read more here Harry Leslie Smith
World War Two veteran who described himself as “the world’s oldest rebel” and became a high-profile campaigner for refugees and the NHS. Image copyright Alamy
Read more here Derek Findley
Dunkirk and D-Day veteran, whose landing craft tank was in the forefront of Operation Overlord at Sword Beach. Under his command as gun position officer, A Troop fired some of the first artillery rounds at the Normandy beaches. In 2016 he was awarded the Légion d’honneur. Image copyright David Findley
Read more here Vera Jarvis
One of the first generation of NHS nurses, she began her training in 1948 on the day the NHS was founded. She qualified as a midwife, working in Bristol and London before returning to South Wales as a sister in a number of small maternity hospitals. Image copyright Tim Jarvis
Read more here Mary Ellis
Female aviator and member of the Air Transport Auxiliary, which delivered planes to airfields during the World War Two. One of the first women to fly Spitfires, heavy bombers and jet aircraft. Image copyright Getty Images

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Stephen Miller rises in 'zombie' White House press shop

Stephen Miller rises in ‘zombie’ White House press shop

WASHINGTON — In recent weeks, the White House has been shaken by an ongoing government shutdown, tumbling markets and the abrupt departure of Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis. With few allies left in the White House and a press office in disarray, President Trump has increasingly turned to Stephen Miller, one of the key architects of his hard-line immigration policies, to be the public face of his administration. Miller had remained behind the scenes much of the last year, but earlier this month he stepped into the spotlight for a rare pair of television appearances that has left Trump allies with concerns about the state of the White House communications operation. Three of them shared their perspectives with Yahoo News.
On Dec. 16, Miller went on CBS’ “Face The Nation” to declare that Trump was “absolutely” willing to shut down the government if his demand for $5 billion to fund a border wall was not met. Four days later, Miller got into a shouting match with CNN’s Wolf Blitzer as he argued for the wall. These appearances drew shocked reactions due to Miller’s high volume, extreme positions and combative tone.
The controversy could have been predicted. Miller similarly raised eyebrows the last time he blazed across the media landscape in 2017, and was rarely seen in the public eye afterwards.
Trump’s reliance on Miller comes as the White House press operation has been rocked by reports of impending high-profile departures. These rumors have come as the president’s spokespeople have retreated from view as weeks have gone without on-the-record briefings. Since Dec. 19, Trump’s communications team hasn’t even accomplished its most basic task: distributing guidance detailing the president’s public schedule.
The White House did not respond to multiple requests for comment from Yahoo News about the lack of briefings, guidance and Miller’s growing public profile. Former members of the Trump administration were far more forthcoming, though they requested anonymity in order to frankly detail their concerns.
Several former officials who spoke to Yahoo News said Miller’s reemergence as a public face of the White House was a public relations catastrophe.
“If you’re a comms person, you don’t want to have him out there because every time he goes out, it’s an absolute disaster,” one former West Wing staffer told Yahoo News.
Another former White House official echoed that sentiment.
“Miller is so awful on TV, it’s counterproductive to put him on,” the ex-official said.
Trump adviser Stephen Miller. (Photo: Leah Millis/Reuters) More A former member of Trump’s transition team told Yahoo News they believed Miller came to the fore because other officials are unenthusiastic about the hard-line immigration policies Miller pushed the president to adopt.
While Trump launched his presidential campaign with blistering attacks on illegal immigration, Miller has been the mastermind who designed policies to target migrants. He was a major force pushing for Trump’s travel ban aimed at certain majority-Muslim countries and the separation of immigrant children from their parents at the border.
“Nobody wants to defend Stephen’s positions, so they stick his ass out there,” the ex-transition team member said. “Stephen’s in the background telling everyone, ‘Max pressure, max pressure,’ and saying those things are feasible. Everyone who’s actually worked in policy is like, ‘That can’t work, go defend it yourself.’”
Miller did not respond to multiple requests for comment from Yahoo News about concerns surrounding his public appearances.
Even before Miller took the lead in urging the shutdown over border wall funding, many of the policies most closely associated with him have been lightning rods. The so-called Muslim travel ban and the child separation policy both sparked widespread protests and legal challenges.
The former member of Trump’s transition team said Miller managed to survive in spite of these “strategic mistakes” because his ideas appeal to the president.
“The boss likes him,” the former transition member said of Miller. “He’s certainly not judged on his policy successes; all he has is failures. … He shows deference and he makes these outrageous policy suggestions.”
Watching Miller represent the Trump administration during an especially tense stretch this past month left some Trump allies convinced the White House messaging operation has gone haywire. These concerns have been fueled by dramatic staff turnover and continuing rumors of more imminent departures from the White House press office.
Indeed, just as Miller has stepped into the spotlight, some of the regular White House spokespeople have disappeared from view. Press secretary Sarah Sanders and deputy press secretary Raj Shah have both seen their public roles diminish since June, when reports first emerged they were planning to depart the West Wing.
Raj Shah outside the West Wing of the White House, Sept. 25, 2018. (Photo: Pablo Martinez Monsivais/AP) More Sanders, one of the most visible White House faces, is now conducting briefings about once a month rather than a few times a week as was customary in previous administrations and earlier in Trump’s tenure. Her retreat from the briefing room has coincided with a growing chorus of reports saying she is plotting an exit.
Yahoo News reached out to Sanders to ask about the criticism of the White House press operation and rumors of her impending exit. She answered with an email saying she’s “traveling” and asked for specific questions and details about this story. Sanders did not respond after receiving a list of queries.
Shah, one of the only other spokespeople who has led multiple briefings, is also keeping a low profile. In July, Shah was tapped to work on communications for the confirmation of Trump’s Supreme Court pick, Brett Kavanaugh. By September, Yahoo News reported Shah had told multiple associates he planned to leave his post after Kavanaugh was seated. One of the sources familiar with Shah’s plans said his “calculus” included the assumption Sanders also planned to leave the White House.
Shah did not respond to multiple requests for comment from Yahoo News. While Shah has stayed mum about his situation, his title has changed to “communications adviser” from “principal deputy press secretary.”
Both the ex-official and the second former White House staffer said they heard Shah would be off the White House payroll after the year ends.
Trump has already had five different communications directors. The former White House staffer also pointed to some lower profile departures and said they had a clear impact. The Trump administration has shed at least four assistant press secretaries, resulting in vacancies and hasty promotions in a position the ex-staffer described as vital for “playing triage.”
“You have a situation where stories that could have been small are now blowing up and just causing huge crises and controversies,” the former staffer said.
Bill Shine, who became Trump’s fifth communications director in July, did not respond to multiple requests for comment on this story.
The ex-staffer also suggested the White House had devoted insufficient resources to develop a team to publicly advocate for the administration and build relationships with television networks. They attributed some of the reluctance to engage with media to fear that followed a crackdown on leaks that occurred after a spate of negative stories earlier in the Trump administration.
This concern about unauthorized press engagement resulted in a situation where people were only communicating with reporters anonymously — and critically.
“There’s this fear factor with this whole leaking thing,” the ex-staffer said. “Now no one talks to the press except to leak.”
The other former official agreed that the White House communications operation was understaffed, and suggested it would have a hard time finding new talent.
“No professional in good standing will even interview for a job.” The former White House official said, adding, “It’s a zombie comms shop. Night of the living dead.”
Editors’ note: An earlier version of the story Quote: d a source saying Raj Shah no longer had a White House office or telephone. The story should have noted that he retains an office in the Executive Office Building and a government cellphone.

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Chinese schools enforce ‘smart uniforms’ with GPS tracking system to monitor students – ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

Fri 28 Dec 2018, 8:07 PM AEDT Photo Facial recognition ensures that each uniform is worn by its rightful owner. Supplied: Guanyun Technology
Chinese schools have begun enforcing “smart uniforms” embedded with computer chips to monitor student movements and prevent them from skipping classes. Key points: Skipping class or leaving the classroom without permission triggers an alarm A GPS system tracks student movements even beyond the school grounds Beijing has made regular calls on all schools to develop “smart campuses”
Eleven schools in the south-west province of Guizhou have introduced the uniforms, which were developed by local tech firm Guizhou Guanyu Technology.
As students enter the school, the time and date is recorded along with a short video that parents can access via a mobile app.
Facial recognition further ensures that each uniform is worn by its rightful owner to prevent students from cheating the system.
Skipping classes triggers an alarm to inform teachers and parents of the truancy, while an automatic voice alarm activates if a student walks out of school without permission.
A GPS system tracks student movements even beyond the school grounds. China is building a digital dictatorship to exert control over its 1.4 billion citizens. For some, “social credit” will bring privileges.
The two chips — inserted into each uniform’s shoulders — can withstand up to 500 washes and 150 degrees Celsius, the company told state media Global Times.
Alarms will also sound if a student falls asleep in class, while parents can monitor purchases their child makes at the school and set spending limits via a mobile app, according to the company’s official website.
The company released a public statement via popular Chinese social media site Weibo saying the uniforms “focus on safety issues”, and provide a “smart management method” that benefits students, teachers and parents.
Guanyu Technology’s marketing manager also bragged of the uniforms’ capabilities on a personal Weibo account.
“You go to any school and ask the security guard how many students there are in the school today. He definitely can’t give you an answer, but we can,” the post read.
On its website, the development company said the uniforms were designed to “fully implement the state policy of actively constructing smart campuses and smart education management for the development of education”.
In recent years, Beijing has made regular calls on all schools to develop “smart campuses” in a push to digitalise education. ‘Don’t children have human rights and privacy?’ Supplied: Guanyun Technology
Despite all the benefits touted by the company, the uniforms have prompted backlash on social media.
“If you were a child, would you like to be monitored 24 hours a day?” asked one Weibo user with the nickname Sangguo_Sunny.
“Don’t children have human rights and privacy?” user Dawson-HO said.
But blogger Yi Zhi Sirius defended the new uniforms, saying “the uniforms will come in handy when it comes to locating missing students”. Supplied: Guanyu Technology
Speaking to the Global Times, Lin Zongwu, principal of Number 11 School of Renhuai in Guizhou, said although the school had the ability to track students at all times, they used this technology sparingly.
“We choose not to check the accurate location of students after school, but when the student is missing and skipping classes, the uniforms help locate them,” Mr Lin said, adding the attendance rate had increased since the intelligent uniforms were introduced.
Guanyu Technology responded to criticism on Weibo, saying the company did “respect and protect human rights”.
“The smart uniform does not track students’ every single move all the time,” the company wrote. Posted Fri 28 Dec 2018, 5:18 PM AEDT Share

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Trump: I may be forced to seal southern border, cut off aid to Central America – 41NBC News | WMGT-DT

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Dec. 28, 2018 / 1:05 PM GMT / Updated 2:47 PM GMT
By Jane C. Timm President Donald Trump threatened on Friday to close the nation’s southern border if Congress doesn’t fund his border wall. “We build the wall or,” Trump wrote in a string of tweets. ”… close the southern border.” Mick Mulvaney, the incoming White House chief of staff, told reporters on Friday the president is “absolutely” willing to shut down the southern border, despite the enormous cost to the country. “All options are on the table,” Mulvaney said. “Listen, it’s the only way we can get the Democrats’ attention.” Trump also said he would cut off aid to Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador, where violence and crime have motivated thousands of people to flee and seek asylum in the United States. He also said another migrant caravan is heading toward the U.S.
Dec. 28, 2018 04:21 Trump’s string of tweeted threats comes as the partial government shutdown reaches its first full week amid a spending bill feud between Congress and the president. Trump refused to sign a short-term funding bill last week that would have pushed the spending fight to February, insisting that Congress allocate billions for the border wall. In a second tweet, the president claimed that building the wall would be a “profit making operation.” The president also complained about Mexico stealing American jobs and undermining the auto industry and said Central America’s violence-riddled Northern Triangle countries were “taking advantage of the U.S. for years.” The San Diego Union Tribune reported on Thursday that another caravan of migrants from Honduras was forming, with as many as 15,000 migrants undergoing the lengthy asylum request process, potentially adding to the backlog of asylum-seekers who are currently in Tijuana, Mexico. Sarah Sanders, the White House press secretary, said Friday on CBS that the president was willing to negotiate the amount of border funding Congress gives him. “I’m not going to negotiate in the press, but the president has been willing to negotiate on this point,” she said. “And the Democrats have not been willing to do anything. And that’s the sad part, they care more about keeping our borders open than keeping our government open.” On Fox News, Mulvaney said the administration had already offered Democrats a number “less than” $5 billion in negotiation, but Democrats had held firm to their offer of $1.3 billion dollars in border funding. We will be forced to close the Southern Border entirely if the Obstructionist Democrats do not give us the money to finish the Wall & also change the ridiculous immigration laws that our Country is saddled with. Hard to believe there was a Congress & President who would approve!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 28, 2018 ….The United States looses soooo much money on Trade with Mexico under NAFTA, over 75 Billion Dollars a year (not including Drug Money which would be many times that amount), that I would consider closing the Southern Border a “profit making operation.” We build a Wall or…..
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 28, 2018 Democrats will take over leadership in the House of Representatives in January, and have telegraphed little interest in spending billions of dollars to help the president achieve a signature campaign promise. Trump has alternately declared victory and decried Democratic obstruction on the border wall, repeatedly claiming that it is being built ( when in fact fencing is being replacing and repaired ) and that Democrats are just trying to hurt him in their opposition to spending billions on building a border wall. Trump’s claims come as his Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen visits the border on Friday, after two children died while in U.S. custody. Jane C. Timm Jane C. Timm is a political reporter and fact checker for NBC News. SHARE

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Tsunami threat lifted – News – NHK WORLD – English

Tsunami threat lifted
A tsunami threat has been lifted after a magnitude 7.0 earthquake struck near the southern Philippine island of Mindanao.
The US Geological Survey estimates the focus of the quake, which struck around 11:39 AM on Saturday, to be 180 kilometers southeast of the city of Davao at a depth of 60 kilometers.
It first measured the magnitude at 7.2 but revised it down.
The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center in Hawaii initially said waves of up to 30 centimeters were possible in parts of the Philippines, Indonesia and Palau.
But no tsunami were observed, and the center later lifted the threat.
Philippine authorities say there are no reports of injuries or damage.

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IRS Has More than 3K Handguns, 3M Rounds of Ammunition

IRS Has More than 3K Handguns, 3M Rounds of Ammunition AP Photo/Philip Kamrass, File 29 Dec 2018 A report from the Government Accountability Office (GAO) shows the Internal Revenue Service has more than 3,000 handguns and 3,000,000 rounds of handgun ammunition in its Criminal Investigation division alone. According to the GAO , the Criminal Investigation side of the IRS also has 554 rifles, the majority of which are semiautomatic, but automatics are also included. They have an excess of 5,000,000 rounds of ammunition for the weapons, including the ammunition for the handguns.
Regarding the police division of the IRS, there are an additional 20 handguns, two shotguns, four rifles, and an additional 14,706 rounds of ammunition.
The GAO looked at 20 federal agencies and discovered that they spent “at least $38.8 million on firearms, $325.9 million on ammunition, and $1.14 billion on tactical equipment—at least $1.5 billion in total—from fiscal years 2010 through 2017.”
AWR Hawkins is an award-winning Second Amendment columnist for Breitbart News, the host of the Breitbart podcast Bullets with AWR Hawkins , and the writer/curator of Down Range with AWR Hawkins , a weekly newsletter focused on all things Second Amendment, also for Breitbart News. He is the political analyst for Armed American Radio. Follow him on Twitter: @AWRHawkins . Reach him directly at awrhawkins@breitbart.com . Sign up to get Down Range at breitbart.com/downrange .
2nd Amendment Politics Pre-Viral GAO Government Accountability Office Handguns irs Police Rifles

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NBA Top 10 Plays of the Night | December 29, 2018

Check out the top 10 plays of the night featuring Giannis Antetokounmpo, Jayson Tatum and more | 2018-19 NBA Season
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Man accused of killing officer arrested after allegedly trying to flee to Mexico – ABC News

Man accused of killing officer arrested after allegedly trying to flee to Mexico – ABC News

A Mexican man accused of gunning down a Northern California police officer was taken into custody Friday following a massive manhunt that ended with a surrender after authorities surrounded a home in Bakersfield, California, 200 miles south of where the crime took place, officials said. The suspect, Gustavo Perez Arriaga, fled after shooting Newman police Cpl. Ronil Singh, 33, at a traffic stop just before 1 a.m. Wednesday, according to the Stanislaus County Sheriff’s Department.
An undocumented immigrant with known gang affiliations, the 32-year-old Arriaga tried to flee to Mexico after his alleged crime, authorities said Friday. Stanislaus County Sheriff Adam Christianson said that Arriaga crossed into Arizona from Mexico illegally a couple of years ago and it is believed that he had been working on farms in California’s Central Valley.
(MORE: ‘We will bring him to justice’: Police identify suspect in killing of California officer as Trump tweets on alleged gunman’s immigration status)
Kern County Sheriff’s Donny Youngblood told reporters on Friday that when SWAT deputies surrounded a home in Bakersfield, Arriaga surrendered without incident
Stanislaus County Sheriffs Department
Gustavo Perez Arriaga, , who is accused of gunning down a Northern California police officer was taken into custody Friday, Dec. 28, in Bakersfield, CA. following a massive manhunt, officials said.
By late Friday night, a total of seven people had been arrested for either misleading authorities about Arriaga’s whereabouts or aiding him in evading authorities – including a woman described as Arriaga’s girlfriend and two of his brothers, according to police officials and ABC-owned station KFSN.
Arriaga’s brother, Adrian Virgen, and co-worker, Erik Razo Quiroz, were arrested and accused of acting as accomplices, authorities said.
Another brother Conrado Virgen Mendoza, 34, and Arriaga’s girlfriend Ana Leyde Cervantes, 30 were arrested on Friday for aiding Arriaga in evading authorities.
Youngblood said that three additional people were also arrested in the South Valley for aiding and abetting Arriaga, according to KFSN.
Merced Police Department
Officer Ronil Singh of the Newman Police Department, California, is pictured in this undated photo released by Merced Police Department.
Youngblood identified those suspects as Bernabe Madrigal Castaneda, 59, Erasmo Villegas, 36 and Maria Luisa Moreno, 57. He said the trio was inside the house where Arriaga was arrested. Kern County has a policy prohibiting the release of booking photos.
Stanislaus County Sheriffs Department
Ana Leyde Cervante, 30, has been arrested on charges of helping her boyfriend, Gustavo Perez Arriaga, evade authorities seeking to detain him on suspicion of killing Newman, CA. police Cpl. Ronil Singh, 33, on Wednesday, Dec. 26, 2018.
Arriaga, who worked as a farm laborer, has two prior DUI arrests and is affiliated with the Sureños street gang, authorities said. Cpl. Singh pulled him over because he believed he was under the influence of alcohol.
Singh’s brother, Reggie Singh, burst into tears as he thanked law enforcement for working so quickly to make an arrest.
“I’d like to thank you from the bottom of my heart,” he said at a news conference, overcome with emotion.
Stanislaus County Sheriffs Department
Conrado-Virgen-Mendoza, 34, has been arrested on charges of helping his brother, Gustavo Perez Arriaga, evade authorities seeking to detain him on suspicion of killing Newman, CA. police Cpl. Ronil Singh, 33, on Wednesday, Dec. 26, 2018.
(MORE: Manhunt underway after suspected gunman kills officer during traffic stop in Northern California)
The motive is not clear, authorities said, adding they believe Arriaga was alone when he committed the crime.
Authorities said Arriaga was placed in the slain officer’s handcuffs as they transported him back to Stanislaus County.
(MORE: What we know about slain Northern California police officer Ronil Singh)
Ronil Singh, a native of Fiji, had been with the Newman Police Department since July 2011, the sheriff’s office said. He previously served with the Merced County Sheriff’s Department, according to a statement from California Gov. Jerry Brown.
Ronil Singh is survived by his wife and 5-month-old son, according to officials.
(MORE: Number of law enforcement fatalities goes up in 2018 after a low in 2017)
Stanislaus County Sheriff Adam Christianson did not hesitate to rail against the state’s newly enacted SB 54 law, which is credited with making California a “sanctuary state.” The law, passed in October as a rebuke to the president’s immigration policies, limits how much California law enforcement can cooperate with federal authorities like Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).
“This is a criminal illegal alien with prior criminal activity that should have been reported to ICE. We were prohibited, law enforcement was prohibited, because of sanctuary laws, and that led to the encounter with Officer Singh,” said Christianson, who has worked with the president directly on immigration issues and appeared at an anti-sanctuary city roundtable in May.
President Donald Trump weighed in on the shooting on Thursday , before new details emerged about Arriaga.
“There is right now a full scale manhunt going on in California for an illegal immigrant accused of shooting and killing a police officer during a traffic stop,” he tweeted Thursday. “Time to get tough on Border Security. Build the Wall!”
ABC News’ Jenna Harrison contributed to this report.
Suspected killer of California officer Ronil Singh had 7 alleged accomplices: Police We’re

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Teen girl, 18, dies after falling from M1 motorway bridge and being hit by several cars

M1 BRIDGE PLUNGE Teen girl, 18, dies after falling from M1 motorway bridge and being hit by several cars
The tragic incident took place close to Junction 40 at Osset, West Yorkshire, at 7.15pm last night Breaking 29th December 2018, 4:08 pm Updated: 29th December 2018, 4:09 pm A TEENAGE girl has died after falling off a bridge on the M1 – before being hit by oncoming traffic.
The tragic incident took place close to Junction 40 at Osset, West Yorkshire, at 7.15pm last night. 1 The tragic incident took place close to Junction 40 at Osset, West Yorkshire, at 7.15pm last night
The 18-year-old, from Wakefield, was pronounced dead at the scene after she was hit by several vehicles on the southbound carriageway.
In a statement West Yorkshire Police said: “She has yet to be formally identified but is believed to be an 18-year-old woman from the Wakefield area.
More to follow…
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FCC launches probe of CenturyLink in wake of nationwide 911 outage

Home » News » FCC launches probe of CenturyLink in wake of nationwide 911 outage FCC launches probe of CenturyLink in wake of nationwide 911 outage

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Report: NJ Residents Are Not Surrendering ‘High Capacity’ Magazines to State Police

AP Photo/Charles Krupa 28 Dec 2018 A report from Reason reveals not a single New Jersey resident has surrendered their “high capacity” magazines to state police since the implementation of the magazine ban.
Breitbart News reported that New Jersey’s “high capacity” magazine ban took effect December 11, 2018, making the mere possession of such a magazine a fourth degree felony.
At first, the New Jersey State Police refused to rule out door-to-door enforcement of the ban, then made clear that they had no plans to go house-to-house.
Now, over two weeks since the ban took effect, the NJSP say no residents have surrendered their “high capacity” magazines.
According to Reason , NJSP Sgt. Jeff Flynn said “they have received ‘zero’” magazines as a result of the ban.
On December 15, 2018, former NYC police commissioner Bernard Kerik blasted the magazine ban because it also applies to off-duty police officers, too. In other words, off-duty officers cannot legally use magazines holding more than 10 rounds while off the clock.
Kerik said, “NJ Governor @ GovMurphy is endangering the life of every off duty NJ cop! Gang bangers, drug thugs and really bad guys don’t give a damn about magazine capacity… So he takes the good guy’s ammunition, and the bad guys are loaded for bear!”
AWR Hawkins is an award-winning Second Amendment columnist for Breitbart News, the host of the Breitbart podcast Bullets with AWR Hawkins , and the writer/curator of Down Range with AWR Hawkins , a weekly newsletter focused on all things Second Amendment, also for Breitbart News. He is the political analyst for Armed American Radio. Follow him on Twitter: @AWRHawkins . Reach him directly at . Sign up to get Down Range at breitbart.com/downrange .

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Same-sex Navy couple re-creates iconic WWII kiss

Reblog View photos Kenneth and Bryan Woodington shared their first kiss in seven months since Bryan’s deployment, re-creating an iconic kiss in Times Square, N.Y. (Photo: Facebook/Naval Station Mayport) More A military couple reenacted the classic WW II kiss between a sailor and a nurse after a seven-month deployment. On Dec. 21, sailor Bryan Woodington, 33, stepped off the USS The Sullivans at Naval Station Mayport in Jacksonville, Fla., eager to greet Kenneth, his husband of one year. According to News 4 Jax , Bryan was one of 300 sailors returning to their families after seven months in the Persian Gulf and Europe. “When I saw Bryan, I lost all control and ran over to him,” Kenneth, 30, a special education teacher, tells Yahoo Lifestyle. The couple won a lottery to perform the ceremonial first kiss , a naval tradition that allows one lucky sailor to disembark first and greet his or her loved one (in 2011, two female sailors were reportedly the first same-sex couple to win). “Bryan suggested that I wear all-white because he wanted to redo that famous photo, but he didn’t know we won the lottery until the day he came home,” Kenneth tells Yahoo Lifestyle. “I had never seen the photo myself.” The dip was impressive, but Kenneth says it’s Bryan’s favorite pose especially when the two dance at home to Lana Del Rey. “I do yoga so it doesn’t hurt my back,” jokes Kenneth. After local television channel News 4 Jax interviewed the couple, the station reported it was “ bombarded ” by enraged viewers who wrote, “How sad that your station has dropped to such a low as to show a gay couple kissing on your newscast,” “I’ll never watch your news again!!!! So long, News4Jax” and, “I thought this was a ‘family friendly’ news channel.” View photos Kenneth and Bryan Woodington re-created the photo taken by Alfred Eisentaedt in 1945 of a sailor kissing a nurse. (Screenshot: News 4 Jax). More But Kenneth and Bryan are bolstered by friends, family and the public. On Naval Station Mayport’s Facebook page, people wrote, “A new twist on an old favorite! Love it!” and “I wish my Husband would kiss me like this!” Some feigned disapproval by writing, “This makes me sick to my stomach. White shoes after Labor Day” and “This is disgusting. The weather should be ashamed of itself looking all gloomy.” “There are people who see the beauty in it,” Kenneth tells Yahoo Lifestyle. “As for those who don’t, have a nice day.” The U.S. Navy and the Naval Station Mayport did not return Yahoo Lifestyle’s requests for comment. Spokesperson Bill Austin told News 4 Jax that a same-sex kiss is “not an issue” and that the Navy is “gender neutral.” “We’re showing our love for each other — we’re not hurting anyone,” Kenneth tells Yahoo Lifestyle. “I’m just a spouse waiting for his sailor.” Read more from Yahoo Lifestyle:

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Public News HD | Live Streaming

Public TV Pakistan HD | Live Streaming | Breaking News | Latest News | Headlines | Bulletin | 31 December 2018

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Trump threatens to shut Mexico border – CTV News

Trump threatens to shut Mexico border – CTV News

Trump threatens to shut Mexico border CTV News Trump threatens to close U.S. southern border if Congress doesn’t fund wall CBC.ca Trump threatens to close southern border, ‘go back to pre-NAFTA’ without wall funding Global News Democrats, Trump trade blame as…

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Chris Brown charged with monkey-related misdemeanours – CTV News

Chris Brown has been charged with monkey-related misdemeanours. The Los Angeles city attorney’s office confirms Thursday that the 29-year-old singer was charged last week with two counts stemming from his possession of a pet capuchin monkey without a permit.

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Surrey pedestrian injured in serious collision – Global News

Surrey pedestrian injured in serious collision Global News Pedestrian suffers life-threatening injuries in motor vehicle collision Daily Hive Pedestrian struck by car in Surrey in critical condition The Province Pedestrian struck by vehicle in Surrey in criti…

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See Kevin Spacey’s cryptic video

Actor Kevin Spacey released a video as his “House of Cards” character as news broke that charges have been filed against him for indecent assault and battery, stemming from a 2016 incident.

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Top Asian News 4:45 a.m. GMT

MANILA, Philippines (AP) — An undersea 6.9 magnitude earthquake struck off the southern Philippines on Saturday and the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center said that it has a potential to generate a tsunami. No casualties or damage have been reported immediately. …

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Acclaimed Israeli novelist Amoz Oz dies of cancer at 79 – Israel News – Haaretz.com

Acclaimed Israeli novelist Amoz Oz dies of cancer at 79 – Israel News – Haaretz.com

Close Among the figures appearing in the work is the poet Zelda, who was a neighbor of the Klausner family in Jerusalem and tutored the young Amos. Israeli-American actress Natalie Portman directed and starred in a film adaption of the book, released in 2015. President Reuven Rivlin said the news of Oz’s death “bring us sadness” and called him “a literary giant.” Culture Minster Miri Regev added that “your works, which you’ve left in our hearts, will resonate all over the world.” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Oz was one of the greatest authors in Israeli history, adding that although their opinions differed on many issues, he deeply valued Oz’s contribution to Hebrew language and and literature. The 2016 English translation of Oz’s last novel, “Judas,” was shortlisted for the International Man Booker Prize. Oz was born in Jerusalem in 1939 and at 14, after the suicide of his mother, he moved to Kibbutz Hulda in the center of the country. As a young man he studied philosophy and literature at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. He began publishing his writings in 1961 at the age of 22; a year earlier he had married Nili Zuckerman, with whom he would have three children. One of his daughters, historian Fania Oz-Salzberger, announced her father’s death on Twitter, saying in Hebrew that he “has passed away … just now, after a rapid deterioration, in his sleep and at peace, surrounded by his loved ones.” She thanked “all those who loved him.” Oz was also a visiting fellow at Oxford University, an author in residence at the Hebrew University and a writer in residence at Colorado College. Before beginning his university studies, he spent three years in the army’s Nahal Brigade, and returned to duty during the 1967 Six-Day War and the 1973 Yom Kippur War. It was after his army experiences that Oz embraced a dovish outlook, promoting dialogue and peace between Israel and the Arab states. He wrote extensively about Israel’s conflict with its Arab neighbors. Many of Oz’s stories are centered around kibbutz life and explore his characters’ relationships with the modern State of Israel. Both his fiction and nonfiction works examine human nature and present the land and people of Israel and the accompanying political subtleties. In an interview in April this year, ahead of the publication of a German translation, Oz told German television: “I don’t know what the future holds for Jerusalem but I know what should happen. Every country in the world should follow President Trump and move its embassy in Israel to Jerusalem. At the same time, each one of those countries ought to open its own embassy in East Jerusalem as the capital of the Palestinian people.”

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Cabinet approves Rs 10,000 crore for India’s human spaceflight programme | India News – Times of India

Chethan Kumar The Union Cabinet on Friday approved Rs 10,000 crore budget for the proposed human spaceflight mission (Gaganyaan), which envisages sending astronauts to space by 2022. Isro has kick-started the process of selecting experiments that could be performed in the Low Earth Orbit (LEO), where it will send Indian astronauts (Gaganauts). | TNN | Updated: Dec 28, 2018, 17:38 IST Highlights Union Cabinet has approved the Gaganyaan project under which a three-member crew will be sent to space for at least seven days: Ravi Shankar Prasad The ambitious project was first announced by PM Modi on August 15, as part of his independence speech File photo used for representation Related Videos Gaganyaan 2022: ISRO gets gree… BENGALURU: The Union Cabinet on Friday approved Rs 10,000 crore budget for the proposed human spaceflight mission ( Gaganyaan ), which envisages to send astronauts to space by 2022. “The Union Cabinet has approved the Gaganyaan project under which a three-member crew will be sent to space for at least seven days,” Union minister Ravi Shankar Prasad announced at a press conference today. Plan is to make Gaganyaan mission indigenous: ISRO Addressing a press conference after successfully launching ISRO’s earth observation satellite HysIS and 30 other co-passengers into their designated orbits, Sivan, however, said the space agency may have to take outside help for some tests. HysIS means Hyper Spectral Imaging Satellite The ambitious project was first announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on August 15 , as part of his independence speech from the ramparts of Red Fort and the Indian Space Research Organisation ( Isro ) has since upped the ante for its implementation. As TOI had reported earlier, Isro has kick-started the process of selecting experiments that could be performed in the Low Earth Orbit (LEO), where it will send Indian astronauts (Gaganauts). From testing medical equipment in space to micro-biological experiments such as biological air filters and biosensors, and from life support and biomedical waste management to monitoring toxic gases, Isro is looking at a pool of at least 10 experiments. “While we have indicated 10 areas that we are interested in, we won’t be restricting experiments to just these areas. Also, we will be getting specific experiments in these areas from various institutions across India,” one Isro official said. Isro has also officially announced opportunities for LEO-based microgravity experiments. “As Isro is planning a human spaceflight mission, it seeks input from national scientific community to conduct experiments in microgravity platform in LEO,” Isro has said. Isro is working on multiple technologies for the project and its chairman K Sivan has been confident of sending humans to space by 2022. India, France to collaborate on human space mission The ambit of the cooperation includes giving ISRO access to space hospital facilities in France and combining the expertise of the two agencies in fields of space medicine, astronaut health monitoring, life support, radiation protection, space debris protection and personal hygiene systems, the president of the French space agency Jean-Yves Le Gall said. As part of the plan, Isro plans two unmanned flights testing all the systems in 2020 and 2021, Sivan has said, even as work on making the system human rated in ongoing. The process for astronaut selection is yet to kick off. And, for this Isro will work with the Indian Air Force (IAF), whose agency—Institute of Aerospace Medicine—will be responsible for selecting the astronauts. Download The Times of India News App for Latest India News . Read Post a comment All Comments () + ^ Back to Top Characters Remaining: 3000

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Mom catches son, 6, using Alexa to answer his math problems: ‘Bo !’ | Fox News

Parenting Published 2 days ago Mom catches son, 6, using Alexa to answer his math problems: ‘Bo !’ By Michael Bartiromo | close Video Mom catches son using Alexa to do his homework Raw video: New Jersey mother catches her 6-year-old son asking an Amazon Alexa for answers to his math homework.
In fairness, that’s a pretty smart thing to do.
A mother from New Jersey caught her son asking their Amazon Alexa for the answers to his math homework over winter break, leading the 24-year-old mom to jokingly ask Twitter whether she should “whoop him now or later.”
ALLIGATORS , WILDFIRES AND PUBLIC URINATION: THE WILDEST GENDER REVEALS OF 2018
Yerelyn Cueva shared footage of her 6-year-old son Jariel to social media on Dec. 20, reportedly after hearing him use his ingenious tactics from the next room.
“Alexa, what’s 5 minus 3?” Jariel asks, eagerly awaiting the machine’s response.
“5 minus 3 equals 2,” Alexa responds, right before Cueva busts into the room to confront her son.
“It was just any regular day of doing homework,” Cueva told The New York Post . “I’m in the living room, and I overheard him asking Alexa some math problems, and I could not believe it,” she said, adding that Jariel actually loves math, but was just being “lazy.”
2018'S MOST POPULAR BABY NAMES ARE SAME TWO YOU'RE ALREADY THINKING OF
Little Jariel is also quite polite, according to his mom.
“What you don’t see is after, he says, ‘Thank you, Alexa, for helping me with my homework,’” she added.
Twitter, meanwhile, was largely impressed by Jariel’s attempt at “cheating,” with some dubbing him “a prodigy” and an “Einstein in the making.”
Yerelyn, too, is finding the humor in the situation — later sharing a picture of herself and “the young legend himself.”
Yerelyn also said she’s waiting for an invite to “The Ellen DeGeneres Show,” though Jariel could probably find her the production company’s number in just a few seconds.

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NBC News backtracks on report that said Trump did not visit troops over Christmas

Media Published 21 hours ago NBC News backtracks on report that said Trump did not visit troops over Christmas Fox News Facebook Twitter Flipboard Comments Print Email close Video Tomi Lahren on media’s criticism of Trump’s Iraq visit.
NBC News attempted to backtrack on an article published Wednesday which claimed President Donald Trump did not visit the troops over Christmastime when in fact, he did.
The liberal news outlet admitted in an extended editor's note that “the thrust of this article is no longer correct.” NBC also adjusted the headline to: “Trump becomes first president since 2002 not to visit troops on or before Christmas.” The president and first lady left Wednesday night to visit the troops on Thursday.
The note which was published at the top of the original article read: “On Wednesday, NBC News compiled a list of every Christmastime visit to active troops by a president since 2001. That list, as detailed in the article below, showed that former Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama visited troops on or before Christmas every year since 2003, and President Donald Trump did so in 2017.
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“As of the end of Christmas Day 2018, Trump had not visited troops during the holiday season, and had announced no plans to do so. The article was correct, but on Dec. 26, the situation changed. Trump and the first lady, Melania Trump, made an unannounced visit to troops in Iraq. As a result, the thrust of this article is no longer correct, even if it was at the time.”
The note continued: “In the interest of transparency, we are keeping the article on NBCNews.com so that the record will reflect the situation on the day the article was published, and are directing readers to the article about Trump’s Iraq visit here. We are also altering one line in the article, as well as the headline, to be more specific and to note that Trump was the first president since 2002 who didn’t visit military personnel on or before Christmas, rather than at Christmastime.”
NBC News' mistake comes after Trump's visit to Iraq was heavily criticized by the media. CNN's overwhelmingly negative reporting drew attention to some troops bringing MAGA hats for the president to sign and how this may be against the guidelines, which forbids active members of the military from participating in “political activities.”
CNN SLAMMED FOR TRASHING TRUMP'S VISIT TO TROOPS, CRITICIZING SOLDIERS FOR BRINGING MAGA HATS
The story by CNN politics reporter Eli Watkins, headlined “Troops bringing Trump hats to sign may violate military rule,” was criticized by press secretary Sanders, among others, who fired back at CNN on Thursday, tweeting that the network “will attack anyone who supports President Trump, including the brave men and women of our military who fight everyday to protect our freedom.”
CNN anchor Don Lemon also took shots at Trump for visiting the troops while the U.S. Coast Guard continues to work without pay during the partial government shutdown and later referred to Trump as “The Grinch” for making Christmas about him as well as his visit with the troops. Former NSA adviser Samantha Vinograd agreed, saying the president “should’ve stayed home.”
Later on, CNN’s April Ryan said Trump’s visit with the troops “should have happened a long time ago” and questioned whether everyone “should be commending him” for something presidents have done in the past.
Fox News' Brian Flood and Joseph Wulfsohn contributed to this report.

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Ten years of Sheikh Hasina: ‘Development minus democracy’ | News | Al Jazeera

Asia Ten years of Sheikh Hasina: ‘Development minus democracy’ The ruling Awami League has been hard-selling development to millions of voters ahead of the December 30 poll. by Saif Khalid & Saqib Sarker 28 Dec 2018 14:45 GMT Dhaka, Bangladesh – As election campaigning draws to a close, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has urged Bangladeshis to vote for the “boat” – a symbol of her ruling party that has dominated Bangladesh ‘s political scene for the past decade. Loudspeakers have been blurting out pro-government campaign songs to woo voters, while the streets of Dhaka have been emblazoned with posters of Hasina’s Awami League (AL) party and the Grand Alliance coalition. In contrast, the opposition has remained largely silent ahead of Sunday’s elections , citing intimidation and threat of arrest by law enforcement agencies.
On Friday, the streets were comparatively quieter as the parties ended their near month-long bitter campaign marred by violence.
The main opposition, Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP), whose leader Khaleda Zia was jailed in February for corruption, said thousands of supporters have been arrested ahead of the poll, and scores of its candidates have been attacked. 181226193113181
In order to remove Hasina, the BNP has joined forces with Kamal Hossain, a leading lawyer who was previously a close ally of Hasina’s father, also Bangladesh’s founding president. Critics, including Hossain, have accused Hasina, who is seeking office for a third consecutive term, of authoritarian rule, noting increased curbs on press freedom.
But Hasina, who wrapped up her campaign with a warning to voters to “remain alert to subversive activity of the BNP and its cohorts”, has promoted a different narrative – Bangladesh’s impressive economic growth in the past decade under her rule. GDP has grown, but if you look at the inequality, it has intensified according to credible studies and data Asif Nazrul, professor of law at the University of Dhaka ‘From darkness to prosperity’
Since she took power in 2008, Bangladesh’s per capita income has seen a three-fold increase. The country’s gross domestic product (GDP) stood at $250bn in 2017, according to the IMF, and last year clocked a growth rate of 7.28 percent.
“I promise to build a more beautiful future by learning from the past. We will build a non-communal golden Bangladesh free from hunger, poverty and illiteracy as cherished by Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman,” Hasina said at the launch of her party manifesto two weeks ago.
The AL’s manifesto promises to make Bangladesh, one of the world’s most densely populated countries with a population of 160 million, a middle-income nation by 2021 and triple its current per capita income of $1,750 in the next decade.
The garment industry has emerged as one of the main pillars of the economy, providing jobs to 4.5 million people. It makes up 14 percent of the GDP and nearly 80 percent of the country’s exports worth $35bn.
Nearly 2.5 million Bangladeshi expatriates send home about $15bn annually in remittance. 201331152359691295
The South Asian nation has performed well on most human development index indicators by controlling its population growth, improving infant mortality drastically that has resulted into higher life expectancy, which at 72 years, has surpassed those of India and Pakistan.
Mahbubul Alam Hanif, a senior AL leader, said there has been development in every sector under Hasina.
“Sheikh Hasina brought the country out of darkness to prosperity,” AL Joint General Secretary Mahbubul Alam Hanif said. “The country has totally transformed in the last 10 years.”
Khondokar Ibrahim Khaled, an economist, acknowledged the high growth rate, but added that much more was needed to develop the banking sector, which he said has suffered from non-performing loans.
“The devastating situation in the banking sector was not properly dealt with. Even after 80 percent bad loan at the Basic Bank no action was taken. There are bad loans still in government banks. This was simply looting,” Khaled said. BNP has joined forces with Kamal Hossain, a leading lawyer, to remove Hasina [Mahmud Hossain Opu/Al Jazeera] Development over democracy
Entrepreneurs have lauded the government for its pro-business policies but some lamented the slow pace of infrastructure.
Syed Almas Kabir, president of the Bangladesh Association of Software and Information Services (BASIS), the biggest umbrella organisation representing the country’s IT sector, said: “the government has been sincere about supporting local businesses”. Asif Nazrul, professor at University of Dhaka, says inequality has risen in the last decade [Mahmud Hossain Opu/Al Jazeera]
But many critics and opposition leaders have raised their concerns at “inequitable growth” that they say has favoured the country’s wealthy class.
Asif Nazrul, professor of law at the University of Dhaka, says that inequality has risen in the last decade.
“It is true that the GDP has grown. But if you look at the inequality, it has intensified according to credible studies and data,” the Dhaka professor said.
Professor Nazrul said the ruling party is promising “development minus democracy”.
“If you read our constitution and the history of our liberation movement, does it say anywhere: ‘you can enjoy fruits of development if you are ready to sacrifice your democratic rights’.” On Friday, the streets were comparatively quieter as parties ended their month-long campaign [Mahmud Hossain Opu/Al Jazeera]
“Who has given the government the right to proclaim that ‘we have given you development, do not bother about democracy’.”
A restaurant owner in Dhaka’s Kawran Bazaar area echoed that sentiment, saying his “business has not grown much, in the last five years”.The 30-year-old, who requested anonymity for fear of reprisal, told Al Jazeera: “I am not happy with the government … Many supporters of the ruling party visit my restaurant and ask us to vote for them. I can’t tell you which party I am going to vote for.” ‘No one can survive wrath of ruling party’
Mouri Huq (not her real name), 31, who works in the education sector and supports BNP, described Hasina’s decade-long rule as “a long nightmare”.
“No one could survive the wrath of the ruling party if they had a different political position than the government. I can cite so many examples of this from my experience,” she said.
“The enforced disappearances left the families of the victims wondering if their loved ones are alive or dead. A situation like that never existed before.” 180818082154830
Many critics and opposition supporters Al Jazeera spoke to said they feared to express their opinions in the public.
Editors have adopted self-censorship as the government passed a Digital Security Act that has been dubbed as “draconian” by rights groups. Under the law passed in September, police officials can search or arrest anyone without a warrant.
The arrest of renowned photographer Shahidul Alam in August for expressing his opinion against the government caused an outcry. He is since out on bail but if he is convicted under the ICT law, he might face up to 14 years in jail.
The opposition, which has accused Hasina muzzling press freedom, has pledged to take down the media laws passed by the government if it comes to power.
But Asaduzzaman Noor, the minister of culture, rejected the charges against Hasina as “nothing but blame-game”.
“She belongs to the people, she belongs to the soil, and she is the daughter of the father of the nation,” said the 72-year-old actor-turned leader.
“Her commitment is to improve the quality of lives of people of Bangladesh. To achieve that, she has to fight against many odds, but some people think she is authoritarian, but it’s not so,” he added.
“She is fighting for the people, not for the vested interests.”
SOURCE: Al Jazeera News

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Taxpayers Are Subsidizing Mar-a-Lago NYE Party Despite Shutdown – Rolling Stone

Taxpayers Are Subsidizing Mar-a-Lago NYE Party Despite Shutdown – Rolling Stone

Music, Film, TV and Political News Coverage”>

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Dame June Whitfield dead at 93 – Absolutely Fabulous actress passes away, agent confirms

Dame June Whitfield dead at 93 – Absolutely Fabulous actress passes away, agent confirms Breaking 29th December 2018, 8:42 8:51 pm Actress Dame June Whitfield has died at the age of 93, her agent has confirmed.
The Brit is perhaps best known for her part in Absolutely Fabulous, in which she played the character of Eddie’s mother. Rex Features 1 June Whitfield passed away at the age of 93
Whitfield’s career spanned from 1953, when she got her first big break in comedy Take It From Here.
Other notable appearances included in a number of Carry On films.
She was also well known for her role as Nelly in long-running British Sitcom Last of the Summer Wine.
She received a damehood from the Prince of Wales in 2017 after a ceremony at Buckingham Palace.
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Police struggle to stop flood of firearms into UK | World news | The Guardian

Senior officer warns supply of guns has increased in the past year and will continue to do so in 2019

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BJP sweeps 66 out of 67 seats in Tripura civic byelections | Agartala News

BJP sweeps 66 out of 67 seats in Tripura civic byelections BJP sweeps 66 out of 67 seats in Tripura civic byelections TNN | Dec 28, 2018, 20:08 IST File photo of BJP state president and Tripura chief minister Biplab Kumar Deb AGARTALA: The ruling BJP swept 66 seats out of 67 in Tripura civic byelections with a comfortable margin, while one went to the CPM, State Election Commission (SEC) said on Friday. All the four wards of the 49-member Agartala Municipal Corporation (AMC) were won by BJP candidates convincingly with two opposition parties – CPM and Congress – lagging far behind in vote share. The lone seat won by the CPM candidate came from Panisagar Municipal Council but the BJP candidates declared victorious in remaining 10 seats of 11-member civic body.
Again! Great news coming from Tripura! Heartiest Congratulations to @BjpBiplab & Karyakartas of @BJP4Tripura on win… https://t.co/1aVcFhcix2 — Sunil Deodhar (@Sunil_Deodhar) 1545979439000 Amid allegations of violence and poll malpractice in civic bypolls in seven urban local bodies held on Thursday, which registered 81.36 per cent voting, the opposition CPM, Congress and Trinamool separately accused BJP of perpetrating violence on their supporters and rigging the election. However, BJP denied the charges and claimed that the opposition came together to malign the ruling party. On the party’s victory, BJP state president and chief minister Biplab Kumar Deb greeted the voters saying that the mandate shows that the people still have faith on the BJP-IPFT led government. “The people living in civic bodies want the good work taken by the government to continue in their areas too,” he added. The CPM state committee member Pabitra Kar, however, alleged, “There was absolutely no reason to conduct byelections which has become a farce process. The BJP-IPFT government could have been selected their leaders for the vacant Wards after elected CPM members were forced to resign since the new government came to power.” -BY Bishendu Bhattacharya Download The Times of India News App for Latest City News . Read Post a comment All Comments () + ^ Back to Top Characters Remaining: 3000

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HMV on brink of second collapse in six years – BBC News

HMV calls in administrators for second time in six years 28 December 2018 These are external links and will open in a new window Close share panel Music retailer HMV has confirmed it is calling in KPMG as administrators.
The move, the second in six years, involves 2,200 staff at 125 stores.
Owners Hilco, which took the company out of its first administration in 2013, blamed a “tsunami” of retail challenges, including business rate levels and the move to digital.
It said the stores would continue to trade while negotiations were held with major suppliers and it looked for buyers. Image copyright Getty Images Image caption The Darkness performing at HMV’s Oxford Street store
Paul McGowan, executive chairman of HMV and its owner Hilco Capital, said: “Even an exceptionally well-run and much-loved business such as HMV cannot withstand the tsunami of challenges facing UK retailers over the last 12 months on top of such a dramatic change in consumer behaviour in the entertainment market.”
He pointed out HMV sold 31% of all physical music in the UK in 2018 and 23% of all DVDs and Blu-rays, with its market share growing month by month throughout the year.
But he added that the industry consensus was that the market would fall by another 17% during 2019 and therefore it would not be possible to continue to trade the business. Gift vouchers Report End of Twitter post by @paullewismoney
BBC Money Box presenter and financial journalist Paul Lewis has advised people to use any HMV gift cards immediately.
According to consumer publication Which?, whether vouchers and returns will be accepted following administration depends on the administrators .
Their role is to “try and save the company”, and in doing so, they “may take the decision not to accept returns”. ‘Sand not rocks’
Hilco’s ownership saw HMV host live events in store, with musicians including Kylie Minogue, Stormzy and The Darkness.
Digital music revenue overtook sales of physical formats like CDs and records for the first time in 2012.
Since then, online shopping, downloads and streaming provided by platforms such as Amazon, Spotify and Netflix, have continued to eat into sales of physical music.
Julie Palmer, partner at business consultancy Begbies Traynor, said the fall of HMV had been “coming for many years”.
She added: “It has been revealed that the business turnaround has been built on a bed of sand rather than rocks.” Analysis by Rory Cellan-Jones, BBC technology correspondent
With video and music still its main sources of revenue, HMV was always likely to be one of the retailers struggling to make it through the Christmas holidays.
But this is about more than a struggle to adapt to changing consumer habits.
In millions of households, watching a movie now means turning to Netflix rather than selecting a DVD, and listening to music means streaming it from Spotify instead of heading up to the attic to hunt through old CDs.
HMV faced the same pressures of low consumer confidence, high rents and a lacklustre Christmas that have put other high street names in danger.
And don’t be surprised if this is not the end of the story.
The Entertainment Retailers Association points out that when you tot up music, video and games there is still a market of nearly £2bn worth of physical products.
Big releases such as The Greatest Showman, Ed Sheeran and Adele have still attracted millions who want to own a physical copy.
So maybe there is another turnaround specialist out there to keep the HMV name alive into its second century. Weak retailing
Richard Lim, Chief Executive, Retail Economics, said HMV’s situation came amid a weak retailing climate. “Poor Christmas trading has claimed its first victim,” he said.
But the chief executive of the Entertainment Retailers Association, Kim Bayley, said there was hope.
“What is clear is that following its first move into administration in 2013, HMV has enjoyed a remarkable turnaround and it is conceivable that this will happen again.
“The fact is the physical entertainment market is still worth up to £2bn a year so there is plenty of business there.”
While Christmas is normally a time of higher revenues for retailers, the number of shoppers hitting the post-Christmas sales dipped this year .
Britain’s shops have also faced uncertainty over Brexit, which sparked a fall in the pound and therefore raised the price of imported goods, as well as rising labour costs, higher business property taxes and unseasonably warm weather. Image copyright Getty Images Image caption HMV shop, Oxford Street, London in 1949.
HMV, known for its iconic logo featuring the ” dog and trumpet “, is Britain’s last surviving national music retailer.
It was launched by English composer Edward Elgar in 1921, selling gramophones, radios and popular music hall recordings. Related Topics

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