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Final moments of NYC helicopter crash captured on Instagram

Mon, 03/12/2018 - 13:02

The final moments of a helicopter crash in NYC were captured by one of the victims on Instagram. The pilot, who was the only survivor, told investigators that the accident may have been caused by a passenger's luggage hitting the emergency fuel shutoff button.

'The devastation seen in Ghouta today will be Afrin city tomorrow', warns British YPG fighter, as city braces for Turkish onslaught 

Mon, 03/12/2018 - 12:44

Residents of the Syrian city of Afrin are bracing for an onslaught from Turkish troops and allied rebels, threatening a fresh humanitarian crisis in the war-torn country. Turkey was poised to enter the Kurdish-majority city after advances in recent weeks took them to within a mile of its limits. There were fears for the some one million civilians, thousands of whom have already been displaced by fighting in villages and other cantons closer to Syria’s border with Turkey. Convoys of activists were reportedly leaving for Afrin from the cities of Cizre in southern Turkey and Kobane in northern Syria in an effort to protect the city by volunteering to put themselves between rebel fighters and the Turks and the Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG).   Turkey launched operation “Olive Branch” on January 20 against the YPG, which controls the Afrin region in northwest Syria and which Ankara regards as a terrorist group. Syrian civilians ride their cars through Ain Dara in northern Afrin region as they flee Afrin city Credit: AFP More than 200 civilians and 370 YPG fighters have been killed so far, according to the UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR). Some 340 Syrian rebels have also been killed, and 42 Turkish soldiers. Recent drone footage showed large-scale destruction in villages and towns on the approach to the city. Pro-Kurdish groups held protests across the UK on Sunday ahead of the Turkish assault, calling on the international community to act. “If the world stands by and continues to do nothing, the devastation you are seeing in Eastern Ghouta today will be Afrin city tomorrow,” said Jamie Janson, a British volunteer fighting with the YPG in Afrin, joining the plea. Protesters trespassed onto the tracks at Manchester Piccadilly. Credit: Chris Woodhouse He claimed that while the world’s attention was on Ghouta, “mass murder” was being carried out against the Kurds. “For seven weeks now Afrin has been bombed and shelled without mercy. The people have resisted one of the largest armies in the world, with no air force to protect them from round-the-clock bombardment. The human cost has been enormous, the destruction indiscriminate. “People don't even wake up when windows rattle from early morning bomb blasts any more. It feels a bit like Pompeii the day before Vesuvius,” Mr Janson told the Telegraph from Syria. He is one of three Britons among dozens of international volunteer fighters in Afrin, including Huang Lei from Manchester and Dan Smith, a combat medic. Jamie Janson fighting in northern Syrian with the YPG Credit: The Telegraph Only one route currently leads out of Afrin and into government-controlled zones in Syria's northern province of Aleppo. The government has repeatedly offered the Kurds, who have long held separatist ambitions in Syria, protection in return for handing over their positions. During the course of the seven-year war, the regime and the YPG have occasionally united in a marriage of convenience against their common enemy, Turkey. But Kurdish leaders have so far rejected the deal. The latest moves will only aggravate tensions between Turkey and the US, which has urged Ankara to halt its offensive against its Kurdish partner forces - their most reliable in the fight against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (Isil). A Western diplomat said Turkey had told its Nato allies that they would stop before the city, planning only to secure the border. They were taken aback by the recent advances. “We thought the Afrin offensive was more about Turkey trying to get the US’s attention rather that any serious attempt to take territory in Syria,” he told the Telegraph. “We told them the last thing Syria needs is a needless battle.” Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, holding an olive branch arrives to deliver a speech at an event in Ankara, Turkey,  Credit: AP Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Turkey’s President, on Sunday angrily lashed out at Nato, accusing the Western military alliance of failing to back its campaign. "Hey Nato! With what has been going on in Syria, when are you going to come and be alongside us?" Mr Erdogan said in remarks to supporters. "Is this friendship? Is this NATO unity?" he asked, noting how Turkey had backed the alliance by participating in its operations in Afghanistan and elsewhere. His latest comments were among the toughest he has directed in recent times against Nato, which Turkey joined in 1952 as the US sought to make sure it did not fall under Soviet sway after World War II. 2018 is shaping up to be an even bloodier year than last, which was itself one of the deadliest in the intractable conflict. The SOHR, which tracks death tolls using a network of contacts inside Syria, yesterday published figures which showed that 511,000 people had been killed since 2011. An injured girl receives treatment at the Avrin hospital in the Kurdish-majority town of Afrin in northern Syria Credit: AFP About 85 percent of the dead were civilians killed by the forces of the Syrian government and its Russian patron. The onslaught continued in Eastern Ghouta, where some 1,100 have been killed in three weeks. Nikki Haley, US ambassador to the UN, warned that if the UN Security Council fails to act on Syria, Washington "remains prepared to act if we must," just as it did last year when it fired missiles at a Syrian government air base over a deadly chemical weapons attack. "It is not the path we prefer, but it is a path we have demonstrated we will take, and we are prepared to take again," she said.

Trump's education secretary struggles to answer basic questions on schools

Mon, 03/12/2018 - 12:36

Donald Trump’s education secretary, Betsy DeVos, stumbled through a TV interview on Sunday, admitting she did not know why many US schools were underperforming and agreeing that maybe she should visit some in order to find out. DeVos was brought into the Trump administration with no experience as an educator but with a reputation for promoting private and charter schools.

Mueller witness Nader emerges from obscurity with new details

Mon, 03/12/2018 - 12:30

Rachel Maddow reports on new details being learned about George Nader, the businessman who set up the Seychelles meeting involving Trump surrogate Erik Prince and a Russian investor close to Vladimir Putin.

The ‘Roseanne’ Reboot’s Opening Credits Are A Delightful Blast From The Past

Mon, 03/12/2018 - 12:23

Same theme song, same kitchen, same laugh — even Laurie Metcalf looks the same! One of these new family members is Roseanne Conner’s grandson, Mark (Ames McNamara), who likes to dress in clothing traditionally worn by girls. “I don’t want to pigeonhole him and say just because he dresses this way, that’s the only thing about him,” executive producer Sara Gilbert, who also plays Darlene Conner, told Entertainment Weekly in January.

Man Had 'AR-15-Styled Rifle,' Bump Stock Outside Indianapolis Hotel Before Women's March: Report

Mon, 03/12/2018 - 12:05

A 22-year-old man living in the U.S. illegally has been charged with a federal crime after police in Indianapolis, Indiana, found him in possession of guns on two occasions in January, The Indianapolis Star reported Sunday. Alaklouk, described as as a Tunisian native and Saudi Arabian citizen in federal court documents obtained by the Star, had been renting a room at the Hyatt when hotel security contacted the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department around 3 a.m. after they saw several weapons in his parked truck. There were six handguns in the backseat and an assault-style rifle in the front seat, according to the Star.

32 Tweets About Married Life That Will Have You Laughing In Agreement

Mon, 03/12/2018 - 12:01

“Marital bliss” is an unrealistic standard for any couple, no matter how in love they are. 

Five dead after helicopter crash in New York City

Mon, 03/12/2018 - 11:45

Three people transported to area hospitals after the crash later died, the New York Fire Department spokesman said. Two others were pronounced dead at the scene of the incident.

Black barbershops can help clients lower blood pressure: study

Mon, 03/12/2018 - 11:28

Black barbershops are known as places to gather, socialize and get a haircut. When a trained pharmacist met men regularly at their local Los Angeles barbershop, clients were able to significantly lower their blood pressure, said the findings released at the American College of Cardiology conference in Orlando, Florida. If employed on a broad scale, the approach could make major inroads in treating African-American men, a population that is more likely than other races to have high blood pressure --- a leading risk factor for heart disease and stroke -- and less likely to be in a doctor's care, researchers said.

Austria: motives of Iran residence knife attacker a mystery

Mon, 03/12/2018 - 11:01

BERLIN (AP) — Austrian authorities searched the Vienna home Monday of a man who attacked a guard outside the Iranian ambassador's residence and was then fatally shot, but said they still have no information on his motives.

Saudi general 'may have been tortured to death' during Ritz-Carlton crackdown

Mon, 03/12/2018 - 10:08

A Saudi general may have been tortured to death and several wealthy businessmen were allegedly abused in captivity at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel during Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s recent crackdown on powerful figures in Saudi Arabia, according to a newspaper report. More than 200 businessmen, princes and government officials were detained in November and imprisoned at the luxury hotel in Riyadh in what the Saudi government said was an anti-corruption drive.  According to the New York Times, some of the powerful detainees may have suffered abuse at the hands of their captors as they were coerced into agreements to hand over billions of dollars to the Saudi government in return for their freedom.  Saudi Arabia has dismissed the allegations of abuse as “absolutely untrue”.  The most dramatic accusation involves Major General Ali al-Qahtani, an aide to a senior Saudi prince seen as a potential rival to the 32-year-old Prince Mohammed, who died in government custody in mid-December.  The report was published shortly before Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman arrives in the US for meetings with the Trump administration Credit: AFP PHOTO / Saudi Royal Palace / BANDAR AL-JALOUD Sources told the newspaper that the general’s “neck was twisted unnaturally as though it had been broken” and that his body had burn marks which appeared to be the result of electric shocks.  General Qahtani was taken to hospital in November but was reportedly returned to his interrogation after being seen by doctors. The government has not offered an official explanation for how he died.  The general’s death had been widely reported in Arab and Iranian media previously but not in detail. The US report comes shortly before Prince Mohammed, known by his initials “MBS”, is due in Washington for meetings with the Trump administration.  General Qahtani was an aide to Prince Turki bin Abdullah, a former governor of Riyadh who is from a rival line of the Saudi royal family to Prince Mohammed. Prince Turki was himself detained during the November crackdown on allegations of corruption. He was eventually released. The rise of MBS A further 16 detainees were allegedly left in need of medical treatment after their abuse. Some reportedly told family members they had been beaten, deprived of sleep, or interrogated with hoods over their heads.  “All allegations of abuse and torture of those investigated during the anti-corruption proceedings are absolutely untrue,” a Saudi official said.

EU has not tired of helping Ukraine: foreign policy chief

Mon, 03/12/2018 - 10:05

By Alessandra Prentice and Olena Vasina KIEV (Reuters) - The European Union's foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini said on Monday there was "no fatigue" on the part of the EU towards Ukraine, as demonstrated by its extension of sanctions on Russia and financial aid for Kiev. On a visit to Ukraine, Mogherini signaled strong support but also urged authorities to do more to fight corruption and to set up an anti-corruption court in line with the recommendations of the Venice Commission, a rights watchdog. Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, addressing a business forum later, expressed confidence a compromise could be found over the anti-corruption court that would satisfy both the Venice Commission and be in line with Ukrainian law.

Helicopter crashes in NYC's East River, 5 passengers dead

Mon, 03/12/2018 - 09:12

NEW YORK (AP) — A private charter helicopter hired for a photo shoot crashed into New York City's East River on Sunday night and flipped upside down in the water, killing all five passengers aboard, officials said.

Putin says he approved plan to shoot down plane in 2014

Mon, 03/12/2018 - 08:16

MOSCOW (AP) — Russian President Vladimir Putin has said in a new documentary that he approved of a plan to shoot down a hijacked passenger jet four years ago.

Police probe killing of N.Y. nursing student

Mon, 03/12/2018 - 07:38

"Authorities in upstate New York are investigating the death of a Binghamton University nursing student. Police say that 22-year-old Haley Anderson, of Westbury, Long Island, was found dead at an off-campus residence on Friday. Her death has many in her hometown shocked and desperate for answers."

Afghan forces retake district offices from Taliban; 8 killed

Mon, 03/12/2018 - 07:35

KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — Afghan security forces recaptured a district headquarters in western Farah province on Monday, just hours after the Taliban overrun the police and administrative offices, killing eight policemen, a spokesman said.

Bangladesh aircraft crashes in Kathmandu

Mon, 03/12/2018 - 07:15

A Bangladeshi aircraft carrying 67 passengers and four crew crashed while coming in to land at the airport in the Nepali capital, Kathmandu, an airport official said, adding that 17 people on board had been rescued.

Some facts about Pope Francis at the 5-year mark

Mon, 03/12/2018 - 06:45

VATICAN CITY (AP) — In five years, the world has gotten to know Jorge Mario Bergoglio, the son of Italian immigrants to Argentina who was so self-deprecating that when he emerged on the loggia of St. Peter's Basilica on March 13, 2013, as Pope Francis, he quipped that his brother cardinals had to search to the "end of the Earth" to find a new leader.

Myanmar Is Building Military Bases on Torched Rohingya Villages, Rights Group Says

Mon, 03/12/2018 - 04:49

Amnesty International called the construction a "land grab on a dramatic scale"

GSK wins new reprieve as Hikma's generic Advair delayed again

Mon, 03/12/2018 - 04:43

(Reuters) - GlaxoSmithKline has won a further reprieve for its blockbuster Advair lung drug after U.S. regulators insisted Hikma Pharmaceuticals conduct a further clinical study evaluating its generic version of the drug. The Jordan-based firm said on Monday it expected to submit a response to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) with new clinical data in 2019. Hikma's partner on the project, Vectura , said this meant a potential approval and launch of the generic inhaled medication could come in 2020 if all goes well.