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Best Bites: Weeknight meals one-pot chicken parm pasta

Top Stories - Wed, 09/12/2018 - 08:00

Welcome to Best Bites, a twice-weekly video series that aims to satisfy your


European Parliament votes to punish Hungary for undermining democratic values

Top Stories - Wed, 09/12/2018 - 07:29

Hungary faces the loss of its European Union voting rights after MEPs triggered a punitive procedure to prevent EU countries backsliding on democracy, the rule of law and human rights. In an unprecedented vote that exposed deep EU divisions, the European Parliament in Strasbourg backed a report calling for Hungary to be sanctioned for its crackdown on NGOs, the media and universities. Budapest’s foreign minister Peter Szijjarto denounced the vote to trigger the “Article 7” procedure as the “petty revenge” of “pro-immigration politicians”. He also claimed that the vote involved "massive fraud" since abstentions weren't counted into the final tally, which made it easier to reach the needed majority. "It is a positive sign of this parliament taking responsibility and wanting action," Judith Sargentini, the Dutch Green MEP who spearheaded the vote, said. "Viktor Orban's government has been leading the charge against European values by silencing independent media, replacing critical judges, and putting academia on a leash," she said. Her report accused the country of corruption,a biased judiciary, as well as raising minority and migrant rights. Hungary has long been at loggerheads with Brussels over its opposition to the EU’s mandatory migrant quotas and strongman leader Viktor Orban has allied himself with Eurosceptic leaders such as Italy’s interior minister Matteo Salvini. The vote was carried despite needing a two thirds majority. There were 448 votes for to 197 against and with 48 abstentions, in a sign that MEPs were preparing to push back against what has been dubbed Europe’s populist wave. MEPs from the European People’s Party, the largest group in the parliament, turned against Mr Orban after many years of supporting him. His Fidesz party is a member of the centre-right pan-EU faction. Its leader Manfred Weber, who hopes to become the next European Commission president, voted in favour of punishing Hungary. British Conservative MEPs voted against, which Jeremy Corbyn’s spokesman said was “absolutely shocking”. Downing Street claimed it was not consulted before the vote. It is the first time Article 7 has been triggered by the European Parliament. Poland is already facing the procedure after it was brought by the European Commission. Profile | Viktor Orbán Although the “nuclear button” of Article 7 has been pushed, the ultimate sanction of a loss of voting rights is a long way off. EU member states must unanimously back any further action, which appears unlikely. Budapest has already vowed to veto any attempt to strip Warsaw of its EU voting rights in the European Council in Brussels. Poland, in turn, has warned it will block any further action against Hungary. Earlier on Wednesday, Jean-Claude Juncker, the president of the European Commission, called for a “stronger, more united Europe” in his annual flagship speech but criticised Hungary in veiled terms. On Tuesday, Viktor Orban, Hungary’s populist strongman leader, spoke in the European Parliament. He claimed that the verdict had “already been written”. “Hungary will be condemned because Hungarians have decided their country is not going to be a country of migrants," he told MEPs on Tuesday. He said that European Parliament elections in May next year would be the battleground between pro-EU and nationalistic politicians where Europe’s future direction would be settled. Prominent far-right figures are floating the idea of forging a pan-European alliance ahead of next year's elections. Mr Orban insisted that all of the criticism against his government is based on Hungary's tough anti-immigration policies, which include fences built in 2015 on Hungary's southern borders with Serbian and Croatia to divert the flow of migrants and very restrictive asylum rules. He has also expressed his desire to remain within the EPP, which he said was "deeply divided" on the issue of migration.


Embattled archbishop may be considering resigning

Top Stories - Wed, 09/12/2018 - 06:35

Cardinal Donald Wuerl said he plans to travel to the Vatican to discuss resigning after his name was mentioned in the alleged coverup of sexual abuse cases. ABC News' David Wright reports.


Dallas police respond to shooting with proactive approach

Top Stories - Wed, 09/12/2018 - 06:27

DALLAS (AP) — Dallas police swiftly admitted that a white officer who shot a black man in his own apartment last week had made a mistake. They expressed contrition, turned the case over to independent investigators and reached out to the victim's family.


Japan's flooding has experts worried about Tokyo

Top Stories - Wed, 09/12/2018 - 06:10

Japanese have long been conditioned to prepare for earthquakes, but recent powerful typhoons and sudden, heavy rains have brought to the forefront to another kind of disaster: flooding. Grace Lee reports.


2019 Lexus ES first to market with cameras instead of side mirrors

Top Stories - Wed, 09/12/2018 - 06:00

The 2019 Lexus ES has become the first production car to replace conventional side mirrors with cameras. Unfortunately, the cameras will only be offered in Japan where the technology was made legal in 2016. Audi's new e-tron electric SUV due for a reveal on September 17 will also offer the technology in many of the markets it's sold in, though not in the United States which is yet to introduce regulations allowing it.


Bose Sleepbuds review: These wireless earbuds are designed carry you to la-la-land

Macworld - Wed, 09/12/2018 - 06:00
The noted headphone manufacturer applies its noise-cancelling expertise to help you get a better night’s sleep.

BMW drops diesel from North America

Top Stories - Wed, 09/12/2018 - 05:47

It's taken a while, but BMW is finally bowing to the inevitable and completely dropping diesel engines from its passenger vehicle portfolio in North America. It may be one manufacturer and one territory, but where America leads, much of the developed world tends to follow eventually. BMWs with diesel engines will only be available new from dealers in North America for a few more months.


The Catholic Church Is Losing Its Most Devoted Followers

Top Stories - Wed, 09/12/2018 - 05:45

If the Catholic church survives its latest scandal -- the concealment of 300


Vladimir Putin says Salisbury poison suspects are Russian 'civilians' and hopes they will 'tell their story'

Top Stories - Wed, 09/12/2018 - 05:41

Vladimir Putin said Russia has identified the two men wanted by British authorities for the Salisbury poisoning and called on them to speak to the media.  One of them appeared to promise an interview to a Russian state news outlet next week, but doubts remain whether he is the same man sought by the UK police. Two Russians known as Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov have been charged with attempting to murder of former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia in Salisbury in March by spraying Novichok nerve agent on the handle of their door. The metropolitan police have said these names are probably aliases.  Theresa May's spokesman on Wednesday reiterated that “these men are officers of the Russian military intelligence service the GRU who used a devastatingly toxic chemical weapon in Salisbury.” Asked about the case on Wednesday at the eastern economic forum in Vladivostok, Mr Putin tried to shift the blame away from the Russian state, insisting that the two men were “civilians”.  “We know who they are, we found them,” he said at a panel with the leaders of China and Japan. “I hope they will appear on their own to talk about themselves, that will be better for everyone. There's nothing especially criminal there, I assure you.” A police photograph of Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov, who have been named as suspects in the Salisbury Novichok attack Credit: Metropolitan Police His comments suggested that Russia will soon put forward an Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov to deny or muddy the waters around the British accusations.  Following Mr Putin's statement, state media Rossiya 24 spoke with an employee of Virion, a branch of the state pharmaceutical company Microgen in the Siberian city of Tomsk, named Alexander Petrov.  “I have no comment for now. Maybe later. Next week I think,” Petrov said.  But Alexander Petrov is an extremely common name in Russia. Photographs on his social media page, which were retrieved by The Telegraph last week before they were deleted, appeared to show a different man than the one seen in the photograph and Salisbury CCTV footage of Alexander Petrov released by UK police.  A social media photograph of Alexander Petrov, a state pharmaceutical company employee in Tomsk in Siberia Credit: OK A relative of the Petrov in Tomsk told The Telegraph his middle name was Sergeyevich, which did not match the middle name of the Petrov who went to Salisbury, according to a diplomatic source. The Telegraph has been trying to get in touch with both Petrov and Virion since the metropolitan police first announced the attackers' names last week. Neither has responded to requests for comment.  Last week, the Petrov in Tomsk told Russian state media he had “nothing to do with the story with Skripal”. “It's a complete coincidence. I can't go to London, I can't even go to the Altai” region, he said, apparently referring to travel restrictions that some state employees are subject to. The suspects head back towards Salisbury station; the Skripals were found slumped on a bench in the town centre three hours later Credit: Metropolitan Police According to passport details reported by the independent Russian news site Fontanka, the Petrov who flew to London in March was born on July 13, 1979.  There are at least five Alexander Petrovs with this birth date in Russia.  One of them held an ID from the defence ministry, of which the GRU was a part, and was the grandson of an officer in Joseph Stalin's feared counter-intelligence agency SMERSH. But his patronymic middle name also did not match that of the Salisbury suspect. The background of the other attacker, Ruslan Boshirov, remains just as murky.  A man with that name was born in the Soviet republic of Tajikistan on April 12, 1978, according to an electronic real estate document seen by The Telegraph. The fake perfume bottle had been designed as a poison applicator Credit: Metropolitan Police No one answered the door when a reporter knocked at the flat that Boshirov listed as his home address, and neighbours said they had not seen or heard of Boshirov. The flat was also listed as the home address of a woman named Alina Isaakova. When The Telegraph reached her by phone, she denied knowing of any Boshirov and said he had never lived there.  “This person probably doesn't exist,” she said. “It's a fake.” Ruslan Boshirov received a passport in 2010 from the federal migration service's central branch in Moscow, an office that often issues passports to state officials and undercover agents, according to Sergei Kanev of the Dossier Centre, an investigative journalism project funded by Putin foe Mikhail Khodorkovsky.  The only people he had previously seen with passports from this office, Mr Kanev said, was an agent of the FSB security service and two secretive women believed to be Mr Putin's daughters.  Video: Prime Minister addresses Commons over Salisbury In a statement that deepened the diplomatic crisis between the two countries, Mrs May told MPs last week that intelligence provided by UK agencies indicates the two Russian suspects are officers of Russia's GRU military intelligence service.  "This was not a rogue operation," Mrs May said. "It was almost certainly also approved outside the GRU at a senior level of the Russian state." The Crown Prosecution Service now faces a battle to bring the case as Russia does not allow the extradition of its own nationals. A European arrest warrant for the two men - who police think were travelling under aliases and are now back in Russia - has been obtained.  Scotland Yard said the military-grade nerve agent was brought into the UK in a fake bottle of Ninna Ricci Premier Jour perfume, which had been designed as a specially-made poison applicator. It is believed that it was later found by Charlie Rowley before he and his girlfriend, Dawn Sturgess, became indirect casualties of the poisoning. Ms Sturgess died just over a week later. Neil Basu, Assistant Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police, said it is likely the suspects were travelling under aliases and that Petrov and Boshirov are not their real names. He said the pair, who are believed to be aged around 40, had been to the UK before on the same passports and had "travelled extensively on them in the past". Read more | Salisbury Novichok poisoning Detectives believe the front door of Mr Skripal's Salisbury home was contaminated with the military-grade substance on Sunday, March 4. Mr Basu said CCTV shows the two suspects in the vicinity of the property on that date. Hours later, the men left the UK on a flight from Heathrow to Moscow - two days after they had arrived at Gatwick. Releasing a series of CCTV images of the men in Britain, Mr Basu asked witnesses to come forward to establish their real identities. Russian media reports suggest Boshirov is a 40-year-old Moscow State University graduate who was living in the capital. Boshirov's latest listed address is said to be in Moscow, but less is known about Petrov, other than he is 39.  Caught on camera: The 48-hour 'mission to kill' When passengers left the Aeroflot SU2588 flight from Moscow to London Gatwick on the afternoon of March 2 2018, little did they know they were in the company of two men police believe were sent to the UK to kill. Here is a timeline of the suspects' movements, released by Scotland Yard, during their brief trip to the UK: Friday, March 2 1500: Suspects Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov arrive at Gatwick Airport, having flown from Moscow on Aeroflot flight SU2588. Suspect Ruslan Boshirov at Gatwick airport at 3pm on March 2 Credit: Metropolitan Police The same CCTV camera captured Alexander Petrov after the pair got off an Aeroflot flight Credit: Metropolitan Police 1740: The pair arrive at London Victoria station by train from Gatwick. 1800: They then travel on public transport to Waterloo station, and then to the City Stay Hotel in Bow Road, east London, where they stay for two nights. Saturday, March 3 1145: The pair arrive at Waterloo station, having left the hotel, bound for Salisbury. It is believed the two are on a reconnaissance mission. 1425: They arrive in Salisbury by train. 1611: Having spent a short time in the city, Petrov and Boshirov leave Salisbury to begin the return journey. Both suspects at Salisbury train station at 4.11pm on March 3 Credit: Metropolitan Police 2005: The pair arrive back in Bow, east London, where they stay at the City Stay Hotel for a second night. Sunday, March 4 0805: The day of the Novichok attack. Petrov and Boshirov use the Underground at Bow to travel to Waterloo, and then on by train to Salisbury. 1148: The pair are caught on CCTV leaving Salisbury railway station. Image of both suspects at Salisbury railway station at 11.48am on March 4 Credit: Metropolitan Police 1158: They are then spotted in Wilton Road in Salisbury, a short distance from Christie Miller Road, Mr Skripal's address. Police say this is moments before the attack. The suspects in Wilton Road, close to Mr Skripal's house Credit: Metropolitan Police 1305: The suspects are caught on CCTV in Fisherton Street, heading back towards the railway station. Both suspects are pictured from behind on Fisherton Road Credit: Metropolitan Police 1350: Petrov and Boshirov begin their journey back to London. Both suspects, left, prepare to board a train in Salisbury Credit: Metropolitan Police 1645: The pair arrive back in London at Waterloo station. 1830: They board the Underground heading to Heathrow Airport. 1928: CCTV catches the pair going through passport control. The two suspects at Heathrow airport security Credit: Metropolitan Police 2230: They depart London for Moscow on the Aeroflot flight SU2585. Convulsions, paralysis and respiratory failure: How Novichok attacks nervous system Novichok is a group of nerve agents which are more potent and lethal than VX or sarin. They are made of two separate non-toxic substances that work as a nerve agent when brought together. They work by attacking the nervous system and stopping chemical messages from being transmitted around the body. This causes the heart to slow down and the airways to become constricted, which can lead to suffocation or brain damage. Breathing is disrupted as the muscles struggle to contract normally, while fluid may build up on the lungs. Symptoms can start within seconds or minutes of being exposed and include convulsions, paralysis and respiratory failure. Video: What Novichok is - and how it affects the body Nerve agents including Novichok can be inhaled as a fine powder, absorbed through the skin or ingested. Experts said medics would probably have relied on three chemicals to treat the Skripals after they were found unconscious on a park bench in Salisbury in March. Paramedics are likely to have used diazepam to prevent convulsions, while they worked out what was responsible for the symptoms. Doctors may later have administered atropine, which counteracts the effect of the nerve agent, maintaining heart rate and stopping the secretion from entering the lungs. The Moscow weapons lab that made the deadly Novichok nerve agent An oxime, which pulls the nerve agent off the enzyme, could also have been used to help the acetylcholinesterase enzyme start functioning again. The patient's body itself will also work to reproduce the blocked enzyme and this process will be accelerated if they have received a strong dose of nerve agent. When Mr Skripal and his daughter were discharged, the hospital warned that they may require further treatment in the future.  Newsletter promotion - global health security - end of article Skripal 'briefed intelligence officers in Europe' British security services allegedly sent Col Skripal to Eastern Europe to share Russian spy secrets, reports Victoria Ward. The former Russian spy is said to have travelled widely, offering information on Russian espionage to security officers in both Prague and Estonia. Such briefings have been cited as a possible motive for Russia’s attempt to kill both Col Skripal and his daughter, Yulia. A visit to Prague in 2012, when he reportedly provided information about Russian espionage methods and the activities of his former colleagues operating in Europe, was described as “beneficial” and his information, although dated, was deemed valuable. Sergei Skripal profile He arrived in the city shortly after his wife, Lyudmila, died. But although he was grieving, he was in “good spirits,” drinking with intelligence officers and joking that his doctor had prescribed whiskey for high blood pressure. One agent suggested that although he was in poor health, his mind was sharp. In fact, Col Skripal was so helpful that Czech intelligence officers continued to meet with him, reportedly making several trips to Britain in subsequent years. The former spy is said to have visited Estonia as recently as June 2016, in which “very sensitive information” was discussed with a “select group of intelligence officers”. MI6 helped facilitate the meeting, it is claimed. 


Why Obama didn’t act on Russian election interference benefiting Trump

Top Stories - Wed, 09/12/2018 - 05:00

The former president "shrunk from action" against Vladimir Putin, Yahoo News' Michael Isikoff says.


EU's Juncker confirms aims for close ties with Britain after Brexit

Top Stories - Wed, 09/12/2018 - 04:31

European Commission head Jean-Claude Juncker on Wednesday renewed a pledge of close trade and security ties with Britain after Brexit but said the European Union would not compromise on key withdrawal terms. Delivering his annual state-of-the-union speech to the European Parliament, Juncker said the EU will not allow Britain to participate only in some parts of the bloc's single market after Brexit without honoring all of the rules.


Russia starts biggest war games since Soviet fall near China

Top Stories - Wed, 09/12/2018 - 03:48

China and Russia have staged joint drills before but not on such a large scale, and the Vostok-2018 (East-2018) exercise signals closer military ties as well as sending an unspoken reminder to Beijing that Moscow is able and ready to defend its sparsely populated far east. Vostok-2018 is taking place at a time of heightened tension between the West and Russia, and NATO has said it will monitor the exercise closely, as will the United States which has a strong military presence in the Asia-Pacific region. Russia's Ministry of Defence broadcast images on Tuesday of columns of tanks, armoured vehicles and warships on the move, and combat helicopters and fighter aircraft taking off.


AppleCare+: Everything you need to know about Apple’s extended warranty program

Macworld - Wed, 09/12/2018 - 03:00

Your Apple gear wasn’t cheap. And if you drop your iPhone, your iPad stops turning on one day, or your Mac’s hard drive just ups and dies on you, getting it repaired probably won’t be cheap either.

Apple includes a one-year limited warranty with all hardware so if there’s a manufacturing defect, you’ll be covered. To also protect against accidental damage, plus extend the original warranty for longer and enjoy free tech support, you can opt to purchase AppleCare+. Here’s what it is, what it covers, and what you can expect to pay. Is AppleCare+ worth it? Only you can decide for your own situation, but this should be everything you need to know to make a smart choice.

To read this article in full, please click here

Russia's Putin to plan meeting with Mexico's president-elect: Tass

Top Stories - Wed, 09/12/2018 - 00:29

Russian President Vladimir Putin is looking into a possible meeting with Mexican President-Elect Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador late this year in Mexico or Argentina, Russian news agency Tass reported on Tuesday. Lopez Obrador, who takes office on Dec. 1, invited Putin to his inauguration in a meeting on Monday with Russia's ambassador to Mexico. Putin met former President Vicente Fox in Mexico in 2004 and returned to attend the 2012 G20 Summit, which brings together the world's 20 largest economies.


Best surge protector: Reviews and buying advice

Macworld - Tue, 09/11/2018 - 23:50
Far better than ordinary power strips, these products will protect your expensive electronics from dangerous power spikes. We'll help you pick the right one for your home or small office.

Amped Wireless Smart Strip review: Most effective when it's paired with an Amazon Echo or Google Home

Macworld - Tue, 09/11/2018 - 23:45
You can control its three outlets and two USB ports independently, but its app has weak timer features and no scene-control functions.

The Latest: Family of officer charged in killing deny racism

Top Stories - Tue, 09/11/2018 - 22:11

DALLAS (AP) — The Latest on a fatal shooting involving an off-duty Dallas police officer (all times local):


SpaceX President Calls Elon Musk ‘A Brilliant Man,’ Despite Bizarre Behavior

Top Stories - Tue, 09/11/2018 - 22:04

The president of SpaceX said Tuesday that Elon Musk, the company's founder and


44,000 Catholic Women Demand Answers From Pope Francis Over Sex Abuse Crisis

Top Stories - Tue, 09/11/2018 - 21:01

More than 44,000 Catholic women have signed a letter pressing Pope Francis to


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