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Mazda Might Give the MX-5 Miata 26 More Horsepower

Top Stories - Thu, 03/01/2018 - 10:07

Regulatory documents suggest the 2019 MX-5 Miata will go from 155 horsepower to 181, a huge power increase for the lightweight sports car.

Top Volleyball Coach Raped Girls Hundreds Of Times, Lawsuit Alleges

Top Stories - Thu, 03/01/2018 - 09:27

An influential youth volleyball coach is accused in a new federal class-action lawsuit of raping at least six girls in the 1980s on hundreds of occasions. The Chicago-area coach, Rick Butler, used his position to manipulate young players and sexually abuse them, according to the suit, filed in U.S. District Court in Chicago and first reported Wednesday by the Chicago Sun-Times.

5 Ways to Save for Retirement Outside a 401(k)

Top Stories - Thu, 03/01/2018 - 09:00

Your workplace 401(k) plan is typically the most convenient way to begin saving for retirement. The good news is there are quite a few ways to save money for retirement without completely relying on a 401(k) plan. A traditional individual retirement account also allows you to save pre-tax dollars, and you don't pay taxes on your contributions until you withdraw the money from the account.

My children have stopped calling me dad - should I be offended?

Top Stories - Thu, 03/01/2018 - 08:30

Daddy is no more. Three weeks ago, I heard a voice say, "Rhymer, could you please pass me the salt?" I did a double take. These were not the strident, increasingly confident intonations of the 10- year-old but rather the still-sweet, little-girlish vocalisations of her younger sister. Polly, the 10-year-old, has been calling me "Rhymer" for more than a year now. But for the seven-year-old, Claudia, this is a new departure. It is, I will admit, a bit disconcerting. Three weeks later and both of them now regularly call me "Rhymer". The oddest thing is when they refer to me in the third person. "Mummy," they'll say, "is Rhymer coming swimming with us?" Your first thought is, "My life has become an episode of The Simpsons and I am Homer." It's true that they sometimes call their mother Jane. But I don't think they get quite the satisfaction out of it that they do out of calling me by my first name. Of course, children do grow up. With Polly, I'd been anticipating the end of "Daddy" for some time. But I'd also expected it to be - to adopt the language of Brexit - a soft transition. Daddy to dad. I still call my own dad "Dad". But no. Rhymer it is. A couple of friends have told me that "it's just phase they'll grow out of". But I don't think so. It's been a year now and I'm confident "Rhymer" is hard-wired into the 10-year-old's brain. And, as the seven-year-old bases many of her behaviours on the 10-year-old, I've probably lost her too. What's in a name? Rhymer Rigby with daughters Polly and Claudia Credit: Rii Schroer None of this really matters in the sense that it doesn't bother me enormously. I find it, if anything, amusing. But should it matter? Is it disrespectful? Should I come over all Victorian and demand that, as a matter of filial deference, they call me dad or daddy? Or should I go next level - and be troubled by how untroubled I am? I started by examining my own past. I have never called my dad by his first name. But that is because we share a name and it would be really confusing. Indeed, after my birth, my dad tended to be referred to more by his nickname, Rig. My siblings have never called my dad "Rhymer" either. Mostly my parents are still mum and dad to us. I don't think respect or a lack thereof really comes into it. My family are all quite laid-back people, that's just the way it is. Growing up, a very few of my friends did call their parents by their first names. But again this offers little in the way of real insight. It was just "a thing" rather than a matter of great importance and it wasn't even indicative of the parents being Seventies hippies or Eighties individualists. Some grist to my angst mill arrived in the form of a Twitter poll. I asked Twitter if people's children called them mummy and daddy or by their first names. A full 100 per cent (of around 50 votes) said the former. Hoping for more online worries, I next dived into the swamp of parental disquietude that is Mumsnet. This looked promising at first. Mumsnet is great at finding the most worrisome and/or judgmental take on anything. But honestly, even the Mumsnetters didn't seem that bothered. In the UK there's a lot tied up in the idea that, as a parent, you should command respect Next, I spoke to a couple of parenting experts. One, Sue Atkins, who runs an online parenting club, said that being on first-name terms with your firstborn isn't a problem in itself. "You need to be comfortable with it and if you're not you should say so." She added that it's only an issue if it's done to be rude or to annoy. "There should be respect and dignity and you need to be a parent, not a friend." On these grounds I think I'm OK. Polly knows there are boundaries and is tolerably well-behaved. Sarah Ockwell-Smith, author of the The Gentle Discipline Book, says that it can actually be a positive thing. "Normally it's a sign that you have a good relationship with the child." As for any perceived respect angle, she suggests that it's not worth getting hung up on this at all: "In the UK there's a lot tied up in the idea that, as a parent, you should command respect. Discipline in this country is quite old-fashioned." This did make me wonder if parental first names were the norm in any other cultures. But I couldn't find any. The UK-based French political journalist Marie Le Conte told me that her theory is that in France there's a class angle. Only the poshest and the most working-class people routinely call their parents by their first names. The middle is solidly maman et papa. I myself spent four years abroad as a child. When we moved to the US I discovered that (in Eighties Pennsylvania, at least) you were meant to call everyone's else parents "Mr and Mr Smith" rather than "David and Sue". This felt strangely formal and awkward. ­Although once they discovered the British norm, some of my American friends' parents decided it would be great fun to be on first-name terms. While this felt more natural to me, it also made me different to my peers, which is the last thing any 10-year-old wants. It all felt like a sort of awkward transatlantic comedy of manners and eventually I just called everyone else's parents Mr and Mrs to fit in. I was reminded of this the other day when one of my eldest daughter's friends said, "Hello Mr Rigby" at school. She subsequently explained she was calling me "Mr Rigby" because she didn't know my first name and she was a bit old to call me "Polly's dad". I told her I was fine with "Rhymer." "Yes," said my eldest. "We all call him Rhymer." Indeed they do, but why? One friend may have put her finger on it when she asked, "What do you and your wife call each other?" The answer is mostly "Rhymer" and "Jane". Aha, she replied - that could be the root of things: the friend and her husband mostly don't call each other by their names in front of the children. 'Hey Homer': Bart Simpson also calls his Dad by his first name Indeed, Ockwell-Smith says that a lot of what children do is down to modelling: "Kids learn mostly from what they see us doing so if everyone calls you 'Rhymer' they will too." We've also always been quite grown-up in the way we speak to the girls - our house is not a place of excessively cutesy language - and perhaps this is another driver. I suspect there may be one final factor at work here that is particular to me. When I'm introduced to people (like parents at school) the girls hear other adults get me to repeat my name, express surprise and say things like, "That's such an unusual name. I've never heard it before." So there's a sort of novelty to "Rhymer" that there isn't to say, John or Sarah. Perhaps they've internalised this - and it might account for their untroubling but untypical decision to call me Rhymer. So as long as it's not rooted in overt disrespect, I'm OK with it. If the girls do their homework, tidy their rooms and feed the cat, I can live with being called Rhymer. Perhaps, in time, I'll even stop thinking of Bart Simpson saying "Hey, Homer!" every time they do it.

South Africa's Ramaphosa says aims to resolve land issue 'once and for all'

Top Stories - Thu, 03/01/2018 - 08:02

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa said on Thursday he wants talks on the thorny topic of land expropriation to avoid panic but aims to resolve the issue of racial disparities in property ownership "once and for all". South Africa took a step on Tuesday to hasten the transfer of land from white to black owners when parliament backed a motion seeking to change the constitution to allow land expropriation without compensation. The ruling African National Congress (ANC) has long promised reforms to redress racial disparities in land ownership and the subject remains highly emotive more than two decades after the end of apartheid.

Vladimir Putin Boasts of New Russian Nuclear Weapons

Top Stories - Thu, 03/01/2018 - 07:16

"You have failed to contain Russia"

The 9 best fridge freezers for 2018

Top Stories - Thu, 03/01/2018 - 06:22

Fridge freezers are a kitchen essential, and a modern-day staple. But they come in various sizes and prices - and nowadays with numerous features - so finding the best fridge freezer for you can be tricky.  Whether you're moving, looking for an upgrade or your current appliance is on its last legs, finding the right fridge freezer for your kitchen can be a tough task. With prices ranging from £300 into the thousands, you don't want to fork out on the wrong fridge.  To find the best fridge freezer for you, you should first consider size. Make sure you get the dimensions right, and bear in mind a refrigerator needs space for the air to circulate.  Another key aspect is the fridge-freezer ratio. If you buy lots of fresh food, a larger fridge is necessary; if ready meals or bulk cooking is more your thing, look for more freezer drawers. Also to look out for: sufficient space (a which.co.uk survey found some fridge freezers had 22pc less space than advertised); glass shelves and plastic draws for extra visibility; and humidity-controlled salad crisper draws to keep your veg fresh. High-tech additions like water dispensers and frost-free freezers are useful, but will up the price.  As it's one of the most important appliances in your home, it's worth spending a little extra time researching the different brands and models so you can find one that best suits your needs. To make things a little bit easier, with the help of Good Housekeeping Institute, we've selected some of the best fridge freezers available at the moment. All are freestanding, but for the best integrated fridge freezers (situated within cupboards), try Beko, AEGand Bosch.  1. Hoover Wizard HF18XK £534.99, Argos This spacious fridge freezer - the Good Housekeeping Institute's top-rated fridge freezer - has plenty of shelf levels allowing you to customise and use space as needed. Reversible doors mean you can adapt it to your kitchen layout, too.  It has an attractive exterior design with an LCD display for controlling the temperatures of the fridge and freezer. Temperatures can also be remotely controlled by tablet or smartphone through the free Hoover Wizard App, which is easy to set-up and use. There's a Super Freezing function for freezing large quantities of food quickly, which is easy to set. It also has a bright internal light for visibility and the door ajar alarm sounds after one minute, to remind you to close it. It has two spacious salad drawers, one slightly deeper than the other. One of the best American fridge freezers out there, the Hoover Wizard regulates temperature well, even when doors were left ajar, and it has a low energy consumption. Telegraph rating: 9/10 Buy now 2. Beko CFP1691W 50/50 fridge freezer £319.99, Currys PC World A sleek, spacious and affordable fridge freezer from household appliance specialists Beko. The white fridge has reversible doors, allowing it to adapt to different kitchen layouts. It also has one large salad drawer and an internal bottle rack. As a 50/50 fridge freezer, it's ideal for those who need more freezer space.  The bright LED light at the top of the fridge illuminates the compartment well too. When tested, the fridge and freezer temperatures were a little uneven but when the doors were left ajar, they quickly returned to their optimum temperatures. Thanks to Beko Freezer Guard, this fridge freezer can be safely operated when located in areas with temperatures as low as -15C, so it's ideal for a garage or out-building. Telegraph rating: 8/10 Buy now 3. CDA FF660SC frost-free freestanding fridge freezer £492.97, Appliances Direct The CDA FF660SC is a spacious fridge freezer with plenty of shelf levels to customise and reversible doors. It has an attractive exterior design with an LCD display for controlling temperatures. It also has a non-plumbed water dispenser on the outside of the fridge, a spacious salad drawer - but no internal bottle rack. It features both a Super Cool and Super Freeze function for chilling/freezing large quantities of food as quickly as possible, which are easy to set. There's a bright internal light for great visibility, and a door ajar alarm that sounds after two minutes, to remind you to close it. This appliance regulated its fridge and freezer temperature well, even when doors were left ajar. However, the energy consumption was a little high compared to other models. Telegraph rating: 8/10 Buy now 4. AEG CustomFlex RCB83724MX 60/40 fridge freezer £729.99, Currys PC World Part of AEG's excellent fridge freezer line, this model features CustomFlex technology, which allows the user to personalise the fridge's layout - and it can be done as often as you like.  Technology is the name of the game with this stainless-steel silver fridge freezer. TwinTech helps keep the fridge evenly chilled; and there's plenty of shelf space for jars and bottles too.  As an added bonus, it comes with an A++ energy rating, making it an eco-friendly option. The only downside, really, is the price. Telegraph rating: 8/10 Buy now 5. Smeg FAB30RFC 70/30 fridge freezer £1,153, Currys Pc World This cream retro Smeg fridge freezer looks incredibly stylish and old-school, with its curved edges and freezer on top.  It looks great, but is it any good? First things first, it has a 70/30 split, so is right for those who don't need much freezer space. But the fridge fits plenty of food. There's a chrome wine rack, and a bottle retainer.  It may look like it's from the 1950s, but this Smeg appliance has all the latest technology. A fast cooling system ensures newly added items drop to the right temperature as soon as possible. Drawers are clear, so you can see everything, and the freezer has a rapid-freeze function.  With its A++ energy rating, it's also a cost-effective fridge freezer (once you've spent the significant sum on the appliance itself, of course). Telegraph rating: 8/10 Buy now 6. Fisher & Paykel RF540ADUSX4 Goliath 3-door fridge freezer £1,999, John Lewis A very spacious, American-style fridge freezer with double fridge doors that open outwards and a large, pull-out drawer to access the huge freezer compartment. Inside the freezer are two drawers and one large compartment, providing ample space. There are plenty of shelf levels to customise and utilise space as needed, but no bottle rack. The bright internal light illuminates up the whole compartment well, though. In tests, it regulated its fridge temperature extremely well, even when doors were left ajar. However, the freezer was much slower at this, so you should avoid opening the drawer more than necessary. The thermostat is easily accessible and straightforward to operate. It has a water dispenser and ice maker, too. If you're willing to fork out two grand for a fridge freezer, this Fisher & Paykel model is certainly worth it.  Telegraph rating: 8/10 Buy now 7. Bosch KGN36XW35G  £589, Appliances Direct  German home appliance specialists Bosch have created a top fridge freezer with this frost-free model. The fridge is very spacious at an advertised 237 litres, with a smaller freezer capacity of 87 litres, so it's a good fit for those who like to keep plenty of fresh food.  It's very easy to use, and there are a number of excellent features. The frost-free function means you won't have to scrape off bits of frost, a painstaking task. The Super Cool and Super Freeze settings allow you to ensure food you've put in the fridge or freezer gets down to the right temperature as soon as possible.  Telegraph rating: 8/10 Buy now 8. Samsung RB31FDRNSA frost free tall fridge freezer £429.99, Argos For a mid-range option this Samsung fridge freezer will do the trick, and it comes with a host of features befitting of a more pricey alternative. On its exterior is a water dispenser (not plugged into mains, so you'll have to top it up, and no ice dispenser function) and temperature display so you'll know if your fridge and freezer are at the right level.  Inside, the fridge has four safety glass fridge shelves, which are adjustable and provide high visibility. Storage-wise, the fridge has a 210 litre capacity; 98 litres for the freezer. It has an A+ energy rating too.  Telegraph rating: 8/10 Buy now 9. Zanussi ZRB23200WA frost-free freestanding fridge freezer £425, Debenhams Plus A spacious fridge freezer with plenty of shelves to customise. It has reversible doors, so that the fridge is accessible however your kitchen is laid out. It features two deep salad drawers and an internal rack for storing up to two bottles.  It regulated its freezer temperature well, even when doors were left ajar. However, the fridge was slower at this, so you should avoid opening the door more than necessary. There are Super Cool and Fast Freeze functions for faster chilling/freezing of foods (particularly useful when restocking the fridge freezer). It was let down by slightly higher energy consumption compared to other models, and the fact the internal light was a little obscured by items on the top shelf. Telegraph rating: 7/10 Buy now  Our favourites If you are willing to part with £2k on a fridge freezer, the Fisher & Paykel model is a top purchase. With more space than regular fridge freezers it's ideal for big houses and large families.  But if you're after something thinner and more affordable, the Beko and the Hoover are your best bets. The Hoover just shades it, thanks to its remote temperature-control function. Black Friday products

Everything Roku should do in 2018: A cord-cutter's wishlist

Macworld - Thu, 03/01/2018 - 06:00
As Roku lays out its business goals for 2018, here's what cord-cutters can hope for.

In exile with Bill Kristol, the Republican resister-in-chief

Top Stories - Thu, 03/01/2018 - 05:00

Bill Kristol is steadily launching an unrelenting assault on his own party's president. You could say he is the clearest and most credible voice of Republican resistance in Washington.

Palestinian migrant gets life sentence for supermarket stabbing in Germany

Top Stories - Thu, 03/01/2018 - 04:02

A Palestinian asylum seeker and radicalized Islamist who killed one person and injured six others in a knife attack in a Hamburg supermarket in July has been sentenced to life in prison, a spokesman for a city court said on Thursday. Hamburg residents threw chairs and other objects at the attacker - who had been known to authorities - helping police to detain him, but a 50-year-old man died of his injuries. The asylum seeker could not be deported as he lacked identification documents and was psychologically unstable, Hamburg's Interior Minister Andy Grote said after the attack.

Hope Hicks' Resignation Sends Tweeters Into Joke Overdrive

Top Stories - Thu, 03/01/2018 - 03:59

When Hope Hicks announced on Wednesday that she was quitting her job as White House communications director, Twitter brought the jokes.

The Latest: Kushner Cos. got huge loans after WH meetings

Top Stories - Wed, 02/28/2018 - 22:35

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on White House senior adviser Jared Kushner's downgraded security clearance (all times local):

White House Hit With Several Shocking Reports In Less Than A Day

Top Stories - Wed, 02/28/2018 - 22:21

An already complicated day for President Donald Trump’s administration was capped with several shocking reports Wednesday night. The barrage of stories shed new light on the extent of special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation and raised questions about several officials in the president’s inner circle, including communications director Hope Hicks and the president’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner. The Washington Post reported Wednesday evening that Mueller has questioned several witnesses about the president’s behavior toward Attorney General Jeff Sessions to determine whether Trump attempted to obstruct justice in the ongoing inquiry into Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election.

Neighbors say police, others alerted before child's death

Top Stories - Wed, 02/28/2018 - 20:15

BELFAST, Maine (AP) — Former neighbors of a couple accused of fatally beating a 10-year-old girl said they heard abuse months ago and reported it to police and the state health and human services' officials.

Mystery cloaks Japanese dad of 13 born from Thai surrogates

Top Stories - Wed, 02/28/2018 - 20:01

TOKYO (AP) — A Japanese businessman who won legal custody of his 13 children born from surrogates in Thailand is virtually anonymous in his home country.

Alaska lawmaker cites Holocaust deaths to oppose gun control

Top Stories - Wed, 02/28/2018 - 19:41

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — An Alaska Republican and most senior member of the U.S. House argued against gun control by wondering how many Jewish people "were put in the ovens" because they were not armed.

Will Trump Follow Through On Guns? He Didn't Do So On Immigration.

Top Stories - Wed, 02/28/2018 - 19:22

WASHINGTON ― President Donald Trump convened lawmakers at the White House for something unusual in today’s politics: a substantive, unscripted discussion of a contentious issue in which the president broke with party orthodoxy, all on camera. In the made-for-TV event on Wednesday, Trump struck a moderate tone and encouraged a group of Republicans and Democrats to act quickly on a comprehensive gun reform package. “I thought it was fascinating television, and it was surreal,” Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn (R-Texas), who sat next to the president, told reporters afterwards.

Walmart To Raise Age Requirement To Buy Firearms And Ammunition

Top Stories - Wed, 02/28/2018 - 18:59

Walmart has vowed to raise its age requirement to 21 years old for customers looking to purchase firearms or ammunition from their stores. The retail giant decided to change its firearms policy “in light of recent events,” Walmart said in a statement to reporters on Wednesday. “We take seriously our obligation to be a responsible seller of firearms and go beyond Federal law by requiring customers to pass a background check before purchasing any firearm,” the company’s statement read.


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