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Thursday, April 27, 2017

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Amazing: California's wildflower 'super bloom' is visible from space.

An unusually dense 'super bloom' of wildflowers that has been sprouting up across California is now visible from space. Satellite images of California show colorful patches of flowers covering parts of the state. Following on from one of the wettest winters in recent memory, fields across drought-striken California have been carpeted with vivid blooms, mainly orange California poppies.

A wet winter in Southern California has led to ideal conditions for a bumper wildflower bloom. According to the National Park Service, rainfall throughout the winter and spring is essential for a good wildflower year.

Baby born with 4 legs reunited with family in Africa after surgery at a ...

A baby girl from the Ivory Coast born with four legs and two spines was reunited with her mother and father in Abidjan on April 20 after successful surgery in the United States to separate her from a parasitic twin. Dominique underwent a six-hour procedure involving five surgeons at the Advocate Children's Hospital in Park Ridge, Illinois, on March 8. Before the surgery, the bottom half of her not-fully-developed twin's body protruded from her neck and back.

"I didn't think I would get my daughter like this, today. It is really miraculous. Thanks too to the surgeons who did the work. Thanks to the American people who helped the child," said the baby's mother, who did not want to give her name. Dominique spent over two months in the United States with her host family, the Swabbs, from the Edgebrook

A dead whale washed up on Lota beach, Chile

A dead whale washed up on Lota beach, in the coastal town of Lota located in Chile's central Bio-Bio region on April 25, according to local media reports. Local media reported that the lifeless body of the whale, which is estimated to be some 29 feet (9 meters) long, washed up on the shore in the Punta Astorga sector of the town.

A bulldozer was brought in to help remove the whale and bury it nearby on the beach. Dozens of curious onlookers gathered to observe the operation. Personnel of the Captaincy of Lota Port had given notice to the government's Sernapesca fisheries body and the local municipality to take the corresponding measures, local media reported.

Zhengzhou Airshow opens in central China city

The 2017 Zhengzhou Airshow opened in Zhengzhou, capital of central China's Henan Province, on Thursday. Fourteen acrobatic teams from the world and 42 acrobatic planes gathered at the Shangjie Airport to participate in the event.

One of the highlights of the Zhengzhou Airshow is the annual world acrobatics team at the ceremony, which will be attended by 12 of the world's top acrobatic team nominees from the UK, France, Russia, Italy, Lithuania and other countries as well as two guest acrobatic teams.The air show will last until May 1.

High Voltage Drama: Woman rescued from crane by Toronto firefighter

A woman was rescued on April 26 from the pulley of a crane in Toronto, Canada. Television footage showed the woman seated on the pulley of the crane, and a firefighter climbing the crane and rescuing her. According to the CBC, the woman, estimated to be in her 20's, was sitting as many as 20 stories off the ground. The network said she had climbed up to the pulley during the night. After being rescued she was charged with mischief.

A stadium-sized super pressure balloon, designed by NASA, takes flight i...

A stadium-sized super pressure balloon launched by NASA in New Zealand began collecting data in near space on April 25, beginning a 100-day planned journey after several launch attempts were thwarted by a series of storms and cyclones.

The balloon, designed by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) to detect ultra-high energy cosmic particles from beyond the galaxy as they penetrate the earth's atmosphere, is expected to circle the planet two or three times.The balloon, launched on Tuesday (April 25) in Wanaka, a scenic spot on New Zealand's South Island, will collect data from 34 kilometres (21.1 miles) above the earth.

New Zealand was also the base for NASA's scientific balloon programme in 2015 and 2016. The remote country is looking to use its relatively isolated position, compared with the northern hemisphere's crowded skies, to make itself new space launching hub. As well as scientific monitoring equipment, the balloon was carrying a small red poppy, a symbol of a major WWI battle at Gallipoli, a nod to the launch taking place on ANZAC day, a public holiday commemorating Australian and New Zealand WWI and WWII fighters.

South Korea and the United States hold a large scale live-fire exercise

South Korean and U.S. troops held a joint live-fire exercise on April 26 amid mounting tensions on the Korean peninsula.The two countries staged the live fire drill featuring a wide array of army aviation, artillery and armoured vehicles at an artillery range in Pocheon, about 50 km (about 31 mile) northeast of Seoul.

South Korean defence ministry said about 2,000 troops from both countries participated in the drill and they used 250 military weapons including K2 tanks, Bradley fighting vehicles, multiple launch rocket systems (MLRS), Apache helicopters and A-10 combat jets. The joint drill called the Integrated Firepower Exercise 2017 was held on April 13, 21 and 26.

The video was filmed on April 21 and it has been under embargo until 0600 GMT April 26. There are around 28,500 U.S. troops stationed in South Korea, where the United States has maintained a large military presence since the 1950-53 Korean War.

Heavy flooding drenches parts of North Carolina, 13,000 homes are withou...

Heavy flooding soaked parts of North Carolina on April 25, submerging parking lots filled with cars and prompting road closures.Nearly six inches (15 centimeters) of rain have fallen in the Raleigh-Durham area since April 23. A flood watch is in effect for the Tuesday and April 26. As many as 13,000 homes are without power reported local media.

Massive Los Angeles crash kills one, snarls freeways

Two big rigs and several cars collided on a major freeway north of downtown Los Angeles on April 25, sparking an explosion and fire, killing at least one person and forcing authorities to shut down two major arteries into the city. Officer Kevin Tao of the California Highway Patrol said at least several other people were injured in the fiery crash, which sent plumes of thick black smoke billowing into the sky. The Los Angeles Times reported that nine people were hurt.

Local television images showed firefighters pouring water on the burned-out hulk of a tanker truck, a small car wedged underneath. A black pick-up truck that had been towing a trailer had come to rest on top of a center median, it's rear wheels well off the ground.

Local KTLA-TV reported that drivers not involved in the wreck fled their cars, running off the freeway onto a nearby golf course to escape the flames and carnage.The crash, which took place shortly before 11 a.m. local time, prompted authorities to close Interstate 5 in both directions north of downtown Los Angeles and the resulting clean-up and investigation also jammed the nearby Ventura (134) Freeway and nearby surface streets.

The pigeon pair of white tiger cubs growing healthy at Chongqing Zoo in ...

The pigeon pair of white tiger cubs born in early April at Chongqing Zoo in southwest China are growing healthy under artificial feeding, said the zoo on Tuesday. The twin Bengali white tiger cubs were born on April 6 after a 105-day pregnancy of their mother Ningning.

The first-time mother Ningning is incapable of feeding her newborns, so the zoo staff have to bottle feed them."Currently, they drink bottled milk six times a day. They grow very well, and always fall asleep after drinking milk. When it comes to the next milk time, the cubs will wake up, move about and yell, telling us they are hungry and need feeding," said Teng Mingsheng, an experienced keeper at the zoo.

After receiving 20 days of careful artificial feeding, the pair are in good health, and their weight have almost doubled to around two kg.The tiger cubs are expected to make their first public appearance during the coming Labor Holiday in May. The white tiger is a variant of the Bengal tiger. There were only about 200 Bengali white tigers worldwide, according to data released in 2016.

Brazil indigenous protest over land rights turns violent, police fire te...

Indigenous people and police clashed near the congressional building in Brazil's capital city on April 25 during a protest against farmers' encroachment on reservations. Officers fired rubber bullets and tear gas at protesters, whose bodies were painted and dressed in colourful headdresses, while some tribe members shot arrows in return.

The demonstration was peaceful until police blocked some of the indigenous people from climbing a ramp that led into the congressional building, according to a Reuters photographer on the scene.The clashes ended around dusk. Some indigenous people suffered light injuries. There was no immediate word whether any officers were hurt.

Dozens of indigenous people are killed each year in Brazil in fights with farmers and ranchers over land, often in the relatively lawless Amazon region, where hired gunmen have been used to push the indigenous off resource-rich reserves. Sonia Guajajara, a coordinator for the march, said some 4,000 indigenous people and supporters took part in the protest.

The demonstration focused on legislation that would give the last word on deciding land boundaries for indigenous reservations to Congress, where a powerful farm lobby holds sway. Currently, Brazil's president retains the power to set such boundaries. Guajajara said they carried coffins to symbolize indigenous who have died because of clashes over disputed land.

A police spokesman said the marchers went beyond the agreed point and invaded congressional grounds, requiring the use of force to keep them from entering the building. He said an arrow struck a police bag but no officers were hurt.

101 year old Indian athlete wins 100m gold at World Masters Games in Auc...

101-year-old Indian athlete Man Kaur sprinted to 100m gold at the World Masters Games in Auckland, New Zealand, on April 24. As the only competitor in the 100+ age category in the discipline Kaur completed her one-woman race in a time of 1 minute 14.58sec to wild cheers from the crowd. The athlete from Chandigarh, Punjab, danced as she made her way to the medal ceremony and told reporters she would keep "rocking" for the rest of her life.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Aamir Khan attends award function after 16 years, receives Deenananth Ma...

Aamir Khan attended an award ceremony for the first time in 16 years as he was honoured for his film "Dangal" on Monday. The superstar received the Master Dinanath Mangeshkar award in Mumbai from Mohan Bhagwat, the chief of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh or RSS. The 52-year-old, whose disdain for award functions is well-known, apparently couldn't refuse an invitation from legendary singer Lata Mangeshkar.

The last such show that he attended was the Oscars, when his "Lagaan" was nominated in the Best Foreign Film category. The Dinanath Mangeshkar Awards, which marked the 75th death anniversary of Lata Mangeshkar's father, recognised eminent personalities in various fields.

Fire broke out near Auckland Tunnel in Shimla, India


Car falling into pond, 7 killed, 1 injured in the city of Huangshan, Anh...

Seven were killed and one was injured after a car carrying eight persons fell into a pond in the city of Huangshan in east China's Anhui Province on Monday. The accident occurred about 04:00 Monday, and the car downed a lamp pole, breaking it in half, and dislocated a one-ton defensive pier on the side of the road before falling into the pond.When firefighters arrived, they found the white car dimly visible in the 6-meter-deep pond about 15 meters from the roadside. A man was squatting on the top of the car, waiting for rescue.

The trapped man was brought to the bank and sent to hospital. The door of the deformed car could not be opened under water, and the firefighters used a crane to lift the car out of the pond. But the seven persons, including five men and two women, were drowned. It was learned that the car belonged to a tea-dealing family. They were on their way back to the city after collecting tea leaves from growers in villages when the accident happened. The cause of the accident is under investigation.

Monday, April 24, 2017

Dashcam records a child's fall from a moving bus in Arkansas, USA

The dramatic moment a four-year-old girl fell from a moving bus on April 21 has been captured by a dashcam. Volunteer firefighter Ryan Ciampoli, who filmed this video, ran to the girl's aid as she lay unconscious on the road in Harrison, Arkansas. Ciampoli, who's dashcam recorded the incident, told Reuters that the girl became conscious as the firefighter approached her. He carried her to safety where they waited for paramedics. The girl broke her jaw but is expected to make a full recovery, according to Ciampoli.

Protest against the government of President Nicolas Maduro, Venezuela

Venezuelans erected barricades with garbage and even bathtubs on April 24 and snarled traffic with mass "sit-ins" along major thoroughfares to press their demand for early elections as anti-government protests entered a fourth week.Ten people have been killed during near daily clashes this month between security forces armed with rubber bullets and tear gas and protesters sometimes throwing rocks and Molotov cocktails.

At least 10 people have also died during night-time looting. President Nicolas Maduro's socialist government accuses foes of seeking a violent coup with U.S. connivance, while the opposition says he is a dictator repressing peaceful protest.

The opposition's main demands are for elections, the release of jailed activists and autonomy for the opposition-led congress.But protests are also fuelled by the crippling economic crisis in the oil-rich South American nation of 30 million people.Demonstrators wore the yellow, blue and red colours of Venezuela's flag, held signs denouncing shortages, inflation and violent crime.

In the capital, they were seeking to converge from several points to a major highway, where by late morning several hundred people sat, carrying bags of supplies, playing card games, and shielding themselves from the sun with hats and umbrellas.The demonstrations were largely peaceful by midday, but clashes often begin later in the day. This month's unrest is Venezuela's worst since 2014 when 43 people died in months of mayhem sparked by protests against Maduro, the 54-year-old successor to late leftist leader Hugo Chavez.

School girls protest at Lal chauk, Srinagar, Jammu and Kashmir


Sunday, April 23, 2017

Nature's Beauty: Millions of tulips in bloom at 34th annual flower fest ...

Millions of flowers were in peak bloom over the weekend at the 34th annual Skagit Tulip Festival. Located about 70 miles (112km) north of Seattle, the river estuary is covered in fields of flowers, mostly Dutch tulips, daffodils and iris, which draws nearly a million tourists during the festivies in the month-long celebration in April. According to a recent study by Washington State University, the region accounts for nearly 75% of U.S. commercial production of cut flowers- producing nearly 75 million flowers and another 20 million bulbs every year.

Portugal power boating: The first round of the 2017 F1H2O

The Frenchman won ahead of Sami Selio of Finland with Portugal's Duarte Benavente third.Chiappe had been chased late in the race by Erik Stark's Team Sweden boat but it developed mechanical problems and had to drop out. United Arab Emirates driver Ahmed Al Hameli was fortunate to be uninjured after a qualifying crash the previous day. After qualifying well Al Hameli drifted wide and swiped a floating pontoon, launching his boat into a series of rolls. He did not start the race as a result.

Rainstorm: Heavy rain hit many places in Guangdong Province, south China

Heavy rain hit many places in south China's Guangdong Province on Friday, causing damage to vehicles and infrastructure and even injuring people. In Jiangmen City, many advertising boards and traffic infrastructure were damaged by gale and hail. Many trees were uprooted, and hit and destroyed some vehicles parked at roadside.

The heavy rainstorm also damaged several workshops in Nanhai City. In Guicheng Industrial Park, the roofs of a nearly 3,000-square-meter chemical equipment factory almost collapsed entirely, burying a lot of equipment and facilities.

"The gale was howling. The tornado swept all the way in just one or two minutes, and the roof was lifted away," said Chen, a witness. During the rainstorm, a total of seven workshops in the industrial park saw roof collapse and four people were slightly injured.

In Zhongshan City, a passenger filmed a "indoor rain" with smart phone in the Xiaolan Town light rail station. Raindrops fell through the leaks on the roof of the station, leaving the ground water logged. Later the station arranged cleaners to clean the ground and set up a group of sheds at the entrance.

Amazing: thousands of migratory birds making stopover in north China

Tens of thousands of birds on Friday gathered at Tianjin in north China and performed their special dance before they head further north. A special "ritual" was performed, as flocks of black-tailed godwits gathered at the seaside. They flew together, rolling, and diving. Tianjin is a stop along the birds' migratory route from Australia to Russia. Every year, birds stop in Tianjin for a short stay before they take off again for the north.

According to Wang Jianmin, a volunteer for bird protection, more than 30 species of birds have stopped in the city since February, including more than 11,000 relic gulls and more than 30,000 black-tailed godwits. He added that more birds are making a stopover in Tianjin in recent years.

"In recent years, the environment here has been improved. And perhaps something has changed in their old habitats, making here a suitable place for them to breed. For example, redshanks never bred here before, but in recent years, there are more of them breeding here," said Wang. Currently, most of the relic gulls have left Tianjin. Black-tailed godwits and shelducks will also leave for their next destination at the end of April.

Unbelievable: Lyrid meteor shower creates dazzling scenery in sky in China

The annual Lyrid meteor shower lit up the night sky over the Changbai Mountain in northeast China's Jilin Province over the weekend. The spectacle was recorded by star gazers with fast-motion cameras. The meteor shower reached its peak on April 22 and 23 this year. Round the midnight on Saturday, observers found dozens of meteors per hour visible in the sky. Meteor showers are caused when dust and other particles break off from an astronomical body and enter Earth's atmosphere on parallel courses. The Lyrid meteor shower occurs in late April, usually between 19 and 23 every year, when the Earth passes through the dusty tail of Comet Thatcher.

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Rare green sakura flowers begin to bloom in east China.


Giant pandas fool around like kids in southwest China.


AeroMobil unveiled its latest flying car model at the Top Marques Monaco...

The Slovakian company said in a press release that the AeroMobil Flying Car was 'commercially available' and that it was ready to take pre-orders for the limited first edition. The co-founder and CEO of AeroMobil, Juraj Vaculik, said that it was a "transformative day for the future of travel." Aeromobil's chief technology officer, Douglas MacAndrew, said the launch was a "triumph of engineering and design." The latest model can reach a top ground speed of 160 km/h and air speed of 360 km/h. It can become fully airborne in less than three minutes. It is an updated version of the 3.0 prototype unveiled in 2014.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Indian Political Party Shiv Sena's blacken lecturer's face over molestat...

Shiv Sena workers in Nagpur blackened the face of a lecturer who allegedly molested one of his students on April 13. The accused, Amit Ganvir, allegedly molested the girl at Dharampeth Polytechnic College — her examination centre. Police said Ganvir had caught the girl copying during the exam. He snatched her identity card, hall ticket and mobile phone before misbehaving with her, said inspector Atul Sabis, Ambhazari police station.

“After the girl’s friends complained to us, we approached the principal of the college on Thursday afternoon and demanded action against the accused. However, since the principal failed to act, we blackened Ganvir’s face and took him to the Ambazari police station,” said Shiv Sena activist Panju Totwan.

The girl said that Ganvir had used vulgar language while speaking to her. When she told him she was recording their conversation, he returned her belongings, said police. However, Ganvir then allegedly demanded sexual favours from the girl, following which she approached the police, who lodged a formal complaint against him.Sabnis said that the accused was booked under section 354 (assault or criminal force to woman with intent to outrage her modesty) of the Indian Penal Code.

Venezuelan protests against government leave two students dead

Two Venezuelan students died on April 19, after being shot during protests against unpopular leftist President Nicolas Maduro, increasing turmoil in the volatile nation amid a brutal economic crisis. In the opposition hotbed of San Cristobal near the Colombia border, university student Paola Ramirez died after being shot by armed men on motorbikes as she was leaving the protest, relatives and witnesses told Reuters.

Earlier in the day in Caracas, Carlos Moreno, 18, a student, was on his way to play soccer and did not plan to take part in the demonstration when government supporters approached an opposition gathering and fired shots, according to witnesses and a family member. He was shot in the head, they said, and three security officials said he later died in a clinic after undergoing surgery.

Opposition supporters protested in Caracas and other cities in what they called "the mother of all marches," denouncing Maduro for eroding democracy and plunging the oil-rich economy into chaos. Crowds swelled to hundreds of thousands in the capital Caracas, including Maduro supporters who held a counter-demonstration in the capital at the urging of the president, and clashes were reported across the country during the most sustained protests since 2014.

Maduro says that beneath a peaceful facade, the protests are little more than opposition efforts to foment a coup to end socialism in Venezuela. The opposition says he has morphed into a dictator and accuses his government of using armed civilians to spread violence and fear. The duelling marches drew parallels to the clashes between pro and anti-government protesters in 2002 that triggered a brief coup against late President Hugo Chavez.

The deaths mean seven people have now been killed during protests in Venezuela this month. The opposition blames the deaths on security forces and alleged paramilitary groups. The opposition is demanding early elections, the freeing of jailed politicians, humanitarian aid, and respect for the autonomy of the opposition-led legislature.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Twenty-nine endangered Galapagos tortoises rescued in Peru

At least 29 endangered Galapagos tortoises from Ecuador were rescued in northern Peru as they were about to be taken to Europe to be sold, the National Forest and Wildlife Service (Serfor) said in a news release on April 19. The black footed tortoises, which had been wrapped in tape, were found inside a box on board a bus travelling on the Piura - Sullana highway, according to Serfor's news release.

Members of a decentralised Serfor office in Piura said the poor conditions and stress during transportation, had led to the death of two specimens. Wildlife officers and policemen are working to pinpoint illicit markets and crack down on the lucrative trade in wild animals, which uses Peru as a route towards the black market in Europe.

The bus where the tortoises were found was travelling from the northern coastal city of Tumbes to capital Lima. Both the driver and transport company he works for are being investigated, Serfor's news release stated. Giant tortoises, which can reach some 500 pounds (225 kg) are among the famous creatures of the Galapagos Islands closely studied by 19th century British naturalist Charles Darwin.

The Galapagos Islands are one of only two locales inhabited by giant tortoises, along with the Indian Ocean's Aldabra Atoll. Galapagos tortoises graze on grasses, leaves, cactus and fruit but can survive up to a year without food or water.The tortoises were immediately taken to the Cecilia Margarita zoo In Piura, where they received medical attention from vets. Serfor will coordinate with authorities of Ecuador's Ministry of the Environment, the repatriation of the 27 tortoises. Illegal wildlife trade is one of the organised crime activities that raises the most money, according to the World Economic Forum.

Tennis superstar Serena Williams confirms her pregnancy

Tennis superstar Serena Williams is pregnant and expecting to deliver her first baby this fall, her spokeswoman said on April 19. The confirmation, by publicist Kelly Bush Novak, came in a statement hours after the 35-year-old athlete posted a photo of herself in a yellow one-piece bathing suit on the social media site Snapchat with the caption "20 weeks."

Williams, who will return to the No. 1 ranking in the world next week, deleted the photo shortly after it appeared, and she waited more than six hours to make any public comment, stoking furious speculation about whether she was really expecting.

"I'm happy to confirm Serena is expecting a baby this fall," Los Angeles-based Bush Novak said. If Williams is indeed 20 weeks into her term, that would mean she was approximately two months pregnant when she captured her record 23rd Grand Slam tournament title at the Australian Open in January. Her victory over older sister Venus Williams broke a tie with Steffi Graf for the most Grand Slam singles championships in the sport's modern era. Serena Williams has not played since, citing a knee injury.

Chile Space Planet: Astronomers Have Discovered Yet Another Planet Aroun...

Astronomers have found an exoplanet orbiting a red dwarf star some 40 light years away, bolstering the prospect of discovering life beyond Earth, according to a statement from the European Southern Observatory issued on April 19.

Astronomers are calling the exoplanet, known as LHS 1140b, a "super-Earth". It orbits a habitable area located around a faint red dwarf star, named LHS 1140, in the constellation of Cetus (The Sea Monster), a news release published by the European Southern Observatory in Chile stated. Red dwarf stars are much smaller and cooler than the Sun. Although LHS 1140b is ten times closer to this star than the Earth is to the Sun, "it only receives about half as much sunlight from its star as the Earth and lies in the middle of the habitable zone," according to ESO's news release.

Researchers said that the exoplanet passes in front of the star once per orbit and it blocks a little of its light every 25 days.The ESO also said that the exoplanet could contain water. The ESO statement explained that a magma ocean could have existed on LHS 1140b which could have fed steam into the atmosphere which may have replenished water.

Astronomers estimate the exoplanet - probably made of rock with a dense iron core - is at least five billion years old, with a diameter 1.4 times larger than the Earth. The discovery makes the exoplanet one of the most exciting future targets for atmospheric studies, the release stated. The discovery was made using the High Accuracy Radial velocity Planet Searcher or HARPS, a telescope at La Silla observatory in Chile.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

North Korea's elite soldiers march in parade to mark the birthday of fou...

North Korea's elite soldiers marched on April 15 in a parade to mark the 105th birth anniversary of founding father, Kim Il Sung. The massive military parade, which was broadcast live on the North's state-run television KRT, showed Kim Jong Un in a dark suit, watching military vehicles carrying missiles, what appeared to be new long-range and submarine-based missiles, move forward.

North Korea on April 14, denounced the U.S. for bringing "huge nuclear strategic assets" to the region as the USS Carl Vinson strike group with a flag-ship nuclear-powered aircraft carrier steamed closer.

Twin giant panda cubs enjoy water fight in Sichuan Province, southwest ...

Water fighting is a custom in many countries around the world and a pair of twin giant pandas showed it is just as a part of their lives in the latest video from the Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding in southwest China's Sichuan Province.

The video, which was caught last Thursday, shows Qing Qing, playing outdoors in a pool of water with his sister Bing Bing as both have a good time getting drenched.

Later, after both seemed to be tired of playing in the water, a handler decided to join in on the fun as he sprinkled water towards them. Both Qing Qing and Bing Bing seemed unamused by the antics of the handler.

Istanbul protesters march against Turkey referendum result.

Hundreds of protesters took to the streets of Istanbul on April 17 to denounce referendum results which will give President Tayyip Erdogan sweeping powers in the biggest overhaul of modern Turkish politics. Protesters marched in the Besiktas neighbourhood with some chanting "It's not over" and "The struggle will continue".

The result of the referendum on April 17 laid bare the deep divide between the urban middle classes, who see their future as part of a European mainstream, and the pious rural poor who favour Erdogan's strong hand.

After Years Under ISIS, Iraqi Girls back at school in Mosul, Iraq

The 13-year-old is back at her old school in the eastern part of the city, which Iraqi forces recaptured from the Sunni Muslim militants in January. Within earshot, fighting is still raging. Just across the River Tigris, government troops, artillery and aircraft are attacking Islamic State's last stronghold in the Old City in western Mosul. But with the first new textbooks having arrived last week, teachers are wasting no time restarting classes. The girls have years of catching-up to do: most of them stopped going to school after the militants overran Mosul in June 2014.

"We want to learn, we do not want to be ignorant," said Manar, assembling in the courtyard with other girls before classes. The militants had forced the teachers to continue working but most parents pulled out their children, fearing they would be brainwashed with an extreme version of Sunni Islam.

"They were bad. They used to teach us about jihad (holy war), how to fight," Manar said, wearing the school uniform with a white veil. "Our families prevented us from coming to school." With little interest in girls' education, the militants quickly gave up, closing the school but not destroying it as they did with other public buildings.

They searched the library and teachers' rooms, stripping them of valuables and removing books they disapproved of. A room full of Arabic-language teaching books survived - the militants had tried to shoot open the lock but gave up. In another room are new books on subjects like English and Biology that were halted by IS, also commonly known by the Arabic acronym Daesh.

The pupils are keen, but the biggest challenge is that the 150 girls enrolled at the school have different knowledge levels after missing almost three years of education. With Islamic State just gone and the frontline a few blocks away, some teachers asked not to be named, unsure what the future may bring.

"Pupils stopped coming because the curricula were hateful and the methods they (militants) used were very cruel and tough," said one teacher who withheld her name. "God willing, we will help them overcome the difficult circumstances that they had lived through and forget what they have lived through, and help them forget Daesh's terrorist ideology, cruelty and killings. God willing, we will try to help the children and the pupils forget the suffering they had experienced," she continued to say. The teachers all work for free as the government has not yet resumed paying salaries.

Girls from different countries take part in Supermodel International-201...

Models from Kyrgyzstan Aigerim Nurlanova and Aigerim Bektenbaeva take part in Supermodel International-2017 beauty contest in India, the official website of the contest reported. This international competition, which gathered about 40 contestants from different countries, has started in Delhi on April 12. The final will be held on April 22. On her page in Instagram Aigerim Bektenbaeva shares photos and impressions of the contest. "Today we are leaving for Gwalior for three days, one day is the Fashion show, and on the second day we will visit Taj Mahal," a participant from Kyrgyzstan wrote.

Monday, April 17, 2017

Paris Color Run : Thousands people participated in the event.

Thousands took part in Paris' 'Color Run' on April 16, a race which sees participants being pelted with colourful powder along the way. The event, billed as the 'most colourful 5km course in the world', took place with pumping music along the banks of the Seine before ending with a party by the Eiffel Tower.

Organisers said 20,000 people participated in the event. Although the race was not timed, meaning participants were able to run or walk the course without any pressure, Jack, from Scotland, crossed the finish line first.

Amazing: Rare advection fog appears in Wanzhou District, southwest China.

Rare advection fog appears in southwest China.Advection fog hovered over the Yangtze River in Wanzhou District, southwest China's Chongqing Municipality on Sunday afternoon, turning the area into a fairyland. As the fog shrouded the river, it seemed that the vessels were sailing across a sea of cloud. The buildings along the river were partially hidden and partially visible in the fog.

Amazed by the spectacular view, local residents took photos on the river bank. "The fog is beautiful and the scenery is dreamlike," said a local resident. Advection fog usually occurs when warm and moist air passes over a land with lower temperatures, or water surface, and thus the fog forms.Meteorologists say the fog was caused by the rising temperature and humidity brought by recent rains.

Donald Trump and Melania Trump hosted the annual Easter Egg Roll at the ...

President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump hosted the annual Easter Egg Roll at the White House on April 17, as the President warned North Korea that it had to "behave." As the Easter celebrations were held at the White House, Trump was asked about North Korea.

Earlier Vice President Mike Pence in South Korea put North Korea on notice, warning that recent U.S. strikes in Syria and Afghanistan showed that Trump's resolve should not be tested. China reiterated its opposition to the deployment of a sophisticated U.S. anti-missile system in South Korea.

Hundreds people dressed like Charlie Chaplin for his birthday gather in ...

662 people dressed as "The Tramp" character gathered in Switzerland on April 16, for a world record of the largest number of people dressed as Charlie Chaplin's most famous character and gathered in the same place. Organized by and at the world's only museum dedicated to the director, the event celebrated Charlie Chaplin's 128th birth anniversary as well as the museum's first year. For 14 euros a ticket, participants were given a moustache, a stick and a hat to help them embody the "Tramp", following an easter egg hunt that took place around the garden of the museum.

The participants, mostly families, attended the event to celebrate easter and pay tribute to Charlie Chaplin and his humanist values, according to most of the visitors. An year after its opening, almost 300,000 visitors have visited the museum. The museum's managing director and Charlie Chaplin's son, Eugene Chaplin, believe that the humanist and universal values as well as Chaplin's contemporaneous message in his movies are the reasons that still make the character so popular nowadays. The success of the museum has also had an impact on local tourism, increasing the tourism in Montreux (Switzerland), municipality also known for its renowned jazz festival.

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Pope denounces 'oppressive regimes' in Easter Message

Pope Francis denounced "oppressive regimes" in his Easter message on April 16, but in an apparent call for restraint urged world leaders to prevent the spread of conflicts, as tensions rose in North Korea and Syria. Francis, marking the fifth Easter season of his pontificate, said Mass before tens of thousands of people under exceptional security measures in St. Peter's Square following recent vehicle attacks against pedestrians in London and Stockholm. In his Urbi et Orbi (to the city and the world) message, delivered from the central balcony of St. Peter's Basilica, Francis spoke of a world lacerated by conflicts and laced with tensions without naming any specific governments.

From the same balcony where he first appeared to the world on the night of his election in 2013, Francis also condemned the bomb blast on a crowded Syrian bus convoy that killed at least 112 people outside Aleppo as an "ignoble" attack, asking God to bring healing and comfort to what he called the "beloved and martyred Syria". Repeatedly during Holy Week services, Francis has drawn attention to the plight of war victims, refugees and migrants.

Automakers unveil new vehicles at New York Auto Show

Automakers unveiled their new vehicles at the New York Auto Show that kicked off on Friday. It is the last U.S. car show of the season and known to be the most consumer friendly among them, despite being set in a city where few people own their own cars. The Dodge Challenger SRT Demon is the star at the 2017 New York Auto Show. It has an 840-horsepower engine that can go from 0 to 60 miles per hour in 2.3 seconds. It is so fast that it has been banned by the association that governs drag racing in America.

Auto expert Nik Miles calls it a jaw-dropper. "The Guinness Book of World Records has certified this as the only car where the front wheels will leave the ground for almost three feet as you punch this car from 0-60. Now that's power," said Miles. Muscle cars took center stage as did big SUVs and crossovers. With lower gas prices, they have been outselling sedans for the past few years.

On the high end, the new Lincoln Navigator got a lot of buzz. Favored by hip-hop stars and professional athletes who want a little more room without compromising on luxury, it marks the first major redesign for the model in a decade. It has got 20 speakers, six USB ports and wireless charging. "There's actually 75 new features in this vehicle versus the outgoing. So it's kind of hard to compare because there's nothing left of the old," said Molly Cosgrove, brand manager of Lincoln Navigator.

Miles said Ford could not have timed the release better. He said it is the perfect car for the Donald Trump era. "It's American made, you know, it's American designed, it's an American car company, they're investing in America. All the things that Trump is interested in, this car provides," said Miles. It is also not exactly environmentally friendly, less of a concern for the current administration, but green cars are still on display.

Honda unveiled its clarity series featuring two new Sedans -- a plug-in hybrid and an all-electric car. Both are being marketed as the first electric vehicles to comfortably seat five adults. "A challenge for anybody who is driving an electric vehicle is how quickly you can get you car recharged and where you get it recharged," said Bruce M. Belzowski, assistant research scientist of Transportation Research Institute, University of Michigan. The hybrid can get a full charge in 2.5 hours.

"The plug-in hybrid version today is more than 40 miles of driving range so that a customer can have their daily driving entirely in electric but have unlimited gasoline range for their transportation needs," said Ryan Harty, manager of Environmental Business, Honda. Nissan has a new crossover that is to get dog's tails wagging. It is called the Rogue Dogue. It has a ramp for dogs to get into the back, a removable dog bed and a complete showering system to get rid of any unwanted hairs.

Dai people in southwest China enjoy Water Splashing Festival.

People of the Dai ethnic group in southwest China's Yunnan Province are celebrating their annual Water Splashing Festival. Although the Dai people do not dress in their ethnic festival costumes so often nowadays, they are currently doing so to celebrate the year's biggest event on the Dai calendar, which lasts from April 13 to 16 this year. This light-hearted event is one of the most important celebrations in the Dai calendar, and is symbolic of a cleansing ritual to ring in the New Year. It is also the climax of the Dai people's New Year celebrations.

In Xishuangbanna Prefecture's iconic "Water Splashing Square", and on every street and alleyway, everyone, without any inhibitions, drenches their family, friends, and random strangers alike. For the Dai people, the festival helps foster good will among people. "So many people get together. And we all get wet. It feels good," said a local resident. "The water washes away the dust and bad fortune of the past year. So we start the New Year afresh, and everything will go smoothly," said a local Dai woman.

No one is spared, and everything that can hold water is used. "We have a small team of people, and we can't beat the teams with lots of people. They surrounded us and really went hard on us by attacking us with water pistols and buckets of water," said a tourist. The ceremony continues, with everyone shivering in damp clothes, but the spirit is jubilant. "I feel cool from head to toe. But still I'm happy, because it's a sign of goodwill," the tourist said. While water is a symbol of religious purity there, perhaps more importantly, on this particular day, it is a form of all-inclusive merrymaking.

World's oldest women Emma Morano dies in Italy aged 117

Emma Morano, who at 117 was believed to be the world's oldest person and the last to be born in the 19th century, died on April 15, Italian media reported. Morano, who lived in northern Italy, was born on November 29, 1899, four years before the Wright brothers first took to the air. Her life spanned three centuries, two World Wars and more than 90 Italian governments. Morano celebrated her 117th birthday last year at her home in Verbania, in Northern Italy, surrounded by friends, her neighbours and her doctor. Italian news agencies ANSA and Agi said the death was reported by her friends and family.

China makes breakthroughs in releasing giant pandas into wilderness.

China has made breakthroughs in releasing giant pandas into the wilderness as images captured in southwest China's Sichuan Province showed that a released giant panda is expanding its territory to wider range and trying to pair with local wild giant pandas. Infrared camera captured the images of a giant panda in wildness in the Yele Nature Reserve in Liangshan Yi Autonomous Prefecture in Sichuan Province in late February, the provincial forestry department said on Monday.

Researchers identified it as Zhang Xiang, a female giant panda that was born on August 20, 2011 and released into the wild on Nov. 6, 2013.The video footages showed that Zhang Xiang appeared to be vigilant and smelled the camera and a tree to identify whether there were smells of her species.The giant panda is living in a suitable environment where she can find enough bamboos. After investigating the pictures, videos and samples of the giant panda's excrement, researchers found it is in normal physical condition.

"The three elements for the habitat of a giant panda are water, bamboos and trees. You can see there are bamboos under the coniferous forest, but the bamboo is not so dense. That is the typical habitat for a wild giant panda. Choosing this place indicates Zhang Xiang has totally adapted herself to the ecological environment of the wild," said Zhang Hemin, standing deputy director of China Giant Panda Protection and Research Center. Zhang Xiang was released into the wild from Liziping Nature Reserve in Ya'an City after two years of wilderness training and learning surviving skills from her mother Zhang Ka, a wild giant panda from the Qianglai Mountains.

Researchers have been following Zhang Xiang's whereabouts since she was released. When they found Zhang Xiang's excrements in January 2016, she was still in the Liziping Nature Reserve. The wild giant panda population in the Liziping Nature Reserve are split into two different groups - the Gongyihai group living the east part of the nature reserve and the Shihuiyao group living in the west part. Zhang Xiang was in the territory of the Gongyihai group when she was released.

However, in April 2016, Zhang Xiang was found moving in the Shihuiyao group's habitat in the neighboring Yele Nature Reserve, making her the first giant panda moving across different nature reserves after being released from captivity. "It is the first giant panda that have ever moved from one population group to another. It is a ground-breaking achievement for our releasing effort," said Gu Xiaodong, deputy head of Wild Animal Resources Investigation and Protection Management Station, Sichuan Province.

Another finding indicates that Zhang Xiang has showed clear rutting behaviors and likely to mate with one of the giant pandas from local population group, which is the ultimate goal of China's research program on releasing the giant pandas into the wild. Wild giant pandas always leave their smells on trees when they go to a new environment to mark their territories for the identification of their population. A video clip time-stamped to Feb. 26 showed that Zhang Xiang started smelling from the root of a tree. About one minute later, her forelegs pressed on the tree trunk with her entire body upright to smell to the upper side.

"She stood up later, and smelled the mark from the root to the place of more than one meter high. This indicates the mark was left by a male [giant panda]. This implies that Zhang Xiang showed a great interest in the male's mark and she is sexually mature. She has grown into a mature lady showing growing interest on males," said Zhang. Zhang Xiang is five years old now, equivalent to a person of 20 years old. Giant panda's mating season starts from February to early May each year. Therefore she is very likely to be a mother in this spring. Releasing animals into the wilderness is a way to protect and restore threatened and endangered species.

China has trained and released seven giant pandas into the wilderness since July 2003, when the country's first giant panda release took place. However, the first released giant panda Xiang Xiang died after falling from high position when fighting with other wild giant pandas for territory. Researchers started to let cubs learn wilderness survival skills from their mothers in July 2010, and giant pandas Tao Tao and Zhang Xiang were among the cubs that have completed their two-year training and been released since October 2012. Others following the two include Hua Jiao and Zhang Meng.

Tao Tao and Zhang Xiang have managed to establish their territories and reached the breeding age, according to present monitoring. China has established 67 nature reserves for giant pandas and the move has effectively protected 60 percent of the wild giant panda's habitats and over 70 percent of their population.

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Argentine teachers three-days national strike for greater pay amidst spi...

Thousands of teachers across Argentina have walked out of classrooms on April 11, as part of a three-day national strike to demand a wage increase to compensate for a spike in inflation. Teachers took their protest to Buenos Aires' Plaza de Mayo where some gave open-air classes to students to raise awareness of the value of public education and to call for greater funding for universities and in teaching salaries. Union teachers want a 35% increase salary, saying their takings are too low.

The outcome of Argentina's annual wage negotiations are closely watched by economists as salary hikes far above the central bank's target for 12-17 percent inflation in 2017 could make it more difficult for the government to control inflation. The teachers strike has posed a test for centre-right President Mauricio Macri's administration, which is increasingly clashing with the country's powerful unions ahead of legislative elections in October. Macri's coalition is banking on success in the midterm vote to continue its agenda of market-friendly reforms.

At an event for young entrepreneurs, Macri accused teachers of not complying with teaching norms. Since taking over in December 2015 after more than a decade of populist rule, Macri has allowed the peso currency to float, reduced energy subsidies and eliminated tariffs intended to promote domestic manufacturing. The short-term impact of such policies has seen private economists predict inflation to top 21 percent in 2017, after an annual rate of 40% in 2016.

Teachers in Argentina's largest province of Buenos Aires have been offered an 18 percent raise in wages but argue that such adjustments to their salaries would be cancelled out by double-digit inflation. Trade unions are becoming more vocal in their opposition to some of Macri's pro-market policies amidst a sluggish Argentine economy. A promised wave of investments under Macri has not yet arrived and the economy has struggled to rebound from a deep recession.

Rarebit in India: Girl Child born with heart outside her body in Chhatar...

Her heart is literally beating outside her body. This newborn girl with a rare congenital medical condition called Ectopia Cordis (heart outside body) is battling for her life in Bundelkhand’s Chhatarpur district, 331 km north east of Bhopal. Her anxious father is running from pillar to post for her treatment. According to medical experts the occurrence of this freak case is 8 per 10 lakh births.

Her father Arvind Patel lives in Khajuraho and works as a private security guard at the world heritage site Khajuraho temple. “After my marriage to Prem Kumari, all my family was happy when we were having our first child. On April 5 around 3.26 am at Khajuraho Primary Health Center my wife gave birth to the girl child who was having her heart outside. The doctor referred us to Chhatarpur district hospital but did not give us anything in writing,” he told.

Patel said at Chhatarpur district hospital, his wife was admitted at child and maternity ward but not much could be done there to help the baby. “The doctors there told us that for treatment we have to take the child outside and her treatment will be very expensive and cost around Rs 25-30 lakh. My elderly father who was with us became ill due to tension and next day we came back to Khajuraho, helpless”.

Patel said later he received a call from the district hospital informing that the child will be referred to Gwalior. “So on Friday evening we left for Gwalior where she was admitted at Gajraja Medical College”, he said. He said he came back from Gwalior to meet Chhatarpur collector to seek help for her daughter’s treatment. “I am from a poor family and cannot afford expensive treatment, medicine, different check ups and so on,” he said.

Dr SK Gupta from Khajuraho Health Center told that the baby had her heart outside her body which is known in medical science as ‘Ectopia Cordis’ . “After the delivery she was referred to SNCU Chhatarpur district hospital .It is a very rare disease and for the first time it has been reported in Khajuraho,” he said. Dr RS Tripathi, civil surgeon, Chhatarpur district hospital told HT that they had referred her to Gwalior Medical College, given the rarity of the medical condition. “We sent the family in our ambulance on Friday and she has been admitted in Gwalior”, he said.

The infant was eventually referred to the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) Bhopal. Ramesh Bhandari, collector Chhatarpur told HT government aid would be provided to the infant according to the treatment process. “The girl has been referred from Gwalior to AIIMS on Saturday. She will be taken there in an ambulance. We are monitoring the case and all possible help will be extended to the family,” he said.


Thailand celebrates the annual water festival, Elephants makes splash.

Elephants in Thailand's ancient capital of Ayutthaya sprayed water from their trunks at people on April 11, ahead of the start of Thailand's traditional New Year. Thailand celebrates the annual water festival, which is also a major tourist attraction, from April 13-15. The Songkran festival, which marks Thai New Year, is often referred to as the world's biggest water fight - a time when revelers splash water on each other. Everyone, young and old, is fair game. Thais believe water washes away bad luck and helps usher in prosperity. Apart for the big splash, the new year is also a time for family gatherings, prayer and visits to the graveyard to pay respects to deceased relatives

Monday, April 10, 2017

Sparkling diamond earrings seen fetching up to $70 million at auction in...

Sotheby's said the Apollo and Artemis stones are "by far the most important pair of earrings ever offered at auction". They will be offered to buyers separately at the auction house's May 16 Magnificent Jewels and Noble Jewels sale in Geneva.The 14.54 carat Apollo Blue is an "Internally Flawless Fancy Vivid Blue" stone with an estimated price tag of $38 million-$50 million while the Artemis Pink, a 16-carat "Fancy Intense Pink" stone, is seen at around $12.5 million-$18 million.

"I am certain there hasn't been another pair of coloured diamonds of this size and importance ever put into auction - certainly the highest estimated pair of earrings ever to appear at auction," David Bennett, worldwide chairman of Sotheby's International Jewellery Division, told Reuters. "We are selling them separately because there may well be somebody who wants them as a pair but it's also possible somebody might want just one or the other separately." Last week, a 59.60-carat pink diamond sold for a record $71.2 million in Hong Kong

Palestinians and Egyptians protest against Egypt attacks, Bethlehem

Palestinians and Christians from the Coptic community who are marking Easter in Bethlehem, participated on April 10 in a protest in front of the church of Nativity, against the attacks on the Egyptian churches on Palm Sunday. Protesters voiced anger and concern over the latest attacks on their denomination's churches in Egypt saying that "terrorism was made this time to distort the image of religion".

At least 36 people were killed and more than 100 injured in bomb attacks on two Coptic churches on Palm Sunday, in the latest assault on a religious minority increasingly targeted by Islamist militants. There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attacks, which come a week before Coptic Easter and in the same month that Pope Francis is scheduled to visit Egypt.

Malala receives highest UN honor to promote girls education

United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres appointed Nobel laureate Malala Yousafzai a U.N. Messenger of Peace on April 10 to promote girls education, more than four years after a Taliban gunman shot her in the head on her school bus in 2012. At 19, Yousafzai is the youngest Messenger of Peace, the highest honor given by the United Nations for an initial period of two years. She was also the youngest person to win the Nobel peace prize in 2014 when she was 17.

"You are not only a hero, but you are a very committed and generous person," Guterres told Yousafzai. Other current Messengers of Peace include actor Leonardo di Caprio, for climate change, actor Charlize Theron, whose focus is prevention of HIV and elimination of violence against women, and actor Michael Douglas, whose focus is disarmament. Yousafzai has become a regular speaker on the global stage and visited refugee camps in Rwanda and Kenya last July to highlight the plight of refugee girls from Burundi and Somalia.

The Pakistani education activist came to prominence when a Taliban gunman shot her in the head in 2012 as she was leaving school in Pakistan's Swat Valley, northwest of the country's capital Islamabad. She was targeted for her campaign against efforts by the Taliban to deny women education. "The extremists tried all their best to stop me, they tried to kill me and they didn't succeed," Yousafzai said on Monday. "Now this is a new life, this is a second life and it is for the purpose of education."

She now lives in Britain, where she received medical treatment after she was shot. Yousafzai said that when she finishes secondary school in June, she would like to study philosophy, politics and economics at university.

Several hundred Christian worshippers attended Palm procession in Jerusalem

Several hundred Christian worshippers attended Palm April 9, procession in Jerusalem, on the day that marked the start of Holy Week, which ends on Easter Sunday.The faithful in Jerusalem waved palm fronds and branches commemorating the day the Bible says Jesus rode into Jerusalem to the cheers of the crowds the week before Christians believe he rose from the dead.

Palestinian Christians, worshippers, pilgrims and tourists, accompanied by clergymen, marched down the Mount of Olives toward the old city of Jerusalem while holding palm branches and chanting hymns.

Thousands protest in Hungary against bill that could oust Soros university

Tens of thousands of Hungarians protested in central Budapest on April 9, against new legislation that could force the Central European University (CEU), a school founded by U.S. financier George Soros, to move out of the country.

A bill passed in Parliament this week by the ruling right-wing Fidesz party of Prime Minister Viktor Orban, a critic of liberal civil organisations funded by Soros, targeted CEU by setting numerous new conditions under which it must operate. The bill has led to criticism from hundreds of leading academics worldwide as well as from the U.S. government and the European Union.

CCTV: The horrifying moment a suicide bomber blows up Egypt church

A video released by Egypt's Interior Ministry showed the moment a suspected suicide bomber attacked a Coptic cathedral in Alexandria on April 9. The bomber, wearing a brown jacket with a blue sweater tied over his shoulders, is seen walking up to the cathedral's gate and is refused entry. He then walked to a metal detector at the gate's entrance before an explosion erupted.

Egypt's Ministry of Health said 16 people were killed, including three police officers, and 41 injured. The explosion came just hours after a bombing rocked a Coptic church in Tanta, killing at least 27 people and injuring 78. Islamic State claimed responsibility for the attacks.

Awesome : Cherry Blossoms appear in across China

April in China means flowers blooming in swathes, signifying the renewal brought by spring. In Fangniuping Village on Huaying Mountain of southwest China's Chongqing Municipality, more than 933 hectares of pear trees have blossomed. From far away, the mountain seems to be covered with a thin layer of crystal clear snow.

Meanwhile, pear blossoms in Fucheng County, north China's Hebei Province, are dancing in the light breeze. On Huangshan Mountain in east China, different spring flowers are growing at different heights. Over 100 trees of red plums have flowered at an altitude of 300 meters while magnolias reign at 800 meters amid charming pavilions.

Ostrich attempts to run away from a farm in China

An ostrich has created a sensation online recently by escaping from its fence and running like a galloping horse on a village road in Gongping Town, south China's Guangdong Province. An ostrich can run as fast as 65 kilometers per hour. The escaped ostrich running at its full speed avoided all obstacles tactfully. However, after it rushed into a roadside field, it fell down and got hurt on its leg.

"There were so many cars. It tried to keep away from cars all the time, and so it was running in a sort of zigzag way. Then it ran into a field," said a local resident. The ostrich enjoyed the freedom of being at large for two days, from Tuesday to Thursday, before being caught back by its owner. The happy time for the ostrich was however a torture to its owner. To get it back meant a lot of trouble.

"I couldn't sleep well when it went missing," said the owner of the ostrich. After getting it back, the first thing its owner did was to give it a good shower and then reinforced the fences damaged by the ostrich. The ostrich's successful "prison break" and wild run together with its graceful dance became an internet hit. Many neighbors took a special trip to catch a glimpse of the brave animal.

hot air balloons cross English Channel from Dover to France in world rec...

A fleet of colorful hot air balloons crossed English Channel on Friday (April 7), attempting to break the record for the largest group of hot air balloons to cross the English Channel. The total number of 85 balloons took part in the attempt, the BBC reported. Organizers said 82 balloons that took off from Dover in Kent on Friday morning made it to Calais in France in less than three hours.

"It is just fantastic being up with so many other balloons, [...] it is a once in a lifetime opportunity." said one of the pilots Andrew Holly.The previous record for the number of balloons flying over the channel was 49.

Indian PM Narendra Modi and Australian PM Malcolm Turnbull ride in the D...

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, skilled practitioner of selfies, had a gotcha moment today riding the Delhi metro with Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull. The leaders then visited the famous Akshardhma temple on the banks of the River Yamuna, where they posed with garlands. India and Australia agreed today to revive stalled talks on a bilateral trade deal but, the visiting premier conceded that chances of an early breakthrough were slim.

Instead, Mr Turnbull said he was prioritising an Asia-Pacific forum that includes China, amid concerns over access to India's market of 1.3 billion people for farm exports from Australia and opportunities for skilled Indian workers there. After meeting the PM, the Australian leader said that the two had agreed to make a fresh push on a proposed bilateral Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement (CECA).

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Shocking Accident : Bus and car trapped as road caves with passengers in...

The arterial Anna Salai in Chennai caved in near the Thousand Lights mosque on Sunday afternoon at around 1.30 p.m., pulling down a bus and a car. Thirty-five passengers were evacuated immediately from the bus (number 25G), and no injuries have been reported. The bus driver told a television channel that the bus had stopped at a bus stop when it began to sink as if the air has been let out of the tyres. The passengers were asked to get down immediately.

The fire department has brought in vehicles to bring out the bus and the car. The police have diverted the traffic on this stretch. Vehicles moving towards DMS and Teynampet are being diverted via Royapettah clock tower, Lloyds Road, and Cathedral Road. The cave-in occurred during tunnel boring work for the Chennai Metro rail that is being carried out between Thousand Lights and AG- DMS.

The Chennai Metro Rail officials said the road caved-in when they were carrying out cut head intervention, a process done as part of tunnel boring work.Two tunnel boring machines have been boring in this stretch for several months now. A few weeks ago, the tunneling caused a foam leakage very close to the site where the cave-in happened today.The police are cordoning off the area. Cracks have appeared on the pavement on the stretch.​

Massive anti-Maduro protests continue in Venezuela

Protesters clashed with security forces during demonstrations in Venezuela on April 8, after a ban on a top opposition leader from office breathed life into a fractured movement and fuelled the first sustained anti-government demonstrations since 2014. Thousands of people, some carrying signs reading "Dictator Maduro!" and "Elections now!" in support of banned leader Henrique Capriles, took part in marches across the country against unpopular leftist President Nicolas Maduro.

Security forces blocked the march in Caracas, as they did during two other protests this week, prompting violent confrontations. Protesters lobbed rocks and petrol bombs and burned trash in the street while authorities responded with a volley of tear gas. A group of about a hundred demonstrators vandalized and set fire to an office of the Supreme Court in Caracas.

The unrest was sparked by a Supreme Court decision last week to assume the role of the opposition-led National Assembly. The action was quickly overturned, but the global outcry it sparked galvanized the opposition.

Damascus residents protest against the US cruise missile attack on a Syr...

Damascus residents took to the streets Saturday to protest against the US cruise missile attack on a Syrian airbase, with slogans including "US hands off Syria". Protesters demanded that the US should stop interfering with Syrian internal affairs. They show their support for the Syrian government's campaign to fight terrorist groups. Some even said Syria won't be a second Iraq the United States invaded under the pretext that the country possessed weapons of mass destruction.

"The US attack means nothing but failure. They took the chemical weapons as an excuse and launched this attack. They should know that Syria is not a second Iraq. They started the Iraqi war under the pretext that Iraq possessed weapons of mass destruction but they found nothing. They are doomed to failure if they want to copy it for Syria," said Hind, one protester. The United States launched 59 Tomahawk cruise missiles at the Shairat military base in central Syria, marking the US response to an alleged chemical attack on Tuesday in the rebel-held town of Khan Sheikhoun in the country's northwestern province of Idlib.

The United States believes that Syrian planes based at the Shairat airbase carried out the chemical attack which killed over 80 people and wounded scores of others. The Syrian government denied the accusation, saying its air strikes hit a rebel depot containing chemical materials.

Stockholm attack: Makeshift memorials pay tribute to victims

People were laying flowers and writing messages and tributes on April 9, at the scene where a hijacked beer delivery truck ploughed into crowds in central Stockholm, killing four people and wounding 15 in an apparent terror attack. A 39-year-old Uzbek man being held in custody is suspected of mowing down pedestrians on a busy shopping street and smashing through a store front on Friday. The man, detained on Friday night on terrorism charges after the attack in the heart of the capital, appeared to have acted alone but police said "we still cannot rule out that more people are involved."

Thousands Across Greece Protest Against New Austerity Measures

Tens of thousands of Greeks gathered in the capital Athens on Friday to protest against the new round of austerity measures. Five hours before the protest, the Greek government and its international creditors reached an agreement on the new austerity measures, including cutting pension spending by 1 percent of its Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in 2019 and raising tax by 1 percent of its GDP in 2020. It is estimated that the government will cut fiscal spending by 3.6 billion euros after the measures implemented.
"Today we are here to protest against the new austerity measures that the government has accepted," said Tassos, a protester.

"These austerity measures make our life much more difficult. We cannot live this way anymore. They keeps on cutting our pensions," he added. Among the protesters, many are elderly pensioners like Tassos. Besides the new austerity measures, they also expressed their dissatisfaction with the pension cut plan that the government announced days earlier. According to the plan, pension of those who retired after May 13, 2016 will be cut by 15 to 20 percent. About 55,000 to 60,000 pensioners will be affected, and some of them will face a pension cut of more than 35 percent.

"I'm a pensioner. But I also care about those who are still working, because the austerity measures will also apply to them," said Tassos. Greece has to pay back around 7 billion euros to its creditors this July. In July 2015, Greece and its international creditors made an agreement on a third bailout program. The country promised reforms and received 86 billion euros as bailout in three years. All reform measures in Greece should be evaluated on schedule to ensure the country get the next batch of bailout money.

Amazing: Spectacular Scenes of Sea of Clouds was formed above Lushan Mou...

A spectacular scene of a sea of clouds was formed Friday above Lushan Mountain in Jiujiang City of east China's Jiangxi Province. Geography, topography and climate combine to provide Lushan Mountain with more than 190 days out of a year of scenes of various seas of clouds. All the trudge you have to take is an easy climb to some 1,500 meters above sea level to get the views.

Spring is the best of all time to come to Lushan Mountain to enjoy the scenes of sea of clouds, as it is the rainy season of the year. Rising moisture bounces between the cold-to-freeze foot of the mountain and the warm-to-hot mountain top, to form the constantly changing seas of clouds. The morphing clouds have offered inspiration to generations of Chinese thinkers and literary men and women.

Saturday, April 8, 2017

Heart Touching: Giant panda spotted breastfeeding her cubs in northwest ...

A sweet and tender moment was recorded on camera when a giant panda mother was spotted accompanying and breastfeeding her baby cub in a forest outside Foping County in northwest China's Shaanxi Province. The panda mother and her son, estimated to be about one year old, were first spotted resting on a hemlock tree. The little cub appeared to be hungry and tried several times to encourage his mother feed him. The panda mother then climbed down the tree followed by her son. After eating some arrow bamboo, she held her little one tenderly as she breastfed him. Satisfied and sleepy after his meal, the young cub made his way back up the tree to enjoy an afternoon nap. It is the first time that such a rare and remarkable scene has been spotted in Foping. Researchers said that wild giant panda mothers usually keep on breastfeeding until the cubs reach around two years old.

Car Fever: Lamborghini Huracan Performante Launched In India At Rs. 3.97...

Lamborghini launched its new Huracan Performante supercar in India priced at rs 3.97 crore (ex-showroom, Delhi). The car was unveiled just a month back in February at the Geneva Motor Show and now we have it in India. The Lamborghini Huracan Performante is inspired by the Huracan Super Trofeo race car and thus gets the sporty cosmetic enhancements and several race-spec features that make it the brand's most powerful V10 till date. In fact, Lamborghini says that the Huracan Performante is said to be designed for those customers who crave the ultimate performance. The new Huracan Performante is the third Lamborghini product to be launched in India after the Huracan RWD Spyder and the Aventador S.

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Amazing: Woman gives birth in helicopter after being rescued from Peru f...

Rescuers arrived in the nick of time to help a pregnant woman who had gone into labour amid floods in her her home town that have claimed the lives of dozens. Maria Pingo, was stranded and unable to get to a hospital on her own and gave birth to a healthy baby girl in a Peruvian Air Force helicopter moments after she was picked up.

There were some tense moments leading up to the delivery as the crew had trouble pinpointing the 20-year-old mum to be's exact location. Troops asked her family - who had called for help as she went into labour - to set a tyre on fire, and they followed the smoke to her location.

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Dead humpback whale washes ashore New York City beach

A dead humpback whale washed up on Rockaway beach in Queens on April 4, according to local media reports. NBC reported that the whale, which is estimated to be be 25 feet (7.62 meters) long, was first spotted floating several miles from shore by the Coast Guard on April 3.

Authorities are working with the Atlantic Marine Conservation Society to determine what happened to the whale and arrangements were made for a necropsy, the animal equivalent to an autopsy. The whale is believed to be a two-year-old male according to a New York Daily News report.By mid-morning on Tuesday, police had created a security perimeter around the whale and were urging curious locals to keep their distance. A bulldozer was brought in to help remove the whale from the beach.

Mexican women break silence over sexual harassment on metro in Mexico City

Simply getting to work has become an uncomfortable experience of sexual harassment for many women riding Mexico's metro, and they have started speaking out. In 2014, a YouGov poll ranked Mexico City's metro as the worst for verbal and physical harassment. A reported 9 out of 10 women have been victims of some type of sexual violence in their daily transfers in the Mexican capital.

Yuri Gonzalez is a hair stylist and uses the packed Mexico City metro to open up her salon. A reported 5 million people use the metro in the capital on a daily basis, giving men a cover of anonymity to touch women and make comments when on packed carriages. Machismo is often blamed for such sexual harassment in Mexico City, with the patriarchal role of men still heavy set in Latin American society.

Furthermore, there is a perception of immunity from victims of sexual harassment. According to the United Nations, some 15 percent of sex crimes against women are reported. Of those, only 5 percent go to trial. Isis Alvarez is an insurance sales person who uses Mexico City's metro to meet with clients. She does not use heels on the metro for fear of attracting the leers of male passengers.

Eleven Madison Park Tops 2017 World's 50 Best Restaurants List

World-renowned chefs including Heston Blumenthal gathered in Melbourne on April 5 for the 2017 World's 50 Best Restaurants Awards. At a morning tea event, Italian chef Massimo Bottura, winner of the prestigious award in 2016 for his restaurant Osteria Francescana, celebrity chef Heston Blumenthal and other well-known chefs posed for media in front of a Melbourne laneway mural tribute. Blumenthal, known for his multi-sensory dining, is set to receive the Lifetime Achievement Award 2017 at the ceremony that will be held in Melbourne on Wednesday night. This is only the second time in the award's 15-year history where it's held outside London. The Best 50 list, which was launched in 2002, has gained prominence among chefs around the globe, rivalling the long-standing Michelin guides with its star system.

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Monday, April 3, 2017

Peru's worst flooding disaster in decades: At least 100 family pets and ...

It's been a hard few weeks of deadly flooding in Peru with family pets and livestock struggling like their owner. But about 100 of the lucky ones were rescued and many of those are finding their way to happy homes through adoption. However, local authorities estimate that some 500 animals have died in the flooding. Continuing floods and mudslides have killed more than 100 people and torn apart much of the country's infrastructure.

Animal rescue groups such as the Freedom Project brigade, as well as veterinarians around the country have formed groups to rescue animals in need and take them in for treatment. It is believed thousands of animals have been abandoned by their owners or have disappeared in the floods. On April 2, 15 found homes after local officials in Santiago organized an adoption event for the healthy pets. Others who are still recovering will be put up for adoption when they are well.

Dozens of people turned up to offer their homes to these animals. Raging rivers and mudslides continue to slam parts of Peru. So far, more than 200 bridges and more than 2,000 kilometres of highway have been wiped out, authorities have said. Scientists in Peru now expect the localized version of El Nino that appeared suddenly off of Peru's coast this year to stretch into May, though April rains should not be as intense as the downpours still battering the northern coast.

A pair of rare 19th century Gottfried Lindauer paintings are stolen from...

Two 19th century paintings of Maori tribal leaders have been stolen from an art gallery in Auckland in an unprecedented robbery, authorities and experts said on April 3. New Zealand police said they responded to a robbery in the early hours of Saturday (April 1) and discovered two paintings by Czech artist Gottfried Lindauer - best known for his detailed portraits of Maori chiefs - missing from the International Art Centre in Auckland.

The New Zealand Herald identified the paintings which were due to be auctioned this week as being valued at NZ$1 million ($700,100.00) as a pair. The paintings of husband and wife Chieftainess Ngatai Raure and Chief Ngatai-Raure, which depict the Maori practice of facial tattooing, are thought to have painted by Lindauer in the early 1880s, as he travelled around the north island of the country, according to historical accounts.

Full Video: A group of students raise 'AZADI' slogans at academy of fine...

Once again Azaadi slogans were echoed by the students of Kolkata's Jadavpur University on Sunday as a mark of protest against the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS). The students of the University were seen holding placards which read: "Yogi is the new Trump...Brahminical version of white supremacy" and they raised slogans like "Azadi", "Halla Bol" and "RSS door hatao". The Azaadi slogans were raised by the students in front of the Academy of Fine Arts where an international seminar on persecution of minority Hindu Buddhist Christians in Bangladesh is going on.

"This protest is against the RSS' conducting of seminar on the issue of minorities in Bangladesh. We think the same RSS which has been the reason for the deaths of thousands in Godhra, in Muzaffarnagar cannot address the minority issue. We doubt their credibility, rather we think they are here to evoke communal sentiments and pitting one against the other. So we are protesting here," Debopriyo Som, a student and United Students Democratic Front (USDF) member said.

Posters calling for 'azadi' for Kashmir, Manipur and Nagaland were put up at Jadavpur University (JU) earlier in February only to be torn down by ABVP activists, who allegedly vandalised the university complex on Wednesday. The posters had been signed by a group called 'RADICAL' and described by both the Jadavpur University Students Union (JUSU) and VC as a 'fringe' group allegedly responsible for raising 'pro-Afzal' slogans at a rally.

"Hume kya chahiye - Azadi. Kashmir ki Azadi. Manipur ki Azadi. Nagaland ki Azadi (We demand freedom. Kashmir's freedom. Manipur's freedom. Nagaland's freedom)," one of the posters said. Some members of the group had said that they had raised slogans in favour of Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru during the protest the recent arrest of JNU students' union president Kanhaiya Kumar.

Sunday, April 2, 2017

International Pillow Fight Day: pillow fighters release pressures at Tor...

Hundreds of pillow fighters on Saturday gathered at the square of Toronto City Hall, to celebrate their International Pillow Fight Day. And only as the rules allowed: with soft pillows. These pillow fighters are not only mocking physical conflicts to vent their pent-up pressures, they are also continuing the city's Pillow Fight League which reportedly first started in 2007.

"There is a lot exams going on and with the whole Trump thing, we kind of want to do pillow fight to, like, express our anger. And that's where the wall paint comes from. Pillow Fight!!!" said Czarna, one pillow fighter preferring to release herself. "So fun, this is so fun. I always do one hour of good cardio and have fun. So that's the best thing to be here," said Shilpa, another pillow fighter who opts for some quick sweats.

From bedrooms with kids on to public places with adults, pillow fight has already evolved into part of flash mob activities. This year celebrates the 8th International Pillow Fight Day. Joining Toronto are over 40 cities across the world throwing this pillow fight celebration to the public.

Tired of abuse: Pakistani feminists ride bikes in major cities to claim ...

Dozens of women in Pakistan took part in female-only bike races in major cities on April 2, in an event organised to challenge male dominance of public spaces in the country. The bike race was one of many events organised in the last few years by Girls at Dhabas - the name given to roadside restaurants in Pakistan - to promote female participation in public events, fight restrictions faced by women in public places and increase awareness. Over 60 percent of Pakistan's nearly 200 million population are under the age of 30 but young women in the Muslim country continue to face barriers to employment and are often made to feel uncomfortable going to male-dominated public areas, said the event organiser Meher Bano.

Members of Girls at Dhabas say they are a new generation of Pakistani feminists determined to build on progress made by their predecessors. Though there is a small but vocal liberal movement in Pakistan, most noticeable in sections of the media, women who push feminist ideals often face a barrage of abuse and are portrayed as being infected with Western or un-Islamic ideals.

Thousands rally in Hungary in support of Soros-founded university

Thousands of Hungarian and foreign students, professors and civilians rallied in Budapest on April 2, demanding the government withdraw legislation that could force a university founded by financier George Soros out of the country. The demonstrators, who walked from Budapest's Corvinus University to the Central European University (CEU) founded by Soros in 1991 and then to parliament, said the bill, that is due to be discussed in parliament this coming week, was an attack on freedom of education.

Saturday, April 1, 2017

Venezuela: Thousands march in Caracas despite U-turn on congress annulment.

Thousands of Venezuelans marched through Caracas on April 01, despite the country's pro-government Supreme Court's U-turn on its controversial annulment of the opposition-led Congress amid international condemnation and protests against socialist President Nicolas Maduro. Unprecedented pressure from other Latin American nations and dissent within its own ranks appear to have been the catalyst for the court's reversal of its own Wednesday ruling.

"This controversy is over," Maduro said just after midnight to a specially convened state security committee that ordered the top court to reconsider. The tribunal duly erased the two controversial judgments and its president, Maikel Moreno, met with both foreign envoys and journalists to explain the decision, insisting there had never been any intention to strip the National Assembly of its powers. While Maduro, 54, sought to cast developments as the achievement of a statesman resolving a power conflict beneath him, his foes said it was a hypocritical row-back by an unpopular government that had overplayed its hand.

Having already shot down most congressional measures since the opposition won control in 2015, the Supreme Court went further with its Wednesday decision that it was taking over the legislature's role because it was in "contempt" of the law. The Supreme Court's flip-flop may take the edge off protests but Maduro's opponents at home and abroad will seek to maintain the pressure. They are furious that authorities thwarted a push for a referendum to recall Maduro last year and postponed local elections scheduled for 2016. Now they are calling for next year's presidential election to be brought forward and the delayed local polls to be held, confident the ruling Socialist Party would lose.

BIKINI SKIING: Swimsuit-clad skiers parade down Sochi's slopes in world ...

Sochi's resort slopes saw hundreds of unusually dressed skiers on April 1, as people wearing just swimwear gathered in an attempt to set a new world record. Organisers reported around 1,200 participated in the event colourfully clad in bikinis, swim shorts, and costumes. Many of those who dared the slide rejoiced in the spring weather. Media reports say the organisers are now awaiting confirmation of their feat from Guinness World Records. The current title is held by the ski carnival which took place in Sochi a year ago with 1,008 participants according to Guinness. This time the organisers of ski parade hope to break their own last year's record.

Shocking: Electric bicycle crashes into minibus in east China district S...

A man was almost injured twice in a traffic accident that occurred in Suyu District, Suqian City of east China's Jiangsu Province, recently. The surveillance video shows that a man, the electric bicycle rider, had been attempting to cross the road before the accident. He just looked left to a medicine box on his hand, without noticing an approaching minibus.

At a high speed, the minibus collided with the electric bicycle. Worried about the injured man, the driver of the minibus hurried to get off the vehicle to check him, forgetting to use hand brake to stop the minibus. At that moment, the minibus began to move backward, and almost rolled over the man lying on ground. "Fortunately, the minibus did not roll over the man. According to the medical diagnosis, the man surnamed Chen was injured on chest, with some ribs fractured," said Chen Tong, a traffic policeman. The man has already left the hospital after treatment.

Giant Bagua Emerges in Flower Field in South China


Spanish NGO rescues more than 200 migrants off Libya's coast

More than 200 migrants were rescued by a Spanish aid agency after being found drifting off the coast of Libya on Saturday (April 1).
In the early morning hours crew members aboard the 'Golfo Azzurro', the rescue vessel of the Spanish aid organisation Proactiva Open Arms, spotted two rubber boats overcrowded with migrants floating at sea 22 nautical miles north of the Libyan town of Sabratha.

A rescue operation was launched and a rescue speedboat was sent to the area. Rescuers distributed life jackets to the migrants before tugging one of the rubber boats to 'Golfo Azzuro', a former fishing trawler. The rescued migrants were mainly from Ghana, Nigeria, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka, the aid organisation said, and included 20 women and one four-days-old baby from Nigeria. The migrants will be taken to the port of Pozzallo in Sicily.

On March 23 five migrants were pulled dead from the sea off the coast of Libya in another rescue operation by the same organisation. So far this year nearly 650 migrants have died trying to reach Italy from North Africa, the International Migration Organization (IOM) estimates, after some 4,600 deaths last year. Libya has asked the European Union to provide it with ships and radars to help its forces stop the smuggling of migrants across the Mediterranean, sources in Brussels said on Thursday (March 30).

CCTV: Protester dies during violent clashes in Paraguay

A protester was killed in Paraguay after a secret Senate vote for a constitutional amendment that would allow President Horacio Cartes to run for re-election sparked violent clashes and the country's Congress was stormed and set alight. Security camera images show the moment Rodrigo Quintana, 25, was killed by a rubber bullet fired by police in the headquarters of the liberal youth activist group. The interior ministry said in a statement an investigation into Quintana's death would be opened. His doctor said he had suffered a severe head injury.

On April 01, activists were arriving in Paraguay's capital Asuncion from the landlocked country's interior in a sign the violent protests that resulted in a fire in the first floor of Congress on Friday could continue. Cartes called for calm and a rejection of violence in a statement released on Twitter. He promised the government would do its best to maintain order.

Firefighters managed to control the flames after protesters left the building late on Friday, although protests and riots continued in other parts of Asuncion and elsewhere in the country into the early hours of April 01. Around 200 protesters were detained, police said, and shops and government buildings were vandalized. Several politicians and journalists were injured, local media reported, and Interior Minister Tadeo Rojas said several police were hurt. One member of the lower house of Congress, who had been participating in protests that afternoon, underwent surgery after being hit by rubber bullets.

Meetings for the Inter-American Development Bank's annual board of governors were beginning as scheduled on Saturday in a rare high-level international event in Paraguay. While Paraguay has long suffered from political uncertainty, the soy and beef-exporting nation has been attracting investment in agriculture and manufacturing sectors in recent years as Cartes offered tax breaks to foreign investors. Instability in the country of 6.8 million is a concern for its much larger neighbors Brazil and Argentina.

The Senate voted on Friday during a special session in a closed office rather than on the Senate floor. Twenty-five lawmakers votedfor the measure, two more than the 23 required for passage in the 45-member upper chamber. Opponents of the measure, who claim it would weaken Paraguay's democratic institutions, said the vote was illegal. The proposal will also require approval by the House, where it appeared to have strong support. A vote which had been expected early on Saturday was called off until the situation calmed down, said the chamber's president, Hugo Velazquez.