Monday, October 25

ENGLISH

New Zealand mosque gunman will not speak in his defence
ENGLISH, Featured

New Zealand mosque gunman will not speak in his defence

    New Zealand mosque gunman Brenton Harrison Tarrant has told a judge he will not speak in his defence at his sentencing hearing for the mass shooting of worshippers in Christchurch. Tarrant had the opportunity to speak on the final day of a hearing which has seen 90 survivors and family members talk about the pain of the March 2019 attacks at two mosques in the city, which left 51 people dead. The killer had earlier sacked his legal team but was appointed a standby lawyer at the high court in Christchurch. Philip Hall, the standby counsel, told judge Justice Cameron Mander that he would make a brief statement on Tarrant’s behalf. Tarrant confirmed to Justice Mander that he did not wish to speak. The 29-year-old Australian has pleaded guilty to murder, attempted mur...
World Leaders Prefer Indian ‘Namaste’ Amid Coronavirus Outbreak
ENGLISH, Featured

World Leaders Prefer Indian ‘Namaste’ Amid Coronavirus Outbreak

    Amid the coronavirus outbreak that is gripping the world, people are adopting India’s greeting style “Namaste” to limit the spread of the deadly virus. United States’ President Donald Trump greeted Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar with a ‘namaste’ instead of a formal handshake at the Oval Office on Thursday, ahead of St. Patrick’s Day. Prince Charles was seen greeting people with a ‘Namaste’ at the annual Prince’s Trust Awards on March 11 at the London Palladium. French President Emmanuel Macron on Wednesday used India’s traditional greeting style “Namaste” to welcome the Spanish King Felipe and Queen Letizia. French President Macron’s decision to greet people with ‘Namaste’ is on the lines of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who had also similarly urge...
France says non to Brexit delay beyond October 31
ENGLISH, Featured

France says non to Brexit delay beyond October 31

    The EU will refuse another delay to Brexit in the current circumstances, according to the France's Foreign Minister. Jean-Yves Le Drian said on Sunday that as things stand, a delay beyond the October 31 deadline would not be granted. Asked if a Brexit delay was possible, the French minister told Europe 1 radio not under the current conditions. "We are not going to do [extend] this every three months," he added. "The British must tell us what they want." He described the current situation as "very worrying". It comes after parliament passed a law aimed at blocking a no-deal Brexit, which would force Boris Johnson to seek an extension. The Prime Minister has said he would not ask for a delay in any circumstances, but Mr Le Drian's comments suggest his request woul...
Delay to Brexit on way, Cabinet ministers reveal
ENGLISH, United Kingdom

Delay to Brexit on way, Cabinet ministers reveal

    Brexit looks increasingly likely to be delayed beyond the scheduled exit of March 29, Cabinet ministers today revealed to the Standard. A backlog of at least six essential Bills that must be passed before Britain leaves the European Union has left ministers convinced the timetable will be extended. They include the much-delayed Immigration Bill that has not yet even been published, let alone debated. Even asking MPs to sit at weekends and cancel their half-term holiday in February may not provide enough time to avoid asking for a delay, several sources have disclosed. A senior minister said: “The legislative timetable is now very very tight indeed. Certainly, if there was defeat on Tuesday and it took some time before it got resolved, it’s hard to see how we can ...
Global investments and economic advantages in a low-carbon transition
ENGLISH, United Kingdom

Global investments and economic advantages in a low-carbon transition

    A sudden drop in demand for fossil fuels could happen before 2035, a new study shows. Plunging prices for renewable energy and rapidly increasing investment in low-carbon technologies could leave fossil fuel companies with trillions in stranded assets and spark a global financial crisis, a new study has found. A sudden drop in demand for fossil fuels before 2035 is likely, according to the study, given the current global investments and economic advantages in a low-carbon transition. The existence of a carbon bubble assets in fossil fuels that are currently overvalued because, in the medium and long-term, the world will have to drastically reduce greenhouse gas emissions has long been proposed by academics, activists and investors. The new study, published on Mond...
May Is Said to Tell Allies to Beware Russia: Expel Putin’s Spies
ENGLISH, United Kingdom

May Is Said to Tell Allies to Beware Russia: Expel Putin’s Spies

    The U.K. is sharing secret intelligence about the nerve agent attack on a former spy with key allies, in an effort to persuade them to expel Russian diplomats across Europe, people familiar with the matter said. Prime Minister Theresa May ordered 23 Russian operatives who she said were undeclared spies to leave Britain last week in retaliation for the attack on Sergei and Yulia Skripal in Salisbury, England. Now she wants other countries to follow Britain’s example, condemning Russia and taking action against Kremlin agents, according to the people, who asked not to be named discussing sensitive security matters. May stands outside The Mill pub in Salisbury on March 15. Whether or not May succeeds is being seen as a key test of her ability to influence the EU and d...
Police name girl, 11, after fatal stabbing
ENGLISH, United Kingdom

Police name girl, 11, after fatal stabbing

    An 11-year-old girl named by police as Jasmine Forrester has died in hospital after being stabbed at a house in Wolverhampton. A man has been arrested on suspicion of attempted murder following the incident at a house in Kent Road on Friday. Officers were called shortly before 1am after a neighbour heard a disturbance and found the girl with multiple injuries, including one to the head. The 51-year-old suspect, who is related to the girl, is also in hospital receiving treatment for a cut hand. A woman in her 80s suffered a suspected dislocated shoulder during the incident. Superintendent Harvi Khatkar said: This is an extremely distressing incident and our sympathies go out to everyone affected. We are working to establish exactly what has happened, and fully un...
May faces Brexit clash over VAT on imports
ENGLISH, Featured, United Kingdom

May faces Brexit clash over VAT on imports

    Theresa May is facing a New Year clash with opponents of Brexit as soon as MPs return to Westminster after their two-week Christmas break. Pro-Remain MPs claim that under new legislation being debated in the Commons on Monday, UK firms will be forced to pay VAT up front on imports from the EU. The VAT changes, included in the Government's Taxation (Cross-border trade) Bill, could affect more than 130,000 UK firms, according to anti-Brexit MPs. Nicky Morgan, the Tory Brexit rebel who chairs the Treasury Select Committee, has told Sky News she plans to ask her committee to launch an urgent investigation when it meets on Tuesday. She also said she plans to write to HM Revenue and Customs asking what contingency plans are being made to help UK importers avoid being hi...
You can now buy bananas with edible skin but they cost £4 each
ENGLISH, Featured, United Kingdom

You can now buy bananas with edible skin but they cost £4 each

The Mongee Banana costs £4.20 (Pic: D&T Farm) Gone are the days of going through the tiring chore of actually peeling a banana - farmers in Japan have successfully grown completely edible fruits thanks to a DNA method mimicking the Ice Age. Named the Mongee Banana, which translates to “incredible” in Japanese, the new and improved banana is the result of the freeze thaw awakening” method. The method, which is being used by D&T Farm in Japan’s Okayama Prefecture, recreates temperatures and growing conditions of the ice age, resulting in bananas that are much sweeter - and fully edible. To mimic the growing methods of plants from 20,000 years ago, and create Mongee bananas, farmers at D&T Farm freeze banana saplings to -60°C, before replanting them once they thaw. This temp...
NHS hospitals made £174m from car park charges this year
ENGLISH, Featured, United Kingdom

NHS hospitals made £174m from car park charges this year

Some hospitals defended the charges, saying some or all of the money was put back into patient care or was spent on site maintenance. NHS hospitals made a record £174m from charging patients, visitors and staff to park in 2016/17, up 6% on the previous year. Data from 111 hospital trusts across England shows that as many as two-thirds are making more than £1m a year. More than half of trusts now charge disabled people to park. Some trusts defended the charges, saying they were essential to pay for patient care. But opposition parties and patient support groups were critical, with one group saying they were “cynical” but blaming the state of NHS finances rather than the trusts themselves. The Liberal Democrats condemned the charges as a “tax on sickness” while Labour said it was commi...