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  1. 2017 was a great year for music. Ed Sheeran's 'Shape of you', Louis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee's 'Despacito', and Taylor Swift's 'Look What You Made Me Do' literally BROKE the Internet, but there were many other songs that we fell in love with this year and it is quite possible you did not know about them. Here are 17 songs that you MUST listen to before the end of 2017. 1. Kendrick Lamar – 'Humble.' In a time where rappers choose to write songs about ***, drugs, and money, Kendrick has always been an outlier. 'Humble.' is an instruction piece to all millenials and is predicted to sweep the Grammy's this year. 2. Selena Gomez ft. Gucci Mane – 'Fetish' Due to health issues, Selena was missing from action in the early part of 2017. However, she was back soon enough with 'Fetish'. The track, described as alt-pop, is fresh, sexy, and will leave you, dare I say, pursuing that fetish! 3. Dua Lipa – 'New Rules' Dua Lipa has been making music since 2015 but 'New Rules' truly put her on the map. With repetitive lyrics and a catchy beat, the song is THE go-to manual to put an end to a bad relationship. 4. J. Balvin, Willy William – 'Mi Gente' If you liked Despacito, you will LOVE 'Mi Gente'. This Spanish firecracker of a song is a great party starter. The song's video is the third fastest music video to reach 400 million views on Youtube. Curious? See for yourself! 5. Jay Z – 'The Story of O.J.' Jay Z opens up about the troubles in the African American Community in this heavy track. The music video itself shows the crude cartoon portrayal of how black people were drawn in the past. The song is hard-hitting and will go down in time as one of Jay-Z's bests. 6. Calvin Harris ft. Future, Khalid – 'Rollin' When you listen to 'Rollin' for the first time, it is hard for you to believe that this track was composed by Calvin Harris. This synth-funktrack is sure to give you cool, beach vibes. 7. Drake – 'Passionfruit' Passionfruit is another one of Drake's catchy tunes that is sure to get you dancing. It may not be as fly as 'Hotline Bling', but it is still pretty damn good. 8. Imagine Dragons – 'Thunder' “Just a young gun with a quick fuse.” Story of all our lives. Amiright? 9. Jain – 'Makeba' You may have heard this groovy beat in the new Levi's ad. The track was released in 2016, but it made its way to mainstream in 2017 thanks to the viral ad. The 70s rhythm pattern coupled with African beats are bound to give you eargasms. 10. Parekh and Singh – 'Ghost' This Kolkata-based duo sure knows how to make a great feel-good song. Chracterized as a dream pop track, 'Ghost' is without a doubt distinctive. 11. Kesha – 'Learn to Let Go' 2017 saw the return of Kesha and she did not disappoint. 'In Learn to Let Go', she chronicles her past troubles and urges people to move on. More power to her! 12. Linkin Park – 'One More Light' Chester Bennington's death hit us like a truck this year and we still can't believe he's no more. The track 'One More Light' truly personifies the grief. It comes as no surprise why Linkin Park chose to release this single in memory of Chester. 13. Childish Gambino – 'Red Bone' Another song that was released in 2016 but peaked in 2017. This catchy soulful tune is sure to get you moving! Also, you'd be surprised to know that 'Childish Gambino' is none other than the actor Donald Glover. 14. Macklemore ft. Lil Yachty – 'Marmalade' Macklemore is churning great music back to back and we're lovin' it! If Billboard calls a song “a joyous record”, then you MUST check it out, right?! 15. Cardi B. – 'Bodak Yellow' The track's simple beat and catchy lyrics made Cardi B. the second solo female hip-hop artist to have a number one single on BillBoard 100! And that's pretty big, coz it hasn't happened in 19 years. Way to go, Cardi! 16. Judah and the Lion – 'Take It All Back' Has a country track ever made you head bang? Well, be prepared, because the banjo stylings in 'Take It All Back' will most definitely catch you by surprise. 17. Katy Perry ft. Skip Marley – 'Chained to the Rhythm' Chained to the Rhythm is not your average Katy Perry song. Yes, the song's genre is a combination of Dancehall and Disco, but beneath this dance-worthy beat is an important question: Are we living a delusional life? There you have it folks! Your year-end playlist has been sorted.
  2. IMF chief Christine Lagarde. Photo: Reuters/File KIEV: The World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) on Thursday said they were concerned about attacks on Ukrainian anti-corruption institutions, joining the United States and European Union (EU) in warning against threats to Ukraine?s efforts to fight graft. The two banks are among the largest financial contributors to a $40 billion bailout package given to Ukraine to shore up and reform its economy after the 2014 Maidan protests ousted the Kremlin-backed president, Viktor Yanukovich. But perceived backsliding on reform commitments has delayed billions of dollars in IMF loans and tested the patience of foreign allies, even as Kiev pushes for closer EU integration and increased foreign investment. ?We are deeply concerned by recent events in Ukraine that could roll back progress that has been made in setting up independent institutions to tackle high-level corruption,? IMF chief Christine Lagarde said in a statement. Ukraine?s backers are particularly concerned about recent actions by prosecutors that they say threaten the independence of the anti-corruption bureau known as NABU, which was set up after the Maidan protests and has been at loggerheads with other law enforcement bodies. ?We urge the Ukrainian authorities and parliament to safeguard the independence of NABU and SAPO (anti-corruption prosecutor),? Lagarde said. In one recent episode, the General Prosecutor?s office unmasked an alleged sting operation being carried out by NABU against suspected corruption in the migration service. It said NABU had overstepped the law. In a separate statement, the World Bank?s office in Ukraine also expressed its concern and said attacks on NABU and on SAPO ?threaten their ability to fight corruption and recover stolen assets.? ?It?s critical they have the legislative framework & resources to fulfill their mandate,? it said. The comments add to a chorus of criticism from Ukraine?s backers this week. Earlier, the US State Department and EU said the attacks on NABU risked eroding international support for Ukraine.
  3. Unprecedented scenes of Sri Lankan cricketers wearing face masks have reignited debate about hosting major sports in heavily polluted New Delhi. Photo: PTI NEW DELHI: Unprecedented scenes of Sri Lankan cricketers wearing face masks have reignited debate about hosting major sports in heavily polluted New Delhi, where doctors are increasingly vocal about the health risks posed by smog. Medics on Monday urged cricket's governing body to revise its rulebook after a Test match between India and Sri Lanka went ahead in the capital despite players vomiting and wheezing for air. International cricketers returned Monday for day three of the third Test even as air pollution at Feroz Shah Kotla stadium soared to hit 18 times the World Health Organization´s safe level. Play had been disrupted three times on Sunday as Sri Lankan players complained of illness, but umpires ruled the match would proceed. The Indian Medical Association condemned the decision, warning that playing in such conditions put athletes´ health at serious risk. "This match should not have taken place in the first place. It is time the ICC (International Cricket Council) comes up with a policy on pollution," said IMA president K. K Aggarwal. "You have fast bowlers, batsmen and fielders out there exposed to these very harmful pollutants over five days at a stretch. It takes a serious toll on your health in the long run." The sport's governing body declined to comment. India's powerful cricket board accused Sri Lanka of making a "big fuss", pointing to Indian skipper Virat Kohli who hit a record sixth Test double century despite the smog. But the US embassy website on Monday urged Delhi residents to "avoid all outdoor exertion" as concentrations of the smallest and most harmful airborne pollutants known as PM2.5 soared to hazardous levels. These tiny particles -- a fraction the size of human hair -- lodge deep in the lungs and are linked to higher rates of chronic bronchitis, lung cancer and heart disease. The concentration of such particles Monday hit 448 -- compared to a maximum level of 25 considered safe by the World Health Organization over a 24-hour period. Even limited exposure can cause shortness of breath and make the eyes weep and throat burn. Wake up call Pollution levels generally rise during the winter in Delhi and across northern India and neighbouring Pakistan, fuelled by crop burning in the region and the fact that cooler air traps particulates close to the ground. The smog has become especially alarming in the past two years, casting doubt on the future of sports events in the sports-mad swathe of South Asia. "This should be a wake-up call for Pak. Our children are at a huge risk because of dangerous pollution levels," tweeted former Pakistani cricketer and political opposition leader Imran Khan on the India-Sri Lanka Test. Doctors and public health campaigners have escalated their fight against sports events in Delhi in recent years. Last month more than 30,000 runners competed in the Delhi half-marathon -- just days after smog shut schools amid a public health emergency in the capital. Doctors warned of dire health consequences and challenged the race in court but it went ahead, with runners complaining of burning eyes and sore throats. Greenpeace lobbied in October against India hosting the FIFA Under-17 World Cup, warning it poses unacceptable risks to the world´s youngest soccer stars. It also proceeded but the schedule was adjusted to avoid Delhi at its worst. "Others should also think about athletes health first," tweeted tournament director Javier Ceppi after images of Sri Lankan cricketers wearing face masks went around the globe. Other events in Delhi -- like an Asian tour golf title in November and Indian Super League football matches -- attract less controversy but doctors say pose no less risk. "Ideally, sporting events should not be scheduled in the winter months in Delhi," chest and lung cancer specialist Doctor Arvind Kumar told AFP. "We cannot expose our athletes to inhuman levels of pollution just because a few hundred crores (tens of millions of dollars) is at stake." The Test debacle in Delhi is not the first time cricketers have complained of air pollution in the capital, with Australia citing smoggy air following their loss to India in 1996.
  4. [embed_video1 url= style=center] SANAA: Yemen's Houthi rebels claimed Monday that ex-president Ali Abdullah Saleh had been killed as fighting shook the capital Sanaa following the collapse of his alliance with the insurgents. The claim, which could not be independently confirmed, came as Yemen's long and devastating civil war took a potentially decisive turn. Heavy clashes were reported in the city between forces loyal to Saleh and the rebels, who together seized control of Sanaa from the internationally recognised government three years ago. Moving to take advantage of the chaos, President Abedrabbo Mansour Hadi, whose government is backed by a Saudi-led military coalition, ordered his forces to advance on the capital. The Houthi-controlled interior ministry announced Saleh's death on the rebels' Al-Masirah television station. A statement read on the channel announced the "end of the crisis of militias", referring to Saleh's armed supporters, and "the killing of their leader and a number of his criminal supporters". A video given to AFP by the rebels showed what appeared to be a dead Saleh with a severe head injury, his body wrapped in a floral-print blanket. An AFP photographer who approached Saleh's home in southern Sanaa on Monday found it in the hands of the Houthis and was prevented from entering. The house appeared to have been damaged in fighting. The alliance between Saleh, who ruled Yemen for more than three decades before resigning in 2012, unravelled over the past week, with at least 100 people reported dead in fighting, accusations of betrayal and the former leader reaching out to the Saudi-led coalition. Heavy fighting in Sanaa As witnesses reported continued heavy fighting on Monday, Hadi ordered his forces to launch an offensive to advance on the capital. "The president has ordered Vice President Ali Mohsen al-Ahmar, who is in Marib (east of Sanaa), to activate military units and advance towards the capital," a presidency official told AFP, speaking on condition of anonymity. The government also reached out to Saleh's supporters with an offer of amnesty. "The president will soon announce a general amnesty for all those who collaborated with the Houthis in recent months and who have retracted that allegiance," Prime Minister Ahmad Obaid bin Daghr said. The Saleh-Houthi alliance had been fraught since its inception in 2014, when the two ended decades of enmity and joined ranks to capture Sanaa from Hadi´s government. Saudi Arabia, accusing arch-rival Iran of backing the rebels, intervened in the Yemen war on behalf of the government the following year. The Saudi-led coalition has been hitting Sanaa with air strikes for months, and a fresh wave on Monday targeted areas near Sanaa International Airport and the interior ministry, both under Huthi control, residents and an airport source said. The coalition on Monday warned Yemeni civilians to avoid rebel areas. "The coalition urges civilians to evacuate areas near positions held by the Houthis," read a statement published by Saudi Arabia´s state-run Al-Ekhbariya TV. "We ask civilians to remain at least 500 metres (yards) away from Houthi military vehicles and gatherings." Residents near the airport said multiple air raids had shaken their homes late on Sunday night and early Monday. Fears for civilians An airport source said rebel bases near the location appeared to have been targeted, but the airport itself had not been bombed. Residents reported that the fighting, which erupted Wednesday, had spread outside the capital. Tribal sources in Saleh's hometown Sanhan, south of Sanaa, on Monday reported intense overnight fighting between the Houthis and Saleh loyalists. Witnesses said clashes had erupted around the residence of Tarek Saleh, a nephew of the former president and a leader with his forces. Saleh on Saturday announced he was open to talks with Saudi Arabia and its allies on condition they ended their crippling blockade of Yemen´s ports and airports. That dealt a serious blow to his already fragile alliance with rebel chief Abdul Malik al-Houthi. The Saleh-Houthi split sparked fears of a new front in the Yemen war, which has already claimed more than 8,750 lives since the Saudi-led coalition intervened. The conflict has pushed Yemen to the brink of mass starvation and triggered what the United Nations has called the world´s worst humanitarian crisis. International aid groups warned on Monday they were losing the ability to reach civilians in Sanaa. "Ambulances and medical teams can't access injured, people can´t buy food and other supplies," UNICEF´s Rajat Madhok said on Twitter. "Aid workers can´t travel and implement critical life-saving programmes. This latest violence couldn´t come at a worse time."
  5. German authorities investigating the delivery of a package containing powerful firecrackers, wires and nails to a pharmacy near a Christmas market in the city of Potsdam said on Sunday it was criminal activity rather than ?terrorism.? Karl-Heinz Schroeter, interior minister of the state of Brandenburg where Potsdam is located, told a news conference criminals were behind the package which they had used to try to extort millions of euros from logistics firm DHL, which had delivered the package. Police said it was highly likely that the package could have exploded. Staff at the pharmacy in Potsdam, just outside Berlin, called the police on Friday after they discovered the suspicious package. The Christmas market was evacuated and the package was made safe by a police robot. DHL warned the public not to open packages if they did not recognize the sender?s address or if the sender?s address was suspicious. ?As we find ourselves approaching Christmas, which is not only a time of peace, but also a time when many presents are sent, such an act of extortion is reprehensible,? Schroeter told the news conference. He said all efforts were being made to catch those who sent the package. Authorities said the people who sent the package most likely lived in Berlin or in the state of Brandenburg, which surrounds the German capital. They did not say how much money they had demanded, but said they had told DHL they would send more packages that could kill or injure if DHL, owned by Deutsche Post, refused to pay up. Brandenburg police chief Hans-Juergen Moerke said that a QR barcode that can be read using a smart phone was found on a piece of paper inside the package. The extortion letter addressed to DHL was found in the barcode.
  6. Donald Tusk ? the President of the European Council ? signs a guest book in the office of Prime Minister (Taoisaech) of Ireland Leo Varadkar at Government buildings in Dublin, Ireland, December 1, 2017. REUTERS/Clodagh Kilcoyne1 DUBLIN: The key to British hopes of moving on to talks on trade ties with the European Union after it quits the bloc lies in Dublin, the European Council president said on Friday as Ireland called for ?credible? solutions from London for the Irish border. Avoiding a return to a ?hard border? on the island of Ireland is the last major hurdle before Brexit talks can advance to trade ties and a possible two-year Brexit transition deal. But European Council President Donald Tusk said that while the EU negotiating team represents the interests of the 27 other members, Ireland will have the final say on the border issue. ?Let me say very clearly: if the UK offer is unacceptable for Ireland, it will also be unacceptable for the EU,? Tusk said in Dublin at a joint press conference with Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar. ?The key to the UK?s future lies ? in some ways ? in Dublin, at least as long as Brexit negotiations continue.? Tusk confirmed he had given British Prime Minister Theresa May a deadline of Monday to make a final offer on Irish border conditions before EU heads of government decide whether there is ?sufficient progress? on a UK-EU divorce settlement to merit opening talks on the future relationship. If London meets the three key EU conditions on its financial bill for leaving, the rights of expatriate citizens and the border, then leaders could give a green light to trade talks at the summit on December 14-15. With significant headway on the financial settlement and citizen rights now apparently in the bag, a deal on the Irish border appears to be the final hurdle. The political and economic stakes are high. The economy of Ireland, north and south, has become deeply integrated since the EU single market?s creation in 1993, and only road signs now mark the frontier. Free-flowing commerce, together with the 1998 peace deal between Northern Ireland?s Protestants and Catholics, has transformed previously neglected areas on both sides of the boundary. Varadkar said that while progress on the border issue had been made, the next few days would be crucial and that Ireland would not be afraid to use its veto if necessary. Credible solutions ?The UK must offer credible, concrete and workable solutions that guarantee that there will be no hard border... whatever the future relationship between the EU and the UK is,? he said. ?I?m an optimist by nature... However, I?m also prepared to stand firm with our partners if need be... if the UK offer falls short.? Before it can sign off on the first phase, Dublin wants May to spell out in writing how she intends to make good on a commitment to avoid turning the clock back to a border of customs and security checks. It says the best way to do so is to keep regulations the same on both sides of a border that will be the UK?s only land boundary with the EU after Brexit. May?s government has said Britain will leave the EU?s single market and customs union but wants the Irish border to remain open, a stance that EU officials say is contradictory. Earlier on Friday Irish Foreign Minister Simon Coveney said a deal on the border was ?doable? but that the sides were ?not there yet. Coveney said negotiators were working to find ?sensible wording?, drafts of which were being exchanged. Dublin, he said, will insist ?there will be no fudge?. May?s room to offer additional concessions to Dublin appeared extremely limited when the pro-Brexit Northern Ireland party propping up her government on Thursday hinted it might withdraw its support if she gives up too much. But Coveney said the Irish government and the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) agreed on far more than it disagreed on. May is also under pressure from British business leaders who want confirmation of a transition deal so they have time to adapt to the new relationship.
  7. Plastic surgeries can sometimes end in a complete disaster, especially when you're trying to look like one specific person. But honestly, this woman from Iran has absolutely nailed it. Sahar Tabar is a massive fan of Angelina Jolie and she was so desperate to look like her favourite star that she was ready to go to any lengths for it. She devoted herself completely to this quest and underwent 50 surgeries to look like her idol. A post shared by سحرتبر..!ð¾âð» (@sahartabar_official) on Nov 29, 2017 at 11:03am PST You must admit, all of the hard work – and money – paid off. She looks so much like Angelina Jolie, it's uncanny. Just look at them, they could be twins! © Twitter/Sahar Tabar Actually, we would go as far as to say that she does the 'Angelina Jolie look' better than Angelina Jolie herself. A post shared by سحرتبر..!ð¾âð» (@sahartabar_official) on Oct 11, 2017 at 12:08pm PDT She started posting pictures of her new, improved face on Instagram and soon went viral, because all celebrity doppelgangers deserve their fair share of internet fame and this one is on point. We've seen Rihanna's lookalike before and even Jennifer Lawrence's doppelganger, but they ain't got nothing on Sahar. A post shared by سحرتبر..!ð¾âð» (@sahartabar_official) on Nov 29, 2017 at 12:55pm PST Sahar is so committed to maintain her Angelina Jolie look, that along with the surgeries, she also underwent an extreme regime of dieting to maintain her 40kg weight, which would classify her as dangerously underweight, but it seems like it's worth it to her. A post shared by سحرتبر..!ð¾âð» (@sahartabar_official) on Oct 22, 2017 at 5:31am PDT Angelina Jolie should be worried about her career, tbh, since a younger and better-looking version of her is here. It shouldn't take long for Hollywood to come knocking at Sahar's door, and soon she'll be everyone's favourite actor. Maybe then someone will try to emulate her. Wait, is that how it all works? Does this kind of cycle just continues for generations? Is this the way to stardom? A post shared by سحرتبر..!ð¾âð» (@sahartabar_official) on Nov 13, 2017 at 7:53am PST The bottom line is Sahar looks incredible and she definitely knows it. PS – If you didn't get the sarcasm, then congratulations, you have won the internet!
  8. MensXP is identified as India's first men's lifestyle portal, which addresses the real life needs of Indian men in a practical, useful & entertaining way. We, at MensXP, explore the codes of manhood and pursue the most interesting stories of, and around, men. From the ones who break stereotypes to the one who make new ones, we engage them all. And it isn't about redefining manhood. It is about giving manhood an expression. It gives us immense pleasure in announcing that we are now launching our first maiden web series titled 'Dilliwood'. Coming from the writers of the super hit Bollywood movie 'Fukrey' and the soon-to-be released 'Fukrey Returns', the movie follows the tale of three friends who go to Mumbai with starry dreams of making it big in Bollywood. After facing rejection and humiliation from all ends, they decide to start their own movie making mechanism which will be just like Bollywood, and decide to name it Dilliwood. The series stars Pranav Sachdev, Sumit Gulati and Hemant Pandey in the lead roles. The series has been directed by Milind Gaba and reflects all the elements of the millennial world that any man can easily relate with. Struggles, rejections, bromance, love, fighting for dreams and above all, a shared bond of strong friendship. 'Dilliwood' has something for everyone. The series is releasing tomorrow, so watch this space to find out what happens when they embark on this journey.
  9. BAGHDAD: Iraqi forces said Friday that Daesh fighters are withdrawing deep into the desert to escape an offensive aimed at a final defeat of the militants. Daesh has already been driven out of all of the towns it once held, but Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi has said he will not proclaim victory until the militants have been cleared from the western desert bordering Syria. The Hashed al-Shaabi (Popular Mobilisation) paramilitary force said its fighters had taken control of 77 villages and hamlets since the launch of the offensive on Thursday morning. It said five militants had been killed south of the ancient desert city of Hatra, but otherwise Daesh had put up little resistance. The Hashed said that its fighters overran an airfield in the same area, where they discovered underground warehouses used by the militants. Air support for the offensive, which also involves the army and federal police, has so far been provided exclusively by the Iraqi air force. The US-led coalition, which has provided air support for other offensives against Daesh in Iraq, said it carried out no strikes on Thursday. "We will provide strikes if we know that there is an ISIS (IS) cell, or tunnels, or something there," coalition spokesman US Colonel Ryan Dillon told AFP. "If the requests are not coming, we won't do a strike... it's supply and demand," he said. "And when you're in such a vast wide open desert area... there's less of a requirement for precision-guided missiles," unlike in urban areas. At its peak in 2014, Daesh ruled over seven million people in a territory as large as Italy encompassing large parts of Syria and nearly a third of Iraq. It is now being flushed out of its last desert hideouts in Iraq and under attack by Russian-backed government forces and US-backed Kurdish-led fighters in its last pockets of control in Syria.
  10. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. Photo: File RAMALLAH/WASHINGTON: Palestinian officials expressed surprise on Saturday at a US decision to close the Palestine Liberation Organization office in Washington unless the group enters peace negotiations with Israel, and said they would not surrender to blackmail. A US State Department official said that under legislation passed by Congress, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson could not renew a certification that expired this month for the PLO office, ?given certain statements made by the Palestinian leaders about the International Criminal Court.? The law says the PLO, the main Palestinian umbrella political body, cannot operate a Washington office if it urges the ICC to prosecute Israelis for alleged crimes against Palestinians. In an address to the United Nations General Assembly in September, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said the Palestinian Authority called on the ICC ?to open an investigation and to prosecute Israeli officials for their involvement in settlement activities and aggressions against our people.? The State Department official added that restrictions on the PLO in the United States, including the operation of its Washington office, could be waived after 90 days if US President Donald Trump ?determines the Palestinians have entered into direct, meaningful negotiations with Israel.? ?We are hopeful that this closure will be short-lived,? said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity. According to the official Palestinian news agency WAFA, the Palestinian presidency expressed surprise at the US move, which was first reported by the Associated Press. WAFA quoted Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad Al-Maliki as saying that Palestinian leaders would not give in to blackmail or pressure regarding the operation of the PLO office or negotiations on an Israeli-Palestinian peace agreement. The agency quoted a spokesman for Abbas, Nabil Abu Rdainah, expressing surprise, given that meetings between Abbas and Trump had been ?characterised by full understanding of the steps needed to create a climate for resumption of the peace process.? A Palestinian official who spoke on condition of anonymity told Reuters the State Department had informed the Palestinians of the decision on Wednesday. It was not immediately clear what effect the State Department?s move might have on the Trump administration?s efforts to revive peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians, which are led by Jared Kushner, the US president?s son-in-law and senior adviser. Abbas? spokesman called the US move an unprecedented step in US-Palestinian relations that would have serious consequences for the peace process and US-Arab relations, according to WAFA. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in a statement on Saturday: ?This is a matter of US law. We respect the decision and look forward to continuing to work with the US to advance peace and security in the region.? The State Department official said the US move did not amount to cutting off relations with the PLO or signal an intention to stop working with the Palestinian Authority. ?We remain focused on a comprehensive peace agreement between the Israelis and the Palestinians that will resolve core issues between the parties,? the official said.
  11. Protesters march calling for Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe to step down in Cape Town, South Africa, November 18, 2017. Photo: Reuters HARARE: The leaders of Zimbabwe?s ruling ZANU-PF party will today to approve the dismissal of President Robert Mugabe, the only leader the southern African nation has known since independence 37 years ago, two party sources have said. An extraordinary meeting of the party?s central committee is expected to convene around 10:30am (0830 GMT) to consider removing the 93-year-old, four days after a military seizure of power ostensibly aimed at ?criminals? within his entourage. Separately, state television said Mugabe would meet military commanders on Sunday, quoting the Catholic priest who has been mediating in negotiations with the president. On Saturday, hundreds of thousands of people flooded the streets of Harare, singing, dancing and hugging soldiers in an outpouring of elation at Mugabe?s overthrow. ZANU-PF?s central committee is also expected to reinstate Emmerson Mnangagwa as party vice-president, resurrecting the political career of the former security chief, nicknamed The Crocodile, whose sacking this month triggered the military?s intervention. Mugabe makes defiant appearance after army takeover Key players in the country's power structure called for mass anti-Mugabe demonstrations on Saturday Mugabe?s wife, Grace, will be fired as head of the ZANU-PF Women?s League, the sources told Reuters, completing the demise of a 52-year-old former government typist who just a week ago stood in pole position to succeed her husband after Mnangagwa?s dismissal. The pair?s stunning downfall is likely to send shockwaves across Africa, where a number of entrenched strongmen, from Uganda?s Yoweri Museveni to Democratic Republic of Congo?s Joseph Kabila, are facing mounting pressure to step aside. Support evaporating In scenes reminiscent of the downfall of Romanian dictator Nicolae Ceausescu in 1989, men, women and children ran alongside the armoured cars and troops who stepped in this week to oust the man who has ruled since independence from Britain in 1980. Zimbabwe's ruling party to hold rally as anti-Mugabe tide rises ZANU-PF called on Friday for Mugabe to resign, saying it is a clear sign that the ageing leader?s authority has collapsed after the army takeover Under house arrest in his lavish ?Blue Roof? compound, Mugabe has refused to stand down even as he has watched his support from party, security services and people evaporate in less than three days. His nephew, Patrick Zhuwao, told Reuters the elderly leader and his wife were ?ready to die for what is correct? rather than step down in order to legitimise what he described as a coup. But on Harare?s streets, few seemed to care about the legal niceties as they heralded a ?second liberation? for the former British colony and spoke of their dreams for political and economic change after two decades of deepening repression and hardship. Zimbabwe's Mugabe, coup chief meet with smiles and handshakes Mugabe drove from his lavish ?Blue Roof? Harare compound to the State House, where he was pictured meeting the military chief ?These are tears of joy,? said Frank Mutsindikwa, 34, holding aloft the Zimbabwean flag. ?I?ve been waiting all my life for this day. Free at last. We are free at last.? The crowds in Harare have so far given a quasi-democratic veneer to the army?s intervention, backing its assertion that it is merely effecting a constitutional transfer of power, which would help it avoid the diplomatic backlash and opprobrium that normally follow a coup. The United States, a long-time Mugabe critic, said it was looking forward to a ?new era? in Zimbabwe, while President Ian Khama of neighbouring Botswana said Mugabe had no diplomatic support in the region and should resign at once.
  12. Twenty-five years after global scientists issued a "warning to humanity" about dangers to the environment, a new update released Monday says most of the planet?s problems are getting "far worse." Photo: AFP file MIAMI: Twenty-five years after global scientists issued a "warning to humanity" about dangers to the environment, a new update released Monday says most of the planet?s problems are getting "far worse." More than 15,000 global scientists from 184 countries signed on to the letter, called the "World Scientists? Warning to Humanity: A Second Notice," published in the journal BioScience. The initial version, released in 1992 by the Union of Concerned Scientists, was signed by 1,700 experts. Since then, nearly all major threats to the environment have grown more dire, particularly the booming world population, which has added two billion people since 1992, a 35 percent increase, according to the update. Other key threats are global warming and the ever-mounting carbon emissions driven by fossil fuel use, as well as unsustainable farming practices, deforestation, lack of fresh water, loss of marine life and growing ocean dead zones. "Humanity is now being given a second notice, as illustrated by these alarming trends," said the letter. Mass extinction under way "We are jeopardizing our future by not reining in our intense but geographically and demographically uneven material consumption and by not perceiving continued rapid population growth as a primary driver behind many ecological and even societal threats," it added. Scientists noted it is "especially troubling" that the world continues on a path toward "potentially catastrophic climate change due to rising greenhouse gases from burning fossil fuels." Animals are suffering as a result of human activities, and are disappearing at an unprecedented pace. "We have unleashed a mass extinction event, the sixth in roughly 540 million years, wherein many current life forms could be annihilated or at least committed to extinction by the end of this century," it said. Only one problem has seen considerable improvements in a quarter century ? the closing of the ozone hole ? thanks to a steep reduction in the use of aerosol sprays and pollutants that led to ozone depletion. This "rapid global decline in ozone-depleting substances shows that we can make positive change when we act decisively." 13 solutions The letter outlines 13 steps that must be taken, including making contraception more widely available and "estimating a scientifically defensible, sustainable human population size for the long term while rallying nations and leaders to support that vital goal." Other steps include promoting plant-based diets and renewable energy while phasing out subsidies for fossil fuels. Wealth inequality must be remedied and "prices, taxation, and incentive systems (must) take into account the real costs which consumption patterns impose on our environment." In nature, protected reserves should be established "for a significant proportion of the world," and the crisis of wildlife trafficking and illegal poaching halted. "To prevent widespread misery and catastrophic biodiversity loss, humanity must practice a more environmentally sustainable alternative to business as usual," said the letter. "This prescription was well articulated by the world?s leading scientists 25 years ago, but in most respects, we have not heeded their warning. "Soon it will be too late to shift course away from our failing trajectory, and time is running out."
  13. 'I think Mr. Trump is, for whatever reason, either intimidated by Mr. Putin, afraid of what he could do, or what might come out as a result of these investigations,' said former CIA director WASHINGTON: Two former top US intelligence officials said on Sunday they fear President Donald Trump is being manipulated by Russian President Vladimir Putin, after Trump said he believed Putin was sincere in denying Russian meddling in the 2016 election. Former CIA Director John Brennan and ex-National Intelligence Director James Clapper both said Trump was mishandling Moscow ties even as a special counsel investigates possible collusion between Trump?s campaign team and Russia. ?I think Mr. Trump is, for whatever reason, either intimidated by Mr. Putin, afraid of what he could do, or what might come out as a result of these investigations... It?s either naiveté, ignorance or fear in terms of what Mr. Trump is doing vis-à-vis the Russians,? Brennan said in an appearance with Clapper on CNN?s ?State of the Union.? Clapper added that foreign leaders who roll out the red carpet for Trump are able to manipulate Trump. ?I do think both the Chinese and the Russians think they can play him,? Clapper said. Their comments came after Trump told reporters over the weekend that he had spoken with Putin again over allegations of Russian meddling in the presidential election and that the Russian president again denied any involvement. ?I really believe that, when he tells me that, he means it,? Trump told reporters. ?I think he is very insulted by it, which is not a good thing for our country.? Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin said on the same show that the criticism leveled against Trump?s management of relations with Russia and China was ?ridiculous.? ?President Trump is not getting played by anybody,? Mnuchin said. Trump also took a swipe at Obama-era intelligence officials Brennan, Clapper and former FBI Director James Comey, calling them ?political hacks? and questioning the findings of a US intelligence report that concluded that Russians sought to tilt the election in Trump?s favor. Facing sharp criticism, Trump walked back from some of those comments on Sunday, saying he has faith in the intelligence leaders he has hired. Brennan on Sunday called Trump?s criticism of him a ?badge of honor,? and Clapper suggested said Trump?s denial of Russian interference in the election ?poses a peril to the country.? When asked, Brennan declined to say whether he knows of any intelligence to suggest that the Russians have compromising or damaging information on Trump. A dossier penned by a former British spy contains unverified claims that Russia does have embarrassing information on Trump.
  14. Actor Divya Unny poses outside her residence in Mumbai, November 11, 2017. Photo: Reuters MUMBAI: When Indian actress Divya Unny flew into Kerala in 2015, she thought it was for a business meeting with an award-winning director about a role in his upcoming film. Instead, she was called to the director?s hotel room at 9pm, where the man propositioned her for *** and told her she would have to make compromises if she wanted to succeed in the film industry. ?You always hear of actresses getting called by directors to hotel rooms at night, but I didn?t think twice because I was going in with a reference,? she told Reuters. Unny said she rejected the advances of the director, whom she declined to name, and left without a role in the movie. Reuters was unable to confirm her accusations. Bollywood sexual predators shielded by victims' silence 'Like in the outside world, there exists a bro code in the industry' Three other women involved in India?s film industry, the world?s largest, told Reuters that Unny?s experience isn?t unique. But even after allegations of sexual assault and harassment levelled at Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein prompted a wave of similar complaints, Bollywood has been reluctant to name and shame perpetrators. ?The way men are being called out in Hollywood right now, I don?t know if it can happen in India,? said Alankrita Shrivastava, a director whose last film, ?Lipstick Under my Burkha? was acclaimed for its examination of women and sexuality. NY could seek Weinstein indictment next week: reports Around 100 women have come forward to accuse Weinstein ?In terms of how our psychology is, how patriarchy functions, it is much more entrenched,? she said. The vast majority of Bollywood?s biggest producers and film-makers are men, many from prominent film families who until recently controlled most of the industry. Mukesh Bhatt, who co-heads production house Vishesh Films, said India?s film industry should not be singled out and was limited in what more it could do to prevent harassment. ?What can we do? We cannot do any moral policing,? Bhatt told Reuters in a telephone interview. ?We cannot keep moral cops outside every film office to see that no girl is being exploited.? The industry also had to be cautious about false allegations, said Bhatt, who was previously the chairman of apex industry body, the Film and Television Producers Guild of India. 'Priyanka Chopra lost 10 films for standing up to sexual harassment in Bollywood' Chopra?s mother was asked if her daughter faced harassment or sleazy behaviour as more and more such cases surface in Hollywood ?I am not saying men have not been exploitative. They have been for centuries. But today?s woman is also not as simple as she pretends to be,? he said. ?But just as there are good men and bad men, so also there are women who are exploitative and very cunning. Also blatantly shameless to offer themselves.? He declined to provide any examples. Few complaints Despite laws requiring Indian companies to form internal committees to investigate sexual harassment at the workplace, very few of cases are reported to the police, said women?s rights activist and lawyer, Flavia Agnes. ?They (companies) may have a committee or they may not have one. They may do an investigation or they may not do one. And they may or may not file a complaint. It could go wrong at every stage,? she said. Reports of sexual assault, while rare, are not unheard of in India?s film industry. Earlier this year, Gopalakrishnan Padmanabhan Pillai, a popular actor in the Malayalam film industry best known by his stage name Dileep, was arrested by police who accused him and several others of kidnapping and molesting an actress. Dileep denies the accusations. Many Weinsteins within Bollywood, says Pooja Bhatt The actress also raised doubt if Bollywood would ever make a similar move as Academy did with expelling Harvey Weinstein ?He says it is a completely false case. He was framed by the police and some enemies,? B Raman Pillai, a lawyer for Dileep, told Reuters. Fans cheered and distributed sweets as he walked out on bail last month after more than 80 days in prison. The police haven?t filed formal charges in court, after which a date for the trial would be set. ?We will file a charge sheet in the next two weeks. Maybe next week,? Biju Paulose, an inspector of police in charge of the case, told Reuters by phone. Harassment depicted as love Kangana Ranaut is one of the few Bollywood actresses who has publicly spoken out about the sexual assault and harassment. Ranaut, who has appeared in 30 films in the past decade, told Reuters she had faced ?severe sexual exploitation and harassment at the work place?, without elaborating. Kangana Ranaut. Photo: AFP/File ?I?ve read some stories (about harassment) shared by few prominent people, but most people find it hard to open up about such experiences,? she said. ?Victim shaming is very common in our society, it?s done brutally and openly.? According to a survey conducted by The Indian National Bar Association this year, around 70 per cent of Indian women said they would not report sexual harassment at the workplace because they weren?t confident about the complaint mechanism and because of the stigma attached to victims. Shrivastava, the director, said the kind of cinema Bollywood often produces demonstrates its attitude towards sexual harassment and assault. For example, two of this year?s hit movies ? ?Toilet ? Ek Prem Katha? and ?Badrinath Ki Dulhania? ? showed the hero stalking the leading lady, taking pictures of her without her knowledge. ?For decades, we have created cinema where harassment is depicted as love,? Shrivastava said. ?And that reflects the mentality of the creators ? that they keep portraying it, and excusing it in the name of commerce.?
  15. NEW DELHI: In the emergency ward of a Delhi hospital, men and women gasp for breath as they wait to be treated for symptoms triggered by the choking blanket of smog that descended on the Indian capital this week. Doctors at the government-run Vallabhbhai Patel Chest Institute say patient numbers have more than tripled since pollution levels spiked amid a change in weather conditions and the annual post-harvest burning of crop stubble in surrounding areas. Shopkeeper Manoj Khati said he initially dismissed his heaving cough but it grew gradually worse and he has now been diagnosed with chronic bronchitis. "For three days I haven´t stopped coughing, I felt as though I would die," the 46-year-old told AFP as he waited to undergo further tests. Levels of PM2.5 -- the fine pollution particles linked to higher rates of chronic bronchitis, lung cancer and heart disease -- regularly topped 500 this week, at one point going over 1,000. Levels between 301 and 500 are classified as "hazardous", while anything over 500 is beyond the official index. The World Health Organization´s guidelines say 25 is the maximum level of PM2.5 anyone can safely be exposed to over a 24-hour period. Emergency ward doctor Mansi Verma said the hospital had seen a huge spike in patients suffering from respiratory problems. They are treated with steam inhalation or using nebuliser machines, which provide immediate relief by administering drugs directly to the airways. "Beginning this week, we are seeing between 250-300 patients, more than three times the usual," Verma told AFP. "Most of them suffer from intense coughing and inflammation of the respiratory tract." Slow killer Despite the rise in emergency cases Arvind Kumar, a respiratory diseases specialist at the private Sir Ganga Ram Hospital in Delhi, said many of the worst health effects would not be seen for years to come. "Pollution kills you slowly," he said. "Whatever toxins levels we are exposed to today, suppose it continued for 10 days, this would have shortened the life of each one of us by several days or several weeks. "But that effect will be noticed many, many years later, so it´s not an immediate killer. And that´s why its potential lethal value is not immediately appreciated, but nonetheless, it´s a lethal killer." Delhi is now the world´s most polluted capital according to a World Health Organization survey conducted in 2014, with levels regularly exceeding those in Beijing. Large swathes of north India and Pakistan see a spike in pollution at the onset of winter due to crop burning and the fact that cooler air traps particulates close to the ground, preventing them from dispersing -- a phenomenon known as inversion. In Delhi, local industry, coal-fired power plants and a growing number of cars on the roads have added to the crisis. In response, authorities have temporarily closed all schools in the city and announced restrictions on all private cars -- an estimated 3 million -- from Monday. But with current levels of pollution, Kumar said, he would not recommend living in the city at all. "If you worry about your health, you want to have a healthy life... then with the current levels of pollution, I would say Delhi is not a place to live," he said.
  16. Have you ever tried to resist one bad habit that you consciously indulge in despite being aware of its harmful effects on your health, career, and relationships? After all, we are all human and imperfect which means that we are easily prone to bad habits. But as the human experience dictates, anything in excess is always harmful, so what if one day you decide to break that habit and save your relationship, career or anything that is of utter importance in your life. © the278thword First of all, you will decide to quit that habit of yours, then you will look for motivation outside and for the most part, you will fail. If failing is a part of this exercise, why take this worthless journey and all the suffering along with it? Maybe because you know you deserve a better life than this? There will come a time when you will fail again and again, multiple times but here is a specific strategy that could help you minimise those chances of failure immensely. According to a study published in the Journal of Consumer Research, the use of the words "I can't" versus "I don't." could prove to be one of the most powerful ways to secure the achievement of your goals. Here is the clue, read carefully. As per the study the participants who wanted to have healthier eating habits were asked to say "I don't eat X" (i.e. "I don't eat chocolate") or "I can't eat X" when faced with an "unhealthy option such as an ice cream or an opportunity to miss a workout." It was observed that those who used the phrase "I don't" before refusing temptation were found to choose a healthier alternative far more than those who used the phrase "I can't." It is that simple, just a game of two words. In another experiment, it was seen that 20 women who were working toward fitness goals used "I don't" or "I can't" when they were tempted to skip their workout or eat unhealthily. The study showed that 80% of the women using "I don't" in place of "I can't" were still pursuing their fitness goals successfully, while 90% of those who used "I can't" failed to do so by the end of the study. Now, you may ask, how can the use of a language in a certain way affect your actions? The answer is simple, it strengthens the structure inside your brain working towards achieving that particular goal. It's all a game of psychology. You develop a brain muscle against everything that is stopping you from achieving your goal. © Thinkstock/Getty Images So when you use "I don't" instead of "I can't," you experience increased feelings of empowerment and strong levels of determination. That's the magic of these simple but incredible words. To strengthen your belief in these words, here is what Oliver Burkeman, journalist and author of the book, 'The Antidote: Happiness for People Who Can't Stand Positive Thinking', has to say, "The 'can't' framing implies an external restraint, which feels disempowering...To say that you 'don't' do something, by contrast, suggests autonomy, as well as long-term commitment." From now on, say “I Don't” in place of “I Can't” and accomplish what you want to because no one can stop you now, not even yourself.
  17. Danish inventor Peter Madsen has admitted dismembering the corpse of Swedish journalist Kim Wall. AFP/Files STOCKHOLM: Danish police said Wednesday that submarine inventor Peter Madsen, accused of killing the Swedish journalist Kim Wall, had not said she died from carbon monoxide poisoning, correcting a previous statement. On Monday, the Copenhagen police had said Madsen admitted to dismembering the corpse of Wall, whose headless torso was found floating in waters off Copenhagen on August 21, 11 days after she went missing. They also said they were told that "Wall died as a result of carbon monoxide poisoning inside the submarine at a time when he was on deck." But on Wednesday, police spokesman Jens Moller Jensen told the Ritzau news agency that "It is true that Peter Madsen has not said that she died from carbon monoxide poisoning." "My client does not know how she died," added Madsen's lawyer Betina Hald Engmark, speaking to Danish broadcaster TV2. In previous questioning by the police, Madsen, 46, who denies killing the 30-year-old Wall, said she had died in an accident when a heavy submarine hatch fell on her head. Prosecutors have previously said they believe Madsen killed Wall as part of a sexual fantasy, then dismembered her body and threw the parts into the sea. Investigators found a hard disk in Madsen's workshop that contained fetish films in which women are tortured, decapitated and burned alive. Madsen has denied any sexual relations with Wall, and insisted the hard drive did not belong to him.
  18. King and his Australian colleague Timothy Weeks were kidnapped in August 2016 as they were returning to their compound in the Afghan capital-Twitter KABUL: The Afghan Taliban said on Monday that Kevin King, one of two professors from the American University of Afghanistan who were kidnapped at gunpoint in Kabul last year, is seriously ill and needs urgent medical attention. Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said King, an American, was suffering from ?dangerous? heart disease and kidney problem. ?His illness has intensified, his feet have swollen and sometimes he becomes unconscious and his condition worsens every day,? Mujahid said in a statement. ?We have tried to treat him time to time but we do not have medical facilities as we are in a war situation,? he added. King and his Australian colleague Timothy Weeks were kidnapped in August 2016 as they were returning to their compound in the Afghan capital. Afghan and Western officials believe they are being held by the Haqqani network, a militant group affiliated with the Taliban which has carried out many previous kidnappings. They acknowledge that an unsuccessful rescue attempt was made in eastern Afghanistan months after the two were taken. The Taliban statement came around two weeks after Pakistani troops rescued Canadian Joshua Boyle and his American wife Caitlan Coleman, who had been held by the Haqqanis since being kidnapped in 2012, from an area near the Afghan border. Earlier this year, the Taliban released a video of King and Weeks, showing them pleading with their government to release Taliban prisoners in turn for their freedom. Kidnapping high profile targets has become a lucrative business for the Taliban and other militant groups in Afghanistan who in return often demand huge ransom or release of their members.
  19. CAIRO: Egyptian police killed 13 "terrorists" in a shootout as they raided a hideout in the country's south on Friday, a week after a deadly ambush by militants, the interior ministry said. The operation, in which assault rifles and explosive belts were recovered, took place at a farm used by the militants for training and recruitment, the ministry said in a statement. It was not clear whether they were suspected of involvement in an October 20 desert ambush that killed 16 policemen, some 300 kilometres from the site of Friday's operation. "Organisational material and religious books" were also found at the site in the southwestern New Valley province, the ministry said, without reporting any police casualties. No group has claimed the October 20 attack, but Egypt is battling a Daesh insurgency that has killed hundreds of policemen and soldiers. The insurgency is based in North Sinai province, although the group has extended its presence to southern Egypt and the Nile Delta, north of the capital. The militants have also claimed three church bombings that killed dozens of members of Egypt´s Coptic Christian community since last December.
  20. Traders said that strikes and protest rallies would continue in the region, threatening a wheel-jam strike if the tax notification by the government is not withdrawn-Geo News GILGIT: Various parts of Gilgit-Baltistan continue to observe shutter-down strike on the calls of the trader community against the implementation of withholding tax in the region. The Central Traders Association said that levying taxes without determining the constitutional status of Gilgil-Baltistan is illegal. He said that strikes and protest rallies would continue in the region, threatening a wheel-jam strike if the tax notification by the government is not withdrawn. The strike was endorsed by all religious and political parties except the ruling party in the region, as well as lawyers and human rights activists.
  21. Australia captain Steve Smith and opener David Warner SYDNEY: Australia captain Steve Smith and star opener David Warner say they have no desire to play four-day Tests in a setback to international cricket chiefs who have floated the idea. At a board meeting in Auckland this month, the International Cricket Council unveiled plans for a long-awaited, nine-nation Test championship in a bid to preserve the five-day format´s status following the rapid growth of Twenty20. Among a raft of other reforms, it also agreed to experiment with four-day Tests, with South Africa and Zimbabwe set to trial the first in December. But Smith and Warner are not keen, even if the hours and over requirements of each day are extended to reduce disparity with the traditional format. "Personally, I like five so I would like to keep it at five," Smith said in an interview with "Just the traditional way that Test cricket has been played, I think it´s great when you get into that fifth day and enter that last hour, I think it´s a really cool part of the game." Warner was even more strident in his opposition, saying: "I have no interest in four-day cricket". "You have so many variables in Test match cricket -- you´ve got weather, some games might be only getting three days but it just takes one day to have that weather come in and it can ruin it," he told the same website. "Then on the flip-side, it´s a Test. "It´s the longevity, being out there on your legs, it´s grit, determination, those things come to my mind to actually want to keep playing five-day cricket. "Like a timeless Test (a feature of Test cricket in the 1920s and ´30s), it´s basically survival of the fittest." Cricket Australia chief James Sutherland has expressed support for the trial, but indicated earlier this month it was unlikely Australia would take part any time soon. "We were supportive of the trial... I think it´s about learning, it´s about innovation, it´s about understanding whether these sorts of things can work," he told reporters. "Our Test schedule over the next couple of years before the Test Championship starts has us playing against England this summer, South Africa, Pakistan, India and Sri Lanka. "I don´t foresee us playing any four-day Test cricket in that window. But that´s not to say we don´t support the trial. We´ll certainly be interested observers."
  22. The new study suggests, however, that man's best friend may be very well aware of the reaction a scowl or grin will elicit from its master. Photo: AFP file Your dog may be a master manipulator, deliberately making puppy eyes to pull at your heart strings, according to a study Thursday into a ploy many mutt owners have long suspected. The research suggests that dogs may be in control of their facial expressions, using them to communicate, researchers reported in the journal Scientific Reports. Until now, it was assumed that dog expressions were involuntary. The new study suggests, however, that man's best friend may be very well aware of the reaction a scowl or grin will elicit from its master. "The findings appear to support evidence... that expressions are potentially active attempts to communicate," said study co-author Juliane Kaminski of the University of Portsmouth. In a series of experiments with different types of pet dogs, the team discovered that the animals "move their faces" more when humans were paying attention to them. Raising the brows, which makes the eyes appear bigger to produce heart-melting "puppy dog eyes", was the most commonly-used expression, the researchers found. When humans had their backs turned, or were distracted, the dogs' faces were much less active ? regardless of whether the human was offering a food treat or not. Previous research has shown that dogs are aware of how attentive humans are. One study, for example, showed they stole food more often when a human had their back turned or eyes closed. "We now know dogs make more facial expressions when the human is paying attention," said Kaminski. It was too soon, however, to state categorically that dogs have a perception of what a human may be thinking or feeling ? a state of awareness considered a sign of high intelligence displayed by humans, the team added. Research in non-human primates has suggested some of our far-flung cousins may also be aware that others can read their facial expressions ? which changed when they had an audience.
  23. KARACHI: A woman ? whose body was found hanging by a noose in the metropolis' Liaquatabad a few days ago ? was murdered, Geo News said Thursday morning, refuting earlier media reports that she had died by suicide. Sana, 27, was an officer of Sindh Police's Special Security Unit (SSU) and had married a man of her own free will some months back. Her body was found on October 8 with a rope around her neck in the city's Liaquatabad No. 10 area, authorities said. Law enforcement agencies on Thursday explained that Sana was killed by way of suffocation. They said the deceased's husband Jahanzeb and father-in-law have been arrested, while a case has been registered as well. According to the father-in-law ? one of the two arrestees, the couple often used to have arguments, which started soon after their wedding. He went on to say that the family were sleeping when Sana allegedly took her own life. An investigation in this regard is consequently underway, police stated.
  24. It's National Coming Out Day today, boys and girls. Which means, that as you read this sentence, thousands of men and women are pushing past their sweaters and bad decisions from 2007, and stepping out of their closets (into their out-and-proud sexualities). I'll tell you something – whether you are 14 or 40, coming out can be an ordeal, but that's a story for another time. If your friend is lucky: everything will go well, and the two of you will be downing shots at the bar later tonight. But if it doesn't, you – yes, you – owe it to him to make his life a whole lot easier. To help you in 'your' journey of acceptance, here are a few things you shouldn't say when a friend (or a sibling) comes out to you this National Coming Out Day: 1. 'Oh that's amazing, dude. But wait a minute, you won't hit on me now, will you, ha-ha?' No, because you clearly aren't my type. If you were, we would not be friends in the first place – I'd just be gushing about you to my best friend. 2. 'Do you know what? I always knew it.' When someone comes out to you, it's an exhilarating feeling – it's full of the giddiness that comes with riding a rollercoaster. Telling someone that you already knew (even if you did) is like pulling the handbrakes. 3. 'Maybe if you only started playing more sport, you never know…' This is when I make a list of all the sportsmen in the world who are gay. Stop with the stereotyping – it wasn't cool back in 1966; it isn't cool in 2017. 4. 'Haha, is this just because you've not had a girlfriend yet?' Ditch the biology book when you are wondering what your gay friend does behind closed doors – love has nothing to do with how things fit, because it's not the big 5000-piece jigsaw puzzle that we all assume it to be. 5. 'I don't really know what to say right now, bro.' If you don't, sometimes a hug would do – there's nothing worse than radio silence. Be normal, the best reactions aren't even worth remembering because they felt so natural. © Thinkstock/Getty Images 6. 'So you the guy or the girl?' Get out. 7. 'Whoa, when did you decide you want to be gay?' The same way you decided to be straight. 8. 'But bro, do you have AIDS? Let's get it straight (pun intended). AIDS is not a gay disease. On the other hand, sir, you suffer from something far worse. Ignorance. 9. 'Well, duh!' Read point two, but only slap yourself around your head this time. 10. 'Why didn't you tell me sooner?' Making someone's coming out process about you is usually not the best idea. Focus on them and their experience instead? Let's get out those medals of honour. © Thinkstock/Getty Images 11. 'Man, now you can help me with my shopping!' The fact that gay men love to shop is probably the worst stereotype that ever exists. That, and the jazz hands. Just wear what you want to, you'll look great. 12. 'No, you are not.' Do you know what you are not? A nice person. 13. 'Let's go hit the clubs, mate!' Yes, thank you. But that's not why I just told you something this important, right? 14. 'Are you really sure about this? Maybe it's just a phase, you never know? Remember, back when I was younger and I….' Being able to finally feel comfortable in your skin is the best feeling in the world. Someone wanting to share that feeling with you is like wanting to share a large ice cream sundae on a hot summer day. Cherish it. 15. 'You mean you are bisexual, right?' No. Gay. G-A-Y. Get that? © Thinkstock/Getty Images Now that you've finished reading the guide, how about you go help your friend with the closet door instead? Those shackles can be tough to pry open, and they could use all the help they could get. Move along.
  25. SHAH PORIR DWIP: Rohingya refugees arriving in Bangladesh amid a fresh exodus from strife-torn Myanmar have described whole villages being emptied and thousands marching to the border as security forces redouble efforts to drive remaining Muslims from their homes. More than 500,000 Muslim Rohingya have fled ethnic bloodshed in Myanmar in the past month and numbers are again swelling, with Bangladesh reporting 4-5,000 civilians now crossing the border each day after a brief lull in arrivals. An estimated 10,000 more have reportedly massed in Myanmar near a crossing point into Bangladesh, and are poised to join the hundreds of thousands of mainly Rohingya refugees eking out survival in wretched camps over the border. The spike in new arrivals - prompted by what Rohingya say is a fresh drive to purge Muslims still in westernmost Rakhine state - casts doubt on a Myanmar proposal aired this week to start repatriating the persecuted minority. Rakhine has been emptied of half of its Rohingya population in weeks, and more are on the move as insecurity presses them to leave villages that have so far been spared the worst of the violence ripping through the state. Rashida Begum, who arrived in Bangladesh late Monday, said local officials assured the Rohingya community for weeks they would be safe if they remained in their village. "(But then) the army came and went door to door, ordering us to leave," she told AFP of the military sweep in Maungdaw on Friday. "They said they wouldn´t harm us, but eventually they drove us out and burned our houses." Begum, 30, fled with her daughter to the coast, where hundreds of Rohingya waited to cross the Naf River dividing Myanmar and Bangladesh. Myanmar state media said the fleeing Rohingya had left "of their own accord" despite assurances they would be safe. "I wanted to stay in my village," Hasina Khatun, 25, told AFP in the coastal border town of Shah Porir Dwip. "They (local officials) said 'don't go to Bangladesh. Everything will be fine'. We believed them, but nothing improved. Eventually, we had to leave." Sumaya Bibi, a softly spoken Rohingya teenager, described more than a thousand civilians hiding along the riverbank late Monday. She said they boarded about 10 wooden fishing boats, many overloaded and carrying mainly women and children, and drifted under the cover of darkness across the Naf where they washed up on a remote beach. Reports are difficult to independently verify due to reporting restrictions in Rakhine. Fazlul Haq, a local councillor in the area, said the flow of boats had almost stopped by late September but has resumed in recent days, bringing scores of Rohingya families reporting threats and intimidation by the army. The UN said Tuesday that 509,000 refugees had crossed into Bangladesh as of September 30. 'Burned to the ground' The influx began after August 25, when attacks by Rohingya militants spurred a ferocious Myanmar army crackdown that the UN says amounted to "ethnic cleansing". Myanmar´s government refuses to recognise the Rohingya as a distinct ethnic group and considers them illegal migrants from Bangladesh. On Monday a Myanmar minister proposed taking back hundreds of thousands of Rohingya, many of whom are at risk of disease in packed makeshift camps along the border but offered no timeline. Violence appears to have ebbed in northern Rakhine, although independent reporting is still blocked by an army lockdown, fear has unsettled many of the Rohingya who remain. Nurul Amin, who arrived Sunday after the military ordered his village to be evacuated, described a long column of Rohingya civilians growing in size as it snaked toward the coast. "As we left, people from villages all around us started joining. They (the Myanmar army) weren't killing anyone, just burning houses," he told AFP. Thick plumes of smoke could be seen from Bangladesh rising beyond the border on Tuesday. An EU delegation in Rakhine earlier this week urged an end to the violence after seeing "villages burned to the ground and emptied of inhabitants". Amin said there were just "two, maybe three families in hiding, but no houses" in the villages surrounding his razed home in Maungdaw. "They too will come in time," he said.