Wednesday, 21 February 2018

Niger Tornadoes: NPFL club sack technical adviser Erasmus Onu

Erasmus Onu

Niger Tornadoes are bottom of the Nigerian Professional Football League and have made the decison to change their manager.

Nigerian Professional Football League (NPFL) outfit Niger Tornadoes have confirmed the sack of technical adviser Erasmus Onu.

The Niger State based team confirmed his dismissal with via a series of Tweets on the clubs official Twitter handle.

The statement explains the decision to sack Onu, was done due to the team poor results.

“After due consultation during the rigorous meeting by the management of the club, we notify the public on the disengagement of our technical adviser Erasmus Onu over poor performance.”

The club also confirmed his replacement with immediate effect

“Our chief coach Hamza Abara has been notified to take charge of the team immediately pending the time we search for a coach suitable for the position of the technical adviser."

Niger Tornadoes are bottom of the NPFL after nine matches , and the clubs hierarchy made the decision after  last defeat 2- 0 away to Rivers United in a matchday nine fixture.

"This is due to the club performance recently, which the management is not comfortable about"

“We wish Coach Erasmus Onu all the best in his future endeavors.”

 

Onu was brought in after the clubs dismissed Abubakar Bala after the finished runners-up in the Aiteo Cup last season.

Onu has previously handled NPFL sides Kwara United and Heartland and becomes the first coach to be relieved of his duties this season

With Onu gone new handler Abara will oversee his first NPFL match at home, when Niger Tornadoes welcome Abia Warriors in a matchday 10 fixture.



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Entertainment: Building itineraries around Oscar nominees

Sharon Stone announces nominees for the 75th Annual Golden Globe Awards -- the first salvo in an Oscars race overshadowed by allegations of sexual harassment rocking Tinseltown

In fact, films and television shows often serve, long after the fact, to drive tourism.

For armchair travelers, a film may be the best way to get to, say, Italy — or, if you’re a “Star Wars” fan, the planet of Ahch-to. But for those who actually like to get on a plane, a movie’s location can determine an entire itinerary.

In fact, films and television shows often serve, long after the fact, to drive tourism.

Roughly 60 million people annually choose travel destinations based on what they see on big and small screens, according to Stefan Roesch, the author of “The Experiences of Film Location Tourists” and the director of FilmQuest, which offers tours to film locations.

Some films attract travelers based on their connection to place. “Sideways,” the 2004 film set in the California wine country outside of Santa Barbara, created a tourism boom that still resonates today, particularly around Buellton, which is home to several “Sideways” locations.

“It’s a cult film that people will watch before coming here to refresh their familiarity with the place,” said Kathy Vreeland, the executive director of the Buellton Chamber of Commerce & Visitors Bureau.

Other movies become tourist attractions even when the story is otherworldly. In New Zealand, where “The Lord of the Rings” was shot, travelers still flock to the film sets and production sites related to the trilogy, which was released between 2001 and 2003, thanks in part to Tourism New Zealand’s campaign promoting them.

Whether intimately associated with their settings (like “Dunkirk”) or relying on alluring destinations to create fictional locales (like “Star Wars: The Last Jedi”), below are the most travel-related films of this year’s Academy Awards nominees and how to visit them.

Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri’

The town of Ebbing in director Martin McDonagh’s film is fictional. But McDonagh, who also wrote the screenplay for “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri” — about a mother’s efforts to get her daughter’s murder solved — brought the place to life via three North Carolina towns.

“He wanted a Main Street, USA, feel that people could easily relate to and looked like it could be Anywhere, Middle America,” said Guy Gaster, the director of the North Carolina Film Office.

Sylva, in western North Carolina, played a central role, hosting the Ebbing Police Department (actually a home décor store) and the advertising company across the street from which Frances McDormand’s character, Mildred Hayes, hurls flaming bombs. In nearby Dillsboro, Country Traditions, a food and wine store, played the gift shop where Mildred worked. The titular billboards were constructed on a scenic road near Black Mountain. Visit North Carolina has created a three-day itinerary that identifies many of the film’s locations.

McDonagh’s story can’t be called inspirational, but viewers have responded to the backdrop in the region’s wooded, rolling hills rather than the plot, explained Gaster. He noted that fans of “The Last of the Mohicans,” a 1992 film with a tragic conclusion, still seek out filming sites such as Chimney Rock State Park.

“People do see the difference between what is really there and what the story line is,” he said.

Dunkirk’

Nominated for eight Academy Awards, including best picture and director, “Dunkirk” captures the World War II evacuation of Allied soldiers from the port of Dunkirk in northern France in 1940. The plan, known as Operation Dynamo, saved more than 338,000 troops.

Director Christopher Nolan shot much of the film in Dunkirk, where a walking tour visits Malo-les-Bains, the seaside area depicted in the movie, and East Mole, the breakwater that was vital to the evacuation and was partly rebuilt by the production (120 euros for up to 30 people, or about $150).

Like the popular D-Day beaches in Normandy, the real-life Dunkirk is strewn with World War II wreckage, especially visible at low tide. Near the beach, the Dunkirk 1940 Museum tells the Operation Dynamo story.

Travelers can see Dunkirk from the point of view of a Royal Air Force pilot on a 15-minute aerial tour aboard a light aircraft (120 euros for up to three people).

Call Me by Your Name’

The opening frames of the best-picture nominee “Call Me by Your Name” indicate the setting is “somewhere in northern Italy.” And indeed, the film location, including the homey villa where the main characters reside, is in Lombardy, the part of the country that includes Milan and the Lakes Region.

The enchanting countryside where the protagonists have long meals in gardens, swim in idyllic ponds and cycle through medieval towns is a seductive character in its own right.

“Italy is often the backdrop for romantic stories, both on screen and off, but the better-known destinations — Venice, Tuscany, the Amalfi Coast — are usually the settings,” said Kathy McCabe, the host of the TV show “Dream of Italy.” “This movie reminds us that there are so many more layers of Italy for travelers to explore.”

The film’s director, Luca Guadagnino, centered production on the town of Crema, roughly 30 miles east of Milan, and his characters made jaunts to Lake Garda, one of the region’s lakes with an Alpine backdrop. They also visit Cremona, saluted by UNESCO for its traditional violin making, the walled city of Bergamo in the Alpine foothills and, outside of Bergamo, the dramatic Serio Waterfalls, Italy’s highest cascades.

Star Wars: The Last Jedi’

Nominated for four Academy Awards, including original score, “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” picks up Luke Skywalker’s story line where the previous film left off — on the planet of Ahch-to, the fictional shelter played by the real-life monastic retreat Skellig Michael, a steep and rocky island off the southwest coast of Ireland.

Although the film was also shot on location in Bolivia and Croatia, the production expanded to feature more of Ireland, including coastal locations such as Loop Head in County Clare and Malin Head in Donegal. Most of these areas lie along the Wild Atlantic Way, a name given by Irish tourism to the country’s west coast.

The tour company Zicasso guides guests to many of these sites in a new eight-day itinerary called “Ireland and the Last Jedi Encounter” (from $2,975 a person).

Lady Bird’

The main character in “Lady Bird” can’t wait to get out of Sacramento, which she calls “the Midwest of California.” But in the course of director Greta Gerwig’s coming-of-age film, she comes to appreciate the charms of California’s capital.

Nominated in five categories, including best film, director and actress, “Lady Bird” will be the subject of running and walking tours of Sacramento starting this month by Sac Running Tours. The 3.2-mile walking tour and the 4.5-mile running version (both $20 a person) focus on East Sacramento, including the Fabulous Forties neighborhood, where the main character indulges in real estate envy, and the McKinley Park Rose Garden, where she stargazes.

“Sacramento is a lot cooler than people give it credit for,” said Jenn Kistler-McCoy, the owner of Sac Running Tours. She aims to add bike tours that will range farther and include visits to other locations featured in the film, including Tower Bridge and Gunther’s Ice Cream shop.

For independent travelers, Visit California has compiled a list of “Lady Bird” filming locations, including Thrift Town, where the movie mother and daughter shop for dresses. The list created by Visit Sacramento includes many of the city’s vintage neon signs captured in the film.

This article originally appeared in The New York Times.

ELAINE GLUSAC © 2018 The New York Times



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Opinion: New pulpit for a food evangelist

Lincoln typically took a simple breakfast: eggs, toast, and coffee.

On a recent weeknight at Folklore, at the Destination Singapore Beach Road hotel, table after table was filled with locals tucking into dishes like pork belly braised in tamarind gravy and eggplant sambal.

Singapore is a country of countless hawker stalls and beloved mom-and-pop restaurants that serve excellent renditions of local dishes. So when its notoriously discerning eaters pack into a chic hotel lobby to seek out traditional fare, take note.

On a recent weeknight at Folklore, at the Destination Singapore Beach Road hotel, table after table was filled with locals tucking into dishes like pork belly braised in tamarind gravy and eggplant sambal. The cuisine here is Singapore’s so-called heritage food — and the chef behind it, Damian D’Silva, is something of an evangelist on the matter.

“Our heritage food is dead or dying — a lot of the dishes that I used to eat as a kid, today, they’re no longer available,” said D’Silva, who learned to cook as a child by watching his grandparents whip up Peranakan (descendants of Chinese immigrants to the Malay Peninsula) and Eurasian classics at the stove. “It’s very important to keep them alive.”

D’Silva, who ran the kitchens at various restaurants in Singapore before opening Folklore in July, has amassed a loyal following. In 2008, when he took a break from restaurants to offer Peranakan dishes and Western fare like his signature anchovy pasta in a tiny coffee shop stall, the well-heeled followed, pulling up in pricey cars for takeout or sitting on a stool to sweat over a Wagyu steak.

Standouts at Folklore include singgang, a Eurasian wolf herring dish, and the must-try fried rice, which stars the deliciously rich chocolate-like insides of buah keluak, a Southeast Asian nutlike fruit. There are also standards done well, including chap chye, a Peranakan dish of vegetables and glass noodles cooked in pork and prawn stock.

Perhaps more interesting, however, is D’Silva’s foray into the more obscure. His plan is to change the menu every few months to add dishes that he says are increasingly rare — for example, kai fan, rice topped with Chinese sausage, roast pork and shredded chicken, with chicken stock poured over it right before serving.

“It’s a very simple dish, but when you put hot soup on it, all those flavors seep into the rice,” he said, calling it “soul food that the laborers would eat” in the 1960s at hawker stalls in the country’s bustling quays.

And around Singapore’s major holidays — Chinese New Year, Hindu Diwali (or Deepavali, as Singaporeans call it), Muslim Hari Raya — D’Silva is adding dishes from those culinary traditions. In the weeks around Christmas, for example, the chef served debal, a fiery curry made with ham, roast pork and spare ribs. The dish, which Singapore’s Eurasian families traditionally have made on Boxing Day, is their way to use up Christmas leftovers.

The desserts are memorable, including D’Silva’s Peranakan cakes, which would rival those of many old Singaporean bakeries. Some Western twists pop up: Palm sugar syrup, used in many local desserts, came drizzled over panna cotta, and the kueh bengkah (a grated tapioca cake) appeared with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, which alarmed my parents, who both remarked, “You don’t eat it with ice cream!” But perhaps D’Silva is starting some traditions of his own. After a few bites, my parents pronounced the ice cream a delightful addition.

This article originally appeared in The New York Times.

CHERYL LU-LIEN TAN © 2018 The New York Times



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Entertainment: After figure-skating short program, Russian women lead

Papadakis and Cizeron later in the routine.

Alina Zagitova of Russia, just 15, edged out her countrywoman, the comparably ancient Evgenia Medvedea, 18, in the women’s figure-skating short program Wednesday.

Zagitova’s combo by itself scored 13.71 points, outranking Medvedeva’s triple flip-triple toeloop, which got 11.96.

But the judges showed a slight preference for Medvedeva in all five of the more subjective categories like presentation, keeping the margin to a thin 1.31 points. Medvedeva skated to Chopin, while Zagitova chose music from the dance film “Black Swan,” with some “Swan Lake” interpolated.

Still, Zagitova’s total score of 82.92 was a new world record for a short program.

“From the score, this is the best performance of my life, but there is still room to grow,” Zagitova said. “I could have more speed going into the jumps, the landings of the jumps could have been smoother, there could have been more emotions.”

Medvedeva said after her program, “Today I felt better than in the team event, but I still could have had a higher score if the combination would have been better.”

Kaetlyn Osmond of Canada was third.

With only three days of competition remaining, Zagitova and Medvedeva have the best chance of any Russian athletes to win a gold medal at these Games.

There was disappointment from the Americans, none of whom completed a clean program. Mirai Nagasu, Karen Chen and Bradie Tennell were ninth, 10th, and 11th after the short program.

This article originally appeared in The New York Times.

VICTOR MATHER and JERÉ LONGMAN © 2018 The New York Times



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Archaeologists new findings could prove vampires are real

Archaeologists new findings could prove vampires are real

Looking straight out of a horror story, a steel stake was found driven through the man’s chest.

Archaeologists working in Bulgaria found a body and it could just prove that Vampires are real.

Looking straight out of a horror story, a steel stake was found driven through the man’s chest. Apparently, his murderers were terrified that he would not stay buried so they pinned his body to his tomb.

 

Archaeologists say he died in the 13th century, and it was a brutal vampirish death. His left leg was removed and thrown carelessly into his tomb and it is likely that he was still alive when all these happened.

The stake, though, fits some of the ideas that were floating around the Romani people at that time. Vampires were thought to be real back then. A deformed appendage was a sign that someone had been resurrected by Satan and could only be stopped by driving an iron stake through their heart.

It is believed that this man was the victim of a horrible superstition and his countrymen had convinced themselves that he was evil, and they’d put him through hell to keep him from coming back.



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Erotic Story/Minxie B: Lily is about to cross off organising orgy off her bucket list

 

Lily's best friend Blessing is back and holding her accountable to her new year bucket list, the next item is attending or organising an orgy.

"I could just throw a regular party please" I said making my best puppy face

"Please stop with that face, you look like shit don hold you" Blessing said pushing my face away

"If it's you, would you do it?" I ask raising my eyebrows

"Ehen na, I'm not a chicken like you" She smirked

Blessing is back from her 'workation' and so is her crazy bucket list, I've had the bad luck of picking or throwing an orgy. I have not exactly ever been to an orgy before so throwing one is both exciting and frightening.

"So what do I need to throw an orgy" I asked an excited blessing

"Condoms, lots of condoms and lube and wipes and"

"Blessing breathe" I stopped her

ALSO READ: Valentine has rough but pleasant surprise for Lily

"Okay so I'll grab a pen and notebook" I said before dashing to look for a pen and notebook

I found a pen in my purse and a notebook on my nightstand. I walked towards her excitedly writing what she already mentioned

"So what else" I asked

"Urrm sanitizer, alcohol" she said

"Duh" I said rolling my eyes

"So how do I get people, I don't have many friends" I said sitting down

"I'll invite Cynthia and get her to invite like two people, I would invite some of my other friends and you can invite like two guys or girls" she said smiling

"Sounds good" I said wondering who to invite

After hours of planning and countless run to buy alcohol and condoms I sat down to finally send my invitation, I texted finally Fina, Kenneth and Temi if they would like to attend an orgy. I got an almost immediate response from Kenneth

"Where and when". It made me smile and I immediately replied with the details, he texted

"You hosting? I need to get some things". I laughed knowing by that he meant drugs

We arranged the house making sure they was enough alcohol, the door knock on the door made my heart skip a couple beats; I am really throwing an orgy. I practically ran and opened the door to a smiling Cynthia, she had a cute guy and a girl who was on her phone with her

"Hey sweetie" I said hugging her

"You are really early" I said my voice a bit pitched

"Yeah I thought you might need a little help to get this started" she said smiling

ALSO READ: Lily gets sexual healing on her sick day off

That was actually sweet of her, I let them in and after the introductions and hugging they helped in setting the condoms and lube, my phone beeped with a message from Fina followed by a text from Temi, Fina's text read "Fuck yeah" while temi's read

"Whose orgy" I replied both with the venue and time. I played music before gulping a shot of vodka

"We are ready" I announced to everyone with a weak cheer

"So do we start" I asked looking around

"Let me show you" The girl that came with Cynthia said standing up

She walked over to me in her tall heels and cupped my face, leaning down she pressed her lips on mine hard. Her lips were so full and soft and I was sure my lips would be covered in her red lipstick, she took my hands and lifted them to her boobs and I tried not to giggle because it felt like it was the first time.

I squeezed her boobs moaning into her mouth; her boobs were so soft. Buttons came flying off as I opened her shirt forcefully exposing her perky boobs, I pulled her into me and kissed her neck, she motioned to the guy who came to stand behind me; his shirt already gone.

His rough hands slid under my crop top and cupped my boobs squeezing them really hard, he pinched my nipples forcing a moan out of me. Soon the girl was on her knees pulling my trousers off, I shimmied out of it and she immediately took off her short gown before she pulled me down to lay on my centre rug. She straddled me placing kisses down to my thighs, I looked around to see Cynthia and Kenneth doing lines of coke; when did he get here.

He kissed her deeply pushing his tongue deep into her mouth after she dragged a line, the girls soft lips on my pussy brought back my attention to her. Her tongue searched and stroked my folds making me moan out loudly.

As soon as my mouth was opened the guy pushed his meaty cock into it, I moaned as he pushed his cock deeper into me, he started to fuck my mouth gently as grinded against her mouth. Her tongue was fucking my pussy almost in rhythm with him pushing in and out of my mouth, my hands ran up and down his thighs and he pushed deeper while she motorboated my pussy.

ALSO READ: Lily's bucket list includes tattoos, he's sexy AF [Part 2]

I moaned feeling his dick vibrate in my throat as my orgasm started to build, I grinded faster and faster till I exploded everything blurring out. When I opened my eyes my body tingle I saw Temi watching me his erection visible from his trouser, besides him Cynthia was bouncing up and down viciously on Kenneth dick. It's officially an orgy.



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Sports: This is the full schedule for the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang

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Here's the full schedule of events for the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea.

  • The 2018 Winter Olympics are in full swing and end on Sunday, February 25.
  • The Olympic Games are being hosted in Pyeongchang, South Korea.
  • Winter Olympic sports include ice hockey, cross-country skiing, and bobsled.
  • You can see the full schedule of events below.

The 2018 Winter Olympics opening ceremony kicked off at the Pyeongchang Olympic Stadium in South Korea on Friday February 9 — and audiences have been capitvated ever since.

With ice hockey, cross-country skiing, and bobsled among the Winter Olympic sports, there's something for everyone.

Scroll through each day below to find out when each event takes place.

Wednesday, February 7

Alpine Skiing — Training

Curling — Mixed doubles

Thursday, February 8

Curling — Mixed doubles round robin

Ski Jumping — Qualification

Friday, February 9

Opening ceremony — 11.00 a.m GMT / 6.00 a.m ET

Curling — Mixed doubles round robin

Figure Skating — Men's and pairs

Freestyle Skiing — Qualifying, men's and women's moguls

Saturday, February 10

Biathlon — Women's 7.5km sprint

Cross-Country Skiing — Women's 7.5km skiathlon

Curling — Mixed doubles round robin

Women's Hockey — Preliminary round

Luge — Men's heat races

Short Track — Qualification: women's 3000m and 500m relay, men's 1500m

Ski Jumping — Normal hill

Snowboarding — Men's slopestyle qualifying

Speed Skating — Women's 3000m

Sunday, February 11

Alpine Skiing — Men's downhill

Biathlon — Men's 10km sprint

Cross-Country Skiing — Men's 15km skiathlon

Curling — Mixed doubles round robin

Figure Skating — Short dance, ladies short program, pairs free skate

Freestyle Skiing — Women's moguls

Women's Hockey — Preliminary matches

Luge — Men's heat races

Snowboarding — Men's slopestyle final, women's slopestyle

Speed Skating — Men's 5000m

Monday, February 12

Alpine Skiing — Women's giant slalom

Biathlon — Men's and women's pursuit events

Curling — Mixed doubles semifinals

Figure Skating — Men's and ladies free skate, ice dance free dance

Freestyle Skiing — Men's moguls

Women's Hockey — Preliminary matches

Luge — Women's heat races

Ski Jumping — Women's competition

Snowboarding — Women's slopestyle final, women's halfpipe qualifying

Speed Skating — Women's 1500m

Tuesday, February 13

Alpine Skiing — Men's alpine combined

Cross-Country Skiing — Men's and women's individual sprint finals

Curling — Mixed doubles bronze and gold medal matches

Women's Hockey — Preliminary matches

Luge — Women's heat races

Short Track — Women's 500m final, men's 1000m qualifying, men's 5000m relay qualifying

Snowboarding — Women's halfpipe final, men's halfpipe

Speed Skating — Men's 1500m

Wednesday, February 14

Alpine Skiing — Women's slalom

Biathlon — Women's 15km individual

Curling — Men's and women's round robin

Figure Skating — Pairs short program

Men's Hockey — Preliminary round

Snowboarding — Men's halfpipe final

Speed Skating — Women's 1000m

Thursday, February 15

Alpine Skiing — Men's super-G

Biathlon — Men's 20km individual

Cross-Country Skiing — Women's 10km individual

Curling — Men's and women's round robin

Figure Skating — Pairs free skate

Freestyle skiing — Women's aerials qualifying

Women's hockey — Preliminary matches

Men's hockey — Preliminary matches

Luge — Team relay competition

Skeleton — Men's competition: heat races

Snowboarding — Men's cross

Speed Skating — Men's 10,000m

Friday, February 16

Cross-Country Skiing — Men's 15km individual

Curling — Men's and women's round robin

Figure Skating — Men's short programs

Freestyle Skiing — Women's aerials final

Men's Hockey — Preliminary matches

Ski Jumping — Men's large hill qualifying

Snowboarding — Women's cross

Speed Skating — Women's 5000m

Saturday, February 17

Alpine Skiing — Women's super-G

Biathlon — Women's 12.5km mass start

Cross-Country Skiing — Women's 4x5km relay

Curling — Men's and women's round robin

Figure Skating — Men's short program final

Freestyle Skiing — Women's slopestyle qualifying, final; men's aerials qualifying

Men's Hockey — Preliminary matches

Women's Hockey — Two knockout round matches

Short Track — Men's 1500m, women's 1000m

Skeleton — Women's heat races

Ski Jumping — Men's large hill

Sunday, February 18

Alpine Skiing — Men's giant slalom

Biathlon — Men's 15km mass start

Bobsled — Two-man sled heat races

Cross-Country Skiing — Men's 4x10km relay

Curling — Men's and women's round robin

Freestyle Skiing — Men's slopestyle qualifying, final; men's aerials final

Men's Hockey — Preliminary matches

Women's Hockey — Classification matches

Speed Skating — Women's 500m, men's team pursuit qualifying

Monday, February 19

Bobsled — Two-man heat races

Curling — Men's and women's round robin

Figure Skating — Ice dancers

Freestyle Skiing — Women's halfpipe qualifying

Women's Hockey — Semifinals

Ski Jumping — Team competition

Snowboarding — Women's big air qualifying

Speed Skating — Women's team pursuit qualifying

Tuesday, February 20

Biathlon — Mixed relay

Bobsled — Women's heat races

Curling — Men's and women's round robin

Figure Skating — Ice dance, free dance

Freestyle Skiing — Women's halfpipe final, men's halfpipe qualifying

Men's Hockey — Knockout rounds

Women's Hockey — Classification matches

Nordic Combined — Large hill competition

Short Track — Women's 1000m qualifying, men's 500m qualifying, women's 3000m relay final

Wednesday, February 21

Alpine Skiing — Women's downhill

Bobsled — Women's heat races

Cross-Country Skiing — Men's and women's sprint semifinals

Curling — Men's and women's round robin

Figure Skating — Ladies short program

Freestyle Skiing — Men's cross

Men's Hockey — Quarterfinals

Snowboarding — Men's big air qualifying

Speed Skating — Men's and women's team pursuit finals

Thursday, February 22

Alpine Skiing — Men's slalom

Biathlon — Women's 4x6km relay

Curling — Men's semifinals

Freestyle Skiing — Men's halfpipe final

Women's Hockey — Bronze and gold medal matches

Nordic Combined — Team competition

Short Track — Men's 500m finals, women's 1000m finals, men's 5000m relay

Snowboarding — Men's and women's parallel giant slalom qualifying

Friday, February 23

Alpine Skiing — Women's alpine combined

Biathlon — Men's 4x7.7km relay

Curling — Men's and women's semifinals

Figure Skating — Ladies free skate

Freestyle Skiing — Women's cross

Men's Hockey — Semifinal matches

Snowboarding — Women's big air final

Speed Skating — Men's 1000m final

Saturday, February 24

Alpine Skiing — Team event

Bobsled — Four-man competition heat races

Cross-Country Skiing — Men's 50km mass start

Curling — Men's gold and silver match, women's bronze match

Men's Hockey — Bronze medal match

Snowboarding — Men's big air final, men's and women's giant parallel slalom finals

Speed Skating — Men's and women's mass start

Sunday, February 25

Bobsled — Four-man heat races

Cross-Country Skiing — Women's 30km mass start

Curling — Women's gold medal match

Figure Skating — Exhibition gala

Men's Hockey — Gold medal match

Closing ceremonies



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Entertainment: North Korea backed out of meeting with pence at Olympics, U.S. Says

US Vice President Mike Pence (R) and North Korea's Kim Jong Un's sister Kim Yo Jong attend the opening ceremony of the Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympic Games on February 9, 2018

Vice President Mike Pence had planned to secretly meet with a high-level delegation of North Korean leaders while he was at the Winter Olympics in South Korea this month, but the North Koreans canceled at the last minute, according to the State Department.

“We regret the failure to seize this opportunity,” Heather Nauert, the department’s spokeswoman, said Tuesday.

The canceled meeting is the latest twist in the evolving U.S. strategy to persuade North Korea to give up its nuclear and missile programs, which Western intelligence agencies say will soon be able to threaten the continental United States.

It also adds a remarkable coda to the strange tableau during the opening ceremony of Pence sitting in a reviewing stand less than 10 feet from Kim Yo Jong, the sister of the North Korean leader, Kim Jong Un, as the two stared fixedly ahead without acknowledging each other.

At the time, Trump administration officials explained that they would have been open to a meeting with their North Korean counterparts, but only if Pence delivered a tough message and only if it occurred away from TV cameras.

What they did not disclose then was that they believed both of those conditions had been met for an encounter already scheduled to occur.

“The vice president was ready to take this opportunity to drive home the necessity of North Korea abandoning its illicit ballistic missile and nuclear programs,” Nauert said Tuesday.

For much of the past year, the White House has used a combination of increasingly tough economic sanctions and blistering language — including threats of military action — to try to get the North to stop, and even reverse, its missile and nuclear development programs.

U.S. officials have publicly insisted that they would agree to talks with Pyongyang only if North Korea agreed beforehand to give up its weapons programs, a precondition most observers believed was a nonstarter for the country.

But in the administration, a fierce debate has raged about whether to drop the preconditions, and President Moon Jae-in of South Korea is known to favor talks. About six months ago, President Donald Trump referred to Moon’s overtures to the North as “appeasement.” Trump also dismissed Secretary of State Rex W. Tillerson’s suggestions of dialogue with the North as premature or a waste of time.

But it was never clear whether the North itself was interested in talks, preconditions or no. Under President Barack Obama, repeated efforts at opening a back channel to seek dialogue were rebuffed by Pyongyang.

Past U.S. administrations have rewarded North Korea’s decision to begin negotiations by providing food aid and some sanctions relief. But even if there are now no preconditions for talks, the Trump administration still insists that North Korea will not be rewarded for just opening a dialogue.

“We’re not using a carrot to convince them to talk,” Tillerson said in a recent interview with “60 Minutes.” “We’re using large sticks.”

The meeting was to occur after Pence had warned that North Korea was about to face the “toughest and most aggressive” set of U.S. sanctions yet, although he did not detail what those would be.

Highlighting the difficulty of enforcing even the existing sanctions, Japan on Wednesday said its military had spotted a ship-to-ship transfer of goods at sea that it suspected violated existing U.N. sanctions on North Korea.

The transfer happened Friday, when a Japanese surveillance plane and an escort ship spotted a North Korean-flagged tanker alongside another, smaller ship in the waters between China and Japan, Japan’s foreign ministry said. The smaller ship was of unknown nationality, although photos showed it had Chinese characters that suggested it was an oil ship from China’s Fujian Province. There appeared to be hoses connecting the two vessels.

This article originally appeared in The New York Times.

GARDINER HARRIS © 2018 The New York Times



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World: Trump moves to regulate bump stock devices

President Donald Trump awards the Public Safety Officer Medal of Valor to Chief Douglas Schroeder of Hesston Police Department in Kansas, in the East Room of the White House in Washington, Feb. 20, 2018. Trump ordered the Justice Department Tuesday to propose regulations to ban so-called bump stocks, which can convert a semiautomatic gun into an automatic weapon like the one used last year in the massacre of concertgoers in Las Vegas.

President Donald Trump, under pressure from angry, grieving students from a Florida high school where a gunman killed 17 people last week — ordered the Justice Department on Tuesday to issue regulations banning bump stocks, which convert semi-automatic guns into automatic weapons like those used last year in the massacre of concertgoers in Las Vegas.

A day earlier, Trump signaled that he was open to supporting legislation that would modestly improve the national gun background check system, and on Tuesday night, he posted on Twitter that Democrats and Republicans “must now focus on strengthening Background Checks!”

But Trump’s first embrace as president of any gun control measures was dismissed by gun control supporters as minor. The National Rifle Association supports the background check legislation and also backs bump stock regulation, although not an outright ban.

Speaking at the White House days after a shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, Trump said he had directed Attorney General Jeff Sessions to develop the regulations.

“We cannot merely take actions that make us feel like we are making a difference,” Trump said at a ceremony as he conferred the medal of valor on public safety officials. “We must actually make a difference.”

In Florida on Tuesday, the Republican-controlled state House rejected an effort to immediately consider a bill to ban large-capacity magazines and the type of assault rifles used in last week’s attack, even as students from Stoneman Douglas High School watched from the gallery.

The party-line vote was on an unusual procedural motion offered by a Democrat, and Republican leaders were critical of the effort to force a vote. They said they would consider other gun control bills before the session ends in March, but none of those measures is expected to go as far as banning assault rifles.

At the White House, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, the president’s spokeswoman, said the president was determined to find ways to protect Americans, and especially children, from gunmen. Asked about a broader ban on assault weapons, Sanders said the White House has not “closed the door on any front.”

Despite the day’s developments, there was deep skepticism in Washington that anything would change because of the long history of inaction by state and federal politicians after similar mass shootings. Gun control activists said they were braced for another disappointing battle with lawmakers.

The president, they noted, promised unwavering fealty last year to the National Rifle Association, drawing thunderous applause at its annual convention by declaring, “To the NRA, I can proudly say I will never, ever let you down.” The group in turn enthusiastically endorsed Trump and spent $30 million on his campaign.

Sen. Chris Murphy, D-Conn., who sponsored the latest background check measure with Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, said he was unimpressed by Trump’s openness to it. “Let’s not pretend this is some huge concession on his part,” he said. “If this is all the White House is willing to do to address gun violence, it’s wholly insufficient.”

The background check bill, which seeks to improve the existing database used to prevent gun purchases by criminals and the mentally ill, is a small nod in the direction of gun control that does nothing to close loopholes that allow millions of gun sales without a background check. Last year, NRA officials said they were fine with it.

It is also unclear whether Trump’s statement of support for the measure, which included a desire for some “revisions,” might be linked to other legislation that the NRA backs. In the House, a similar background check measure was combined with legislation that would effectively allow people to legally carry concealed weapons in all 50 states.

That legislation is the top priority for the NRA, and gun control activists have promised to fight it aggressively.

“That normalizes the carrying of guns on all American streets,” said John Feinblatt, president of Everytown for Gun Safety, a group that advocates gun control measures. He said joining the two measures would be a “craven” bait-and-switch and “disrespectful for all the families” of the Florida school that suffered through last week’s shooting.

The president’s bump stock announcement surprised the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, which did not appear to have been informed of the pending remarks from Trump. The Justice Department announced a review of the devices in early December. Led by the ATF, the review sought to determine whether the bureau — which is responsible for policing firearms — was able to regulate the devices without action from Congress.

Under the Obama administration, the bureau had determined it could not regulate them. Given that prior position, ATF officials had indicated privately in the months after the Las Vegas massacre that any ban of bump stocks would require new legislation.

Bump stocks were not used on the rifle in the shooting last week in Florida, authorities said.

Trump’s announcement Tuesday appeared to short-circuit the agency’s review. The ATF had not yet determined whether it had the authority to ban the devices when Trump directed Sessions to draft a regulation doing so.

In a statement, an ATF official said she was “not authorized to comment on pending legislation, legislative proposals or the possibility of executive action.” A Justice Department spokesman said the department “understands this is a priority for the president.”

The shooting in Florida prompted the White House to highlight the administration’s actions as students from the school included Trump among the politicians they criticized for failing to keep them safe.

In an impassioned speech Saturday, Emma Gonzalez, a senior at the school, assailed the president’s NRA ties and accused him of setting a crass monetary value on the lives of gunshot victims by taking so much money from the gun-rights group.

“If you don’t do anything to prevent this from continuing to occur, that number of gunshot victims will go up and the number that they are worth will go down,” Gonzalez said Saturday at a rally for gun control. “And we will be worthless to you.”

With funerals underway for those who died at the Florida high school, Trump said he plans to host a “listening session” on Wednesday with high school students and teachers at the White House. He is scheduled to meet on Thursday with state and local officials to discuss school safety.

Sanders told reporters Tuesday that the session on Wednesday will include students and parents from the Florida school as well as people affected by school shootings at Columbine High School in Colorado and Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut. She did not say whether any of the student activists who have been critical of Trump were invited to the White House.

MICHAEL D. SHEAR © 2018 The New York Times



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Yusuf Buhari: President's son is not dead - Presidency

Yusuf Buhari is not dead - Presidency

Yusuf Buhari broke a limb and sustained an injury to the head in last year's accident.

The presidency has dismissed claims that President Muhammadu Buhari's son, Yusuf, has died from injuries sustained in a bike accident in December.

Yusuf broke a limb and sustained an injury to the head on December 26, 2017 and was hospitalised at Cedarcrest in the Federal Capital Territory until January 12, 2018, when it was announced that he was ready to be discharged after making remarkable progress in his recovery.

The president's Special Assistant on Social Media, Lauretta Onochie, took to her Twitter account (@Laurestar) on Wednesday, February 21, 2018, to rubbish the claims.

She posted, "The news making the rounds regarding Yusuf Buhari, son of Pres. Buhari & Aisha Buhari, is Fake. He is very alive, to their shame."

Buhari's accident

The president's son reportedly crashed his power bike while racing with a friend in the capital city and was promptly rushed to Cedarcrest for medical attention.

In a press statement signed by the president's Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, on December 27, 2017, he revealed that Yusuf had already undergone surgery and was in a stable condition.

Despite media reports that he had been flown to Germany for better medical care early on December 28, Shehu denied the reports, saying that Buhari never left the country.



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Kechi Okwuchi: How Nigerian plane crash survivor became a contestant on America's Got Talent

How Kechi Okwuchi became a contestant on America's Got Talent

Kechi Okwuchi, who survived the 2005 Sosoliso plane crash, talks about contesting on America's Got Talent, music as a therapy and being an inspiration to many.

Nigerian plane crash survivor, Kechi Okwuchi, inspired millions as a contestant on America's Got Talent.

On December 10, 2005, she became one of the two survivors of the Sosoliso Airline Flight 1145 crash that took the lives of 107 passengers. The crash occurred 20 minutes to landing on her way back to Port Harcourt for a Christmas holiday alongside about 61 other students from her school, Loyola Jesuit College.

Following the crash, Okwuchi suffered third-degree burns over 65% of her body, and has since gone through and survived over 100 surgeries.

In 2015, she graduated from the University of Saint Thomas, in Texas, USA, with a First Class Degree in Economics. She also got invited into six honour societies, including the International Economics Honour Society.

Two years later, she earned a spot on America's Got Talent with her performance of Ed Sheeran’s “Thinking Out Loud" during her audition.

13 years after what many would call a life changing event, burn survivor Kechi Okwuchi has remained courageous and an inspiration to many.

In this interview with Pulse Nigeria, Okwuchi talks about how she became a contestant on America's Got Talent, music as a therapy for her and being an inspiration to many.

On what music means to Kechi Okwuchi

Singing is something that I have always loved to do. It has always been a passion of mine; pure love that I have had for the art since I was a kid.

My father's taste influenced mine from a very young age, so as I grew older, I loved not just listening to music, but singing as well. And after the accident, my voice went through a radical change that made me really happy because I was able to express myself even more with music and do what I love to do.

But I hadn't ever thought about taking it further than music being a part of my therapy as a burn survivor and singing in church and at home. These were things that I was doing that made me happy.

On how she became a contestant on America's Got Talent

The way that America's Got Talent happened was very interesting because I didn't actually sign up for the show myself.

It was actually a friend that signed me up. She has been telling me for a while that I should do it or she was gonna do it because she was sick of me always singing and nothing happening. So she just kind of took matters into her own hands and put me out there.

Before I knew it, they were calling me and asking if I wanted to be part of the show. So it just happened out of the blue and it was a complete God thing because I didn't have an input on how things turned out. I was in the middle of my MBA so I had no idea that music would become a primary focus at any point in my life.

It was just a wonderful surprise because I really don't do anything that I haven't purposely planned.

Why she went along with her friend's plan

The reason why I went on and continued with it is that, of all shows to be involved on TV, that would be my first choice. I like the family feel of the show, I like the varieties of talents that they put out there, I love that it gives any kind of person a platform; it doesn't matter your age, size or who you are.

So I just loved that there was a chance for everyone equally, and I thought, 'what better place to start getting exposure or building a platform for yourself than America's Got Talent.

Okwuchi's biggest takeaway from experience on America's Got Talent

The biggest takeaway from my experience on  America's Got Talent was a huge appreciation for behind the scenes work. Honestly, it blew my mind how amazing it was to see the staff come together to create this show.

It's a giant production, something that you really can't appreciate when you're just watching a 2-hour episode weekly.

The fact is, these things take a lot of time, a lot of work from thousands of people, day in and day out, and just working more than 9-5. I know that it has taken them years to perfect this system, but it blew my mind to see all the work that goes into a few of hours on TV.

They did everything themselves. They actually have a warehouse where they created everything you see on set; they built everything from scratch.

Also, the staff were really great. Despite how busy they were, they still took out time to be kind to us contestants and make us feel like we belong, make us feel at home. I really appreciated that.

On the positive feedback she got from all over the world

When I think back to those times, I still can't believe the kind of response that I got from people worldwide. Number one thing about that is that it gave me a lot of courage to actually continue.

It made me think that I had something to deliver to the audience and to the show. I just was humbled by how much outpouring of love and encouragement I was getting from strangers, people who just saw me online singing a few lines and felt the need to send me a little bit of prayer or like an encouraging word.

Getting support from Nigerians since her accident

The truth is that Nigerians have really rallied around me ever since the accident happened. It has been like that since 2005, and even after I moved to America, I have been consistently keeping up with my story and making sure to let me know that they are with me, especially through Facebook.

On being an inspiration to millions

That's just something that I kind of appreciate every single day because the fact that that's what people take away from seeing or interacting online with me, it makes me feel honoured.

I feel like every time I meet someone new, I want them to walk away with a positive memory or feedback from that interaction. And the fact that that's what people are really saying about me makes me happy because it means that me being myself is enough to make people feel positive, and it encourages me to keep being who I am.

 

On combining music and academics

I'm right in the middle of figuring it out right now. I'm definitely at a crossroads where I'm trying to figure out what to give most of my attention to and how I should split it.

At this point, I have decided that I don't want to give up either of the two. I have walked a long road towards gaining these different degrees and academic accomplishments. I want to stay on that part and finish that for sure. But at the same time, this whole music thing was something that happened completely out of my control, and I feel like that's a sign that it's something that God is definitely involved in.

And I don't want to regret anything, so I want to explore this as far as I can. Because of AGT,  a completely new path opened for me with regards to music and the possibility of me doing it as a career. I just feel like it would be cool to explore and see how far I can go and what is in there for me to do.

Am I going to become a motivational speaker? Am I going to have an actual career in music where I release albums and all that?

On releasing original music

I'm kind of working on that already. I have like an original song that I'm working on to release because I want to see how people respond to my actual authentic taste and the kind of music that I would lean towards if I had the complete creative licence.

On God's role in her decisions

100%. I won't even be here if I didn't have some kind of inner peace that it's all gonna work out somehow. I feel just blessed with this inner peace that I can't explain.

I'm walking a path that I don't quite know what's at the end of it. It's like even though I'm quite uncertain of the future, even though I know I might make mistakes, meet obstacles, I feel like all these downfalls will lead me to the right path in the end.

And that's really the way I have approached life since the accident; believing that it's all gonna work out the way he wants it to because I have tried my best to include him in all parts of my life. That helps me to kind of take risks.

On what is next for Kechi Okwuchi

That's the coolest thing ever because I really can't believe that people are actually waiting to see what I will do with music or my life.

It just makes me so humble and I really don't know how to react to that a lot of times, except to just pray that when the time comes, that I do something that people are responsive to, and that I get the honest feedback not based on Kechi  and her story, but like what they actually think about what I am doing.

Long story short, I want people to anticipate original music from me. That's what this year is about.

With her performances on AGT, Kechi wowed and inspired the judges, viewers and her followers. She made it to the finals and eventually emerged the 5th runner-up.



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Big Brother Naija: CDQ calls Ifuennada a 'one-night stand and bipolar b**ch'

CDQ calls Ifuennada a 'one-night stand and bipolar bitch'

CDQ has responded to #BBNaija's Ifuennada's claim that she used to clear her bank account for him when she was 17.

During a conversation with fellow Big Brother Naija housemates, Ifu Ennada said she used to clear her account to sponsor Nigerian rapper, CDQ.

According to the actress, she was 17 at the time and would use the money for her handouts to support CDQ and get him VIP tickets to events.

She also mentioned that she got nothing from him in return.

The rapper took to his Instagram page to respond to the accusations, calling Ifu Ennada a one night stand and a bipolar bitch.

He added that she should meet contact his management for free promo and not say "bullshit" on Live TV.

Ifu Ennada is a Nigerian actress, who has met and interacted with several Nigerian celebrities. During several conversations in the house, she has talked about popular celebrities such as DJ Exclusive, MO Abudu and Katung Aduwak.

 

 

She is currently paired with Leo in the Big Brother Naija house after Biggie dissolved her partnership with Angel.



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Be Proud! 10 things about sex you should never apologise for

There are a lot of things to be sorry about, but not these

Just in case you're wondering which part of your sexuality you should be ashamed of, here are the ones you shouldn't feel bad for.

There are always things that we sometimes feel insecure when it comes to sex, but some of these things have to do with being who you’re sexually, you should never feel bad about these.

According to Julia Pugachevsky, Cosmopolitan, here are some things that you should never be ashamed of

1. How you look naked

 

This is one will affect your self confidence a lot, if you deeply insecure about your body, take steps to correct these but never feel bad about how you look naked. If you feel that bad about it, you can make sure the lights are off. Also make sure that whoever you’re having sex with is crazy about you as much as you’re crazy about them.

2. Having limited libido

You may have read on this platform about how to grow your libido, how to have sex, the best sex positions but bodies are different, it’s okay that you don’t a high sex drive, not everyone can have that and that’s okay as well.

ALSO READ: Check out 4 types of porn you should watch

3. Not wanting to do a sex act

This is for the both sexes, especially for ladies. When a guy wants a sexual act that a lady doesn’t want to do, she is seen as weird like “every girl does this, it’s not a big deal”. Guys can always go on this narrative, but the truth is, if you’re not comfortable doing a sex act, don’t do it.

4. Wanting your orgasm as well

 

The eventual end of sex should be with the orgasm of both people, this is one thing you should always want and never back down on. If he/she is getting theirs then you’ve got to get yours too. It’s a mutual affair.

5. Using lubes

For some reason, a lot of people still think using lubes isn’t good. Not everyone is dripping wet after two minutes of make-out session, if you know lubes do wonders for your sex, go ahead and use it.

6. Telling your partner how you want it

Giving people notes about stuff can sometime mean they’re not doing something well, and can make them feel incapable. You should find out how best your partner can take feedback and give it to them. It’s like looking for something scattering all the house meanwhile someone knows where it is, aren’t you better off just telling where it is, before they destroy the entire thing?

ALSO READ: Who really thinks the most about sex?

7. Being super wet

Earlier, we discussed about how having low sex drive is okay, and if it’s the other way round as well, it’s cool too. In fact, if you’re encountering a lady who is super wet, as in dripping wet, consider yourself lucky, have a good time.

8. Using a vibrator

 

It’s all in service of achieving orgasm, isn’t it? So how about bringing everything that helps you get there into bed. If you’re one of those people who need external stimulation during sex, then don’t be ashamed to bring in the vibrator in. Guys need to know the vibrator isn’t the competition.

9. Watching porn

So, this is still frowned upon by a lot of people despite being in 2018. If you’re into watching porn, then you shouldn’t be ashamed of it, just need to be able to keep it under check before it becomes an addiction.

ALSO READ: Top 5 sex positions that guarantees unlimited spanking

10. Catching feelings from a fling

Well, this is bound to happen, because there was an attraction in place before you decided to have the fling. Never be ashamed that you are beginning to like the person more, it’s how your body hormones work. During sex, the body releases chemicals that makes us more intimate.



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Finance: Angry Brits keep reporting KFC to the police because its stores ran out of chicken

A closed sign hangs outside a KFC restaurant in Coalville, England.

KFC shut about 80% of its stores across the UK because it wasn't getting enough chicken deliveries.

  • Hundreds of KFC stores in the UK remain shut days after the company experienced a nationwide chicken shortage.
  • New distributors working for KFC have been unable to get enough chicken to 750 of the 900 KFCs in Britain.
  • Outraged customers have been calling police and members of parliament to complain.
  • In response, officers suggested that closed chicken shops are not their problem.


Angry chicken fans in Britain have been reporting KFC to the police because hundreds of their stores ran out of chicken.

As many as 450 branches across the UK are shut for a fourth day after a change of distributors led to a nationwide chicken shortage for the company.

Others are open with severely limited menus, including one restaurant in Bristol which could only offer BBQ beans, lettuce and popcorn chicken.

Police forces in Tower Hamlets, London, and Whitefield, Manchester, have tweeted their frustration at being dragged into KFC's crisis, which they explained was not an issue for them.

Tower Hamlets MPS said: "It is not a police matter if your favourite eatery is not serving the menu that you desire."

Some frustrated customers have also been contacting their members of parliament in hope of a political solution.

Neil Coyle, an MP for Bermondsey and Old Southwark in south London, wrote on Monday:

The Telegraph and The Times also reported Luke Pollard, an MP for Plymouth, Sutton and Devonport in south England, as tweeting: "Have had my first person get in touch to ask what’s happening with #KFC . . . and the answer is, I don’t know (yet)."

Pollard appears to have deleted the tweet in question.

KFC swapped deliverers from Bidvest Group to DHL last week, causing what the fried-chicken empire described as "teething problems" which have crippled its ability to operate.

DHL has one distribution depot in Rugby, central England, while Bidvest had several around the country, according to the trades union GMB, which represents slighted Bidvest employees.

The map below shows the distance lorries have to travel from DHL's Rugby depot to KFC outposts as far away as northern Scotland and the southwestern tip of England.

KFC tweeted on Tuesday evening that "over half" of its stores around the country have reopened, and that "our teams are working flat out to open the rest."

It also told BBC that, despite its efforts, some will remain shut for the rest of the week.

The company also has a designated web page where people can find their nearest open outlet.

"Equilibrium will soon be restored," the company said.

On Wednesday, the BBC posted a video of at least seven lorries waiting outside DHL's depot in Rugby.

DHL blamed the chicken shortage on "operational issues," and said that it was working to "rectify the situation as a priority."

London's Metropolitan Police told Business Insider in a statement: "The Met's call centres currently receive more than 14,500 calls every weekday.

"The Met is continuing its drive — including the use of its social media channels - to reduce improper use of the 999 and 101 numbers."



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World: Trump tries to shift blame to Obama for not countering Russian meddling

US President Donald Trump came out in support for a ban on "bump stocks" which turn a semi-automatic weapon into an automatic one

President Donald Trump, who spent months belittling charges that Russia meddled in the 2016 election, has managed to revive questions about how his predecessor, President Barack Obama, handled suspicions about Russia in the months before the election.

Some former Obama officials now confess to misgivings about Obama’s reluctance to act, or speak out more forcefully, even as the evidence piled up during the spring and summer of 2016 that the Russians had hacked the Democratic National Committee and were behind the leak of damaging emails about Hillary Clinton.

Yet the officials say the indictment last week of 13 Russians by the special counsel, Robert Mueller, does not suggest that Obama could have prevented the Russian campaign. The evidence uncovered in this phase of the investigation, they noted, is about Russia’s information warfare, not its hacking, and the government does not control what flows into the social media accounts of U.S. citizens.

“If there was a problem, it was that the government didn’t have any levers to pull in this space,” said Benjamin J. Rhodes, a former deputy national security adviser and one of Obama’s closest aides. “The U.S. government isn’t designed to guard against the manipulation of every individual American’s Facebook feed and Twitter feed.”

“So it comes back to one question,” Rhodes added. “Could he have talked about it more?”

The issue with Obama doing that, he said, is that Trump would have accused him of trying to rig the election — a charge he was already energetically airing in October 2016 when Obama told him to “stop whining and go try to make his case” to win more votes than Clinton.

On Tuesday, Trump seized on Obama’s comments, which he made at a Rose Garden news conference a month before the election and which was recycled this week by one of Trump’s favorite news shows, “Fox & Friends,” as evidence that the former president did not confront allegations of Russian hacking.

“That’s because he thought Crooked Hillary was going to win and he didn’t want to ‘rock the boat,'” Trump wrote on Twitter. “When I easily won the Electoral College, the whole game changed and the Russian excuse became the narrative of the Dems.”

The White House press secretary, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, insisted that Trump would not tolerate Russian interference in elections. Such meddling, she said, occurred during the previous administration. Trump himself tweeted, “I have been much tougher on Russia than Obama, just look at the facts.”

The facts suggest otherwise, which made Trump’s latest attack on Obama seem disingenuous. Trump has dismissed Russia’s interference in the election as a hoax, asserting that it could have been carried out by China, a guy from New Jersey or “somebody sitting on their bed who weighs 400 pounds.” He said President Vladimir Putin denied that Russia was involved and that he was inclined to believe him.

Trump’s initial response to Mueller’s indictment was to declare that it exonerated him, since it did not claim that he or Trump campaign officials knowingly met with Russian agents about the social media campaign. But as he spent a three-day weekend mulling the disclosures, the president grew angry, aides said.

On Saturday, Trump rebuked his national security adviser, Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster, for failing to assert, during a visit to a security conference in Munich, that Russia’s interference had no effect on the outcome of the election. He also went after Obama, declaring, “Obama was President, knew of the threat, and did nothing.”

The next day, he tweeted, “Obama was President up to, and beyond, the 2016 Election. So why didn’t he do something about Russian meddling?”

In fact, Obama personally issued a warning to Putin in September not to tamper in the election — a warning the administration repeated a few weeks later. On Oct. 7, his administration formally accused Russia of stealing and leaking emails from the Democratic National Committee and a range of other institutions and individuals.

Obama, his former aides said, had hoped that the announcement, by the director of national intelligence, James Clapper, and the Department of Homeland Security, would follow a bipartisan statement by congressional leaders about the need for state and local authorities to guard their voter-registration and balloting machines from Russian hacking.

The White House provided an intelligence briefing to the lawmakers, including Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis. and the House speaker, and Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky. and the Senate majority leader. But McConnell, two former officials said, refused to back a statement publicly challenging Russia and told Obama that he would view an effort by the White House to do that as partisan.

Don Stewart, a spokesman for McConnell, said the White House asked him to sign a letter warning about the threat of cyberattacks, and he did so. But that letter did not name Russia and only spoke generally about the threat to the electoral process.

Other Republican senators faulted the Obama administration Tuesday for failing to warn officials in 21 states where intelligence agencies had detected efforts by the Russians to probe voting machines that they were at risk of being infiltrated. In some cases, officials in those states were not cleared to be briefed on the intelligence.

“I am very concerned that the Obama administration did so little,” said Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine. She added, referring to the FBI director at the time, “They were aware — the intelligence community leaders were fully aware, whether it was Jim Clapper or James Comey, that the Russians were attempting to interfere in our elections — and they put out that brief statement before the election.”

Sen. James Lankford, R-Okla., said that even after Obama formally named Russia, the administration declined to declassify information related to meddling by the Kremlin. “I’m not sure why they continued to sit on that information,” he said.

Some former administration officials said they pushed for the United States to take pre-emptive or deterrent measures against Russia in the summer of 2016. But the White House was reluctant, in part because the intelligence agencies had not reached a consensus about who was responsible for the hacking. There were also concerns about Russia retaliating and whether the United States should use similar tactics.

Looming over all this was Obama’s worry that if he spoke out strongly, he would be viewed as trying to tilt the vote.

“He really did feel, in September and October of an election year, as the head of the Democratic Party, that his role in adjudicating the information Americans received should be limited,” Rhodes said. “If he had ratcheted up that rhetoric, we would have seen exactly what we see today. It would have been called fake news.”

This article originally appeared in The New York Times.

MARK LANDLER © 2018 The New York Times



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Financial Tips: Ways to stop overspending

Ways to stop overspending

Here are ways to stop overspending.

Overspending can leave you broke. You need to find ways to stop overspending.

Sometimes you spend without knowing you have spent so much. This could leave you in a bad financial state.

Here are ways to stop overspending.

1. Check your financial status

After overspending, the first thing is to check your financial status. You should know how much you overspent.

 

Checking your financial status would give you an idea how much is left of your income and also an idea of other bills and expenses you need to sort before the month ends.

It helps to know if your remaining income can cover it all.

2. Review and adjust your budget

You would need to review and adjust your budget after overspending if you always have an overspending issue, to avoid such situations in the future.

You will need to carefully take your time to review your monthly budget and find ways you can adjust it. If you always have the issue of overspending.

ALSO READ: How to track your expenses

Look for categories in your budget you tend to overspend more and try re-adjusting and cutting down on your expenses on them.

3. Create and use an emergency fund

This is why it is important to have an emergency fund. Though overspending is not an emergency, it can help you after overspending, which is better than going into debt.

 

You shouldn’t always resort to your emergency fund at first, it should be your last resort when there is no other option for you, but you need to make sure you build up your emergency fund again.

Also note that after overspending, don’t think your emergency fund will help you out. This mindset won’t help your emergency fund. 

4. Take money from other categories

Cover for you overspending by taking money from other categories you can do without to other important categories you will definitely need to sustain yourself throughout the month.

ALSO READ: Possible signs you don't earn enough cash

Do this by checking your budget for categories you can always do without and add them to the important categories in your budget.

5. Create a simple bare-bones budget

If you still have an issue adjusting after you have overspent, then you might need to create a bare-bones budget for the rest of the month.

This would help limit your expenses asides your basic needs and also helping you save more on other expenses.

It might look like a hard way of survival but you need it to cover your overspending.



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Impressive Gallery: Abu Dhabi launches drive-by art gallery on highway

Louvre Abu Dhabi has launched a billboard gallery that spans 100km of the Dubai-Abu Dhabi highway

Courtesy of Louvre Abu Dhabi and Abu Dhabi Media, the Highway Gallery has launched on billboards along the busy highway in celebration of the UAE Innovation Month.

The drive along E11/Sheikh Zayed Road between Abu Dhabi and Dubai is now an art gallery.

The highway has become more interesting for tourist and citizens now that a drive-by art gallery has popped up there. Courtesy of Louvre Abu Dhabi and Abu Dhabi Media, the Highway Gallery has launched on billboards along the busy highway in celebration of the UAE Innovation Month.

 

The 9 x 6-metre billboards show artworks from Louvre Abu Dhabi at 10km intervals on the E11 road. Cars pass a trigger a few metres before they encounter the billboard. If the car radio is tuned to any of the three radio stations partnering on the project Radio 1 FM (100.5 FM), Classic FM (91.6 FM) or Emarat FM (95.8 FM) a 30-second audio explanation on the artwork written by Louvre Abu Dhabi curators plays on the radio. This includes the piece’s title, artist, technique, context and description.

The Highway Gallery art initiative is part of the Department of Culture and Tourism and Louvre Abu Dhabi’s wider programme to increase cultural engagement in the Emirate and build an audience for art.

 

It aims to bring local audiences and residents into the museum, and also to reinforce art’s role in elevating everyday life into something beautiful and memorable. Those behind it also feel that the initiative is entertaining and educating for the driver, and for children if they’re in the car.

The artworks on display include Vincent Van Gogh’s Self-Portrait 1887 and La Belle Ferronniere (1495­-1499), the first work by Leonardo da Vinci ever shown in the Emirates.

The Highway Gallery runs until mid-March and can be seen when driving from Dubai to Abu Dhabi on the E11/Sheikh Zayed Road.



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Youtube: Deola shows us how to achieve a full natural-looking afro with clip ins

Deola Adebiyi from Omogemura wearing Natural Hair clip ins

Deola Adebiyi from Omogemura shows us how to get a full faux fro for all-important versatility when it comes to natural hair

Having natural hair is great but lack of versatility can be frustrating. Sometimes it's nice to have the option of switching up the look, especially when it comes to length. Deola Adebiyi from Omogemura shows us how to achieve a full and natural-looking afro with clip ins.

Once upon a time, finding hair to blend with our natural hair would have been a herculean task but thanks to representation in the beauty industry and vendors understanding the demand from naturalistas, there are a wealth of options including easy-to-use clip ins.

Easily blended with ones hair, clip ins can take you from mini fro to Foxy Brown in a matter of seconds and they are easy to maintain. Use these tips below to care for your extensions and watch Deola show you just how easy they are to install.

Protective styling never looked SO good!

Detangle the hair frequently

Detangle, detangle, detangle! if need be, do it nightly. Even though your extension might be virgin hair, because this hair has been highly processed to mimic “natural” afro and kinkier textures, it WILL get tangled.

You will want to gently comb and detangle hair just as you would your own hair from ends to roots using a large tooth comb when wet/damp. We all know that curly hair is more manageable when damp so this is the best time to detangle; also, gently detangling while damp will significantly reduce the risk of snapping coils vs. when dry.

At bedtime detangle and braid or two strand twist hair in 4 sections and wrap hair with a silk scarf to avoid additional tangling, if you’re wearing clip-ins, remove the clips and spritz lightly with water and conditioner mix and detangle; in the morning you’ll be good to go.

ALSO READ: Why the film was natural hair goals and talking to the woman responsible for it all

Wash and co-wash your extensions regularly

Co-washing your extensions can bring life back to dry, thirsty looking extensions. Learn to co-wash weekly and  in-between co-washes it’s always good to give the hair a shampoo to remove any dust or dirt particles, product build up, as well as air pollutants that may have attached to your hair.

Use a sulfate-free shampoo that will not strip and dry out the hair. Always deep condition the hair thoroughly after shampooing and after conditioning, use a small amount of oil on the hair when wet which will help to further seal in moisture.

Use the LOC method

The Liquid (or leave-in conditioner), oil and cream method s a curly hair girl’s saviour for moisture. Spritz extensions daily or when needed with a water & leave-in conditioner mix, as well as apply water-based hair lotions, anti-frizz creams, curly hair puddings /milks or curly hair custards to the hair, then finally, add oils (to lock in moisture).

Be generous with the moisturisers and creams, just like your own hair, natural hair extensions love moisture!

ALSO READ: Struggling to style your natural hair? Try one of these

 

 



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World: Misery mounts as Syria shells rebel enclave

Misery mounts as Syria shells rebel enclave

The Syrian government, seizing on a chance to reclaim territory lost in its ever-escalating civil war, has loosed a devastating bombardment on a rebel-held Damascus suburb, killing at least 200 people, many of them children, aid workers said Tuesday.

Syrian officials vowed to show no quarter as they moved to wipe out rebels in the suburb of eastern Ghouta, with the assault this week ranking as the deadliest there in years.

“I promise, I will teach them a lesson, in combat and in fire,” Brig. Gen. Suheil al-Hassan, leader of the government’s Tiger Force, said in a video shared by pro-government social media accounts. “You won’t find a rescuer. And if you do, you will be rescued with water like boiling oil. You’ll be rescued with blood.”

Residents and emergency medical workers in eastern Ghouta posted a cascade of heart-rending images: a family with five children pulled dead from the rubble; families huddled in basements and dugout shelters; an ambulance crew loading a patient, then fleeing moments before an explosion hits.

“We might die any moment,” Tareq al-Dimashqi, who lives in the area with his wife and a 5-month-old, said in an interview. “You don’t know where the rockets might come from and end our lives.”

The government, backed by its Russian and Iranian allies, is making clear its determination to reduce its losses. Even as it bombarded the Ghouta area, pro-government militias in the north of the country advanced toward the Kurdish enclave Afrin.

Those forces were trying to join Kurdish militias defending Afrin from Turkish troops who crossed the border and were advancing from the north. They retreated after Turkish jets and artillery bombarded them, the Turkish government said.

The government’s move to support the Kurds threatened to unravel months of diplomatic efforts by Russia, Turkey and Iran to de-escalate the conflict. It also signaled a new phase of the war with a greater potential for military engagements between other countries with a stake in the outcome, among them Turkey, Iran and the United States.

In the Ghouta area, Monday was the deadliest day in three years, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a British-based war monitoring group. The Union of Medical Care and Relief Organizations put the two-day death toll at 200 or more.

Eastern Ghouta, a cluster of concrete-block towns and farmland with an estimated population of nearly 400,000, is one of the last major areas held by insurgents fighting the government of President Bashar Assad. Rebels based there periodically shell government-held neighborhoods of Damascus.

As the government airstrikes have stepped up, so has the rebel shelling. On Tuesday, an additional 12 people were killed and dozens were wounded.

Five medical facilities in rebel-held eastern Ghouta were damaged in government attacks overnight, and several medical workers were killed, according to doctors working at hospitals supported by the Syrian American Medical Society.

“Such targeting of innocent civilians and infrastructure must stop now,” Panos Moumtzis, the U.N. regional humanitarian coordinator for the Syria crisis, said in a statement.

The Syrian government and Russia have escalated an aerial campaign to subdue the rebel-held area, which has been besieged for years. And pro-government forces were gathering nearby for a possible ground assault. Hassan’s video showed military vehicles said to be massing nearby.

Residents described the events as more like an all-out attack on civilians and infrastructure to force a surrender, a tactic used in previous battles across Syria. The government claims that there are few civilians in eastern Ghouta and that those who remain are being held as human shields.

“We are still alive, we can’t walk outside the house, even a few meters,” Dimashqi said.

Referring to his daughter, whom he calls Loulou, after 1950s actress Gina Lollobrigida, he said, “I have only this baby, and we can’t find food for her.”

“We have no other choice except resisting until the last moment,” he said. “Death and life became equal to me.”

Many in eastern Ghouta have been hiding in shelters. Shadi Jad, the father of a 3-week-old, said the infant had not seen the sun or breathed fresh air in 48 hours.

“We have a small window in our shelter,” he said. “I bring him close to the window just for seconds, to get some warmth from the sunlight.”

Wassim Khatib, a resident reached by video chat, said recent negotiations for hard-line insurgents to leave the area had failed.

Civilians were never allowed to leave,” he said, looking pale and exhausted. “If the regime wanted the civilians to be evacuated, they could have announced that or at least dropped leaflets.”

Until last year, tunnels provided a way for goods and people to enter and leave the besieged suburb, but smuggling fees were always high. Movement has become nearly impossible since government forces took over surrounding territory. Roads were opened briefly, but only government employees were allowed to go back and forth, residents said.

The government-run news agency Sana said that reports of an escalation in eastern Ghouta were “lies, deception and fabrications” used by “terrorist organizations and their sponsors within capital cities conspiring against Syrians.”

Moumtzis of the United Nations called on all parties to “strictly adhere to their obligations under international humanitarian law to take all feasible measures to protect civilians from harm, including the prohibition on launching of indiscriminate attacks and principles of proportionality and precautions.”

“The humanitarian situation of civilians in East Ghouta is spiraling out of control,” he said. “It’s imperative to end this senseless human suffering now.”

No Syrian government forces were involved in the assault on Afrin, but the attack drew a sharp rebuke from Turkey, which fired an artillery barrage at the advancing militia forces. The militias appeared to have halted their advance in the face of Turkish bombardment.

People’s militias, a mixture of pro-government tribal volunteers from eastern Syria and Shiite groups from northern Syria supported by Iran, were shown on Syrian state television crossing the administrative border of Afrin. Dozens of vehicles passed, loaded with fighters making victory signs and flying government flags.

One government supporter filmed what he said were Turkish spotter planes and black plumes of smoke rising in the distance from artillery bombardment.

The advance by pro-government forces into Afrin came after a Kurdish official announced an agreement had been made for the Syrian government to support the Kurdish militias in Afrin against advancing Turkish forces.

Yet Turkey seemed to have been surprised by the agreement and the swift advance of the pro-government militias and fired artillery strikes to stop their advance Tuesday.

Turkey’s president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, said the government advance on Afrin was halted after he spoke with President Vladimir Putin of Russia by telephone Monday. He also spoke with Iran’s president, Hassan Rouhani. Erdogan announced that the military operations against Afrin would continue, partly so that hundreds of thousands of Syrian refugees in Turkey could return home.

“We haven’t gone there to burn down what comes in front of us,” Erdogan said in a speech to his party’s lawmakers at the Parliament. “We entered there to make it a safe, livable place for those hundreds thousands of people who still live in our country.”

“In the following days, the siege of Afrin will take place more swiftly,” he added.

This article originally appeared in The New York Times.

ANNE BARNARD and CARLOTTA GALL © 2018 The New York Times



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Herdsmen Crisis: Police arrest mastermind of Benue attacks in Nasarawa

Police arrest mastermind of Benue herdsmen attacks in Nasarawa

The 40-year-old was arrested with three other gang members in Nasarawa.

The Police Intelligence Response Team (IRT) has arrested the mastermind behind recent deadly attacks by herdsmen in Benue State that has led to the death of at least 73 people.

According to a report by Vanguard, a senior police source attached to the unit said that the ringleader, identified as Alhaji Laggi, was arrested in Tunga town, Nasarawa State.

The 40-year-old was arrested with three other gang members, Mumini Abdullahi, Muhammed Adamu, and Ibrahim Sule.

The suspects have reportedly confessed to being behind the killings and that of a few police officers since the crisis started in January 2018.

The source said, "In line with the directives of the Inspector General, Ibrahim Idris, on the arrest of all persons involved in the killings in Benue State and those in possession of AK-47 rifles and other prohibited arms, four principal suspects were arrested in Tunga town, Nasarawa State,  between February 16 and 19 by IRT in connection with the killing of Sergeant Solomon Dung and other Police officers and many innocent citizens in Benue State.

"They are Alhaji Laggi, 40, mastermind and gang leader of the herdsmen group; Mallam Mumini Abdullahi, 34; Muhammed Adamu, 30, and Ibrahim Sule, 32.

"They have confessed to the killings and mentioned other gang members in possession of the Police rifles they took from the slain officers as well as others in possession of arms.

"Security agents have commenced follow-up operations in Benue, Taraba and Nasarawa states.

"The DIG Operations, who is heading the operations, has spoken more on behalf of the Inspector General of Police on the investigation."

24 suspects arrested

The Benue State Commissioner of Police, Fatai Owoseni, had previously reported on February 1 that 24 suspects have been arrested in connection to the several violent attacks.

He said, "A total number of 24 suspects that have been arrested in connection with some of these cases which bordered on culpable homicide, grievous hurt, and mischief by fire, the total number is 24. The number that have been arraigned in court are 19 while five of the cases are still being investigated and pending conclusion to be charged to court."

Benue attacks

In attacks allegedly carried out by Fulani herdsmen in Guma and Logo Local Government Area of Benue between Sunday, December 31, 2017, and Tuesday, January 2, 2018, 50 people were reportedly killed.

11 other people were killed in a fresh attack on Tombu village of Logo LGA, again by suspected Fulani herdsmen, on Saturday, January 6.

The bodies of 73 men, women and children were buried at a mass burial ceremony organised by the state government on January 11.



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