Friday, 23 February 2018
Global�Corruption Perception Index:
This year’s Corruption Perceptions Index highlights that the majority of countries are making little or no progress in ending corruption, while further analysis shows journalists and activists in corrupt countries risking their lives every day in an effort to speak out.The index, which ranks 180 countries and territories by their perceived levels of public sector corruption according to experts and businesspeople, uses a scale of 0 to 100, where 0 is highly corrupt and 100 is very clean. This year, the index found that more than two-thirds of countries score below 50, with an average score of 43. Unfortunately, compared to recent years, this poor performance is nothing new.This year, New Zealand and Denmark rank highest with scores of 89 and 88 respectively. Syria, South Sudan and Somalia rank lowest with scores of 14, 12 and 9 respectively. The best performing region is Western Europe with an average score of 66. The worst performing regions are Sub-Saharan Africa (average score 32) and Eastern Europe and Central Asia (average score 34).
India doctors remove world's 'largest brain tumour':
Doctors in India who have removed a 1.8kg (2.2lbs) brain tumour from a 31-year-old man say it could be the largest in the world. The surgery, which lasted seven hours, took place on 14 February at the Nair hospital in the western city of Mumbai. But the procedure was not made public as doctors were not sure until now if it had been successful. "Now it's a matter of recovery but he's out of danger", Dr Trimurti Nadkarni, chief of neurosurgery, told the BBC. Santlal Pal, a shopkeeper from the northern state of Uttar Pradesh, had been living with the tumour for three years before his surgery was carried out. Doctors said Mr Pal had lost his vision because of the tumour but hoped he would regain it as he continued to recover from the operation. His wife told the Hindu newspaper that they had been told by doctors at three different hospitals in Uttar Pradesh that the tumour was inoperable. "Such cases are critical", said Dr Nadkarni, adding that Mr Pal needed 11 units of blood during the operation and after that, he was connected to a ventilator for a few days after the surgery.
Boston Dynamics Gives Another Reason�Robots Will Hate Us:
In one of the scariest moments in the movie Jurassic Park, a pair of intelligent Velociraptors, brought back to Earth by man's hubris, defy an assumption about their limitations: They open a kitchen door. Now imagine that the raptors are real, transformed into headless robot dogs that can negotiate stairs, fling open doors with their robotic claws and generally overcome the puny obstacles offered up by the human technicians at Boston Dynamics. The robotics company posted a video last week, showing two of their yellow SpotMini robots helping each other enter a door. Now the company has released a sequel in which a single 2.5-foot-tall (75 cm robot) robot is controlled by an unseen human driver who directs the robot claw to the door handle and issues a "Go" command.Besides providing nightmare fuel for humankind, and plotlines for the bleak tech world TV show Black Mirror, the robots could also offer more positive benefits. During a natural or human-made disaster, for instance, they could help navigate situations that would otherwise put people in danger.
Ford executive leaves over inappropriate behaviour:
The head of Ford's US operations is leaving the company immediately following an internal investigation into inappropriate behaviour. The carmaker said its inquiry had concluded that some of Raj Nair's conduct had been "inconsistent with the company's code of conduct". Ford did not specify why the investigation was started nor what it uncovered. Mr Nair said in a statement that "I sincerely regret" certain behaviour.Ford President and Chief Executive Jim Hackett said in a statement: "We made this decision after a thorough review and careful consideration. Ford is deeply committed to providing and nurturing a safe and respectful culture and we expect our leaders to fully uphold these values." Mr Nair had been President of Ford North America since 1 July. He was previously head of global product development and chief technical officer. He apologised, without elaborating on the reasons for his going. A spokesman for the US's second-biggest carmaker said the company would not be commenting on the nature of Mr Nair's departure.
Woman credits FaceTime with saving her life after her sister detected signs of a stroke:
Just a week after the Apple Watch aided a mother and son who were involved in a car accident, FaceTime is being credited with helping save a woman's life. As reported by the BBC, a woman was on FaceTime with her sister when she suffered from a stroke. Opokua Kwapong, a New York resident who lives alone, was on a FaceTime video call with her sister Adumea Sapong, who lives in Manchester, when Sapong noticed that something didn't seem right. Sapong explains that Kwapong thought she was "making a fuss," so she decided to reach out to their other sister, who is a doctor. "She thought I was making a fuss so I then conferenced in one of my other sisters, who is a doctor, and she could hear her speaking and could also tell that her speech was slurred. We both told her to call for help straightaway.” Kwapong then hung up and called 911. After hospital scans, she was diagnosed with having a clot on the brain and the stroke has left her paralyzed on her left side.Ms Kwapong, who works as a food scientist, said: “There is no doubt that FaceTime saved my life. If my sister had not noticed that something was not right, then things could have been so different."FaceTime is designed as very straight-forward video and audio calling feature, but as this story exemplifies, even the basic features can be lifesaving.
"Black Panther" Is Also Breaking Box Office Records In Africa:
As you might have heard, Black Panther is a massive, record-breaking box office sensation. Through Monday, the Marvel Studios release has earned $242.2 million domestically, the second-best four-day return ever for a feature film, behind only Star Wars: The Force Awakens.Internationally, Black Panther is also a giant blockbuster, earning $184.6 million through Monday — and that's before the film has premiered in China, Japan, and Russia, three of the biggest markets in the world.The film has become a watershed for movies starring black actors, dismantling the myth in Hollywood that they aren't financially successful internationally. It is also an unprecedented hit for a film set in Africa — in Black Panther's case, the fictional nation of Wakanda, but still emphatically set within the continent.. So it's perhaps not that surprising that Black Panther also broke several box office records in Africa. Disney confirmed to BuzzFeed News that the film earned the third-biggest opening weekend in South Africa (behind 2015's Furious 7 and 2017's The Fate of the Furious), and set new opening weekend records in the film distribution territories of West Africa and East Africa (each consisting of several countries).The amounts of those records are fractions of what Black Panther has earned elsewhere in the world: In South Africa, it was $1.4 million; in West Africa, roughly $400,000, and in East Africa, roughly $300,000.Those figures indicate both how small and how new of a market sub-Saharan Africa remains for Hollywood features. For example, in Nigeria, which features a robust filmmaking industry known as Nollywood, many movies historically premiered either on television or direct to home video, bypassing theatrical distribution entirely. Much like Black Panther's impact elsewhere, however, the film has created a new model for how Hollywood could roll out its feature films in major African markets — and smaller ones, too.
Jennifer Lawrence Offended�by Dress Controversy- "This Is Sexist" :
Earlier this week, the 27-year-old Oscar winner wore a black, plunging Versace Pre-Fall 2018 gown to a photocall for her latest film Red Sparrow in London.Some people on social media criticized her over her outfit, which she wore while posing for photos with her male co-stars, all bundled up in coats amid the near-freezing temperatures."I don't really know where to get started on this 'Jennifer Lawrence wearing a revealing dress in the cold' controversy," she said. "Over-reacting about everything someone says or does, creating controversy over silly innocuous things such as what I choose to wear or not wear, is not moving us forward." Lawrence's femme fatale look at the photocall also corresponds to the persona of her Red Sparrow character; she plays a sexy Russian spy.
Lindsey Vonn’s Dad’s� Brutal Olympic Bronz Medal Smackdown:
To most families, a bronze medal at age 33 - the oldest ever for an alpine skier - would be considered a proud accomplishment, but apparently not to Lindsey Vonn’s father.In an emotional third-place finish in her likely final women’s downhill Wednesday, Vonn fought tears while explaining just how special this medal was to her after finishing behind Italy’s Sofia Goggia and Norway’s Ragnhild Mowinckel. “I wanted to win so much for him,” Vonn, referring to her late grandfather, Don Kildow, said after the race. “But I still think I made him proud. Our family never gives up, and I kept working hard and I’m really proud of this medal. I know he is, too.”Her pride in the event wasn’t replicated by her father, Alan Kildow, who recently reconciled with Vonn after more than a decade of tension and little communication.“It’s great skiing, but it reminds me of something that Buddy Werner used to say,” Kildow told USA Today Sports, referring to a US skier from the 1950s. “He said there’s two places in the race, first and last, and I only want one of them.” Kildow’s criticism of Vonn’s bronze run was centered on her needing to be more aggressive. “Just little, little spots,” he added. “Just not quite risking enough. Not straightening the line out, just the ski was little … not quite carving in some places like it should have. But a great result. A great result.” Speaking after her race, Vonn, who was favoured to win the event, expressed how grateful she was to have her father and family get to see her compete in PyeongChang. Kildow introduced Vonn to the sport at a young age, but the two grew distant after a 22-year-old Vonn married Thomas Vonn in 2007, as outlined in a Sports Illustrated feature. She kept his last name after the couple divorced four years later and, in between then, Vonn won gold in the downhill at the Vancouver Games while Kildow watched from his office in the States.The death of Kildow’s father and Vonn’s grandfather, Don, brought the two emotionally back together last year.
Hearing In Russia Curler Case Cancelled: CAS⚖
The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) said on Thursday that the hearing in the case of Russian curler Alexander Krushelnitsky had been cancelled and that a decision would be made on the basis of written submissions.CAS said the decision to drop the hearing had been made at the request of the International Olympic Committee, the World Curling Federation and the curler.A decision on the case would be published later on Thursday.
Sevilla 0 Manchester United 0: De Gea ensures Mourinho's men stay level:
Monday, 5 February 2018
Egyptian archaeologists discover 4,400-year-old tomb near Cairo:
Egyptian archaeologists are hailing the discovery of a 4,400-year-old tomb near the pyramids outside Cairo. Antiquities Minister Khaled al-Enany told reporters Saturday that the tomb was built for Hetpet, a priestess to Hathor, the goddess of fertility, who assisted women in childbirth, Ireland’s RTE reported. The tomb was discovered during excavation work in Giza's western cemetery by a team of Egyptian archaeologists led by Mostafa Al-Waziri, secretary general of the Supreme Council of Antiquities. The cemetery houses tombs of top officials from the Old Kingdom's Fifth Dynasty (2465-2323 BC), and that several have already been dug up since 1842, according to RTE.
"The tomb has very distinguished wall paintings in a very good conservation condition depicting Hetpet standing in different hunting and fishing scenes or... receiving offerings from her children," the Antiquities Ministry said. Al-Enany said the new tomb includes "a purification basin on which are engraved the name of the tomb's owner and her titles".
Pope declares Feb. 23 world fasting, praying day:
Pope Francis has invited Roman Catholics, all Christians and members of other religions to observe Feb. 23 as a day of prayer, fasting and initiatives for peace. Francis while addressing tens of thousands of people in St. Peter’s Square for his weekly blessing, on Sunday urged everyone to ‘say no’ to violence and conflict. According to him, the appeal is because of the “tragic prolonging” of conflicts around the world.
Feb. 23 is a Friday in the first full week of the Christian season of Lent, during which fasting from food and extra acts of charity are encouraged as a sign of penitence. He said “everyone, in their own consciences, before God, should ask ‘what can I do for peace?’ Surely, we can pray but not only: each one of us can say ‘no’ to violence in their own way, because victories obtained through violence are false victories while working for peace benefits all,” he said.
He specifically invited non-Catholics and non-Christians to join the initiative in any way they saw fit, “but altogether”. Francis said the prayers and fasting should be offered in a particular way for the people of the Democratic Republic of Congo and South Sudan.
Curiosity shows off five-year journey across Mars in one stunning photo:
After 1856 Martian days among blue sunsets, sand dunes and small, lumpy moons, the Mars rover Curiosity sat on the ridge of an ancient lake bed and looked back on its five-year-long journey so far. NASA has released a composite photo of what Curiosity saw in October and, if the rover could breathe, it might gasp.
In one image was its whole story: from the lower slopes of Mount Sharp, where it sat holding its camera, to the spot in the crater floor 17 kilometres distant, where it had touched down five years earlier to great celebration on Earth.
As the most complex NASA instrument ever put on Mars, with its drill, laser and chemistry set, Curiosity has sometimes disappointed those who would mine its data for research. A NASA panel even chastised the robot - or its operators - for doing more sightseeing than science.
Growing number of iPhone X users unable to accept calls, Apple investigating:
The Financial Times today highlights an issue purportedly plaguing a growing number of iPhone X users. The report explains that some users are unable to answer phone calls with their iPhone X because the display does not wake up while the phone is ringing, thus meaning they can’t access the accept and decline buttons…
The report cites a growing number of complaints on Apple’s support forums. Since December, hundreds of iPhone X users have taken to the support forums trying to fix this issue. “Whenever I receive an incoming call in my iPhone X, ringtones start but the display comes in after 6-8 seconds,” a user writes.
At this point, it’s unclear if the issue is software or hardware related. The Financial Times reached out to Apple about the issue and the company reportedly stated it is “looking into these reports” but didn’t offer any insight as to what was causing the problem or when it might be fixed.
Lloyds Bank bans Bitcoin purchases on its credit cards:
Lloyds Banking Group has banned its customers from buying Bitcoin and other crypto-currencies on their credit cards. The ban, starting on Monday, applies to Lloyds Bank, Bank of Scotland, Halifax and MBNA customers. It will not apply to debit cards, only to the banking group's eight million credit card customers.
The move follows a sharp fall in the value of digital currencies, prompting fears about people running up debts. Lloyds is concerned it could end up footing the bill for unpaid debts should the price continue to fall. Explaining the ban, a Lloyds spokeswoman said: "We continually review our products and procedures and this is part of that." Bitcoin ended last week down 30% at $8,291.87 - its worst week since April 2013 and far below the $19,000 it reached last November.
However, the cryptocurrency is still ahead of the $1,000 it was trading at this time last year. Police have warned that digital currencies remain popular among criminals as they can use them to evade traditional money laundering checks and other regulations. Prime Minister Theresa May recently said that action against digital currencies may be required "precisely because of the way they are used, particularly by criminals".
Bryan Cransto to Resign from Signing Autographs:
Actor Bryan Cranston is retiring from giving autographs to fans but selfies are welcome.
The 61-year-old actor said he loves meeting his fans but signing autographs is one thing he "just can't do anymore".
Cranston, however, said he is open to getting clicked with his fans and is willing to oblige them with their requests.
"Friends, after 18 years of signing everything for fans - I'm retiring. Overwhelmed by requests and I just can't do it anymore," Cranston tweeted.
"I love meeting fans and will personalise pix in person, but that's all. Thanks for your understanding. See you on the street - we'll take a selfie!" he added.
Nicole Kidman Spends $7000 on Beauty Treatment Before Red Carpet:
Actress Nicole Kidman indulges in beauty treatment that costs $7,000 before she walks a red carpet. Reportedly, the star is said to maintain her flawless, dewy glow thanks to HD Diamond and Ruby peels, which involve having her face scrubbed with jewels, followed by a lactic peel and a La Prarie White Caviar Illuminating facial, which is designed to diminish age spots.
The 50-year-old star has even tried a "flying ant facial", which costs over $6,000 and uses insect secretions to make the skin glow.
"Nicole's treatments don't come cheap but she knows it's what she has to pay to look as good as possible. She'll happily spend $7,000 as she wants the most advanced treatments and therapists. She's willing to try most things," a source told to media.
No Olympics for Russian:
The International Olympic Committee has said that the Russian athletes and staff who had their life bans for doping lifted last week will not be invited to the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics.The decision was taken after a special panel "unanimously recommended that the IOC not extend an invitation to the Olympic Winter Games Pyeongchang 2018 to the 15 individuals."
"The OAR IG (Olympic Athlete from Russia Implementation Group) confirmed that no additional invitations will be extended to these 15 individuals," the IOC said.
The 15 individuals include 13 athletes and two ex-athletes now working as support staff.
The IOC has barred Russia from the Pyeongchang Olympics, which begin on Friday. However, 169 Russians who have passed strict anti-doping protocols will compete under a neutral flag.
Eagles Stun Patriots For 1st Super Bowl :
The Philadelphia Eagles were underdogs and little was expected from them aginst the defending Super Bowl champions, New England Patriots. But Philadelphia, who embraced their underdog status with some players wearing dog masks throughout the playoffs, stunned New England with a 41-33 victory to cap a remarkable turnaround after finishing last in their division a year ago.
“We’ve been doubted since Day One,” said Eagles tight end Zach Ertz, who caught what proved to be the game-winning touchdown. “This team, no one picked us. We come out here and we’re World Champions.”
The victory set off a wild celebration among the team’s many green-clad supporters who made the trek to chilly Minneapolis while uplifting music from “Rocky” blared through the speakers above a field covered in silver and green confetti.
�Woodland Beats Reavie in Phoenix Open Playoff�
American Gary Woodland parred the first extra hole to beat compatriot Chez Reavie in a Phoenix Open sudden-death playoff on Sunday as two of the lesser-known players on the PGA Tour battled for victory after the big names fluffed their lines. Woodland needed two putts from the fringe at the par-four 18th to clinch victory after Reavie missed a 10-foot par putt at TPC Scottsdale in Arizona.
Earlier, Woodland carded a closing 64 to set the pace on 18-under-par 266, a total that was only matched by Reavie when he birdied the last to sign for a 66. The duo finished three shots clear of countrymen Ollie Schniederjans and Brendan Steele.
Liverpool 2 Tottenham 2: Kane's penalty redemption cancels out Salah stunner
Harry Kane's 100th Premier League goal earned Tottenham a 2-2 draw at Liverpool in a contender for the game of the season, the striker stepping up to snatch a point from the spot in a hugely dramatic match at Anfield. Kane had been denied by Loris Karius from 12 yards shortly after Victor Wanyama's long-range blockbuster cancelled out Mohamed Salah's opener, and Liverpool looked to have snuck a win thanks to the Egyptian's wonderful solo effort in the first minute of stoppage time.
But referee Jon Moss pointed to the spot again when Virgil van Dijk challenged Erik Lamela and Kane stepped up to send Karius the wrong way and give a thrilling contest a fitting climax. Salah had given Liverpool the lead in the third minute, becoming the quickest Reds player to reach 20 Premier League goals, beating club icons including Michael Owen, Luis Suarez and Fernando Torres to the landmark.
But the drama came at the very end, with three goals and a missed penalty all coming in the final 10 minutes. The draw leaves Liverpool in third, two points clear of Spurs, with the race for Champions League qualification heating up over the second half of the campaign.
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