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Two actors die in rehearsal for Mexican TV series
Fri, 17 Jan 2020 23:13:25 GMT
Two actors fell off a bridge and died while working on the TV series "Sin Miedo a la Verdad," Mexican network Televisa announced on Friday.
What Moscow residents think of Putin's power shake-up
Fri, 17 Jan 2020 07:22:39 GMT
Big government announcements in Russia are typically accompanied by simultaneous coverage on the nation's state-run TV channels.
Close call as massive landslide just misses person
Fri, 17 Jan 2020 19:31:49 GMT
Video released by the Protezione Civile Regione Campania shows a person just narrowly miss getting hit by a landslide in Cetara, Italy. Italian officials say the person survived.
China reports weakest growth in 29 years
Fri, 17 Jan 2020 13:32:04 GMT
China's economy grew at its slowest pace in nearly three decades in 2019.
Second person dies from SARS-like virus in China
Fri, 17 Jan 2020 10:47:43 GMT
A second person has died in China from a new virus that has infected dozens of people and put the rest of Asia on alert, Chinese health officials said Thursday.
The world's biggest food company is now making vegan sausages
Fri, 17 Jan 2020 14:13:31 GMT
Nestlé is adding vegan sausages to its lineup of imitation meat products, as the world's largest food company moves to secure its position in the booming market for plant-based foods.
Beyoncé's new clothing line drops and sends the internet into a frenzy
Fri, 17 Jan 2020 22:56:25 GMT
Queen Bey's latest wardrobe arrived a day early and it's already breaking the internet.
Google owner Alphabet is now worth $1 trillion
Thu, 16 Jan 2020 22:40:10 GMT
The exclusive $1 trillion club on Wall Street just got a new member. Shares of Google parent company Alphabet hit a new all-time high Thursday, pushing the company's market value to $1 trillion in the process.
US cities are losing 36 million trees a year. Here's why it matters
Wed, 18 Sep 2019 16:44:32 GMT
If you're looking for a reason to care about tree loss, the nation's latest heat wave might be it. Trees can lower summer daytime temperatures by as much as 10 degrees Fahrenheit, according to a recent study.
Miami's Little Haiti wasn't a target for developers. Until the seas started to rise
Fri, 12 Jul 2019 15:14:00 GMT
How rich people could help save the planet from the climate crisis
Fri, 12 Jul 2019 09:20:40 GMT
Rich people don't just have bigger bank balances and more lavish lifestyles than the rest of us -- they also have bigger carbon footprints.
Lucy Liu on making art to find a sense of belonging
Fri, 29 Nov 2019 01:15:08 GMT
Longtime Harper's Bazaar editor to step down
Thu, 16 Jan 2020 07:15:22 GMT
She had Kate Winslet hang from a Manhattan scaffold, Demi Moore feed a giraffe and Cardi B breathe literal fire.
The one item of clothing in every genius' closet
Tue, 15 Oct 2019 02:35:24 GMT
When the disgraced health entrepreneur Elizabeth Holmes was indicted on fraud charges for her lab-testing company Theranos last year, much of the media discussion rested not on her alleged corporate recklessness and staggering abuses of trust, but on her sartorial choices: black jackets, black slacks, and -- most importantly -- black turtlenecks.
Meghan and Harry waxworks removed
Thu, 09 Jan 2020 17:35:08 GMT
London's Madame Tussauds museum has announced that it has removed the waxworks of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex from its Royal Family set.
Young fashion designers speak their minds
Fri, 10 Jan 2020 13:47:02 GMT
Gender fluidity, social justice and sustainability were all recurring themes at this season's London Fashion Week Men's. Several designers not only presented their sartorial vision, they used the catwalk to share political and social views as well.
'1917': Inside the making of a one-shot masterpiece
Fri, 20 Dec 2019 12:42:30 GMT
When Sam Mendes sent out the script for "1917," his concept was firmly in place: a feature-length war film envisioned as a single shot in real time. It was bold. It was ambitious. It was maybe not taken as seriously as he hoped.
Why you shouldn't feel too guilty about flying
Mon, 13 Jan 2020 09:59:54 GMT
I'm an environmental journalist, and I care tremendously about the climate. I also fly a lot.
What it was like to grow up in Soviet Moldova
Thu, 16 Jan 2020 13:35:33 GMT
For as long as I can remember, I have struggled to explain to people where I'm from.
'Flying whale' enters service at long last
Tue, 14 Jan 2020 18:04:41 GMT
It's finally here.
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Putin's moves leave Russian opposition with few options
Sat, 18 Jan 2020 02:53:22 -0500
Putin's moves leave Russian opposition with few optionsRussian President Vladimir Putin played it differently this time. Instead of openly declaring plans to extend his rule like he did in 2011, Putin proposed constitutional amendments to appear to give more power to Russia's parliament. Putin announced what many see as a strategy for staying in power well past the end of his term in 2024.
China and Myanmar 'stand together' despite Rohingya backlash
Sat, 18 Jan 2020 02:06:53 -0500
China and Myanmar 'stand together' despite Rohingya backlashChina and Myanmar inked dozens of mammoth infrastructure and trade deals after a meeting Saturday between President Xi Jinping and fallen rights icon Aung San Suu Kyi, as Beijing doubles down on its support for a government under fire for its treatment of Rohingya Muslims. The Chinese leader's two-day state visit to Myanmar's purpose-built capital comes as Western investors cast a wide berth around the country due to the Rohingya crisis. A 2017 military crackdown on the Muslim minority, which UN investigators have called genocide, forced some 740,000 people over the border into Bangladesh.
Putin Hunted for Scapegoats and Found Medvedev
Sat, 18 Jan 2020 02:00:41 -0500
Putin Hunted for Scapegoats and Found Medvedev(Bloomberg Opinion) -- When Russian President Vladimir Putin announced a radical overhaul of Russia’s governance system this week, he also ended the Medvedev era. Dmitry Medvedev was, at least formally, Putin’s closest sidekick, the politician with whom the strongman was most willing to share formal power.  Whether or not it’s time for Medvedev’s political obit, his stint near the top of Russia’s so-called power vertical will serve as an example of how the Putin system’s inertia can suffocate the best modernizing intentions.Medvedev abruptly resigned as prime minister on Wednesday, without giving advance notice to members of his government, who also had to tender their resignations. “We as the government must give our country’s president the opportunity to make all the necessary decisions,” Medvedev said, though it wasn’t clear how his continued occupancy of the top cabinet post could get in the way of Putin’s reform. Putin expressed rather tepid gratitude for the prime minister’s service. “Not everything has worked out, but then things never work out completely,” he said. Putin has always avoided firing close, trusted associates, but as prime minister since 2012, Medvedev presided over Russia’s longest run of declining real incomes during Putin’s 20-year rule. The government’s $400 billion “national projects” spending plan, designed to rectify things, hasn’t gotten off to a great start. The new job Putin has offered Medvedev didn’t even exist before — deputy chairman of the Security Council, an advisory body that includes Russia's mighty security chiefs. It’s formally headed by Putin but run by its secretary, former secret police chief Nikolai Patrushev. The council has been described, including by Kremlin propaganda outlets, as the closest Russia has to the Soviet Union's ruling Politburo. So the newly created post, with Putin as the direct supervisor, can be enormously influential — but perhaps not when filled by Medvedev, who has never really commanded the respect of the security bosses in the way Putin does, with his KGB record and training.Medvedev’s move means he isn’t likely to be Putin’s successor as president when the latter's term ends in 2024. Nor will he return to the prime ministerial post, now handed to a supremely skillful technocrat, former tax chief Mikhail Mishustin. His career has been launched on a downward trajectory — something he probably expected. For years, he has appeared bored and morose at official functions, time and again photographed with his eyes closed and seemingly asleep. Opposition politician and anti-corruption activist Alexey Navalny posted one such photo taken as Putin delivered his Wednesday address, tweeting, “Only one thing in Russia is really stable and unshakable — Dmitry Medvedev, asleep during the president’s state of the nation speech.”During a recent award ceremony, Medvedev’s New Year’s greetings included this quotation from Anton Chekhov: “The newer the year, the closer you are to death, the wider your bald spot, the twistier your wrinkles, the older your wife, the more kids you have and the less money.” Some of the incredulous listeners couldn't help but recall Medvedev's most famous quote, his answer to a woman in Russian-annexed Crimea in 2016 who complained that her pension was too low: “There's just no money now. When we find the money, we'll raise pensions. You hang on in there, stay cheerful and healthy.”Medvedev may have been fatigued and depressed lately as his government failed to deliver on Putin's promises of a tangible improvement in living standards, but money isn't something he's lacked himself. During this snowless winter, the vast land plot around his residence in Central Russia is covered with artificial snow. Medvedev has never given a substantive answer to a long video produced by Navalny's team and watched more than 33 million times on YouTube, in which he was accused of accumulating vast wealth while working for the government.Medvedev's approval rating never recovered from that video's release, languishing below 40% in recent months, while Putin's remains close to 70%. Government spending cuts that began in 2015 and lasted through 2018 didn't help, and the government’s decision in June 2018 to raise the retirement age — made by Putin, but often ascribed to Medvedev because of his perceived insensitivity — dealt his popularity an especially crippling blow.The visibly bored, defeated Medvedev at the end of his prime ministership was a far cry from the hopeful, cheerful modernizer who started a four-year presidency in 2008 and charmed U.S. President Barack Obama and his aides into trying a reset of U.S.-Russia relations. Though many Putin opponents — myself included — never believed Medvedev could pursue an independent policy, so-called system liberals, believers in changing the system from within, vested serious hopes in the younger, more polished leader. They believed he could shake off Putin's conservative influence if he ran for a second term in 2012, and that Russia would then gradually become freer both economically and politically.Medvedev tried some promising things. He set up a large innovation center at Skolkovo near Moscow, trying to lure investors and entrepreneurs into a Russian version of Silicon Valley. He started reforms in the self-serving, thoroughly rotten law-enforcement agencies, and he modernized Russia's obsolete armed forces, starting an ambitious reorganization and rearmament. He removed some of the most entrenched, hidebound regional leaders, breaking up the corrupt monopolies that had sprung up around them.But the system liberals’ hopes were probably dashed in March 2011, when Medvedev ordered the Russian representative in the United Nations Security Council to abstain on a resolution authorizing the U.S. and its allies to use force against the regime of Muammar Qaddafi in Libya. Putin publicly criticized his protege for not ordering a "no" vote, likening the Western intervention in Libya to a “medieval crusade." In his book, “From Cold War to Hot Peace," Michael McFaul, former U.S. ambassador to Russia and a believer in Medvedev's liberal intentions, wrote that “U.S. military intervention in Libya, which helped topple Qaddafi, also inadvertently might have helped remove Medvedev from power in Russia."In September 2011, Putin and Medvedev announced they intended to switch jobs the following year, a development that bitterly disappointed the system liberals. Protests against a rigged parliamentary election, which broke out less than three months later, only served to convince Putin that the West was trying to undermine him and empower Medvedev instead. But, perhaps out of a sense of loyalty toward his temporary successor who hadn't tried to cling to power, Putin made no attempt to replace Medvedev as prime minister.The latter never really raised his head again. He avoided making major decisions or advocating big reforms; the cabinet ministers learned they needed Putin's approval for anything remotely controversial. In a way, that helped Russia build a protective economic wall after Putin annexed Crimea and, simultaneously, the oil price crashed in 2014. Amid Western sanctions and a tightening hold of Putin's cronies and enforcers on the economy, Russia's generally competent economic managers could only cut spending to insulate the budget from external shocks — and accumulate international reserves every time the price of oil edged up. Medvedev's tenure ended with these reserves at $554 billion, near the 2008 historic high of $569 billion.Putin's patience was sorely tested. Busy with geopolitical chess and with finding ways to retain power after 2024, he clearly wanted his hands free from domestic economic management. He wanted to set goals and let someone else get to them. Time after time, he told Medvedev that he wanted "results.” They failed to materialize.Meanwhile, Medvedev's work as the formal leader of the Kremlin's loyalist party, United Russia, also proved insufficient. The party's support melted away, and its legislative majorities and governorships have had to be obtained with increasing rigging efforts and administrative pressure. In December, only 29% of Russians were willing to cast a vote for United Russia in a national election, a threat to its parliamentary majority even in an unfair system. Putin needs a stronger party behind him post-2024, and an effort to build one on the basis of his broad support network, the United People's Front — or to reform United Russia — is to be expected.Putin’s legendary personal loyalty stretched far enough not to send Medvedev, who is only 54, into retirement. But then, it was Putin himself who backpedaled in 2011 instead of letting Medvedev pursue his cautiously reformist course. It was Putin who created a system that paralyzed any kind of economic liberalization and who launched Russia on military adventures that limited its ability to develop trade. Putin, who gave Medvedev the exhilarating hope of building a more modern Russia, then quickly took it away, leaving his former successor with little except the luxurious lifestyle enjoyed by the Russian elite.It was Putin's country to give and to take back.To contact the author of this story: Leonid Bershidsky at lbershidsky@bloomberg.netTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Tobin Harshaw at tharshaw@bloomberg.netThis column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of Bloomberg LP and its owners.Leonid Bershidsky is Bloomberg Opinion's Europe columnist. He was the founding editor of the Russian business daily Vedomosti and founded the opinion website Slon.ru.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinionSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.
Dominica Is the Fastest Growing Economy in Latin America and the Caribbean Region Thanks to Booming Tourism and Citizenship by Investment, UN ECLAC Report Finds
Fri, 17 Jan 2020 23:00:00 -0500
Dominica Is the Fastest Growing Economy in Latin America and the Caribbean Region Thanks to Booming Tourism and Citizenship by Investment, UN ECLAC Report FindsA new report by the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) from the United Nations indicates that the Commonwealth of Dominica was the fastest growing economy in the entire Latin America and the Caribbean region in 2019. The island's GDP is said to have jumped up by 9%, attributed to Citizenship by Investment (CBI), soaring tourism numbers and public sector construction.
Iran's supreme leader says Europe 'cannot be trusted' in rare Friday prayers address
Fri, 17 Jan 2020 22:41:12 -0500
Iran's supreme leader says Europe 'cannot be trusted' in rare Friday prayers addressIran's Supreme Leader, in his first sermon in eight years, said yesterday that Britain and other European states who were party to a nuclear pact were “American lackeys” who "cannot be trusted". Ayatollah Ali Khamenei told thousands of worshippers gathered in Tehran that the UK, France and Germany were “weak”, after the co-signatories to the 2015 accord triggered a formal dispute mechanism in the agreement, which could lead to UN sanctions being reimposed. Iran has gradually scaled back its commitments under the pact in retaliation to US’s withdrawal in 2018 and its reimposition of sanctions that have crippled the country's economy. “I told you after US withdrawal that the E3 are just paying lip service, and telling lies,” he said. "I said I don't trust them. Now you see they're just pawns of the US. They're trying to bring Iran to its knees. US, which was your master, failed to do so, let alone you tiny ones.” Donald Trump responded on Twitter on Friday night, telling Khamenei to be “very careful with his words”. Iranians shout slogans against the government after a vigil held for the victims of the airplane of Ukrainian International Airlines  Credit: Anadolu “The so-called ‘Supreme Leader’ of Iran, who has not been so Supreme lately, had some nasty things to say about the United States and Europe,” Trump said. “Their economy is crashing, and their people are suffering. He should be very careful with his words!” Trump went on to urge Iran leaders to "abandon terror" and "Make Iran Great Again". The US has threatened to impose a 25 percent tariff on imports of European cars if EU governments continue to back the nuclear deal, according to German Defence Minister Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer. Khamenei, who has held the country’s top office since 1989 and has the final say on all major decisions, addressed the nation following the US killing of celebrated Revolutionary Guard general Qassim Soleimani. Leading Friday prayers in the capital, which the ayatollah last did in 2012, is a symbolically significant act usually reserved for times when Iran's highest authority wishes to deliver an important message. Striking a defiant tone, he said Mr Trump was a “clown” who pretended to support the Iranian people but would push a poisonous dagger into their backs. He also accused Iran's "enemies", a term that usually refers to Washington and its allies, of trying to use Iran's accidental shooting down of a Ukrainian airliner to overshadow a public show of grief following the death of Soleimani. He called the accidental downing of a Ukrainian airliner a "bitter" tragedy on Friday but said it should not overshadow the "sacrifice" of a top commander killed in a US drone strike. "The plane crash was a bitter accident, it burned through our heart," Khamenei said. "But some tried to... portray it in a way to forget the great martyrdom and sacrifice" of Major General Soleimani, the head of the foreign operations arm of Iran's Revolutionary Guards. "Our enemies were as happy about the plane crash as we were sad ... happy that they found something to question the Guards, the armed forces, the system." Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei leading the main weekly Muslim prayers in Tehran. Credit: AFP Iran admitted last week it accidentally downed a Ukrainian airliner when it was high alert after strikes against US targets in Iraq in retaliation for Soleimani's killing. The tragedy killed 176 people, most of them Iranians and Canadians. Many Iranians in exile noted that Khameini did not offer any condolences to the victims of the crash, which they said showed a lack of respect. Praising Soleimani, Khamenei said his actions beyond Iran's borders were in the service of the "security" of the nation and that the people are in favour of "firmness" and "resistance" in the face of enemies. "The few hundred who insulted the picture of General Soleimani, are they the people of Iran? Or this million-strong crowd in the streets?" he said in an apparent reference to the reported tearing down of a portrait of the dead commander by protesters in Tehran a few days after hundreds of thousands turned out for his funeral.
Scientists seek rare species survivors amid Australia flames
Fri, 17 Jan 2020 22:01:35 -0500
Scientists seek rare species survivors amid Australia flamesAustralia’s unprecedented wildfires season has so far charred 40,000 square miles (104,000 square kilometers) of brushland, rainforests, and national parks — killing by one estimate more than a billion wild animals. Where flames have subsided, biologists are starting to look for survivors, hoping they may find enough left of some rare and endangered species to rebuild populations. “I don’t think we’ve seen a single event in Australia that has destroyed so much habita t and pushed so many creatures to the very brink of extinction,” said Kingsley Dixon, an ecologist at Curtin University in Perth.
North Korea’s Economy Expanded 1.8% in 2019, UNCTAD Says
Fri, 17 Jan 2020 21:21:23 -0500
North Korea’s Economy Expanded 1.8% in 2019, UNCTAD Says(Bloomberg) -- North Korea’s economy expanded in 2019 for the first time in three years, and is forecast to accelerate in 2020, according to the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development.Gross domestic product increased an estimated 1.8% last year, compared with a 4.2% contraction in 2018, UNCTAD said in a report released Thursday, which didn’t elaborate on the data. It predicted growth of 2.2% this year, and 2.8% in 2021.North Korea’s isolation, secrecy and dearth of official statistics make estimates difficult. Its downturn in 2018 was the worst performance since 1997 when a series of droughts, floods and botched economic policies caused a deadly famine, according to South Korea’s central bank.Still, the nation continues to strive amid crushing economic sanctions. Its state-run media said earlier this month the country doesn’t intend to trade its nuclear weapons for a lift of sanctions.To contact the reporter on this story: Hooyeon Kim in Seoul at hkim592@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Shamim Adam at sadam2@bloomberg.net, Reed StevensonFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.
Rollback proposed for Michelle Obama school lunch guidelines
Fri, 17 Jan 2020 20:28:16 -0500
Rollback proposed for Michelle Obama school lunch guidelinesThe Trump administration on Friday took another step toward dismantling Michelle Obama's school nutrition guidelines, proposing a new rule that could lead to more pizza and fries and less fruit and a smaller variety of vegetables on school menus. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue, who announced the rule changes on Obama’s birthday, said they were needed to give schools more flexibility and reduce waste while still providing nutritious and appetizing meals. “What a shameless, embarrassing capitulation to lobbyists at the expense of American children and their well-being,” said Sam Kass, who served as executive director of Obama's “Let's Move" campaign to combat child obesity.
UN chief urges Haitians to resist escalation at quake event
Fri, 17 Jan 2020 19:14:18 -0500
UN chief urges Haitians to resist escalation at quake eventThe U.N. chief told about 200 staff members and diplomats at U.N. headquarters that “insecurity and slow economic growth are contributing to rising social tensions and a deteriorating humanitarian situation” in Haiti.
Louisiana, Alaskan tribes file UN climate change complaint
Fri, 17 Jan 2020 19:05:16 -0500
Louisiana, Alaskan tribes file UN climate change complaintFour coastal Louisiana tribes and one in Alaska that say the U.S. government violated their human rights by failing to take action on climate change have submitted a formal complaint to the United Nations in Switzerland. Sea-level rise and coastal erosion are drowning tribal burial sites in South Louisiana, according to the complaint. Continued land loss further threatens the tribes' source of food, said Shirell Parfait-Dardar, chief of the Grand Caillou and Dulac Band of Biloxi-Chitimacha-Choctaw Indians.
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