Category Archives: Foreign News

Critic’s Notebook: The Liberating Power of the ‘Parasite’ Oscar Win


The awards season success of the film was not only a triumph for South Korea and foreign cinema at large — it was also a kind of unburdening for Asian Americans.
Parasite’s sweep of the Oscars on Sunday night for best original screenplay, international feature film, director and — finally, and most improbably — picture offered up a smorgasbord of joys. As a longtime Bong Joon Ho champion, I was thrilled to see one of cinema’s finest and most unpredictable filmmakers recognized at the peak of his career, and on such a global stage.

Continue reading Critic’s Notebook: The Liberating Power of the ‘Parasite’ Oscar Win

South Korea Erupts in Celebration as ‘Parasite’ Makes Oscars History


The Oscars ceremony aired early Monday morning in Seoul, but that didn’t stop tens of millions in the country from following local hero Bong Joon Ho as he made Oscars history. ‘Parasite’ moved the minds of the world,” tweeted South Korea’s president Moon Jae-in.
South Korean social media was flooded with statements of elation and celebration Monday after local hero Bong Joon Ho and his strikingly original film Parasite swept the 92 Academy Awards.

Bong and Parasite struck gold early Sunday night, first winning the Oscar for best original screenplay. Taking the stage with this co-writer Han Jin-won, Bong thanked the Academy for the “great honor,” while noting that “writing a script is a very lonely process, you never write to represent your country.”

Continue reading South Korea Erupts in Celebration as ‘Parasite’ Makes Oscars History

Thailand shooting: Survivors recall ordeal of gun rampage


Terrified residents of the Thai city of Nakhon Ratchasima have been reliving their ordeal after a gunman roamed around a shopping centre on a shooting spree that killed 29 people.

Some barricaded themselves in toilets or hid under tables, frantically searching for information on mobiles.

Jakraphanth Thomma began his rampage on Saturday afternoon, but it only ended with his death 16 hours later.

Continue reading Thailand shooting: Survivors recall ordeal of gun rampage

Reinhard Bonnke, Popular Evangelist Dies At Age 79.

Popular evangelist, Reinhard Bonnke, has died. He was 79 years old.

A statement released on his verified Facebook page, explained that Bonnke who was popular for his evangelical work all over Africa, passed away peacefully and was surrounded by his family today December 7th.

“It is with sorrow that the Bonnke Family would like to announce the passing of our beloved husband, father, and grandfather, Evangelist Reinhard Bonnke. He passed away peacefully, surrounded by his family, on December 7, 2019. For the past 60 years he has preached the glorious Gospel of Jesus throughout the entire world. We want to thank you on behalf of him and our family, for your kind love and unwavering support, which enabled him to preach the matchless message of salvation to countless people” the statement read

Popular evangelist, Reinhard Bonnke dies at 79

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U.S: President Donald Trump Insugurates Louis Vuitton. (See Role..).

The opening of a new Louis Vuitton production site in Texas provided a rare chance for Donald Trump to meet with a foreign business leader — and not just any business, but one the president says he knows “very well.”

“It cost me a lot of money over the years,” he joked of the posh French handbag maker.

Among those joining Trump and Bernard Arnault, head of the LVMH conglomerate that owns the leathergoods brand, for the tour were Trump’s daughter Ivanka Trump and her husband Jared Kushner.

“Even though they’re related to me, just slightly, I will tell you, what a job,” he said of the pair, extolling their work on his job-creation pitch as he gears up for next year’s re-election campaign.

The group saw a demonstration of how the luxury handbags are sewn, cut an opening-day ribbon and met with workers at the new facility.

The president himself even appeared to admire a handbag covered in the brand’s iconic LV print — a bag with an extra red detail.

Trump applauded the company’s $50 million investment.

“I want to thank you all for your confidence in the United States and your confidence and investment in the Lone Star State, the great state of Texas,” the president said, speaking in front of a wall of colorful spools of thread. “You’ll be very happy. You’ll be very, very happy.”

The workshop is near the town of Alvarado at the Rochambeau Ranch, named for the general who led French troops alongside the 13 colonies in the American Revolution.

It is expected to employ about a thousand skilled workers within five years, according to Arnault.

‘Manufacturing renaissance’
“This investment in job creation reflects the strengths of our US business, which continues to grow,” said Arnault, whom Forbes magazine has ranked as the third-richest person in the world.

“I always believed in the fact that America is a land of opportunity,” he said.

Arnault was one of the first high-profile French business leaders to meet with Trump in January 2017, weeks after his election, when he suggested he would consider expanding Louis Vuitton in the United States.

On Thursday, Trump called such an expansion part of his “vision for creating an American manufacturing renaissance.”

Highlighting France as the US’s oldest ally, Trump asked Arnault to pass on a message to French President Emmanuel Macron.

“We have our little disputes with Emmanuel every once in a while. Say hello to Emmanuel.”

The American market generates a quarter of LVMH’s sales overall, and it already has two US production sites in California for Louis Vuitton, whose handbags can cost thousands of dollars.

The company has said half the Louis Vuitton workers it hires have no previous experience in leathercraft, and receive intensive in-house training before being allowed to cut or sew.

The brand first opened in 1859 in Asnieres, France. Overall, the LVMH group and its 70 brands saw a record-breaking 2018, with 46 billion euros ($51 billion) in profits.

Trump touted the Louis Vuitton opening during a campaign rally in nearby Dallas Thursday night, seeking to mobilize supporters as he fends off an impeachment inquiry.

AFP



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Clasico: Barcelona, Real Madrid Postponed Match Over Clash. (Details)

The Barcelona and Real Madrid Clasico, Spain’s biggest football league match, has been postponed because of Catalonia protests, the Spanish football federation said Friday.

The clubs have until 10:00am (0800 GMT) on Monday to find a new date for the match originally scheduled for October 26, the federation said. If they fail to do so, the federation will choose a new date.

The Spanish football league (LFP) on Wednesday said it had asked the country’s football federation (RFEF) to move the fixture from to Madrid after three days of large-scale demonstrations which have turned increasingly violent.



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THA Imported 30 million condoms urgently (Details).

Tanzanian health authorities have imported 30 million condoms to curb a shortage reported earlier this year in the east African country.

Many are concerned about the soaring prices of condoms, amid the dwindled distribution of government-provided condoms, the BBC Swahili’s Gilian Kikowe said. Some guest houses in the commercial capital and tourism hub, Dar es Salaam, are no longer giving out the contraceptives free of charge.

“Some shops are selling condoms for 3,000 Tanzanian shillings ($1; £0.78), 5,000 or 10,000 Tanzanian shillings, depending on the brand. Customers must now have their own condoms because we can’t afford to give them out for free,” a hotel worker told BBC Swahili. Assistant Health Minister Dr Faustine Ndugulile says the condoms are now available.

“We’ve ordered over 30 million condoms. What changed was the distribution model; previously there were some agencies distributing the condoms but things have changed and we now have new agencies mandated with distribution.



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25 Nigerian Nationals Protested All Over India As Pertaining To Killing Of A Nigerian. (Details)




A group of over 25 Nigerian nationals went on a rampage and vandalized
several vehicles in Nalasopara East after the suspicious death of a
friend in the wee hours of Wednesday, Indian police said.

Around six locals were injured in the process, the cops added.

A Nigerian national identified as Joseph, in his early 30s, was
allegedly beaten by some local youths of the Pragati Nagar area around
2.30 am.

Joseph’s friends rushed him to a nearby hospital, where the doctors
declared him brought dead. Alleging murder by locals, about 25
Nigerians ran riot on streets the same morning, damaging vehicles —
autos, taxis, car, tempos, trucks, and bikes — in the locality, said a
cop from the Tulinj police station, Mid-day.com reports.

Angry over the vandalism, locals demanded action against the
Nigerians, alleging that hundreds of them live there illegally and
carry out illegal work.

The police questioned the locals, some of whom claimed that the
deceased got into a fight with a few local youths, while several
others rubbished talk of fights that day.

A police team was deployed in the area and the situation was brought
under control. “We have checked CCTV footage which shows several
Nigerians taking the deceased to the hospital. Joseph’s death at the
moment remains a puzzle. His post-mortem report will disclose the
actual cause of death,” said a cop.

The Tulinj police have registered an Accidental Death Report based on
preliminary inquiry. They said there were no major injuries on
Joseph’s body and only found minor injury marks on his shoulder.

The police have filed rioting and assault cases against the Nigerian
nationals but no arrest has been made yet, said Palghar district
police Public Relations Officer Hemant Katkar.




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Syria: Third-rate Politician – Trump Insults Pelosi. (Check)




US President Donald Trump attacked his top congressional rival, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, as a “third-rate politician” during a fractious meeting on Syria policy, Democrats said.

“He was insulting, particularly to the Speaker…. He called her a third-rate politician,” said Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, with Pelosi at his side, after they stormed out of the White House meeting on Trump’s controversial troop pullout from northern Syria.

Pelosi said Trump appeared “very shaken up” by an overwhelming bipartisan vote in the House earlier Wednesday condemning his Syria move, and that the president had “a meltdown” during the meeting with lawmakers.

AFP




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Syria: Turkey Refused To Quit Even After U.S Commands Stop Fire. (Details).




Turkey rebuffed international pressure to curb its military offensive against Kurdish militants in Syria on Wednesday as US President Donald Trump dispatched his deputy Mike Pence to Ankara to demand a ceasefire.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan vowed Turkey’s operation — which has been facilitated by the withdrawal of US troops from northern Syria — would continue.

The only way to solve Syria’s problems, Erdogan told parliament, was for the Kurdish forces to “lay down their arms… destroy all their traps and get out of the safe zone that we have designated.”

But clashes continued across the region, with Kurdish fighters in the border town of Ras al-Ain burning tyres in a bid to blind Ankara’s warplanes and digging in against a ground offensive by Turkish-backed Syrian rebels.

“We are fully prepared to wage battles,” an official from the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) told AFP. “The real battle has yet to start.”

Having struck a deal with Damascus over the weekend, Kurdish forces have joined with Syrian troops to take an abandoned US base between Kobani and Ain Issa, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

The Turkish operation, now in its second week, has triggered a flurry of diplomacy among major powers.

Trump sent Pence along with his top diplomat Mike Pompeo to Turkey amid the greatest crisis in relations for decades between the NATO allies, with talks due in Ankara early Thursday.

Facing a barrage of criticism in Washington for abandoning the Kurds, Trump has slapped sanctions on three Turkish ministers and raised tariffs on its steel industry.

Pence’s office said the US would pursue “punishing economic sanctions” unless there was “an immediate ceasefire”.

But Trump again dismissed the idea that pulling out 1,000 troops — practically the entire US contingent in the region — had been a betrayal of Kurdish militants who bore the brunt of the fight against the Islamic State group in recent years.

“The Kurds are very well protected,” Trump told reporters at the White House. “By the way, they are not angels.”

– Russia steps in –
Moscow has stepped into the void left by the US withdrawal, deploying patrols to prevent clashes between Syrian and Turkish forces.

Russian TV showed its forces alongside Syrian government troops taking up positions in and around the town of Manbij.

The Kremlin said it would host Erdogan for a meeting with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin in the coming days, to ensure the operation does not turn into all-out war between Turkey and Syria.

The Turkish government can count on widespread support for its operation at home, where decades of bloody insurgency by Kurdish militants have killed tens of thousands of people.

But Western powers fear it will endanger the battle against the Islamic State group. Thousands of IS prisoners are held in Kurdish-run camps in the region.

Europe has taken an increasingly tough line with Turkey and several countries, including Britain, France and Germany, have imposed arms embargoes on Turkey over the operation.

– Battle for border town –
The Kurdish-led SDF has mounted a desperate defence to the east of Ras al-Ain, using tunnels, berms and trenches.

A Syrian fighter serving alongside Ankara’s forces said his forces were trying to cut Kurdish supply lines from nearby Hassakeh to facilitate their advance on the town.

Since launching their assault on October 9, Turkey and its Syrian rebel proxies have secured more than 100 kilometres (60 miles) of border, but Ras al-Ain has held out.

Erdogan, who like Trump faces political difficulties at home, wants to create a buffer zone stretching 30 kilometres (20 miles) from the border into Syrian territory.

He wants to destroy Kurdish hopes of an autonomous enclave that could serve as a launching pad for attacks in Turkey, and to resettle some of the 3.6 million Syrian refugees Ankara is hosting.

Erdogan said that once the safe zone was established, “stretching from Manbij to the Iraqi border”, then the operation would have “ended on its own”.

The offensive has left dozens of civilians dead, mostly on the Kurdish side, and displaced at least 160,000 people.




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Presidency – Ukraine Won’t Interfere In Donald Trump’s Impeachment.




President Volodymyr Zelensky said Wednesday that Ukraine “will do nothing” in connection with the impeachment probe against Donald Trump over allegations the US president tried to force Kiev to investigate his political rival Joe Biden.

“As the president of Ukraine, I won’t interfere with events in other countries, unlike some others may try,” Zelensky told AFP as he met the Ukrainian diaspora in the Latvian capital Riga. “We, as Ukraine, will do nothing,” he said.




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Actress Huffman Began Serving Prison For 2 -Weeks. (Reasons).




Actress Felicity Huffman on Tuesday began serving a two-week prison term for her role in a college admissions scam in which she paid a bribe to help her daughter gain admission to a prestigious university.

The “Desperate Housewives” star turned herself in at the low-security Federal Correctional Institution in Dublin, about 35 miles (55 kilometers) east of San Francisco, in the early morning.

“Ms. Huffman is prepared to serve the term of imprisonment Judge (Indira) Talwani ordered as one part of the punishment she imposed for Ms. Huffman’s actions,” a representative for the 56-year-old actress said in a statement to AFP.

“She will begin serving the remainder of the sentence Judge Talwani imposed — one year of supervised release, with conditions including 250 hours of community service — when she is released.”

The Oscar nominee, who is married to actor William H. Macy, was the first of more than 30 parents sentenced in an elaborate and wide-ranging scam to help children of the elite secure places in top US colleges.

Huffman, who was also fined $30,000, pleaded guilty in May during a tearful court appearance to paying $15,000 to boost her daughter’s SAT college entrance exam score.

The scandal erupted in March when the ringleader behind the scam, William “Rick” Singer, admitted running the elaborate fraud which ranged from cheating in entrance exams to bribing coaches to help non-athletic students get scholarships.

Authorities say he was paid about $25 million to bribe coaches and university administrators. He has pleaded guilty and is cooperating with authorities.

In a statement read in court at her sentencing last month, the actress apologized to students and parents.

“I broke the law. There are no excuses or justifications for my actions. Period,” she said.

“My hope now is that my family, my friends and my community will forgive me for my actions,” Huffman added.

Actress Lori Loughlin from 1980s-90s sitcom “Full House” and her husband are facing similar charges. The pair have pleaded not guilty and are awaiting trial.

AFP




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Syria: Turkey Aggression Must End Immediately! – Iranian.




Key Damascus ally Iran on Tuesday renewed its call on Ankara to end a deadly assault on northeastern Syria, as Turkey pressed a cross-border offensive against Kurdish forces.

“The imperative now is to end the incursion into #Syria,” Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif wrote on Twitter.

Iran had on Thursday called for an immediate halt to the offensive, launched on October 9 after the United States announced it would withdraw all its troops from the area.

Since then, Syria’s massively outgunned Kurds have forged a deal with Damascus, allowing regime soldiers to redeploy in the Kurd-controlled region for the first time since 2012.

Despite international outcry over its assault, Turkey has vowed to pursue its offensive, slamming the “dirty deal” between President Bashar al-Assad’s regime and Kurdish forces.

AFP




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Syria: Turkey Vows To Pursue Aggression Not minding U.S Sanction.




Turkey on Tuesday vowed to pursue its Syria offensive and slammed a “dirty deal” between President Bashar al-Assad’s regime and Kurdish forces after the withdrawal of US forces from northern Syria.

“We will continue to combat all terrorist groups, including Daesh, whether or not the world agrees to support our efforts,” Fahrettin Altun, communications director at the Turkish presidency, told AFP, using an alternative acronym for the Islamic State group.




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Syria: Two Soldiers Rep Turkey Killed By Military.




Two Turkish soldiers were killed on Tuesday after shelling from the Manbij region, where Ankara’s forces had clashed with Kurdish militants the night before, the defence ministry said in a statement.

The soldiers were killed “following artillery fire by the terrorists from the Manbij region,” the ministry said.

Seven soldiers were initially wounded in the attack, it added.

The statement did not provide the precise location but said the army returned fire and killed at least 15 “terrorists.”

Six Turkish soldiers have been killed since Ankara launched its cross-border operation last Wednesday against Kurdish militants in Syria.

Syrian forces have moved into Manbij following a deal between Damascus and the Kurds over the weekend to try to hold back Turkey’s advance.

Meanwhile, shelling from Kurdish positions in Syria killed two civilians and wounded 12 others on Tuesday in the Turkish border town of Kiziltepe in Mardin province, the Anadolu state news agency reported.

Turkish border towns have come under heavy artillery fire from Kurdish positions in Syria, killing a total of 20 civilians since the operation began, and causing thousands to take refuge away from frontier.

Ankara is pressing its military operation against Kurdish militants, with the goal of clearing its border from “terrorists” and creating a “safe zone” to repatriate Syrian refugees.




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Syria: Turkey Backs Footballers Hailing Soldiers To Be Involved.




Turkey’s sports minister voiced support on Tuesday for national team players who saluted the country’s soldiers during their Euro 2020 match with France.

Sports Minister Mehmet Muharrem Kasapoglu described the controversial goal celebration — in which players were seen as supporting Turkey’s current military operation in Syria — as a “nice salute”.

France drew 1-1 with Turkey in the Euro 2020 qualifier amid mounting tensions after Paris condemned Turkey’s military operation against Kurdish militants in Syria.

European football’s ruling body UEFA had already said it would “examine” a military salute given by Turkish players during an earlier match against Albania.

But the sports minister said the controversy was unwarranted, and pointed to the fact that French star Antoine Griezmann had also given a military salute to President Emmanuel Macron in June.

“Those who remained quiet about Griezmann’s military salute are trying to distort our national footballers’ nice salute,” Kasapoglu said in a televised press conference, holding up a picture of Griezmann’s salute.

He said critics were trying to distract from Turkey’s success in staying top of the qualifying group.

“Those who are trying to block out their failure on the pitch should give up on their efforts. The result is clear,” Kasapoglu said.

Kasapoglu also warned UEFA to be “prudent” in its investigation of the salutes.

Turkey’s operation against Kurdish militants in Syria, launched a week ago, has been widely criticised by the international community but has drawn widespread support at home.

AFP




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K-Pop: Co Performing Artists, Fans Mourn Death Of Sulli




Fans and fellow performers on Tuesday mourned the death of a K-pop star who had long been the target of online bullying, some calling for greater mental health support for those working in the country’s notoriously competitive show business industry.

The body of Sulli, a former member of top girl group f(x), was discovered Monday by her manager at her home on the outskirts of Seoul.

“There has been no evidence of an outsider having broken in, or any other crimes committed by another person,” an official from Seongnam Sujeong Police Agency told AFP.

“Suicide is among the possible causes.”

Authorities said the 25-year-old had been suffering from “severe depression”.

South Korea has one of the world’s highest rates of suicide which, according to recent government figures, is among the top causes of death for those under 40.

“I wish I could hope for Sulli to be the last idol to die from suicide and mental illness,” tweeted one fan.

“But knowing how cruel society is, I can’t help but be afraid about who’s going to be the next one.”

Beneath the glitz and glamour, the K-pop industry is known for its cut-throat competitiveness, a lack of privacy, online bullying and relentless public pressure to maintain a wholesome image at all times and at any cost.


Mental health taboo

K-pop stars like Sulli are picked up by agencies at a young age — usually in their early- or mid-teens — and their lives then taken over by gruelling singing and dancing training.

Taboos about mental illness dissuade many South Koreans from seeking help.

Sulli’s death echoes that of fellow K-pop star Jonghyun, who took his life in 2017 after battling with depression.

Both were members of the SM Entertainment stable, one of the country’s biggest talent agencies.

K-pop singer Goo Hara, a close friend of the late star, was also sent to hospital last year after a suspected suicide attempt. Goo had been abused by her ex who threatened to post her spycam sex vidoes online.

“I hope Jin-ri is now in a place where she can do whatever she wants,” Goo wrote on Instagram — using Sulli’s real name and sharing photos of the two of them together.

Sulli, who started her career as a child actress at age 11, made her debut in 2009 for f(x), which quickly became one of K-pop’s top girl groups.

Known for behaviour considered controversial in South Korea — including her refusal to wear a bra in public — she had been relentlessly bullied online throughout her career, with many sexually abusive comments.

She recently hosted a TV series where celebrities discussed their experiences of online abuse. She had also candidly shared her experience struggling with panic disorder and social phobia.

Her outspokenness resonated with many young South Korean women who have been leading a new wave of feminists fighting a patriarchal society obsessed with looks.

“Being one of the first female artists in K-pop to talk about mental health and feminism is amazing. I love you so much Sulli – I hope in heaven you are finally free,” a fan wrote in a tweet.

AFP




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Donal Trump, U.S Denies Infuencing Turkey’s Aggression On Syria. (Details).




United States of America’s President Donald Trump has called for an immediate halt to Turkey’s strikes against Kurds in Syria as Washington slapped sanctions on Turkish officials.

Vice President Mike Pence is set to lead a mediation effort.

Washington is “simply not going to tolerate Turkey’s invasion of Syria any longer,” US Vice President Mike Pence told reporters on Monday.

Pence said President Donald Trump had discussed the offensive in a phone call with his Turkish colleague Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Trump “communicated to him very clearly” that the US wanted Turkey to “stop the invasion, implement an immediate ceasefire and to begin to negotiate with Kurdish forces” to end the violence in Syria, according to Pence.

“The United States of America did not give a green light for Turkey to invade Syria,” Pence told reporters in front of the White House.

Pence also said he would be leaving for the Middle East “as quickly as possible” to lead a mediation effort.

“We are calling on Turkey to stand down, end the violence and come to the negotiating table,” he added.

There was no immediate comment from Ankara, DW reports.




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If the explanation is Biracial, then shame on everyone – Hilary Clinton defends Meghan of British. (Details)




Hillary Clinton believes racism has something to do with the way Meghan Markle is being targeted by the British tabloids.

In a new interview for The Sunday Times of London, the former US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, 71, defended Meghan Markle, saying her biracial background “certainly” played a role in the harsh treatment from British tabloids.

Clinton said this in response to a question about Prince Harry’s latest move to sue three British tabloids.

Clinton said during the interview: “I do want to say that the way she’s been treated is inexplicable.”

Hillary pointed out that race is “certainly part of it.”

“If the explanation is that she’s biracial, then shame on everybody,” Clinton added.

Clinton’s daughter Chelsea was also asked the same question and she said that the way the British press treats Meghan is likely because she is super bold and “has a voice.”

“She proudly had a career first and has a voice that she thankfully continues to use,” Chelsea said when asked about the Royal family’s decision to sue multiple tabloids.

“Anyone who has the temerity to break the mold of what has previously been established and expected often, unfortunately, receives criticism and bile that I don’t understand,” she added.

Prince Harry announced the decision to sue multiple news outlets at the beginning of October. He also shared a letter condemning the behaviour of the media.

“Unfortunately, my wife has become one of the latest victims of a British tabloid press that wages campaigns against individuals with no thought to the consequences – a ruthless campaign that has escalated over the past year, throughout her pregnancy and while raising our newborn son,” he wrote in the statement.

He continued: “There is a human cost to this relentless propaganda, specifically when it is knowingly false and malicious, and though we have continued to put on a brave face – as so many of you can relate to – I cannot begin to describe how painful it has been. Because in today’s digital age, press fabrications are repurposed as truth across the globe. One day’s coverage is no longer tomorrow’s chip-paper.”




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Actress Kisa Gbekle – At age 12, I got deflowered, slept with boys from good homes and fending for myself.

Few days after Shatta Wale revealed that he has 3 girlfriends he has sex with, one of his rumoured girlfriends, actress Kisa Gbekle has opened up on her sex life.

The 27-year-old Ghanaian actress in an interview with Zionfelix Uncut revealed that she is from a poor family, an experience that made her start fending for herself at a very young age.

Kisa said she got deflowered at the age of 12, started sleeping with young boys from good homes for money and even dropped out of school. She further revealed that she has so far had 5 exes.

“My exes are just five… and I broke my virginity when I was 12 years,” she said. “It was because of where I was coming from. I had to take things into my hands. I had a very bad background. My past is something I’m not too proud of. When you’re from a very poor home, you do everything to make it in life. I started doing that to take care of myself, to pay my fees. I had dropped out of school. There was no money…

“I didn’t even know my age. It was when I completed JSS before I got to know that I no even catch 20 years sef wey I do things plenty like that. I was dating these young guys from good homes in Volta Region.”

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UN – Turkey Assault Could Displace 400,000 In Syria.

Turkey’s deadly assault on Kurdish positions in northeastern Syria has forced 130,000 people to flee their homes, the UN said Sunday, adding it was preparing for that figure to more than triple.

“We have moved into a planning scenario where up to 400,000 people could be displaced within and across the affected areas,” Jens Laerke, a spokesman for the UN humanitarian agency OCHA told AFP in an email, adding that these people would be “in need of assistance and protection.”

The UN had said Friday that some 100,000 people had been forced to flee their homes since the beginning of Turkey’s military incursion on Wednesday after US President Donald Trump ordered American troops to pull back from the border.

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But by Sunday it warned of further displacements from rural areas around Tell Abiad and Ras al-Ain with latest estimates “surpassing 130,000 people”.

“Exact numbers cannot yet be ascertained,” the agency said in a updated assessment document.

Most of the displaced had reached relatives or host communities, but growing numbers were arriving at collective shelters, including in schools.

The UN warned of the impact of any further escalation of Turkey’s offensive or of sudden shifts in control over territory.

“Concerns remain grave around the risks facing thousands of vulnerable displaced persons, including women and children in various (displacement) camps,” it said, pointing to Al-Hol, a camp holding relatives of IS suspects that lies outside the area targeted by Turkey.

The UN said that there were many other humanitarian consequences to the military assault, which is being conducted on multiple fronts along the border.

It also voiced concern for the safety of the staff of the 113 UN and other international aid organisations operating in the area and had cut international staff numbers to 200 from normal levels of 384.

AFP

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Donald trump’s impeachment case closes way for U.S 2020 Presidential Race, Joe Biden.

Joe Biden faces scrutiny over Ukraine, Elizabeth Warren is surging and Bernie Sanders had a heart attack, but recent developments in the Democratic presidential battle are getting minimal attention, swamped by Washington’s impeachment obsession.

Most Democratic candidates are pounding the pavement in early voting states like Iowa, but they are finding little oxygen for the nomination race.

Broadcast and cable news have been dominated by a burgeoning Ukraine scandal that has engulfed the White House and prompted House Democrats to launch an impeachment investigation of possible abuse of power by Trump.

The drama threatens to overshadow what could be a pivotal moment in the Democratic nomination race: Tuesday’s three-hour debate with the party’s top 12 candidates.

READ ALSO: Turkey Assault Could Displace 400,000 In Syria, Says UN

The fourth showdown of the cycle will feature the Democratic dozen clashing on everything from health care and climate to jobs, gun control, and foreign policy, as they seek to catch fire with voters.

Under normal circumstances the pre-debate chatter would center around whether Biden gets more aggressive against rising star Warren, if Sanders can rebound after health problems, or how second-tier candidates like Senator Kamala Harris or ex-congressman Beto O’Rourke can mount a comeback.

But talk of Trump’s fate is the stark new reality, and for lesser Democratic candidates struggling for a breakout moment, their path to the nomination just got harder.

“There is a lot of this impeachment inquiry taking over the narrative, and we’re going to see how these Democrats will be able to shape that to their advantage,” Mitchell McKinney, director of the Political Communication Institute at University of Missouri, told AFP.

The candidate most impacted by the Ukraine crisis is Biden. A whistleblower complaint at the center of the inquiry alleged that Trump pressured Ukraine’s leader on a July 25 call to investigate the US president’s Democratic rival.

Trump says he acted appropriately, but he has relentlessly hammered Biden and his son as “corrupt.”

– Biden, Warren face attacks –
McKinney said Biden could flip the attention to his advantage, convincing voters that he’s the Democrat Trump fears most in 2020.

“Biden must demonstrate his aggressiveness and ability to take on the issue of Donald Trump coming at him directly about him and his son,” McKinney said.

He has. Saying Trump “betrayed this nation,” Biden on Wednesday called for the president’s impeachment for the first time.

“Let me make something clear to President Trump: I’m not going anywhere,” he added Friday on Twitter. “You’re not going to destroy me.”

Warren called for Trump’s impeachment months ago, perhaps signaling that, while Biden earlier hedged his bets, she recognized the urgency that a growing number of Democrats feel about ousting Trump.

The 70-year-old progressive senator has surged in recent weeks, drawing virtually even with Biden in polling — and raising the likelihood that debate rivals will go after her.

Onstage Democrats may also pounce on Biden, and argue that his son’s work for a Ukrainian energy company, while Biden was vice president, has at least the appearance of a conflict of interest.

The impeachment saga shook up the campaign trail for all candidates, and they have been recalibrating accordingly.

Sanders acknowledged as much on September 24, when the liberal senator who supports Trump’s impeachment spoke of its risks.

“This is a complicated issue from a political point of view,” Sanders told reporters in Davenport, Iowa.

One week later the 78-year-old suffered a mild heart attack, slowing his campaign just when he needed a fresh boost.

“I’m feeling great and we’re going to run a vigorous campaign,” Sanders told CNN Thursday.

The setback put the health and age of not only Sanders but Biden — who turns 77 next month and has been criticized for lacking vitality in debates — into the spotlight.

Sanders must “convince voters that he’s not out of it,” and the debate is a chance to do that, McKinney said.

If he does not, and “if Warren is able to solidify… the progressive wing, we could see a continuation of her rise and a taking over of Joe Biden,” he added.

While Warren has gained steam, the air has wheezed out of many low-polling candidates, who are grasping for anything to revive their flat-lining campaigns.

But the impeachment fracas could benefit one new face on stage: Tom Steyer.

The billionaire activist, making his debate debut Tuesday, has spent two years advocating for Trump’s removal from office.

AFP

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