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Sudan's Bashir got $90 mn from Saudi, investigator tells court

Top Stories - Mon, 08/19/2019 - 07:19

Sudan's deposed military ruler Omar al-Bashir has admitted to receiving $90 million in cash from Saudi royals, an investigator told a Khartoum court on Monday. Police Brigadier Ahmed Ali said at the opening of Bashir's corruption trial, which an AFP correspondent attended, that the former president told him that the latest payment was "delivered by some of Mohammed bin Salman's envoys". Bashir, whose military Islamist regime ruled Sudan for 30 years, arrived at the Judicial and Legal Science Institute where the trial is taking place in a huge military convoy.


iMessage is never coming to Android, so please stop asking

Macworld - Mon, 08/19/2019 - 07:00

Ask any Android user to name an Apple app that they’d like to have on their Galaxy or Pixel phone and the answer will almost universally be the same: iMessage. And the likely reason behind that answer? Green bubbles.

While Android users have no idea whether the person they’re texting with has an iPhone, Android, or a Windows Phone, Apple makes it very clear what device you and your friends are using. Messages from iPhone users are wrapped in serene blue bubbles while everyone else’s bubbles are colored in a garish green hue.

And we Android users would love for that to change. Not only are we tired of our iPhone-loving friends chiding us for ruining group messages, but we’d also like to see what all of the fuss is about. We’re still waiting for a do-it-all messaging app on Android, and an Apple client is certainly intriguing, especially for those of use still lamenting the loss of Allo. I’m willing to bet that if Apple were to release an iMessage Android client in the Play Store, it would quickly become one of the most downloaded messaging apps, challenging Google’s own Messages, WhatsApp and Signal, at least at launch.

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What we might expect from Apple’s A13 chip

Macworld - Mon, 08/19/2019 - 06:30

We’re still a long way away from hearing anything official about Apple’s next system-on-a-chip. The A13 is likely to be unveiled in September, along with the new iPhones it will power. But the design, manufacture, and testing of these chips takes years, far too long for Apple to suddenly make radical changes. The A13 design is likely, for all intents and purposes, set in stone by now.

By looking at past A-series chips and extrapolating from what we know of the manufacturing process Apple will use this year, we can get a reasonable picture about what to expect from the A13 chip. It will almost certainly be the fastest SoC Apple has ever developed for iPhones, but exactly how fast can we expect?

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QNAP HS-453DX NAS box review: The most powerful multimedia NAS box that money can buy

Macworld - Mon, 08/19/2019 - 06:00
The QNAP HS-453DX is the most capable multimedia NAS box on the planet. But it's very pricey and just how useful its direct audio/video output will be depends on your setup. But it's not dead easy to use.

LumaFusion 2.0 review: More tracks, streamlined UI beef up mobile video editor

Macworld - Mon, 08/19/2019 - 06:00

iPadOS promises to bring improved multitasking, multiple windows from the same app, and support for SMB servers and external drives. That last one is of particular interest to mobile video editors, because it will enable access to video and audio content saved on USB hard drives and network-attached storage.

LumaTouch is poised to take advantage of this revolution with version 2.0 of LumaFusion, the company’s popular mobile video editing app.

Back on track

LumaFusion 2.0 improves upon everything that made the initial version great. First and foremost are the number of tracks, which have doubled to a maximum of six for video (including titles and graphics) with accompanying audio, plus another six for imported audio like music, sound effects, and voiceovers—a whopping 12 tracks of sound!

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Trump lashes out at perceived enemies as economic warnings signal looming recession

Top Stories - Mon, 08/19/2019 - 02:35

Donald Trump, confronting perhaps the most ominous economic signs of his time in office, has unleashed what is by now a familiar response: lashing out at what he believes is a conspiracy of forces arrayed against him.He has insisted that his handpicked Federal Reserve chairman, Jerome H Powell, is intentionally acting against him. He has said other countries, including allies, are working to hurt US economic interests. And he has accused the news media of trying to create a recession.“The Fake News Media is doing everything they can to crash the economy because they think that will be bad for me and my re-election,” Mr Trump tweeted last week.“The problem they have is that the economy is way too strong and we will soon be winning big on Trade, and everyone knows that, including China!”Mr Trump has repeated the claims in private discussions with aides and allies, insisting that his critics are trying to take away what he sees as his calling card for re-election.Mr Trump has been agitated in discussions of the economy, and by the news media’s reporting of warnings of a possible recession. He has said forces that do not want him to win have been overstating the damage his trade war has caused, according to people who have spoken with him. And several aides agree with him that the news media is overplaying the economic fears, adding to his feeling of being justified, people close to the president said.The claims provide a ready target to help Mr Trump deflect blame if the economy does tip into recession. But whether they could truly insulate the president on what could be a significant issue of the 2020 election after he has so conspicuously wrapped himself in the good economic news of the past two years remains an open question, and he and his advisers have sought to tamp down concerns that a downturn is on the way.“Our economy is the best in the world, by far,” Mr Trump tweeted on Sunday. “Lowest unemployment ever within almost all categories. Poised for big growth after trade deals are completed.”“I don’t see a recession,” he told reporters later on Sunday before leaving his private golf club in Bedminster, New Jersey, for Washington.But he added that if the economy slowed down, “it would be because I have to take on China and some other countries,” singling out the European Union as among those treating the United States “very badly.”The president’s broadsides follow a long pattern of conspiratorial thinking. He has claimed, without evidence, that unauthorised immigrants cast millions of ballots, costing him the popular vote in the 2016 election. During the campaign, he predicted that the system might prove to be “rigged” if he did not win. He conjured up a “deep state” conspiracy within the government to thwart his election and, more recently, his agenda. And he has said reporters are trying to harm him with pictures of empty seats at his rallies.The attacks come as the economy has begun flashing some warning signs, despite unemployment near historic lows and relatively high marks by voters on Mr Trump’s economic stewardship.Global growth has been slowing. Last week, stock markets plunged as the yield on the 10-year Treasury note briefly fell below that of the two-year Treasury note, an unusual situation known as an inversion of the yield curve that is considered one of the most reliable leading indicators of recession in the United States.And signs of damage from Mr Trump’s trade war with China have been mounting.In some conversations, the president has been preoccupied with the trade war, as well as with how to handle the pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong, according to the people who have spoken with him. “I’d love to see it worked out in a humane fashion,” Mr Trump told reporters on Sunday. “It does put pressure on the trade deal.”On Sunday, his advisers battled any notion that the trade war could be harming the economy. Peter Navarro, a top trade adviser who has urged the president on in his trade war, dismissed a study from researchers at Harvard, the University of Chicago, the International Monetary Fund and the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston that showed that the cost of Mr Trump’s tariffs had “fallen largely on the US,” not on China and other countries, as the administration has asserted.“There’s no evidence whatsoever that American consumers are bearing any of this,” Mr Navarro said on CNN’s State of the Union, insisting, despite abundant data to the contrary, that “they’re not hurting anybody here.”While maintaining that any turmoil in the economy is overstated, Mr Navarro and Larry Kudlow, the White House economic adviser, also said the Federal Reserve had slowed economic growth, mirroring Mr Trump’s criticisms.Mr Kudlow, appearing on Fox News Sunday, said that the state of the economy under the Trump administration “is kind of a miracle, because we face severe monetary restraint from the Fed.”Mr Navarro, appearing on CBS’ Face the Nation, blamed the Fed for raising interest rates “too far, too fast,” adding that “they have cost us a full point” of growth in gross domestic product.Mr Trump has also struck an increasingly strident economic tone.“You have no choice but to vote for me because your 401(k), everything is going to be down the tubes” if Democrats win, he told a crowd at a campaign rally in Manchester, New Hampshire, last week. “Whether you love me or hate me, you’ve got to vote for me.”The New York Times


John Delaney draws 11 people to 2020 event – does he truly think he can win?

Top Stories - Mon, 08/19/2019 - 02:00

The former congressman has put $24m of his own cash into an increasingly quixotic presidential run – and he’s ploughing on despite a near total lack of supportJohn Delaney speaks at the Wing Ding fundraiser in Clear Lake, Iowa. What Delaney lacks in support, he makes up for in optimism. Photograph: Brian Cahn/Zuma/Rex/ShutterstockJohn Delaney has poured a staggering $24m of his own money into running for president. He has been campaigning for the White House for more than two years, and in that time has held more than 200 events in Iowa.On one recent Thursday morning, these efforts translated into a grand total of 11 people coming out to see Delaney, at a campaign event in the small town of Algona, in the north of the state.The former Maryland congressman, former businessman and formerly much wealthier candidate is one of a slew of long-shot candidates for the Democratic nomination. In a crowded, historically diverse field, Delaney is part of a group of white, middle-aged men who are forging ahead with their increasingly quixotic presidential campaigns in spite of a collective lack of support.Delaney strode into Miller’s Sports Bar & Grill, one of a chain of bars across Iowa, just after 10am. One of his team had taped a couple of Delaney 2020 campaign posters to a wall in the back of the bar, and a sign-up list was on a table. The crowd, all silver haired apart from a thirtysomething man who walked in late, were sitting patiently at four different tables.Clad in the off-duty politician’s uniform of open-necked shirt, blue jeans and casual brown shoes, Delaney got to work, vigorously shaking 11 hands. One member of the crowd was immediately impressed with the 56-year-old.“You actually look even better than you do on TV,” one woman said.“I think I’m just going to stay around here,” Delaney quipped.If Delaney was disappointed with the turnout, he didn’t show it. Besides, in a way, the 11-person crowd was a positive. The night before, on Delaney’s Facebook page, just two people had said they would attend, and one of those was his campaign director.Delaney, who served in Congress for six years before resigning to run for president, was joking when he said he might just stay around Iowa. But in fact, it would be hard for him to spend more time here. The 58-year-old has made 34 separate visits to the state in two years. This trip was the first of three in August. And the actual vote in Iowa – the state’s caucuses – is still six months away.It’s a grueling schedule. On Thursday alone, Delaney was scheduled to hold five different events in the space of nine and a half hours.With the pleasantries over at Miller’s Delaney dived into his pitch. The two most important questions in 2020, he said, are: “Who can beat Trump?” and: “Who is the best leader for this country at this moment in time?”Delaney gestures at the end of his speech during a visit to the Iowa state fair in Des Moines earlier this month. Photograph: Charlie Neibergall/AP“I believe I’m the right answer to those two questions,” he concluded.Delaney’s problem is that very few people agree. Despite a marathon campaign – he declared his candidacy in July 2017, 18 months before any other major contenders – and a big pot of cash, he is barely registering – even in Iowa. Delaney is currently polling at 1% in the state – in ninth place. Nationally, Delaney has just 0.3% of the vote.But Delaney, an electrician’s son turned millionaire, isn’t about to let a near total lack of support stop him.“I don’t want to be the president just to be the president,” Delaney said at his second event of the day. “I want to be the president to do the job.”Later, Delaney was speaking to a crowd of 15 people, at the Rustic Brew in Hampton, an hour and a half drive east of Algona. He had been allocated an area in the back, in a room with a painting of a reindeer on one wall. Delaney had almost immediately been interrupted by a man wearing a Vietnam cap.The man complained about veterans’ hospitals. Delaney, hoping to appease him, said he would allow veterans to visit a wider range of hospitals for their care. The man in the cap said that was exactly the plan he was opposed to. Delaney said he would talk to him about it later, then carried on with his speech. The man in the cap slumped in his chair, mumbling something to himself.The main part of Delaney’s pitch is that he can beat Donald Trump and actually pass legislation, whereas, in his view, people such as the leftwing senators Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders are making “impossible promises”. After Delaney criticized the more ambitious proposals of his rivals during the recent televised Democratic debates, Warren chopped him down, telling the audience: “I don’t understand why anybody goes to all the trouble of running for president of the United States just to talk about what we really can’t do and shouldn’t fight for.”Far from being cowed by that, Delaney told the Guardian that if he could change one thing about his campaign, he actually would have plugged his centrist credentials earlier.“The kind of sharp contrasts I’m making now, I would have made them earlier,” Delaney said.But what Delaney lacks in support, he makes up for in optimism. He brushed off concerns that he won’t make the next Democratic debates – the bar for entry is far higher for the next round, in mid-September – by insisting he could make the one after that, because he expects other candidates to drop out.As Delaney closed out at the Rustic Brew, his campaign manager abruptly announced that the rest of the day’s events were cancelled. He had only completed two out of five. The campaign manager put it down to a schedule conflict. John Delaney at the Iowa state fair in Des Moines, on 9 August. Photograph: Eric Thayer/ReutersThe Guardian chased Delaney down in Des Moines the next day, where he was appearing at the Iowa state fair. Delaney spent some time prodding pork chops on a grill – a classic state fair photo opportunity – before speaking for about 15 minutes to a crowd, again pitching his centrist vision. He drew a decent number of people, but his crowd was dwarfed by those who came out for speeches by Warren, Sanders and Biden.Delaney is probably right when he says other people will soon quit the race. The California congressman Eric Swalwell ended his campaign in July, citing a lack of money and a lack of support. Colorado ex-governor John Hickenlooper dropped out last week. Delaney doesn’t have to make that choice yet. He has loaned his campaign $24m, but according to Forbes, he is worth $200m, so he has plenty of cash left to splurge.But there will surely come a point where he has to make a decision. Given Delaney is polling within the margin of error of zero, that point might come soon.Or perhaps Delaney, ever the optimist, could bide his time. If Trump wins in 2020, then there’s always 2024. If Delaney doesn’t bankrupt himself first, maybe he could be a contender.At the very least, he will know his way around Iowa.


Mother of missing Indiana teen found in Arkansas accuses stalker of kidnapping, dyeing her hair

Top Stories - Sun, 08/18/2019 - 23:57

Madison Eddlemon was found safe in Arkansas Sunday after she was reported missing from Crown Point, Indiana. Police confirmed the 16-year-old's accused stalker is in custody.


Iranian tanker sought by US heads to unknown destination

Top Stories - Sun, 08/18/2019 - 20:22

An Iranian supertanker hauling $130 million worth of light crude oil that the U.S. suspects to be tied to a sanctioned organization lifted its anchor and begun moving away from Gibraltar late on Sunday. The trail left by GPS data on Marinetraffic.com, a vessel tracking service, showed the Iran-flagged Adrian Darya 1, previously known as Grace 1, moving shortly before midnight. Iran's ambassador to Britain, Hamid Baeidinejad, confirmed in a post on Twitter that the oil tanker was headed to international waters.


Kathleen Blanco, Louisiana's governor during Katrina, dies

Top Stories - Sun, 08/18/2019 - 19:49

Former Louisiana Gov. Kathleen Babineaux Blanco, who became the state's first female elected governor only to see her political career derailed by the devastation of Hurricane Katrina, has died. After struggling for years with cancer, Blanco died Sunday in hospice care in Lafayette. Please pray for God's peace to carry us through the coming days and months of sorrow as we mourn her absence from our lives," Blanco's family said in a statement released by Gov. John Bel Edwards' office.


Facial recognition scanners are already at some US airports. Here's what to know

Top Stories - Sun, 08/18/2019 - 19:24

The next time you go to the airport, you might notice something different during the security process: A machine scanning your face.


Days away from moving for a dream job, Miami doctor is killed in fall from cliff on vacation

Top Stories - Sun, 08/18/2019 - 18:57

Daniel Sirovich was a native of Kearny, NJ, who loved traveling and was interested in sports and international medicine.


7 shot after random Snapchat invites to ‘instant house party,’ Texas cops say

Top Stories - Sun, 08/18/2019 - 18:10

An “instant party” in Texas ended with a car chase and several people shot, police say.


Tons of pot found in truck full of jalapeno peppers in California, Border Patrol says

Top Stories - Sun, 08/18/2019 - 18:09

A U.S. Customs and Border Protection dog picked up on something strange Thursday night in a tractor-trailer shipment of jalapeno peppers at a San Diego crossing, the agency says in a release.


French hiker missing in Italy nine days found dead

Top Stories - Sun, 08/18/2019 - 17:58

The body of a French hiker who disappeared nine days ago south of Naples was found Sunday, local Italian authorities said. "The body of Simon Gautier has been found a short while ago," the authorities in Sapri, near Belvedere di Ciolandre where the 27-year-old hiker was found dead. Gautier called for help on August 9, saying he had fallen down a cliff and broken both legs, but was unable to give his location other than "in the middle of nowhere, on the coast".


Cathay Remains Under Scrutiny After CEO Takes Fall for Protests

Top Stories - Sun, 08/18/2019 - 17:00

(Bloomberg) -- Cathay Pacific Airways Ltd. is counting on the resignation of its British chief executive officer, Rupert Hogg, to move beyond the tumult that saw its employees’ participation in the Hong Kong protests draw the ire of Beijing. But will it be enough?Incoming CEO Augustus Tang has the delicate task of continuing to placate China, an increasingly important market for the 72-year-old airline, while also minimizing the fallout from staff, customers and investors as the unrest in its home base continues to seethe.Whether Tang -- a long-time lieutenant with Cathay’s biggest investor, Swire Group -- succeeds or falters, Cathay’s story is having repercussions beyond the carrier itself. It’s become a cautionary tale of modern-day China, with the country increasingly willing to call out companies that want access to its lucrative consumer market, but don’t toe the party line.“This is the most appalling kowtow to Peking,” David Webb, a Hong Kong activist investor, wrote on his blog just hours after Chinese state broadcaster, CCTV, broke the news of Hogg’s departure on Friday. “Every substantial employer in Hong Kong, in both the public and private sectors, has employees who have participated in marches that have frequently gone beyond their approved spatial or time limits. Should all the CEOs resign?”Too LittleAfter China’s aviation watchdog slapped a string of demands on Cathay Aug. 9, the company appeared to swing into action, with Swire chairman, Merlin Swire, flying into Beijing to meet with the authority three days later. But even with Hogg taking the fall, it’s unclear whether China, which along with Hong Kong accounts for about half of Cathay’s revenue, will be satisfied.The Global Times, a newspaper published by China’s Communist Party, said Hogg’s departure may not be enough to atone for Cathay’s “lukewarm attitude” to dealing with its “radical” employees. Pilots and flight attendants from the airline took part in strikes and demonstrations related to the protest, which has morphed from opposing an extradition bill into a mass repudiation of China’s hold over the territory it took back in 1997.“Cathay Pacific’s latest gesture was viewed by many as too little to restore its scarred reputation and the loss of customers,” the Global Times said after Hogg’s departure. Chief Customer and Commercial Officer Paul Loo resigned alongside the CEO.First StepZhao Dongchen, an analyst at state-run Industrial & Commercial Bank of China Ltd. who fueled Cathay’s plunge last week to a 10-year low by blasting its “poor” handling of the crisis, applauded the top-level changes given the company was “severely lacking in crisis management competency.”But he also offered some caveats.“I am not sure that replacing two top personnel will be enough to meaningfully enhance Cathay’s management,” Zhao said in an email responding to questions from Bloomberg. “More likely, this marks a first step.”Zhao also criticized Cathay for what he described as a “hasty” decision to fire two pilots in connection with the protests, saying the move raised questions about procedural justice.Meanwhile, Cathay’s flight attendants’ union lamented the departure of Hogg and Loo.Their workplace “is now and shall continue to be greatly influenced by many unforeseeable elements,” according to a Facebook post on Sunday. Members are being asked not to discuss political topics while flying and be careful on social media and outside of work hours discussing issues which could “cause significant effect on everyone of us now.”Sets PrecedentThe Civil Aviation Administration of China, or CAAC, barred staff who took part in or supported Hong Kong’s protests from flying to the mainland and demanded Cathay provide a plan for improving flight safety and security. On Thursday, it said Cathay had complied with its demands.“This will pacify CAAC for now, but it may not be the end,” said Shukor Yusof, founder of aviation consultant Endau Analytics. “Once you cave in, it sets a precedence. It could embolden CAAC to seek harsher measures.”Cathay’s entanglement with the anti-Beijing protests stood out because of its stature and connection to Hong Kong, but it wasn’t alone.Within days of Cathay being castigated by CAAC and boycotted by state-backed firms, luxury brands Versace, Coach, and Givenchy were forced to apologize for selling T-shirts that implied Hong Kong wasn’t part of China. PricewaterhouseCoopers LLC was accused on Chinese social media -- where nationalistic posters are increasingly pushing the country’s causes -- of not condemning the demonstrations enough after a company-linked online post appeared to support the protests. The firm said it was a fraud.Symbolic TargetIn a message to employees obtained by Bloomberg, Hogg said a change in leadership was required so that Cathay could move forward. “There is no doubts that our reputation and brand are under immense pressure and this pressure has been building for some weeks -- particularly in the all-important market of mainland China,” he wrote.For many, Cathay is an emblem of the years Hong Kong was governed by Britain, making it a target loaded with symbolism. The airline is almost half-owned by the two-century-old conglomerate headed by the U.K.’s Swire family, but now counts state-run Air China Ltd. as its second-largest shareholder.Joshua Wong, the student activist who shot to fame during Hong Kong’s Umbrella Movement protests five years ago, tweeted that Hogg’s resignation showed how China was tightening its grip over the city and its people.Pilots QuietMost of Cathay’s 32,800 workers are based in Hong Kong and its hub is the airport that had become a key site for the protesters. Last week’s airport shutdown as demonstrators occupied key buildings added to Cathay’s woes, with hundreds of flights scuppered.While the flight attendants’ union acknowledged Cathay’s need to comply with CAAC’s demands so they can keep flying there, other workers’ groups, including the Hong Kong Aircrew Officers Association have so far kept quiet.The company’s actions -- which included voicing its support for Hong Kong’s embattled leader, Carrie Lam, and the police, which have clashed violently with protesters -- risk triggering a backlash from staff and its home market, but that may pale in comparison to the alternative of prolonging Beijing’s anger.“The message China wanted to send was that they have the power and the will to do what they want to do,” said Endau’s Yusof. “Cathay is caught between a devil and the deep blue sea -- it’s the beginning of the end.”“Like many others in Hong Kong, the future of the airline is in China,” he said.To contact Bloomberg News staff for this story: Kyunghee Park in Singapore at kpark3@bloomberg.net;Evelyn Yu in Shanghai at yyu263@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Young-Sam Cho at ycho2@bloomberg.net, Emma O'BrienFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.


Drug dealer spared jail after telling judge his baldness had ruined his life

Top Stories - Sun, 08/18/2019 - 16:20

A judge spared a drug dealer from jail after hearing his alopecia had led to a life of ridicule and that selling drugs was a way of making friends. Cameron Bridges started selling drugs after being frozen out by his peers for much of his school life and to support his £150 a day cocaine habit. Bridges, of Polperro, Cornwall, admitted possession of cocaine, ketamine and cannabis with intent to supply, as well as possession charges and assaulting an emergency worker. Truro Crown Court heard the 20 year old's life spiralled out of control until his arrest in May when he sought help and is now drug free. Chris Andrews, defending, said:"At school he suffered five years of ridicule and bullying and sat out PE while other children laughed at him. "It will come as no surprise that at 12 he started smoking cannabis and at 15 he started using cocaine behind his parents' backs. Drugs gave him something he's never had before, a circle of friends and all of a sudden a social group. Suddenly people rang him and he was in demand." Judge Simon Carr jailed him for two years, suspended for two years, and ordered him on a six month drug rehab order, a curfew and 150 hours of unpaid work.


Iceland commemorates first glacier lost to climate change

Top Stories - Sun, 08/18/2019 - 16:10

Iceland on Sunday honoured the passing of Okjokull, its first glacier lost to climate change, as scientists warn that some 400 others on the subarctic island risk the same fate. As the world recently marked the warmest July ever on record, a bronze plaque was mounted on a bare rock in a ceremony on the former glacier in western Iceland, attended by local researchers and their peers at Rice University in the United States who initiated the project. Iceland's Prime Minister Katrin Jakobsdottir and former United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Mary Robinson also attended the event, as well as hundreds of scientists, journalists and members of the public who trekked to the site.


Yuba City man dies in apparent suicide in standoff after police answer assault call

Top Stories - Sun, 08/18/2019 - 15:55

A 29-year-old man died from an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound in his Yuba City apartment during a standoff with police on Friday, according to a Yuba City police press release.


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