Sydney-siege-3_3138141b

Five Hostages Escape From a Sieged ...

An undisclosed number of people were held hostage by a man inside a Café on Monday morning. The Lindt Chocolat Café in Martin Place in Sydney’s Centra...

hong-kong

Hong Kong Protests Turn Violent As ...

The two-month peaceful Hong Kong protests have gradually turned violent as police used batons and pepper sprays against protesters defying orders for ...

peter-capaldi-will-be-keeping-his-scottish-accent-for-doctor-who

Peter Capaldi Once Turned Down the ...

The newest Doctor in Doctor Who Peter Capaldi reveals that he once turned down the Doctor Who Role because he was convinced he had no chance. I...

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Engineers Create More Efficient Bom...

Engineers from the University of Utah have developed new bomb-sniffing technology using a new type of carbon nanotube material they will use to create...

Five Hostages Escape From a Sieged Café in Sydney

An undisclosed number of people were held hostage by a man inside a Café on Monday morning. The Lindt Chocolat Café in Martin Place in Sydney’s Central Business District was plunged in chaos as an armed man forced the hostages to raise a black Islamic flag against the window of the café.

According to Australian local TV Skynews, two men were running towards a group of police around a fire escape door. Another man wearing a brown apron run out through the door. Australian authorities had confirmed the escape of these hostages.

According to New South Wales Police Deputy Commissioner Catherine Burn:  ”We are with those people now. The first thing that we are doing is making sure that they are okay. We will then establish who they are, and then we will continue to work with them.”

“We have been working through our negotiations to try to make sure that the people inside are cared for, that they have what they need, so that they don’t become ill or injured, so we will continue to do that.”

Later footage showed two more women running out the building.

New South Wales Police Commissioner Andrew Scipione said that the incident involves an armed offender and has an undisclosed number of hostages. They haven’t had any communication with the armed offender. He said that the armed man has a “terrorism footing.”

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Hong Kong Protests Turn Violent As Police Use Baton and Pepper Sprays

The two-month peaceful Hong Kong protests have gradually turned violent as police used batons and pepper sprays against protesters defying orders for retreat and dispersal.

The renewed protest campaigns, called upon by two student groups leading the campaign, were met with fully armed riot police at maximum tolerance. The protesters intend to surround government headquarters in their push for Hong Kong’s full democracy.

Crowds were chanting “Surround government headquarters!” and “open the road!” They had blocked major roads into the offices of Hong Kong’s Admiraly district, next to Hong Kong’s central business district, last Friday.

Riot police scattered crowds pushing protesters back. Batons were hit at the backs and heads of those trying to scramble over walls to safety in a crush of bodies. Tear gas had been used to disperse the crowds with protesters running at all sides.

Volunteer medics had attended the injured, many who had open head wounds.

Over 100,000 individuals had participated in Hong Kong protests. The numbers have lowered to a few hundred as public support decreased.

Hong Kong’s protest is the latest pro-democracy protest since the 1989 crackdown across Tiananmen Square in Beijing. Protesters were demanding free elections against China’s pre-screened candidates for 2017.

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Peter Capaldi Once Turned Down the Doctor Role: “I Knew I Wouldn’t Get It”

The newest Doctor in Doctor Who Peter Capaldi reveals that he once turned down the Doctor Who Role because he was convinced he had no chance.

In 1996, his agent had asked him to try out to become the Doctor in the famous long-running series for a movie adaptation. The series role was filled in by Paul McGann and he thought he was incompetent to be the doctor in the movie adaptation.

Peter said he could not have coped with the disappointment of failing to get the role if he had tried.

He had landed the part late last year and appeared in the full series this year. Producers once again asked to have him in the auditions.

“I knew I wouldn’t get it – I loved the show so much that I didn’t want to have anything to do with it unless it was going to be me.

“I just didn’t want to have the disappointment to go through all the palaver and the jumping through hoops for something I would never get because I knew it was an American pilot and they would go for somebody who was well-known and Paul was and he was fantastic, so I said ‘No, I won’t come along’.

“I said to my agent: tell them thank you very much but I don’t want to go along,”

He got the role shortly after he won a best short film Oscar for Franz Kafka’s It’s a Wonderful Life movie adaptation.

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Engineers Create More Efficient Bomb-Sniffing Technology Using Nanomaterials

Engineers from the University of Utah have developed new bomb-sniffing technology using a new type of carbon nanotube material they will use to create handheld sensors that can detect explosives, deadly gases and illegal drugs faster.

Vaporsens, the university’s spin-off company, will build a prototype by the end of the year. If they prove satisfactory for investors and interested parties, they would then produce the first commercial scanners early next year.

Vaporsens co-founder and Utah Science Technology and Research Economic Development Initiative (USTAR) Professor Ling Zang said that by applying voltage between the electrodes and monitor the current through the nanotube, you could see that different materials spark an increase or decrease in the nanotube current.

Carbon nanotubes are cylindrical material that is a six-sided array of carbon atoms rolled up into a tube. These nanotubes have great strength and high electrical conductivity. Zang’s team’s sensors make use of polymer-enhanced nanotubes that could help detect homemade bombs and dozens of different gases. All it takes is one nanotube modification to help existing airport scanners to sense explosives or chemical threats.

Study co-author and University of Utah Doctoral Student Ben Bunes said that carbon atoms’ sensitivity to air makes it more sensitive to detecting the chemicals that would increase the voltage.

According to the engineers’ lab tests, the technology generates few false positives and is generally very precise. It also has a fast response time; it could find a bomb or dangerous chemical within just a few seconds.

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PPI Compensation Bill Tops £22billion

Britain’s “big four” banks are poised to take their combined bill for the mis-sold payment protection insurance (PPI) scandal to £22bn, further cementing it’s status as the largest in UK banking history.

Insiders have speculated that the latest the accumulative top-up for the five largest UK lenders, comprising of Lloyds, RBS, Barclays, and HSBC, will be over £1bn, taking their combined total to nearly £22bn.

Claims for PPI compensation, continued to pour in between September and July, scuppering banks’ expectations the the rate of grievances would abate considerably through the 2nd half.

Lloyds, which was the first of the big four banks to report third quarter results on last Tuesday, had by far the largest share of the PPI market, has now allocated a total of £11.3bn for settlement.

The sizeable new top-ups may revive calls to impose a deadline on PPI claims, which will call for a time limit on consumers to submit settlement claims.

The prospect of an additional £1bn or more is being set may surprise some bank shareholders, as recent figures released by the FOS suggest that the number of complaints has dropped significantly when compared to the same period last year.

Executives at leading banks claim the expense of managing invalid or even deceptive claims can reach £1,000 each, eroding their capital at a time when they’re confronting political demands to give more money.

The British Bankers’ Association (BBA) had been directing provisional discussions together with the City regulator about a cutoff stage for claims.

Martin Wheatley, the chief executive of the Financial Conduct Authority, told MPs he was sceptical concerning the prospects of a time-barring exercise.

If you believe that you may have been mis-sold PPI and would like to know more about about claiming back your premiums, click here.

200,000 Kurds from Kobane Face Suspicious Reception in the Turkish Border

As the battle between Islamic State (IS) fighters and Kurdish fighters intensified, Kobani’s refugees were faced with a very cold reception. Turkish authorities had them detained as they took their fingerprints. They were then interviewed for links with the Syrian Kurdish Political group in Turkey and the YPG, a labour arm fighting against IS in Kobane.

The two groups Turkey’s government had mentioned belong to the PKK, a Kurdish group that intends to give Turkish Kurds autonomy from Turkey. The US and NATO declare PKK as a terrorist group by itself, and the PYD and YPG are extensions of the group.

According to refugees, they were initially treated as guests. Then during their arrival, they were detained for security reasons. Many of the refugees were pregnant women and children. They also face the threat of being deported to Syria. Some were sent back to Kobane signing a voluntary agreement to return.

Turkey has housed countless refugees from the Syrian civil war and continues to accommodate refugees from different areas. Turkish officials stress that the detainment was necessary for “administrative supervision.”

Human Rights Group Amnesty International is calling on the Turkish government to release their detainees.

Turkish Kurds make up 20% of Turkey’s population. Turkey’s role in the fight against the Islamic State could prove an investment to cap the perceived Kurdish threat inside the country.

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Scientists in Europe Discover Best Anti-Aging Technique?

Every year billions of dollars are spent on anti-aging creams all around the world. Scientists in Europe have discovered a much easier solution though, and it all starts with getting off the sofa and standing on your own two feet.

That’s right…it is now believed that the best anti-aging technique is to simply stand up more and limit the amount of time you spend sitting down.

A European study has shown that sitting down for more than an hour per day actually shortens something called “telomeres” which is a chief factor in the aging of skin and the human body as a whole.

The study went on to conclude that when a person spends the majority of their time standing up, then the telomeres actually become longer, which in turn slows down the aging process.

So does this mean you should sell your sofa and spend all of your time standing up? While it’s true that many people need to get more active and spend less time sitting down, the reality of the situation is that standing up for more than a couple of hours a day is unrealistic for many people.

If you work at a job that involved physical labor or serving food to customers then you will be doing a lot of walking around and standing up, but what about people who work at office jobs in front of a computer all day?

Ultimately, this is the situation that most of the workforce find themselves in, and is the reason why standing up for hours at a time to beat the aging process is just not going to work.

However, you will be pleased to hear about other solutions out there. For example, a supplement called phytoceramides on dr oz recently got experts and celebrities raving about its anti-aging qualities.

Surveys released show that many people get results from Phytoceramides in as little as 7 days, with fine lines and wrinkles significantly reduced.

This can only be achieved though when buying phytoceramides from rice that are free from artificial ingredients and other harmful binders and fillers.

For the best Phytoceramides on the market, it’s highly recommended that you shop at a trusted website such as Amazon, so you are protected by a money back guarantee and all of the sellers can be trusted.

Sure, standing up for hours on end every day could help to slow down the aging process, but wouldn’t you prefer to do things the simple way? That is why Phytoceramides have become so popular in such a short amount of time, and they will continue to get more attention over the next few years.

Turkey Prepares to Take on Bigger Role Against Fighting IS

The Islamic State (IS) is the newest target of the Turkish Military. However, it may have negative allied implications with Kurdish goals.

Turkey, once accused of allowing sanctuary and partly-training Islamic State members, is now preparing its forces to fight against the escalating terrorist threat in the Middle East.

It may use its ground troops to cross the border into Syria and Iraq to see combat. The use of the Turkish Air Force for bombing and aerial attacks is of no question involved in the ensuing campaigns.

However, Turkey’s bigger involvement leaves the Kurdish a big obstacle in its goal in supporting the anti-ISIS campaigns on the ground. Turkey will have Syrian and Iraqi Kurds, who have links with Turkish Kurds, stop at their tracks at aspiring to be a key western ally where they could use their position to establish themselves politically.

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that ground action is essential, not just air support. He stressed that if there are no boots on the ground, no permanent solution against the Islamic State can be established.

Meanwhile, direct Turkish engagement further hampers growing Kurdish autonomy. According to Turkish political analysts, Turkey must tread carefully, or it may have its own internal insurgency as separatist PKK workers in Turkey may end its uneasy ceasefire with the government.

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Hamas and Israeli Peace Talks To Resume on Wednesday

Israel and Palestinian talks give possibility to consolidate the Gaza truce by resuming talks in Cairo on Wednesday. Earlier, Fatah and Hamas had reconciled after their initial conflict.

The two countries had agreed on a truce ending within 50 days of conflict and resumed negotiations to resolve their earlier issues. The indirect talks between the Israeli and Palestinian government aims to construct a seaport and restore the territory’s airport and exchanging Palestinian prisoners for the remains of Israeli soldiers.

The talks of Fatah and Hamas will allow Hamas to indirectly talk with Israel regarding peace terms. Egypt had invited Israeli and Palestinian delegations to resume talks in Cairo according to a Palestinian official.

Egypt had actively played its role in the peace talks between the two sides.

The Palestinian Negotiating Team Leader Azzam al-Ahmad, confirmed the talks will be ahead of the Jewish New Year.

However, an Israeli minister said that the talks were unlikely to achieve anything, except the reconstruction of the partly-maimed Gaza Strip. Strategic Affairs Minister Yuval Steinitz told reporters that he does not have high hopes for the talks in Cairo because a long-term ceasefire is already in place.

Despite the agreement between Fatah and Hamas, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas said that a “shadow government” may be running the territory despite the government of Hamas stepping down.

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Israel’s 1,000 Acre New Settlement Exposes Contradiction of Interests for Palestinian Peace Plan

Israel’s new settlement of Gvaot, located between Etzion and Jerusalem, the US and Palestinian Authority had greatly condemned. Political analysts said that Israel’s long-settlement activities continue to indicate its lacking interest in providing a solution between Israel-Palestine tensions.

According to Chief Palestinian Negotiator Saeb Erakat, Israel is “committing various crimes against Palestinians and occupied land.” He encouraged the international community to hold Israel accountable for its war crimes.

Meanwhile, Israel argued that they had declared Gvaot a neighbour of their long-time settlement in Alon Shuvt. However, Alon Shuvt is several miles away from Gvaot.

The US had released an official statement that condemned the decision of the Israeli cabinet and asked the cabinet to reverse it as it does not support the two-state plan created by Israel and the United States.

Israel is currently fighting against Hamas fighters in Gaza and the recent developments in land settlements officially owned by five Palestinian villages could create more friction between the two sides. According to an Israeli anti-settlement group Peace Now, the settlement increments can gradually change the area.

According to the Mayor of Surif near Gvaot Ahmad Lafi, the land was owned by the families who lived in the area of Gvaot. Israel soldiers arrived in the town and posted orders that the land was seized.

Israel stated that its invasion of Gvaot is its response against the kidnapping and killing of three Israeli teenagers, which Israel suspects to be by Hamas fighters.

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