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The pound rose Friday but was struggling to claw back its latest losses after the EU gave Britain a Brexit deadline extension, while equity markets were boosted by a positive lead from Wall Street. At a summit in Brussels, Prime Minister Theresa May was given until April 12 to push her divorce agreement through a fractious parliament next week. The sterling has come under pressure owing to the uncertainty in the past few days, falling to as low as $1.3004 Thursday, though it has recovered slightly and is still maintaining its position, helped by this week's dovish outlook on interest rates from the Federal Reserve.
The Muslim call to prayer rang out across New Zealand on Friday followed by two minutes of nationwide silence to mark a week since a white supremacist gunned down 50 people at two mosques in the city of Christchurch. As the call was broadcast around the country, thousands -- including Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and wounded survivors -- stood in a park opposite the mosque where the killing began, as the nation of 4.5 million came to a standstill. New Zealand is still in shock following the killings by alleged shooter Brenton Tarrant, a 28-year-old Australian national who had hoped to foment an ethnic war with his attacks.
The disputed area was captured by Israel in the 1967 Middle East war and annexed in 1981 in a move not recognized internationally. Netanyahu has pressed the United States to recognize its claim and raised that possibility in his first White House meeting with Trump in February 2017. "After 52 years it is time for the United States to fully recognize Israel's Sovereignty over the Golan Heights, which is of critical strategic and security importance to the State of Israel and Regional Stability!" Trump wrote on Twitter.
T-Mobile on Thursday unveiled a limited home internet service that it plans to pilot for 50,000 mobile customers at $50 a month, with the company promising it could build on that, and eventually offer a lot more once its $26.5 billion merger with Sprint finally goes through.For now, the new invitation-only service will focus on areas where the carrier can deliver high-speed internet access to connect up to 50,000 homes in rural and underserved parts of the country. Once it merges with Sprint, however, T-Mobile says it should be able to cover more than half of the US with broadband service by 2024.This seems to be one attempt by T-Mobile to push back against critics of the proposed merger who worry it will leave customers with less choice and the potential for prices to rise. "We're walking the walk and laying the foundation for a world where we can take the fight to Big Cable on behalf of consumers and offer real choice, competition and savings to Americans nationwide," T-Mobile CEO John Legere about the home broadband pilot.The service will be offered only in areas where T-Mobile expects to deliver speeds of around 50 Mbps through fixed unlimited wireless service over LTE, with no data caps. The carrier points to one economist's estimate that showed while customers today pay around $80 a month for wired in-home broadband service, "the new T-Mobile will save customers up to $13.65 billion a year on home broadband by 2024".As context for why it decided to pursue the new service, T-Mobile went on to note in its announcement that almost half of Americans today have no competitive choice for high-speed in-home broadband. "The New T-Mobile," the company declares, "will be armed with spectrum and network assets that will build the highest capacity wireless network in US history, covering millions with 5G, not just a few people in a few blocks of a few cities like the other guys."If you're eligible to participate in the home broadband pilot, T-Mobile plans to start sending out invitations by email and regular mail this week.We mentioned T-Mobile's pending merger with Sprint, and it's also worth pointing out, as a reminder, that it's still under review by federal regulators. T-Mobile has said it feels optimistic everything will be approved in the first half of this year.
NASA needs a way to get astronauts to the International Space Station that doesn't involve paying Russia heaps of money, so it struck deals with both SpaceX and Boeing to build crew capsules capable of fulfilling that need. Earlier this month, SpaceX successfully sent its Crew Dragon capsule to the International Space Station, paving the way for crew tests to be conducted within months, but what about Boeing?A new report from Reuters suggests that Boeing is having a much, much harder time getting its Starliner spacecraft ready for its first big test. Boeing, which analysts thought would beat SpaceX's Crew Dragon to delivery by a significant margin, has now reportedly pushed back its maiden flight to the space station by several months, and the first crewed flights won't happen until close to the end of the year, if they happen in 2019 at all.The report, which cites unnamed sources, claims that the first unmanned test flight of Starliner has been delayed by three months. Adjusting the timeline based on that new information, Boeing's first crewed flight of the spacecraft wouldn't be ready until November, and that's assuming everything goes perfectly from here on out.Both Crew Dragon and Starliner have been plagued by delays over the past couple of years, forcing NASA to strike new deals with Russian space agency Roscosmos to fly NASA crew members to the ISS and back. The clock is ticking, and right now it's clear that SpaceX is much closer to delivering NASA much-needed crew-capable spacecraft than Boeing is.In the meantime, NASA is doing its best to prepare for a worst-case scenario in which one or potentially both programs fail to deliver before the end of 2019. The agency is mulling the decision to throw more money at Russia to ensure its astronauts can make it to the ISS throughout 2019 and into 2020, but no decisions have been finalized as of yet.
Sweeping new ban that came just six days after mass shooting in Christchurch is a stark contrast to the political stalemate in the USVigil at Forsyth Barr Stadium on Thursday in Dunedin, New Zealand for 50 people killed when a gunman opened fire at the Al Noor and Linwood mosques in Christchurch on 15 March. Photograph: Dianne Manson/Getty ImagesNew Zealand’s sweeping new ban on a range of semi-automatic rifles and large ammunition magazines, which came just six days after a mass shooting in Christchurch, has been hailed as the “fastest response ever by a government after a tragedy”.In the US, where conservative politicians have blocked even moderate gun control for 25 years, New Zealand’s swift action was greeted as a powerful inspiration – and a reminder of how far behind the country is.“Sandy Hook happened six years ago and we can’t even get the Senate to hold a vote on universal background checks,” Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the New York congresswoman, wrote on Twitter, referring to the 2012 shooting at an elementary school in Newtown, Connecticut, that left 20 children and six educators dead.> Sandy Hook happened 6 years ago and we can’t even get the Senate to hold a vote on universal background checks w/ HR8. > > Christchurch happened, and within days New Zealand acted to get weapons of war out of the consumer market. > > This is what leadership looks like ⬇️ https://t.co/TcdR63anBt> > — Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) March 21, 2019“This is what leadership looks like,” David Hogg, one of the students from Parkland, Florida, who founded the March for Our Lives movement for gun control after a shooting at their school last February, tweeted, sharing a video of the announcement by New Zealand’s prime minister, Jacinda Ardern.Some Democratic presidential candidates have already pledged to support a ban on assault weapons – though one that would probably be much more limited that New Zealand’s.“We must follow New Zealand’s lead, take on the NRA and ban the sale and distribution of assault weapons in the United States,” tweeted the Vermont senator Bernie Sanders, a 2020 Democratic presidential candidate who has been attacked for his mixed record on gun control in the past.“We had an assault weapons ban once, and we should have it again,” Senator Kamala Harris of California, tweeted a few days after the Christchurch attacks. “These weapons of war do not belong on our streets, in our schools, or at our houses of worship. This is a fight I will take on as president.”Pro-gun activists in the United States said that New Zealand’s aggressive action to ban ownership of previously legal guns, and enact a mandatory buyback, would never be viable in the United States.“The US isn’t New Zealand,” Dana Loesch, a prominent gun rights activist and National Rifle Association spokeswoman, tweeted. “They do not have an inalienable right to bear arms and to self-defense, we do.”In another tweet, she wrote: “To ‘follow these examples’ the US would need to repeal the Second Amendment, ban all semi-auto, force gun stores to show all purchases to gov’t, and spend $200 million taxpayer dollars to confiscate firearms.”> I sure see a lot of people who like to say "nobody is coming for your guns" celebrating this confiscation effort. https://t.co/e3quZ8v7gi> > — Stephen Gutowski (@StephenGutowski) March 21, 2019Rebecca Peters, who helped lead the successful campaign to reform Australia’s gun laws in the 1990s, said she believed New Zealand’s government action was the “fastest response ever” by government officials after a mass shooting.It took the British government seven months after the massacre of 16 children in Dunblane, Scotland, in March 1996, to announce a partial ban on handguns, which parents of the children had demanded as part of the Snowdrop Campaign. It took the Australian government 10 days after the Port Arthur massacre in April 1996 to announce the National Firearms Agreement.New Zealand announced the new ban on military-style weapons – one with broad support from the prime minister and the opposition – after only six days. “It’s a small parliament. It’s a small country. And obviously, they have very high support for it,” Peters said.In a press conference on Thursday, Ardern promised increased penalties for continued ownership of the banned weapons. New Zealand’s minister of police said police were “gearing up” to enable military-style weapons to be taken out of circulation. Police will be supported by the New Zealand defense force, he said, and would consult gun licensing records.Ardern promised the country would continue to consider broader gun control measures on Monday, including issues such as licensing, registration and storage.New Zealand’s swift action is a stark contrast to the political stalemate in the US, where conservative politicians have blocked any substantial gun control laws for 25 years, despite frequent high-casualty mass shootings.The US’s last substantial action on gun control, in 1994, was a federal ban on military-style “assault weapons”. But the ban was written to expire in 10 years, and did not require Americans who already owned military-style guns to give up their weapons – it simply tried to regulate the manufacture and sale of new guns.When it expired in 2004, an in-depth evaluation of the loophole-ridden legislation found that it could not be clearly credited with any of the nation’s drop in violence. The consensus among Democratic politicians was that the ban had backfired politically against their party, and that gun control was not a winning issue for the American left. They largely abandoned the issue for more than a decade.Since the ban lifted, military-style rifles have become popular high-end acquisitions for American gun owners, and have become popular for target shooting, even as they have become infamous as the mass shooter’s weapon of choice. Some gun rights advocates argue that military-style rifles are necessary for self-defense, including self-defense in the home.While there are restrictions on “assault weapons” in some parts of the US, in many places today, Americans can buy an AR-15-style rifle before they are legally allowed to buy a beer.
Cyclone Idai left death, destruction, and a sprawling inland sea in its wake. The powerful tropical cyclone -- which struck Mozambique last Thursday as the equivalent of a Category 2 or 3 hurricane with winds of around 100 mph -- has left at least 150 dead and 600,000 in need of help in the flooded nation said the EU, though the Associated Press reports over 300 fatalities as of March 21 when accounting for deaths in neighboring Zimbabwe.The cyclone's widespread flooding -- in part overshadowed by simultaneous and historic flooding in the Midwest -- has left behind an inundated area some 200 square miles in size (518 square kilometers), with the inland sea reaching up to 15 miles wide, according to satellite images from the European Space Agency (ESA). > And for better comparison a GIF animation of the images showing the Mozambique flood before (March 2nd) and after (March 20th) Mozambique Copernicus Sentinel-1️ Better quality GIF https://t.co/h8608N8so5 MozambiqueFloods MozambiqueFloods2019 RemoteSensing Beira Idai pic.twitter.com/d9hOmdiBbp> > -- Pierre Markuse (@Pierre_Markuse) March 21, 2019The destruction is particularly severe around Mozambique's fourth largest city, Beira. SEE ALSO: The West accepts its drought-ridden future, slashes water use"The situation is terrible. The scale of devastation is enormous. It seems that 90 per cent of the area is completely destroyed," said the Red Cross's Jamie LeSueur, who is working in the region. > The latest delineation maps for Mozambique: > ✴️Nhantaze: 24,837.7 ha (248 sq km) flooded > ✴️Macorreia: 9,862.5 ha (98.6 sq km) flooded > Maps and geospatial data: https://t.co/w3uo4SPyREMozambiqueFloods Idai IdaiCyclone pic.twitter.com/0siHZhW6hM> > -- Copernicus EMS (@CopernicusEMS) March 21, 2019Though there's little evidence showing that the planet is experiencing more cyclones and hurricanes, there is mounting evidence that these storms are growing stronger compared to storms in the 21st century.What's more, cyclones, like any big storm today, can now carry more water: The world has warmed by 1.8 degrees Fahrenheit, or 1 Celsius, over the last century, and for every 1 degree C of warming the atmosphere holds seven percent more water. > This just in: shocking footage from our team via helicopter that has just arrived in Beira, Mozambique. The devastation is widespread with barely a house intact following CycloneIdaipic.twitter.com/BnyqVIJ9YF> > -- IFRC Africa (@IFRCAfrica) March 17, 2019Since the 1960s, only three tropical storms of category 3 or stronger have hit Mozambique, according to Weather.com.When the total number of fatalities are confirmed and the great inland sea dissipates, Idai's rampage may end up being the worst storm on record in the Southern Hemisphere, the EU noted. WATCH: Jordan Peele explains the childhood experience that made him love horror
The Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido has said intelligence agents arrested his chief of staff after a pre-dawn raid, signalling that president Nicolas Maduro may be cracking down on the opposition's challenge to his rule. Mr Guaido invoked the constitution in January to assume the interim presidency after declaring Maduro's 2018 re-election a fraud, and has been recognised by dozens of Western nations as the country's legitimate leader. Mr Maduro, who has overseen a dramatic collapse of the country's economy, has called Mr Guaido a puppet of the United States and said he should “face justice”, but has not explicitly ordered his arrest.
Late-night TV host Samantha Bee ripped into the growing field of Democratic 2020 presidential hopefuls Wednesday night. The 'Full Frontal' host commented on everything from Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand's campaign slogan, to former Vice President Joe Biden not making a decision on his third potential presidential run. The TBS star also went after former Texas congressman Beto O'Rourke, Sen. Cory Booker and Sen. Amy Klobuchar.
Maduro's government has since 2014 used financial operations known as gold swaps to use its international reserves to gain access to cash after a slump in oil revenues left it struggling to obtain hard currency. Under the terms of the 2015 deal with Citigroup's Citibank, Venezuela was due to repay $1.1 billion of the loan on March 11, according to four sources familiar with the situation. Citibank plans to sell the gold held as a guarantee - which has a market value of roughly $1.358 billion - to recover the first tranche of the loan and will deposit the excess of roughly $258 million in a bank account in New York, two of the sources said.
A string of small Missouri towns prepared for the next deluge along the raging Missouri River on Wednesday after flooding wreaked nearly $1.5 billion in damage in Nebraska, killing at least four people and leaving another man missing. High water unleashed by last week's late-winter storm and melting snow has already inundated a large swath of Missouri, Nebraska and Iowa along the Missouri River, North America's longest river. The Missouri River's next major flood crest was forecast to hit St. Joseph, Missouri, at 6 a.m. on Friday and Kansas City, Missouri, 55 miles (88 km) to the south, about 24 hours later, said Mike Glasch of the Omaha District of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
A Palestinian was killed by Israeli gunfire in the occupied West Bank, Palestinian medics said, and the military announced on Thursday that a soldier had discharged his weapon and it was reviewing the incident. The Palestinian Red Crescent said one of its crews treated a man with two bullet wounds at an Israeli military roadblock near the city of Bethlehem on Wednesday and that Israeli forces had shot him. The Palestinian Health Ministry identified the man as a 26-year-old from Bethlehem and said another Palestinian had also been shot and critically wounded.
Biden has told supporters and former staff that he will run, according to one source who has knowledge of discussions. Biden and his aides also have reached out to donors and potential bundlers - people who volunteer to raise money on behalf of the candidate - to assess support, according to another source. A third source with direct knowledge of Biden's plans offered a caveat, saying the former vice president was very close to running, but "it’s not 100 percent." “We’re leaning into that moment” when Biden gives the green light, the source said.
Kentucky governor Matt Bevin on Tuesday signed a bill that bans abortions chosen on the basis of an unborn child's sex, race, or disability.A court filing in the U.S. District Court in Louisville indicated that the governor has signed the bill, which included an "emergency clause" stipulating that it would go into effect immediately.Physicians must now certify in writing that the patient did not request the abortion for a reason related to the baby's sex, race, or disabilities. Flouting the new law puts doctors at risk of losing their medical license or being prosecuted for a felony, although the mother of the unborn child would not be targeted.The American Civil Liberties Union is challenging the bill in federal court as an unconstitutional restriction on a woman's right to abortion.“Instituting laws that instantly affect critical patient care should not be a cat-and-mouse game,” the group said, asking that it be notified when the bill is signed.Another new law that bans abortions after about six weeks or when a heartbeat can be detected forced Kentucky's sole abortion clinic, EMW Women's Surgical Center in Louisville, to cancel some appointments on Friday until a federal judge intervened.“EMW and its abortionists have responded with a novel claim: Women have a constitutional right to undergo race-based abortions, gender-based abortions, and disability-based abortions. In plaintiffs’ view, somewhere in the Fourteenth Amendment’s penumbra lies a protection for eugenics,” the governor's lawyer M. Stephen Pitt wrote in defending the ban on eugenics-based abortions. “This is a perverse distortion of Roe v. Wade.”
A new poll has revealed early gains for Kamala Harris and Beto O’Rourke in the growing field of 2020 Democratic presidential candidates — but they’re still far from being the frontrunners at this stage in the game. Joe Biden, the former vice president who has yet to formally announce his candidacy, has been leading the pack in a slate of polls putting him ahead of his lesser known potential opponents. Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders is now tied with Mr Biden at 26 per cent of total support from Democratic voters, however, according to a new Emerson poll released on Wednesday.
You would never travel without your Apple Watch, of course, but wouldn't you love it if you could travel without the Apple Watch's mile-long charging cable? Clip the 5% coupon on the Amazon page and use the exclusive coupon code BGRSAVING15 when you check out, and you'll get the UGREEN Apple Watch Travel Charger for an all-time low of just $32.79. This essential accessory is tiny enough to fit on a keychain and it has an MFi certified wireless charging disc just like the charger that came with your Apple Watch. Definitely pick one up before these sales end.Here's some additional information from the product page: * Apple MFi Certified: Built-in MFI certified (PPID: 219693-0102) magnetic wireless charging module, combine MagSafe technology with inductive charging; Compatible for all 44mm 42mm 40mm 38mm Apple Watch Series 4 3 2 1, Apple Watch Sport, Apple Watch Nike plus, Apple Watch Hermes, Apple Watch Edition; * Cable-free Charging: No extra charging cables are needed---saves you from the hassles of tangling cables! Simply plug it into a wall charger/power bank or any other USB charging devices and charging is on the go! * Original Charging Speed: Offers a fast original charging speed for your Apple watch series 4 3 2 1; This apple watch charger cable only takes 2h to fully charge your Apple watch; * Portable and Compact: Lightweight and portable apple watch charger is a perfect accessory for your apple watch. With lanyard design, you can hang it on your bag or put it in your pocket. * Multiple Protections: Built-in over current, over voltage, short circuit and over temperature protection, offers you a safe environment for both watch and the charger.
Britain's request for a delay to Brexit will be rejected by the EU if Prime Minister Theresa May cannot provide sufficient guarantees that her parliament will approve the divorce deal she negotiated, France's foreign minister said on Wednesday. The French stance was markedly tougher in tone than the public rhetoric out of Berlin, where Germany's foreign minister said only that an orderly British departure from the European Union would solve the Brexit turmoil.
Fox News contributor Katie Pavlich attempted to counter Senator Elizabeth Warren’s call to discuss the injustices of slavery, and its lasting systemic impact on generations of African-Americans, by claiming that the United States does not get “enough credit” for ending slavery. While discussing reparations to descendents of enslaved people on Fox News’ "Outnumbered" on Tuesday, Ms Pavlich claimed that the US was the first country to abolish slavery. “They keep blaming America for the sin of slavery but the truth is, throughout human history, slavery existed, and America came along as the first country to end it within 150 years,” she said.
Glyphosate, the world's most widely used herbicide and the active ingredient in Monsanto's weedkiller Roundup, is the subject of fierce controversy across the globe and is classified by the World Health Organization as "probably" being carcinogenic. A California court on Tuesday found that Roundup was a "substantial factor" in Edwin Hardeman, 70, getting non-Hodgkin's lymphoma after spraying the weedkiller on his garden for decades.
A Danish MP said on Tuesday she was ordered to remove her infant daughter from parliament's chamber, sparking surprise in a country often hailed as a pioneer in women's rights. "You are not welcome with your baby in the parliament's chamber," speaker Pia Kjaersgaard, an outspoken former leader of the far-right Danish People's Party, allegedly told MP Mette Abildgaard. "I didn't ask for permission to bring her since I had previously seen another colleague bring a child into the chamber without any problems," Ms Abildgaard, whose Conservative party is part of the ruling centre-right coalition, wrote on Facebook. Ms Abildgaard, who is in her 30s, said she found herself in an exceptional situation with her five-month-old daughter, and had never brought her into the chamber before. But she said the infant was "in a good mood and had a pacifier in her mouth." Mette Abildgaard responded to the incident on Facebook Ms Kjaersgaard passed the message to an assistant, who then asked Ms Abildgaard to remove the baby from the room. Ms Abildgaard handed the child to an assistant and returned to the chamber to vote. "MPs should be in the chamber, not babies or children," insisted Ms Kjaersgaard when questioned by news agency Ritzau. She said clear rules would be issued on the subject. The Scandinavian country is often held up as a champion of gender equality and women's rights, and as a child and family-centred nation with generous parental leave. Ms Abildgaard noted that she was entitled to a year's maternity leave with full pay, but that she had chosen to return to work. Her Facebook post garnered more than 600 comments within the space of a few hours. New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern holds her baby after speaking at the UN General Assembly Credit: REUTERS/Carlo Allegri "A chamber that represents mothers, fathers and babies ought to be open to mothers, fathers and babies," one person wrote. In 2016, an Icelandic lawmaker made headlines after breastfeeding her infant while speaking at the podium in parliament. And in September, New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern became a symbol for working mothers when she brought her baby to the UN General Assembly in New York.
Reports a few days ago said that Google would receive a new massive fine in Europe, and the EU on Wednesday delivered its latest ruling against the tech giant. This time around we're looking at a €1.5 billion ($1.7 billion) antitrust fine as a result of illegal practices in Google's AdSense business.The EU says that Google abused its dominant position again, this time concerning its AdSense business. The company did it for more than a decade, the European Commission explained, preventing AdSense customers from inking advertising deals with rivals. Commissioner Margrethe Vestager had this to say alongside the judgement:> Today the Commission has fined Google €1.49 billion for illegal misuse of its dominant position in the market for the brokering of online search adverts. Google has cemented its dominance in online search adverts and shielded itself from competitive pressure by imposing anti-competitive contractual restrictions on third-party websites. This is illegal under EU antitrust rules. The misconduct lasted over 10 years and denied other companies the possibility to compete on the merits and to innovate - and consumers the benefits of competition.Google was slapped with a €4.3 billion ($4.88 billion) antitrust fine last year related to Android, and a €2.4 billion ($2.73 billion) fine the year before for its search business. In total, Google is looking at fines totalling €8.2 billion ($9.31 billion) from the EU in just the last three years. The company has appealed the previous two rulings, and it's likely to do it again with this new fine.What's interesting is that Google earlier this week announced a massive change for Android in Europe that's meant to appease an earlier ruling by the Commission. Users will soon see prompts that will allow them to select the default Internet browser and search engine on their Android devices. That doesn't mean the previous fine relating to Google's Android platform will go away, of course.The EU's full ruling on the AdSense antitrust case is available at this link.
People under 30 in Kazakhstan have only known one leader -- Nursultan Nazarbayev, who announced his resignation this week after shepherding the country from the Soviet era. "The word 'Nazarbayev' means something like the word 'parent'," said 18-year-old film student Madi Makanov, who lives in the country's largest city Almaty. Kazakhstan has a young population, with around 40 percent of people under 24, according to estimates based on UN figures.