Berlin attack was a blow to the key part of German cultural life

AP Photo/Markus SchreiberI’ve been going to Christmas markets since I was a child in Hannover in the 1970s – I love the stalls, the smells, the twinkly lights and the kitschy music. I own many knitted hats, carved wooden animals and artisanal candles. And now I take my own children to a traditional German Christmas market in Leeds, England. In December 2014, I was invited to Berlin for … [Read more...]

Suspect in ‘Vote Trump’ vandalism and burning of black Mississippi church reportedly a member of the congregation

Thomson ReutersMississippi authorities arrested a man Wednesday in the burning of an African-American church that was also spray-painted with the words, "Vote Trump." Andrew McClinton of Leland, Mississippi, was charged with first degree arson of a place of worship, said Warren Strain, spokesman for the Mississippi Department of Public Safety. McClinton is African-American. McClinton was arrested … [Read more...]

Poll: The most annoying word or phrase in America is ‘whatever’

YouTube / MovieClipsPOUGHKEEPSIE, N.Y. (AP) — A poll has found that the most annoying word or phrase used in casual conversation in America is "whatever." The Marist College poll released Wednesday indicates the word irritates 38 percent of Americans. The pollsters offered up five options for most annoying word or phrase: "Whatever," ''No offense, but," ''Ya know, right," ''I can't even" and … [Read more...]

How to pack your suit so it doesn’t wrinkle

Dan Trepanier/Articles Of Style Following up on yesterday’s “flight suit” article, here’s a quick guide on how to fold a suit and shirt to avoid wrinkling in your suitcase. The suit First, lay the jacket flat: Dan Trepanier/Articles Of Style The key is that all four panels are laying perfectly flat (front and back, including the vents). The pin is optional (I … [Read more...]

A Danish MP suggested shooting at boats carrying migrants to keep them away from Europe

AFPCOPENHAGEN (Reuters) - Security forces should shoot at the boats of migrants trying to reach the European Union illegally, a member of parliament for the Danish government's main political ally, the Danish People's Party, suggested on national television. "The only efficient way is to turn the boats and say: 'You cannot sail within this national border and if you do, you will either be shot at … [Read more...]

A Pakistan passenger plane issued a Mayday call before a deadly crash that killed everyone on board

AFP/AAMIR QURESHISaddha Batolni (Pakistan) (AFP) - A Pakistani aircraft carrying 47 people issued a Mayday call before losing radar contact and crashing into a mountain, killing everyone on board, authorities said, as they began collecting DNA Thursday to identify victims.   The Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) flight smashed into a hillside in the country's north after one of its two … [Read more...]

Michael Jordan just won a landmark case over Chinese copycats

Thomson ReutersSHANGHAI (Reuters) - China's highest court has ruled in favor of former basketball star Michael Jordan in a long-running trademark case relating to a local sportswear firm using the Chinese version of his name, overturning earlier rulings against the athlete. The former Chicago Bulls player sued Qiaodan Sports in 2012, saying the company located in southern Fujian province had built … [Read more...]

A secret to sustainable development might be right before our eyes

George Washington had Mount Vernon. Thomas Jefferson had Monticello. Now President-elect Donald Trump has his eponymous Manhattan skyscraper, Trump Tower. Our first and third presidents saw their plantations as both productive and symbolic of American identity that was rooted in the land itself. President-elect Trump looks out from his tower onto a dense, dynamic cityscape that represents American … [Read more...]

Leonardo DiCaprio just met with Trump to talk about clean energy

GettyLeonardo DiCaprio and the head of his foundation met Wednesday with President-elect Donald Trump to discuss how jobs centering on preserving the environment can boost the economy. In a statement to The Associated Press, Terry Tamminen, the CEO of the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation, confirmed the meeting at Trump Tower in New York City. Tamminen said the pair gave a presentation to Trump, … [Read more...]

US and UK spies targeted commercial airline passengers’ mobile phones

AFPParis (AFP) - American and British spy agencies have tried to intercept data from passengers' mobile phones on commercial airlines including Air France, media reports say, citing documents from US whistleblower Edward Snowden. The French flag-carrier was an early target of the US National Security Agency and its British counterpart GCHQ as it was seen as a terrorist mark and it carried out … [Read more...]

Chinese media is pushing for more nuclear arms to prepare for Trump

REUTERS/Thomas PeterBeijing (AFP) - China should "significantly" increase military spending and build more nuclear weapons as a response to US President-elect Donald Trump, an editorial in the nationalistic Global Times newspaper said Thursday.  China should "build more strategic nuclear arms and accelerate the deployment of the DF-41 intercontinental ballistic missile" to protect its … [Read more...]

Pope likens scandal-seeking media to excrement lovers

© AFP Vincenzo PintoVatican City (AFP) - Pope Francis on Wednesday compared scandal-obsessed media outlets who smear politicians and spread gossip to people sexually excited by excrement -- and described their readers as faeces eaters. He also lambasted "disinformation," a subject in the headlines amid debate about the growth of fake online news, and its possible influence on the US presidential … [Read more...]

An Arizona-based advocacy group is accusing US Border Patrol of using the desert’s harsh terrain as a ‘weapon’

Thomson Reuters The US Border Patrol agency has engineered the death and disappearance of tens of thousands of undocumented immigrants by using the desert wilderness as a “weapon”, according to an advocacy group. Agents chase and scatter border crossers across hostile terrain in a strategy that leaves many people injured, dead or lost, turning the US’s south-western frontier into … [Read more...]

Israel could become a counterterrorism training hub for countries worried about ISIS

Thomson Reuters Israel could become a training hub for security and counterterrorism units from Kazakhstan and other Central Asian countries concerned about Islamic State and other terrorist groups, according to Michael Brodsky, Israel’s envoy to Kazakhstan.In advance of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s historic visit to Kazakhstan next week, Brodsky wrote in The Astana Times on … [Read more...]

There’s a big change happening to Social Security in 2017 — here’s what you need to know

Allison Shelley/Getty ImagesThe maximum Social Security tax in 2017 will be $7,886.40 per employee, which represents a pretty big increase over 2016. That's the simple answer. Below, find out why the maximum Social Security tax is increasing so much, whether the increase will affect you, and what to expect in the coming years. The maximum Social Security tax in 2017 The current Social Security tax … [Read more...]

Here’s an addict’s take on Duterte’s war on drugs

REUTERS/Ezra Acayan/File PhotoMeth. Syabu. Ice. Crystal: call it what you will, but prices on streets of Manila have fallen. A sachet split three ways that used to cost up to 500 pesos (HK$78) now goes for only 200 pesos. Often “cooked”, Breaking Bad-like, in makeshift, temporary laboratories, the drug is made from a combination of harsh chemicals typically obtained from toxic … [Read more...]

For China, climate change is no hoax – it’s a business and political opportunity

How Hwee Young/AP PhotoIn mid-November, while Americans were preoccupied with election returns, China sent some of its clearest signals yet that it will continue to pursue an international leadership role on issues including climate. At an international climate change summit in Marrakech, the Chinese government reasserted its commitment to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions. The government … [Read more...]

A lesson on life’s end: How one college class is rethinking doctor training

Thomson ReutersA person’s breath is usually invisible. It’s quiet and automatic, unseen and unheard. It can be so silent that anxious parents hold mirrors next to their newborns’ faces, trying to catch a glimpse of it. But in the days before death, the nature of breath changes. Instead of passing through the body unnoticed, it calls for attention. It becomes noisy, hollowed, … [Read more...]