Mexico opens border to women & children of US-bound migrant caravan – reports

By ethan / October 20, 2018

Mexico has opened its border to women and children from the thousands-strong migrant caravan that has been attempting to cross from Guatemala and eventually into the US, AFP reports.

The migrants, who are mostly from Honduras, are ultimately trying to reach the United States, despite President Donald Trump’s threat that the military would be called to the US-Mexican border if the “onslaught” is not stopped.

READ MORE: Migrant caravan using women & children as human shields to break into Mexico – Pompeo

Organizers say that some 4,000 migrants form part of the caravan that arrived at Mexico’s border on Friday. Photos showed the bridge between the two countries packed full of people, with many resorting to jumping in the river below after being blocked by Mexican riot police.

Once they had reached the river, many paid raftsmen 25 pesos (US$ 1.30) to ferry them across on vessels made of giant rubber tires, trying their chances at reaching Mexican soil without having their documents checked.

The reported green light for women and children comes after many migrants were sent back on Saturday, with Guatemalan police transporting at least 62 people in two buses.

Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernandez is due to meet his Guatemalan counterpart Jimmy Morales in Guatemala City on Saturday for talks on a strategy to return the Honduran migrants.

On Friday, Mexican Foreign Minister Luis Videgaray vowed to meet the “challenge” of the caravan, after holding talks with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in Mexico City. One day earlier, Trump thanked Mexico for sending police and riot gear to the Mexico-Guatemala border.


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Godzilla, Tardis & Einstein: NASA redraws constellations to map gamma-ray sky (IMAGE, VIDEOS)

By ethan / October 20, 2018

It’s probably the only time Albert Einstein, Godzilla and the Incredible Hulk will ever share an accolade, but the iconic figures are now part of constellations of extremely high-energy light sources grouped by NASA.

The US space agency has mapped gamma ray sources from across the universe such as pulsars, exploding stars and black holes into constellations designed to look like iconic comic book characters, science heroes, landmarks – and even Schrodinger’s cat.

In celebration of the Fermi Gamma Ray Space Telescope’s 10 years of service, NASA drew up the quirky set of constellations to promote the work of its industrious orbiter. Designed in the same vein as star constellations, the areas of powerful light energy, or gamma rays, have been shaped like Marvel’s Incredible Hulk, the Eiffel Tower in France, and the reptilian movie monster Godzilla.

READ MORE: Space junk plunges out of orbit and crashes on California farm (PHOTOS)

Another of the constellations has been titled Schrodinger’s Cat – named after the famous thought experiment by the eponymous Austrian physicist. Meanwhile, Albert Einstein, Vasa (a Swedish king’s lost ship of treasure), Dr Who’s Tardis, and Mount Fuji also get their name up in lights. Electromagnetic and radioactive stellar lights, that is.

The Fermi telescope has been in operation since July 2008, when it began its job of scanning the skies for unusual light patterns. So far, the orbiter has spotted gamma-ray sources from everything like explosive supernovas to the creation of black holes – phenomena that normally escape the view of the naked eye.

READ MORE: Epic trip to hot planet: First Euro-Japanese space mission to unravel Mercury’s mysteries (VIDEO)

“Developing these unofficial constellations was a fun way to highlight a decade of Fermi’s accomplishments,” said Fermi project scientist, Julie McEnery. “One way or another, all of the gamma-ray constellations have a tie-in to Fermi science.”

Images of the gamma-ray collections has been turned into an interactive page, where people can explore many of Fermi’s discoveries. The work coincides with a new catalog of gamma-ray sources, which is in production with help from atomic energy experts.

“Fermi is still going strong, and we are now preparing a new all-sky catalog,” said Jean Ballet, a Fermi team member at the French Atomic Energy Commission. “This will add about 2,000 sources, many varying greatly in brightness, further enriching these constellations and enlivening the high-energy sky.”

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‘Migrant sodomizer, rot in grave’: Outrage over 9/11 widow abused by NYPD-hating ‘liberal’ (VIDEO)

By ethan / October 20, 2018

Twitter has erupted over a video showing an Antifa protester telling a 9/11 widow in an NYPD hat that her husband should “rot in the grave.” The abuse happened in Portland, Oregon, when left-wingers clashed with pro-Trump groups.

The video, which has been doing the rounds on Twitter for the past few days, shows the Antifa protester picking a fight with a woman at a crosswalk. “Why are you trying to block me? I’m f**king trying to walk here,” he tells the woman, who is wearing a USA t-shirt and an NYPD hat.

When he continues with the abuse, the woman dares him to “try something, bitch.” In response, he says he “wasn’t like her husband” and therefore wasn’t going to punch her.

She quickly informed the man that her husband died in the 9/11 terrorist attacks, pointing to her NYPD hat. The man apparently took that as an invitation to go on a belligerent rant about the New York Police Department, saying they “sodomized immigrants with their bully sticks.”

“Your husband should rot in the grave,” he concluded, before running away at full speed when confronted by the woman’s rather muscular and imposing son.

Twitter users are more than a little angry over the matter, with people from both sides of the aisle chiming in to condemn the “coward.”

Some are on a campaign to try to find out who the person is, and publicize his name.

Another took aim at Portland, calling the liberal city a “pit of intolerance and bullying fascists.”

Others said that while Antifa claims to be “anti-fascist,” they are just the opposite.

Meanwhile, some conservatives took a moment to point out that such people are why “common sense people” vote Republican.

The video appears to have been filmed on October 13, when the right-wing Patriot Prayer group took to Portland to rally for the ouster of the city’s mayor. Mass brawls between conservatives and Antifa protesters later ensued, prompting police to intervene and deploy pepper spray. 

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Space junk plunges out of orbit and crashes on California farm (PHOTOS)

By ethan / October 20, 2018

Debris believed to have come from a space communications program has crashed down at a walnut farm in California, with investigators working on the idea that it came from a recently decayed satellite launched in the 1990s.

When charred metal fragments were found by an orchard owner in Hanford, investigators from Kings County Police Department dispatched to the scene were puzzled. Then they turned their attentions to a nearby airbase.

According to local news outlets, the chunk of metal – resembling a burned helmet – was confirmed to be a fuel tank by authorities at Vandenberg Air Force Base. The facility has played host to the launch of SpaceX Falcon 9 rockets.

READ MORE: ‘Aliens are real’: SpaceX West Coast launch freaks Californians out (PHOTOS, VIDEOS)

However, the debris is not from the Elon Musk-founded space company. In fact, the fuel tank dates back to an Iridium satellite sent into space as long ago as 1998, reported Kron 4 news.

A spokesperson for the communications company said the remains appear to have come from Iridium 70, a decommissioned satellite whose parts may still make up some of the millions of pieces of manmade trash found swirling around our planet in space.

The debris is due to be sent to Iridium headquarters for analysis.

READ MORE: Interstellar tidy-up: ISS deploys craft with giant harpoon to collect space junk

Iridium is currently undergoing an overhaul of its space network and has now successfully sent seven of an eight NEXT satellite constellation into orbit via SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket. The low-Earth orbit satellites are used for broadband as well as real-time aircraft surveillance, and the final Iridium Next satellite is due to be launched this December. has reached out to Iridium and to Kings County Sheriff’s Department for further comment.

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Khabib presented '1st Russian UFC champ' cup by hometown team, kicks off match (PHOTOS/VIDEO)

By ethan / October 20, 2018

UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov swapped KO for kick off at Anzhi Arena in Dagestan on Friday when he performed the ceremonial start of the Russian Premier League match between Anzhi Makhachkala versus CSKA Moscow.

READ MORE: Football & Khabib – The UFC champ’s fight to keep the beautiful game alive in Dagestan

The club even presented Khabib with his own cup, with an engraving dedicated to ‘The First Russian UFC Champion’, which must surely take pride of place in his trophy cabinet next to his UFC belt.

Before the game, Khabib paraded that belt during a lap of honor around Anzhi Arena before kick off, being transported by an odd golf cart-like vehicle adorned by the flags of Dagestan, the club, and Russia.

Khabib then performed the ceremonial kick of while wearing a yellow home shirt with his name and the number 27 printed on the back, a nod to his undefeated record in professional MMA.

However, Khabib’s appearance was not enough to stop Anzhi going down 2-1 to CSKA by virtue of goals from Nikola Vlasic and Fedor Chalov. The club now sit 13th in the league. 

Khabib thanks the club on Instragam, expressing his gratitude fro a “very warm welcome”.

The Makhachkala-based fighter had already made waves at Anzhi Arena, when he flew there from Las Vegas where he had beaten Irish MMA star Conor McGregor to retain his title. 

Thousands flocked to the ground to catch a glimpse of their hero, frantically rushing onto the field from the stands to where Khabib stood on the stage.

READ MORE: No hard feelings: Khabib’s dad invites McGregor to Dagestan

Previously, the 30-year-old had spoke of his wish to keep the club alive, who are currently in dire financial straits, owing $ 4.5 million and struggling to raise funds to fly the team to Makhachkala to make the game.

READ MORE: Khabib v Mayweather: Russian boxing chiefs want Moscow megafight

Khabib described the club as carrying out “the most important social mission in Dagestan”. 

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Nearly half the world lives on less than $5.50 a day – World Bank

By ethan / October 20, 2018

Despite progress in reducing extreme poverty, the number of poor worldwide is still “unacceptably high,” according to a World Bank report, which showed that billions of people still struggle to meet basic needs.

The report found that nearly half the world’s population lives on less than $ 5.50 a day, with a rising share of the poor in wealthier economies.

The total number of people in poverty declined by more than 68 million between 2013 and 2015, World Bank said, explaining the number as “roughly equivalent to the population of Thailand or the United Kingdom.”

The study indicated that global poverty at the $ 5.50-a-day threshold fell to 46 percent from 67 percent between 1990 and 2015. Last month, the World Bank reported that extreme poverty had fallen to 10 percent in 2015.

According to the research, the fruits of economic growth were “shared unevenly across regions and countries.” It showed that poverty is becoming entrenched in Sub-Saharan Africa, where 84.5 percent of the population still lives on less than $ 5.50 a day.

The World Bank said that current trends may make its goal of reducing extreme poverty to less than three percent of the world’s population by 2030 unattainable.

“Particularly distressing findings are that extreme poverty is becoming entrenched in a handful of countries and that the pace of poverty reduction will soon decelerate significantly,” it said.

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1,000s gather in London for ‘biggest’ anti-Brexit rally seeking final say (VIDEO)

By ethan / October 20, 2018

Thousands of protesters are descending on Westminster for what organizers claim is the “biggest, loudest and most important” anti-Brexit demo since the vote. They insist Brexit is taking the UK to a “future nobody voted for.”

The participants, mainly young activists, of the so-called “March For the Future” gathered at Park Lane in the British capital at noon. They will march to Parliament Square, where they will hear speeches in support of a people’s vote.

“The Brexit elite can’t sort out this mess – only you can: Demand a people’s vote.” This is the ambitious message conveyed by the People’s Vote campaign group on its website. It insists that Brexit negotiations are taking British people towards “a future that nobody voted for.”

petition calling for people to be given a final say on a Brexit deal has already gained almost a million signatures.

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‘You don’t see this everyday’: Plane makes epic emergency landing amid freeway traffic (VIDEO)

By ethan / October 20, 2018

Motorists traveling down one of California’s busiest freeways got a shock when a single-engine plane was forced to touch down in an emergency amid all the traffic.

El Cajon’s Interstate 8 became a makeshift runway for the pilot of the stricken plane, which managed to make an incredible safe landing just before midday on Friday.

According to NBC 7 San Diego, the incident was sparked by an engine failure during a flight lesson. Remarkably, the flight instructor held his nerve to place the plane between vehicles traveling westbound on the busy highway.

The moment the bizarre incident unfolded was caught on video by Keri Decker. She was on a routine trip to the dentist when she said the plane came into sight in her rear-view mirror.

“Going to the dentist and this just happened in front of us on the 8 freeway. Major props to these two dudes for landing without any problems,” Decker posted on social media.

READ MORE: South African plane crash shown from cabin in horrifying VIDEO

In the astonishing clip, Decker and her husband can be heard reacting in utter shock at was is happening before their very eyes. “A plane just landed on the freeway and he’s got it under control. Holy f***,” a man says in the video. “This is “f***ing gnarly. You don’t see this everyday.”

Nobody was injured in the landing, reported ABC 7 News, but lanes on the thoroughfare had to be closed while the aircraft was removed from the scene. The man who landed the aircraft has been labeled a local hero for managing to safely touch down while avoiding power lines and moving traffic.

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Love story on narrow skis

By ethan / October 20, 2018

Quadruple Olympic medalist in PyeongChang Alexander Bolshunov, 21, and Anna Zherebyateva, 21, winner of the Junior World Ski Championships talk about their lives, the burden of fame at the young age, and their love for each other.

First impressions last. You can sense how close they are as a couple from the moment they sit down for the interview. The can’t stop laughing and poking each other playfully.

In fact, about the only time Bolshunov, who is normally serious, even scornful (“concentrated,” is how he describes himself), looks positively happy and relaxed is in the presence of Anna.

Bolshunov is known for his aversion to media exposure – but this is the first time they have done an interview together, as a couple – and it’s about them and their story. Well, mostly…

  • They met three years ago. Or, rather, Alexander started showing interest. But Anna was “too slow on the uptake” (both laugh)

  • Professional cross-country skiing is time- and effort-intensive in extreme. Elite skiers spend more than 250 days a year in training camps or competing during the season. Now, both are training in the group led by Yuri Borodavko. The Russian team is split into four groups, each lead by a senior trainer. There is no Team A, B and so on, all groups are considered equal in status. They train and travel separately from the other groups. All but one is of mixed gender. It is very unlikely that Zherebyateva and Bolshunov are in the same group by mere chance. 

The media, especially the Scandinavian outlets, have started playing up the Klaebo v Bolshunov stand-off in the past year – and, as far as media goes, for a good reason. Both are fantastically young for their sport and both are incredibly talented, together re-writing every notion about the age of champions in a storied sport of cross-country skiing. Klaebo won three gold medals at the Olympics in PyeongChang this year, Bolshunov already got two silvers and a bronze in the first  races when he was on track to become the youngest Olympic champion ever in the most prestigious 50k distance, but made a tactical mistake and finished second. The one thing Alexander does not want to talk about is that race.

Bolshunov frowns: “I am tired of every reporter always asking me about what I think about Johannes.” He suddenly smiles at Anna: “Remember the pig?”

In April, after securing his World Cup title, the Norwegian prodigy went on vacation to the Bahamas and swam with wild pigs on a remote island, as everybody does out there these days.

Not a month passed and the Zherebyateva-Bolshunov power duo posted their own version of the “me with a swimming pig” photo, which everybody took as back-to-you!

Except their photos were taken on the sandy dunes of Vietnam, which is far closer than the Bahamas, from Russia at least (the pig was real, they swear – and really liked swimming too, just like his Caribbean counterparts). Both laugh as they remember how fans of both (of which there are hundreds of thousands by now) reacted.

The fun idea that they really like to discuss? Well, Alexander’s father, who is his first coach and quite an inventor, is doing his very personal version of “city ski sprint.” In winter, Alexander Bolshunov Sr stores snow in his barn (Bolshunov grew up on the farm in the Bryansk area) and then, come May or June, together with Alexander Jr, his sister Anastacia, Anna and the rest of the family, lays a 150m snow track in his own backyard. It is not something you often see done – putting it mildly. 

Guess who they want to invite to “Bolshunovs’ Grand Prix” next year? You guessed it! But where’s Klaebo going to stay?” asks Anna worriedly, as if the Norwegian’s arrival was a done deal. “The house is not that big! He can pitch his tent in the corner,” says Alexander with a serious expression on his face. “It’s like an outdoor trip for the good Norwegian that he is.”

But back to Alexander and Anna.

You spend so much time traveling, training and competing together. Training is exhausting and so is traveling after a while. Do you get tired of each other? Do you fight?

“Fight? Perhaps we do – but I can’t quite remember when or about what,” laughs Anna. “You know, we are just really happy with each other and we know how to support one another.”

After his success at the Olympics, Bolshunov woke up to fame in Russia. He’s famous – and suddenly quite rich. Among the assets he accumulated is an apartment gifted by the oil city of Tyumen where he currently resides, a swanky BMW SUV (“assembled in Russia”), and hundreds of thousands of dollars in cash bonuses. It’s enough a bit to make any 21-year old’s head spin. Not Bolshunov, though, it seems. Moreover, the conversation about money and bonuses makes him clearly uncomfortable and he starts looking at his watch while casting hinting glances at Anna – so we have to pull out a trump card: Would they like to see mixed relay, like in biathlon, to come to cross-country skiing?

“Totally!” both exclaim at once. There is no need to ask who either sees as a teammate. “I’d do my very, very best were I to run a mixed relay with Anna,” says the Olympic medalist with such gravity in his voice, that it would send chills down the spine of any potential competitor. Too bad the International Skiing Federation (FIS) currently has no plans for such an event. Imagine Bolshunov v Klaebo and his teammate, whoever that might be?

Conversation again drifts back to Klaebo, and the color pink, which Johannes likes to popularize. “I can relate to that,” says Anna,“my ‘lucky buff’ is of that color.”

Favorite food? “Porridge – any type of porridge. We can eat a lot of that. And tea, we much prefer tea to coffee.”

“I really feel that I do not train enough,” says Bolshunov. The irony is that their training group is considered to have the toughest regime of all. The next day, both are expected to give it their all in a brutal uphill interval training session, so conversation gets wrapped up. They get up, say their farewells, and leave with that springy walk of young people doing almost 100 hours of hard training per month. Just a happy pair of 21-year olds who found each other – and their meaning of life.

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South African farmers to visit Russia’s Crimea to boost ties while facing land expropriation at home

By ethan / October 20, 2018

Farmers from South Africa will visit the Russian peninsula of Crimea to exchange experience in winemaking, as they face the possibility of losing their farms as part of their country’s land reform.

“I am sure it will be a rich experience for farmers in both countries. We in South Africa are always ready to share knowledge and secrets of production,” said a CEO for South African agricultural industry association AgriSA Omri van Zyl in an interview with RIA Novosti.

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© Reuters / Rogan Ward

According to van Zyl, South African farmers are exploring opportunities to diversify markets and create partnerships, and Russia seems very promising in terms of future cooperation.

“The Russian agricultural sector is very interesting to us, and we are also interested in the Russian market. We have products that you do not produce in Russia. For example, tropical fruits – mango, lychee, etc.

“So I think we would be interested in cooperation. And Russia is also considering South Africa as a promising direction for investment,” he said.

South African farmers face an uncertain future amid government land reforms. President Cyril Ramaphosa is pushing a program to expropriate land owned by white South Africans without compensation for the owners and redistribute it to the poor black majority. The ruling African National Congress (ANC) says it wants to tackle severe inequality 24 years after the end of apartheid.

“As you know, we are going to change the constitution concerning the land expropriation. In Russia 80 years ago there was also a period of expropriation, and this created major economic problems.

“The Russians support us very much from this point of view, because you have already been through this,” he said.

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