‘Superhero’ firefighter catches falling man midflight from a window below (VIDEO)

The members of Latvia’s National Fire and Rescue Service (VUGD) responded to an emergency at a multi-unit apartment building last weekend, where a “suspicious” person was hanging “dangerously” from a fourth-floor window. The identity of the victim and the location of the incident were not disclosed.

Not taking any chances, the rescuers decided to proceed with the emergency in an unusually clever way. Arriving at the scene, they split up into two teams. One of the units rushed to secure a ‘human safety net’ to the apartment below, while the other unit tried to reach out to the distressed person from the roof of the building, using mountaineering equipment.

The rescue, captured on camera from the apartment below, is nothing less of miraculous. It shows one fireman reaching out of the open window extending his body to grab the falling person by the feet, while the other fireman grabbed one of his partner’s legs to ensure counterbalance. Seconds later the victim was pulled through the window back to safety.

‘Only minutes to spare’: Teen clings to 300ft cliff face in heart-stopping rescue (VIDEO)

For their “brave and quick action” as well as the initiative taken to save human life, the firefighters will receive awards. The head of the service, Oskars Āboliņš, emphasized that the unit was “thinking outside the box.”

“Being a rescuer is something special. It takes courage, professionalism and the ability to act decisively in complex and often non-standard situations. I’m proud of the two VUGD rescuers who saved a life,” noted Interior Minister Rihards Kozlovskis.

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منبع مطلب : https://www.rt.com/news/428403-firefighters-video-rescue-fall/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=RSS

Potholes and lack of bike lanes put off more than half of people from cycling, study finds

The state of Britain’s roads – from potholes to a lack of protected bike lanes – is stalling the growth in cycling, a survey has found.

Having to share the road with lorries and other large vehicles was ranked as the number one issue with more than half of people (57 per cent) put off by it, according to research commissioned by charity Cycling UK.

Poor road conditions was the joint second most common reason for avoiding travel by bike, alongside drivers overtaking too closely.

Around 50 cyclists are killed or injured every year because of poor or defective road surface and campaigners say more must be done to improve cycling conditions to encourage a shift away from cars.

Father-of-two Simon Moss, 44, lost four teeth and fractured his spine after crashing into a pothole that was reportedly 9in deep while cycling in Buckinghamshire last month.

“Cycling is still a minority activity in the UK with only 2 per cent of all journeys made by bike,” Duncan Dollimore, Cycling UK’s head of campaigns, said.

“Those who do cycle put up with the potholes and dangerous traffic conditions daily and still continue. It’s no surprise most people do not consider cycling for their short everyday journeys.”

The charity’s poll of 2,024 adults, conducted by YouGov, found other concerns ranking highly, including threatening behaviour from drivers (43 per cent), car doors being opened in front of them (40 per cent) and speeding motorists (37 per cent).

The research was released to coincide with Cycling UK’s submission to the Government’s Cycling and Walking Investment Strategy safety review.

It wants “fundamental changes” to areas such as the Highway Code, road design and vehicle safety to give people more confidence to cycle.

Mr Dollimore added: “The Government wants more and safer cycling, but as Cycling UK’s research shows, people who don’t currently cycle need change if they’re going to choose

A Department for Transport spokeswoman said: “We have some of the safest roads in the world, but we will do everything we can to make our roads safer for everyone, including cyclists.

“That’s why we are investing a record £23bn on our roads to increase capacity and improve journeys.

“This includes providing local highway authorities in England with over £6 billion to help improve roads, including a record £296m to help fix potholes and stop them forming.

“While it is for councils to identify where repairs should be undertaken, we are also looking at how innovative technology can help them keep their roads in the best condition and save money.”

منبع مطلب : http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/cycling-uk-safety-bike-lane-potholes-dangerous-roads-government-transport-strategy-a8378346.html

Dow Jones falls 252 points after Trump tariff announcement

May 31 (UPI) — The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell more than 250 points Thursday after President Donald Trump announced new tariffs on steel and aluminum imports.

The index closed down 251.94 points or 1.02 percent following the tariff announcement.

The S&P 500 declined 0.7 percent while the Nasdaq composite dropped 0.3 percent.

A total of 29 out of 30 stocks on the Dow Jones fell, with Caterpillar representing the largest drop, losing 2.7 percent.

Conversely, steel and aluminum stocks increased following the announcement, with steel tubing manufacturer Webco experiencing the largest growth at 6 percent.

On Thursday, Trump announced a 25 percent tariff on imported steel and 10 percent on imported aluminum will go into effect at midnight for the European Union, Canada and Mexico.

Mexico responded it would levy penalties on a list of U.S. goods and European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said the EU would do the same.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Canada would impose its own steel and aluminum tariffs against the United States.

The Dow Jones dropped 391.64 points on Tuesday after the White House said it would follow through on plans to impose tariffs on $50 billion worth of Chinese goods and amid concerns about political turmoil in Italy.

منبع مطلب : https://www.upi.com/Top_News/US/2018/05/31/Dow-Jones-falls-252-points-after-Trump-tariff-announcement/5251527800261/

16 killed in Mother’s Day marches across Nicaragua as calls for new elections grow

MANAGUA, May 31 (UPI) — At least 16 people died during protest marches on Nicaragua’s Mother’s Day in several cities across the country hours after business leaders called for new elections.

Organizers planned the marches, called “Mothers of April,” to protest the more than 70 people allegedly killed by police and pro-government gangs during protests in April against President Daniel Ortega‘s plan to raise social security taxes and cut benefits, human rights advocates said.

That plan was shelved, but the protests grew into a movement against state violence and Ortega himself.

Wednesday’s marches were a continuation of these protests — but resulted in more deaths as demonstrators came under attack by armed gunmen.

The Nicaraguan Center for Human Rights — also identified as CENIDH using its Spanish acronym — which confirmed the death toll, accused the Nicaraguan government of attacking protesters in a statement Thursday.

“CENIDH strongly condemns the acts of violence and repression by the government of Daniel Ortega,” the group said. “We can categorically affirm, for having participated in this march and following up on these criminal actions, that the aggressors were the repressive police and shock forces under the command of Daniel Ortega and his wife, [Nicaraguan Vice President] Rosario Murillo.”

CENIDH counted eight deaths in Managua, including a 15-year-old boy and a man who was shot in front of his mother. Four more people were killed in Estelí and one killed in Masaya, the human rights group said.

El Nuevo Diario reported that the son of a police officer was killed by police during the Managua protest. Francisco Reyes Zapata, 34, was shot in the head while participating in the march.

The bullet is believed to have come from a police officer’s AK-47, the victim’s brother told the paper.

Two of the victims killed in Managua were members of the Sandinista Youth, a pro-government organization that demonstrators have blamed for carrying out attacks against them in recent weeks.

Pro-government media blamed “right-wing delinquents” for the deaths.

After the bulk of the violence Wednesday, a group of anti-government demonstrators retaliated by vandalizing the Dennis Martinez Stadium, the country’s new multi-million dollar baseball venue.

Around this area, streets were blocked off by demonstrators and sounds of mortar fire and gunshots rang out through the night.

The protest violence on Wednesday came after a day in which Nicaragua’s private business leaders announced their strongest disavowal of Ortega — after years in which the private business sector has been accused of coddling the self-described socialist leader — by calling for new elections.

That morning, Nicaragua’s richest man, Carlos Pellas, best known for his Flor de Caña rum brand, said in an interview with La Prensa that the country was “exhausted” and needed new elections. He added that Ortega has an “enormous responsibility” to both facilitate and accept changes to make the government more inclusive and democratic.

Hours later, the Superior Counsel of Private Enterprise echoed Pellas’ words and issued a statement that said the country’s Supreme Court members must be replaced and new elections held.

After those statements were published and just before violence struck in several Mothers of April marches, Ortega appeared at a pro-government rally in Managua to give a speech to his supporters.

“Nicaragua is not the private property of anyone,” he said. “Nicaragua’s owners are all Nicaraguans regardless of political thought, religious thought, ideological thought.”

منبع مطلب : https://www.upi.com/Top_News/World-News/2018/05/31/16-killed-in-Mothers-Day-marches-across-Nicaragua-as-calls-for-new-elections-grow/3721527802060/

Populist government to be sworn in as Italy’s political deadlock ends

A populist government will be sworn into power in Italy on Friday after president Sergio Mattarella agreed to a revised slate of ministers – just days after a bitter row over the incoming leaders’ stance on the euro ended their initial bid to assume power.

A joint statement by the anti-establishment Five Star Movement (M5S) and the far-right League announced that political newcomer Giuseppe Conte, who had been seen as a controversial choice, would serve as prime minister. The relatively unknown law professor met Mattarella late on Thursday night to put forward a list of ministers, which the president has accepted.

“All the conditions have been fulfilled for a political, Five Star and League government,” said Luigi Di Maio, the Five Star chief, and Matteo Salvini, the League leader, in a joint statement after a day of talks in Rome.

The deal will bring at least temporary calm to a political crisis that has embroiled Italy for weeks. The tumult raised questions – in Brussels and among investors around the world – about whether the rise in Italian populism and the collapse of traditional parties posed a fundamental threat to the country’s future in the eurozone.

The formation of the new government will at least temporarily allay those concerns, because it will remove for now the threat that snap elections will be called later this summer, a prospect which worried investors because it could have bolstered support for anti-EU parties.

The populist leaders stepped back from their insistence that Paolo Savona, an 81-year-old Eurosceptic, should serve as finance minister. The choice had been vetoed by Mattarella, prompting the M5S and the League to call off their deal. Savona will now serve as EU minister instead.

But there are still many unknowns about how the new administration – an uneasy alliance between two former political opponents, both jockeying for power – will govern Italy.

Salvini, the bombastic and xenophobic leader of the League , who rose in recent years on the back of incendiary and racist statements about migrants and Roma, will take on the role of interior minister. Salvini has campaigned on the promise of mass deportations of migrants and said a new government would build detention centres around Italy. He is also a fierce critic of Brussels and has called for closer ties to Russia.

Di Maio will take on a powerful new post that will combine labour and industry portfolios in a move that could mark big changes to labour and environmental policies, given the M5S’s stated opposition to big industry.

Giovanni Tria, a little known economics professor, was named to lead the finance ministry. While Tria has been critical of the EU, he is not been seen as an advocate for an exit from the eurozone.

The new deal was blessed by Mattarella, who earlier this week nominated a technocrat, Carlo Cottarelli, to serve as prime minister. Those plans were put on hold after Mattarella opted to give the populists more time to reach a new agreement.

The new government is expected to take a far more antagonistic stance against Brussels than the previous government, headed by the centre-left Democratic party. But the alliance between the M5S and the League will have only a relatively narrow majority in the Italian senate, easing concerns among investors and officials in Brussels over the new government’s decision-making.

While both parties are populist in nature, and have railed against Brussels and Italian “elites”, they have long been natural opponents in politics.

Wolfango Piccoli, the co-president of Teneo Intelligence in London, said: “They are both led by young and ambitious leaders who share prime-ministerial ambitions. Due to mutual distrust, it has taken both parties over 70 days to reach a deal and choose an unknown third figure as prime minister.”

Their shared agenda includes plans to cut taxes, scrap a previously agreed pension plan and institute a “universal basic income”.

While many officials in Brussels sought to ease tensions with Rome this week, and backed Mattarella after the president took a political risk by defending Italy’s role in the EU, Jean-Claude Juncker, the president of the European commission, issued a tough critique of Italy on Thursday. He said Italians needed to work harder, be less corrupt and stop looking to the EU to rescue the country’s poor regions.

“Italians have to take care of the poor regions of Italy. That means more work, less corruption, seriousness,” Juncker said. “We will help them as we always did. But don’t play this game of loading with responsibility the EU. A country is a country, a nation is a nation. Countries first, Europe second.”

Additional reporting by Daniel Boffey in Brussels

منبع مطلب : https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/may/31/italys-populist-leaders-strike-deal-resurrect-coalition

Netanyahu wanted IDF to prepare for Iran strike on 15-day notice in 2011 – ex-Mossad chief

It’s the first time a former Israeli official gave an insight on how long such large-scale military operations would (and should) take IDF to prepare.

Pardo, who was picked for his role earlier that year, was unsure about the idea even wondered if the Prime Minister had the authority to order the action, the former spy chief said in an interview with Keshet TV’s “Uvda” investigative show, broadcast on Thursday evening. The strikes were intended to target Iran’s nuclear facilities, but such action would likely have resulted in a full-blown war.

“I made inquiries about everything I could do. I checked with previous Mossad chiefs. I checked with legal advisers. I consulted anyone I could consult in order to understand who is authorized to give instructions about the whole issue of starting a war,” Pardo said, as quoted by Israeli media.

“In the end, if I get an order and if I get an instruction from the prime minister, I am supposed to carry it out,” he said. “I need to be certain if, God forbid, something goes wrong, even if the operation fails, that it shouldn’t be a situation that I carried out an illegal action.”

Pardo even contemplated to resign if the situation got too close to the point of no return, but never had to make such choice, as the idea to strike Iranian nuclear facilities was scrapped.

While Tel Aviv’s plans to attack Tehran in early 2010s were rumored for years, they’ve been officially acknowledged only in 2015, by Netanyahu’s former defense minister Ehud Barak. The minister himself supported the idea to conduct strikes on Iranian nuclear facilities, but faced opposition of the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) chef, who argued Israel did not have needed operational capabilities, as well as from other cabinet ministers.

Revelations from the former Mossad chief on past Israeli military plans came a day after new warlike statements from Netanyahu, who vowed to continue striking Iranian targets in Syria. “We will continue to act against [Iran’s] intention to establish a military presence in Syria opposite us, not just opposite the Golan Heights but anywhere in Syria,” the prime minister said.

READ MORE: Israel moves Security Cabinet meetings to secret underground bunker to stop leaks – reports

While Israel has been repeatedly hitting targets in neighboring Syria over years, using the presence of Iranian or Iran-affiliated troops – such as the Lebanese militant group Hezbollah – as justification. Tel Aviv has significantly bolstered its military activity over the past few months, citing the same alleged build-up of Iranian forces.

Iran and Syria accuse the Israelis of violating international law by continued involvement in Syria and say Tel Aviv simply uses any pretext to attack the country to help the dwindling terrorist forces.

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منبع مطلب : https://www.rt.com/news/428402-israel-iran-strike-plans/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=RSS

‘Totally unacceptable’: Canada retaliates with tariffs on US imports

Tariffs on US goods will vary between 10 and 25 percent, matching the tariffs imposed on Canadian imports by Washington just hours earlier, Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland announced on Thursday.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has called the US levies “totally unacceptable” and an “affront” to Canada, warning that a trade war would harm the economies of both countries.

“We have to believe that, at some point, common sense will prevail. But we see no sign of that in the US action today,” he said, describing the tariffs as “a turning point in the Canada-US relationship.”

Canada is the top supplier of steel to the US, accounting for 17 percent of all imports. The US accounts for 90 percent of Canada’s steel exports, however.

On Thursday, the Trump administration announced it would not extend the waiver of tariffs on steel and aluminum imports from Canada, Mexico, and the European Union.

Jean-Claude Juncker, president of the European Commission, said that the tariffs were a “bad day for world trade,” and vowed to introduce countermeasures.

“This decision is not only unlawful but it is a mistake in many respects,” French President Emmanuel Macron said. “Economic nationalism leads to war.”

“We look forward to continued negotiations, both with Canada and Mexico on the one hand, and with the European Commission on the other hand, because there are other issues that we also need to get resolved,” US Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said.

He added that no reprisals over the measure will have an impact on the American economy. The affected countries “will get over this in due course,” Ross said.

US stocks shuddered at the news, however, with the The Dow Jones Industrial Average dipping over one percent, S&P 500 dropping 0.54 percent, and the Nasdaq going down 0.16 percent.

Fears of a trade war between the US and its allies were bolstered by the talk that US President Donald Trump is also seeking to levy imports of German cars; the tariffs would be similar to those on steel and aluminum.

Trump maintains that the US has been unfairly treated in trade with its neighboring and oversees partners. According to anonymous sources quoted in a German magazine Wirtschafts Woche, he told French president Emmanuel Macron that he would stick by his hardline trade policy “until no Mercedes models rolled on Fifth Avenue in New York.”

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منبع مطلب : https://www.rt.com/usa/428401-canada-tariffs-retaliation-affront/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=RSS