Inside Thailand's real life Jurassic Park complete with animatronic dinosaurs

I was woken up, suddenly, by the guttural roar of a dinosaur. It sounded close – just metres away from the small hut where I’d been sleeping.

I had spent the night in the heart of a real life Jurassic Park: Phu Wiang, a little known national park in the often overlooked northeastern corner of Thailand. This nook, squeezed up against Laos to the north and Cambodia to the east, tends not to attract many tourists. It has neither white sand beaches nor tropical islands; no majestic karst mountains and no sprawling temples. 

What it does have is a sideline in exuberant dinosaur tourism. A stomping ground for dinosaurs in the Jurassic and Cretaceous periods, the provinces of northeast Thailand are home to one of the world’s largest dinosaur graveyards as well as museums and jungles where fossilised footprints soak up the splashback of waterfalls. The people of the Isan region promote this with typical Thai abandon: monuments to the dinosaurs, garish, enormous and Disneyfied, crowd every public space.

I happened upon this wacky corner of Thailand by accident while cycling, en route between Laos and Bangkok. One hot afternoon, at the foot of a steep climb, I pulled my bicycle into the shade of a stegosaurus near the village of Nong Bua. The dinosaur was part of a sculpture garden at the foot of a steep, forested hill; at the top, in the Nong Bua Lam Phu Fossil Museum, an animatronic T Rex bellowed while I recovered in the welcome air conditioning. 

The museum’s maps revealed that Phu Wiang National Park, sprawled over a horseshoe-shaped mountain nearby, was among Southeast Asia’s finest dinosaur sites. I cycled to it through quiet rice paddies and forests, rode puzzled circles around a roundabout overrun by wizened dinosaur statues, then took the highway that ran between the arms of the horseshoe. As the national park opened up before me, its forested slopes climbing around me on all sides, I rode beneath a blue sign emblazoned with grazing dinosaurs: Welcome to Phu Wiang National Park. It wasn’t quite as impressive as the entrance to Jurassic Park, but it wasn’t far off.

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I’d hoped to hike to a campsite I’d been told about near the summit when one of the Thailand’s infamous tropical storms rolled in, so instead I opted to stay at Chuanchom Resort, an endearing dinosaur-themed motel a few kilometres from the national park entrance. Opposite the entrance to the Phu Wiang Dinosaur Museum, the growls and roars of robot dinosaurs woke me the next morning, and after a breakfast of Som Tam Thai (a papaya salad that’s a regional speciality), I set off into the park.

Thailand’s first dinosaur was discovered at Phu Wiang in 1976, when a geologist searching for uranium uncovered a sauropod – the long-necked family of dinosaurs to which the brontosaurus belongs – in the scorched forest of the Phu Wiang mountains. Excavations revealed the vast extent of dinosaur fossils in the park, including four previously undiscovered species, one an ancestor of the Tyrannosaurus rex. Nine fossils were preserved beneath glass in situ for enterprising hikers to stumble upon. I biked to the first site, tucked beneath undergrowth on the rocky lower slopes, then bumped along a dirt track to the base of a trail leading to the second. 

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That the trail wasn’t well maintained made the hike even more evocative. At Site 9 – the covered bones of T rex’s ancestor – I turned and realised I was almost at the treeline. A rock pavement took me higher, and I scrambled over rocks to the summit, past a cave containing the bones of the brontosaurus-like sauropod, to Site 1. Looking back down the trail from the park’s most impressive excavation, a Phuwiangosaurus, it wasn’t hard to imagine the excitement of the paleontologists as they uncovered this, the first dinosaur discovered in the park. 

Across the valley the forest climbed the other side of the horseshoe mountain, and unfamiliar birds cried around me in sun-baked trees. Back at the base, in Phu Wiang Dinosaur Museum, I trailed groups of Thai schoolchildren around skeletons to reach the lovingly rendered “dinosaur park”. A greenhouse full of animatronic dinosaurs, it felt a world away from the lonely dig at the top of the nearby mountain.

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The next day I rode back into the real world. Or so I thought: I headed towards the town of Phu Wiang itself, where the road signs were framed by ornately carved dinosaurs, a petrol station entrance was guarded by a diplodocus, and a brontosaurus waited outside the district hospital. 

Unable to resist the charms of Thailand’s tacky dino souvenirs, I’d attached a purple crocheted dinosaur to the back of my bicycle. Phuwiangosaurus may have lived and died in northeastern Thailand, but a memory of it would swing and sway its way to Bangkok with me.

Travel essentials

Getting there

Thai Airways flies from London Heathrow to Udon Thani via Bangkok from £615 return. Phu Wiang park is just over two hours’ drive from there.

Staying there

Chuanchom Resort (0066 80 450 2502) has doubles from £11, room only.

More information

Entry into Phu Wiang park costs 500 THB (£11.20).

Entry to Nong Bua Lam Phu Fossil Museum costs 50 THB (£1.10).

Entry to Phu Wiang Dinosaur Museum costs 60 THB (£1.30); closed Mondays.

منبع مطلب : http://www.independent.co.uk/travel/asia/thailand-jurassic-park-dinosaurs-museum-phu-wiang-fossils-khon-kaeng-a8318596.html

Meet Mike Testwuide, the American ice hockey player who stumbled across a place in South Korea's Olympic team

Before all of his ice hockey matches at the Winter Olympics, Mike Testwuide will go through the same ritual, reciting the words of the South Korean national anthem in his head. They have been etched in the 6ft 3in American’s mind since the first time he sang them, when he stood in front of a panel attempting to win citizenship. “It’s pretty average,” he says of his singing voice. “But I passed.”

Testwuide’s story is both unique and fascinating, an opportunist with nothing to lose who is about to become an Olympian, representing a country who adopted him as their own. He has embraced South Korea, and now the 30-year-old could even play against the United States in the Games. That would be “a little weird”, the Coloradan admits, “but when I’m playing at the Olympics I’m playing for my country, South Korea, for sure.”

That prospect seemed unfathomable five years ago, when Testwuide was knocking about in America’s minor leagues with his dream of playing in the NHL slowly fading. He was traded from the Philadelphia Flyers to the Calgary Flames but little changed as he fought for a call-up that wouldn’t come.

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So he went searching for a new challenge, and asked an agent to tout his talent in Europe when he stumbled across an opportunity in South Korea. “At first we didn’t really think much of it – ‘There can’t be hockey there, it can’t be that good’. Then the more we looked into it, the legitimacy of the league was there and some great players had played there. It was like, ‘Wow, this is actually a real thing’. They paid great, it seemed a little too good to be true. The more we researched into it, I just couldn’t say no.”

In autumn 2013, Testwuide bought a one-way ticket to Anyang, a dense city in Seoul’s sprawl surrounded by mountains. “I didn’t really know what I was getting into, I just wanted to revive my career and my love for the game. But I loved it right away, the people were so nice to me and I just fitted right in. It was a little bit of culture shock at the beginning but it’s a great city, a great place to live.”

He thrived playing for Anyang Halla and soon caught the attention of the national coach, a South Korea-born Canadian called Jim Paek tasked with bringing foreign players into the team ahead of the country’s home Games in Pyeongchang. Testwuide was selected, along with a handful of Canadian players, but first he had to become a fully fledged South Korean. 

His application was fast-tracked on the back of his sporting prowess but he still faced a challenging citizenship test, relaying significant dates in the country’s history before reciting the anthem word for word. He passed, joined up with the national team, and quickly became an integral part. Now Testwuide is on the verge of becoming and Olympian.

Mike Testwuide

He is laidback and low key, but reveals a passion for the hockey he has discovered in South Korea. The Asia League includes teams from Japan, China and Russia and has provided more than just a career reboot but a chance to travel and experience new places. “The league is a hidden gem and we don’t really want people to know about it,” he laughs. “But the word’s getting out. It’s a great life, a great league. It’s really fast and skilled but it’s also less physical on the body, which really helps the longevity of your career.” 

He believes South Korea have a great chance of surprising some of the sport’s established nations in Pyeongchang. Ironically for a team with several multi-nationals, it is their “chemistry” which Testwuide says will elevate their performance, having spent the last few years playing and preparing for the Olympics.  

Ice hockey will be under particular scrutiny in Pyeongchang following the recent announcement that North and South Korea will submit a unified women’s team, under a unified flag wearing unified jerseys. Testwuide says the South Korean women were stunned by the decision so close to the Games, and admits he is quietly glad the men’s team have not been asked to do the same.

“It would definitely conflict, it would be a really hard thing to swallow. When you have such a tight bond with the guys, and then you’re bringing in 12 other guys who you don’t even know, you don’t know their skills, you don’t know anything about them, two weeks before the Olympics – it’s a tough scenario.

“But at the same time it’s one of the biggest things in the world, if these two countries can come to peace. It’s a big step in the right direction for both countries. It’s just kind of sad that it happened at the last minute.”

What he is not conflicted by is his national identity. He is a proud American, who misses his mum and dad and the Colorado Rockies, and he is a proud South Korean, too. That part has come about more by luck than judgment, but Testwuide has embraced it all the same.

“I’m playing for my country, South Korea, and I’m with these guys, my team-mates. These are the guys I’ve battled with for the last five years. It would be pretty easy to go into a game against the US because I know these guys have my back, and I definitely have theirs.”

DFS is proud to continue its support of Team GB as the official homeware partner, bringing the joy of comfort to Team GB athletes throughout 2018 and beyond.


منبع مطلب : http://www.independent.co.uk/sport/olympics/winter-olympics/mike-testwuide-american-ice-hockey-south-korea-winter-olympic-games-2018-a8176686.html

Chris Mears: From near death to Olympic glory, how the diver is inspiring others ahead of his Commonwealth Games bid

“My dad can’t talk about that, he gets so choked up,” says Olympic diving champion Chris Mears. The 25-year-old Briton is remembering the day nine years ago, at the Sydney Youth Games, when the force of a somersault into the pool ruptured his spleen, causing his insides to haemorrhage blood until he collapsed. Over 7,000 miles away, while working in Dubai, his father received a shattering phone call explaining his son had only hours to live.

“My dad basically thought he was getting on a flight to take my body back,” says Mears. “In hospital I was given a five per cent chance to live because I’d lost so much blood and no one knew what the hell was going on. When I went into theatre there was almost no hope. I remember bits and pieces, but most of it was Australian people shouting ‘This guy’s gonna die!’ I thought it was the end, 100 per cent.”

After emergency surgery to remove his spleen and four days in intensive care, Mears seemed to have made a miraculous recovery. Then, two weeks later, his family found him in his hotel room suffering a convulsive fit which lasted six hours, until he was put into an induced coma. “My parents don’t talk about that much because it’s quite a sensitive subject, but I think they expected me to have brain damage.” Somehow, again, he survived and defied the medical predictions.

It has been an extraordinary nine-year journey from a Sydney hospital to this point, as he and diving partner Jack Laugher prepare to defend their 3m synchronised Commonwealth title on the Gold Coast on Friday. His brush with death made Mears want to take diving more seriously, but for the next two years a month wouldn’t pass without him falling seriously ill. “I was training so hard and I shouldn’t have been,” he admits. “I didn’t like being told no. My body was weak and I was constantly getting viruses.”

He started to manage his workload and slowly became “in tune” his body, knowing when to push himself and when to take a rest. He moved to Leeds to train alongside Laugher, while weaning himself off medication against doctors’ initial advice, and together they have conquered the discipline; 2014 Commonwealth champions in Glasgow, 2016 European champions in London and then the pinnacle, Olympic champions in Rio – winning a gold medal which now lives in Mears’ sock draw.

Mears remembers standing on the podium in the Rio Aquatic Centre as an almost spiritual experience, the satisfying culmination of years battling adversity, and it gave him strength as he reflected on another defining moment in his life, the death of his mother when he was only three years old. 

“I was on the podium trying to come to terms with the fact that I’d just won 20 minutes ago. I stood there with my best mate beside me, I had my family nearby on the left of me – my dad my step-mum, my brother, my sister – and then I felt my mum above me. I had a medal around my neck, and it was just an amazing feeling. I felt so lucky, I don’t know how to explain it. That was it, the best thing ever.

“I definitely think I made her proud, and I made my step-mum proud, because she’s been a huge part of my diving success. She was the one who drove me to training for 10 years, so she deserves a medal for that.”

Chris Mears

Mears has taken the pressure off himself ahead of these Games, happy just to be healthy and competing, and it is that sense of fortune and humility which pushed him to join the Chase Your Dream, No Matter What campaign, in which he helped to inspire others who have struggled with anxiety and emotional distress by sharing his story and the reality of his darker moments – and encouraged them to face their fear by jumping off the quite terrifying 10m board.

“It was really emotional but also it was personal to me,” he says. ”Firstly because I’ve suffered with those sorts of things, and secondly because I got such a buzz out of helping someone else with their fears and their anxiety.”

Mears enjoys another outlet outside diving, working as a music producer, which he hopes will eventually replace sport as his full-time job and passion. He has already enjoyed great early success, working on projects in Los Angeles and performing live in front of thousands.

Now, though, his focus is on the Commonwealths, and adding another chapter to a remarkable story of perseverance in the face of adversity, in the country where his life was impacted so dramatically nearly a decade ago.

“I do think about it,” he says. ”Everything happened for a reason. It built me, it made me who I am, so all of my experiences led to that [Olympic gold]. I don’t believe I would have even been an Olympian if I didn’t go through that in Australia. I was a bit immature and that experienced matured me. It made me realised I wanted to do something with my life.”

Chris is an ambassador for Chase Your Dream, No Matter What, Bridgestone’s Worldwide Olympic partnership campaign in the UK. To find out more visit: www.nomatterwhat.uk.com

Follow the Independent Sport on Instagram here, for all of the best images, videos and stories from around the sporting world.


منبع مطلب : http://www.independent.co.uk/sport/commonwealth-games/chris-mears-commonwealth-games-2018-jack-laugher-synchronised-diving-a8301791.html

If we want to tackle antisemitism in the modern world, then we need make GCSE History a compulsory subject in schools

It is time to rethink how we teach our children about the Holocaust.

Ivor Perl was just 12-years-old when he arrived in Auschwitz. Since he first spoke about his experiences in the mid-1990s, Perl has been active in promoting the memory of what happened to Europe’s Jews during the Holocaust across schools in the UK. Now he feels that there is no point in continuing to speak about his life.

Perl says that he feels the gulf of understanding between the school children he talks to is too wide for him to bridge. The pupils he encounters have such a poor understanding of what happened during the Second World War that his words fall on deaf ears.

This is certainly not his fault. Perl is an engaging and thoughtful speaker. He remembers the Holocaust through a child’s eyes when he relates his story. As he recalls the deportation, he recounts his childish excitement of riding on a train for the first time. He excitedly peeked through the cracks in the floorboards of the carriage watching the tracks pass by, unaware of the horrors that lay ahead.

But it is not the children’s fault either if they stare back at Perl in disbelief and incomprehension. If you are not told the facts, it is impossible to know what to ask or to understand what you are being told. We have failed to teach them what they need to know.

Holocaust education is a mandatory part of the history curriculum at KS3 only. It is only compulsory in state schools in England – private schools are exempt. It centres on an understanding of the rise of the Nazi Party in Germany. It often focuses on references to the Kindertransport when 10,000 Jewish refugee children were brought to the UK in the months before the Second World War.

Focussing on this is an approach that Perl finds is far too narrow. He was born and brought up in the small town of Mako in southern Hungary and he and his brother were the only survivors of a family of nine children. 

He is frustrated that he is always asked if he hates Germans. “The answer is no, I do not,” he says. “Why should I hate Germans any more than the Hungarian children who I used to play football with as a child? They were the ones who herded us into the ghetto with sticks.”

“In the UK children don’t understand that antisemitism was a Europe-wide phenomenon,” he says. “It is about man’s inhumanity to man and a story of how neighbour can kill neighbour.” He feels that the reason the Holocaust can feel distant and irrelevant in the 21st century classroom is that its true nature is not explained.

“I am brought in for 45 minutes. It is impossible for me to explain the intricacies of what happened in such a short time,” he says. More significantly the children think he is talking about remote far-away places that have little relevance to them.

The history of the 1930s in Europe is undoubtedly complicated and, if history was a compulsory subject until the age of 16, it would help matters. The story of the Holocaust is no more complicated than the politics of Indian independence that dominated the syllabus my children were taught for GCSE.

Even at KS3 there are improvements that could be made. Let’s encourage a questioning of the accepted myths that surround the Kindertransport. If teachers pointed out that the British did not welcome the most vulnerable people in the world with open arms, it would be a start.

It needs to be said that there was considerable opposition to granting the children visas, which were temporary, and that they were only allowed into the UK as long as their care did not cost the taxpayer a penny. We also need to encourage our pupils to ask why the parents of the Kindertransport children were not allowed to come too. An empty plinth next to the Kindertransport monument at Liverpool St Station might do the trick.

It is too often fear of upsetting our children and cosseting them from harsh realities that limits their understanding. 85-year-old Perl is well aware of the upset that can be caused by the details of his experiences in Auschwitz and Dachau. 

When he wrote his memoirs for his children and grandchildren, he tells me he was careful not to be too graphic in his description, in order not to cause unnecessary upset. Unsurprisingly, Perl was horrified after one session in a school when mother complained that he had traumatised her sixteen-year-old daughter with his account. “I was years younger than her when I lived through the horrors and she didn’t even hear the full details.”

In the current climate it is time for some plain speaking. With antisemitism on the rise we need to make sure that our children are armed with the facts, however upsetting.

منبع مطلب : http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/antisemitism-holocaust-gcse-history-education-propaganda-a8325011.html

Trump Tower fire: Hotel in Azerbaijan capital Baku ablaze just weeks after deadly inferno at New York building

Firefighters are reportedly battling a blaze at the unfinished Trump International Hotel and Tower in Azerbaijani capital Baku.

The Azadliq newspaper reported that the fire broke out on the middle floors of the 33-storey building and was spreading, with six units of firefighters at the scene.

There were no immediate reports of injuries, following an apartment fire at Trump Tower in New York that left a prominent art dealer dead and four firefighters injured earlier this month.

The blaze came a day before Lewis Hamilton and other F1 drivers race the Baku city circuit in the Grand Prix.

Development was started on the Trump International Hotel and Tower Baku a decade ago but it has never opened.

Originally planned as a luxury apartment building by local developers, the project was taken over by the future US President’s company in 2012.

The Trump Organisation announced that a hotel will occupy the first 13 floors, with flats on the storeys above.

Following Mr Trump’s election, there was controversy over affiliation between the company that owned the project, Baku XXI Century, and a local family associated with corruption.

منبع مطلب : http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/trump-tower-fire-azerbaijan-baku-latest-video-international-grand-prix-f1-new-york-building-a8326891.html

Liverpool vs Stoke City LIVE: Where can I watch it, what time is kick off, channel, team news, odds, preview

Stoke City could be relegated to the Championship this weekend as they travel to Anfield to face Liverpool.

The Reds will be riding the crest of their glorious win over Roma in mid-week that more than likely secured their place in the Champions League final. Jurgen Klopp’s men could make sure of their position in the Premier League top four with a victory over the struggling Potters.

However, Paul Lambert will be keen to cut the gap to 17th placed Swansea City with a shock victory at Anfield. The Potters are currently four points adrift of safety with only three games of the season left to play. A defeat for Stoke and victory for Swansea over Chelsea will see the Potters relegated.

Follow all the live action below…

Live Updates

9 mins ago

Virgil van Dijk arrives at Anfield prior to kick-off

Please allow a moment for the blog to load…

What time is it?

The game kicks off at 12:30pm on Saturday.

Where can I see it?

The game will be broadcast live on Sky Sports Premier League, Sky 1 and Sky Sports Main Event with coverage set to begin at 11:30am.

It’s a big game for…

Stoke. They could potentially slip into the Championship with a loss at Anfield. A defeat, coupled with results going against them could see Lambert’s men slip seven points away from safety, a mountain that would be impossible to climb with only two games left.

A win would keep them in touching distance of safety however and would give them a great chance of staying up with matches against Crystal Palace and Swansea City to come in the final two weeks.

The best stat…

The scoreline in this particular fixture has ended 4-1 on the last two occasions it has been played. Last season, goals from Adam Lallana, Roberto Firmino, Daniel Sturridge and a Giannelli Imbula own-goal saw the Reds claim victory after Jonathan Walters had given Stoke the lead.

Player to watch…

Mo Salah, yet again. The Egyptian again played a starring role for Liverpool against Roma. Against his former club, the winger scored two stunning strikes and provided two in an eye-catching 5-2 victory.

The 25-year-old has racked up super-human numbers this season, on par with the likes Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo.

He should have a field day against Stoke who possess the worst defence in the Premier League.

Form guide…

Liverpool: WDWWDW (all comps)

Stoke City: LLLLDD

Odds…

Liverpool: 3/10

Stoke: 11/1

Draw: 11/2

Follow the Independent Sport on Instagram here, for all of the best images, videos and stories from around the sporting world.


منبع مطلب : http://www.independent.co.uk/sport/football/premier-league/liverpool-vs-stoke-city-live-stream-blog-goals-highlights-epl-channel-kick-off-time-sky-sports-team-a8326871.html

North Korea hails 'a new era of peace' after historic summit between Kim Jong-un and Moon Jae-in

North Korean state media has hailed the historic summit with the South as a turning point in relations between the neighbouring nations.

The North’s KCNA news agency said its leader Kim Jong-un and South Korean president Moon Jae-in had pledged to work towards “complete denuclearisation” on the peninsula in talks on Friday.

In a break from its usual protocols, KCNA lauded the negotiations between Mr Kim and Mr Moon, reporting reporting the pair had promised a “fresh start” in North-South relations and enjoyed dinner in an “amicable atmosphere overflowing with feelings of blood relatives.”

The meeting, the first involving a North Korean leader on the southern side of the Demilitarised Zone (DMZ), saw the two nations agree to formally end the Korean War, 68 years after the conflict broke out.

“At the talks both sides had a candid and open-hearted exchange of views on the matters of mutual concern including the issues of improving the north-south relations, ensuring peace on the Korean Peninsula and the denuclearisation of the peninsula,” the state-owned agency said.

“Kim Jong Un said that the meeting at such special place would mark an occasion of giving once again hope and dream for the future to all people.

“He said he felt once again the national mission and duty to usher in a new era of peace and reunification after putting an end to the history of division and confrontation and that he came today with the thought that he would fire a signal flare at the starting line writing a new history.”

In the South, media replayed striking scenes of the two leaders meeting at the border, while the North’s main state newspaper published a multi-page spread with photos from the visit.

However, despite a warming in the fractious relationship between the two Koreas, the Panmunjom Declaration signed by Mr Kim and Mr Moon did not address questions over whether Pyongyang was willing to give up its nuclear arsenal.

Most of the specific commitments outlined in the official declaration focused on inter-Korean relations, prompting guarded but optimistic praise from world leaders.

US President Donald Trump said that only time would tell whether peace could be achieved on the peninsula, but that he did not think Kim was “playing.”

“It’s never gone this far. This enthusiasm for them wanting to make a deal … We are going to hopefully make a deal,” he told reporters.

Mr Trump added he would maintain pressure on the North not to “repeat the mistakes of past administrations.”

An editorial in the official China Daily on Saturday said denuclearisation could end hostilities between the two sides and “usher in a new era of development” on the peninsula, but noted Friday’s declaration lacked a plan for achieving the goal.

“The denuclearisation of the peninsula, written into the Panmunjom Declaration, is only a prospect with no specific plan. 

“That is because such specifics can be reached only between the US and North Korea, and South Korea has only limited authority to bargain,” it said.

Additional reporting by Reuters

منبع مطلب : http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/asia/north-korea-south-korea-meeting-summit-fresh-start-knca-reaction-state-media-agreement-a8326836.html

Palestinian teenager dies after being shot by Israeli troops near Gaza border

A 15-year-old Palestinian youth died on Saturday after being shot the previous day by Israeli troops during protests along the Gaza border, the Palestinian Health Ministry said.

Israeli forces have killed 42 Palestinians since Gaza residents began staging protests along the border fence on March 30. The demonstrators are pressing for a right of return for refugees and their descendants to what is now Israel.

The Palestinians say Israel is using excessive force against the protesters, 2,000 of whom have been wounded by gunfire.

Israel’s use of live fire has drawn international criticism.

Israel says it is protecting its borders and takes such action only when protesters, some hurling stones and rolling burning tyres, come too close to the border fence.

The U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein on Friday called the loss of life deplorable and said a “staggering number” of injuries had been caused by live ammunition.

The Gaza Health Ministry said apart from the Palestinian teenager, three other Palestinians were killed on Friday and 200 wounded by gunfire. The Israeli military said about 14,000 Gazans had been participating in what it described as “riots,” and that some had tried to breach the frontier.

Gaza is run by the Islamist Hamas movement, which Israel and the West designate a terrorist organisation. Israel withdrew its troops and settlers from the enclave in 2005 but, citing security concerns, maintains tight control over its land and sea borders. Egypt also restricts movement in and out of Gaza.

More than 2 million people are packed into the narrow coastal enclave, where poverty and unemployment rates are high. The protests come at a time of growing frustration for Palestinians as prospects for an independent state look poor.

U.S.-led peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians broke down in 2014. Efforts by the Trump administration to revive negotiations have shown no sign of progress.

Dubbed the “Great March of Return“, the protest action is to continue until May 15 when, Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh says, the Gaza demonstrations will be replicated elsewhere along Israel’s frontiers.

May 15 is the date the Palestinians mark as the “Naqba”, or “Catastrophe”, when hundreds of thousands fled or were driven out of their homes during violence in the 1948-49 war between the newly-created state of Israel and its Arab neighbours.

Israel refuses any right of return, fearing that the country would lose its Jewish majority.

Reuters 

منبع مطلب : http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/israel-palestinian-killed-shot-gaza-protests-dead-border-violence-latest-a8326806.html

City worker posted pictures of young intern on porn sites after she turned him down

A City work who posted pictures of an intern to porn websites in a “calculated and malicious” campaign of harassment is expected to be jailed.

Davide Buccheri, 25, launched his “perverted” attack on the young woman’s reputation after she rejected his romantic advances while working at M&G investment firm.

He took photos of the victim, who was a university student at the time, from social media and uploaded them alongside pornographic images and then reported the page to the company’s human resources department in a bid to stop her getting a permanent role.

Buccheri, of Bologna, Italy, was convicted at Westminster Magistrates Court on Friday of harassment between September 2016 and May 2017 and taken into custody for sentencing on Tuesday.

Police said this should serve as a warning to individuals seeking to commit crimes online that they would not go unpunished.

District Judge Richard Blake described Buccheri as “manipulative” and “obsessed”, and said he had “set about to destroy his victim” and it was “almost inevitable” that he would face a custodial sentence.

“You conducted a quite wicked, calculated campaign against this young woman,” he said.

“It is shameful that I have not heard in evidence one expression of regret from you about what this young woman suffered.

“She is going to have to live the rest of her professional life with the potential for the snigger by the water cooler or in the lift as she goes by.

“She doesn’t deserve that, this young woman did absolutely nothing to bring about your disgraceful behaviour.

“You conducted a perverted campaign against her.”

Buccheri admitted he was “romantically interested” in the victim but denied uploading the photos of her and said he was only looking at the images because he was concerned about the reputation of the company.

Aimee Emby from the Crown Prosecution Service said: “Not only did Buccheri’s actions cause this victim considerable distress and anxiety, his denial of guilt forced her to relive her ordeal.

“I hope this conviction provides the victim with some measure of comfort and gives other victims of harassment the confidence to come forward.”

Detective Inspector Gary Robinson, City of London Police cyber-crime unit, said: “Many perpetrators believe they will not get caught when committing crimes from the safety of their own home online,” he added.

“Today we have shown that it not the case.”

منبع مطلب : http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/crime/davide-buccheri-porn-city-mg-london-intern-jail-sentence-latest-court-a8326866.html

Ryan Reynolds turned up as Deadpool to troll Hugh Jackman's birthday message

The pairing of Deadpool and Wolverine should have been a dream come true – it’s just a shame that fans are keen to banish X-Men: Origins from all memory.

A film which acted as a pretty extreme disservice to the Merc with a Mouth, partially by taking away that mouth altogether, so it’s no surprise that his 2016 solo film came as something of a revelation. 

Ever since then, fans have been dying to know when the two may reunite once more to rectify the sins of the past.

One slight issue: Hugh Jackman has officially retired from the role of Wolverine following last year’s Logan, clarifying that the decision is final enough that even Ryan Reynolds himself couldn’t tempt him to strap on the claws once more

The only silver lining to that news is that it clearly doesn’t extend to off-camera hijinks, with the duo engaging in a lengthy battle of trolling and pranks, including Reynolds crashing one of Jackman’s press junkets

The new chapter of which sees Jackman attempt to record a birthday message for an unknown individual, only for Reynolds, dressed as Deadpool, to interrupt with a rendition of “Tomorrow”, from the musical Annie, before transitioning into the Baha Men’s “Who Let the Dogs Out?”. 

​Deadpool 2 hits UK cinemas 15 May. 

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منبع مطلب : http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/films/news/deadpool-2-ryan-reynolds-hugh-jackman-wolverine-troll-twitter-a8326901.html