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General Discussion / Family plea for return of son's stolen ashes in Cyprus
« on: December 29, 2019, 12:44:59 am »
A couple has begged thieves to return an urn containing their teenage son's ashes after it was stolen from the back of their car on the coast of Cyprus. เว็บพนันบอลดีที่สุด2020

Kinga and Bartek Bebnarz's son Dennis, 19, died in Sweden in the summer. They wanted to scatter his ashes somewhere "warm and beautiful". คาสิโนออนไลน์

His remains were enclosed in a wooden box which was inside a black backpack.
The car was raided as the couple ate in a restaurant. They planned to scatter Dennis's ashes in the sea nearby.

General Discussion / Japan MP arrested on suspicion of taking casino bribe
« on: December 25, 2019, 07:38:00 am »
A lawmaker from Japan's governing party has been arrested on suspicion of receiving 3.7m yen ($34,000) in bribes from a gambling operator.

As a member of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's cabinet until October, Tsukasa Akimoto oversaw the government's plan to introduce casinos.
The 48-year-old denies wrongdoing and says he never extended any favours.

But correspondents say his arrest could complicate Mr Abe's controversial policy on casinos.
Mr Akimoto is accused of receiving money from three employees of an unnamed gambling operator seeking help for a casino bid, prosecutors say.

The three employees were also detained on Wednesday, prosecutors said.

Hours after the arrests, Japanese media said the offices of another lawmaker from Mr Abe's Liberal Democratic Party, Takaki Shirasuka, had been searched as part of the same investigation.

The government regards the opening of casinos as a way to boost Japan's flagging economy.
In 2016, after years of fractious debate, parliament voted to allow casinos to operate within hotel and conference facilities. However, no casino licences have so far been issued.

Gambling has a seedy image in Japan, and opinion polls have suggested that most people there remain opposed to the opening of casinos. 12BET

General Discussion / Banksy 'nativity scene' appears in Bethlehem hotel
« on: December 22, 2019, 01:18:31 am »
A manger scene by British artist Banksy has appeared at a hotel in Bethlehem in the West Bank.

Dubbed the "Scar of Bethlehem", the work shows Jesus's manger by Israel's separation barrier, which appears to have been pierced by a blast, creating the shape of a star.

On Instagram, the artist said the work was a "modified Nativity". เว็บแทงบอลที่ดีที่สุด
Israel says the barrier is needed to prevent terror attacks. Palestinians say it is a device to grab land.
The International Court of Justice has called it illegal.

In pictures: Banksy hotel by Israel's West Bank wall
Banksy holds Balfour Declaration 'apology' party
Banksy's work is in Bethlehem's Walled Off hotel, which is itself a collaboration between the hotel's owners and the artist.

Hotel manager Wissam Salsaa said Banksy had used the Christmas story to show how Palestinians in the West Bank were living.

"It is a great way to bring up the story of Bethlehem, the Christmas story, in a different way - to make people think more," he said.

The scene shows the words "love" and "peace" as graffiti on the barrier in English and French. There are also three large wrapped presents in the scene.

"Banksy is trying to be a voice for those that cannot speak," Mr Salsaa added.

All the rooms in the Walled Off hotel overlook a concrete section of the controversial West Bank barrier.

Donald Trump has become the third US president in history to be impeached by the House of Representatives, setting up a trial in the Senate that will decide whether he remains in office.

The House voted on two charges - that the president abused his power and that he had obstructed Congress.

Nearly all Democrats voted for the charges and every Republican against.

President Trump's Republicans control the Senate so it is highly unlikely he will be removed from power.

As voting took place in the House, Mr Trump was addressing a campaign rally in Battle Creek, Michigan.
He told a cheering crowd: "While we're creating jobs and fighting for Michigan, the radical left in Congress is consumed with envy and hatred and rage, you see what's going on."

The White House released a statement saying that the president was "confident that he will be fully exonerated" in a Senate trial.

What happened in the votes?
After 10 hours of partisan debate on the merits of the two impeachment charges against President Trump, the House called for votes at about 20:30 local time (01:30 GMT).

The first charge is abuse of power, stemming from Mr Trump's alleged attempt to pressure Ukraine to announce investigations into his Democratic political rival, Joe Biden.

It passed by 230 votes to 197, almost completely on party lines. Only two Democrats opposed - New Jersey's Jeff Van Drew, who is set to leave the party, and Michigan's Collin Peterson.

The second charge is obstruction of Congress, because the president allegedly refused to co-operate with the impeachment inquiry, withholding documentary evidence and barring his key aides from giving evidence.

It passed by 229-198. Democrat Jared Golden of Maine voted for the first charge but opposed this.

No Republicans supported impeachment, although ex-party member Justin Amash, from Michigan, did.

Democratic presidential candidate Tulsi Gabbard voted "present" on both charges - effectively an abstention. Two members were absent for personal reasons.

Being impeached places Donald Trump alongside only two other presidents in the nation's history - Andrew Johnson and Bill Clinton.
And so it is done. Donald Trump now becomes the third member of the exclusive club that no-one wants to be a member of.

But the framers of the constitution with its impeachment provision could never have imagined the hyper-partisanship - on both sides - that has been witnessed during today's sterile House proceedings. Each side with its own narrative, neither side listening to the other. And one can say with some certainty - I would bet all my yet-to-be-gifted Christmas presents - that it will be much the same once this becomes a trial in the Senate in the New Year.

Donald Trump will be acquitted. He won't be forced from office. So what changes? Well, Donald Trump will have a place in the history books - and for a man with such a huge sense of self that will hurt. Acutely. But 2020? Far from this being a killer blow against President Trump, it might turbo charge his bid for a second term. The House Speaker Nancy Pelosi was always wary about going down the impeachment route. We'll discover next November whether that concern was well founded.

What happens next?
A trial is set to take place in the Senate in the New Year.

The Republican Party has a majority there, making it almost impossible that the president will be removed from office when senators cast their votes.

Republican Majority Leader Mitch McConnell last week said that Republican senators would act in "total co-ordination" with the president's team during the trial, outraging Democrats who pointed out that Senators are obliged to act as impartial jurors.

After Wednesday's votes, Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi indicated the House might delay sending the articles of impeachment to the Senate - and therefore the start of the trial - to try to bargain on the terms.

"We will make our decision as to when we are going to send it when we see what they are doing on the Senate side," she said. "So far, we have not seen anything that looks fair to us."

It is up to Mr McConnell to decide the rules for the trial and which witnesses will testify. He is due to address the Senate on Thursday.

As the country contemplates the election results, people's thoughts will turn to the potential effect on their finances.

Money matters are often to the fore at this, expensive, time of year. The December election is likely to mean some changes to the pound in your pocket before the winter is out, with other changes more long-term.
Here are some of the key issues, based on the Conservative Party's manifesto, its plans before the campaign and its promises during it.

Overseas Christmas holiday boost การพนัน
Those who are heading abroad for Christmas will see their holiday money go a little further.

The value of the pound improved against the US dollar and the euro when the Conservative victory became clear, and this will now have fed through to the rates at bureaux de change.

However, travelling overseas at this time of year can be very expensive, so this will only bring a little relief.

A Budget within 100 days
The big set-piece financial event of the year had been planned for November, but was postponed as the prime minister pushed for an election.
During the campaign, Boris Johnson promised a Budget within 100 days of the polling day if the Conservatives were elected. This is likely to mean a Budget in February or March, setting any changes to taxes, benefits and allowances in time for the start of the new financial year in April.

Mr Johnson promised that a tax break for workers, through a change to National Insurance, would be confirmed in that first Budget.

The current threshold sees workers paying National Insurance contributions once they earn £8,628 a year. The Conservatives said this would rise to £9,500.

Economists at the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) calculated this would be worth about £85 a year for all those with earnings above £9,500 a year.

This Budget - and any subsequent ones during this five-year Parliament - will see no income tax or VAT rises (nor any National Insurance rises), according to a promise in the Conservative Party's manifesto. However, this was described as "ill-advised" by the IFS owing to the potential lack of room for financial manoeuvre it creates.

Pension plans shored up?
The Budget is likely to confirm the biggest increase in the state pension since 2012, with pensioners expected to receive a 3.9% boost.

The full, new state pension is expected to go up from £168.60 a week to about £175.20 in April. However, most pensioners get the older basic state pension, which is likely to go up from £129.20 to £134.25 per week. They may also get a Pension Credit top-up.

The rise is the result of the triple-lock system, which means that the state pension rises in line with inflation, earnings or 2.5% - whichever is the highest. The Conservatives have pledged to keep this in place, as it has with the winter fuel payment and free bus passes for older people.

A Pensions Bill is, to use one of Mr Johnson's phrases, oven-ready. It had been prepared before the election was called and includes new protection for those with workplace pensions, and reforms to allow a new type of shared-risk pension scheme to be made available.

There is also a longer-term promise in the manifesto to look at a pension "loophole" that has seen workers, disproportionately women, who earn between £10,000 and £12,500 missing out on pension benefits.

A difficult road for some pension campaigners
Despite a number of pension changes in the offing, it is hard to see how they will include any compensation for women born in the 1950s who believe they unfairly missed out on the state pension.

There have been no promises made to the so-called Waspi (Women Against State Pension Inequality), although they will continue to put pressure on the government to address the issue.

The separate Backto60 group, which campaigns on the same issue, recently lost a high-profile court case.

Increase to minimum wage ahead
At the Conservative Party conference in September, Chancellor Sajid Javid pledged to raise the National Living Wage to £10.50 an hour within the next five years. The current rate for over 25s is £8.21.

The age at which workers qualify for the National Living Wage - the highest level of minimum wage - is set to drop from 25 to 21 within five years.

Rise in house prices?
Commentators have suggested that there is pent-up demand in the UK housing market - particularly in London. Buyers and sellers have been put off making such a big financial commitment owing to political and economic uncertainty.

Now the first of those is off the table, to a degree, given the size of the Conservative majority, there may be more transactions. More demand could push up prices - which is good for sellers, but bad for first-time buyers.

Divers have resumed searching the waters near White Island volcano in New Zealand in efforts to retrieve two remaining bodies, police say. เว็บพนันบอลดีที่สุด2020

The team faced "unique and challenging conditions" as they looked for a body spotted in the water. Rescuers will not land on the island on Saturday.

A day earlier, the remains of six bodies were recovered in an operation and sent to Auckland to be identified.
Fourteen deaths have been confirmed from Monday's eruption.

Around 20 people remain in intensive care with severe burns in New Zealand and Australia.

Nine members of the Police National Dive Squad were searching the area around White Island, also known by its Maori name of Whakaari, police said. Conditions in the water were "not optimal", with visibility between zero and two metres (6.5ft) in some places.
"The water around the island is contaminated, requiring the divers to take extra precautions to ensure their safety, including using specialist protective equipment," Deputy Commissioner John Tims said in a statement. "Each time they surface, the divers are decontaminated using fresh water."

The divers, Mr Tims added, also reported seeing a number of dead fish and eels washed ashore and floating in the water.

Personnel from the Navy dive team are due to join the operation later.

Meanwhile, police confirmed that Krystal Eve Browitt from Australia was one of the victims. The 21-year-old veterinary student - previously listed as missing - was on the island with her father and sister, who were both badly burned, according to a fundraising page set up by a family friend.

The bodies being retrieved will be examined in Auckland by experts including a pathologist, a forensic dentist and a fingerprint officer. "This is a long and complex process and we are working as quickly as possible to return loved ones to their families," Mr Tims said.

Police will gather information about possible victims, such as descriptions of appearance, clothing, photos, fingerprints, medical and dental records and DNA samples. These details will then be matched to the evidence gathered in the post-mortem examination.

How did Friday's operation unfold?
A "high-speed" retrieval to get the bodies was launched even though the risk of another eruption remained. Going in, authorities knew the location of six of the missing and those bodies were airlifted off the island.

A team of eight specialists from the New Zealand Defence Force flew by helicopter to the island and spent four hours retrieving the bodies. They were taken to a naval patrol boat and then brought back to the mainland.

Volcanologists had warned that if the volcano erupted while they were on the island, the team could face magma, superheated steam, ash and rocks thrown at high speed. The specialists who went to the island were wearing protective clothing and breathing apparatus.

Speaking to reporters after the bodies were retrieved, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said questions over why people were allowed to visit the active volcano "must be answered, and will be answered".

But she said "we also need to respect the phase we're in now, with families only just getting their loved ones back".

How were the others saved?
Out of the 47 people on the island when the eruption happened, 24 were from Australia, nine from the US, five from New Zealand, four from Germany, two from China, two from the UK, and one from Malaysia.

After the eruption, most of the visitors were taken off the island in dramatic rescue efforts. Some tourist boats already on the way to the mainland turned back to take in those stranded.

Meanwhile, commercial pilots headed back to the island - as the eruption was ongoing - to look for survivors. Many of those who made it off the island were severely injured and burnt.

A painting discovered on the wall of an Indonesian cave has been found to be 44,000 years old.

The art appears to show a buffalo being hunted by part-human, part-animal creatures holding spears and possibly ropes.
Some researchers think the scene could be the world's oldest-recorded story.

The findings were presented in the journal Nature by archaeologists from Griffith University in Brisbane, Australia.
Adam Brumm - an archaeologist at Griffith - first saw the pictures two years ago, after a colleague in Indonesia shimmied up a fig tree to reach the cave passage.

"These images appeared on my iPhone," said Mr Brumm. "I think I said the characteristic Australian four-letter word out very loud."
The Indonesian drawing is not the oldest in the world. Last year, scientists said they found "humanity's oldest drawing" on a fragment of rock in South Africa, dated at 73,000 years old.

What do the drawings show?

The drawings were found in a cave called Leang Bulu'Sipong 4 in the south of Sulawesi, an Indonesian island east of Borneo.

The panel is almost five metres wide and appears to show a type of buffalo called an anoa, plus wild pigs found on Sulawesi.

Alongside them are smaller figures that look human - but also have animal features such as tails and snouts.

In one section, an anoa is flanked by several figures holding spears.

"I've never seen anything like this before," said Mr Brumm. "I mean, we've seen hundreds of rock art sites in this region - but we've never seen anything like a hunting scene."

However, other researchers have questioned whether the panel represents a single story - and say it could be a series of images painted over a longer period.

"Whether it's a scene is questionable," says Paul Pettitt, an archaeologist and rock-art specialist at Durham University told Nature.

An Indian woman who was set on fire on her way to testify against her alleged rapists has died of her injuries.
The 23-year-old died late on Friday after suffering cardiac arrest at a Delhi hospital. She had 90% burns.

She was attacked on Thursday as she was walking to a hearing in the **** case she filed against two men in March in Unnao, in northern Uttar Pradesh state.
Five men, including the alleged rapists, have been arrested, Indian police say.

The sister of the victim, whose name has not been released, told the BBC that she wanted the death penalty for the pair.
She said the family would continue to fight the case against them in court.

**** and sexual violence against women have been in focus in India since the December 2012 gang-**** and murder of a young woman on a bus in the capital, Delhi.

But there has been no sign that crimes against women are abating.

According to government figures, police registered 33,658 cases of **** in India in 2017, an average of 92 rapes every day.

Unnao district has itself been in the news over another **** case.
Police opened a murder investigation against a ruling party lawmaker in July after a woman who accused him of **** was seriously injured in a car crash. Two of her aunts were killed and her lawyer was injured.

Separately, on Friday, Indian police shot dead four men suspected of raping and killing a young female vet in the southern city of Hyderabad last week.

That case sparked widespread outrage, and the killing of the suspects, in what rights activists believe may have been an extra-judicial killing, sparked jubilation among local residents.

Japanese beer exports to South Korea hit zero last month amid boycotts sparked by a simmering trade row between the Asian neighbours.

Official figures on Thursday showed Japan food exports were down 58.1% in October, according to broadcaster NHK.
Sake shipments tumbled more than 90% and instant noodles also flat-lined, it said.

What began as a diplomatic feud over wartime labour compensation has evolved into a trade row between the countries.
The dispute has hit various industries, from Japanese car makers to Korean electronics suppliers.

Beer-sellers have been among the hardest hit. Japan shipped 800.34m yen ($7.3m; £5.6m) worth of beer to South Korea last October, according to news agency Kyodo.
South Korea is one of the biggest markets for Japanese beer, accounting for about 60% of total overseas shipments last year, Kyodo said.
Tensions between the two countries flared in July when Japan tightened controls on South Korean exports, targeting materials used in memory chips and display screens that are vital for local companies such as Samsung.

Both countries later struck one another off their list of trusted trade partners.

That has had an impact, with NHK reporting Japanese exports of equipment used in the manufacture of semiconductors slid 49% last month.

Still, there have been some recent signs of a possible thaw in relations.

Last week South Korea agreed to continue a military intelligence-sharing pact with Japan that had been threatened by the dispute.

The move was welcomed by the US which had urged the two countries to settle their differences.

How did the trade rift begin?
The trade dispute has been fuelled by diplomatic tensions over compensation for wartime labour.

Last year, South Korean court rulings that ordered Japanese firms to pay compensation to Koreans over forced wartime labour inflamed long-running tensions.

The decisions drew condemnation from Japan, which argues the dispute was settled in 1965 when diplomatic ties were normalised between the neighbouring countries.

General Discussion / Trump to designate Mexican drug cartels as terrorists
« on: November 27, 2019, 03:59:34 am »
The US will legally designate Mexican drug cartels as terrorist groups, President Donald Trump says.

The move would enable a wider scope of US action. Mr Trump also said he had told Mexico the US was ready to "go in and clear out" the cartels.

In response Mexico's foreign minister said his country would not allow any "violation of national sovereignty".

Earlier this month Mr Trump vowed to "wage war on the drug cartels" after a deadly attack on US citizens in Mexico.
The victims - three women and six children who were Mormons of dual US-Mexican nationality - were killed in an ambush while travelling through a remote area of northern Mexico on 4 November.
Officials said it may have been a case of mistaken identity, but relatives of the victims said the killers must have known whom they were targeting.

After the attack the victims' community, the LeBarons, petitioned the White House to list the cartels as terror groups, saying: "They are terrorists and it's time to acknowledge it."
What did Trump say?
Conservative media figure Bill O'Reilly asked President Trump on Tuesday whether he was going to designate the cartels as terror groups and "start hitting them with drones".

The president said: "They will be designated... I have been working on that for the last 90 days. You know, designation is not that easy, you have to go through a process, and we are well into that process."
He added that he had told Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador that the US was willing to launch operations against the cartels inside Mexico.

"I've already offered him to let us go in and clean it out and he so far has rejected the offer but at some point something has to be done," Mr Trump said.

What would the designation mean?
When a group is designated as a terrorist organisation in the US, it becomes illegal for people in the US to to knowingly offer support.

Its members are also banned from entering the US. If they are already in the US, they face being deported.

If financial institutions discover they have funds connected to the group, they are required to block the money and alert the US Treasury Department.

Some analysts suggest that the designation could also have an impact on the supply of weapons to the cartels from the US.

Earlier this year a US government study traced more than 150,000 firearms including assault rifles back from Mexican criminals to gun shops and factories in the US.

Under anti-terror laws, those who purchase the guns in the US for the cartels could face much heavier penalties.

How has Mexico responded?
Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard said Mexico had made clear to the US its rejection of any violation of its sovereignty. He also said Mexico was committed to tackling transnational organised crime.

"Mutual respect is the basis for cooperation," Mr Ebrard said.

A foreign ministry statement said Mr Ebrard would discuss the issue with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

Colombia's President Iván Duque has said security forces will remain on the streets to maintain order, as protests continued for a third day.

The anti-government demonstrations erupted on Thursday, when more than 250,000 marched in a national strike.
They started peacefully but clashes between protesters and police have since broken out, and there have been reports of vandalism and looting.

Mr Duque said troops would carry out joint patrols with police.

"We express the total and absolute rejection of all Colombians for the vandalism, for the terrorism, for the looting," Mr Duque told reporters on Saturday.
At least three people have died since the protests against corruption and possible austerity measures began.
A curfew was imposed in the capital, Bogotá, on Friday, but it did not deter protesters from returning to the streets a day later.
When protests resumed on Saturday, police used tear gas to disperse hundreds of people who had gathered near Bogotá's National Park, reports said.

Demonstrators also gathered outside of congress in Bolivar Plaza, near the presidential palace.

Separately, late on Friday, three police officers were killed in a bomb attack in the country's south-west.
It is not clear if the incident is connected to the protests. The area is notorious for drug trafficking and gang violence.

What are the protests about?
Colombians have taken to the streets over possible changes to the minimum wage, pension and tax reforms, and the privatisation of state companies. The government insists there are no planned pension or labour reforms and that any changes would take place in consultation with labour groups.

Protesters are also angry about alleged corruption and what some see as the government's failure to honour a 2016 peace deal with left-wing Farc rebels amid a rise in violence.

Thursday's general strike was called by unions and student groups, and more protests were held on Friday, with police using tear gas to disperse crowds

President Duque said he had heard Colombians and vowed to deepen "social dialogue".

Unrest in Colombia has coincided with a surge of anti-government demonstrations elsewhere in Latin America.

Protesters have taken to the streets in several Latin American countries in recent months, including in Chile, where conservative President Sebastián Piñera is grappling with the country's biggest crisis since its return to democracy in 1990.

In Bolivia, claims of election fraud led to the resignation of long-time leftist President Evo Morales amid nationwide protests. Demonstrations have also taken place in Ecuador and Nicaragua.

Lewis Hamilton is explaining what keeps him hungry - how, despite six world championships, 83 grand prix victories and more money than he probably ever dreamed of, his desire for success in Formula 1 burns as bright as ever.

"The thing is I never got into it for money," the Mercedes driver says. "Of course it is great that that piles up - no problem. That is a bonus. As long as those things don't become the lead factor of what I do.

"The core of what I do is that I love racing. I love the challenge. I love arriving knowing I have got these incredibly talented youngsters who are trying to beat me and outperform me, outsmart me, and I love that battle that I get into every single year.
"And I am working with these guys [his Mercedes engineers] who are so much smarter than me and they make me feel smarter. When I am challenging them and proving them wrong so many times, it is unreal."Hamilton laughs and refers to the conversations he has with chief engineer Andrew Shovlin and his colleagues about the complexities of the car.
'I would say I have a very complex life'
That was not the only time the wider questions of existence have crept into Hamilton's professional life this season. After arriving home from the Japanese Grand Prix in October, he took to Instagram to post some messages reflecting his despair over the climate crisis, saying the world was "messed up" and he felt like "giving up on everything".
He defended his intervention on arriving at the subsequent race in Mexico. But he never addressed whether there was a wider personal context to it.

"There is," he now admits, "but I don't really wish to go into that."

He adds: "Most of the time, I wear my heart on my sleeve, so it was an emotional post, which is not always good to do. It just felt like I was banging my head against the wall and not gaining ground.

"There is a lot of push-back on a lot of things I do, and a lot of questioning of everything I do and say. You live your life under a magnifying glass. And the pressure for anyone that's in the limelight… we're only human, so at some stage you're going to buckle a little bit.

"But I always say it's not how you fall, it's how you get back up. And I really turned that negativity into a positive and came back and won that next race. And you'll probably see if you look back in the history of the times I've often had those difficult phases, I've often won the next races. That's where my strength lies."

How does he feel to have his personal views - and his right to express them - questioned?

"I just understand it's just the way of life," Hamilton says. "But the fact that is the way it is doesn't make it any easier.

"I would say I have a very complex life. I'm sure we all have complex lives. But I can't talk about absolutely how complex it is.

"I am trying to be more open about that, as you'll see on my social. But there is a line where it's the limit and for me personally that one there was slightly over the limit.

"But I don't regret it. Because I think for those who are following me and are on this journey with me, I don't think showing vulnerability is always a bad thing. They can just see I'm human at the end of the day."

General Discussion / Hong Kong: 'I was tear gassed getting my lunch'
« on: November 16, 2019, 02:04:02 am »
"I've been tear gassed a few times, but never when I was outside my office - popping out to get my lunch," says one trader at HSBC.

He is describing the moment this week when Hong Kong's protests came to the central financial district , one of the world's biggest commercial hubs.

He says it was a watershed moment, that's made him and many of his peers question their future in the city.
Speaking to the BBC under condition of anonymity, directors at some of the biggest international banks and law firms said they are seeing their business in Hong Kong shrink as the protests continue to escalate.

Financial services make up a fifth of Hong Kong's economy and people come from all over the world to live and work here. Its large expatriate community is attracted by the low taxes, well-paid jobs, stability and high standards of living.However, the lure of prosperity and stability in the East Asian hub has been undermined substantially since Hong Kong has been racked by five months of anti-government protests, backing increased democracy and opposing the actions of the police.Panic button
This last week where violence has intensified has made many firms reconsider the safety of their staff in the city.

One hedge fund manager has even been given a panic button app in case of an emergency and plans are in place with his work to evacuate him and his family to another major city "if we were in danger they have a team of people who would get us out".

A banker at HSBC says only half of their staff came in to the office on Friday as people are encouraged to work remotely if they can't get in safely.

Staff are kept closely informed about the situation on the ground according to a BNP Paribas employee "We get regular emails early in the morning and through the day from the business continuity management team - telling us whether it's safe to go into offices - and whether we should go home early."

'Pro-protester or pro-police'
Anecdotally, the political pressure from the Chinese government on banks and law firms is also growing - and it's putting pressure on staff.

Some partners in law firms are being asked to pin their colours to the mast and state whether they support the protesters or the Chinese government before winning business from Chinese firms.

Firms are under pressure to keep a lid on their staff speaking in public about their views.

One lawyer explains "I've been on calls where people are asked to verbally communicate restraint and caution when sharing their views. Given the amount of people we employ here, it's a minor miracle nothing has happened".

In the workplace, people are making informal rules not to discuss the subject within their teams because emotions are running so high.

"Clearly it's the only topic of conversation in the office, but opinions are so split," one banker says.

"In my team of nine, three are Chinese and two are Hong Kong Chinese and the rest are expats - it's a bit like Brexit - we all have violently different views."

A video on social media of a man who claims to work at Citigroup being arrested by police has been widely shared in the banking community.
"This has scared people here - it makes you feel we could all get caught up in this"

A spokesperson for the US-headquartered banking group said: "We are investigating this incident and while investigations continue it would be inappropriate to comment further".

The massive bushfires raging across Australia are expected to flare up again as temperatures rise in coming days.

So far, four people have died from the fires, which are feeding off drought-stricken farmland and bush.
Conditions improved on Friday but crews were still battling about 120 blazes across New South Wales and Queensland.

And authorities have warned that a bank of hot air is expected to sweep across the country, escalating the fires.

Temperatures across Western Australia are predicted to hit mid-40Cs at the weekend.

The fires have razed about 300 homes, and burnt through over 1 million hectares of land in NSW.Queensland authorities said they were expecting new fires to break out next week with higher winds and temperatures. They also predicted the roll in of dry thunderstorms - which could start new fires.

'I'm not going to stop,' says pregnant firefighter
Firefighters who saved house leave milk 'apology'
"We're just expecting more of the same," Queensland Fire and Emergency Services spokesman Kevin Reading told the BBC.
He said crews were planning on fighting the fires until January - seven weeks away - when meaningful downpours had been forecast.

NSW authorities have issued similar messages.

"[It's] heating up early next week... we're in for the long haul," said NSW Rural Fire Services Deputy Commissioner Rob Rogers.

In NSW, the worst-hit state, fires have threatened both inland rural areas and several populated coastal towns.'Danger not over'
Shaimaa Khalil, BBC News Australia correspondent

The heavy smell of smoke hits you the second you step out anywhere in Nana Glenn, a small town 600km (370 miles) north of Sydney. It's like a blanket of haze covering this rural area and the neighbouring towns.

Walking around, I could still feel the heat from the scorched ground. Some tree trunks still smouldering while others were hollowed out with a real risk of falling at any moment.

The aftermath of the catastrophic fires is impossible to escape here.

General Discussion / Tesla to build first European factory in Berlin
« on: November 13, 2019, 12:17:29 am »
esla's chief executive, Elon Musk, has said Berlin will be the site of its first European factory as the carmaker's expansion plans power ahead.
Mr Musk said the firm would also build an engineering and design centre in the German capital.

Tesla previously said it aimed to start production in Europe in 2021.
The moves come as the firm, which has also invested heavily in a Chinese factory, faces intensifying competition in the electric vehicle industry.

Mr Musk made the announcement at an awards ceremony in Germany on Tuesday.

"Everyone knows that German engineering is outstanding and that's part of the reason we are locating our Gigafactory Europe in Germany," he said.
Mr Musk said the facility would be located near the new Berlin airport and later gave more details on what the factory would produce on Twitter.The focus on Germany comes amid rising appetite for electric cars in Europe.

Over the coming years, the biggest electric car production plants will be in Germany, France, Spain and Italy, industry analysis showed.

Some 16 large-scale lithium-ion battery cell plants are confirmed or due to begin operations in Europe by 2023.China push
Tesla's European plans comes as the carmaker also moves ahead with a $2bn (£1.6bn) factory in Shanghai.

The firm is looking to ramp up production in China, the world's biggest car market, where sales have been hurt by tariffs triggered by the US-China trade war.The Shanghai facility will produce Model 3 and Model Y cars. The automaker reportedly showed off its new China-made vehicles to local media this week.Still, Tesla has struggled with years of losses, fuelling investor doubts and casting a shadow over its shares in recent years.

The firm has yet to turn an annual profit, although it recorded positive results in the final two quarters of 2018.

Last year, Tesla took aggressive steps to slash expense, cutting thousands of jobs and reining in other spending.

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