Diane is a perfectionist. She enjoys searching the internet for the hottest events from around the world and writing an article about it. The details matter to her, so she makes sure the information is easy to read and understand. She likes traveling and history, especially ancient history. Being a very sociable person she has a blast having barbeque with family and friends.
According to a summary of Special Counsel
Robert Mueller’s report submitted to Congress on March 24, President Donald Trump’s
campaign did not conspire with Russia during the 2016 election.
The summary did not draw a conclusion as to whether Donald Trump illegally
obstructed justice, but did not exonerate the president.
The report was summarized for Congress by the attorney general, William
Donald Trump tweeted in response: “No
Collusion, No Obstruction.”
The president, who has repeatedly described the inquiry as a witch hunt, said
on March 24 that “it was a shame that the country had to go through
this”, describing the inquiry as an “illegal takedown that
The report is the culmination of two years of investigation by Robert
He wrote in his report: “While
this report does not conclude that the president committed a crime, it also
does not exonerate him.”
The summary letter by William Barr
outlines the inquiry’s findings relating to Russian efforts to influence the
2016 presidential election.
He concluded: “The special counsel did not find that any US person or Trump
campaign official conspired or knowingly co-ordinated with Russia.”
The second part of the letter addresses
the issue of obstruction of justice. William Barr’s summary says the special
counsel report “ultimately determined not to make a traditional
The letter read: “The Special Counsel therefore did not
draw a conclusion – one way or the other – as to whether the examined conduct
William Barr says that the evidence
was not sufficient “to establish that the president committed an
The attorney general ends his letter
to Congress by saying he will release more from the full report, but that some
of the material is subject to restrictions.
William Barr wrote: “Given these restrictions, the schedule
for processing the report depends in part on how quickly the Department can
identify the [grand jury] material that by law cannot be made public.
“I have requested the assistance of the Special Counsel
in identifying all information contained in the report as quickly as
White House press secretary Sarah Sanders described the findings of the
report as “a total and complete exoneration of the president”.
President Trump’s lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, said the report was “better
than I expected”.
Congressman Jerry Nadler, the
Democratic Chair of the House of Representatives Judiciary Committee, emphasized
that the attorney general did not rule out that President Trump may have
Democratic Senator Richard Blumenthal, a member of the Senate’s Judiciary
Committee, said that while there was a lack of evidence to support “a
prosecutable criminal conspiracy”, questions remained over whether
President Trump had been compromised.
Republican Senator Mitt Romney welcomed the “good news”, tweeting that it was now “time for the country to move forward”.
Former Vice-President Joe Biden appeared to
announce his candidacy for the 2020 presidential election, before immediately
Joe Biden made the slip while addressing 1,000 Democrats at a dinner in his
home state of Delaware.
The democrat said his record was the most progressive “of anyone
running for the United-” before correcting himself and saying,
“anybody who would run”.
The audience stood up and chanted “run Joe run”, while the
76-year-old crossed himself and said: “I
didn’t mean it!”
Addressing party brokers and leaders in the city of Dover, Joe Biden said
that it was time to restore the country’s “backbone”, but that they
needed political consensus to move beyond what he called today’s
“mean”, “petty” and “vicious” political
“I’m told I get criticized by the
new left,” Joe Biden said, referring to a group of popular new
left-wing Democrats that includes congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.
“I have the most progressive record of
anybody running for the United- “
The former vice-president then corrected himself, saying: “Anybody who wouldrun.”
As the diners rose to their feet and
chanted “run Joe run”, Joe Biden laughed and insisted: “I didn’t mean it!”
“Of anybody who would run,” he continued.
“Because folks, we have to bring this country back
If it is passed, the bill will eventually need to be signed by President
Russia has introduced a swathe of tougher internet laws in recent years. On
March 7, parliament passed two bills outlawing “disrespect” of
authorities and the spreading of what the government deems to be “fake
Last year, campaigners took to the streets to protest the media watchdog’s
attempt to shut down the encrypted messaging service, Telegram.
Russia’s main security agency, the FSB, said at the time that Telegram was the messenger of choice for “international terrorist organizations in Russia”.
President Donald Trump has arrived in Vietnam’s
capital, Hanoi, ahead of his second summit with North Korean leader, Kim
Air Force One landed at Noi Bai airport hours after Kim Jon-un reached Hanoi
by train and car.
The summit, which is due to take place between February 27 and 28, follows a
historic first round of talks in Singapore in 2018.
Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un are expected to discuss progress towards
ridding the Korean peninsula of nuclear weapons.
Ceremonial guards had lined a red carpet laid out for Kim Jong-un as he
arrived at Dong Dang border station on February 26. He was then driven to
Hanoi, where heavy security and flag-waving crowds were waiting for him.
Kim Jong-un is thought to be
travelling with his sister Kim Yo-jong and one of his key negotiators, former
General Kim Yong-chol, both familiar faces from the previous summit with PresidentTrump.
The journey from Pyongyang to Hanoi
took more than two days and traversed about 2,500 miles.
As Kim Jong-un’s train passed
through China, roads were closed and train stations shut down. Chinese social
media was abuzz with road closures, traffic congestion and delayed trains.
Vietnam’s Dong Dang station was also
closed to the public ahead of his arrival.
Kim Jong-un is now being driven
around 100 miles to Hanoi by car.
The North Korean leader chose to
take the train as this is how his grandfather, Kim Il-sung, travelled when he
went to Vietnam and Eastern Europe.
Kim Jong-un’s private green and
yellow train has 21 bulletproof carriages and is luxurious, with plush pink
leather sofas and conference rooms so the journey would not have been
Air Force One left Andrews Air Force
Base in Maryland, landing in Hanoi on Tuesday night local time.
Details of their schedule are only
just becoming clear. President Trump will meet Kim Jong-un for a brief
one-on-one conversation on February 27 and then they will have dinner together
with their advisers, according to White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders. On
February 28, the leaders will meet for a series of back-and-forth meetings.
The Hanoi meeting is expected to
build on the groundwork of what was achieved at the Singapore summit in June
The first summit produced a vaguely
worded agreement, with both leaders agreeing to work towards denuclearization –
though it was never made clear what this would entail.
However, little diplomatic progress
was made following that meeting.
This time round, both leaders will
be very conscious that expectations will be high for an outcome that
demonstrates tangible signs of progress.
However, President Trump appeared to
be managing expectations ahead of the summit, saying he was in “no
rush” to press for North Korea’s denuclearization.
He said: “I don’t want to rush anybody. I just don’t want testing. As long
as there’s no testing, we’re happy.”
Vietnam has been chosen for many
reasons. It has diplomatic relations with both the US and North Korea, despite
once having been enemies with the US – and could be used by the US as an
example of two countries working together and setting aside their past
Ideologically, both Vietnam and North Korea are communist countries – though Vietnam has rapidly developed since and become one of the fastest growing economies in Asia, all while the party there retains absolute power.
Politics is an extremely tricky subject. Everyone thinks
they understand and no one actually does. However, politics and its close
cousin religion are quite often impossible to avoid in your day-to-day
However, in all cultures, politics is highly personal.
Passions can easily run high, and for some people, it is a subject worth
destroying relationships for. Of course, you always have the option of not
engaging in any political discussion at all, though that’s sometimes easier
said than done.
There are good arguments both for engaging or avoiding
politics. Here are some of them.
Arguments for openly discussing
1.) It allows you a
better understanding of the local culture
In most instances, it can be advantageous to understand what
makes your host culture tick. Not only will you avoid social pitfalls and find
it easier to be accepted, you may also find that your host culture’s ways of
thinking have much to offer you. You might even find that it makes more sense
to you than how your own native culture tends to see things.
While you can learn much simply from observation, it’s
impossible to truly understand any culture without examining how power
relationships are handled in it. For that, engaging in respectful political
discussion is necessary.
politics allows you to better understand events as they are
Current events are quite often tied to politics and your
fate as an expat may very well hinge on your understanding of the local
political climate. Events on the international and local level often have consequences
you may not have considered unless you actually talk to a person on the ground
about. Sometimes, it’s only because of these discussions that you can weigh
correctly whether you should stay in the country, or leave altogether.
Arguments against openly discussing
1.) You don’t
necessarily need a perfect understanding of local culture to be productive
Let’s face it. Many expats know almost nothing about their
host country’s history and culture even after years of living in it. If you
yourself are an expat, you probably know quite a number of these people. They
probably manage to still be productive and happy without engaging in politics
or understanding whatever is going on around them.
While some of us may be repulsed at the idea that not everyone feels that they
need to know everything that’s going on, it’s a perfectly valid decision. This
is especially true if you do not feel that you have the energy to spare
discussing politics or understanding your host culture in depth. There are some
drawbacks, sure. It rarely pays to be ignorant. But at least you can spend more
time doing what other things you decide are actually more important.
2.) Locals may see
you as meddlesome or condescending
It can be difficult to avoid sharing your own perspectives
once any political discussion has started. And when you do, locals may see it
as you being a pushy know-it-all foreigner, even if that isn’t the intent. This
can be especially true if your own culture handles political discussions
differently from your host culture.
If your country also has had a rocky history with your host
country, there may still very well be a lot of people who will only tolerate
you so long as you don’t step out of line when it comes to political
discussions. In these cases, it may be prudent to avoid discussions altogether.
Regardless of what you think about politics, it’s best to get expat health insurance before leaving your home country for an extended period. You may not always know what the situation in your host country will be a year from now, but it’s important to at least be prepared as far as your health is concerned.
Democrat Senator Bernie Sanders has
announced his second bid for presidency in 2020.
Bernie Sanders, 77, became a
progressive political star in 2016 although he lost his candidacy bid.
His campaign says it raised $1 million
within three and half hours of launching.
An outspoken critic of President Donald Trump, the Vermont senator has described him as a “pathological liar” and “racist”.
Bernie Sanders – an independent who
caucuses with the Democrats – is one of the best-known names to join a crowded
and diverse field of Democratic candidates, and early polls suggest he is far
His calls for universal
government-provided healthcare, a $15 national minimum wage and free college
education electrified young voters, raised millions of dollars in small
donations and are now pillars of the party’s left wing.
Bernie Sanders, who lost the 2016
Democratic primary to former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, said in his
email: “Three years ago, when we
talked about these and other ideas, we were told that they were ‘radical’ and
“Together, you and I and our 2016 campaign began the
political revolution. Now, it is time to complete that revolution and implement
the vision that we fought for.”
The longest shutdown in US history
lasted 35 days and cost the country’s economy an estimated $11 billion.
Details have yet to be released but
aides familiar with the negotiations say it includes $1.375 billion in funding
for 55 miles of new fencing at the border, a small part of the more than 2,000
miles promised by President Trump.
The wall would be built in the Rio
Grande Valley, in Texas, using existing designs, such as metal slats, instead
of the concrete wall that Donald Trump had demanded.
According to recent reports, there
was also an agreement to reduce the number of beds in detention centers to
40,250 from the current 49,057.
The talks had reached an impasse earlier with Republicans strongly rejecting
Democrats’ demands for a limit to the number of undocumented migrants already
in the US who could be detained by immigration authorities.
Republican Senator Richard Shelby said on February 11: “We got an agreement on all of it.
“Our staffs are going to be
working feverishly to put all the particulars together. We believe that if this
becomes law, it’ll keep open the government.”
However, by yesterday, some of President Trump’s conservative allies had
already denounced the deal, with Fox News commentator Sean Hannity calling it a
House Freedom Caucus leader Representative Mark Meadows of North Carolina said the agreement failed “to address the critical priorities outlined by Border Patrol Chiefs”.
President Donald Trump is “in very good
health”, the White House doctor, Sean Conley, said after a four-hour
Dr. Sean Conley added: “I
anticipate he will remain so for the duration of his presidency and
He and other 11 medical specialists put President Trump through a series of
tests in a Washington suburb.
Donald Trump, 72, had previously been asked to lose at least 10lb and there
is no evidence that he has done so.
White House aides report that the president is eating more fish than he used
to, according to Reuters.
However, according to spokesman Hogan Gidley, President Trump
“admits” he has not followed his diet and exercise plan
No further details on President Trump’s health have been released.
At the first physical of his presidency, which took place last year, Donald
Trump was found to weigh 239lb and have a cholesterol level that is slightly
higher than recommended.
President Trump is known to take medication for heart health and against
cholesterol and male pattern hair loss.
His body mass index (BMI) indicates he is overweight but not obese.
Donald Trump’s health has attracted
attention before. During his campaign he produced a letter that said he would
be the “healthiest individual ever elected to the presidency”.
However, the doctor named as its author later said Donald Trump had written the
US intelligence officials have reportedly said such an operation would have
needed the approval of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.
However, Saudi officials insist Jamal Khashoggi was murdered by a
“rogue” team of Saudi agents not acting on the prince’s orders.
An administration statement said President Trump “maintains his
discretion to decline to act on congressional committee requests when
However, Democratic senators told the New
York Times President Trump was in breach of the so-called Magnitsky Act, which
requires a response within 120 days to requests from Senate committee leaders.
That deadline passed on February 8.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has written to Senate leaders describing actions
taken against individuals.
However, the documents do not indicate who was responsible for Jamal Khashoggi’s
death, as demanded by the senators.
The US has imposed sanctions on 17 Saudi officials, including Saud
al-Qahtani, a former adviser to the crown prince who, it alleged, was
“part of the planning and execution of the operation” that led to Jamal
However, President Trump has faced criticism from senators for failing to condemn the Saudi crown prince directly.
A group of 14 Canadian diplomats along with
their families is suing the government for C$28 million ($21.1 million) after
they succumbed to a mysterious illness in Cuba.
The group says the Canadian government took too long to warn, evacuate and
In 2018, Canadian and US officials were recalled from Cuba after complaining
of dizziness and migraines.
The cause of the illness is unknown, but Canada has discounted the idea of a
“sonic attack” on its embassy.
In a statement, the group said: “Throughout
the crisis, Canada downplayed the seriousness of the situation, hoarded and
concealed critical health and safety information, and gave false, misleading
and incomplete information to diplomatic staff.”
According to CBC, staff at the Canadian embassy began experiencing symptoms
of the so-called “Havana syndrome” in spring 2017.
Several families were subsequently moved from Cuba, but until April 2018 Canada
continued to post new staff to Havana despite warnings from US counterparts who
had received similar complaints.
The US withdrew most of its non-essential personnel from Cuba in September
2017 and said 21 embassy employees had been affected.
Last month, Canada said it would be cutting its embassy staff by up to half.
At a news conference in Washington, Canada’s Foreign Affairs Minister
Chrystia Freeland said she was aware of the lawsuit.
She said: “I am not going to
comment on the specifics, but I do want to reiterate that I have met with some
of these diplomats and, as I said to them, their health and safety needs to be
Cuba has repeatedly denied any involvement in the incident.
Cuba’s Foreign Minister, Bruno Rodriguez, said US claims were a “political manipulation” aimed at damaging bilateral relations.
Virginia Governor Ralph Northam has apologized
after his 1984 student yearbook page emerged, showing a picture featuring men
in racist costumes.
The Democrat governor said in a statement: “I am deeply sorry for the decision I made to appear as I did in
this photo and for the hurt that decision caused then and now.”
Black politicians in Virginia called the image “disgusting” and
Republicans urged Ralph Northam to resign.
The picture showed a man in blackface and another man in Ku Klux Klan robes.
The image appeared on a page with other photos of Ralph Northam, who was
aged about 25 at the time, as well as personal details about him.
Ralph Northam did not elaborate on which costume he was wearing, but said he
appeared in a photograph that was “clearly racist and offensive”.
His yearbook page, which came from the pediatric neurologist’s time at
Eastern Virginia Medical School, was first published by conservative website
Big League Politics.
The Virginian-Pilot newspaper
tweeted a picture of the page which it said it obtained from the medical school
An official from the medical school
verified the photo and told the Huffington
Post it came from a “student-produced publication”.
The yearbook page, which features
Ralph Northam’s full name and photos of the future doctor and politician, also
included a quote from a Willie Nelson song that read: “There are more old drunks than old doctors in this world so I
think I’ll have another beer.”
In his statement, issued after the
image was made public, the governor said:
“This behavior is not in keeping with who I am today and the values I have
fought for throughout my career in the military, in medicine, and in public
He added: “But I want to be clear, I understand how this decision shakes
Virginians’ faith in that commitment.
“I recognize that it will take time and serious effort
to heal the damage this conduct has caused. I am ready to do that important
“The first step
is to offer my sincerest apology and to state my absolute commitment to living
up to the expectations Virginians set for me when they elected me to be their
Ralph Northam later released a video statement via Twitter in which he said
he was “deeply sorry” for the offence the image had caused.
He said: “I accept responsibility
for my past actions and I am ready to do the hard work of regaining your trust.”
Before he was elected governor, Ralph Northam served for a decade as a
Virginia state legislator.
Ralph Northam’s responsibilities as governor include implementing state laws, restoring voting rights for individuals who have had them withdrawn and issuing pardons.
Ex-Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz has said he is
“seriously considering” running for president in 2020.
Howard Schultz, who stepped down as Starbucks’ boss in 2018, says he is
considering running as a centrist independent candidate in 2020.
In a series of tweets, he said the current two political parties in the US
were “more divided than ever”.
During an interview with CBS’ 60
Minutes, Howard Schultz said he had been a “lifelong Democrat”
but criticized the current two-party dominated system.
He said: “We’re living at a
most-fragile time not only the fact that this president is not qualified to be
the president, but the fact that both parties are consistently not doing what’s
necessary on behalf of the American people and are engaged, every single day,
in revenge politics.”
Democratic presidential candidate
Julián Castro is among those who have criticized the move.
Julián Castro told CNN that Howard
Schultz’s potential run could give President Donald Trump the “best hope
of getting re-elected” by splitting the opposition vote.
He said: “I would suggest to Mr. Schultz to truly think about the negative
impact that might make.”
Howard Schultz rebuffed that
criticism during his CBS interview, insisting: “I wanna see the American people win.
“I don’t care if you’re a Democrat, Independent,
Libertarian, Republican. Bring me your ideas and I will be an independent
person, who will embrace those ideas. Because I am not, in any way, in bed with
Howard Schultz, a former espresso
machine salesman, grew up in public housing in Brooklyn, New York.
He started working for the original
Seattle Starbucks chain back in 1982 when it only had 11 outlets selling coffee
Howard Schultz, now 65, acquired the
company in 1987 and by the time he stepped down in 2018, it had grown to 28,000
cafe in 77 countries around the world.
He frequently used his position to speak out on social issues like
immigration and gun control.
He now has an estimated fortune of about $3 billion and is a regular donor
to Democrat campaigns, including that of Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton.
Howard Schultz’s departure as CEO of Starbucks last year sparked rumor of
his political ambitions.
His comments on January 27 prompted coffee-themed criticism by some on
The Washington State Democrats posted a photograph, without
comment, of a Starbucks cup with: “Don’t do it Howard” written on.
Nastya Rybka, who said she had evidence of
Russian collusion with Donald Trump’s election campaign, has been detained by
The 27-year-old Belarusian model, real name Anastasia Vashukevich, was
arrested at Moscow’s main airport after being deported from Thailand for
Her lawyer posted a video on Instagram which, he says, shows her arrest.
The video shows a woman resembling Nastya Rybka and looking sedated
struggles as four men push her into a wheelchair, then carry her.
The video clip posted by lawyer Dmitry Zatsarinsky has now been tweeted by
Russian broadcasters and anti-corruption blogger Alexei Navalny.
Dmitry Zatsarinsky said the model had planned to get a connecting flight to
Minsk, the Belarusian capital, but had been seized and dragged from the transit
zone on to Russian territory, then whisked away to a police station.
The lawyer called the Russian action “an international scandal”.
A Russian interior ministry statement, quoted by local media, says Nastya Rybka
and three others detained with her at Moscow’s Sheremetyevo airport are accused
of “luring into prostitution and practicing it”. The crime can be
punished with up to six years’ jail.
Among the four held is Belarusian Alexander Kirillov, who was in custody
with Nastya Rybka in Thailand.
They spent nine months in custody
before a Thai court handed them a suspended 18-month sentence for soliciting.
Thailand deported them on January 17, taking account of their time spent in
They and five others – both
Belarusians and Russians – pleaded guilty, after which they were deported.
While in custody, Nastya Rybka and Alexander
Kirillov sought help from the US embassy, fearing extradition to Russia.
Nastya Rybka said she had evidence
of Russian interference in the 2016 US presidential election campaign,
allegedly obtained through an acquaintance with Russian billionaire
industrialist Oleg Deripaska.
Oleg Deripaska denied the allegations
and successfully sued both Nastya Rybka and Alexander Kirillov.
The billionaire is on the list of
Russian oligarchs and politicians subject to US sanctions for alleged
“malign activities” around the world.
On January 14, asked outside the White House if he was working for Russia,
President Trump denied it outright before adding: “I think it’s a disgrace that you even ask that question because
it’s a whole big fat hoax.”
President Trump was posed the same
question by a Fox News host on January 12, and called it “the most
insulting thing I’ve ever been asked”.
The New York Times
notes in its own report no evidence has emerged publicly that President Trump
took direction from Russian government officials.
On January 13, the president said
his dismissal of James Comey was “a great service I did for our
country”, while railing against FBI investigators as “known
scoundrels” and “dirty cops”.
It was also reported at the weekend
that President Trump had confiscated the notes of his own interpreter after a
meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
According to the Washington Post, President Trump ordered
the translator not to discuss the details of what was said.
However, on January 14, President Trump
defended his nearly hour long discussion with President Putin in July 2017 on the
sidelines of a G20 summit in Hamburg, Germany.
“It’s a lot of fake news,” he said, as he left to address a farming convention in New
“That was a very good meeting. It was actually a very
President Trump said he and Vladimir
Putin discussed Israel and a German-Russian pipeline, adding: “We have those meetings all the time no
ABC News reports that Democratic
congressmen are considering issuing subpoenas to interpreters who attended
President Trump’s meetings with Vladimir Putin.
On January 14, former Democratic White House candidate Hillary Clinton could not resist reminding Twitter users that during a campaign debate she had called Donald Trump the Russian leader’s puppet.
The mayor was stabbed while
attending the Great Orchestra of Christmas charity – an annual event where
volunteers raise money for medical equipment in hospitals.
Moments before he was attacked,
Pawel Adamowicz posted a picture from the stage on Instagram.
TV footage from the event showed the suspect rushing the stage and stabbing
the mayor several times.
He then shouted to the crowd before being tackled to the ground and
Paramedics tried to resuscitate Pawel Adamowicz at the scene, before
transferring him to a hospital.
A police spokesman said the suspect had a long criminal history, including a
bank robbery and an attack on a police officer.
Police also confirmed that he was released from prison late last year.
While on stage, the suspect reportedly shouted “Adamowicz is dead”
and said the Civic Platform party, which led the previous government and had
supported Pawel Adamowicz’s re-election, had wrongfully imprisoned him.
He also alleged he had been tortured behind bars.
The suspect will undergo psychological assessment to see whether he can be
held criminally responsible for the attack, prosecutor Krzysztof Sierak said at
a press conference on January 30.
Mayor Pawel Adamowicz was a popular figure – known best for his liberal
political views and extensive tenure as mayor.
The father-of-two was from Gdansk and had held the position for two decades.
Pawel Adamowicz first came to power in 1998 – and had been re-elected four times since, including in November.
Nancy Pelosi seized the gavel as the House welcomed more women than ever
before in the 116th Congress.
As of January 3, 102 women serve in the House, an all-time high, including
36 newly elected members and a record 43 women of color.
While Republican women marked some firsts this past election season – like
Marsha Blackburn becoming the first female Tennessee Senator – the vast
majority of these new lawmakers are Democrats.
Among them are the first Muslim congresswomen – Michigan’s Rashida Tlaib and Minnesota’s Ilhan Omar – and the first Native American women to serve – New Mexico’s Debra Haaland and Kansas’ Sharice Davids.
West Coast editions of the Wall Street
Journal and The New York Times,
which share the same production platform in Los Angeles, were also affected.
“We believe the intention of the
attack was to disable infrastructure, more specifically servers, as opposed to
looking to steal information,” an anonymous source with knowledge of
the attack told the LA Times.
Marisa Kollias, Tribune Publishing spokeswoman, confirmed this in a
statement, saying the virus hurt back-office systems used to publish and
produce “newspapers across our properties”.
“Every market across the company
was impacted,” she said, refusing to give more specifications on the
disruptions, according to the LA Times.
Other publications owned by the company include the New York Daily News, Orlando
Sentinel and the Annapolis
Capital-Gazette, whose staff were the targets of a deadly shooting earlier
Another publication, the Fort
Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel was also “crippled this weekend by a computer
virus that shut down production and hampered phone lines,” according to a
story on its website.
A Department of Homeland Security official said in a statement: “We are aware of reports of a potential cyber incident affecting several news outlets and are working with our government and industry partners to better understand the situation.”
More than 400 people are confirmed
dead with 20 or so still missing following last week’s devastating tsunami in
the Sunda Strait, Indonesia’s disaster agency announces.
Researchers have examined satellite
images of Anak Krakatau to calculate the amount of rock and ash that sheared
off into the sea.
They say the volcano has lost more
than two-thirds of its height and volume during the past week.
Much of this missing mass could have
slid into the sea in one movement.
It would certainly explain the
displacement of water and the generation of waves up to 5m high that then
inundated the nearby coastlines of Java and Sumatra.
The Center of Volcanology and
Geological Hazard Mitigation (PVMBG) has been studying pictures from a number
of radar satellites, including the EU’s Sentinel-1 constellation and the German
Radar has the advantage of being
able to see the ground day or night, and to be able to pierce cloud.
The capability has allowed some
initial measurements to be made of Anak Krakatau’s lost stature, in particular
on its western side.
What was once a volcanic cone
standing some 340m high is now just 110m tall, says the PVMBG.
In terms of volume, 150-170 million
cubic meters of material has gone, leaving only 40-70 million cubic meters
still in place.
Quite how much mass was lost on December 22 itself and how much in the
following days is unknown. Scientists may have a better idea once they have had
a chance to visit the volcano and conduct more extensive surveys.
However, with the eruptions still ongoing and a safety exclusion zone in
force – no-one is going near Anak Krakatau.
Cone collapse with tsunami generation was considered a potential hazard
before December 22.
In 2012, scientists had modeled the possibility six years ago, even
identifying the western flank of Anak Krakatau as the section of the volcano
most likely to fail.
The study, although simulating a larger event, predicted wave heights and coastal inundation times that were remarkably similar to what actually happened.
A deadly tsunami triggered by Anak
Krakatau volcano’s eruption struck Indonesia on December 22, at 21:30 local
time, during a local holiday.
Giant waves crashed into coastal
towns on the islands of Sumatra and Java, killing at least 281 people and
Sea water did not recede as it would
with an earthquake tsunami and experts say that even if there had been warning
buoys near the volcano, there would have been minimal alert time.
On December 23, coastal residents
near Indonesia’s Anak Krakatau volcano have been warned to keep away from
beaches amid fears it could trigger a new tsunami.
It is thought that volcanic activity
set off undersea landslides which in turn generated the killer waves.
Anak Krakatau erupted again on
December 23, spewing ash and smoke.
Video shot from a charter plane
captured the magnitude of the volcanic event in the Sunda Strait, between
Sumatra and Java.
Rescue efforts are being hampered by
blocked roads but heavy lifting equipment is being transported to badly hit
areas to help search for victims.
The spokesman for the National
Disaster Management Agency, Sutopo Purwo Nugroho, told a news conference that
another tsunami is a possibility because of the continued volcanic eruptions of
He said: “Recommendations from [the] Meteorology, Climatology and
Geophysical Agency are that people should not carry out activities on the beach
and stay away from the coast for a while.”
Anak Krakatau, which emerged in 1927
from the caldera that was formed during the eruption of Krakatoa in 1883, has
seen increased activity in recent months with people asked to avoid the area
around its crater.
On December, Sutopo Purwo Nugroho put
out a series of tweets explaining why there was no early warning for this
tsunami. He said that Indonesia’s early warning system is set up to monitor
earthquakes but not undersea landslides and volcanic eruptions, which can also
generate deadly waves.
With 13% of the world’s volcanoes in
Indonesia alone, it was crucial for the country to develop such system.
Sutopo Purwo Nugroho confirmed there was no tsunami advance warning system the night of the disaster, adding that because of lack of funds, vandalism to the buoys and technical faults there had been no operational tsunami warning system since 2012.
The HQ statement read: “We learned today of the passing of our friend and founder, Colin Kroll, and it’s with deep sadness that we say goodbye. Our thoughts go out to his family, friends and loved ones during this incredibly difficult time.”
The company confirmed Colin Kroll’s age after police had initially said 35.
Alan Kroll, Colin’s father, told the NewYork Times: “He had so much talent and had accomplished so much at such a young age. It truly is a waste.”
Colin Kroll co-founded HQ Trivia with Rus Yusupov, who paid tribute on Twitter: “So sad to hear about thepassing of my friend and co-founder Colin Kroll. My thoughts & prayers goout to his loved ones. I will forever remember him for his kind soul and big heart. He made the world and internet a better place. Rest in peace, brother.”
HQ Trivia was launched in the US in 2017 and Colin Kroll was appointed CEO this September.
The free app live-streams quiz shows, with a pot of money – often thousands
of dollars – available to split between winners.
The quiz show was guest-hosted by some big names, from Jimmy Kimmel to Bert from Sesame Street.
HQ’s popularity faded this year, dropping out of the App Store’s list of top 100 apps.
Colin Kroll was also a co-founder of Vine, a six-second video streaming service that was bought out by Twitter in 2012 for $30 million.
Vine announced in December 2016 that Twitter was discontinuing the mobile app.