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Analysis: Why Time's choice for person of the year will drive Trump crazy  

• Time magazine names its person of the year

Egypt considering three bond offerings during 2019-2020 FY: Finance minister   -6%

Egypt is considering issuing three bond offerings during the current 2019-2020 fiscal year, its Finance Minister Mohamed Maait said on Monday.The possible offerings could include issuing green,

Time magazine names its person of the year  

Time magazine has chosen Greta Thunberg, a Swedish climate crisis activist, as person of the year.

SoftBank selling its stake in dog-walking app - reports   -20%

The move would mark another disappointment in a bad year for the Japanese investment giant.

How the Nobel Prize affects book sales   30%

Each year, publishers and authors eagerly await the announcement of the Nobel Prize in Literature. A win obviously boosts circulation — but the effect is not always as spectacular as one might expect.

Elon Musks pedo guy tweet did not defame British cave diver and Thai cave rescuer Vernon Unsworth, jury finds   -28%

Elon Musk did not defame a British cave diver when he called him “pedo guy” in an angry tweet, a Los Angeles jury found on Friday.Vernon Unsworth, who took part in the rescue of 12 boys and their soccer coach trapped for weeks in a Thailand cave last year, had angered the Tesla CEO by belittling his effort to help with the rescue as a “PR stunt”.Musk said the attack was unprovoked and he only meant the term as an insult for “creepy old man” and was not literally calling Unsworth a paedophile…

US wind capacity hits 100 gigawatts; Texas is No. 1 wind state   -20%

The nation has reached a new milestone with 100 gigawatts of installed wind energy capacity, with more than half of that installed in just the past seven years, according to the Department of Energy.

An L.A. truck driving school owner bribed DMV workers for licenses. Now he's going to prison  

The owner of a Los Angeles truck driving school was sentenced to more than three years for his role in a scheme that allowed truckers to get driver's licenses without passing mandatory state tests.

U.S. interior immigration arrests fell despite Trump push   25%

Non-border immigration arrests in the United States fell by 10 percent in the year to September from a year earlier, the latest U.S. data shows, a drop the head of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) said was partly due to the diversion of the agency's resources to the border.

General election: Labour's 6,000 bill claim fact-checked   -7%

Labour says the average UK household has paid an extra £5,949 a year since 2010.

How would a later school start time affect you? Heres what you told us   -23%

Do students hate waking up early? The Miami-Dade County school district is exploring options to have school start later in the day for the upcoming 2020-2021 school year. Superintendent Alberto … Click to Continue »

Jim Smith, former Derby, Oxford, QPR and Portsmouth manager, dies aged 79   -2%

• Howard Wilkinson leads tributes to ‘The Bald Eagle’
• Smith spent almost 40 years in management

Howard Wilkinson and Harry Redknapp have led tributes to Jim Smith, the former Birmingham, Oxford, QPR, Newcastle, Portsmouth and Derby manager, who has died at the age of 79.

All at #QPR are deeply saddened to have learned of the passing of former R’s manager Jim Smith.

Our thoughts are with Jim’s family at this upsetting time.

Continue reading...

Banksy reindeer mural goes viral amid rough sleeping crisis   4%

A mural by anonymous British street artist Banksy depicting a homeless man being pulled by two reindeer has gone viral on social media, as the number of homeless deaths in the country hit a new high last year.

The Sports Report: Yankees (not Dodgers or Angels) sign Gerrit Cole  

Cole reached agreement with the New York Yankees for $324 million over nine years.

Outlook for global shipbuilding industry dismal as order books have halved and touching historic lows   -50%

This year has been one of the worst on record for the global shipbuilding industry as order books have halved in value, causing pain to companies in China, South Korea and Japan, which account for more than 90 per cent of the market.Clarksons Research, the world’s leading provider of data for the shipping and shipbuilding industries, estimated that the global order book had fallen by 54 per cent by mid year, noting they were “touching historic lows” and that “limited new capacity can be…

Tackle climate change or surrender, UN chief says at opening of climate talks   3%

United Nations Secretary General António Guterres on Monday urged countries not to give up in the fight against climate change, as representatives from nearly 200 countries gathered in Madrid for a two-week meeting on tackling global warming.In his opening speech to delegates, Guterres cited recent scientific data showing that levels of heat-trapping gases have hit a record high, reaching levels not seen for at least 3 million years when sea levels were 10-20 metres higher than today.He noted…

Jailed in Greece for helping migrants: The story of humanitarian worker Sean Binder   -25%

Our Perspective guest is a humanitarian worker who is facing charges of being part of a criminal organisation, as well as money laundering, people smuggling and spying. Sean Binder has already spent more than 100 days in prison in Greece. Although he was released on bail a year ago, he is still being investigated by the authorities. Binder was arrested while volunteering for a non-profit organisation, Emergency Response Centre International. His supporters say he was simply saving lives. "There's nothing special about what we did. It wasn't criminal, it wasn't heroic", he told FRANCE 24.

Climate Change Is Ravaging the Arctic, Report Finds   78%

It was another very warm year in the region, leading to low winter sea ice and growing concerns over sea level rise.

Of Yom Kippur and baseball  

Amichai Chasson’s poem ‘America’ captures three moments in front of a TV screen, spanning 44 years of U.S.-Israeli relations on both a national and personal level

Gerrit Cole and Yankees Agree to Record Deal   40%

The top free agent on the market will sign the richest contract ever for a pitcher: $324 million over nine years.

Tourists, High Prices, And KFC: A Look Inside A Changing Uzbekistan   6%

Three years ago, Uzbekistan went through its first major political upheaval in decades after the death of longtime President Islam Karimov. The transition prompted debate inside and outside Uzbekistan as to whether the country was headed for a political thaw or a continuation of an autocratic regime under different leadership. Pyotr Trotsenko, a correspondent for RFE/RL’s Kazakh Service, or Radio Azattyq, traveled through Uzbekistan in November to investigate the shifting landscape.

He'll be the first federal prisoner executed in 17 years. His victims' relatives don't want that   11%

The family of Daniel Lewis Lee's victims were packing bags and planning an hours-long drive to Indiana last week as prison officials there prepared for the first federal execution in nearly 17 years.

Ethiopian, Yemeni or Ashkenazi? Traditions behind Rosh Hashanah breads   -20%

Whether you like dipping a bit of challah into a bowl of honey or go for the Sephradi bolo, the meaning behind round baked goods connects Jewish communities worldwide on the New Year

The Tiger Who Came To Tea: Judith Kerr story heads to TV   -25%

The Tiger Who Came To Tea heads for the small screen, 50 years after Judith Kerr's book was written.

Israels campaign to destabilize Jordan   -30%

After 25 years of peace, humiliation and disappointment, Jordan fears Israel's next moves will constitute an existential threat to the kingdom

Scrutiny on Diego Simeone as change turns to stagnation at Atletico Madrid   -38%

A 1-0 defeat at home to Barcelona this month crushed Atletico’s chances of rejoining La Liga’s title race before a draw away at Villarreal on Friday might have made it impossible for another year.

Electricity demand falls for fourth straight month   8%

India’s power demand fell 4.3% in November from a year ago, representing the fourth straight month of decline, government data showed, potentially reflecting a worsening industrial slowdown which has stifled overall economic growth.

Chinas corporate social credit system blacklist that companies pay US$2,500 an hour to avoid   16%

China Railway Construction Corporation deployed thousands of workers over four years to build part of a coal-carrying line from Inner Mongolia to Jiangxi province.The project cost about 200 billion yuan (US$28.5 billion) and was heralded by state media last year as an exemplar of “safe production” with no injuries or deaths. Except there were, and China Railway’s project managers were covering them up.A tip-off exposed the conspiracy to local reporters, and a state-run China Railway unit…

Female doctors fill Toronto church with song in honour of Dr. Elana Fric  

People packed a church in Toronto on Monday evening to hear a group of female physicians sing in honour of a doctor murdered by her husband three years ago.

Did the government wiretap Paul Manafort? IG report challenges CNN exclusive.  

Whatever emerges from the CNN review, the story’s footprints add further heft to a series published earlier this year by the Erik Wemple Blog.

Raiding factories, freeing children  

Nobel laureate Kailash Satyarthi has been freeing children from slavery for more than 30 years.

Tiger Woods, Ernie Els meet again as captains of Presidents Cup   25%

The Presidents Cup starts Thursday, and Woods is attracting attention as the first playing captain in 25 years.

Defending champion PV Sindhu loses campaign opener to Akane Yamaguchi in World Tour...   16%

The 24-year-old Indian came into the match with a healthy 10-6 head-to-head record against Yamaguchi but she had lost to the Japanese in the last two meetings this year.

At Major March in Madrid, Indigenous & Youth Activists Slam Global Leaders for Climate Inaction  

We broadcast from Madrid, Spain, where the 25th United Nations climate conference is in its second week and representatives from almost 200 countries have gathered for the final days of negotiations. The summit — known as COP25, or conference of parties — has so far focused on meeting the 2015 Paris Agreement to limit global temperature rise to "well below 2 degrees Celsius," or 3.6 degrees Fahrenheit. But climate scientists say the talks are failing to produce the drastic measures necessary to address the climate crisis. Since the Paris Agreement four years ago, greenhouse gas emissions have risen by 4%, and this year's summit shows no sign of arresting that trend. On Friday, as hundreds of thousands prepared to take to the streets of Madrid in protest, Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg told reporters that the global climate strikes have "not translated into action" by governments. Protesters then marched through Madrid's city center Friday night in a massive climate demonstration led by indigenous leaders and youth activists. Democracy Now! was there in the streets.

Rams' Michael Brockers has another matchup against childhood favorite team Dallas  

Michael Brockers, who turns 29 on Dec. 21, is the longest-tenured Rams defensive player but is on the last year of his contract. Where will he be next season?

Pistachio giant Wonderful sues Fresno County over a rival's project   50%

The Assemi family has sold pistachios to Wonderful for years, but now it's poised to become a competitor. Wonderful alleges Fresno County illegally issued construction permits to the Assemis.

Thunberg a bit surprised to be Time Person of the Year   3%

Teenage climate activist Greta Thunberg said she was surprised and honored Wednesday to be named Time’s youngest Person of the Year, while adding that others in the global movement she … Click to Continue »

Feature: 2166 parachute jumps of a senior master sergeant   10%

Master Sergeant Class One Wang Guolin, a senior parachute instructor assigned to a brigade of the 76th Group Army of the People's Liberation Army (PLA), jumps out of an aircraft during a high-altitude parachuting training exercise. (Photo by Li Huiyi)

By Wu Yongjie and Wang Yukai

A lingering anxiety came with nervousness. Near the cabin tailgate, Master Sergeant Class One Wang Guolin, the chief parachute coach assigned to the 76th Group Army of the Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) saw the parachute landing field after four years. The earthy yellow barren field located more than 4,000 meters above sea level.

In 2015, at the same parachute landing field, air delivering man Wang Guolin received the instruction of suspending parachute training from the ground. A few minutes ago, the parachutes of company commander Wu Jian and another soldier collided with each other. In order to save the soldier, Wu Jian missed the minimum height of opening the backup parachute and unfortunately fell to the ground and died.

The parachute training stopped. Later, his comrades buried the company commander’s military uniform in the place where he fell. Also buried was the red ribbon that Wu tied when he parachuted.

The parachuting drill was resumed a week later, but this parachute landing area seemed to be a hidden scar that no one had the courage to access again.

Now, returning here again, as if verifying what Wang Guolin had said when he buried his company commander’s relics: “Please stay at the parachute landing field, you will see how we carry on with your unfinished parachuting mission.”

Wang pulled back his thoughts and stared at the “footprints” pattern on the non-slip mat, he was a little lost. Around him, neither the roar of the propeller, the pungent smell of fuel in the cabin, nor the several helicopters trailing behind can disturb his focus in the next few dozen seconds.

“Step on the ‘footprints’, tighten your whole body, precise control, tighten ‘three points’...”

828 meters is the normal height set by the special operations troops in parachute training. Before jumping out of the cabin, Wang Guolin once again replayed the parachuting movement in his mind dozens of times. At 43, he is no longer as young as before, and therefore each movement must be done closer to the standard.

This is Wang Guolin’s 2166th parachuting. The habit of taking the lead in the first jump every year has been kept since he became a parachute instructor at the age of 22.

Back in the 1990s, Wang Guolin completed the first parachuting in the airborne troops of the PLA Air Force only four months after he was recruited. During the same period, an army infantry regiment was converted into a special operations group.

Due to the lack of parachuting backbones at that time, the parachutes suitable for special operations were covered with ash in the warehouse of the PLA Army’s special operations troops. In 1998, Wang Guolin, who already became a parachuting backbone, and three other airborne soldiers were selected into the PLA Army’s special operations troops. At this point, various parachute courses gradually got into the training curriculum of the PLA Army’s special operations troops.

Later, Wang Guolin and his comrades participated in the “Sharp Blade-2013” Special Operations Competition, and set a record of high-altitude parachuting at 5,300 meters above the sea level in the whole military. Last year, they went to Russia to participate in the “Peace Mission-2018” joint military drill and completed the most difficult parachute operation: they jumped from a height of 1,500 meters and crossed 900 meters of clouds...

In every mission, Wang Guolin is like a warrior, without hesitation. During his 2,166 times of parachuting, Wang Guolin has encountered more than 10 aerial events and opened the backup parachute three times, two of which occurred in recent years.

2,166 times of parachuting also brought irreversible damage to Wang Guolin’s ligaments and meniscus. The medic urged Wang Guolin to stop the parachuting and go through a surgery as soon as possible. But for him, the temptation of parachuting is hard to resist. The adrenaline soars as the moment he touches the ground and the fighting mood brings an unprecedented experience.

Wang Guolin had never expect to jump 2,166 times when he landed with his parachute for the first time 26 years ago.

Now, parachuting has become part of his life.

Japan doubles Wagyu beef target amid US trade deal, demand from Hong Kong and China  

The Japanese government said on Tuesday it hopes to double the country’s output of Wagyu beef, known for its tenderness and marbled fat, to 300,000 tons by fiscal 2035 amid rising overseas demand.Under the goal, which is part of a government programme to support domestic farmers and boost agricultural exports, Japan will aim to increase Wagyu beef production from about 149,000 tons last year by offering financial incentives to introduce breeding cows.Japan’s prized Kobe beef will be DNA tested…