Protesters TORCH barricades during clashes with Greek riot police over migrant’s death

Mobs battled officers in Athens during the rally to remember Ebuca Mama Subek, 34, who died after collapsing on February 8. Critics claim the dad-of-two was beaten by police at the capital’s Omonoia police station before he died. Protesters set up burning barricades and hurled stones as they marched towards the police station on Wednesday evening.

Protesters TORCH barricades during clashes with Greek riot police over migrant's death

Protesters clash with Greek police during Athens march over migrant’s death (Image: Getty)

Bins were torched as angry crowds, some wearing masks, squared up to the police.

Cops responded by firing tear gas as they held back anti-racist and leftwing demonstrators.

The Movement Against Racism and the Fascist Threat (KEERFA) organised the march through the capital’s streets.

Members of the Nigerian community are now demanding answers following Mr Subek’s death.

Riot police fired tear gas at protesters as the demonstration turned violence (Image: Getty )

He said goodbye to his wife before being arrested, but never returned to his family.

After Mr Subek failed to come home, his wife came to the police station to ask where he was, but officers claimed not to know.

Police reportedly said there was nothing violent about Mr Subek’s death and that he had collapsed in a waiting room.

Protesters are now demanding to see the medical report into his death.

Mijalis Afolianos, a Nigerian migrant, said: “We want to see the results immediately so we know the real cause of the death.”

Demonstrators hurled stones at police lines as they marched towards Omonoia police station (Image: Getty )

Nora Oukaachokou, president of the Nigerian Women Association, told demonstrators this week: “We demand justice and we pray we don’t want any more of such police victims.

“Police is supposed to protect.”

Another Nigerian migrant, Sofia Ougogo, claimed she was beaten by Greek police while she carried her baby on her back.

She said: “They are not there to beat anybody, or any foreigner. They are there to guide us. They are there to protect us, not to beat us. We don’t want another person to die.

Advertisements

Bomb bunker, war reporters and Charlie Chaplin: Hanoi’s storied Metropole hosts Kim-Trump summit

Bomb bunker, war reporters and Charlie Chaplin: Hanoi's storied Metropole hosts Kim-Trump summit

HANOI (Reuters) – A storied French colonial-era hotel once used by the North Vietnamese government to house foreign guests during the Vietnam War is set to host U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un as they meet for a second nuclear summit on Wednesday.

A stairway leading to a Vietnam war-era bomb bunker entrance is seen at the French colonial-era Sofitel Legend Metropole Hotel, ahead of the North Korea-U.S. summit in Hanoi, Vietnam, February 26, 2019. REUTERS/So Young Kim

The Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi has hosted dignitaries and celebrities from Charlie Chaplin on his honeymoon in 1936 to “Hanoi Jane” Fonda during her 1970s anti-war campaign and even Trump himself on a recent visit to the Vietnamese capital.

The Metropole could begin a new chapter as a symbol of peace if Trump and Kim, as some officials in Seoul and Washington expect, formally declare an end to the last remaining Cold War conflict after their two-day summit.

The United States and North Korea are technically still at war, because the 1950-53 Korean War ended in a truce, not a peace treaty.

“We hope Trump and Kim make some progress with their denuclearization and hopefully open North Korea to the outside world,” said Stephen Fries, a doctor from Colorado whose long-planned family trip was disrupted by preparations for the summit.

He was among two dozen Metropole guests touring an underground air raid bunker at the hotel used during the Vietnam War that was rediscovered by chance in 2011 while the hotel was renovating its poolside Bamboo bar.

Trump and Kim will meet at the Metropole at 6:30 pm (1130 GMT) on Wednesday, where the two will have a 20-minute one-on-one chat followed by a dinner with aides, the White House said.

“It’s about time there is a deal. Vietnam had been our enemy, now they are kind of a friend. I hope North Korea would become exactly like Vietnam, and maybe use it an example to follow for its own economic development,” Fries said.

SECRETS AND SECURITY

The elegant interior of the 118-year-old Metropole thronged with security personnel and hotel staff on the summit eve as final preparations were made. Nearby street corners were guarded by armed police, while security staff searched pot plants around the pool.

In a letter distributed ahead of the leaders’ arrival, the hotel’s general manager notified guests of the “very strict security measures” expected in the coming days.

All but one entrance to hotel will be blocked during the summit and a temporary checkpoint has been installed to screen guests, who need to show copies of their passports to gain access to the hotel.

Trump and Kim likely chose Metropole for its ability to keep secrets, Nguyen Dinh Thanh, former head of marketing at Metropole, told Reuters.

“When superstars come here, some journalists offered $2,000-$5,000 or more to staff to take a photo of that superstar, but that has never happened,” said Thanh.

“That shows Metropole has a tradition of keeping secrets as well as knowing how to treat VIP guests.”

CELEBRITIES AND CONTROVERSIES

Heads of state from European kings and British royals to U.S. and South American presidents have all chosen the Metropole as their Hanoi abode.

It has attracted celebrities such as Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt in 2007, but perhaps its most iconic guest is American actress Jane Fonda, who stayed for two weeks in 1972 when visiting then-enemy territory.

A controversial photo of her sitting with North Vietnamese troops atop an anti-aircraft gun used to shoot at American planes earned her the nickname “Hanoi Jane”.

The Metropole also hosted Graham Greene, who wrote part of his seminal 1955 work, “The Quiet American” there, and numerous war correspondents during the 20-year-long Vietnam War that ended in 1975.

Trump, who stayed in the hotel on his last visit to Vietnam in 2017, has chosen the easier-to-secure JW Marriott hotel this time. Kim is staying at the Melia Hanoi hotel.

Despite its long history of hosting VIPs, the Metropole is not an ideal summit venue from a security point of view, said Le Van Cuong, who used to head the strategy institute of the Ministry of Public Security.

Slideshow (4 Images)

“Metropole is definitely more tricky to protect the leaders, especially because of the lack of space. In the protection job, space gives us advantages. Metropole sits right in the center of crowded streets, so it’s difficult to ensure security,” Cuong told Reuters.

“Singapore chose an isolated island and protection on such island is much easier, definitely easier than Metropole.”

Trump and Kim held their first summit at Singapore’s Capella hotel, a refurbished British Royal Artillery mess on the resort island of Sentosa.

Reporting by Soyoung Kim, James Pearson and Mai Nguyen in HANOI.; Editing by Lincoln Feast.

Russian Companies Face No Issues, Losses in Venezuela – Moscow

Russian Companies Face No Issues, Losses in Venezuela - Moscow

MOSCOW (Sputnik) – The Russian government, which is supporting incumbent Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, has received no information on any problems or economic losses faced by Russian companies in the crisis-torn Latin American country, Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak said on Tuesday.

“Our companies represented there [in Venezuela] are very closely following the situation, monitoring it. They have relevant legal and commercial services. Today we have no information that some of them are facing problems and losses”, Novak said in an interview for the Gazeta.ru media outlet.

In March 2018, Rosneft’s Vice President for Refining, Petrochemicals, Commerce and Logistics Didier Casimiro said that Rosneft had issued $6.5 billion, in loans to be repaid in future crude deliveries, to Venezuelan state oil company PDVSA.

Venezuela repaid $2.3 billion of advance payments received from Rosneft in 2018, and another $2.3 billion remains to be repaid, according to a presentation by the Russian company for the IFRS report, issued in early February, for the first nine months of this year.Venezuelan oil projects with Rosneft’s participation are Petromonagas (with Russian the company’s share at 40 percent) Petromiranda (32 percent), Petroperija (40 percent), Boqueron (26.67 percent) and PetroVictoria (40 percent).

Rosneft also owns 100 percent in the gas project to develop the Mejillones and Patao offshore fields with export rights and conditional resources of 85 billion cubic meters. In addition, the Russian company owns 100 percent in the oilfield services company Precision Drilling and 51 percent in another oilfield service company, Perforosven.

On 28 January, the United States, which is supporting self-proclaimed Venezuelan president Juan Guaido, introduced sanctions against the Venezuelan state oil company PDVSA, having blocked its assets and interests, worth of $7 billion, amid the crisis in Venezuela. Washington also prohibited any deal with the Venezuelan oil giant.

Guaido declared himself “interim president” on 23 January and was immediately recognized by the United States and about 50 other states. Russia, China, Cuba, Bolivia and a number of other states have, in the meantime, voiced their support for the legitimate government of constitutionally elected Maduro.

Mexico and Uruguay have refused to recognize Guaido, declaring themselves neutral and promoting crisis settlement via dialogue.

UN Food Program Regains Access to Yemen’s Red Sea Mills Storage – Spokesman

UN Food Program Regains Access to Yemen’s Red Sea Mills Storage - Spokesman

UNITED NATIONS (Sputnik) – United Nations humanitarian personnel have gained access to a major food storage facility in the Yemeni port city of Al Hudaydah for the first time since September, UN Spokesperson Stephane Dujarric said in a press briefing on Tuesday.

“A team from the World Food Programme (WFP) visited the Red Sea Mills”, Dujarric told reporters. “The World Food Programme is hopeful that Tuesday’s brief visit will pave the way for more sustained access, allowing it to carry out a full assessment of the conditions of the wheat and the milling facilities themselves”.

Aid workers had not been able to reach the Red Sea Mills, which holds enough grain supplies to feed 3.7 million people, for several months, because it lies along the front lines of fighting in Al Hudaydah. But earlier this month, Yemen’s warring parties began redeploying forces away from the port city as part of an agreement inked in Stokholm last December.Under the so-called Stockholm Agreement, the Yemeni government and rebel Houthi movement pledged to implement a ceasefire, exchange prisoners and open humanitarian corridors in Al Hudaydah.

Yemen has been engulfed in an armed conflict between the government forces led by President Abdrabuh Mansour Hadi and the rebel Houthi movement for several years. A Saudi-led coalition has been carrying out airstrikes against the Houthis at Hadi’s request since March 2015. The conflict has resulted in a massive humanitarian crisis in the war-torn country.

According to the United Nations, 24 million people – or 80 percent of the population – are in need of humanitarian aid and protection in Yemen.

Fat rat stuck in manhole rescued by firefighters in Germany

Fat rat stuck in manhole rescued by firefighters in Germany

A fat rat stuck in a sewer grate in Germany. It took about eight firefighters and an animal expert to rescue the rodent from the drain. Photograph: Berufstierrettung Rhein Neckar/ Freiwillige Feuerwehr Auerbach

A multi-agency rescue operation has taken place in the town of Bensheim in Germany after a tubby rat became stuck in a manhole cover.

The rat, still plump with winterspeck – which translates literally as winter bacon and refers to extra pounds piled on in the colder months – became stuck after it tried to squeeze through a small gap in the sewer cover.

The Auerbach volunteer fire brigade was called in, as was the Rhein Neckar animal rescue team, and together a team of about eight rescuers was able to raise the cover and pull the rat free.

It took about eight firefighters and an animal expert to help the rat to freedom. Photograph: Berufstierrettung Rhein Neckar/ Freiwillige Feuerwehr Auerbach

“The rat had quite a lot of winter fat and got stuck on its hips — nothing was going forward and nothing back,” animal rescuer Michael Sehr told news agency DPA.

Photos of the rat showed its head and rotund torso poking out of the hole, with its bottom half obscured by the sewer cover. In one image it seemed to almost be calling for hilfe.

The fire brigade said the rat escaped unhurt.

“The animal was subsequently released again into the wild. The fire department’s operation was completed after a good 25 minutes,” said the Auerbach fire department.

After the successful rescue, two young girls presented the animal rescue team with a gift to say thank you – a drawing of a rat surrounded by love hearts, with the word “danke!” written on it.

Sehr told DPA he did not have any qualms about rescuing the rat.

“Even animals that are hated by many people deserve respect,” he said.

The Umbrella Academy season 1: Is this how Ben died?

The Umbrella Academy season 1: Is this how Ben died?

Whoever has watched Netflix’s superhero drama series, The Umbrella Academy has fallen in love with Number Five or The Boy (Aidan Gallagher). However, there is one member of The Umbrella Academy who is long dead and now there are some theories about his early demise.

As earlier reported, The Umbrella Academy follows the lives of few superheroes from a dysfunctional family who reunites after their father’s death. The members include the White Violin (Ellen Page), Luther (Tom Hopper), Diego (David Castañeda), Allison (Emmy Raver-Lampman), Klaus (Robert Sheehan), and Ben (Justin H. Min).

Ben is a boy who possessed some monsters from other dimensions under his skin. He is deceased but appeared in almost all the episodes to Klaus and even helps in occasionally. In The Umbrella Academy season 1, the cause of Ben’s death is not revealed and fans are hoping that the creators will address his death in the season two.

In the very first episode of The Umbrella Academy, we see Ben’s headstone that reads, “May the darkness within you find peace in the light.” It may suggest to an extent that he was not doing too well with the demons which were revealed in the subsequent episodes. It was also revealed in one of those scenes that even Ben was very reluctant to unleash those tentacle demons to kill those robbers.

There were previous speculations that Ben must have gotten tired of these demons and decided to kill himself. Since he committed suicide, his soul is not able to leave this plain. However, this theory was later ruled out because the father of these superheroes, Sir Reginald Hargreeves, also killed himself but he is on some different plain.

Another theory about Ben’s death suggests that his demise is directly linked with how Klaus returns from the dead.

If you have gotten the opportunity to read the comic books written by Gerard Way and Gabriel Bá, you must know that the acclaimed writers have also kept the secret of Ben’s tragic demise a secret. In an earlier interview with Forbes, Gerard Way stated that he “originally just wrote the character to be dead, that was his function. [But] I always knew I was going to resolve it.”

ParentsNext welfare program breaches human rights, inquiry hears

ParentsNext welfare program breaches human rights, inquiry hears

Australian Human Rights Commission president Rosalind Croucher has criticised the ParentsNext program, saying ‘Without money to provide adequate food and shelter for your family, how can human rights be realised?’ Photograph: Mick Tsikas/AAP

The Australian Human Rights Commission’s president has strongly criticised the ParentsNext welfare program, arguing it breaches Australia’s human rights obligations and “risks further entrenching poverty and inequality”.

In notably scathing public comments at a Senate inquiry on Wednesday, Rosalind Croucher said the commission was “gravely concerned” about the punitive impacts of the program, which was rolled out nationally by the government last year.

“The approach as compulsory is not compliant with Australia’s human rights and anti-discrimination obligations nor has it been shown to achieve its intended outcomes,” she said.

Welfare program has ‘devastating’ impact on single parents, inquiry told

Croucher said international human rights law states that all people are entitled to a minimum essential level of social security.

“Yet under ParentsNext these struggling families face automatic payment suspensions … for a single instance of noncompliance,” she said.

“Without money to provide adequate food and shelter for your family, how can human rights be realised? How can there be human dignity?”

A Senate inquiry is currently examining the program, which places compulsory participation requirements on about 73,000 people who are receiving parenting payments, have a child between the age of six months and five, and are classified as “disadvantaged” by Centrelink. About 95% of participants are women, and most are single mothers.

At the heart of this we are dealing with a level of misogyny and discrimination against womenCassandra Goldie

Women’s groups, non-profit ParentsNext providers and the nation’s peak social services body told the inquiry the government should blunt the harsher aspects of the program before the federal election. It should then be made voluntary, with “compliance” aspects removed, they said.

Cassandra Goldie, the chief executive of the Australian Council of Service Service, told the hearing: “At the heart of this we are dealing with a level of misogyny and discrimination against women.”

“The moralising that goes on about that ‘kind of lifestyle’ has been in this country for far too long … It has to stop.”

Ella Buckland, a single mother campaigning against the program, presented a petition with more than 30,000 signatures to the Greens senator Rachel Siewert and Labor senator Murray Watt.

“I started this campaign because access to social security in Australia is not a privilege, it is a human right,” she said.

Siewert said the inquiry had already heard “distressing” evidence about the impact on women and their children.

Watt said the program appeared to exercise “a form of control” on those “who were trying to escape that in the first place”.

Labor was examining its position on the program ahead of the election, he said.

US holidays 2019: When are the US federal holidays – How many days off work do you get?

As February comes to an end, US citizens have already had three days off work due to federal holidays. On January 1, people had the day off work for New Year’s Day and some three weeks later the birthday of Martin Luther King Jr. was celebrated in the USA. In addition, Americans recently had Monday, February 18 off to mark the birthday of George Washington, the nation’s first president.

Federal holidays are often observed with paid-time off from work.

The days off were created by Congress in 1885 when it was decided that federal employees should have certain days off from work.

Since 1885, Congress had kept adding historical days for Americans to have off.

Federal holidays that fall on a Saturday are observed by employees on the previous Friday, whereas holidays that fall on Sunday are observed the following Monday.

US holidays 2019: When are the US federal holidays - How many days off work do you get?

US holidays 2019: Americans gets ten US federal holidays in 2019 (Image: GETTY)

When are the US federal holidays – How many days off work do you get?

In 2019 US citizens will get time off for ten federal holidays.

Three holidays have already passed, but there are still seven more for Americans to enjoy.

The 2019 federal holidays are listed below.

US holidays 2019: On July 4, USA celebrated their Independence Day (Image: GETTY)

  • New Year’s Day: Monday, January 1
  • Birthday of Martin Luther King Jr.: Monday, January 21
  • Birthday of George Washington (President’s Day): Monday, February 18
  • Memorial Day: Monday, May 27
  • Independence Day: Thursday, July 4
  • Labor Day: Monday, September 2
  • Columbus Day: Monday, October 14
  • Veterans Day: Monday, November 11
  • Thanksgiving Day: Thursday, November 28
  • Christmas Day: Wednesday, December 25

US holidays 2019: Thanksgiving is celebrated on November 28 this year (Image: GETTY)

Other holidays to note that you don’t get off for:

  • Groundhog Day: Saturday, February 2
  • Valentine’s Day: Thursday, February 14
  • Saint Patrick’s Day: Sunday, March 17
  • Tax Day: Monday, April 15
  • Good Friday: Friday, April 19
  • Easter: Sunday, April 21
  • Cinco de Mayo: Sunday, May 5
  • Mother’s Day: Sunday, May 12
  • Father’s Day: Sunday, June 16
  • Halloween: Thursday, October 31
  • Black Friday: Friday, November 29

Avoid escalation: European Union

Avoid escalation: European Union

Brussels: The European Union has called on New Delhi and Islamabad to exercise “maximum restraint” after Indian warplanes attacked a militant camp in Pakistan, sending tensions soaring between the nuclear-armed arch-rivals. 
“We remain in contact with both countries and what we believe is essential is that all exercise maximum restraint and avoid further escalation of tensions,” EU spokeswoman Maja Kocijancic told reporters on Tuesday.

Trudeau warned ‘your days are NUMBERED’ after Canada votes in KEY by-elections

Trudeau warned 'your days are NUMBERED' after Canada votes in KEY by-elections

Justin Trudeau will face off against Jagmeet Singh in October’s federal election (Image: REUTERS)

Voters in the city of Burnaby elected Jagmeet Singh as their MP after a closely-watched race. Mr Singh heads up the left wing New Democratic Party (NDP), Canada’s third largest group, and his victory in British Columbia means he can now face off against Mr Trudeau in October’s federal election.Meanwhile in the electoral district of York-Simcoe, Conservative newcomer Scot Davidson brushed aside the competition to ease to victory with almost 54 percent of the vote.

Addressing supporters after the result, he said: “It might have been my name on the ballot, but together we kept this riding Tory blue.

“Together, we sent a message to Justin Trudeau that his days are numbered in Parliament.”

Elsewhere, Mr Trudeau’s Liberals retook the Outremont district of Quebec as Rachel Bendayan secured 40 percent of the vote.

Mr Trudeau’s office is under fire for allegedly pressuring his former justice minister to try to ensure a major construction company avoided a corruption trial.

Mr Singh is leader of the left-wing NDP (Image: REUTERS)

He denies a February 7 report by Toronto-based newspaper the Globe and Mail that officials pressured July Wilson-Raybould to help SNC-Lavalin Group Inc avoid a trial on charges of bribing Libyan officials and to pay a fine instead.

Opposition politicians have accused the government of mounting a cover-up and are demanding a public inquiry.

The affair has dented Mr Trudeau’s popularity and allowed the Conservatives to pull ahead of his Liberal Party, according to new polling.

The study by the Angus Reid Institute put the Tories at 38 percent of the vote, compared to 31 percent for Mr Trudeau’s Liberals.

Mr Trudeau’s popularity has been hit by the SNC-Lavalin affair, a new poll suggests (Image: REUTERS)

Two-thirds of Canadians believe the SNC-Lavalin affair points to a deeper scandal in the Prime Minister’s office, Huffington Post Canada reports.

The poll suggests Mr Trudeau’s party has fallen out of favour in areas which helped it win the 2015 election, such as Ontario and British Columbia.

And the survey also found 46 percent of NDP supporters now had a worse opinion of the Canadian leader, while 51 percent said it was the same. Just four percent said their opinion of Mr Trudeau had improved.

The poll surveyed 1,009 Canadian adults between February 21 and 24.