Protester Alaa Salah Becomes a Global Symbol of Sudan’s Struggle

Protester Alaa Salah Becomes a Global Symbol of Sudan’s Struggle

Sudan’s protests against the reign of president Omar al-Bashir came to an end on 11 April, when the military placed him under house arrest. The women of Sudan were at the forefront of the revolution, protesting against the rise in inflation, unemployment and oppression. Alaa Salah, a 22-year-old student of engineering and architecture at the Sudan International University, was one of them.

The symbol of protest

Salah’s picture, dressed in the white robes and moon earrings, standing on top of a car amid a sea of protesters, went viral when photographer, Lana H Haroun, shared it on Twitter.

She was dubbed as ‘Kandaka’, a term used for the ancient Nubian queens from the Kingdom of Kush.

A Twitter user explains that Salah’s outfit is reminiscent of the women in the 1960s, 70s and 80s who protested against military coups.

Weaving together gender and culture, Salah’s robe, representing a working woman and the traditional earrings have become the symbol of Sudan’s female protesters.

Why was she protesting?

Sudan’s struggle has been termed the ‘bread protest’, as it was prompted by the rise in the price of a loaf of bread.

“There is no cash at the ATM machines most of the time. Banks keep sending people away with only 500 SDG in their pockets, which is barely enough for a day.”

Yusuf Elhag, a protester at Khartoum, the capital of Sudan, to Al Jazeera

With the economy failing, the people of Sudan are fed up with the corruption in the government and the high rates of unemployment. The women took charge of the protest, also voicing out against the years of oppression under Bashir’s public morality laws and corporal punishments.

Why it Matters…

“I’m very glad that my photo let people around the world know about the revolution in Sudan … Since the beginning of the uprising, I have been going out every day and participating in the demonstrations because my parents raised me to love our home,” Salah told The Guardian.

The photographer, Haroun, also shared a video on her Twitter account stating that she’s proud that she has contributed to the history of Sudan by sharing the image, but will only be happy when the goal of the protest is achieved.

“Tell our story for everyone in the world and pray for us to be in a better Sudan,” she said.

Woman Power

Salah tweeted, “You cannot have a revolution without women. You cannot have democracy without women.”

“In such movements, women are widely participating not only for their rights, but for the rights of the entire community… there’s no difference between women’s rights and community rights,” she further told AFP.

There have been several women like Salah, who became symbols of resistance in the past.

Tess Asplund’s lone protest against the 300 uniformed neo-Nazis became an iconic image of struggle against the rise of the far-right in Sweden in 2016.

Tess Apslund raises her fist against the Nordic Resistance Movement(Photo: @davidlagerlof/Twitter)

Ieshia Evans, a nurse and activist from New York City, became a symbol of the Black Lives Matter protest against police brutality and the killing of Alton Sterling, who was shot to death by Baton Rouge police.

Ieshia Evans standing up against police in the Black Lives Matter protest.(Photo: Reuters)

In 2015, in another protest against the far-right in Birmingham, England, Saffiyah Khan’s smiling face inches away from an English Defence League activist, went viral.

Saffiyah Khan stares down an EDL activist.(Photo: @piersmorgan/MoTwitter)


Labor candidate Melissa Parke pulls out of Curtin contest over Israel comments

Labor candidate Melissa Parke pulls out of Curtin contest over Israel comments

The Labor candidate for West Australian seat of Curtin, Melissa Parke, has withdrawn her candidacy. Photograph: Mike Bowers/The Guardian

The Labor candidate for the West Australian seat of Curtin, Melissa Parke, has pulled out following reports that she told a public meeting last month that the way Israel treated Palestinians was “worse than the South African system of apartheid”.

Parke, formerly a federal member for Fremantle, said on Friday night that she did not want to be a distraction during the election campaign. The seat of Curtin was previously held by former Liberal party deputy leader Julie Bishop.

“I’ve had 20 years’ experience in international relations and law including living and working in the Middle East,” Parke said. “My views are well known.

AEC warns anonymous Facebook pages over pro-Liberal election ads targeting voters

“But I don’t want them to be a running distraction from electing a Labor government which will take urgent and strong action on climate change. That’s why I have decided to withdraw my candidacy.

“I look forward to working and supporting the party in other ways.”

Parke resigned as federal member for Fremantle in 2016, a seat she had held for nearly a decade, because she wanted to be closer to her family and spend less time on travel.

“I believe that renewal is a good tonic for our democracy,” she had said at the time.

She had been a human rights lawyer before entering parliament in 2007Mari R (@randlight)

Melissa Parke has resigned over her remarks.

Peter Dutton still hanging around.

Pretty stark contrast. #JustSayinApril 12, 2019

The blue-ribbon seat of Curtin, which the Liberals hold by a margin of 20.7%, is one of the safest Liberal seats in the country, and had been held by Bishop since 1998. It is understood to have been one of the electorates Labor was targeting in WA and Parke’s decision to withdraw has caused a dent in the party’s hopes.

Bill Shorten told reporters on Saturday that Parke had “done the right thing” in standing down and that he did not share her views.

“I have a view that Israel has the right to security behind its borders and the Palestinian people have a legitimate issue in statehood,” the Labor leader told reporters on the New South Wales central coast.

The shadow treasurer, Chris Bowen, = told the ABC on Saturday that Parke’s views “did not represent the Labor party views.

He watered down talk about Labor’s high hopes for their chances in the electorate, saying Curtin wasn’t a seat they expected to win.

Tony Abbott? Peter Dutton? Who will lose their seat in election 2019? | First Dog on the Moon

Labor is trying to win the Liberal seats of Hasluck, Swan, Stirling and Canning.

Labor was banking on the loss of Bishop’s personal vote and a strong candidate to reduce the Liberal hold on the seat.

Parke isn’t the only early scratching of a candidate in the election race.

On Friday, two Liberal candidates from the Victorian seats of Lalor and Wills pulled out after discovering they were probably ineligible for parliament because of dual citizenship.

This is the first election in which candidates are required by the Australian Electoral Commission to submit a qualification checklist relating to section 44 of the constitution after the 45th parliament was plagued by disqualification issues.

– with AAP

Disney+ to launch in US with subscription cost half of Netflix

Disney+ to launch in US with subscription cost half of Netflix

( Photo: Twitter/ @RobertIger)

Disney, after having acquired the 104-year-old 21st Century Fox in March 2019, has regained its position as the supreme Hollywood movie studio in 21st century. And it has now ventured into the space of digital medium with a plan that has caused worry to the current supremo of digital space – Netflix.

The studio is set to launch a subscription VOD service by the name of Disney+ in the US on November 12, 2019.

The service, similar to Disney’s ESPN+ subscription service, will cost $6.99 per month, which is nearly half of Netflix’s standard plan of $12.99. Its annual plan will cost $69.99 per year, which comes to $5.83 per month.

The company announced the pricing, launch details and other details on Thursday at their 2019 Investor Day in California.

When the company was asked by about first subscription at $7 price point, Disney Chairman and CEO Bob Iger said, ” This is our first serious foray in this space, and we want to reach as many people as possible with it.”

Disney+ will include movies and TV shows from its Marvel, Star Wars, Pixar and Disney brands.The studio’s films grossed more than $ 7 billion in 2018, the brand believes that with Disney + ,the demand will automatically translate to the platform.

At its initial launch, Disney+ will include 7500 episodes of current and off-air TV shows; 25 original series and 10 original movies and specials. It will also feature 400 library movie titles; and 100 recent theatrical films release, according to Agnes Chu, senior VP of content, Disney+.

Disney+ will also feature all 30 seasons of the cult-favourite show, The Simpsons, whose exclusive rights it had acquired through the acquisition of 21st Century Fox.

It will also be an ad-free service supported only, by subscription fees. It will have a wide platform outreach, spanning web, game console, smart TVs and connected streaming devices, including Roku and PlayStation 4.

Within two years of its launch, Disney aims to have Disney+ rolled out across the world. After its launch in the US in the fourth quarter of 2019, the service will launch in Western Europe and Asia-Pacific regions by early 2020. By the end of 2020, it would have launched in Eastern Europe and Latin America.

Disney had announced plans of launching its own streaming platform back in 2017 after ending its exclusive output deal with Netflix.

All new theatrical releases form Walt Disney Studios, Pixar, Lucasfilm and Marvel beginning from 2019 that includes, Captain Marvel, Toy Story 4, Dumbo, Avengers: Endgame, Frozen II, Aladdin, The Lion King, Maleficent: Mistress of Evil and Star Wars: Episode IX will be exclusively available on Disney+.

The SVOD will also provide access to Disney’s entire film catalog within the first year of its launch. The library will include all Star Wars films, 250 hours of NatGeo content including documentary films like Free solo and Jane, episodes from Disney Channel shows and the new Phineas and Ferb film.

According to Kevin Mayer, chairman of Disney’s Direct-to-Consumer and International business segment, Disney will at some point make a discounted bundle combining Disney+, ESPN+ and Hulu.

Disney+ content will also be available to download for offline viewing in 4K format.For now, the platform will roll out alongside Hulu(in which Disney owns 60% through its acquisition of 21st Century Fox) and ESPN+ to give audiences more choice.

Robert Iger shared the first look of Disney+ on his Twitter handle.

Thrilled to share a first look at Disney+ with you!

— Robert Iger (@RobertIger) April 11, 2019

Over the last few months, Disney announced programs for Disney+ that include:

A prequel to Rogue One: A Star Wars Story starring Diego Luna titled, The Mandalorian

Next season of Star Wars animated series: Clone Wars

New series based on Pixar’s Monster Inc: Monsters at Work

Marvel’s live-action series including one on Loki( starring Tom Hiddleston), WandaVision( Elizabeth Olsen as Wanda Maximoff), The Vision( Paul Bettany), The Falcon and the Winter Soldier( Anthony Mackie and Sebastian Stan)

Non-fiction series: Encore!

A docu-series on chronicling Walt Disney’s 65 plus year history.

Behind the scenes documentaries on Frozen II, The Lion King, Marvel’s What If and various Pixar and Star Wars productions.

New Details Emerge of Johnny Depp’s Alleged Abuse of Ex-Wife (PHOTOS, VIDEO)

New Details Emerge of Johnny Depp’s Alleged Abuse of Ex-Wife (PHOTOS, VIDEO)

Amber Heard, former wife of actor Johnny Depp, recently filed a court motion in Virginia, offering new details on years of abuse allegedly committed by the actor throughout their relationship. Details of the new allegations surfaced on Wednesday.

Heard is alleging that Depp’s temper was aggravated by his drug and alcohol intake, and that he abused her on multiple occasions.The Telegraph reported incoherent text messages allegedly sent by Depp to his then-wife, presumably while he was under the influence of alcohol.

“I wish I were able to bring even just a glimmer of a smile to the pretty face of my most gorgeous of dreams and darkest nightmares,” Depp appeared to text. “I love you far too much for you and I to be these heinous slingling insults like we do/did.”

“It is not anything that I am particularly proud of to have participated in… And, I regret giving it life,” he allegedly said.

— Coralie (@CoraMelodie) April 12, 2019

​On another occasion, when Depp allegedly pulled out “large chunks of [Heard’s] hair and scalp,” the actress recalled how her then-husband had “slapped me hard, grabbed me by my hair, and dragged me from a stairwell to the office to the living room to the kitchen to the bedroom and then to the guest room.”

Tweet with images of Physical Abuse:

— Coralie (@CoraMelodie) April 12, 2019

​In a statement to entertainment magazine People, Depp’s lawyer rejected the latest claims made by Heard, calling them a “hoax.”

“Yesterday’s filing, made by a woman with a prior arrest and incarceration for domestic abuse, presented Amber Heard’s new lies,” the lawyer said, referring to Heard’s 2009 arrest for alleged domestic violence against then-girlfriend Tasya van Ree.

In a 2016 deposition video, Heard is seen answering questions from Depp’s lawyers, alleging she prevented Depp and his violent temper from physically hurting her sister during a confrontation.

“I would’ve done what anybody who has a child or a sister would’ve done,” she said. “I acted defensively in her life. I saw her standing on top of a flight of stairs, and trying to interrupt a fight in between him and I.”

— Amber Heard Italia (@AmberHeardIT) April 12, 2019

Depp and Heard married in February 2015, and their divorce was finalized in January 2017. Following the divorce, both actors signed non-disclosure agreements barring them from discussing their relationship publicly.

Depp’s lawyers filed a $50 million defamation lawsuit in March against Heard after she authored a Washington Post op-ed in which she spoke on abuse and the retaliation faced by women who speak out against domestic violence. Although the December 2018 piece did not name Depp, his lawyers have stated that Heard was clearly referring to him.

Malaysia to free Vietnamese woman accused of Kim Jong Nam murder on May 3: lawyer

Malaysia to free Vietnamese woman accused of Kim Jong Nam murder on May 3: lawyer

KUALA LUMPUR (Reuters) – A Vietnamese woman who had been accused of killing the half-brother of North Korea’s leader will be freed from a Malaysian prison on May 3, her lawyer said, a day earlier than previously expected.

FILE PHOTO: Vietnamese Doan Thi Huong, who was a suspect in the murder case of North Korean leader’s half brother Kim Jong Nam, reacts as she leaves the Shah Alam High Court on the outskirts of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia March 14, 2019. REUTERS/Lai Seng Sin

Doan Thi Huong, 30, was charged along with an Indonesian woman of poisoning Kim Jong Nam by smearing his face with a banned chemical weapon at Kuala Lumpur airport in February 2017.

Malaysian prosecutors dropped a murder charge against Huong earlier this month, after she plead guilty to an alternate charge of causing harm.

She was sentenced to more than three years in jail, but the term was later reduced as Malaysian law can allow a one-third remission off prison sentences.

Huong, who had been expected to be freed on May 4, will be released a day earlier as the original date fell on a weekend, her lawyer, Salim Bashir, told Reuters.

“We were informed by the prison authorities that she would be released on May 3, and it is likely she will be flown back to Hanoi on the same date,” he said, when contacted.

Huong’s co-accused, Siti Aisyah, was freed in March, after prosecutors also dropped the murder charge against her.

South Korean and U.S. officials have said the North Korean regime had ordered the assassination of Kim Jong Nam, who had been critical of his family’s dynastic rule. Pyongyang has denied the allegation.

Defense lawyers have maintained the women were pawns in an assassination orchestrated by North Korean agents. The women said they thought they were part of a reality prank show and did not know they were poisoning Kim.

Four North Korean men were also charged, but they left Malaysia hours after the murder and remain at large.

Malaysia had come under criticism for charging the two women with murder – which carries a mandatory death penalty in the country – when the key perpetrators were still being sought.

FCC Says US ‘Well-Positioned’ to Win Global 5G Race

FCC Says US ‘Well-Positioned’ to Win Global 5G Race

WASHINGTON (Sputnik) – The United States has good chances to outcompete other players in developing 5G telecommunications network, Federal Communications Commission Chairman (FCC) Ajit Pai said during a press briefing.

“I am pleased to report that America is now well-positioned to win the race to fast, secure and reliable 5G”, Pai told reporters on Friday.

Pai explained that the FCC is making strides by freeing up spectrum, making it easier to install wireless infrastructure by rolling back regulations, and encouraging the deployment of optical fiber.

US President Donald Trump said during the press conference that no other country should outcompete the United States in the race to develop 5G networks. He added that the US approach to developing its 5G networks is private sector driven and private sector led.The United States, New Zealand and Australia have banned China’s Huawei from developing their 5G networks, citing security threats. Washington is lobbying European allies to introduce such restrictions and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has threatened to stop sharing intelligence with countries using Huawei equipment.

Fifth generation mobile networks are the wireless telecommunications standards beyond the current 4G. The 5G networks operate in the millimeter wave bands (28, 38, and 60 GHz) and are designed to have higher efficiency, capacity, density and reliability. According to various estimates, 5G networks are expected by 2020.

Man Masturbates in front of female Lawmaker on Bus; “I was completely shocked and was feeling sick about it says victim

Man Masturbates in front of female Lawmaker on Bus; “I was completely shocked and was feeling sick about it says victim

The Pakistani origin member of British Parliament, Naz Shah went through a mental trauma as she had experienced the most embarrassing and shameful experience when a man masturbated in front of her on a bus in London.

“I was completely shocked and was feeling sick about it. He casually sat there. I didn”t know what to do with myself” she reported in a statement.

After the mis-happening, the lawmaker took the incident to the public through social media and shared the experience she had.

The victim also shared a YouTube video where the video reports that around 90 percent of the people do not report these kinds of assaults and they keep mum.

In her statement, the British MP said that if such incidents go unreported, then it would add to the statistics.

She added: “It was really important for me to share the YouTube video.”

In spite, the man had reported her to the bus driver the suspect had gone meanwhile.

The London Metropolitan Police Department is currently investigating the incident. Further details in the matter are awaited.

Chinese woman at Mar-a-Lago indicted on 2 charges

Chinese woman at Mar-a-Lago indicted on 2 charges

File photo of Trump’s Mar-a-Lago club. AFP

West Palm Beach (US), April 13

A Chinese woman recently arrested at President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago club has been charged with unlawful entry of restricted buildings and making false statements.

Prosecutors filed the indictment against Yujing Zhang, 32, in federal court in South Florida on Friday.

Zhang faces a maximum sentence of five years in prison and a USD 2,50,000 fine if convicted of the false statements count. If convicted of unlawful entry, she faces a maximum sentence of a year in prison and a USD 1,000 fine.

Zhang was arrested March 30 after Secret Service agents said she lied to gain admission to the President’s Palm Beach, Florida, resort.

She was carrying two Chinese passports, four cellphones, a laptop computer, an external hard drive and a thumb drive containing malware. In her hotel room, agents found a device to detect hidden cameras and USD 8,000 in cash.

Earlier this week, at a bond hearing in federal court, Assistant US Attorney Rolando Garcia told a federal magistrate judge that “there are a lot of questions that remain” about Zhang and that the FBI was still investigating whether she is a spy. The bond hearing is scheduled to continue Monday.

A Secret Service agent told the judge that when an agency analyst uploaded the malware found on Zhang’s thumb drive, it immediately began installing on the analyst’s computer and corrupting its files.

Zhang’s public defender suggested at the hearing that Zhang may not have been lying, but misunderstanding agents’ questions since she wasn’t fluent in English.

But the Secret Service agent told the judge that Zhang spoke and read English well during subsequent questioning with agents. — AP

Boeing Awarded $14 Billion US Defence Contract Amid 737 MAX Controversy

Boeing Awarded $14 Billion US Defence Contract Amid 737 MAX Controversy

This is the second multi-billion US military contract that the company has received following the global grounding of its civilian 737 MAX model in wake of two deadly aviation accidents involving the airliners over the course of five months.

American aerospace giant Boeing has received a $14.3 billion contract with the US Air Force to modify, modernise, engineer, sustain, and test the weapon systems for the Rockwell B-1 Lancer and B-52 Stratofortress strategic bombers. According to a statement by the Department of Defence (DoD), the systems will allow the bombers to increase their survivability against air defences and their ability to successfully carry out missions.

“This B-1/B-52 Flexible Acquisition and Sustainment contract provides for the upcoming modernization and sustainment efforts to increase lethality, enhance survivability, improve supportability, and increase responsiveness”, the statement read.

The work set to be carried out under the contract was not further specified, but will last until 2029. Earlier, Boeing was awarded a three-year contract to modernise 78 US Navy F/A-18 Block II Super Hornets to the Block III model for approximately $4 billion on 20 March 2019.

The aerospace giant received both contracts following the global grounding of its civilian 737 MAX model due to concerns that it could have a critical flaw that may have led to two airplane crashes in five months. An investigation has shown that a fault in the 737 MAX’s anti-stall system could have caused the crash of the Ethiopian Airways and Lion Air planes, which together claimed the lives of 346 people.

The anti-stall system, called the Manoeuvring Characteristics Augmentation System (MCAS), is designed to lower the airplane’s nose if its angle of attack becomes too steep. One of the proposed explanations suggests that the two crashed Boeings had a faulty angle of attack sensor, forcing MCAS to kick in and lower the plane’s nose when it was not needed, eventually sending it into an uncontrolled dive.

Boeing has since released a statement saying that the company has modified the MCAS software, making it less persistent in its attempts to affect a plane’s behaviour. The aerospace giant added that it had successfully tested the updated system in some 100 test flights.

British man charged with violent mugging within 24 hours of arriving in Australia

British man charged with violent mugging within 24 hours of arriving in Australia

A 59 year old man was taken to St Vincent’s Hospital in Sydney, Australia after he was mugged by a British man who had been in the country less than 24 hours ( Sardaka/Wikimedia )

A British man who had been in Australia for less than 24 hours has been charged after an alleged violent assault near Sydney’s Bondi Beach.

The 35-year-old, who has not been named, approached another man in the early hours of Saturday and assaulted and threatened him, New South Wales Police said.

Officers said the 59-year-old victim attempted to run away, when the man continued to assault him and stole his mobile phone.

The victim was taken to St Vincent’s Hospital in a serious but stable condition.

Australian senator Fraser Anning rebuked in parliament after blaming Muslims for shooting

A pedestrian alerted police to the incident on Campbell Parade at around 1.30am and the British national was charged with aggravated robbery with wounding and grievous bodily harm.

He was refused bail and is due in court in Parramatta, in the west of Sydney, on Saturday.