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Sunday, December 7, 2014

US military hands over senior Taliban commander to Pakistan


  • Latif Mehsud among three detainees transferred to Pakistan

  • Move highlights improving relations between US, Pakistan and Afghanistan


The US military in Afghanistan says it has handed over three Pakistani detainees to Islamabad, including one who Pakistan intelligence officers say is a senior Taliban commander.


The US did not name the prisoners but two Pakistani intelligence officials say Latif Mehsud was among them. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak to the media.


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City’s status as stolen-money haven a stain on UK, says ex-regulator MP

Tory Stephen Barclay says government’s expected anti-corruption plan does not address flaws in financial system

The City of London’s status as a favourite place for the world’s dishonest officials to hide stolen money will remain a stain on the UK’s reputation, despite a long-awaited government anti-corruption plan expected on Monday , according to a former-regulator-turned-MP.


Stephen Barclay, a Conservative MP, who worked in senior anti-money laundering roles at the Financial Services Authority (FSA) and Barclays bank before entering parliament in 2010, said the plan did not address flaws in the UK’s financial system that allow crooked officials from foreign countries to hide ill-gotten gains in London’s banks.


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A Show for Christmas review – schmaltz-free Yule sentiment from Daniel Kitson

BAC, London

Daniel Kitson’s characteristically simple show offered up one glittering bauble after another of dialogue, character observation and turn of phrase

I may wear a costume and there might be snow in it.” Daniel Kitson gave little away at the announcement of his first Christmas show. He didn’t have to: tickets sold out in a trice, as Kitson’s always do. The man claimed to be surprisedto be making a seasonal entertainment after years of corporate-comedy bookings had watered down his festive spirit. But to the rest of us, Kitson + Christmas makes perfect sense. This standup-cum-solo theatre-maker is our preeminent storyteller – an art form with Christmas overtones. His work is also unapologetically sentimental, and who, bar the severest bah-humbugger, isn’t up for dewy eyes at Christmas time?


That’s exactly what his Show for Christmas delivers - brilliantly, sans schmaltz, with big laughs and a thoughtful, heartful engagement with what Christmas is about. You have to doff your Santa hat to the skill, sensitivity and judgment with which this story is put together. And to Kitson’s gimlet eye for the minutiae of how people speak and behave, which he fashions here into one glittering bauble after another of dialogue, character sketch, or turn of phrase.


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Judge resigns after making racist remark about victim

Richard Hollingworth, who is an immigration judge, resigns as district judge after saying woman would ‘only be working in a shop’

An immigration judge has been forced to resign as a district judge after making a racist remark about a victim.


Richard Hollingworth was hearing a case of harassment at Preston magistrates court when he told officials to bring the victim, Deepa Patel, to court because he wanted to complete his sentencing that afternoon.


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US drone strikes kill 13 alleged militants in Pakistan and Afghanistan


  • ‘Important commander’ believed to be inside Pakistan compound during strike

  • Soldiers kill al-Qaida operative allegedly involved in New York subway plot


A suspected US drone strike on a Pakistani Taliban compound in North Waziristan tribal region killed at least four alleged militants on Sunday, officials said.


Another suspected US drone strike in Afghanistan, meanwhile, killed nine alleged Pakistani Taliban fighters in a rural village near the mountainous border between the two countries, a local official said.


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Unholy row as nativity scene ban divides France

Court orders council in La Roche-sur-Yon to dismantle crib, after complaint from secular campaigners

It has been called the nativity war. A French court’s ban on a nativity scene in a town hall in order to preserve France’s secular traditions has triggered a fierce backlash.


“Why not ban Christmas and the public holidays that go with it?” thundered Le Parisien on Sunday. Its headline read: “Spare us a nativity war.” According to the newspaper, 86% of more than 12,000 readers surveyed were in favour of keeping nativity scenes in public places.


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England look on in awe in six-wicket ODI defeat against Sri Lanka

• England 265; Sri Lanka 267-4

• Sri Lanka win by 6 wickets (SL lead 7 match series 3-1)

England free to experiment without Cook

In Alastair Cook’s absence there was no great metamorphosis for the England one-day team. They lost to Sri Lanka by six wickets in another relatively straightforward chase for the home side.


England performed neither better nor worse than usual under a different captain. By the end they had the air of callow pupils looking on in awe as their master, Kumar Sangakkara, calmly organised another win, with a bit of help from his senior colleagues.


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Padraig Harrington holds nerve to end long wait for win at Indonesia Open

• Irishman claims first title since 2010 Johor Open

• World No385 holds off challenge from Thai Thanyakon

Padraig Harrington overcame an early fourth-round wobble and a brave charge from Thailand’s Thanyakon Khrongpha to win the Asian Tour’s Indonesia Open by two shots following a dramatic final hole.


The Irishman and 24-year-old Thai headed down the 18th level at 16-under but both found trouble from the tee.


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Quote For The Day

“Do I really want it, this self, these scattered fingerprints on the air, to persist forever, to outlast the atomic universe? Those who scoff at the Christian hope of an afterlife have on their side not only a mass of biological evidence knitting the self-conscious mind tight to the perishing body but a certain moral […]



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South African hostage Pierre Korkie was hours from release, says charity

US may not have known Korkie was being held with Luke Somers when it launched ill-fated rescue operation in Yemen

US special forces who tried to rescue hostage Luke Somers from al-Qaida in Yemen were not aware of the identity of the other hostage held with him, according to reports.


Both Somers, a photojournalist, and Pierre Korkie, a South African teacher, were fatally shot by the militants during the raid on Saturday. A senior official in the US administration told the BBC that the rescuers had not been aware that Korkie was being held with Somers.


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ICC suspends Pakistan’s Mohammad Hafeez over illegal bowling action

• All-rounder banned from bowling with immediate effect

• Hafeez was reported after Test against New Zealand

ICC suspends Saeed Ajmal

The Pakistan all-rounder Mohammad Hafeez has been suspended from bowling with immediate effect after the International Cricket Council ruled his action was illegal.


Tests undertaken at the National Cricket Performance Centre in Loughborough revealed Hafeez’s action exceeded the 15 degrees level permitted.


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Not Having The Patience Of Job

The sociologist of religion Peter Berger posits that modern atheism emerged as “a rebellion against the monotheistic faiths that originated in the Middle East – Judaism, Christianity, Islam,” and that, as such, it “makes much less sense in a non-monotheistic environment”: The rebellion is triggered by an agonizing problem: How can God, believed to be […]



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New LEGO Commercial- “Inspire Imagination and Keep Building” #KeepBuilding @LEGO

New LEGO Commercial- “Inspire Imagination and Keep Building”



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West Ham v Swansea: Premier League – live!

Hounds? For Foxes, Britons Call the Sniper

“They may appear cuddly and romantic, but foxes are also a pest and a menace,” Mayor Boris Johnson said. Some in London, however, are working to save the animals from harm.

















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This Land: Separated From Brother, Left to Toil Far From Home

Leon Jones, a 64-year-old with an intellectual disability, was among the men recruited from institutions years ago to work in meat plants. He may be the last remaining laborer connected to an abusive system.





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Nick Clegg calls for rethink on benefits sanctions to help tackle food poverty

Cross-party report endorsed by archbishop of Canterbury blames sanctions regime in part for growing use of food banks

Welby: my shock at UK’s food banks

Clegg: Tories can’t protect services with planned cuts

Osborne’s tax breaks to Tory donors

Labour increases poll lead over Tories

Nick Clegg has called for a rethink of the way the benefit sanctions regime is administered in the wake of a cross-party report endorsed by the archbishop of Canterbury that suggests the penalties are partly to blame for the growing use of food banks in the UK.


The report calls for a new national organisation, Feeding Britain, run jointly by the government and voluntary groups, to oversee food banks and eradicate hunger. It also urges food companies to do more to tackle waste and proposes a rise in the minimum wage.


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Hays posted a job you might be interested in



Hays



Plant Finance Director-Dongguan

Guangzhou, Guangdong, China, CN - Printing



Plant Finance Director for one F500 US Company

Competitive salary with promising career development

Location: Dongguan



This is an US listed company considered to be a global top performer in manufacturing industry that has fast expansion in China. Because of the fast growing business in China, they are actively looking for finance professional to join them and grow together.



As plant finance director, you will report to global CFO & plant GM and lead a team with about 20 staff; and take full responsibility of Plant's finance function which covers the maintenance of Plant's fiscal records, the preparation of financial reports, the planning and forecasting process, the management of cash flow, the compliance of SOX and local statutory requirements, and the tax and bank activities.



As the successful candidate, ideally you should have at least 8 years of plant finance head related experience, with leading US manufacturing company experience will be a plus. Good presentation skill in both Chinese and English is highly preferred.



Please contact Gordon Ding for more detailed information at gordon.ding@hays.cn or call +86-20-38110307. For more fantastic opportunities in China, please visit www.hays.cn.






No salary provided



Posted December 07, 2014 at 01:53PM from LinkedIn http://ift.tt/1AJWQ4y

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Paula Radcliffe calls for life bans for athletes guilty of doping

• British runner wants coaches of guilty athletes banned too

Sean Ingle: doping revelations give Lord Coe daunting task

UK Athletics call for swift action on Russian doping allegations

Paula Radcliffe has called for life bans for any athlete found guilty of doping, amid allegations the practice is widespread in Russian sport.


Last week a Germany television documentary presented what it claimed was evidence of widespread drugs use, while it also alleged that corruption extends beyond Russia and implicated the IAAF in covering up the abuse.


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Nick Clegg: Tories kidding themselves on protecting services during cuts

Deputy PM says it is impossible to shrink the state without harming treasured public services such as NHS and education

The Tories are kidding themselves and the public if they think they can plough ahead with public spending cuts without damaging health and education services, Nick Clegg has said.


In sparring that underlines the extent to which the two coalition parties are diverging as the election draws near, the deputy prime minister accused the chancellor, George Osborne, of making unfunded tax cuts.


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Drone ‘near miss’ with passenger plane close to Heathrow airport investigated

Air safety investigators due to release report into incident, which took place in July and involved an Airbus A320

Air safety chiefs have investigated the first near miss between a passenger jet and a drone near Heathrow airport, amid fears that drones could pose a danger to commercial flights.


The UK Airprox Board (UKAB), which will publish its findings on Friday, is expected to record an incident risk rating of A – the highest of five categories – defined as a “serious risk of collision”.


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As Typhoon Hagupit Hits Philippines, Evacuees Express Relief

Fears over a repeat of the devastation left by Typhoon Haiyan last year has prompted a much better evacuation response this season.

















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Hays posted a job you might be interested in



Hays



Assistant Finance Manager

Guangzhou, Guangdong, China, CN - Pharmaceuticals



Assistant Finance Manager for a F500 Pharma Company

Promising Career Development with attractive Package and Benefits

Location: Guangzhou Kaifaqu (providing shuttle bus)



Our client is a global leading pharma company. Because of the fast growing business in China, they are actively looking for finance professional to join them and grow together.



As assistant finance manager, you will need to act as the primary point of contact offering financial support/service/advice to plant capital project team; evaluate financially all proposed project / initiative and tie back the financial assumptions into the company budgeting/forecasting processes as well as to review actual performance vs. plan as required; work closely with local/ regional/global project team; lead the process for monthly capital spending result and rolling forecast; ensure that business is meeting capital target and ensuring delivery of performance with good governance practices; ensure adequate governance and controls are put in place for related capital investment / fixed asset processes and activities; and perform both regular and adhoc finance CAB/fixed asset relative financial reporting.



As the successful candidate, ideally you should have at least 5 years' working experience in finance, with exposure in costing. Strong communicative and analytical skills are required. Good presentation skill in both Chinese and English is highly preferred.



Please contact Gordon Ding for more detailed information at gordon.ding@hays.cn or call +86-20-38110307. For more fantastic opportunities in China, please visit www.hays.cn






No salary provided



Posted December 07, 2014 at 01:00PM from LinkedIn http://ift.tt/1u2I18w

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Hays posted a job you might be interested in



Hays



Internal Control Manager-Guangzhou

Guangzhou, Guangdong, China, CN - Pharmaceuticals



Internal Control Manager for a Global leading pharma Company

Promising Career Development with attractive Package and Benefits

Location: Guangzhou CBD



Our client is a F500 pharma company with China HQ based in Guangzhou. Because of the fast growing business in China, they are actively looking for finance professional to join them and grow together.



As internal control manager, you will implement the compliance/ audit programs in the China region; assess compliance or operational risks in the region; work with the investigation team on the investigation carried out in the field; and provide on-boarding and refresher trainings on anti-corruption, compliance standards and business working instructions in the specific region.



As the successful candidate, ideally you should have at least 6 years of internal audit or internal control related experience, with Big 4 experience will be a plus. Good presentation skill in both Chinese and English is highly preferred.



Please contact Gordon Ding for more detailed information at gordon.ding@hays.cn or call +86-20-38110307. For more fantastic opportunities in China, please visit www.hays.cn.






No salary provided



Posted December 07, 2014 at 12:45PM from LinkedIn http://ift.tt/1CUGH0Q

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Do we really need all those endless updates to iTunes?

Leave a product alone for a year and people – even those who love it – assume it’s been forgotten

“What’s happened to the song list?” Complaints of that sort have been loud and long since Apple updated iTunes in October. The new version is officially iTunes 12 – though there have been so many tenth-, hundredth- and thousandth-decimal releases since it was first officially unveiled in January 2001 that the real revision figure is probably in the hundreds.


In fact, iTunes began life as Soundjam MP in 1998, written by a trio of coders. Apple bought it in mid-2000, rejigged its appearance and steamrollered the paid-for MP3 app player market – including one called Audion. (The developers’ tale of how Audion missed out on becoming iTunes is a salutary lesson; they missed a meeting with Apple because they expected to be bought by AOL.)


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Prince William wrote to Jacintha Saldanha’s family after nurse’s suicide

Husband Ben Barboza reveals duke’s handwritten note and says he cannot forgive the Australian DJs who made hoax call

The Duke of Cambridge wrote to the family of a nurse at a hospital that treated his wife after the nurse’s “unbelievably sad” death following a radio prank call.


The family of Jacintha Saldanha revealed William’s handwritten note in their first newspaper interview since the inquest into Saldanha’s death concluded several months ago.


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Eddie Redmayne: ‘To play Hawking I had to train my body like a dancer’

For Eddie Redmayne, playing Stephen Hawking in a film about the brilliant scientist with motor neurone disease was a huge challenge. But the hardest part was meeting the great man himself…

When Professor Stephen Hawking saw The Theory of Everything , the new feature film adapted from his ex-wife Jane Hawking’s memoir Travelling to Infinity: My Life With Stephen , there were moments, he has been reported as saying, when he thought it was himself he was seeing on screen. It wasn’t. It was Eddie Redmayne in the performance of a lifetime (if he does not win an Oscar, there will be an outcry), playing the theoretical physicist from his early days as a PhD student at Cambridge in the 1960s, before he was diagnosed with motor neurone disease (MND), right up to the late 80s and beyond, when A Brief History of Time became a surprise hit, selling more than 10m copies worldwide and making its author the greatest science celebrity since Einstein. In the film, which is the story of a tender, defiant, imperilled marriage, Jane is played by Felicity Jones and Hawking has judged her “charming”. But it is Redmayne’s faithful performance, comparable in its ambition to Daniel Day Lewis’s in My Left Foot , that overwhelms. It reminds one that great acting is about transformation.


It is a mild Sunday afternoon – no such thing as a day of rest for Eddie Redmayne. I wait for him in the green room in the Jerwood Space in London’s Southwark. His Hawking is so fresh in my mind, I half expect him to wheel in. Instead, a handsome, upright young man opens the door. I joke that the rehearsal room is set up as if for a job interview and he laughs – he has a firm handshake (job interviewers like that). But when I congratulate him on his performance, his response is to talk about how great Felicity Jones is: “Felicity is so strong…” I interrupt: “We’re not here to talk about Felicity.”


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La Santé prison: visitors welcome

The site of riots, executions and dramatic escapes, La Santé in central Paris is the most infamous prison in France. When it closed recently for a four-year modernisation programme, the public were invited to visit…

The last vespasienne left standing in Paris stands on the Boulevard Arago just beneath the walls of La Santé prison. Not so long ago these green public urinals were almost as synonymous with Paris as the Eiffel tower or the Sacré-Coeur. They also played a minor but crucial role in Parisian cultural history – not only (and most obviously) as an erotic meeting place for gay people but also as cover for French resistance activities during the second world war. Then in the 1990s they were quietly disappeared and replaced with the grey sanisettes where Parisians can now relieve themselves in privacy and isolation. This last urinal, now clogged with mud and leaves, stands in its own way as a spectral monument to an older, earthier Paris, a long way from the sleek 21st century of the city.


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A mood-changing headset, Thync, that uses electrodes to perk you up

If caffeine and alcohol aren’t your thing, a headset that applies electric current to your brain could improve your mood


■ See more from the 20 innovations for 2015 series


Alcohol and coffee are about to get competition from a set of electrodes you wear on your head. Branded the Thync, the calming effect it produces is comparable to how you feel after an alcoholic drink, while the energising effect is similar to a cup of coffee, says Isy Goldwasser, the CEO and co-founder of this Silicon Valley-based startup. The company plans to start selling the device through its website in 2015.


Goldwasser envisages people using the Thync “vibes” to help them unwind after a long day at work, or to get a caffeine-free pick-me-up. “We are giving people a way to overcome a basic limitation – that no one is really wired to co-opt energy and calm on demand,” he says.


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The tiny space satellite that you can build and launch yourself

Tom Walkinshaw’s PocketQube company sells the materials for the space enthusiast to make a fully functioning satellite


■ See more from the 20 innovations for 2015 series


Most of the thousand or so operational satellites in orbit are multi-million-dollar machines that provide major industries with scientific research, global positioning or military espionage. Twenty-five-year-old Tom Walkinshaw, however, hopes to prove that satellites are not the preserve of leviathan space agencies, and that, for a comparatively small sum ($20,000), the workaday enthusiast can build and launch a fully functioning satellite of their own. One year old next January, his company PocketQube Shop provides the basic materials for doing this, most importantly the PocketQube structure itself - a tiny, 5cm³ casing made from aerospace-grade aluminium – which houses each satellite’s components.


“We want to remove as many barriers as we can for people who want to build satellites,” says Walkinshaw, and the PocketQube structure is the key to this endeavour. Invented in America, it is smaller than its predecessor the Cubesat, a 10cm³ design which was formerly the best hope for those seeking a budget satellite. Walkinshaw’s was the first company to recognise the PocketQube’s potential and begin manufacturing it, and it also supplies a number of other components, with a view to becoming a centralised hub catering to all satellite-builders’ needs. “We’re going to produce a PocketQube kit with a structure, radio and on-board computer,” pledges Walkinshaw, “and we just won a £63,000 from Scottish Enterprise to develop a combined powerboard and battery.”


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Prince William and Kate fly to New York for three-day visit

Duke to meet Barack Obama while events on royal couple’s list include NBA basketball game and charity dinner

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are due to arrive in New York for a three-day trip.


William and Kate’s visit to the US will include an appearance at an NBA basketball match, and the duke will meet Barack Obama.


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