Thursday, March 12, 2015
In a 30-minute tape Isis spokesman speaks of ‘the expansion of the caliphate to west Africa’, but analysts downplay the allegiance as propganda
The Islamic State welcomed a pledge of allegiance made to it by Boko Haram and vowed to press with its expansion, according to a recording Thursday purportedly from its spokesman.
“We announce to you to the good news of the expansion of the caliphate to west Africa because the caliph ... has accepted the allegiance of our brothers of the Sunni group for preaching and the jihad,” Isis spokesman Abu Muhammad al-Adnani said in the message, using the Arabic name for Nigeria’s Boko Haram extremist group.
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English hopes of progress in Europe remain intact, but only just. An 82nd-minute penalty from Romelu Lukaku gave Everton a slender advantage over Dynamo Kyiv in the last 16 of the Europa League as Roberto Martínez’s team fought back from a goal down and against a tense Goodison Park crowd to preserve their chances of a place in the quarter-finals.
Lukaku’s late penalty, awarded after Danilo Silva handled Leon Osman’s cross near the by-line, was the Belgian striker’s seventh goal in European competition this season and a new club record for Everton, beating Fred Pickering’s six that had stood from the 1960s. The victory was Everton’s sixth in the Europa League this term, equalling their total for their entire domestic campaign, and reflected an impressive recovery from an inauspicious start that demonstrated the unease around the team at present.
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Martin O’Malley is having himself a bit of a moment—not really through any of his own doing, but because the swirl of anxiety about Hillary Clinton’s readiness for a presidential campaign has Democrats looking around for alternatives, and the only person standing there right now is, well, Martin O’Malley. The former Maryland governor and Baltimore mayor just passed up a run for his state’s open Senate seat, making it even clearer that he’s serious about a presidential run; he got national coverage for a wonky speech Wednesday at the Brookings Institution; and he turned up Thursday morning on Morning Joe .
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The golden arches are sagging. “McDonald’s is in an absolute free fall,” says Quartz , citing a “long and worrying decline” in the chain’s same-store sales growth. “McDonald’s is having an identity crisis,” writes the New York Times, in an article detailing the chain’s hapless efforts to compete with more “upscale” restaurants like Chipotle and Smashburger. “The two key words in fast food are fast and food, and McDonald’s is no longer fast, and its burgers ranked last in a Consumer Reports survey recently,” a former exec told the Times. Burn!
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Great news if you're an aspiring teen jihadist: ISIS has reportedly accepted Nigerian terror group Boko Haram's pledge of allegiance. ISIS spokesman Abu Muhammad al-Adnani announced the deal on Thursday in a speech distributed across social media, according to the SITE Intelligence Group.
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• Carragher: we are falling short in things that we used to do to other teams
• Chelsea behaved ‘like babies’ over red card
• Steven Gerrard defends Chelsea players’ ‘normal’ pressuring of referee
Jamie Carragher has questioned the Premier League’s quality in the wake of Chelsea’s Champions League elimination.
The former Liverpool defender, who is now a pundit for the Premier League’s biggest cheerleader, Sky Sports, believes top flight English teams are in danger of losing their identity and hit out at a scattergun transfer policy which is inhibiting European progress.
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They are one of the most iconic performance groups in existence, amazing millions yearly. Their shows feature seemingly super-human levels of precision. Now, one of them is going to tell you what it's like to don the blue flight suit as part of the elite of the elite, as a member of the US Navy Flight Demonstration Team, more commonly known as the Blue Angels.
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Prime minister rushes out statement after inquiry reveals security services had ‘blank cheque’ to covertly collect data in bulk
David Cameron has moved to close a hole in the oversight of Britain’s intelligence agencies after it was revealed for the first time that they were creating “bulk personal datasets” containing millions of items of personal information, some of it gathered covertly without any statutory accountability.
Some of the data appears to have been gathered from other government departments as well as commercial organisations.
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- Jaha Dukureh: ‘We need to reach girls before FGM happens’
- New York meeting told that current efforts are ‘like preaching to the choir’
Campaigners against female genital mutilation (FGM) called for renewed action to reach the girls most at risk from the practice.
On Thursday, the campaign’s leading advocates gathered across the street from the UN headquarters in New York City, which has been hosting this week’s United Nations Commission on the Status of Women, to discuss the next steps needed to end the practice, a procedure that removes part, or all, of the external female genitalia.
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Healthcare worker who contracted Ebola while fighting the outbreak in Sierra Leone is due to arrive at an NIH facility in Bethesda, Maryland, on Friday
An American healthcare worker who contracted Ebola while fighting the outbreak in Sierra Leone will be brought to the US for treatment, the National Institutes of Health announced on Thursday.
The healthcare worker is due to arrive at the NIH facility in Bethesda, Maryland, on Friday. The patient, who has not been identified as male or female, was volunteering in an Ebola treatment unit in Sierra Leone.
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• England won last home series 3-0 in 2013 before 5-0 loss down under
Glenn McGrath has repeated a familiar rallying call by predicting Australia will inflict a 5-0 Ashes whitewash on England this summer.
The former pace attack leader of Australia’s all-conquering Test team in the early 2000s has habitually forecast thrashings for England in the past, and has been embarrassed when Australia have not performed as he expected, notably in the 2005 series.
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Dun Meng, who prosecutors contend was carjacked by Dzhokhar and Tamerlan Tsarnaev after they killed a police officer, testifies about being held at gunpoint
A man who prosecutors say was the subject of a carjacking by the Boston Marathon bombers after they murdered a police officer testified in a federal court on Thursday. Dun Meng told the court of the moment when Tamerlan Tsarnaev, the older of two brothers accused of perpetrating the attack, jumped into his Mercedes and told him he was one of the bombers.
Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, the younger and only survivor of the pair, is standing trial in a federal court in Boston on 30 counts related to the bombing – including several charges which carry a potential death sentence.
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