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Warning to Turkey: joint manoeuvres by Greece, France, Italy and Cyprus in the Eastern Mediterranean

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Greece, France, Italy and Cyprus are planning, between 26 and 28 August, a “joint military exercise” south of Crete, in the eastern Mediterranean, a possible “dissuasive warning” aimed at Turkey.

Days ago, Emmanuel Macron ordered the sending of two “Raphael” and a ship to the eastern Mediterranean, when the Greek-Turkish tensions broke out. The discoveries of important oil deposits in the eastern Mediterranean in recent years precipitated a rosary of tensions and disputes between Ankara and Athens. Those tensions were aggravated last week when a Greek ship and a Turkish ship “collided”, more or less “accidentally”, in Mediterranean waters claimed by Greece and Turkey.

French ship in the Mediterranean sea
Greece, France, Italy and Cyprus are planning, between 26 and 28 August, a joint military exercise south of Crete, in the eastern Mediterranean

At the end of June, the French Minister of Defense denounced the “hostile behavior” of the Turkish navy, before her colleagues of the Atlantic Alliance. After sending two “Raphael” and a warship to the eastern Mediterranean, France and its president received from the Turkish president, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, this warning: “Macron does not know where he is putting his feet”.

The “joint military exercise” of Greece, France, Italy and Cyprus, between August 26 and 28, unofficially announced by Athens, could be interpreted as a double gesture of armed solidarity with Athens and a new warning to the growing Turkish interventionism. Within the European Union (EU), only Italy has adopted a behaviour of double solidarity with Greece and France. Germany, for its part, is trying to mediate between Greece and Turkey, without much success, until now.

Kim Jong Un is in a coma and his sister has reportedly taken control of the country, according to a South Korean diplomat

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The international press, based on the claims of a South Korean diplomat, reports that North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un is in a coma and his younger sister Kim Yo Jong has taken over the government in his absence.

The diplomat, named Chang Song-min, was working to help the South Korean president. “I can say he is in a coma, but his life is not over,” he told the South Korean media in a statement picked up by the New York Post. “A full succession structure has not been formed, so Kim Yo-jong is coming to the fore as a vacuum cannot be sustained for an extended period,” he said.

Although his successor has not been officially appointed, the North Korean governor’s younger sister has taken provisional control of government bodies. Kim Jong Un’s alleged state of coma comes after strong controversy and speculation about her health status, and even rumors that she had died.

At the end of April, the American media TMZ assured that the Korean dictator had died in a medical operation. Apparently, Kim Jong-un had suffered a heart attack during a visit to a rural area. He was admitted to a hospital to undergo surgery that would not have achieved its goal.

Although the sources seemed reliable, the dictator reappeared in May canceling all the rumors that are frequent about him. Now we have to wait for confirmation and more information on whether the state of coma in which he is supposed to be now is true or not.

Cuties, Netflix’s controversial new film accused of inciting paedophilia

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One way or another, Netflix ends up managing to incite controversy around the products they launch on their platform, regardless of their theme. This time, however, it’s quite serious, as many people have caused a stir on the networks with Cuties, the new film to be launched on the platform in September, which they accuse of inciting paedophilia.

Directed by Maïmouna Doucouré and starring Maïmouna Gueye, Fathia Youssouf Abdillahi, Demba Diaw, Medina El Aidi, Esther Gohourou, Ilanah Cami-Goursolas and Myriam Hamma, the film revolves around Amy, an 11-year-old girl who is fascinated by a girls’ dance group and wants to join them, even if it means challenging her family’s religious beliefs.

Netflix
Cuties, the new film to be launched on the platform in September, accused of inciting paedophilia

The film Cuties doesn’t seem to be very controversial at first. However, there has been a lot of commotion on the networks because originally the Netflix synopsis focused more on the sensual realm, considering that girls are being sexualized as a claim in the film. As a result of the controversy, the platform has chosen to slightly modify the synopsis of Cuties.

However, the Cuties poster launched by Netflix has also caused controversy by showing girls wearing little clothes and posing in a sensual way. Nothing to see if we compare it to the original poster of the French film.

The film Cuties will be released on Netflix on September 9, 2020. Even though the social network commotion is based on the premise that the platform will remove the film and boycott it, it is enough that something causes controversy to provoke the opposite effect and it ends up being one of the most watched films, as it happened not long ago with 365 days, the controversial erotic film of Netflix.

What do you think of all the controversy caused by the film Cuties? Tell us your opinion in our comments section.

Airbnb starts the process to go public: does it make sense with the current state of the tourism sector?

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Airbnb has already promised, in far-off 2019, that 2020 would be their year for the IPO. The arrival of the coronavirus, and the direct effect that the pandemic has had on the international tourism market, suggested that Airbnb would relax its intentions. The reality is that this has not been the case.

In an announcement, Airbnb confirmed the submission of a draft statement for its public offering registration with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). As Uber did at the time and a few weeks ago DoorDash – a competitor of UberEats -, Airbnb has opted for the confidential route until the SEC completes its review of the data.

Although doubts about the IPO remained in the air, sources close to the operation placed the public offering for the end of this year. Finally, The Wall Street Journal announced that August would be the month in which the technology-based vacation home rental company would apply.

AirBnB
Airbnb confirmed the submission of a draft statement for its public offering registration with the Securities and Exchange Commission

The company’s valuation reached its peak in 2017, when Airbnb was close to $31 billion. But the coronavirus was here to stay and take over the global tourism industry. Airbnb has not been immune to the blockade of international travel. Today, with pandemics and debt issues, analysts value Airbnb at $18 billion.

Until the presentation of the accounts, public once the company starts its journey on the stock market, it is not clear what the situation will be at the end of the year. With an unclear growth history – just like Uber, before his IPO, secrecy about quarterly results was absolute – what is certain is that the second quarter of 2020 has been bad for his accounts.

Although the company recorded a 30% rise in June, the rest of the year will not go much better for Airbnb which, in addition to losing most of its users, housing supply and reservations – losses valued at over 1,000 million – has also dismissed 2,000 direct employees and terminated agreements with subcontractors. In total, Bloomberg sources suggest that Airbnb would have lost nearly $400 million in just three months.

Joe Biden is now officially a candidate for the presidency of the United States

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Joseph Robinette Biden is the official Democratic Party candidate for president of the United States. This is what the delegates of that party decided today in an online vote, on the second day of the Democratic Convention, which is being held over the Internet because of the coronavirus, which has already caused 172,000 deaths in that country according to estimates by Johns Hopkins University.

It’s been a long road for Biden. In many cases, the White House candidacy is accompanied by the legend that the candidate’s teachers already saw in him ways of being president. That’s not the case for the Democratic nominee in 2020. Joe Biden was the boy whose stutter was mocked by his classmates with cruel nicknames – “Joe Impedimenta” in Latin class – and who only overcame that problem thanks to the help of his mother – “every time I left the house to go to class I said, ‘Joey, you know that’s not a problem'” – and two nuns from his school. With that support and his willingness, Biden began reading poetry aloud – especially to the American Emerson and the Irish Yates – until he overcame his problem.

Biden, a Catholic who when he was vice president with Barack Obama and was travelling outside Washington on a Sunday had to send ahead an advisor to find a church with a priest willing to give him communion, since he defends abortion, will turn 78 on November 20. He has been a senator for the state of Delaware – which is in all but name a tax haven – for 36 years. The vote on which he was elected was a formality. Everything in his political life has been much more complicated. Gone are two attempts at the presidency that were catastrophic rather than failed. One, in 1988, when, in the campaign to succeed Ronald Reagan, an adviser copied several phrases from British Labour leader Neil Kinnock into a Biden speech. Another, in 2008, when he failed to reach even 1% in the Iowa Primary.

Over 100 police raid Hong Kong’s China-critical newspaper and arrest its owner

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Hong Kong police on Monday arrested media mogul Jimmy Lai and searched the offices of his flagship newspaper, Apple Daily, in the most high-profile case to date against democracy activists in the former British colony under a national security law, which has heightened tensions between the United States and China.

In a statement, Hong Kong police reported the arrest of seven people in total, ranging in age from 39 to 72, on suspicion of collusion with foreign forces to threaten national security and for conspiracy to commit fraud. The combative newspaper founded by Lai – known for its critical articles on Hong Kong and mainland China affairs – reported that among those arrested were the magnate’s sons.

“The crimes include collusion with a foreign country to endanger national security, Article 29 of the NSL.. The investigation is ongoing,” the force posted on its official Twitter account. Section 29 deals with alleged offences, including receiving any support – direct or indirect – from persons abroad, and carries a maximum sentence of life imprisonment.

Apple Daily headquarters assault

Apple Daily reported that 10 police officers arrived at the 72-year-old businessman’s home at around 7am local time, and later began broadcasting live a raid on his headquarters where dozens of police could be seen going through piles of papers and even on reporters’ desks.

The raid on the newspaper, Hong Kong’s largest pro-democracy newspaper, and the arrest of Jimmy Lai and senior executives, were condemned by activists and journalists, who said these events marked the day when press freedom officially died.

Hiroshima and Nagasaki, 75 years after the first nuclear bombings

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The Enola Gay was the plane that on August 6, 1945 dropped the first nuclear bomb used in real combat on the city of Hiroshima and was named ‘Little Boy’. The aircraft, piloted by Colonel Paul Tibbets and with eleven other crew members, was accompanied on the mission by four other aircraft, two for reconnaissance and two that flew alongside it with measuring instruments and photographic work,

The Enola Gay would also participate in the Nagasaki operation (piloted by George W. Marquardt), as a reconnaissance aircraft for the primary target of the bombing, Kokura, which is currently part of the city of Kitakyushu (southwest). The bomber who dropped the ‘Fat Man’ atomic bomb on Nagasaki on 9 August 1945 was Bockscar.

Thirteen crew members were on board the aircraft, commanded and piloted by Charles W. Sweeney, who had already taken part in the attack on Hiroshima at the controls of the aircraft he was usually assigned, The Great Artiste. When the Bockscar arrived in Kokura, the city was covered with clouds and smoke from the fires following the bombing the previous day on nearby Yahata, now also part of Kitakyushu. The plane then headed for its secondary target, Nagasaki, accompanied by The Great Artiste and The Big Stink.

Both the Enola Gay and the Bockscar were Boeing B-29 Superfortress bombers and part of the Silverplate, the code name for an aircraft with a modified atomic bomb bay. Both planes left from the North Field Air Base in Tinián (Northern Mariana Islands), under US sovereignty after its conquest in World War II and from where most of the planes that bombed Japan during the conflict left.

Hiroshima
It has been 75 years since the US bombers Enola Gay and Bockscar dropped the first, and so far the only, nuclear bombs used against civilians on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

The nuclear bomb ‘Little Boy’, responsible for the devastation in Hiroshima, was built with uranium-235, the only natural fissile isotope of uranium. The device exploded at 8:15 AM at an altitude of about 600 meters. The detonation caused an explosion equivalent to 16 kilotons of TNT and is estimated to have destroyed about 70% of the city.

The ‘Fat Man’ bomb dropped on Nagasaki was mainly made of plutonium-239, a synthetic element. Its detonation system was more complex, so it was tested earlier in the so-called Trinity Test on 16 July 1945 in a desert area of New Mexico (USA). On August 9, ‘Fat Man’ was dropped on Nagasaki. It exploded at 11:02 AM at an altitude of about 470 meters, with a detonation equivalent to 21 kilotons of TNT. Over 40% of the city was destroyed.

The Hiroshima bomb immediately killed about 80,000 people, about 30% of the population at the time. At the end of 1945, the toll was about 140,000, and in the years that followed, the victims of radiation more than doubled.

At the time of the bombing, Hiroshima was a minor supply and logistics base for the Japanese imperial army, although there were some camps and two important enclaves of the division that commanded the defense of the south of the country in the vicinity.

Nagasaki has been one of the most important ports in southern Japan for centuries, and was important during World War II for its commercial activity, which included shipping, artillery and other military equipment. Some 40,000 people died at the time of the atomic bombing, and the figure would rise to more than 70,000 in the following months. It is estimated that both bombings are responsible for the deaths of about 400,000 people to date.

This is what Beirut looks like after two powerful explosions that left more than 100 dead

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More than 100 people have died and at least 4,000 were injured following a major explosion in Beirut port from causes still under investigation, a Health Ministry source said.

A Health Ministry spokesman, who requested anonymity, confirmed by phone the number of dead and injured, which have left hospitals in the Lebanese capital full of injured people.

The explosion took place in the afternoon in a warehouse with explosive material after a fire with causes as yet unknown. Eyewitnesses indicated that there was glass breakage in homes more than five kilometres away from the explosion and that buildings were damaged in various ways within a radius of more than two kilometres.

Images broadcast on social networks showed the moment of the detonation, which caused a large mushroom cloud to rise in the sky and a strong shock wave to affect several neighbourhoods in the city, causing material damage.

The best gadgets for regular surfers

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When it comes to surfing, the essential thing is to have gadgets that are practical and comfortable to wear. Since we will be in the water for many hours, and the less belongings we leave on the beach, the better.

Of course, you can find many that are supposed to be better but surely the price they ask for them will not translate into the satisfaction they will give you. As in all hobbies, the limit of expenditure (and foolishness) is infinite. As in everything in life, it is also important not to lose your mind while buying surf gear online. Here are some of these elements that will be very useful and are not intended for mega-professionals with millionaire sponsors. Maybe you already know some or have heard of them, or even already have them.

Casio Sport Watch

It is waterproof, water resistant up to 50 meters, which makes it perfect to use while surfing. Its LED screen lights up at night and fits snugly around your wrist, with a black resin band and adjustable clip, ideal for you to never lose it and keep track of time even between waves.

Surfer

Aquapac Keymaster

A 100% waterproof case with an IPX8 rating, for carrying your cell phone, money or keys while you surf. Can be submerged to 5 meters

Lume Cube led light

It serves the function of a flashlight but is very small in size. This mini gadget emits a powerful waterproof LED light that will serve to illuminate if you want to surf until the night comes. You can connect it to your camcorder, drone or GoPro and still light up your sessions. A simple but functional gadget.

Cript Cases Cover

It is a hard case to safely transport 2 to 3 surfboards. It protects them from scratches and bumps that they may suffer in a van, during a move, at the airport or during the trip by plane.

GoPro

Contrary to what you’ll be told in dozens of articles, for us the sports camera is a perfectly expendable gadget and now we’re going to explain why.
When you watch other people’s surfing videos you feel the overwhelming desire to buy a GoPro (or similar camera of any brand), however, those videos last from two minutes to half an hour, at most. Now think of the amount of material you could produce during a week of surfing on the beach, thirty hours? To turn those thirty hours into three minutes, you’ll have to spend a lot of time learning how to use video editing software, and once you’ve got it under control, you’ll have to sit for hours and hours editing and trimming the material until you have a clip ready to upload to Youtube.
Our recommendation is that you spend all that time surfing, chatting with other surfers around a pina colada or resting. Once in a while, though, ask a friend for the GoPro to record a pirouette or an achievement you want to leave for immortality … and then they’ll give you the video.

These are just some of the gadgets we have selected for you, the list is extensive and there are practical items for all tastes and needs. What about you? What gadgets do you wear while surfing?

Netflix announces The Witcher: Blood Origin, a mini-series prequel to the main series

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Netflix has announced The Witcher: Blood Origin, a six-part mini-series that serves as a prequel to the main series based on the fantasy world created by Andrzej Sapkowski who so masterfully captured Projekt RED on his games.

Blood Origin will be set in an Elvish world 1,200 years before that of The Witcher’s world, and will tell a story lost in time: the origin of the first wizard and the events that lead to the crucial “conjunction of the spheres”, when the worlds of monsters, men and elves merged to become one.

Laueren Schmidt and Declan de Barra will be the executive producers of the mini-series, with the latter also acting as showrunner.

The Witcher: Blood Origin has no release date at the moment, in fact, filming has not yet begun. It will be start in the UK … soon.

The Witcher
Netflix has announced The Witcher: Blood Origin, a six-part mini-series that serves as a prequel to the main series