Factbox: Will Spain’s Sanchez stay on as prime minister?

MADRID ( ) – Spain enters a week of votes and debates which will be vital in determining whether Socialist leader Pedro Sanchez, who has been acting prime minister since an inconclusive election in late April, will be confirmed in the job.

Leaders of the main parties are at odds with each other in a country with no recent experience of coalition governments and an increasingly fragmented political landscape, meaning it may take many more weeks, and possibly a repeat election, to find a deal.

Here are the main dates and events to watch out for:


Both the Socialists and far-left Podemos have said they wanted a deal, so this would at first glance be the most logical,上海品茶419论坛Eden, scenario. But Sanchez and Podemos leader Pablo Iglesias have very different views of what an agreement should look like.

Sanchez said talks were off after Iglesias ,上海品茶Dallas,called his latest proposal “idiotic”.

Podemos is expected to publish on Thursday evening the result of a consultation of party members, though a party source said that might be pushed to Friday. They were asked to decide between an all-out coalition deal or a looser pact, proposed by Sanchez, that would include just上海品茶会所 a few low-ranking Podemos-backed officials.

The first option would make it harder for Sanchez to become prime minister, unless he does a U-turn and allows Iglesias and other senior Podemos figures to have key cabinet positions.


Sanchez and the leaders of parties from the far-left to the far-right will fight off for hours on Monday and Tuesday in a parliamentary debate ahead of the first investiture vote, scheduled for around 1800 (1600 GMT) on Tuesday.

Sanchez is very unlikely to win this first vote, which requires an absolute majority and would need not only the Socialists’ 123 lawmakers and Podemos’ 42 to vote for him but also many other small parties, to get at least 176 votes.


Forty-eight hours after the first vote, lawmakers will cast ballots again. This time, all Sanchez requires is more “yes” than “no” votes. But that still will not be easy.

It will mostly depend on what Podemos does. If they vote for Sanchez, alongside Basque nationalists and a handful of lawmakers from smaller regions, which are largely guaranteed, it is in the bag for Sanchez.

Without Podemos, Sanchez would require a surprise abstention by a big party, possibly the conservative People’s Party (PP). It would be very unexpected at this stage but that has happened in the past.


That’s where the game of chicken gets even more tense. Podemos or other parties might well decide they want to make Sanchez sweat it out more and wait for another vote in September, but the Socialists have said it’s all off if he is not sworn in next week.


If no deal is reached, a repeat election would be held on November 10. If there is a deal and Sanchez is confirmed as prime minister, the question wil,上海品茶工作室Cain,l be what he can achieve in power, considering how fragmented Spanish politics are.

Factbox: Break up big banks, end free-trade agreements. What a…

( ) – Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont has made income inequality and Wall Street main themes of his campaign for the Democratic nomination to run for president in November.

Here is a look at some of his policy proposals, taken from his website, news stories and interviews.


Sanders would expand the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program and the Deferred Action for Parents of America program to extend legal protections given to certain immigrants who entered the country illegally.

He would establish a whistleblower visa program for workers reporting labor violations.

Sanders would end both for-profit and family detention of illegal immigrants.

He would reform immigration laws, and would include a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants currently in the country.

The candidate would protect the border with technology such as high-grade cameras, thermal imaging and movement sensors instead erecting of a border wall.


Sanders would reverse trade deals such as the North American Free Trade Agreement and the Central American Free Trade Agreement. He opposes the Trans-Pacific Partnership free-trade agreement.

He would make it easier for people to join labor ,上海品茶工作室Quaid,unions.

Sanders says that permanent normal trade relations with China have been disas,上海品茶419论坛Caden,t上海品茶QQrous.

He has called for U.S. companies to invest more in the United States.


Sanders would seek the breakup of the largest financial institutions and reinstatement of Glass-Steagall, the Depression-era banking law that forced a separation of commercial and investmen,专门哟啪的微信群Paisley,t banking businesses.

He would raise the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2020.

Sanders would tax Wall Street speculation to help fund free public college and university tuition, and would establish a progressive estate tax for those who inherit more than $3.5 million.

He would set up a $1 trillion infrastructure investment program.

The candidate would lift the cap on taxable income above $250,000 to expand Social Security benefits.


Sanders supports the Iran nuclear deal, and opposes the use of ground troops in Iraq and Syria.

He would close the Guantanamo Bay detention center, and would move toward normalizing relations with Cuba.

China says it welcomes U.N. to visit Xinjiang via proper procedures

BEIJING ( ) – China said on Monday it would welcome U.N. officials to its far western region of Xinjiang if they follow the proper procedures, amid ,专门哟啪的微信群Gabrielle,global concern over Beijing’s de-radicalization program there.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kangm asked at a regular briefing about reports that China had invited UN experts to Xinjiang, said that all parties, including the U.N., were welcome, as long as they respected appropriate travel procedures.

U.N. officials should also “avoid interfering in domestic matters” and adopt an objective and neutral attitude, he added.

The top U.N. human rights official, Michelle Bachelet, in December said her office was seeking access to Xinjiang to verify “worrying reports” of re-education camps holding Muslim minorities, including the Turkic speaking Uighurs.

In上海品茶QQ August, a U.N. human rights panel sa,上海外卖品茶群Octavia,id it had received credible reports that a million or more Uighurs and other minorities in Xinjiang were being held in what resembled a “massive internment camp”.

In a rare move, a group of 15 Western ambassadors in Beijing, spearheaded by Canada, have sought a meeting with the top official in the region, Communist Party boss Chen Quanguo, for an explanation of alleged rights abuses against Uighurs.

Beijing has launched an increasingly active publicity campaign to defend its actions in Xinjiang in the face of an outcry from activists, scholars, foreign governments and U.N. rights experts.

In the last two weeks, the Chinese government has arranged for diplomats from 12 non-Western countries to visit the region, as well as organizing a trip for a small group of reporters, including , to three facilities, which it cal,上海品茶工作室Nadia,led vocational education training centers.

In the centers, Uighur students learned in Mandarin about the dangers of extremist thought and sang and danced for reporters, including a rendition in English of “If You’re Happy and You Know it, Clap Your Hands”.

Xinjiang officials told on the trip that the de-radicalization program had been highly successful but that fewer people would be sent through the system in future.

last year reported on harsh extrajudicial detentions and interrogations at the camps, which are at odds with Beijing’s claims, and took pictures of guard towers and barbed wire surrounding some. (tinyurl.com/y9zzouss)

Somali region once riddled with pirates sees peaceful power transfer

GAROWE, Somalia ( ) – A region of war-ravaged Somalia elected a new president on Tuesday, a peaceful transfer of power in a part of the country notorious for piracy and Islamist militias.

Said Abdullahi Deni, who is likely to continue Puntland’s close cooperation with the United States, defeated his closest rival, Asad Osman Abdullahi. He was sworn in for a new five-year term.

Puntland, on the tip of the Horn of Africa, considers itself a semi-autonomous region that comes under the federal government, although the relationship between the two parties has at times been tense.

Six years ago, it was a hotbed of piracy, and hundreds of attacks cost the shipping industry billions of dollars.

But a combination of maritime patrols, stronger Somali security forces and better security protocols by mariners mean attacks are now rare.

Deni has taken a hardline against the Islamist militant group al-Shabaab and a rival splinter faction that has pledged allegiance to Islamic State, s,上海品茶交友群Lake,aid Matt Bryden, head of the Nairobi-based think tank Sahan Research.

“He has campaigned as a reformist, promising to strengthen government institutions, fight corruption and stabilize the economy,” Bryden said.

A former Somali federal minister for planning, Demi won 35 votes out of the 66 lawmakers that voted, the speaker of Puntland’s parliament, Abdihakim Mohamed Ahmed, said.

He replaces the incumbent Abdiweli Mohamed Ali Gaas, who served a ,上海品茶群二维码Dahlia,single term and was eliminated in a first round of voting.

The regional elections in Puntland followed the expulsion of the senior United Nations official in Somalia earlier this month.

The Mogadishu-based federal government expelled Nicholas Haysom, who served as Special Representative of U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, after he raised questions over allegations of police abuses by forces loyal to the central government during another regional election last month.

The gove上海品茶会所rnment accused Haysom of interfering with internal affairs.

Last Friday, the United Nations said it would appoint a new envoy to the country, ,上海品茶水磨Hadleigh,whose security forces are struggling to contain the Islamist insurgency. The faction loyal to Islamic State is largely based in Puntland.

Republican Cruz crushes Trump in Wisconsin, says party will unite

MILWAUKEE ( ) – Republican Ted Cruz easily won the Wisconsin presidential primary on Tuesday, dealing a blow to front-runner Donald Trump’s hopes of amassing enough delegates for the party’s nomination and boosting chances of a rare contested convention.

Cruz’s double-digit win over Trump was a breakthrough for Republican Party forces battling to block the controversial New York billionaire, and it raised the prospect of a prolonged nomination fight that could last to the July convention in Cleveland, Ohio.

Democratic presidential contender Bernie Sanders also won in Wisconsin, gaining momentum in his fight against front-runner Hillary Clinton and trimming her commanding lead in delegates.

Trump entered the night with 737 convention delegates to Cruz’s 481, leaving him 500 delegates short of the 1,237 needed to become the party’s nominee in the Nov. 8 election.

Cruz said the result in Wisconsin showed the party was beginning to rally behind him, but he acknowledged the growing possibility that the fight could go all the way ,上海喝茶资源群Jack,to the convention.

“Either before Cleveland, or at the convention i上海品茶微信n Cleveland, together we will win a majority of the delegates and together we will beat Hillary Clinton in November,” Cruz told cheering supporters in Milwaukee. “We’re winning because we’re uniting the Republican Party.”

Cruz, a conservative U.S. senator from Texas, was aided in Wisconsin by Republican Governor Scott Walker, who dropped his own presidential bid in September, and by a barrage of ads from Supe,上海外卖品茶群Fabian,r PACS – independent funding groups – backed by party establishment figures worried that Trump will lead Republicans to a broad defeat in November.

Trump’s campaign released a blistering statement saying Cruz had been propped up “by countless millions of dollars of false advertising” from anti-Trump Super PACs.

“Ted Cruz is worse than a puppet – he is a Trojan horse, being used by the party bosses attempting to steal the nomination from Mr. Trump,” the Trump campaign statement said.

The Wisconsin primary capped a difficult week for Trump, who was forced to backtrack after saying women who have abortions should face punishment if the procedure is outlawed, and who voiced support for his campaign manager after he was charged with misdemeanor assault for grabbing a reporter.


A new /Ipsos poll on Tuesday showed Cruz about even with Trump nationally, with Cruz’s recent gains the first time since November that a Trump rival has threatened his standing at the head of the Republican pack.

The poll of 568 Republicans, taken between April 1-5, showed Cruz winning the support of 35 percent of Republicans to Trump’s 39 percent. Cruz and Trump were also briefly about even early last week.

In the Democratic race, the win for Sanders, a U.S. senator from Vermont, is his sixth in the last seven contests for the nomination. Sanders said his message of breaking up big banks, reining in Wall Street and reducing income inequality was bringing new and young voters into the process.

“What we have been seeing throughout this campaign is extraordinary voter turnout in state after state,” Sanders said at a rally in Laramie, Wyoming.

Clinton, who did not appear in public on Tuesday night, tweeted her congratulations to Sanders.

“Congrats to @BernieSanders on winning Wisconsin,” Clinton said on Twitter. “To all the voters and volunteers who poured your hearts into this campaign: Forward! -H.”

Sanders still faces a difficult task overtaking Clinton as the race moves to New York on April 19 and to five other Eastern states on April 26.

Heading into Tuesday, Clinton led Sanders by 263 pledged delegates in the race for the 2,383 needed to be nominated at the party’s July convention in Philadelphia. She also has a big lead in superdelegates, who are party leaders free to back any candidate.

Sanders needs to win up to two-thirds of the remaining delegates to catch Clinton, who will keep accumulating delegates even when she loses under a Democratic Party system that awards them proportionally in all states.

Sanders nee,上海品茶群二维码Larissa,ds to rack up big winning margins over Clinton in the remaining states to close the gap. He has vowed to stay in the race until the convention, and his campaign says superdelegates could begin to shift their support to him if they see he has popular support.

Macron’s popularity edges up even as protesters persist: poll

PARIS ( ) – French President Emmanuel Macron’s popularity ratings recovered in January, a survey showed on Tuesday, after a series of government concessions aimed at ending a wave of “yellow vest” protests against high living costs.

The demonstrations shaking France since mid-November had further dented Macron’s standing at the end of last year, with his popularity dropping,上海品茶群二维码Hadley, to record lows amid a backlash that started out as an outcry over planned fuel tax hikes.

These were dropped in early December and Macron has since offered up further measures to appease protesters, including wage rises for the poorest workers.

The 41-year-old’s approval ratings jumped by 5 percentage points to 28 percent in January from a month earlier, the Ifop-Fiducial poll for Paris Match and Sud Radio showed, after two straight months of declines in its poll.

Some other recent surveys also showed improvement in Macron’s popularity in late December, albeit smaller ones.

The Ifop poll of 1,014 people was carried out on Jan. 3-4, before the latest marches last Saturday when ,上海品尝嫩茶Eason,rioters torched motorbikes and set barricades ablaze in Paris.

The French government has since toughened its st上海品茶QQance and said it would crack down harder on undeclared protests and violence on the fringes of demonstrati,上海品茶水磨Quaid,ons.

Attendance at the anti-government rallies across France also regained some ground last weekend after losing steam over the Christmas holidays.

People surveyed by Ifop gave Macron the most credit for defending France’s interest overseas, but only 19 percent said they believed he understood voters’ concerns. Thirty percent gave the thumbs up to his economic policies.

Elected in mid-2017 on a platform of liberalizing the economy, Macron has promised to press on with his reform program and overhaul French institutions in spite of the “yellow vest” crisis.

With European elections looming in May – another big test for Macron – France’s far right “National Rally” party, formerly known as the National Front and headed up by Marine Le Pen, is consolidating its position, the Ifop poll also showed.

For the first time since May 2017 in the pollster’s rankings, Le Pen’s party emerged as the one that best represented the government’s main opposition, according to 35 percent of those surveyed. That put it just ahead of the far-left La France Insoumise (France Unbowed).

Turkey’s Erdogan rebukes Trump’s top security adviser over Kurds in…

ANKARA ( ) – Turkey’s President Tayyip Erdogan rebuked Washington’s national security adviser on Tuesday for demanding that his country not attack Kurdish fighters in Syria, accusing him of complicating President Donald Trump’s plan to withdraw U.S. troops.

Erdogan said John Bolton, who held talks with Turkish officials in Ankara on Tuesday but left without meeting the president, “made a serious mistake” in setting conditions for Turkey’s military role after the U.S. pullout.

The rebuke highlights the difficulties in implementing Trump’s goal of bringing home some 2,000 U.S. troops stationed in Syria. Trump’s plan, clouded by mixed messages from the president and his administration, hinges on Turkish cooperation to secure a huge swathe of northeast Syria as the United States departs.

Bolton made the case to Turkish officials for the need for guarantees that U.S.-backed Kurdish fighters in the campaign against Islamic State would not be harmed after a U.S. withdrawal, a senior U.S. official said. But there were no signs of any agreement between the two North Atlantic Treaty Organization partners, whose relations have been strained over Syria and other issues.

Trump’s abrupt announcement last month sparked concern among officials in Washington and some Western allies, and was a major factor in Defense Secretary Jim Mattis’ decision to resign. It also alarmed the YPG, Washington’s main partner against Islamic State in Syria.

But the plan was lauded by Ankara. Turkey considers the YPG a terrorist organization and an extension of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), which has waged a three-decade insurgency in its largely Kurdish southeast. Washington’s support for the militia has infuriated Turkey.

Before arriving in Turkey, Bolton said Turkey must coordinate military action with the United States and no U.S. withdrawal would take place until Ankara guaranteed the Kurdish fighters would be safe.

But Erdogan, who has long argued that the YPG is no different from the Isl上海品茶会所amic State militants, said the condition was unacceptable.

“If they are terrorists, we will do,上海外卖品茶群Tamara, what is necessary no matter where they come from,” he told members of his AK Party in parliament.

“Bolton has made a serious mistake and whoever thinks like this has also made a mistake. It is not possible for us to make compromises on this point.”

The Turkish president accused members of Trump’s administration of trying to muddy a clear understanding between the two countries over the withdrawal.

“Different voices have started emerging from different segments of the administration,” Erdogan said.


A senior Turkish official said Bolton had asked to see Erdogan but his earlier remarks may have been a factor in the meeting not going ahead. Erdogan later told reporters there was no need for him to meet Bolton.

U.S. officials denied that Bolton felt snubbed. “The U.S. Embassy in Turkey requested a series of meetings, but due to scheduling conflicts, one with President Erdogan was never confirmed,” said Garrett Marquis, Bolton’s spokesman.

Instead, Bolton met his Turkish counterpart Ibrahim Kalin as well as the deputy defense and foreign ministers, while on a quick tour to the region to manage fallout from Trump’s abrupt decision on Syria.

Bolton also told the Turkish officials the U.S. withdrawal would be done in a deliberate and orderly fashion and that at this point the United States had no plans to abandon its Syria base at al-Tanf near the Iraqi border, the senior U.S. official said.

On a visit to Jordan on Tuesday, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the withdrawal would not jeopardize Washington’s efforts to counter regional threats from Islamic State and Iran.


The friction with the United States has had economic consequences for Turkey. A diplomatic rift last year – now partly repaired – was one of the factors that sent Turkey’s lira into a tailspin over the summer.

The currency slipped again on Tuesday, weakening some 2 percent against the dollar.

Ahead of Tuesday’s talks, Turkey’s Hurriyet newspaper said Ankara would ask U.S. officials either to ha,上海品茶群二维码Gabrielle,nd over its military bases in Syria to Ankara or to destroy them. It cited unspecified sources as saying Turkey would not accept the handover of what it said were 22 U.S. military bases to the YPG.

A senior Turkish security official told last week Washington needed to allow Turkey to use its bases in Syria. Kalin said Turkey wanted the bases emptied and handed over to “local elements.”

Following the meeting, Kalin said there was no slowdown in the U.S. withdrawal from Syria and that Turkey was focused on what happens to U.S. bases in Syria and the weapons Washington has given the YPG.

Bolton was joined by U.S. Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Joseph Dun,上海妹子品茶微信Sabina,ford and U.S. special Syria envoy James Jeffrey for the talks with Kalin, who is Erdogan’s spokesman and deputy head of Turkey’s security and foreign policies board.

Israel pledges no election meddling as speculation swirls over Russia

JERUSALEM/MOSCOW ( ) – Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu pledged on Wednesday that there would be no meddling in Israel’s April election after state censors suppressed a speech by his domestic intelligence chief accusing a foreign power of planning to hack the vote.

Under the gag order described as a security precaution, media in Israel were barred from naming the country that Shin Bet chief Na,专门哟啪的微信群Macauly,dav Argaman, addressing a by-invitation audience at Tel,上海品茶工作室Sabine, Aviv University on Monday, said was trying to interfere.

Israeli newspaper commentators speculated that he had pointed the finger at Russia, which Netanyahu’s own intelligence minister, Israel Katz, told local media last month could potentially want to replicate in Israel an alleged online influence campaign ,上海品茶水磨Dakota,and email hacking to help Donald Trump win the U.S. ballot in 2016.

Russia has denied any such interference. Netanyahu, asked by reporters about the Argaman flap, offered a general reassurance.

“Israel is braced to foil cyber interference. We are ready for any scenario. There is no country better prepared than us,” he said.

The censor’s edict, newspaper commentators said, appeared to be an attempt to avoid friction with Russia, the main backer of Syria, where Israel has carried out dozens of air strikes on suspected Iranian and Lebanese Hezbollah guerrilla targets.

In Moscow, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said: “Russia has not interfered, does not interfere and doesn’t intend to interfere in any election in any country in the world.”

The fourth-term Netanyahu, who enjoys a rapport with Russ上海品茶工作室ian President Vladimir Putin and Trump, leads the polls.

Malta accuses Italy’s Salvini of ‘unfounded claims’ on migrants

VALLETTA ( ) – Malta on Thursday accused Italian Interior Minister Matteo Salvini of willful inaccuracy in accusing the small island state of breaking promises to take in Mediterranean migrants.

Salvini, leader of the far-right, anti-immigrant League party, on Wednesday said Malta had failed to take in 50 migrants who disembarked in July in Sicily.

Malta replied that Salvini had failed to say that Italy had agreed to take in 50 from Malta from a separate disembarkation, and the two countries had agreed to call it even and keep the respective contingents.

In a statement, it invited the Italian government to “revise its statistics and refrain from repeating unfounded claims”.

Salvini shot back on Twitter that he would accept “no lessons from Malta, which for years closed its eyes and let big and little boats sail toward Italy”.

Since Salvini took power in an alliance with the populist 5-Star Movement in June ,上海品茶微信Hadrian,last year, he has closed Italy’s ports to humanitarian rescue ships that it had previously welcomed.

That has led to a number of diplomatic spats with Malta – the European Union’s smallest country and closest to the Libyan c,上海品茶群二维码Tamara,oast from which many migrant boats set off – over whose responsibility it is to let the sh上海品茶QQips dock.

Although boat migrant arrivals fell 80 percent last year, the EU executive Commission in Br,上海品茶论坛Paige,ussels has still been forced to mediate between member states to share out arrivals.

On Thursday, 51 migrants reached southern Italy in a sailing boat.

In Rome overnight, Salvini agreed with his coalition partners and Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte to let in a dozen migrants who he had promised to keep out.

Sudanese forces fire tear gas to break up Omdurman protests

KHARTOUM ( ) – Security forces fired tear gas to disperse dozens of demonstrators in Sudan’s Omdurman city on Thursday, a witness said, in the latest of several weeks of anti-government protests sparked by economic and political grievances.

Amnesty International meanwhile accused security forces in the city of pursuing injured demonstrators inside a hospital after protests on Wednesday in which three people were killed. Some people injured in the protests had been taken to the hospital for treatment.

Authorities said they were investigating Wednesday’s unrest.

The demonstrations are the most serious challenge yet to President Omar al-Bashir, a former army g,上海妹子品茶微信Cade,eneral who overthrew an elected government in 1989 but has since won elections that his opponents say were neither fair nor free.

Wednesday’s deaths raised to at least 22 the number of people killed in Sudan since protests began on Dec. 19, including two security personnel, according to official figures. Hundreds have also been injured and hundreds more have been arrested.

In Omdurman on Thursday, demonstrators blocked the city’s 40th Street before security forces attacked them with tear gas, forcing many to disperse into side roa,上海品茶QQEaston,ds. There were no immediate reports of any casualties.

The African nation has been rocked by weeks of almost daily anti-government protests sparked by rising food prices and cash shortages amid a deepening financial crisis. The protests have since turned against Bashir’s nearly 30 years in,上海品尝嫩茶Quaid, office.

Wednesday’s protests took place as Bashir addressed thousands of supporters in downtown Khartoum, defiantly telling his opponents to seek power through the ballot box.

State news agency SUNA said police on Wednesday had used tear gas to disperse “illegal” protests in Omdurman. It cited police as saying they knew of three deaths and several people being wounded and that these attacks were being investigated.

Amnesty said that in Omdurman on Wednesday security forces had opened fire on demonstrators and three people were killed. Eight people were hospitalized suffering from gunshot wounds to the head, chest, stomach and legs, Amnesty added.

“The security of上海品茶会所ficers opened fire in the hospital court yard and then marched into the emergency and medical sections of the Omdurman Hospital roughing up both patients and doctors,” an Amnesty statement said. “There must be an urgent investigation into this horrific attack, and all officers involved must be held accountable.”

Sudanese officials were not immediately available for a comment on the report. But a spokesman for Bashir’s ruling party said that the Khartoum governor has set up a “fact-finding committee to investigate what happened at Omdurman Hospital on Wednesday night, January 9”.

Sudan’s economy was crippled when the south seceded, taking away much of the country’s oil resources. The crisis has deepened since last year, when the country saw some brief protests over bread shortages.

The United States lifted 20-year-old trade sanctions on Sudan in October 2017. But many investors have continued to shun a country still listed by Washington as a state sponsor of terrorism.

Four men go on trial for theft of giant gold coin from Berlin museum

BERLIN ( ) – Four men went on trial on Thursday for stealing a gold coin the size of a manhole cover from one of Germany’s flagship museums in a daring night-time heist using a ladder and a wheelbarrow.

German authorities believe the 100 kg (220 pound) Canadian “Big Maple Leaf” – once recognized as the biggest gold coin in the world – has been melted down since its theft from Berlin’s Bode Museum in March 2017.

Prosecutors say three of the suspects broke into the museum through an upstairs window and used a ladder, wheelbarro,上海品茶水磨Jack,w and rope to extract the coin from a bullet-proof glass. The fourth suspect was a museum guard accused of helping them.

The co,上海品茶工作室Kaia,in, more than half a meter (yard) in diameter, three cm (1.2 inches) thick and made from ultra-pure gold, is one of just six produced by the Royal Canadian Mint in 2007 and was loaned to the museum by a private owner. I上海品茶微信t has a face value of $1 million but is thought to be worth four times as much.

It was recognized by the Guinness Book of World Records as the largest gold coin in the world at the time it was made, although Australia has since minted one even bigger. Like other Canadian coins it bears the image of Canada’s head of state, Britain’s Queen Elizabeth.

The suspects were not identified under German legal rules. Three of them are related and three were under the age of 21 at the time of the crime, which means the trial took place in a youth court.


The men hid their faces behind magazines as they entered the court and during the proceedings. All are charged with serious theft, said the court. German media say the men could face up to three years and 10 months jail.

The Bode Museum has one of the world’s largest coin collections with more than 540,000 items.

UK risks Brexit paralysis and possibly no Brexit at all: foreign…

LONDON ( ) – British lawmakers, who look set to reject Prime Minister Theresa May’s Brexit deal next week, are risking paralysis and Britain potentially not leaving the EU, Britain’s foreign minister warned on Friday.

Britain, the world’s fifth largest economy, is due to leave the globe’s biggest trading bloc in under 80 days but parliament looks likely to reject May’s negotiated agreement next week, increasing the possibility of a disorderly Brexit.

“What is more likely if this deal is rejected is that we have the risk of Brexit paralysis and when that happens no one knows what might happen and the big risk, and what people worry about, is that we don’t actually deliver what people voted for,” Jeremy Hunt told Sky News.

U.S. top court backs New Jersey cop’s political retaliation claim

WASHINGTON ( ) – The U.S. Supreme Court ruled on Tuesday that a former police detective can sue a New Jersey city claiming he was demoted as punishment after getting a campaign sign for his bedridden mother supporting the mayor’s rival in a 2006 local election.

The court, in its 6-2 ruling, found that Jeffrey Heffernan, a now former member of Paterson’s police force, was not in fact exercising his rights to freedom of association under the U.S. Constitution’s First Amendment because he picked up the sign for his mother and not him,上海品茶QQPamela,self.

But the justices decided he could sue the city for violating those rights because the boss who demoted him believed, albeit mistakenly, that Heffernan supported the mayor’s opponent.

“We conclude that … the government’s reason for demoting Heffernan is what counts here,” Justice Stephen Breyer ,上海喝茶资源群Ebba,wrote for the court. “When an employer demotes an employee out of a desire to prevent the employee from e上海品茶QQngaging in political activity that the First Amendment protects, the employee is entitled to challenge that unlawful action … even if, as here, the employer makes a factual mistake about the employee’s behavior.”

The high court reversed a 2015 ruling by the Philadelphia-based 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals dismissing Heffernan’s lawsuit on the grounds that a First Amendment retaliation claim cannot be based on an employer’s perception of a worker’s actions.

The day before Heffernan was demoted, an aide to Jose Torres, Paterson’s mayor at the time who was running for re-election, saw Heffernan getting a ,上海品茶群二维码Rachel,large campaign sign backing another mayoral candidate. Heffernan said he got the sign while off-duty as a favor for his mother after her previous sign had been stolen from her front yard, and that the sign did not reflect his personal preference in the mayoral election.

The next day, the police department demoted him from detective and transferred him to the traffic division’s walking squad, a move he saw as political retaliation.

Justice Clarence Thomas wrote the dissenting opinion, arguing that Heffernan should not be able to sue regardless of whether his demotion was misguided or wrong because he had not been exercising his constitutional rights.

Trump’s ‘America first’ speech alarms U.S. allies

LONDON ( ) – Donald Trump’s first major foreign policy address alarmed American allies, who view the Republican front runner,专门哟啪的微信群Kaiden,’s repeated invocation of an “America first” agenda as a threat to retreat from the world.

While most governments were careful not to comment publicly on a speech by a U.S. presidential candidate, Germany’s foreign minister veered from that protocol to express concern at Trump’s wording.

“I can only hope that the election campaign in the USA does not lack the perception of reality,” Frank-Walter Steinmeier said.

“The world’s security architecture has changed and it is no longer based on two pillars alone. It cannot be conducted unilaterally,” he said of foreign policy in a post-Cold War world. “No American president can get round this change in the international security architecture…. ‘America first’ is actually no answer to that.”

Carl Bildt, a former Swedish prime minister and foreign minister who served as UN envoy to the Balkans in the aftermath of the Yugoslav wars of the 1990s, said he heard Trump’s speech as “abandoning both democratic allies and democratic values”.

“Trump had not a word against Russian aggression in Ukraine, but plenty against past U.S. support for democracy in Egypt,” Bildt said on Twitter, referring to lines from Trump’s speech that criticized the Barack Obama administration for withdrawing support for autocrat Hosni Mubarak during a 2011 uprising.


Trump’s speech, uncharacteristically read out from a teleprompter, seemed aimed at showing a more serious side of a politician who has said he intends to act more “presidential” after months of speaking mainly off the cuff.

He promised “a disciplined, deliberate and consistent foreign policy” in contrast to the “reckless, rudderless and aimless” policies of Obama and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Trump’s likely Democratic opponent if he secures the Republican nomination.

Uncle Jacks pub in Blackburn up for sale for £160,000

A POPULAR pub in Blackburn has been put up for sale ­— more than seven months since it closed.

Owners Star Pubs and Bars have announced that Uncle Jacks, on Branch Road in Lower Darwen, has been put on the market with property specialists Fleurets with a price of £160,000 freehold.

A spokesperson for Star Pubs & Bars said: “We have decided to sell Uncle Jacks.

“Like other pub companies, we regularly re上海龙凤419view our estate and earmarked the pub for sale as part of this process.

“We are currently looking for a buyer but are unable to predict how long this might take.

“The contents are being sold along with the pub.”

In September, the Telegraph reported they were looking to invest cash and rename the pub, close to Ewood Park, The Jack Walker in memory of the multi-millionaire steel magnate and Blackburn Rovers’ greatest supporter ­— who oversaw the club’s rise from the old First Division to Premier League champions.

Following its shock closure in November, the pub company said they were looking to recruit a new licensee.

Cllr Maureen Bateson, who is a Blackburn Rovers fan, said: “I am really disappointed as we were under the impression it was going to be renovated.

“We have lost a few pubs in the area and the,上海品茶会所Ramon, ones that have been revived have done well.

“It should have attracted lots of Rovers fans and away fans at the same time so it is a pity.

“It is really sad that the name of Uncle Jack may no longer be there because he was such a key part of the revival in the years when we won the Premier League.”

Cllr Phil Riley, who is in charge of regeneration at Blackburn with Darwen Council, said: “With the number of pubs and bars ,上海品茶QQIrene,closing across the country I don’t suppose it is a surprise it will be sold for something else as I cannot really see anyone wanting to re-open it.”

What happened to Xavier Rush, one of the great Welsh rugby signings who’s still here and doing something very different

The world of cosmetic surgery might appear an unlikely line of business for a man who was one of the great rugby warriors.

But that’s where we now find Cardiff Blues legend Xavier Rush.

The former All Black is about to open – of all things – a hair transplant clinic in the Welsh capital.

It’s not the most obvious venture for a big, bruising ex-player, who spent his days banging heads and smashing into people for a living.

But he sees it as very much a business for the modern day in this era of male grooming.

It’s all come about as a result of him having undergone hair transplant treatment himself, and taking the view there was a gap in the market in Wales.

So he has converted the first floor of a building in Charles Street into a clinic, called Head Quarters, which is set to open its doors in August.

As with everything he does – whether it’s his rugby or his property developing – he has totally thrown himself into the project and his passion for it is obvious to see.

Life is busy and full on, with his third child having been born in May, but that’s the way he likes it.

As we chat, he’s a bundle of non-stop energy, 爱上海bouncing around with a Tigger-like enthusiasm that’s genuinely infectious.

So where does that come from? Well, it goes way back into his childhood in the south Auckland suburb of Manurewa.

“I was brought up by my mum predominantly,” explains the 41-year-old.

“She had five children and I was the youngest. She was working because she had to.

“So I learned from a very young age if I was going to get anything, I had to go and get it myself.

“My mum took me to my first rugby training, but said if I wanted to do it again, I’d have to ride my bike.

“This was as a six-year-old! So I had to ride six kilometres each way in the dark, at the age of six, to do my rugby training.

“It was a tad scary, but I kind of loved it. I had a level of freedom in my life from that age and I could do things for myself.

“I have always loved that independence and freedom.”

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He’s also always had a really strong work ethic and a need to keep himself busy.

“When I left school I went pretty much straight into carpentry,” he revealed.

“It was mainly outdoor, physical work. I absolutely loved it.

“I left school just turned 17 and did that for two years.

“I was horrendous at school. I found reading and writing very difficult. I think I had a form of dyslexia.

“I’m not an academic. I learned from doing. I have a relentless work ethic in my pursuit of excellence.

“I can’t sit there and read a book and understand it well enough to do something.

“I have always got to learn a little bit by trial and error, by doing things on the job.”

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In his late teens, Rush used to combine his carpentry with playing in the back row for the Auckland Marist team.

“I would get up at 5am and either go for a run or go to the gym,” he said.

“I would then be on the tools by 7.15am. I would leave work at 4.30pm and I would drive to rugby training in the evening four nights a week.

“I would get home at 9pm. Mum would give me some food and I would be asleep just after the last mouthful was eaten.

“That was my normal day for two years to when I became a professional at 19.”

That was when Rush linked up with the Auckland provincial team, soon progressing to the Blues Super 12 side.

But it wasn’t a change of lifestyle that really suited him.

“I went from a full-on day to working like 15 hours a week as a professional rugby player and I was so bored,” he said.

“As a 19-year-old, the last thing I wanted was time on my hands.

“So I went to back to working on the tools.

“I realised I needed to be busy. I was a better rugby player if I didn’t have so much free time.

“If I had something else to put my mind and energy into, I wasn’t sitting there thinking about rugby all day, I was getting better results on the field.

“Plus I was enjoying it.”

Soon, he switched his non-rugby focus to another line of business.

“I started buying properties to do them up. I bought my first one at 21 and I’ve been doing it for 20 years now,” he said.

“I was hands on at the start. Now I’ve got an award-winning team here in Wales, X-Stream Developments, and I generally do a develop,上海品茶QQHarriet,ment about every 18 months.

“The buzz I get from property developing is transforming an unloved building into an exquisite living space.

“It’s about buying something, using your vision and bringing back its former glory.

“It’s no different to what I’m doing here now with hair restoration.”

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Which brings us round to his latest entrepreneurial venture.

Its roots – forgive the pun – lie in the latter days of his playing career with Cardiff Blues, where he became an inspirational figure at No 8 during a seven-year stay.

“Going bald doesn’t happen overnight. It’s kind of a drawn-out, slow process where you are looking at it and kind of denying it at the start,” he said.

“But then you see the team photos each year and there’s definitely less hair each time.

“Very few men enjoy the experience of going bald.

“I will be honest with you, it does affect your confidence.

“You start looking in the mirror and you are looking 10 years older, you don’t have that same kind of self-belief.

“I got to a point, at around about 35, 36, where I started thinking there was an option to have treatment, so why not have it.

“Treatments have improved so much from 15, 20 years ago.”

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So Rush decided to open his own clinic, offering the same FUE (Follicular Unit Extraction) treatment he underwent and also the full range of hair transplants available to men in the UK.

“Basically what happens is they extract each bulb or graft of hair from the side of the head, where the hair has a different genetic structure,” he explained.

“When the hair is replanted in the scalp and regrowth is complete, they are there for good.

“When I had it done, one of my big fears was how would people perceive me, what they would think?

“But these days, cosmetic surgery is becoming so commonplace, especially with women and now with men. There is no social stigma with it anymore, really.

“Men now use moisturisers and want to look good as well. The whole male grooming industry has grown so much.

“Once I had it done, I just owned it. I took to social media to announce it and I was so pleased with the response and support from everyone.”

Explaining how Head Quarters will operate, Rush said: “We have an award-winning clinic manager and two lead surgeons who have come from Harley Street to Charles Street.

“The treatment will be done by a surgeon and three technicians. Our patients will be under an anesthetic.

“When you see yourself with a strong head of hair again, it’s a nice feeling.

“If this goes well, I would definitely like to expand to Auckland.

“This is the type of business you can take to other parts of the world. There are bald men everywhere.

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“With this clinic, I have the same ethos as with the properties I have developed.

“I don’t send out bad products.

“I get pride and satisfaction out of delivering exceptional quality.

“I don’t do things half measures. I never have.

“I always strive for excellence.

“It can be a tough thing at times because you are never content, but I always want to do better.”

Which brings us back to his boundless energy.

“I think you are kind of born with it. It’s given to you,” he said.

“I look at my daughter now and she’s exactly the same, she just doesn’t stop.

“I was a handful as a kid, 100 per cent, because I had so much energy.

“I am still a handful now.

“What I can’t stand in life is wasting time.

“I like to be busy, even in my rest. My rest is a game of golf or a game of tennis or going for a walk.”

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So it’s little wonder Rush was such a success on the rugby field, given his non-stop energy, constant endeavour for greatness and huge frame.

He earned eight caps for New Zealand, won the NPC competition with Auckland and the Super 12 with the Blues, before heading for Wales in 2005.

Here, he played a pivotal role with Cardiff Blues, becoming a force in European rugby, driving them on to EDF Cup and Amlin Cup triumphs.

So does he hanker after those days,上海品茶工作室Georgie, now that his boots are long since hung up?

“I don’t miss playing anymore, because I could no longer do what I could before,” he said.

“I could just start to feel myself coming off my peak and the second that happened, I didn’t enjoy it anymore.

“I can honestly say in my 16 years of rugby I loved every minute of it.

“The second I didn’t enjoy it, is the second I retired.”

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After a year as Blues defence coach, Rush decided to step away from the game.

“I wanted to come away from rugby and focus on business,” he said.

“I don’t watch it much these days, because if I can’t be 100 per cent into it, I don’t want to be 10 per cent into it.

“I don’t want to be sitting here today thinking what I was doing 10, 15 years ago. I want to be 100 per cent into what I’m doing now.

“I don’t live one second in the past, not one second of my life.

“I hate it when people say ‘oh you are the rugby player’. I was, but it doesn’t define me.

“I am really proud of it and one day when I sit still long enough I will look back on it and think ‘wow, that was quite cool’.

“But I am more interested in the right now, what I am doing today and what I am doing tomorrow.

“I am really enjoying life.

“It’s challenging, but I would much rather wake up each day with a purpose than not.

“I have a very understanding partner. She loves bringing up the children and is amazing at it. I love going working.

“So it’s a bit more of a traditional kind of family set-up as opposed to the more modern one these days.”

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The Rush family is based in Penarth, with this country having become very much a home from home.

“The Welsh people are gorgeous,” he said.

“We have got Big Brother Australia, you have got Big Brother England.

“We are both the underdog, but we punch miles above our weight with rugby.

“We are kind of Titanic and you guys are as well at the minute, which is great to see.

“We are humble people. You guys celebrate a bit longer than us!

“But Welsh and Kiwis are grounded people.

“You guys came from coal mines, we came from farming background.

“Right from the start, I enjoyed the fact Welsh people could laugh.

“Whatever I do in life, I must be enjoying it first. If I’m not enjoying it, I will last five minutes doing it.

“The first time I met Bob Norster, Dai Young and Gareth Edwards, I just felt something about them as people.

“When you come into a foreign country, it’s quite a big move.

“You are a million miles away from home.

“But I just had an intuition I would get along with the people and I did and I have.”

These are officially the best beaches in Yorkshire

Everyone has their favourite beach to visit when the mercury rises.

It can be because of childhood memories, a favourite drive on the way or simply because it keeps the little ones happy.

But sometimes the beauty of local beaches are overlooked, and missed off lists such as the one recently compiled by The Sunday Times.

The national newspaper recently released an article detailing the best beaches in the UK, categorised by region, and there was a lot of love for North Yorkshire.

The beautiful coastline near Scarborough and Whitby made the cut, but unfortunately any in East Yorkshire were left out.

Here are the best beaches in Yorkshire according to The Sunday Times.

Have you visited any of them?

WATCH: The strangest things to have washed up on beaches Saltburn-by-the-Sea, North Yorkshire

Boasting Victorian charm and brimming爱上海 with history, visitors to Saltburn will see golden sands and rugged sea cliffs, as well as enjoy a ride on the oldest water-balanced cliff life in Britain.

Read More Beaches near Hull Boggle Hole, North Yorkshire

Just before Robin Hood’s Bay is a sign for Boggle Hole, taking visitors on a jetty with a fantastic view of the coast. The coast is Jurassic, so there is plenty of opportunity for fossil-hunting, and when the tide is out you can walk out to Robin Hood’s Bay.

Cayton Bay, North Yorkshire

Cayton Bay has a year-long dog-friendly beach, and is a favourite with surfers, bird-watchers and fossil-hunters.

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Nestled in between the popular Scarborough and Filey resorts, it is a one hour and 11-minute drive from Hull city centre.

The beaches which should have made the list Barmston

Located six miles south of Bridlington, Barmston is fairly remote and the low cliffs accommodate sand martins from April to September. It is also a popular fishing spot.

It is suffering from coastal erosion at the moment, so go visit while you can.

Read More Filey Bay

The sandy beach, which curves around Filey Bay, runs the five miles from Brigg to the cliffs at Reighton. It is a quiet spot for a long, contemplative walk, and popular for bird-watching. Then the tide is out, the beach can reach more than a quarter of a mile wide.


Located four miles south of Bridlington, the long, flat beach forms part of Bridlington Bay, making it a popular ,上海品茶微信Danny,beach for horse-riding and dog-walking. In summer, it’s a popular place for kite-surfing, but there is no lifeguard service.


At the end point of the TransPennine Trail, this classic Blue Flag beach is popular with walkers.


The eroding cliffs reveal Jurassic and Cretaceous rocks, with ammonites, belemnites corals and molluscs commonly discovered. Fossil-hunting is popular here, and is not far from Bridlington for some fish and chips afterwards.

Read More North Landing, Flamborough

This natural cove on the north side of Flamborough’s headland is a paradise for birdwatchers and crab-catchers alike – and dogs are welcome all year round.

A beautiful sun trap, there might be a rather steep slope to the beach, but it’s worth it for the cormorants, kittiwakes, razorbills and puffins.

Read More Find out what’s on in your area Follow Hull Live

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Follow us on Instagram -On the Hull Live Instagram page we share gorgeous pictures of our stunning city – and if you tag us in your posts, we could repost your picture on our page! We also put the latest news in our In,上海品茶工作室Irma,stagram Stories.Click here to follow Hull Live on Instagram.

Charities receive cash windfalls

The Hub in Barnard Castle.

TWO Teesdale charities are set to receive cash windfalls and energy sav,上海品茶工作室Satch,ings which they say will help their future sustainability and the delivery of vital services to young people and their families in the area.

Teesdale YMCA and Teesdale Community Resource (TCR) Hub have saved almost £45,000 and are set to receive grants of over £2,000 between them.上海龙凤419

Both charities have worked with social enterprise SwitchAid.org which provides an energy and communications switching service which has so far unlocked thousands of pounds in funding for the charity sector in the North-East.

Jonny Elliot, a volunteer at the TCR Hub, said: “We offer a huge variety of activities and schools from across the region come to take advantage of our indoor and outdoor spaces.

“The SwitchAid.org savings and cash grant helps us keep the doors open and offer the huge range of activities we do. If we can save money on our,上海品茶微信Felix, bills, then its cash that can then be better focused on helping us deliver our much needed services.”

SwitchAid.org Director Dom Ryan said: “Our whole ethos is to generate revenue that can be redirected into the local community, cash that would normally be lost to energy and telecoms companies and consultants who keep the hefty commissions.”

For information visit switchaid.org

Special Holcombe Hill walk grants wish for woman, 93

A wish was granted when a 93-year-old sheltered housing resident said she wanted to see a special view ‘one last time’.

Dorothea Crompton approached the staff team at Hewlett Court a few months ago, saying she would love to walk up the slopes of Holcombe Hill, home to the iconic Peel Tower.

She joined Julie Ward, Bev and Rachel on a strenuous hike up the hill, which stands some 1,100 ft above sea level.

However, she completed the nostalgic challenge with no problems.

Dorothea, who previously lived on Westgate Avenue, Holcombe Brook, and is an associate member of the Bury North branch of the Trefoil Guild, told the Free Press the experience was “great fun” and she surprised herself.

She said: “It didn’t bother me at all.

“I was never a hiker and I was expecting them to have to carry me up, but I’ve proved I can do it and I can go again. After I came to live in Holcombe Brook I thought it was one of the nicest places I’d ever seen. I just felt I wanted to go up there once more and it would be nice to get out in the countryside.”

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A former member of Greenmount Church, Dorothea has been at Hewlett Court for around four years.

Director of operations Julie said the successful trip has inspired them to offer similar experiences to other residents.

She said: “It came about because I regu上海龙凤419larly walk up Holcombe Hill and Dorothea said she used to do it about ten years ago.

“We said ‘no problem’, we’ll get a little group together and walk with you. She said she would love to do it one last time – but I think she might do it again!

“What we are going to do for all the residents here is we are going to do,上海品茶工作室Hazel, a make a wish and we’ll make it come true. Dorothea is the first one.”

A congratulatory message on the Hewlett Court Facebook page read: “It gave her a blast from the past coming from Ramsbottom and gave her such a sense,上海品茶QQTerence, of achievement doing it at her age. Only goes to show that age is just a number and you can put your mind to anything if you want to.”

Read More Read More

Why landlords are turning to Airbnb-style short-term lets (and that’s no bad thing) – Talha Bashir

There’s been a lot of discussion in the Scottish press about short-term letting. If that doesn’t ring a bell, I’ll use a different word to describe it: Airbnb.

It’s hard for people to see the positives because most of the media coverage focuses on the negatives. As Peter Smyth told the Scotsman last month, behind the business success of Airbnb lies a “trail of policy and regulatory challenges shared by towns and cities across the globe”.

Let’s rewind and look at the Airbnb model and the way it was founded. The name comes from the idea of making your home into a B&B using an airbed in your living room – that’s what the first Airbnb guest slept on.

And that ethos prevails after 10 years: the idea that people rent out spare rooms in their homes to travellers or their whole property when they’re away, say for work or on a holiday.

What’s not to love? The room or the property would otherwise be lying empty, and there would be no use for it. It’s the sharing economy at its best – ‘providers’ making the most out of an under-utilised asset and generating income, ‘users’ getting the chance to experience something they might not have otherwise, and saving money too.

At SpotHost, that’s still what the majority of our clients do. But I’m aware that in some cases people are using Airbnb or similar platforms to rent out their second or third property short-term.

READ MORE: Edinburgh man sent nearly £2,000 to fake Airbnb website for flat which didn’t exist

READ MORE: Airbnb launch ‘around the world in 80 days’ trip for just £4,000 including flights and accommodation

However, there’s a reason for that, and it’s not, as some people think, simply greed on the part of property owners. Speaking to a lot of owners, the reason that more and more people are moving into short-term letting is new legislation, which some landlords feel takes control away from them and puts it solely in the hands of tenants.

But short-term rental is different: as a landlord you have more control. Admittedly, it can, in certain areas, put pressure on the longer term rental market – but the fault doesn’t lie with the property owners or the platforms themselves.

Some people ask me, if you use a management company, how are you actually hosting, if you’re not even greeting your guests? Aren’t you just a different type of landlord?

I think it depends on what management company you use. At SpotHost, we don’t use key boxes: we make sure guests are greeted individually, shown round the property, and told about the local area, something that the actual owner would do anyway,上海品茶会所Pearson,. The owner can’t do it every time, but we can, and we’re hosting on behalf of the owner. It’s not quite the same but at SpotHost we try and keep that personal touch.

Another objection to Airbnb, voiced publicly by Kezia Dugdale, concerns Scots not paying tax on Airbnb income. Like any additional income, there will always be people that do or don’t declare it, but the fact is, any income generated from Airbnb has to be part of your personal income when doing your tax return.

Of course, there are tax reliefs, which is why some people don’t pay tax on their income, but the reason for this is because they don’t reach the threshold. They’re not ‘tax dodging’, and Airbnb is constantly encouraging people to keep their tax information updated on their Airbnb accounts. We support this: at SpotHost, we often help clients fill out their annual tax returns.

A further argument I hear a lot against Airbnb is that it brings tourism to areas that aren’t designed for it. You’ve probably heard complaints about the noise of suitcases on stairs, rubbish, parties… we understand that too. But here’s a different way of looking at it.

Tourism is on the rise, and in fact the country has a policy to increase it, but Scottish hotels can’t keep up with this growth. This is where Airbnb has helped, it allows more people to come into the country at one time. Tourism brings revenue here, and by distributing visitors into other areas of Scottish cities, Airbnb reduces centre congestion and overloaded hotels.

Edinburgh has recently been named alongside Amsterdam, Rome, Venice and Barcelona as one of the world’s worst hotspots for “over tourism”: thankfully, Airbnb moves tourism out of the centre.

But it has to be done properly. Key box after key box on a street isn’t the way: if guests let themselves in they are less likely to follow the rule,上海品茶工作室Abriel,s. This is why we’re part of the STAA (UK Short Term Accommodation Association). There’s a code of conduct, and we have to follow it. It’s regulation not legislation: because hosting has to be managed to work. And hosting has to work if tourism is to grow.

Regulation is seen as negative sometimes but we see it as positive, that’s why we’re so involved with the STAA. Recently, the Scottish Parliament voted to amend Andy Wightman MSP’s proposals to regulate the sector in the Planning Bill. Conservative and SNP MSPs backed Tory MSP Rachael Hamilton’s amendment which allows the designation of “control areas” to regulate short-term lets.

We see this as much more positive, giving the power back to local authorities in a way that doesn’t affect the whole city.

One of the things I love about Airbnb is that it enables people to truly experience a country, and live in a ‘real home’, not a generic hotel, where you can wake up and not know what city you’re in. People want an experience and not just a place to stay – it’s how travel is evolving.

Another advantage is that when you’re travelling as a family, you don’t have to book two or three hotel rooms, you just rent a house, and you can all stay together.

There’s a lot to be said for Airbnb once you get past the standard objections that most people have. In fact, people are often keen to stay in Airbnb but don’t want it on their street! I think that says a lot…

Talha Bashir is co-founder of SpotHost

Hull City transfer news LIVE: Doncaster Rovers friendly preview, Grant McCann wants more

Just five weeks after he stepped down as Doncaster Rovers boss in ,上海品茶工作室Mace,order to take charge of Hull City, Grant McCann leads his new team back to the Keepmoat Stadium for the first time this afternoon.

This fifth and final friendly is the last installment of City’s pre-season campaign and acts as a dress rehearsal for the first weekend of the Championship season.

Seven days remain until the Tigers travel to Swansea City and McCann will be hoping to see the most polished performance yet from his side.

City’s recruitment drive continues to bring in fresh blood and supporters could also get the chance to see new signing Sean McLoughlin involved after his move from Cork City yesterday.

Follow all the latest news and updates from around the Championship in our live blog below.

Greaves heading out?

Another defender has been catching Grant McCann’s eye in pre-season and, in case you missed it, here are his views on teenager Jacob Greaves.

He wants to see the 18-year-old sent straight out on loan. No messing about.

Signing number five

Will we see the new boy in action?

City signed Sean McLoughlin from Cork City yesterday evening and Grant McCann has high hopes for the defender.

McCann’s final pre-season message

We’ll start with the views of Grant McCann ahead of this game.

He’s not sure about the side that will face Swansea just yet so wants to see his players staking their claim.

Good morning

A week from now we’ll be making the long trip down to Swansea City but for now it’s Hul上海419论坛l City making the much easier journey to Doncaster.

It’s at the Keepmoat Stadium where pre-season ends with a Yorkshire derby up against League One opposition.

Grant McCann knows a thing or two about Doncaster after being in charge last season and his defection to City might get him a juice little reception.

Either way, it ought to be a decent contest.

The prime minister has a bust of his Greek hero in No 10. But Boris Johnson is no Pericles | Simon Jenkins

The bust that will sit on Boris Johnson’s Downing Street desk, we are told, is not one of Winston Churchill but that of his true hero, Pericles. As the Brexit dawn breaks over the horizon, is this good news?

The champion of Athenian democracy in the fourth century BC came to power through valour in battle and the gift of the gab, carefully “spun” by the historian Thucydides.

Pericles drove his enemies into exile and spent lavishly on new buildings. For 30 years his Athens saw a “golden age” – a phrase Johnson used this week to announce his premiership. But Pericles’s external diplomacy was a disaster. It arrogantly incurred the hostility of surrounding states, who took their revenge by aiding Sparta in the Peloponnesian wars, and eventually crushing Athenian democracy. Pericles listened for advice only to his formidable mistress, Aspasia. He is an odd mentor for a modern leader.

When Athens tired of him, he defected to its enemy, Sparta. He then defected to Sparta’s enemy, Persia

Johnson’s real model is not Pericles but his ward and brief successor as Athenian leader, Alcibiades. A talented, handsome and vain playboy, he could never kick the vices of his youth or rise to the tasks later entrusted to him. His political loyalties were as unpredictable as his sex drive, the latter embracing both his teacher Socrates and his putative stepmother, Aspasia. When Athens tired of him, he defected to its enemy, Sparta.

He then defect,上海品茶会所Easton,ed to Sparta’s enemy Persia, and when this gambit ran its course Alcibiades relied on charm, guile and “a silken tongue” to return to Athens, where the mob welcomed his relentless optimism. “Strike first to avert attack,” was his motto. He duly led the Athenians to military defeat and eventual ruin. In exile he was soon murdered, either by his political enemies or by relatives of a girl he had just seduced.

Johnson is n,上海品茶QQEarl,o Periclean. For all his faults, Pericles respected the balance of Athenian democracy, cultivated a broad appeal and demanded tolerance of “our private differences”. He would never have insulted those sensibly nervous of hard Brexit or ridiculed the farmers whose livelihoods he intended to destroy.

Alcibiades was far more Johnsonian. He plotted his return to Athens through proroguing its democratic assembly, the Pnyx, and welcoming oligarchy. His oratory was infused with Johnson’s chauvinist energy. He deplored inaction. 上海419论坛From the moment power is achieved, he said, “we must scheme to extend it. If we cease to rule others, we are in danger of being ruled ourselves.” Athens must take back control. In the event, Alcibiades lost it.

What is even more Grecian in Johnson’s recent behaviour is his recourse to such Homeric characteristics as impetuosity, grudge, revenge and empty rhetoric. Like Priam, he hurls his enemies from the gates of Troy, howling accusations of indecision and pessimism. Like Priam, he seems to allow anger and pride to overwhelm any calculus of his vulnerability in power.

In 2015 at Central Hall Westminster, Johnson debated Greece versus Rome with the historian Mary Beard. He presented his beloved Greece as a brilliant, sophisticated, multifaceted cradle of democracy. But as Beard pointed out, political Athens was all romantic bluster. It was Rome that triumphed. Greece might fashion marble but, as Virgil said: “These be your arts, to impose the ways of peace.” Beard won the vote.

What is strange is that Johnson should jeopardise his tenuous hold on power by ignoring Virgil’s “ways of peace”. He is inviting his fallen rivals to do their worst, creating a Greek chorus of foes in Jeremy Hunt, Philip Hammond, Penny Mordaunt, David Gauke, Liam Fox and Rory Stewart. They constitute the most awesome intra-party faction since Thatcher’s “wets” in 1980. She spent two years sacking them. Johnson took one night.

We must assume the prime minister is taking a gamble. The smart money is still on this all being a device, a rolling of the political pitch for compromise. Johnson expects to cobble together a form of words that keeps the customs union in place for the time being, and thus the Irish border open.

By building up a bank account of enthusiasm and support within his party, he hopes to be able to use his talents as a schemer and deceiver to persuade everyone that some new border “deal” is sound. He alone is the general who can face down the Spartans of the European Research Group. He meant what he said in Downing Street, about “an exciting partnership with the rest of Europe, based on free trade”.

If this is to be so, a huge responsibility rests with the most senior “grown-up” to survive the recent carnage, Michael Gove. After being shafted by Johnson to exclude him from the leadership finals, he must have swallowed heroic humble pie to go aboard this rickety ship. He must become Johnson’s Cassandra, warning him against the danger of his ways, and of the necessity to respect the arithmetic of democracy in a deeply divided country and parliament.

Johnson in parliament on Thursday was like a Greek hero. He pranced and shouted and buffooned and derided his enemies. The oracles were on side. Honey was flowing the slopes of Hymettus. The gods who had overseen Johnson’s glorious career so far would now watch over him, and he would build them a gilded temple to HS2 in their honour.

If so, it will have nothing to do with Pericles. Alcibiades is now in charge.

• Simon Jenkins is a Guardian columnist

Bans on groups of youths on Portobello beach to stop brawls branded ‘inflammatory’

Calls for increased patrols and bans for large groups of young people have been touted as the solution to the mass brawls which blighted Portobello beach on Thursday.

Callum Laidlaw, a Conservative councillor for the Portobello and Craigmillar ward, said he wanted to see an extension of dispersal powers used by the police in November which led to ni,上海品茶微信Genavieve,ne arrests on Bonfire Night.

The suggestion of such a move was branded “inflammatory” and “foolish” by opposition councillors and described as an infringement on the rights of young people to enjoy the weather.

The mass fights on Portobello beach on Thursday, which images purported to show dozens of young people involved, led to one 16-year-old boy given a police caution, with two people treated for minor injuries following the fights.

The violence was condemned by all of the politicians, but solutions ranging from bans to improved education about the dangers of alcohol have been presented to avoid a repeat of the trouble.

The most extreme came from Cllr Laidlaw who called for the police to be given the power to ,上海品茶工作室Nathaniel,move groups of young people off the beach to help prevent any potential trouble.

He also branded the behaviour of the groups of young people as “shocking” and said the police should be able to crack down harder on trouble-makers.

He said: “It is shocking that people can’t enjoy the hottest day of the year on Edinburgh’s finest beach due to anti-social behaviour and it is telling of the world we live in now. There is a need for the police to crack down much more heavily on this sort of behaviour.

The councillor added many of the children and teenagers involved in the brawls know exactly “how far they can go” before the police have to intervene, and called on members of the public to share any photos and videos of the brawl with the police in order for arrests to be made.

“There are limits to what the police can do,” he said. “Unfortunately many of the people involved are aware of how far they can go.

“I hope the people taking videos and photos share them with the police and the police make some arrests.”

He called on the police to be given the same dispersal powers which were used during Bonfire Night which banned large groups of young people gathering on the beach.

In November, police stated the additional powers allowed them to prevent any large-scale disturbances similar to the scenes on Portobello beach on Thursday.

That night, officers invoked 13 dispersal zone warnings across the north east of the city which was said to “appropriately address” issues of gathering groups of young people.

However, SNP councillor Kate Campbell branded the powers “draconian” and slammed Cllr Laidlaw for being “inflammatory”.

She said: “I think it would be foolish to jump in with draconian measures that would risk infringing on the rights of the many well behaved young people who want to get together to enjoy the sunshine and have fun during the holidays with their friends.

“All councillors received the same briefing from the police informing us they were able to contain the situation using their existing powers.

She added: “What’s important is educating young people about the effects of alcohol, and the lasting damage violence can cause, and enabling them to make better choices.

“All violence needs to be condemned, and dealt with properly by the police, but the incidents on the prom were not comparable to the type of behaviour we saw on Bonfire Night. To suggest otherwise is frankly inflammatory and very unhelpful.”

Cllr Laidlaw denied the move would be draconian, and said more powers for the police and more ‘bobbies on the beat’ would be welcomed by people in the community.

He added the powers could be in place for entire periods of hot weather and set no limit for how long such powers could be invoked,爱上海419 meaning young people could be banned from the beach in large groups for the entirety of a summer if the suggestion was put into practice.

He said: “When you know there is going to be a period of prolonged hot weather, a similar provision [to Bonfire Night] should be put in place to allow the police to monitor large groups of youths gathering. I think that would be helpful.

“I don’t see it as draconian, especially if the enjoyment of the beach is going to be spoiled by people causing trouble. The orders that are around Bonfire Night and I don’t see how they would not work in the summer months.

“A group of 10 friends going to the beach enjoying themes quietly is fine, but 10 people going to the beach and fighting, drinking? Police forces are well aware of the difference.

“We should enable our officers to make the right calls.”

Councillor Mary Campbell, the Green representative for Portobello and Craigmillar, said it would be an overreaction to punish the many over the actions of the few.

She said: “While the violent incident on Thursday is not what we would want to see on our beach, it was an isolated incident that involved very few young people.

“I was at the beach with my family that day and saw hundreds of young people enjoying themselves, playing sport, and relaxing on the beach.

“The actions of a few individuals should not be used to treat young people who gather in large numbers as criminal threats, needing to be moved on.”

Responding to the troubles in Portobello, chief inspector Gill Geany said: “The hot weather attracted around 200 people onto the beach and unfortunately a small number were involved in antisocial behaviour. Those involved were quickly dealt with by officers on Operation Drift, who were on patrol in the area, supported by local officers. We’d appeal to parents and guardians to speak to their children about their activities outside the home.”

Deposit return system for drinks containers backed across the UK

Almost three-quarters of people would back a “deposit return system” for plastic and glass drinks bottles and aluminium cans being rolled out across the UK, a survey suggests.

The poll found 72 ,上海品茶微信Thelma,per cent of people supported plans by the Scottish Government for a 20p deposit on drinks containers that people would get back when they return it for recycling, to be implemented across the whole UK.

The same percentage wanted to see the same materials – glass, plastic and aluminium – or more, such as Tetra Pak cartons, included in the scheme, the survey for the Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE) found.

The findings come 爱上海after Michael Gove backed an “all-in” deposit return system that includes drinks containers of all materials and sizes in his final speech as environment secretary.

CPRE wants the new Environment Secretary, Theresa Villiers, to build on the work of her predecessor and make a “swift and formal commitment” to bringing in a scheme that would end environmental damage done by drinks containers.

Maddy Haughton-Boakes, litter campaigner at CPRE, said: “It’s absolutely fantastic that so many people have shown such high levels of support for the scheme before it’s even been introduced.

“A deposit return system will transform the way we deal with waste, boost recycling and, as a result, finally put a stop to the harm that drinks containers are causing our countryside, environment and wildlife.

“With Michael Gove having thrown his weight behind a truly “all-in” deposit return system, and with the Scottish Government’s decision to introduce one earlier this year, this latest wave of public support is surely all the evidence needed for the Government to get this over the line.”

YouGov surveyed 3,386 people for the poll for CPRE. The Scottish Government ou,上海品茶会所Igor,tlined its plans for a deposit return scheme for some plastic drinking containers, cans and glass in May.

Environment Secretary Roseanna Cunningham told MSPs at Holyrood that a “return to retail” model would be adopted. Effectively, 20p – the deposit – will be added to the price of a single-use drinks container bought from a shop.

Consumers will get their deposit back when they return the empty bottle or can to the retailer. The scheme will operate throughout Scotland, including rural areas. All types of drinks and all containers above 50ml and up to three litres in size are included.

Fast start fuels Fitzpatrick at WGC in Memphis

Los Angeles – England’s Matthew Fitzpatrick birdied the first four holes on Friday as he powered to a two-shot lead in the WGC-St.Jude Invitational in Memphis, where he is seeking a first US PGA Tour title.

The 24-year-old, who has won five European Tour titles since turning pro in the wake of a stellar amateur career, is seeking to improve on his best US Tour title – a runner-up finish at Bay Hill this year.

He was in good position heading into the weekend of the elite World Golf Championships event at ,上海品茶QQAchilles,par-70 TPC Southwind after a six-under par 64 for a nine-under par total of 131.

He was two strokes in front of overnight leader Jon Rahm of Spain, Australian Cameron Smith and Americans Patrick Cantlay and Billy Horschel.

It was a further stroke back to Japan’s Shug Imahira, who carded a 69 for 134.

Fitzpatrick’s s爱上海izzling start owed plenty to crisp iron play. He rolled in a 26-foot birdie putt at the second, but stuck his approaches at the first and third eight feet from the pin and made those before landing his tee shot at the fourth nine feet from the hole and making that.

Unable to get up and down for par from a greenside bunker at the eighth, he drained seven-foot birdie putts at the ninth and 12th before making another long one at the 16th.

“My irons have been pretty good all year to be honest. My putter is what I’ve been struggling with,” Fitzpatrick said. “That’s obviously done well so far this week.”

He admitted he was surprised at how the golf course was playing, having tested it on Tuesday when it was wet and playing long.

“Gave myself absolutely no chance,” Fitzpatrick said, but added that the firmer, faster conditions changed everything.

“I definitely think if you can just keep giving yourself a lot of chances, playing to the smart areas of the green, hopefully there should be less mistakes.”

A victory would see Fitzpatrick book a place in the US PGA Tour’s season-ending playoffs. He’s already pencilled in some time off in those weeks, and said qualifying would be a “bonus”.

“Obviously I’d love to win,” he said. “Winning a WGC is a goal of mine, but we’re only halfway through the tournament so hopefully just keep pushing on and see where we end up.”

Rahm, who surged to the first-round lead with an eight-under 62 o,上海品茶工作室Lars,n Thursday, had bogeys at three, four and 12 – where he was in the water – before his first birdie of the day.

He followed another bogey at 15 with birdies at 16 and 17 for a one-over 71 that put him on 133.

He was joined there by Cantlay and Smith, who both carded 68s, and Horschel, who fired a 66 that included a 22-foot eagle at No. 3 – his 12th hole of the day.

Horschel’s chance for solo second evaporated with a bogey at his final hole, the ninth.

Smith also closed with a bogey, at 18, his only miscue in a round that included three birdies.

World number one Brooks Koepka carded a 67 to head a group on 135 that also included England’s fourth-ranked Justin Rose, Alex Noren, Ian Poulter, Bubba Watson and Webb Simpson.

Northern Ireland star Rory McIlroy and Japan’s Hideki Matsuyama were among five players who were five off the lead on 136.


134 – Shugo Imahira (JPN) 65-69

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