Headlines 

Trump’s new Cuba crackdown puts US at odds with Canada and Europe

US will allow lawsuits against companies using property nationalised by the revolution, cap remittances and restrict non-family travel Donald Trump has taken another step towards reversing Barack Obamas Sign up for the US morning briefing It was condemned by Cuba as an attack on international law and by Canada and the European Union as regrettable, since their companies have significant investments in hotels, distilleries, tobacco factories and other properties on the island. Title III of the secretary told reporters. The issue has come to a head now as retorted on…

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Mark Carney tells global banks they cannot ignore climate change dangers

Financial sector warned it risks losses from extreme weather and its stakes in polluting firms The global financial system faces an existential threat from climate change and must take urgent steps to reform, the governors of the article published in the Guardian on Wednesday aimed at the international financial community, Mark Carney, the Banks governor, and Villeroy de Galhau, the governor of the Banque de Extinction Rebellion protests and Paris climate agreement, with the banking system required to play a pivotal role. If some companies and industries fail to adjust…

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‘My Brexit nightmare’: readers on how the uncertainty is affecting their lives

We ask readers in Britain and Europe to tell us how they are coping As dates for the UK to exit the EU come and go, weve been asking readers to tell us how theyre dealing with the uncertainty. People who responded to a Chispa. My whole life for the last two years has been held hostage to this horrendous waiting game of uncertainty that Brexit has become. When I retired, after over 30 years working in education, just after the referendum, my plan was to enjoy my retirement with…

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Naked Swedish police officer apprehends fugitive while visiting sauna

Off-duty officer recognised and arrested violent drug dealer despite the fact both men were naked An off-duty Swedish police officer successfully arrested a violent fugitive drug dealer while both men were naked in a Stockholm sauna, in a Facebook post, describing him as a top colleague who kept a cool head even when things were hotting up to a potentially dangerous situation, and despite being on your day off and in a sauna. The arrest was carried out with due consideration to the best interests of all concerned, he said,…

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Odds and Ends 

Africa Roundup: Kenyas BRCK acquires EveryLayer, Nigerias TeamApt eyes global expansion

Kenyan communications hardware company BRCK acquired the assets of Nairobi-based internet provider Surf and its U.S. parent EveryLayer in a purchase deal of an undisclosed amount in February. Based in Nairobi, Surf is a hotspot service provider aimed at offering affordable internet to lower-income segments. BRCK is a five-year-old venture that pairs its rugged Wi-Fi routers to internet service packages designed to bring people online in frontier and emerging markets. With the acquisition, BRCK gains the assets of San Francisco-based EveryLayer and its Surf subsidiary, including 1,200 hotspots and 200,000 active customers…

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Slovakia’s ‘Erin Brockovich’ elected first female president, in rebuke of populism

(CNN)When Slovakia’s newly elected President Zuzana Caputova — the country’s first ever female head of state — delivered her acceptance speech on Saturday she immediately set herself apart from the wave of populist parties sweeping Europe. The murder — and subsequent trial of Slovak businessman Marian Kocner who was charged with ordering the killing — triggered some of the biggest protests seen in post-communist Slovakia and ultimately led to the resignation of Prime Minister Robert Fico. Then-President Andrej Kiska was also forced not to stand for a second term. The…

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German DIY chain’s ‘racist’ advert provokes anger in South Korea

Petition asks for apology from German DIY chain Hornbach following inappropriate ad A German advertisement showing an Asian woman becoming aroused after smelling dirty laundry worn by white men has fuelled anger in Seoul, with many women calling it racist and demanding an apology. The commercial, produced by the German DIY-store chain Hornbach, shows white men working outside in a garden before removing their sweaty clothing and dumping it in a box. The ad then cuts to a grey, industrial city that resembles Tokyo where an Asian woman buys a…

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Government rejects Brexit petition to revoke article 50 signed by 5.8 million people

MPs will debate the petition but government says stopping Brexit would break promises The British government has rejected a petition calling for Brexit to be stopped, which gathered The petition is due to be debated by MPs on 1 April, after breaking the 100,000 threshold for consideration and becoming the best-supported proposal in the history of the House of Commons and governments e-petitions website. Rejecting the oft-repeated claim that EU withdrawal is the will of the people, it calls for the revocation of the Article 50 letter informing the European…

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Trump provokes global anger by recognising Israel’s claim to Golan Heights

Russia, Iran and Turkey condemn US president while Syria vows to recapture territory lost in 1967 war Syria has vowed to retake the Golan Heights as Donald Trumps call for the US to recognise the occupied territory as part of Israel elicited strong responses from Russia, Turkey and Iran. The president ended half a century of US foreign policy and broke from post-second world war international consensus that forbids territorial conquest during war said on Friday that the country was now more determined to liberate it by all possible means…

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New York St. Patrick’s Day banner sparks controversy

(CNN)Mary Lou McDonald, the leader of Irish republican party Sinn Fein, has sparked controversy after appearing at a St. Patrick’s Day parade in the United States with a banner reading “England get out of Ireland.” “When slogans such as “Brits out” or “England out of Ireland” are used, the unionist community are well within their rights to see themselves as the intended focus,” said Gregory Campbell, the Democratic Unionist Party MP for East Londonderry. “The ‘British presence in Ireland’ is the unionist population in Northern Ireland.” Nuala McAllister, a councilor…

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Odds and Ends 

The Tallest, Shortest, and Fattest Men in Europe, 1913 (Colorized)

Colorized by Jecinci In this colorized photo by Jecinci, we see Europe’s tallest known man (Cornelius Bruns) playing cards with Europe’s fattest man (Cannon Colossus) and shortest man (unknown) in 1913. According to sleuths and commentors on reddit, the original caption of the black and white photo reads: “Cannon, the giant Dutch colossus weighing 738 pounds, doing a game with the biggest Russian Casacque and the 70 year old Dwarf Chip” Did you notice that Cannon is also sitting on two chairs tied together? I wasn’t able to find much…

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Building collapses in St. Petersburg

Moscow (CNN)A building collapsed Saturday afternoon in St. Petersburg, Russia, a spokesman for the Russian Emergency Ministry told CNN. The spokesman said that the block belongs to the St. Petersburg Research University of Information Technologies, Mechanics and Optics. The press office for the university told CNN there had been no notification of casualties and they were not able to make assumptions about the cause of the collapse. A criminal case has been opened to examine safety violations during construction of the building, state-run news agency RIA Novosti reported, quoting the…

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Contentful raises $33.5M for its headless CMS platform

Contentful, a Berlin- and San Francisco-based startup that provides content management infrastructure for companies like Spotify, Nike, Lyft and others, today announced that it has raised a $33.5 million Series D funding round led by Sapphire Ventures, with participation from OMERS Ventures and Salesforce Ventures, as well as existing investors General Catalyst, Benchmark, Balderton Capital and Hercules. In total, the company has now raised $78.3 million. Contentful, a Stripe for content management, raises $28M led by General Catalyst Read more: https://techcrunch.com/2018/12/06/contentful-raises-33-5m-for-its-headless-cms-platform/

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