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Preview Portland saw the highest number of homicides in July in more than three decades, officials say. The uptick in violence has strained police resources, which have already suffered from budget cuts.
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Portland saw the highest number of homicides in July in more than three decades, officials say. The uptick in violence has strained police resources, which have already suffered from budget cuts.

The Portland Police Bureau (PPB) is investigating 15 murders that occurred in July, making the month one of the deadliest for the city in recent memory, local newspaper the Oregonian reported. The city has registered 24 homicides so far this year, meaning that last month alone accounted for more than half of the city’s violent deaths in 2020.

July also saw 63 shootings, compared to 28 during the same month last year, the PPB said.

Police Chief Chuck Lovell expressed concern that the surge in murders was thinning out limited police resources, as officers who would normally patrol the city had been reassigned to help with investigations.

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The increase in murders coincided with the city council’s decision to shave more than $15 million from the PPB’s budget. The budget cuts, which took effect on July 1, led to the disbanding of police units that work in schools, investigate gun violence, and patrol the city’s public transport system. Lovell suggested that the loss of the city’s 34-member Gun Violence Reduction Team was particularly regrettable. 

The budget cuts were part of an ongoing nationwide movement to “defund” the police, following the death of George Floyd at the hands of the Minneapolis Police. 

Portland is still reeling from demonstrations that have been held every night for more than two months. The protests became increasingly violent in July after federal agents were deployed to protect the city’s federal courthouse. A deal between the state of Oregon and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has called for the federal forces to be replaced by state and local law enforcement, which will likely place further strain on the city’s police. 

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Federal agents won’t leave Portland until ‘anarchists and agitators’ are properly dealt with – Trump

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Author: RT
Posted: 03-08-20

Pakistan’s mediation efforts between Gulf rivals Saudi Arabia and Iran have been making slow progress, PM Imran Khan said on Monday. After the mediation was prompted by Washington, former cricket great Khan in October visited Tehran and Riyadh to facilitate talks after attacks on Gulf oil interests that the US blamed on Iran, Reuters said.

“Our mediation between Iran and Saudi Arabia has not stopped and we are making progress, but slowly,” Khan told Qatar-based Al Jazeera in extracts the broadcaster released from an interview. “We have done our best to avoid a military confrontation between Iran and Saudi Arabia, and our efforts have succeeded,” Khan was quoted as saying.

Shiite Muslim Iran has long been at odds with US Gulf Sunni Arab ally Saudi Arabia. US-Iranian frictions worsened when President Donald Trump’s administration withdrew in mid-2018 from the nuclear deal with Tehran.

Author: RT
Posted: 03-08-20
Preview China’s artificial intelligence company Shanghai Zhizhen Intelligent Network Technology, which is also known as Xiao-i, has filed a lawsuit against US tech giant Apple, alleging it has infringed on its patents.
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China’s artificial intelligence company Shanghai Zhizhen Intelligent Network Technology, which is also known as Xiao-i, has filed a lawsuit against US tech giant Apple, alleging it has infringed on its patents.

Xiao-i filed the lawsuit in a Shanghai court, asking for 10 billion yuan ($1.43 billion) in damages and demanding that Apple cease “manufacturing, using, promising to sell, selling, and importing” products that infringe on the patent. The Chinese firm has argued that Apple’s voice-recognition technology Siri infringes on a patent it applied for in 2004 and was granted in 2009. 

The row between the two firms has been ongoing for nearly a decade. Shanghai Zhizhen first sued Apple for patent infringement in 2012 regarding its voice recognition technology.

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© Reuters / Florence Lo
Trump will act on TikTok and other Chinese software companies ‘in the coming days’ – Pompeo

Last month, China’s Supreme People’s Court ruled that the patent was valid. If Xiao-i wins in court, Apple could face a ban on selling many of its products in China, which is its most important market outside the United States.

The world’s two economic superpowers, the US and China, are currently engaged in an escalating trade war over a broad array of issues, with Washington accusing Beijing of unfair economic practices that threaten its national security.

For more stories on economy & finance visit RT's business section

Author: RT
Posted: 03-08-20

Vietnam has no plans for a nationwide lockdown, the government said. “We will only implement social distancing in areas considered virus epicenters, and will not pursue a widespread lockdown,” Mai Tien Dung, the government’s spokesman, told a monthly meeting of reporters on Monday.

Selective lockdown measures will allow the government to achieve the dual goals of containing the virus and boosting the economy at the same time, Dung said. “If there’s an infection in a hamlet, we will lock down that hamlet only, not the whole district or the whole province,” he added.

PM Nguyen Xuan Phuc told officials that “early August will be the decisive time within which to stop the virus from spreading on a large scale,” Reuters reports.

Author: RT
Posted: 03-08-20
Preview Russia's Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova has been crowned the first ever women's champion of the Ultimate Tennis Showdown (UTS) – the fast and frenetic exhibition format set up by Patrick Mouratoglou, longtime coach of Serena Williams.
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Russia's Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova has been crowned the first ever women's champion of the Ultimate Tennis Showdown (UTS) – the fast and frenetic exhibition format set up by Patrick Mouratoglou, longtime coach of Serena Williams.

World number 30 Pavlyuchenkova prevailed in Sudden Death in Sunday's final against France's Alize Cornet, in what was the second edition of the UTS but first to feature women.

The Russian had overcome Tunisia's Ons Jabeur in the semi-final of the short-format version of the game, where players face each other but also the clock in a race to win the most points during each quarter of a 40-minute match. 

Players are also given various 'cards' to play throughout the match which can add bonus points of differing types depending on when they are deployed.

READ MORE: What is Ultimate Tennis Showdown? 

Last weekend's tournament at Mouratoglou's academy in the South of France was the second edition of the UTS but the first to feature women.

Pavlyuchenkova - nicknamed 'Thunder' for the event, where players also chose monikers to add spice to matches - finally saw off 'Volcano' Cornet in Sudden Death after the Frenchwoman had battled back from two quarters down.

Even though not recognized as an official title, the 29-year-old Russian was delighted with her 'Lightning' trophy, which matches a tattoo she has on her neck.

"I was p*ssed because I was up 4-0 in the third quarter... I was feeling good, playing well... But she came back. I'm glad I won the set, it was crazy, I was so nervous," said the Samara-born star.  

"I think it could be the future," she added of the unique UTS format. "Because it's short, entertaining, fun to watch." 

In the men's event, German star Alexander Zverev overcame Canadian teen Felix Auger-Aliassime, also needing Sudden Death. 

Both Zverev and Pavlyuchenkova will be thankful for some additional practice as they gear up for the return of the women's WTA and men's ATP tours.

The WTA restarts with an event in Palmero, Italy, on Monday, while the men's tour is set to return later in August ahead of the US Open. 

In launching the UTS earlier this, Mouratoglou - who has helped guide Serena Williams to her incredible haul of 23 Grand Slam titles - enlisted the likes of boxing icon Mike Tyson to hype the event, who said it was "like the UFC of tennis."    

Author: RT
Posted: 03-08-20

More than 300 prisoners were at large on Monday after an Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS) attack on a prison in Afghanistan’s eastern city of Jalalabad, a spokesman said on Monday.

The assault began on Sunday night, with at least 29 people killed and more than 50 wounded, said Attaullah Khogyani, spokesman for the governor of Nangarhar province.

Of the 1,793 prisoners, just over 1,025 tried to escape and were recaptured, while 430 had remained inside the prison. “The rest are missing,” according to the spokesman, who said that civilians, prisoners and members of the security forces were among the victims.

Nangarhar local security officials said that the attack on a prison and an adjacent shopping plaza in Jalalabad city ended on Monday, after nearly 20 hours, with the death of eight attackers, Tolo News reported.

Author: RT
Posted: 03-08-20
Preview After pandemic-related delays, Russia’s first electric car, called the Zetta, is set to enter serial production in late 2020, the country’s Industry and Trade Minister Denis Manturov has revealed.
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After pandemic-related delays, Russia’s first electric car, called the Zetta, is set to enter serial production in late 2020, the country’s Industry and Trade Minister Denis Manturov has revealed.

The Zetta will roll off the production line in the city of Tolyatti, one of the major centers of Russia's automotive industry. The cars will first be sold on the domestic market, but the initial business project implies that the Zetta may be exported to other countries, Manturov said.

© Zetta

The minister told TASS news agency that the vehicle’s certification is currently 70 percent complete, but he expects the procedure to be finished by the end of the year.

The Zetta’s producers earlier revealed that 10 cars will roll off the production line this year, while they are planning to boost this number to 2,000 vehicles in 2021. The factory can manufacture around 15,000 a year. 

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The Zetta is the first Russian fully electric vehicle that is set to be available to the general public. According to local media, the cheapest vehicle configuration would cost 450,000 rubles (around $6,000). Its range is set to be between 200 kilometers for the cheaper models to 560 kilometers in advanced ones.

Russians have much less appetite for EVs than people in other parts of the world, with less than 300 new electric cars sold last year, according to daily newspaper Kommersant. The demand for new electric cars is higher in the country’s big cities, such as Moscow and St Petersburg, while people in other regions have been looking for such cars in the second-hand market.

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While most EVs are quite pricey, another reason for low demand in Russia is that the country lacks a broad charging infrastructure; it is mostly centered in cities with large populations.

For more stories on economy & finance visit RT's business section

Author: RT
Posted: 03-08-20
Preview Fans and analysts have turned on Orlando Magic star Jonathan Isaac and each other after he shunned the Black Lives Matter T-shirts worn by his teammates, stood during the anthem and left in a wheelchair with a painful knee injury.
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Fans and analysts have turned on Orlando Magic star Jonathan Isaac and each other after he shunned the Black Lives Matter T-shirts worn by his teammates, stood during the anthem and left in a wheelchair with a painful knee injury.

Forward and ordained minister Isaac was the first NBA star not to kneel during the national anthem as part of the Black Lives Matter movement, standing in his team colors while his teammates observed the gesture in T-shirts bearing the name of the campaign.

He explained that "black lives are supported through the gospel" before enduring an agonizing end to Magic's win over Sacramento Kings on Sunday, collapsing to the floor and leaving the court in a wheelchair with what proved to be a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee.

The 22-year-old was playing just his second game since returning from hyperextending the same knee on New Year's Day, missing 31 games with a posterior lateral corner injury and medial bone contusion.

Prayers up for Jonathan Isaac after being taken off in a wheelchair with a knee injury. 🙏 pic.twitter.com/tWoMEcDjKr

— House of Highlights (@HoHighlights) August 3, 2020

This is super ironic.

— C.A.P (@SpiiCeeP) August 3, 2020

Refused to kneel so 2020 had to take the knee away

— Craye Worst (@MasonSterling4) August 3, 2020

I bet Jonathan Isaac ain’t standing for the anthem now. pic.twitter.com/NZsZFn3eDs

— Gabe (@iShooks) August 3, 2020

"This is super ironic," said one fan after watching footage of Isaac being consoled as he sat in the wheelchair waiting to be helped back to the locker room.

"Refused to kneel so 2020 had to take the knee away," another crueller response said, while one argued: "Isaac won't get a lot of empathy here as he didn't exhibit any [earlier].

"I'm sure people will try to chastise folks for not caring about him but who gives a f*ck about an injury? Why should I care about an athlete's career when he doesn't give a f*ck about people's lives?"

Before making his stand for the first time ahead of Magic's win at Brooklyn Nets on Friday, Isaac insisted: "I do believe that black lives matter.

"I just felt like it was a decision I had to make and I didn't feel like putting that shirt on and kneeling went hand in hand with supporting Black lives.

Wait Jonathan Isaac decided not to kneel then got a knee injury? pic.twitter.com/JWyvQnyzkx

— 🎹 (@Dr_Sweets23) August 3, 2020

Seeking woke NBA cheer Jonathan Isaac getting hurt is so metaphoric the disgustingness and idiocracy of these people

— Alex (@abresler) August 3, 2020

If you’re celebrating Jonathan Isaac’s injury there’s something wrong with you

— NBA All Access (@nballaccess) August 3, 2020

There is something seriously wrong with the people making fun of Jonathan Isaac’s injruy

Prayers up for Issac.

— Hoop Central (@TheHoopCentral) August 3, 2020

"I don't think that kneeling or putting on a t-shirt for me, personally, is the answer."

Kings reporter Kayte Christensen-Hunter voiced her fury at fans who taunted Isaac in the aftermath of his horrendous-looking injury.

"I got a lot of tweets from people saying that this was karma," she revealed. "That's just really nasty.

"That is not what sport is about. I implore you all to have some decency. That is disgusting to me."

The taking of the knee during the national anthem has been a point of contention ever since NFL star Colin Kaepernick started the trend in 2016, earning praise from many social justice campaigners alongside rebukes from figures including US president Donald Trump, who has threatened to boycott teams should they opt to kneel.

Every Far-left liberal when Jonathan Isaac tears his ACL after standing for the anthem. pic.twitter.com/n2AEcbzM4E

— Chase (@ChaseWhitfield8) August 3, 2020

Orlando Magic player Jonathan Isaac stood alone for the national anthem.

This is what courage looks like. When the rest of the NBA took a knee, Isaac stood with pride for America.

Sometimes, when you stand for what is right, you must stand alone. pic.twitter.com/fl4cb2qbtF

— David Hookstead (@dhookstead) July 31, 2020

This side-by-side of Jonathan Isaac and LeBron James is powerful.

LeBron defends the Chinese dictatorship, has a $1 billion Nike deal and thinks it's brave to kneel during the anthem.

Isaac is 22, on a rookie deal and stands alone because of his Christian faith. That's courage. pic.twitter.com/j9vtafNME2

— David Hookstead (@dhookstead) August 1, 2020

The symbolic act has become globally popular among athletes since the killing of George Floyd in May, leading to the vast majority of players kneeling before matches in major competitions around the world.

US sports reporter David Hookstead perceived Isaac as showing greater bravery than LeBron James, the Los Angeles Lakers great who has been an outspoken advocate of the campaign.

"This is what courage looks like," he declared. "When the rest of the NBA took a knee, Isaac stood with pride for America. Sometimes, when you stand for what is right, you must stand alone.

"LeBron defends the Chinese dictatorship, has a $1 billion Nike deal and thinks it's brave to kneel during the anthem.

"Isaac is 22, on a rookie deal and stands alone because of his Christian faith. That's courage."

Just a FYI, if everybody is kneeling for the anthem - and you’re the only one standing up, you’re a clown. Jonathan Isaac. Meyers Leonard. All of them.

You’re completely disregarding the point trying to be made, and showing you just don’t care. Period.

— SWAGGY C (@SwaggyCTV) August 3, 2020

everyone that's making jokes cuz he didn't kneel are heartless, someone just got injured. hoping for a speedy recovery 🙏✨

— Nurry Bird 💸 (@nurdyk) August 3, 2020

Jonathan Isaac’s jersey sales have skyrocketed after he stood for the National Anthem.

He is now number two in jerseys sales among players only behind LeBron James. pic.twitter.com/1JLwEPtLG8

— Top Ball Coverage (@TopBallCoverage) August 2, 2020

TV personality Chris 'Swaggy C' Williams vehemently disagreed, telling his 56,000 Twitter followers: "If everybody is kneeling for the anthem and you’re the only one standing up, you’re a clown.

"You’re completely disregarding the point trying to be made and showing you just don’t care. Period."

As the insults and accusations of wokeness continued, Isaac's teammates were more shocked by the extent of his pain.

"That was tough, man," forward Aaron Gordon admitted to ESPN. "That one brought me to tears instantly.

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"I know how good of a guy JI is and how hard he works and how hard he has worked to get back since hurting himself. I hope it is not as bad as it seems."

"For him to go down like that was very difficult to see, especially when you know he just came back," added fellow player Nikola Vucevic.

"Hopefully it is nothing too serious and he doesn't have to be out for a long time because it would really suck for him, and of course we need him as well."

A well-followed NBA news account claimed that sales of replica Isaac shirts had "skyrocketed" after he stood for the anthem, making him the most in-demand name after four-time Most Valuable Player James.

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LeBron James © Getty Images via AFP / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / Mike Ehrmann
Wayne Dupree: I love the NBA, but these part-time activists have gotten on my last nerve
Author: RT
Posted: 03-08-20
Preview London Mayor Sadiq Khan has hit out at PM Boris Johnson for not including him in the UK government’s contingency planning in the event that the city sees a second wave of Covid-19. Proposals include “sealing off” the capital.
Read Full Article at RT.com

London Mayor Sadiq Khan has hit out at PM Boris Johnson for not including him in the UK government’s contingency planning in the event that the city sees a second wave of Covid-19. Proposals include “sealing off” the capital.

London Mayor Sadiq Khan has hit out at PM Boris Johnson for not including him in the UK government’s contingency planning in the event the capital is stung with a second wave of Covid-19. Proposals include "sealing off" London.

In a letter sent to the prime minister on Monday, Khan insisted that it was “totally unacceptable” for him not to be involved in the “far reaching” contingency proposals. The mayor noted that several media reports on Sunday said that the “plans included using the M25 (motorway that circles Greater London) as a quarantine ring - effectively sealing off the city.”

It’s clearly totally unacceptable to London and Londoners that such far-reaching contingency plans have been discussed and tested without the involvement or awareness of London’s government.

Excluding local leaders in this way won’t help us control the virus and must stop now. https://t.co/CXmPwU8PMM

— Sadiq Khan (@SadiqKhan) August 3, 2020

Khan effectively told Johnson to put the brakes on such ideas. The Labour mayor appeared particularly irritated at not being invited to a COBRA meeting (the government’s top-level crisis committee) on the coronavirus crisis for 12 weeks.

Decisions continue to be taken without consultation with those who run and understand the country's biggest city.

“This must stop,” Khan angrily told Johnson. “Riding roughshod over democratically elected representatives,” would only lead to worse outcomes for Londoners and Britain as a whole, he added.

Khan - who has been a consistent critic of the government’s handling of the Covid-19 outbreak - claimed that the PM’s administration had been “slow to take decisions” or had taken the “wrong decisions” during the pandemic. 

The 49-year-old former Labour MP for Tooting, South London, said that it was “highly regrettable” that transitional arrangements for London, which included the involvement of key partners, namely the mayor and his government, have essentially been “ignored.”

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The UK’s capital has suffered greatly during the pandemic with commuters staying at home - meaning the city’s transport network is losing 90 percent of vital revenue. As a result, Khan secured a £1.6 billion UK government bailout for Transport for London (TFL). However - somewhat controversially - it was only granted on the basis that Khan increase the vehicle congestion charge, end his TFL fares freeze and temporarily remove free travel for school children.

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Author: RT
Posted: 03-08-20

PM Jean Castex urged France on Monday to remain as vigilant as possible against Covid-19, which has shown signs of a resurgence in the country. “We must not let our guard down,” Castex told reporters in Lille, where masks are now compulsory in many of the northern city’s pedestrian areas and parks.

“The virus is not on holiday, and neither are we,” Reuters quoted Castex as saying. He added that it was vital that France avoided another nationwide shutdown.

People will have to wear masks outdoors in many of the major areas of the southern French city of Nice, Mayor Christian Estrosi said on Monday, including parts of the tourist spot of the Promenade des Anglais.

The measures for Nice coincide with similar new rules to make the wearing of masks compulsory outdoors in several major French cities.

Author: RT
Posted: 03-08-20
Preview China will construct up to seven new laboratories to deal with dangerous diseases, and one will be just a few hours from the Russian border. Currently, China only has one facility – in Wuhan, the original epicenter of Covid-19.
Read Full Article at RT.com

China will construct up to seven new laboratories to deal with dangerous diseases, and one will be just a few hours from the Russian border. Currently, China only has one facility – in Wuhan, the original epicenter of Covid-19.

Before 2026, the country plans to build between five and seven more laboratories, in different regions, each with their own specialization. In Harbin, the lab will deal with zoonotic infections, including Covid-19 and other diseases transmitted from animals to humans. As well as coronavirus, China has recently seen a small outbreak of the bubonic plague, in the north of the country.

“Harbin is the center of Heilongjiang province, where many natural foci of tick-borne encephalitis virus, foot and mouth disease virus and plague are located,” said Sergei Netesov, a scientist at Novosibirsk State University. “The location of such a laboratory there is logical and justified.” 

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China’s new research centers will be built to fit the BSL-4 requirements, the highest level of biosafety precautions. BSL-4 laboratories are often used for research on easily transmitted pathogens, such as Ebola. Precautions include sophisticated air filtration systems and furniture and appliances without seams and rough surfaces. All work is performed by personnel in pressurized suits, and staff must go through a chemical decontamination shower before leaving. 

Following the Covid-19 outbreak, some conspiracy theorists suggested that the pandemic could be the result of a coronavirus leak from a laboratory, with US President Donald Trump declaring he had seen evidence that gave him a “high degree of confidence” that the coronavirus originated in a Chinese lab.

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Author: RT
Posted: 03-08-20
Preview KFC Trinidad was grilled by angry social media users after the fast food chain marked a holiday celebrating the end of slavery with a BLM-inspired chicken ad. The company later apologized for the post.
Read Full Article at RT.com

KFC Trinidad was grilled by angry social media users after the fast food chain marked a holiday celebrating the end of slavery with a BLM-inspired chicken ad. The company later apologized for the post.

The chicken chain’s Trinidad subsidiary apparently wanted to show solidarity during the Caribbean nation’s Emancipation Day, which commemorates the end of slavery in the colonies of the British Empire. In an Instagram post, KFC Trinidad showed a chicken drumstick with the silhouette of a ‘black power’ fist that has been recently popularized by the Black Lives Matter movement. “Happy Emancipation Day,” the graphic read.

It wasn’t long before the post caught the attention of internet users. 

“This is the most racist thing I’ve seen a corporation do ever, how tone deaf are they?” asked one outraged Twitter user. 

Others said the graphic was “distasteful” and “stupid.”

One observer argued that while the post would likely be considered racist in the United States or Europe, it matches the “sense of humor” in Trinidad and Tobago. 

In case y’all didn’t realize, the website says https://t.co/b8RXhA9FWE (the .tt means Trinidad and Tobago). This would of been made by Caribbean people and is right up their alley for sense of humour in Trinidad. Now if this ad been made in USA or europe, then yes it’d be racist

— J. Curry (@JCurryBeats) August 3, 2020

Following the outcry, the company pulled the Instagram message and replaced it with an apology. 

“Our intention was to support and recognise the importance of this historically significant event. We recognise that our posts commemorating Emancipation Day drew some negative responses. Clearly, we got it wrong and we want to unreservedly apologise for the offence caused,” the statement read.

Many people thought that the apology was unnecessary, however. 

“I honestly found the post creative...so I’m either missing the issue or it was blown out of proportion,” read one of the top-liked replies on Instagram. 

KFC is far from alone in taking heat for publishing social media posts deemed racially insensitive. 

Responding to the anti-racist demonstrations sweeping the United States following the death of George Floyd at the hands of the Minneapolis Police, Popeyes Chicken tweeted that the restaurant chain would be “nothing without Black Lives.” It later pulled the tweet and replaced it with a message vowing to use its platform to support the BLM movement.

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Author: RT
Posted: 03-08-20

Israeli fighter jets carried out strikes on Hamas facilities in the Gaza Strip after a “rocket” was fired from the enclave towards the Jewish state, its military said on Monday. Israel said on Sunday night that a “projectile” fired from Hamas-controlled Gaza had been intercepted by its Iron Dome anti-rocket system.

It was the first to be fired from the Palestinian coastal enclave since the first week of July, according to the Israeli Army.

In response, fighter jets and aircraft “just struck subterranean Hamas terror facilities in Gaza,” the Israel Defense Forces said in a statement.

A spokesperson for the regional council of Shaar Hanegev, the area where the sirens sounded, said the projectile launched from Gaza had not caused any damage or casualties, AFP reports.

Author: RT
Posted: 03-08-20
Preview Khabib Nurmagomedov has said training for his lightweight title unifier with Justin Gaethje will be "different from all his previous preparation" as he contemplates a first fight after the death of his father Abdulmanap.
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Khabib Nurmagomedov has said training for his lightweight title unifier with Justin Gaethje will be "different from all his previous preparation" as he contemplates a first fight after the death of his father Abdulmanap.

It was confirmed last week that undefeated lightweight ruler Khabib and interim champ Gaethje will meet in the octagon on October 24, at a destination yet to be announced but which is widely expected to be 'Fight Island' in Abu Dhabi.

Khabib enters a contest for the first time without the input of his father and trainer Abdulmanap, who died at the age of 57 in July from complications stemming from a Covid-19 infection. 

After mourning his father's passing, Khabib is now ramping up his preparations for the dangerous Gaethje, issuing a post to his 21 million Instagram followers in which he says things will be different, but that he is looking forward to linking up again with US-based coach Javier Mendez.  

"It will be tough preparation, in September I'll already be with @akajav, Inshallah," Khabib wrote in Russian, tagging the American Kickboxing Academy (AKA) trainer and sharing a picture of the pair together, with cousin and fellow UFC fighter Umar Nurmagomedov in the background. 

"This preparation will be different from all my previous preparation."

Khabib added a similar message in English, with a note that he had "missed" Mendez during their time apart amid the Covid-19 shutdown. 

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Khabib was forced to quit Mendez's gym due to coronavirus restrictions back in mid-March as he was preparing for his ill-fated match-up with Tony Ferguson.

The Dagestani fighter and his team initially made their way to the UAE, where they believed the bout with Ferguson was due to happen, only to be denied entry to the country and ultimately end up stranded in Russia when the borders were locked down.

Ferguson instead went on to face Gaethje, who produced a career-best performance to stop his rival in the fifth round to set up a shot at Khabib. 

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The ensuing period has brought the tragic loss of Khabib's father, although he appears to remain fully focused on fulfilling what is widely to be Abdulmanap's wish of reaching the 30-0 milestone before retiring.

Khabib hinted last week that after his showdown with Gaethje he was targeting an April meeting with all-time great Georges St-Pierre.

The retired Canadian suggested at the weekend that he was open to the offer, telling the UFC that "they know where to find him" if they have "an offer he can't refuse."  

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MMA icon Georges St-Pierre and UFC lightweight champ Khabib Nurmagomedov. © AFP via Getty Images / Zuffa LLC
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Previously, Khabib had been forced to fight without Abdulmanap in his corner for each of his UFC bouts in the US due to visa issues.

However, his father was in his corner the last time he fought in the octagon, defending his title against Dustin Poirier in Abu Dhabi last September.

US-based coach Mendez said in an interview in July that he had not spoken directly with Khabib since his father's death, but that he was there to offer his support.

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Javier Mendez and Khabib and Abdulmanap Nurmagomedov. © Instagram @akajav
'I know one thing: he'll continue that legacy': Khabib coach says UFC champ will take on mantle of late father Abdulmanap's work

“I know one thing, (Khabib’s) carrying on with the legacy of his father and being a great coach himself," Mendez added.

“(Abdulmanap) had built up a monster roster that’s coming through, and I’ve been privileged to be part of that."

The AKA gym is currently gearing up for another blockbuster title fight, with Khabib's friend and teammate Daniel Cormier attempting to reclaim the heavyweight title when he meets Stipe Miocic in their trilogy fight in Las Vegas at UFC 252 on August 15. 

Author: RT
Posted: 03-08-20
Preview As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to keep Americans indoors, demand for energy has fallen to its lowest level since the 1990s.
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As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to keep Americans indoors, demand for energy has fallen to its lowest level since the 1990s.

All the way back in April (which may as well be years ago at the rate that the news cycle is moving these days) Oilprice reported that in the throes of the novel coronavirus pandemic, which had relatively recently washed over the United States, had caused the nation’s energy consumption to fall to a stunning 16-year low.  According to NPR’s Planet Money podcast, which reported on this statistic at the time, this was a figure that was a particularly good indicator of just how badly the domestic economy was doing. ““How much electricity the country uses tends to match how much the economy is growing or shrinking really closely,” said Cardiff Garcia, one of the show’s hosts, on the April 13 Indicator podcast. “It can tell us how much worse the economy is getting in real-time, and it should also tell us when the economy has started to recover.” 

But now, as it turns out, a 16-year low was nothing. No big whoop. Chump change. This week, Fox Business, in a collaborative report with the Associated Press reported that the United States’ nationwide energy consumption  actually dipped to an incredible more-than 30-year low earlier this year. “The drop was driven by less demand for coal that is burned for electricity and oil that’s refined into gasoline and jet fuel, the US Energy Information Administration said,” as paraphrased by Fox Business. “That’s the lowest monthly level since 1989 and the largest decrease ever recorded in data that’s been collected since 1973.”

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© Pixabay.com
This oil crisis will COMPLETELY transform the industry

Prior to the economic devastation and drop in energy demand wrought by the COVID-19 pandemic, the largest drop in United States history was recorded in December 2001, “after the Sept. 11 attacks shocked the economy and a mild winter depressed electricity demand.”

The quantity of electricity consumed what’s not the only energy metric that saw drastic change this spring; the way that people used energy also saw a huge transformation. “In South Korea, Italy, and Seattle telework and residential internet usage have soared 40 percent in just weeks,” tallied a Forbes report released toward the beginning of the pandemic in February. “In France 80 percent of internet traffic is now Facebook, YouTube, and Netflix, and providers are pledging to ensure ‘digital discipline.’” 

While telecommuting is not a new invention, and a full 24 percent of the US workforce worked from home in the last year, “coronavirus isolation has already boosted that, and could be a watershed event for digital connecting,” Forbes wrote. As Oilprice reported at the time, “these new legions of telecommuters, their tablet-happy toddlers, and kids adjusting to attending school online are eating up huge amounts of bandwidth. This translates to a lot of families around the world ponying up a lot of money for their internet package and electricity bills as we head into what is certain to be a particularly brutal recession.”

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© Pexels.com / Zukiman Mohamad
Will US shale ever see another Golden Age?

And that’s just one half of an equation, and the other side isn’t looking great either. While business owners are celebrating having the cost of keeping the lights on taken off their hands, “After the virus clears and we’re left with a recession, landlords may have a hard time convincing corporate tenants to keep paying pricey overhead for employees who still got the work done, remotely,” says Forbes. “It can cost $20,000, according to JLL, to kit out the average 150 square feet of office space per worker. And, depending on your city, $300 or more per employee per month for rent, plus $50 per employee per month in supplies and snacks, and $20 per month to keep the lights on, air-conditioned and computers charged.”

But no matter who is footing the bill, the energy industry is losing out in the end. Energy demand is down--WAY down--and it’s taking hundreds of thousands of jobs along with it. Of course, energy demand will inevitably rebound, but the question is whether the source of energy will look the same in the future. While death knells are sounding for global coal and US shale, many world leaders, from both the public and private sector, are pushing for investment into green energy as the more stable energy sector of the future. 

This article was originally published on Oilprice.com

Author: RT
Posted: 03-08-20
Preview Oil futures dropped on Monday as members of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and their allies led by Russia, known as OPEC+, are set to ease record oil production cuts, starting this month.
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Oil futures dropped on Monday as members of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and their allies led by Russia, known as OPEC+, are set to ease record oil production cuts, starting this month.

Both international benchmark Brent and US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) were down around one percent, with Brent trading at $43.19 a barrel and WTI at $39.85 a barrel as of 10am GMT.

The decline came as an OPEC+ deal enters its second phase in August, after a prolonged period of massive daily curbs of 9.7 million barrels that were aimed at offsetting a steep slump in demand due to the coronavirus pandemic. From this month on, the agreed cuts will be lowered to 7.7 million barrels per day (bpd).

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© Pixabay.com
This oil crisis will COMPLETELY transform the industry

“Now they’ve restored the balance, prices have recovered, but they have to be very careful because they don’t want to be the victim of their own success,” John Driscoll, chief strategist at JTD Energy Services, told CNBC on Monday.

Apart from a scheduled rise in production, the still-recovering energy market saw the inflow of an additional amount of over one million barrels a day, as OPEC’s de-facto leader, Saudi Arabia, and some other Gulf states ended their voluntary extra supply curbs on top of the deal. 

At the same time, some producers were caught failing to fulfill their commitments under the agreement. For example, OPEC’s second-largest producer, Iraq, which had promised to make up for over-production in May and June through larger cuts in later months, was still falling behind the targeted level in July, Reuters has reported.

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FILE PHOTO: An oil derrick in the Bakken shale formation outside Watford City, North Dakota © AFP / Getty Images / Andrew Burton
Massive bankruptcies & $300 BILLION in write-downs coming for US shale

US shale producers are another concern for the fragile balance in global oil markets. While US shale production is expected to drop in August to about 7.49 million bpd, the lowest in two years, analysts warn that shale producers may start increasing output as crude prices climb higher. 

“If prices were to zoom past $45 a barrel, $50 a barrel on the back of these cuts, that may be waving the red cape in front of the US independents, the producers,” Driscoll said.

“A recovery in oil prices from record lows is likely to encourage US shale producers to ramp up output,” Hiroyuki Kikukawa, general manager of research at Nissan Securities, has said, as cited by Reuters.

For more stories on economy & finance visit RT's business section

Author: RT
Posted: 03-08-20
Preview Ukrainian special forces have detained a man who claimed he had a bomb in his backpack and had threatened to blow up a business center in the capital.
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Ukrainian special forces have detained a man who claimed he had a bomb in his backpack and had threatened to blow up a business center in the capital.

The perpetrator made his way into a bank in the Leonardo business center at noon, announcing that he was carrying an explosive device. He had a cord attached to his leg, which was attached, in turn, to a backpack he claimed contained a bomb. 

He ordered an employee to call the police, reportedly wanted to give an interview to the media, and demanded 40,000 hryvnas, which is a rather modest sum – around $1,440. 

The bank staff were able flee the building, but their female boss elected to remain inside as a hostage. 

Police and special forces soon arrived on site, blocking the entrance to the business center with an armored vehicle.

Law enforcement agents initially offered the man the chance to surrender, but he refused to do so. 

As a result, members of Ukraine’s Security Service, wearing civilian clothes, moved in and detained the hostage-taker, with his swift arrest being broadcast live on the internet. 

“The explosion didn’t happen,” Ukraine’s Deputy Minister of Internal Affairs Anton Gerashchenko wrote on Facebook, adding that the “terrorist was captured alive.”

The man was identified as Karimov Sukhrob, 32, a citizen of Uzbekistan. Gerashchenko speculated that he may be a “mentally unstable person.” It’s not yet clear what made him commit the reckless act and whether he really had a bomb. 

A criminal case of terrorism has nonetheless been launched against him for hostage-taking and threatening an explosion.

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A Ukrainian law enforcement officer shows the way to three hostages, who left a seized passenger bus in the city of Lutsk, Ukraine on July 21, 2020.
Ukraine hostage siege ends after President Zelensky fulfills gunman’s bizarre demand & publicly endorses 2005 Joaquin Phoenix film

Gerashchenko pointed out that today’s events in Kiev appeared to mirror an incident last month in the western city of Lutsk in which a gunman took around 20 hostages. He later freed his captives, after President Volodymyr Zelensky complied with his demand to publicly endorse “Earthlings,” a 2005 American documentary narrated by Joaquin Phoenix about humanity’s use of animals as pets, food, clothing, entertainment, and for scientific research. Police were then able to successfully disarm and arrest the hostage-taker.

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Author: RT
Posted: 03-08-20
Preview The Covid-19 pandemic has functioned as a “rehearsal for biological warfare,” says a leading Russian pediatrician, who believes that the rapidly-spreading virus was a test for the world's healthcare systems.
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The Covid-19 pandemic has functioned as a “rehearsal for biological warfare,” says a leading Russian pediatrician, who believes that the rapidly-spreading virus was a test for the world's healthcare systems.

In an interview with Forbes, Professor Leonid Roshal, President of the Research Institute of Emergency Pediatric Surgery and Traumatology, explained that not all nations were ready for a mass influx of patients, and their lack of preparation has been exposed by the pandemic.

“When I analyze the current situation, I understand that this is a rehearsal for biological warfare,” he explained. “I am not saying that this virus was created by humans... but this is a test of the health system's strength, including the country's biological defense.”

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FILE PHOTO.
Russian & US scientists vow to fight Covid-19 PANDEMIC together amidst political animosity

The doctor was also quick to praise the Russian people, and the government, for their roles in the battle against coronavirus, commending the public for supporting the country's "correct and timely" decision to impose entry restrictions and other measures.

As things currently stand, Russia has 856,264 confirmed cases of Covid-19, with over 5,000 new diagnoses every day. Compared to the rest of the world, Russia has the fourth largest number of cases, behind the US, Brazil, and India.

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FILE PHOTO.
As Russia’s coronavirus vaccine nears completion, Moscow residents will be offered immunisation for FREE

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Author: RT
Posted: 03-08-20
Preview Legendary basketball player Larry Bird has become an unwitting social media sensation after a tomato with an uncanny resemblance to him was spotted by fans, carrying off his facial features and dubbed "the tomato of confusion".
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Legendary basketball player Larry Bird has become an unwitting social media sensation after a tomato with an uncanny resemblance to him was spotted by fans, carrying off his facial features and dubbed "the tomato of confusion".

A Twitter joker pointed out the tomato, which appeared to have a nose, two eyes and a downward-sloping mouth made by a crevice in its skin, and added a small bowler hat before holding it up in front of a garden.

The fun had only just begun as quick-witted followers spotted that the expression the fruit appeared to be wearing made it a lookalike for three-time NBA champion Bird, who shared the NBA Lifetime Achievement Award with Magic Johnson last year.

Impromptu artists duly superimposed various photos of the 6ft 9in 63-year-old with the tomato, adding that they were grateful to see his name trending for humorous rather than grave reasons.

that’s larry bird https://t.co/xEfRw7W9Kz

— whitney medworth (@its_whitney) August 2, 2020

pic.twitter.com/XrWT7QUpen

— Beau (@BeauBlair) August 2, 2020

Can’t unsee this pic.twitter.com/NiGaEqDJzl

— swoops89 (@samuelanother1) August 3, 2020

As more than 13,000 tweets made the trending tomato one of the most talked-about topics on social media, one fan replied: "Some things cannot be unseen.

"You’re so right. That’s definitely Larry Bird."

Another said: "This explains how when the Celtics were down, Larry Bird would help them ketchup. Sorry, nobody else was going for condiment jokes."

pic.twitter.com/VvFVAiIznj

— Justin Egg (@TheRedBo) August 2, 2020

Larry Bird realizing there's a tomato that looks like him in this world. pic.twitter.com/l6l31nkHHQ

— JosieMcYeezy (@ChiXpressSports) August 2, 2020

Right before you dice that thing up pic.twitter.com/gasT7qiJxh

— Tyler (@thehart_oftx) August 2, 2020

Yup. pic.twitter.com/crsxKKSEXD

— Evan Prim (@EvanPrim) August 3, 2020

Others made references to the 2010 documentary, 'Magic and Bird: A Courtship of Rivals', telling the story of the rivalry between Boston Celtics forward Bird and Los Angeles Lakers point guard Johnson during the mid-1980s.

One Bird admirer who appeared to have also seen him in a pepper also affectionately told him: "I was born in Massachusetts and heard your name often among Celtics fans.

Some things cannot be unseen 🤣 you’re so right! That’s definitely Larry Bird pic.twitter.com/xiDsL0oOd5

— Bizzy Bee Nursing (@BizzyBeeNursing) August 2, 2020

And on the 7th day.... God decided to have some fun and make a Larry Bird tomato. pic.twitter.com/3QgmlhQDxU

— Michael (DS+A-DNA=HCQ) Simons (@TheMikk17) August 2, 2020

Dear Larry Bird - Thank you for your career. I was born in MA, and heard your name, often, among @BostonCelts4eva - I had no idea you looked a RedBellPepper. My food never looks like you. Thank you for being edible, and not something to mourn. You are loved.

— Lee Spelled L-i (@LeeSpelledLi) August 2, 2020

When your doppelgänger is a tomato. Hello Mother Earth.

— Ally from Cali (@AJCaceres) August 3, 2020

"I had no idea you looked like a red bell pepper. My food never looks like you.

"Thank you for being edible and not something to mourn. You are loved."

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AFP / Atta KENARE, Giuseppe CACACE
'Iranian Messi' lookalike denies he conned 23 Iranian women into sex by claiming to be Barca star
Author: RT
Posted: 03-08-20
Preview Footballers in England can be shown yellow cards or even sent off for deliberately coughing at opponents as part of new Covid-19 guidelines brought in by the Football Association.
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Footballers in England can be shown yellow cards or even sent off for deliberately coughing at opponents as part of new Covid-19 guidelines brought in by the Football Association.

Referees should act when they are "certain someone deliberately, and from close range, coughed into the face of an opponent or match official," stated the new guidelines, which will be rolled out immediately at all levels of the game in England and will be in force while broader coronavirus restrictions are in place. 

The FA stated that the new sanctions will fall under the category of "using offensive, insulting or abusive language and/or gestures," adding that "if the incident was not severe enough to merit a sending-off, a caution could be issued for 'unsporting behavior – shows a lack of respect for the game'."

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RT
Did we really need a global pandemic to rid football of its DISGUSTING spitting addiction?

It is understood that routine coughing without malice will not be punished. Players have already been encouraged to avoid spitting and do so only on the ground.

Professional clubs across England and elsewhere are already adapting to life in the age of coronavirus, playing matches behind closed doors and with measures ranging from disinfected balls to no pre-match handshakes between players.  

Author: RT
Posted: 03-08-20