first_imgHere are the top football headlines and transfer-related stories in Wednesday’s newspapers…Real Madrid striker Alvaro Morata is apparently so eager on completing a move to Manchester United that he has taken a short break from his honeymoon in Ibiza to make sure the deal goes through. (Daily Telegraph)Real would like a minimum of £75million for a player who scored 20 times in 43 appearances in all competitions last term, having already rejected a £65m bid from United. (Daily Telegraph)France forward Anthony Martial will reportedly will tell boss Jose Mourinho that he wants to leave Old Trafford, and the club will not stand in his way. (Daily Express) Mourinho is also targeting Monaco’s versatile midfielder Fabinho – even if he recruits Nemanja Matic from Premier League rivals Chelsea. (The Independent)However, the Red Devils look set to lose out in the race for Burnley and England defender Michael Keane, who is poised to complete a £25m move to Premier League rivals Everton. (The Sun)Everton striker Romelu Lukaku’s transfer to Chelsea has been delayed – because the Premier League champions are waiting for their new kit deal to begin. (Daily Express)Tottenham are ready to offer Toby Alderweireld a new deal to secure the centre-back’s future at White Hart Lane, amid reported interest from Inter Milan. (Daily Mirror)Manchester United and Chelsea have been given a boost in their pursuit of Real Madrid star James Rodriguez, after AC Milan pulled out of the race for the Colombian. (Mundo Deportivo) However, AC Milan are interested in signing France defender Laurent Koscielny from Arsenal. (Telefoot)Barcelona have set a ten-day deadline to sign Arsenal’s Spain defender Hector Bellerin, before they turn their attention elsewhere. (Mundo Deportivo) Former England captain John Terry will drop a division to sign for Aston Villa once his Chelsea contract expires at the weekend. (Daily Mirror)Meanwhile, Chelsea appear to have missed out on defensive target Kostas Manolas who has agreed to leave Roma to join Russian club Zenit Saint Petersburg for €34m. (Gazzetta dello Sport)Real Madrid centre-back Pepe is set to join Turkish giants Besiktas. (The Sun)Jermain Defoe’s wage demands are giving interested suitors West Ham and Bournemouth pause for thought over a deal for the 34-year-old, meaning the striker could be left in limbo this summer. (Daily Star)Tottenham are considering a move for Southampton defender Cedric Soares. Spurs boss Mauricio Pochettino could raid his former club for the Portuguese right-back if Kyle Walker joins Manchester City. Juventus and Barcelona are also keeping tabs on the 25-year-old. (Daily Mirror)Swansea are set to pip Roma and Sevilla to the £11.5m signing of Las Palmas midfielder Roque Mesa. (The Sun)Here are the latest talkSPORT.com headlines:Chelsea FC news: Selling Nemanja Matic to Manchester United could come back to bite Blues and Antonio Conte, warns Mario Melchiot‘It is a great move’ – Mario Melchiot says his former Netherlands teammate Frank de Boer is perfect for Crystal PalaceTransfer news: Gareth Bale is ‘untouchable’ at Real Madrid and will NOT be leaving this summerTransfer ALERT! Leicester, Stoke and West Ham in battle to sign Thorgan HazardLiverpool transfer BLOW! Reds target Julian Brandt rules out Bayer Leverkusen exit this summerLeicester City FC transfer news: Nampalys Mendy reveals he wants to leave Foxes for BordeauxChelsea transfer report: Blues close to wrapping up £60million signing of Juventus defender Alex SandroDONE DEAL? Nice starlet Vincent Marcel ‘agrees personal terms with Tottenham’ – reportsTransfer ALERT! Bayern Munich join race for in-demand Ousmane DembeleEverton transfer report: Fenerbahce considering bid for Belgian winger Kevin MirallasArsenal transfer BOOST! Besiktas pull out of race for Barcelona midfielder Arda TuranChelsea FC transfer news: Blues to offer Kurt Zouma or Michy Batshuayi in part-exchange deal for Sevilla star Vitololast_img read more


first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORERose Parade grand marshal Rita Moreno talks New Year’s Day outfit and ‘West Side Story’ remake160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! LOS ANGELES – A Los Angeles Superior Court judge Wednesday again upheld a Whittier city ordinance that blocked Rome Fine Dining, former Ibiza Steak and Lounge, from selling alcoholic beverages. Judge David Yaffe made his ruling despite a plea from Roger Jon Diamond, attorney for Rome Fine Dining, that city officials had lied about one of the reasons for revoking the restaurant’s conditional-use permit. Without the permit, Rome Fine Dining can’t sell alcoholic beverages. Since losing its liquor license, the club has been catering to teenagers. Diamond asked Yaffe to allow the club to continue selling alcoholic beverages until the actual lawsuit is heard some time next year. As one of the reasons for revoking the permit, city officials had said there was a stabbing in the early morning hours of Aug. 14 at Rome Fine Dining. But this week, officials said there was no stabbing. The unidentified man, who was injured, was instead hit on the head by a bottle thrown at him. The new information didn’t change Yaffe’s ruling on Oct. 26 when he originally refused to overturn the city’s revocation. “The overwhelming evidence is that this establishment is a constant problem,” Yaffe said. “The stabbing or bottle being thrown is part of the continuum, not one isolated incident,” he said. “It is not in the public interest to allow the establishment to continue to operate.” Diamond asked Yaffe to change his Oct 26 ruling after the new information was revealed. “Why should one bottle be justification to destroy a business?” Diamond asked. “This is a business that had a bottle thrown once in three to four years.” But Kimberly Hall Barlow, attorney for the city, said the Aug. 14 incident was serious. “(The victim) was held and beaten by people,” Barlow said. “He was carried out by employees with no call for aid.” There also have been other problems during the past years, she said. “There have been 429 calls for service,” she said referring to a period from August 2001 to May 2005. “They’ve been for (driving under the influence), urinating in public, stabbings and physical assaults.” Wednesday’s court action followed a City Council meeting Tuesday night in which the council approved a revised resolution that took out the allegation of the stabbing. During the hearing, Diamond cross-examined Mayor Greg Nordbak about his telling of being present the night of Aug. 13 and morning of Aug. 14. mike.sprague@sgvn.com (562) 698-0955, Ext. 3022last_img read more


first_imgThe cameras have started rolling on a new thriller series set in Donegal and written by Derry Girls creator Lisa McGee and her actor-writer husband Tobias Beer.The four-part drama, called ‘The Deceived‘, will be set in both Donegal and in Cambridge.It was confirmed today that New Pictures (producers of The Missing and Catherine The Great) have started filming in Belfast ahead of a 2020 air date. The story will be far from the witty comedy episodes of Lisa McGee’s Derry Girls, which was a record-breaking hit on Channel4.The Deceived has been described as a compelling, sinister narrative of lust, manipulation and betrayal. The central character in The Deceived is student Ophelia (Emily Reid – Curfew), who falls in love with her timelessly attractive and charismatic, but married college lecturer, Dr Michael Callaghan played by Irish actor Emmet J Scanlan, (Krypton, Peaky Blinders, The Fall,).When their affair results in a shocking and tragic death, Ophelia finds herself trapped in a world where she can no longer trust her own mind.Derry Girls creator Lisa McGee pens her first television thriller in The Decieved. A story of lies, jealousy, murder and betrayal… #VMTVupfronts pic.twitter.com/aDIMGBSLOn— Virgin Media One (@VirginMedia_One) August 28, 2019 The suspenseful thriller will have some great characters in Donegal, Lisa has said.Catherine Walker (Shetland, Versailles) plays Dr Callaghan’s wife Roisin, a successful, award-winning fiction writer; Eleanor Methven (Little Women) plays Roisin’s devoted and sometimes overbearing mother Mary Mulvery; Ian McElhinney (Game of Thrones, Derry Girls) is Michael’s father Hugh fighting the oncoming tide of dementia; Shelley Conn (Liar) plays Roisin’s best friend Ruth, intelligent and loyal, and Dempsey Bovell (Patrick Melrose) is Michael’s confidante and biggest admirer, Matthew.The Deceived will air on Virgin Media One and Channel 5 in 2020.Filming begins for new Donegal-based crime series was last modified: November 18th, 2019 by Rachel McLaughlinShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:derry girlslisa mcgeeseriesthe deceivedTVlast_img read more


first_img(Visited 273 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0 Lee Berger’s remarkable cache of hominid bones found deep in a South African cave is generating a lot of news, but major questions remain.At one level, it’s a great adventure story: squeezing through narrow cave passages and finding bones all over the floor, so hard to reach that a team of skinny female investigators had to be recruited to map and retrieve them. But at a scientific level, what these bones mean is not clear. Lee Berger (champion of Australopithecus sediba, 12/08/11) has given the bones a new species name within our genus: Homo naledi. He is almost as controversial, however, as the fossils themselves.The bones appear to be from about 15 individuals. No other mammal bones were found there, leading to speculations it was an intentional burial site. The skeletons seem to be mosaics of human and australopith features; some think they fit within Homo erectus. But since no dates have been assigned to the fossils yet, even evolutionary paleoanthropologists are reluctant to draw conclusions.It’s premature, therefore, to evaluate this find. What we can do is draw attention to the variety of opinions in the press.Evolutionary OpinionsHomo naledi, a new species of the genus Homo from the Dinaledi Chamber, South Africa (eLife). This is the lead paper by Berger et al. announcing the find.Geological and taphonomic context for the new hominin species Homo naledi from the Dinaledi Chamber, South Africa (eLife). This companion paper describes the conditions in which the bones were found.Crowdsourcing digs up an early human species (Nature). This news article begins with a photo of Lee Berger smiling triumphantly outside Rising Star Cave where the bones were found. Ewen Callaway describes how Berger recruited cavers to excavate the room deep inside the cave, and gives some preliminary opinions of other paleoanthropologists.New human species discovered (Science Magazine). Veteran hominid news reporter Ann Gibbons describes the process of finding the fossils, giving Lee Berger a chance to assure readers that his expedition”isn’t a media stunt.”South Africa’s new human ancestor sparks racial row (PhysOrg). Some South Africans are taking offense at possible racial overtones to the evolutionary claims made about Homo naledi.From the archives: The scientist behind those controversial new hominin fossils (Science Magazine). Michael Balter asks “Why is this enthusiastic paleontologist so controversial?” and points to a 2011 feature story about Lee Berger.New Human Ancestor Elicits Awe—and Many Questions (National Geographic). Jamie Shreeve discusses frustration over not having dates for the bones, and perplexity of how they got there. The possibility of radiocarbon dating is discussed.Mystery Lingers Over Ritual Behavior of New Human Ancestor (National Geographic). This entry begins with artwork of creatures with human-like bodies but ape-like facial features carrying their dead into the cave for burial. Writer Nadia Drake discusses whether ritual behavior over death of kin is unique to humans.Human Evolution 101 (National Geographic). Nadia Drake takes advantage of the news about Homo naledi to ask leading questions like, “Why are scientists certain that human evolution happened?”12 Theories of How We Became Human, and Why They’re All Wrong (National Geographic). Balancing out Drake’s positivism, Mark Strauss recounts the many ideas about human evolution that have fallen by the wayside over the years. He doesn’t mention Homo naledi.Opinion: What about Homo naledi’s geologic age? (PhysOrg). Darren Curnoe laments over not having established a geological age for the fossils. “Its just the sort of thing that infuriates many scientists and detracts from an otherwise significant discovery; pity really.”New species of extinct human found in cave may rewrite history (New Scientist). Colin Barras includes photos of the fossils, artwork of the presumed facial features, and a map of the cave chamber where they were found. “ONE thousand four hundred bones, 140 teeth, belonging to at least 15 individual skeletons – and that’s just what was recovered in a single short field session,” he begins.Homo naledi: Unanswered questions about the newest human species (New Scientist). Rowan Hooper briefly discusses the main questions regarding the find. “We don’t even know how old H. naledi was. It could be millions of years old, making it one of the very earliest species of Homo, or only tens or hundreds of thousands of years old, making it a relict species of human that survived into modern times,” he says. “…The team say it may be possible to use isotope testing to age the remains, and that no attempt has yet been made to extract DNA.”Researcher argues that there’s more to the genus Homo than we may think (PhysOrg). This is not specifically about Homo naledi. Joe Miksch discusses the views of Jeffrey Schwarz, who complains, “If we want to be objective, we shall almost certainly have to scrap the iconic list of (genus and species) names in which hominid fossil specimens have historically been trapped and start from the beginning.”Non-Evolutionary OpinionsHomo naledi as Spin Detector (Evolution News & Views). Ann Gauger gives an intelligent-design perspective on the bones, taking issue with some of the initial interpretations, providing quotes that illustrate spin doctoring. Her earlier piece on ENV also concentrates on separating fact from interpretation. Gauger was co-author with Douglas Axe and Casey Luskin of the Discovery Institute book, Science and Human Origins.Scientists dispute ‘new’ species discovery (World Magazine). Casey Luskin gets a quote in Daniel James Devine’s article on Homo naledi, a fairly straightforward account of the find. Luskin comments, “Whenever you hear the word ‘mosaic’ in evolutionary lingo, what that means is this species does not fit very well into our preferred phylogenic scheme.” In World, an ID-friendly Christian news magazine, Devine says that Berger admits “the fossils might be only tens of thousands of years old.” He also points out that “some scientists dispute Berger’s contention that all 1,500 bones came from the same species.”What to make of Homo naledi? More pseudo-scientific claims of human ancestry (CMI). Marc Ambler discusses the flamboyant character of Lee Berger. He notes that all other fossils in the area had been australopiths. Central point is cautionary:One will have to wait and see whether the evolutionary scientific community come down on the side of the remains being Homo, or just Australopithecus. But why label the remains Homo naledi if there is so much indication that these may have been ordinary humans with some unique anatomical variations just as there are variations today between different people groups but all descended from the first two people created by God—Adam and Eve? University of California’s Tim White, who holds a different interpretation of human evolution, believes the remains belong to the species H. erectus, named in the 19th century. He is reported as saying that “New species should not be created willy-nilly. In order to claim a new species one has to demonstrate that it’s different from anything that’s ever been known.”Homo naledi, a New Human Ancestor? (ICR). Frank Sherwin gives his initial take on the fossils, ending with a suggestion that the individuals are more ape-like than human-like, pointing to doubts about the intentional burial interpretation. Incidentally, ICR is about to release its new 4-part DVD production on the human body, Made in His Image; click here for trailer and information.Other Human-Evolution NewsAlmost buried in the news about Homo naledi was another major announcement about Homo bones in a cave in Spain. In Science Magazine, Ann Gibbons writes about the new dates assigned to Denisovans, ranging from 50,000 to as much as 170,000 years ago. Gibbons thinks “they help solidify our murky view of Denisovans,” but can such a vast range of dates be plausible for individuals with many of the capabilities of Neanderthals and modern humans? And how much can be learned from a tiny fragment of a pinky fingerbone? “Denisovans occupied Denisova Cave repeatedly over more than 100,000 years,” she claims in a related Science Magazine article without winking a skeptical eye. “Neandertals slipped in as well, and modern humans were the last to live there.”Gibbons also claimed in a recent Science Magazine piece that Neanderthal DNA is shaking up the family tree. But that’s old news. She leaves science for the humanities in “Humanity’s Long, Lonely Road,” speculating this way and that about the relationships of Denisovans, Neanderthals and so-called modern humans (although the differences between all three are slight). Her speculations put modern humans on a long, lonely road as far back as 3/4 of a million years ago. “That would mean that the ancestors of humans were already wandering down a solitary path, apart from the other kinds of archaic humans on the planet, 100,000 to 400,000 years earlier than expected.” It sure took these lookalikes a long time to learn farming.Most curious in the early-man news is Michael Balter’s suggestion in Science Magazine that the “world’s oldest oatmeal” may have been discovered in an Italian cave. Estimated 32,000 years old, that would make it 25,000 years before the invention of farming. One would think they would tire of the same breakfast cereal after two weeks, let alone 25,000 years.New Scientist, meanwhile, drags in climate change to explain “key moments in human evolution.” Climate change becomes an all-purpose gimmick for explaining any evolutionary mystery, but it has a problem: why didn’t all the other species change accordingly? It explains opposite outcomes; therefore, it explains nothing.Eskimos are human, aren’t they? Sure they are. But changes to their stature—genetic mutations and all—occurred rapidly (geologically speaking) due to their high fat diet, Julie Hussin writes in The Conversation. She attributes this to natural selection, but hey: the Inuit can marry Europeans or Chinese and have happy kids.It’s an appropriate time to remember Ian Tattersal and Jeffrey Schwarz’s critical comments in Science Magazine about defining the genus Homo. These veteran paleoanthropologists think their colleagues have been going about it all wrong. There is no simple ancestor-descendent relationship to be found in human fossils. “If we want to be objective, we shall almost certainly have to scrap the iconic list of names in which hominin fossil specimens have historically been trapped, and start from the beginning by hypothesizing morphs, building testable theories of relatedness, and rethinking genera and species.” What does that imply for “Homo naledi“?In conclusion, we remind readers that “the myth of the missing link does science no favors,” as Sean Nee argues in The Conversation. Depending on the traits one focuses on, or one’s starting metanarrative, any story of relationships can be concocted; “we must choose our metaphors wisely, lest we be misled,” he says. “The Great Chain of Being, strung through evolutionary space by Blind Watchmakers, with missing links waiting to be discovered, isn’t going to help us understand infectious disease” or anything else that matters to us. Fossils like those announced by Lee Berger need to be interpreted on their own terms.Update 9/21/15: At Evolution News & Views, Casey Luskin provides a detailed look at four major controversies about these fossils, including their classification, whether they were buried or chase into the cave, whether they comprise multiple species, and more. He provides many quotes from the literature.We provide these links as preliminary coverage regarding so-called Homo naledi. Obviously many questions are floating around, and without dates, even the evolutionists don’t know what to think. If original unfossilized tissue or radiocarbon is found, the evolutionary story will be moot; evolutionists would have to claim, like with Homo floresiensis (the “hobbit”) that the creatures were relicts of earlier evolution, caught in some kind of refugium away from evolving modern humans. That would seem hard to maintain. Rather than rely on the opinions of experts, go to the original papers and read them critically, asking the kinds of questions evolutionists don’t think about.In a profound new peer-reviewed paper in Theoretical Biology and Medical Modelling, creation geneticist John Sanford and team have shown that human evolution is unworkable anyway. There is simply not enough time, using realistic models of fixation and population size, for the mutations needed to change an ape into a man to have occurred (this is similar to the argument against whale evolution in the new film Living Waters). And that’s only one of numerous falsifications of neo-Darwinism.With unguided mechanisms off the table, the only rational alternative for interpreting the bones from Rising Star Cave will be to start with intelligent design or Genesis 1.last_img read more


first_img Essential Reading! Get my first book: The Only Sale Guide You’ll Ever Need “The USA Today bestseller by the star sales speaker and author of The Sales Blog that reveals how all salespeople can attain huge sales success through strategies backed by extensive research and experience.” Buy Now When I was a teenager, the last thing in the world I could ever imagine myself doing was wearing a suit and tie. I thought suits and ties were for what I termed “execudrioids.”I wore blue jeans that were tattered from being worn daily and washed infrequently. I wore muscle shirts under a black cotton button down shirts. I wore big Nike hightop tennis shoes. My hair was long, sometimes permed, sometimes highlighted. Both of my ears were pierced, one twice, one four times. Mostly I wore big hoop earrings.Looking like I did won me the attention of people who wanted to fight me for not conforming to their standards. This animosity started my Freshman year at the Catholic high school when a teacher who was also the wrestling coach told me to cut my shoulder length hair or lose it to his clippers. Left with no real choice, I cut it like Billy Idol’s and pierced both my ears. There were no rules about pierced ears yet, so the establishment wasn’t sure what to do with me.I started a rock-n-roll band my senior year of high school. I borrowed clothes, hairspray, and makeup from my Mom and my two sisters. At night, nothing was off-limits.After high school, I had to make a living. So I did something I never thought I’d do: I put on a suit and tie.I expected suits to be constraining. I equated a neck tie with a noose. But it wasn’t like that. Suits had clean lines and looked nice. Starched shirts felt crisp. The right tie gave a suit some pop.When I started selling, even though I was very young, my clients treated me with respect, like I deserved to be sitting in front of them. This even though I had my long hair tied in a ponytail that reached the middle of my back.It’s popular now for business people to dress like teenagers. But you will never look better or feel more confident than when you are wearing a killer suit, a crisp shirt, a sharp tie, and a nice pair of shoes.Treat yourself and buy a nice suit. Dress up. You’ll look good and you’ll feel better.last_img read more


first_imgGagarin nearly died when the rockets didn’t disengage from his capsule after re-entry, making the heat almost fatal.Fifty years ago, a calm, young madman allowed himself to be strapped inside what was most likely to be his metal coffin. As he lay back and had the belts fitted around him, he smiled for the still and movie cameras. Then, once the lid shut on the little tube, the young man became just a voice.’Everything alright?’ They asked him from the outside. ‘ Everything is fine! Let’s go!’ he replied cheerfully. And the people outside pushed the button.LeapThe closest most of us over forty will ever come to feeling the thrust of the huge rockets pushing up is when we are taking off in a small airliner, i.e not very close. The rockets catapulted the young man and his steel container right up against the ceiling of our atmosphere and through it out into space. Reporting calmly through serious g-forces, Yuri Gagarin’s voice is the one we can hear re-assuring his masters at Ground Control instead of the other way around.Everything is fine. I am feeling alert. I am continuing the flight. It’s interesting and beautiful.The ground controllers pressed the various buttons that jettisoned the booster rockets and sent Gagarin into a parabolic pradakshina of the planet. At the highest point of his orbit, Gagarin was as far away from the earth’s surface as Jaipur is from Delhi, roughly 300 km, the closest was about 90 km. Gagarin completed his orbit and his controllers instructed his remaining rockets to slam him back into the earth’s atmosphere.advertisementApparently, Gagarin nearly died when the rockets didn’t disengage from his capsule after re-entry, making the heat almost fatal.Finally, though, the rockets did let go.The capsule was back, flying in what we call air. Gagarin pressed the one important button over which he had control and the lid of the capsule blew open, ejecting him and his parachute at a height of several kilometres. The craft itself was left behind as the first spaceman descended safely back to the Russian steppes.In less than half the time it takes to drive from Delhi to Jaipur, Gagarin had gone around the earth. Before his orbit no one could say for sure what would happen to human bodies in spacecraft outside the bounds of earthly gravity.After the flight we knew that, with proper design and engineering, extremely fit human beings could survive leaving the earth and returning to it.Looking back, there is a contradictory feeling about the whole thing. On the one hand, the flight of the Vostok can be compared to the first fish that tried to use its fins to walk on sand, a major evolutionary step in the developmental story of our species. On the other hand, save the moon landings, there has been no leap comparable to that first flight – it’s as if we are still that first school of fish, unable to stray very far from water, and a long way away from developing proper amphibious characteristics. Unlike us, those pioneering, early- amphibian ancestors of ours didn’t have ( as far as we can tell) any politics, economics, wars or electorates to deal with. It was, literally, each fish for itself, or maybe small groups of them, maybe the rash teenagers, doing their dangerous capers outside the proven safety of water.War There have been many reports, of course, of various American and European lunatics with spaceships ready in their backyards, the galactic equivalents of home- made sports- cars or sail- boats, all ready to fly off, aiming for the moon and points beyond, a bit similar to the way the experiments with early flight worked. Reportedly, so far, the US and other governments have managed to put a stop to these highly expensive suicide bids but who knows, there may come a day when some loony trillionaire might secretly put together a craft that could take him or her for a spectacular joyride.These crazies aside, the business of cosmic exploration remains in the hands of the government space agencies of large and mostly rich nations, which is where the national agendas and contested budgets etc all come in.This brings us to the second set of contradictory feelings. On the one hand, most of us love the idea of someone ( not us, perhaps) soaring away into the starlit darkness, hopefully to come back with treasures, discoveries and stories of the cosmos of which we are a part. The rationalists among us also realise that one day humanity will have no choice but to go and live on other planets, because our species can now make a good guess that this particular tiny rock of ours, even with the best maintenance, actually has an expiry date as far inhabiting it goes. On the other hand, if we examine the history of how Yuri Gagarin came to be on that flight in 1961, a different set of thoughts, anxieties and angers rises up.advertisementShortly after this commemoration we will see the 70th anniversary of the huge Operation Barbarossa, that was launched by the German Wehrmacht against Stalin’s USSR. Then, from 2012 to 2015, will come various seventiethyear memorials of the defeats of that army till its final decapitation in the ruins of Berlin, in 1945. Unlike what the earlier histories of the Second World War tell us, the demise of Hitler’s regime was a messy and chaotic business, the hydraheaded monster of Nazism collapsing surprisingly quickly in places while proving shockingly resistant in others.Not least of the reasons why the supposedly super- systematic Nazi machine met such an unsystematic end was that – even as they struck at Germany’s multiple jugulars – its enemies were divided. For the last year of the War in Europe, the Soviets, the Americans and the British were involved in a fierce and complicated three- way hunting dance ( think the last, triangular showdown in ‘ The Good, the Bad and the Ugly’ , with a fatally wounded but still dangerous ‘ Evil’ in the middle). The decisions made by the Soviets and the Allies at that moment would shape our history for the next fifty years.One of the most interesting American mistakes was to let Stalin’s armies reach Berlin first, imagining it was merely a symbolic prize and hoping the Russians would bear the brunt of any last- ditch fanatical resistance in the Nazi capital.Stalin, though, had information that the Germans had stockpiled enriched uranium for their new, experimental atomic device in a laboratory in a Berlin suburb.Stalin wanted Hitler and he wanted to fly the Red flag on the Reichstag but what he wanted most – and got – was this precious component for a nuclear bomb.As the Soviet armies sped west towards the destination that was secret even to their own generals, the team of Nazi scientists who had delivered the lethal V- 1 and V- 2 rockets to Hitler managed to surrender to the Americans speeding eastwards.Bomb America managed to trigger its first nuclear explosion within a couple of months of the fall of Berlin. And then, as we know, by August 1945 they were able to translate those explosions into two nuclear devices that they dropped on Japan, forcing it to surrender. The Russians eventually got their nuclear formula not from the ruins of Nazi Germany but through their spies in the USA and Britain. What they were unable to get, however, was the know- how of the Nazi team of rocket scientists; therefore they had to develop their own rockets to counter the American aeronautical behemoths. The reason why the USA and the USSR were developing powerful rockets was that it was the safest way to deliver a huge bomb upon an enemy on the other side of the planet.advertisementSpace exploration came to both countries as a spinoff of this endeavour, almost as an unrealised bonus. Now, if you twin Gagarin’s flight and Armstrong’s landing on the moon with the trillions of dollars that went into developing and making nuclear bombs and if, for a moment, you fantasise about what might have happened if this money had been spent in developing humanity as a whole, you might find yourself thinking that this April could have done just as well for the first human space flight from a healthy and peaceful planet. That might have been interesting and beautiful too.last_img read more


first_imgHan Geng, the singer, dancer and actor known as ‘the most influential male celebrity in China’ delivered last Saturday a speech that motivated the new generation of aspiring Chinese business leaders.Han Geng at LSBF Hope EventCredit/Copyright: LSBFHundreds of fans were inspired by the words of one of the most famous and influential Chinese men of our time. The event was hosted in support of the LSBF HOPE Foundation, a charity which aims to give young people the chance to achieve their dreams and career goals.Known as “King of Popularity” and having won the MTV’s EMA ‘Best Worldwide Act’, Han Geng is one of the most influential artists in China. During his speech, Han Geng showed how his way to the top was a story of struggle, fighting and striving to succeed overseas. His fans were able to discover the “man behind the success” and be inspired by Han Geng’s story.The event was hosted at the Westminster Central Hall, one of the most impressive venues in London. Before Han Geng’s speech, the audience had the chance to listen to the Director at LSBF School of English, Fay Drewry, who spoke about the challenges of studying and living in a foreign country, and the importance that English plays in the world today. The audience also watched a fashion show with the creations of students from the London College of Contemporary Arts and from the School of Fashion and Design London.Han Geng was received at the stage by LSBF’s Rector and CEO, Professor Maurits Van Rooijen, who presented him with an Award of Appreciation for his support to the LSBF HOPE cause.Members of the LSBF Board were at the event giving students the chance to learn more on how investing in education can help them to achieve more and take their careers further.The entire amount raised with donations at the event will be reverted to LSBF HOPE Foundation, which will be used for investing in charity schools in China.If you would like to learn more about how to develop you career with LSBF, click here.last_img read more


first_imgCharles Foran is the Toronto-based author of several books, including Mordecai, an award-winning biography of Mordecai Richler. (James Lahey) Advertisement Charles Foran has been awarded the $50,000 2018 Writers’ Trust of Canada Fellowship for being “one of the leading Canadian voices of our time.”The fellowship is given to writers who have “demonstrated exceptional creative ability and outstanding promise.”The fellowship was established in 2015. The previous recipients were Michael Crummey in 2015, Miriam Toews in 2016 and Eden Robinson last year. Advertisement LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Facebook Login/Register With: Twitter Advertisementlast_img read more