Category Archives: NEWS

AMAZING: Twin Sisters In Brazil Celebrate 100 Years Birthday

Brazil’s oldest twin sisters yesterday celebrated their 100th birthday and to mark the momentous occasion, a photographer captured them in a whimsical photo shoot before their big day.

Camila Lima, of Cariacica, Brazil, told ABC News that she heard about Maria Pignaton Pontin and Paulina Pignaton Pandolfi after seeing a report on her local news.

     

The photographer said she regularly takes photos of older couples “as a way to inspire young couples.” She decided to reach out to the sisters, who live in Ibiraçu, Brazil, hoping they’d participate in a photo shoot to mark their milestone birthdays.

They immediately agreed.

     

Lima, 28, said the two-hour photo shoot on Monday included hair styling, makeup application and pink and blue matching dresses. She added that the two sisters “were all excited.”

“They did everything I asked and did not complain about tiredness,” the photographer said, noting that both were “very happy and satisfied” with the finished photo shoot.

It’s a great present for the twins and their big family.

Pandolfi has six children, 19 grandchildren and 16 great-grandchildren, while Pontin has five children, 12 grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren.

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Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson Announces 2020 Presidential Run With Tom Hanks on SNL

Dwayne Johnson hosted SNL for the fifth time Saturday and announced a presidential run with none other than Tom Hanks . Were they kidding? Maybe. Maybe not.

During his monologue, he was joined onstage by Alec Baldwin , who has been parodying President Donald Trump this season, The actor, who has hosted SNL many times himself, welcomed The Rock into the five-timers club.

“A lot of people have been telling me lately that I should run for President of the United States,” Johnson said. “And I gotta tell you, it’s very flattering but tonight, I wanna put this for rest and just say once and for all—I’m in.”

“Starting tonight, I am running for the President of the United States,” he said. “Yeah.”

In a recent GQ interview and appearance on The Tonight Show , the actor did not rule out the idea of a presidential run .

The “Baywatch” star opens up in “GQ” magazine and says “I think that it’s a real possibility.”

“And I’ve gotta tell you, I’ve already chosen my running mate,” Johnson said on SNL . “He’s also in the five-timers club. And like me, he is very well-liked. He’s charming, universally adored by pretty much every human alive.”

“Dwayne, I would be honored to-” Baldwin began, before the actor cut him off and said, “Mr. Tom Hanks, ladies and gentlemen!”

The Oscar winner then appeared onstage.

“Dwayne, I could not possibly turn this down! I’ll do it! I’m in! Let’s go!” he said, as he and Johnson held and raised hands.

“I will be in the cabinet because all three of us are equally beloved, not a single black mark on any of our public personas,” Baldwin joked.

Johnson said that in the past, he “never would have considered running for president” because he did not think he was qualified.

“But now, I’m actually worried that I’m too qualified,” he said.

“The truth is, America needs us,” Hanks said. “No one can seem to agree on anything anymore except for two things.”

“Pizza and us!” Johnson said.

Tom Hanks

Hanks then summed up how most of America feels about him.

“I mean, I have been in two movies where a plane crashes and people are still excited to see me on their flight,” Hanks said.

The actor told Johnson they would get “100 percent of the vote,” and that he would get the senior vote because he “fought in World War II in like 10 different movies.”

“And I, of course would get the minority vote because everyone just assumes that I’m, well, whatever they are,” said Johnson, whose father is of Black Nova Scotian descent and mother is of Samoan heritage.

Hanks said the two would be able to handle any crisis, even war, then gave a pretend inspirational speech.

“When it comes to politics, we need more poise and less noise,” Johnson said, echoing comments he made on The Tonight Show . “Americans deserve strong, capable leaders, leaders who care about this country and care about its people.”

“Uh, Dwayne, that kind sounds like you and me,” Hanks said. “I guess we gotta do it!”

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Russians Bragged They Could Influence Trump Using Flynn Relationship

Russian officials bragged during the 2016 presidential campaign that they could use a cultivated relationship with Michael Flynn, then one of Donald Trump’s top advisers, to influence Trump, CNN reported on Saturday.

Russian officials claimed they had cultivated a strong relationship with Flynn and thought they could use it to influence the GOP candidate and his team, according to CNN’s report, which cited unnamed current and former government officials.One unnamed former official in President Barack Obama’s administration told CNN that “the way the Russians were talking about” Flynn was a “five-alarm fire from early on.”

Another former administration official told CNN that Flynn was regarded as a “potential national security problem,” though officials noted that Russian officials may have overstated their influence over Trump’s team.Flynn’s lawyer declined to comment to CNN.
The New York Times reported on Tuesday that Trumpaskedformer FBI Director James Comey to shut down his bureau’s investigation into Flynn, a request that Comey documented in a memo.

“I hope you can see your way clear to letting this go, to letting Flynn go,” Trump told Comey, according to the report. 
“He is a good guy. I hope you can let this go.”

On Thursday, tofurthercomplicate matters, Yahoo Newsreportedthat Flynn announced ata dinner in late April — months after he left the White House — that he “just got a message from the President to stay strong.”

Trump’s lawyershave repeatedly warned himnot to contact Flynn, and have reportedlyexpressed fearsthat any contact with the former national security adviser could look like witness tampering or coordination.Trump on Thursday categoricallydeniedpressuring former FBI director James Comey to end the FBI’s investigation into Flynn.“No. No. Next question,” he told a reporter.

The White House also issued a statement Thursday pushing back on the New York Times’ report,nearly a dayafter it was published.

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China-Hong Kong bridge to unity, or tentacle of Beijing control? (REUTERS)

As a 30-km (19-mile) bridge between Hong Kong and China across the Pearl River estuary nears completion, Chinese officials are hoping it will bring more than economic integration at a time of growing tension between the two sides.

The bridge that snakes out over the blue estuary with soaring pylons, viaducts and towers using more steel than 60 Eiffel Towers, was first proposed in the late 1980s.

But it was opposed at the time by Hong Kong’s British colonial government, which was wary of development that might draw the city closer to Communist China.

Since Hong Kong returned to Chinese rule in 1997, however, there has been a flurry of projects integrating the port city with the Pearl River Delta’s manufacturing and urban sprawl, and stoking some unease in Hong Kong.

Wei Dongqing, a Chinese Party official and the executive director of the Hong Kong Zhuhai Macau bridge Authority, one of the leaders of the project, sees the bridge, linking the former European colonies of Hong Kong and Macau with Zhuhai city, as promoting unity, both physically and mentally.

“It’s psychological. It joins three places,” Wei told Reuters on a media-trip bus speeding along the half-finished, six-lane bridge, with the facades of Macau’s casinos glimmering in the distance.

“We have confidence for the future … a united market, a united people … that’s the dream.”

After nearly eight years of construction, the cost of the bridge and tunnel project has ballooned to some $19 billion, at the last estimate.

Critics see it as a white elephant, that will struggle to become viable and be unlikely to draw the 40,000 or so vehicles a day as forecast.

While most construction is expected to be finished by year-end to allow the first vehicles to cross, Wei said he “wasn’t sure” when full operations – including toll booths, customs and immigration facilities – would be ready.

“We are facing new challenges after the bridge is completed … how to operate it, make it efficient, and really benefit the whole area,” he said.
The Hong Kong Transport Bureau, which oversees the Hong Kong end of the project, gave no specific response to questions on whether more delays and cost-overruns were expected, but said it was confident construction could be completed by the end of the year.

Final arrangements were being decided by the three sides, it said in an email.

‘BLUR THE BORDER’

Mainland and Hong Kong officials have long stressed the bridge’s economic importance at a time when tension in Hong Kong has escalated, with protests in 2014 over Beijing’s refusal to allow full democracy, and suspicion of creeping mainland interference despite a guarantee of autonomy.

Some in Hong Kong, apart from questioning the huge sums that could have gone into health, housing and education, are worried about what they see as an erosion of Hong Kong’s independent identity in China’s increasingly extensive embrace.

“You see a kind of network trying to blur the border between Hong Kong and China,” said pro-democracy lawmaker Kwok Ka-ki.
“In the coming 10 to 15 years, when all these infrastructure projects are completed, you will see Hong Kong is only part of China because you cannot see a clear border.”

Another project – a multi-billion dollar high-speed rail link – sparked an outcry over plans to allow Chinese immigration facilities to operate on Hong Kong soil.

Critics say that undermines Hong Kong’s autonomy under a “one country, two systems” formula, under which the city returned to Chinese rule.

“I don’t think many Hong Kong people mind to be integrated … but what we want is to do it democratically,” said Eddie Chu, who led protests against the rail link and is now an elected lawmaker.

“Behind all the protests in the last 10 to 15 years, the core idea is democracy and it’s an extension of the democratic movement, whether we have popular control over the direction of economic development and town planning.”

But project leader Wei, dressed in gray overalls and a white hard-hat, celebrates the integration that the critics decry.

“It’s actually one bridge, three systems. It’s about the law, policy, transportation policy, customs policy,” said Wei.

“The bridge is becoming a new icon.”

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Agent says Mike Ribeiro suffered alcohol relapse, NHL future undetermined

Mike Ribeiro’s agent Bob Perno told La Presse’s Richard Labbé ( via Puck Daddy) that the veteran forward suffered an alcohol relapse during the 2016-17 season, sometime before he was waived by the Nashville Predators in February.

Ribeiro, 37, had made a trade request around that time.

Perno’s interview with La Presse reveals that Ribeiro is uncertain about his future with hockey. There’s an implication that, if he were to play the sport next season, it would probably not be in the NHL (and maybe not even in North America).

For what it’s worth, Ribeiro did report to the Milwaukee Admirals (the Predators’ AHL affiliate) amid these issues. He played 28 games for the team, scoring 26 points.

Nashville made the controversial decision to hand Ribeiro a two-year, $7 million contract on July 1, 2015 , even as he was facing a civil suit for sexual assault; that lawsuit was settled about two weeks later.

That contract is set to expire this summer, and again, it seems plausible that Ribeiro’s NHL days are over. His agent’s comments indicate that he must deal with his alcohol issues before determining his hockey future.

Ribeiro has three children. Neither Ribeiro nor the Predators have made a statement regarding this report.

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Vice President Osinbajo In The Dark, As Buhari Can No Longer Be Reached On Phone

President Muhamamdu Buhari’s emergency medical vacation to the United Kingdom, UK, on penultimate Sunday, has been turned into a suspense-packed story, Post-Nigeria gathered.

The suspense got to a feverish pitch on Monday night, as there was not yet an official report, or communication on how far Buhari is recuperating, since he left the shores of Nigeria, through a hurriedly arranged night flight to London, a source authoritatively told Post-Nigeria.

This heightened calls by Nigerians on the Presidency, to declare the health status of Buhari, in order to dowse the tension created by his absence, has been dismissed by the All Progressives Congress, APC, by the wave of the hand.

Recall, that penultimate Sunday, Buhari had jetted out of the country behind cameras, to attend to his health, that has made him to repeatedly fail to attend Jumat prayers in the Aso Rock Mosque, and several Federal Executive Council, FEC, meetings.

Sources exclusively revealed to Post-Nigeria, that Buhari’s Presidential Spokesmen, Femi Adesina, Garba Shehu, and the Acting President, Yemi Osinbajo, have not been able to get in contact with Mr. President through the phone, since he left Nigera to the UK.

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Heavy gunfire broke out in Ivory Coast’s two major cities

Heavy gunfire again erupted on Monday in Ivory Coast’s two largest cities, Abidjan and Bouake, witnesses said, as the military pressed an operation aimed at ending a four-day nationwide army mutiny over bonus payments.

Loyalist troops began advancing towards Bouake, the epicenter of the revolt, on Sunday and sporadic gunfire was

heard overnight there as well as at military camps in Abidjan. Shooting in both cities intensified before dawn.

Heavy shooting was also heard in Daloa, a hub for the western cocoa growing regions, on Monday.

“I’ve been hearing the sound of Kalashnikovs and a heavier weapon. That began at around 5 a.m. (0500 GMT)

“It’s intense,” said one Abidjan resident, who lives near the U.S. Embassy and the presidential residence.

Another Abidjan resident said mutinying soldiers came out of the West African nation’s largest military camp and

erected barricades, blocking traffic along one of the main thoroughfares in the east of the city.

“There was heavy shooting at the northern entrance to the city and in the city center.

“It’s calmed a bit but we’re still hearing gunfire,” said one Bouake resident.

A second resident confirmed the shooting.

NAN reports that mutinous soldiers shot three people on Saturday and cut off access to the second largest city, Bouake, as a revolt escalated over demands for bonus payments.

The revolt began in Bouake early on Friday before spreading quickly, following a similar pattern to a mutiny by

the same group in January that paralysed parts of Ivory Coast and marred its image as a post-war success story.
Mutineers seized control of the national military headquarters and defence ministry in the centre of the

commercial capital Abidjan on Friday.

They stepped up the pressure on Saturday, blocking roads out of Bouake, the epicentre of January’s uprising, and

protesting around the country, including the northern city of Korhogo, where two men on a motorcycle were shot

in the legs as they tried to get through a roadblock manned by the mutineers.

“They shot at them. They were wounded and transported to the hospital,” said witness Amadou Yeo.

In Bouake, soldiers fired on a group of demobilised former rebels seriously wounding one of them, according to

their spokesman and a local lawmaker.

Sgt. Seydou Kone, a spokesman for the mutineers, said the ex-fighters, who went through a disarmament

programme following the country’s 2011 civil war, were planning their own protest, as they did early this week,

and his men had opened fire to stop them.

“We do not want to negotiate with anyone,” said Kone by phone from Bouake in the centre of the country. “We’re

also ready to fight if we are attacked.

“We have nothing to lose.”

NAN reports that in a statement on state television late on Friday, Gen. Sekou Toure, the army’s chief of staff, threatened the soldiers with severe sanctions if they did not end the revolt.

Ivory Coast’s defence minister and government spokesman could not be reached for comment on Saturday.

The soldiers were promised bonus payments by the government after the January mutiny but it has struggled to disburse the money following a budget crunch caused by the collapse in the price of cocoa, Ivory Coast’s main export.

Ivory Coast has emerged as one of the world’s fastest growing economies following a decade-long political crisis ended by a 2011 civil war.

Deep divisions persist, particularly in a military assembled from former rebel and loyalist combatants.

The government has already paid 8,400 soldiers, most of them former rebels who helped bring President Alassane Ouattara to power, bonuses of 5 million CFA francs (8,400 dollars) each as part of a deal to end the January revolt.

On Thursday, following a meeting with authorities in Abidjan, a spokesman for the group said they would forego demands for remaining bonuses of seven million francs.

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